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




Cain Officially Endorses Romney

Source: CBS News, 5-16-12

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

Campaign Buzz May 14, 2012: Ron Paul to Stop Actively Campaigning for GOP Nomination — Will Stay in Race & Amass Delegates


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  2011.



Ron Paul to stop campaigning, but he won’t drop out: Rep. Ron Paul of Texas plans to stop actively campaigning in the Republican presidential race, but he will continue his efforts to win delegates around the country. Paul hopes his delegate share will allow him to play a key role in the Republican National Convention…. – WaPo, 5-14-12

  • Why Ron Paul’s 2012 effort may not really be over: The Ron Paul campaign won’t run ads in upcoming primaries, but Paul is still out to make his mark at the GOP’s August convention…. – CS Monitor, 5-14-12
  • Ron Paul scales back Republican presidential bid: Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul said on Monday he was scaling back his White House bid and will no longer campaign actively in states that have yet to hold primary elections. Instead, Paul’s campaign will concentrate … Reuters, Chicago Tribune, 5-14-12
  • Paul ends active campaigning in GOP presidential primaries: Rep. Ron Paul of Texas announced Monday he would stop actively campaigning in Republican presidential primaries but also indicated he is not ready to throw in the towel on his presidential bid quite yet…. – USA Today, 5-14-12
  • Ron Paul effectively ending presidential campaign: Ron Paul, Mitt Romney’s lone remaining rival for the Republican presidential nomination, announced Monday that he would stop spending money on the party’s 11 remaining primaries, in effect suspending his campaign…. – LAT, 5-14-12
  • Ron Paul Admits He Will Not Be President: The libertarian congressman doesn’t want his supporters to stop crusading for liberty, but he needs them to recognize the fight for the nomination is over. Ron Paul announced Monday the Texas congressman will not campaign in the states … The Atlantic, 5-14-12
  • Don’t tell Paul’s supporters the primary is over: Don’t tell Ron Paul the Republican primary is over. He’s too busy mucking up Mitt Romney’s efforts to accumulate enough convention delegates to officially claim the GOP nomination for president…. – AP, 5-8-12

Full Text Campaign Buzz May 12, 2012: Mitt Romney Delivers Commencement Address At Christian & Conservative Liberty University — Woos Evangeligals with Speech on Faith, Family Values & Spirituality


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 2011.


Mitt Romney

(AP Photo)


Romney Woos Evangelicals at Liberty University: Speaking at Liberty University, Mitt Romney sought to quell concerns among evangelical voters by offering a forceful defense of Christian values and faith in public life…. – NYT, 5-12-12


  • Romney seeks evangelical votes; opposes gay marriage: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney sought on Saturday to calm fears that his Mormon faith would be an obstacle to evangelical Christian voters, stressing shared conservative values while…. – Reuters, 5-12-12
  • Mitt Romney courts evangelicals at Liberty University: Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion has been a problem for some evangelicals. At conservative Liberty University Saturday, Romney stressed Christian values without mentioning his own faith, part of an apparently successful effort to win over evangelicals and other social conservatives…. – CS Monitor, 5-12-12
  • Mitt Romney delivers deeply spiritual address, but avoids his Mormonism, at Liberty University: Making by far his most spiritual speech of his presidential campaign, Republican Mitt Romney on Saturday offered a fierce defense of Judeo-Christian values and an America that he said “has trusted in God, not man.”… – WaPo, 5-12-12
  • Wooing evangelicals, Romney evokes faith and Christian traditions: Seeking to connect with the community of evangelicals that has been cold to his candidacy for many months, Mitt Romney delivered a commencement speech at Liberty University on Saturday that delved deeply into his faith … LAT, 5-12-12
  • Romney addreses gay marriage issue at Liberty Univ, saying ‘one man and one woman’: Mitt Romney delivered a commencement speech Saturday at Liberty University in which he focused largely on a message of faith, family, hard work and service, but he also addressed the emerging same-sex marriage issue by saying “marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman.”
    The remark drew a loud applause for the likely GOP presidential candidate who faced a big test in trying to win over evangelical voters…. Fox News, 5-12-12
  • Romney reaches out to evangelicals in Liberty speech: Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney reached out to evangelicals in a commencement speech at Liberty University Saturday that focused largely on the importance of faith and spirituality…. – USA Today, 5-12-12
  • Romney Urges Grads to Honor Family Commitments: Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith has shaped his life, but he barely mentioned it as he spoke to graduates at an evangelical university Saturday…. – ABC News, 5-12-12
  • Mormon Romney delivers commencement speech at Baptist university: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney received applause from a crowd at Liberty University in Virginia when he stated that marriage should only be between a man and a woman…. –, 5-12-12
  • For Romney, speech at Christian college offers test: There are not many Mitt Romney fan clubs at Liberty University. The Lynchburg, Virginia, school, founded by the late television evangelist Jerry Falwell, is a bastion for conservative Christian thought…. – Reuters, 5-11-12

Mitt Romney Delivers Commencement Address At Liberty University

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 4-12-12


Boston, MA

United States

Mitt Romney today delivered the commencement address at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. The following remarks were prepared for delivery:

For the graduates, this moment marks a clear ending and a clear beginning.  The task set before you four years ago is now completed in full.  To the class of 2012: Well done, and congratulations.

Some of you may have taken a little longer than four years to complete your studies.  One graduate has said that he completed his degree in only two terms:  Clinton’s and Bush’s.

In some ways, it is fitting that I share this distinction with Truett Cathy.  The Romney campaign comes to a sudden stop when we spot a Chick-fil-A.  Your chicken sandwiches were our comfort food through the primary season, and there were days that we needed a lot of comforting.  So, Truett, thank you and congratulations on your well-deserved honor today.

There are some people here who are even more pleased than the graduates.  Those would be the parents.  Their years of prayers, devotion, and investment have added up to this joyful achievement.  And with credit to Congressman Dick Armey:  The American Dream is not owning your own home, it is getting your kids out of the home you own.

Lately, I’ve found myself thinking about life in four-year stretches.  And let’s just say that not everybody has achieved as much in these last four years as you have.

That’s a theme for another day. But two observations.  First, even though job opportunities are scarce in this economy, it is not for nothing that you have spent this time preparing. Jerry Falwell, Senior, long ago observed that “You do not determine a man’s greatness by his talent or wealth, as the world does, but rather by what it takes to discourage him.”  America needs your skill and talent.  If we take the right course, we will see a resurgence in the American economy that will surprise the world, and that will open new doors of opportunity for those who are prepared as you are.

