Campaign Buzz May 2, 2012: Newt Gingrich Officially Suspends Presidential Campaign

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

IN FOCUS: NEWT GINGRICH SUSPENDS PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

Newt Gingrich: Video: Thank You To All Of Our Supporters — Newt Gingrich Campaign Site

“I’m asked sometimes, is Mitt Romney conservative enough? Compared to Barack Obama? This is a choice between Mitt Romney and the most radical, leftist president in history….
Today, I am suspending the campaign. But suspending the campaign does not mean suspending citizenship. I have been an active citizen since August of 1958.” — Newt Gingrich

Gingrich Quits Race and Says He Prefers Romney to Obama: More than half a dozen news cameras lined the back of a small ballroom packed with journalists, campaign staff members and a few supporters on Wednesday for Newt Gingrich to repeat what he’s been saying for more than a week: He’s out.
But if Americans have learned anything about Mr. Gingrich in the year since he jumped into the Republican presidential contest, it is that he craves the spotlight.
And so the House-speaker-turned-professional-pundit-turned-candidate seized what may be his last opportunity for this kind of attention. Standing behind a “Newt 2012” lectern, Mr. Gingrich explained his departure and his political philosophy, and — eventually, sorta-kinda — endorsed Mitt Romney…. – NYT, 5-2-12

  • Newt Gingrich suspends presidential campaign: With millions of dollars in campaign debt and just two Republican primary victories under his belt, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich finally called it quits Wednesday, suspending his campaign for the presidency so he could go back to being an “active citizen.”
    “Today I am suspending the campaign, but suspending the campaign does not mean suspending citizenship,” Gingrich said in lengthy remarks to a bank of television cameras. Gingrich told reporters last week he would make his departure official this week.
    Gingrich deemed the campaign “a truly wild ride” during the appearance in Arlington, Virginia, saying, “I could never have predicted either the low points or the high points.”
    Quoting an observer who suggested that his best days may be ahead, Gingrich vowed to focus on balancing the budget, advocating for “religious liberty” and social security savings accounts and working for American energy independence. He also said he would work to “reemphasize the work ethic” in America, advocate for his national security positions and press for increased brain research.
    Gingrich also stood behind his campaign push for a moon colony, though he acknowledged that it was “probably not my most clever comment in this campaign.” He said that despite having providing fodder for “Saturday Night Live” by pushing for the moon colony, he believed that the proposal was sound, arguing that Americans should seek to “go out and pursue great adventure.”
    Throughout the campaign, Gingrich complained bitterly that Mitt Romney and the super PAC backing Romney were using their massive fundraising advantage to essentially buy the election.
    It was one of many harsh criticisms Gingrich made of the presumptive GOP nominee. Gingrich called Romney a liar adept only at “managing the decay” who “looted companies” during his business career, “leaving behind broken families and broken neighborhoods.”… – CBS News, 5-2-12
  • Newt Gingrich ends ‘truly wild ride’ of a presidential campaign: Newt Gingrich brought his presidential campaign to an anticlimactic close Wednesday before several dozen family members, aides and supporters at a suburban Washington hotel. Technically, Gingrich “suspended” his candidacy…. – LAT, 5-2-12
  • Newt Gingrich may have ended campaign, but he will remain out of this world: With “more discipline and more courage to be more outside the mainstream,” Newt Gingrich told USA Today on the eve of ending his presidential bid, “it might have worked better.” Actually, Mr. Moon Colony was plenty outside the mainstream…. – WaPo, 5-2-12
  • Newt Gingrich brings campaign to a close, with swipes at Obama, jokes at his own expense: In the end, Newt Gingrich turned himself into the one thing he had been trying to avoid by leaving the GOP presidential primary race ahead of the Tampa convention: a punchline. Republican Presidential Candidate Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich…. – WaPo, 5-2-12
  • The end for Newt Gingrich or just another new beginning?: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich brought his 2012 presidential campaign to an end today, closing another stage in a life lived in the national political spotlight for more than three decades. “Today I am suspending the campaign, but suspending my … – WaPo, 5-2-12
  • Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich appear in Northern Virginia: Newt Gingrich stands with his grandson Robert and his wife Callista, as he explains why he is suspending his campaign for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination during an event in Arlington, Va., May 2, 2012…. – WaPo, 5-2-12
  • Gingrich press aide cites three legs of horse-race coverage: Wednesday afternoon marked a depressing time for anyone in Washington’s politico-media orbit. Newt Gingrich announced that he’s suspending his presidential campaign. Campaign-trail politics just got about 80 percent duller — 95 percent…. – WaPo, 5-2-12

Campaign Buzz April 25, 2012: Newt Gingrich Will Suspend his Presidential Campaign & Endorse Mitt Romney within the Next Week

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

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Newt Gingrich conceded that Mitt Romney would be the party’s  nominee at an event on Wednesday in Cramerton, N.C.

Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Newt Gingrich conceded that Mitt Romney would be the party’s nominee at an event on Wednesday in Cramerton, N.C.

IN FOCUS: NEWT GINGRICH WILL SUSPEND HIS BID IN THE GOP / REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION RACE

Newt Gingrich to suspend presidential campaign: Former House speaker Newt Gingrich is expected to suspend his presidential campaign within the next week, according to a Republican operative familiar on the decision. WaPo, 4-25-12

  • Gingrich Decides to Quit Race and Endorse Romney: Newt Gingrich conceded that Mitt Romney would be the party’s nominee at an event on Wednesday in Cramerton, N.C.
    Newt Gingrich told Mitt Romney on Wednesday that he plans to officially endorse Mr. Romney’s candidacy after suspending his own efforts next week, Mr. Gingrich’s spokesman said…. – NYT, 4-25-12
  • Newt Gingrich to exit presidential race: What took so long?: Newt Gingrich said weeks ago that he knew Mitt Romney was the likely nominee. Now, campaign aides say, he is set to suspend his campaign May 1…. – CS Monitor, 4-25-12
  • THE RACE: Quitting presidential race can be difficult, as Santorum and now Gingrich learned: Dropping out is hard to do. It’s been especially hard for Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul. Mitt Romney is claiming victory after his Tuesday sweep of five more GOP primaries. Few disagree. He has an insurmountable lead. He’s expected to clinch the…. – WaPo, 4-25-12
  • Gingrich calls ‘May Day’ on his campaign: After last night’s electoral thumping in five states, Newt Gingrich has finally gotten the message. His presidential campaign is over. He should have never have been considered a serious contender for the highest office in the land…. – WaPo, 4-25-12
  • Gingrich to suspend campaign as GOP unites behind Romney: Newt Gingrich will suspend his presidential campaign on Tuesday, according to multiple media outlets, and Rick Santorum will meet with presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney three days later, tying up loose ends as Republicans unite behind…. – LAT, 4-25-12
  • Gingrich set to leave election race: Mitt Romney’s path to the Republican nomination has been cleared further as former threat Newt Gingrich began taking steps to shut down his debt-laden campaign and endorse him. Mr Romney swept five state primaries and immediately turned his sights on…. – The Press Association, 4-25-12
  • Newt Gingrich’s most memorable campaign moments: Former House speaker Newt Gingrich is ending his presidential bid within the next week. He may had had some organizational issues, and he may have only won two states. But Gingrich knew how to make a memorable moment, either with a clever attack line…. – WaPo, 4-25-12
  • Romney moves to consolidate GOP support, court ex-rivals’ backers: Romney targets Obama in primary victory speech Romney senior advisor on road ahead Bachmann’s Take: Tuesday’s GOP primaries Now, the hard part. Mitt Romney, after finally clearing away the competition in the long and winding Republican primary battle…. – Fox News, 4-25-12
  • Romney moves to coordinate campaign with GOP: A day after claiming the title of Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney moved aggressively Wednesday to coordinate with the Republican National Committee to intensify his fight against President Barack Obama. One-time bitter GOP rivals looked to be coalescing behind the former Massachusetts governor.
    RNC Chairman Reince Priebus marked the transition Wednesday by proclaiming Romney the party’s “presumptive nominee.” Romney’s campaign also appointed several senior staff members to work on an informal takeover of the committee’s national infrastructure.
    “We will ensure that our finance, political and communications teams are fully synchronized,” Priebus said. “I am excited that these two top-notch operations will start to integrate and present a unified team to defeat Barack Obama.”
    At the same time, fading Republican contender Newt Gingrich signaled that he would likely follow Rick Santorum out of the race and called on the GOP to unite behind Romney. Aides confirmed that Gingrich will leave the race next week and said he was likely to endorse his one-time rival…. – AP, 4-25-12

Full Text Obama Presidency March 21, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech on an All-of-the-Above Energy Policy & Solar Power in Nevada

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

Obama Takes On Republicans Over Energy Policy

Source: NYT, 3-21-12

The president will try to counter Republican resistance to alternative energy subsidies at the expense of oil and gas….READ MORE

President Obama Discusses Solar Power in Nevada

Source: WH, 3-21-12
President Obama Delivers Remarks on Energy at the Copper Mountain Solar 1 Facility

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on energy after a tour of a Solar Panel Field at the Copper Mountain Solar 1 Facility, the largest photovoltaic plant operating in the country with nearly one million solar panels powering 17,000 homes, in Boulder City, Nevada, March 21, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Today, President Obama visited the Copper Mountain Solar 1 Facility in Boulder City, Nevada. The facility is the largest photovoltaic plant in the country, and its one million solar panels power 17,000 homes in California.

Boulder City, a small town near Las Vegas with fewer than 20,000 residents, was initially established to house the workers building the Hoover Dam. Today, the sun shines on Boulder City 320 days each year, making it an ideal place for a massive solar facility. Construction began in 2010, and hundreds of local residents now have jobs because of the plant. Things are going so well, in fact, that a second and third Copper Mountain facility are in the works, which will eventually generate enough electricity to power 45,000 and 66,000 homes, respectively.

