Campaign Headlines May 16, 2012: Herman Cain Officially Endorses Mitt Romney for the Republican Presidential Nomination

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

IN FOCUS: HERMAN CAIN ENDORSES MITT ROMNEY FOR REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION

Cain Officially Endorses Romney

Source: CBS News, 5-16-12

First he endorsed “the American people.” Then he threw his support behind Newt Gingrich. But now, as the GOP primary winds down, Herman Cain says he is backing Mitt Romney, the presumptive nominee. Cain admitted he has some major differences with Romney, but would campaign for the former Massachusetts governor moving forward. The one-time GOP frontrunner also said he would consider running for vice president if Romney asked him to join the ticket, but he denied rumors he would be running for governor in Georgia….READ MORE

Campaign Buzz February 9-11, 2012: CPAC 2012 Roundup — Mitt Romney Wins Straw Poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference

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 published by Facts on File, Inc. in late 2011.

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, joined by his family, addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, joined by his family, addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington.

IN FOCUS: CPAC 2012 — CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL ACTION CONFERENCE — MITT ROMNEY WINS STRAW POLL


Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
Sarah Palin, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, mocked President Obama in describing efforts to unseat him.

CPAC 2012 — Official Site

“I know conservatism because I have lived conservatism….
I did things conservatism is designed for – I started new businesses and turned around broken ones. And I am not ashamed to say that I was very successful at it.”” — Mitt Romney

“You are blessed to live in a time when America needs you….
Choose the candidate that you believe is the right person to lead this country. Not just to victory, but the changes that are necessary for that victory to be won…
We’re not going to win this election because the Republican candidate has the most money to beat up on their opponent.” — Rick Santorum

“This campaign is a mortal threat to the establishment, because we intend to change Washington, not accommodate it.” — Newt Gingrich

“In America, we believe that competition strengthens us. Competition relates to victory in 2012. We must stay true to our principles. I believe that the competition has got to keep going. But let’s make sure that the competition brings out the best in our party….
We know that the far left and their media allies can’t beat us on the issues, so instead they’ll distort our records. Let’s not do the job for them, OK, Republicans? OK, independents?” — Sarah Palin

At CPAC, Defeating Obama Trumps Fight for Nomination: The focus at the Conservative Political Action Conference was on a victory over the president, not on the battle among the Republican Party’s candidates…. – NYT, 2-12-12

The Candidates Speak at CPAC: Three Republican presidential candidates spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington on Friday. Each candidate delivered a variation of his stump speech and provided his own spin on the forum’s central themes…. – NYT

CPAC: Mitt Romney wins straw poll of conservative activists: Romney was the choice of 38% of the 3408 CPAC attendees who voted in the poll, and Rick Santorum finished second with 31%. Newt Gingrich won 15% and Ron Paul had 12%…. – LAT, 2-11-12

Romney wins presidential straw poll of activists attending CPAC: Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has won a presidential straw poll of activists attending the Conservative Political Action Conference, a key annual gathering of right-leaning Republican activists concluding Saturday in Washington.
Romney defeated Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.), who won the poll the last two years in part because CPAC tends to draw heavily from the college-aged crowd that has offered Paul its most enthusiastic response…. – WaPo, 2-11-12

Live blog of CPAC: Conservatives gather the three day annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that promises speeches from and discussions with leading Republican lawmakers, analysts and pundits…. – Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

  • Mitt Romney rights the ship: Smith Mitt Romney’s win in a widely watched straw poll yesterday could earn the former Massachusetts governor new conservative credentials as he seeks a comeback heading into the Arizona and Michigan primaries from a recent string of losses on … – Boston Herald, 2-11-12
  • Romney Tops Santorum in CPAC Straw Poll: Mitt Romney has won The Washington Times/CPAC Presidential Straw Poll of conservative activists. Romney polled 38 percent of the respondents. Rick Santorum drew 31 percent, Newt Gingrich polled 15 percent, and Ron Paul polled 12 percent. (Feb. 11)… – AP, 2-11-12
  • At Conservative Conference, Romney Wins the Straw Poll: Mitt Romney won the annual straw poll of conservative activists at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, conference officials announced on Saturday in Washington. Mr. Romney received 38 percent of the 3408 votes cast…. – NYT, 2-11-12
  • Republican Candidate Romney Wins CPAC Presidential Straw Poll: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney won a straw poll sponsored by the Conservative Political Action Conference and the Washington Times. Front-runner Romney, a former Massachusetts governor…. – Business Week, 2-11-12
  • Romney wins 2012 straw poll of conservative activists: Mitt Romney won a presidential straw poll of Republican conservative activists on Saturday in a boost to his suddenly hard-fought battle against Rick Santorum. But Sarah Palin, a conservative Tea Party champion…. – ABS CBN News, 2-11-12
  • Romney Wins Maine Caucuses, Tops CPAC Straw Vote: Romney Wins Maine Caucuses, Tops CPAC Straw Vote VOA News The Republican Party’s race to find a challenger to US President Barack Obama in November’s election got somewhat clearer Saturday when the frontrunner, Mitt Romney…. – Voice of America, 2-11-12
  • In a divided GOP, Romney has a good day: At last year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, activists were chasing the idea that some dreamboat Republican they could fall for – Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, perhaps, or maybe New Jersey Gov…. – Philadelphia Inquirer, 2-11-12
  • Mitt Romney benefiting from divide among conservatives: The number of votes cast in a straw poll of conservative activists was only a couple thousand fewer than the total at Maine caucuses. But for Mitt Romney, the verdict of attendees of the Conservative Political Action Conference may … – LAT, 2-11-12
  • Romney Calls Himself ‘Severely Conservative’ as Rivals Make Case: Mitt Romney, pushing to retain front-runner status in the Republican presidential race and build credibility with voters who have resisted him, told party activists he was a “severely conservative”… – BusinessWeek, 2-11-12
  • Romney touts ‘severely conservative’ stand: Staggered by Rick Santorum’s surge, Mitt Romney is trying to reset his presidential campaign … – Newsday, 2-11-12
  • Romney Tries to Woo Conservatives at CPAC: The former governor held a private meeting alongside the Conservative Public Action Conference with about three dozen evangelical … – NYT, 2-10-12
  • Palin Says Brokered Convention Would Not Hurt G.O.P.: Sarah Palin said Saturday that Republicans should be in no hurry to wrap up the presidential nominating contest, declaring that a competitive campaign until the August convention in Tampa would not complicate the party’s efforts to defeat President Obama…. – NYT, 2-11-12
  • At Conservatives’ Event, Palin Aims at President: The focus at the Conservative Political Action Conference was on a victory over the president, not on the battle among the Republican Party’s candidates…. – NYT, 2-11-12
  • Sarah Palin Rocks CPAC, Embracing a Long Primary: For the first time at the three-day conference known as CPAC in Washington, protesters disrupted a speech. But the response from Palin’s loyal supporters was fierce…. – ABC News, 2-11-12
  • Rick Santorum pitches his bona fides to conservative CPAC conference in Washington: Rick Santorum takes shots at the more moderate Romney… – NY Daily News,
  • Rick Santorum Assures Conservatives He Won’t Move to the Center: At a private lunch during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, DC, Rick Santorum assured 90 national conservative leaders that, if he won the Republican presidential nomination…. – PR Newswire, 2-11-12
  • Paul: Skipped CPAC to Try and Win in Maine: Texas Congressman Ron Paul says he planned on skipping CPAC for weeks, choosing instead to focus on his chances in Maine…. – Fox News, 2-11-12
  • Gov. Jindal prepping for national stage: Bobby Jindal of Louisiana addresses activists from America’s political right at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012.  A rising star within the Republican Party continued to make his …- CBS News, 2-11-12
  • Gingrich: busy first day in Oval office if elected: Newt Gingrich said Friday that if elected president he will repeal health care and finance reform, end overseas abortion aid, approve a major oil pipeline and move the Israeli embassy to Jerusalem — and that’s just on Day 1…. – AFP, 2-10-12
  • CPAC: Gingrich says he’ll undo Obama legacy on day one: At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday, the GOP presidential hopeful said that, if elected, he would wipe out much of President Obama’s legacy on his very first day in office…. – CBS News, 2-10-12
  • Gingrich Delivers Anti-Establishment Message at CPAC: Speaking to conservatives, Newt Gingrich dismissed his rivals as part of an establishment that wants to “manage the decay” of the country…. – NYT, 2-10-12
  • Mitch McConnell at CPAC: The Senate Republican leader called the White House staff and allied Democrats in Congress “liberal thugs.”… – NYT, 2-10-12
  • Rubio Receives Warm Reception at CPAC: In a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, Marco Rubio extolled the promise of America and how it is being threatened by … – NYT, 2-9-12
  • Bachmann Assails Obama Before Conservatives: Michele Bachmann takes several liberties with the facts in characterizing President Obama’s positions on the Mideast…. – NYT, 2-9-12

Political Recap: 2011 Year in Review

POLITICAL HIGHLIGHTS

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.

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

2011 was a year of lowlights in Washington politics

Source: National Post, 12-26-11

Let’s just W say it – 2011 was an ugly year in U.S. politics. It began in tragedy and ended in farce.

The assassination attempt on Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in January prompted a national discussion about political civility that began with good intentions but lasted, well, until the State of the Union Address.

After that, the divided government Americans voted for in 2010 became dysfunctional government. Here, in no particular order, the highlights and (mostly) lowlights of Washington’s annus horribilis…..

The ‘What Were You Thinking’ Award to a Member of Congress: Anthony Weiner, for tweeting photos of his genitals to a woman, then denying he did it, then admitting he did it, then resigning in disgrace.

Worst Use of Social Media by a Member of Congress: Anthony Weiner. See above.

Most (sadly) entertaining political event: The three-ring circus campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Without Sarah Palin, Chris Christie or Jeb Bush in the race, GOP voters got a parade of flavourof-the-month front-runners. Mitt Romney is the most unloved potential GOP nominee since, um, John McCain.

Most Embarrassing GOP Candidate Blooper: When Rick ‘Oops’ Perry forgot which three federal departments he would eliminate.

Most Unlikely Rise of a Republican Presidential Candidate: Herman Cain/ Newt Gingrich.

Most Predictable Fall: Herman Cain/Newt Gingrich.

Most Incoherent Quote from a Member of Congress: Democrat Emanuel Cleaver, via Twitter, after the U.S. debt-ceiling agreement. “This deal is a sugar-coated Satan sandwich. If you lift the bun, you will not like what you see.”

Biggest Political Tease: Sarah Palin spent 10 months fuelling speculation about whether she was going to run for president before finally saying no in October. By then, no one was paying attention.

Gutsiest Obama Decision: The raid on Osama bin Laden’s Pakistani compound. If it goes wrong, there’s a lot of dead Navy Seals, and Obama looks like Jimmy Carter after the botched Iran hostage rescue attempt in April 1980. It didn’t.

Saddest Political Trend: Congressional paralysis. Congress brought the government to the brink of shutdown in April. Then, for a second act, lawmakers ignited a global market meltdown with a self-induced debt crisis. In December, small-minded bickering produced one of the worst pieces of kitchen-sink legislation – the two-month payroll tax cut/Keystone XL compromise – Washington has seen in years.

Year in Quotes: White House and Congress

Source: WoodTV, 12-22-11

‘The world is safer’

“It’s like lighting the match that could burn down the house.”–Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., describing a scenario in which a debt ceiling agreement was not met by May. April, 2011

“It’s not going to get easier, it’s going to get harder. So we might as well do it now. Pull off the Band-Aid. Eat our peas.”–President Obama, in a press conference urging House and Senate leadership to come together to pass a debt ceiling bill. July, 2011

“Get your ass in line. I can’t do this job unless you’re behind me.”–House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to fellow Republicans who were holding out against his debt ceiling deal for one with more spending cuts. July, 2011

“I strongly believe that crossing the aisle for the good of the American people is more important than party politics. I had to be here for this vote. I could not take the chance that my absence could crash our economy.” –Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., after returning to the House chamber to cast her vote for the debt ceiling bill. It was her first appearance to Congress since she was shot in the head in Jan. 8, 2011. August, 2011

“At a time when spending is out of control, giving the federal government more money would be like giving a cocaine addict more cocaine.” –Speaker Boehner, in response to the president’s proposed deficit reduction plan. September, 2011

“After months of hard work and intense deliberations, we have come to the conclusion today that it will not be possible to make any bipartisan agreement available to the public before the committee’s deadline.”–Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., co-chairs of the debt “supercommittee,” a congressional group tasked with identifying $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction. November, 2011

“The world is safer. It is a better place because of the death of Osama bin Laden.”–President Barack Obama, hours after U.S. forces killed the al-Qaida leader in the middle-of-the-night raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. May, 2011

“All I will say is that for three years the president has been harvesting the successes of the very strategy that he consistently dismissed as a failure. I imagine that this irony was not lost on a few of our troops at Fort Bragg today, most of whom deployed and fought as part of the surge.”–Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., after President Obama marked the end of the Iraq War at Fort Bragg, N.C. December, 2011

“I’m not sure I want to put national, federal resources into trying to figure out who posted a picture on Weiner’s website, uh, whatever. I’m not really sure it rises, no pun intended, to that level.”–Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., as a media storm continued to swirl surrounding a lewd photo sent from his Twitter account to a female college student in Seattle. June, 2011

“There isn’t anything that I can imagine doing after this that would be as demanding, as challenging or rewarding.”–Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, after indicating she would step down in 2012. March, 2011

A year of oops: five big political gaffes of 2011

Source: CS Monitor, 12-29-11

There’s nothing like a presidential campaign cycle to bring out big political gaffes – at times injecting doubt about candidates, but also offering some much-needed comic relief and glimpses of humanity. 2011 had some doozies, and some of the most memorable actually weren’t on the campaign trail.

GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, who said the “shot heard round the world” was fired in New Hampshire (correct answer: Massachusetts), nailed the politicians’ dilemma perfectly: “People can make mistakes, and I wish I could be perfect every time I say something, but I can’t.”

Here are five of the biggest political “uh-ohs” of 2011:

1. Anthony Weiner’s bizarre Twitter lesson

In the digital age, sexual missteps no longer even have to be in person, as former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D) of New York proved with “Weinergate” – the tale of a suggestive Twitter photo that led to revelations of other indiscretions….READ MORE

2. Rick Perry: cutting bureaucracy straight out of memory

Don’t you hate that tip-of-the-tongue moment, when that obvious thing you just meant to say vanishes from thought? Now imagine standing on a lit stage in front of millions of your potential voters, bloodthirsty journalists, and a group of people who have vowed to defeat you: This is Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s epic brain freeze at the GOP presidential debate on Nov. 9….READ MORE

3. How Joe Biden sums up the tea party

Vice President Joe Biden denied it to the nth degree, but Politico said it had five sources to confirm its story – that during an offline discussion with House Democrats on Aug. 1, the loquacious Mr. Biden not only agreed with a characterization of tea party voters as “terrorists,” but actually chimed in, saying, “They have acted like terrorists.”…READ MORE

4. Mitt Romney’s hefty bet

“Rick, I’ll tell you what – 10,000 bucks, $10,000 bet,” GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said to Texas Gov. Rick Perry during a Dec. 10 presidential debate. Mr. Romney was arguing that he most surely hadn’t supported an individual mandate as part of national health-care reform – and in the process he wagered enough money to buy a solid gold iPhone case….READ MORE

5. Herman Cain takes a twirl

Book tours, bigwig fundraisers, endless bus rides – when does a candidate just have time to let his mind rest? Preferably not while meeting with a group of newspaper editors who are peppering him with foreign-policy questions….READ MORE

Campaign Buzz December 3, 2011: Herman Cain Suspends Presidential Campaign — Drops Republican Presidential Nomination Bid

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

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Herman Cain, whose bid fell apart amid accusations of sexual misconduct, spoke on Saturday with his wife, Gloria, behind him.

IN FOCUS: HERMAN CAIN SUSPENDS PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN AFTER ATLANTA WOMAN ACCUSES HIM OF 13 YEAR AFFAIR

“As of today, with a lot of prayer and soul searching, I am suspending my presidential campaign. Because of the continued distractions, the continued hurt caused on me and my family, not because we are not fighters. Not because I’m not a fighter.” — Herman Cain

“Herman Cain’s 999 plan got our country talking about the critical issue of tax reform and he elevated the dialogue of the primary. I am proud to know Herman Cain and consider him a friend and I know he will continue to be a powerful voice for years to come.” — Newt Gingrich on Tweeter

“Herman’s campaign was one of ideas. His decision was based on what is best for him and his family. We wish Herman and Gloria the best.” — Mitt Romney on Twitter

“Herman Cain offered a unique and valuable voice to the debate over how to reform our country’s uncompetitive tax code and turn around the economy. I understand his decision and wish him and his family the best.” — Jon Huntsman

“I would urge any Cain fans looking for a true outsider with a solid conservative record and a clear vision for America to give Perry a look.” — Perry’s media coordinator, Will Franklin, wrote on Twitter

“I know this was a difficult decision for Herman Cain, his family and his supporters. He helped invigorate conservative voters and our nation with a discussion of major tax reform. Anita and I wish him and his entire family all the best.” — Rick Perry

“Herman Cain provided an important voice to this process. His ideas and energy generated tremendous enthusiasm for the conservative movement at a time it was so desperately needed to restore confidence in our country. I wish Herman, his wife Gloria, and his family all the best.” — Michele Bachmann

“I have no doubt Herman Cain will remain a significant voice in the dialogue about the many important issues we face. His rejection of business-as-usual in Washington has been a valuable part of this campaign, and clearly resonates with a great many Americans. I wish him the best.” — Gary Johnson

Herman Cain suspends his campaign for GOP presidential nomination: Herman Cain, a little known businessman who unexpectedly became a front-runner in the Republican presidential race, suspended his campaign Saturday in the wake of allegations of an extramarital affair and claims of sexual harassment.
He has denied the charges but his support has fallen and campaign donations stalled…. – WaPo, 12-3-11

Republican Candidate Herman Cain Will Suspend His Presidential Campaign: Republican candidate Herman Cain said that he was suspending his bid for the Republican presidential nomination to avoid news coverage that is hurtful to his family. Mr. Cain’s announcement came five days after an Atlanta-area woman claimed she and Mr. Cain had an affair for more than a decade, a claim that followed several allegations of sexual harassment against the Georgia businessman. Mr. Cain, whose wife stood behind him on the stage, made the announcement before several hundred supporters gathered at what was to have been the opening of his national campaign headquarters.Mr. Cain had surged in polls until news surfaced in late October that he had been accused of sexual harassment by two women during his time as president of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s…. – NYT, 12-3-11

  • Cain announces he’s suspending his campaign: The Cain train has come to a stop. Herman Cain suspended his bid for the Republican presidential nomination on Saturday following a steady drumbeat of sexual misconduct allegations he said were harming his family and drowning out his ability to deliver his message.
    With just one month to go until the lead-off Iowa caucuses, Cain’s announcement is tantamount to a concession. Still, he told supporters, he planned to continue his efforts to influence Washington and announced “Plan B” — what he called a grassroots effort to return government to the people…. – AP, 12-3-11
  • Herman Cain suspends campaign: Herman Cain bowed out of his presidential campaign Saturday, saying he was doing so because of “the continued distraction, the continued hurt to me and my family” after a series of accusations of sexual impropriety.
    “We had to come to this conclusion that it would be best to suspend this campaign. That’s the bad news. The good news is, the pundits would like for me to shut up, drop out and go away,” he said at what was to have been his hometown headquarters opening.
    But Cain insisted that’s not going to happen, announcing the launch of a website to show “the people are still in charge of this country,” he said — by promoting his trademark 9-9-9 tax plan and other positions…. – Politico, 12-3-11
  • Herman Cain suspends his campaign for 2012 GOP presidential nomination: The brief but dramatic campaign of Herman Cain ended on Saturday, when the little-known businessman who captivated the Republican race said the relentless attention on accusations of his sexual misconduct had become too much to bear…. – WaPo, 12-3-11
  • A Defiant Herman Cain Suspends His Bid for Presidency: An unapologetic and defiant Herman Cain suspended his presidential campaign on Saturday, pledging that he “would not go away” even as he abandoned the Republican presidential race in the face of escalating accusations of sexual misconduct… – NYT, 12-3-11
  • Cain backs out of presidential race: Republican Herman Cain suspends his campaign after accusations of sexual harassment, groping and an extramarital affair. He tells supporters in Atlanta that he will change Washington from the outside…. – LAT, 12-3-11
  • Herman Cain Suspends Campaign Under ‘Cloud of Doubt': At what was meant to be the grand opening of his campaign headquarters, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain on Saturday announced he is suspending his campaign for the Republican nomination…. – Time, 12-3-11
  • Herman Cain suspends presidential campaign: Herman Cain said today he is suspending his presidential campaign, acknowledging the toll it has taken on him and his family as he battled allegations of an affair and sexual misconduct. The businessman vowed to … – USA Today, 12-3-11
  • Herman Cain drops White House bid: Embattled White House hopeful Herman Cain effectively ended his presidential bid Saturday after support dried up in the wake of accusations from a string of women that he had engaged in sexual impropriety…. – CBS News, 12-3-11
  • Defiant Herman Cain suspends campaign, vows to keep fighting: Ending days of intense speculation, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain announced Saturday that he will suspend his unlikely campaign, citing the toll that weeks of sex harassment and adultery allegations … – LAT, 12-3-11
  • Herman Cain ‘suspends’ presidential campaign, effectively ending it: Herman Cain continues to deny any wrong doing involving other women. But the “continued distraction” has led him to suspend his campaign, ending what had been a meteoric political rise…. – CS Monitor, 12-3-11
  • Cain suspends campaign: Herman Cain announced Saturday he is suspending his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. This suspension comes after weeks of scrutiny over alleged sexual misconduct and accusations of an extramarital affair. … – MSNBC, 12-3-11
  • Scandal-damaged Herman Cain suspends his bid for White House but vows his voice will be heard Says he will continue to promote his 9-9-9 tax plan and attack President Obama: Ending days of speculation, Herman Cain announced Saturday that he will be suspending his unlikely quest for the White House.
    Cain, whose brief stay atop the polls collapsed amid accusations of sexual harassment and adultery, stood next to his wife and vowed that while he would no longer be a candidate, his voice would heard….. – NY Daily News, 12-3-11
  • Cain Announces He’s Suspending His Campaign: Herman Cain suspended his bid for the Republican presidential nomination on Saturday following a steady drumbeat of sexual misconduct allegations he said were harming his family and drowning out his ability to deliver his … – ABC News, 12-3-11
  • Herman Cain Drops Out of the Race for Presidency: Herman Cain announced today that he will not continue his bid for the Republican nomination for president, but he continues to call the claims of infidelity against him “false” and “baseless.” “As of today, with a lot of prayer and soul … – U.S. News & World Report, 12-3-11
  • Herman Cain suspends Republican presidential bid: Herman Cain ended his Quixotic bid for the White House on Saturday, telling hundreds of supporters in Atlanta the path to victory no longer was passable…. – Atlanta Journal Constitution, 12-3-11
  • Cain’s burned supporters fret over next step: For Herman Cain’s supporters, his decision to suspend his presidential campaign brings confusion about where to go next, frustration with the political process and heartbreak. They won’t go to their next choice with the same fervor — if they get … – Politico, 12-3-11
  • In hours before big decision, Cain makes calls to GOP rivals: In the hours before he makes his planned midday announcement about the future of his presidential campaign, Republican candidate Herman Cain reached out to some of his rivals. “We have talked to the Cain Camp, but we don’t want to characterize the … – CBS News, 12-3-11
  • Cain suspends campaign: ‘I am at peace': Herman Cain suspended his presidential campaign Saturday, declaring at a rally in Georgia that while he will not “be silenced,” the weight of damaging charges of sexual harassment and marital fidelity had become too much for him to continue his bid for … – Politico, 12-3-11
  • Herman Cain’s Departure Helps Other Candidates, but Which Ones?: Herman Cain made it official Saturday after a date night with his wife, Gloria, and a morning meeting with top supporters in Atlanta…. – Daiy Beast, 12-3-11
  • Herman Cain Suspends Presidential Nomination: Republican candidate Herman Cain announced he is suspending his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. During a televised announcement … – WAMU, 12-3-11
  • Herman Cain Drops Out … Weeks After It Mattered: In the end, Herman Cain left the presidential race as he entered it—more a sideshow than a contender. And he wrapped up his never quite believable run in characteristically bizarre fashion.He closed the effort at the official opening of his campaign … – U.S. News & World Report, 12-3-11
  • After weeks of allegations and stumbles, Cain shifts to ‘Plan B': In the waning days of his embattled presidential campaign Herman Cain sounded like a man crafting his own political obituary…. – CNN, 12-3-11
  • What does ‘suspending’ mean?: With news Saturday that Herman Cain is suspending his bid for the 2012 GOP nomination, many are wondering what the move means for his future. Federal law doesn’t have a specific definition for “suspending” a political campaign, meaning Cain is … – CNN, 12-3-11
  • The race is on for Cain endorsement: Now that Herman Cain is out of the Republican presidential race, the race is on for the endorsement of the retired restaurant executive whose ability to articulate anti-Washington fervor at one point rocketed to the top of the polls. … – CBS News, 12-3-11
  • Cain supporters blame media: In announcing today that he was suspending his campaign, Herman Cain positioned himself and his supporters squarely against what he called “the media class,” which many of his supporters were eager to blame for the candidate’s decision. … – Politico, 12-3-11
  • Cain Iowa supporters: Media ‘took a good man down': Staff and supporters at Herman Cain’s Iowa headquarters shared tears, hugs and overall fond memories of a candidate they say they’ll continue to support in whatever his next venture may be…. – CNN, 12-3-11
  • Cain Suspends Campaign Shifting GOP Race: A defiant Herman Cain suspended his faltering bid for the Republican presidential nomination Saturday amid a drumbeat of sexual misconduct allegations against him, throwing his staunchly conservative supporters up for grabs with … – ABC News, 12-3-11
  • Herman Cain: how Republicans fell out with their once preferred candidate: Herman Cain’s decision to suspend his campaign removes the remote but tantalising prospect of a 2012 battle for the White House fought between two African-American candidates…. – The Guardian, 12-3-11
  • Republican presidential nominee Herman Cain quits race: Cain’s announcement came five days after an Atlanta woman claimed she and Cain had an affair for more than a decade, a claim that followed several allegations of sexual harassment against the Georgia businessman…. – Mirror.co.uk, 12-3-11
  • Martin Bashir: Herman Cain Should Resign From His Church Over Affair: MSNBC host Martin Bashir called on Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain to resign from his church over his alleged 13-year affair with an Atlanta woman…. – Huff Post, 12-3-11
  • Cain’s constant search for the next big thing: Herman Cain always was a man in a hurry. Even before his improbable and peculiar presidential campaign, he had spent five decades restlessly, endlessly seeking the next big thing…. – WaPo, 12-3-11
  • Cain’s reaction to allegations concerned some supporters: Herman Cain’s announcement Saturday that he would suspend his run for the presidency left many metro-area Cain supporters disappointed, but accepting…. – Atlanta Journal Constitution, 12-3-11
  • Herman Cain’s Most Embarrasing Gaffes: In the wake of Herman Cain suspending his campaign for the US presidency today, we thought it would be a good idea to reflect on some of his less-than-presidential comments as outlined by The Daily Beast…. – News One, 12-3-11
  • Herman Cain helped his brand, says expert: Herman Cain may have been forced out of the race for president amid accusations of unseemly and inappropriate sexual behavior, but his White House bid and surprising rise in the polls have nonetheless boosted his earning power, a branding expert told … – CBS News, 12-3-11
  • On Herman Cain, Donald Trump and an eager Newt Gingrich: The GOP race has, at times, seemed more like a reality show than a political process, a fact that probably worries the wiser heads in the party because it diminishes the candidates as well as the party in the eyes of the public…. – Atlanta Journal Constitution, 12-3-11

Campaign Buzz December 1, 2011: New Hampshire Union Leader Interview with Herman Cain: Wife didn’t know about friendship, ‘financial assistance’ to Ginger White

CAMPAIGN 2012


Cain: Wife didn’t know about friendship with Ginger White:
Herman Cain revealed Thursday that his relationship with Ginger White — who he characterizes as a “friend” to whom he gave money for “month-to-month bills and expenses” — was unknown to his wife Gloria until Monday, when White came forward accusing the Republican presidential candidate of a 13-year-long extramarital affair. In an interview with New Hampshire’s Union Leader, Cain acknowledged that Gloria “did not know that we were friends until she (White) came out with this story.”… – CBS News, 12-1-11

Herman Cain: Wife didn’t know about friendship, ‘financial assistance’ to Ginger White

Source: New Hampshire Union Leader, 12-1-11

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is questioned by New Hampshire Union Leader publisher Joe McQuaid in Manchester Thursday.

C-SPAN video of Union Leader interview with Herman Cain

Asked whether leaving the race is one of the options he is currently assessing, Cain said, “Yes, it is an option.” Regarding his decision, he said, “You will know by next week” as he takes the weekend to reassess where he stands in the campaign.

Cain said he believes that “someone offered (White) a lot of money” to make the allegation. He said he can’t prove it.

Overall, Cain told the New Hampshire Union Leader, “One of the things that I have learned in this situation is that running for President has become a very dirty game. It’s a dirty game – OK?”

Cain also said he believes there is a concerted effort by “a network of people,” both Democrats and Republicans, to bring him down.

Cain said that in about 70 text messages White sent him between Oct. 22 and Nov. 18, she was “asking for financial assistance because she was out of work, had trouble paying her bills and I had known her as a friend.

“She wasn’t the only friend who I had helped in these tough economic times, and so her messages to me were relating to ‘needed money for her rent’ or whatever the case may be. I don’t remember all the specifics.”

Cain said White told him in the texts that she did not have a job and was unable to get financial help from her family, “and that quite frankly, I was the only person who was a friend at the time – and I underscore ‘friend’ – that was in a position to help her.

“I’m a soft-hearted person when it comes to that stuff. I have helped members of my church. I have helped members of my family.

“And I know a lot of other people who had done the same thing. She was asking me to help her, and sometimes, quite frankly, it was desperation,” Cain said.

Cain said that in 17 reported texts back to her, he would respond with messages such as, “What are you doing to get a job?”…

And, he acknowledged, “My wife did not know about it, and that was the revelation. My wife found out about it when she went public with it.” …

“My wife now knows,” Cain said. “My wife and I have talked about it and I have explained it to her. My wife understands that I’m a soft-hearted giving person.”

He said his wife “is comfortable with the explanation that I told her.”

Cain said that in retrospect he should have told his wife about his friendship with White sooner, “but retrospect doesn’t necessarily change what’s going on now.”

He said White never threatened him with going public with the allegation of an affair if Cain did not give her money, “nor was there any indication that there might be blackmail or anything like that.

“I thought I was helping a friend, end of story,” he said.

Cain said he does not know why White has gone public with the allegation, “but I have very strong speculation that someone offered her a lot of money.

“I was helping her with month-to-month bills and expenses, and somebody _ this is speculation only _ offered her a lot of money.

“And one of my objectives is to clear my name and my reputation,” Cain said.

Cain said the two “struck up a friendship” many years ago when she attended a conference in Louisville, Ky., where he was the keynote speaker.

He said that although he is considering leaving the race, “We weren’t slowing down” in the campaign. “We’re keeping all commitments and we’re reassessing several things.

“So, yes, getting out is an option,” he said. “That just meant we were not going put the brakes on until” he made his decision….

He said he will leave the race if his wife asks him to do so, “but my wife wouldn’t ask me to get out.“I would make a decision based on how all of this stuff is affecting her, because I will put her first,” he said. “But she’s not the type to say, ‘You ought to get out.’”…

“If financial backers started to not want to contribute, because _ and I’ve heard this from some people _ they see this cloud not going away.

“I haven’t been convicted of anything except in the court of public opinion, but the media drives the court of public opinion,” he said.

“Every time a new story comes on TV, it mentions sexual harassment charges. That’s inaccurate because they were found baseless. I call them false accusations.

“They were false. They were not proven, so every time they are called sexual harassment charges, that just keeps saying to people sexual harassment, rather than false accusation.

“So, understandably, some people might say I can’t get the nomination with this cloud, so they’re going to stop giving,” he said.

Cain said that while some in the media are “professional, there are some that are truly not professional. Those that love to play ‘gotcha’ politics.”

He also said politicians have an audience in “the political class,” as well as “the third audience,” which, he said, is “we the people.”

“I have got totally difference responses and reactions from those three audiences,” he said. “The establishment says it’s a distraction to the party. It is.

“The establishment says, ‘You can’t get the nomination because of the cloud.’ Maybe, but that’s the way they think.

“The people are ones who are saying, ‘We love your solutions, your optimism. Don’t drop out, if that’s an option.’ But it’s always got to be an option. It’s like a business,” Cain said.

As for the motive behind the latest allegations and earlier allegations that he sexually harassed former co-workers at the National Restaurant Association, Cain has said that “they” are “attacking” him and and his “character, my reputation and my name, in order to bring me down.”

He said Thursday, “The ‘they,’ I believe, is a network of people who would not like to seem me challenge President Barack Obama as the Republican nominee.

“I believe some of them are Democrats and there might be some Republicans. I don’t fit the traditional paradigm. So, when I say ‘they,’ it’s not just one side of the aisle. I believe there is a tendency on both sides of the aisle,” he said.

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 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)

Campaign Buzz November 22, 2011: CNN GOP National Security Republican Presidential Debate at Constitutional Hall, Washington, DC — Frontrunner Newt Gingrich Takes Center Stage on Immigration & Patriot Act

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.

IN FOCUS: CNN GOP NATIONAL SECURITY REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES DEBATE

Fact checking the GOP national security debate — CBS News, 11-22-11

Debate Highlights G.O.P.’s Lack of a Unified Security Vision: Most of the presidential candidates vowed to put any necessary steps to protect the nation ahead of worries about civil liberties…. – NYT, 11-22-11

Live Blogging the National Security Debate: Follow along for live updates, analysis and fact checks during the Republican national security debate…. – NYT, 11-22-11

Defense cuts, immigration policy: Key moments in Tuesday night’s GOP presidential debate: Key moments in Tuesday night’s Republican presidential debate…. – AP, 11-22-11

“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.” — Newt Gingrich

“I think the speaker just said that he would make 11 people, 11 million people who are here illegally now, legal.” — Rep. Michele Bachmann

“A no-fly zone wouldn’t be the right military action — maybe a no-drive zone. — Mitt Romney

“We’ve got to get on our feet domestically.” — Jon Huntsman

“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 foothol.” — Rick Santorum

 

  • Republican Presidential Hopefuls Debate National Security, Foreign Aid: US Republican presidential hopefuls debated how to deal with Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran’s nuclear program Tuesday evening in their latest televised debate. Questioned about US aid to Pakistan, Texas Governor Rick Perry said he would cut the aid … – Voice of America, 11-22-11
  • GOP presidential candidates debate liberty vs. security in age of terrorism: The Republican presidential candidates grappled Tuesday with how to balance civil liberties and security, from the war on terrorism at home and abroad to check-in lines at airports. … – Miami Herald, 11-22-11
  • GOP candidates spar over global threats, security: The eight major GOP presidential candidates all believe they can be a better commander in chief than President Obama. But some differences emerged in the 11th nationally televised debate of the year, on issues such as the … – USA Today, 11-22-11
  • CNN Republican debate: Winners and losers: Another day, another Republican presidential debate. We live-blogged the whole thing but also took note of a few of the night’s winners and, yes, losers. Republican presidential candidates (LR) former US Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), US Representative … – WaPo, 11-22-11
  • Too Much Debate? Why the Republican Frontrunner Keeps Changing: Debates are doing in the Republican candidates one by one, and yet they can’t seem to stop talking. And we can’t seem to stop watching. Tuesday night’s debate was the 11th political face-off among the Republican candidates…. – Reuters, 11-22-11
  • Gingrich shows humane side on immigration: In his first debate as the Republican frontrunner, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich took a political gamble Tuesday by wading into the volatile issue of limited amnesty for long-time illegal immigrants. … – CNN, 11-22-11
  • 2012 CNN foreign policy debate: Mitt Romney channels Rudy Giuliani: For one night only, anyway, but Mitt Romney just turned to Ron Paul as a foil to make the point about how the US was attacked on 9/11, which was why the nation is at war. FIghting with Paul as a hawk was a part of Rudy Giuliani’s debate strategy…. – Politico, 11-22-11
  • Patriot Act, security prompt GOP sparring in CNN National Security Debate: The Republican candidates for president outlined their visions for fighting terrorism and keeping the country safe during a CNN debate Tuesday held just down the street from the White House … – CNN, 11-22-11
  • Gingrich Calls for Regime Change in Iran: Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich called for replacing the leadership of Iran and said that could be accomplished within a year, adopting a more aggressive posture toward the US … – WSJ, 11-22-11
  • Gingrich at center stage, national security in the spotlight: Republican presidential candidates argued Tuesday night over what was more important — the need to fight terrorism or protect civil liberties — as they sought to define themselves on national … – USA Today, 11-22-11
  • Washington foreign policy debate: Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich mix it up: Some of Newt GIngrich’s critics have been taking him on over his past stands on immigration, and Michele Bachmann joined them onstage, pointing out that the former House Speaker supported, as she said, the federal DREAM Act. Gingrich disagreed. … – Politico, 11-22-11
  • GOP divides on foreign policy questions: The Republican presidential candidates sparred in a national security debate Tuesday night, dividing over the war in Afghanistan, the Patriot Act, foreign aid and more. The night was a stark contrast to the overall unity within the Republican Party…. – Politico, 11-22-11
  • Gingrich says cutting off Iran from gasoline, sabotaging its refineries would: Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich says the United States could “break Iran within a year” if allies worked together on a strategy instead of focusing on specific tactics. Gingrich says that ending gasoline sales to Iran and … – WaPo, 11-22-11
  • Gingrich ‘prepared to take the heat’ with talk of amnesty: In his first debate since jumping into the lead in the polls, Newt Gingrich took the lead on a controversial topic Tuesday night when he suggested that his fellow Republicans might reconsider their outright opposition to amnesty for … – LAT, 11-22-11
  • GOP debate recap: Yes, Herman Cain’s obsession with the topography of Iran showed up. No, Michele Bachmann’s friend, the Seven-Foot Doctor, didn’t. Probably the newsiest thing that happened in tonight’s Republican debate on national security was that Newt Gingrich went where Rick Perry should never have gone and tried to make a case for moderation on immigration…. – WaPo, 11-22-11
  • Candidates Vie For Air Time: Among the many things that pundits and party operatives alike will be considering during tonight’s GOP debate on CNN – the 11th debate of this primary season – is the following question: Does it appear as though some candidates are being asked more … – ABC News, 11-22-11
  • Networks walk a tightrope over crowded debates: Keeping the crowded Republican presidential debates fair, lively and topical at the same time can seem like the equivalent of juggling while walking a tightrope. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer is the next television personality on stage. … – CBS News, 11-22-11
  • Too Much Debate? Why the Republican Frontrunner Keeps Changing: Debates are doing in the Republican candidates one by one, and yet they can’t seem to stop talking. And we can’t seem to stop watching. Tuesday night’s debate was the 11th political face-off among the Republican candidates in a year that … – TheWrap, 11-22-11
  • Newt Gingrich and Texas Rep. Ron Paul clashed over the Patriot Act: Newt Gingrich and Texas Rep. Ron Paul clashed over the Patriot Act at the start of Tuesday’s debate for GOP presidential candidates, with Gingrich saying terrorism means “all of us will be in danger for the rest of our lives. … – CNN, 11-22-11
  • At GOP debate, candidates spar over Patriot Act: It only took a few minutes for Newt Gingrich to display the bluntness that has become his signature quality during the Republican presidential debates. Gathered at the Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall in Washington, … – LAT, 11-22-11
  • Gingrich, Paul tangle over Patriot Act’s reach: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul are tangling over the Patriot Act as they open a Republican presidential debate on national security. Gingrich says he supports the anti-terrorism law that civil liberty activists object … – Boston Globe, 11-22-11
  • Gingrich, Paul tangle over Patriot Act as GOP candidates open national: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul are tangling over the Patriot Act as they open a Republican presidential debate on national security. Gingrich says he supports the anti- terrorism law that civil liberty activists object … – WaPo, 11-22-11
  • DC debate: Michele Bachmann says technology has changed: Michele Bachmann opened with a response to the Patriot Act question by saying she’s “with the American people, with the Constitution,” but went on to say, without directly answering the Patriot Act question, that, “We can’t forget that technology is … – Politico, 11-22-11
  • Foreign policy debate: Ron Paul cites Oklahoma City on counter-terrorism: Ron Paul delivered the first philosophical dispute of CNN’s national security debate, disagreeing with Newt Gingrich’s support for the Patriot Act and pointing to the Oklahoma City attack as a threat dealt with through criminal law. … – Politico, 11-22-11
  • Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul Clash Over Patriot Act Extension: Saying “we will be in danger for the rest of our lives,” Newt Gingrich on Tuesday supported an extension of Patriot Act provisions to fight terrorism. Speaking at a CNN debate on national security at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC…. – Sunshine State News, 11-22-11
  • Patriot Act a new litmus test in GOP debate: Republican candidates staked out contrary stances on renewing the Patriot Act at the onset of a national security debate on Tuesday, adding another latest litmus test on how to best protect the United States…. – The Hill, 11-22-11
  • Gingrich Supports Patriot Act Powers to Protect US ‘In Danger': Former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the Republican presidential front runner, said that the US must strengthen tools to detect and prevent terrorism because “all of us will be in danger for the rest of our … – BusinessWeek, 11-22-11
  • CNN national security debate: What to watch for: Eight Republican candidates will gather for the billionth — oops, sorry, twelfth— time tonight in Washington, DC for a debate focused on national security…. – WaPo, 11-22-11
  • 2012 GOP Hopefuls Face Off On National Security: The supercommittee’s embarrassing collapse adds a tricky new task for the combatants in yet another GOP debate Tuesday: persuading voters they can end the partisan dysfunction crippling Washington…. – New York Daily News, 11-22-11

Full Text Campaign Buzz November 12, 2011: CBS News / National Journal GOP Republican Presidential Debate at Wofford College, Spartanburg, South Carolina Transcript — Iran & Pakistan Central Issues in National Security & Foreign Policy Debate

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

Alex Wong/Getty Images

The eight Republican candidates for president debated Saturday in Spartanburg, S.C. More Photos »

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

IN FOCUS: REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES DEBATE IN SOUTH CAROLINA ON NATIONAL SECURITY & FOREIGN POLICY

Republican Debate Sponsored by CBS, The National Journal and the Republican Party of South Carolina

Sponsored by CBS, The National Journal and the Republican Party of South Carolina

Related

Speakers:

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-PA.

