The bell rang, CNBC’s Dylan Ratigan updated the markets, and then the first debate to focus on economic issues began. The GOP candidates, joined for the first time by Fred Thompson, were welcomed by co-moderators Maria Bartiromo and Chris Matthews.
The first question came from Bartiromo and went to Thompson. The CNBC anchor asked “as President, what will you do to ensure economic vibrancy in this country?” Thompson: “I think there is no reason to believe that we’re headed for a recession. We’re enjoying 22 quarters of successive economic growth that started 2001 and, then, further in 2003 with the tax cuts that we put in place. We’re enjoying low inflation. We’re enjoying low unemployment. The stock market seems to be doing pretty well. I see no reason to believe we’re headed for uh [four second pause] for an economic downturn.”
Six minutes in, Matthews couldn’t help but veer from the economic course and ask Rudolph Giuliani if Joe Torre will keep his job as Yankees manager. “God willing. Joe Torre is the best manager in the history of the Yankees, at least in the modern era.”
And then it was back to politics, and the economy.
>More: BrietbartTV has video of the first question…