Across the country, businesses like the one that built Copper Mountain are developing enough solar energy to power 730,000 homes.

Increasing the use of renewable energy sources like solar power is one piece of President Obama’s strategy to develop every available source of American-made energy. Since he took office, federal investment in renewable energy has helped nearly double its use across the country. And as a result, we are reducing our dependence on foreign oil and becoming more energy independent, creating jobs, and keeping our environment clean.

Read more about the other parts of the President’s all-of-the-above energy strategy.

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Remarks by the President on Energy

Copper Mountain Solar Project
Boulder City, Nevada

1:10 P.M. PDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody.  (Applause.)  Good afternoon.  Everybody, please have a seat.  Have a seat.  It is wonderful to be here.  Thank you so much.  It is great to be in Boulder City.

A couple people I want to thank for their outstanding work. First of all, our Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, is in the house.  (Applause.)  He’s the guy in the nice-looking hat.  Not only does it look good, but it protects his head, because the hair has gotten a little thin up there.  (Laughter.)  He is a good-looking guy.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  One of them.  One of them.

THE PRESIDENT:  One of them.  (Laughter.)  That’s right.  There’s the other guy.  (Laughter.)

I also want to thank your Mayor — a big supporter of solar energy — and that’s Roger Tobler, for being here.  Where’s Roger?  Here he is right there.  I just met his beautiful daughter.  It’s great to see you.  (Applause.)

I want to thank Jeffrey Martin, CEO of Sempra, and John and Kevin, who helped just give me this tour.

And Boulder City is the first stop on a tour where I’ll be talking about what we’re calling an all-of-the-above energy strategy — all of the above.  A strategy that relies on producing more oil and gas here in America, but also more biofuels, more fuel-efficient cars, more wind power and, as you can see, a whole lot more solar power.

This is the largest solar plant of its kind anywhere in the country.  That’s worth applauding.  (Applause.)  Every year, you produce enough clean energy to power around 17,000 homes.  And that’s just the beginning.  Things are going so well that another plant is already under construction down the road that will eventually power another 45,000 homes.  And a third plant is in development that will be, one day, able to power around 66,000 homes.

Now, this is an area that was hit hard by the recession — and that’s true of the whole state.  You guys have been through a lot.  But you haven’t given up.  You looked around at this flat, beautiful land and all this sun — I just — I asked the question, how many days of sun do you get a year — 320 — that’s pretty good — and decided that Boulder City was the perfect place to generate solar power.

In fact, as I was talking to the folks from Sempra, they were explaining that this location is almost optimal for solar power generation, not only because it’s flat, transmission lines were already here, the sun is traveling and there’s no haze and it’s absolutely clear.  And so this is an extraordinary opportunity for the community.  And when a business showed up with plans to build a new solar plant, hundreds of local workers got jobs because of it.  Thousands of families are now powering their homes with a cleaner, renewable source of energy.

And this is not just happening here in Boulder City — it’s happening in cities and towns all across America.  According to experts, we’ve now got more than 5,600 solar companies nationwide, and many of them are small businesses.  There are solar companies in every single state in the Union.  And today, we’re producing enough solar energy to power 730,000 American homes.  And because of the investments we’ve made as a nation, the use of renewable energies has actually doubled.

So this is an industry on the rise.  It’s a source of energy that’s becoming cheaper; we all know it’s cleaner.  And more and more businesses are starting to take notice.  They’re starting to look around for more places like Boulder City to set up shop.

When I took office I said, why not give these businesses some access to public lands that aren’t otherwise being utilized? At the time, there wasn’t a single solar project in place on public lands — not one.  Today, thanks to some great work by Ken Salazar, we’ve got 16 solar projects approved.  (Applause.)  And when they’re complete, we’ll be generating enough energy to power 2 million homes.  And that’s progress.

We’re also enforcing our trade laws to make sure countries like China aren’t giving their solar companies an unfair advantage over ours.  (Applause.)  And that’s important because countries all around the world — China, Germany, you name it — they understand the potential.  They understand the fact that as countries all around the world become more interested in power generation — their population is expanding, their income level is going up, they use more electricity — and we’re going to have to make sure that we’re the guys who are selling them the technology and the know-how to make sure that they’re getting the power that they need.

In fact, just yesterday, our administration determined China wasn’t playing fair when it came to solar power.  And so we took the first step towards leveling the playing field, because my attitude is, when the playing field is level, then American workers and American businesses are always going to win.  And that’s why we’ve got to make sure that our laws are properly enforced.  (Applause.)

Now, you’d think given this extraordinary site, given the fact that this is creating jobs, generating power, helping to keep our environment clean, making us more competitive globally, you’d think that everybody would be supportive of solar power.   That’s what you’d think.  And yet, if some politicians had their way, there won’t be any more public investment in solar energy.  There won’t be as many new jobs and new businesses.

Some of these folks want to dismiss the promise of solar power and wind power and fuel-efficient cars.  In fact, they make jokes about it.  One member of Congress who shall remain unnamed called these jobs “phony” — called them phony jobs.  I mean, think about that mindset, that attitude that says because something is new, it must not be real.  If these guys were around when Columbus set sail, they’d be charter members of the Flat Earth Society.  (Laughter.)  We were just talking about this — that a lack of imagination, a belief that you can’t do something in a new way — that’s not how we operate here in America.  That’s not who we are.  That’s not what we’re about.

These politicians need to come to Boulder City and see what I’m seeing.  (Applause.)  They should talk to the people who are involved in this industry, who have benefitted from the jobs, who benefit from ancillary businesses that are related to what’s going on right here.

Now, all of you know that when it comes to new technologies, the payoffs aren’t always going to come right away.  Sometimes, you need a jumpstart to make it happen.  That’s been true of every innovation that we’ve ever had.  And we know that some discoveries won’t pan out.  There’s the VCR and the Beta and the — all that stuff.  (Laughter.)

And each successive generation recognizes that some technologies are going to work, some won’t; some companies will fail, some companies will succeed.  Not every auto company succeeded in the early days of the auto industry.  Not every airplane manufacturer succeeded in the early days of the aviation.  But we understood as Americans that if we keep on this track, and we’re at the cutting edge, then that ultimately will make our economy stronger and it will make the United States stronger.  It will create jobs.  It will create businesses.  It will create opportunities for middle-class Americans and folks who want to get into the middle class.  That’s who we are.  That’s what we’re about.  (Applause.)

So I want everybody here to know that as long as I’m President, we will not walk away from the promise of clean energy.  (Applause.)  We’re not going to walk away from places like Boulder City.  I’m not going to give up on the new to cede our position to China or Germany or all the other competitors out there who are making massive investments in clean energy technology.  I refuse to see us stand by and not make the same commitment.  That’s not what we do in America.  It’s not who we are as a country.

One of the main reasons I ran for this office is I didn’t think that our leaders were doing enough to tackle the big challenges, the hard challenges, to seize the big opportunities.  And energy is one of the best examples.  We have been talking about changing our energy policies for 30 years now.  When I was the age of these guys right here, when I was 10, 11, right, in the ‘70s, and my grandparents were complaining about long gas lines, we were talking about how we were going to do things differently.  Thirty, 40 years, and we keep on doing the same stuff.  We keep on punting.  We keep on putting it off.  For decades, Washington kept kicking the can down the road.

I don’t want to do that anymore.  I want to make sure when these guys are grown up that they’re seeing solar panels all across the country.  They’re seeing American-made energy and American-made power.  They’re benefiting from a cleaner environment.  They’re seeing jobs and opportunity — that’s what I want to see.

So as long as I’m President, we’re going to develop every available source of energy.  That is a promise that I’m making to you.  (Applause.)

And, yes, that means we make investments in stuff that is new, and we stop subsidizing stuff that’s old.  The current members of the Flat Earth Society in Congress — (laughter) — they would rather see us continue to provide $4 billion — $4 billion — in tax subsidies, tax giveaways, to the oil companies — $4 billion to an industry that is making record profits.  Every time you fill up the pump, they’re making money.  They are doing just fine.  They’re not having any problems.

And yet, on top of what we’re paying at the pump, we’re also going to give them $4 billion in subsidies that could be going into making sure there were investments in clean energy for the future?  That doesn’t make any sense.  Does that make any sense?

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  All right, I just wanted to make sure.  Because I didn’t think it was a wise use of your tax dollars.  (Laughter.)

We have subsidized oil companies for a century.  We want to encourage production of oil and gas, and make sure that wherever we’ve got American resources, we are tapping into them.  But they don’t need an additional incentive when gas is $3.75 a gallon, when oil is $1.20 a barrel, $1.25 a barrel.  They don’t need additional incentives.  They are doing fine.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  It is our retirement!

THE PRESIDENT:  Yes.  A century of subsidies to oil companies is long enough.  It’s time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that’s rarely been more profitable, and double down on investments in an energy industry that has never been more promising.  (Applause.)  That’s what we need to do.

So Congress needs to pass more tax credits for projects like this one; needs to provide certainty when it comes to these tax credits.  We need to go out there and do what a lot of states are doing right now, which is saying, let’s get a certain percentage of our energy from clean energy sources.  Because when we do that, that gives a company like this one certainty that they’re going to have customers, and they can invest more and build more. (Applause.)

We need to keep Americans on the job.  We need to keep these homes powered by clean energy.  We need to support the businesses that are doing it.

And again, I just want everybody to be clear — because sometimes, when you listen to the news and you listen to some of these other politicians, they seem a little bit confused about what I’m saying.  We are going to continue producing oil and gas at a record pace.  That’s got to be part of what we do.  We need energy to grow.  That’s why we’re producing more oil right now, here in America, than at any time in the last eight years — any time in the last eight years.  We’re opening up more land for oil exploration.  We’ve got more oil rigs operating.  There are more pipelines out there that are being approved.  I’ll be visiting one of those rigs and one of those pipelines this week.