Former Rep. Newt Gingrich, R-GA.

Former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-MASS.

Former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., R-UTAH

Hermain Cain

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-MINN.

Gov. Rick Perry, R-TEXAS

Rep. Ron Paul, R-TEXAS

Moderators: CBS moderator Scott Pelley and National Journal moderator Major Garrett

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  This country has a bright future.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  We have something to be proud of.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. RON PAUL (R), TEXAS:  I’m the champion of liberty.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JON HUNTSMAN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  We’ve got the answers. We don’t have leadership.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY:  If you want to become president of the United States, you’ve got to let both people speak.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  We should make English the official language.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELE BACHMANN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I won’t rest until I repeal ObamaCare.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY:  You had your chance.  Let me speak.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM:  You’re out of line.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL:  Fourteen girls to take an inoculation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM:  Just because our economy is sick doesn’t mean our values are sick.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS:  It is a Ponzi scheme.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  My 999 Plan is a bold solution.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HUNTSMAN:  This country is never again going to bailout corporations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BACHMANN:  I will build the fence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERRY:  We know how to secure the borders.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  This is about nation-building at home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH:  The American people create jobs, not governments.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL:  Government is not very capable of managing almost anything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY:  Middle income Americans need a break and I’ll give it to them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAIN:  This economy is on life support.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERRY:  If you are too big to fail, you are too big.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT PELLEY, CO-HOST:  Tonight from South Carolina, the Republicans who would be president address critical issues of national security and foreign affairs.      It’s the commander-in-chief debate — eight candidates, 90 minutes, all starting in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PELLEY:  Good evening from Wofford College in Spartansburg, South Carolina. I’m Scott Pelley with CBS News, along with my colleague, Major Garrett, of “National Journal”. In just under a year now, Americans will go to the polls to choose a president. Tonight, CBS News and “National Journal” are pleased to bring you a discussion of the issues by the Republican candidates for their party’s nomination. The focus will be foreign policy and national security, the president’s role as commander-in-chief. Consider this, the 9/11 attacks came in the eighth month of a new presidency, the Bay of Pigs in the 13th week and the Civil War on the 40th day of a new presidency — reminders from history that a president must be prepared to deal with a crisis from day one. The ground rules for tonight’s debate are simple — a candidate who is asked a question will have one minute to respond and then, at the discretion of the moderators, there can be a 30 second follow-up or a 30 second rebuttal from another candidate. The debate will run a total of 90 minutes.  The first hour will be broadcast right here, on the CBS television network.  The entire 90 minutes will be streamed on CBSNews.com and NationalJournal.com.  And we invite you to submit questions during the debate to either Web site. Joining me now in asking the question, Major Garrett.

MAJOR GARRETT, CO-HOST:  Scott, thank you very much. One more piece of housekeeping.  Let’s introduce the candidates. Former Utah governor, Jon Huntsman. Representing the 6th District of Minnesota, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann. Representing the 14th District of Texas, Congressman Ron Paul.

(APPLAUSE)

GARRETT:  From Atlanta, Georgia, businessman Herman Cain.

(APPLAUSE)

GARRETT:  Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

(APPLAUSE)

GARRETT:  Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich

(APPLAUSE)

GARRETT:  Current Texas Governor Rick Perry.

(APPLAUSE)

GARRETT:  And former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

(APPLAUSE)

GARRETT:  Mr. Cain, I’d like to begin this evening with you, sir.

CAIN:  Yes?

GARRETT:  This week, a U.N. nuclear watchdog agency provided additional credible evidence that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon. If you were president right now, what would you do specifically that this administration is not doing to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon?

CAIN:  The first thing that I would do is to assist the opposition movement in Iran that’s trying to overthrow the regime. Our enemies are not the people of Iran, it’s the regime.  And a regime change is what they are trying to achieve. Secondly, we need to put economic pressure on Iran by way of our own energy independence strategy, by having our own energy independence strategy, we would impact the price of oil on the world market, because Iran uses oil not only as a — a means — a currency, but they use it as a weapon. One of the reasons that they are able to afford that nuclear weapons program is because of oil. Secondly, we would then work to increase sanctions on Iran, along with our friends and our allies.  So whereas we would not be — so as I do believe that they have a nuclear weapons program and they’re closer to having a nuclear weapon, stopping them, the only way you can stop them is through economic means.

GARRETT:  A quick follow-up, Mr. Cain.

CAIN:  Yes.

GARRETT:  When you say assisting the opposition, would you entertain military assistance to that opposition…

CAIN:  No…

GARRETT:  (INAUDIBLE).

CAIN:  — not at this time.  I would not entertain military opposition.  I’m talking about to help the opposition movement within the country. And then there’s one other thing that we could do.  We could deploy our ballistic missile defense capable Aegis warships strategically in that part of the world.  We have the biggest fleet of those warships in the world, and we could use them strategically in the event that they were able to fire a ballistic missile.

PELLEY:  Governor Romney, would it be worth going to war to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon?

ROMNEY:  Well, let’s — let’s start back from there and let’s talk about where we are.  This is, of course, President Obama’s greatest failing, from a foreign policy standpoint, which is he recognized the gravest threat that America and the world faced as — and faced was a nuclear Iran and he did not do what was necessary to get Iran to be dissuaded from their nuclear folly. What he should have done is speak out when dissidents took to the streets and say America is with you and work on a covert basis to encourage the dissidents. Number two, he should have put — put in place crippling sanctions against Iran.  But instead of getting Russia, for instance, to when —  when he gave in our — our missile defense system, to agree to — to stand with those crippling sanctions, he gave Russia what they wanted, their number one foreign policy objective, and got nothing in return.

PELLEY:  That’s…

ROMNEY:  And finally…

PELLEY:  — that’s the time by the governor on the question.

ROMNEY:  I get — I get…

PELLEY:  We’re going to adhere to time.

ROMNEY:  I get 60…

PELLEY:  Very quickly…

ROMNEY:  — seconds.

PELLEY:  But what made…

ROMNEY:  I get 60 seconds.

PELLEY:  Yes, yes sir. And the 60…

ROMNEY:  That was 30.

PELLEY:  The 60…

ROMNEY:  Sorry, it started at yellow so I — I have much more time to go.

PELLEY:  You — you know what, Governor?

ROMNEY:  Yes?

PELLEY:  I stand corrected.  You are right.  Please continue.

ROMNEY:  Yes.  All right.  Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY:  Fin — finally, the president should have built a credible threat of military action and made it very clear that the United States of America is willing, in the final analysis, if necessary, to take military action to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon. Look, one thing you can know and that is if we reelect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon.  And if we elect Mitt Romney, if you elect me as the next president, they will not have a nuclear weapon. PELLEY:  But, sir, let me…

(APPLAUSE)

PELLEY:  — you just described where we are today and that’s what you’re going to have to deal with if you become president. How do you prevent them from obtaining a nuclear weapon? Is it worth going to war to prevent that?

ROMNEY:  Well, it’s worth putting in place crippling sanctions. It’s worth working with the insurgents in the country to encourage regime change in the country.  And if all else fails, if after all of the work we’ve done, there’s nothing else we could do besides mil — take military action, then of course you take military action.  It is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon. We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.  This term unacceptable has been applied by several presidents over history.  And our current president has made it very clear that he’s not willing to do those things necessary to get Iran to be dissuaded from their nuclear folly. I will take a different course.  I will make sure that the sanctions, diplomatic pressure, economic pressure and support of insurgents within the country help them become dissuaded to get away from their nuclear ambition.

PELLEY:  This…

ROMNEY:  And, finally…

PELLEY:  — this time, it is time.

ROMNEY:  Yes.  And finally, at that…

PELLEY:  (INAUDIBLE)…

ROMNEY:  And, finally (INAUDIBLE)…

PELLEY:  You’ll have 30 seconds on the follow-up.

ROMNEY:  Yes.

PELLEY:  So we’re going to try to adhere to the time.

GARRETT:  Mr. Speaker, is this the right way to look at this question, war or not war? Or do you see other options diplomatically, or other non-war means that the United States has in its possession with dealing with Iran that it has not employed?

GINGRICH:  Well, let me start and say that both the answers you just got are superior to the current administration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes!

GINGRICH:  And…

(APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH:  — you know, there are a number of ways to be smart about Ir  — Iran and relatively few ways to be dumb.  And the administration is has skipped all the ways to be smart.

(LAUGHTER)

GARRETT:  Could you tell us the smart ways…

GINGRICH:  Sure.

GARRETT:  — Mr. Speaker?

GINGRICH:  First of all, abs — maximum covert operations to block and disrupt the Iranian program, including taking out their scientists, including breaking up their systems, all of it covertly, all of it deniable. Second, maximum…

(LAUGHTER)

GINGRICH:  — maximum coordination with the Israelis in a way which allows them to maximize their impact in Iran.

GINGRICH:  Third, absolute strategic program comparable to what President Reagan, Pope John Paul II and Margaret Thatcher did to the Soviet Union, of every possible aspect short of war of breaking the regime and bringing it down. And I agree entirely with Governor Romney.  If in the end, despite all of those things, the dictatorship persists you have to take whatever steps are necessary to break its capacity to have a nuclear weapon.

PELLEY:  Congressman Paul, let me follow up with you for just 30 seconds.  Is it worth going to war to prevent a nuclear weapon in Iran?

PAUL:  No, it isn’t worthwhile.  The only way you would do that is you’d have to go the Congress.  We — we as commander in chief aren’t — to make a decision to go to war. You know, the old-fashioned way, the Constitution, you go to the Congress and find out if our national security is threatened.  And I’m afraid what’s going on right now is similar to the war propaganda that went on against Iraq. And you know they didn’t have weapons of mass destruction and it was orchestrated and it was, to me, a tragedy of what’s happened these past  — last 10 years, the death and destruction, $4 billion — $4 trillion in debt. So no, it’s not worthwhile going to war.  If you do, you get a declaration of war and you fight it and you win it and get it over with.

PELLEY:  Thank you, Congressman.

(APPLAUSE)

PELLEY:  Governor Perry, what’s your appraisal of the combat situation on the ground in Afghanistan today and what would you change?

PERRY:  Let me answer the previous question very quickly for our — if I  — if I may.

PELLEY:  Governor, I’d like to move on.  Could you give me a sense of your — of your appraisal of the combat situation?

PERRY:  I — I — if you — I have a minute and I can do both in one minute, I promise you.

PELLEY:  There is…

PERRY:  And the issue that has not been raised is that this country can sanction the Iranian Central Bank right now and shut down that country’s economy and that’s what this president needs to do. And the American people need to stand up and force him to make that stand today. Now, let me address this issue of Afghanistan and how we deal with it. The mission must be completed there.  The idea that we will have wasted our treasure and the lives of young Americans to not secure Afghanistan is not appropriate. But the idea that we would give a timetable to our enemy is irresponsible.  From a military standpoint, it’s irresponsible from the lives of our young men and women and it is irresponsible leadership of this president to give a timetable to pull out of any country that we’re in conflict with.

PELLEY:  But governor, if I could just follow up for 30 seconds. The question was what’s your appraisal of the combat situation on the ground there and what would you change as commander in chief?

PERRY:  Well, obviously we’re discussing with our commanders on the field about what’s going on in Afghanistan.  I — I think we’re making progress there. The issue is training up the Afghan security forces so that we’re comfortable that they can protect that citizenry and continue to take the war to the terrorists that are using Afghanistan and Pakistan, I might add. It’s a very complex part of the world.  But I think that our military is doing the best job that they can, considering the lack of support that they’re getting from this administration of telegraphing to the enemy when we’re gonna pull out.

GARRETT:  Senator Santorum, I know you want to jump in on Iran. I’ll give you that opportunity in just second. So let me merge two things if I could — just one second.  The Taliban said earlier this summer, quote, “The Afghans have an endless stamina for a long war.” If you were commander in chief, would you have endless stamina for a victory in Afghanistan?  And would you this evening define victory in Afghanistan? And please weigh in, and I know you do want to, on Iran.

SANTORUM:  Thank you very much, Major.  I appreciate that. Victory against the Taliban in Afghanistan is that the Taliban is a neutered force.  They are no longer a security threat to the — to the Afghan people or to — to our country.  That would be victory. Doesn’t mean wipe them out, we can’t wipe them out, but they’re no longer a security threat. The bigger issue and — I know there’s those of us at the end that don’t get a lot of questions and so I — I — this was — this is the most important national security issue that we’re gonna be dealing with here in — in this year and that’s the issue of Iran getting a nuclear weapon. And I think everyone should have the opportunity to answer that question, particularly me.  I’ve been working on Iran since back in 2004. And I proposed exactly the things that Herman and — and Mitt Romney suggested, which was to give money to the — to the — to the rebel forces there to — to help the pro-democracy movement and to put tough sanctions in place. I was opposed by President Bush and yet we were able to overcome that and pass the Iran Freedom And Support Act.  I was able to get that done and then President Bush didn’t provide money for the pro- democracy movement.  And President Obama cut that money. What we — we have a situation that’s different.  I disagree with Newt. More sanctions and — and — and providing, you know, more support for the pro-democracy movement isn’t gonna be enough in time. Read the IAEA report.  They are close and…

PELLEY:  Senator, I’m sorry, that’s time.  I’m sorry.  We’re gonna try to…

SANTORUM:  Well…

PELLEY:  … adhere to time and be fair…

SANTORUM:  … let me — if I can — to be fair…

PELLEY:  … to everyone in the application of that rule but if…

SANTORUM:  I understand.  Just let me finish my final comment. My final comment is we should be working with Israel right now to do what they did in Syria, what they did in Iraq, which is take out that nuclear capability before the next explosion we hear in Iran is a nuclear one and then the world changes.

PELLEY:  That is time.  Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

PELLEY:  Representative Bachmann, do you think the 30,000 surge troops in Afghanistan have made a difference and if so, where?

BACHMANN:  They absolutely have but it’s unfortunate the request was made for 40,000 troops.      President Obama dithered for approximately two months when he should have given the full complement of 40,000 troops. When he gave 30,000 troops to the effort in Afghanistan that meant that a decision had to be made. With 40,000 troops they could have conducted the war going into the southern province, in — in Helmand and also going into the eastern province and dealing with the problem all at once and coming to victory that much sooner and bringing our troops home. When 30,000 troops were given, then our troops did the very best that they could by going into the south and dealing in the Helmand Province. We actually have seen improvement down by Kandahar.  That’s a very good thing.  And that’s because of the brave actions of our men and women in that area. However, we have to recognize now President Obama has made a very fatal decision in Afghanistan.  He’s made the decision that by next September our troops will be withdrawn. If that is the case, how do we expect any of our allies to continue to work with us?  How can we even begin to seek the peace with the Haqqani network that are in the eastern region?

PELLEY:  Thank — thank you.

GARRETT:  Thank you, Congresswoman, that’s time.

PELLEY:  Thank you, Congresswoman Bachmann.  Thank you very much.

(APPLAUSE)

PELLEY:  Let me come over to you Governor Huntsman and — and ask you, we are seeing spikes in casualties in Afghanistan in new places. Can you explain to me what’s happening there?  And how you would change that as commander in chief?

HUNTSMAN:  Well, I think the spikes obviously are driven by lack of security, proper security, in certain parts of the country, which could plague us for a very, very long time to come. I take a different approach on Afghanistan.  I say it’s time to come home.

(APPLAUSE)

I say this — I say this nation has achieved its key objectives in Afghanistan.  We’ve had free elections in 2004.  We’ve uprooted the Taliban.  We dismantled al-Qaeda.  We have killed Osama bin Laden. I say this nation’s future is not Afghanistan.  This nation’s future is not Iraq.  This nation’s future is how prepared we are to meet the 21st Century challenges, that’s economic and that’s education.      And that’s gonna play out over the Asia-Pacific region and we’re either prepared for that reality or we’re not. I don’t want to be nation building in Afghanistan when this nation so desperately needs to be built.

PELLEY:  Make sure I understand — bring all the troops home today?

(APPLAUSE)

HUNTSMAN:  Here’s what I keep behind because we still have work to do: we don’t need 100,000 troops nation building, many of whom can’t cross the wire. I think we need a component that gathers tactical intelligence. We need enhanced Special Forces response capability for rapid response.  And we need some ongoing commitment to train the local Afghan national army. That’s not 100,000 troops.  That’s well south of that.  We are fighting an asymmetric threat, a counterterror threat, not only there but in Waziristan and every other corner of the world and we need to prepare for that as a reality of our 21st Century foreign policy.

GARRETT:  And that’s time.  Thank you, sir. Governor Romney, a much smaller footprint in Afghanistan, do you support that? And secondarily, sir, is it time or would it ever be time for the United States to negotiate with the Taliban?

ROMNEY:  We don’t negotiate with terrorists.  I’d not negotiate with the Taliban.  That’s something for the Afghans to decide, how they’re going to pursue their course in the future. With regards to our footprint in Afghanistan, the right course is for us to do our very best to secure the victories that have been so hard won by the soldiers, the men and women of — of our fighting forces who’ve been in Afghanistan. The commanders on the field feel that we can take out 30,000 to 40,000 troops some time by the end of next year.  The commander in chief, perhaps looking at the calendar of the election, decided to bring them home in September instead in the middle of the fighting season. Our commanders said that puts our troops at risk, at danger. Please don’t pull them out there, they said.  But he said, no, I’m gonna get them out early. I think that was a mistake.  Our surge troops should have been withdrawn by December of next year, not by September.  And the timetable by the end of 2014 is the right timetable for us to be completely withdrawn from Afghanistan, other than a small footprint of support forces.

PELLEY:  Mr. Speaker, how do you achieve peace in Afghanistan if you don’t negotiate with the Taliban? GINGRICH:  I don’t think you do.  I mean, look, I…

PELLEY:  Would you agree that the Taliban….

GINGRICH:  I — I — I think this so much bigger and deeper a problem than we’ve talked about as a country that we — we don’t have a clue how hard this is gonna be. First of all, the Taliban survives for the very same reason that historically we’ve said gorillas always survive, which is they have a sanctuary. The sanctuary is Pakistan.  You’re never going to stop the Taliban as long as they can hide.  And you — and you have proof every week in new bombings, and new killings, and new training.  So I think this has to be a much larger strategic discussion that starts with frankly Pakistan on the one end, and Iran on the other.  Because Afghanistan is in between the two countries, and is the least important of the three countries.

PELLEY:  Related to that, Mr. Cain, I’d like to pick up on a point that Speaker Gingrich just made.  You have said about foreign policy America needs to be clear about who its friends are, and who its foes are.  So this evening, sir, Pakistan — friend or foe?

CAIN:  We don’t know, because Pakistan — it’s not clear, because Pakistan is where Osama bin Laden was found and eliminated.  Secondly, Pakistan has had a conversation with President Karzai from Afghanistan, and they — and President Karzai has said that if United States gets into a dispute with Pakistan, then Afghanistan is going to side with Pakistan. There is a lot of clarity missing, like Speaker Gingrich says, in this whole region.  And they are all inter-related.  So there isn’t a clear answer as to whether or not Pakistan is a friend or foe.  That relationship must be reevaluated.

PELLEY:  If you were president, sir, and your National Security Council asked you what questions you would want answered to find out a better answer to this very question, what would you tell them?

CAIN:  I would ask them what commitments is Pakistan willing to make to assure the United States of America that they are a friend or a — or a foe.  And be specific about that.  Will they make commitments relative to the commitment of their military if we have to make commitments?  Are they willing to come to some regional agreement about what we need to do? We need a regional strategy in that area of the world such that all of our allies where we work together in order to come up with those things that will be mutually beneficial to everyone.  Those are the questions that need to be asked.

PELLEY:  Governor Perry, why is Pakistan playing a double game saying that it supports the United States one moment, and then supporting terrorists who are killing American troops the next? What’s going on there?

PERRY:  Listen, I think we’re having a — an interesting conversation here.  But the deeper one is — that the speaker makes reference to is the whole issue of — of foreign aid.  And we need a president of the United States working with a Congress that sends a clear message to every country.  It doesn’t make any difference whether it’s Pakistan, or whether it’s Afghanistan, or whether it’s India. The foreign aid budget in my administration for every country is going to start at zero dollars — zero dollars.  And then we’ll have a conversation.  Then we’ll have a conversation in this country about whether or not a penny of our taxpayer dollars needs to go into those countries.  And Pakistan is clearly sending us messages Mitt. It’s clearly sending us messages that they — they don’t deserve our foreign aid that we’re getting, because they’re not being honest with us.  American soldiers’ lives are being put at jeopardy because of that country, and the decisions that they’re ma…

(CROSSTALK)

PELLEY:  And that’s…

PERRY:  And it’s time for us as a country to say no to foreign aid to countries that don’t support the United States of America.

PELLEY:  That’s time, Governor.  Governor, let me give you 30 seconds in the follow up to go back to the question.  Why is Pakistan playing this double game?  Help us understand what’s going on there.

PERRY:  What they’ve doing is — they’ve been doing this for years. Their political people are not who are in charge of that country.  It’s the military.  It’s the secret service.  That’s who is running that country.  And I don’t trust them.  And we need to send clear messages. We need to do foreign aid completely different. I’m telling you no dollars going into those countries.  As a matter of fact, if they want any American aid, any country, unless we say differently then American manufacturing — big companies, small companies going in to help create economic impact in those countries…

PELLEY:  And that’s time, Governor.  Thank you.

PERRY:  … rather than just dollars flowing into some administration.

PELLEY:  Thank you very much.

GARRETT:  Congresswoman Bachmann, you serve on the Intelligence Committee.  I would like to get your assessment of what you think is happening in Pakistan, especially with the Haqqani network.  And you know from sitting on that committee that those in the diplomatic corps in this country, and even the intelligence community, believe that there is a tangible benefit at times to properly apply foreign aid from this country. So I want to know if you agree with the governor on that question, “Starting at zero.”  And also your assessment of the intelligence situation in Pakistan.  And what would you do about it?

BACHMANN:  Pakistan is a very difficult area, because they have been housing terrorists.  And terrorists have been training there.  Al Qaeda as well as Haqqani, as — whether other militias dealing with terrorist organizations.  But I would not agree with that assessment to pull all foreign aid from Pakistan. I would reduce foreign aid to many, many countries.  But there’s a problem.  Because Pakistan has a nuclear weapon.  We have more people affiliated with Al Qaeda closer to that nuclear bomb than in any other nation.  This is an extremely important issue.  And I think it underscores exactly why the next commander-in-chief has to understand from day one the intricacies that are happening in the Middle East.  This is a very dangerous time.  If you look at Iran, and if you look at Pakistan, and if you look at — at the link with Syria, because Iran is working through proxies like Syria through Hezbollah, through Hamas. It seems that the table is being set for world wide nuclear war against Israel.  And if there’s anything that we know, President Obama has been more than willing to stand with Occupy Wall Street, but he hasn’t been willing to stand with Israel.  Israel looks at President Obama, and they do not see a friend.

GARRETT:  Congresswoman, thank you. Speaker Gingrich, you presided as speaker over several foreign aid budgets for the United States.  And I remember covering in 1995 the intervention of the half a Mexican Peso.  You have seen at times the proper role of the United States through foreign aid and other interventions.  I want to know if you agree with Governor Perry about starting at zero.

GINGRICH:  Absolutely.  I mean, what he says made absolutely the perfect sense?  Why would you start every year — I mean, consider the alternative.  You’re giving some countries $7 billion a year.  So you start off — or — or in the case of Egypt $3 billion a year.  So you start off every year and say, “Here’s your $3 billion.  Now I’ll start thinking.”      You ought to start off with zero and say, “Explain to me why I should give you a penny.”  And let me tell you, the fact that the Pakistanis — and think about this.  The Pakistanis hid bin Laden for at least six years in a military city within a mile of their national defense university.  And then they got mad at the people who turned him over to us. And we think those are the acts of allies?  I think that’s a pretty good idea to start at zero, and sometimes stay there.

GARRETT:  Just a quick follow up, Mr. Speaker.  Since you mentioned —  since you mentioned Egypt, Mr. Speaker, I just want to know if you were president if the aid that we currently provide on an annualized basis to Egypt would be completely rethought of — possibly eliminated if you were president.

GINGRICH:  Well, it would certainly be completely rethought.  And candidly the degree to which the Arab spring may become an anti- Christian spring is something which bothers me a great deal.  And I would certainly have the State Department intervening on behalf of the Christians who are being persecuted under the new system having their churches burned, having people killed.  And I’d be pretty insistent that we are not going to be supportive of a regime which is explicitly hostile to religions other than Islam.

PELLEY:  Senator Santorum, if a Pakistani nuclear weapon goes missing, what do you do?

SANTORUM:  Well, let me just step back, and say I disagree with a lot of what was said up here.  Pakistan must be a friend of the United States for the reason that Michele outlined.  Pakistan is a nuclear power.  And there are people in this — in that country that if they gained control of that country will create a situation equal to the situation that is now percolating in Iran. So we can’t be indecisive about whether Pakistan is our friend. They must be our friend.  And we — we must engage them as friends, get over the difficulties we have as we did with Saudi Arabia with — with respect to the events of 9-11.  We — the terrorists came from Saudi Arabia.  And we said, “Well, you know what?  It’s important for us to maintain that relationship in spite of those difficulties.”  And it’s important for us with a nuclear power with a very vast number of people in Pakistan who are radicalizing, that we keep a solid and stable relationship, and work through our difficulties. It is that important, and we must maintain that relationship.

PELLEY:  But the Pakistanis back a terrorist network, the Haqqani Network, that laid siege to the NATO Headquarters, and the U.S. Embassy in Kabul for 20 hours a few weeks ago.

SANTORUM:  The Pakistanis would say they don’t back…

PELLEY:  How do you make friends out of Pakistan?

SANTORUM:  A lot of the Pakistanis and most of the government would say they don’t back the Haqqani Network.  And that the Haqqani Network causes as much trouble in Pakistan as it has caused us in — in Afghanistan.  We need to work with the elements of Pakistan, and there are elements in the government of Pakistan, and the military.

SANTORUM:  We need to continue those joint exercises.  We need to continue the — the aid relationship.  And of course, we all know the aid relationship when it comes to military aid is all spent in the United States.  So it’s not giving money away.  It’s — it’s sending military hardware which creates jobs in this country to those countries creating nexus in relationships and dependency on our weapon systems that’s important for those future relationships.

PELLEY:  Senator, we’ll have to leave it right there.  We will have more of the Republican commander-in-chief debate in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PELLEY:  Welcome back to Spartanburg, South Carolina, and the “Republican Commander-in-Chief Debate.” I’m Scott Pelley with CBS News, along with Major Garrett of National Journal.

GARRETT:  Thanks, again, Scott. Mr. Speaker, you said yesterday that Governor Romney is a competent manager, but you said you were unsure if he was really capable of changing Washington.  You said you were the change agent. Based on the arc of this campaign and perhaps what you’ve heard tonight, would you care to evaluate Governor Romney’s ability think outside the box and change the United States national security or foreign policy perspectives?

GINGRICH:  No.  No.

(LAUGHTER)

GARRETT:  You said so last night.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

GARRETT:  Then what was the point, sir, of bringing it up yesterday on a national radio show?

GINGRICH:  I brought it up yesterday because I was on a national radio show.  I think he brings up things when he’s on national radio shows.  We’re here tonight talking to the American people about why every single one of us is better than Barack Obama.  And that’s a topic I’d rather…

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

GARRETT:  Mr. Speaker, if you — if you would like to…

GINGRICH:  And by the way — let me just say, compared to this administration, talking about a friend who is a great business manager, is a good manager, is an enormous improvement over Barack Obama.

(APPLAUSE)

GARRETT:  Then, Mr. Speaker, I well remember you talking as speaker about the necessity of leaders to think outside the box.

GINGRICH:  Yes.

GARRETT:  If you were president, how would you think outside the box about some of the issues we’ve discussed here tonight?

GINGRICH:  Oh, in a number of ways.  As I said earlier, I would explicitly adopt the Reagan-John Paul II-Thatcher strategy towards Iran.  I would do the same thing towards North Korea.  I would adopt a very strong policy towards the United Nations of dramatically taking on its absurdities. I would explicitly repudiate what Obama has done on Agenda 21 as the kind of interference from the United Nations…

(APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH:  There are a number of other areas.  I would also, frankly, apply Lean Six Sigma to the Pentagon to liberate the money to rebuild the Navy.  We need a capital investment program and this administration is shrinking the Navy to a point where it’s going to be incapable of doing its job worldwide. So there are a number of places I would be thinking outside the box.

PELLEY:  And that’s time, Mr. Speaker.  Thank you very much. Mr. Cain, you’ve often said that you’ll listen to your generals for their advice before making your decisions as commander-in-chief. How will you know when you should overrule your generals?

CAIN:  The approach to making a critical decision, first make sure that you surround yourself with the right people.  And I feel that I’ll be able to make that assessment when we put together the cabinet and all of the people from the military, et cetera. You will know you’re making the right decision when you consider all the facts and ask them for alternatives.  It is up to the commander-in-chief to make that judgment call based upon all the facts.  And because I’ll have a multiple group of people offering different recommendations, this gives me the best opportunity to select the one that makes the most amount of sense. But ultimately it’s up to the commander-in-chief to make that decision.

GARRETT:  Senator Santorum, this is really a question about how you build a leadership model.  How, sir, would you decide when it was necessary for you as commander-in-chief to overrule the advice you get from either your civilian advisers or your military advisers?

SANTORUM:  Well, I’ll come into the office of the presidency with a very clear agenda and will get people together that will share my point of view.  When I was in the United States Senate, I didn’t hire people who didn’t share how I approached the problem.  That’s what the people of this country are elected — they’re electing someone who is going to be very crystal clear, and as you heard from my first two answers, I don’t mince words. I say exactly what I believe and then I follow through and do what I say.  I did that when I was in public life before, even though I represented a state that wasn’t a particularly conservative state, I followed through and did that and I will surround myself with people who will execute what I promised the American public to do, and then we will go about the process of doing that.

GARRETT:  You mentioned your agenda.  If you could prioritize one or two points, maybe more if you’d like, what your key agenda is on national security?

SANTORUM:  Well, obviously, the issue we were talking about before, which is number one, Iran must not get a nuclear weapon, and we will go about whatever it takes to make sure that happens. I hope, I hope that some of the things that I’ve talked about here and Newt’s thing that I’ve been talking about for a while, which is covert activity, you know, there have been scientists turning up dead in Russia and in Iran. There have been computer viruses.  There have been problems at their facility.  I hope that the United States has been involved with that.  I hope that we’ve been doing everything we can covertly to make sure that that program doesn’t proceed forward. And if we’re lucky enough — and I’m not sure we will be, that if no action is taken and we still don’t have a nuclear Iran, that would be my laser beam focus to make sure that would not happen.

PELLEY:  And that’s time, Senator.  Thank you very much. Governor Perry, you advocate the elimination of the Department of Energy.  If you eliminate the Department of Energy…

PERRY:  I’m glad you remembered it.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

PELLEY:  I’ve had some time to think about it, sir.

(LAUGHTER)

PERRY:  Me, too.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

PELLEY:  If you eliminate the Department of Energy, what do you do with the nuclear weapons?

PERRY:  Well, there are plenty of places in our government that can have oversight on our nuclear energy. But let me back over to the question that you have asked before this about what is the most important thing from a strategic standpoint, commander-in-chief.  For 10 years I have been the commander-in-chief of over 20,000-plus individuals in the state of Texas as we’ve dealt way host of either natural disasters or having deployments into the combat zones. So if there’s someone on this stage who has had that hands-on commander-in-chief experience, it is me as the governor of the state of Texas.  I’ve dealt with generals.  I have individuals at the Department of Defense who have been at the highest levels, both on the civilian side and on the military side, that will help me make decisions about those issues that we face as a country.

PERRY:  So I feel very comfortable from day one of surrounding myself with individuals who have extraordinary backgrounds in national defense, and will be able to put this country on a track that Americans will feel we know that we’re going to be secure, including…

PELLEY:  And that’s time, sir.

PERRY:  … the southern border of this country with Mexico.

PELLEY:  And that’s time.  Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

GARRETT:  I don’t need to tell the people on this stage that presidential politics is interactive business, and, of course, this debate is interactive as well. And we have an e-mail question, I’m happy to say, emailed into the “National Journal”.  And it comes from Stephen Shaffer (ph) (inaudible), Oregon (ph).  And I’d like to address this question to Mr. Cain. Stephen (ph) writes:  “I served on an aircraft carrier during the Vietnam War.  I believe that torture is always wrong in all cases. What is your stance on torture?”

CAIN:  I believe that — following the procedures that have been established by our military.  I do not agree with torture.  Period. However, I would trust the judgment of our military leaders to determine what is torture and what is not torture.  That is the critical consideration.

GARRETT:  Mr. Cain, of course you’re familiar with the long- running debate we’ve had about whether waterboarding constitutes torture or is an enhanced interrogation technique. In the last campaign, Republican nominee John McCain and Barack Obama agreed that it was torture, and should not be allowed legally, and that the Army Field Manual should be the methodology used to interrogate enemy combatants.  Do you agree with that or do you disagree, sir?

CAIN:   I agree that it was an enhanced interrogation technique.

GARRETT:  And then you would support it as president?

(APPLAUSE)

GARRETT:  You would return…

CAIN:  Yes.

GARRETT:  … to that policy?

CAIN:  I would return to that policy.  I don’t see it as torture.  I see it as an enhanced interrogation technique.

GARRETT:  Congresswoman Bachmann, your opinion on this question that our emailer asked?

BACHMANN:  If I were president, I would be willing to use waterboarding.  I think it was very effective.  It gained information for our country, and I — and I also would like to say that today, under Barack Obama, he is allowing the ACLU to run the CIA. You need to understand that today, today we — it — when we — when we interdict a terrorist on the battlefield, we have no jail for them.  We have nowhere to take them.  We have no CIA interrogation anymore.  It is as though we have decided we want to lose in the war on terror under President Obama.  That’s not my strategy.  My strategy will be that the United States will be victorious in the war on terror.

GARRETT:  Congressman Paul, my fighting sense tells me we have a debate about to get launched here.  I know you have an opinion and would like to weigh in.

PAUL:  Yes, torture is illegal and — by our laws.  It’s illegal by international laws.

GARRETT:  How do you — how do you define torture, sir?

PAUL:  Well, waterboarding is torture and many others.  It’s illegal under international law and under our law.  It’s also immoral, and it’s also very impractical.  There’s no evidence that you really get reliable evidence. Why would you accept the position of torturing a hundred people because you know one person might have information?  And that’s what you do when you accept the principle of torture.  I think it’s — I think it’s uncivilized and — and have no practical advantages and it’s really un-American to accept, on principle, that we will torture people that we capture.

(CROSSTALK)

BACHMANN:  Major, Major, I have to weigh in.  I have to say something.  I have — I have to say something.  I have — I have to say…

PELLEY:  Let’s allow — let’s allow — I’m sorry, Congresswoman, just a moment, if you would, please.  Let’s give — let’s give Governor Huntsman an opportunity to take 30 seconds on that question.

HUNTSMAN:  It gets a little lonely over here in Siberia from time to time.

(LAUGHTER)

(UNKNOWN):  Tell me about it.

HUNTSMAN:  First of all, let me thank the sailor on the shift.  I have two boys in the United States Navy.  And all they want to do is go on to fight, protect and defend the great freedoms that we share in this country. This country has values.  We have a name brand in the world. I’ve lived overseas four times.  I’ve been an ambassador for my country three times.  I’ve lived overseas and done business.  We diminish our standing in the world and the values that we project, which include liberty, democracy, human rights and open markets, when we torture. We should not torture.  Waterboarding is torture.  We dilute ourselves down like a whole lot of other countries, and we lose that ability to project values that a lot of people in corners of this world are still relying on the United States to stand up for.

PELLEY:  And that is time.  Thank you, sir. Governor Romney…

(APPLAUSE)

PELLEY:  … Governor Romney, recently, President Obama ordered the death of an American citizen who was suspected of terrorist activity overseas.  Is it appropriate for the American president, on the president’s say-so alone, to order the death of an American citizen suspected of terrorism?

