All the Republican presidential candidates will debate, again, on Wednesday in Iowa. Here's an exclusive look at the advance transcript.
. . . And now we've come to our Lightning Round, where the candidates will field fast questions from Republican primary voters. Go ahead, sir, you're first.
Yeah, thanks. All these candidates have said they support guns. But talk is cheap. I want to know if they're all proudly carrying their own guns, right now, right here on this stage.
Gentlemen, a show of hands . . . oh, my . . . that's quite an arsenal up there. Somebody nudge Fred Thompson, wake him up. Sen. Thompson? Hello? What do you have?
Uhhh, got me a AP4 carbine rifle with a 16-inch barrel. This little ole honey would have surely impressed Ronald Reagan.
So what? Mine's a bolt-action Remington. With a 24-inch barrel. Mine's bigger than yours. And that's not all I got. Say hello to my Charter Arms .44. It's ideal for home defense against Islamofascists, because 9/11 changed everything. By the way, fuggedaboutit, I can see that there's one wuss on this stage.
Yes, it's true: I am not armed at this time. But I did just buy a gun cabinet for Christmas, and I have the receipt right here, with copies for everyone, see? From Dick's Sporting Goods, and, my gosh, it's a beauty. Wood veneer, tempered glass, holds six long guns -
(Candidates scrutinize the receipt. Civil cross talk.)
Excuse me, gentlemen. Let me ask our citizen: Are you satisfied that your question was answered?
No way. That gun cabinet is too small.
Ah, well, you know, actually, Dick's also sells an eight-gun cabinet. I still have time to change my order!
Whatever. Point is, his gun cabinet will sit in the same house that was once landscaped by illegal immigrants.
In the future, I will personally escort all illegals off my property, at gunpoint. I believe that is what Ronald Reagan would have done.
Big deal. I will personally escort illegals all the way to the Southern border, while toting this 12-gauge shotgun my daddy gave me.
My friends, a little perspective, please. It was Ronald Reagan who signed a 1986 bill providing illegals with a path to citizenship. In his own words, he wanted them to "step into the sunlight." These people, lest we forget, are all God's children -
I will seal that Southern border as the good Lord intended, and I will pray about it daily.
I already pray many times each day, between campaign events.
I nap during campaign events. But I pray while I dream.
I dream that all Americans, in defense of their civilization, will come to accept the literal meaning of every single word in the Bible. There was a time when I would read it aloud to my wife, Judy, while visiting her in the Hamptons, and, I gotta say, back then I didn't like some of the biblical punctuation -
- but today I do love every last semicolon. Because 9/11 changed everything.
I second that. When I heard last week that 16 U.S. intelligence agencies had concluded that Iran canceled its nuclear weapons program in 2003, I was tempted to believe they were right. Gosh, they seemed to have all kinds of swell empirical evidence. But, while praying, I recalled this literal passage in Matthew: "Many false prophets shall rise, and deceive many." So now I know as a matter of faith that those intelligence agencies were simply trying to deceive and embarrass President Bush.
Hang on, folks. As the only ordained Christian on this stage, I think it's fatuous to view the Bible in only the literal sense. I believe in the allegorical, as I am sure Ronald Reagan did. For example, much is written in Leviticus about the tithing of personal property, and I interpret those passages as God's endorsement of what we truly need in America: the abolition of the IRS, and the introduction of a 23 percent national retail sales tax on goods and services.
Excuse me, but I don't see where the Bible implies any such thing. The next thing you know, you'll be telling me that the good book sanctions every conceivable form of torture.
(Hostile cross talk.)
Show me one single passage where the Bible explicitly ties the hands of the brave men and women who are fighting to keep us safe.
I would suggest to you, sir, that we are bound by the values we cherish as Americans. Waterboarding, for instance, is a violation of the Geneva Conventions -
Well, it says in Deuteronomy that criminals shall be beaten with "40 stripes," and I fail to see how a little water would be any worse.
Ronald Reagan liked water. He was once a lifeguard.
If Gov. Romney is truly so committed to waterboarding, I'd like to know why he didn't use it against his illegal alien landscaper buddies who were sneaking into his sanctuary mansion and stealing his silverware.
OK, perhaps the illegals should be sent to Guantánamo, instead of back to their homelands. But I wish to stipulate that my silverware is intact, and I'd appreciate it, mayor, if you didn't point that .44 at an unarmed man.
Stand down, mayor. That's not a fair fight. I got you covered with my 12-gauge.
Stand down, all of you. I got you all in my sights.
Bet none of you can shoot worth a darn anyway.
Yeah? See that light fixture up there?
We see it. OK, you're on.
Gentlemen, please! No . . .!
(Weapons cross fire.)
Coming Dec. 23:
An advance Democratic debate transcript.