History Buzz November 30, 2011: First Look Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg Film

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

History Buzz

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

HISTORY NEWS

Daniel Day-Lewis As Abraham Lincoln (PHOTO)

From the moment Steven Spielberg chose Daniel Day-Lewis to play Abraham Lincoln in his upcoming biopic about the president, movie fans have been excited to see just how closely the Oscar-winner would be made to resemble the bearded leader.

Twitter user @UVAMichael posted a photo of Day-Lewis with his Lincoln goatee and hair style, and it’s amazing just how much he looks like Lincoln. And that’s without the top hat.

The film, which will also star Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Robert Todd Lincoln, Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens and John Hawkes as Robert Latham, amongst other stars.

PHOTO:

Full Text November 30, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Speech on the American Jobs Act at Scranton High School in Scranton, PA — Urges Congress to Extend Payroll Tax

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama at Scranton High

Source: WH, 11-30-11
20111130 POTUS in Scranton

President Barack Obama delivers remarks about the American Jobs Act at Scranton High School in Scranton, Pa., Nov. 30, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

If Congress doesn’t extend the payroll tax cut, 6.7 million people in Pennsylvania will see their taxes go up.

That’s the message that President Obama took to Scranton this afternoon. He told a crowd assembled in the town’s high school auditorium that if Congress fails to extend the tax cut through 2012, it would deliver a “massive blow” to the nation’s economy:

[If] Congress doesn’t act to extend this tax cut — then most of you, the typical middle-class family, is going to see your taxes go up by $1,000 at the worst possible time. A young lady just said she can’t afford that. It would be tough for you.

The Senate is set to vote on extending these tax cuts as early as this week, and the President told people in Scranton to send their lawmakers a message:

[To] everybody who is here, everybody who is watching, send your Senate a message — send your senators a message. Tell them, “Don’t be a Grinch.” … Don’t vote to raise taxes on working Americans during the holidays.  Make sure to renew unemployment insurance during the holidays.  Stop saying “no” to steps that would make our economy stronger. Put our country before party. Put money back into the pockets of working Americans. Do your job. Pass this bill.

Read the full remarks here.

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Remarks by the President on the American Jobs Act

Scranton High School
Scranton, Pennsylvania

2:37 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Scranton!  Thank you.  (Applause.)  It is good to be back in Scranton.  Go, Knights!  (Applause.)  It is good to be here.  Thank you, Principal Schaeffer, for letting us hold this little assembly here at the high school.  (Laughter.)  The principal was bragging about both the basketball team and the football team.  I understand they’re — (applause) — right up there?  All right.

Thank you, Donna, for the wonderful invitation.  We had a chance to visit in the Festas’ living room, and just a wonderful family, and their kids are doing great.  So I’m really, really proud to be with all of you.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Can you come to my house?  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  What did she say?  You want — next time, your house.  (Laughter.)  All right?  (Applause.)

Now, I will say, Donna put out some really good cookies.  So — (laughter) — I’m just saying.  (Laughter.)  All right.

Now, I also want to bring greetings from somebody you guys know pretty well -– a guy named Joe Biden.  (Applause.)  Joe is in Iraq as we speak, and he’s visiting with our brave men and women in uniform, thanking them for their service.  (Applause.)  And part of the reason he’s going now is because, pretty soon, we’ll all get a chance to say thank you.  This holiday season is going to be a season of homecomings, because by the end of December, all of our troops are going to be out of Iraq.  They’re going to be back home.  (Applause.)

Now, I mention Joe, first of all, because he loves Scranton.  (Applause.)  He was born here in Scranton.  He spent his early years here in Scranton.  This town helped make him who he is.  This is a town where he and so many of you grew up with a faith in an America where hard work matters.  Where responsibility matters.  Where if you stay true to those things, you can get ahead.  Where no matter who you are, no matter what you look like -– whether you own a factory or you work on the factory floor –- America is a place where you can make it if you try.  (Applause.)

That’s why Joe and I ran for this office.  You are why we spent so much time in this state a few years ago.  Because even then, those ideas -– the idea that’s at the very heart of the American Dream –- felt like it was slipping away for a lot of people.  It was wonderful visiting with Patrick and Donna, and we were talking about the fact that Patrick has been — Patrick Festa has been teaching in the school system for 25 years now; Donna has been a graphic artist.  But they’re still worried about if the washer/dryer goes out, or if they have to do a car repair.  Things are tight.  And they’re pretty lucky that they’ve got a good job, steady jobs.  For a lot of folks, it’s a lot tougher.

And we’ve gone through a difficult decade for middle-class Americans.  More good jobs in manufacturing left our shores over the last decade.  More of our prosperity was built on risky financial deals and homes that a lot of folks couldn’t afford.  And a lot of you watched your incomes fall or your wages flatline.  Meanwhile, the costs of everything from college to health care were all going up.  And then, after all that, the financial crisis hit because of the irresponsibility of some on Wall Street.  (Applause.)  And that made things a whole lot tougher.

Today, we all know folks who’ve spent months looking for work.  We all know families making deep sacrifices just to get by.  We all know young people who have gone to college, they’ve taken on a bunch of debt.  Now they’re finding that the opportunity that they worked so hard to find is getting harder and harder to come by.  So there’s a sense of deep frustration among people who’ve done the right thing, but don’t see that hard work and that responsibility pay off.  And that’s not the way things are supposed to be, not here in America.

But here today with all of you, I’m thinking about something that is probably Joe’s favorite expression.  And some of you know Joe’s story.  He went through some tough times when he was a kid.  And his father used to tell him, Champ, when you get knocked down, you get up.  You get up.
And Scranton, we’ve taken some punches these last few years.  But there’s one thing I know about people here in Scranton, people in Pennsylvania, and people all across America:  We are tougher than the times.  We are America.  We get back up.  We fight back.  We move forward.  (Applause.)  We don’t give up.  We get back up.  (Applause.)

And even though our economic problems weren’t caused overnight and so they’re not going to be solved overnight — even though it’s going to take a few more years to meet all the  challenges that were decades in the making — we’re fighting to make things right again.  We’re fighting to make sure that if you are working hard and you are carrying out your responsibilities and you’re looking out for your family, that you can live a good, solid, middle-class life.  That is what America is all about.  And we are going to be fighting for that every day, every week, every month and every year that we’re in office.  (Applause.)

We want an America where hard work is valued and responsibility is rewarded.  We’re fighting to rebuild an economy that restores security for the middle class and renews opportunity for folks that are trying to get into the middle class.  We’re fighting to build an economy that’s not based on outsourcing and tax loopholes and risky financial schemes, but one that’s built to last — one where we invest in things like education and small businesses — (applause) — an economy that’s built on manufacturing and building things again and selling them all around the world.  (Applause.)

And we’re going to keep fighting to make our economy stronger and put our friends and neighbors back to work, to give our young people opportunities greater than the opportunities that we had.  (Applause.)  That’s what we’ve been doing for the last three years.

But two months ago, I sent a particular piece of legislation to Congress called the American Jobs Act.  (Applause.)  This is a jobs bill that will put more Americans to work, put more money back in the pockets of working families. It’s contains ideas that historically have been supported by Democrats and Republicans.  It’s paid for by asking our wealthiest citizens to pay their fair share.  (Applause.)  And independent economists said that it would create up to 2 million jobs, and grow the economy by as much as 2 percent.  And that’s what we need right now.

Now, here’s the problem — there is a problem.  Folks in Washington don’t seem to be getting the message.  When this jobs bill came to a vote, Republicans in the Senate got together and they blocked it.  They refused to even debate it.  Even though polls showed that two-thirds of Americans of all political stripes supported the ideas in this bill, not one single Republican stepped up to say, this is the right thing to do.

AUDIENCE:  Booo!

THE PRESIDENT:  Not one.  But here’s the good news, Scranton.  Just like you don’t quit, I don’t quit.  (Applause.)  I don’t quit.  So I said, look, I’m going to do everything that I can do without Congress to get things done.  (Applause.)

So let’s just take a look over the past several weeks.  We said, we can’t wait.  We just went ahead and started taking some steps on our own to give working Americans a leg up in a tough economy.  For homeowners, I announced a new policy that will help families refinance their mortgages and save thousands of dollars.  (Applause.)  For all the young people out here — (applause) — we reformed our student loan process to make it easier for more students to pay off their debts earlier.  (Applause.)  For our veterans out here — and I see some veterans in the crowd — (applause) — we ordered several new initiatives to help our returning heroes find new jobs and get trained for those jobs.  (Applause.)  Because you shouldn’t have to fight for a job when you come home after fighting for America — you shouldn’t have to do that.  (Applause.)

And in fact, last week I was able to sign into law two new tax breaks for businesses that hire veterans, because nobody out here who is a veteran should — we have to make sure that they are getting the help that they need.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Thank you, Mr. President!

THE PRESIDENT:  And by the way, I think we’re starting to get, maybe, to the Republicans a little bit, because they actually voted for this veterans bill.  I was glad to see that.  (Applause.)  I was glad that Democrats and Republicans got together with this bipartisan legislation.

Now, there’s a lot more to do, though, if we’re going to get every American back to work who wants to work, and to rebuild an economy that works for every American, which is why we’re going to give Congress another chance to do the right thing with the American Job Act.  We’re going to give them another chance to help working families like yours.  (Applause.)

Last year, both parties came together to cut payroll taxes for the typical household by $1,000.  Now, that’s been showing up in your paychecks each week.  You may not be aware of it, because times are tight.  But you actually got a tax cut of $1,000 this year.  Now, I know you hear a lot of folks on cable TV claiming that I’m this big tax-and-spend liberal.  Next time you hear that, you just remind the people who are saying it that since I’ve taken office, I’ve cut your taxes.  (Applause.)

Your taxes today — the average middle-class family, your taxes today are lower than when I took office, just remember that.  (Applause.)  We have cut taxes for small businesses not once, not twice, but 17 times.  The average family’s tax burden is among the lowest it’s been in the last 60 years.

So the problem is not that we’ve been raising taxes.  We’ve actually been trying to give families a break during these tough times.  But here’s the thing:  That payroll tax cut that we passed in December of last year, it’s set to expire at the end of this year, one month from now.  If that happens — if Congress doesn’t act to extend this tax cut — then most of you, the typical middle-class family, is going to see your taxes go up by $1,000 at the worst possible time.  A young lady just said she can’t afford that.  It would be tough for you.  It would also be a massive blow for the economy, because we’re not fully out of the recession yet.  Don’t take my word for it; this is what every independent economist says.  We can’t let this tax cut lapse right now.

And that’s why my jobs bill — part of the American Jobs Act was to extend this tax cut for another year.  In fact, it does one better.  It says, let’s expand that tax cut.  Instead of a $1,000 tax cut next year, the typical working family under my plan would get a tax cut of $1,500.  (Applause.)  Instead of it coming out of your paycheck, it would be going into your pocket.  Now, that’s money that you can spend on a small business right here in Scranton.  If you’re a small business owner, my jobs bill will cut your payroll taxes in half.  So if you’ve got 50 employees making $50,000 each, you’d get a tax cut of nearly $80,000.  That’s money that you can then use to hire some more workers and get this economy moving again.  That’s a good thing.  (Applause.)

Now, this really should not be controversial.  A lot of Republicans have agreed with this tax cut in the past.  The Republican leader in the Senate said it would — I’m quoting here — it would “put a lot of money back in the hands of business and in the hands of individuals.”  That’s what he said.  Another Republican leader said it would help small business owners create jobs and help their employees spend more money, creating even more jobs.  One Republican even called it a “conservative approach to help put our economy back on track.”  So what’s the problem?

The bad news is some of those same Republicans voted “no” on my jobs bill and those tax cuts.  I don’t know whether it’s just because I proposed it.  I don’t know.  They said “no” to cutting taxes for small business owners and working families.  One of them said just two years ago that this kind of tax cut would boost job creation, and now that I’m proposing it, he said we should let it expire.  I mean, what happened?

Republicans say they’re the party of tax cuts.  That’s what they say.  A lot of them have sworn an oath to never raise taxes on anybody as long as they live.  That doesn’t square with their vote against these tax cuts.  I mean, how is it that they can break their oath when it comes to raising your taxes, but not break their oath when it comes to raising taxes for wealthy people?  That doesn’t make any sense.  (Applause.)  I mean, I hope that they don’t want to just score political points.  I hope that they want to help the economy.

This cannot be about who wins and loses in Washington.  This is about delivering a win for the American people.  That’s what this is about.  (Applause.)  You know, $1,500 — that’s not a Band-Aid for middle-class families, that’s a big deal.  How many people here could use an extra $1,500?  (Applause.)  Yes, I thought so.

So I’ll tell you what, Scranton.  They may have voted “no” on these tax cuts once.  But I’m already filled with the Christmas spirit.  There’s kind of some chill in the air.  I saw some Christmas decorations at the Festas.  So I’m in a Christmas spirit.  I want to give them another chance.  I want to give them a chance to redeem themselves.  We’re going to give them another chance.

So as early as Friday, this Friday, in a couple of days, we’re going to give them a chance to take a simple vote on these tax cuts.  If they vote “no,” then the typical family’s taxes will go up by $1,000 next year.  If they vote “yes,” then the typical family will have an extra $1,500 in their pocket.  (Applause.)  So let’s just be clear:  If they vote “no,” your taxes go up; vote “yes,” you get a tax cut.  Which way do you think Congress should vote?  They should vote “yes,” it’s pretty simple.

Now, if you want to see what this vote will mean for your bottom line, we have this spiffy new tax calculator on our Internet site, WhiteHouse.gov.  So you can go on there and you can punch in your numbers and figure out what it would mean to your family.  But this is real money that would go into the economy at a time it needs it.

Now, I really do think your voices are already getting
through, because some of the folks in Congress are starting to say, well, maybe we’re open to this thing.  Maybe we’ll be open to these tax cuts.  And that’s good news.  But I want to make sure that we do this responsibly.  So what I’ve said is, to pay for this tax cut, we need to ask wealthy Americans to pay their fair share.  (Applause.)

We’re asking — what we’ve said is let’s ask the folks who’ve seen their incomes rise fastest, who’ve gotten bigger tax breaks under Bush, let’s ask them to help out a little bit, because they made it better through the recession than most of us.  Let’s ask them to contribute a little bit more to get the economy going again.

And I just want to point out I’ve done pretty well over these last few years.  So I’ve said, let me pay a little bit more.  I promise you, I can afford it.  (Laughter.)  I really can.  We’re asking people like me to sacrifice just a little bit so that you guys have a little bit of a leg up.

And by the way, let me say this:  When you talk to most folks who are making a million dollars a year, they are willing to do more if they’re asked.  Warren Buffett is a good example.  They’re willing to do more if they’re asked.  (Applause.)

Now, I mean, I don’t want to exaggerate.  It’s not like they’re volunteering.  (Laughter.)  But if they’re asked, if they feel like it’s going to help middle-class families, help grow the economy, help to reduce the deficit, they’re willing to help.  I can’t tell you how many well-to-do folks I meet who say, look, America gave me a chance to succeed.  Somewhere along the line, somebody gave me a good education.  Somewhere along the line, somebody gave me a college scholarship.  Somewhere along the line, somebody built the information and transportation networks that have helped my business grow.  Somewhere along the line, somebody gave me a shot.  And so now it’s my turn to do the next generation that same good thing.  I’ve got to give something back to them as well.  (Applause.)

Because, Scranton, this is something everybody in this audience understands.  When you think about the history of Scranton and the immigrants who came here and worked hard, each successive generation doing a little bit better — you guys know that what America is about is that we’re all in this together; that each of us has to do our own individual part, but we also have to be looking out for one another.

And that’s the very simple choice that’s facing Congress right now:  Are you going to cut taxes for the middle class and those who are trying to get into the middle class?  Or are you going to protect massive tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, many of whom don’t even want those tax breaks?  Are you going to ask a few hundred thousand people who have done very, very well to do their fair share?  Or are you going to raise taxes for hundreds of millions of people across the country — 160 million Americans?  Are you willing to fight as hard for middle-class families as you do for those who are most fortunate?  What’s it going to be?

That’s the choice in front of Congress.  And I hope members of Congress think hard about this, because their actions lately don’t reflect who we are as a people.  What does it say about our priorities when we’d rather protect a few really well-to-do people than fight for the jobs of teachers and firefighters?  (Applause.)  What does it say when we — about our values when we’d rather fight for corporate tax breaks than put construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads and our bridges and our schools?  (Applause.)  What does it say about us if we’re willing to cut taxes for the people who don’t need them, and raise them on folks who do need a tax break?

We are better than that.  America is better than that.  We celebrate individual achievement, we expect everybody to work hard, but we don’t believe in every person for themselves; we believe that out of many, we come together as one.  (Applause.)  We’re a people who reach for our own success, but we also reach back for the people — to bring somebody up.  Reach back to help others earn their own success as well.  (Applause.)  And we believe that if the folks at the bottom and the folks in the middle succeed, then American succeeds, and the folks at the top succeed as well.  (Applause.)

The decisions we make today are going to determine whether or not our kids grow up in a country where those values still thrive.  And Scranton, I don’t know about you, but I want our kids to grow up — I want Malia and Sasha and all your kids, I want them to come into a country that is built on those big, generous values — (applause) — an America that reflects the values that we inherited from our parents and our grandparents.

So if you agree with me, I need you to tell Congress where your priorities lie.  Members of Congress, they work for you.  Scranton, you’ve got a great senator in Senator Casey.  I love Senator Casey.  (Applause.)

So I want you to know, Casey is already on the program.  (Applause.)  But to everybody who is here, everybody who is watching, send your Senate a message — send your senators a message.  Tell them, “Don’t be a Grinch.”  (Laughter.)  “Don’t be a Grinch.”  Don’t vote to raise taxes on working Americans during the holidays.  Make sure to renew unemployment insurance during the holidays.  (Applause.)  Stop saying “no” to steps that would make our economy stronger.  Put our country before party.  Put money back into the pockets of working Americans.  Do your job.  Pass this bill.  (Applause.)

Scranton, the American people are with us on this.  It is time for folks to stop running around spending all their time talking about what’s wrong with America.  Spend some time, roll up your sleeves, and help us rebuild America.  That’s what we need to do.  (Applause.)

There is nothing wrong with this country that we can’t fix.  We’re Americans, and our story has never been about things coming easy to us.  That’s not what Scranton has been about.  That’s not what Pennsylvania, that’s not what America is about.  It’s been about rising to the moment, and meeting the moment when things are hard.  It’s about doing what’s right.

So let’s do what’s right.  Let’s prove that the best days of America are still ahead of us.

God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

END
3:03 P.M. EST

Political Buzz November 30, 2011: First Lady Michelle Obama Unveils with First Dog Bo the 2011 White House Christmas Theme Shine, Give, Share Honoring Military Families

POLITICAL BUZZ

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University. Ms. Goodman has also contributed the overviews, and chronologies in History of American Presidential Elections, 1789-2008, 4th edition, edited by Gil Troy, Fred L. Israel, and Arthur Meier Schlesinger to be published by Facts on File, Inc. in late 2011.

IN FOCUS: FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA UNVEILS WITH FIRST DOG BO THE 2011 WHITE HOUSE CHRISTMAS THEME SHINE, GIVE, SHARE HONORING MILITARY FAMILIES

Bo, the Obama family dog, made from plastic garbage bags, is seen in the Library of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011, as the Christmas holiday decorations, whose theme is 'Shine, Give, Share' were previewed.

Bo, the Obama family dog, made from plastic garbage bags, is seen in the Library of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011, as the Christmas holiday decorations, whose theme is “Shine, Give, Share” were previewed. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

White House Holiday Decoration Preview with the First Lady

Source: WH, 11-30-11

First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed military families to the White House today for the first peek at this year’s holiday decorations. After speaking to parents, spouses, and children of service members in the East Room, she invited kids down to the State Dining Room to decorate cookies and make Christmas tree ornaments.