ROMNEY:  Absolutely.  In this case, this is an individual who had aligned himself with a — with a group that declared war on the United States of America.  And if there’s someone that’s going to join with a group like Al Qaida that declares war on America, and we’re in a — in a war with that entity, then, of course, anyone who is bearing arms with that entity is fair game for the United States of America. Let me go back…

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY:  … let me go back and just talk a moment about the issue that a number of people have spoken about, which is their definition of how their foreign policy might be different than this president. My foreign policy is pretty straightforward.  I would be guided by an overwhelming conviction that this century must be an American century, where America has the strongest values, the strongest economy and the strongest military.  An American century means a century where America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world. We have a president right now who thinks America is just another nation.  America is an exceptional nation.  We have a president who thinks that the way to conduct foreign policy is through his personal affects (sic) on other people. I am — I believe the way to conduct foreign policy is with American strength.  Everything I do will make America stronger, and I will stand and use whatever means necessary within the law to make sure that we protect America’s citizens and Americans’ rights.

PELLEY:  And that — and that’s time, Governor. Ladies and gentlemen…

(APPLAUSE)

PELLEY:  … ladies and gentlemen, the applause are lovely but we will not have booing.  Thank you very much.  We’ll have — we’ll have courtesy for all of the candidates on the stage. Speaker Gingrich, if I can ask you the same question.   As president of the United States, would you sign that death warrant for an American citizen overseas who you believe is a terrorist suspect?

GINGRICH:  Well, he’s not a terrorist suspect.  He’s a person who was found guilty under review of actively seeking the death of Americans.

PELLEY:  Not found guilty by a court, sir.

GINGRICH:  He was found guilty by a panel that looked at it and reported to the president.

PELLEY:  Well, that’s extrajudicial.

(CROSSTALK)

PELLEY:  It’s not the rule of law.

(APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH:  It is the rule of law.  That is explicitly false.  It is the rule of law.  If you engage in war against the United States, you are an enemy combatant.  You have none of the civil liberties of the United States.  You cannot go to court.

(APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH:  No, let me be — let me be very clear about this on two levels.  There is a huge gap here that, frankly, far too many people get confused over.  Civil defense, criminal defense is a function of being within the American law.  Waging war on the United States is outside criminal law. It is an act of war and should be dealt with as an act of war, and the correct thing in an act of war is to kill people who are trying to kill you.

(APPLAUSE)

(UNKNOWN):  Well said.  Well said.

GARRETT:  Governor Perry, with your indulgence, sir, I would like to change the subject a little bit to China.  According to U.S. officials, China is using cyber-attacks to steal billions of dollars of intellectual property that is critical to this nation’s economic success.  Are we, sir, engaged in financial warfare with China?

PERRY:  Listen, there are some people who have made the statement that the 21st century is going to be the century of China and that, you know, we’ve had our time in the sunshine.  I don’t believe that.  I don’t believe that at all. As a matter of fact, you think back to the 1980s, and we faced a similar type of a situation with Russia.  And Ronald Reagan said that Russia would end up on the ash heap of history, and he was right. I mean, I happen to think that the communist Chinese government will end up on the ash heap of history if they do not change their virtues.  It is important for a country to have virtues, virtues of honesty.  And this whole issue of allowing cyber-security to go on, we need to use all of our resources. The private sector, working along with our government to really —  standing up the cyber-command in 2010 was a good start on that. But fighting this cyber-war, I would suggest, is one of the great issues that will face the next President of the United States and we must win it.

PELLEY:  Governor, thank you.  That’s time. Governor Romney, I wonder, how would you manage China to avoid a 21st century Cold War?

ROMNEY:  Well, China has an interest in trade.  China wants to — as they have 20 million people coming out of the farms and coming into the cities every year, they want to be able to put them to work. They want to have access to global markets.  And so we have, right now, something they need very badly, which is access to our market and our friends around the world have that same power over China. We need to make sure that we let them understand that in order for them to continue to have free and open access to the thing they want so badly, our markets, they have to play by the rules. They can’t hack into our computer systems and steal from our government.  They can’t steal from corporations.  They can’t take patents and designs, intellectual property and duplicate them — duplicate them and counterfeit them and sell them around the world. And they also can’t manipulate their currency in such a way as to make their prices well below what they otherwise would be.  We have to have China understand that, like everybody else on the world stage, they have to play by the rules.  And if they do, we’ll have open trade with them and work with them.  And they should, in every way, want to collaborate with us and not become a belligerent nation, economically or militarily. But if you just continue to sit back and let them run over us, the policies of Barack Obama in China have allowed China to continue to expand their — their entry into our computer systems, their entry…

(UNKNOWN):  And…

ROMNEY:  — stealing our intellectual property…

PELLEY:  That’s time, Governor…

ROMNEY:  — and, of course, their military…

PELLEY:  (INAUDIBLE).

ROMNEY:  — their military capacity, as well.

PELLEY:  That’s time, Governor. But I would like to ask you a follow-up on that point.  You — you’ve talked about all the things that China should be doing. How do you affect that as commander-in-chief? How do you make China do these things

ROMNEY:  Well, number one on day one is acknowledging something which everyone knows, they’re a currency manipulator.  And on that basis, we also go before the WT — WTO — and bring an action against them as a currency manipulator.  And that allows us to apply selectively tariffs where we believe they are stealing our intellectual property, hacking into our computers or artificially lowering their prices and killing American jobs. We can’t just sit back and let China run all over us.  People say, well, you’ll start a trade war.  There’s one going on right now, folks.  They’re stealing our jobs and we’re going to stand up to China.

(APPLAUSE)

GARRETT:  Governor Huntsman, Governor Romney just said we’re in the middle of a war that — we’re not even declared or we’re not even aware of and Governor Perry said China will end up on the ash heap of history. You’ve been in China.  You were the ambassador of our nation there under President Obama. What’s your reaction?

HUNTSMAN:  Well, the real — the reality is a little different, as it usually is when you’re on the ground.  And I’ve tried to figure this out for 30 years of my career. First of all, I don’t think, Mitt, you can take China to the WTO on currency-related issues. Second, I — I don’t know that this country needs a trade war with China.   who does it hurt? Our small businesses in South Carolina, our exporters, our agriculture producers.  We don’t need that at a time when China is about to embark on a generational transition. So what should we be doing? We should be reaching out to our allies and constituencies within China.  They’re called the young people.  They’re called the Internet generation.  There are 500 million Internet users…

PELLEY:  And Governor…

HUNTSMAN:  — in China…

PELLEY:  — we’re going to have to…

HUNTSMAN:  — now 80 million bloggers and they are bringing about change the likes of which is going to take China down.

PELLEY:  We’re going to have to leave it there.

HUNTSMAN:  — while we have an opportunity to go up and win back our economic…

PELLEY:  Governor…

HUNTSMAN:  — manufacturing muscle.

PELLEY:  That’s time.

HUNTSMAN:  That’s all I want to do as president.

PELLEY:  I thank you very much. We will be back with the Republican Commander-In-Chief Debate from Wofford College, in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PELLEY:  Welcome back to South Carolina and the Republican Commander-In-Chief debate. Governor Perry, we just got a question via Twitter from Barbara McMahon. And Barbara asks this question of you:  “Does Governor Perry’s foreign aid starts at zero included Israel?”

PERRY:  Well, governorperry would Tweet back to her that absolutely, every country would start at zero.  Obviously…

(APPLAUSE)

PERRY:  — Israel is a special ally.  And my bet is that we would be funding them at some substantial level.  But it makes sense for everyone to come in at zero and make your case.  As a matter of fact, we ought to try that — doing that with some of those agencies that I was trying to think the name of the other night.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

PERRY:  Starting at zero, zero-based budgeting, and then we’ll share with you, is — we’ve got to go there.  And everyone has to come in and make their case.  That’s what the American people are doing. There’s somebody at home sitting watching TV tonight, looking for a job.  And they’re having to budget. Why in the world would our federal government get a pass on sending our tax dollars to any country…

PELLEY:  And Governor, I have to…

PERRY:  — without having an answer?

PELLEY:  We’re going to have to leave it right there.

PERRY:  Why?

PELLEY:  I thank you very much.

(APPLAUSE)

PELLEY:  That brings us to the end of the first hour of the debate.  Some CBS stations will be leaving us.  But you can continue to follow the debate online on CBSNews.com and NationalJournal.com. And you can submit questions for the candidates at either of those sites. Most of our stations in South Carolina and on the West Coast will continue to broadcast the debate. When we return, we will take questions from South Carolina’s two senators, United States Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator Jim DeMint. With thanks to the candidates…

(APPLAUSE) PELLEY:  — thanks to Wofford College, thanks to the GOP of South Carolina, I’m Scott Pelley.

Campaign Buzz November 12, 2011: CBS News / National Journal GOP Republican Presidential Debate at Wofford College, Spartanburg, South Carolina — Iran & Pakistan Central Issues in National Security & Foreign Policy Debate

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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.

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The eight Republican candidates for president debated Saturday in Spartanburg, S.C. More Photos »

IN FOCUS: REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES DEBATE IN SOUTH CAROLINA ON NATIONAL SECURITY & FOREIGN POLICY

CBS News/National Journal Debate — CBS News, 11-12-11

In Full: The CBS News/NJ GOP debate: The commander-in-chief debate: Eight Republican presidential candidates gathered at South Carolina’s Wofford College for a national security and foreign policy debate hosted by CBS News and National Journal…. Watch Video

CBS News, National Journal to host Republican debate on Nov. 12: CBS News and National Journal today are announcing a Republican presidential debate to take place on November 12 at 8 p.m. ET. It will take place at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C. and will be moderated by CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley and National Journal congressional correspondent Major Garrett. The debate, the first on broadcast television, will focus primarily on national security…. – CBS News, 11-12-11

Live Blogging the Republican Debate in S.C.: The Republican presidential candidates gather for a debate Saturday night in South Carolina, where Rick Perry will get a chance to redeem his fumbling, forgetful performance in Michigan on Wednesday night…. – NYT, 11-12-11

 

  • The Republicans: Live from South Carolina: Republicans largely agreed with each other on foreign policy issues during a debate Saturday, largely reserving their criticism for President Obama over his stewardship of world affairs…. – USA Today, 11-12-11
  • Live blogging the GOP foreign policy debate — JTA, 11-12-11
  • A look at key moments in Republican debate: Key moments in Saturday night’s Republican presidential debate…. – AP, 11-12-11
  • “We’re here tonight to talk to the American people about why every single one of us is better than Barack Obama.” — Newt GingrichMr. Perry successfully made light of his brain freeze on Wednesday, though he had help from the CBS moderator Scott Pelley.
    When Mr. Pelley began asking how nuclear weapons would be monitored without an Energy Department, Mr. Perry, smiling broadly, cut in with a joke: “I’m glad you remembered it.”
    “I’ve had some time to think about it, sir,” Mr. Pelley said, to which Mr. Perry shot back, “Me too.”

    “Look, one thing you can know, and that is if we re-elect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon.” — Mitt Romney

    “It’s time for us as a country to say no to foreign aid to countries that don’t support the United States of America.” — Gov. Rick Perry

  • Up for Debate: Foreign Policy and Obama: The eight major Republican candidates for president joined in a united attack against President Obama as commander in chief during a debate here Saturday, but at times differed sharply over how to block Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the way forward in Pakistan.
    The debate, held here by CBS News and The National Journal, was the first to focus exclusively on foreign policy, and the candidates seemed more focused on presenting themselves as plausible commanders in chief than on knocking one another off-balance.
    His fortunes rising in polls, former Speaker Newt Gingrich declined an invitation to repeat his Friday critique of the presumed Republican front-runner Mitt Romney as insufficient to the task of changing Washington, saying sternly, “We’re here tonight to talk to the American people about why every single one of us is better than Barack Obama.”… – NYT, 11-12-11
  • At least 3 GOP candidtes say war with Iran is an option: Three Republican candidates for president said they would go to war if Iran Timeline of articlesobtained a nuclear weapon. Mitt Romney, one of the frontrunners and the former Massachusetts governor, Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the US House of Representatives…. – JTA, 11-12-11
  • GOP candidates talk tough on Iran, split over Pakistan at debate: As a foreign policy-themed debate got underway in Spartanburg, S.C., on Saturday, it quickly became clear that the eight Republican presidential candidates on the stage were more like-minded on how to handle the threat posed by a nuclear Iran than what do with Pakistan.
    Almost to a candidate, they charged that President Obama wasn’t doing enough to deter Iran from developing a nuclear weapon…. – LAT, 11-12-11
  • Romney: Iran will obtain nuclear weapon if Obama is re-elected: The Republicans vying to challenge President Obama in next year’s election slammed his administration’s foreign policy, suggesting he’s bungled efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear … – Yahoo! News Blogs, 11-12-11
  • Perry: My foreign aid budget starts at zero: Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he would cut the United States’ foreign aid budget to zero and then allocate taxpayer dollars depending on each country’s support for America, indicating that Pakistan would no longer receive U.S. aid but Israel would.
    “It’s time for us as a country to say no to foreign aid to countries that don’t support the United States of America,” Perry said.
    His idea received support from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich but, in the case of Pakistan, was opposed by Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum at the CBS News/National Journal debate in Spartanburg, S.C…. – CBS News, 11-12-11
  • Romney and Gingrich willing to attack Iran to prevent them from getting nukes: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich both said it is worth using the United States military to attack Iran in order to prevent the oil rich nation from obtaining a nuclear weapon…. – CBS News, 11-12-11
  • GOP presidential candidates criticize Obama’s Afghanistan policy: Republican presidential contenders blasted President Barack Obama’s policies on Iran and Afghanistan Saturday night as badly misguided and weak…. – Myrtle Beach Sun News, 11-12-11
  • >GOP presidential debate in South Carolina – live: Can Rick Perry avoid ‘brain freeze’ in tonight’s GOP presidential debate in South Carolina? Follow our live coverage here Republican presidential contender Rick Perry: can he remember his own name in tonight’s GOP debate in South Carolina? … – The Guardian, 11-12-11
  • GOP hopefuls debate foreign policy tonight: The 2012 Republican hopefuls will take the stage again tonight for another debate – this one focused on foreign policy. The event in South Carolina is being hosted by CBS and the National Journal… – Politico, 11-12-11
  • Republican debate in South Carolina tests Rick Perry and Herman Cain once again: The Republican presidential campaign makes a stop in this key primary state Saturday for a debate on foreign policy and national security issues. It could be an especially important moment for businessman Herman Cain and Texas Gov. Rick Perry… – WaPo, 11-12-11
  • Republican presidential contenders challenge Obama on foreign policy in South Carolina: Republican candidates prepared to challenge President Barack Obama on foreign policy, an issue they have given scant attention in recent weeks, as they gathered Saturday night for their second debate in four days. … – WaPo, 11-12-11
  • CBS/NJ GOP debate tonight: 5 things to watch: Can Rick Perry recover from his disastrous gaffe? Can Gingrich keep the momentum going? Can Cain prove he’s more than 9-9-9? Read more by Jan Crawford on CBS News’ Political Hotsheet….. – CBS News, 11-12-11
  • GOP candidates ready for CBS News/National Journal debate: Eight candidates looking to unseat President Obama will gather on stage at Wofford College Saturday night for a debate on national security and foreign policy hosted by CBS News and National Journal.
    The Spartanburg, South Carolina, debate is chance for Texas Gov. Rick Perry to revive his candidacy after a major flub Wednesday night in Michigan where he said he wants to eliminate three government agencies but could only name two of them. The awkward pause has been played over and over again on TV and the Internet since then.
    In the CBS News poll released Friday, Cain leads the field with 18 percent, followed by Romney and a surging Newt Gingrich at 15 percent. Perry is in fourth place in the poll with 8 percent, followed by Ron Paul at 5 percent, Michele Bachmann at 4 percent, Rick Santorum at 2 percent and Jon Huntsman at 1 percent…. – CBS News, 11-12-11
  • Cain hones in on foreign policy before debate: Hours before the second Republican presidential debate of the week, GOP candidate Herman Cain previewed his foreign policy bona fides before a group of young Republicans in his home state Saturday morning. … – CNN, 11-12-11
  • Gingrich: Bring the Debates On: There may be one Republican candidate prone to memory lapses who wishes he never had to debate again, but Newt Gingrich cannot get enough of these events. Bring the debates on, he told a crowd at the opening…. – NYT, 11-12-11

Full Text Campaign Buzz November 9, 2011: CNBC “Your Money, Your Vote” GOP Republican Presidential Debate at Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan Transcript — 9th GOP 2012 Debate on Economy — Perry Experiences Oops Moment

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CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

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Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas at the Republican presidential debate on Wednesday. More Photos »

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

CNBC’s “Your Money, Your Vote: The Republican Presidential Debate” Live from Oakland University in Rochester, MI …

CNBC ‘Your Money, Your Vote’ Republican Presidential Debate

The following is a transcript of the CNBC “Your Money, Your Vote” Republican presidential debate at Oakland University in Auburn Hills, Mich, as provided by Federal News Service.

Speakers: Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MINN.)

Businessman and Columnist Herman Cain

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives  Newt Gingrich (R-GA.)

Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman (R)

Representative  Ron Paul (R-TEXAS)

Governor Rick Perry (R-TEXAS)

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R)

Former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA.)

Moderators: Maria  Bartiromo and John Harwood

MARIA BARTIROMO: Throughout the evening tonight, we’ll be joinedby an all-star line-up of the smartest people on CNBC. First uptonight: Jim Cramer, the host of “Mad Money.” Jim, welcome.(Cheers, applause.)

JIM CRAMER: Thank you, Maria.

JOHN HARWOOD: And we also want to hear your voice. Go to ourwebsite, debate.cnbc.com, and tweet us at hashtag CNBCdebate. All

night we’ll be showing your tweets on the bottom of the screen, so allthe candidates will have even more of a motive to impress.

MS. BARTIROMO: In the interest of time, the candidates haveagreed to forgo opening and closing statements tonight. So let’s getstarted.

And we begin with you, Mr. Cain. I want to begin with what wesaw today, another rough day for our money, for our 401(k)s. Onceagain we were all impacted by the news that the Dow Jones IndustrialAverage dropped 400 points today. The reason: Italy is on the brinkof financial disaster. It is the world’s seventh-largest economy. Aspresident, what will you do to make sure their problems do not takedown the U.S. financial system?

HERMAN CAIN: Let’s start with two things. First, we must growthis economy. We are the biggest economy in the world, and as long aswe are stagnant in terms of growth in GDP, we impact the rest of theworld. We must do that.

But we’re not going to be able to do that until we put some fuelin the engine that drives economic growth, which is the businesssector. This administration has done nothing but put stuff in thecaboose, and it’s not moving this economy. We must grow this economy,number one.

Number two, we must assure that our currency is sound. Just like — a dollar must be a dollar when we wake up in the morning. Justlike 60 minutes is in an hour, a dollar must be a dollar.

If we are growing this economy the way it has the ability to do, andat the same time we are cutting spending seriously, we will havethings moving in the right direction in order to be able to survivethese kind of (ripple effects ?)

MS. BARTIROMO: So to be clear: Focus on the domestic economy;allow Italy to fail?

MR. CAIN: Focus on the domestic economy, or we will fail. So,yes, focus on the domestic economy first. There’s not a lot that theUnited States can directly do for Italy right now because they have — they’re really way beyond the point of return that we — we as theUnited States can save them.

MS. BARTIROMO: Governor Romney, should we allow Italy to fail?Should we have a stake in what’s going on in the eurozone right now?

MITT ROMNEY: Well, Europe is able to take care of their ownproblems. We don’t want to step in and try and bail out their banksand bail out their governments. They have the capacity to deal withthat themselves. They’re a very large economy. And there will be,I’m sure, cries if Italy does default, if Italy does get in trouble,and we don’t know that’ll happen. But if they get to a point wherethey’re in crisis and banks throughout Europe could hold a lot ofItaly debt, we’ll — we’ll then face crisis. And there’ll have to besome kind of effort to try and uphold their financial system.

There will be some who say here that banks in the U.S. that haveItalian debt — that we ought to help those as well. My view is, no,no, no. We do not need to step in to bail out banks either in Europeor banks here in the U.S. that may have Italian debt. The rightanswer is for us — (applause) —

MS. BARTIROMO: But the U.S. does contribute to the InternationalMonetary Fund, and the IMF has given $150 billion to the eurozone.Are you saying the U.S. should stop contributing to the IMF?

MR. ROMNEY: I’m happy to continue to participate in worldefforts like the World Bank and the IMF. But I’m not happy to havethe United States government put in place a TARP-like program to tryand save U.S. banks that have Italian debt, foreign banks doingbusiness in the U.S. that have Italian debt, or European debt — we’rejust — of banks there.

There’s going to be an effort to try and draw us in and talkabout how we need to help — help Italy and help Europe. Europe isable to help Europe. We have to focus on getting our own economy inorder and making sure we never reach the kind of problem Italy ishaving.

If we stay on the course we’re on, with the level of borrowingthis administration is carrying out, if we don’t get serious aboutcutting and capping our spending and balancing our budget, you’regoing to find America in the same position Italy is in four or fiveyears from now, and that is unacceptable. We got to fix our — ourdeficit here. (Applause.)

JIM CRAMER: Congressman Paul. (Inaudible) — to say. You know,I really get that. But I’m on the front lines of the stock market.We were down 400 points today. We’re not going to be done going downif this keeps going up, if Italy keeps — the rate keeps going up.Surely you must recognize that this is a moment-to-moment situationfor people who have 401(k)s and IRAs and the like, and you wouldn’tjust let it fail, just go away and take our banking system with it.

REPRESENTATIVE RON PAUL (R-TX): No, you don’t. You have to letit — you have to let it liquidate. We’ve had — we took 40 years tobuild up this worldwide debt. We’re in a debt crisis never seenbefore in our history. The sovereign debt of this world is equal tothe GDP, as ours is in this country. If you prop it up, you’ll doexactly what we did in the Depression, prolong the agony. If you do — if you prop it up, you do what Japan has done for 20 years.

So, yes, you want to liquidate the debt. The debt isunsustainable. And this bubble was predictable because 40 years ago,we had no restraints whatsoever on the monetary authorities and wepiled debt on debt, we pyramided debt, we had no restraints on thespending. And if you keep bailing people out and prop it up, you justprolong the agony, as we’re doing in the housing bubble.

Right now Fannie May and Freddie Mac are demanding more moneybecause we don’t allow the market to determine what these mortgagesare worth. If you don’t liquidate this and clear the market, believeme, you’re going to perpetuate this for a decade or two more, and thatis very, very dangerous. (Applause.)

MR. CRAMER: Governor Huntsman. (Inaudible.) Italy’s too big tofail. It’s great. I would love it if we were independent. It wouldbe terrific (to say it’s your fault ?), it’s your fault and it’s yourproblem.

But if this goes, the world banking system could shut down. Doesn’tthat involve our banks, too?

JON HUNTSMAN: So we wake up this morning, and we find that theyield curve with respect to Italy is up and prices are down. So ifyou want a window into what this country is going to look like in thefuture if we don’t get on top of our debt, you’re seeing it playingout in Europe right now. You’re seeing the metastasy effect of thebanking sector.

And what does it mean here? What am I most concerned about, Jim?I’m concerned that it impacts us in a way that moves into our bankingsector, where we’ve got a huge problem called “too big to fail” inthis country. We have six banks in this country that, combined, haveassets worth 66 percent of our nation’s GDP, $9.4 trillion. Theseinstitutions get hit, they have an implied bailout by the taxpayers inthis country. And that means we’re setting ourselves up for disasteragain.

Jim, as long as we have banks that are too big to fail in thiscountry, we’re going to catch the contagion, and it’s going to hurtus. We’ve got to get back to a day and age where we have properly-sized banks and financial institutions.

JOHN HARWOOD: Thank you, Governor. (Applause.)

Governor Romney, I want to switch to the bailout drama that we’velived through in this country, and no state understands it better thanthe state of Michigan. I’m going to talk a little bit about yourrecord on that. Four years ago when you were running for theRepublican nomination and the auto industry was suffering, you said,where’s Washington? After the election, when the Bush administrationwas considering financial assistance for the automakers, you said no,let Detroit go bankrupt. Now that the companies are profitable againafter a bailout supported by your Republican governor here inMichigan, you said, well, actually, President Obama implemented myplan all along, or he gravitated to my plan. With a record like thatof seeming to be on all sides of the issue, why should Republicans beconfident in the steadiness of your economic leadership?

MR. ROMNEY: John, I care about about this state and about theauto industry like — I’d guess like no one else on this stage, havingbeen born and raised here, watched my parents make their life here. Iwas here in the 1950s and 1960s when Detroit and Michigan was thepride of the nation. I’ve seen this industry and I’ve seen this statego through tough times.

And my view some years ago was that the federal government, byputting in place CAFE requirements that helped foreign automobilesgain market share in the U.S., was hurting Detroit. And so I said,where is — where is Washington? They’re not doing the job they oughtto be doing.

My view with regards to the bailout was that whether it was byPresident Bush or by President Obama, it was the wrong way to go. Isaid from the very beginning they should go through a managedbankruptcy process, a private bankruptcy process. We have capitalmarkets and bankruptcy. It works in the U.S. The idea of billions ofdollars being wasted initially — then finally they adopted themanaged bankruptcy. I was among others that said we ought to do that.

And then after that, they gave the company to the UAW, they gaveGeneral Motors to the UAW, and they gave Chrysler to Fiat. My plan,we would have had a private sector bailout with the right — privatesector restructuring and bankruptcy with the private sector guidingthe — the direction, as opposed to what we had with the governmentplaying its heavy hand.

MR. HARWOOD: Governor, let me follow up, because — (applause) — the auto bailout is part of a larger issue facing your candidacy,as you know. Your opponents have said you’ve switched positions onmany issues. It’s an issue of character — not personal, butpolitical. You seemed to encapsulate it in what — the last debatewhen you said: I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

What can you say to Republicans to persuade them the things yousay in the campaign are rooted in something deeper than the fact thatyou’re running for office?

MR. ROMNEY: I think — John, I think people know me pretty well,particularly in this state, in the state of Massachusetts, NewHampshire that’s close by, Utah where I (served in ?) the Olympics. Ithink people understand that I’m a man of steadiness and constancy.

I don’t think you’re going to find somebody who has more of thoseattributes than I do.

I’ve been married to the same woman for 25 — excuse me — (chuckles) I get in trouble — for 42 years. (Laughter.) I’ve — I’ve been in the same church my entire life. I worked at one company,Bain, for 25 years, and I left that to go up and — off and help savethe Olympic Games.

I think it’s outrageous the Obama campaign continues to push thisidea when you have in the Obama administration the most politicalpresidency we’ve seen in modern history. They’re actually decidingwhen to pull out of Afghanistan based on politics.

Let me tell you this. If I’m president of the United States, Iwill be true to my family, to my faith and to our country, and I willnever apologize for the United States of America. That’s my belief.(Cheers, applause.)

MR. HARWOOD: Now, Governor Perry, I want to ask you about this,because you’ve raised this issue yourself about Governor Romney, andyou’re running as a politician with strong convictions. From the flipside, Ronald Reagan raised taxes when the deficit got too big. GeorgeW. Bush supported TARP and the auto bailout when he thought we mightface a Great Depression — second Great Depression. Does that,examples like that, tell you that good, effective leaders need to showthe kind of flexibility that Governor Romney has showed on someissues?

GOVERNOR RICK PERRY (R-TX): The next president of the UnitedStates needs to send a powerful message not just to the people of thiscountry but around the world that America is going to be Americaagain; that we are not going to pick winners and losers fromWashington, D.C.; that we’re going to trust the capital markets andthe private sector to make the decisions and let the consumers pickwinners and losers.

And it doesn’t make any difference whether it’s Wall Street orwhether it’s some corporate entity or whether it’s some Europeancountry. If you are too big to fail, you are too big. (Applause.)

MS. BARTIROMO: Speaker Gingrich, Federal Reserve Chairman BenBernanke has called the unemployment in this country a national crisisdue to the amount of days people are out — months that people are outof work and the number of people out of work. Many of you have comeup with tax reform plans. Why is tax reform the path to job creation?And if it’s not the only path, what else can you implement to getpeople back to work?

NEWT GINGRICH: Well, first of all, I think Ben Bernanke is alarge part of the problem and ought to be fired as rapidly aspossible. (Cheers, applause.) I think the Federal Reserve ought tobe audited, and we should have all the decision documents for 2008, ‘9and ’10 so we can understand who he bailed out, why he bailed themout, who he did not bail out and why he did not bail them out.(Cheers, applause.) So I’m — I’m glad that Ben Bernanke recognizessome of the wreckage his policies have led to.

I’ve — the reason we follow — I think most of us are for taxpolicies that lead to jobs is because we’ve had two cycles in mylifetime, Ronald Reagan and the Contract with America, both of whichhad the same policies: lower taxes, less regulation, more Americanenergy, and have faith in the American job creator, as distinct from aSaul Alinsky radicalism of higher taxes, bigger bureaucracy with moreregulations, no American energy — as the president announced againtoday in his decision on offshore — and finally, class warfare. So Iwould say that all of us on this stage represent a dramaticallygreater likelihood of getting to a paycheck and leaving behind foodstamps than does Barack Obama. (Cheers, applause.)

MS. BARTIROMO: Congressman Bachmann, same question to you. Howcan you create jobs as quickly as possible?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN): Well, I think one thingthat we know is that taxes lead to jobs leaving the country. All youneed to know is that we have the second-highest corporate tax rate inthe world. And if you go back to 1981 and you look around the world,we had a lot of high corporate tax countries.

It was 47 percent, on average, on a lot of countries across the world.But if you look today in the United States, we have an effective rate,if you average in state taxes with federal taxes, of about 40 percent;but the world took a — took a clue. Because capital is mobile, andcapital went to places where corporate tax rates went to 25 percentand falling. We’re still stuck in a 1986 era of about a 40-percenttax rate.

We have to lower the tax rate, because of the cost of doingbusiness, but we have to do so much more than that. We — our biggestproblem right now is our regulatory burden. The biggest regulatoryproblem we have is “Obamacare” and Dodd-Frank. I will repeal thosebills. I’ve written those bills to repeal those bills. They gottago. But beyond that — (cheers, applause) — but beyond that, we haveto legalize American energy.

And here’s something else that we have to do that will help theeconomy. We have to build the fence on America’s southern border andget a grip on dealing with our immigration problem. (Applause.)

MS. BARTIROMO: OK.

MR. HARWOOD: Senator Santorum, you’ve proposed a zero tax onmanufacturing businesses.

RICK SANTORUM: I have.

MR. HARWOOD: All right. I understand the sentiment behind that,and the state of Michigan’s lost hundreds of thousands ofmanufacturing jobs over the last few decades. Isn’t that the kind ofdistortion in the tax code that people want to get away from in orderto get rates down — flatter, simpler, fairer?

MR. SANTORUM: I think getting the rate down to zero is down — is pretty far down. That’s good. It’s down to zero — (inaudible) —

MR. HARWOOD: But it’s down for the manufacturing industry, asopposed to people doing other things. Isn’t that picking winners andlosers?

MR. SANTORUM: It’s down for a sector of the economy, not pickingan individual winner or loser. It’s down for an entire sector of theeconomy, that we’re getting our hat handed to us by losing jobs. I — we see that here in Michigan; we see it across this country. And the

reason is government has made us uncompetitive. We need to compete ontaxes. We need to compete on regulations.

We need to repeal “Obamacare.” I’ve said I’m going to repeal everysingle Obama-era regulation that costs business over a hundred milliondollars. Repeal them all. We’ll save — we’ll send a very clearmessage out to manufacturers in this country and all over the worldthat America will compete.

Some have suggested we need to go into a trade war with China andhave tariffs. That just taxes you. I don’t want to tax you. I wantto create an atmosphere where businesses and manufacturers can beprofitable. Lower taxes, repatriating funds, zero percent tax if yourepatriate those funds and invest them in plant and equipment.

And then of course an energy policy that everyone on this stageis going to agree with, that says we are going to produce energy inthis country. I’m different than many of them, that — I’m going tocut all the subsidies out and let the market work, as opposed tocreating incentives for different forms of energy that the governmentsupports. (Applause.)

MS. BARTIROMO: You have all said that you will repeal thepresident’s health care legislation. We will get into that because wewant to know, then what? What is the plan once you repeal”Obamacare?”

But first, Mr. Cain, the American people want jobs but they alsowant leadership. They want character in a president. In recent days,we have learned that four different women have accused you ofinappropriate behavior. Here we’re focusing on character and onjudgement. (Boos.)

You’ve been a CEO. (Boos.) You know that shareholders arereluctant to hire a CEO where there are character issues. Why shouldthe American people hire a president if they feel there are characterissues?

MR. CAIN: The American people deserve better than someone beingtried in the court of public opinion based on unfounded accusations.(Cheers, applause.)

And I value my character and my integrity more than anythingelse. And for every one person that comes forward with a falseaccusation, there are probably — there are thousands who would saynone of that sort of activity ever came from Herman Cain.

You’re right, this country’s looking for leadership. And this is whya lot of people, despite what has happened over the last nine days,are still very enthusiastic behind my candidacy.

Over the last nine days — (applause) — over the last nine days,the voters have voted with their dollars, and they’re saying theydon’t care about the character assassination, they care aboutleadership and getting this economy growing and all of the otherproblems we face. (Applause.)

MR. HARWOOD: Governor Romney, when you were at Bain Capital, youpurchased a lot of companies. You could fire the CEO and themanagement team or you could keep them. Would you keep a CEO — areyou persuaded by what Mr. Cain has said? Would you keep him on if youhad bought his company? (Boos.)

MR. ROMNEY: I’m — look. Look, Herman Cain is the person torespond to these questions. He just did. The people in this room andacross the country can make their own assessment. I’m not going to — (applause) — inaudible). (Extended cheers and applause.)

MR. HARWOOD: Governor Huntsman, let me switch back to theeconomy. (Cheers, applause.)

Many Republicans have criticized the Occupy Wall Street movement.Well, we have have an NBC News/Wall Street poll this week that showeda large proportion of the American people, 76 percent, said theybelieve there’s something wrong with our economy that tilts toward thewealthy at the expense of others.

Do you consider something wrong with the structure of our economyand the income inequality that it produces? Is that somethinggovernment should do something about?

And if so, what?

JON HUNTSMAN: Let me just say that I want to be the president ofthe 99 percent. I also want to be the president of the 1 percent.This nation is divided, and it’s painful, and it is unnatural for themost optimistic blue-sky people this world has ever known. We areproblem solvers.

When I hear out the people who are part of the Wall Streetprotests, I (say ?) thank goodness we have the ability to speak out.I might not agree with everything they say. I don’t like the anti-capitalism messages. But I do agree that this country is never againgoing to bail out corporations.

I do agree — (applause) — thank you. I do agree that we haveblown through trillions and trillions of dollars with nothing to showon the balance sheet but debt and no uplift in our ability to competeand no addressing our level of unemployment.

And I do agree that we have institutions, banks, that are too bigto fail in this country, and until we address that problem — we canfix taxes, we can fix the regulatory environment, we can move towardenergy independence; so long as we have instant banks that are too bigto fail, we are setting ourselves up for long-term disaster andfailure.

MR. HARWOOD: So, Governor, you agree with Governor Romney thatthe bailout that Governor Snyder supports in Michigan was a mistake?

MR. HUNTSMAN: The bailout here in the auto sector, $68 billionworth — we’re going to end up footing a bill — Governor Snyder knowsthat — of probably $15 billion when all is said and done. I don’tthink that’s a good use of taxpayer money. Instead there ought to besome way of taking the auto sector through some sort ofreorganization, get them back on their feet. The people in thiscountry are sick and tired of seeing taxpayer dollars go towardbailouts and we’re not going to have it anymore in this country.(Applause.)

MR. CRAMER: Governor Romney, do you believe public companieshave any social responsibility to create jobs?

Or do you believe, as Nobel laureate Milton Friedman, the mostimportant, most influential conservative economist of the 20th centuryheld, that corporations should exist solely to create maximum profitfor their shareholders?

MR. ROMNEY: This is a wonderful philosophical debate, but youknow what? We — we don’t have to decide between the two because theygo together. Our Democratic friends think that when a corporation isprofitable, that’s a bad thing. I remember asking some, where do youthink — where do you think profits go? When you hear that a companyis profitable, where do you think it goes? And they said, well, topay the executives their big bonuses. I said no, actually, none of itgoes to pay the executives. Profit is what’s left over after they’veall been paid. What happens with profit is that you can grow thebusiness. You can expand it. You add working capital, and you hirepeople.

The right thing for America is to have profitable enterprisesthat can hire people. I want to make American businesses successfuland thrive. What we have in Washington today is a president and anadministration that doesn’t like business, that somehow thinks theywant jobs, but they don’t like businesses. Look, I want to see ourbusinesses thrive and grow and expand and be profitable. (Cheers,applause.) I want to see — (inaudible) — I want a (job ?) —

MR. CRAMER: Governor Perry, 30 seconds to you. Do you thinkthat companies can both be profitable and be able to create jobs? Doyou think it’s a dichotomy, or do you think they can do it?

GOV. PERRY: They better be. They better be, and that’s thereason the tax plan that I laid out, a 20 percent flat tax on thepersonal side and a 20 percent corporate tax rate — that will getpeople working in this country. (Applause.) We need to go out thereand stick a big old flag in the middle of America that says, “Open forbusiness again.” (Cheers, applause.)

MR. CRAMER: Mr. Speaker, how about to you? Can corporations doboth?

MR. GINGRICH: Look, obviously, corporations can and should doboth. And what is amazing to me is the inability of much of ouracademic world and much of our news media and most of the people onOccupy Wall Street to have a clue about history.

(Cheers, applause.)

In this town, Henry Ford started as an Edison Electric supervisorwho went home at night and built his first car in the garage. Now,was he in the 99 percent, or the 1 percent? Bill Gates drops out ofcollege to found Microsoft. Is he in the 1 percent, or the 99percent?

Historically, this is the richest country in the history of theworld because corporations succeed in creating both profits and jobs.And it’s sad that the news media doesn’t report accurately how theeconomy works. (Cheers, applause.)

MS. BARTIROMO: (Inaudible) — I’d like to know what the — Mr.Speaker, I’m sorry, but what is the media — what is the mediareporting inaccurately about the economy?

MR. GINGRICH: What? (Laughter.)

MS. BARTIROMO: What is the media reporting inaccurately aboutthe economy?

MR. GINGRICH: (I love humor disguised as a question ?). That’sterrific. (Laughter.)

I have yet to hear a single reporter ask a single Occupy WallStreet person a single rational question about the economy that wouldlead them to say, for example: Who’s going to pay for the park you’reoccupying if there are no businesses making a profit? (Cheers,applause.)

MR. CRAMER: Senator Santorum, I want to talk about a high-quality problem our country has. I just came back from North Dakota.We have made the largest oil discovery in a generation there. Notonly is it a — defined a big step toward creating energyindependence, it stands to create as many as 300,000 jobs. But whatthe guys tell me up there is that they can’t handle the rush withoutfederal help. Would you favor incentives — incentives to get workersand businesses to where the jobs are — to support this boom?

MR. SANTORUM: No, because we’ve done it in Pennsylvania.Pennsylvania has Marcellus shale. It took a while for us to ramp up,but we’re drilling 3(,000) to 4,000 wells. The price of natural gas,because of Marcellus shale — which is the second largest natural gas

find in the world — has gone from $12 to $3.65. And we let themarketplace work.

So no, we didn’t have the federal government come in and bail us out.

I want to make the point about manufacturing jobs again, becauseif you’re — if you’re talking about creating jobs that trickle down,I agree with Newt. We have folks who have (sic) innovators. But healways — he talked about innovators that created jobs for blue-collarworkers. The unemployment rate among non-college-educated is wellinto the double digits in America. It’s 4 or 5 percent for people whohave college degrees.