But an energy strategy that focuses only on drilling and not on an energy strategy that will free ourselves from our dependence on foreign oil, that’s a losing strategy.  That’s not a strategy I’m going to pursue.  America uses 20 percent of the world’s oil, and we’ve got 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves. Think about — I wasn’t a math major, but I just want — (laughter) — if you’re using 20, you’ve only got 2, that means you got to bring in the rest from someplace else.  Why wouldn’t we want to start finding alternatives that make us less reliant, less dependent on what’s going on in the Middle East?  (Applause.)

So we’ve got to develop new energy technologies, new energy sources.  It’s the only way forward.  And here in Boulder City, you know that better than anybody.  You know the promise that lies ahead because this city has always been about the future.  Eight decades ago, in the midst of the Great Depression, the people of Boulder City were busy working on another energy project you may have heard of.  Like today, it was a little bit ahead of its time; it was a little bit bigger than this solar plant — it was a little louder, too.  It was called the Hoover Dam.  And at the time, it was the largest dam in the world.  (Applause.)  Even today, it stands as a testimony to American ingenuity, American imagination, the power of the American spirit — a testimony to the notion we can do anything.

That was true back then; it is true today.  You know the choice we need to make when it comes to energy.  We’ve got to invest in a sustained, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of energy.  We’ve got to stay ahead of the curve.  We’ve got to make sure that we’re taking some risks.  We’ve got to make sure that we’re making the investments that are necessary.  We’ve got to support extraordinary entrepreneurs that are on the cutting-edge.  That’s who we are.  That’s what we do. And if we keep on doing it, nothing is going to stop us.

Thank you very much, everybody.  God bless you.  God bless the United States of America.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

END
1:27 P.M. PDT

Full Text Obama Presidency March 15, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech on Energy Policy at Prince George’s Community College

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

Obama Defends Energy Policy, Hitting Back at Presidential Candidates


Doug Mills/The New York Times
President Obama giving a speech on his energy policies at the Prince Georges Community College in Largo, Md.

Source: NYT, 3-15-12

In what has become a weekly ritual, President Obama on Thursday defended his administration’s energy policy, in the face of relentlessly rising gasoline prices, to an American public that believes he can do more to ease the pain at the pump.

Mr. Obama cycled through now-familiar themes, promoting his record of increased domestic oil and gas production; stricter fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks; and investments in alternative sources of energy, like biofuels, wind and solar power. The administration’s energy policy has been the focus of many speeches the president has given in recent weeks.

But on Thursday he delivered a notably sarcastic rebuttal to his Republican presidential challengers, particularly Newt Gingrich, who has promised, if elected, to bring down gas prices to $2.50 a gallon, and has ridiculed the president’s talk of making fuel from algaeREAD MORE

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Remarks by the President on Energy

Prince George’s Community College
Largo, Maryland

11:05 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you so much.  Thank you.  Well, I am so — what a wonderful reception.  (Applause.)  That is so nice.  Thank you.  You’re all just cheering because I know Michelle.  (Laughter.)  Well, it is wonderful to be here.  Folks who have a seat, feel free to take a seat.

I want to thank Roy for that introduction.  He talks pretty smooth, right?  (Laughter and applause.)  It’s great to be back in Maryland.  It’s great to be here at Prince George’s Community College.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you!

THE PRESIDENT:  I love you back.  (Applause.)  Now, but before I start, I want to thank your other president, Dr. Charlene Dukes.  (Applause.)  Your Governor, Martin O’Malley, is in the house.  (Applause.)  Lieutenant Governor Brown is here.  (Applause.)  We’ve got one of the finest members of the United States Senate that you could hope to have in Ben Cardin.  (Applause.)  Congresswoman Donna Edwards is here.  (Applause.) And County Executive Rushern Baker is here.  (Applause.)  And I want to thank all of you for coming out here today.  (Applause.)

Now, I just finished learning about some of the work that you’re doing here at this community college to make sure that homes are using less energy, and helping folks save money on their heating and their air-conditioning bills.  And I was very impressed.  I’m even more impressed because I know this program is giving a lot of people a chance to make a decent living — everyone from veterans to folks with disabilities to folks who’ve just been down on their luck but want to work.  So I want you to know how proud I am of this program, of this institution, of all of you.  (Applause.)

The skills that you gain here at this community college will be the surest path to success in this economy.  Because if there’s one thing that we’re thinking about a lot these days, is, first of all, how do we make sure that American workers have the skills and education they need to be able to succeed in this competitive global economy?  And community colleges all across the country and all across Maryland are doing an outstanding job providing young people that first opportunity after high school but also helping older workers retrain for the jobs of the future because the economy is constantly adapting.  (Applause.)

So community colleges are big.  Community colleges are critical to our long-term success.  What’s also critical to our long-term success is the question of energy:  How do we use less energy?  How do we produce more energy right here in the United States of America?

And I know this is an especially important topic for everybody right now because you guys have to fill up at the gas station.

AUDIENCE:  Yeah!

THE PRESIDENT:  And it’s rough.  Gas prices and the world oil markets right now are putting a lot of pressure on families right now.  And one of the things that is important to remember is for a lot of folks, just doing what you have to do to get your kids to school, to get to the job, to do grocery shopping
– you don’t have an option.  You’ve got to be able to fill up that gas tank.  And when prices spike on the world market, it’s like a tax, it’s like somebody is going into your pocket.

We passed the payroll tax at the beginning of this year to make sure that everybody had an extra $40 in their paycheck, on average — (applause) — in part because we anticipated that gas prices might be going up like they did last year, given tight world oil supplies.

But that doesn’t make it easier for a lot of families out there that are just struggling to get by.  This is tough.  Now, the question is, how do we meet this challenge?  Because right now we’re starting to see a lot of politicians talking a lot but not doing much.  (Applause.)  And we’ve seen this movie before.  (Applause.)  Gas prices went up around this time last year.  Gas prices shot up in the spring and summer of 2008 — I remember, I was running for President at the time.  This has been going on for years now.

And every time prices start to go up — especially in an election year — politicians dust off their 3-point plans for $2.00 gas.  (Laughter.)  I guess this year they decided, we’re going to make it $2.50.  (Laughter.)  I don’t know where — why not $2.40?  (Laughter.)  Why not $2.10?  (Laughter.)  But they tell the same story.  They head down to the gas station; they make sure a few cameras are following them — (laughter) — and then they start acting like we’ve got a magic wand and we will give you cheap gas forever if you just elect us.  (Laughter.)  Every time.  Been the same script for 30 years.  It’s like a bad rerun.  (Laughter.)

Now, here’s the thing — because we’ve seen it all before, we know better.  You know better.  There is no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to high gas prices.  There’s no silver bullet.  Anybody who tells you otherwise isn’t really looking for a solution — they’re trying to ride the political wave of the moment.

Usually, the most common thing, when you actually ask them — all right, how is it that you’re going to get back to $2.00 a gallon gas, how are you going to do it, specifically, what is your plan — then typically what you’ll hear from them is, well, if we just drilled more for oil then gas prices would immediately come down and all our problems would go away.  That’s usually the response.

Now, Maryland, there are two problems with that answer.  First of all, we are drilling.  Under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years.  (Applause.)  Any time.  That’s a fact.  That’s a fact.  We’ve quadrupled the number of operating oil rigs to a record high.  I want everybody to listen to that — we have more oil rigs operating now than ever.  That’s a fact.  We’ve approved dozens of new pipelines to move oil across the country.  We announced our support for a new one in Oklahoma that will help get more oil down to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

Over the last three years, my administration has opened millions of acres of land in 23 different states for oil and gas exploration.  (Applause.)  Offshore, I’ve directed my administration to open up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources.  That includes an area in the Gulf of Mexico we opened up a few months ago that could produce more than 400 million barrels of oil.

So do not tell me that we’re not drilling.  (Applause.)  We’re drilling all over this country.  (Applause.)  I guess there are a few spots where we’re not drilling.  We’re not drilling in the National Mall.  (Laughter.)  We’re not drilling at your house.  (Laughter.)  I guess we could try to have, like, 200 oil rigs in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, that’s the question.  We are drilling at a record pace but we’re doing so in a way that protects the health and safety and the natural resources of the American people.  (Applause.)

So that’s point number one.  If you start hearing this “drill, baby, drill; drill, drill, drill” — if you start hearing that again, just remember you’ve got the facts — we’re doing that.  Tell me something new.  (Applause.)  That’s problem number one.

Here’s the second problem with what some of these politicians are talking about.  There’s a problem with a strategy that only relies on drilling and that is, America uses more than 20 percent of the world’s oil.  If we drilled every square inch of this country — so we went to your house and we went to the National Mall and we put up those rigs everywhere — we’d still have only 2 percent of the world’s known oil reserves.  Let’s say we miss something — maybe it’s 3 percent instead of 2.  We’re using 20; we have 2.

Now, you don’t need to be getting an excellent education at Prince George’s Community College to know that we’ve got a math problem here.  (Laughter and applause.)  I help out Sasha occasionally with her math homework and I know that if you’ve got 2 and you’ve got 20, there’s a gap.  (Laughter.)  There’s a gap, right?

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  Do we have anybody who’s good at math here?  Am I right?  (Applause.)  Okay.

So if we don’t develop other sources of energy, if we don’t develop the technology to use less energy to make our economy more energy-efficient, then we will always be dependent on foreign countries for our energy needs.  (Applause.)

And that means every time there’s instability in the Middle East, which is the main thing that’s driving oil prices up right now — it’s the same thing that was driving oil prices up last year — every time that happens, every time that there’s unrest, any time that there’s concern about a conflict, suddenly, oil futures shoot up, you’re going to feel it at the pump.  It will happen every single time.