Of course, what the next four years might hold for me is yet to be determined.  But I will say that things are looking up, and I take your kind hospitality today as a sign of good things to come.

I consider it a great life honor to address you today.  Your generosity of spirit humbles me.  The welcoming spirit of Liberty is a tribute to the gracious Christian example of your founder.

In his 73 years of life, Dr. Falwell left a big mark.  For nearly five decades he shared that walk with his good wife Macel.  It’s wonderful to see her today.  The calling Jerry answered was not an easy one.  Today we remember him as a courageous and big-hearted minister of the Gospel who never feared an argument, and never hated an adversary.  Jerry deserves the tribute he would have treasured most, as a cheerful, confident champion for Christ.

I will always remember his cheerful good humor and selflessness.  Several years ago, in my home, my wife and I were posing for a picture together with him.  We wanted him to be in the center of the photo, but he insisted that Ann be in the middle, with he and I on the sides.  He explained, by pointing to me and himself, “You see, Christ died between two thieves.”

Maybe the most confident step Jerry ever took was to open the doors of this school 41 years ago.

He believed that Liberty might become one of the most respected Christian universities anywhere on earth.  And so it is today.

He believed, even when the first graduating class consisted of 13 students, that year after year young Christians would be drawn to such a university in ever-greater numbers.  And here you are.

Today, thanks to what you have gained here, you leave Liberty with conviction and confidence as your armor. You know what you believe.  You know who you are.  And you know Whom you will serve.  Not all colleges instill that kind of confidence, but it will be among the most prized qualities from your education here.  Moral certainty, clear standards, and a commitment to spiritual ideals will set you apart in a world that searches for meaning.

That said, your values will not always be the object of public admiration.  In fact, the more you live by your beliefs, the more you will endure the censure of the world. Christianity is not the faith of the complacent, the comfortable or of the timid. It demands and creates heroic souls like Wesley, Wilberforce, Bonhoeffer, John Paul the Second, and Billy Graham. Each showed, in their own way, the relentless and powerful influence of the message of Jesus Christ.  May that be your guide.

You enter a world with civilizations and economies that are far from equal.  Harvard historian David Landes devoted his lifelong study to understanding why some civilizations rise, and why others falter.  His conclusion:  Culture makes all the difference.  Not natural resources, not geography, but what people believe and value. Central to America’s rise to global leadership is our Judeo-Christian tradition, with its vision of the goodness and possibilities of every life.

The American culture promotes personal responsibility, the dignity of work, the value of education, the merit of service, devotion to a purpose greater than self, and, at the foundation, the pre-eminence of the family.

The power of these values is evidenced by a Brookings Institution study that Senator Rick Santorum brought to my attention.  For those who graduate from high school, get a full-time job, and marry before they have their first child, the probability that they will be poor is 2%.  But, if those things are absent, 76% will be poor.  Culture matters.

As fundamental as these principles are, they may become topics of democratic debate.  So it is today with the enduring institution of marriage.  Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman.

The protection of religious freedom has also become a matter of debate.  It strikes me as odd that the free exercise of religious faith is sometimes treated as a problem, something America is stuck with instead of blessed with.  Perhaps religious conscience upsets the designs of those who feel that the highest wisdom and authority comes from government.

But from the beginning, this nation trusted in God, not man.  Religious liberty is the first freedom in our Constitution.  And whether the cause is justice for the persecuted, compassion for the needy and the sick, or mercy for the child waiting to be born, there is no greater force for good in the nation than Christian conscience in action.

Religious freedom opens a door for Americans that is closed to too many others around the world.  But whether we walk through that door, and what we do with our lives after we do, is up to us.

Someone once observed that the great drama of Christianity is not a crowd shot, following the movements of collectives or even nations.  The drama is always personal, individual, unfolding in one’s own life.  We’re not alone in sensing this.  Men and women of every faith, and good people with none at all, sincerely strive to do right and lead a purpose-driven life.

And, in the way of lessons learned, by hitting the mark or by falling short, I can tell you this much for sure.

All that you have heard here at Liberty University – about trusting in God and in His purpose for each of us–makes for more than a good sermon.  It makes for a good life.  So many things compete for our attention and devotion.  That doesn’t stop as you get older.  We are all prone, at various turns, to treat the trivial things as all-important, the all-important things as trivial, and little by little lose sight of the one thing that endures forever.

No person I have ever met, not even the most righteous or pure of heart, has gone without those times when faith recedes in the busy-ness of life.  It’s normal, and sometimes even the smallest glimpses of the Lord’s work in our lives can reawaken our hearts.  They bring us back to ourselves – and, better still, to something far greater than ourselves.

What we have, what we wish we had – ambitions fulfilled, ambitions disappointed … investments won, investments lost … elections won, elections lost – these things may occupy our attention, but they do not define us.  And each of them is subject to the vagaries and serendipities of life.  Our relationship with our Maker, however, depends on none of this.  It is entirely in our control, for He is always at the door, and knocks for us.  Our worldly successes cannot be guaranteed, but our ability to achieve spiritual success is entirely up to us, thanks to the grace of God.  The best advice I know is to give those worldly things your best but never your all, reserving the ultimate hope for the only one who can grant it.

Many a preacher has advised the same, but few as memorably as Martin Luther King, Jr.  “As a young man,” he said, “with most of my life ahead of me, I decided early to give my life to something eternal and absolute. Not to these little gods that are here today and gone tomorrow.  But to God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

In this life, the commitments that come closest to forever are those of family.

My Dad, George Romney, was a CEO, a governor, and a member of the President’s Cabinet.  My wife Ann asked him once, “What was your greatest accomplishment?”  Without a moment’s pause, he said, “Raising our four kids.”

Ann and I feel the same way about our family.  I have never once regretted missing a business opportunity so that I could be with my children and grandchildren.  Among the things in life that can be put off, being there when it matters most isn’t one of them.

As C.S. Lewis is said to have remarked, “The home is the ultimate career.  All other careers exist for one purpose, and that is to support the ultimate career.”

Promotions often mark the high points in a career, and I hope I haven’t seen my last.  But sometimes the high points come in unexpected ways.  I was asked to help rescue the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

I’m embarrassed now to recall that when this opportunity was first presented to me, I dismissed it out of hand.  I was busy, I was doing well, and, by the way, my lack of athletic prowess did not make the Olympics a logical step.  In fact, after I had accepted the position, my oldest son called me and said, “Dad, I’ve spoken to the brothers.  We saw the paper this morning.  We want you to know there’s not a circumstance we could have conceived of that would put you on the front page of the sports section.”