The reason I put forth this manufacturing point is not just so wecan say “made here in America.” That we can create opportunities foreveryone in America, including those that don’t have that collegeskill set. People who built this country, like my grandfather who wasa coal miner.

So that is a very important part that Republicans, unfortunately,are not talking about. We need to talk about income mobility. Weneed to talk about people at the bottom of the — of the income scalebeing able to get necessary skills and rise so they can supportthemselves and a family. And that’s what manufacturing does, andthat’s why I’m laser-beam focused on it. (Applause.)

MS. BARTIROMO: Let’s get back to tax reform.

Mr. Cain, let’s talk fairness in taxation. Ever since thiscountry started taxing income a hundred years ago, our system chargesthose people who make more money a higher rate than those people whomake less money. Governor Perry has said he doesn’t believe in thatapproach, and your 9-9-9 plan suggests you don’t either.

Why now, when the higher-income group is doing better than therest of America, is the time to switch to the same rate for all of us?

MR. CAIN: My proposal is the only one that solves the problem bythrowing out the current tax code, which has been a mess for decades — (applause) — and we need to put in something different that I’veproposed: 9-9-9. It satisfies five simple criteria.

It is simple. The complexity costs us $430 billion a year.

It is transparent. People know what it is. There are thousandsof hidden “sneak attaxes” in the current tax code. That’s why I wantto throw it out.

It is fair. The reason it’s fair is because of the definition inWebster, which says everybody gets treated the same, all businessesget treated the same, not having Washington, D.C., pick winners andlosers. This is why I have proposed a bold plan of 9-9-9: 9 percentbusiness flat tax, 9 percent tax on personal income, a 9-percentnational sales tax. It treats everybody the same. And it will boostthis economy.

MS. BARTIROMO: How do you ensure that when the government needsmore revenue, that the sales tax doesn’t go up and that plan doesn’tturn into 19-19-19?

MR. CAIN: Tax codes do not raise taxes, politicians do.(Cheers, applause.) And as long as it’s visible, the people will holdthe politicians’ feet to the fire. It’s not the code that raisestaxes, it’s the politicians. Because the code — because the approach9-9-9 will be very visible, the American people are going to hold therates at 9.

MR. HARWOOD: Governor Romney, Mr. Cain’s got a flat tax, RickPerry’s got a flat tax, Congresswoman Bachmann is talking about a flattax. You don’t have a flat tax. You’re proposing to preserve theBush era tax rates. What is wrong with the idea that we should go toone rate? Why do you believe in a progressive tax system?

MR. ROMNEY: Well, I would like to see our tax rates flatter.I’d like to see our code simpler. I’d like to see the special breaksthat we have in the code taken out. That’s one of the reasons why I’dtake the corporate rate from 35 down to 25, is to take out some of thespecial deals that are there.

With regards to our tax code, what I want to do is to take ourprecious dollars as a nation and focus them on the people in thiscountry that have been hurt the most, and that’s the middle class.

The Obama economy has really crushed middle-income Americans. Thispresident has failed us so badly. We have 26 million people out ofwork or in part-time jobs, that need full-time work or have stoppedlooking for work altogether.

Median incomes have dropped 10 percent in the last three years.At the same time, gasoline prices are up, food prices are up, healthcare costs are up. And so what I want to do is help the people who’vebeen hurt the most. And that’s the middle class. And so what I do isfocus a substantial tax break on middle-income Americans.

Ultimately, I’d love to see if — see us come up with a plan thatsimplifies the code and lowers rates for everybody. But right now,let’s get the job done first that has to be done immediately. Let’slower the tax rates on middle-income Americans.

MR. HARWOOD: Congresswoman Bachmann, Governor Romney isaccepting — (applause) — the premises of the Democratic argumentthat you have to have a fair approach to taxation that preservesdifferent rates for different people.

Why is he wrong?

REP. BACHMANN: Well, I would say President Obama is the onethat’s wrong, because President Obama’s plan for job creation hasabsolutely nothing to do with the true people who know how to createjobs. He should really be going to job creators if he wants to knowhow to create jobs.

Instead, he continues to go to General Axelrod in Chicago to lookfor his orders to figure out how to deal with the economy. That won’twork.

We know what needs to be done. We have a real problem. When youhave 53 percent of Americans paying federal income taxes, but you have47 percent of Americans who pay no federal income taxes, you have areal problem.

And that’s why in my tax plan, I have everyone paying something,because everyone benefits by this magnificent country. So even if itmeans paying the price of two Happy Meals a year, like $10, everyonecan afford to pay at least that. And what it does is create amentality in the United States that says that freedom is free. Butfreedom isn’t free.

We all benefit. We all need to sacrifice. Everybody has to be a partof this tax code. (Applause.)

MS. BARTIROMO: Congressman Ron Paul, you have said you want toclose down agencies. Tell us about your tax plan, as well as closingagencies, federal agencies. Where do those jobs go?

REP. PAUL: Well, eventually they go into the private sector.They don’t all leave immediately when the plan goes into effect.(Scattered applause.)

But what my plan does is, it addresses taxes in a littledifferent way. We’re talking about the tax code, but that’s theconsequence, that’s the symptoms. The disease is spending. Everytime you spend — (scattered applause) — spending is a tax. We taxthe people, we borrow, and then we print the money, and then theprices go up, and that is a tax. So you have to address the subjectof spending. That is the tax.

That is the reason I go after the spending. I propose in thefirst year cut $1 trillion out of the budget — (cheers, applause) — in five departments.

Now the — the other thing is — that you must do if you want toget the economy going and growing again is you have to get rid ofprice fixing. And the most significant price fixing that goes on, thatgave us the bubble, destroyed the economy and is preventing this fromcoming out is the price fixing of the Federal Reserve manipulatinginterest rates way below market rates. (Applause.) You have to havethe market determine interest rates if you want a healthy, viableeconomy.

MS. BARTIROMO: So you think the economy would be stronger ifinterest rates were higher right now?

REP. PAUL: You would have — you would have more incentive. Youwould take care of the elderly. They get cheated. They get nothingfor their CDs. Why — why cheat them and give the banks loans at 0percent? Then they loan it back to the government at 3 percent.They’re ripping us off at the expense of those on fixed incomes andthen retirees.

MS. BARTIROMO: Even though higher interest rates would make itmuch more expensive to borrow mortgages, borrow —

REP. PAUL: But what you want is the market to determine this.Whoever thought that one person, the Federal Reserve Board chairman,knows what the money supply should be? Just in the past six months,M1 has gone up at the rate of 30 percent.

That spells inflation. That spells lower standard of living andhigher prices. And watch out, they’re coming. (Applause.)

MS. BARTIROMO: We are just getting started tonight. When wereturn, how will the candidates breathe new life into the lifelesshousing market?

MR. HARWOOD: Plus, the view of the economy from the corneroffice.

(Video plays:)

MR. : I think that we’re in serious trouble. Businesspeopleare struggling.

MR. : The problems of the economy didn’t arrive in 20minutes, and they won’t be resolved in 20 minutes.

MR. : The most important economic issue of concern to me islack of leadership in government and the lack of any focus on buildingconfidence both with consumers and the business community.

(Video ends.)

MR. HARWOOD: So how are the candidates going to turn thingsaround? CNBC’s Republican presidential debate will be right back.Stay with us. (Applause.)

(Announcements.)

MS. BARTIROMO: Welcome back to CNBC’s Republican presidentialdebate. With us for this portion of the program, CNBC’s senioreconomics reporter, Steve Liesman.

Welcome, Steve. (Applause.)

STEVE LIESMAN (CNBC senior economics reporter): It’s great to behere, Maria. Thank you.

MS. BARTIROMO: Most economists agree that there can be noeconomic recovery without a recovery in housing. American familieshave lost some $7 trillion in home value in the last five years.Right now 4 million people are behind on their mortgage or inforeclosure. Twenty-five percent of homeowners owe more to the banksthan their house is actually worth.

Governor Romney has said that the government should let theforeclosure process play out so that the housing market can recoverand the free markets can work.

Speaker Gingrich, is Governor Romney right?

MR. GINGRICH: Well, he’s certainly right in the sense that youwant to get through to the real value of the houses as fast as youcan, because they’re not going to rise in value as long as you staytrapped, as Japan has done now for 20 years. But I think there aretwo specific steps you got to understand in terms of housing.

To pick up on something Congresswoman Bachmann said, if theRepublican House next week would repeal Dodd-Frank and allow us to putpressure on the Senate to repeal Dodd-Frank, you’d see the housingmarket start to improve overnight. Dodd-Frank kills small banks; itkills small business. The federal regulators are anti-housing loan.And it has maximized the pain level.

You could also change some of the rules so that it would beeasier to do a short sale, where the house is worth less than themortgage, than it is to do a foreclosure. Today the banks areactually profiting more by foreclosing than by encouraging shortsales.

But in the long run, you want the housing market to come back?the economy has to come back. When you’re at 4-percent unemployment,you suddenly have a dramatic increase in demand for housing. Whenyou’re at 9- percent-plus unemployment, it’s hard to get the housingmarket to come back.

MS. BARTIROMO: Governor Romney, respond in 30 seconds. Not oneof your 59 points in your economic plan mentions or addresses housing.Can you tell us why?

MR. ROMNEY: Yeah, because it’s not a housing plan, it’s a jobsplan. And the right way to get — (cheers, applause.)

The best — the best thing you can do for housing is to get theeconomy going, get have people working again, seeing incomes, insteadof going down, incomes coming up so people can afford to buy homes.The things the speaker just indicated are excellent ideas as well.You have to let the market work and get people in homes again, and thebest way for that to happen is to — is to allow this economy toreboot.

What we know won’t work is what this president has done, which isto try and hold off the foreclosure process, the normal marketprocess, to — to put money into a stimulus that failed and to put inplace a whole series of policies from “Obamacare” to Dodd-Frank thathave made it harder for this economy to get going. You want to getAmerica’s economy going, we know how to do it. It’s do almost theexact opposite of what President Obama has done. (Cheers, applause.)

(Off-mic exchange.)

MR. LIESMAN: Governor Romney, we’ve created 2.7 million jobssince February 2010. Over that period of time, the housing market hascontinued to decline. We’re at 2003 price levels now. If we keepgoing the way we’re going, in four or five years we’ll be at 1999price levels. The $7 trillion figure that Maria mentioned couldalmost double. Are you willing to let that happen in America?

MR. ROMNEY: And exactly what you — what would you do instead?Would you decide to have —

MR. LIESMAN: I’m asking you.

MR. ROMNEY: — have — to have the federal government go out andbuy all the homes in America? That — that’s not going to happen inthis country. Markets work. When you have government play its heavyhand, markets blow up, and people get hurt.

And the reason we have the housing crisis we have is that thefederal government played too heavy a role in our markets. Thefederal government came in with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — (cheers,applause) — and Barney Frank and Chris Dodd told banks they have togive loans to people who couldn’t afford to pay them back. And so — and so our friends — our friends in Washington today, they say, oh,if we’ve got a problem in the housing, let’s let government play abigger role.

That’s the wrong way to go. Let markets work. Help people getback to work. Let them buy homes. You’ll see home prices come backup if we allow this market to work.

(Applause.)

MR. LIESMAN: But Governor Perry, every quarter I get the report,the GDP figures, and it’s a negative number for housing. And we’velost some 2 million construction jobs. Housing creates jobs as well;doesn’t it?

GOV. PERRY: Not a negative number in Texas, and one of thereasons is because we have put policies into place that follow my planto get America back working again.

MR. LIESMAN: OK, so translate that plan to America, please.

GOV. PERRY: When you look at what I’ve laid out, whether it’sthe energy side and getting the energy industry going — and RickSantorum is absolutely correct on that, is let’s get our energyindustry freed up, federal lands, federal waters — pull back all ofthose regulations. Everybody on this stage understands, it’s theregulatory world that is killing America. (Applause.)

The tax side of it, yeah, have a flat tax. Have a corporate flattax in there, as well. But the real issue facing America areregulations. It doesn’t make any difference whether it’s the EPA orwhether it’s the federal banking, the Dodd-Frank or “Obamacare,”that’s what’s killing America. And the next president of the UnitedStates has to have the courage to go forward, pull back everyregulation since 2008, audit them for one thing: Is it creating jobs,or is it killing jobs? And if that regulation is killing jobs, doaway with it. (Applause.)

MR. HARWOOD: Well, Congresswoman Bachmann, in one of the lastdebates you were asked what you would do about foreclosures, and youtold moms to hang on. But your advice, as your colleagues havementioned, was: Let the economy recover. So you agree with GovernorRomney that the way to fix the housing market is to let theforeclosure process proceed more rapidly?

REP. BACHMANN: Well, what I agree with is that we have got tostop what we’re doing now. When we had the financial meltdown, 50percent of the homes were being financed by Fannie and Freddie; today,it’s 90 percent of the homes. In other words, the government is thebacker of the homes.

Well, let’s take a look and an analysis of what a great,brilliant job Freddie and Fannie are doing. They just applied thisweek for another $7 billion bailout because they’re failing. Theother one applied for a $6 billion bailout because they’re failing.

But what did they do? They just gave bonuses of almost $13million to 10 top executives. This is the epicenter of capital crony — crony capitalism. That’s what’s wrong with Washington, D.C. Forthese geniuses to give 10 of their top executives bonuses at $12million, and then have the guts to come to the American people andsay, give us another 13 billion (dollars) to bail us out just for thequarter? That’s lunacy. We need to put them back into bankruptcy — (applause) — and get them out of business. They’re destroying thehousing market.

MR. HARWOOD: Since you mentioned Fannie and Freddie, SpeakerGingrich, 30 seconds to you. Your firm was paid $300,000 by FreddieMac in 2006. What did you do for that money?

MR. GINGRICH: You — were you asking me?

MR. HARWOOD: Yes.

MR. GINGRICH: I offered them advice on precisely what theydidn’t do. (Laughter, applause.)

Look, look, this is not — this is —

MR. HARWOOD: Were you not trying to help Freddie Mac fend offthe effort by the Bush administration —

MR. GINGRICH: No. No, I do no — I have never done that.

MR. HARWOOD: — to curb Freddie Mac?

MR. GINGRICH: I have never done — I assume I get a secondquestion. I have never done any lobbying, every contract that waswritten during the period when I was out of the office specificallysaid I would do no lobbying, and I offered advice. And my advice as ahistorian, when they walked in and said to me, we are now making loansto people who have no credit history and have no record of paying backanything, but that’s what the government wants us to do, is I said — I said to them at the time: This is a bubble. This insane. This isimpossible.

It turned out, unfortunately, I was right and the people who weredoing exactly what Congresswoman Bachmann talked about were wrong.And I think it’s a good case for breaking up Fannie Mae and FreddieMac and getting much smaller institutions back into the private sectorto be competitive and to be responsible for their behavior.(Applause.)

MR. LIESMAN: Mr. Cain, government-sponsored entities Fannie Maeand Freddie Mac, as Congresswoman Bachmann said, now underwrite orguarantee 90 percent of the home financing in this country. Whatwould you do with these — with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Would youshut them down even though it could mean higher interest rates forAmericans and make it even harder than it is right now for Americansto get home loans?

MR. CAIN: You don’t start there. You start with fixing the realproblem, which is growing this economy, which is why I have put a boldsolution on the table, 9-9-9.

Secondly, then you get the regulators off of the backs of thebanks, like someone mentioned, get the regulars out of the way, suchthat the small banks and the medium-sized banks aren’t being forcedout of the business. They would then be in a better position, andthey might develop a desire in order to help homeowners reset theirmortgages if they were able to see, number three, some certainty.Uncertainty is what’s killing this economy, and until we throw out thetax code and put in something bold, get government out the way byreducing the regulatory environment, we are going to still have thehousing problem.

MR. LIESMAN: I’m sorry, Mr. Cain, but you would come into officeand Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be there, and the question was,what would you do with them?

MR. CAIN: OK, after I did those three things that I outlined,then deal with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

MR. LIESMAN: Right.

MR. CAIN: You don’t start solving a problem right in the middleof it, so we got to do that first.

I would also turn those GSEs into private entities. Thegovernment does not need to be in that business. I would find a wayto unwind Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac such that the marketplace candetermine the future of the housing market. (Applause.)

MR. HARWOOD: Governor Huntsman, I want to go back to the issuethat you raised before about “too big to fail.” If anything, thatproblem has gotten worse since the financial crisis than before. The10 biggest bank holding companies in this country now hold nearly 90percent of all the assets in the banking system, up from 75 percent in2006. So what would you do? Would you break up the banks to removethe risk or diminish the risk for American taxpayers?

MR. HUNTSMAN: Let me just say on the housing discussion here,lost in all of this debate is the fact that there are people tuning intonight who are upside-down in terms of the financing of their homes,who are feeling real pain, people who probably heard today that theylost a job. These issues are very real. They’re complicated. For usto say that there’s an easy solution to housing, that’s just notright. And that’s not fair. The economy does have to recover inorder for the housing market to pick up its slack and for us to getonto housing starts, which ought to be 15 percent of our nation’s GDP,and today it’s 2 percent.

With respect to the banks that are too big to fail, you know,today we’ve got, as I mentioned earlier, six institutions that areequal to 60 (percent), 65 percent of our GDP, $9.4 trillion. Theyhave an implied guarantee by the taxpayers that they’ll be protected.That’s not fair. That’s not right for the taxpayers.

MR. HARWOOD: So you break them up?

MR. HUNTSMAN: I say we need to — we need to right-size them. Isay in the 1990s you had Goldman Sachs, for example, that was 1.1 — that was — that was $200 billion in size. By 2008 it had grown to$1.1 trillion in size. Was that good for the people of this country?Or were — were we assuming — (inaudible) — process.

MR. HARWOOD: Well, how would you accomplish that? How would youright-size?

MR. HUNTSMAN: I think we ought to set up some sort of fund.Well, I think we ought to charge some sort of fee from the banks thatmitigates the risk that, otherwise, the taxpayers are carrying.There’s got to be something that takes the risk from the taxpayers offthe table so that these institutions don’t go forward with thisimplied assumption that we’re going to bail them out at the end of theday.

That’s not right, and it’s not fair for the taxpayers of this country.(Applause.)

MS. BARTIROMO: Let’s stay on regulation for a moment. You haveall said that you will repeal President Obama’s health carelegislation. Down the line, 30 seconds: If you repeal “Obamacare,”what’s the answer?

Jon Huntsman.

MR. HUNTSMAN: I would sit down and I would meet with the 50governors of this country. And I’d say: I did health care reform inmy state. Took us three years to get it done. We delivered aninsurance connector that was not a costly mandate.

You can sit down with the 50 governors and you can address costcontainment. This is a $3 trillion industry, half of which any expertwill tell you is totally nonsense and superfluous spending. How doyou get cost out of the system? How do you empower patients to betterunderstand what they’re getting when they go into the doctor’s office?

Number two, we need to do a better job in harmonizing medicalrecords so that we can pull up on a consistent basis the mostefficacious course of treatment for patients.

And third, we need to close the gap on the uninsured without acostly mandate, letting the free market work in bringing peopletogether with truly affordable insurance.

MS. BARTIROMO: That’s time. We want to get each of yourcomments on what the plan is.

Ron Paul.

REP. PAUL: We need to get the government out of the business.And we do need to have the right to opt out of “Obamacare,” but weought to have the right to opt out of everything. And the answer toit is turn it back over to the patient and the doctor relationshipwith medical savings accounts.

So I would say that we’ve had too much government. I’ve been inmedicine. It’s gone downhill. Quality has gone down. Prices haveskyrocketed because of the inflation. So you need to get a marketforce in there. But medical savings accounts.

But this mess has been created — it’s a bipartisan mess, so it’sbeen there for a while. But what we need is the doctor-patientrelationship and medical savings accounts where you can deduct it fromyour taxes and get a major medical policy. Prices then would comedown.

MS. BARTIROMO: Thirty seconds. Governor Perry.

GOV. PERRY: Obviously, on the Medicare side you have to have aninsurance type of a program where people have options, which givesthem a menu of options of which they can choose from.

I think you have to have the doctors and the hospitals and the otherhealth care providers being given incentives on health care ratherthan sick care.

And then on Medicaid, it’s really pretty simple, just like Jonand Mitt both know. You send it back to the states and let the statesfigure out how to make Medicaid work — (applause) — because I’llguarantee you, we will do it safely, we will do it appropriately andwe will save a ton of money.

MS. BARTIROMO: Mr. Cain.

MR. CAIN: The legislation has already been written: H.R. 3000.In the previous Congress, it was H.R. 3400. And what that does — it’s already been written. We didn’t hear about it in the previous — the previous Congress, because “Princess Nancy” sent it to committeeand it stayed there — (laughter) — it never came out. H.R. 30 — H.R. 3000 allows the decisions to be with the doctors and thepatients, not with the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. Thelegislation has already been written. (Applause.)

MS. BARTIROMO: Governor Romney?

MR. ROMNEY: Health care in 30 seconds — it’s a little tough,but let me try. (Laughter.)

Number one, you return to the states the responsibility forcaring for their own uninsured, and you send the Medicaid money backto the states so they can craft their own programs. That’s numberone.

Number two, you let individuals purchase their own insurance — not just getting it through their company, but buy it on their own ifthey want to — and no longer discriminate against individuals whowant to buy their insurance.

Number three, you do exactly what Ron Paul said. I don’t alwayssay that, but I’m going to say it right now. (Laughter.) And thatis, you have to get health care to start working more like a market.And for that to happen, people have to have a stake in what the cost,and the quality as well, is of their health care. And so a healthsavings account or something called co-insurance, that’s the way tohelp that and make that happen.

And finally, our malpractice system in this country is nuts.We’ve got to take that over and make sure we don’t burden our systemwith that. (Applause.)

MS. BARTIROMO: Mr. Speaker.

MR. GINGRICH: Well, I just want to point out, my colleagues havedone a terrific job of answering an absurd question. (Laughter.)

To say, in 30 seconds —

MS. BARTIROMO: You have said you want to repeal “Obamacare,”correct?

MR. GINGRICH: I’d like to — let me just finish, if I may — (inaudible, applause) — to say in 30 seconds what you would do with18 percent of the economy, life and death for the American people, atopic I’ve worked on since 1974, about which I wrote a book called”Saving Lives and Saving Money” in 2002, and for which I founded theCenter for Health Transformation, is the perfect case of why I’m goingto challenge the president to seven Lincoln-Douglas style three-hourdebates with a timekeeper and no moderator, at least two of whichought to be on health care, so you could have a serious discussionover a several-hour period that affects the lives of every person inthis country. (Cheers, applause.)

MS. BARTIROMO: Would you like to try to explain — would youlike to — (cheers, applause) — would you like to try to explain, insimple speak, to the American people, what you would do after yourepeal the president’s health care legislation?

MR. GINGRICH: In 30 seconds? (Laughter.)

MS. BARTIROMO: Take the time you need, sir. Take the time youneed.

MR. GINGRICH: I can’t take what I need; these guys’ll all gangup on me.

MS. BARTIROMO: You want to answer the question tonight on healthcare, or no, Speaker?

MR. GINGRICH: (Inaudible) — something like — (inaudible).

MS. BARTIROMO: You want to try to answer the question tonight,Speaker?

MR. GINGRICH: No, let me — let me just say it very straight.One, you go back to a doctor-patient relationship and you involve thefamily in those periods where the patient by themselves can’t make keydecisions. But you relocalize it.

Two, as several people said, including Governor Perry, you putMedicaid back at the state level and allow the states to reallyexperiment, because it’s clear we don’t know what we’re doingnationally.

Three, you focus very intensely on a brand-new program on brainscience, because the fact is, the largest single (out-year ?) set ofcosts we’re faced with are Alzheimer’s, autism, Parkinson’s, mentalhealth and things which come directly from the brain. And I am forfixing our health rather than fixing our health bureaucracy, becausethe iron lung is the perfect model of saving people so you don’t needto pay for a federal program of iron lung centers because the poliovaccine eliminated the problem.

That’s a very short pracis. (Cheers, applause.)

MS. BARTIROMO: Congresswoman.

REP. BACHMANN: The main problem with health care in the UnitedStates today is the issue of cost. It’s just too expensive. AndPresident Obama said that’s what he would solve in “Obamacare.” We’dall save $2,500 a year in our premiums. Well, we have “Obamacare,”but we didn’t have the savings. So what I would do to replace it isto allow every American to buy any health insurance policy they wantanywhere in the United States without any federal minimum mandate.Today there is an insurance monopoly in every state in the country. Iwould end that monopoly and let any American go anywhere they want.That’s the free market.

Number two, I would allow every American to pay for thatinsurance policy, their deductibles, their copay, theirpharmaceuticals, whatever it is that’s medical-related with their owntax-free money. And then finally, I’d have true medical malpracticeliability reform. If you do that, it’s very simple. People own theirown insurance policies, and you drive the cost down, because what wehave to get rid of is government bureaucracy in health care. That’sall we bought in “Obamacare” was a huge bureaucracy. That has to goaway. (Applause.)

MS. BARTIROMO: Senator.

MR. SANTORUM: This is, I think, the difference between me and alot of the candidates. I heard a lot of responses, but I hadn’t — Ihaven’t seen a lot of consistency in some of the — some of thoseresponses on the last few questions.

When it comes to health care, back in 1992 I introduced the firsthealth savings account bill that everybody up here said was the basisfor consumer-driven health care. I was leading on that before anyoneelse was even talking about it. Secondly, I was someone who proposeda block grant for Medicaid way back in 1998 with Phil Gramm, againleading on this issue. Same thing reforming the Medicare program backin the 1990s. Again, I led on these issues. I was always for havingthe government out of the health care business and for a bottom-up,consumer-driven health care, which is different than Governor Romneyand some of the other people on this panel.

Number two — and — and I didn’t get a chance to answer the — any of the housing questions. I was on the bank and the housingcommittee when — in — in the United States Senate. I was one of 24people who wrote a letter to Harry Reid saying: Please let us bringup this housing legislation, which I voted for in the committee, thatwould have put curbs on Fannie and Freddie. I — I — I was out therebefore this bubble burst, saying this was a problem.

I — I was in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the other day and I had oneof a — a home builder. He was the head of the association, came upto me and said: Rick, I’m here to apologize. We came here to pushyou so you would oppose, you know, putting caps on Fannie and Freddie.You were right. We were wrong.

Time and time again, Wall Street — the Wall Street bailout — five of the eight people on this panel supported the Wall Streetbailout. I didn’t. I know that we solve problems best from thebottom up, not the top down and government intervention in themarketplace.

MS. BARTIROMO: Governor Romney, you have 30 seconds to respond.(Applause.)

MR. ROMNEY: That’s — that’s fine. I very — believe verydeeply in the functioning of markets. The work I’ve done on healthcare — I actually worked in — as a consultant to the health careindustry, to hospitals and various health institutions. I had theoccasion of actually acquiring and trying to build health carebusinesses. I know something about it, and I believe markets work.

And what’s wrong with our health care system in America is thatgovernment is playing too heavy a role. We need to get our markets towork by having the consumer, the patient, have a stake in what thecost and quality is of health care, give them the transparency theyneed to know where the opportunities are for lower cost and betterquality, to make sure that the providers offer them the broadest arrayof options that they could have. And once we have that happening,you’ll see us — we — 18 percent of our GDP is spent on health care.The next highest nation in the world is 12 percent. It’s a hugedifference.

MS. BARTIROMO: Time —

MR. ROMNEY: We have to get the market to work to make sure thatwe get the kind of quality and value that America deserves.

MR. HARWOOD: But Governor, let me ask you about health care,because Congressman Paul said put it back to the doctor and thepatient.

You said a few moments ago that you thought that states should havethe responsibility for insuring the uninsured. Of course, inMassachusetts you enacted an individual mandate and subsidies to havepeople who didn’t have insurance get it. So you think there’s apretty large role for government in this area.

MR. ROMNEY: Well, I think the people have a responsibility toreceive their own care. Doctor-patient relationship is, of course —

MR. HARWOOD: The government (has ?) responsibility to force it.

MR. ROMNEY: I didn’t know whether Ron Paul was saying he’s goingto get rid of Medicaid. I would not get rid of Medicaid. It’s ahealth program for the poor. What I said was I would take theMedicaid dollars that are currently spent by the federal government,return them to the states so that states can craft their own programsto care for their own poor rather than having the federal governmentmandate a one-size-fits-all plan in the entire nation.

“Obamacare” is wrong. I’ll repeal it. I’ll get it done.(Applause.)

REP. PAUL: John.

MR. HARWOOD: Congressman.

REP. PAUL: My plan of cutting the budget by a trillion dollarsdoes deal with Medicaid, and that is that it preserves it and there isa transition period, with the goal that eventually we would hope tomove that back into the economy. But right now it would be too muchto do it in one year. You know, finding a trillion dollars was a joband a half, and — (inaudible) — department.

So, yes, my budget takes into consideration health care for theelderly, health care on Medicaid, as well as child health care. Atthe same time, we deal with the bailouts, the banks and all thebenefits that they get from the financial system.

Because what we’re facing today is a crisis — on this housingcrisis, if I could just have one second on that. We face the housingcrisis once again because it’s price fixing. They’re fixing theprices of these mortgages too high, and this is why nobody will buythem. This is why you have to get rid of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,sell all of that into the marketplace.

And the reason they do this is to prop up the banks, because thebanks have invested in Europe, they’ve invested in Fannie Mae andFreddie Mac and these credit default swaps.

They’re in big trouble, and that is why they’re getting bailed out,and that’s why they’re not allowing these mortgages to go down. Andthat is why we will most likely bail out Europe, which will be a realtragedy. (Applause.)

MR. HARWOOD: Congressman, it’s — thank you for that. It’s timefor a quick break —

MR. LIESMAN: Hold it. John, I wanted to give them 15 secondseach to solve the deficit problem.

MS. BARTIROMO: (Laughs.) We’ll come back to the deficit.

MR. HARWOOD: When we return, balancing the budget and cuttingthe deficit, making the college education more affordable.

MS. BARTIROMO: Plus, a little lesson on Social Security.

You’re watching CNBC’s “Your Money, Your Vote” Republicanpresidential debate. (Applause.)

(Announcements.)

MR. HARWOOD: And welcome back. Joining us for this portion ofthe debate, Rick Santelli, CNBC’s on-air editor — (cheers, applause) — and Sharon Epperson, our personal finance correspondent.

Now, we’ll get to them in a moment, but first, Senator Santorum,you were known as a tough partisan fighter in the Senate. But lookwhere partisan fighting got us this summer: gridlock and a debtrating downgrade. The American people don’t much like it, and neitherdoes Doug Oberhelman, the CEO of Caterpillar. Let’s take a listen.

DOUGLAS OBERHELMAN (CEO, Caterpillar Inc.): (From video.) Mostpeople think our politicians are not helping the country get back onits feet. The last two presidents made promises to work across partylines, and both failed.

How will you put our country ahead of your political party andsolve the issues that are so critical for Americans? Be specific,please — these are promises.

MR. HARWOOD: And Senator, let me ask you about — to set up thatquestion. If everyone on this stage rules out any tax increases, evenat a 10-to-1 ration of spending cuts, as you have done, what could youpossibly offer Democrats to get them to go along and compromise withyou on the things that Republicans want?

MR. SANTORUM: You create a — you create a platform that theycan buy into, because they see the advantages of your — of your plan.

For example, one of the reasons that I — I put forward thismanufacturing plan is because folks here in Michigan, Democrats andRepublicans, will vote for it. I was at the New Hampshire House ofRepresentatives the other day and spoke to a bipartisan group, talkedabout the tax plan — not just the manufacturing, but the broad-basedplan that I have.

And I had two Democratic house members go over to my chairman,Dan Tamburello, and said, hey, I want him to come to my district andtalk about this. We can support it.

So when you put together a plan — look, if the RepublicanParty’s just about keeping the top rate, you know, lower or cuttingtaxes, we’re not going to be reaching people. We’ve got to look atplans that bring people together. That’s why I’ve focused on thissector. I understand, John, that the Wall Street Journal won’t likethat I’m picking one sector over another. I don’t care.

What I need to do is bring America together, find a plan that canwork, that we — can be implemented right away. It may not be theboldest plan in the world, but it’s one that will work. It’ll putpeople back to work. It’ll give the ability to people to rise in oursociety. It’ll help with the jobs out in rural America where themanufacturing loss has been the greatest and the employment (sic) rateis the highest.

You put a plan like that together, you’ll get Democrats andRepublicans, and we’ll create jobs in this country. We’ll get thingsdone.

MR. HARWOOD: Governor Romney, you’ve shown that you can workwith Democrats. When you were governor, of course, you collaboratedwith Ted Kennedy on the health care plan that you enacted.

You raised fees to balance the budget and you used that as an argumentto get the credit rating of your state upgraded. Independent votersmight like that. Should Republican primary voters be nervous aboutit?

MR. ROMNEY: Thanks for reminding everybody. (Laughter.)

What I’ve found is, in a state like mine where there are a fewDemocrats in the legislature — 85 percent of my legislature wasDemocrat. To get anything done, I was always in an “away” game, ifyou will. And to get something done, I had to see if there wereDemocrats who cared more about the state than they cared about theirreelection or their party. And there were.

And right now, America faces a crisis. I think people on bothsides of the aisle recognize that this is no longer a time just forworrying about the next election. This is a time to worry aboutAmerica.

We see what’s happening in Italy, what’s happening in Greece.That’s where we’re headed if we don’t change our course. And thereare enough good Democrats and good Republicans willing to put asidepartisanship and do what’s right for the country, in my view, ifthey’re led by someone who cares more about the country, cares moreabout the future of America, cares about our kids and our grandkids,and is willing to step forward and lead.

What we have now is a president who, unfortunately, is driven byone thing: his reelection. It’s unbelievable that we have the crisisgoing on in America that we have — (applause) — and we have apresident who is focused on trying to get himself reelected. This isa — this is a crisis in America.

MR. HARWOOD: Time, Governor.

Governor Perry, you play only home games in Texas. Do you givehim points for winning on the road?

GOV. PERRY: Listen, there is a reason that Caterpillar movedtheir hydraulics manufacturing and their engine manufacturing to thestate of Texas. It didn’t have anything to do with Republican versusDemocrat. It had everything to do with creating a climate in ourstate where the job creators knew that they were going to have theopportunity to keep more of what they work for.

MR. HARWOOD: He’s said he did.

GOV. PERRY: And that’s what Americans are looking for.(Scattered applause.) They’re looking for a tax plan that basicallysays you’re going to be able to keep more of what you work for.They’re looking for a regulatory climate that doesn’t strangle thelife out of their businesses when they want to put those dollars outthere to create the wealth.

That’s what Americans are looking for.

I think we’re getting all tangled up around an issue here aboutcan you work with Democrats or can you work with Republicans. Yeah,we can all do that. But the fact of the matter is, we better have aplan in place that Americans can get their hands around, and that’sthe reason my flat tax is the only one of all the folks — these goodfolks on the stage. It balances the budget in 2020. It does thethings for the regulatory climate that has to happen.

And I will tell you, it’s three agencies of government, when Iget there, that are gone: Commerce, Education and the — what’s thethird one there — let’s see. (Laughter.)

REP. PAUL: You need five.

GOV. PERRY: Oh, five. OK.

REP. PAUL: Make it five.

GOV. PERRY: OK. So Commerce, Education and — the — (pause) —

MR. ROMNEY: EPA?

GOV. PERRY: EPA. There you go. (Laughter.) (Applause.)

MS. BARTIROMO: Let’s go —

MR: HARWOOD: Seriously? Is EPA the one you were talking about?

GOV. PERRY: No, sir. No, sir. We were talking about theagencies of government — EPA needs to be rebuilt. There’s no doubtabout that.

MR. HARWOOD: But you can’t — but you can’t name the third one?

GOV. PERRY: The third agency of government.

MR. HARWOOD: Yes.

GOV. PERRY: I would do away with the Education, the Commerce and — let’s see — I can’t. The third one, I can’t. Sorry. Oops.

MS. BARTIROMO: What about the EPA and the new rules coming outof the EPA? Mr. Cain, right now there is a situation with the EPA

getting aggressive, the National Labor Relations Board gettingaggressive, wanting to shut down a plant in South Carolina. Whatwould you tell Boeing to do?

MR. CAIN: What about —

MS. BARTIROMO: Should they shut down that plant in SouthCarolina unless they make it union?

MR. CAIN: Absolutely not. (Cheers, applause.) That’s what’swrong with government (tampering ?). Absolutely not. (Applause.)The government has no business trying to pick winners and losers, aswe have said, whether it’s through the front door with legislation orthe back door through regulation.

Now, if I may go back —

MR. HARWOOD: What about manufacturing? Zero tax rate for onesector of the economy.

MR. CAIN: Well, this is why my 9-9-9 plan — (cheers, applause) — makes every sector grow. How about helping everybody, not just onesector? And that’s the power of my 9-9-9 plan. Number one, it’sbold. And yes, I’m the only one that’s put a bold plan on the tableand not afraid to go out and defend it.

Now, as far as getting both sides of the aisle to work together — if I may; I don’t see that little yellow light yet — (laughter) — in terms of getting both sides to work together, it’s called provide acompelling solution, and the American people, if they understand it,they will demand it. That’s how you get both sides of the aisle towork together. (Applause.)

MS. BARTIROMO: Rick Santelli.

RICK SANTELLI (On-air editor, CNBC): Speaker Gingrich, for thefirst time in its 75-year history, Social Security is going to be inthe red. According to the Washington Post on October 29th, 105billion (dollars) this year. The reason: Political parties — bothsides — at the end of last year agreed that they wanted a tax cut.And the area they cut were payroll taxes, the main funding for SocialSecurity. If we continue that — and there seems to be some agreementon both sides of the aisle to extend that tax cut — for 2011 and2012, the cumulative amount will be closer to 260 billion (dollars).Are all tax cuts created equal? Is this a tax cut that you wouldback?

MR. GINGRICH: Well, I’m not prepared to raise taxes on workingAmericans in the middle of a recession that’s this bad. (Applause.)But let — but let me put Social Security in context. In 1968, inorder to fake a balanced budget, Lyndon Johnson brought SocialSecurity in the general budget. And ever since, politicians have hidbehind Social Security. Now it’s going to become a disadvantage to doso.

I think the first step is you take Social Security off thefederal budget. You don’t try to solve the budget deficit problem onthe back of working Americans and retirees.

You deal with Social Security as a free-standing issue. And the factis, if you allow younger Americans to have the choice to go to aGalveston or — or Chilean-style personal Social Security savingsaccount, the long-term effect on Social Security is scored by theSocial Security actuary as absolutely stabilizing the system andtaking care of it.

The key is, there’s 2 trillion (dollars), 400 billion dollars inSocial Security which — be — which should be off-budget, and nopresident of the United States should ever again say, because of somepolitical fight in Washington, I may not be able to send you yourcheck. That money is sitting there. That money’s available. And thecountry ought to pay the debt it owes the people who put the money inthere. (Applause.)

MR. HARWOOD: Governor Romney, if I could follow up, SpeakerGingrich just said he’s not prepared to raise taxes on the Americanpeople in the middle of a slow economy like this. That’s what wouldhappen if the payroll tax cut is not extended. Does — do you agreewith him? And would you also support, when it comes down to it, anextension of the payroll tax cut?

MR. ROMNEY: I want to — I don’t want to — I don’t want toraise taxes on people in the middle of a recession. Of course not.

MR. HARWOOD: So you’re for it.