We will not fully be in control of our energy future if our strategy is only to drill for the 2 percent but we still have to buy the 20 percent.  And there’s another wrinkle to this — other countries use oil, too.  We’re not the only ones.  So you’ve got rapidly-growing nations like China and India, and they’re all starting to buy cars.  They’re getting wealthier.  They want cars, too.  And that means the price of gas will rise.

Just to give you an example — in 2010, China alone added 10 million new cars.  That’s just in one year.  And there are about a billion Chinese.  So they’ve got a lot more people who are going to want cars in the future, which means they are going to want to get some of that oil and that will drive prices up.  So we can’t just drill our way out of the problem.  We are drilling, but it’s not going to solve our problem.

That’s not the future I want for the United States of America.  We can’t allow ourselves to be held hostage to events on the other side of the globe.  That’s not who we are.  (Applause.)  America controls its own destiny.  We’re not dependent on somebody else.  (Applause.)

So we can’t have an energy strategy for the last century that traps us in the past.  We need an energy strategy for the future — an all-of-the-above strategy for the 21st century that develops every source of American-made energy.  Yes, develop as much oil and gas as we can, but also develop wind power and solar power and biofuels.  (Applause.)  Make our buildings more fuel-efficient.  Make our homes more fuel-efficient.  Make our cars and trucks more fuel-efficient so they get more miles for the gallon.  (Applause.)  That’s where I want to take this country.  (Applause.)

And here’s — the best part of it is thousands of Americans have jobs right now because we’ve doubled the use of clean energy in this country since I came into office.  And I want to keep on making those investments.  (Applause.)  I don’t want to see wind turbines and solar panels and high-tech batteries made in other countries by other workers.  I want to make them here.  (Applause.)  I want to make them here in Maryland.  I want to make them here in the United States of America, with American workers.  That’s what I want.  (Applause.)

So when I came into office, we said, all right, how are we going to start moving America in that direction?  It’s not a thing you get done in one year, but how do we start moving in that direction?  So after 30 years of not doing anything, we raised fuel economy standards on cars and trucks so that by the middle of the next decade, our cars will average nearly 55 miles per gallon — that’s double what we get today — 55 miles per gallon.  (Applause.)  Fifty-five miles a gallon.

So the young people here who were driving those beaters that — (laughter) — getting 5 miles per gallon — (laughter) — we’re going to get you to 55.  And that will save the average family more than $8,000 over the life of a car — $8,000.  (Applause.)  That will help pay some bills.  That means you’ll be able to fill up every two weeks instead of every week.  (Applause.)  And those are the cars we need to keep building here in the United States.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Yes, we can!

THE PRESIDENT:  Yes, we can do that.  (Applause.)

All right, so now, to fuel these cars and trucks, obviously if they’re using less gas, that’s great.  That saves us; we’re using less oil.  But we also want to invest in clean advanced biofuels that can replace some of the oil that we’re currently using.  That’s important.  (Applause.)

Already, we’re using these biofuels to power everything from city buses to UPS trucks to Navy ships.  I want to see more of these fuels in American cars — homegrown fuels — because that means we’re buying less oil from foreign countries and we’re creating jobs here in the United States — (applause) — including big parts of rural America, big parts of rural Maryland, where the economy oftentimes is struggling and you have a real opportunity to create entire new industries and put people to work.  And it’s happening all across the country.

So all of these steps have put us on a path of greater energy independence.  Here’s a statistic I want everybody to remember next time you’re talking to somebody who doesn’t know what they’re talking about.  (Laughter.)  Since I took office, America’s dependence on foreign oil has gone down every single year.  (Applause.)  In 2010, our oil dependence, the amount that we’re bringing in, the percentage we’re bringing in, was under 50 percent for the first time in 13 years.  (Applause.)  We’ve got to do better than that, and we can do better than that.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Yes, we can!

THE PRESIDENT:  Yes, we can.  (Applause.)  But in order to do better than that, we’ve got to tell the folks who are stuck in the past that our future depends on this all-of-the-above energy strategy.  That’s our job.  That it can’t just be — it can’t just be drilling for more oil.  We’re drilling for more oil, but that can’t be all the solution; that’s just part of the solution.

Now, here’s the sad thing.  Lately, we’ve heard a lot of professional politicians, a lot of the folks who are running for a certain office — (laughter) — who shall go unnamed — (laughter) — they’ve been talking down new sources of energy.  They dismiss wind power.  They dismiss solar power.  They make jokes about biofuels.  They were against raising fuel standards. I guess they like gas-guzzlers.  They think that’s good for our future.  We’re trying to move towards the future; they want to be stuck in the past.

We’ve heard this kind of thinking before.  Let me tell you something.  If some of these folks were around when Columbus set sail — (laughter) — they must have been founding members of the Flat Earth Society.  (Laughter.)  They would not have believed that the world was round.  (Applause.)  We’ve heard these folks in the past.  They probably would have agreed with one of the pioneers of the radio who said, “Television won’t last.  It’s a flash in the pan.”  (Laughter.)  One of Henry Ford’s advisors was quoted as saying, “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a fad.”  (Laughter.)

There have always been folks like that.  There always have been folks who are the naysayers and don’t believe in the future, and don’t believe in trying to do things differently.  One of my predecessors, Rutherford B. Hayes, reportedly said about the telephone, “It’s a great invention, but who would ever want to use one?”  (Laughter.)  That’s why he’s not on Mt. Rushmore — (laughter and applause) — because he’s looking backwards.  He’s not looking forwards.  (Applause.)  He’s explaining why we can’t do something, instead of why we can do something.

The point is, there will always be cynics and naysayers who just want to keep on doing things the same way that we’ve always done them.  They want to double down on the same ideas that got us into some of the mess that we’ve been in.  But that’s not who we are as Americans.  See, America has always succeeded because we refuse to stand still.  We put faith in the future.  We are inventors.  We are builders.  We are makers of things.  We are Thomas Edison.  We are the Wright Brothers.  We are Bill Gates.  We are Steve Jobs.  That’s who we are.  (Applause.)

That’s who we need to be right now.  That’s who we need to be right now.  I don’t understand when I hear folks who are in elected office, or aspiring to elected office, who ignore the facts and seem to just want to get a cute bumper sticker line, instead of actually trying to solve our problems.  (Applause.)

What I just said about energy, by the way, is not disputed by any energy expert.  Everybody agrees with this.  So why is it that somebody who wants to help lead the country would be ignoring the facts?  (Applause.)

If you want an example of what I’m talking about, consider an important issue that’s before Congress right now.

I think somebody may have fainted.  All right.  Remember next time if you’re going to stand for a long time, you got to eat.  (Laughter.)  I’m — no, no, it’s true.  You got to get something to eat.  You got to get some juice.  I’m just saying.  It’s true.  They’ll be okay, just make sure to give them space.

The question — there’s a question before Congress I want everybody to know about.  The question is whether or not we should keep giving $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies to the oil industry.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  The oil industry has been subsidized by you, the taxpayer, for about a hundred years — 100 years.  One hundred years, a century.  So some of the same folks who are complaining about biofuels getting subsidies, or wind or solar energy getting subsidies, or electric cars and advanced batteries getting subsidies to help get them off the ground, these same folks — when you say, why are we still giving subsidies to the oil industry –- “well, no, we need those.”

Oil companies are making more money right now than they’ve ever made.  On top of the money they’re getting from you at the gas station every time you fill up, they want some of your tax dollars as well.

That doesn’t make any sense.  Does it make sense?

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  It’s inexcusable.  It is time for this oil industry giveaway to end.  (Applause.)  So in the next few weeks, I expect Congress to vote on ending these subsidies.  And when they do, they’ll put every single member of Congress on record.  I guess you can stand up for the oil companies who really don’t need much help, or they can stand up for the American people, because we can take that $4 billion — we could be investing it in clean energy in a good energy future, in fuel efficiency.  (Applause.)  We could actually be trying to solve a vital problem.

They can bet — they can place their bets on the energy of the past, or they can place their bets on America’s future — on American workers, American ingenuity, American technology, American science, American-made energy, American efficiency, American productivity.  (Applause.)  We can bet on America and our own capacity to solve this problem.  (Applause.)  That’s the choice we face.  That’s what’s at stake right now.

Maryland, we know what direction we have to go in.

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  And every American out there, as frustrated as they are about gas prices right now, when you actually ask people, they’ll tell you, yes, we’ve got to find new sources of energy.  We got to find new ways of doing things.  People understand that.  We just got to get Washington to understand it.  We got to get politicians to understand it.

We’ve got to invest in a serious, sustained, all-of-the-above energy strategy that develops every resource available for the 21st century.  We’ve got to choose between the past and the future.  And that’s a choice we shouldn’t be afraid to make because we’ve always bet on the future, and we’re good at it.  America is good at the future.  We are good at being ahead of the curve.  We’re good at being on the cutting edge.  (Applause.)

Ending these subsidies won’t bring down gas prices tomorrow.  Even if we drilled every inch of America, that won’t bring gas prices down tomorrow.  But if we’re tired of watching gas prices spike every single year, and being caught in this position, where what happens in the Middle East ends up taking money out of your pocket, if we want to stabilize energy prices for the long term and the medium term, if we want America to grow, we’re going to have look past what we’ve been doing and put ourselves on the path to a real, sustainable energy future.

That’s the future you deserve.  So I need all of you to make your voices heard.  (Applause.)  Get on the phone, write an email, send a letter, let your member of Congress know where you stand.  Tell them to do the right thing.  Tell them we can win this fight.  Tell them we’re going to combine our creativity and our optimism, our brainpower, our manpower, our womanpower.  Tell them:  Yes, we can.  (Applause.)

Tell them we are going to build an economy that lasts.  Tell them we’re going to make this the American century just like the last century.