The theme for this year’s holiday is “Shine, Share, Give,” celebrating the countless ways we can lift up those around us, put our best self forward in the spirit of the season, spend time with friends and family, celebrate the joy of giving to others, and share our blessings with all.  The decorations in every room of the house, hung with care by volunteers from 37 states, reflect the theme, using shiny stars, metallic garland, and twinkling lights and also by inviting visitors to give thanks to the military for their service.

Each room of the White House is uniquely decorated for the holidays. After arriving through the East Visitor Entrance, visitors are invited to write thank you notes to service members in the East Landing and view the Gold Star Families Tree, decorated by families whose loved ones gave their lives in service to our nation.  In the Entrance Hall on the State Floor, crystal snowflakes hang from the ceiling above visitors as they walk toward the Blue Room, home to the official White House Christmas Tree, also decorated in honor of military families. The East Room has been transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with four trees and garland and tree branches in every window.  A 400-pound gingerbread, marzipan, and white chocolate White House—an exact replica, complete with tiny furniture, art, and chandeliers—sits in the State Dining Room.

And, a very special four-legged member of the Obama family is represented in nearly every room. Bo can be found in nearly every room, from small ornaments to life-size topiaries made from everyday materials like felt, buttons, candy and even trash bags!

Read more about the White House Holiday decorations and this year’s theme

Shine, Give, Share

The theme for this 2011 holiday season is “Shine, Give, Share,” which offers an opportunity to pay tribute to our troops, veterans, and their families throughout the White House. This year, the official tour features 37 Christmas trees, 30 are natural trees and 7 are made from paper, felt or aluminum; a gingerbread model of the White House made of 400 pounds of gingerbread, white chocolate and marzipan plus 5 different representations of First Dog Bo Obama. Volunteers from 36 states plus the District of Columbia worked for days to get everything ready.

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Blue Room

The centerpiece of the Blue Room is the official White House Christmas tree—a breathtaking 18-foot-6-inch balsam fir from Neshkoro, Wisconsin—which honors our men and women in uniform and features holiday cards created by military children. Collected from United States military installations around the world, these thoughtful and poignant cards celebrate their parents serving in uniform. Medals, badges, and patches from all of the military branches are displayed on ornaments, historic military images are displayed with volunteer-made pinecone frames and ribbons inspired by the Armed Forces colors represent the brave women and men who protect our Nation and defend our freedom.

Share a holiday message with our troops:

Share Your Message

blue room holiday photo

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Download the White House Holiday Tour Book

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Gold Star Tree

The Gold Star Families Tree pays tribute to those who gave their lives in service to our Nation and to the families who continue to carry their proud legacy forward. Photos of these fallen heroes and messages from their loved ones honor their courageous service, and remind us of the great sacrifices made for our freedom. Visitors can write notes to service members showing their thanks and visiting Gold Star Families will have the opportunity to inscribe a ceramic gold star with a personalized note to decorate the tree. Honoring Gold Star Families in this fashion was the First Lady’s idea, and the tree was decorated by Gold Star families who volunteered their time this holiday season.

gold star tree photos

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See some special moments from White House Holidays through the years

First Family Slideshow First Family’s Pets Slideshow Obama Family Slideshow Simple Gift Blog Post

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Deck the Halls with Bo Obama

This year the White House Holiday décor includes a bounty of Bos! The tour route features 5 Bo topiaries made from various materials like felt (35 yards of wool felt used), buttons (318 buttons in total), pom poms (750 pom poms used), candy (12 marshmallows, 1911 pieces of licorice), and even trash bags (6,850 feet worth)! Including Bo ornaments and other small Bos, you can find Bo in almost every room!

Shine, Give, Share: The Obama White House’s theme for this 2011 holiday season is “Shine, Give, Share,” which offers an opportunity to pay tribute to our troops, veterans, and their families throughout the White House. This year, the official tour features 37 Christmas trees, 30 are natural trees and 7 are made from paper, felt or aluminum; a gingerbread model of the White House made of 400 pounds of gingerbread, white chocolate and marzipan plus 5 different representations of First Dog Bo Obama. Volunteers from 36 states plus the District of Columbia worked for days to get everything ready. — WH

‘Shine, Give, Share': Christmas Decorations at the White House — PICTURESNational Journal, 11-30-11

  • White House Holiday Decoration Preview with the First Lady: First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed military families to the White House today for the first peek at this year’s holiday decorations. After speaking to parents, spouses, and children of service members in the East Room, she invited kids down…. – The White House, 11-30-11
  • Holiday decorations unveiled to military families: …First lady Michelle Obama welcomed military families to the first viewing of the 2011 decorations on Wednesday. “Shine, Give, Share” is the theme for the Obama family’s third Christmas in the mansion. The theme translates throughout the public viewing space from gold foil leaf trimming to shiny quartz ornaments.
    Several decorations honor military families including a Gold Star Families Tree with ceramic gold ornaments carrying personalized messages by families. Tour visitors can also create handwritten notes for the troops… – AP, 11-30-11
  • White House decks the halls for Christmas: Amid the festive sparkle of 37 Christmas trees and a 400-pound gingerbread White House, Michelle Obama honored military families as she unveiled her 2011 holiday decor. The “Shine, Give, Share” theme was reflected in the East Room’s shimmering quartz … – WaPo, 11-30-11
  • Military families, first dog showcased in Christmas decorations at White House: First dog Bo is upstaging the Christmas decorations at the White House this holiday season. The Obamas’ Portuguese water dog is in almost every room of the public tour, ranging from a miniature licorice and marshmallow version to a felt … – WaPo, 11-30-11
  • The White House decking the halls: First Lady Michelle Obama showed off the newly-decked halls of the White House on Wednesday to a select group of special guests. Family members of military servicemen and women joined Mrs. Obama and her staff to preview this year’s … – CNN, 11-30-11
  • Holiday decorations unveiled to military families: First dog Bo is upstaging the Christmas decorations at the White House this holiday season. The Obamas’ Portuguese water dog is in almost every room of the public tour, ranging from a miniature licorice and marshmallow version…. – CBS News, 11-30-11
  • Bo stars at showcase of White House holiday decorations: The first family’s pet dog, Bo, starred Wednesday at a preliminary viewing of holiday decorations at the White House for military families. First lady Michelle Obama opened the White House to Gold and Blue Star military families … – MSNBC, 11-30-11
  • Bo is Christmas star in White House decor: Amid the festive sparkle of 37 Christmas trees and a 400-pound gingerbread White House, Michelle Obama honored military families as she unveiled her 2011 holiday decor. The “Shine, Give, Share” theme was reflected in the East Room’s shimmering quartz … – WaPo, 11-30-11
  • White House Christmas decor includes military tribute: “Shine, Give, Share” is the theme for Christmas at the White House, whose doors flung open Wednesday to the first wave of guests given the chance to ogle its fragrant, fanciful holiday finery, including no fewer … – LAT, 11-30-11
  • Michelle Obama hosts military families at holiday unveiling: First dog Bo is upstaging the Christmas decorations at the White House this holiday season. First Lady Michelle Obama welcomes children to begin festivities after welcoming military families who would be the first to view the 2011 White House… – USA Today, 11-30-11
  • Obamas Showcase First Pup Bo for Christmas: “Where’s Waldo” Fans will love the Obama’s Christmas decorations this year. Because in nearly every room, the first family has sneaked in a version of the first pup Bo.
    From a nine-and-a-half-inch depiction made of 318 buttons, a candy Bo made of 12 marshmallows and almost 2,000 pieces of licorice, a black and white Bo made of about 7,000 feet of trash bags and a four-and-a- half-foot tall pup made out of 35 yards of wool felt, it’s obvious Bo is the star of this year’s White House Christmas…. – US News, 11-30-11
  • Christmas At The White House: ‘Where’s Bo?': While the official theme of this year’s White House Christmas is “Shine, Give, Share,” the real star of the Obama’s third holiday season at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is First Dog Bo. “It’s sort of a ‘where’s Bo?’” First Lady Michelle Obama explained at a White House holiday event with military families today. “You’ve got to find the Bo in every room, because he’s hidden everywhere.” … ABC News, 11-30-11
  • Michelle Obama, and Bo, show off White House holiday decor: First lady Michelle Obama and her dog Bo welcomed military families to the White House on Wednesday, the first visitors to see this year’s White House holiday decorations. As usual, the decorations are impressive…. – USA Today, 11-30-11
  • White House Christmas display salutes military: “Shine, Give, Share” is the theme for Christmas at the White House, whose doors flung open Wednesday to the first wave of guests allowed to ogle its fragrant, fanciful holiday finery, including no fewer … – Chicago Tribune, 11-30-11

Campaign Buzz November 28-29, 2011: Herman Cain Reassesses Bid for Republican Presidential Nomination After Atlanta Woman, Ginger White Accuses Him of 13 Year Affair

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University. Ms. Goodman has also contributed the overviews, and chronologies in History of American Presidential Elections, 1789-2008, 4th edition, edited by Gil Troy, Fred L. Israel, and Arthur Meier Schlesinger to be published by Facts on File, Inc. in late 2011.

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

 

IN FOCUS: HERMAN CAIN REASSESSES PRESIDENTIAL BID AFTER ATLANTA WOMAN ACCUSES HIM OF 13 YEAR AFFAIR

 

Cain reassessing whether to remain in presidential race: Businessman Herman Cain told senior members of his campaign this morning that he is reassessing whether to remain in the Republican presidential race. One adviser said Cain is expected to make a decision by the end of the week…. – WaPo, 11-29-11

Herman Cain Is Reassessing His Bid for Republican Presidential Nomination, an Aide Says: Herman Cain told members of his campaign staff on Tuesday that he was reassessing whether to proceed with his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, an aide confirmed, a day after an Atlanta woman disclosed details of what she said was a 13-year affair with him.
In a morning conference call with his advisers, Mr. Cain said that he would make a decision in the coming days about whether to stay in the presidential race after his campaign was rocked by another round of allegations about his sexual conduct…. – NYT, 11-29-11

“We have to do an assessment as to whether or not this is going to create too much of a cloud, in some people’s minds, as to whether or not they would be able to support us going forth.” — Hermain to his staff in a phone call transcribed by National Review Online

“Obviously, you’re all aware of this recent firestorm that hit the news yesterday. First thing I want to do is say to you what I have said publicly: I deny those charges, unequivocally. Secondly, I have known this lady for a number of years. And thirdly, I have been attempting to help her financially because she was out of work and destitute, desperate. So, thinking that she was a friend — and I have helped many friends — I now know that she wasn’t the friend that I thought she was. But it was a just a friendship relationship.

That being said, obviously, this is cause for reassessment. As you know, during the summer we had to make some reassessments based upon our financial situation. We were able to hang in there; we reassessed the situation and kept on going. We also did a reassessment after the Iowa straw poll and we made another reassessment after the Florida straw poll. When the previous two accusations, false accusations, came about, we made another assessment. The way we handled those was, we continued on with our schedule. We made an assessment about what was going to happen to our support. But our supporters, and even some folks that we didn’t have as supporters, they stood with us, and they showed it not only in terms of their verbal support, they showed it in terms of their dollars.

Now, with this latest one, we have to do an assessment as to whether or not this is going to create too much of a cloud, in some people’s minds, as to whether or not they would be able to support us going forth.

Over the next several days, we are going to continue with the schedule as usual. I’ve got a major speech tonight at Hillsdale College on national security and foreign policy, and I will deliver it with vim, vigor, and enthusiasm. And then tomorrow we’ve got some media appearances scheduled. So we’re going to continue until we complete our assessment over the next several days.

But if a decision is made, different than to plow ahead, you all will be the first to know. So until that time, I want to continue to thank you all for your support, thank you for your prayers. It’s taken an emotional toll, but the people in the audience tonight will never know it.

It’s also taken a toll on my wife and family, as you would imagine. Any time you put another cloud of doubt, unfortunately, in the court of public opinion, for some people, you’re guilty until proven innocent. And so, the public will have to decide whether they believe her or whether they believe me. That’s why we’re going to give it time, to see what type of response we get from our supporters.” — Herman Cain

“I want to give you a heads up and everyone a heads up. “Here we go again. I didn’t do anything wrong.” — Herman Cain to Wolf Blitzer on CNN

“It was pretty simple. It wasn’t complicated. I was aware that he was married. And I was also aware I was involved in a very inappropriate situation, relationship.” — Ginger White on Fox 5 Atlanta

“If these allegations by Ms. White are true then it certainly goes to the issue of the character and the honesty of Herman Cain. I have to ask, how many more skeletons are there in his closet and what happens if more come out? When is Herman Cain going to come clean with the American public? He’s now accused a total of five women of being liars and Ms. White is just the latest that he’s accused of lying. I think that the American people are going to be able to make a judgement if they have not already done so….

There are millions of women in this country and millions of men as well having financial problems. The fact that she’s had them in the past doesn’t bear on whether or not she’s credible on this issue. As I understand it, she was concerned that people were getting in touch with her, finding out. She also didn’t like Herman Cain’s attacks on the women that had come forward and she decided it was time to come forward, tell the truth, as she knows it and she’s lived it.” — Celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred

In a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released just prior to Thanksgiving, Cain stood at 17 percent — down from 25 percent in a similar survey conducted a month ago.

  • Amid Talk of Affair, Cain Is Reassessing Campaign, Aide Says: Herman Cain tells aides he is reassessing whether to stay in the presidential race…. – NYT, 11-29-11
  • Cain tells aides he is reassessing his campaign: Herman Cain told aides Tuesday he is assessing whether the latest allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior against him “create too much of a cloud” for his Republican presidential candidacy to go forward. … – AP, 11-29-11
  • Herman Cain reassessing presidential candidacy: Businessman Herman Cain told senior members of his campaign on a conference call this morning that he is reassessing whether or not to remain in the Republican presidential race.
    On the conference call, which National Review listened to and transcribed, Cain denies the allegation of an affair with an Atlanta woman named Ginger White, which came to light on Monday, but acknowledged that the “firestorm” had caused a rethinking…. – WaPo, 11-29-11
  • Herman Cain preemptively denies new sex allegation: Herman Cain revealed Monday that an Atlanta-area woman is coming forward alleging an “extended” 13-year extramarital affair with the Republican presidential candidate…. – CBS News, 11-29-11
  • Herman Cain ‘reassessment': What will his voters do if he drops out?: Though Herman Cain has denied the most recent allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior, the claim has prompted him to ‘reassess’ his campaign…. – CS Monitor, 11-29-11
  • Cain advisers largely standing by candidate: In the hours after Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain told his staff on a conference call that he was “reassessing” his campaign, senior advisers in states across the country were standing by their man – for the most part. … – CBS News, 11-29-11
  • John Coale Now Advising Herman Cain: John Coale, a Washington lawyer and husband of Fox News Channel’s Greta van Susteren, is friends with Herman Cain and now informally advising the embattled candidate as he faces allegations by a Georgia woman of a 13-year consensual affair…. – ABC News, 11-29-11
  • Cain Speaks on Foreign Policy, Avoiding Accusations: Herman Cain addressed a crowd of several hundred in a college gymnasium in Michgan, but he made no mention of the allegations against him, instead focusing on vague and optimistic foreign policy ideals…. – NYT, 11-29-11
  • Cain at Hillsdale: ‘Peace through strength and clarity': The U.S. must maintain peace through strength of its military and the clarity of its missions, embattled GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain told a gathering at Hillsdale College on Tuesday.
    Cain, stung by recent accusations of a long affair, pressed ahead with his planned foreign policy speech the same day he told aides he may abandon his campaign for president.
    He did not discuss the controversy in his remarks…. – The Detroit News, 11-29-11
  • Cain doesn’t talk about alleged affair in speech: Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is sticking to his topic — defense spending — in his first public speech since an Atlanta businesswoman alleged that they had a 13-year extramarital affair…. – Boston.com, 11-29-11
  • Cain’s first public speech since allegation of affair stays on message about defense issues: Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is sticking to his topic — defense spending — in his first public speech since an Atlanta businesswoman alleged that they had a 13-year extramarital affair…. – WaPo, 11-29-11
  • Conservatives Are Turning Against Herman Cain: Conservatives who once showered love on Cain are rapidly jumping ship, as the candidate’s latest sex scandal threatens to permanently derail his upstart presidential campaign…. – Business Insider, 11-29-11
  • Towery: Cain ‘Dropping Like A Rock’ in Polls, Likely to End Run: Presidential hopeful Herman Cain is “dropping like a rock” in the latest Newsmax/InsiderAdvantage poll and is likely to be forced out of the presidential race by the end of the week amid reports that a number of prominent … – NewsMax.com, 11-29-11
  • Herman Cain lawyer Lin Wood refuses to rule out legal action against accuser: Embattled presidential candidate Herman Cain ‘s personal lawyer, Lin Wood, said in an interview Tuesday that he believes his client is telling the truth that he did not have a 13-year-affair with an Atlanta woman named Ginger White. … – WaPo, 11-29-11
  • Ginger White, latest Herman Cain accuser: Who is she?: The woman whose accusations may have prompted Herman Cain to reassess his campaign for president is a 46-year-old single mother of two grown children. Ginger White, who has worked as a fitness instructor, alleges that she carried on a 13-year affair with Cain.
    In two television interviews with Atlanta stations, she appeared soft-spoken and said she came forward only to defend her reputation after she feared the story would leak out. Cain has emphatically denied the affair, calling White a “destitute” friend whom he tried to help.
    “I couldn’t imagine anyone coming out and lying about this. Who would want this? It’s really not been fun,” White told Atlanta television station WSB outside her apartment Monday…. – WaPo, 11-29-11
  • Jon Huntsman: Maybe time for Herman Cain to go: That’s the word from the former Utah governor, though he gets to it in something of a roundabout way: “Given the bandwidth that has been taken out of the discussion of any other issues pertinent to this campaign, a reconsideration might be in order” … – Politico, 11-29-11
  • Newt: Cain will ‘have to talk to the county’ about latest accusations: Newt Gingrich, who has been friendly with Herman Cain but who has suggested his opponent needs to deal with the drip-drip of allegations about his past, suggested the businessman needs to address the claims made by Ginger White. … – Politico, 11-28-11
  • Woman Claims Affair With Cain, and He Denies It: An Atlanta woman came forward in an interview broadcast Monday night with details about what she called a 13-year affair with Herman Cain, the Republican presidential contender whose campaign was already struggling to overcome damage … – NYT, 11-28-11
  • Herman Cain denies allegation of 13-year affair: Atlanta businesswoman Ginger White tells a TV news station that she had a relationship with the Republican presidential contender. He calls her ‘an acquaintance who I thought was a friend.’ Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain denied … – LAT, 11-28-11
  • Ginger White accuses Herman Cain of long affair: An Atlanta woman said Monday that she engaged in an extended consensual affair with Herman Cain that began after a business meeting in the 1990s, continued as he flew her from city to city for dates and ended eight months ago — as Cain launched his … – Washington Post, 11-28-11
  • Woman alleges 13-year affair with Cain; he denies wrongdoing: In an explosive allegation, a Georgia woman said Monday she and Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain had a 13-year extramarital affair that lasted nearly until the former businessman announced his candidacy for the White House … – WaPo, 11-28-11
  • Businesswoman alleges 13-year affair with Herman Cain: An Atlanta businesswoman said Monday she and Republican presidential contender Herman Cain had a 13-year extramarital affair that ended right before Cain announced his campaign…. – USA Today, 11-28-11
  • Woman says she and Cain had 13-year affair; Cain denies accusation: An Atlanta businesswoman has accused GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain of having had an affair with her that lasted nearly 14 years. “I was aware that he was married, and I was also aware that I was involved in a very … – CNN, 11-28-11
  • Ginger White and the (alleged) love letters of The Herman Cain: Three allegations of sexual harassment may be regarded as a misfortune, but a 13-year affair looks like carelessness. At some point in those 13 years she must surely have realized that he was not going to give her a job. … – WaPo, 11-28-11
  • Herman Cain called back after Atlanta TV reporters texted him: This, from the Atlanta Fox affiliate’s report on Herman Cain’s alleged affair, will be tough for the candidate to explain: She [Ginger White] showed us some of her cell phone bills that included 61 phone calls or text messages to or from a number … – Politico, 11-28-11
  • Atlanta businesswoman claims Cain affair: An Atlanta businesswoman said Monday she had a 13-year extramarital affair with Herman Cain, prompting an extensive and harsh denial from the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO. But in an extraordinary step for a presidential candidate, Cain preempted the … – Politico, 11-28-11
  • Herman Cain denies he had an affair: A Georgia businesswoman said Monday that she and Herman Cain had a 13-year extramarital affair, an allegation the Republican presidential hopeful denied as strongly as he has earlier allegations of sexual harassment…. – AP, 11-28-11

Full Text November 28, 2011: President Barack Obama & Senior European Union Officials’ Joint Statement at the EU Summit

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

An EU Summit at the White House

Source: WH, 11-28-11
20111128 EU Summit

President Barack Obama, Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, left, and José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, right, deliver statements to the media following the EU Summit in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Nov. 28, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Today at the White House, President Obama met with a group of senior officials from the European Union.