The Olympics were not a logical choice, but it was one of the best and most fulfilling choices of my life.  Opportunities for you to serve in meaningful ways may come at inconvenient times, but that will make them all the more precious.

People of different faiths, like yours and mine, sometimes wonder where we can meet in common purpose, when there are so many differences in creed and theology.  Surely the answer is that we can meet in service, in shared moral convictions about our nation stemming from a common worldview.  The best case for this is always the example of Christian men and women working and witnessing to carry God’s love into every life – people like the late Chuck Colson.

Not long ago, Chuck recounted a story from his days just after leaving prison.  He was assured by people of influence that, even with a prison record, a man with his connections and experience could still live very comfortably.  They would make some calls, get Chuck situated, and set him up once again as an important man.  His choice at that crossroads would make him, instead, a great man.

The call to service is one of the fundamental elements of our national character.  It has motivated every great movement of conscience that this hopeful, fair-minded country of ours has ever seen.  Sometimes, as Dr. Viktor Frankl observed in a book for the ages, it is not a matter of what we are asking of life, but rather what life is asking of us.  How often the answer to our own troubles is to help others with theirs.

In all of these things – faith, family, work, and service –the choices we make as Americans are, in other places, not choices at all.  For so many on this earth, life is filled with orders, not options, right down to where they live, the work they do, and how many children the state will permit them to have.  All the more reason to be grateful, this and every day, that we live in America, where the talents God gave us may be used in freedom.

At this great Christian institution, you have all learned a thing or two about these gifts and the good purposes they can serve.  They are yours to have and yours to share.  Sometimes, your Liberty education will set you apart, and always it will help direct your path.  And as you now leave, and make for new places near and far, I hope for each one of you that your path will be long and life will be kind.

The ideals that brought you here … the wisdom you gained here … and the friends you found here – may these blessings be with you always, wherever you go.

Thank you all, and God bless you.

Campaign Buzz May 8, 2012: Rick Santorum Finally Endorses Mitt Romney for the GOP / Republican Presidential Nomination


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 2011.


Romney Santorum.jpg

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, FileIn this Feb. 22, 2012, file photo Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, talks with fellow candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, left, after a presidential debate in Arizona. On Monday night, May 7, 2012, Santorum endorsed Romney, saying “above all else” they agree that Obama must be defeated.

Rick Santorum’s Endorsement of Governor Mitt Romney

Source: Rick Santorm, 5-7-12
On Friday, Governor Romney came to Pittsburgh for an over-hour long one-on-one meeting. The conversation was candid, collegial and focused on the issues that you helped me give voice to during our campaign; because I believe they are essential ingredients to not only winning this fall, but turning our country around.

While the issue of my endorsement did not come up, I certainly have heard from many of you who have weighed in on whether or not I should issue a formal endorsement. Thank you for your counsel, it has been most helpful. However, I felt that it was completely impossible for me to even consider an endorsement until after a meeting to discuss issues critical to those of us who often feel our voices are not heard by the establishment: social conservatives, tea-party supporters, lower and middle income working families.

Clearly without the overwhelming support from you all, I never would have won 11 states and over 3 million votes, and we would not have won more counties than all the other candidates combined. I can assure you that even though I am no longer a candidate for president, I will still continue to fight every day for our shared values – the values that made America the greatest country in the history of the world.

During our meeting I felt a deep responsibility to assess Governor Romney’s commitment to addressing the issues most important to conservatives, as well his commitment to ensuring our appropriate representation in a Romney administration.

The family and its foundational role in America’s economic success, a central point of our campaign, was discussed at length. I was impressed with the Governor’s deep understanding of this connection and his commitment to economic policies that preserve and strengthen families. He clearly understands that having pro-family initiatives are not only the morally and economically right thing to do, but that the family is the basic building block of our society and must be preserved.

I also shared with Governor Romney my belief that we cannot restore America as the greatest economic engine the world has ever seen until we return America to being a manufacturing superpower. He listened very carefully to my advice on this matter, and while our policy prescriptions differed, he clearly expressed his desire to create more opportunities for those that are feeling left behind in this economy.

As it is often said, “personnel is policy.” I strongly encouraged Governor Romney as he builds out his campaign staff and advisors that he add more conservative leaders as an integral part of his team. And you can be sure that I will work with the Governor to help him in this task to ensure he has a strong team that will support him in his conservative policy initiatives.

Of course we talked about what it would take to win this election. As you know I started almost every speech with the phrase that this was the most important election since the election of 1860 and four more years of President Obama is simply not an option. As I contemplated what further steps I will take, that reality weighed heavy on me. The America we know is being fundamentally changed to look more like a European socialist state than the land of opportunity our founding fathers established.

Freedom and personal responsibility are being replaced with big government dependency. The greatest and most productive workers in the world are being hamstrung by excessive regulations making it impossible to compete. Our healthcare system had been socialized, and the worth of each life dictated by some government bureaucrat. Our allies are insulted while our enemies are appeased. And our religious beliefs and freedom have come under attack.

What is even more troubling is what a second term of an Obama administration could bring. President Obama’s admission to the Russians that he will have more flexibility in a second term can only be translated to “if you thought I was liberal in the first four years you haven’t seen anything yet!”

The primary campaign certainly made it clear that Governor Romney and I have some differences. But there are many significant areas in which we agree: the need for lower taxes, smaller government, and a reduction in out-of-control spending. We certainly agree that abortion is wrong and marriage should be between one man and one woman. I am also comfortable with Governor Romney on foreign policy matters, and we share the belief that we can never allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons. And while I had concerns about Governor Romney making a case as a candidate about fighting against Obamacare, I have no doubt if elected he will work with a Republican Congress to repeal it and replace it with a bottom up, patient, not government, driven system.

Above all else, we both agree that President Obama must be defeated. The task will not be easy. It will require all hands on deck if our nominee is to be victorious. Governor Romney will be that nominee and he has my endorsement and support to win this the most critical election of our lifetime.

My conversation with Governor Romney was very productive, but I intend to keep lines of communication open with him and his campaign. I hope to ensure that the values that made America that shining city on the hill are illuminated brightly by our party and our candidates thus ensuring not just a victory, but a mandate for conservative governance.

Karen and I know firsthand how difficult the campaign trail can be particularly as governor Romney faces relentless attacks from the democrats. We have been praying for him and his family and will continue to do so in the weeks and months ahead.