Thank you, Prince George’s County.  (Applause.)  Thank you, Prince George’s Community College.  Thank you, Maryland.  (Applause.)  Let’s get to work.  God bless you.  God bless America.

END
11:37 A.M. EDT

Campaign Headlines March 9, 2012: The Parallels Between Mitt Romney and George H.W. Bush

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

The Parallels Between Mitt Romney and George H.W. Bush

Source: NYT, 3-8-12
 
Mitt Romney, right, is working to appeal to both the Republican establishment and its outspoken conservatives.  The elder George Bush, left, at a Texas stop in 1992, faced the same challenge.

Left, J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press; right, Yana Paskova for The New York TimesMitt Romney, right, is working to appeal to both the Republican establishment and its outspoken conservatives.  The elder George Bush, left, at a Texas stop in 1992, faced the same challenge.

8:08 p.m. | Updated As a presidential candidate, he was awkwardly disconnected, a wealthy Republican who struggled to earn the trust of the conservatives in his party.

Now, two decades later, that candidate, the elder George Bush, is serving as a kind of political object lesson for a kindred spirit, Mitt Romney.

As Mr. Bush tried to do, Mr. Romney is working to bridge two worlds inside the Republican Party: an establishment wing with which he feels comfortable and a rabble-rousing wing that has a big influence over policy and ideology.

Mr. Bush managed to reconcile and unite both of those sometimes opposing forces, but not until he sought the White House as a sitting vice president in 1988. And those same divisions and suspicions from conservatives helped scuttle his re-election campaign four years later.

Mr. Romney now faces some of the same challenges….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency March 6, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Press Conference on Housing Mortgage Refinancing Plan & Potential Military Action Against Iran

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

Live Blog: President Obama’s News Conference

Source: NYT, 3-6-12
 
President Obama held a news conference in the White House briefing room on Tuesday.Doug Mills/The New York TimesPresident Obama held a news conference in the White House briefing room on Tuesday.

President Obama held his first news conference of the year on Tuesday. We carried the play-by-play.

Topically, it ranged over a turbulent landscape: Super Tuesday politics, saber-rattling over Iran, gasoline prices, the war in Afghanistan, the economic recovery and contraception. With so much weighty matter before him, the White House chose to use the event to highlight, of all things, some relatively narrow housing policy actions: a recent settlement with banks that will help some veterans recoup their losses on mortgage foreclosures, and a tweak to the refinancing charges on some federally insured loans….READ MORE

Obama Challenges Republicans on Iran

Source: NYT, 3-6-12

President Obama responding to questions from reporters at a news conference in Washington.Doug Mills/The New York TimesPresident Obama responding to questions from reporters at a news conference in Washington.

President Obama challenged his Republican critics to make a case to the American people for a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities if they really believe that is the right course to follow, throwing down an election-year challenge to the men who are vying to succeed him and who say that his Iran policy has been too weak.

“This is not a game,” Mr. Obama said during a news conference at the White House timed to coincide with Super Tuesday voting in the Republican primaries in a number of crucial states. Mr. Obama gave a staunch defense of his administration’s actions to rein in Iran’s nuclear ambitions and said that tough sanctions put in place by the United States and Europe were starting to work and were part of the reason Iran had returned to the negotiation table.

“The one thing we have not done is we have not launched a war,” Mr. Obama said. “If some of these folks think we should launch a war, let them say so, and explain to the American people.”…READ MORE

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

President Barack Obama holds a press conference (March 6, 2012)President Barack Obama holds a press conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, March 6, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Press Conference by the President

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

1:15 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody.  Now, I understand there are some political contests going on tonight, but I thought I’d start the day off by taking a few questions, which I’m sure will not be political in nature.  (Laughter.)  Before I do, I want to make a few announcements about some steps we’re taking to help responsible homeowners who’ve been struggling through this housing crisis.

We’ve clearly seen some positive economic news over the last few months.  Businesses have created about 3.7 million new jobs over the last two years.  Manufacturers are hiring for the first time since the 1990s.  The auto industry is back and hiring more than 200,000 people over the last few years.  Confidence is up. And the economy is getting stronger.

But there are still millions of Americans who can’t find a job.  There are millions more who are having a tough time making the rent or the mortgage, paying for gas or groceries.  So our job in Washington isn’t to sit back and do nothing.  And it’s certainly not to stand in the way of this recovery.  Right now we’ve got to do everything we can to speed it up.

Now, Congress did the right thing when they passed part of my jobs plan and prevented a tax hike on 160 million working Americans this year.  And that was a good first step.  But it’s not enough.  They can’t just stop there and wait for the next election to come around.  There are a few things they can do right now that could make a real difference in people’s lives.

This Congress should, once and for all, end tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas, and use that money to reward companies that are creating jobs here in the United States.  I’ve put forward a proposal that does just that, and there’s no reason why Congress can’t come together and start acting on it.

This Congress could hold a vote on the Buffett Rule so that we don’t have billionaires paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries.  That’s just common sense.  The vast majority of Americans believe it’s common sense.  And if we’re serious about paying down our deficit, it’s as good a place to start as any.

And finally, this Congress should pass my proposal to give every responsible homeowner a chance to save an average of $3,000 a year by refinancing their mortgage at historically low rates. No red tape.  No runaround from the banks.  If you’ve been on time on your payments, if you’ve done the right thing, if you’ve acted responsibly, you should have a chance to save that money on your home — perhaps to build up your equity, or just to have more money in your pocket that you can spend on businesses in your community.  That would make a huge difference for millions of American families.

Now, if Congress refuses to act, I’ve said that I’ll continue to do everything in my power to act without them.  Last fall, we announced an initiative that allows millions of responsible homeowners to refinance at low interest rates.  Today we’re taking it a step further — we are cutting by more than half the refinancing fees that families pay for loans ensured by the Federal Housing Administration.  That’s going to save the typical family in that situation an extra $1,000 a year, on top of the savings that they’d also receive from refinancing.  That would make refinancing even more attractive to more families.  It’s like another tax cut that will put more money in people’s pockets.  We’re going to do this on our own.  We don’t need congressional authorization to do it.

We’re also taking a series of steps to help homeowners who have served our country.  It is unconscionable that members of our armed forces and their families have been some of those who have been most susceptible to losing their homes due to the actions of unscrupulous banks and mortgage lenders.  Over the last few years that happened — a lot.

So as part of the landmark settlement we reached with some of the nation’s largest banks a few weeks ago, here’s what we’re going to do:  If you are a member of the armed forces whose home was wrongfully foreclosed, you will be substantially compensated for what the bank did to you and your family.  If you are a member of the armed forces with a high interest rate who was wrongfully denied the chance to lower it while you were in active serve, which banks are required to do by law, the banks will refund you the money you would have saved along with a significant penalty.

The settlement will make sure that you aren’t forced into foreclosure just because you have a permanent change in station but can’t sell your home because you owe more than it’s worth.  Some of the money will also go into a fund that guarantees loans on favorable terms to our veterans, and there will be more foreclosure protections for every man and woman who is currently serving this country in harm’s way.

As I’ve said before, no amount of money is going to be enough to make it right for a family who has had their piece of the American Dream wrongfully taken away from them, and no action — no matter how meaningful — will entirely heal our housing market on its own.  This is not something the government by itself can solve.  But I’m not one of those people who believe that we should just sit by and wait for the housing market to hit bottom.  There are real things that we can do right now that would make a substantial difference in the lives of innocent, responsible homeowners.  That’s true in housing, and that’s true in any number of different areas when it comes to ensuring that this recovery touches as many lives as possible.  That’s going to be my top priority as long as I hold this office, and I will do everything I can to make that progress.

So with that I’m going to take some questions, and I will start with Mike Viqueira.

Q    Yes, sir.  On the Middle East and as it relates to American politics, a little less than a year ago Moammar Qaddafi gave a speech, and he said he was going to send his forces to Benghazi, he was going to rout opponents from their bedrooms and he was going to shoot them.  You frequently cited that speech as a justification for NATO, the no-fly zone and military action against Libya.  In Syria, Bashar al Assad is killing people.  There’s a massacre underway.  And your critics here in the United States, including, most notably, John McCain, said you should start air strikes now.

And on Iran, Mitt Romney, on Sunday, went so far as to say that if you are re-elected, Iran will get a bomb and the world will change.  How do you respond to those criticisms?

THE PRESIDENT:  All right, Mike, you’ve asked a couple of questions there, so let me — let’s start with the Iran situation since that’s been the topic in the news for the last few days.

When I came into office, Iran was unified, on the move, had made substantial progress on its nuclear program, and the world was divided in terms of how to deal with it.  What we’ve been able to do over the last three years is mobilize unprecedented, crippling sanctions on Iran.  Iran is feeling the bite of these sanctions in a substantial way.  The world is unified; Iran is politically isolated.

And what I have said is, is that we will not countenance Iran getting a nuclear weapon.  My policy is not containment; my policy is to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon — because if they get a nuclear weapon that could trigger an arms race in the region, it would undermine our non-proliferation goals, it could potentially fall into the hands of terrorists.  And we’ve been in close consultation with all our allies, including Israel, in moving this strategy forward.

At this stage, it is my belief that we have a window of opportunity where this can still be resolved diplomatically.  That’s not just my view.  That’s the view of our top intelligence officials; it’s the view of top Israeli intelligence officials.  And, as a consequence, we are going to continue to apply the pressure even as we provide a door for the Iranian regime to walk through where they could rejoin the community of nations by giving assurances to the international community that they’re meeting their obligations and they are not pursuing a nuclear weapon.

That’s my track record.  Now, what’s said on the campaign trail — those folks don’t have a lot of responsibilities.  They’re not Commander-in-Chief.  And when I see the casualness with which some of these folks talk about war, I’m reminded of the costs involved in war.  I’m reminded that the decision that I have to make in terms of sending our young men and women into battle, and the impacts that has on their lives, the impact it has on our national security, the impact it has on our economy.