The focus of their talks was the global economy — though they also touched on the political transformation in the Middle East, Iran’s nuclear program, and steps necessary to ensure success in Afghanistan.

After the meetings, the President, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso spoke briefly to reporters. President Obama said:

As the world’s two largest economies and as each other’s most important trading partners, we spent a lot of time focusing on how we can continue to grow our economies and create good jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. A large part of that conversation obviously revolved around the eurozone crisis, and Presidents Van Rompuy and Barroso have been very actively engaged with the heads of government and heads of state in Europe to try to resolve this crisis. I communicated to them that the United States stands ready to do our part to help them resolve this issue.

The leaders also issued a joint statement, describing their shared commitment to create jobs and ensure financial stability.

Even as the EU Summit unfolded today in Washington, European leaders continue to meet to discuss a solution to the eurozone debt crisis. In his remarks to the press, the President spoke about the “huge importance” of reaching that resolution.

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Joint Statement: US-EU Summit

1.  We, the leaders of the United States and the European Union, met today at the White House to affirm our close partnership.  Drawing upon our shared values and experience, and recognizing our deep interdependence, we are committed to ensuring that our partnership brings greater prosperity and security to our 800 million citizens, and to working together to address global challenges.

2.  Since our meeting in Lisbon last November, the global economy has entered a new and difficult phase.  We are committed to working together to reinvigorate economic growth, create jobs, and ensure financial stability.  We will do so by taking actions that address near-term growth concerns, as well as fiscal and financial vulnerabilities, and that strengthen the foundations of long-lasting and balanced growth. In that regard, the United States welcomes the EU’s actions and determination to take all necessary steps to ensure the euro area’s financial stability and resolve the crisis.  The EU looks forward to U.S. action on medium term fiscal consolidation. We agree on the importance of working together with emerging economies to foster policies supporting sustained and balanced global growth.  We recall our commitment to implement fully the outcome of the G20 Cannes Summit.

3.  We recall our G20 commitment to support the multilateral trading system and resist protectionism.  We stand by the Doha Development Agenda mandate and recognize the progress achieved so far, but note that in order to contribute to confidence we must pursue fresh, credible approaches in 2012 to advance the negotiations and pursue new opportunities and challenges.  We look forward to the upcoming Ministerial meeting in Geneva, which provides an important opportunity to work on such approaches.

4.  We applaud the success of the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) on a wide range of issues and welcome the progress achieved in secure trade and supply chain security, electric vehicles and related infrastructure, regulatory practices, small and medium-sized enterprises, and in the Information Communications Technology (ICT) sector.  We encourage the TEC’s continued leadership in helping us avoid unnecessary divergence in regulations and standards that adversely affects trade.  We urge the TEC, together with our regulators and standard-setters to step up cooperation in key sectors such as nanotechnology and raw materials to develop compatible approaches to emerging technologies.  We also instruct the TEC to pursue its work on strategic economic questions, not least in the field of investment, innovation policy, and the protection of intellectual property rights to level the playing field for our companies in third countries, in particular emerging economies.

5.  We must intensify our efforts to realize the untapped potential of transatlantic economic cooperation to generate new opportunities for jobs and growth, particularly in emerging sectors.  We are committed to making the U.S.-EU trade and investment relationship – already the largest and most integrated in the world – stronger.  To that end, we have directed the TEC to establish a joint High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth, co-chaired by the U.S. Trade Representative and the European Commissioner for Trade.  We ask the Working Group to identify and assess options for strengthening the U.S.-EU economic relationship, especially those that have the highest potential to support jobs and growth.  The Working Group is to report its recommendations and conclusions to Leaders by the end of 2012, with an interim report in June 2012 on the status of this work.
6.  We recognize the vital role of the U.S.-EU Energy Council in fostering cooperation on energy security, renewables and other clean energy technologies, energy efficiency, and effective policies for facilitating trade and bringing clean energy technologies to market.  We affirm the value of common approaches toward safe and sustainable development of energy resources and the diversification of supplies.  We also call for reinforced bilateral and multilateral cooperation with a special focus on critical materials, smart grid technologies, hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, and nuclear fusion.

7.  On climate change, we affirm our intent to work closely together to ensure a positive, balanced outcome in Durban, including mitigation, transparency and financing.  We stand fully behind the commitments we made last year in Cancun.  We affirm that Durban should deliver on operationalizing the Cancun agreements and helping the international community move a step further towards a comprehensive, global framework with the participation of all, including robust and transparent greenhouse gas emissions reduction commitments by all major economies, recalling the 2°C objective agreed upon in Cancun.  With this in mind, we will cooperate closely in other relevant fora, notably the Major Economies Forum.  We also intend to work together to address other global sources of emissions, including from the aviation and maritime sectors, in the appropriate multilateral forums and consistent with applicable agreements.

8.  As the leading donors of development assistance, we reaffirm our commitment to aid effectiveness, recognizing that our joint efforts to advance division of labor, transparency, country ownership, and accountability will enhance the impact of our assistance.  We are coordinating our preparations for the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, and will continue to work closely to strengthen partnerships among all development stakeholders, accelerate progress toward the Millennium Development Goals, and address the challenges encountered in fragile states.  In 2012, we have committed to make information on foreign assistance programs more accessible and compatible with international standards, and will encourage the OECD DAC to become an international hub for aid transparency.  We request the U.S.-EU Development Dialogue to pursue with vigor our joint efforts in areas such as food security, climate change, health and the MDGs.  We agreed on the importance of close cooperation on security and development in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and Afghanistan.

9.  The events in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya over the past year offer an historic opportunity for successful democratic reform in the Arab world, inclusive economic and social development, and regional integration.  The unfolding democratic process in Tunisia is an encouraging example of the potential for democratic transition.  Egypt today has just begun a complex election process as the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces begins to transfer authority over civilian functions to a new government.  Still, considerable challenges lie ahead.  As the two largest providers of foreign assistance to the region who share core principles and values that have helped our own societies and economies to integrate, we pledge to support the democratic transitions underway, as well as broader political and economic reform in the region, including the constitutional reforms in Jordan and Morocco.  In Libya we are working together on short term assistance and needs assessments, and will continue to seek new opportunities for greater cooperation, in coordination with the Transitional National Council and the UN, to meet the needs of the Libyan people.

10.  Jointly, and through the Deauville Partnership effort, we intend to promote democracy, peace, and prosperity, and to increase economic growth and integration in the Middle East and North Africa.  We are committed to collaborate closely in areas such as support for democratic transitions, strengthening the positive role of civil society, and health and education programming.  We also extend our support to making women’s rights a legal and practical reality in the region.  We share a strong interest in economic reform and will also jointly promote best practices that support trade, investment, and job creation and deepen intra-regional trade and integration.  We are both eager to increase our trade and investment links with the region.  We plan to work in partnership with international financial institutions to ensure robust donor coordination and in particular to ratify quickly necessary changes to the agreement establishing the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to allow lending in the region.

11.  We call on the Syrian government to end violence immediately, permit the immediate entry of human rights observers and international journalists, and allow for a peaceful and democratic transition.  We also welcome the agreement for political transition in Yemen and call on all political actors to help implement it in good faith, and in accordance with UNSCR 2014.

12.  We reaffirm the Quartet Statement adopted in New York on 23 September 2011 that provides a framework for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and we call on the two parties to engage actively in this effort.

13.  On Iran, we share deep concern about activities relating to the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program, as highlighted in the latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General’s report and the November 18 Board of Governors’ resolution.  We stress our determination to ensure that Iran complies with its obligations, including abiding by United Nations Security Council resolutions, and to cooperate fully with the IAEA to address the international community’s serious concerns over the nature of its nuclear program.  We reaffirm our commitment to work toward a diplomatic solution, implement UN Security Council Resolution 1929 (2010) and other relevant Security Council Resolutions, and consider additional measures given Iran’s continued failure to abide by its international obligations.  We also note the recent plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, the sanctions we have imposed thereafter on five individuals including the head of the Qods Force, and our determination to ensure the perpetrators and their accomplices are held to account.

14.  With regard to the EU’s Eastern neighbors, we are working together to support democracy, resolve protracted conflicts, foster economic modernisation, and advance their political association and economic integration with the EU, recognizing in this regard the importance of the EU’s Eastern Partnership.  We insist that the Government of Belarus immediately release and rehabilitate its political prisoners, and make progress towards respect for the principles of democracy, the rule of law, and human rights; and call on the Government of Ukraine to make good on commitments to uphold democratic values and the rule of law, notably to ensure a fair, transparent and impartial process in trials related to members of the former Government including any appeal in the case of Ms Tymoshenko.  The right of appeal should not be compromised by imposing limitations on the defendants’ ability to stand in future elections in Ukraine, including the parliamentary elections scheduled for next year.

15. We pledge to continue our close cooperation in the western Balkans and reaffirm our commitment to preserve stability and to support the reforms needed to move the region forward on its path to Euro-Atlantic integration.

16.  The United States and the EU have a strategic interest in enhancing co-operation on political, economic, security, and human rights issues in the Asia-Pacific region to advance peace, stability and prosperity.  We intend to increase our dialogue on Asia-Pacific issues and coordinate activities to demonstrate an enduring, high-level commitment to the region and encourage regional integration, including through the region’s multilateral organizations.

17.  We note our continued efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, with particular attention to plans for the December 5 Bonn Conference on Afghanistan and the international community’s long-term commitment to support sustainable security and economic development in Afghanistan, based on effective and accountable institutions of governance and sustainable assistance levels, after the planned drawdown of international military forces.  We support economic development and wider reforms in Pakistan and note Pakistan’s important role and ongoing commitment to combating terrorism and achieving peace and stability in Afghanistan and South Asia.

18.  We note the considerable progress made since our last meeting in Lisbon on our commitments on a wide range of transnational security issues that affect our citizens.  We welcome the successful completion of negotiations on a new Passenger Name Record agreement, and look forward to its early adoption and ratification.  We are determined to finalize negotiations on a comprehensive U.S.-EU data privacy and protection agreement that provides a high level of privacy protection for all individuals and thereby facilitates the exchange of data needed to fight crime and terrorism.  We reaffirm our desire to complete secure visa-free travel arrangements between the US and all Member States of the EU as soon as possible and consistent with applicable, domestic legislation.  We look forward to a positive outcome for Administration-supported legislation that would refine the criteria for the Visa Waiver Program.

19.  We encourage continued efforts to extend our partnership on counter-terrorism cooperation, both bilaterally and multilaterally, including through the UN.  We applaud the establishment of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum, and our cooperation to combat terrorist financing.  We strongly support continuation of our joint efforts to empower diaspora communities to counter violent extremism.
20.  To strengthen our collaboration on conflict prevention and crisis response, already ongoing in many theaters, the U.S. and EU signed a framework agreement in May 2011 that facilitates U.S. civilian participation in EU crisis management missions.  As the trans-Atlantic community faces the challenges of crisis management in an era of fiscal austerity, we encourage further work to strengthen the EU-NATO strategic partnership in crisis management, including on capabilities development, ahead of the 2012 NATO Summit, in the spirit of mutual reinforcement, inclusiveness, and decision-making autonomy.

21.  We reaffirm the commitments enshrined in the joint declaration on non-proliferation and disarmament we adopted in 2009 and the joint statement on UNSCR 1540 in 2011.  We support the conclusions and recommendations of the May 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, including the Action Plan and proposed 2012 Middle East conference.  We are determined to promote the IAEA’s safeguards, Additional Protocol, and the highest standards of safety and security for peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the Nuclear Security Summit objectives, a successful Biological Weapons Convention Review Conference, and the convening of a Diplomatic Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty in 2012.

22.  We share a commitment to a single, global Internet, and will resist unilateral efforts to weaken the security, reliability, or independence of its operations— recognizing that respect for fundamental freedoms online, and joint efforts to strengthen security, are mutually reinforcing.  We welcome the progress made by the U.S.-EU Working Group on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime, notably the successful Cyber Atlantic 2011 exercise.  We endorse its ambitious goals for 2012, including combating online sexual abuse of children; enhancing the security of domain names and Internet Protocol addresses; promotion of international ratification, including by all EU Member States, of the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime ideally by year’s end; establishing appropriate information exchange mechanisms to jointly engage with the private sector; and confronting the unfair market access barriers that U.S. and European technology companies face abroad.

23.  Our meeting today is proof that a strong U.S.-EU partnership is crucial to building a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world.  We know that our ability to respond to and overcome the global challenges we face is increased by the degree to which we can act in close coordination and cooperation.  We will continue to seek every opportunity to increase our cooperation.

Featured Historian Julian Zelizer: What Newt Gingrich offers the GOP

FEATURED HISTORIANS

Julian Zelizer: What Newt Gingrich offers the GOP

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich drew a great deal of attention in the CNN National Security Debate on Tuesday.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich drew a great deal of attention in the CNN National Security Debate on Tuesday.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Newt Gingrich got the endorsement of the New Hampshire Union Leader
  • Julian Zelizer says Gingrich aids GOP by putting focus on what it should stand for
  • Gingrich has been more successful at promoting ideas than in leadership roles, he says
  • Zelizer: Gingrich unlikely to win, but his impact will be felt

Newt Gingrich’s candidacy received an unexpected boost when New Hampshire’s Union Leader endorsed him this weekend.

The publisher wrote: “We are in critical need of the innovative, forward-looking strategy and positive leadership that Gingrich has shown he is capable of providing. He did so with the Contract with America. He did it in bringing in the first Republican House in 40 years and by forging balanced budgets and even a surplus despite the political challenge of dealing with a Democratic President.”

Say what you will about Gingrich, but he thrives when it comes to the politics of ideas. Gingrich, a former history professor, is extraordinarily comfortable when it comes to vigorous and open debates about the ideas of conservatism.

Julian Zelizer

Julian Zelizer

Rarely satisfied with the status quo, Gingrich likes to try pushing the boundaries of what his party stands for. “People overvalue money and undervalue ideas,” Gingrich recently told one newspaper. “That’s part of the core gamble of this campaign. I actually think ideas matter.”

His candidacy comes at a time when Republicans have not devoted much time to intellectual introspection. For decades, the party became comfortable with the privileges of power.

Republicans spent more time focusing on how they wanted to use their power and protect their political position than on talking about the ideas that the party stood for….

He will stimulate other candidates to join in these kinds of debates, thinking through what the party should stand for. This would help them make a more compelling case to voters for their candidacy — beyond simply not being Obama. This is especially important amid the dysfunction in government that keeps Washington from doing much about anything.

The idea man has an important role in American politics, even if he himself is unable to win office.

Gingrich fills that role, giving Republicans a candidate who is thinking more seriously about what the party is trying to accomplish and how to command the loyalty of voters for years to come.

Julian Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of “Jimmy Carter” (Times Books) and author of the forthcoming book “Governing America” (Princeton University Press).

History Buzz November 27, 2011: Eliot Cohen: Canada won the War of 1812, U.S. historian admits

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

History Buzz

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

HISTORY NEWS — 1812 BICENTENNIAL

Source: National Post, 11-27-11

Geoff Robins/Postmedia News

Geoff Robins/Postmedia News

A War of 1812 re-enactment at Fanshawe Pioneer Village in London, Ontario. Which side won the war has been long disputed.

In a relatively rare admission for an American scholar, a leading U.S. historian who authored a provocative new tome about North American military conflicts states bluntly that Canada won the War of 1812.

Johns Hopkins University professor Eliot Cohen, a senior adviser to former U.S. secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, writes in his just-published book Conquered Into Liberty that, “ultimately, Canada and Canadians won the War of 1812.”

And Cohen acknowledges that, “Americans at the time, and, by and large, since, did not see matters that way.”

The book also echoes a key message trumpeted by the federal Conservative government in recent weeks as it unveiled ambitious plans to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812 over the next three years: that the successful fight by British, English- and French-Canadian and First Nations allies to resist would-be American conquerors — at battles such as Queenston Heights in Upper Canada and Chateauguay in Lower Canada — set the stage for the creation of a unified and independent Canada a half-century later.

“If the conquest of (Canada) had not been an American objective when the war began, it surely had become such shortly after it opened,” Cohen argues in the book. “Not only did the colony remain intact: It had acquired heroes, British and French, and a narrative of plucky defense against foreign invasion, that helped carry it to nationhood.”

In an interview with Postmedia News, Cohen observed that, “all countries have to have these myths — not in the sense of falsehoods, but really compelling stories that are, in fact, rooted in some kind of truth, even if they’re not the complete truth.

“And the War of 1812 gives Canada that,” he continued. “It gives you some foundation myths. It gives you Laura Secord. It gives you heroes.”

Cohen, who advised the Bush Administration on geopolitical strategy from 2007 to 2009, said the War of 1812 “was the last point at which the United States thought really seriously about trying to take Canada by force of arms.”

It’s clear, he added, that “there were a lot of senior American leaders who thought the outcome of the war would be the forcible annexation of Canada — thinking, not entirely without reason, that there would be some segment of the (Canadian) population that would welcome that.”…READ MORE

Related

Glenn C. Altschuler Reviews Steven Gillon’s ‘Pearl Harbor’ : A look at FDR, Pearl Harbor and a transformed presidency

Glenn C. Altschuler Reviews Steven Gillon’s ‘Pearl Harbor’ : A look at FDR, Pearl Harbor and a transformed presidency
BOOK REVIEWS
Source: The OregonianThe Oregonia, 11-26-11

PEARL HARBOR
Steven M. Gillon
Basic Books
$25.99, 248 pages

For millions of Americans, Dec. 7, 1941, is a date that lives in infamy. They remember Japan’s surprise attack against the Pacific Fleet based in Hawaii as a pivotal moment that swept the United States into World War II and sealed the fate of the Axis powers.

In “Pearl Harbor: FDR Leads the Nation Into War,” Steven M. Gillon, resident historian for The History Channel and history professor at the University of Oklahoma, provides a concise and informative account of Franklin Roosevelt’s initial response to the crisis. Against a backdrop of “chaos and confusion,” with no polls to guide him and little time for reflection, Gillon argues, the president exhibited extraordinary qualities of leadership, orchestrating a response that would reassure and inspire an anxious nation.