MR. ROMNEY: That’s — and that’s one of the reasons why — whywe fought so hard to make sure the Bush tax cuts weren’t taken away by — by President Obama.

But look, this issue of deficits and spending — it’s not aboutjust dollars and cents. This is a moral issue. It’s a moralimperative. We can’t continue to pass on massive debts to the nextgeneration. We can’t continue to put at risk the — the greatestnation in the history of the earth because of the profligate spendingthat’s going on in Washington, D.C. And —

MR. HARWOOD: But to clarify, you agree with President Obama thepayroll tax cut should be extended?

MR. ROMNEY: I want to — I want to keep our taxes down. I don’twant to raise any taxes anywhere. Let me — I’m not looking to raisetaxes.

What I’m looking to do is to cut spending. And that’s why thislast week I put out a plan that dramatically cuts spending inWashington, that gets us to a 20 percent cap and makes sure that wehave a balanced budget thereafter. And how do I do it? I have threemajor steps.

Number one, cut programs. Get rid of programs we don’t have tohave, like “Obamacare.” Take a lot of programs that we have at thestate level, number two — excuse me, at the federal level — and sendthem back to the states where they can be better run with less fraudand abuse. And number three, finally, bring some productivity andmanagement expertise to the federal government. I would cut theworkforce by 10 percent —

MR. : Good.

MR. ROMNEY: — and I want to say one more, and that is this. Iwant to make sure we link the compensation of our federal bureaucratsto that which exists in the private sector. People who are publicservants shouldn’t get more money than the taxpayers that they’reserving. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. HARWOOD: Does any candidate on this stage disagree — doesany candidate disagree and oppose extension of the payroll tax cut?

REP. BACHMANN: Say that again.

MR. HARWOOD: Does any candidate disagree with the speaker andGovernor Romney, and oppose the extension of the payroll tax cut?

MR. : Yeah.

MR. LIESMAN: Go ahead.

MR. HARWOOD: You oppose it?

REP. BACHMANN: I do. I opposed it when it was first proposed,because I knew that it would blow a hole of $111 billion in the SocialSecurity trust fund. President Obama clearly did this for politicalreasons. That’s why he did it. And so I had made that warning then,because we actually have already run Social Security in the red. Wearen’t just about to; we already have — six years ahead of time.

Now, consider the context. We have Baby Boomers in their peakearning years. This is when money should be flooding into the SocialSecurity trust fund. Instead, we’re already in the red. When we talkthis evening about how much trouble we’re in with spending, we’re in atremendous amount of trouble with spending. Just consider, we pay alot of taxes in this country: 2.2 trillion (dollars) is what we sendin to Washington. The problem is, we spent at the government level3.7 trillion (dollars). You started out trying to cut —

MR. HARWOOD: Well — out of time, Congresswoman.

Rick?

MR. SANTELLI: Governor Huntsman, our federal government —

MR. HUNTSMAN: Thank you. It was getting a little lonely overhere. (Laughter.)

MR. SANTELLI: Our federal government still owns 500 millionshares of GM stock; guarantees trillions — trillions with a “T” — dollars of mortgages.

They are basically the lender doing 90 percent of all the mortgageorigination right now.

And you consider the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve haspurchased 2.62 trillion (dollars) — again with a T — of Treasurysecurities, agency securities and mortgage securities.

If you were president, how would your administration and wouldyour administration reverse these obligations?

MR. HUNTSMAN: I would clean up the balance sheet. And let metell you what I worry about as much as anything else. We talk aboutfailed leadership; we certainly have failed leadership. PresidentObama had three years to get this economy going and to move us towardan environment that speaks to job growth, and he’s failed miserably.

But along with that, we have a real trust crisis in this countrybetween the American people and our institutions of power: Congress,the executive branch, Wall Street as well. There’s no trust. We’rerunning on empty.

And when a democracy begins to run on empty because of governmentholdings and bailouts and being involved in ways that are absolutelyinappropriate based on constitutional government and where we shouldbe, that results in a diminution of trust by the American people.We’ve got to raise that trust.

So let me just tell you what I think needs to be done in terms ofbringing our economy up. We’ve heard about all these great tax plans.I think I’m the only one on this stage who’s actually delivered a flattax. And I did that as governor of my state. I put forward aproposal that I think is right for this country in getting it back onits feet. The Wall Street Journal has come out — the most respectededitorial page economically maybe in the entire world — has come outand endorsed my plan, said it’s the very best of the bunch.

And it very simply calls out, just as I did as governor — so I’mnot sitting here talking about academic theory. I stand here as apractitioner; I’ve done it before.

I want to phase out the loopholes and the deductions on the individualside, phase out corporate welfare and subsidies on the corporate side —

MS. BARTIROMO: Sharon Epperson.

MR. HUNTSMAN: — and lower the rates, make us more competitive.That’s the kind of work that is realistic. It can get done inCongress and fire the engines of growth that are so desperately neededto boost trust in this country. (Applause.)

MS. BARTIROMO: Sharon Epperson.

SHARON EPPERSON (personal finance correspondent, CNBC): I wantto turn the attention to why we’re here on this campus and what manystudents are very interested in, and that is the fact that,Congressman Paul, right now we are looking at student loan debt thatis near $1 trillion. Americans owe more on student loans right nowthan credit cards, and the average debt for a college senior right nowis over $25,000. It’s obviously a very hot topic right here on thiscampus and with students across the country. Just listen to what theyhave to say.

(Video begins.)

MR. : Tuition rates have increased roughly three times thatof inflation over the last three decades.

MS. : More students have to take out loans or forgo college.

MS. : My generation is graduating with student debt levels atan unprecedented level.

(Video ends.)

MS. EPPERSON: So Congressman Paul, you’ve already talked aboutthe fact that you want to get rid of the Department of Education.You’ve said that you want to get rid of federal student loans. So howwould you make college more accessible, more affordable for thesestudents and students around the country?

REP. PAUL: Well, I think you’ve proved that the policy ofstudent loans is a total failure. (Chuckles.) I mean, a trilliondollars of debt? (Cheers, applause.) And it’s going to be dumped on

the taxpayer? And what have they gotten? A poorer education andcosts that have skyrocketed because of inflation. And they don’t havejobs. There’s nothing more dramatically failing than — than thatprogram.

So no, there is no authority in the Constitution for the federalgovernment to be dealing with education. We should get rid of theloan programs. We should get rid of the Department of Education andgive tax credits, if you have to, to help people. But the inflationis the big problem. It’s three times the rate that the governmentadmits that inflation is, and that is natural and normal.

When governments inflate the currency, it goes in the areas that thegovernment gets involved in. Housing, high — (inaudible). Stockmarket, skyrocketing prices. Medical care, skyrocketing. Education —

MS. EPPERSON: But how will they pay for it? How do they now payfor college if they’re not —

REP. PAUL: The way you pay for cell phones and computers.(Cheers, applause.) You have the marketplace there. There’scompetition. Quality goes up; the price goes down. Can you imaginewhat it would have been like if the Department of Homeland securitywas in charge of finding one person — or one company to make the cellphones? I mean, it would have been a total disaster.

So when the government gets involved in the delivery of anyservice, whether it’s education, medical care or housing, they causehigher prices, lower quality, create bubbles, and they get us thismess that we’re in. That’s why we have to eventually get — we haveto wise up and look at where the bubbles come from. It’s from theFederal Reserve. And we should start by auditing the Fed, and then weshould end the Fed. (Cheers, applause.)

MS. EPPERSON: Thank you, Congressman.

Speaker Gingrich, Congressman Paul just talked about a bubble.And there are many that are concerned that unlike other types of debt,student loan debt does not have the same type of consumer protections.It cannot be wiped out in bankruptcy, by law. There’s really littleway to refinance it. Are you worried about student loan debt becomingthe next government bailout?

MR. GINGRICH: You know, this is a good place to talk about thescale of change we’re about to live through. We’re at the end of thewelfare-state era of dependency, debt, distortion and dishonesty. Thestudent loan program began — when Lyndon Johnson announced it, Ithink it was a $15 million program. It’s an absurdity.

What does it do? It expands the ability of students to stay incollege longer because they don’t see the cost. It actually meansthey take fewer hours per semester, on average; it takes longer forthem to get through school; it allows them to tolerate tuitions goingup absurdly. By 2014, there will be one administrator for everyteacher on college campuses in the United States.

Now let me give you a contrast that’s very startling. TheCollege in (sic) the Ozarks is a work-study college. You cannot applyto it unless you need student aid, and they have no student aid. Youhave to work 20 hours a week during the year to pay tuition and books.You work 40 hours a week during the summer to pay for room and board.Ninety-two percent of the students graduate owing no debt. The 8percent who owe debt owe $5,000 because they bought a car.

Now, that is a model so different it will be culture shock forthe students of America to learn we actually expect them to go toclass, study, get out quickly, charge as little as possible, andemerge debt-free by doing the right things for four years. (Cheers,applause.)

MS. BARTIROMO: Governor Perry — Governor Perry, name the topprograms that you would cut in terms of long-term deficit reduction.Include Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and defense spending inthe order you see fit.

GOV. PERRY: Well, every one of those — and by the way, that wasthe Department of Energy I was reaching for a while ago. So — (laughter, cheers, applause).

Here’s what we have to look at as Americans, and it’s theentitlement programs that are eating up this huge amount of moneythat’s out there. And it’s also the spending, Congressman Paul. Andthose — when you look at Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, andthose unfunded liabilities I think are over $115 trillion just inthose three programs. Those are the places where you go where youhave to make the really hard decisions in this country. Those are the —

MS. BARTIROMO: So what is your order? And you didn’t mentiondefense spending.

GOV. PERRY: Well, obviously Social Security is one of thosewhere we either can go to a blended type of a program where we blendprice and wages and come up with a program and can save billions ofdollars there. But the people who are on Social Security, they needto understand something today.

It’s going to be there for them. Those that are working their waytowards Social Security, we’ve made a pledge to them that thoseindividuals are going to have those dollars there for them.

But the young people out there — who’s going to stand up for theyoung people in this country, those that are at the workforce today,and stand up and say: We’re going to transform this program so it’sgoing to be there for you?

MR. HARWOOD: Well, Governor —

GOV. PERRY: I will do that. I will stand up for the youngpeople in this country and put a program into place that will be therefor them. (Applause.)

MR. HARWOOD: Speaking of young people, quick answer: Do youagree with Congressman Paul that we should kill the federal studentloan program?

GOV. PERRY: I happen to think there are a substantial number ofways — matter of fact, I’ve called for a $10,000 (graduate ?) program —

MR. HARWOOD: But would you kill the federal student loanprogram?

GOV. PERRY: I don’t think the federal government should be inthe business of paying for programs and building up huge debt outthere. I think we need to look at how do you force these universities —

MR. HARWOOD: So get rid of them.

GOV. PERRY: — how do force these universities to be efficient?And one of the ways is that the governors who appoint the — the — the trustees — they step in and they basically say: Listen, you aregoing to have graduation rates that are moving upwards. You’re goingto have tuition that is moving down. You have to have control overthose boards of regents, if that’s how you do it, or the legislaturehas to have control.

But the bottom line is, we have to put powerful economic forcesinto place. And one of those is using our technology.

MR. HARWOOD: Thank you, Governor.

GOV. PERRY: We have to let our kids have the opportunity to getan education — through long-distance learning, for instance.

MS. BARTIROMO: That’s time.

MR. HARWOOD: Thank you, Governor.

MS. BARTIROMO: We’re going to take one more quick break. Whenwe return: final questions to the candidates.

MR. HARWOOD: Our CNBC Republican presidential debate will beright back. (Applause.)

(Announcements.)

MS. BARTIROMO: Welcome back to CNBC’s Republican presidentialdebate.

MR. HARWOOD: Mr. Cain, I want to ask you a question. Under aRepublican governor, the state of California hired a company in Chinato build major portions of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge;created thousands of jobs in China. And California did that becauseit was cheaper. Is that smart purchasing by government in a globaleconomy, or is there something wrong with that?

MR. CAIN: There’s something wrong with that, which is why I haveproposed a bold plan — (laughter) — 9-9-9 — and allow me to explainhow, under 9-9-9, that that company would be more inclined to keep thebusiness here.

On the first nine, you take sales minus purchases, net exportsand capital. It levels the playing field between goods produced herein the United States and the rest of the world. It makes the UnitedStates much more competitive, and businesses won’t be tempted to buildoverseas, send jobs overseas.

The tax code is what sends jobs overseas. The tax code is whatcaused them to buy those articles from the Chinese. It starts withreplacing the tax code.

MR. HARWOOD: Governor Romney, was it a mistake for GovernorSchwarzenegger to hire the firm in China to build portions of thatbridge?

MR. ROMNEY: Well, that’s a — a long answer to that because what — what China is doing is not playing fairly by the — the rules thatexist in our — in the WTO and in the world. China is, on almostevery dimension, cheating. And we got to recognize that. (Applause.)It is good for America — it — it is good for America to have freetrade. It is good for us to be able to send our goods and servicesaround the world and vice versa.

MR. HARWOOD: So a good decision to build the bridge over the —

MR. ROMNEY: That — that is — that is normally a good thing.But China is playing by different rules. One, they’re stealingintellectual property. Number two, they’re hacking into our computersystems, both government and corporate, and they’re stealing by virtueof that as well from us. And finally, they’re manipulating theircurrency and, by doing so, holding down the price of Chinese goods andmaking sure their products are artificially lowly — low-priced. It’spredatory pricing. It’s killing jobs in America. If I’m president ofthe United States, I’m making it very clear: I love free trade; Iwant to open markets to free trade, but I will crack down on cheaterslike China. They simply cannot continue to steal our jobs. (Cheers,applause.)

MS. BARTIROMO: How do you crack down? How do you crack down,Governor? Are you — are you talking about new tariffs? How are youcracking down?

MR. ROMNEY: I’m sorry? Pardon?

MS. BARTIROMO: How would you crack down on China?

MR. ROMNEY: Well, number one, I would do something thispresident should have done a long time ago, which is to label China acurrency manipulator. And then I’d bring an action at the WTO levelcharging them with being a — a currency manipulator. Number three,where they have stolen intellectual property, where they have hackedinto computers and where their artificial pricing is causing theirgoods to have predatory levels of pricing, I would apply, ifnecessary, tariffs to make sure that they understand we’re willing toplay on a level playing field. We want — we have to have free trade.That’s essential for the — the — the functioning of a strongeconomy. But we cannot allow one nation to continue to flaunt therules and kill our jobs by allowing them to continue as they have.(Applause.)

MS. BARTIROMO: Speaker, in addition to that, so many companies — multinational companies want to try to get a foothold in China andsell to the billion and a half people there. They can only do jointventures. They are not getting a fair shake in terms of selling tothat 1 1/2 billion-person population.

How would you move the needle?

MR. GINGRICH: There are two things here, and let me say inadvance that I would yield in part to Governor Huntsman because hespeaks fluent Chinese, he’s worked in China, and he’s been theambassador. And I’d be curious to get his reaction.

But there are two different parts here. The problem withbuilding the bridge is simple. What is it about American regulations,American taxation, American labor costs and attitudes that makes itcheaper to go to China than to go to the United States? (Applause.)

Now we do it — (see ?), first of all, you’ve got to decide, howare we going to be more competitive and how are we going to be thelowest cost? And there’s a — there’s a new Boston consulting studythat says by 2015 South Carolina and Alabama will be cheaper than theChinese coastal provinces to manufacture in.

Second, in terms of dealing with China strategically, I thinkwe’re going to have to find ways to dramatically raise the pain levelfor the Chinese cheating, both in the hacking side but also on thestealing and intellectual property side. And I don’t think anybodytoday has a particularly good strategy for doing that.

MS. BARTIROMO: Time — 30 seconds. Jon Huntsman, you were theambassador to China. 30 seconds to respond.

MR. HUNTSMAN: Thirty seconds! For heaven’s sake. (Laughter.)Let me just say that we’ve had a 40-year relationship with China.It’s a — it’s a troublesome and problematic relationship; very, verycomplicated. But the bottom line is — I mean, you can give applauselines and you can kind of pander here and there. You start a tradewar if you start slapping tariffs randomly on Chinese products basedupon currency manipulation. I — that’s not a good idea.

But longer term, we’re just going to have to do business the waywe’ve always done. You sit down, you find solutions to the problems,and you move forward. It isn’t easy, it isn’t glamorous. It’sgrinding it out the way we’ve done it for 40 years. And for 40 moreyears, we’re going to have to do it the same way.

MR. HARWOOD: Are you saying Governor Romney’s pandering?

MR. HUNTSMAN: I’m saying that you can throw out applause linesand you can say that you’re going to slap on tariffs. You know, thatdoesn’t work — (inaudible) —

MR. HARWOOD: But you’re suggesting it. He’s standing righthere.

Would you say that he’s pandering on this issue?

MR. HUNTSMAN: Well, I’ve said it before; I think that thatpolicy is one of simply pandering, just throwing a tariff on for thesake of an artificially valued currency, which is, in fact, the case.

But here’s what they do in response. They say: You have anartificially valued currency too, with those quantitative easingprograms, you too are manipulating your currency, and we’re going toslap something on your products. And before long, you have a tradewar. (Applause.)

But let me tell you —

MR. HARWOOD: Governor Romney, are you pandering?

MR. ROMNEY: Look, I’ve been in business all my life, 25 years.I consulted to businesses around the world. I’ve been in businesswhere we competed around the world. I understand free trade. I likefree trade. I know that America can compete with anyone in the world.Newt is right about our capacity to manufacture and compete heads-onversus the Chinese.

But I’ve also seen predatory pricing. I’ve seen people pricetheir goods at an artificial level for an extended period of time suchthat they can drive other people out of business. And then when theother people are out of business, they can raise their prices. That’swhat China’s doing by holding down the value of their currency.

Let the currencies float. If the U.S. currency, for instance, isbeing inflated, let it float. Let us float. Let us have a marketmechanism determine the value of our respective currencies, as opposedto the Chinese government continuing to put an advantage there fortheir producers. This is no longer a time for us just to sit back andsay we’re going to let them steal our jobs.

MS. BARTIROMO: Congresswoman Bachmann, weigh in here. How doyou open the markets in China for American companies?

REP. BACHMANN: Well, the Chinese have been bad actors. Recentlywe’ve found out that they’ve dumped counterfeit computer chips here inthe United States. We’re using some of those counterfeit computerchips in the Pentagon in some of our weapon systems. This hasnational security implications.

We also found out that the Chinese just finished building 3,000miles of underground tunnels where they’re housing some nuclearweapons. There’s some very real consequences to the United Statesoverspending to such an extent that we’re in hock to them over atrillion dollars.

We’ve sent so much interest money over to the Chinese to pay our debtsoff that we effectively built their aircraft carrier. And by 2015, wewill be sending so much interest money over, we will be paying for theentire People’s Liberation Army of China, the number-one employer ofthe — of the world.

What we need to do is stop enriching China with our money. Andwe do that by stop borrowing from them, by stop spending money that wedon’t have. (Applause.)

MR. CRAMER: Mr. Cain, I want to go to you with this question.This does not lend itself to 9-9-9 or any other number, OK?

MR. CAIN: I’m sorry, I didn’t hear the first part.

MR. CRAMER: This question does not lend itself to 9-9-9 or anyother (thing ?). This is our final word, OK? And it comes from ourviewers. And it is all about restoring trust and faith in our marketsand in our way of life.

I’m going to be quoting Joanne Kornbleat (ph). She emails us;she says: Our stock market has turned into a casino, with high-frequency computerized trading comprising 70 percent of alltransactions, and hedge-fund speculation resulting in volatile marketswings. Before privatizing Social Security, how would you make thestock market safer for individual investors?

And Mr. Cain — just simple — how do we restore faith in themarkets for the little guy?

MR. CAIN: The first thing we do is restore faith in business byproviding certainty so businesses can grow. A lot of the volatilityis being driven by uncertainty. Businesses are uncertain about whatthe health care rules are going to be. They don’t know what the taxrules are going to be. All of the uncertainty has this economystagnated. So the way you restore that: Grow this economy.

That’s job one. Many of the things we talked about up here todaystarts with growing the economy. And that’s why we’ve got to use abold plan — I won’t mention it — (laughter) — in order to grow theeconomy. (Laughter, applause.)

MR. CRAMER: But when the economy was growing great, sir, therewas no trust. You know, when the economy going great, people weregetting ripped off, and there was insider trading. When the economywas going great, people were getting hurt in the stock market.

Forget the economy.

MR. CAIN: Jim —

MR. CRAMER: Talk about the way the market’s regulated.

MR. CAIN: Jim, Jim, Jim, I — I feel your pain. Look, here’swhat I’m saying. Here’s —

MR. CRAMER: It (isn’t a feeling ?). (How about ?) the 90million people who’ve got money in the market — (inaudible)?

MR. CAIN: No, Jim, you got to provide certainty in the — you — in this environment, so businesses will grow. They have been in amode of survive. They need to be in a mode of grow. That’s what wegot to do first.

And I agree with some of the others who said we got to repealDodd-Frank. There’s three big things wrong with Dodd-Frank, which iswhy it needs to be a top priority to repeal. Number one, it doesn’tprovide oversight for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and we all agreedthat that was the catalyst for the meltdown in 2008.

The two other biggest problems with Dodd-Frank: Dodd and Frank.(Laughter, cheers, applause.)

MS. BARTIROMO: Governor Perry, Governor Perry, same question toyou — same question to you and Congressman Ron Paul: How do yourestore faith in the public markets?

GOV. PERRY: Well, we have the regulations in place and we hadthe regulations in place well before the meltdowns occurred. We havea culture in Washington, D.C., where these corporate lobbyists havethese cozy relationships with the people that they’re regulating. And

— and we have to have leadership in this country that not onlyrecognizes that but demands that those individuals who are working forus are in those agencies, whether it’s in the stock market or whetherit’s at — at Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and when there areindividuals who are breaking the laws, who are pushing the bounds,that there are clear efforts that are made to take those people eitherout of those jobs or prosecute them for criminality, one of the two.

That has to happen. And then — and you can pass legislation, likeyou said, until the world looks level. But you’ve got to have men andwomen who are committed to the laws of this country and a presidentthat will push his administration to make sure that they’re done.(Applause.)

MR. HARWOOD: Congressman Paul, Governor Perry was just talkingabout the culture of Washington. His critics in the state of Texas — you’re a congressman from Texas — say crony capitalism is what he’spracticed as governor. Are they right?

REP. PAUL: I haven’t analyzed it well enough to call him a cronyor not. So no, I — I — I — I don’t know the details of that. Butthere is a lot of crony capitalism going on in this country. And thathas to be distinguished from real capitalism because that’s — thisoccupation stuff on Wall Street — if you’re — if you’re going aftercrony capitalism, I’m all for it. And those are the people whobenefit from contracts from government, benefits from the FederalReserve, benefits from all the bailouts. They don’t deservecompassion. They deserve taxation, or they don’t — they deserve tohave all their benefits removed.

But crony capitalism isn’t when somebody makes money and theyproduce a product. That is very important. We have to distinguishthe two. And unfortunately, I think some people mix that. But this,to me, is so vital that we recognize what crony — what capitalism isversus crony capitalism. And believe me, when you have aninflationary environment and all this speculation and all thatbailouts do to the monetary system, believe me, you’d get a majorityof them (to ?) crony capitalism. And that’s why we’re facing thiscrisis today. (Applause.)

MS. BARTIROMO: We want to thank all of you tonight. That is allthe time we have for CNBC’s Republican presidential debate. We thankall of the candidates for being here tonight and spending the time andputting their plans forward. We hope you now have a betterunderstanding of where each of them stand on the economy, jobs andyour money.

MR. HARWOOD: We’d also like to thank our partners, the Michigan Republican Party, and all of the Grizzlies of Oakland University. (Cheers, applause.)

Campaign Buzz November 9, 2011: CNBC “Your Money, Your Vote” GOP Republican Presidential Debate at Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan — Rick Perry Experiences Oops Moment — Herman Cain Addresses Allegations

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

Fabrizio Costantini for The New York Times

Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas at the Republican presidential debate on Wednesday. More Photos »

IN FOCUS: REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES DEBATE IN MICHIGAN

CNBC’s “Your Money, Your Vote: The Republican Presidential Debate” Live from Oakland University in Rochester, MI

CNBC and the Michigan Republican Party presidential economic debate at Oakland University

“You bet I’m going to continue on. Going through that long list of government agencies is really what this campaign’s all about. I’m human like everyone else. This campaign is about ideas. It’s not about who’s the slickest debater or whether anyone’s made a mistake or not. We’re all going to make mistakes.” — Gov. Rick Perry in an interview on NBC’s “Today”

“Commerce, Education… The third one, I can’t… Sorry. Oops.” — Gov. Rick Perry

“The American people deserve better than someone being tried in the court of public opinion based on unfounded accusations. I value my character and my integrity more than anything else.” — Herman Cain

“Herman Cain is the person to respond to these accusations. He just did. And the people in this room and around the country can make their own determination.” — Mitt Romney

“I think people understand that I’m a man of steadiness and constancy.” — Mitt Romney

  • CNBC ‘Your Money, Your Vote’ Republican Presidential Debate: The following is a transcript of the CNBC “Your Money, Your Vote” Republican presidential debate at Oakland University in Auburn Hills, Mich, as provided by Federal News Service…. – NYT, 11-10-11
  • Live Analysis: G.O.P. Debate in Michigan: The Republican candidates for president gathered in Michigan tonight for a 90-minute exchange meant to focus on economic issues…. – NYT, 11-9-11
  • Live Blogging the Michigan Debate: The debate, to be broadcast nationally by CNBC, will be followed three days later by a gathering in South Carolina, where another face-off is supposed to keep the candidates talking about foreign policy questions. … – NYT, 11-9-11
  • Live Blogging the GOP Debate WSJ, 11-9-11
  • The CNBC presidential debate live blog WaPo, 11-9-11
  • GOP Debate Live Updates: Will Herman Cain’s harassment scandal sink his chances at the presidency? Who’ll be the new anti-Romney? The candidates takes the stage in Rochester, Michigan for the CNBC GOP debate…. – Newsweek, 11-9-11
  • Live: GOP candidates debate economic fixes: We ‘re live blogging the GOP presidential debate on the economy, being held at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. CNBC is broadcasting the faceoff, with John Harwood and Maria Bartiromo moderating. … – USA Today, 11-9-11
  • Live blog: 8 Republican contenders kick off debate at Oakland U.: Republican presidential candidates are shown at a Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas. GOP candidates are slated to debate again at Oakland University on Wednesday in a forum sponsored by CNBC… – Detroit Free Press, 11-9-11
  • The Role of Regulation in Holding Back Business: Fact-checking Republican candidates’ claims from Wednesday night’s debate that regulatory uncertainty is holding back companies…. – NYT, 11-9-11
  • GOP candidates: Fix US economy or fail like Europe: United in agreement for once, Republican presidential rivals warned forcefully Wednesday night the United States could be doomed to the same sort of financial crisis that is afflicting Europe unless federal deficits are … – AP, 11-9-11
  • Cain denounces sex allegations during US debate: Herman Cain defended his character during a Republican presidential debate on Wednesday and said Americans “deserve better” than the controversy over sexual harassment allegations against him. … – Reuters, 11-9-11
  • CNBC presidential debate: Winners and losers: The 10th Republican presidential debate — this one from Oakland University in Michigan — is over. (The eight Republican candidates for president debated at Oakland University in Michigan Wednesday night.)…. – WaPo, 11-9-11
  • Romney rides high, Perry flops in debate: Mitt Romney rejected charges that he’s a flip-flopper in a Michigan debate on Wednesday night, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry took a flop of his own. Romney said he’s a man of “steadiness and constancy” and insisted that he’s been consistent…. – MarketWatch, 11-9-11
  • GOP debate: Romney on housing policy, plus palm oil prices: Something’s been missing from all the Republican presidential debates this fall. It certainly hasn’t been fireworks among the candidates, which headlined the historic clash in Las Vegas; it hasn’t been unclassy behavior by audience … – WaPo, 11-9-11
  • Live blog: GOP candidates face off in Michigan: The GOP presidential candidates just finished their ninth nationally televised debate of the year and a gaffe by Texas Gov. Rick Perry sticks out. Perry, who has said he’s not a good debater, stumbled when he tried to name … – USA Today, 11-9-11
  • CNBC debate: Jon Huntsman balks on Mitt Romney attack: Jon Huntsman stopped short of going after Mitt Romney directly at the CNBC debate Wednesday, even as the CNBC moderators baited him to call the GOP frontrunner’s China policies “pandering.” After Romney finished an extended attack on Chinese trade … – Politico, 11-9-11
  • Michigan debate: Candidates slamming China: The issue led off with Herman Cain, who said that there is something wrong with companies sending jobs to China because it’s cheaper, and used it to pivot to the ‘9-9-9′ plan without going into details about how he’d fix it. … – Politico, 11-9-11
  • GOP hopefuls say let Europe solve debt on its own: Republican presidential hopefuls agreed Wednesday night that Europe’s countries should rise or fall on their own without any American bailout and warned that failing to cut budget deficits at home will doom the US economy… – AP, 11-9-11
  • FACT CHECK: Romney’s clunker claim on auto bailout: Debating in Michigan, where the bailout was popular and credited with helping to save automakers, Republican candidates struggled at times to explain why…. – CBS News, 11-9-11
  • Rick Perry fails to remember what agency he’d get rid of in GOP debate: In a cringe-worthy moment during Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry couldn’t remember the third federal agency he has pledged to eliminate. Perry was discussing his jobs plan and his flat tax plan when he said…. – CBS News, 11-9-11
  • ‘Oops’ From Perry at Republican Presidential Debate: A day after an embarrassing stumble, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas said he had no intention of leaving the race, despite stinging G.O.P. criticism…. – NYT, 11-9-11
  • Rick Perry ‘oops’ debate moment: Has it done him in?: Rick Perry floundered during Wednesday night’s GOP presidential debate and has analysts wondering if it’s all over for his campaign. Some financial supporters are having second thoughts…. – CS Monitor, 11-10-11
  • Rick Perry’s ‘Oops’ in Republican debate could have long-lasting implications for his campaign: The Texas governor suffered from a particularly painful moment in Wednesday night’s debate, in which he couldn’t recall the third agency of the federal government that he would like to cut…. – WaPo, 11-9-11
  • For Perry, a Cringe-Worthy Gaffe: In the middle of an answer on his plans for the tax code, he turned to Ron Paul and proudly proclaimed that he would eliminate three federal agencies: Commerce, Education and … um. … – NYT, 11-9-11
  • Will ‘Oops’ be Perry’s campaign epitaph?: A visibly flustered Rick Perry was reduced to “Oops” after a painful 45 seconds of trying to remember the name of the third of three federal agencies that he would cut at a Republican presidential debate in Rochester, Michigan, on Wednesday. … – CNN, 11-9-11
  • Rick Perry on epic debate lapse: ‘I stepped in it, man': Rick Perry made a rare appearance in the media spin room moments after Wednesday’s Republican debate, and was mobbed by reporters asking him if he could recover. An hour earlier, the Texas governor had struggled to name the three … – LAT, 11-9-11
  • Rick Perry’s brain freeze at the CNBC debate: Rick Perry just had a bizarre brain freeze where he couldn’t name the third agency he would want to cut as part of his revamp of the federal government…. – Politico, 11-9-11
  • Rick Perry fails to remember what agency he’d get rid of in GOP debate: Texas governor stumbles when trying to remember the third government agency he said he’d eliminate as president Read more by Kevin Hechtkopf on CBS News’ Political Hotsheet…. – CBS News, 11-10-11
  • Big Perry goof defines debate, may damage campaign: Rick Perry, who has proposed to eliminate three federal departments if he is elected president, couldn’t name all three during Tuesday night’s economic policy debate in Michigan. The Texas governor said he would abolish the federal Department of … – Houston Chronicle, 11-9-11
  • A look at key moments in the GOP debate: Key moments in Wednesday night’s GOP presidential debate: ___ Perry Flub: Texas Gov. Rick Perry struggled to remember the names of the three federal agencies that he would eliminate if elected president. … – AP, 11-9-11
  • Rick Perry’s ‘Oops’ at GOP Debate: In case you missed it, here’s the moment in the CNBC debate among GOP presidential candidates that set the political world abuzz Wednesday night. As Texas Gov. Rick Perry said afterwards, “I stepped in it.” Actually, it seemed more…. – WSJ, 11-9-11
  • Perry’s Key Moment in Debate: a Memory Lapse: Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s debate performance Wednesday night may be long remembered for what the candidate didn’t manage to say, rather than what he did. Mr. Perry set out to detail three federal agencies he’d eliminate if elected … – WSJ, 11-9-11
  • Perry: Bad. Cain? Worse. Another night at the circus with the GOP: What can you say about a debate in which one candidate had perhaps the worst moment ever in a presidential debate — Rick Perry’s brain freeze about the third of the three government agencies he wants to eliminate — and he didn’t…. – WaPo, 11-10-11
  • Rick Perry’s ‘Oops’ in Republican debate could have long-lasting implications: Rick Perry wants to get rid of three agencies of the federal government. Just don’t ask him to identify the third one. In easily the most painful moment of an already uneven set of debate performances, the Texas governor on Wednesday night fumbled … – WaPo, 11-9-11
  • Perry’s Debate Flub Not Necessarily Kiss of Death: GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry’s memory lapse at Wednesday night’s CNBC debate will go down as one of the worst debate flubs in history, but it may not mean the campaign kiss of death that the Twitterverse quickly proclaimed it to be.
    Despite the national audience of televised debates, a solitary sound bite is rarely the deciding factor between winning the nomination and foundering into failure.
    A 43-second clip that exemplifies one of the candidate’s biggest weaknesses, however, could deal a deathly blow to an already struggling campaign, said long-time political consultant Phil Noble
    “I don’t think this in and of itself is going to kill him, but I think that it could become the symbol of what kills him,” Noble said. “If he continues to reinforce this message of not being ready, of not being bright enough or smart enough, then this becomes the symbol of that larger message.”… – ABC News, 11-10-11
  • Big Perry goof defines debate, may damage campaign: Rick Perry, who has proposed to eliminate three federal departments if he is elected president, couldn’t name all three during Tuesday night’s economic policy debate in Michigan…. – Houston Chronicle, 11-9-11
  • Its Debate Night in America: The Dallas Cowboys aren’t the only Texans who have trouble in the second half. Rick Perry has repeatedly performed worse in the second half of presidential debates than in the opening portion. Tonight’s “oops” moment may have topped them all. … – Houston Chronicle, 11-9-11
  • Perry stumbles, Cain deflects in GOP debate at Oakland U: Texas Gov. Rick Perry stumbled just after GOP presidential debate’s midway point Wednesday night when he told the audience he planned to eliminate three federal departments when he arrives in Washington DC as president, but was unable to … – The Detroit News, 11-9-11
  • Pundits Pile On Perry: Larry Sabato: “To my memory, Perry’s forgetfulness is the most devastating moment of any modern primary debate.” Mona Charen: “That was the greatest flame-out I’ve ever witnessed in a debate.” Rich Lowry: “That might be the most uncomfortable moment … – Time, 11-10-11

“Any time you’re standing in front of however many million people we were and you have a loss of train of thought, sure. It impacts you. But the fact is one error is not going to make or break a campaign.” — Rick Perry on CBS’ “The Early Show.”

“It’s hard to overstate how badly damaged Rick Perry is after the debate, one in which he overall performed more or less well – save for about 50 seconds. That was how long it took the Texas governor to concede he couldn’t recall the third federal agency he’d eliminate as president.” — Maggie Haberman, Politco.com

“To my memory, Perry’s forgetfulness is the most devastating moment of any modern primary debate.” — Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics

“I thought Perry would get better after his first debate. I was wrong. I thought he couldn’t do worse than his last few debate performances. I was wrong. His blank moment on the three cabinet agencies was very uncomfortable to watch. It could happen to any of us, but having it happen to him, on this stage, was devastating.” — Rich Lowry, editor of the conservative National Review

  • Takes from the Michigan Mash-Up: AP: “Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry says he would eliminate three federal agencies. Just don’t ask him to name them.” Politico: “The Rick Perry comeback hit a potentially disastrous snag Wednesday night, as the Texas governor again froze on … – Time, 11-9-11
  • Five things to watch for in GOP debate CNN, 11-9-11
  • Republican debate: Five key questions: Another day, another debate. Only a dozen or so more to go. But only Rick Perry is counting. The GOP field takes the stage tonight for a CNBC debate in the oh-so-important state of Michigan…. – WaPo, 11-9-11
  • Republican presidential debate in Michigan likely to focus on Herman Cain NY Daily News, 11-9-11
  • Romney on home-state territory for tonight’s GOP debate in Michigan: Mitt Romney returns to his home state today, where he was greeted this morning with full-page ads criticizing his position on the auto bailout and where he will be the focus of his seven rivals tonight on the debate … – Boston Globe, 11-9-11
  • Republicans to debate in jobs-starved Michigan: Rampant foreclosures, high unemployment and a volatile auto industry create a grim backdrop as the Republican presidential candidates debate in a state hit hard by the 2009 recession and longer-term … – MSNBC, 11-9-11
  • Entering the elimination round: The 2012 Republican primary is about to enter the elimination round. When the GOP presidential candidates meet in Michigan Wednesday for a CNBC debate on the economy, they’ll no longer be … – Politico, 11-9-11
  • Cain looks to move past controversy at US debate: Republican Herman Cain will try to move past an escalating sexual harassment controversy on Wednesday during a US presidential debate on economic issues held in the hard-hit manufacturing state of Michigan…. – Reuters, 11-9-11
  • Debate forum may benefit Rick Perry: Since he has decided to risk more presidential debates, Wednesday’s economy-focused forum may look like good medicine for Gov. Rick Perry’s ailing campaign. It gives him a stage in an economically battered state to talk about Texas … – Houston Chronicle, 11-9-11
  • Michigan GOP chair: Herman Cain’s sexual harassment problems shouldn’t be an issue: Michigan Republican Party Chairman Bobby Schostak says he doesn’t expect Herman Cain’s troubles over claims of sexual harassment will play much of a role in tonight’s GOP presidential debate. The focus of the televised debate, sponsored by CNBC…. – Dallas Morning News, 11-9-11
  • Stage set for GOP debate at Oakland University: Workers at Oakland University put the finishing touches on the CNBC stage for tonight’s Republican presidential debate. Herman Cain, inset, is battling allegations of sexual misconduct. … – Detroit Free Press, 11-9-11
  • Detroit Debate: Tests for Romney And Perry, Opportunity For Gingrich: The Republican primary debate in Motor City Wednesday night is the first one after a break of more than three weeks for the GOP candidates. The last debate was on Oct. 18 in Las Vegas. You remember. “Anderson! … – Huff Post, 11-9-11

Campaign Buzz November 5, 2011: GOP Presidential Candidates Herman Cain & Newt Gingrich Face-off in Cain-Gingrich Debate 2011 — 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

Eric S. Swist/The Courier, via Associated Press

The Republican presidential candidates Herman Cain, left, and Newt Gingrich were introduced before the start of a debate in The Woodlands, Texas, on Saturday.