I look forward to working together to defeat President Obama this fall and to protect faith, family, freedom and opportunity in America.


Santorum Keeps Romney Endorsement Low Key: The announcement came in a middle-of-the-night e-mail with a simple subject line: Governor Romney…. – NYT, 5-8-12

  • Santorum finally endorses ex-rival Romney: Rick Santorum tonight finally endorsed Mitt Romney for president, pledging to help his ex-rival defeat President Obama in November…. – USA Today, 5-8-12
  • Rick Santorum endorses Mitt Romney in late-night email: Rick Santorum endorsed his onetime rival Mitt Romney in a long email to supporters late Monday night, calling on them to unite behind the cause of defeating President Obama in November. Santorum, who withdrew from the race last month…. – LAT, 5-8-12
  • Santorum endorses Romney, asks supporters to help: Rick Santorum on Monday urged his supporters to join him in working with presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney to deny President Obama a second term. Rick Santorum endorsed his one-time bitter rival Mitt Romney in a late-night e-mail…. – Boston Globe, 5-8-12-
  • Santorum endorsement of Romney a bit lukewarm: Rick Santorum finally endorsed Mitt Romney for president, but he sure didn’t trumpet the fact. The word came near the end of the 13th paragraph of an e-mail that hit the inboxes of Santorum supporters about 11 pm Monday – more than…. – Philadelphia Inquirer, 5-9-12
  • Rick Santorum tells Jay Leno why Romney endorsement was ‘buried’: Rick Santorum told ‘Tonight Show’ host Jay Leno, ‘This was a letter to my supporters – who were for me.’ Not Mitt Romney. The socially liberal Leno also pressed Mr. Santorum on cultural issues…. – CS Monitor, 5-9-12
  • On ‘Tonight Show,’ Santorum holds firm on conservative stances: Former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who dropped out of the race after presenting an energetic challenge to Mitt Romney from the party’s right flank, jousted over gay marriage and contemporary culture with Jay Leno…. – LAT, 5-9-12
  • Santorum explains Romney e-mail: During an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Tuesday night, former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum explained his e-mail endorsing Mitt Romney…. – WaPo, 5-10-12
  • Santorum explains Romney endorsement: Rick Santorum brought back his lucky sweater vest for his first appearance on Jay Leno’s show as he explained that late-night e-mail endorsing ex-GOP rival Mitt Romney. The idea behind releasing the letter to his supporters…. – USA Today, 5-9-12

Full Text Obama Presidency April 3, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at the Associated Press Luncheon Attacks GOP / Republican Budget as Radical & “Social Darwinism”



President Obama delivers remarks at the Associated Press Luncheon (April 3, 2012)President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Associated Press (AP) Luncheon at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C., April 3, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Obama Calls G.O.P. Budget Plan ‘Social Darwinism’

Source: NYT, 4-3-12

President Obama delivered a speech attacking the Republican budget plan on Tuesday in Washington.

Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

President Obama delivered a speech attacking the Republican budget plan on Tuesday in Washington.

President Obama opened a full-frontal assault Tuesday on the budget adopted by House Republicans, saying it would greatly deepen inequality in the country….READ MORE


Obama blasts Ryan, Romney, Republican budget USA Today, 4-3-12

Obama Calls G.O.P. Budget Plan ‘Social Darwinism’: President Obama delivered a speech attacking the Republican budget plan on Tuesday in Washington. President Obama opened a full-frontal assault Tuesday on the budget adopted by House Republicans, saying it would greatly deepen inequality in the country…. NYT, 4-3-12

  • Obama says election choice ‘unambiguously clear’: Making his case for re-election, President Barack Obama said Tuesday the nation must restore a sense of security for hard-working Americans and stand for a government willing to help those in hard…. – AP, 4-3-12
  • US election 2012: Barack Obama accuses Republicans of ‘social Darwinism’: President Barack Obama on Tuesday night accused the Republican party of trying to impose “social Darwinism” on America by slashing public spending and radically shrinking the scope of the US government…. –, 4-3-12
  • Obama Says Reagan Couldn’t Get Through GOP Primary: President Barack Obama says if President Ronald Reagan was running for president now, he “could not get through a Republican primary today.” Obama said during a question-and-answer session with newspaper editors on Tuesday…. – AP, 4-3-12
  • Obama: GOP ‘doubling down’ on faulty policies: President Barack Obama says a budget plan presented by House Republicans represents a “doubling down” on a failed economic policy. In a speech before newspaper executives, Obama says a $3.5 trillion budget plan pushed by House Republicans … – CBS News, 4-3-12
  • Obama attacks, mocks Romney and Ryan budget: President Barack Obama jumped fully into the 2012 race Tuesday, naming his likely Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, for the first time in an official presidential speech that accused the Republican establishment of embracing polices that threaten the … – Politico, 4-3-12
  • Obama: GOP budget a “Trojan horse”: Launching a broad argument for his re-election, President Obama on Tuesday delivered a scathing criticism of House Republicans’ proposed 2013 budget proposal…. – CBS News, 4-3-12
  • Obama Calls GOP Budget ‘A Trojan Horse…for Thinly-Veiled Social Darwinism…’: “Whoever he may be, the next president will inherit an economy that is recovering, but not yet recovered, from the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression. Too many Americans will still be looking for a job that pays enough to cover their … – Fox News, 4-3-12
  • On primary day, Obama lambastes GOP budget plan as ‘Trojan horse’: President Obama launched an election-year broadside Tuesday against House Republicans — and particularly Rep. Paul Ryan — denouncing their $3.5 trillion budget plan as a “Trojan horse” and “radical” overhaul that is wrong for America…. – Fox News, 4-3-12

Three Charts Illustrating Two Different Visions for Our Nation

Source: WH, 4-3-12
The President believes this is a make or break moment for the middle class and those working to reach it.  That’s why he has put forward a blueprint for an economy built to last – one where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules.

Today at the Associated Press Luncheon, the President discussed how his vision differs with the radical vision laid out in the House Republican Budget:

“This Congressional Republican budget, however, is something different altogether.  It’s a Trojan Horse.  Disguised as deficit reduction plan, it’s really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country.  It’s nothing but thinly-veiled Social Darwinism.  It’s antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everyone who’s willing to work for it – a place where prosperity doesn’t trickle down from the top, but grows outward from the heart of the middle class.  And by gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that’s built to last – education and training; research and development – it’s a prescription for decline.”

