The CPAC debate between former CNN Crossfire hosts Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson had all the trappings of a boxing match complete with a girl carrying a round cards and a bell signaling the next round.
Washington Times President Tom McDevitt, the debate’s moderator, took on the persona of a boxing referee.
McDevitt’s first question asked whether “America should kill all of its enemies.”
Begala came out swinging at his hostile audience by telling them they had no better friend in the fight against terrorism than Barack Obama. The audience jeered him with a round of loud boos.
“I know there are a few al-Qaida defenders in here,” Begala nailed the audience saying. “Our president has killed 22 of the top 30 al-Qaida leaders, and they are dead because of Barack Obama.”
The audience jeered.
Carlson hit back saying that Obama supporters set a low bar by invoking opposition to al-Qaida in the president’s defense.
In Round 2, Begala and Carlson squared off over whether or not the Constitution was “a living document drafted by dead white men.”
“The Constitution is the one thing that separates us not only from Burkina Faso, but also from Belgium, and by the way, from Canada.” Carlson said. “The rights that come from the Bill of Rights prevent the government from running our lives like what has happened with Obamacare.”
But Begala charged that conservatives disrespect the Constitution by wanting to amend it to allow for school prayer and ban gay marriage among other things.
“You are a bit like a guy who marries a woman but says, ‘Honey, I love you, but could you get a butt job, a boob job?’
“If you love it, could you leave it alone?”
McDevitt opened Round 3 by asking if the Tea Party or if Al Sharpton was more racist.
Carlson came to Sharpton’s defense saying that the MSNBC host only resents “patronizing white liberals,” while Begala shot back that he rejected the idea that Tea Partiers are racists.
When given the chance to ask “the questions that the mainstream media is afraid to ask”, Begala mocked Romney’s CPAC affirmation that he was “a severe conservative” while he was governor. The Democratic strategist turned pundit shot at Romney by reminding voters of Romney’s 1994 affirmation that he was more “pro-gay rights than Ted Kennedy.”
“How can you be more gay rights than Ted Kennedy?” Begala asked.
Carlson shot back saying that people change their views as the data change.
“Dumb people stay put regardless,” Carlson said.
He then parried Begala’s rebuttal that Massachusetts was a free state by branding it as a “nerf police state.”
“It is the single most annoying police state,” Carlson said.
Begala then quipped that Romneycare wasn’t just the “stepchild of Obamacare,” but rather that it was the “mother of Obamacare.”