IN FOCUS: HERMAN CAIN & NEWT GINGRICH FACE-OFF IN DEBATE

Cain and Gingrich Meet for a Congenial Debate: The rancor that defined much of the last week on the Republican presidential campaign trail subsided a bit here on Saturday night, as Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain basked in each other’s company and the warm embrace of the Texas Tea Party for what was styled as an old-fashioned issues-focused debate.
The challenges facing the Cain campaign over the last week, as it struggled to deal with revelations of sexual harassment accusations made against Mr. Cain while he was head of the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s, were not addressed at all.
The event, formally titled the Cain-Gingrich Debate 2011, was actually a fund-raiser held in a cavernous hotel ballroom north of Houston that was packed with 1,000 people. It felt more like a conservative love-in, with each candidate going out of his way to compliment the other and shower praise on the audience…. – NYT, 11-5-11

  • Cain and Gingrich Face Off: Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich squared off Saturday night in an unusual, one-on-one debate that allowed the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination relatively long, uninterrupted blocks of time to explain their similar views on Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare.
    What they did not discuss is the issue that has dented Mr. Cain’s front-runner status in recent days: allegations that he sexually harassed employees of a restaurant trade organization in the 1990s, when he was president of the group.
    The issue was not raised during the formal program, which was sponsored by a Texas Tea Party…. – WSJ, 11-5-11
  • For Gingrich and Cain, it’s a friendship and a contest: Finally, they had the debate stage to themselves: The philosopher-politician vs. the businessman-preacher. And for 90 minutes on Saturday night, there were no rehearsed attacks. Gone were the shiny podiums and 30-second rebuttals. … – WaPo, 11-5-11
  • Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and an oasis of scandal-free debate in Texas: Two presidential candidates with deep Georgia roots – one a long-time survivor of a personal life made public, the other newly wrestling with its consequences – created an oasis of scandal-free discussion Saturday…. – Atlanta Journal Constitution, 11-5-11
  • Harassment claim off limits in Gingrich-Cain forum: The two-man debate between GOP presidential candidates Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich started out Saturday evening with questions on health care spending and Social Security’s future — and completely … – AP, 11-5-11
  • Cain preps for Gingrich debate: Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain is lying low as he prepares for Saturday evening’s head-to-head debate with fellow GOP candidate Newt Gingrich. Cain has no events on his public schedule for the weekend other than the debate in the Lone Star state…. – Politico, 11-5-11
  • The Herminator and the Newt to debate, politely, in Texas: Hounded by the media hordes over allegations of sexual harassment more than a decade ago, the former pizza magnate who presumes to be president will flee the fetid swamps of Washington tomorrow and land in Texas — in The Woodlands, of all places. … – Houston Chronicle, 11-5-11

 

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Video and Transcript of Cain-Gingrich Debate

Source: Texas GOP Vote

The Cain-Gingrich Debate was sponsored by the Texas Patriots PAC and took place in The Woodlands, TX on November 5th. See video and transcript below:

Partial transcript of the debate:

The debate opens up with moderator, Iowa Congressman Steve King who thanks the debate organizers and proceeds lay out details about the national debt crisis.

GINGRICH: If we are stupid enough to do nothing about the debt, we will be bankrupt like Greece. Paul Ryan would fundamentally change Medicare by getting younger Americans into a premium support model — I do not favor a mandatory premium support model. I want us back into the habit of giving Americans a range of choices so people have those choices in the free market that would beat out the bureaucratic system. They need to go to something because it is better for them not because the government forced them. Americans are not going to let politicians impose things on them.

We have to come up with solutions that are actually BETTER than what the government would force on you. Look at WalMart, people shop there because they think they will get a good deal. We need to defeat so many entrenched elements of the Left that we have to convince Americans that we represent a better future than the Left does.

We have to get to a better health system before we get to an affordable health system.

Look at Stop Paying the Crooks and read it.

Medicare pays between $70-120 billion a year to crooks…like dentists who file 982 procedures a day. The Super Committee is not looking at this, because it requires thinking about Government…and getting people in Washington to THINK is a very big challenge.

CAIN: I am supposed to have a minute to disagree with Gingrich, but I don’t disagree with anything. So I would like to instead to add a historical perspective, since Gingrich and I can change the rules as we go. I remember talking about Medicare when I first went to Godfather’s pizza. Things inside the company were easier to control outside. Medicare started in 1965 and our government told us it would cost $6 billion to rollout, and we were told that by 1990 it would cost $12 billion. But in 1990, it actually cost $109 billion. IT WAS A 900% MISS.

How many businesses can survive missing a target like this. Long term government projections about cost have never been right. NAME ONE.

That being said, I believe as Speaker Gingrich believes that we can’t reshuffle Medicare or Medicaid, we must RESTRUCTURE. A guiding principle in the Ryan Plan that I love is that if you want to solve a problem, you must go to the source closest to the problem. It is not Washington DC…it is the states…it is the patients. Allowing Medicare accounts for younger workers is an option.

Another thing we have learned for decades is that people spend other people’s money more recklessly than they spend their own money. Let it be their money and they will spend it better. Get it out of Washington DC.

Politicians have over promised for decades. We have got to get real because we are headed off a cliff.

What to do about rising healthcare costs…services, x-rays, etc…going up 17% regardless of the economy in a market of their own. Why does it occur and how do we deal with this? CAIN: We have the best healthcare in the world.

We have a healthcare cost problem, you are absolutely right. In order to solve the healthcare cost problem, we must use market driven patient centered approaches. Talk to doctors. Here again, you cannot micromanage healthcare costs out of DC. Every program we have had out of DC has failed. What we have to do is unravel the system with market driven ideas. HR3000 — introduced by Rep. Price in Georgia, used to be HR3400 — open healthcare savings accounts, allow association health plans. At the Restaurant Association we wanted a plan to customize to our workforce. Under the current structure, we couldn’t do that. Another thing doctors would like is loser-pay laws at the state and federal level. That’s what’s driving up malpractice insurance. A loser pays law is a big step in health reform.

GINGRICH: I think that the mess of the health system is an everything problem. It is federal, state, doctor, patient problem. You can go back to 1943 wage price control decisions which was a gimmick in WWII, but what happens in a third party payer system. The person receiving services isn’t paying so they don’t value it. The person writing the checks thinks the doctor is a crook.

Think about McDonalds. You show up and ask for a quarter pounder. They give it to you. You give them money. Everyone’s happen. But if you pay them and you don’t get the quarter pounder, there’s a problem. This is not silly, it’s basic, and this does not happen with healthcare.

We need to be in these non-30 second debates because there is a lot of material that needs to be talked about…common sense regardless of what the national establishment thinks is acceptable. Cain and I are the two most radical candidates in this because we are willing to talk common sense, when most in Washington think that does not count.

I am the only Speaker in modern history to balance the budget in 4 years. We reformed an entitlement, we reformed Medicare very carefully and had AARP neutral in a presidential election year. If you are serious about real health reform, you must abolish the Congressional Budget Office because it lies.

Every hospital will tell you that if you get the family and patient involved, it is better and less expensive. The Congressional Budget Office refuses to see this as a savings. It wants more bureaucracy and less patient involvement.

CAIN: If you go back to Ryan’s plan, first of all if you are 55 or older or you are already on Medicare you will not be affected so don’t allow the Left to use scare tactics on you. For the younger workers, if they take that option of the Medicare account they will treat it as their own money.

Initially it would be about $11,000 and you would have to buy a Medicare approved plan. When you treat it like it is your money that is how you wean people off expecting that someone else will pay for it and it will be someone else’s money.

GINGRICH: I wrote a book in 2002 called Saving Lives and Saving Money, and I outlined what to do. Washington will do three stupid things instead of one smart thing.

I just put on the table trillions of dollars that would be saved by not paying crooks. Why is it so hard to not penalize good people before you stop paying crooks. You can take existing IBM technology and use it to stop paying crooks.

Why is it so hard to say you can turn this around and pass a bill to contract out to American Express, VISA, and IBM to handle Medicare payments and in 60 days you would save a TRILLION DOLLARS.

Anyone who currently prefers to go to a premium support system should do it next year. Tom Price has a great bill that says if you want to contract out for healthcare let’s give you more freedom. Medicare is more restrictive than the British system.

When you get the government in the business of defining what you should have, the government will say you don’t need this or that when you do.

Prostate Example — Medicare says not to test for prostate cancer, when lives can be saved if detected quickly. No one who is a urologist or cancer specialist is making these decisions. It is just bureaucrats. You need to move to a place where people get help buying insurance but the family, the patient, and the doctors make the primary decisions on keeping you healthy. Just imagine if there was government approval on IPhones or computers…bureaucrats would stop innovation and would say that 1960 model is just fine for you.

CAIN: I will make this brief. In the private sector for decades now they have been making the change from defined benefits plans to define contributions plans. It is your money. And so what the Ryan plan does with Medicare accounts is that they have individual names on it with defined contributions where everyone will have an account and own it and spend more responsibly. GINGRICH: I want to ask Cain what happened at Godfather’s regarding the encroaching of government when CEOs are faced with the out of control bureaucracy.

My advice to them is something I realized when I first became CEO in 1986. If I did not get involved in these issues then the entire free market system would be collapsed. Don’t stand back and play it safe. Get involved with the solution. I want to congratulate the Tea Party for putting these talks together and educating people. Better informed people will change this country. You are all becoming better involved. The Tea Party movement is real and growing. The Left is calling people racists to scare them away. My advice to CEOs and business people is to get involved and not sit on the sidelines. You can’t stop it with expensive lobbyists down the road.

My question to Speaker Gingrich is that you spent a lot of distinguished years in Congress and then you left Congress and started other ventures and you were thinking outside the Washington bubble…what are three things you realized outside that bubble.

GINGRICH: As a business, you don’t get to stay in business unless you wake up every day thinking about how to keep customers. If you don’t earn your pay in business, a business won’t pay you. We need to apply LEAN Sigma Six principles to government.

In every aspect of the private sector someone is doing something brilliant that could be applied to government to reduce costs…but the Left and the media block this. If you found Best Practices across the country, you would be amazed at how quickly you could balance the budget and resolve the deficit.

When I left office as Speaker, there was a swing of 5 TRILLION dollars and we had a balanced budget.

CEOs set big goals with tight deadlines, delegate smartly, and don’t let any so call experts in the room. Social Security Reform….

CAIN: Social Security….I am a firm believer in solving problems. Old ideas have prolonged the problem. I am a strong proponent of an idea that Bush introduced, these optional personal retirement accounts. 30 countries have optional personal retirement accounts. Look at the Chilean model and I ask why can’t we do that? We can do it if we fight the demagoguery and fight all those who don’t want the current system to change. We need to educate the public so they understand this.

30 years ago, Chile had a social security system like we do. The workers got to 27% of every dollar earned going into this and the system was broken. When they gave people the option — within 3 years, 90% of people said we want the option because it became their money on an account with their name on it and they don’t have the problems we have dealing with social security.

If older Americans who have paid into the system, they have a choice to continue on, or they can take the option of controlling it yourself. If you are close to retirement,your benefits will keep being paid. For younger people, they will have an option to control that benefit yourself. I have asked young workers if they would want to start investing and controlling their own retirement…I have not found one person who would rather keeping things as they are. Investing conservatively will work better than the current system.

I am about fixing the problems. Payroll tax is the biggest tax that most people pay. We should be invited back to talk about the economy at another time. We have to change the tax code. It is one of the reason that healthcare costs keep going up. It makes no sense. It promotes the idea that this is all someone else’s money and not the employee’s.

The payroll tax would be eliminated in 9-9-9 we would setup those optional accounts with that money that people could control themselves.

GINGRICH: I am going to sidestep the opportunity to talk about 9-9-9. Sean Hannity has asked us to spend an hour in this format with him and I think we should do that. Here in Texas, there is the Galveston System where they discovered that if you put in about half as much money in the private sector you would get twice as much as you would giving it to government.

Any candidate who is not prepared to give younger Americans the right to choose has not serious plan for social security. Everyone who is currently on it, it won’t be touched, so don’t let the LEFT and AARP lie to you.

First of all, with growth, you go back to where we were when I left the Speakership, you can’t look at the current static model from the CBO and see anything…it’s amazing what 10-15 extra million Americans working does to social security.

Lyndon Johnson scored a cheap political point by sucking social security into the budget to try to show a balanced budget. Johnson began the problems of giving people the idea that they could steal this money. Senior citizens should not be scared like this.

Get social security out of the budget and make it a freestanding retirement account again.

If you want to stay in the current system, and let politicians like Barack Obama scare you that they are going to take your money away from you, then you can stay in the system.

If you have your own personal social security savings account and you want to retire early why would Congress tell you not to…or if you were like Andy Rooney and stayed active until age 92, why should Congress tell you that you can’t. Let’s get back to allowing Americans to control own lives.

CAIN: We as a nation are not short on good ideas of how to fix social security. What we are short on is the ability to educate people on the solutions. CEOs can help educate and inform their workers on what is truth and what is garbage. I believe the businesses in America could provide a service of changing the paradigm of DC and inform the employees on what is fact and what is not.

One of the big advantages in this election cycle is the Tea Party, and the Internet. More people are smart and informed today. The President needs to be a communicator in chief informing and educating people, not scaring them.

GINGRICH: Let’s talk about Herman’s role in turning around Godfather’s pizza. He came in and totally transformed that business. Let’s also talk about the Green Bay Packers and their leadership. I became a leader in Congress just like Herman did in business because I was willing to tell the truth and talk directly to people.

The current president is as accurate and honest as Bernie Madoff in what he tells the American people.

It is a fraud and a lie the way that Congress deals with social security. The American people have put money into a trust fund. It is not hidden. It is there. But every politician in Washington wants to find a gimmick to balance the budget off the backs of working Americans.

If you take it off budget, you could solve social security. You take what’s in that fund, and you model it on what’s in Chile, you find with a few modest cuts in spending you get to a stable retirement program.

Since Johnson, we have been hiding the real size of our budget deficit by obscuring it with social security. We need to be honest and separate these two things and deal with them.

CAIN: This is what we have to be honest about, it is going to take a long time to work ourselves out of this mess that has been created for decades. We can’t deal with unfunded liabilities, we have to deal with a bill that says starting from now all social security contributions will go towards social security benefits only. What the money is collected for, let’s put it towards that only.

GINGRICH: The private sector money in a personal social security account goes into the private sector. There will be a 1% increase in economic growth just because of the amount of capital that would be saved. In Chile they now have savings in their social security accounts that equal 76% of their capital. That is breathtaking and longterm and stable. We need to have separate money between social security and what would be in the private savings account.

CAIN: In the private sector, most companies have moved to a defined contributions account. The company will make a contribution along with the employee. The employee selects from several options on how to invest. You can declare yourself a low risk, a medium, or a high risk investor. You can do the same thing with personal retirement accounts. Parking the money is never the problem. Yanking it out of the federal budget is the problem.

Next topic: Medicaid

CAIN: I absolutely agree with block granting to states. IN order to solve the problem, the states know better how to use their resources to provide the greatest amount of help to their citizens. Medicaid has gotten states hooked on it like crack. We have to break the crack habit with block grants. The states over time will have more flexibility. We should not cut them off cold turkey, but we need to start to end the dependency of states on Washington bureaucracy. We need to end the mandates to the states and let the states decide.

GINGRICH: Let’s look at Obamacare. Go to Newt.org for the proposed 21st Century Contract with America. First step is to repeal Obamacare.

I strongly support Paul Ryan’s approach to block granting Medicaid. Block grant all remaining welfare programs. Give the states the power to deal with the poor using innovation and money savings.

We are going to have a real national debate on all this. I do not believe you solve problems under the Left’s policy of people being helpless. Read THE TRAGEDY OF AMERICAN COMPASSION. We need to rethink Medicaid much the way we rethought welfare reform. Governor Bush in Florida had a program where people who took care of themselves and didn’t go to the emergency room got a Christmas bonus. To the shock of academics, poor people were aware of money and strived to get that bonus by not abusing the emergency rooms. If you had the ability to triage and send people to minute clinics, then the hospital wouldn’t charge emergency room rates. If you track someone who abuses the system there should be a consequence for that.

We have to start distinguishing between the taxpayer who is concerned with charitable care and taxpayers who are suckers and are being exploited.

CAIN: One of the principles I believe in is going from an entitlement society to an empowerment society. Help people to help themselves.

No entitlement programs…teach people to fish, not give them fish.

I would support a voucher system but not if a voucher would pay all the costs. People need skin in the game, otherwise they will ask how much more the government will give them.

GINGRICH: We need genuine block grants so states can decide how best they should handle matters. The whole purpose of getting back to 50 states is to have 50 laboratories of experimentation since Washington can’t fix things. We’ve seen this.

We need to think of all of these things being integrated into one human being.

Public Housing — if we give people a place to live, they need to help clean it, paint it, and fix it so they have skin in the game. The Left’s Model: people are weak, helpless, and stupid and need government to tell them what to do…but who does the Left think the government hires to run the bureaucracy?

CAIN: You need to block grant responsibility as well as money. You need the states to adhere to rules, and to have responsibility for making decisions at the state level. Right now they are too caught up in bureaucracy.

GINGRICH: I believe in health information technology. We need to have the same security and ease of information that we have in using ATMs. You can walk up to a machine in a foreign country, you put in a code, and you can get money out in the local currency anywhere in the world. The center for Medicare and Medicaid uses only paper. It is 40 years behind the times. It stops us from getting into a better future.

CAIN: We need to have standards and not make it easy for people to cheat on things. You can’t get on an airplane without showing a valid ID. Why should we allow people to do other things without IDs. Photo IDs are needed and should be required to vote to end fraud. WHY NOT?

People who are fighting to require voter ID are people who want cheating to continue in the voting process. There is much more cheating going on than people want to admit.

GINGRICH: There is a big gap in rational thinking between the government and private sectors. We have technology that allows you to track a package with FedEx with remarkable accuracy. One of my proposals is to send people a package to determine if they are here illegally…(laughter)…but it’s funny but making a point about where we are. We should be able to identify everyone who gets emergency aid and every state should sue the federal government every year for every cent spent on illegals who should not be in the United States.

That is the federal government’s responsibility.

How to address the 72 entitlement programs:

CAIN: We need to change entitlement to empowerment programs. You need to prove you are looking for a job or are taking classes to get a better job. Means testing will help but you need to make people take ownership and WANT to get off those programs. I would block grant all entitlement programs back to the states and give them the flexibility on how to modify the programs and stretch those dollars.

GINGRICH: You must start with the question on whether or not means testing requires people to stay below. We have the most effective food stamp president in history right now and that is not a good thing.

Do you want to rise above the point where you would be means tested? You create a discouragement — read the book LOSING GROUND – you are teaching people to be dependent and fail. You need to rethink the idea that people are getting something for nothing, because that’s not how it works. If someone is an able bodied person who is getting something for nothing than we are stupid for giving it to you.

We need to fundamentally change unemployment compensation. We need to require training. 99 weeks of unemployment sitting doing nothing could be turned into an associate’s degree. I think that each state needs to have primary responsibility for most of these domestic issues.

CAIN: Let me round this out. We have talked about the biggest elephant in the room, entitlement programs. As you can see, Speaker Gingrich and I are not afraid to talk about this. The government has been intellectually dishonest about these programs for 50 years.

Ultimately, all these programs work together and what we come back to is that education and a job are the two best things that get people off these programs. We need to look at how to get people back to work, want to get off it, and there will be a few people who are lazy and they don’t want to help themselves….that’s their little boogiewoogie as my grandmother used to say.

CAIN: I would restructure unemployment so that if you got 26 weeks unemployment one time, then next time you would only get 13 weeks…then 7.5 weeks so that you are encouraged to get and keep a job.

GINGRICH: I would connect the unemployed to the jobs we can’t fill. We have an older workforce who is not trained to do the new jobs we can’t fill. From Day One, you need to get trained as fast as possible to get a full time job because these people will need to do something every single day in order to get a penny. Cain and Gingrich ask each other a question now — not playing Gotcha! one time all night — Gingrich goes first:

GINGRICH: You have had a terrific life. We fought Hillarycare together years ago, what’s been the biggest surprise to you in running for president?

CAIN: The nitpicketyness of the media. I did not realize the fly speaking nature of the media when you move up in the polls….because if there is a journalistic standard, they don’t follow it, and too many people give out misinformation. I thought that — and I did not study political correctness in school — too many people in the media are dishonest and do a disservice to the American people.

CAIN: Mr. Speaker, if you were Vice President of the United States (applause and laughter from crowd) what would you want me to assign you to do first?

GINGRICH: Having studied Dick Cheney, I would not go hunting.

Campaign Buzz October 18, 2011: CNN / Western Republican Leadership Conference (WRLC) GOP Republican Presidential Debate in Las Vegas, Nevada Candidates Mitt Romney & Rick Perry Fight & Clash over the Economy, Health Care & Immigration — Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 Plan in the Hot Seat

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

Monica Almeida/The New York Times

The Republican presidential primary candidates met for a debate Tuesday night at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. It was the fifth time the candidates had gathered since Labor Day.

IN FOCUS: CNN / WESTERN REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES DEBATE

  • Las Vegas Republican debate: The Live Blog: Tonight at 8 p.m. eastern time seven Republican candidates running for president will take the stage in Las Vegas for the fifth debate in the last six weeks…. – WaPo
  • Western Republican Leadership Conference (WRLC)/CNN Debate at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino: The following is a transcript of the Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nev…. – NYT, 10-19-11

Faith and religion

Gov. Rick Perry: “I can no more remove my faith than I can [the fact that] I’m the son of a tenant farmer. That individual expressed an opinion. I didn’t agree with it, Mitt…. “Americans understand faith, and what they’ve lost faith in is the current resident” of the White House…. “I did not agree with Pastor Jeffress’ remarks. I cannot apologize more than that.”

Tax plans

Gov. Rick Perry: “Herman, I love you, brother, but let me tell you something. You don’t need a big analysis to figure this thing out. Go to New Hampshire where they don’t have a sales tax, and you’re fixing to give them one.”
“They’re not interested in 9-9-9. What they’re interested in is flatter and fairer. At the end of the week, I’m going to be laying out a plan that clearly — I’ll bump plans with you, brother, and we’ll see who has the best idea about how you get this country working again.”

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Lake Jackson: “What would you replace the income tax with?” “I’ll say ‘nothing,'” Paul said.

Foreign aid:

Gov. Rick Perry: “I think it’s time for this country to have a very real debate about foreign aid. I think it’s time for us to have a very serious conversation about defunding the United Nations. … Why are we funding that particular organization?”

Rep. Ron Paul: “It’s taking from poor people in this country and giving to rich people in other countries.”

Herman Cain: “If we clarify who our friends are and clarify who our enemies are.”

Health plans

Gov. Rick Perry: Perry: Texas has “one of the finest healthcare systems in the world.”

Border security

Gov. Rick Perry: while a fence separating the U.S. and Mexico border can be built, “there’s a better way.” Primarily that would be putting “boots on the ground” and using technology to create a “virtual defense zone along that border … with strategic fencing in obvious places where it matters.”

  • The Caucus: Las Vegas Debate Wrap-Up: In the most contentious debate so far, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry clashed repeatedly. It signaled the start of a tough new phase of the campaign…. – NYT, 10-19-11
  • Las Vegas Debate Fact Check: New York Times reporters examine statements from candidates in the Republican field on immigration, the economy, foreign policy and health care…. – NYT, 10-18-11
  • GOP debate in Vegas: Winners and losers: The latest – and most contentious – Republican presidential debate of the 2012 cycle has wrapped up in Las Vegas, which means it’s time to look at who had a night to remember and who had one to forget:
    Winners: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum
    Losers: Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman Draw: Rick Perry, Ron Paul…. -
    CBS News, 10-19-11
  • Candidates swap barbs in GOP debate: Herman Cain’s surge in the polls made him an early target in the CNN Western Republican debate but before it was over, Republican presidential rivals were taking personal shots at each other…. – CNN, 10-18-11
  • Four takeaways from the GOP debate in Las Vegas: Rick Perry came out swinging in this debate, notes DCDecoder. Herman Cain’s 999 plan took some hits, and Mitt Romney had some red-faced moments…. -

    1. Rick Perry – don’t call it a comeback.
    2. Herman Cain is apparently incapable of answering any question about foreign policy without fumbling. Hard.
    3. The longer Rick Santorum sticks around, the more nervous Romney, Perry and to some extent Cain, are going to be.
    4. Mitt Romney can have pretty thin skin.

    CS Monitor, 10-19-11

  • Gloves come off, candidates go all out in Las Vegas debate:
    STORY HIGHLIGHTS

    Seven of the top GOP presidential candidates faced off in Las Vegas
    Jon Huntsman decided to boycott Nevada and instead will campaign in New Hampshire
    Frontrunners Cain, Romney and Perry came under frequent attack
    Romney and Perry face off, trade sharp accusations

    Republican presidential candidates face off in the Western Republican Debate, moderated by Anderson Cooper, at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday on CNN, the CNN mobile apps and CNN.com/Live. Tweet your questions to #CNNDebate on Twitter.
    Tuesday night was fight night in Las Vegas. Seven Republican presidential candidates clashed sharply over issues such as illegal immigration, taxes and health care at a presidential debate in Nevada sponsored by CNN and the Western Republican Leadership Conference.
    But it was the three Republican frontrunners — former Godfather’s Pizza executive Herman Cain, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov Rick Perry — who came under frequent attack.
    The long-standing bad blood between Romney and Perry boiled over in the debate’s first hour as the two GOP heavyweights traded harsh accusations and showed flashes of anger…. – CNN, 10-18-11

  • A Fierce Clash for Romney and Perry as Republican Candidates Debate: Mitt Romney came under intensive attack from his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination at a debate here Tuesday night, with a newly assertive Rick Perry leading a sometimes personal barrage against him on conservative consistency, health care policy and even the immigration status of yard workers at his home.
    Seven of the Republican candidates for president gathered again tonight for the eighth debate of the year and the first held in the West.
    It was the most acrimonious debate so far this year. Marked by raised voices, accusations of lying and acerbic and personal asides, it signaled the start of a tough new phase of the primary campaign a little more than two months before the first votes are cast.
    Mr. Romney responded aggressively to the attacks and sometimes testily. Once, after Mr. Perry spoke over him, he turned to the debate moderator, Anderson Cooper of CNN, to plead, “Anderson?”…. – NYT, 10-18-11
  • Republican debate: What we learned in Las Vegas: * Mitt and Rick, not BFF: Before last night’s debate, most of the skirmishing between the former Massachusetts governor and the Texas governor was at the staff level. No longer. Perry repeatedly got into Romney’s face and Romney repeatedly took umbrage.
    Perry’s attack on Romney employing illegal immigrant lawn service workers was decidedly personal and aggressive, and, for the first time in these debates, Romney got visibly angry. The extended “let me finish, no let me talk” exchange over immigration rapidly escalated to the point where it was very uncomfortable (and yet strangely alluring) to watch.
    The ill will between the men seems to set the stage for a very nasty next few months as the two best-funded candidates in the race (not to mention their super PACs) will soon take to the television airwaves to continue the argument begun last night.
    * Perry — not dead yet : Perry’s performance was somewhat uneven — he was terrific in the earlier part of the debate and less so as it wore on — but overall it was by far his best showing. Perry actually seemed like he wanted to be there; he was energetic and feisty.
    We’ve written before that Republican primary voters want to nominate a fighter, someone they believe can take the fight to President Obama on all fronts. Last night, Perry was that guy…. – WaPo, 10-19-11
  • Mitt Romney aide: He stood up to ‘bully’ Rick Perry at debate: Mitt Romney’s adviser Eric Fehrnstrom, on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell a bit ago, gave the line that the frontrunner’s camp has used to spin Rick Perry’s performance – that he was too aggressive…. – Politico, 10-19-11
  • Perry calling for flat tax: Texas Gov. Rick Perry is calling for a flat tax. Perry told the Western Republican Leadership Conference on Wednesday that he’ll unveil the tax as part of his broad plan to revive the economy and create jobs. … – AP, 10-19-11
  • Perry to unveil flat tax plan: Rick Perry will outline a plan next week to replace the US tax code with a federal “flat tax,” he told an audience in Las Vegas Wednesday. Continue Reading Perry’s plan, he told the Western Republican Leadership Conference… – Politico, 10-19-11
  • Rick Perry Previews His Next Economic Plan: After his strongest debate performance since his entrance in the presidential race, Texas Gov. Rick Perry shared a portion of his forthcoming economic growth plan which he will unveil in next week in South Carolina…. – ABC News, 10-19-11
  • Rick Perry continues the tough talk: “I am not a candidate of the establishment”: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, fresh from his feisty attacks on Mitt Romney in Tuesday’s GOP “fight night” CNN debate in Las Vegas, hit the Western Republican Leadership Conference Wednesday and kept up the jabs… – San Francisco Chronicle, 10-19-11
  • Las Vegas Republican debate: How each candidate fared: Seven GOP presidential candidates showed up in Las Vegas last night for what ended up being the most contentious debate of the campaign cycle. While much of the attention focused on Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Herman Cain…. – WaPo, 10-19-11
  • All against Cain: Upstart targeted in GOP debate: Republican presidential contenders attacked upstart Herman Cain’s economic plan as a tax increase waiting to happen Tuesday night, moving swiftly in a fiery campaign debate to blunt the former businessman’s … – Boston Globe, 10-18-11
  • Republican presidential debate puts Herman Cain to test: In what has become a near-weekly ritual, the 2012 Republican presidential field came together on a debate stage Tuesday — this time, one that tested whether Herman Cain is a serious contender…. – WaPo, 10-18-11
  • Republicans brawl in Vegas: Tonight’s Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas was anything but dull. From the get-go, it was a free-for-all, with Herman Cain the principal target of his competitors…. – WaPo, 10-18-11
  • Herman Cain could be haunted by hostage question from Las Vegas Republican debate: Foreign policy has never been Herman Cain’s strong suit. But his response in the Las Vegas debate on the possibility of exchanging a soldier for Guantanamo Bay prisoners can’t be good for the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO. Not only did Cain contradict … – WaPo, 10-18-11
  • Cain: I can feel the bull’s-eye: Herman Cain said Tuesday he could feel the pressure from his fellow 2012 candidates ahead of the CNN Western Leadership Conference Debate in Las Vegas. “The way it feels is that you got this big bull’s-eye on your back, and it keeps getting … – CNN, 10-18-11
  • GOP candidates take the stage to debate again: Former pizza magnate Herman Cain had a chance Tuesday night to convince voters he’s not just the latest fad, debating fellow Republican presidential candidates in economically hard-hit Nevada as he enjoyed his new standing atop opinion polls. … – WaPo, 10-18-11
  • GOP debate: Cain and Romney win: Everyone stepped up their game for Tuesday’s Republican debate in Las Vegas. Even Gov. Rick Perry (Tx.) was energetic and feisty on the stage — for a bit. But the winners were the acknowledged frontrunners…. – WaPo, 10-18-11
  • Romney still the best at this, Perry not as bad, and the loser? Anderson Cooper: Romney still the best at this, Perry not as bad, and the loser? Anderson Cooper. Well, it was the feistiest debate — Rick Perry even stayed awake for the whole thing, which was a nice change… – WaPo, 10-18-11
  • Romney’s Lawn Care History and the Fight Over Immigration: Rick Perry’s most pointed attack against Mitt Romney in Tuesday night’s debate concerned an immigration matter that came to light when Mr. Romney was campaigning for president four years ago. … – NYT, 10-18-11
  • Analysis: Rick Perry Takes Off The Gloves At Las Vegas Debate, But Doesn’t Land a Knock-out Punch: For the first time since he got into the Presidential race just over two months ago, Rick Perry finally looked comfortable on the debate stage. Gone was the laconic and vaguely dazed Texas Governor. In his place was a feisty candidate eager to engage … – ABC News, 10-18-11
  • GOP debate: Rick Perry accuses Mitt Romney of being a hypocrite on immigration: Herman Cain’s 15 minutes were up Tuesday night as heavy hitters Mitt Romney and Rick Perry debunked him and went after each other in the nastiest exchange yet of the GOP debates.
    Perry let loose and accused front-runner Romney of being a hypocrite on immigration because the former Massachusetts governor hired illegal workers at his own home…. – NY Daily News, 10-18-11
  • Sparks fly as GOP presidential candidates debate: Republican presidential candidates brawled Tuesday over Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan and Mitt Romney’s record on illegal immigration and health care, as rivals hammered the two top-tier contenders…. – Miami Herald, 10-18-11
  • Rick Perry delivers his most aggressive debate performance of the campaign season: An animated Rick Perry delivered his most aggressive debate performance of the 2012 presidential campaign Tuesday, leading a concerted attack on the leaders of the GOP pack, Mitt Romney and Herman Cain. … – Houston Chronicle, 10-18-11
  • Mitt Romney bashed on healthcare, immigration at Vegas debate: The 2012 Republican debates turned raucous, and highly personal, Tuesday night as front-running Mitt Romney got dragged into the fray over his Massachusetts healthcare plan and onetime hiring of illegal immigrants…. – LAT, 10-18-11
  • Romney says religion shouldn’t be a factor: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney says voters should not choose their president based on the candidate’s religious beliefs or the place where they worship…. – Atlanta Journal Constitution, 10-18-11
  • Romney and Perry spar at Nevada debate Cain faces heightened scrutiny of ‘9-9-9′ economic plan: A long-awaited showdown between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry erupted at Tuesday night’s Republican presidential debate, in an occasionally personal battle between the two GOP heavyweights.
    Romney and Perry sparred throughout the two-hour CNN/Western Republican Leadership Conference debate in Las Vegas, mostly overshadowing an early pile-on of Herman Cain and his “9-9-9″ economic plan.
    Perry called Romney a hypocrite, while the former Massachusetts governor retorted that the Texan was suffering from some recent rough debate outings. The body language of both turned visibly cool as they talked past one another at points.
    The fireworks emerged halfway through the first hour of the debate, when Perry accused Romney of having hired illegal immigrants as landscapers at one of his homes. Perry has been looking to reverse a slide in the polls driven in part by poor debate performances…. – MSNBC, 10-18-11
  • Romney, Cain under fire at GOP debate Top two Republicans under siege in first hour of Vegas debate: The two candidates leading the contest for the Republican presidential nomination found themselves under siege early at Tuesday night’s debate in Las Vegas.
    The GOP hopefuls took turns hammering former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain’s “9-9-9″ economic plan. And a long-awaited showdown between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry erupted late in the first hour, and took an occasionally personal tone.
    Cain, whose plan dominated last Tuesday’s debate and most of the political discussion in the week since then, quickly found himself on defense over his plan, which calls for nine percent taxes on personal income, corporate income, and sales. Cain accused his opponents of “mixing apples and oranges” for suggesting that taxpayers would have to double up on state taxes and Cain’s plan, which affects federal taxes…. – MSNBC, 10-18-11
  • Debate Interrupted: Republican presidential candidates former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, left, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, talk across Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, second from left, and businessman Herman Cain during a Republican presidential debate Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
    Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas produced some of the feistiest exchanges yet, including this one, where candidates had a hard time letting each other complete a sentence. Transcript courtesty of CNN:
    Former Sen. Rick SANTORUM: The final point I would make to Governor Romney, you just don’t have credibility, Mitt, when it comes to repealing Obamacare. You are — you are — your plan was the basis for Obamacare. Your consultants helped Obama craft Obamacare. And to say that you’re going to repeal it, you just — you have no track record on that that — that we can trust you that you’re going to do that…. – National Journal, 10-18-11

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 18, 2011: CNN / Western Republican Leadership Conference (WRLC) GOP Republican Presidential Debate in Las Vegas, Nevada — Candidates Mitt Romney & Rick Perry Fight & Clash in 8th Debate over the Economy, Health Care & Immigration — Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 Plan in the Hot Seat — Transcript

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Monica Almeida/The New York Times

The Republican presidential primary candidates met for a debate Tuesday night at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. It was the fifth time the candidates had gathered since Labor Day.

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Western Republican Leadership Conference (WRLC)/CNN Debate at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino

The following is a transcript of the Western Republican Leadership Conference (WRLC)/CNN Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nev., as provided by Federal News Service.

Speakers: Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-MINN.

Rep. Ron Paul, R-TEXAS

Gov. Rick Perry, R-TEXAS

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-PA.

Former Rep. Newt Gingrich, R-GA.

Former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-MASS.

Hermain Cain

Moderator: Anderson Cooper

ANDERSON COOPER: All right. Let’s — time to begin, and we’ll begin with actually a question in the hall.

Q: This is for all candidates. What’s your position on replacing the federal income tax with a federal sales tax?

MR. COOPER: I’ll direct that to Congresswoman Bachmann . You’ve been very critical of Herman’s Cain 9-9-9 plan, which calls for a 9 percent sales tax and 9 percent income tax and 9 percent corporate tax. In fact, you said it would destroy the economy. Why?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN): Well, I am a former federal tax litigation attorney, and also my husband and I are job creators.

One thing I know about Congress, being a member of Congress for five years, is that any time you give the Congress a brand-new tax, it doesn’t go away. When we got the income tax in 1913, the top rate was 7 percent. By 1980 the top rate was 70 percent. If we give Congress a 9 percent sales tax, how long will it take a liberal president and a liberal Congress to run that up to maybe 90 percent?

Who knows?

What I do know is that we all have to be concerned about the hidden tax of the value-added tax, because at every step and stage of production, you’d be taxing that item 9 percent on the profits. That’s the worry. In my plan — again, that’s a tax plan, it’s not a jobs plan. My plan for economic recovery is real jobs right now.

I have a tax plan, I have a jobs plan, I have an energy plan and a plan to really turn this country around and create millions of high- paying jobs.

MR. COOPER: Mr. Cain, a lot of prominent conservatives now are coming forward saying that your 9-9-9 plan would actually raise taxes on middle-class voters, on lower-income voters.

HERMAN CAIN: The thing that I would encourage people to do before they engage in this knee-jerk reaction is read our analysis. It is available at Hermancain.com. It was performed by Fiscal Associates. And all of the claims that are made against it, it is a jobs plan. It is revenue neutral. It does not raise taxes on those that are making the least. All of those are simply not true.

The reason that my plan — the reason that our plan is being attacked so much is because lobbyists, accountants, politicians, they don’t want to throw out the current tax code and put in something that’s simple and fair. They want to continue to be able to manipulate the American people with a 10-million-word mess. Let’s throw out the 10-million-word mess and put in our plan, which will liberate the American workers and liberate American businesses. (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: Senator Santorum, will his plan raise taxes?

RICK SANTORUM: Herman’s well-meaning. I — and I love his boldness and it’s great. But the fact of the matter is, I mean, reports are now out that 84 percent of Americans would pay more taxes under his plan. That’s the analysis. And it makes sense, because when you — what you — when you don’t provide a standard deduction, when you don’t provide anything for low-income individuals and you have a sales tax and an income tax and, as Michele said, a value added tax, which is really what his corporate tax is, we’re talking about major increases in taxes on people.

He also doesn’t have anything that takes care of the families. I mean, you have a — you have a situation where under Herman’s plan a single person pays as much in taxes as a — as a man and a woman raising three children. We — every — ever since we’ve had the income tax in America, we’ve always taken advantage of the fact that we want to encourage people to — to have children and not have to pay more — already to raise children, but also pay that additional taxes. We gave some breaks for families. He doesn’t do that in this bill. And we’re going to — we’ve seen that happen in Europe, and what happened? Boom! Birth rates went in the — into the — into the basement.

It’s a — it’s a bad tax for — I — again, it’s bold. I give him credit for starting a debate, but it’s not good for families and it’s not good for low-income people.

MR. COOPER: I’m going — I’m going to give you 30 seconds to respond. That 84 percent figure comes from the Tax Policy Center.

MR. CAIN: That simply is not true. I invite people to look at our analysis which we make available. Secondly, the point that he makes about it’s a value added tax, I’m sorry, Representative Bachmann, it’s not a value added tax. It’s a single tax. And if — I invite every American to do their own math, because most of these are kneejerk reactions.