The President’s approach to reducing our deficit is a balanced approach that asks the wealthiest to pay their fair share, achieves significant health savings and enacts sensible spending cuts while making the investments we need to have a strong middle class.

Take a look at how the President’s approach and the Congressional Republican policies stack up side by side:

Side by Side – The President’s Budget vs. Republican Budget

It’s a test of fairness.  The Congressional Republican budget gives every millionaire and billionaire a tax cut of at least $150,000 paid for by ending Medicare as we know it and gutting programs that help the middle class and our economy.  This graphic shows just what that $150,000 means to those programs our economic recovery depends on:

The House Republican Budget – The Budget Fails the Test of Balance, Fairness, and Shared Responsibility

By standing by massive tax cuts we can’t afford paid for by the middle class and seniors, the Republican establishment has rubber stamped the economic policies of the past that caused the financial crisis in the first place.   Just take a look at how much the Republican policies of the past added to our deficit:

 Changes in Deficit Projections Since January 2001

At this critical moment for our economy and the middle class, the President will continue to stand by a policy of fairness that reflects our core values as a nation.


Remarks by the President at the Associated Press Luncheon

Source: WH, 4-3-12

Marriott Wardman Park
Washington, D.C.
12:35 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)  Please have a seat.  Well, good afternoon, and thank you to Dean Singleton and the board of the Associated Press for inviting me here today.  It is a pleasure to speak to all of you — and to have a microphone that I can see.  (Laughter.)  Feel free to transmit any of this to Vladimir if you see him.  (Laughter.)

Clearly, we’re already in the beginning months of another long, lively election year.  There will be gaffes and minor controversies, be hot mics and Etch-a-Sketch moments.  You will cover every word that we say, and we will complain vociferously about the unflattering words that you write — unless, of course, you’re writing about the other guy — in which case, good job.  (Laughter.)

But there are also big, fundamental issues at stake right now — issues that deserve serious debate among every candidate, and serious coverage among every reporter.  Whoever he may be, the next President will inherit an economy that is recovering, but not yet recovered, from the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression.  Too many Americans will still be looking for a job that pays enough to cover their bills or their mortgage.  Too many citizens will still lack the sort of financial security that started slipping away years before this recession hit.  A debt that has grown over the last decade, primarily as a result of two wars, two massive tax cuts, and an unprecedented financial crisis, will have to be paid down.

In the face of all these challenges, we’re going to have to answer a central question as a nation:  What, if anything, can we do to restore a sense of security for people who are willing to work hard and act responsibly in this country?  Can we succeed as a country where a shrinking number of people do exceedingly well, while a growing number struggle to get by?  Or are we better off when everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules?

This is not just another run-of-the-mill political debate.  I’ve said it’s the defining issue of our time, and I believe it. It’s why I ran in 2008.  It’s what my presidency has been about. It’s why I’m running again.  I believe this is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and I can’t remember a time when the choice between competing visions of our future has been so unambiguously clear.

Keep in mind, I have never been somebody who believes that government can or should try to solve every problem.  Some of you know my first job in Chicago was working with a group of Catholic churches that often did more good for the people in their communities than any government program could.  In those same communities I saw that no education policy, however well crafted, can take the place of a parent’s love and attention.

As President, I’ve eliminated dozens of programs that weren’t working, and announced over 500 regulatory reforms that will save businesses and taxpayers billions, and put annual domestic spending on a path to become the smallest share of the economy since Dwight Eisenhower held this office — since before I was born.  I know that the true engine of job creation in this country is the private sector, not Washington, which is why I’ve cut taxes for small business owners 17 times over the last three years.

So I believe deeply that the free market is the greatest force for economic progress in human history.  My mother and the grandparents who raised me instilled the values of self-reliance and personal responsibility that remain the cornerstone of the American idea.  But I also share the belief of our first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln — a belief that, through government, we should do together what we cannot do as well for ourselves.

That belief is the reason this country has been able to build a strong military to keep us safe, and public schools to educate our children.  That belief is why we’ve been able to lay down railroads and highways to facilitate travel and commerce.  That belief is why we’ve been able to support the work of scientists and researchers whose discoveries have saved lives, and unleashed repeated technological revolutions, and led to countless new jobs and entire industries.

That belief is also why we’ve sought to ensure that every citizen can count on some basic measure of security.  We do this because we recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any moment, might face hard times, might face bad luck, might face a crippling illness or a layoff.  And so we contribute to programs like Medicare and Social Security, which guarantee health care and a source of income after a lifetime of hard work.  We provide unemployment insurance, which protects us against unexpected job loss and facilitates the labor mobility that makes our economy so dynamic.  We provide for Medicaid, which makes sure that millions of seniors in nursing homes and children with disabilities are getting the care that they need.

For generations, nearly all of these investments — from transportation to education to retirement programs — have been supported by people in both parties.  As much as we might associate the G.I. Bill with Franklin Roosevelt, or Medicare with Lyndon Johnson, it was a Republican, Lincoln, who launched the Transcontinental Railroad, the National Academy of Sciences, land grant colleges.  It was Eisenhower who launched the Interstate Highway System and new investment in scientific research.  It was Richard Nixon who created the Environmental Protection Agency, Ronald Reagan who worked with Democrats to save Social Security. It was George W. Bush who added prescription drug coverage to Medicare.

What leaders in both parties have traditionally understood is that these investments aren’t part of some scheme to redistribute wealth from one group to another.  They are expressions of the fact that we are one nation.  These investments benefit us all.  They contribute to genuine, durable economic growth.

Show me a business leader who wouldn’t profit if more Americans could afford to get the skills and education that today’s jobs require.  Ask any company where they’d rather locate and hire workers –- a country with crumbling roads and bridges, or one that’s committed to high-speed Internet and high-speed railroads and high-tech research and development?

It doesn’t make us weaker when we guarantee basic security for the elderly or the sick or those who are actively looking for work.  What makes us weaker is when fewer and fewer people can afford to buy the goods and services our businesses sell, or when entrepreneurs don’t have the financial security to take a chance and start a new business.  What drags down our entire economy is when there’s an ever-widening chasm between the ultra-rich and everybody else.

In this country, broad-based prosperity has never trickled down from the success of a wealthy few.  It has always come from the success of a strong and growing middle class.  That’s how a generation who went to college on the G.I. Bill, including my grandfather, helped build the most prosperous economy the world has ever known.  That’s why a CEO like Henry Ford made it his mission to pay his workers enough so they could buy the cars that they made.  That’s why research has shown that countries with less inequality tend to have stronger and steadier economic growth over the long run.