This is not a game.  There’s nothing casual about it.  And when I see some of these folks who have a lot of bluster and a lot of big talk, but when you actually ask them specifically what they would do, it turns out they repeat the things that we’ve been doing over the last three years, it indicates to me that that’s more about politics than actually trying to solve a difficult problem.

Now, the one thing that we have not done is we haven’t launched a war.  If some of these folks think that it’s time to launch a war, they should say so.  And they should explain to the American people exactly why they would do that and what the consequences would be.  Everything else is just talk.

Q    That goes to Syria as well?

THE PRESIDENT:  With respect to Syria, what’s happening in Syria is heartbreaking and outrageous, and what you’ve seen is the international community mobilize against the Assad regime.  And it’s not a question of when Assad leaves — or if Assad leaves — it’s a question of when.  He has lost the legitimacy of his people.  And the actions that he’s now taking against his own people is inexcusable, and the world community has said so in a more or less unified voice.

On the other hand, for us to take military action unilaterally, as some have suggested, or to think that somehow there is some simple solution, I think is a mistake.  What happened in Libya was we mobilized the international community, had a U.N. Security Council mandate, had the full cooperation of the region, Arab states, and we knew that we could execute very effectively in a relatively short period of time.  This is a much more complicated situation.

So what we’ve done is to work with key Arab states, key international partners — Hillary Clinton was in Tunisia — to come together and to mobilize and plan how do we support the opposition; how do we provide humanitarian assistance; how do we continue the political isolation; how do we continue the economic isolation.  And we are going to continue to work on this project with other countries.  And it is my belief that, ultimately, this dictator will fall, as dictators in the past have fallen.

But the notion that the way to solve every one of these problems is to deploy our military, that hasn’t been true in the past and it won’t be true now.  We’ve got to think through what we do through the lens of what’s going to be effective, but also what’s critical for U.S. security interests.

Jake Tapper.

Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  What kind of assurances did you give Prime Minister Netanyahu about the role that the U.S. would play if diplomacy and economic sanctions fail to work to convince Iran’s leaders to change their behavior, and Israel goes ahead and prepares to strike a nuclear facility?  What kind of assurances did you tell him?  And shouldn’t we — I recognize the difference between debate and bluster — but shouldn’t we be having in this country a vigorous debate about what could happen in the case of a Middle East war in a way that, sadly, we did not do before going into Iraq?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I think there’s no doubt that those who are suggesting, or proposing, or beating the drums of war should explain clearly to the American people what they think the costs and benefits would be.

I’m not one of those people — because what I’ve said is, is that we have a window through which we can resolve this issue peacefully.  We have put forward an international framework that is applying unprecedented pressure.  The Iranians just stated that they are willing to return to the negotiating table.  And we’ve got the opportunity, even as we maintain that pressure, to see how it plays out.

I’m not going to go into the details of my conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu.  But what I said publicly doesn’t differ greatly from what I said privately.  Israel is a sovereign nation that has to make its own decisions about how best to preserve its security.  And as I said over the last several days, I am deeply mindful of the historical precedents that weigh on any Prime Minister of Israel when they think about the potential threats to Israel and the Jewish homeland.

What I’ve also said is that because sanctions are starting to have significant effect inside of Iran — and that’s not just my assessment, that’s, I think, a uniform assessment — because the sanctions are going to be even tougher in the coming months, because they’re now starting to affect their oil industry, their central bank, and because we’re now seeing noises about them returning to the negotiating table, that it is deeply in everybody’s interests — the United States, Israel and the world’s — to see if this can be resolved in a peaceful fashion.

And so this notion that somehow we have a choice to make in the next week or two weeks, or month or two months, is not borne out by the facts.  And the argument that we’ve made to the Israelis is that we have made an unprecedented commitment to their security.  There is an unbreakable bond between our two countries, but one of the functions of friends is to make sure that we provide honest and unvarnished advice in terms of what is the best approach to achieve a common goal — particularly one in which we have a stake.  This is not just an issue of Israeli interest; this is an issue of U.S. interests.  It’s also not just an issue of consequences for Israel if action is taken prematurely.  There are consequences to the United States as well.

And so I do think that any time we consider military action that the American people understand there’s going to be a price to pay.  Sometimes it’s necessary.  But we don’t do it casually.

When I visit Walter Reed, when I sign letters to families that haven’t — whose loved ones have not come home, I am reminded that there is a cost.  Sometimes we bear that cost.  But we think it through.  We don’t play politics with it.  When we have in the past — when we haven’t thought it through and it gets wrapped up in politics, we make mistakes.  And typically, it’s not the folks who are popping off who pay the price.  It’s these incredible men and women in uniform and their families who pay the price.

And as a consequence, I think it’s very important for us to take a careful, thoughtful, sober approach to what is a real problem.  And that’s what we’ve been doing over the last three years.  That’s what I intend to keep doing.

Q    Sir, I’m sorry, if I could just quickly follow up — you didn’t –

THE PRESIDENT:  Jake –

Q    You might not be beating the drums of war, but you did very publicly say, we’ve got Israel’s back.  What does that mean?

THE PRESIDENT:  What it means is, is that, historically, we have always cooperated with Israel with respect to the defense of Israel, just like we do with a whole range of other allies — just like we do with Great Britain, just like we do with Japan.  And that broad statement I think is confirmed when you look at what we’ve done over the last three years on things like Iron Dome that prevents missiles from raining down on their small towns along border regions of Israel, that potentially land on schools or children or families.  And we’re going to continue that unprecedented security — security commitment.

It was not a military doctrine that we were laying out for any particular military action.  It was a restatement of our consistent position that the security of Israel is something I deeply care about, and that the deeds of my administration over the last three years confirms how deeply we care about it.  That’s a commitment we’ve made.

Jackie.  Where’s Jackie?  There you are.

Q    With the news this morning that the U.S. and its allies are returning to the table, are taking up Iran’s offer to talk again, more than a year after those talks broke up in frustration, is this Israel’s — Iran’s last chance to negotiate an end to this nuclear question?

And you said three years ago — nearly three years ago, in a similar one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, that the time for talk — by the end of that year, 2009, you would be considering whether Iran was negotiating in good faith.  And you said at that time that “we’re not going to have talks forever.”  So here we are nearly three years later.  Is this it?  And did you think you would be here three years after those first talks?

THE PRESIDENT:  You know, there is no doubt that over the last three years when Iran has engaged in negotiations there has been hemming and hawing and stalling and avoiding the issues in ways that the international community has concluded were not serious.  And my expectations, given the consequences of inaction for them, the severe sanctions that are now being applied, the huge toll it’s taking on their economy, the degree of isolation that they’re feeling right now — which is unprecedented — they understand that the world community means business.

To resolve this issue will require Iran to come to the table and discuss in a clear and forthright way how to prove to the international community that the intentions of their nuclear program are peaceful.  They know how to do that.  This is not a mystery.  And so it’s going to be very important to make sure that, on an issue like this — there are complexities; it obviously has to be methodical.  I don’t expect a breakthrough in a first meeting, but I think we will have a pretty good sense fairly quickly as to how serious they are about resolving the issue.

And there are steps that they can take that would send a signal to the international community and that are verifiable, that would allow them to be in compliance with international norms, in compliance with international mandates, abiding by the non-proliferation treaty, and provide the world an assurance that they’re not pursuing a nuclear weapon.  They know how to do it, and the question is going to be whether in these discussions they show themselves moving clearly in that direction.

Ed Henry.

Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  I wanted to follow up on Israel and Iran because you have said repeatedly you have Israel’s back.  And so I wonder why, three years in office, you have not visited Israel as President.  And related to Iran and Israel, you have expressed concern about this loose talk of war, as you call it, driving up gas prices further.  Your critics will say on Capitol Hill that you want gas prices to go higher because you have said before, that will wean the American people off fossil fuels, onto renewable fuels.  How do you respond to that?

THE PRESIDENT:  Ed, just from a political perspective, do you think the President of the United States going into reelection wants gas prices to go up higher?  (Laughter.)  Is that — is there anybody here who thinks that makes a lot of sense?

Look, here’s the bottom line with respect to gas prices.  I want gas prices lower because they hurt families; because I meet folks every day who have to drive a long way to get to work and them filling up this gas tank gets more and more painful, and it’s a tax out of their pocketbooks, out of their paychecks, and a lot of folks are already operating on the margins right now.

And it’s not good for the overall economy, because when gas prices go up, consumer spending oftentimes pulls back.  And we’re in the midst right now of a recovery that is starting to build up steam, and we don’t want to reverse it.

What I have also said about gas prices is that there is no silver bullet and the only way we’re going to solve this problem over the medium and long term is with an all-of-the-above strategy that says we’re going to increase production — which has happened; we are going to make sure that we are conserving energy — that’s why we doubled fuel efficiency standards on cars, which will save consumers about $1.7 trillion and take about 12 billion barrels of oil offline, which will help to reduce prices — and we’re going develop clean energy technologies that allow us to continue to use less oil.

And we’ve made progress.  I mean, the good news is, 2010, first time in a decade that our oil imports were actually below 50 percent, and they have kept on going down.  And we’re going to keep on looking at every strategy we can to, yes, reduce the amount of oil that we use, while maintaining our living standards and maintaining our productivity and maintaining our economic growth, and we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that consumers aren’t hurt by it.

Now, there are some short-term steps that we’re looking at with respect to — for example, there are certain potential bottlenecks in refineries around the country that we’ve been concerned about.  We’re concerned about what’s happening in terms of production around the world.  It’s not just what’s happening in the Gulf.  You’ve had, for example, in Sudan, some oil that’s been taken offline that’s helping to restrict supply.

