"Good evening, I'm Wolf Blitzer welcoming you to another in the continuing series of debates among the contenders for the Republican presidential nomination.
Tonight is Halloween eve, and in observance of the holiday we've invited each of the candidates to dress in a costume of his or her choice. We've also taken note of the holiday by holding this debate in one of the scariest places in the country, the editorial offices of New Hampshire's premier newspaper, the New Hampshire Union Leader, where over the years countless things have occurred for which there is no rational explanation.
I'll turn then to the candidates and ask each of you to describe your costume. Senator Santorum, let's start with you."
"Well, Wolf, I've come dressed as abstinence. The spikes I've attached to my head and shoulders symbolize the pain you inflict on your partner when you engage in premarital sex. The partially popped popcorn kernels stuck to my vest, along with the melted butter that's dripping from them, is my effort to convey with a family-friendly metaphor the tragedy of abortion."
"Let's move on to former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. Mr. Speaker, tell us about your costume."
"I've come dressed as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie when he was 10 years old. In fact, I bought this suit at a yard sale his mother held a couple of weeks ago, and it fit me perfectly. She graciously threw in the eight foot piece of rope that I'm wearing as a belt. "
"Very imaginative, sir. What about you, Ambassador Huntsman?"
"I'm the Invisible Man."
"How can you be the Invisible Man if everyone can see you?"
"Walk a mile in my shoes, Wolf. Walk a mile in my shoes."
"All right, what about you, Governor Romney?"
"I'm dressed as a Ken doll, but possibly with a penis."
"What do you mean "possibly," Governor?"
"Well, I'm going to put it out there and see how the wind's blowing."
Now to Governor Perry. If I had to guess, Governor, I'd say you've dressed as a cowboy."
"On the money, Wolf. I've got a six-shooter right here. No, excuse me, I've got six one-shooters with two round magazines. Hold it, wait, I've got Newsweek magazine with a very sharp staple coming out of the middle."
"I notice that you've got something that looks like a paintbrush sticking out of your chaps, Governor."
"That is, indeed, a paintbrush, Wolf. I call him Ol' Paint, and he just may be the best pal I have in the world right now."
"Well, when we finish up here tonight, Ol' Paint and I are gonna fly back to my hometown in Texas, hop over to the family hunting lodge, and take care of some business."
"What business is that?"
"I'll put it this way: my buddy here is really into rock and knows whitewash inside and out. You get my drift?"
"I believe I do, Governor. Mr. Cain, I think what Governor Perry may be alluding to is the disclosure that for many years a racial epithet appeared on a rock outside his family's property. Initially you said that offended you, then you backed off. Why was that?"
"Well, Wolf, I thought about it and realized this could have happened to anyone. Heck, 18 years ago I discovered the word "Cracker" was painted on the jockey statue on my front lawn, and it took me until May of this year, when I announced I was running for President, to find someone who wouldn't charge me an arm and a leg to come out and sandblast the damn thing off."
"Let's move on to your costume, sir. Whom or what do you represent?"
"For obvious reasons I'm dressed as Barack Obama."
"Would I be correct in inferring from that answer that you've dressed like the president because you're both African-Americans?"
"Absolutely not. I chose to dress as Obama because we both rose to the top on the basis of change. In my case, it was 99-cent toppings and 9-cent Coke refills. And I believe that the change on which my success is based, 9-9-9, is much more powerful than Mr. Obama's kind of change, the squandering of nickels, dimes, quarters, 50-cent pieces and Susan B. Anthony dollars in multiples that are often not 9."
"Congresswoman Bachmann, what about your costume?"
"Wolf, I'm dressed in a costume that displays my reverence for the history of this great nation. My blouse, with the phrase "U of M Duluth" embroidered on the front, was worn by my grandmother during her terrifying crossing from Waterloo, Iowa to Anoka, Minnesota. The ornamental comb I'm wearing was given to my husband Marcus by a close friend whose great uncle opened the first steam bath in Boston. And my head is supported by the neck brace Abraham Lincoln wore during his long recovery from the incident at Ford's theater."
"Thank you, Congresswoman.
Finally, we come to Congressman Ron Paul. Congressman, who or what are you?"
"I'm a mixed nut."
"Congressman, how can you be a mixed nut if there are no other nuts around you?"
"You want to look over this group and try that one again, Wolf?"