And yet, for much of the last century, we have been having the same argument with folks who keep peddling some version of trickle-down economics.  They keep telling us that if we’d convert more of our investments in education and research and health care into tax cuts — especially for the wealthy — our economy will grow stronger.  They keep telling us that if we’d just strip away more regulations, and let businesses pollute more and treat workers and consumers with impunity, that somehow we’d all be better off.  We’re told that when the wealthy become even wealthier, and corporations are allowed to maximize their profits by whatever means necessary, it’s good for America, and that their success will automatically translate into more jobs and prosperity for everybody else.  That’s the theory.

Now, the problem for advocates of this theory is that we’ve tried their approach — on a massive scale.  The results of their experiment are there for all to see.  At the beginning of the last decade, the wealthiest Americans received a huge tax cut in 2001 and another huge tax cut in 2003.  We were promised that these tax cuts would lead to faster job growth.  They did not.  The wealthy got wealthier — we would expect that.  The income of the top 1 percent has grown by more than 275 percent over the last few decades, to an average of $1.3 million a year.  But prosperity sure didn’t trickle down.

Instead, during the last decade, we had the slowest job growth in half a century.  And the typical American family actually saw their incomes fall by about 6 percent, even as the economy was growing.

It was a period when insurance companies and mortgage lenders and financial institutions didn’t have to abide by strong enough regulations, or they found their ways around them.  And what was the result?  Profits for many of these companies soared. But so did people’s health insurance premiums.  Patients were routinely denied care, often when they needed it most.  Families were enticed, and sometimes just plain tricked, into buying homes they couldn’t afford.  Huge, reckless bets were made with other people’s money on the line.  And our entire financial system was nearly destroyed.

So we tried this theory out.  And you would think that after the results of this experiment in trickle-down economics, after the results were made painfully clear, that the proponents of this theory might show some humility, might moderate their views a bit.  You’d think they’d say, you know what, maybe some rules and regulations are necessary to protect the economy and prevent people from being taken advantage of by insurance companies or credit card companies or mortgage lenders.  Maybe, just maybe, at a time of growing debt and widening inequality, we should hold off on giving the wealthiest Americans another round of big tax cuts.  Maybe when we know that most of today’s middle-class jobs require more than a high school degree, we shouldn’t gut education, or lay off thousands of teachers, or raise interest rates on college loans, or take away people’s financial aid.

But that’s exactly the opposite of what they’ve done.  Instead of moderating their views even slightly, the Republicans running Congress right now have doubled down, and proposed a budget so far to the right it makes the Contract with America look like the New Deal.  (Laughter.)  In fact, that renowned liberal, Newt Gingrich, first called the original version of the budget “radical” and said it would contribute to “right-wing social engineering.”  This is coming from Newt Gingrich.

And yet, this isn’t a budget supported by some small rump group in the Republican Party.  This is now the party’s governing platform.  This is what they’re running on.  One of my potential opponents, Governor Romney, has said that he hoped a similar version of this plan from last year would be introduced as a bill on day one of his presidency.  He said that he’s “very supportive” of this new budget, and he even called it “marvelous” — which is a word you don’t often hear when it comes to describing a budget.  (Laughter.)  It’s a word you don’t often hear generally.  (Laughter.)

So here’s what this “marvelous” budget does.  Back in the summer, I came to an agreement with Republicans in Congress to cut roughly $1 trillion in annual spending.  Some of these cuts were about getting rid of waste; others were about programs that we support but just can’t afford given our deficits and our debt.  And part of the agreement was a guarantee of another trillion in savings, for a total of about $2 trillion in deficit reduction.

This new House Republican budget, however, breaks our bipartisan agreement and proposes massive new cuts in annual domestic spending –- exactly the area where we’ve already cut the most.  And I want to actually go through what it would mean for our country if these cuts were to be spread out evenly.  So bear with me.  I want to go through this — because I don’t think people fully appreciate the nature of this budget.

The year after next, nearly 10 million college students would see their financial aid cut by an average of more than $1,000 each.  There would be 1,600 fewer medical grants, research grants for things like Alzheimer’s and cancer and AIDS.  There would be 4,000 fewer scientific research grants, eliminating support for 48,000 researchers, students, and teachers.  Investments in clean energy technologies that are helping us reduce our dependence on foreign oil would be cut by nearly a fifth.

If this budget becomes law and the cuts were applied evenly, starting in 2014, over 200,000 children would lose their chance to get an early education in the Head Start program.  Two million mothers and young children would be cut from a program that gives them access to healthy food.  There would be 4,500 fewer federal grants at the Department of Justice and the FBI to combat violent crime, financial crime, and help secure our borders.  Hundreds of national parks would be forced to close for part or all of the year.  We wouldn’t have the capacity to enforce the laws that protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, or the food that we eat.

Cuts to the FAA would likely result in more flight cancellations, delays, and the complete elimination of air traffic control services in parts of the country.  Over time, our weather forecasts would become less accurate because we wouldn’t be able to afford to launch new satellites.  And that means governors and mayors would have to wait longer to order evacuations in the event of a hurricane.

That’s just a partial sampling of the consequences of this budget.  Now, you can anticipate Republicans may say, well, we’ll avoid some of these cuts — since they don’t specify exactly the cuts that they would make.  But they can only avoid some of these cuts if they cut even deeper in other areas.  This is math.  If they want to make smaller cuts to medical research that means they’ve got to cut even deeper in funding for things like teaching and law enforcement.  The converse is true as well.  If they want to protect early childhood education, it will mean further reducing things like financial aid for young people trying to afford college.

Perhaps they will never tell us where the knife will fall — but you can be sure that with cuts this deep, there is no secret plan or formula that will be able to protect the investments we need to help our economy grow.

This is not conjecture.  I am not exaggerating.  These are facts.  And these are just the cuts that would happen the year after next.

If this budget became law, by the middle of the century, funding for the kinds of things I just mentioned would have to be cut by about 95 percent.  Let me repeat that.  Those categories I just mentioned we would have to cut by 95 percent.  As a practical matter, the federal budget would basically amount to whatever is left in entitlements, defense spending, and interest on the national debt — period.  Money for these investments that have traditionally been supported on a bipartisan basis would be practically eliminated.

And the same is true for other priorities like transportation, and homeland security, and veterans programs for the men and women who have risked their lives for this country.  This is not an exaggeration.  Check it out yourself.

