NBC News/Tampa Bay Times GOP Debate: Live Blog

Categories: Politics
Tonight at 9, the remaining four contenders for the GOP presidential nomination take the stage in Tampa to talk about the issues -- and, usually, the nonissues.

Either way, Florida's primary election next week is a winner-take-all contest for the state's 50 delegates, and the contest between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Rep. Ron Paul, and former Sen. Rick Santorum may or may not be a wide-open race.

Refresh yourself on the previous debate by clicking here, and we go live after the jump:

10:42 p.m. After 20 minutes of nonmaterial speaking, that's all.

10:22 p.m. Romney says Obama doesn't care about outer space. Romney says he cares.

10:18 p.m. Terri Schiavo -- officially the subject of a GOP debate question.

10:12 p.m. Gingrich: "One of the fascinating things about America is that cane sugar hides behind beet sugar." Uh... sure.

10:03 p.m. They're talking español now. Me gusta.

9:50 p.m. Fidel Castro's the topic. Gingrich corrects Romney, says Castro's going to hell, not to "his maker."

9:48 p.m. Romney says we can't open banks in our garages. You learn something new every day.

9:47 p.m. Romney's talking about Florida's unemployment. Don't tell Rick Scott.

9:45 p.m. Does anyone have the rules for that drinking game? We can only handle so much about interest rates.

9:31 p.m. Santorum and Paul could have left the stage ten minutes ago, and we wouldn't know. It's the Gingrich/Romney show.

9:19 p.m. Romney decides to answer a question that wasn't asked. Check that one off the list.

9:14 p.m. Pissing match is finally cut off. Santorum gives a goofy smile explaining his 18-point loss in his reelection bid.

9:10 p.m. We're amid a nine-minute pissing match between Gingrich and Romney.

9:03 p.m. Gingrich name-dropped Reagan three words in. If you're playing that drinking game, start chugging.

9:00 p.m. Let's do some debatin'.

7:17 p.m. Pre-debate predictions: Gingrich gets pissy about the media, Paul gets shafted on the number of questions, Santorum uses the phrase "on this stage" multiple times, and Romney answers at least one question with whatever he feels like talking about.

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Can anybody shut those two idiots up???  This is a debate, not the Newt and Mitt show!!!

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Do you think they'll ask Ron Paul a question within the first 45 minutes?


"Strong National Defense" = your kids are going to Iran without any Allies.

glass slipper
glass slipper

That is why Ron Paul continues to be shut out of theses so-called "debates".

 Ron Paul is for National Defense, not Military Wasteful Spending, and of course he is being ignored.

 If only the people in this country would wake up and realize that bringing the troops home and closing foreign bases would INCREASE our National Defense and not weaken it as the media and "special interests groups" are leading you to believe.

 Plus it would bring more jobs and help to improve our economy.

 Just make too much sense.

 So instead this country will be waging more wars we cannot afford and making more money for war war profiteers and the spineless, treasonous scumbags who are in congress.

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