So we’re going to look at a whole range of measures — including, by the way, making sure that my Attorney General is paying attention to potential speculation in the oil markets.  I’ve asked him to reconstitute a task force that’s examining that.

But we go through this every year.  We’ve gone through this for 30 years.  And if we are going to be competitive, successful, and make sure families are protected over the long term, then we’ve got to make sure that we’ve got a set of options that reduce our overall dependence on oil.

And with respect to Israel, I am not the first President who has been unable, because of a whole range of issues, not to visit Israel as President in their first term.  I visited Israel twice as senator, once right before I became President.  The measure of my commitment to Israel is not measured by a single visit.  The measure of my commitment to Israel is seen in the actions that I’ve taken as President of the United States.  And it is indisputable that I’ve had Israel’s back over the last three years.

Aamer Madhani.

Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  Do you believe Rush Limbaugh’s apology to the Georgetown law student was sufficient and heartfelt?  Do you agree with the decision of the growing number of sponsors that have decided to drop his show or stop supporting his show?  And has there been a double standard on this issue?  Liberal commentators have made similarly provocative or distasteful statements and there hasn’t been such an outrage.

THE PRESIDENT:  I’m not going to comment on what sponsors decide to do.  I’m not going to comment on either the economics or the politics of it.  I don’t know what’s in Rush Limbaugh’s heart, so I’m not going to comment on the sincerity of his apology.  What I can comment on is the fact that all decent folks can agree that the remarks that were made don’t have any place in the public discourse.

And the reason I called Ms. Fluke is because I thought about Malia and Sasha, and one of the things I want them to do as they get older is to engage in issues they care about, even ones I may not agree with them on.  I want them to be able to speak their mind in a civil and thoughtful way.  And I don’t want them attacked or called horrible names because they’re being good citizens.  And I wanted Sandra to know that I thought her parents should be proud of her, and that we want to send a message to all our young people that being part of a democracy involves argument and disagreements and debate, and we want you to be engaged, and there’s a way to do it that doesn’t involve you being demeaned and insulted, particularly when you’re a private citizen.

Jessica Yellin.

Q    Bill Mahr apologized for what he said about — (inaudible) — should apologize for what they said about that?

THE PRESIDENT:  Jessica.

Q    Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

Q    Top Democrats have said that Republicans on a similar issue are engaged in a war on women.  Some top Republicans say it’s more like Democrats are engaged in a war for the women’s vote.  As you talk about loose talk of war in another arena and women are — this could raise concerns among women, do you agree with the chair of your Democratic National Committee that there is a war on women?
THE PRESIDENT:  Here is what I think.  Women are going to make up their own mind in this election about who is advancing the issues that they care most deeply about.  And one of the things I’ve learned being married to Michelle is I don’t need to tell her what it is that she thinks is important.

And there are millions of strong women around the country who are going to make their own determination about a whole range of issues.  It’s not going to be narrowly focused just on contraception.  It’s not going to be driven by one statement by one radio announcer.  It is going to be driven by their view of what’s most likely to make sure they can help support their families, make their mortgage payments; who’s got a plan to ensure that middle-class families are secure over the long term; what’s most likely to result in their kids being able to get the education they need to compete.

And I believe that Democrats have a better story to tell to women about how we’re going to solidify the middle class and grow this economy, make sure everybody has a fair shot, everybody is doing their fair share, and we got a fair set of rules of the road that everybody has to follow.

So I’m not somebody who believes that women are going to be single-issue voters.  They never have been.  But I do think that we’ve got a strong story to tell when it comes to women.

Q    Would you prefer this language be changed?

THE PRESIDENT:  Jessica, as you know, if I start being in the business of arbitrating –

Q    You talk about civility.

THE PRESIDENT:  And what I do is I practice it.  And so I’m going to try to lead by example in this situation, as opposed to commenting on every single comment that’s made by either politicians or pundits.  I would be very busy.  I would not have time to do my job.  That’s your job, to comment on what’s said by politicians and pundits.

All right.  Lori Montenegro.

Q    Mr. President, thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  There you go.

Q    Mr. President, polls are showing that Latino voters seem to be favoring your reelection over a Republican alternative.  Yet some of them are still disappointed, others have said, about a promise that you’ve made on immigration reform that has yet to come to pass.  If you are reelected, what would be your strategy, what would you do different to get immigration reform passed through the Congress, especially if both houses continue as they are right now, which is split?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, first of all, just substantively, every American should want immigration reform.  We’ve got a system that’s broken.  We’ve got a system in which you have millions of families here in this country who are living in the shadows, worried about deportation.  You’ve got American workers that are being undercut because those undocumented workers can be hired and the minimum wage laws may not be observed, overtime laws may not be observed.

You’ve got incredibly talented people who want to start businesses in this country or to work in this country, and we should want those folks here in the United States.  But right now, the legal immigration system is so tangled up that it becomes very difficult for them to put down roots here.

So we can be a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.  And it is not just a Hispanic issue — this is an issue for everybody.  This is an American issue that we need to fix.

Now, when I came into office I said I am going to push to get this done.  We didn’t get it done.  And the reason we haven’t gotten it done is because what used to be a bipartisan agreement that we should fix this ended up becoming a partisan issue.

I give a lot of credit to my predecessor, George Bush, and his political advisors who said this should not be just something the Democrats support; the Republican Party is invested in this as well.  That was good advice then; it would be good advice now.

And my hope is, is that after this election, the Latino community will have sent a strong message that they want a bipartisan effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform that involves making sure we’ve got tough border security — and this administration has done more for border security than just about anybody — that we are making sure that companies aren’t able to take advantage of undocumented workers; that we’ve got strong laws in place; and that we’ve got a path so that all those folks whose kids often are U.S. citizens, who are working with us, living with us and in our communities, and not breaking the law, and trying to do their best to raise their families, that they’ve got a chance to be a fuller part of our community.

So, what do I think will change?

Q    What would you do differently?

THE PRESIDENT:  What I will do — look, we’re going to be putting forward, as we’ve done before, a framework, a proposal, legislation that can move it — move the ball forward and actually get this thing done.

But ultimately, I can’t vote for Republicans.  They’re going to have to come to the conclusion that this is good for the country and that this is something that they themselves think is important.  And depending on how Congress turns out, we’ll see how many Republican votes we need to get it done.

Norah O’Donnell.  How are you?

Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  Today is Super Tuesday, so I wonder if you might weigh in on some of your potential Republican opponents.  Mitt Romney has criticized you on Iran and said, “Hope is not a foreign policy.”  He also said that you are “America’s most feckless President since Carter.”  What would you like to say to Mr. Romney?

THE PRESIDENT:  Good luck tonight.  (Laughter.)

Q    No, really.

THE PRESIDENT:  Really.  (Laughter.)

Lynn, since you’ve been hollering and you’re from my hometown, make it a good one.

Q    My question is about the switch of the G8 summit from Chicago to Camp David.  A reason given from the White House is that now you wanted a more intimate summit.  People of Chicago would like to know what do you know now that you did not know when you booked hometown Chicago for the G8 that led to the switch?  And what role did security threats possibly play in the decision?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, keep in mind, Lynn, we’re still going to be showing up with a whole bunch of world leaders.  We’ve got this NATO summit.  Typically what’s happened is, is that we try to attach the G8 summit to the NATO summit so that the leaders in the G8 summit don’t have to travel twice to whatever location.  So last year, in France, we combined a G8 with a NATO summit.  We’ll do so again.

I have to say, this was an idea that was brought to me after the initial organizing of the NATO summit.  Somebody pointed out that I hadn’t had any of my counterparts, who I’ve worked with now for three years, up to Camp David.  G8 tends to be a more informal setting in which we talk about a wide range of issues in a pretty intimate way.  And the thinking was that people would enjoy being in a more casual backdrop.  I think the weather should be good that time of year.  It will give me a chance to spend time with Mr. Putin, the new Russian President.  And from there, we will then fly to Chicago.

I always have confidence in Chicago being able to handle security issues.  Whether it’s Taste of Chicago or Lollapalooza  — (laughter) — or Bull’s championships, we know how to deal with a crowd.  And I’m sure that your new mayor will be quite attentive to detail in making sure that everything goes off well.

All right?  Okay.  Go ahead, last one, last question.

Q    Thank you.  Mr. President, just to continue on that — when the NATO leaders gather in Chicago in May, do you expect that they’ll be able to agree on a transition strategy?  And are you concerned at all that the Koran burning and the episodes that have followed since then threaten your ability to negotiate with partners?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, keep in mind that the transition policy was in place and established at Lisbon, and we’ve been following that strategy that calls for us turning over increasing responsibility to Afghans and a full transition so that our combat role is over by the end of 2014.  And our coalition partners have agreed to it.  They are sticking with it.  That continues to be the plan.

What we are now going to be doing over the next — at this NATO meeting and planning for the next two years, is to make sure that that transition is not a cliff, but that there are benchmarks and steps that are taken along the way, in the same way that we reduced our role in Iraq so that it is gradual, Afghan capacity is built, the partnering with Afghan security forces is effective, that we are putting in place the kinds of support structures that are needed in order for the overall strategy to be effective.

Now, yes, the situation with the Koran burning concerns me. I think that it is an indication of the challenges in that environment, and it’s an indication that now is the time for us to transition.

Obviously, the violence directed at our people is unacceptable.  And President Karzai acknowledged that.  But what is also true is President Karzai I think is eager for more responsibility on the Afghan side.  We’re going to be able to find a mechanism whereby Afghans understand their sovereignty is being respected and that they’re going to be taking a greater and greater role in their own security.  That I think is in the interest of Afghans.  It’s also in our interests.  And I’m confident we can execute, but it’s not going to be a smooth path. There are going to be bumps along the road just as there were in Iraq.

