Gary Johnson and neighbor's two dogs win Republican presidential debate


Image Credit: John Raoux/AP Images

If the Republican presidential campaign were Survivor, last night’s debate in Florida was the episode where the most savvy competitors form an alliance against the energetic rival who keeps on winning Immunity. Frontrunner Rick Perry weathered a barrage of criticism from all sides, as Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum attacked him relentlessly for his policies as Texas governor. Romney and Perry took turns citing passages of each others’ books as evidence of flip-flopping, and Santorum hit Perry from the far right on Texas’ “soft” policy on illegal immigration. (Because when it comes to leadership on illegal immigration, the nation looks to Pennsylvania!)

Santorum’s bold performance — which included a well-received rant against the military’s repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — pushed Michele Bachmann further into the periphery, but it was little-known former New Mexican governor Gary Johnson who uncorked the zinger of the night when he said, “My next-door neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration.”

It was soon discovered that Johnson’s joke was virtually identical to a quip delivered by Rush Limbaugh on his radio show yesterday. But it’s not expected to hurt Johnson’s standing in the polls, where he was drawing just slightly more than 1 percent.

Who do you think won the debate last night? If one of the candidates had to get voted off the “island,” who would it be? And does Limbaugh get paid extra for scripting the candidates’ jokes — as well as their talking points?

Read more:
The Tea Party/CNN debate: Ganging up on Rick Perry, as Kurt Cobain makes a cameo
Rick Perry applauded for executing Texas prisoners, and other TV moments of the Republican debate

Comments (31 total) Add your comment
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  • Kevin

    I don’t know who won, but I know who lost: the American public. If these jokers are the best the GOP can come up with, we’re doomed to become a one party system.

    • Terry

      We already are a one party system! They are all a bunch of liars that don’t care about anything but winning elections.

    • Danny Ross

      Yeah. And who is your candidate? Which Republican would you prefer? Or will you continue to drink the Obama KoolAid? Thought so.

  • Ralphie

    I thought the candidates did well and that Romney really well. I was on the fence between Perry and Romney before the debate, but I didn’t like Perry much at all. He was vague on most of the questions and seemed to attack more than answer.

    • Ann

      Perry is a career politician. I live in Texas and I do not like him. The only reason he’s still in office here in Texas is because it’s a Red state and there hasn’t been any other conservative Republican challengers to his seat in office.

  • Titus77

    None of them are worth a damn.

  • mikeman

    pretty shameful that not one of the candidates even tried to thank the openly gay soldier in currently serving in iraq who was booed. regardless about how you feel about don’t ask don’t tell, here’s someone risking their life in a warzone, and you’re going to boo him? stay classy, gop.

  • Ms Juice Ortiz

    Nice censorship

  • Bob

    Johnson’s joke was submitted to him as one of eight collected by a New Mexico DJ for use in the debate. Furthermore, the joke or it’s near facsimile have been circulating since 2009. It’s even been printed as a bumper sticker for goodness sake! Before you publish something like this could you please take at least 60 seconds to check it out? I don’t know what Rush gets paid but it’s looking like you’re paid too much.

  • Ms Juice Ortiz

    ok have it your way, I’ll contact the FCC and let them know that EW is actively censoring comments supporting political candidates.

  • Ms Juice Ortiz

    ok then no worries

  • Ms Juice Ortiz

    Wow so people here can support Romney or Perry, but I can’t support Herman Cain?

    • Kevin

      You can. And we can all laugh at your foolishness.

    • Kang Kodos ’96

      Go ahead, throw your vote awaaay!

  • Ms Juice Ortiz

    LMAO Nice one EW. I have copies of the comment and I’m already on the phone with the FCC.
    I guess the moderator has a problem with what I pointed out.

    • pastafarian

      Must be a slow day at the FCC

  • mikeman

    why would any conservative support herman “chairman of the fed in k.c. who once claimed that the federal government taking over the banks in america wouldn’t be bad” cain?

    • Ms Juice Ortiz

      link please, google turned up nothing.

      • EK

        Try googling “cain north star writers group tarp.” The editorial in question is the first thing that pops up.

  • Ms Juice Ortiz

    3 candidates did thank the soldier, but the moderator can’t seem to post that comment. And can’t get over the fact that only like 3 people booed and more clapped.

    • mikeman

      no, no one thanked him for his service. go ahead and read the official transcript up on fox right now. in fact, santorum is the only candidate who answered that question. right after his answer (where he definitely does not thank the soldier for his service to our country), dr. paul is asked a question about abortion.

      and cain was the former chair of the federal reserve in kansas city and made his comments about federalizing the banking system in an editorial he wrote for the north star writer’s group supporting tarp. i’m not going to link to it, but it took me a whole 10 seconds to find. then again, you’re the type of person who contacts the fcc about censoring you, so i’m not at all shocked you can’t find it.

      • mikeman

        october 8, 2008 – far from nationalization, purchase of bank stocks is a win win for tax payers

        unfortunately for mr. cain, the government buying stocks is actually the very definition of nationalization.

      • Agustine

        Their first issue was thick, since then they’ve gotten theninr and theninr. But I like the wires they get from State House News. There’s a Boston Now box by my house that’s all dented up and hasn’t ever had a paper in it.

  • Ms Juice Ortiz

    Now can you post my earlier comment instead of denying me my right to free speech????

  • Ms Juice Ortiz

    Want to give me a link where he actually said that?? Because googling it turned up nada

    • Lauren

      You are either trolling or just plain weird. I’m going to go with troll.


    Gary Johnson is the only person offering real substance and solutions for the critical issues of our time. He’s a real classical liberal. It’s about time the establishment press started paying more attention to GJ. We’ve been keeping tabs on the Johnson campaign at

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