And we do provide a provision, if you read the analysis, something we call “opportunity zones” —

MR. COOPER: All right.

MR. CAIN:  — that will in fact address the issue of those making the least.

MR. COOPER: I want to bring Congresswoman Bachmann in, since she was referenced by you.

REP. BACHMANN: But Anderson, how do you not have a value added tax? Because at every level of production, you have a profit, and that profit gets taxed, because you produce one portion at one level, and then you take it to the next supplier or vender at the next level and you have — you have an exchange. That is a taxable event. And ultimately, that becomes a value added tax. It’s a hidden tax, and any time the federal government needs revenue, they dial up the rate.

And the American people think that it’s the — the — it is the vendor that creates the tax, but it’s the government that creates the tax. (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor — Governor Perry, in your state, you have a 6 1/4 percent sales tax. Would taxpayers pay more under the 9-9-9 plan?

GOVERNOR RICK PERRY: Herman, I love you, brother, but let me tell you something: You don’t have to have a big analysis to figure this thing out. Go to New Hampshire, where they don’t have a sales tax, and you’re fixing to give them one. They’re not interested in 9- 9-9. What they’re interested in is flatter and fairer. At the end of the week, I’m going to be laying out a plan that clearly — I’ll bump plans with you, brother — and we’ll see who has the best idea about how you get this country working again.

And one of the ways — right here in Nevada, you’ve got 8-plus percent. You want nine cents on top of that and 9 cents on a new home — or 9 percent on a new home, 9 percent on your Social Security, 9 percent more? I don’t think so, Herman. It’s not going to fly.

MR. COOPER: Mr. Cain, 30 seconds. (Scattered applause.)

MR. CAIN: This is — this is an example of mixing apples and oranges. The state tax is an apple. We are replacing the current tax code with oranges. So it’s not correct to mix apples and oranges.

Secondly, it is not a value-added tax — tax. If you take most of the products — take a loaf of bread. It does have five taxes in it right now. What the 9 percent does is that we take out those five invisible taxes and replace it with one visible 9 percent. So you’re absolutely wrong. It’s not a value-added tax.

Now one other quick thing.

MR. COOPER: Your time’s up. I’m sorry.

MR. CAIN: This whole — this whole thing about —

MR. COOPER: You’ll have another 30 seconds, trust me. They’re going to go —

MR. CAIN: Tonight?

MR. COOPER: Yes, I guarantee it. (Laughter.) In about a minute.

MR. COOPER: Congressman Paul, you called his plan “dangerous” today.

REPRESENTATIVE RON PAUL (R-TX): Oh, it is, because it raises revenues. And the worst part about it, it’s regressive. A lot of people that have — aren’t paying any taxes — and I like that. I don’t think that we should even things up by raising taxes.

(Applause.) So it is a regressive tax. So it’s very, very dangerous in that thing, and it will raise more revenues.

But the gentleman asked the question — he didn’t even ask what we’re talking about. He asked the question, what are you going to replace the income tax with. And I say, nothing. That’s what we should replace it with. (Cheers, applause.)

But I do want to make the point that spending is a tax. As soon as the government spend money, eventually it’s a tax. Sometimes we put a direct tax on the people. Sometimes we borrow the money. And sometimes we print the money. And then when prices go up, like today the — the — the wholesale price index went up 7 percent rate. And if you look at the free market, prices are going up 9 and 10 percent. So that is the tax.

So spending is the tax. That is the reason I offered the program to cut $1 trillion out of the first-year budget that I offer. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Mr. Cain, 30 seconds.

MR. CAIN: Once again, unfortunately, none of my distinguished colleagues who have attacked me up here tonight understand the plan. They’re wrong about it being a value-added tax. We simply remove the hidden taxes that are in goods and services with our plan and replace it with a single rate, 9 percent. I invite every family to do your own calculations with that arithmetic.

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney, you have your own 59-point plan. In the last debate, Mr. Cain suggested it was too complicated. Is simpler better?

MR. ROMNEY: Oftentimes simpler is better. But — and I know we’re not supposed to ask each other questions, but if you permit, Herman, are you saying that the state sales tax will also go away?

MR. CAIN: No. That’s an apple.

MR. ROMNEY: Oh. Oh, OK.

MR. CAIN: We are replacing a bunch of oranges. (Laughter, applause.)

MR. ROMNEY: So — so then Governor Perry was right.

MR. CAIN: No, he wasn’t. He was mixing apples and oranges.

MR. ROMNEY: Well, but will the people in Nevada not have to pay Nevada sales tax and, in addition, pay the 9 percent tax?

MR. CAIN: Governor Romney, you are doing the same thing that they’re doing. You’re mixing apples and oranges.

You’re going to pay the state —

MR. ROMNEY: I’m —

MR. CAIN: No, no, no, no. You’re going to pay the state sales tax, no matter what.

MR. ROMNEY: Right.

MR. CAIN: Whether you throw out the existing code and you put in our plan, you’re still going to pay that. That’s apples and oranges.

MR. ROMNEY: Fine.

MR. CAIN: Yes.

MR. ROMNEY: And I am going to be getting a bushel basket that has apples and oranges in it, because I’m going to pay both taxes.

MR. CAIN: No, no.

MR. ROMNEY: And the people of Nevada don’t want to pay both taxes. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. CAIN: No -

MR. ROMNEY: Let me make this comment. Let me — let’s just — let’s just step back here. We got a lot of people in America that are out of work. We got a lot of people in this state — 13.4 percent of the people in this state out of work. We got home prices going down. We got to talk about how to get America growing again, how to start adding jobs, raising incomes.

And tax is part of it. I want to reduce taxes on our employers, to make it easier to invest in America. I want to reduce taxes on middle-income families.

I like your chutzpah on this, Herman, but I have to tell you, the analysis I did, person by person, return by return, is that middle- income people see higher taxes under your plan. If it’s lower for the middle class, that’s great, but that’s not what I saw. I have to tell you, I want to get our burden down on our employers, on our people. I want to make sure our regulations work to encourage the private sector, as opposed to put a damper on it. I want to get trade opening up new markets for America.

I want to also find a way to get our energy resources — and they’re all over the world or all over this country — using for — used for us. This is time to get America growing again, and that’s what this campaign ought to be about.

MR. COOPER: Thank you, Governor.

Mr. Speaker, you — (cheers, applause) — Speaker Gingrich, you have said in recent days that Mr. Cain’s 9-9-9 plan would be a harder sell than he lets on. How so?

NEWT GINGRICH: Well, you just watched it.

MR. : Yeah. (Laughter.)

REP. BACHMANN: (Inaudible.)

MR. GINGRICH: I mean, there — look, there — there — there are — first of all, I think that Herman Cain deserves a lot of credit. He’s had the courage to go out and take a specific, very big idea — (applause) — at the right level — and he has us — he has us at least talking about something that matters, as opposed to the junk that all too often is masquerading as politics in this country.

So I think that’s important.

There are two parts to this. The first is, if you take his plan — and I think it’s in the interest of the whole country to have serious people take his plan and go through it step by step — there are real — there are much more complexities than Herman lets on. OK? When 9-9-9 — when you get into details, like you pay it on a new product, you don’t pay it on an old product, et cetera, there’s a lot more detail here than he lets on.

Second, I favor very narrow, focused tax cuts, such as zero capital gains, a hundred percent expensing, because I think, as Governor Romney said, jobs are the number-one challenge of the next two or three years. Get something you can do very fast. Change on this scale takes years to think through if you’re going to do it right. (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: Congresswoman Bachmann, you also said at the last debate that everyone should pay something. Does that mean that you would raise taxes on the 47 percent of Americans who currently don’t pay taxes?

REP. BACHMANN: I believe absolutely, every American benefits by this magnificent country; absolutely, every American should pay something, even if it’s a dollar. (Cheers, applause.) Everyone needs to pay something in this country.

That’s why, with my tax plan I take a page out of not theory but what’s provable and what works. What is provable and what works was the economic miracle that was wrought by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. That’s the — that is the plan that I look at.

I also want to completely abolish the tax code. I want to flatten the tax for all of Americans, simplify that tax for all of Americans. And that creates job growth, which is exactly what we need to have, because to be able to fuel the fire for this economy, again, it is the tax code but it doesn’t end with the tax code.

It’s the regulatory burden that costs us $1.8 trillion every year, but it’s more than that cost. It’s jobs that are lost. So we need to repeal “Obamacare,” repeal the jobs and housing destruction act known as Dodd-Frank. (Applause.)

President Obama’s plan has been a plan for destruction of this economy just — and failure.

MR. COOPER: Thank you.

REP. BACHMANN: I plan to change that with real jobs right now: michelebachmann.com. (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: We’ve been talking about Herman Cain’s plan. Let’s talk about Governor Romney’s plan. Governor Perry, you have said that Governor Romney was an abject failure in creating jobs when he was governor of Massachusetts. If you’ve read his 59-point plan, has it changed your mind?

GOV. PERRY: Well, here’s the nine that we need to get focused on, and it’s not 9-9-9 and it’s not 59; it’s that 9 percent unemployment in this country. And that’s where we got to get focused in America, is how to create an environment where the men and women get back to work. It’s the reason I laid out a plan, Newt, this last week to get this energy that’s under our feet.

We’ve got 300 years of resources right under our feet in this country. Yet we’ve got an administration that is blockading our ability to bring that to the — to the surface, whether it’s our petroleum or our natural gas or our coal. And 1.2 million jobs could be put to work. Americans who are sitting out there listening to this conversation tonight, somebody wants someone on this stage to say: Listen, we got an idea here how to get you to work and take care of your family and have the dignity of a job.

And that’s exactly what I did with my plan: laid it out where Americans understand we don’t have to wait on OPEC any more. We don’t have to let them hold us hostage. America’s got the energy. Let’s have American energy independence. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney, does Governor Perry have the answer?

MR. ROMNEY: Well, he’s absolutely right about — about getting energy independence and taking advantage of our natural resources here. We’re an energy-rich nation that’s acting like an energy-poor nation. And that’s something I’ve been talking about for some time, as the governor has. He’s absolutely right.

But there are also a lot of good jobs we need in manufacturing and high-tech jobs and good service jobs, technology of all kinds. America produces an economy that’s very, very broad, and that’s why our policy to get America the most attractive place in the world for investment and job growth encompasses more than just energy. It includes that, but also tax policy, regulatory policy, trade policy, education, training and balancing the federal budget. And that starts with — with repealing “Obamacare,” which is a huge burden on this economy. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Senator Santorum, does Mitt Romney have the answers for jobs?

MR. SANTORUM: I agree with — with — with all of what Governor Romney and both — and Governor Perry said. I would add the fact that — that I’ve put forward the plan that’s going to allow for income mobility. That’s a new term, but I’ve been using it for a long time, which is people at the bottom part of the income scale being able to rise in society. Believe it or not, studies have been done that show that in Western Europe, people at the lower parts of the income scale actually have a better mobility going up the ladder now than in America.

And I believe that’s because we’ve lost our manufacturing base. No more stamp, “Made in America” is really hurting people in the middle. And that’s why I’ve focused all of the real big changes in the tax code at manufacturing. I’d cut the corporate rate for manufacturing to zero, repeal all regulations affecting manufacturers that cost over $100 million and replace them with something that’s friendly they can work with. We repatriate $1.2 trillion that manufacturers made overseas and allow them to bring it back here if they invest it in plants and equipment. They can do it without having to pay any — any excise tax.

The final point I would make to Governor Romney: You just don’t have credibility, Mitt, when it comes to repealing “Obamacare.” You are — you are — your plan was the basis for “Obamacare.” Your consultants helped Obama craft “Obamacare.” (Applause.) And to say that you were going to repeal it, you just — you have no track record on that that we can trust you that you’re going to do that.

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney, 30 seconds. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. PERRY: We don’t.

MR. ROMNEY: You know, this, I think, is either our eighth or ninth debate. And each chance I’ve had to talk about “Obamacare,” I’ve made it very clear, and also my book. At the time — by the way, I crafted the plan in the last campaign, I was asked: Is this something that you would have the whole nation do? And I said, no; this is something that was crafted for Massachusetts. It would be wrong to adopt this as a nation.

MR. SANTORUM: That’s not what you said.

MR. ROMNEY: You’re shaking — you’re shaking — you’re shaking your head.

MR. SANTORUM: Governor, no, that’s not what you said. That happens — that happens —

(Cross talk.)

MR. COOPER: Guys —

MR. ROMNEY: Let me — his turn, OK, and mine.

(Cross talk.)

MR. SANTORUM: Governor, Governor, hold on.

MR. ROMNEY: I’ll tell you what. Why don’t you let me speak? Why don’t you let me speak?

MR. SANTORUM: You’re allowed to speak. You’re allowed to change your — (inaudible). You can’t change the facts.

MR. ROMNEY: Rick, you had your chance, let me speak. Rick, you had your chance, let me speak. Rick —

MR. SANTORUM: You’re out of time. You’re out of time.

MR. COOPER (?): He ate into your time. (Boos.) I’m sorry, Rick.

(Cross talk.)

MR. ROMNEY: I haven’t had a chance to respond yet —

MR. SANTORUM: You did.

MR. ROMNEY:  — because you were interrupting me the entire time I was trying to speak. So let me make it very clear.

MR. COOPER: Another 20 seconds.

MR. ROMNEY: Look, we’ll let everybody take a look at the fact checks. I was interviewed by Dan Balz. I was interviewed in this debate stage with you four years ago. I was asked about the Massachusetts plan, was it something I’d impose on the nation. And the answer is: absolutely not. It was something crafted for a state. And I’ve said time and again, “Obamacare” is bad news. It’s unconstitutional, it caused way too much money — a trillion dollars — and if I’m president of the United States, I will repeal it for the American people. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: All right, Senator Santorum.

MR. SANTORUM: Mitt, the governor of Massachusetts just — is coming forward saying we have to pick up the job left undone by — by “Romneycare,” which is doing something about cutting health care costs. What you did is exactly what Barack Obama did: focused on the wrong problem. Herman always says you’ve got to find the right problem. Well, the right problem is health care costs. What you did with a top-down government-run program was focus on the problem of health care access.

You expanded the pool of insurance without controlling costs. You’ve blown a hole in the budget up there. And you authored in “Obamacare,” which is going to blow a hole in the budget of this country.

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney, I’ll give you 30 seconds.

MR. ROMNEY: I’m sorry, Rick, that you find so much to dislike in my plan. But I’ll tell you, the people of Massachusetts like it by about a 3-to-1 margin. And we dealt with the challenge that we had, a lot of people that were expecting government to pay their way. And we said, you know what? If people have the capacity to care for themselves and pay their own way, they should.

I can tell you this. There’s — it’s absolutely right that there’s a lot that needs to be done. And I didn’t get the job done in Massachusetts, and getting the health care costs down in this country is something I think we got to do at the national level. I intend to do that.

But one thing’s for sure: What Obama has done has imposed on the nation a plan that will not work, that must be repealed. And when it comes to knowledge about health care and how to get our health care system working, I may not be a doctor, like (this one ?) over here, but I sure understand how to bring the cost of health care down and how to also make sure that we have a system that works for the American people. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. : Didn’t do it.

MR. COOPER: Speaker Gingrich?

MR. : You didn’t do it.

MR. ROMNEY: (We ?) did.

MR. COOPER: Speaker Gingrich, you’ve also been very critical of Mitt Romney’s plan, not only on “Obamacare” but his plan to lower the capital gains tax only on those earning under $200,000.

MR. GINGRICH: I want to stay on health for a minute, OK? I mean, let’s just focus. (Laughter.)

The Boston — the Boston Herald today reported that the state of Massachusetts is fining a local small business $3,000 because their $750 a month insurance plan is inadequate, according to the bureaucrats in Boston. Now, there’s a fundamental difference between trying to solve the problems of this country from the top down and trying to create environments in which doctors and patients and families solve the problem from the bottom up.

And candidly, Mitt, your plan ultimately, philosophically — it’s not “Obamacare.” That’s not a fair charge. But your plan essentially is one more big-government, bureaucratic, high-cost system which, candidly, could not have been done by any other state, because no other state had a Medicaid program as lavish as yours and no other state got as much money from the federal government under the Bush administration for this experiment.

So there’s a lot of big government behind “Romneycare,” not as much as “Obamacare,” but a heck of a lot more than — than your campaign is admitting. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. ROMNEY: (OK ?) —

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney, 30 seconds.

MR. ROMNEY: Actually, Newt, we got the idea of an individual mandate from you.

MR. GINGRICH: That’s not true. You got it from the Heritage Foundation.

MR. ROMNEY: Well, it was something — yeah, we got it from you and the — you — got it from the Heritage Foundation and from you.

MR. GINGRICH: No, but — well, you — well, you — (inaudible) —

MR. ROMNEY: But let me — but let me just —

MR. GINGRICH: Wait a second. What you just said is not true.

MR. ROMNEY: Well, I thought —

MR. GINGRICH: You did not get that from me.

MR. ROMNEY: I think you —

MR. GINGRICH: You got it from the Heritage Foundation.

MR. ROMNEY: And — and you’ve never — never supported —

MR. GINGRICH: I was — I agree with them, but I’m just saying what you’ve said to this audience just now plain wasn’t true. That’s not where you got it from.

MR. ROMNEY: OK. Let me ask — have you — have you supported in the past an individual mandate?

MR. GINGRICH: I absolutely did, with the Heritage Foundation, against “Hillarycare.”

MR. ROMNEY: You did support an individual mandate?

MR. GINGRICH: Yes, sir.

MR. ROMNEY: Oh, OK. That’s what I’m saying. We got the idea from you and the Heritage Foundation.

MR. GINGRICH: OK. Little broader. (Laughter.)

MR. ROMNEY: OK.

MR. GINGRICH: Keep on. I —

MR. ROMNEY: All right.

REP. BACHMANN: Anderson, Anderson —

MR. ROMNEY: Number — all right — number — all right —

MR. COOPER: He still has time. I’m sorry. He still has time. He still has time

MR. ROMNEY: Number two — number two — let me finish —

REP. BACHMANN: Anderson, Anderson —

MR. COOPER: He still has time. Let him finish.

MR. ROMNEY: I get a little time here. Number — number two, we don’t have a government insurance plan. What we do is rely on private insurers, and people — 93 percent of our people who are already insured — nothing changed. For the people who didn’t have insurance, they get private insurance, not government insurance. And the best way to make markets work is for people to be able to buy their own products from private enterprises. What we did was right for our state, according to the people in our state. And the great thing about a state solution to a state issue is, if people don’t like it, they can change it.

Now there are a lot of things that —

REP. BACHMANN: Anderson, Anderson —

MR. COOPER: Yeah, Congresswoman Bachmann.

REP. BACHMANN: Anderson, Anderson, I think it has to be stated that “Obamacare” is so flat-out unpopular that even the Obama administration chose to reject part of “Obamacare” last Friday — (applause) — when they tried to throw out the CLASS Act, which is the long-term care function. The — Secretary Sebelius, who’s the head of Health and Human Services, reported that the government can’t even afford that part and has to throw it out.

And now the administration is arguing with itself. When even the Obama administration wants to repeal this bill, I think we’re going to win this thing. We’re going to repeal it! And I will! (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: We’ve got to take a quick break. We will continue this discussion on the other side. We have a long way to go. We’ll be right back. (Cheers, applause.)

(Announcements.)

MR. COOPER: And welcome back to the continuing debate.

We’ve got a Twitter question. We ended talking about medicine, “Obamacare.” We actually have a Twitter question about it, too. It was a question left at cnndebate. If Obama’s health plan is bad for the U.S., what is the alternative, and how will you implement it?

Congressman Paul, is there any aspect of “Obamacare” that you would like to keep, whether it’s keeping kids to stay on their parents’ insurance until they’re 26, or no pre-existing conditions?

REP. PAUL: Really not, because he’s just adding on more government. There’s been a lot of discussion about medicine, but it seems to be talking about which kind of government management is best. But our problem is we have too much. We’ve had it for 30, 40 years. We have Medicare; we have prescription drug programs; we have Medicaid.

And what we need — I mean, there’s a pretty good support up here for getting rid of “Obamacare,” because it’s a Democratic proposal and we want to opt out; I think we’d all agree on this. But if you want better competition and better health care, you’re not — you should allow the American people to opt out of government medicine. And — (cheers, applause) — and the way to do this is to not de-emphasize the medical savings account, but let people opt out, pay their bills, get back to the doctor-patient relationship.

There is inflation worked into it. When the government gets involved in an industry, prices always go up. We have tort laws to deal with, and we need more competition in medicine. But most important thing is letting the people have control of their money and getting it out of the hands of the third party. As soon as you go to the government, the lobbyists line up, the drug companies line up, the insurance companies line up. And even with “Obamacare,” the industries, the corporations, get behind it and expect the outcome —

MR. COOPER: All right.

REP. PAUL:  — and already insurance premiums are going up. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Herman Cain, same question: Is there any aspect of so-called “Obamacare” that you would keep?

MR. CAIN: No. I think we all agree that “Obamacare” must be repealed because it is a disaster, and the more we learn about it and the more time goes along, the more we see. We’re all in agreement with that.

But here’s where I would start in answering that question. It’s called H.R. 3400. This was introduced back in 2009, but you didn’t hear a lot of talk about it.

Instead of government being imposed on — on our system, it — it basically passes market — market-driven, patient-centered sort of reforms to allow association health plans, to allow “loser pay” laws, to allow insurance products to be sold across state lines and a whole list of other things.

So that’s a great place to start. It allows the patient and the doctors to make the decisions, not a bureaucrat. I’d start with H.R. 3400. (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor Perry, in the last debate, Governor Romney pointed out that Texas has one of the highest rates of uninsured children in the country, over 1 million kids. You were — you did not get an opportunity to respond to that. What do you say to — how do you explain that?

GOV. PERRY: Well, we’ve got one of the finest health care systems in the — in the world in — in — in Texas. As a matter of fact, the Houston — the Texas Medical Center, there’s more doctors, nurses go to work there every morning than anyplace else in America, for the idea that you can have access to health care, some of the finest health care in the world.

But we have a 1,200-mile border with Mexico. And the fact is we have a huge number of illegals that are coming into this country. And they’re coming into this country because the federal government has failed to secure that border. But they’re coming here because there is a magnet. And the magnet is called jobs. And those people that hire illegals ought to be penalized.

And Mitt, you lose all of your standing from my perspective because you hired illegals in your home, and you knew for — about it for a year. And the idea that you stand here before us and talk about that you’re strong on immigration is, on its face, the height of hypocrisy. (Boos, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney.

MR. ROMNEY: (Chuckles.) Rick, I don’t think that I’ve ever hired an illegal in my life. And so I’m — I’m looking forward to finding your facts on that because that just doesn’t — just —

GOV. PERRY: I’ll tell you what the facts are. You had the — you — your newspaper — the newspaper —

MR. ROMNEY: Rick, again — Rick, I’m speaking. I’m speaking. I’m speaking. I’m speaking.

GOV. PERRY: And it’s time for you to tell the truth.

MR. ROMNEY: You get — you get 30 seconds —

GOV. PERRY: It’s time for you to tell the —

MR. ROMNEY: The way — the way the rules work here is that I get 60 seconds.

MR. PERRY: But no, but the American people want the truth.

MR. ROMNEY: And you get — and then you get 30 seconds to respond, right? Anderson —

GOV. PERRY: And they want to hear you say that you knew you had illlegals working at your — (boos).

MR. ROMNEY: Will you please — would you please wait? Are you just going to keep talking, or are you going to let me finish with my — what I have to say?

Look, Rick —

Cross talk.)

MR. ROMNEY: This has been a tough couple of debates for Rick, and I understand that, and so you’re going to get — (cheers, applause) — you’re going to get testy. But let’s let — I’ll tell you what: Let me take my time, and then you can take your time.

GOV. PERRY: Great, have at it.

MR. ROMNEY: All right, my time is this, which is I have in my state, when I was governor, I took the action of empowering our state police to enforce immigration laws. When you were governor, you said: I don’t want to build a fence. You put in place a magnet — you talk about magnets — you put in place a magnet to draw illlegals into the state, which is giving a hundred thousand dollars of tuition credit to illlegals that come into this country. (Cheers, applause.)

And then you have states — you have states — the big states of illegal immigrants are California and Florida. Over the last 10 years they’ve had no increase in illegal immigration. Texas has had 60 percent increase in illegal immigrants, in Texas. If there’s someone who has a record as governor with regards to illegal immigration that doesn’t stand up to muster, it’s you, not me.

MR. COOPER: Governor Perry, you have 30 seconds. (Cheers, applause.)

GOV. PERRY: You stood here in front of the American people and did not tell the truth, that you had illlegals working on your property. And the newspaper came to you and brought it to your attention, and you still, a year later, had those individuals working for you. The idea that you can sit here and talk about any of us having an immigration issue is beyond me. I’ve got a strong policy — I’ve always been against amnesty. You, on the other hand, were for amnesty.

MR. COOPER: Thirty seconds, then we’ve got to move on to another — (inaudible).

MR. ROMNEY: OK. You had an op-ed in the newspaper saying you were open to amnesty. That’s number one.

Number two, we hired a lawn company to mow our lawn, and they had illegal immigrants who were working there. And when that was pointed out to us, we let them go. And we went to them and said —

GOV. PERRY: A year later?

MR. ROMNEY: You have a problem with allowing someone to finish speaking. (Laughter.) And I suggest that if you want to become president of the United States, you got to let both people speak. So first, let me speak. (Cheers, applause.)

So we went to the company and we said, look, you can’t have any illegals working on our property. That’s — I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake, I can’t have illegals.

It turns out that once again they hired someone who had falsified their documents, had — documents, and therefore we fired them.

And let me tell you, it is hard in this country, as an individual homeowner, to know if people who are contractors working at your home — if they’ve hired people that are illegal. If I’m president, we will put in place an eVerify (sp) system —

MR. COOPER: (Out of time ?).

MR. ROMNEY:  — which you’ve opposed — to make sure that we can find out who’s here legally and not — (cheers, applause) — and crack down on people who come here illegally. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: All right, we’re going to stay on the topic of immigration. (Cheers and applause continuing.)

We’re going to stay on the topic of immigration. Everyone’s going to get a chance to weigh in. This is a question that was left at CNNpolitics.com. As president, will you order completion of the physical border fence along the entire border between the U.S. and Mexico? That’s from Marilyn L.

Herman Cain, let me start with you. Obviously, over the weekend you got a lot of headlines by saying you would have an electrified fence. You then later said it was — (laughter) — you then later said it was a joke. And then last night you said it might be electrified; I’m not walking away from that, I just don’t want to offend anyone. (Laughter, applause.)

So would you build an entire fence along the entire border, and would you have it be electrified? (Laughter.)

MR. CAIN: Allow me to give the serious answer. Yes, I believe we should secure the border for real. And it would be a combination of a fence, technology, as well as possibly boots on the ground for some of the more dangerous areas.

I don’t apologize at all for wanting to protect the American citizens and to protect our agents on the border. (Cheers, applause.) No.

Secondly, the second thing that I would do — see, I believe in let’s solve the whole problem. We must shut the back door, so people can come in the front door. Secondly, promote the existing path to citizenship by cleaning up the bureaucracy in Washington, D.C.

Thirdly, enforce the laws, the immigration laws, that are already on the books. (Applause.) And here’s another one of these bold ideas by the nonpolitician up here: Empower the states to do what the federal government is not doing in terms of enforcing those laws. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor Perry, you have — you have the — your state has the longest border with Mexico. Is it possible — to the question, is it possible to build a fence an entire — across the entire border?

GOV. PERRY: Sure. You can — you can build a fence, but it takes anywhere between 10 and 15 years and $30 billion. There’s a better way, and that’s to build a virtual defense zone, if you will, along that border, which — not unlike what Herman’s talking about. And you can do it with strategic fencing in the obvious places where it matters.

But the way you really stop the activities along that border that are illegal — whether it’s the drug cartels or whether it’s bringing in illegal weapons or whether it’s illegal immigrants that are coming in — is to put boots on the ground.

I — I will tell you, Herman, you put a lot of boots on the ground. You use Predator drones, that are being trained right up here at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, to use that real-time information to give those boots on the ground that information, and they can instantly move to those areas. And that is the way to shut that border down, to secure that border and really make America safe from individuals like those Iranians that are using the drug cartels to penetrate this country. (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: Congresswoman Bachmann, do you agree with Governor Perry?

REP. BACHMANN: Well, I think the person who really has a problem with illegal immigration in the country is President Obama. It’s his uncle and his aunt who are illegal aliens who’ve been allowed to stay in this country despite the fact that they’re illegal. (Cheers, applause.)

This last Saturday I was the very first candidate that signed a pledge that said that by a date certain I will build a double-walled fence with a — with a area of security neutrality in between. I will build that because this is what we know. This is an economics issue and a jobs issue. Every year —

MR. COOPER: You’re saying you would build a fence along the entire border?

REP. BACHMANN: I will build it on the entire border, and I’ll tell you why. Every year it costs this country $113 billion in the costs that we put out to pay for illegal aliens. It costs the state and local government, of that amount, 82 billion (dollars). For every household of an American citizen, it costs us $1,000 a year. We are robbing the household of Americans who can’t afford that.

I will build the fence. I will enforce English as the official language of the United States government. (Cheers, applause.) And every — every person who comes into this country will have to agree that they will not receive taxpayer-subsidized benefits of any American citizen.

MR. COOPER: Time.

REP. BACHMANN: Thank you.

MR. COOPER: Governor Perry, does that — can you actually — does that make sense? She says she can build the fence along the entire border.

GOV. PERRY: As I said, you can build that fence. But by the time that fence gets built —

MR. COOPER: She was also talking about your taxpayer-subsidized benefits.

GOV. PERRY: But my — my point is that by the time that fence gets built, there is a lot better way than to stand here and to — to play to some group of people somewhere and say we’re going to build a fence and then wipe our hands of it. I’ve been dealing with this border for 10 years as the governor. And the reason that we have this issue is because the federal government has failed miserably to defend and secure that border.

REP. BACHMANN: Which is why you build the — (applause).

GOV. PERRY: You know, for someone that’s been in the United States Congress to — to lecture me on the issues that are going on on that border is not right.

Let me tell you, we’ve had to deal with that issue in the state of Texas. We’ve had to deal with the impact on our state. And I put $400 million on that border of Texas taxpayers’ money, Texas ranger recon teams there. We know how to secure the border. I shared with you earlier how to do it. You put the boots on the ground, the aviation assets in the air, and you secure that border.

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney —

REP. BACHMANN: Anderson, can I respond? Can I respond?

MR. COOPER: He wasn’t — he wasn’t talking about you directly.

REP. BACHMANN: No, (he did respond ?).

MR. ROMNEY: Let’s step back. I think it’s important for us, as Republicans on this stage, to say something which hasn’t been said, and that is I think every single person here loves legal immigration. We respect people who come here legally. (Cheers, applause.)

And the reason we’re so animated about stopping illegal immigration is there are 4 1/2 million people who want to come here, who are in line legally. We want that to happen in an orderly and legal process.

And in terms of how to secure the border, it’s really not that hard. You have a fence, you have enough Border Patrol agents to oversee the fence, and you turn off the magnets — and that’s employers that hire people who they know are here illegally. That’s why you have an e-verify system, so they can know that. And number two, you turn off the magnets, like tuition breaks or other breaks that draw people into this country illegally. It’s not that hard. We have to get the political will to get the job done.

And Governor Perry, you say you’ve got the experience. It’s a bit like saying, you know, the college coach that’s lost 40 games in a row has the experience to go to the NFL. But the truth is, California — I’ll say it again — California and — and Florida have both had no increase in illegal immigration, and yours is up 60 percent over the last 10 years.

MR. COOPER: Time.

Governor Perry, 30 seconds to respond?

GOV. PERRY: Well, the bottom line is, is that we have a federal government that has failed. There is a clear problem here.

And he hit the nail on the head awhile ago. He said there was a magnet of people that will hire illlegals, and you are number one on that list, sir.

(Boos.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Ooh!

GOV. PERRY: And people need to understand that.

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Ooh!

GOV. PERRY: You’re one of the problems, Mitt. (Boos.)

MR. COOPER: I think we’ve been down that road.

MR. ROMNEY: Yeah, I think we’ve been down that road sufficiently. Sounds like the audience agrees with me.

MR. COOPER: We’ve got to — we’ve — we’re continuing on immigration. We have a question in the audience. (Cheers, applause.)

Q: Good evening. Thank you for the opportunity to ask my question. We have 50 million Latinos and not all of us are illegal. What is the message from you guys to our Latino community?

MR. COOPER: Speaker Gingrich —

(Scattered applause.)

MR. GINGRICH: Well, look —

MR. COOPER:  — President Obama got, I think, 67 percent of the Latino vote the last time around.

MR. GINGRICH: Look, I think that there’s a very clear message to Americans of all backgrounds. Latinos, Korean-Americans, Vietnamese- Americans, there are hundreds of different groups who have come to America. As Governor Romney said, I think anybody who understands America has to be proud of our record as the country which has been the most open in history to legal immigration.

The truth is, most Latinos in the United States aren’t immigrants. Most Latinos in the United States now have been born in the United States. And the fact is, they want virtually exactly what everyone else wants. They want an economy that’s growing. They want a job that has take-home pay. They want to access to health insurance that they can afford. They want a chance to get educated that actually is useful and worthwhile. They want to be able to know that their family’s going to grow up in safety, and they want to have a chance that their country’s going to work to give their children and their grandchildren a better future.

I think we have to have the same message for every American of every ethnic background that we want to make America work again. And you’ll know it’s working because you will have a job and you’ll have a chance to take care of your family.

MR. COOPER: Congressman Paul, there — (cheers, applause) — Congressman Paul, there are some Latino voters who believe that some of these strong anti-immigration laws — anti-illegal immigration laws are actually anti-Latino laws.

What do you say to them?

REP. PAUL: Well, I think some people do believe that. I think a fence is symbolic of that, and I can understand why somebody might look at that. But when we approach this immigration problem, we should look at the incentives, and that are the mandates from the federal government saying that you must educate and must give them free education. You have to remove these incentives. But I don’t think the answer is a fence, whatsoever.

But in order to attract Latino votes, I think — you know, too long, this country has always put people in groups. They penalize people because they’re in groups, and then they reward people because they’re in groups.

But following up on what Newt was saying, we need a healthy economy. We wouldn’t be talking about this. We need to see everybody as an individual. And to me, seeing everybody as an individual means their liberties are protected as individuals and they are treated that way and they’re never penalized that way. So if you have a free and prosperous society, all of a sudden this group mentality melts away.

As long as there’s no abuse — one place where there’s still a lot of discrimination in this country is in our court systems, and I think the minorities come up with a short hand in our court system. (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: All right. Herman Cain, the 14th Amendment allows that anybody born in the United States is an American citizen. Should that change?

MR. CAIN: I want to go back and answer this question first, OK? And that is, my message to Latinos, blacks, whites and all Americans is that we must first start with significantly boosting this economy, which is on life support. This is why I have put forth a very bold plan, and I’m not afraid to try and sell it to the American people. I’m not afraid to fight for it when I become president of the United States of America.

So that’s my message: If we have this economy growing, people will be able to take care of their families and go after their American dream. And until we boost this economy, all of us are going to suffer for a long time.

MR. COOPER: Then let me ask the question of Governor Perry. Governor Perry, the 14th Amendment allows any — anybody — a child of illegal immigrants who’s born here is automatically an American citizen.

Should that change?

GOV. PERRY: Well, let me address Herman’s issue that he just talked about.

MR. COOPER: Actually, I’d rather you — rather you — I’d rather you ask the question — answer that question.

GOV. PERRY: All right, I understand that. You get to ask the questions, and I get to answer like I want to. (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Ooh!

GOV. PERRY: And Herman — Herman talked about —

MR. COOPER: That’s actually a response. That’s not an answer. But go ahead.

GOV. PERRY:  — talked about the — the issue of how we get this country back working. And truly, the plan that I laid out last week, where we talk about the energy industry and this treasure trove that we have under this country.

And we need to recognize that the administration that we have today is blocking mining that could be going on in the state of Nevada. I talked to Brian Sandoval before I came in here today. You have an — an administration that is killing jobs because they want to move us to a green energy. You have a secretary of energy who has basically said he wants to see gas prices up close to the European model, that we want to — the president himself said electricity rates are necessarily going to skyrocket.

That’s what we’ve got to stop. That’s the reason we’ve got to have a president of the United States that understands that you get Americans working, and it addresses these issues that we have in this country. And the fastest way to do it is to open up these federal lands —

MR. COOPER: Time.

GOV. PERRY:  — to pull back those regulations —

MR. COOPER: Time.

GOV. PERRY:  — and get America working again. (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: You implicated — to the question on the 14th Amendment, do you support repealing the 14th Amendment?

GOV. PERRY: No.

MR. COOPER: No, you do not.

GOV. PERRY: I do not.

MR. COOPER: Congresswoman Bachmann, do you support it?

REP. BACHMANN: I think there’s a very real issue with magnets in this country. And I think the issue that you’re referring to is the issue of “anchor babies.” And that’s an issue that — that — I was just in Arizona this last weekend, and the state is very concerned because when someone comes illegally across the border specifically for the purpose of utilizing American resources to have a baby here, then all of the welfare benefits then attach to that baby.

This is an issue that we don’t have to deal with with the Constitution. This is an issue that we can deal with legislatively. And there are a lot of Americans that would like us to deal with this issue of anchor babies legislatively. (Applause)

MR. COOPER: Senator Santorum?

MR. SANTORUM: Yeah, I — I’d like to address the issue that the gentleman brought up, which is, what are we going to say to the Latino community, and not one person here mentioned the issue of family, faith, marriage. This is a community that is a faith-filled community; that family is at the center of that community.

I disagree in some respects with Congressman Paul, who says, you know, the country’s founded on the individual. The basic building block of the society is not the individual, it’s the family. It’s the basic unit of society. (Cheers, applause.) And — and the Latino community understands that. They understand the importance of faith and marriage. They understand that bond that builds that solid foundation, and that inculcation of faith and religious freedom.

And I think the Latino community knows that’s at stake in this country. There’s a lot going on right now that’s eroding our religious freedom, that’s eroding the traditional values of marriage and family. And there’s one candidate up here who consistently sounds that theme.

Look, I’m for jobs, too. I’ve got an economic plan. I agree with everything that’s been said. But we keep running roughshod over the fact that this — the family in America and faith in America is being crushed —

MR. COOPER: Time.

MR. SANTORUM:  — by the courts and by our government, and someone has to stand up and fight for those (institutions ?). (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Congressman Paul, you were referenced directly. Thirty seconds.REP. PAUL: Well, I would like to explain that rights don’t come in bunches. Rights come as individuals. (Applause.) They come from a God. And they come as — each individual has a right to life and liberty.

But I might add about the border control and the — and the Latino vote, is we lack resources there. I think we should have more border guards on and a more orderly transition and run it much better. But where are our resources? You know, we worry more about the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. We need to bring the Guard units home — (cheers, applause) — and the units back here so we can have more personnel on our border.

(Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: We have a question in the audience.

Q: My question for you is, do you support opening the national nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain?

MR. COOPER: Speaker Gingrich, let’s start with you. I’m sorry, go ahead.

MR. GINGRICH: But look, we worked on this when I was speaker. I think that it has to be looked at scientifically. But I think at some point we have to find a safe method of taking care of nuclear waste. And today, because this has been caught up in a political fight, we have small units of nuclear waste all over this country in a way that is vastly more dangerous to the United States than finding a method of keeping it in a very, very deep place that would be able to sustain 10,000 or 20,000 or 30,000 years of geological safety.