Q    Well, are these bumps along the road, or are you seeing a deterioration in the relationship, based on the Koran burning itself, the violence that has followed, that inhibits your ability to work out things like how to hand off the detention center?

THE PRESIDENT:  No, I — none of this stuff is easy, and it never has been.  And obviously, the most recent riots or protests against the Koran burning were tragic, but remember, this happened a while back when a pastor in Florida threatened to burn a Koran.  In Iraq, as we were making this transition, there were constant crises that would pop up and tragic events that would take place and there would be occasional setbacks.

But what I’ve tried to do is to set a course, make sure that up and down the chain of command everybody knows what our broader strategy is.  And one of the incredible things about our military is that when they know what our objective is, what our goal is, regardless of the obstacles that they meet along the way, they get the job done.

And I think that President Karzai understands that we are interested in a strategic partnership with the Afghan people and the Afghan government.  We are not interested in staying there any longer than is necessary to assure that al Qaeda is not operating there, and that there is sufficient stability that it doesn’t end up being a free-for-all after ISAF has left.

And so we share interests here.  It will require negotiations, and there will be time where things don’t look as smooth as I’d like.  That’s kind of the deal internationally on a whole range of these issues.

All right?  Thank you guys.

Oh, can I just make one other comment?  I want to publicly express condolences to the family of Donald Payne, Congressman from New Jersey — a wonderful man; did great work, both domestically and internationally.  He was a friend of mine.  And so my heart goes out to his family and to his colleagues.

All right.

END
1:59 P.M. EST

 

What You Need to Know About Today’s Housing Announcement

Source: WH, 3-6-12

In the State of the Union, President Obama introduced a basic principle: Every homeowner who is current on his or her payments ought to have a chance to refinance their mortgage at today’s historically low rates.

To make that idea a reality for everyone, Congress must take action.

But today, the President is taking another step to make refinancing easier for millions of Americans who have government-sponsored mortgages. He’s cutting fees — to help families save money and make refinancing more attractive.

And at a press conference that just wrapped up, President Obama announced a series of steps aimed at helping homeowners who have served in the Armed Forces.

When the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers reached a settlement with the federal government and 49 state attorneys general, they agreed to provide substantial relief to the nation’s veterans who were victims of wrongful foreclosures or who were otherwise disadvantaged in the mortgage process because of the obligations of their service.

Here’s how veterans and their families will benefit because of the settlement:

  • Any service member who saw their home wrongfully foreclosed will be substantially compensated for what the bank did;
  • Any member of Armed Forces who was wrongfully denied the chance to refinance and reduce their mortgage payments through lower interest rates will receive a refund from their bank equal to the money he or she would have saved;
  • Many service members who lost money because they were forced due to sell their homes due to Permanent Change of Station orders will also receive relief; and
  • Finally, under the settlement, the banks will also pay $10 million into the Veterans Housing Benefit Program Fund, which guarantees loans on favorable terms for service members.

To learn more, check out the full video from the press conference or read the transcript.

Full Text Campaign Buzz March 6, 2012: Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney’s Speech / Remarks to AIPAC American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s Policy Conference 2012 — Transcript

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Mitt Romney Delivers Remarks to AIPAC Policy Conference

Source: Mitt Romney, 3-6-12

romney-2012-blog-photo-mitt-speech-podium.jpg
Thank you for the opportunity to address the AIPAC Policy Conference. And thanks to Teddy and Ed, who have been great friends, supporters, and teachers over the years.
I regret that my Super Tuesday travel schedule prevents me from being with you in person. But while I can’t be with you, I stand with you. I share your commitment to a strong and secure Israel. And I salute your tireless work to strengthen our alliance.
This year, we are gathering at a dangerous time for Israel and for America. Not since the dark days of 1967 and 1973 has the Middle East faced peril as it does today. This is a critical moment. America must not – and, if I am President, it will not – fail this defining test of history.
The current administration has distanced itself from Israel and visibly warmed to the Palestinian cause. It has emboldened the Palestinians. They are convinced that they can do better at the UN – and better with America – than they can at the bargaining table with Israel.
As President, I will treat our allies and friends like friends and allies.
In recent days and weeks, we’ve heard a lot of words from the administration. Its clear message has been to warn Israel to consider the costs of military action against Iran. I do not believe that we should be issuing public warnings that create distance between the United States and Israel. Israel does not need public lectures about how to weigh decisions of war and peace. It needs our support.
Israel’s democratically elected leaders will always be welcomed and respected by my administration. Israel’s current prime minister is not just a friend; he’s an old friend. We worked together over 30 years ago at the Boston Consulting Group. He is a leader whose intellect and courage I admire – and whose family’s sacrifice I profoundly respect. In a Romney administration, there will be no gap between our nations or between our leaders.
I have seen Israel by land and by air. I have seen its narrow waist, and its vulnerability to positions on the Golan Heights. I have spent time with families in Sderot who have been terrorized by rocket barrages from Gaza. I have walked the streets of Jerusalem, seen schools pocked by rifle rounds fired from the foreboding hills that nearly surround it. I would never call for a return to the ’67 lines because I understand that in Israel, geography is security.
I have studied the writings and speeches of the jihadists. They argue for a one-state solution—one all-dominating radical Islamist state, that is. Their objective is not freedom, not prosperity, not a Palestinian state, but the destruction of Israel. And negotiating and placating such jihadists will never, ever yield peace in the Middle East.
I recognize in the ayatollahs of Iran the zealot refrain of dominion. Their passion for the martyrdom of Arab youth is matched only by their cowardice in avoiding it for themselves. Nuclear ambition is pursued by Iran to dominate, to subjugate, and to obliterate. A nuclear Iran is not only a problem for Israel; it is also a problem for America and the world.
We may not know when Iran will secure sufficient fissile material to threaten the world, but the IAEA warns that that the hour is fast approaching.
In the Gulf, Iran prepares to close the Strait of Hormuz, to hold hostage 20 percent of the world’s oil. In their nuclear laboratories, they prepare the means to hold hostage the entire planet.
Iran has long engaged in terrorism around the world, most recently in Georgia and in Thailand. In Washington, DC, Iran plotted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador by bombing a Georgetown restaurant. Iran has deployed Hezbollah and Hamas and armed the insurgents of Iraq and Afghanistan, killing our sons and daughters. They war against America.
Yet, the current administration has promoted a policy of engagement with Iran. The President offered to sit down with Ahmadinejad during his first year in office without preconditions. He sat silent as Iranian dissidents took to the streets of Tehran, not wanting to disrupt the potential opportunity for dialogue with Iran’s fanatical tyrants. This President not only dawdled in imposing crippling sanctions, he has opposed them.
Hope is not a foreign policy. The only thing respected by thugs and tyrants is our resolve, backed by our power and our readiness to use it.
Of course, the administration’s naïve outreach to Iran gave the ayatollahs exactly what they wanted most. It gave them time. Whatever sanctions they may now belatedly impose, Iran has already gained three invaluable years.
There are some in this administration who argue that Iran’s leaders are “rational,” and that we can do business with them. The President speaks of common interests. Let me be clear: we do not have common interests with a terrorist regime. Their interest is in the destruction of Israel and the domination of the Middle East. It is profoundly irrational to suggest that the ayatollahs think the way we do or share our values. They do not.
I will bring the current policy of procrastination toward Iran to an end. I will not delay in imposing further crippling sanctions, and I will not hesitate to fully implement the ones we currently have. I will make sure Iran knows of the very real peril that awaits if it becomes nuclear. I will engage Iran’s neighbors. I will station multiple carriers and warships at Iran’s door. I will stand with the Syrian people who are being mercilessly slaughtered. I know that the fall of Assad would not only be an important victory for liberty, but also a strategic blow to Tehran.
As President, I will be ready to engage in diplomacy. But I will be just as ready to engage our military might. Israel will know that America stands at its side, in all conditions and in all consequence.
Of course, American strength abroad depends upon our strength at home. My economic plans will buttress our capacity to project power. And as President, I will repair and strengthen our military. President Obama wants to shrink our Navy, our Air Force, and our contingent of fighting men and women. I will expand them. A military in retreat invites adventurism by the world’s worst actors, just as we are seeing today. A strong and superior military is the best ally peace has ever known. I do not seek military superiority solely for the purpose of winning wars. I seek it to prevent wars.
As President, peace will be my solemn goal. A peace based not on empty assurances, but on true security and defensible borders. This will require American strength, and a demonstration of our resolve. That’s why, as President, my first foreign trip will not be to Cairo or Riyadh or Ankara. It will be to Jerusalem.
We will make clear to the world that Israel’s continued existence as a Jewish state is a vital national interest of the United States.
I believe the right course is what Ronald Reagan called “peace through strength.” There is a reason why the Iranians released the hostages on the same day and at the same hour that Reagan was sworn into office. As President, I will offer that kind of clarity, strength, and resolve.
In a Romney administration, the world will know that the bond between Israel and America is unbreakable – and that our opposition to a nuclear Iran is absolute. We must not allow Iran to have the bomb or the capacity to make a bomb. Our enemies should never doubt our resolve and our allies should never doubt our commitment.
This is a critical time, and AIPAC has a vital voice. Together, let’s achieve peace for the region and ensure a secure future for Israel – and America.
God bless America, and God bless our friendship with Israel.

Featured Historian Julian Zelizer: What Newt Gingrich offers the GOP

FEATURED HISTORIANS

Julian Zelizer: What Newt Gingrich offers the GOP

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

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

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

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

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

Julian Zelizer

Julian Zelizer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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GARRETT:  From Atlanta, Georgia, businessman Herman Cain.

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GARRETT:  Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

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GARRETT:  Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich

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GARRETT:  Current Texas Governor Rick Perry.

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GARRETT:  And former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

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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.

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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

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

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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

CAMPAIGN 2012

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 »

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.

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