“Pearl Harbor” does not break new ground or depart from conventional wisdom. Along with virtually every professional historian, Gillon sees no evidence that Roosevelt knew the attack was coming and used it to push the United States into war. The president and his staff, he writes, may have “gravely misjudged Japan’s intentions and capability, but they were not guilty of deliberate deception.”

Gillon agrees, however, that Roosevelt did restrict the flow of information to the press. Concerned that detailed damage assessments might embolden the Japanese and demoralize Americans, he ordered that briefings come only from the White House, and did not update casualty figures. These practices, Gillon claims, perhaps naively, would not be acceptable today.

There is no doubt, however, that, for good and ill, the attack on Pearl Harbor transformed — and enlarged — the presidency. In one of many executive orders, Gillon reminds us, Roosevelt authorized the forced evacuation of more than 100,000 Japanese residents on the West Coast, many of them American citizens.

Full Text November 25, 2011: First Lady Michelle Obama Greets White House Christmas Tree as it Arrives

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

The White House Christmas Tree Arrives

Source: WH, 11-25-11
Receiving the White House Christmas tree

First Lady Michelle Obama is joined by Malia Obama and Sasha Obama for the presentation of the Official White House Christmas Tree at the North Portico of the White House, Nov. 25, 2011. The 19-foot-tall balsam fir came from Schroeder’s Forevergreens near Neshkoro, Wisconsin and will be displayed throughout the holiday season in the Blue Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Today, First Lady Michelle Obama received the official White House Christmas tree. The tree, a 19-foot balsam fir, arrived in a horse-drawn carriage and will be displayed in the Blue Room of the White House. It will be decorated in honor of military families.

This year’s tree came from Schroeder’s Forevergreens in Wisconsin, a member of the National Christmas Tree Association, and one of about 800 Christmas tree farms and lots around the country that donates free, full-grown trees to military families as part of the Trees for Troops program. This year, Trees for Troops hopes to deliver its 100,000th tree.

History Buzz November 25, 2011: Don Young & Douglas Brinkley: Alaska congressman, professor continue dispute

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

History Buzz

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

HISTORIANS NEWS

Source: Anchorage Daily News, 11-25-11

The feud between Alaska Congressman Don Young and prominent historian Douglas Brinkley that started at a House committee hearing last Friday has continued, with Brinkley calling Young a bully and a “low-grade Joseph McCarthy.”

Young, for his part, maintains that Brinkley is just a publicity hound who is trying to boost sales for his books.

Video of the nasty exchange between Brinkley and Young during last Friday’s committee hearing over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge went viral on the Internet. It was featured Tuesday on NBC’s “Nightly News” broadcast, with anchor Brian Williams dubbing it “moment of the week on Capitol Hill. … It goes very haywire very quickly.”…

Brinkley did not respond to an interview request from the Daily News this week. But he’s continued to poke Young in Lower 48 media. He told a television station in Houston, where Rice is located, that his students applauded when he walked into class.

“I have received now hundreds and hundreds of emails from people all over, I’ve not received one negative one,” he said. “I’ve had my entire Rice University and including Texas conservatives cheering me on for standing up to his bullying tactics.”A Minneapolis online news site quoted Brinkley this week calling Young a “menacing blowhard” and a “low-grade Joseph McCarthy,” referring to the infamous 1950s politician who bullied congressional witnesses and claimed widespread communist subversion of American public life….

Young spokesman Miller said this week that Brinkley was given his full time to testify and then repeatedly interrupted and was disrespectful. Miller said that Young has received positive feedback following the blowup with Brinkley.

“While reaction from the Lower 48 has been mixed, much of the feedback our office is receiving from Alaskans has been supportive of Congressman Young. In fact, many have simply been saying ‘Go get ‘em Don,'” he said.

Douglas Brinkley: Historian argues with Alaska Rep. Don Young during Congressional hearing

Rep. Don Young and historian Douglas Brinkley argued during a Congressional hearing Friday after Brinkley testified in support of keeping the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge off-limits to oil development and Young used the word “garbage” and called him “Dr. Rice,” confusing Brinkley’s name with that of the university where he teaches, Rice University in Texas.

Brinkley, who recently wrote a book about the conservation movement in Alaska, said he would like to see President Obama create a new national monument in ANWR to prevent future development on the coastal plain, which geologists say is the most promising on-shore prospect for oil development in the nation.

He said the monument should be named after President Eisenhower, for his role in creating the wildlife range….READ MORE

Watch Brinkley video here

White House Recap November 19-25, 2011: The Obama Presidency’s Weekly Recap — Thankgiving at the White House & Turkey Pardon

WHITE HOUSE RECAP

WHITE HOUSE RECAP: NOVEMBER 19-25, 2011

West Wing Week

The President wrapped up an 8 day tour in the Asia Pacific region, signed legislation to help our veterans find jobs, urged Congress to cut payroll taxes, and pardoned two turkeys. That’s November 18th to November 24th or “Your Best You.”

West Wing Week

West Wing Week: 11/24/11 or “Your Best You”

Source: WH, 11-24-11

This week, the President wrapped up an 8 day tour demonstrating American leadership and opening up economic opportunity for America in the Asia Pacific region. Upon his return he signed legislation to help our veterans find jobs, traveled to New Hampshire to urge Congress to cut payroll taxes for workers and small businesses, and pardoned two turkeys. That’s November 18th to November 24th or “Your Best You.”

Full Text November 24, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address on Thanksgiving & Being Thankful for the Military Serving Overseas

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

Weekly Address

President Obama wishes the American people a happy Thanksgiving — and gives a special thanks to the brave men and women serving overseas and those giving back to their communities during the holidays.

President Obama tapes the Weekly Address
President Obama tapes the Weekly Address, White House Photo, Lawrence Jackson, 11/23/11

Weekly Address: On Thanksgiving, Grateful for the Men and Women Who Defend Our Country

Source: WH, 11-24-11

President Obama wishes the American people a happy Thanksgiving — and gives a special thanks to the brave men and women serving overseas and those giving back to their communities during the holidays.

Transcript | Download mp4 | Download mp3

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

WEEKLY ADDRESS: On Thanksgiving, Grateful for the Men and Women Who Defend Our Country

WASHINGTON—In this week’s address, President Obama wished the American people a happy Thanksgiving, giving a special thanks to the brave men and women serving overseas and those giving back at shelters and soup kitchens in their communities during the holidays.  Those who celebrated the first Thanksgiving persevered by drawing strength from each other, and today we once again come together in that spirit of unity to overcome our challenges, remaining thankful for our freedom and the blessings of family, community, and country.

The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online at www.whitehouse.gov at 6:00 a.m. ET, Thursday, November 24, 2011.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
Thursday, November 24, 2011
The White House

From my family to yours, I’d like to wish you a happy Thanksgiving. Like millions of Americans, Michelle, Malia, Sasha and I will spend the day eating great food, watching a little football, and reflecting on how truly lucky we truly are.

As Americans, each of us has our own list of things and people to be thankful for.  But there are some blessings we all share.

We’re especially grateful for the men and women who defend our country overseas. To all the service members eating Thanksgiving dinner far from your families: the American people are thinking of you today.  And when you come home, we intend to make sure that we serve you as well as you’re serving America.

We’re also grateful for the Americans who are taking time out of their holiday to serve in soup kitchens and shelters, making sure their neighbors have a hot meal and a place to stay. This sense of mutual responsibility – the idea that I am my brother’s keeper; that I am my sister’s keeper – has always been a part of what makes our country special. And it’s one of the reasons the Thanksgiving tradition has endured.

The very first Thanksgiving was a celebration of community during a time of great hardship, and we have followed that example ever since. Even when the fate of our union was far from certain – during a Civil War, two World Wars, a Great Depression – Americans drew strength from each other. They had faith that tomorrow would be better than today.

We’re grateful that they did. As we gather around the table, we pause to remember the pilgrims, pioneers, and patriots who helped make this country what it is. They faced impossible odds, and yet somehow, they persevered. Today, it’s our turn.

I know that for many of you, this Thanksgiving is more difficult than most. But no matter how tough things are right now, we still give thanks for that most American of blessings, the chance to determine our own destiny. The problems we face didn’t develop overnight, and we won’t solve them overnight. But we will solve them. All it takes is for each of us to do our part.

With all the partisanship and gridlock here in Washington, it’s easy to wonder if such unity is really possible. But think about what’s happening at this very moment: Americans from all walks of life are coming together as one people, grateful for the blessings of family, community, and country.

If we keep that spirit alive, if we support each other, and look out for each other, and remember that we’re all in this together, then I know that we too will overcome the challenges of our time.

So today, I’m thankful to serve as your President and Commander-and-Chief. I’m thankful that my daughters get to grow up in this great country of ours. And I’m thankful for the chance to do my part, as together, we make tomorrow better than today.

Thanks, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Full Text November 23, 2011: President Barack Obama Pardons Thanksgiving Turkeys Peace & Liberty

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

Happy Thanksgiving!

President Obama Pardons Peace & Liberty (the Turkeys)

Source: WH, 11-23-11
President Obama Pardons Liberty

President Barack Obama, with daughters, Malia and Sasha, pardons ‘Liberty’, the National Thanksgiving Turkey, in a ceremony on the North Portico of the White House, Nov. 23, 2011. At left is National Turkey Federation Chairman Richard Huisinga. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

As promised, this morning, President Obama pardoned two more turkeys — Liberty and Peace. The ceremony was held on the North Portico of the White House, and the president received a bit of help of his daughters, Sasha and Malia.

This year’s turkeys are both 19-weeks old and weigh 45 pounds. They were raised by a group of students from Willmar High School in Minnesota.

To kick off the pardon, President Obama said:

Tomorrow is one of the best days of the year to be an American. It’s a day to count our blessings, spend time with the ones we love, and enjoy some good food and some great company. But it’s also one of the worst days of the year to be a turkey. They don’t have it so good.

The rare exception, of course, are the two birds who’ve joined me today. Now, is Peace here, or just Liberty? Just Liberty is here, but Peace is back here somewhere. Some of you may know that recently I’ve been taking a series of executive actions that don’t require Congressional approval. Well, here’s another one. We can’t wait to pardon these turkeys. Literally. Otherwise they’d end up next to the mashed potatoes and stuffing.

He also remarked on the special training provided to these birds for their big moment:

Now, I’m told that in order to prepare Liberty and Peace for their big day, the students exposed them to loud noises and flash bulbs so that they’d be ready to face the White House press corps. This is actually true. They also received the most important part of their media training, which involves learning how to gobble without really saying anything.

So Liberty is ready for his turn in the spotlight. And after he finishes a round of cable hits and a few Sunday shows, he’s going to retire to a life of leisure at Mount Vernon — the same place where George Washington spent his golden years.

Want to know more about turkey pardons? The White House Turkey Pardon definitive history.

History Q&A: Was the First Thanksgiving a religious celebration?

HISTORY Q&A

http://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/hist_q-a.jpg?w=600

History Q&A: Was the First Thanksgiving a religious celebration?

If you want to prepare for Thanksgiving like a real Pilgrim this year, here’s what you should do: Cancel the plane reservations. Stop jotting down recipes. Leave the libations alone.

For the Pilgrims and Puritans, “thanksgiving” days were spontaneous and sober affairs.

When friends arrived from overseas, European Protestants defeated Catholics in battle, or a bumper crop was reaped, the Pilgrims dedicated a day to thanking divine Providence.

They would have considered it presumptuous to schedule a thanksgiving day in advance, said Francis Bremer, an emeritus professor of history at Millersville University in Pennsylvania. “It assumes that God is going to be good to you each particular year.”

The Pilgrims’ days of thanksgiving were usually spent in church, singing psalms, listening to sermons and praying. Work and playful pastimes were forbidden. When God provided, the Pilgrims were serious about gratitude.

Despite their reputation as buckle-belted killjoys, the Puritans and Pilgrims knew how to have a good time. They brewed beer, feasted on fowl and enjoyed sex — all in moderation, of course.

That’s why some historians believe the 1621 celebration that’s sometimes dubbed the “First Thanksgiving,” was not actually a “thanksgiving” day at all. In fact, some historians even call it a “secular event.”

“The 1621 gathering in Plymouth was not a religious gathering but most likely a harvest celebration much like those the English had known in farming communities back home,” write Catherine O’Neill Grace and Margaret M. Bruchac in their book, “1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving.”….

The problem with defining the original 1621 celebration — besides the dearth of historical evidence — is the absence of a full-time minister among the Pilgrims, said Bremer. Religious rituals were not as formal as they would become when a pastor, Ralph Smith, arrived nearly a decade later.

In other words, the Pilgrims were winging it in 1621: Glad to be alive after a dangerous voyage, happy for a good harvest and excited about their future in a fresh, new land.

Full Text Campaign Buzz November 22, 2011: CNN GOP National Security Republican Presidential Debate at Constitutional Hall, Washington, DC — Debate Transcript

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University. Ms. Goodman has also contributed the overviews, and chronologies in History of American Presidential Elections, 1789-2008, 4th edition, edited by Gil Troy, Fred L. Israel, and Arthur Meier Schlesinger to be published by Facts on File, Inc. in late 2011.

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

 

Win Mcnamee/Getty Images

Before the sparring began at the debate in Washington on Tuesday, the Republican presidential primary candidates paused as the national anthem was sung.

Source: CNN, 11-23-11

CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Full Transcript of CNN NATIONAL SECURITY DEBATE, 20:00-22:00

Aired November 22, 2011 – 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, DEBATE MODERATOR AND CNN LEAD POLITICAL ANCHOR: Live from Washington, DC, for the Republican National Security Debate.

(UNKNOWN): It’s a president’s most important and daunting responsibility, to protect and defend the United States of America. Millions of lives in the hands of one commander-in-chief. It’s what legacies are made of.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A date which will live in infamy.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

(UNKNOWN): For better…

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RONALD REAGAN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(UNKNOWN): — and for worse.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY CARTER, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And that is not to do anything that would endanger the lives or safety of the hostages.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(UNKNOWN): In war…

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE H.W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Just two hours ago, Allied air forces began an attack on military targets in Iraq and Kuwait.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(UNKNOWN): — and peace. On the day everything changed… (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(UNKNOWN): — and every day since.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(UNKNOWN): Tonight, from an historic hall in the nation’s capital, the Republican candidates address the global challenges ahead — Mitt Romney, who ran an international business and the Olympic Winter Games.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The people of America deserve a regular briefing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(UNKNOWN): Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker with a PhD in history.

Herman Cain…

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We would use our military might if we have to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(UNKNOWN): A business executive who worked for firms with global reach.

Ron Paul, a leading anti-war voice in Congress.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. RON PAUL (R), TEXAS: We should only go to the war when the people in this country declare the war.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(UNKNOWN): Rick Perry, the governor of the state with the longest stretch of international border.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BACHMANN: Iran is waiting in the wings.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(UNKNOWN): Michele Bachmann, a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUNTSMAN: Our nation’s future is how well prepared we are to compete.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(UNKNOWN): Jon Huntsman, the former U.S. ambassador to China.

Rick Santorum, who served on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Who has what it takes to be the next commander-in-chief in a world of peril?

The first step toward building a legacy, the Republican National Security Debate begins now.

BLITZER: From Constitution Hall in the nation’s capital, this is the Republican presidential debate.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Every U.S. president since Calvin Coolidge has been inside this historic hall, just steps away from the White House.

Tonight, the eight Republican candidates are here with their ultimate goal in sight.

I’m Wolf Blitzer.

We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world.

Tonight’s debate is airing on CNN, CNN International, CNN en Espanol and the American Forces Network. We want to thank our co- sponsors, the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.

Members of these distinguished conservative think tanks, they are here in our audience and some of them will have a chance to question the candidates. They’ll add their knowledge and insights to our discussion, making this unlike any debate so far in this presidential campaign.

Viewers also can take part in our debate by sending us your questions online, on Twitter. Make sure to include the hash tag, cnndebate; on Facebook at Facebook.com/cnnpolitics; and, of course, on CNNPolitics.com.

It’s time now to meet the 2012 Republican presidential contenders.

Joining us onstage, the former U.S. ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman.

FORMER GOV. JON HUNTSMAN JR, R-UTAH, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you.

Thank you very much.

Thank you.

Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

HUNTSMAN: Thank you.

BLITZER: Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, R-MINN., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good to see you, Wolf.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: The former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: The former president and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, Herman Cain.

(APPLAUSE)

The former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney…

(APPLAUSE)

Texas governor, Rick Perry…

(APPLAUSE)

Texas congressman, Ron Paul…

(APPLAUSE)

(inaudible) from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum.

(APPLAUSE)

Ladies and gentlemen, the Republican candidates for President of the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, please rise for our National Anthem. Please rise. The National Anthem performed by Mauricio Perez, from the Tony Award winning musical, “Jersey Boys,” now playing at the National Theater here in Washington, D.C.

(APPLAUSE)

(SINGING NATIONAL ANTHEM)

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Mauricio Perez, thank you.

Candidates, please take your — to your podiums while I tell you a little bit more about how this debate will work. I’ll be the moderator and as I mentioned, our partners from the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute will ask questions as well.

I’ll follow up. I’ll try to guide the discussion. Candidates, I’ll try to make sure each of you gets your fair share of questions.

You’ll have one minute to answer, 30 seconds for follow-ups and rebuttals. And I’ll make sure you get time to respond if — if you’re singled out for criticism.

This year more than ever we’ve seen how events beyond our borders directly affect America, including perhaps the biggest national security issue right now, the economy.

Candidates, tonight Republican voters are here. They are watching around the country to decide if you have what it takes to be the next commander in chief, to shape foreign policy, to protect this great nation.

On some of these issues you will agree. On some you’ll disagree. But by the end of the night, voters should have a better understanding of how you would lead the nation in times of crisis.

Now, let’s have the candidates introduce themselves to our audience, but we’ll keep it very brief. Here’s an example of what I’m looking for.

I’m Wolf Blitzer and yes, that’s my real name. I’ll be your moderator this evening and I’m happy to welcome each one of you to our debate.

Rick Santorum, let’s begin with you.

FORMER SEN. RICK SANTORUM, R-PA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I am Rick Santorum. And it’s great to be here and I want to thank AEI and Heritage (inaudible).

… One constitutional responsibility of the federal government and that is national security. And I think we can all agree that if you like what Barack Obama has done to our economy, you’ll love what he’s done to our national security.

REP. RON PAUL, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I’m Ron Paul, a congressman from Texas. I am pleased to be here at the debate because this is a very important debate. I am convinced that needless and unnecessary wars are a great detriment. They undermine our prosperity and our liberties. They add to our deficits and they consume our welfare. We should take a careful look at our foreign policy.

GOV. RICK PERRY, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I’m Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, and I want to take a moment and introduce you, the beautiful first lady of the state of Texas, Anita. Thank you for being here with me, 29 years of wedded bliss and 45 years ago we had our first date. So I’m a blessed man in many ways to represent a great state, and we’re here to ask you for your support, your blessings and your vote.

FORMER GOV. MITT ROMNEY, R-MASS., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I’m Mitt Romney and yes, Wolf, that’s also my first name. And…

(LAUGHTER)

ROMNEY: … I’m a husband, a father, a grandfather of 16. I love this country very much. I spent my life in the private sector. And as I’ve watched the direction this president has taken our country, both domestically and internationally, I’m afraid that he’s taking us on a perilous course. I want to keep America strong and free, and if I’m president, I’ll use every ounce of my energy to do just that.

(APPLAUSE)

HERMAN CAIN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am businessman Herman Cain. I’m delighted to be here to discuss one of the most critical issues we face because, as a result of this administration, our national security has indeed been downgraded.