And this is to say nothing about what the budget does to health care.  We’re told that Medicaid would simply be handed over to the states — that’s the pitch:  Let’s get it out of the central bureaucracy.  The states can experiment.  They’ll be able to run the programs a lot better.  But here’s the deal the states would be getting.  They would have to be running these programs in the face of the largest cut to Medicaid that has ever been proposed — a cut that, according to one nonpartisan group, would take away health care for about 19 million Americans — 19 million.

Who are these Americans?  Many are someone’s grandparents who, without Medicaid, won’t be able to afford nursing home care without Medicaid.  Many are poor children.  Some are middle-class families who have children with autism or Down’s Syndrome.  Some are kids with disabilities so severe that they require 24-hour care.  These are the people who count on Medicaid.

Then there’s Medicare.  Because health care costs keep rising and the Baby Boom generation is retiring, Medicare, we all know, is one of the biggest drivers of our long-term deficit.  That’s a challenge we have to meet by bringing down the cost of health care overall so that seniors and taxpayers can share in the savings.

But here’s the solution proposed by the Republicans in Washington, and embraced by most of their candidates for president:  Instead of being enrolled in Medicare when they turn 65, seniors who retire a decade from now would get a voucher that equals the cost of the second cheapest health care plan in their area.  If Medicare is more expensive than that private plan, they’ll have to pay more if they want to enroll in traditional Medicare.  If health care costs rise faster than the amount of the voucher — as, by the way, they’ve been doing for decades — that’s too bad.  Seniors bear the risk.  If the voucher isn’t enough to buy a private plan with the specific doctors and care that you need, that’s too bad.

So most experts will tell you the way this voucher plan encourages savings is not through better care at cheaper cost.  The way these private insurance companies save money is by designing and marketing plans to attract the youngest and healthiest seniors — cherry-picking — leaving the older and sicker seniors in traditional Medicare, where they have access to a wide range of doctors and guaranteed care.  But that, of course, makes the traditional Medicare program even more expensive, and raise premiums even further.

The net result is that our country will end up spending more on health care, and the only reason the government will save any money — it won’t be on our books — is because we’ve shifted it to seniors.  They’ll bear more of the costs themselves.  It’s a bad idea, and it will ultimately end Medicare as we know it.

Now, the proponents of this budget will tell us we have to make all these draconian cuts because our deficit is so large; this is an existential crisis, we have to think about future generations, so on and so on.  And that argument might have a shred of credibility were it not for their proposal to also spend $4.6 trillion over the next decade on lower tax rates.

We’re told that these tax cuts will supposedly be paid for by closing loopholes and eliminating wasteful deductions.  But the Republicans in Congress refuse to list a single tax loophole they are willing to close.  Not one.  And by the way, there is no way to get even close to $4.6 trillion in savings without dramatically reducing all kinds of tax breaks that go to middle-class families — tax breaks for health care, tax breaks for retirement, tax breaks for homeownership.

Meanwhile, these proposed tax breaks would come on top of more than a trillion dollars in tax giveaways for people making more than $250,000 a year.  That’s an average of at least $150,000 for every millionaire in this country — $150,000.

Let’s just step back for a second and look at what $150,000 pays for:  A year’s worth of prescription drug coverage for a senior citizen.  Plus a new school computer lab.  Plus a year of medical care for a returning veteran.  Plus a medical research grant for a chronic disease.  Plus a year’s salary for a firefighter or police officer.  Plus a tax credit to make a year of college more affordable.  Plus a year’s worth of financial aid.  One hundred fifty thousand dollars could pay for all of these things combined — investments in education and research that are essential to economic growth that benefits all of us.  For $150,000, that would be going to each millionaire and billionaire in this country.  This budget says we’d be better off as a country if that’s how we spend it.

This is supposed to be about paying down our deficit?  It’s laughable.

The bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission that I created — which the Republicans originally were for until I was for it — that was about paying down the deficit.  And I didn’t agree with all the details.  I proposed about $600 billion more in revenue and $600 billion — I’m sorry — it proposed about $600 billion more in revenue and about $600 billion more in defense cuts than I proposed in my own budget.  But Bowles-Simpson was a serious, honest, balanced effort between Democrats and Republicans to bring down the deficit.  That’s why, although it differs in some ways, my budget takes a similarly balanced approach:  Cuts in discretionary spending, cuts in mandatory spending, increased revenue.

This congressional Republican budget is something different altogether.  It is a Trojan Horse.  Disguised as deficit reduction plans, it is really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country.  It is thinly veiled social Darwinism.  It is antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everybody who’s willing to work for it; a place where prosperity doesn’t trickle down from the top, but grows outward from the heart of the middle class.  And by gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that’s built to last  — education and training, research and development, our infrastructure — it is a prescription for decline.

And everybody here should understand that because there’s very few people here who haven’t benefitted at some point from those investments that were made in the ’50s and the ’60s and the ’70s and the ’80s.  That’s part of how we got ahead.  And now, we’re going to be pulling up those ladders up for the next generation?

So in the months ahead, I will be fighting as hard as I know how for this truer vision of what the United States of America is all about.  Absolutely, we have to get serious about the deficit. And that will require tough choices and sacrifice.  And I’ve already shown myself willing to make these tough choices when I signed into law the biggest spending cut of any President in recent memory.  In fact, if you adjust for the economy, the Congressional Budget Office says the overall spending next year will be lower than any year under Ronald Reagan.

And I’m willing to make more of those difficult spending decisions in the months ahead.  But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — there has to be some balance.  All of us have to do our fair share.

I’ve also put forward a detailed plan that would reform and strengthen Medicare and Medicaid.  By the beginning of the next decade, it achieves the same amount of annual health savings as the plan proposed by Simpson-Bowles — the Simpson-Bowles commission, and it does so by making changes that people in my party haven’t always been comfortable with.  But instead of saving money by shifting costs to seniors, like the congressional Republican plan proposes, our approach would lower the cost of health care throughout the entire system.  It goes after excessive subsidies to prescription drug companies.  It gets more efficiency out of Medicaid without gutting the program.  It asks the very wealthiest seniors to pay a little bit more.  It changes the way we pay for health care — not by procedure or the number of days spent in a hospital, but with new incentives for doctors and hospitals to improve their results.

And it slows the growth of Medicare costs by strengthening an independent commission — a commission not made up of bureaucrats from government or insurance companies, but doctors and nurses and medical experts and consumers, who will look at all the evidence and recommend the best way to reduce unnecessary health care spending while protecting access to the care that the seniors need.

