And in South Carolina --
At tonight’s debate in South Carolina, the remaining 4 candidates for the Republican nomination for president were asked if they supported the Stop Online Piracy Act. Speaking in turn, they all came out against it, albeit with caveats about its current form...More at this link, via The Dish.
In answer, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich came out strongly against SOPA. “You’re asking a conservative about the economic interests of Hollywood?” Gingrich said. “I’m weighing it. I’m not rushing in... Well, I favor freedom! ... the idea we’re going to preemptively have the government start censoring the Internet on behalf of giant corporations, economic interests, strikes me as exactly the wrong thing to do.”
“The law as written is far too intrusive, far too expansive,” said former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who agreed with “everything” Gingrich said... A very broad law which gives the government the power to start stepping into the Internet and saying who can pass what to whom, I think that’s a mistake. I’d say no, I’m standing for freedom.”
“This bill is not going to pass,” Paul said. “But watch out for the next one! I am pleased that the attitude is sort of mellowed up here, because the Republicans unfortunately have been on the wrong side of this issue...
Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum said that he doesn’t support SOPA but that more needs to be done to protect intellectual property from offshore pirates. He also observed that he didn’t know where the idea that anything should be free on the Internet came from...
So here’s the question: Now, Santorum, Romney and Gingrich have publicly come out all against these bills. If asked last week, would they have given the same answers? I’ve been frustrated that so few questions about the Internet and technology have been asked. Clearly, the political calculus around supporting them has shifted. At least Ron Paul is consistent; he — and Rep Michele Bachmann — came out against SOPA weeks ago.