(APPLAUSE)

FORMER REP. NEWT GINGRICH, R-GA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I’m Newt Gingrich. My father spent 27 years in the infantry. And as a result of that, in the fall of 1958, I decided that national survival was worth the study of a lifetime. I’ve worked with both Heritage and the American Enterprise Institute for over 30 years. I can’t imagine any two institutions better to partner with CNN on the most important single topic, the survival of the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

BACHMANN: My name is Michele Bachmann. I’m a proud member of the United States Congress. I’m privileged to serve on the House Select Committee on Intelligence. My father honorably served in the United States Air Force, my stepfather in the United States Army and my brother in the United States Navy.

I think for every one of us who are here on this stage tonight, I think we all want to send our very best Happy Thanksgiving greetings to all of our men and women in uniform who are serving us overseas, here in the United States and also to their families. Happy Thanksgiving. We appreciate, we love you and we want to get you home as soon as we can.

(APPLAUSE)

HUNTSMAN: My name is Jon Huntsman. I believe this week, in particular, that there is still much to be grateful for in this, the greatest nation that ever was. I’m here with my wife of 28 years, Mary Kay, who is fortuitously sitting in the New Hampshire box up here. We are the wife — or we are the parents of seven kids, two in the United States Navy.

Twice elected governor of the great state of Utah, I’ve lived overseas four times, three times as a United States ambassador. I am honored and privileged to be here. Wolf, CNN, Heritage, AEI, thank you one and all for making tonight possible.

BLITZER: Thank you very much. And let’s get right to the questions.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Our leadoff question is from the honorable Ed Meese, the former attorney general of the United States, who is representing the Heritage Foundation.

ED MEESE, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: At least 42 terrorist attacks aimed at the United States have been thwarted since 9/11. Tools like the Patriot Act have been instrumental in finding and stopping terrorists.

Shouldn’t we have a long range extension of the investigative powers contained in that act so that our law enforcement officers can have the tools that they need?

BLITZER: Speaker Gingrich, only this weekend there was an alleged terror plot uncovered in New York City. What do you think?

GINGRICH: Well, I think that Attorney General Meese has raised a key point, and the key distinction for the American people to recognize is the difference between national security requirements and criminal law requirements.

I think it’s desperately important that we preserve your right to be innocent until proven guilty, if it’s a matter of criminal law. But if you’re trying to find somebody who may have a nuclear weapon that they are trying to bring into an American city, I think you want to use every tool that you can possibly use to gather the intelligence.

The Patriot Act has clearly been a key part of that. And I think looking at it carefully and extending it and building an honest understanding that all of us will be in danger for the rest of our lives. This is not going to end in the short run. And we need to be prepared to protect ourselves from those who, if they could, would not just kill us individually, but would take out entire cities.

BLITZER: So, Speaker, just to clarify, you wouldn’t change the Patriot Act?

GINGRICH: No, I would not change it. I’m not aware of any specific change it needs. And I’d look at strengthening it, because I think the dangers are literally that great. And again, I’ve spent years studying this stuff. You start thinking about one nuclear weapon in one American city and the scale of loss of life and you ask yourself, what should the president be capable of doing to stop that?

And you come up with a very different answer. Again, very sharp division. Criminal law, the government should be frankly on defense and you’re innocent until proven guilty. National security, the government should have many more tools in order to save our lives.

BLITZER: Congressman Paul, I suspect you disagree.

PAUL: I do.

BLITZER: Tell us why.

PAUL: I think the Patriot Act is unpatriotic because it undermines our liberty. I’m concerned, as everybody is, about the terrorist attack. Timothy McVeigh was a vicious terrorist. He was arrested. Terrorism is still on the books, internationally and nationally, it’s a crime and we should deal with it.

We dealt with it rather well with Timothy McVeigh. But why I really fear it is we have drifted into a condition that we were warned against because our early founders were very clear. They said, don’t be willing to sacrifice liberty for security.

Today it seems too easy that our government and our congresses are so willing to give up our liberties for our security. I have a personal belief that you never have to give up liberty for security. You can still provide security without sacrificing our Bill of Rights.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: I want to bring others in, but do you want to respond, Mr. Speaker?

GINGRICH: Yes. Timothy McVeigh succeeded. That’s the whole point.

(APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH: Timothy McVeigh killed a lot of Americans. I don’t want a law that says after we lose a major American city, we’re sure going to come and find you. I want a law that says, you try to take out an American city, we’re going to stop you.

(APPLAUSE)

PAUL: This is like saying that we need a policeman in every house, a camera in every house because we want to prevent child- beating and wife-beating. You can prevent crimes by becoming a police state. So if you advocate the police state, yes, you can have safety and security and you might prevent a crime, but the crime then will be against the American people and against our freedoms. And we will throw out so much of what our revolution was fought for. So don’t do it so carelessly.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Congresswoman Bachmann, let me bring you into this conversation. Are you with Congressman Paul or Speaker Gingrich or do you have your own view?

BACHMANN: Well, I’m with the American people, with the Constitution, and with the job of the commander-in-chief as the number one duty of the president of the United States.

We have to realize we’re in a very different war, with very different techniques that are used for that war, and very different bad actors than we’ve had before in the terrorists and their motivations are very different.

We can’t forget that technology is completely different. When we were looking at prior laws, phones were wired in to walls. That’s not how it works any more. Today we deal with wireless functions. And we have to completely change the way that we go about investigating.

This is one thing we know about Barack Obama. He has essentially handed over our interrogation of terrorists to the ACLU. He has outsourced it to them. Our CIA has no ability to have any form of interrogation for terrorists.

When the bomber — or the attempted bomber over Detroit, the underwear bomber was intercepted, he was given Miranda warnings within 45 minutes. He was not an American citizen. We don’t give Miranda warnings to terrorists, and we don’t read them their rights. They don’t have any.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Governor Huntsman, where do you stand on the Patriot Act? Do you believe it’s un-American, as Congressman Paul has suggested?

HUNTSMAN: I think we have to be very careful in protecting our individual liberties. We forget sometimes that we have a name brand in this world. And I have seen it shine living overseas. And when our light shines based on the values that we live up to and represent, it moves people, it moves countries, it moves events like nothing else can.

We are a nation of values. And forever, like what we’re trying to do in this debate tonight, we’ll try to find that balancing act between our individual liberties and security. But we also have to remember as we’re talking about security, I see Tom Ridge in the audience here, a great former secretary of Homeland Security. He will tell you, he will tell you that we cannot secure the homeland out of Washington, D.C., itself. We’ve got to make sure that we have partnerships with governors and mayors, that this is a national effort.

No longer can we compartmentalize intelligence. Those are the old days. Today we’ve got to share. We’ve got to make sure that we are prepared as a people, we are prepared not only as a federal government, but we’re prepared as well as a local government in a collaborative and sharing kind of relationship.

BLITZER: I’m going to give everyone a chance to respond, but let me get this one question from CNN Politics, that came to cnnpolitics.com, and then we’ll bring in the rest of you.

This was the question: “TSA pat-downs: violation of civil liberty or a necessity to ensure national security?”

Governor Romney?

ROMNEY: Well, we can do a lot better than the TSA system. It’s going to get get better over time. We can use better technology. We can also identify people who are lower risk and allow them to go through the process more quickly than the current process.

But let’s come back to the issue that seems to be so confusing here.

And that is Congressman Paul talked about crime. Newt Gingrich was right. There are different categories here. There’s crime and there are rights that are afforded to American citizens under our Constitution and those that are accused of crime. Then there’s war. And the tool of war being used today in America and around the world is terror. There’s a different body of law that relates to war.

And for those that understand the difference between the two, they recognize that we need tools when war is waged domestically to ensure that, as president of the United States, you can fulfill your first responsibility, which is to protect the life, liberty and property of American citizens and defend them from foes domestic and foreign.

And that means, yes, we’ll use the Constitution and criminal law for those people who commit crimes, but those who commit war and attack the United States and pursue treason of various kinds, we will use instead a very different form of law, which is the law afforded to those who are fighting America.

that we need tools when war is waged domestically to ensure that as president of the United States you can fulfill your first responsibility which is to protect the life, liberty and property of American citizens and defend them from foes domestic and foreign. That means yes we’ll use the constitution and criminal law for those people who commit crimes but those who commit war and attack the United States and pursue treason of various kinds we will use instead a very different form of law which is the law afforded to those who are fighting America.

BLITZER: Governor Perry…

(APPLAUSE)

… you proposed legislation that would criminalize these TSA pat-downs under certain circumstances.

PERRY: Right.

BLITZER: Explain what you have in mind.

PERRY: Well, here’s what I would do with the TSA; I would privatize it as soon as I could and get rid of those unions.

(APPLAUSE)

It’s working in Denver. They have a program where they’re privatizing it. And the airlines and other private-sector groups work together to do the security in our airports. And it makes abundant good sense.

And I agree with most of my colleagues here on the stage when we talk about the Patriot Act. And we need to keep it in place. We need to have — strengthen it if that’s what’s required, to update it with new technologies as they come along, Newt.

But here’s the other issue that I think we’ve really failed at, and that is in our ability to collect intelligence around the world. And this administration in particular has been an absolute failure when it comes to expending the dollars and supporting the CIA and the military intelligence around the world, to be able to draw in that intelligence that is going to truly be able to allow us to keep the next terrorist attack from happening on American soil.

BLITZER: Senator Santorum, under certain circumstances in the past, you’ve supported profiling. Is that correct?

SANTORUM: I have.

BLITZER: What do you have in mind?

SANTORUM: Well, I mean, I think TSA is a good example of that. We should be trying to find the bomber, not the bomb. Other countries have done it. Israel is probably the best example of that.

But to put this enormous expense on the federal government, to put the enormous expense on the traveling public for — for pat-downs and other intrusions, I think, is too much money. I agree with Governor Perry; I actually voted when I — when this bill came up, I voted to allow for privatization. I was not for this being a government function. I thought it could be a private function.

But the issue of the Patriot Act is — is a little different. We are at war. The last time we had a — we had a threat at home like this — obviously, it was much more of a threat at home — was during the Civil War.

And, of course, Abraham Lincoln ran right over civil rights. Why? Because we had a present domestic threat. In the previous wars that we’ve had, we haven’t had this type of threat that we have here in the homeland. And we have to deal with it differently.

I disagree with Governor Huntsman. He made some good points. And we have had the debate. It’s been an open debate. It’s really shown the values of our country, that we can engage in this open debate and balance those interests, and I think we have done so appropriately.

BLITZER: So just to be precise, is it ethnic profiling, religious profiling? Who would be profiled?

SANTORUM: Well, the folks who are most likely to be committing these crimes. If you look at — I mean, obviously, it was — obviously, Muslims would be — would be someone you’d look at, absolutely. Those are the folks who are — the radical Muslims are the people that are committing these crimes, as we’ve — by and large, as well as younger males.

I mean, these are things that — not exclusively — but these are things that you profile to — to find your best — the most likely candidate.

BLITZER: Congressman Paul?

PAUL: That’s digging a…

(APPLAUSE)

That’s digging a hole for ourselves. What if they look like Timothy McVeigh? You know, he was a pretty tough criminal.

I think we’re using too much carelessness in the use of words that we’re at war. I don’t remember voting on — on a declared — declaration of war. Oh, we’re against terrorism.

(APPLAUSE)

And terrorism is a tactic. It isn’t a person. It isn’t a people. So this is a very careless use of words. What about this? Sacrifice liberties because there are terrorists? You’re the judge and the jury? No, they’re suspects.

And they have changed the — in the — in DOD budget they have changed the wording on the definition of al-Qaeda and Taliban. It’s anybody associated with organizations, which means almost anybody can be loosely associated so that makes all Americans vulnerable.

And now we know that American citizens are vulnerable to assassination.

So I would be very cautious about protecting the rule of law. It will be a sacrifice that you’ll be sorry for. (APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Herman Cain, let’s bring you into this conversation. Are you with Senator Santorum when he says that there should be religious profiling, that Muslims in particular should get extra screening when they go — go through airports?

CAIN: I believe we can do a whole lot better with TSA. And I called it, targeted identification.

BLITZER: What does that mean?

CAIN: We can do — we can do — targeted identification. If you take a look at the people who are trying to kill us, it would be easy to figure out exactly what that identification profile looks like.

But I want — but I want to make sure that I get to the Patriot Act. So I believe we can do a whole better. The answer, I believe, also may be privatization.

Now, relative to the Patriot Act, if there are some areas of the Patriot Act that we need to refine, I’m all for that. But I do not believe we ought to throw out the baby with the bathwater for the following reason. The terrorists have one objective that some people don’t seem to get. They want to kill all of us.

So we should use every mean possible to kill them first or identify them first — first.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Now, just to be precise, Mr. Cain. I just want to — I’ll give you a chance. Is it OK for Muslim Americans to get more intensive pat downs or security when they go through airports than Christian Americans or Jewish Americans?

CAIN: No, Blitz. That’s oversimplifying it. I happen to believe that if — if you allow our intelligence agencies to do their job they can come up with an approach — I’m sorry, Blitz, I meant Wolf, OK?

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

This was — since we on a — since we on a blitz debate, I apologize. Wolf, what I’m saying is let’s ask the professionals to give us an approach of how we can increase the identification of people that might be a danger to civilians as well as a danger to this nation.

BLITZER: Thank you, Cain.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE) All right. Go ahead. We have another question. Please give us your name and the organization you represent.

QUESTION: I’m Fred Kagan, resident scholar and director of the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute.

And my question is, the raid that killed Osama bin Laden was obviously an important success in the struggle against al-Qaeda, although it also drove U.S. relations with Pakistan into a new low.

Do you think that an expanded drone campaign in Pakistan would be sufficient to defeat al-Qaeda and to secure our interests in Pakistan?

BLITZER: Governor Huntsman?

HUNTSMAN: Let me just say that as we talk about foreign policy, let’s be reminded that in order to have an effective foreign policy we need a Washington that works.

Today we have a president who can’t lead. We have a Congress that can’t even figure out how to balance our budget. They need term limits, by the way. We’ve gotta get our house in order if we…

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you. We’ve gotta get our house in order if we’re gonna expect to get anything done overseas because when our light shines we can influence the rest of the world.

Pakistan is a concern. That’s the country that ought to keep everybody up at night. You have not President Zardari in charge but General Kayani over the military, which also is responsible for ISI.

You’ve got the youngest demographic of the 160 million people in Pakistan. You’ve got a Midrasha movement. You’ve got over 100 nuclear weapons. You’ve got trouble on the border.

You’ve got a nation-state that is a candidate for failure. And I say it’s a haven for bad behavior. It’s a haven — it’s — it’s a haven for training the people who seek to do us harm. And an expanded drone program is something that would serve our national interest.

I think it must be done. And I think it must be consistent with recognizing the reality on the ground of what we need out of Afghanistan — we don’t need 100,000 troops in Afghanistan.

We don’t need to nation-build in Afghanistan when this nation so desperately needs to be built.

BLITZER: We’re gonna get to Afghanistan.

HUNTSMAN: But we need something. We need something in Afghanistan.

BLITZER: Congresswoman Bachmann, we’ll be bringing you in. You’re a member… HUNTSMAN: We need Special Forces and drones.

BLITZER: All right. You’re a member of the Intelligence Committee. Do you think, as Governor Perry has said, that Pakistan should no longer receive U.S. aid because they’ve shown they’re not a good friend, ally of the United States?

BACHMANN: Pakistan has been the epicenter of dealing with terrorism. They are, as Governor Huntsman said, there are al-Qaeda training grounds there. There’s also the Haqqani network that can be trained there as well.

And they also are one of the most violent, unstable nations that there is. We have to recognize that 15 of the sites, nuclear sites are available or are potentially penetrable by jihadists. Six attempts have already been made on nuclear sites. This is more than an existential threat. We have to take this very seriously.

The United States has to be engaged. It is complicated. We have to recognize that the Chinese are doing everything that they can to be an influential party in Pakistan. We don’t want to lose influence.

I’m answering your question. You asked me about the money that the United States gives to Pakistan. This is a — this is a dual answer. A nation that lies, that does everything possibly that you could imagine wrong, at the same time they do share intelligence data with us regarding Al Qaida.

We need to demand more. The money that we are sending right now is primarily intelligence money to Pakistan. It is helping the United States. Whatever our action is, it must ultimately be about helping the United States and our sovereignty…

BLITZER: So…

BACHMANN: … our safety and our security.

BLITZER: … you would continue that aid to Pakistan?

BACHMANN: I — at this point I would continue that aid, but I do think that the Obama policy of keeping your fingers crossed is not working in Pakistan,. And I also think that Pakistan is a nation, that it’s kind of like too nuclear to fail. And so we’ve got to make sure that we take that threat very seriously.

BLITZER: Governor Perry?

PERRY: I understand where she’s coming from, but the bottom line is that they’ve showed us time after time that they can’t be trusted. And until Pakistan clearly shows that they have America’s best interests in mind, I would not send them one penny, period.

I think it is important for us to send the message to those across the world that, if you are not going to be an ally of the United States, do not expect a dime of our citizens’ money to be coming into your country. That is the way we change foreign policy. Now, if we want to engage these countries with our abilities and our companies that go in, and help to economically build these countries up, rather than just writing a blank check to them, then we can have that conversation, because I think that is a change in foreign policy that would be adequate and appropriate and a positive move for us.

But to write a check to countries that are clearly not representing American interests is nonsensical.

BLITZER: You want to respond, Congresswoman Bachmann?

BACHMANN: Well, I — with all due respect to the governor, I think that’s highly naive, because, again, we have to recognize what’s happening on the ground. These are nuclear weapons all across this nation. And, potentially, Al Qaida could get hold of these weapons.

These weapons could find their way out of — out of Pakistan, into New York City or into Washington, D.C., and a nuclear weapon could be set off in this city. That’s how serious this is. We have to maintain an American presence.

They certainly aren’t looking out for the best interests of the United States. I wouldn’t expect them to. But at the same time, we have to have our interests, which is national security, represented. The best way we can do that with an uneven actor state is to have some sort of presence there.

BLITZER: I just want to give Governor Perry the chance to respond.

She just said your views are highly naive.

PERRY: And I — absolutely we need to be engaged in that part of the world. I never said for us not to be engaged. I just said we need to quit writing blank checks to these countries, and then letting them decide how these dollars are going to be spent.

We’ve got Afghanistan and India working in concert right now to leverage Pakistan. I think if we would create a trade zone in that part of the world, where you have all of those countries working together, that may be the answer to getting Pakistan to understand that they have to work with all of the countries in that region.

BLITZER: All right, I want to move on.

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: I want to move on, but you’ll have a chance — you’ll have a chance to respond…

BACHMANN: If I can just — Wolf, if I could just…

BLITZER: Very quickly.

BACHMANN: … clarify, we’re not writing just blank checks. We’re also exchanging intelligence information. So we aren’t writing blank checks in that region.

BLITZER: All right. Let’s take another question from the audience.

Please give us your name and your organization.

QUESTION: Israel Ortega (ph) with the Heritage Foundation.

Is the money that we’ve drawn back from U.S. troops in Afghanistan really worth the risk of allowing Taliban to expand territories, and Al Qaida to grow safe sanctuaries?

BLITZER: Governor Romney, $2 billion a week the United States is spending right now in Afghanistan, $2 billion, more than $100 billion a year. And U.S. troops are supposed to stay for another three years at least, till the end of 2014. Is that money well spent?

ROMNEY: We spent about $450 billion so far, 1,700 or so service men and women have lost their lives there, and many tens of thousands have been wounded. Our effort there is to keep Afghanistan from becoming a launching point for terror against the United States. We can’t just write off a major part of the world.

Pakistan is the sixth largest country in the world. We can’t just say goodbye to all of — of what’s going on in that part of the world.

