Eight Candidates in Search of a Breakthrough: The Ticker

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By Kirsten Salyer

What can we expect from tonight’s Republican debate on the economy? Six of the eight Republican presidential candidates submitted their opening statements to CNBC.

Michele Bachmann:

The U.S representative from Minnesota uses her opening statement to attack Dodd-Frank, calling it “the regulatory equivalent of blaming your child for eating too much candy.” Repealing Dodd-Frank appears to be the gist of her plan for the economy.

Newt Gingrich:

The former Speaker of the House calls for a flat tax rate of 12.5 percent, abolishing the capital gains tax and tax on dividends, narrowing the Federal Reserve’s statutory mandate and repealing Obama's health care reform, Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley. Do you agree with columnist Margaret Carlson that Gingrich may have found his political sweet spot?

Jon Huntsman:

The former governor of Utah promises to “clean house” by eliminating all subsidies, simplifying the tax code, focusing on energy research, privatizing Fannie and Freddie and proposing a balanced budget amendment. He’s the only candidate whose opening statement mentions foreign policy, which he says is critical to economic growth as well as national security.

Ron Paul:

Individual liberty, free markets, limited government. The Texas Representative’s plan promises to cut $1 trillion, eliminate five cabinet departments, give Medicare to the states, reduce the federal workforce and cut Congressional perks. (We wonder if the libertarian’s approach might be a tad too much.)

Rick Perry:

The Texas governor comes out swinging the "sledgehammer" that he says is required to fix Washington. He calls for a 20 percent flat tax, aggressive development of domestic energy resources, including oil, the end of earmarks and a freeze on federal employee salaries. But is the Texas path to job growth really the best?

Mitt Romney:

The former governor of Massachusetts attacks President Barack Obama for failing to create jobs, specifically in Michigan, (where the debate will take place). He outlines his plan to “end the regulatory stranglehold on the economy,” cut spending, cut taxes and create a “fairer, flatter and simpler” tax code. (We’re skeptical about the ability of such a tax overhaul to do all three.)

Herman Cain:

The former Godfather Pizza CEO did not submit an opening statement. To be fair, he’s had a busy week fighting off accusations of sexual harassment.

Rick Santorum:

The former Pennsylvania senator also did not submit an opening statement. (He may not be able to afford a staff to do this kind of thing.)

What do you want to hear from the Republican candidates in tonight’s debate? Follow the Bloomberg View debate live blog at 8 p.m. ET with editors Frank Wilkinson and Paula Dwyer.

(Kirsten Salyer is the social media editor for Bloomberg View.)

-0- Nov/09/2011 19:52 GMT