Sun, Jan 08, 2012 - Page 7 News List

Republican hopefuls get pummeled in debate, sort of

AFP, NEW YORK

Republican US presidential hopefuls in a debate on Friday flubbed answers, made racist, homophobic outbursts and generally embarrassed themselves — well, at least in a Yahoo online spoof.

Even in the wild and unpredictable Republican primary season, things haven’t got quite as wild as in the mock debate presented by Yahoo and the Funny or Die comedy channel.

Comedians play the candidates, with veteran TV host Larry King — the real one — in the role of moderator, and former boxer Mike Tyson making a special appearance as the blustery, failed candidate Herman Cain.

The “GOP Presidential Online Internet Cyber Debate” batters candidates from the opening credits — former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney “The Beige,” Texas Governor Rick Perry “The Confused Cowboy,” US Representative Ron Paul “The Cranky Grandpa” — and never stops.

In his gravelly voice, King asks the faux candidates why they’d make a good president.

Romney, derided by real-life opponents as a man who can’t take a stand, answers: “That’s a very good question.”

Perry, whose memory difficulties got him in trouble during an actual debate recently, says: “Honestly, I do not know.”

As for the anti-government Paul, his character drawls: “If I get elected president, I won’t be president — I’ll be Uncle Ron.”

Between depictions of the Republicans as prone to racism, gay-bashing and mindless worship of former US president Ronald Reagan, Tyson steals the show by interrupting with impersonations of Cain.

The spoof ends up with the mock version of the traditional opposition “response” to a debate or speech involving the other party.

This time, it’s actor Reggie Brown as US President Barack Obama, sitting in a red silk dressing gown in a firelit White House room and speaking seductively to the camera as he tries to woo Republican voters to his side.

He says a vote for him would be viewers’ “dirty little secret.” Then the “president” says softly that right-wing voters might not think he was their “type.”

“You’re into conservative candidates,” he says against a background of cheesy music. “Let me tell you a secret: I am conservative. Do you know how many Wall Street bankers I’ve prosecuted? Zero.”

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