Instead, we want to draw them toward modernity. And for that to happen, we don’t want to literally pull up stakes and run out of town after the extraordinary investment that we’ve made. And that means we should have a gradual transition of handing off to the Afghan security forces the responsibility for their own country.

And for the region, what happened in Indonesia back in the 1960s, where — where we helped Indonesia move toward modernity with new leadership. We — we brought them in the technology that allowed them to trade in the world.

We need to bring Pakistan into the 21st century — or the 20th century, for that matter, so that they — they can engage throughout the world with trade and with modernity.

Right now, American approval level in — in Pakistan is 12 percent. We’re not doing a very good job with this huge investment we make of $4.5 billion a year. We can do a lot better directing that to encourage people to take advantage of the extraordinary opportunities the West and freedom represent for their people.

BLITZER: Now, Governor Huntsman, do you agree with Governor Romney that the U.S. has to stay in Afghanistan at these levels?

HUNTSMAN: No, I — I totally disagree. I think we need to square with the American people about what we’ve achieved. We need an honest conversation in this country about the sacrifices that have been made over nearly 10 years. We have — we have dismantled the Taliban. We’ve run them out of Kabul. We’ve had free elections in 2004. We’ve killed Osama bin Laden. We’ve upended, dismantled al Qaeda. We have achieved some very important goals for the United States of America.

Now, the fact that we have 100,000 troops nation-building in Afghanistan when this nation so desperately needs to be built, when, on the ground, we do need intelligence gathering, no doubt about that. We need a strong Special Forces presence. We need a drone presence. And we need some ongoing training of the Afghan National Army.

But we haven’t done a very good job defining and articulating what the end point is in Afghanistan. And I think the American people are getting very tired about where we find ourselves today.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Let me let Governor Romney respond.

ROMNEY: Well, let me respond.

Are you suggesting, Governor, that we just take all our troops out next week or what — what’s your proposal?

HUNTSMAN: Did you hear what I just said?

I said we should draw down from 100,000. We don’t need 100,000 troops. We don’t need 100,000 troops in Afghanistan…

(CROSSTALK)

HUNTSMAN: — many of whom can’t even cross the wire. We need a presence on the ground that is more akin to 10,000 or 15,000. That will serve our interests in terms of intelligence gathering and Special Forces response capability. And we need to prepare for a world, not just in South Asia, but, indeed, in every corner of the world in which counter-terror — counter-terrorism is going to be in front of us for as far as the eye can see into the 21st century.

ROMNEY: And the — and the commanders on the ground feel that we should bring down our surge troops by December of 2012 and bring down all of our troops, other than, perhaps, 10,000 or so, by the end of — of 2014.

The decision to pull our troops out before that, they believe, would put at risk the extraordinary investment of treasure and blood which has been sacrificed by the American military.

I stand with the commanders in this regard and have no information that suggests that pulling our troops out faster than that would do anything but put at — at great peril the extraordinary sacrifice that’s been made. This is not time for America to cut and run. We have been in for 10 years. We are winding down. The Afghan troops are picking up the capacity to secure their country. And the mission is pretty straightforward, and that is to allow the Afghan people to have a sovereign nation not taken over by the Taliban. BLITZER: Let me bring the speaker in. What do you say…

GINGRICH: I would…

BLITZER: — pull out?

HUNTSMAN: Just — just one point.

BLITZER: You want — oh, go ahead.

HUNTSMAN: Yes, just about the generals on the ground. And listen, I think it’s important for the American people to know we have achieved some very important objectives in raising standards in Afghanistan and helping to build civil society.

But at the end of the day, the president of the United States is commander-in-chief, commander-in-chief. Of course you’re going to listen to the generals. But…

(APPLAUSE)

HUNTSMAN: — I also remember when people listened to the generals in 1967 and we heard a certain course of action in South Asia that didn’t serve our interests very well.

The president is the commander-in-chief and ought to be informed by a lot of different voices, including of those of his generals Jr. ) on the ground.

BLITZER: Speaker Gingrich?

(APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH: It’s…

ROMNEY: Look, I’ve got a good — he gets a response, I get a response.

BLITZER: All right.

ROMNEY: Of course the commander-in-chief makes — make the final decision.

PAUL: How about the rest of us?

ROMNEY: Of course the final — look…

PAUL: How about us who haven’t had a response?

BLITZER: (INAUDIBLE) got a chance.

ROMNEY: Of course the commander-in-chiefs makes the — makes the final decision. But the commander-in-chief makes that decision based upon the input of people closest to the ground. And — and we — we’ve both been to Afghanistan. I’ve been to Afghanistan. The people I speak with there say we have a very good prospect of the people in Afghanistan being able to secure the peace and their sovereignty from the Taliban, but that if we pull out on a precipitous basis, as Governor Huntsman suggests, that we could well see that nation and Pakistan get pulled into terror and become another launching point to go after America. That’s a mistake. That’s why you listen and then make your decision.

BLITZER: Speaker?

(APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH: Well, Wolf, I’m a little confused about exactly what we’re currently debating, because I think — I think we tend to get down to these narrow questions that — that, in a sense, don’t get at the — at the core issues.

The very first question I thought about Pakistan is the one that should be the starting point.

The gentleman said that when we went in and killed bin Laden, that we drove U.S.-Pakistan — did I have — is this like a 30-second response?

BLITZER: Go ahead.

GINGRICH: I mean, I’m happy to play by the rules, I just want to know what they are. But I think this is the heart of the American dilemma. We were told, a perfectly natural Washington assumption that our killing bin Laden in Pakistan drove U.S.-Pakistan relations to a new low.

To which my answer is, well, it should have because we should be furious.

(APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH: Now, and that’s where this has got to start. You want to keep American troops in Afghanistan, you accept hot pursuit, you say no sanctuaries, you change the rules of engagement, you put the military in charge of the military side, you overhaul the State Department and AID so they get the job done, and you do it for real and you do it intensely, and you tell the Pakistanis, help us or get out of the way, but don’t complain if we kill people you’re not willing to go after on your territory where you have been protecting them.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Senator Santorum?

SANTORUM: I agree with Ron Paul. We are not fighting a war on terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic. We’re fighting a war against radical Islam. And what radical Islam is telling — all of the radical Islamist leaders are saying is that just wait America out, America is weak, they will not stand for the fight, they cannot maintain this, they’ll set time limits, politics will interfere, and we will tell the people in Afghanistan, we will tell the people in Iraq and other places that we will be the strong horse in the region.

And President Obama, by making political decision after political decision about timelines and constraints on rules of engagement, has validated everything these radical Islamists are saying.

So the answer to you, Jon, is that you’re doing exactly — Governor Huntsman, is that you’re doing exactly what all of the radical leaders are saying that America will do, that we are not in this to win, we are going to play politics with this, and then we will find this problem in Afghanistan on our shores in a very short order.

BLITZER: We are going to come to Congressman Cain (sic) in a moment. But just hold your horses for a second because we’re going to take a quick break. Much more coming up. The former chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff calls this the number one threat to America’s national security. The candidates will answer that question on this topic, coming up next.

We want you to send us your questions for the candidates. Go to cnnpolitics.com or facebook.com/cnnpolitics or on twitter use #cnndebate. Our coverage of this historic debate at Constitution Hall in Washington continues in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Welcome back to historic Constitution Hall here in the nation’s capital.

(APPLAUSE)

We’re continuing the CNN national security debate. Let’s go right to the audience. We have a question from the audience.

(APPLAUSE)

Go ahead with your question.

Hello?

No question from the audience.

Yes, we do. We do have a question from the audience.

(LAUGHTER)

We were waiting for you.

(LAUGHTER)

QUESTION: I’m Mike Gonzalez (ph) of the Heritage Foundation.

BLITZER: Thank you.

QUESTION: If Israel attacked Iran to prevent Tehran from getting nuclear weapons, would you help Israel launch the attack or support it otherwise? BLITZER: All right. We’ve got the question. Let me ask Herman Cain first. Did you get the question?

CAIN: I didn’t quite get the question.

BLITZER: If — the specific question is, if Israel attacked Iran to prevent Tehran from getting nuclear weapons, would you help Israel launch the attack or support it otherwise?

CAIN: I would first make sure that they had a credible plan for success, clarity of mission and clarity of success.

Remember, when you talk about attacking Iran, it is a very mountainous region. The latest reports say that there may be 40 different locations, and I would want to make sure that we had a good idea from intelligence sources where these are located.

And if Israel had a credible plan that it appeared as if they could succeed, I would support Israel, yes. And in some instances, depending upon how strong the plan is, we would join with Israel for that, if it was clear what the mission was and it was clear what the definition of victory was.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Congressman Paul, would you support Israel and help Israel in such an attack?

PAUL: No, I wouldn’t do that.

(LAUGHTER)

But there would be good reasons because I don’t expect it to happen. Because, you know, the Mossad leader that just retired said it would be the stupidest thing to do in the world. And it’s a big argument over in Israel. They’re not about to do this.

They’ve just polled 40 major experts on foreign policy here by the National Journal. Not one of them said there should be a unilateral attack on — on the sites in — in Iran.

So that’s not going to happen. And if it did — you’re supposing that if it did, why does Israel need our help? We need to get out of their way. I mean, we interfere with them. We interfere with them…

(LAUGHTER)

… when they deal with their borders. When they want to have peace treaties, we tell them what they can do because we buy their allegiance and they sacrifice their sovereignty to us. And then they decide they want to bomb something, that’s their business, but they should, you know, suffer the consequences. When they bombed the Iraqi missile site, nuclear site, back in the ’80s, I was one of the few in Congress that said it’s none of our business and Israel should take care of themselves. Israel has 200, 300 nuclear missiles. And they can take care of themselves. Why should we commit — we don’t even have a treaty with Israel. Why do we have this automatic commitment that we’re going to send our kids and send our money endlessly to Israel? So I think they’re quite capable of taking care of themselves.

I think we do detriment — just think of all the money we gave to Egypt over 30 or 40 years. Now, look, we were buying friendship. Now there’s a civil war, they’re less friendly to Israel.

The whole thing is going to backfire once we go bankrupt and we remove our troops, so I think we should be very cautious in our willingness to go to war and send troops without a proper declaration by the U.S. Congress.

BLITZER: Let me let Herman Cain respond.

(APPLAUSE)

CAIN: Thank you.

I stated if the mission and the plan were clear, that it could succeed, but I pointed out that that is highly unlikely, given the terrain, the mountainous terrain in Iran.

But here’s the other reason that we should help Israel in an initiative live that. Back to Afghanistan: if we pull out of Afghanistan too soon, Iran is going to help to fulfill that power vacuum in Afghanistan. And so it is in our best interests, the United States of America, to prevent them from being able to help fill that power vacuum in Afghanistan.

BLITZER: Let’s stay on this subject. And I want all of you to weigh in. We have another question.

Please give us your name and your organization.

QUESTION: Good evening. I’m Danielle Pletka (ph); I’m the Vice President for Foreign and Defense Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. Yesterday the United States and the U.K. slapped new sanctions on Iran. But we haven’t bought oil directly from Iran in over 30 years. We’ve had targeted sanctions on Iran for more than half that time.

Nonetheless, Iran is probably less than a year away from getting a nuclear weapon. Do you believe that there is any set of sanctions that could be put in place that would stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon?

BLITZER: Let’s go to Governor Perry. What do you think?

PERRY: Absolutely. We need to sanction the Iranian Central Bank. That would be one of the most powerful ways to impact that. As a matter of fact, Congressman Paul, that is what we need to do before we ever start having any conversations about a military strike, is to use every sanction that we have. And when you sanction the Iranian Central Bank, that will shut down that economy. At that particular point in time, they truly have to deal with the United States. And it’s one of the reasons that I call for the — there is an area over there, of all of them working together — and I’m talking about Syria — and bringing them into the mix as well.

As I called for, one of the options is to have a no-fly zone over Syria at the same time you’re putting those types of sanctions against Iran. And in that moment, they will understand that America is serious. This President refuses to do that, and it’s another show of lack of leadership from the President of the United States.

BLITZER: The argument, Speaker Gingrich — and I know you’ve studied this, and I want you to weigh in — on the sanctioning of the Iranian Central Bank, because if you do that, for all practical purposes, it cuts off Iranian oil exports, 4 million barrels a day.

The Europeans get a lot of that oil. They think their economy, if the price of gasoline skyrocketed, which it would, would be disastrous. That’s why the pressure is on the U.S. to not impose those sanctions. What say you?

GINGRICH: Well, I say you — the question you just asked is perfect, because the fact is we ought to have a massive all-sources energy program in the United States designed to, once again, create a surplus of energy here, so we could say to the Europeans pretty cheerfully, that all the various sources of oil we have in the United States, we could literally replace the Iranian oil.

Now that’s how we won World War II.

(APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH: So, I think you put your finger, Wolf, on the — on the — you know, we all get sucked into these tactical discussions. We need a strategy of defeating and replacing the current Iranian regime with minimum use of force. We need a strategy, as Rick Santorum was saying, of being honest about radical Islam and designing a strategy to defeat it wherever it happens to exist.

We need a strategy in central Asia that recognizes that, frankly, if you’re Pashtun, you don’t care whether you’re in Pakistan or Afghanistan, because you have the same tribal relationships. So we need to be much more strategic and less tactical in our discussion.

But if we were serious, we could break the Iranian regime, I think, within a year, starting candidly with cutting off the gasoline supply to Iran, and then, frankly, sabotaging the only refinery they have.

BLITZER: But sanctions on the Iranian Central Bank now, is that a good idea or a bad idea?

GINGRICH: I think it’s a good idea if you’re serious about stopping them having nuclear — I mean, I think replacing the regime before they get a nuclear weapon without a war beats replacing the regime with war, which beats allowing them to have a nuclear weapon. Those are your three choices.

BLITZER: I want Congresswoman Bachmann to weigh in. Go ahead.

(APPLAUSE)

BACHMANN: I agree with all of that. And energy independence is something that President Obama certainly has avoided.

BLITZER: But that’s going to take many years.

BACHMANN: It — it will but the president — almost every decision that the president has made since he came in has been one to put the United States in a position of unilateral disarmament including the most recent decision he made to cancel the Keystone Pipeline.

That would have not only created jobs but it would have helped us in energy independence.

But I want to go back to something. That’s the fact why is it that we’re talking about Israel having to make a strike against Iran? It’s because Iran has announced they plan to strike Israel.

They’ve stated, as recently as August just before President Ahmadinejad came to — to the U.N. General Assembly. He said that he wanted to eradicate Israel from the face of the earth.

He has said that if he has a nuclear weapon he will use it to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. He will use it against the United States of America.

This isn’t just an idle threat. This is a reality. And that’s why President Obama has — has failed the American people because for two and a half years he gave the Iran the luxury of time.

He met with them with no preconditions. It’s the doctrine of appeasement. He has changed the course of history because at the time when we needed a leader most, we didn’t have one.

That’s what I’ll do differently as President of the United States. I’ll lead.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Thank you. All right. I — I — I want to — I want to — we’re gonna continue this but we have another question from Paul Wolfowitz. Go ahead.

QUESTION: My name is Paul Wolfowitz. I’m a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and my question is about development assistance.

Under George W. Bush, who was a conservative Republican, the United States spent billions of dollars to fight AIDS and malaria in Africa and elsewhere and set up the Millennium Challenge Corporation to encourage governments of poor countries to pursue policies that promote economic growth and job creation.

Do you believe those are still wise expenditures? Or do you think we can no longer afford them?

BLITZER: Senator Santorum?

SANTORUM: Well, as the author of the Global Fund Bill and the Millennium Challenge in the United States Senate and someone who worked with the president on PEPFAR to deal with the issue of AIDS in Africa, I believe it’s absolutely essential.

Africa was a country on the brink. On the brink of complete meltdown and chaos, which would have been fertile ground for the radical Islamists to be able to — to get — to get a foothold.

We’re seeing it already. But the work that we’ve done in stabilizing that area, while humanitarian in nature, was absolutely essential for our national security.

And I hear people up here talking abut zeroing out foreign aid and humanitarian aid in particular. I think that’s absolutely the wrong course.

You want to — you want to spend more money on the military, zero out all the things we do to develop relationships around the world and we will spend a lot more money on the military.

It’s important for us to use all the assets we have. Promote our values. America is that shining city on the hill. It is — it is the city that comes to the aid of those in trouble in America — in the world.

We have done more good for America in Africa and in the third world by the things that we’ve done. And we have saved money and saved military deployments by wisely spending that money not on our enemies but on folks who can and will be our friends.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Herman Cain?

CAIN: Here again…

BLITZER: All right, here’s the question. Can the United States afford to continue that kind of foreign assistance to Africa for AIDS, malaria — could run into the billions of dollars? CAIN: It depends upon priorities. Secondly, it depends upon looking at the program and asking the question, has that aid been successful.

In other words, let’s look at the whole problem. It may be worthwhile to continue. It may not. I would like to see the results.

Just like every program we have here domestically, what have the results been. Then we make a decision about how we prioritize. BLITZER: Ron Paul?

PAUL: I — I think the aid is all worthless. It doesn’t do any good for most of the people. You take money from poor people in this country and you end up giving it to rich people in poor countries.

And they’re used as weapons of war so you accomplish nothing. We should export some, maybe some principles about free markets and sound money and maybe they could produce some of their — their own wealth.

But this whole idea of — of talking about the endless wars and the endless foreign aid, it seems like nobody cares about the budget. I mean, we — we’re in big trouble and — and — and nobody wants to cut anything.

So if you’re gonna keep sending foreign aid overseas and these endless wars that you don’t have to declare and — and go into Libya without even consulting with the Congress, the biggest threat — the biggest threat to our national security is our financial condition.

And this is just aggravating it.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Governor Romney?

ROMNEY: Congressman Paul, what they’re doing is cutting a trillion dollars out of the defense budget. They’re cutting a trillion dollars out of the defense budget, which just happens to equal the trillion dollars we’re putting into “Obama-care.”

And so what you have is a president that has a priority of spending us into bankruptcy, but he’s not just spending us into bankruptcy, he’s spending the money foolishly.

We need to protect America and protect our troops and our military and stop the idea of “Obama-care.” That’s the best way to save money, not the military.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Hold on one second because Ron Paul wants to respond to that point.

PAUL: Well, they’re not cutting anything out of anything. All this talk is just talk.

(APPLAUSE)

PAUL: Believe me. They’re cutting — they’re nibbling away at baseline budgeting, and its automatic increases. There’s nothing cut against the military. And the people on the Hill are nearly hysterical because they’re not going — the budget isn’t going up as rapidly as they want it to. It’s a road to disaster. We had better wake up.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: OK. Let’s just talk about what they’re cutting with the first $350 billion, not the next 600 which is coming down the road. The first $350 billion, what do they cut? They stopped the F-22. They delayed aircraft carriers. They stopped the Navy cruiser system. They said long range Air Force bombers aren’t going to be built. They’re trying to cut our troops by 50,000. The list goes on.

They’re cutting programs that are cutting the capacity of America to defend itself. Look, let’s stand back for a moment, because we’ve been talking about Israel and Iran. What we’re talking about here is a failure on the part of the president to lead with strength.

And that’s why we have discussions about whether Israel should have to step in to stop the nuclear program, whether Iran is going to become nuclear. We have a president who pursued an agenda of saying we’re going to be friendly to our foes and we’re going to be disrespectful to our friends.

The right course in America is to stand up to Iran with crippling sanctions, indict Ahmadinejad for violating the Geneva — or the Genocide Convention, put in place the kind of crippling sanctions that stop their economy. I know it’s going to make gasoline more expensive. There’s no price which is worth an Iranian nuclear weapon.

And the right course for Israel is to show that we care about Israel, that they are our friend, we’ll stick with them. If I’m president of the United States, my first trip — my first foreign trip will be to Israel to show the world we care about that country and that region.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: All right. We’re going to stay on this subject.