MR. COOPER: Is Yucca Mountain that place?

MR. GINGRICH: I’m not a scientist. I mean, Yucca Mountain certainly was picked by the scientific community as one of the safest places in the United States. It has always had very deep opposition here in Nevada. And frankly —

MR. COOPER: You were for opening it in Congress, right? When you were in Congress —

MR. GINGRICH: When I was in Congress, frankly, I worked with the — with the Nevada delegation to make sure that there was time for scientific studies. But we have to find some method of finding a very geologically stable place. And most geologists believe that, in fact, Yucca Mountain is that.

MR. COOPER: Congressman Paul, you opposed this.

REP. PAUL: Yes, yes. I’ve opposed this. We’ve had votes in the Congress. There was a time when I voted with two other individuals: the two congressmen from Nevada. And I approach it from a states’ rights position. What right does 49 states have to punish one state and say, we’re going to put our garbage in your state? (Cheers, applause.) I think that’s wrong.

So I think it’s very serious — I think it’s very serious and that, quite frankly, the government shouldn’t be in the business of subsidizing any form of energy. And nuclear energy, I think, is a good source of energy, but they still get subsidies, then they assume this responsibility, then we as politicians and the bureaucrats get involved in this and then we get involved with which state’s going to get stuck with the garbage. So I would say the more the free market handles this and the more you deal with property rights and no subsidies to any form of energy, the easier this problem would be solved.

(Applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney, where do you stand on this?

MR. ROMNEY: Congressman Paul is right on that. (Cheers, applause.) I don’t always agree with him, but I do on that. The idea that 49 states can tell Nevada, “We want to give you our nuclear waste” doesn’t make a lot of sense. I think the people of Nevada ought to have the final say as to whether they want that. And my guess is that for them to say yes to something like that, someone’s going to have to offer them a pretty good deal, as opposed to having the federal government jam it down their throat. (Applause.)

And by the way, if Nevada says, look, we don’t want it, then let other states make bids and say: Hey, look, we’ll take it. Here’s a geological site that we’re evaluated. Here’s the compensation we want for taking it. We want your electric companies around the country that are using nuclear fuel to compensate us, a certain amount per kilowatt hour, a certain amount per ton of this stuff that comes.

Let the free market work and, on that basis, the places that are geologically safe according to science and where the people say the deal’s a good one will decide where we put this stuff. That’s the right course for America. (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor Perry?

GOV. PERRY: You know, from time to time, Mitt and I don’t agree. But on this one, he hit it — the nail right on the head. (Applause.)

And I’ll just add that when you think about France, who gets over 70 percent of their energy from nuclear power, the idea that they deal with this issue, that their (classification ?) and that the innovation — and Congressman Paul, you’re correct when it comes to allowing the states to compete with each other. That is the answer to this. We need to have a — a discussion in — in this country about our 10th Amendment and the appropriateness of it as it’s been eroded by Washington, D.C., for all these many years — whether it’s health care, whether it’s education, or whether it’s dealing with energy.

We don’t need to be subsidizing energy in any form or fashion.

Allow the states to make the decision, and some state out there will see the economic issue, and they will have it in their state.

MR. COOPER: We’re going to move on to an issue very important here in the state of Nevada and throughout the West. We have a question from the hall.

Q: Yeah, my question is those of us who own property here in Nevada have been devastated by the real estate bubble. What would you do as president to help fix the overall problem of real estate and foreclosures in America?

MR. COOPER: Senator Santorum, Nevada has the highest rate of foreclosure.

MR. SANTORUM: Yeah, I mean, it’s — it’s a situation right now where, obviously, the market is in — has been decimated. And so now you’re looking at how do you repair. The problem is, in the first place, is that several people up here, the, quote, “businesspeople,” supported the TARP, supported the bailout. Governor — Governors Perry, Romney —

GOV. PERRY: Wrong. (Laughter.)

MR. SANTORUM: No, you wrote a letter on the day of the vote —

GOV. PERRY: No. (Chuckles.)

MR. SANTORUM: You wrote a letter on the day of the vote, Governor, saying to vote for the plan. That’s what — I mean, that — the letter sent —

GOV. PERRY: No, I didn’t.

MR. SANTORUM: Yes, you did, Governor. You —

MR. COOPER: You’ll have a chance to respond. Let him finish.

MR. SANTORUM: Your whole mansion signed it with you. So you supported it. Governor Romney and Herman Cain all supported the TARP program, which started this ball —

MR. CAIN: Not all of it. (Laughter.)

MR. SANTORUM: I mean — I mean, you guys complain about Governor Romney flip-flopping. I mean, look at what’s going on here. I mean, the — the bottom line is you all supported it. You all started this ball rolling where the government injected itself in trying to make — try to — try to fix the market with the government top-down trying to do it and manage decline. And what happened was people who — who did things that were wrong, that invested in things, took risks were bailed out. And the folks who — who acted responsibly are now getting hurt because their houses have gone down in value.

MR. COOPER: I’ve got to allow —

MR. SANTORUM: We need to let the market work. And that’s what hasn’t been happening so far.

MR. COOPER: I’ve got to allow each — three of you to respond, so Governor Perry, you have 30 seconds.

GOV. PERRY: The — the — the fact is Rick just has that wrong. We wrote a letter to Congress asking them to act. What we meant by acting was cut the regulations, cut the taxation burden, not passing TARP. There is clearly a letter out of our office that says that, Rick.

I’ll get you a copy of it, so you’ll understand it.

MR. COOPER: Governor, Governor —

MR. SANTORUM: OK, I — hold on, hold on. I need to respond to that. He sent a letter the day of the vote on the floor of the House saying pass the economic plan. There was only one plan, and that was the plan that was voted on the floor. It was TARP. You sent a letter on that day saying vote for that plan.

Now you can send a letter later saying I didn’t mean it, but when you said it, it was the only plan that was in play, and that — that was the TARP plan.

MR. ROMNEY: (Inaudible) — was this — oh, I’m sorry.

MR. COOPER: Governor Perry, do you want — do you want to respond, Governor Perry?

GOV. PERRY: I’m — I’m just telling you, I know what we sent. I know what the intention was. You can read it any way you want, but the fact of the matter — I wasn’t for TARP, and have talked about it for years since then afterwards.

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney, 30 seconds.

MR. ROMNEY: There’s an effort on the part of people in Washington to think somehow they know better than markets how to — how to rebalance America’s economy. And the idea of the federal government running around and saying, hey, we’re going to — we’re going to give you some money for trading in your old car, or we’re going to give you a few thousand bucks for buying a new house, or we’re going to keep banks from foreclosing if you can’t make your payments, these — these kinds of actions on the part of government haven’t worked.

The right course is to let markets work. And in order to get markets to work and to help people, the best thing we can do is to get the economy going. And that’s why the fundamental restructuring I’ve described is so essential to help homeowners and people across this country.

MR. COOPER: Mr. Cain, I want you to be able to respond. Thirty seconds. (Applause.)

MR. CAIN: I have said before that we were in a crisis at the end of 2008 with this potential financial meltdown. I supported the concept of TARP, but then when this administration used discretion and did a whole lot of things that the American people didn’t like, I was then against it. So yes — and I’m honing (sic) up to that.

Now, getting back to the gentleman’s question, in terms of what we need to do, we need to get government out of the way. It starts with making sure that we can boost this economy and then reform Dodd- Frank and reform a lot of these other regulations that have gotten in the way —

MR. COOPER: Time.

MR. CAIN:  — and let the market do it, just like Mitt has talked about.

MR. COOPER: Congresswoman Bachmann, does the federal government have a role in keeping people in their homes, saving people from foreclosure in the state of Nevada?

REP. BACHMANN: That was the question that was initially asked. And what I want to say is this: Every day I’m out somewhere in the United States of America, and most of the time I am talking to moms across this country. When you talk about housing, when you talk about foreclosures, you’re talking about women who are at the end of their rope because they’re losing their nest for their children and for their family. And there are women right now all across this country and moms across this country whose husbands, through not fault of their own, are losing their job and they can’t keep that house. And there are women who are losing that house.

I’m a mom. I talk to these moms. I just want to say one thing to moms all across America tonight. This is a real issue; it’s got to be solved. President Obama has failed you on this issue of housing and foreclosures. I will not fail you on this issue. I will turn this country around. We will turn the economy around. We will create jobs. That’s how you hold on to your house. Hold on, moms out there. It’s not too late.

MR. COOPER: We have another question. This one is a Twitter question. How do you explain the Occupy Wall Street movement happening across the country, and how does it relate with your message?

Herman Cain, I got to ask you. You said, quote: Don’t blame — a couple — two weeks ago you said, don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job, you’re not rich, blame yourself.

That was two weeks ago. The movement has grown. Do you still say that? (Applause.)

MR. CAIN: Yes, I do still say that. And here’s why. (Cheers, applause.) I still stand by my statement, and here’s why. They might be frustrated with Wall Street and the bankers, but they’re directing their anger at the wrong place. Wall Street didn’t put in failed economic policies. Wall Street didn’t spend a trillion dollars that didn’t do any good.

Wall Street isn’t going around the country trying to sell another $450 billion. They ought to be over in front of the White House taking out their frustration. (Cheers, applause.) So I do stand by that.

MR. COOPER: Congressman Paul, you’ve been — Congressman Paul, you’ve been critical of Governor Romney for holding fundraisers with Wall Streeters. Do you think he understands what the protest is about? Do you understand?

REP. PAUL: Well, I think Mr. Cain had blamed the victims. There’s a lot of people that are victims of this business cycle, and we can’t blame the victims. But we also have to point — I’d go to Washington as well as Wall Street, but I’d go over to the Federal Reserve. (Cheers, applause.) They — they create the financial bubbles. And you have to understand that; you can solve these problems if you don’t know where these bubbles come from.

But then when the bailout came and — supported by both parties. You have to realize, oh, wait, the Republicans were still in charge. So the bailouts came from both parties. Guess who they bailed out? The big corporations, the people who were ripping off the people in the derivatives market. And they said, oh, the world’s going to come to an end unless we bail out all the banks. So the banks were involved, and the Federal Reserve was involved.

But who got stuck? The middle class got stuck. They got stuck. They lost their jobs, and they lost their houses. If you had to give money out, you should have given it to the people who were losing it in their mortgages, not to the banks. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Mr. Cain, do you want to respond? He referenced you, so if you want to respond, you have 30 seconds.

MR. CAIN: All I want to say is that Representative Paul is partly right, but he’s mixing problems here, that it’s more than one problem. Look, the people — the bank — yes, the banks and the businesses on Wall Street, yes; the way that was administered was not right.

But my point is this: What are the people who are protesting want from bankers on Wall Street? To come downstairs and write them a check? This is what we don’t understand.

Take — go and get to the source of the problem, is all I’m saying. And that’s the White House.

MR. COOPER: I’ve got to give you 30 seconds, Senator (sic), then we’ll go to Governor Romney — Congressman.

REP. PAUL: Yes. The argument is — it’s said the program was OK, but it was mismanaged. But I work on the assumption that government’s not very capable of managing almost anything — (applause) — so you shouldn’t put that much trust in the government.

You have to — you have to trust the marketplace. And when the government gets involved, they have to deal with fraud. And how many people have gone to jail either in the government’s Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac that participated in this? And nobody suffers the consequences. All these investigations, and yet the people who lose their jobs and lose their houses — it’s their fault, according — that’s why they’re on Wall Street. And we can’t blame them. We have to blame the business cycles —

MR. COOPER: Time.

REP. PAUL:  — and the economic policies that led to this disaster. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney, you originally called the protests dangerous. You said it was class warfare. You recently sounded more sympathetic. Where do you stand now? What is your message to those people protesting?

MR. ROMNEY: Well, we can spend our time talking about what happened three years ago and what the cause was of our collapse, but let’s talk about what’s happened over the last three years. We’ve had a president responsible for this economy for the last three years, and he’s failed us. He’s failed us in part because he has no idea how the private sector works or how to create jobs. On every single issue, he’s made it harder for our economy to reboot. And as a result, we have 25 million Americans out of work — or stopped looking for work, or part-time work and can’t get full-time employed. Home values going down. You have median income in America that in the last three years has dropped by 10 percent.

Americans are hurting across this country, and the president’s out there campaigning. Why isn’t he governing? He doesn’t understand — he doesn’t have a jobs plan, even now. (Applause.) This is — this is a critical time for America, and I — and — and I can tell you that this is time to have someone who understands how the economy works, who can get America working again. Instead of dividing and blaming, as this president is, let’s grow America again and have jobs that are the envy of the world. And I know how to do it.

(Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: All right. We’ve got to take a quick break. We’re going to continue right on the other side. We’ll be right back.

(Announcements.)

MR. COOPER: And welcome back to the CNN GOP debate, live from the Venetian in Las Vegas. Let’s continue.

We’ve got an email question that was left at CNNPolitics.com. This is from a Mike Richards, who says: With the controversy surrounding Robert Jeffress, is it acceptable to let the issue of a candidate’s faith shape the debate?

Senator Santorum, this is in reference to a Baptist pastor who, at the Values Voter summit, after introducing Governor Rick Perry, said of — said that Mitt Romney is not a Christian and that Mormonism is a cult. Those were his words. (Boos.)

Should — should voters — should voters pay attention to a candidate’s religion?

MR. SANTORUM: I think they should pay attention to the candidate’s values, what the candidate stands for. (Cheers, applause.) That’s — that’s what’s at play, and the person’s faith. And — and you look at that faith and what the faith teaches with respect to morals and values that are reflected in that person’s belief structure.

So that’s — those are important things. I — I — I’m a Catholic. Catholic has a — has social teachings. Catholic has teachings as to what’s right and what’s wrong. And those are legitimate things for voters to look at, to say if you’re a faithful Catholic, which I try to be — fall short all the time — (chuckles) — but I try to be — and — and it’s a legitimate thing to look at as to what the tenets and teachings of that faith are with respect to how you live your life and — and how you would govern this country.

With respect to what is the road to salvation, that’s a whole different story. That’s not applicable to what — what the role is of being the president or a senator or any other job. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Speaker Gingrich, do you agree with that?

MR. GINGRICH: Well, I — I think if the question is does faith matter, absolutely. How can you have a country which is founded on truth, which begins, “We are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights” — how — how can you have the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which says religion, morality and knowledge being important, education matters? That’s the order: religion, morality and knowledge.

Now, I happen to think that none of us should rush in judgment of others in the way in which they approach God. And I think that all of us up here, I believe, would agree. (Cheers, applause.) But I think all of us would also agree that there’s a very central part of your faith in how you approach public life. And I, frankly, would be really worried if somebody assured me that nothing in their faith would affect their judgments because then I’d wonder, where’s your judgment — how can you have judgment if you have no faith? And how can I trust you with power if you don’t pray? (Applause.)

Who you pray to, how you pray, how you come close to God is between you and God. But the notion that you’re endowed by your creator sets a certain boundary on what we mean by America. (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor Perry, Mitt Romney asked you to repudiate the comments of that pastor who introduced you on that stage. He didn’t make the comments on the stage. He made them afterward in an interview. Will you repudiate those comments?

GOV. PERRY: Well, our faith — I can no more remove my faith than I can that I’m the son of a tenant farmer. I mean, the issue is, are we going to be individuals who stand by our faith? And I have said I didn’t agree with that individual’s statement. And our Founding Fathers truly understood and had an understanding of freedom of religion. And this country is based on, as Newt talked about, these values that are so important as we go forward, and the idea that we should not have our freedom of religion, to be taken away by any means.

But we also are a country that is free to express our opinions. That individual expressed an opinion. I didn’t agree with it, Mitt, and I said so.

But the fact is, Americans understand faith, and what they’ve lost faith in is the current resident of the White House. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney, is that — is that acceptable to you?

MR. ROMNEY: You know, with — with regards to the disparaging comments about my faith, I’ve heard worse, so I’m not going to lose sleep over that.

What I actually found that was most troubling in what the reverend said in the introduction was he said, in choosing our nominee, we should inspect his religion. And someone who’s a good moral person is not someone who we should select; instead, we should choose someone who subscribes to our religious belief.

That — that idea that we should choose people, based upon their religion, for public office is what I find to be most troubling, because the founders of this country went to great length to make sure, and even put it in the Constitution, that we would not choose people who represent us in government based upon their religion; that this would be a nation that recognized and respected other faiths, where there’s a plurality of faiths, where there was tolerance for other people and faiths. That’s bedrock principle.

And it was that principle, Governor, that I wanted you to be able to say, no, no, that’s wrong, Reverend Jeffress. Instead of saying, as you did, that introduction knocked the ball out of the park, I’d have said: Reverend Jeffress, you got that wrong, we should select people not based upon their faith — even though — and I don’t suggest you distance yourself from your faith, any more than I would, but the concept that we select people based on the church or the synagogue they go to, I think is a very dangerous and enormous departure from the principles of our Constitution. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Would you still like him to say that?

MR. ROMNEY: I’m sorry?

MR. COOPER: Would you still like the governor to say that, or was that something you wanted —

MR. ROMNEY: I’ll — I’ll let him — it’s — as his choice.

MR. COOPER: Do you want to respond to that, Governor Perry?

GOV. PERRY: I have. I said I did not agree with the — Pastor Jeffress’ remarks. I don’t agree with them. I can’t apologize any more than that.

MR. ROMNEY: Yeah, that’s fine.

MR. COOPER: We’ve got a question from the audience.

Q: Currently there’s a deficit reduction measure to cut defense spending by $500 billion. Would you support such a reduction in defense spending? And if elected president, how will you provide a strong national defense?

MR. COOPER: Congresswoman Bachmann, should defense be cut?

REP. BACHMANN: Well, $500 billion is the amount that the questioner had mentioned. And don’t forget, this was a historic week when it came to American foreign policy. We saw potentially an international assassination attempt from Iran on American soil. That says something about Iran, that they disrespect the United States so much that they would attempt some sort of a heinous act like that.

Then we saw the president of the United States engage American troops in a fourth conflict in a foreign land. This is historic.

Then on Sunday we heard the reports that now that in Iraq that the 5,000 troops that were going to be left there won’t even be granted immunity by Iraq. This is how disrespected the United States is in the world today, and it’s because of President Obama’s failed policies. He’s taken his eyes off the number-one issue in the world. That’s an Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon. That makes all of us much danger — (applause) — and the president of Iran is —

MR. COOPER: Time.

REP. BACHMANN:  — is a genocidal maniac. We need to stand up against Iran. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Congresswoman —

REP. BACHMANN: And as president of the United States, I will. We will be respected again in the world.

MR. COOPER: The question, though, was about budget cuts, and is everything on the table in terms of cutting the budget?

REP. BACHMANN: Every — absolutely everything in the —

MR. COOPER: So defense spending would be on the table — should be.

REP. BACHMANN: Defense spending is on the table, but again, Anderson, now with the president — he put us in Libya. He is now putting us in Africa. We already were stretched too thin, and he put our special operations forces in Africa.

MR. COOPER: I just want to make sure — OK, just — it’s on the table.

REP. BACHMANN: It’s on the table, but we cannot cut it by $500 billion. We can’t do that to our brave men and women who are on the ground fighting for us.

MR. COOPER: Speaker Gingrich?

MR. GINGRICH: Look, I mean, if you want to understand how totally broken Washington is, look at this entire model of a supercommittee, which has now got a magic number to achieve, and if it doesn’t achieve the magic number, then we’ll all have to shoot ourselves in the head, so when they come back with a really dumb idea to merely cut off our right leg, we’ll all be grateful that they are only semi-stupid instead of being totally stupid. (Cheers, applause.)

Now the idea that you’ll — the idea that you’ll have a bunch historically illiterate politicians who have no sophistication about national security trying to make a numerical decision about the size of the defense budget tells you everything you need to know about the bankruptcy of the current elite in this country — in both parties.

The fact is, we ought to first figure out what threatens us. We ought to figure out what strategies will respond to that. We should figure out what structures we need for those strategies. We should then cost them.

I found — helped found the Military Reform Caucus. I’m a hawk, but I’m a cheap hawk. But the fact is — (laughter) — the fact is, to say I’m going to put the security of the United States up against some arbitrary budget number is suicidally stupid. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Congressman Paul, you proposed — (cheers, applause).

MR. GINGRICH: I should have done — (inaudible).

MR. COOPER: Congressman Paul, you just proposed eliminating the Departments of Commerce, Education, Energy, Interior, Housing and Urban Development. (Laughter.) You say it’ll save a trillion dollars — (whistles, cheers) — in one year. You’re proposing a 15-percent cut to the Defense Department. Can you guarantee national security will not be hurt by that?

REP. PAUL: I think it would be enhanced. I don’t want to cut any defense. And you have to get it straight. There’s a lot of money spent in the military budget that doesn’t do any good for our defense. What — how does — how does it help us to keep troops in Korea all these years? We’re broke. We have to borrow this money. Why are we in Japan? Why do we subsidize Germany, and they subsidize their socialized system over there because we pay for it. We’re broke.

And this whole thing that this can’t be on the table, I’ll tell you what. This debt bubble is the thing you’d better really worry about, because it’s imploding on us right now; it’s worldwide. We are no more removed from this than the man in the moon. It’s going to get much worse.

And to cut military spending is a wise thing to do. We would be safer if we weren’t in so many places. We have an empire; we can’t afford it. The empires always bring great nations down. We’ve spread ourselves too thinly around the world. This is what’s happened throughout history.

And we’re doing it to ourselves. The most recent empire to fail was a(n) empire that went into, of all places, Afghanistan.

MR. COOPER: Time.

REP. PAUL: Then went broke. So where are we in Afghanistan? I say it’s time to come home. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Time.

We do have a Twitter question. Given that Israel has just negotiated with Palestine for a soldier, would any of you negotiate for a hostage? Herman Cain, let me ask this to you. A few hours ago you were asked by Wolf Blitzer, if al-Qaida had an American soldier in captivity and they demanded the release of everyone at Guantanamo Bay, would you release them? And you said, quote, “I could see myself authorizing that kind of a transfer.” Can you explain?

MR. CAIN: The rest of the statement was quite simply you would have to consider the entire situation. But let me say this first: I would have a policy that we do not negotiate with terrorists. We have to lay that principle down first. (Applause.)

Now, then you have to look at each individual situation and consider all the facts. The point that I made about this particular situation is that I’m sure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had to consider a lot of things before he made that. So on the surface, I don’t think we can say he did the right thing or not. A responsible decision-maker would have considered everything.

MR. COOPER: But you’re saying you could — I mean, in your words, you said that, “I could see myself authorizing that kind of a transfer.” Isn’t that negotiating with, in this case, al-Qaida?

MR. CAIN: I don’t recall him ever saying that it was al-Qaida- related.

MR. COOPER: Yeah, he did. He said —

MR. CAIN: Well, I don’t — I — my policy would be we cannot negotiate with terrorists. That’s where we have to start as a fundamental principle.

MR. COOPER: Senator Santorum.

MR. SANTORUM: Oh, absolutely not. I mean, you can’t negotiate with terrorists, period. To address Congressman Paul’s answer and the other answer on — on military spending, I would absolutely not cut one penny out of military spending. They — the first order of the federal government — the only thing the federal government can do that nobody — no other level of government can do is protect us.

It is the first duty of the president of the United States, is to protect us. (Applause.) And we should — we should have the resources and we should have all the resources in place to make sure that we can defend our borders, that we can make sure that we — we — when we engage in foreign countries, we do so to succeed. That’s been the problem in this administration. We’ve had political objectives instead of objectives for success, and that’s why we haven’t succeeded.

And as Michele said and correctly said, the central threat right now is Iran — the disrespect, yes, but it’s more than that. They sent a message. The two countries that they went after was the leader of the Islamic world, Saudi Arabia, and the leader of the, quote, “secular world,” the United States. This was a call by Iran to say: We are the ones who are going to be the supreme leader of the Islamic world.

MR. COOPER: Time.

MR. SANTORUM: We are going to be the supreme leader of the secular world. And that’s why they attacked here. And by the way, they did it in coordination with Central and South Americans, which I had been talking about and writing about for 10 years.

MR. COOPER: Time.

Congressman Paul, you were referenced in that answer. Thirty seconds.

REP. PAUL: Well, I think we’re on economic suicide if we’re not even willing to look at some of these overseas expenditures, 150 bases — 900 bases, 150 different countries. We have enough weapons to blow up the world about 20, 25 times. We have more weapons than all the other countries put together, essentially. And we want to spend more and more and you can’t cut a penny? I mean, this is why we’re at an impasse. I mean, this — I want to hear somebody up here willing to cut something, something real. (Cheers, applause.)

This budget is in bad shape, and the financial calamity is going to be much worse than anybody ever, you know, invading this country. Which country? Are they going to invade this country?

MR. COOPER: Time.

REP. PAUL: They can’t even shoot a missile — (inaudible).

MR. COOPER: We have a question in the hall that gets — gets to your — gets to your question. The question in the hall on foreign aid — yes, ma’am.

Q: The American people are suffering in our country right now. Why do we continue to send foreign aid to other countries when we need all the help we can get for ourselves?

(Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor Perry, what about that? I mean —

GOV. PERRY: Absolutely. I think it’s time for this country to have a very real debate about foreign aid. Clearly, there are places — as a matter of fact, I think it’s time for us to have a very serious discussion about defunding the United Nations. (Cheers, applause.) When you think about — when you think about the Palestinian Authority circumventing those Oslo accords and going to New York to try to create the conflict and to have themselves approved as a state without going through the proper channels, it is a travesty. And I think it’s time not only to have that entire debate about all of our foreign aid, but in particular, the U.N. Why are we funding that organization? (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney, should foreign aid be eliminated?

MR. ROMNEY: Foreign aid has several elements. One of those elements is defense, is to make sure that we are able to have the defense resources we want in certain places of the world. That probably ought to fall under the Department of Defense budget rather than a foreign aid budget.

Part of it is humanitarian aid around the world. I happen to think it doesn’t make a lot of sense for us to borrow money from the Chinese to go give it to another country for humanitarian aid. We ought to get the Chinese to take care of the people that are — that are — and think of that borrowed money (today ?). (Applause.)

And finally, there’s a portion of our foreign aid that allows us to carry out our — our activities in the world, such as what’s happening in Pakistan, where we’re taking — we’re supplying our troops in Afghanistan through Pakistan.

But let me tell you, we’re spending more on foreign aid than we ought to be spending. And — and Congressman Paul asked, is there a place we can cut the budget. Let me tell you where we cut the budget. Discretionary accounts you bring back to 2008 level. We get rid of “Obamacare.” Number three, we take Medicaid, turn it back to the states, grow it at only 1 (percent) to 2 percent per year.

Number three, we cut — number four, rather, we cut federal employment by at least 10 percent through attrition. And finally, we say to federal employees: You’re not going to make more money than the people in the private sector who are paying for you. We link their compensation. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Time. Congressman Paul?

REP. PAUL: On foreign aid, that should be the easiest thing to cut. It’s not authorized in the Constitution that we can take money from you and give it to particular countries around the world. (Applause.)

To me, foreign aid is taking money from poor people in this country and giving it to rich people in poor countries, and it becomes weapons of war, essentially, no well — no matter how well motivated it is. So while —

MR. COOPER: Congressman Paul, would you cut aid to Israel?

REP. PAUL: I would cut all foreign aid. I would treat everybody equally and fairly. And I don’t think aid to Israel actually helps them. I think it teaches them to be dependent. We’re on a bankruptcy court — course — and we — and look at what’s the result of all that foreign aid we gave Egypt. I mean, their — their dictator that we pumped up, we spent all these billions of dollars, and now there’s a more hostile regime in Egypt. And that’s what’s happening all around Israel. That foreign aid makes Israel dependent on us. It softens them for their own economy. And they should have their sovereignty back —

MR. COOPER: Time.

REP. PAUL:  — they should be able to deal with their neighbors at their own will. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Congresswoman Bachmann, should we cut foreign aid to Israel?

REP. BACHMANN: No, we should not be cutting foreign aid to Israel. Israel is our greatest ally. The biggest problem is the fact that the president — (applause) — the biggest problem with this administration and foreign policy is that President Obama is the first president since Israel declared her sovereignty put daylight between the United States and Israel. That’s heavily contributed to the current hostilities that we see in the Middle East region.

Cutting back on foreign aid is one thing. Being reimbursed by nations that we have liberated is another. We should look to Iraq and Libya to reimburse us for part of what we have done to liberate these nations.

(Cheers, applause.)

Now, I need to add something on this issue of negotiating for hostages. This is a very serious issue. For any candidate to say that they would release the prisoners at Guantanamo in exchange for a hostage would be absolutely contrary to the historical nature of the United States and what we do in our policy. That’s naive. We cannot do that. The United States has done well because we have an absolute policy: we don’t negotiate.

MR. COOPER: Herman Cain, I’ve got to give you 30 seconds because she was referring to — basically saying you’re naive or — if that’s what you were suggesting.

MR. CAIN: No. I said that I believe in the philosophy of we don’t negotiate with terrorists. I think — I’ve been saying — I would never agree to letting hostages in Guantanamo Bay go. No, that wasn’t the intent at all.

But let me go back to this, if I could, very quickly, in the time that I have left, the question they asked about foreign aid. My approach is an extension of the Reagan approach: peace through strength, which is peace through strength and clarity. If we clarify who our friends are, clarify who our enemies are, and stop giving money to our enemies, then we ought to continue to give money to our friends, like Israel. (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: You have 30 seconds, Congressman Paul, then I got to go.

REP. PAUL: As a matter of fact, I don’t want to make a statement, I want to ask a question. Are you all willing to condemn Ronald Reagan for exchanging weapons for hostages out of Iran? We all know that was done.

MR. SANTORUM: Well, that’s not — Iran was a sovereign country, it was not a terrorist organization, number one. That’s —

REP. PAUL (?): Well, they were our good friends —

(Cross talk.)

MR. : They’re a sovereign country — just like the Palestinian Authority is not good friends of Israel.

REP. PAUL: He negotiated for hostages.

MR. SANTORUM: There’s a role — we negotiated with hostages — (inaudible) — the Soviet Union. We’ve negotiated with hostages, depending on the scale. But there’s a difference between releasing terrorists from Guantanamo Bay in response to terrorist demands than —

REP. PAUL: But they’re all suspects, they’re not terrorists. You haven’t convicted them of anything.

MR. SANTORUM:  — than negotiating with other countries where we may have an interest.

And that is certainly a proper role for the United States — (inaudible).

MR. COOPER: We’ve got to take a quick break. I do want to give Speaker Gingrich thirty seconds and then —

MR. GINGRICH: Just very straightforward. (Inaudible) — did a film on Ronald Reagan, there’s a very painful moment in the film when he looks in the camera and says: I didn’t think we did this; I’m against doing it. I went back and looked. The truth is, we did. It was an enormous mistake. And he thought the Iranian deal was a terrible mistake.

MR. COOPER: We’re going to take a short break. Our debate, though, continues on the other side of the break, so stay tuned. (Cheers, applause.) When we return, which candidate has the best chance to beat Barack Obama? It’s going to matter in your vote. Stay with us.

(Announcements.)

(Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: And welcome back. The GOP debate is under way.

Let’s talk about probably the most important issue to everybody on this stage and probably just about everybody on (sic) this room, which is, who can beat President Barack Obama in this next election? (Cheers, applause.)

In today’s new CNN/ORC poll, 41 percent of Republican voters think that Governor Romney has the best chance of beating the president. (Cheers, applause.)

To Senator Santorum, you got 1 percent. Why shouldn’t Republican voters go with the candidate they feel they can best beat — that can best beat President Obama?

MR. SANTORUM: Well, the Pew poll last week asked how many people in this country can name any of us, and less than 50 percent could come up with even one. So the idea that this has any relevance to people who aren’t paying close attention to this debate is — is — is in fact irrelevant.

What’s relevant is to look at the track record. No one in this field has won a swing state. Pennsylvania’s a swing state. We win Pennsylvania, we win the election. The Republican is nominated.

I’ve won it twice. I defeated a Democratic incumbent winning it the first time, and I won the state of Pennsylvania — the only senator to win a state who is a conservative that George Bush lost. Bush lost it by 5. I won it by 6.

So you have someone who’s defeated and — and been matched up against three Democratic incumbents. I’m 3 and 0. Nobody in this field has won a major race against a Democratic incumbent — except me. No one has won a swing state — except me, as a conservative. I didn’t run as a Democrat in Texas when it was popular, one, and win there. I didn’t run as a liberal in 1994. I ran in 1994, the same year Mitt did in — in — in Massachusetts. He ran as a liberal, to the left of Kennedy, and lost. I ran as a conservative against James Carville and Paul Begala, and I won.

In — in — in 2002 he ran as a moderate. He ran as a moderate in — in — in Massachusetts.

I ran for re-election having sponsored and passed welfare reform, having authored the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act.

MR. COOPER: Time.

MR. SANTORUM: I was for — a moral conservative. I was a foreign policy conservative.

MR. COOPER: Time, sir.

MR. SANTORUM: I was a fiscal conservative, and I got elected in a state that hasn’t an elected a president since 1988 as a Republican.

MR. COOPER: Thank you. (Applause.)

Governor Romney, I’ve got to give you 30 seconds since he referenced you.

MR. ROMNEY: I think the people of America are looking for someone who can beat President Obama and can get the country on the right track. And I believe that they recognize that if we elect someone who’s spent their life in politics, that they’re not going to be able to post up well against President Obama and convince the American people of the truth of the principles that we believe in. I believe that having spent my life in the private sector, having actually created jobs is what allows me to have the kind of support that’s going to allow me to replace President Obama and get the country on the right track again. That for me is the distinguishing feature that’s going to get me elected as the president of the United States.

MR. COOPER: Governor — (cheers, applause) — Governor Perry, was he was referring to you?

GOV. PERRY: If you want to know how someone’s going to act in the future, look how they act in the past. I mean, so, Mitt, while you were the governor of Massachusetts in that period of time, you were 47th in the nation in job creation. During that same period of time we created 20 times more jobs. As a matter of fact, you’ve created 40,000 jobs total in your four years. Last two months we created more jobs than that in Texas.

What we need is someone who will draw a bright contrast between themselves and President Obama. And let me tell you one thing: I will draw that bright contrast.

MR. COOPER: I’ve got to give you 30 seconds. Governor Romney?

MR. ROMNEY: Yeah, with regards to track record in the past, Governor, you were the chairman of Al Gore’s campaign. All right? (Laughter.) And there was a fellow — there was a fellow Texan named George Bush running. So if we’re looking at the past, I think we know where you were.

Secondly, our unemployment rate I got down to 4.7 percent. Pretty darn good. I think a lot of people would be happy to have 4.7 percent. And with regards — (cheers, applause) — with regards to the — to the record — to the record in Texas, you probably also ought to tell people that if you look over the last several years, 40 percent, almost half the jobs created in Texas were created for illegal aliens, illegal immigrants.

GOV. PERRY: That is an absolutely falsehood on is face, Mitt.

MR. ROMNEY: Well, it’s — it’s actually — it’s actually —

MR. COOPER: You have 30 seconds, Governor Perry.

GOV. PERRY: That is absolutely incorrect, sir.

MR. ROMNEY: Well, take a look at the study.

GOV. PERRY: There’s a third — there’s been a third party take a look at that study, and it is absolutely incorrect. The fact is Texas has led the nation in job creation. EBay and Facebook and Caterpillar didn’t come there because there weren’t jobs and there wasn’t an environment to — to be created. That’s what Americans are looking for. They’re looking for somebody that they trust, that knows — has the executive governing experience. I’ve got it. You failed as the governor of Massachusetts.

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Ooh!

MR. COOPER: I’ve got to give Governor Romney 30 seconds when you said he failed.

MR. ROMNEY: (Chuckles.) I’m very proud of the fact — actually, during the — the four years we were both governors, my unemployment rate in Massachusetts was lower than your unemployment rate in Texas. That’s number one. Number two, getting it down to 4.7 (percent) I’m pretty happy with. We worked very hard to balance our budget, did every year, put in place a rainy-day fund of $2 billion by the time I was finished.

And I’ll tell you this: The American people would be happy for an individual who can lead the country who’s actually created jobs, not just watching them get created by others, but someone who knows how the economy works because he’s been in it. I have. I’ve created jobs. I’ll use that skill to get America working again. That’s what we want. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Herman Cain, you’re — Herman Cain, you’re tied with Governor Romney in some of the polls for the top leadership position right now. Is a — are they the ones — are either Governor Perry or Governor Romney — are they the ones who should be president?

MR. CAIN: (Chuckles.) No, I should be president. (Laughter.)

MR. COOPER: Well, obviously.

MR. CAIN: Governor Romney has a very distinguished career, and I would agree with much of what he has said. And there’s one difference between the two of us in terms of our experience. With all due respect, his business-executive experience has been more Wall Street- oriented. Mine has been more Main Street.

I have managed small companies. I’ve actually had to clean the parking lot. I’ve worked with groups of businesses, et cetera.

And as far as contrasting me with President Obama, if I am fortunate enough to become the Republican nominee, it’s going to be the problem solver who fixes stuff, versus a president who hasn’t fixed anything in this country. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney, you’ve got 30 seconds.

MR. ROMNEY: I appreciate that. And probably, the fact that we’re doing as well as we are is we both have a private-sector background. That probably helps. But I just want to set the record state of my record — record straight on my record.

I’ve been chief executive officer four times: once for a startup and three times for turnarounds. One was the financial services company, that was the startup; a consulting company, that’s a mainstream business; the Olympics, that’s certainly mainstream; and of course, the state of Massachusetts. In all those settings, I learned how to create jobs.

MR. COOPER: We — your campaigns are telling us we have to end — it’s time — I’m sorry —

REP. BACHMANN: Oh, no, no, no!

EP. PAUL: Oh, wait — wait a second.

REP. BACHMANN: Anderson — Anderson, that is —

MR. COOPER: It’s your campaigns. I’m just —

REP. PAUL: No, just — (inaudible) —

REP. BACHMANN: Anderson, this is — Anderson? Anderson — Anderson —

MR. COOPER: If you want to defy your campaigns, go ahead. Go ahead. Congresswoman Bachmann, 30 seconds.

REP. BACHMANN: The good news is the cake is baked. Barack Obama will be a one-term president. There’s no question about this. (Cheers, applause.)

Now the question is, we need to listen to Ronald Reagan who said: No pastels; bold colors. I am the most different candidate from Barack Obama than anyone on this stage.

MR. COOPER: Speaker Gingrich?

REP. BACHMANN: We can’t settle in this race.

MR. COOPER: Speaker Gingrich, why don’t you get in this?

MR. GINGRICH: Well, let me just — let me just point out a second that maximizing bickering is probably not the road to the White House. (Applause.) And the technique you’ve used maximizes going back and forth, over and over again.

I just want to say two things. I think that I would be the strongest candidate because of sheer substance, if you go to newt.org and look at the 21st century Contract with America. As the nominee, I will challenge Obama to meet the Lincoln-Douglas standard of seven three-hour debates, no timekeep — no moderator, only a timekeeper.

I believe we can defeat him decisively to a point where we re- establish a conservative America on our values. And I think that is a key part of thinking about next year. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: We’d love to host those on CNN.

I want to thank all the candidates, the GOP candidates tonight. (Cheers, applause.)

Want to thank all the candidates for a spirited debate on the stage. We also want to thank our co-sponsor, the Western Republican Leadership Conference, our host the Sands Convention Center at the Venetian.

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