Go ahead.

ALISON ACOSTA FRASER, FORMER DEPUTY DIRECTOR, OKLAHOMA OFFICE OF STATE FINANCE: Hi, my name is Alison Acosta Fraser, and I’m the director of the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation. And my question is this, the next president will have to make some very, very tough choices in order to solve the nation’s spending and debt crisis. Would you be willing to say that our national security is so paramount that cuts to the defense budget are unacceptable?

BLITZER: Speaker Gingrich.

GINGRICH: No. I helped found the Military Reform Caucus in 1981 at the beginning of the Reagan buildup because it’s clear that there are some things you can do in defense that are less expensive.

It’s clear, if it takes 15 to 20 years to build a weapons system at a time when Apple changes technology every nine months, there’s something profoundly wrong with this system. So I’m not going to tell you automatically I’m going to say yes. (APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH: But let me make a deeper point. There’s a core thing that’s wrong with this whole city. You said earlier that it would take too long to open up American oil. We defeated Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan in three years and eight months because we thought we were serious.

If we were serious, we would open up enough oil fields in the next year that the price of oil worldwide would collapse. Now, that’s what we would do if we were a serious country. If we were serious…

(APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH: One last thing, if we were serious, we would apply Strong America Now’s model of Lean Six Sigma, we would save $500 billion a year by having an efficient effective federal government. We would open up federal lands, increasing dramatically both jobs and the amount of revenue of the federal government.

There are lots of things you can do if you decide break out of the current mindless bureaucracy of this city and just get the job done, including, by the way, making the Millennium Challenge work and doing it in a way that we actually help people even more effectively and at a much lower cost by having public/private partnerships.

BLITZER: I’m going to bring Governor Huntsman in, but very quickly, Mr. Speaker, would you, if you were president of the United States, bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities to prevent it from becoming a nuclear power?

GINGRICH: Only as a last recourse and only as a step towards replacing the regime. No bombing campaign which leaves the regime in charge is going to accomplish very much in the long run. You have to seriously talk about regime replacement, not just attacking them.

But I will also say — this is, I guess, where I disagree with my good friend Ron Paul. If my choice was to collaborate with the Israelis on a conventional campaign or force them to use their nuclear weapons, it will be an extraordinarily dangerous world if out of a sense of being abandoned they went nuclear and used multiple nuclear weapons in Iran. That would be a future none of us would want to live through.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Governor Huntsman, where do you stand on defense cuts?

HUNTSMAN: Well, let’s face the economic reality. Let’s face the deficit reality we have as a country. We have an economic deficit. And I’d argue that 70 percent debt-to-GDP is a national security problem because, at some point, you just don’t grow any more, when your debt becomes that.

I mean, look at Japan. They’re in their third decade of lost growth. Look at Greece. Look at Italy. So I’d say, aside from that, we’ve got another deficit in this country. It’s called the trust deficit.

People have lost trust in their institutions of power in America. They don’t trust Congress. They don’t trust the executive branch. They don’t trust Wall Street. The list goes on. We’ve got to fix both those deficits.

As it relates to defense spending, let’s be realistic about this. We can’t have an intellectually honest conversation about where we go with debt and spending with sacred cows. Everything’s got to be on the table. The Defense Department’s got to be on the table, for haven’t sake. But we need to have a Defense Department and a budget for the Defense Department. If we can’t find some savings in the $650 billion budget, we’re not looking closely enough.

But we need spending for the Department of Defense that follows a strategy. And that strategy needs to follow how we best protect the American people now that we’re in the second decade of the 21st century.

And I believe our national security strategy and our foreign policy increasingly needs to follow, number one, economic policy.

It used to break my heart sitting in Beijing, the second largest embassy in the world, looking at neighboring Afghanistan. We’d have 100,000 troops there. The Chinese would move in and take the mining concession. And I’d say there’s something fundamentally wrong with this picture.

When are we going to get with the program and determine that foreign policy will be driven by economics, that which plays right back to strengthening our core (ph)…

(APPLAUSE)

… and creates jobs here on the home front.

And, second of all, let’s face the reality that we have a counterterror threat for as far as the eye can see.

Professor Wolfowitz was just up here. I know he’s done a lot of work on — for as far as the eye can see, and that means not only in Afghanistan but every corner of the world. We’ve got to prepare for the reality that counterterrorism is here to stay. We need friends and allies who are in this fight with us. We need special forces response capability. We need defense spending that will match the realities of where we find ourselves.

BLITZER: Thank you very much.

(APPLAUSE)

Let me bring in Governor Perry into this conversation.

As you know, the so-called supercommittee failed. And as a result, unless Congress takes action next year — in an election year, that would be difficult — there’s not going to be any change in that automatic trigger as it’s called. That sequestration, $1.2 trillion cut, including $600 billion in defense, will go into effect.

Here’s the question. If you were president of the United States, would you compromise with Democrats in Congress in order to avoid that Washington gridlock that, if you believe the polls, the American people hate?

PERRY: I don’t think anybody is particularly surprised that a supercommittee failed. It was a super-failure. And I think we expected that. We had a president of the United States who is not a leader. He pitched this over to them and said, here, you all figure this out.

I’ve signed six balanced budgets as the head of the state of Texas. I worked with those legislators on a daily basis, or my staff.

This president has been an absolute failure when it came to this budget process. And the idea — it was almost reprehensible to me. I’ve worn the uniform of this country. I’ve been the commander in chief of the 20-plus-thousand National Guard troops that we have in Texas, Dr. Paul.

But it was reprehensible, for me, for this president to stand in front of Americans and to say that that half a trillion dollars, $500 million-plus is not going to be on the table and we’re just going to have to work our way through it, putting young men and women’s life in jeopardy.

And I will tell you, as a commander in chief, as an American citizen, that is totally and absolutely irresponsible. Even his own secretary of defense said it was irresponsible. As a matter of fact, if Leon Panetta is an honorable man, he should resign in protest.

BLITZER: Here’s the question, though. Would you compromise — all of you have said you wouldn’t accept any tax increases at all, even if there were 10 — 10 times as many spending cuts. So would you just let the gridlock continue, Governor Perry, or would you compromise under those circumstances?

PERRY: Listen, I’ve had to work with Democrats for the 10 years that I’ve been the governor of the state of Texas.

So the idea that you can’t sit down and work with people on both sides of the aisle, but just to, you know, throw us into — into that briar patch at this particular point in time and say, what would you do — we would never have gotten into that situation if I were the president of the United States. I’d have been there working day in and day out so that we had a budget that not only — I’ve laid out a clear plan to — flat tax of 20 percent; cut the spending; and put a 20 percent corporate tax rate in. And, as a matter of fact, they ought to make the legislature, the Congress, part-time, and that would make as big an impact in this city as anything I can think of.

BLITZER: Let me bring Senator Santorum into this, because I covered Ronald Reagan’s presidency. And, as you know — and I’ll read a quote. He wrote in his autobiography this: “If you got 75 of 80 percent of what you were asking for, I say you take it and fight for the rest later.”

If you got 75 percent or 80 percent of what you wanted, would you make a deal with Democrats, increase some taxes in order to move on and fight the next battle the next day?

SANTORUM: It all depends on what the 75 percent and 85 percent is. If the — if the things that you have to give up make what you’re trying to accomplish harder to do — in other words, reduce the deficit, what the Republicans — why the Republicans are drawing a line in the sand, rightfully so, it’s because what they’re — what the Democrats are attempting to do is increase taxes, which will slow down to the — this economy, which will increase the deficit, reduce tax revenues, ultimately, and — and increase government payments.

So you don’t work against yourself. You — you won’t — you — you take ideas from the other side that you may not find particularly valuable, like spending cuts that you may not want. There are spending cuts that I would like to, you know, I mean there’s things that it mentioned before, that I would stand — stand firm on.

But in a compromise, yes, you do give up some things that you think maybe are critical spending. But you don’t undermine the ability of this con — economy to grow because of politics. This president has poisoned the well. He’s campaigned all over this country, trying to divide group from group in order to — to — to win, you know, to — to position himself to win this election and rally his troops. And what he’s done is poisoned the well here in Congress.

I’ve worked together, I’ve got a long track record of bipartisan accomplishments where I kept to the principles. I use welfare reform as an example. Welfare reform, I stuck to my principles. We cut the welfare budget. We had — we had time limits. We block granted to the states and we put a work requirement.

Did I compromise on things?

Yes. I compromised on some — on some child care. I compromised on — on some transportation.

So I got 75 percent. But it 100 percent changed the welfare system because we…

BLITZER: Thank you.

SANTORUM: — stuck to our principles.

BLITZER: Let — but let’s stay on this subject, because I know many of you want to weigh in.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: We have another question.

ALEX BRILL: My name is Alex Brill and I’m a research fellow in the economics department at the American Enterprise Institute. Even if the super committee hadn’t failed, the savings that they would have proposed would have been a drop in the bucket relative to the $11 trillion deficit our country may face in the subsequent decade. In the decades after that, without entitlement reform, we’ll borrow even more.

To strengthen our economy, to strengthen our country, what entitlement reform proposals would you make to address our long-term structural deficit?

BLITZER: Good question.

Speaker Gingrich?

GINGRICH: It’s a great question and it raises the — the core issue of really large scale change.

Yesterday in Manchester, I outlined a Social Security reform plan based on Chile and based on Galveston, Texas. In Chile, people who have now have the right to a personal Social Security savings account, for 30 years, the government of Chile has promised that if you don’t have as much savings as you would get from Social Security, the government would make up the difference.

In 30 years time, they’ve paid zero dollars, even after ’07 and ’08 and ’09, people slid from three times as much to one-and-a-half times as much, but they didn’t go below the Social Security amount. The result is in Chile, for example, 72 percent — they have 72 percent of the GDP in savings. It has — it has increased the economy, increased the growth of jobs, increased the amount of wealth and it dramatically solves Social Security without a payment cut and without having to hurt anybody.

So I think you can have a series of entitlement reforms that, frankly, make most of this problem go away without going through the kind of austerity and pain that this city likes.

BLITZER: Let’s talk about that, Congresswoman Bachmann.

Social Security, Medicare, health care — what would you cut first?

What would you tackle if you were president of the United States?

BACHMANN: Let me answer that in the context of the super committee, because I was involved in the middle of that fight as a member of Congress this summer. And my voice said this. I said it’s time for us to draw a line in the sand. We have sufficient revenues coming in to pay the interest on the debt.

But the real issue was, were we going to give Congress another $2.4 billion in borrowing authority?

In other words, another blank check to the president. Because, again, consider the context. A little of four years ago, we were just over $8 trillion in debt. We are now $15 trillion in debt in just over four years. Now we’re talking about — if the gentleman is correct — adding another $11 trillion in debt over 10 years, or potentially $8.5 trillion, according to the super committee.

All that they were asked to do is cut back on $1.2 trillion of that increase in debt. We aren’t even talking about the central issue, which is balancing the budget. We need to balance the budget and then chip away at the debt. This isn’t Monopoly money.

Because what we need to recognize is that when we are sending interest money over to China, with whom we are highly in hock, we’re not just sending our money. We’re sending our power.

What will happen is that our national security and our military will decrease and our money will increase China’s military. So think about that.

Our money will be used to grow China’s military at the expense of the United States military. That should give every American pause.

BLITZER: All right. I want everybody to stand by and all of you are going to weigh in. We’ve got a lot more to discuss, important issues that we’re talking about. Collect your thoughts for a moment.

More tough questions for the candidates including their plans for protecting the border, reducing illegal immigration — we’re live from Constitution Hall here in Washington, D.C. This is the CNN Republican National Security Debate.

(APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Welcome back to the CNN National Security Debate.

The next President of the United States will certainly have to tackle conflicts in the Middle East. You’re looking at these live pictures coming in from Cairo’s Tahrir Square right now, the middle of the night in Egypt.

Thousands of Egyptians are again protesting their government as the Arab Spring continues into the winter months.

The candidates will weigh in on this and much, much more. We’re being seen live, around the world right now. Remember, you can send in your questions and comments at cnnpolitics.com; at Twitter, remember hash tag #cnndebate.

The Republican National Security Debate — we’ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Welcome back to the historic Constitution Hall here in Washington, D.C. We’re at the CNN Republican National Security Debate. Let’s go right to the audience. We have a question. Please, give us your name and your organization. TRULUCK: Thank you. My name is Phil Truluck. I’m executive vice president and chief operating officer of The Heritage Foundation. And I’d like to thank all the candidates for joining us tonight. I know some of you may want to be in other places, but we appreciate you being here and sharing your views with us.

Let’s — I’d like to turn it back a little bit, a little closer to home, and talk about what’s going on on the borders, our southern border. As all of you know, the drug-related crimes and violence are getting heavier and heavier in that area.

First, do you consider that to be a national interest threat? And, secondly, what could we be doing with the Mexican government to help stop these drug cartels?

BLITZER: Let’s go to Governor Perry. You represent the state with the longest border with Mexico right now. What do you think you should do, if you were President of the United States, as far as using the United States military?

PERRY: Well, let me kind of broaden it out. I think it’s time for a 21st century Monroe Doctrine. When you think about what we put in place in the — in the 1820s, and then we used it again in the 1960s with the Soviet Union. We’re seeing countries start to come in and infiltrate. We know that Hamas and Hezbollah are working in Mexico, as well as Iran, with their ploy to come into the United States.

We know that Hugo Chavez and the Iranian government has one of the largest — I think their largest embassy in the world is in Venezuela. So the idea that we need to have border security with the United States and Mexico is paramount to the entire western hemisphere.

So putting that secure border in place with strategic fencing, with the boots on the ground, with the aviation assets, and then working with Mexico in particular, whether it’s putting sanctions against the banks, whether it’s working with them on security with Mexico, all of those together can make that country substantially more secure and our borders secure.

As the President of the United States, I will promise you one thing, that within 12 months of the inaugural, that border will be shut down, and it will be secure.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Congressman Paul, you’re from Texas. Do you agree with your governor?

PAUL: Not entirely.

(LAUGHTER)

PAUL: No, the drug was mentioned. I think that’s another war we ought to cancel, because it’s… (APPLAUSE)

PAUL: … to nobody’s benefit. And that’s where the violence is coming from. But, yes, we do have a national responsibility for our borders. What I’m, sort of, tired of is all the money spent and lives lost worrying about the borders between Pakistan and Afghanistan and forgetting about our borders between the United States and Mexico. We should think more about, you know, what we do at home.

We need better immigration services, obviously. But, you know, if you subsidize something or give people incentives, you get more of it. So if you give easy road to citizenship, you’re going to have more illegals. If you have a weak economy, which is understandable and we should have prevented, that’s understandable.

But giving — mandating to the states and to Texas that we have to provide free medical care and free education, that’s a great burden. It’s a great burden to California and all the border states.

So I would say eliminate all these benefits and talk about eliminating the welfare state because it’s detrimental not only to here but the people that come because that’s the incentive to bring their families with them.

BLITZER: But I just want you to clarify. When you say cancel the war on drugs, does that mean legalize all these drugs? PAUL: I think the federal war on drugs is a total failure.

(APPLAUSE)

You can — you can at least let sick people have marijuana because it’s helpful, but compassionate conservatives say, well, we can’t do this; we’re going to put people who are sick and dying with cancer and they’re being helped with marijuana, if they have multiple sclerosis — the federal government’s going in there and overriding state laws and putting people like that in prison.

Why don’t we handle the drugs like we handle alcohol? Alcohol is a deadly drug. What about — the real deadly drugs are the prescription drugs. They kill a lot more people than the illegal drugs.

So the drug war is out of control. I fear the drug war because it undermines our civil liberties. It magnifies our problems on the borders. We spend — like, over the last 40 years, $1 trillion on this war. And believe me, the kids can still get the drugs. It just hasn’t worked.

BLITZER: Herman Cain, let me let you…

(APPLAUSE)

… weigh in.

CAIN: Yes. Allow me to answer the gentleman’s question. The answer is yes. An insecure border is a national security threat for the following reasons.

Number one, we know that terrorists have come into this country by way of Mexico. Secondly, 40 percent of the people in Mexico, according to a survey, already believe that their country is a failed state. Thirdly, the number of people killed in Mexico last year equals the number of people killed in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.

So yes, so let’s solve the whole problem. Number one, secure the border for real. Number two, enforce the laws that are already there. We don’t need new laws. Number three, promote the current path to citizenship. Clean up the bureaucracy in Washington, D.C. so people can come through the front door instead of sneaking in the side door. And, number four, to deal with the illegals that are already here, empower the states to do what the federal government is not capable of doing.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Let’s stay on this subject. Go ahead, please.

QUESTION: I have a question about high-skilled immigration. We hear a lot about low-skilled immigration, so I want to ask you about high-skilled immigration.

What would you do to ensure that the United States is as welcoming as possible to the world’s skilled immigrants and entrepreneurs?

BLITZER: Senator Santorum?

SANTORUM: Well, as the son of a legal immigrant to this country, I strongly believe in legal immigration and believe we are that shining city on the hill, that our future — if you look at all of the jobs that are being created in our economy today, a huge percentage of them come from the legal immigrants of this county — country who have innovated, who created great products, who created great companies and employed lots of people.

That’s one of the reasons that — that I put together my economic plan, was to take all that great innovation that’s coming as a result, in part, of legal immigration and make sure that those products that are being created are actually made here in America.

That’s part of the problem that — you know, Reaganomics was criticized as trickle-down. Problem is, we’re not seeing that money trickle down to the blue-collar workers in America. And that’s why I put forth a four-point economic plan to revitalize manufacturing that begins with zeroing out the corporate tax for manufacturers; also, regulatory reform, repatriation of profits, if invested in this country, to pay no taxes; and finally, energy policy that will explode the energy industry in this country.

We do those things, we’ll not only have the innovation, which I support, coming from legal — legal immigrants, but we’ll have that money trickle down to blue-collar workers and we can see that income mobility that a lot of people are right in that is not happening in America.

BLITZER: Speaker Gingrich, let me let you broaden out this conversation. Back in the ’80s — and you remember this well. I was covering you then. Ronald Reagan and you — you voted for legislation that had a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, as you well remember. There were, what, maybe 12 million, 10 million — 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States right now.

Some called it amnesty then; they still call it amnesty now. What would you do if you were President of the United States, with these millions of illegal immigrants, many of whom have been in this country for a long time?

GINGRICH: Let me start and just say I think that we ought to have an H-1 visa that goes with every graduate degree in math, science and engineering so that people stay here.

(APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH: You know, about five blocks down the street, you’ll see a statue of Einstein. Einstein came here as an immigrant. So let’s be clear how much the United States has drawn upon the world to be richer, better and more inclusive.

I did vote for the Simpson-Mazzoli Act. Ronald Reagan, in his diary, says he signed it — and we were supposed to have 300,000 people get amnesty. There were 3 million. But he signed it because we were going to get two things in return. We were going to get control of the border and we were going to get a guest worker program with employer enforcement.

We got neither. So I think you’ve got to deal with this as a comprehensive approach that starts with controlling the border, as the governor said. I believe ultimately you have to find some system — once you’ve put every piece in place, which includes the guest worker program, you need something like a World War II Selective Service Board that, frankly, reviews the people who are here.

If you’re here — if you’ve come here recently, you have no ties to this country, you ought to go home. period. If you’ve been here 25 years and you got three kids and two grandkids, you’ve been paying taxes and obeying the law, you belong to a local church, I don’t think we’re going to separate you from your family, uproot you forcefully and kick you out.

The Creeble Foundation is a very good red card program that says you get to be legal, but you don’t get a pass to citizenship. And so there’s a way to ultimately end up with a country where there’s no more illegality, but you haven’t automatically given amnesty to anyone.

BLITZER: Congresswoman Bachmann, you agree with the speaker?

BACHMANN: Well, I don’t agree that you would make 11 million workers legal, because that, in effect, is amnesty. And I also don’t agree that you would give the DREAM Act on a federal level. And those are two things that I believe that the speaker had been for, and he can speak for himself.

But those are two areas that I don’t agree with. What I do think, though, is what Steve — what Steve Jobs said to President Obama. He had said to President Obama that he had to move a great deal of his operation over to China because he couldn’t find 30,000 engineers to be able to do the work that needed to be done.

That’s what we want to do. We do want to have people. And I agree with the speaker, people like chemists and engineers, and people who are highly skilled.

We think about the United States and what’s in the best interests of the United States. If we can utilize these workers, like Steve jobs wanted to, then we need to offer those visas. That will help the United States. But I don’t agree that we should make 11 million workers who are here illegally legal.

BLITZER: Let me let the speaker respond to that.

GINGRICH: Well, I mean, two things, first of all, in the DREAM Act, the one part that I like is the one which allows people who came here with their parents to join the U.S. military, which they could have done if they were back home, and if they serve on it with the U.S. military to acquire citizenship, which is something any foreigner can do.

And I don’t see any reason to punish somebody who came here at three years of age, but who wants to serve the United States of America. I specifically did not say we’d make the 11 million people legal.

I do suggest if you go back to your district, and you find people who have been here 25 years and have two generations of family and have been paying taxes and are in a local church, as somebody who believes strongly in family, you’ll have a hard time explaining why that particular subset is being broken up and forced to leave, given the fact that they’ve been law-abiding citizens for 25 years.

BLITZER: Congresswoman Bachmann, you want to respond?

(APPLAUSE)

BACHMANN: If I understood correctly, I think the speaker just said that that would make 11 people — 11 million people who are here illegally now legal. That’s really the issue that we’re dealing with. And also, it would be the DREAM Act, the federal DREAM Act, which would offer taxpayer-subsidized benefits to illegal aliens. We need to move away from magnets (ph), not offer more.

BLITZER: Let’s broaden it out.

Governor Romney, where do you stand? Are you with the speaker, that some of those illegal immigrants — I think — he didn’t say all — some of them, if they have roots, they belong to a church, for example, should be allowed to stay in this country? ROMNEY: Look, amnesty is a magnet. What when we have had in the past, programs that have said that if people who come here illegally are going to get to stay illegally for the rest of their life, that’s going to only encourage more people to come here illegally.

The right course for our immigration system is to say we welcome people who want to come here legally. We’re going to have a system that makes that easier and more transparent. But to make sure we’re able to bring in the best and brightest — and, by the way, I agree with the speaker in terms of — I’d staple a green card to the diploma of anybody who’s got a degree of math, science, a Masters degree, Ph.D.

We want those brains in our country. But in order to bring people in legally we’ve got to stop illegal immigration. That means turning off the magnets of amnesty, in-state tuition for illegal aliens, employers that knowingly hire people that have come here illegally.

We welcome legal immigration. This is a party, this is a party that loves legal immigration. But we have to stop illegal immigration for all the reasons the questioner raised, which is, it is bringing in people who in some cases can be terrorists, in other cases they become burdens on our society.

And we have to finally have immigration laws that protect our border, secure the border, turn off the magnets, and make sure we have people come to this country legally to build our economy.

BLITZER: Just to precise, and I’ll give Speaker Gingrich a chance to respond. Are you saying that what he’s proposing, giving amnesty in effect, or allowing some of these illegal immigrants to stay, is a magnet that would entice others to come to this country illegally?

ROMNEY: There’s no question. But to say that we’re going to say to the people who have come here illegally that now you’re all going to get to stay or some large number are going to get to stay and become permanent residents of the United States, that will only encourage more people to do the same thing.

People respond to incentives. And if you can become a permanent resident of the United States by coming here illegally, you’ll do so. What I want to do is bring people into this country legally, particularly those that have education and skill that allows us to compete globally. (APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH: I do not believe that the people of the United States are going to take people who have been here a quarter century, who have children and grandchildren, who are members of the community, who may have done something 25 years ago, separate them from their families, and expel them.

I do believe if you’ve been here recently and have no ties to the U.S., we should deport you. I do believe we should control the border. I do believe we should have very severe penalties for employers, but I would urge all of you to look at the Krieble Foundation Plan.

I don’t see how the — the party that says it’s the party of the family is going to adopt an immigration policy which destroys families that have been here a quarter century. And I’m prepared to take the heat for saying, let’s be humane in enforcing the law without giving them citizenship but by finding a way to create legality so that they are not separated from their families.

BLITZER: Governor Perry, are you with the speaker or with the governor, Governor Romney?

(APPLAUSE)

PERRY: Here we go again, Mitt. You and I standing by each other again and you used the words about the magnets. And that’s one of the things that we obviously have to do is to stop those magnets for individuals to come in here.

But the real issue is securing that border. And this conversation is not ever going to end until we get the border secure. But I do think that there is a way. That after we secure that border that you can have a process in place for individual who are law- abiding citizens who have done only one thing, as Newt says, 25 years ago or whatever that period of time was, that you can put something in place that basically continues to keep those families together.

But the idea that we’re having this long and lengthy conversation here, until we have a secure border is just an intellectual exercise. You’ve got to secure the border first. And I know how to do that. I’ve been dealing with it for 10 years.

And we have to put the boots on the ground and the aviation assets in place, and secure that border once and for all, and be committed to it.

BLITZER: Let me let Governor Romney respond.

ROMNEY: Yes, I don’t disagree with what Governor Perry indicated. Certainly we have to secure the border. And we talk about people who have been here 25 years, that is the extreme exception…

BLITZER: You would let them stay.

ROMNEY: … not the rule.

BLITZER: You would let them stay?

ROMNEY: I’m not going to start drawing lines here about who gets to stay and who get to go. The principle is that we are not going to have an amnesty system that says that people who come here illegally get to stay for the rest of their life in this country legally.

The answer is we’re going to have a system that gives people who come legally a card that identifies them as coming here legally. Employers are going to be expected to inspect that card, see if they’re here legally. On that basis we’re going to be able to bring you to this country.

The number of people that we need to power our industries, whether that’s agriculture or high tech, we welcome people in here with visa programs. We have a whole series of legal programs. But the idea of focusing a Republican debate on amnesty and who we’re going to give it to, is a huge mistake.

Secure our border, protect legal immigration, and return to a system that follows the law.

BLITZER: All right. Let’s take another…

(APPLAUSE)

… quick break because we have a lot more to — I want to bring everybody into this conversation. We’re also going to broaden the conversation and go to the Middle East and see what’s going on in the so-called Arab Spring.

Don’t forget, Twitter — you can weigh in on what’s going on, #CNNdebate. Also, go to Facebook, CNNpolitics.com. Much more from historic Constitution Hall, here in the nation’s capital, right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: All right. Welcome back to the CNN Republican national security debate. Let’s go right to the audience.

Please give us your name and your organization.

QUESTION: I’m David Addington. I’m a vice president with the Heritage Foundation.

(APPLAUSE)

Serious violence has erupted in Syria between the repressive al- Assad regime and some elements of the people of Syria. Syria borders a major ally of the United States, NATO ally, Turkey, and three other friendly countries, Israel, Jordan and Iraq.

In your view, what are the interests of the United States in this region and what would you do to protect them?

BLITZER: Herman Cain, you may not know this, but today Governor Perry called for a no-fly zone, for the U.S. to participate in a no- fly zone over Syria. Would you go that far? Would you support that?

CAIN: No, I would not. I would work with our allies in the region to put pressure to be able to try and get our allies and other nations to stop buying oil from Syria. That would be one thing that I would do, but I would not support a no-fly zone.

The most effective tools that we have in any of these situations are a strong military, which it is getting weaker, unfortunately, and our own economic strength.

This whole discussion tonight about cutting and compromise, we didn’t spend enough time talking about the other part of the problem — growing this economy, because this administration has failed dismally at growing this economy. We can cut until the cows come home but it still would not solve the problem until we have effective economic growth.

BLITZER: Governor Perry, why would you support a no-fly zone over Syria?

PERRY: Obviously, that’s one of a multitude of — of sanctions and actions that I think work very well from the standpoint of being able to pressure that regime, overt, covert, economic sanctions.

I mean I think there are a number of ways. But when you put the no-fly zone above Syria, it obviously gives those dissidents and gives the military the opportunity to maybe disband, that want to get out of the situation that they’re in in Syria, as well.

So I think if we’re serious about Iran — and that’s what we’re really talking about here. We’re talking about Syria is a partner with Iran in exporting terrorism all across that part of the world and — and around the globe.

So if we’re serious about Iran, then we have to be serious about Syria, as well.

So I think a no-fly zone is an option of one of a multitude of options that we should be using. And we should put them in place if we’re serious about Iran not getting the nuclear weapon.

BLITZER: Governor Huntsman, let me bring you into this conversation.

We just got a question from Twitter. I’ll read it to you.

“So many people view the Arab spring as a good thing. Given the recent violence in Egypt, do you worry this can go bad?”

And we’ve got some live pictures we’re going to show our viewers out there of Tahrir Square in Cairo right now. Thousands of people are protesting the military regime in Egypt right now.

What do you say to this person who sent this — this — this Twitter message to us?

HUNTSMAN: His — history will tell. We missed the Persian spring. The president failed on that front. We go into Libya, where, to my mind, we don’t have any definable American interests. We’ve got Syria now on the horizon, where we do have American interests. It’s called Israel. We’re a friend and ally. They’re a friend and ally. And we need to remind the world what it means to be a friend and ally of the United States.

And we have nuclearization in Iran. Centrifuges spinning. At some point, they’re going to have enough in the way of fissile material out of which to make a weapon. That’s a certainty.

We had a discussion earlier tonight about sanctions. Everybody commented on sanctions. Sanctions aren’t going to work, I hate to break it to you. They’re not going to work because the Chinese aren’t going to play ball and the Russiansaren’t going to play ball.

And I believe Iran has already — the mullahs have already decided they want to go nuclear.

Why?

They have looked at North Korea. They’ve got a weapon. Nobody touches them. They like at Libya. Libya gave up their weapon in exchange for friendship with the world. Look where they are.

So I say let’s let history be our guide. We saw the end of the Ottoman Empire in 1919. We saw the region transform and make itself into something different. We saw changes in 1947.

I think we do our national interests a disservice by jumping in too soon and taking up sides with people we don’t fully understand, Islamist groups, pan-Arab groups.

Our interest in the Middle East is Israel. And our interest is to ensure that Israel — that Iran does not go nuclear.

BLITZER: All right, let’s stay in the region.

We have another question from the audience.

KATHERINE ZIMMERMAN: I’m Katherine Zimmerman from the American Enterprise Institute Critical Threats Project.

The United States adopted a policy of disengagement with Somalia after its retreat following Black Hawk down.

Today, an al Qaeda affiliate, Al Shabab, controls significant territory in that country.

What can the United States do to prevent Al Shabab from posing the same threat that al Qaeda did from Afghanistan 10 years ago?

BLITZER: Congressman Paul?

PAUL: You’re talking about al Qaeda, correct?

ZIMMERMAN: Right.

PAUL: You have to understand who the al Qaeda really is. The — the al Qaeda responds in a very deliberate fashion. As a matter of fact, Paul Wolfowitz explained it very clearly after 9/11.

He said that al Qaeda is inspired by the fact that we had bases in Saudi Arabia. So if you want to inspire al Qaeda, just meddle in — in that region. That will inspire the al Qaeda. As a matter of fact, he went on to say that that was a good reason for us to remove the base that we had had in 15 years in — in Saudi Arabia and that we should have done that.

So there is a response. Al Qaeda responds to that and they — they are quite annoyed with us. So if you drop — if you have a no- fly zone over Syria, that’s an act of war.

What if we had China put a no-fly zone over our territory? I don’t think — I don’t think we would like that.

And I think we should practice a policy of good will to other people. What about saying that we don’t do anything to any other country that we don’t have them do to us? When we have a no-fly zone over Iraq, it was for — meant to be regime change. And evidently, some want to have regime change.

What is our business? Why should we spend more money and more lives to get involved in another war? That’s an — that is the internal affairs of the other nations and we don’t want — we don’t need another nation to start nation building. We have way too many already. So this is just looking for more trouble. I would say why don’t we mind our own business?

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Governor Romney, where do you stand?

ROMNEY: Wolf, that is a foreign policy. It’s different than President Obama’s, but similar in some respects. President Obama’s foreign policy is one of saying, first of all, America’s just another nation with a flag.

I believe America is an exceptional and unique nation. President Obama feels that we’re going to be a nation which has multipolar balancing militaries. I believe that American military superiority is the right course. President Obama says that we have people throughout the world with common interests. I just don’t agree with him. I think there are people in the world that want to oppress other people, that are evil.

President Obama seems to think that we’re going to have a global century, an Asian century. I believe we have to have an American century, where America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world.

President Obama apologizes for America. It is time for us to be strong as a nation. And if we are strong, with a military and economy that are so strong, no one in the world will try and attempt to threaten us or to attack our friends.

BLITZER: Just to be precise, are you with Governor Perry…

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: … on declaring a no-fly zone over Syria? ROMNEY: No, this is not — this is not the time for a no-fly zone over Syria. This is the time for us to use not only sanctions, but covert actions within Syria to get regime change there. There are people in the military that are shifting over, that are — that are becoming part of the rebel effort.

We should support those efforts. We need to meet with the Alawites to make sure they understand that they have a future after Assad, that they don’t have to link with him. He’s getting pressure now from both Turkey as well as Saudi Arabia. They’re coming and putting pressure on him. The Arab League is putting pressure on him.

We — that’s the right way to go. And by the way, they have 5,000 tanks in Syria. A no-fly zone wouldn’t be the right military action. Maybe a no-drive zone. I mean, this is — this is a nation — this is a nation which is not bombing its people, at this point, and the right course is not military.

BLITZER: We’re ready to wrap it up. But let me have Governor Perry react.

PERRY: Yes, as I said, I said the no-fly zone is one of the options that we have. But I think you need to leave it on the table to make sure, because this is not just about Syria. This is about Iran, and those two, as a partnership and exporting terrorism around the world. And if we’re going to be serious about saving Israel, we better get serious about Syria and Iran, and we better get serious right now.

BLITZER: All right. Let’s take another question from the audience. This is last question. Go ahead.

QUESTION: My name is Mark Teese (ph) and I’m a visiting fellow with the American Enterprise Institute. And my question has to do with the unexpected. During the 200 Presidential debates, Governor George W. Bush was never asked about the threat from Al Qaida, yet the battle with Al Qaida dominated his presidency. What national security issue do you worry about that nobody is asking about, either here or in any of the debates so far?

BLITZER: All right. Let’s go down the line and start with Senator Santorum. Give us a quick answer. What do you think?

SANTORUM: Well, I’ve spent a lot of time and concern — and Rick mentioned this earlier — about what’s going on in Central and South America. I’m very concerned about the militant socialists and there — and the radical Islamists joining together, bonding together.

I’m concerned about the spread of socialism and that this administration, with — time after time, whether it was the delay in moving forward on Colombia’s free trade agreement, whether it was turning our back to the Hondurans and standing up for democracy and the — and the rule of law.

And we took the side with Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro for a corrupt President. We’ve sent all the wrong signals to Central and South America.

BLITZER: Thank you.

SANTORUM: You know, maybe the first trip I would take to Israel, but my second trip, and third and fourth, would be into Central and South America. We need to build a solid hemisphere and those people — and the people in south of our border need to know that we are going to…

BLITZER: All right.

SANTORUM: … solidarity with them and build strong alliances.

BLITZER: Thank you, Senator.

I want to do this quickly, if we can, because we don’t have a lot of time.

Congressman?

PAUL: I worry most about overreaction on our part, getting involved in another war when we don’t need to, when we have been attacked, and our national security has not been at threat. And I worry a lot about people never have come around to understanding who the Taliban is and why they are motivated.

Taliban doesn’t mean they want to come here and kill us. The Taliban means they want to kill us over there because all they want to do is get people who occupy their country out of their country, just like we would if anybody tried to occupy us.

BLITZER: Governor Perry?

(APPLAUSE)

PERRY: I think, obviously, the big issue out there, and we’ve talked about it before, but I happen to think it’s China and how we’re — we’re going to deal with China.

And Communist China — when I think back about Ronald Reagan, and he said that the Soviet Union was destined for the ash heap of history, and he was correct, and I happen to think that Communist China is destined for the ash heap of history because they are not a country of virtues.

When you have 35,000 forced abortions a day in that country; when you have the cybersecurity that the PLA has been involved with, those are great and — and major issues, both morally and security-wise that we’ve got to deal with now.

BLITZER: All right. We’ve got to keep it brief. But, go ahead…

(APPLAUSE)

… Governor Romney. ROMNEY: Rick, in my view, is right with regards to long-term security interests, and that’s — and that’s China, although that’s very much on our agenda.

Immediately, the most significant threat is, of course, Iran becoming nuclear.

But I happen to think Senator Santorum is right with regards to the issue that doesn’t get enough attention. That’s the one that may come up that we haven’t thought about, which is Latin America. Because, in fact, Congressman, we have been attacked. We were attacked on 9/11. There have been dozens of attacks that have been thwarted by our — by our security forces. And we have, right now, Hezbollah, which is working throughout Latin America, in Venezuela, in Mexico, throughout Latin America, which poses a very significant and imminent threat to the United States of America.

BLITZER: Thank you, Governor. Mr. Cain?

(APPLAUSE)

CAIN: Having been — having been a ballistics analyst and a computer scientist early in my career, cyber attacks: that’s something that we do not talk enough about, and I happen to believe that that is a national security area that we do need to be concerned about.

BLITZER: Speaker Gingrich?

(APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH: I — I helped create the Hart-Rudman Commission with President Clinton, and they came back after three years and said the greatest threat to the United States was the weapon of mass destruction in an American city, probably from a terrorist. That was before 9/11.

That’s one of the three great threats. The second is an electromagnetic pulse attack which would literally destroy the country’s capacity to function.

And the third, as Herman just said, is a cyber attack. All three of those are outside the current capacity of our system to deal with.

BLITZER: Thank you. Congresswoman?

BACHMANN: Well, I would agree with what my colleagues said up here on the stage. And also, we need to remember, we won the peace in Iraq. And now President Obama is intentionally choosing to give that peace away.

This is a significant issue because we’re taking the terrorist threat away from the Middle East, bringing it to the United States.

We talked about Al-Shabaab. Al-Shabaab is real. In my home state of Minnesota, we’ve just had two convictions of two women that are financing terror with Al-Shabaab. This threat, I believe, now is in the United States and now the threat has come home and that’s what we have to deal with.

BLITZER: Governor Huntsman?

HUNTSMAN: I guess I could say China because I know a little bit about the subject matter, but they’re in for real trouble ahead.

So I have to say that our biggest problem is right here at home. And you can see it on every street corner. It’s called joblessness. It’s called lack of opportunity. It’s called debt, that has become a national security problem in this country. And it’s also called a trust deficit, a Congress that nobody believes in anymore, an executive branch that has no leadership, institutions of power that we no longer believe in.

How can we have any effect on foreign policy abroad when we are so weak at home? We have no choice. We’ve got to get on our feet here domestically.

BLITZER: Thank you to…

(APPLAUSE)

… all of you. And thanks to all of you as well. We have to leave it right there. We want to thank our partners, the American Enterprise Institute. We want to thank the Heritage Foundation. Thanks very much for watching. I’m Wolf Blitzer here at Constitution Hall.

(APPLAUSE)

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