We also have a much different approach when it comes to taxes — an approach that says if we’re serious about paying down our debt, we can’t afford to spend trillions more on tax cuts for folks like me, for wealthy Americans who don’t need them and weren’t even asking for them, and that the country cannot afford. At a time when the share of national income flowing to the top 1 percent of people in this country has climbed to levels last seen in the 1920s, those same folks are paying taxes at one of the lowest rates in 50 years.  As both I and Warren Buffett have pointed out many times now, he’s paying a lower tax rate than his secretary.  That is not fair.  It is not right.

And the choice is really very simple.  If you want to keep these tax rates and deductions in place — or give even more tax breaks to the wealthy, as the Republicans in Congress propose — then one of two things happen:  Either it means higher deficits, or it means more sacrifice from the middle class.  Seniors will have to pay more for Medicare.  College students will lose some of their financial aid.  Working families who are scraping by will have to do more because the richest Americans are doing less.  I repeat what I’ve said before:  That is not class warfare, that is not class envy, that is math.

If that’s the choice that members of Congress want to make, then we’re going to make sure every American knows about it.  In a few weeks, there will be a vote on what we’ve called the Buffett Rule.  Simple concept:  If you make more than a million dollars a year — not that you have a million dollars — if you make more than a million dollars annually, then you should pay at least the same percentage of your income in taxes as middle-class families do.  On the other hand, if you make under $250,000 a year — like 98 percent of American families do — then your taxes shouldn’t go up.  That’s the proposal.

Now, you’ll hear some people point out that the Buffett Rule alone won’t raise enough revenue to solve our deficit problems.  Maybe not, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.  And I intend to keep fighting for this kind of balance and fairness until the other side starts listening, because I believe this is what the American people want.  I believe this is the best way to pay for the investments we need to grow our economy and strengthen the middle class.  And by the way, I believe it’s the right thing to do.

This larger debate that we will be having and that you will be covering in the coming year about the size and role of government, this debate has been with us since our founding days. And during moments of great challenge and change, like the ones that we’re living through now, the debate gets sharper; it gets more vigorous.  That’s a good thing.  As a country that prizes both our individual freedom and our obligations to one another, this is one of the most important debates that we can have.

But no matter what we argue or where we stand, we have always held certain beliefs as Americans.  We believe that in order to preserve our own freedoms and pursue our own happiness, we can’t just think about ourselves.  We have to think about the country that made those liberties possible.  We have to think about our fellow citizens with whom we share a community.  We have to think about what’s required to preserve the American Dream for future generations.

And this sense of responsibility — to each other and our country — this isn’t a partisan feeling.  This isn’t a Democratic or Republican idea.  It’s patriotism.  And if we keep that in mind, and uphold our obligations to one another and to this larger enterprise that is America, then I have no doubt that we will continue our long and prosperous journey as the greatest nation on Earth.

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

MR. SINGLETON:  Thank you, Mr. President.  We appreciate so much you being with us today.  I have some questions from the audience, which I will ask — and I’ll be more careful than I was last time I did this.

Republicans have been sharply critical of your budget ideas as well.  What can you say to the Americans who just want both sides to stop fighting and get some work done on their behalf?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I completely understand the American people’s frustrations, because the truth is that these are eminently solvable problems.  I know that Christine Lagarde is here from the IMF, and she’s looking at the books of a lot of other countries around the world.  The kinds of challenges they face fiscally are so much more severe than anything that we confront — if we make some sensible decisions.

So the American people’s impulses are absolutely right.  These are solvable problems if people of good faith came together and were willing to compromise.  The challenge we have right now is that we have on one side, a party that will brook no compromise.  And this is not just my assertion.  We had presidential candidates who stood on a stage and were asked, “Would you accept a budget package, a deficit reduction plan, that involved $10 of cuts for every dollar in revenue increases?” Ten-to-one ratio of spending cuts to revenue.  Not one of them raised their hand.

Think about that.  Ronald Reagan, who, as I recall, is not accused of being a tax-and-spend socialist, understood repeatedly that when the deficit started to get out of control, that for him to make a deal he would have to propose both spending cuts and tax increases.  Did it multiple times.  He could not get through a Republican primary today.

So let’s look at Bowles-Simpson.  Essentially, my differences with Bowles-Simpson were I actually proposed less revenue and slightly lower defense spending cuts.  The Republicans want to increase defense spending and take in no revenue, which makes it impossible to balance the deficit under the terms that Bowles-Simpson laid out — unless you essentially eliminate discretionary spending.  You don’t just cut discretionary spending.  Everything we think of as being pretty important — from education to basic science and research to transportation spending to national parks to environmental protection — we’d essentially have to eliminate.

I guess another way of thinking about this is — and this bears on your reporting.  I think that there is oftentimes the impulse to suggest that if the two parties are disagreeing, then they’re equally at fault and the truth lies somewhere in the middle, and an equivalence is presented — which reinforces I think people’s cynicism about Washington generally.  This is not one of those situations where there’s an equivalence.  I’ve got some of the most liberal Democrats in Congress who were prepared to make significant changes to entitlements that go against their political interests, and who said they were willing to do it.  And we couldn’t get a Republican to stand up and say, we’ll raise some revenue, or even to suggest that we won’t give more tax cuts to people who don’t need them.

And so I think it’s important to put the current debate in some historical context.  It’s not just true, by the way, of the budget.  It’s true of a lot of the debates that we’re having out here.

Cap and trade was originally proposed by conservatives and Republicans as a market-based solution to solving environmental problems.  The first President to talk about cap and trade was George H.W. Bush.  Now you’ve got the other party essentially saying we shouldn’t even be thinking about environmental protection; let’s gut the EPA.

Health care, which is in the news right now — there’s a reason why there’s a little bit of confusion in the Republican primary about health care and the individual mandate since it originated as a conservative idea to preserve the private marketplace in health care while still assuring that everybody got covered, in contrast to a single-payer plan.  Now, suddenly, this is some socialist overreach.

So as all of you are doing your reporting, I think it’s important to remember that the positions I’m taking now on the budget and a host of other issues, if we had been having this discussion 20 years ago, or even 15 years ago, would have been considered squarely centrist positions.  What’s changed is the center of the Republican Party.  And that’s certainly true with the budget.

MR. SINGLETON:  Mr. President, the managing director of the (inaudible) for continuation of United States leadership (inaudible) economic issues, and underscored the need for a lower deficit and lower debt.  How can you respond to that claim?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, look, she’s absolutely right.  It’s interesting, when I travel around the world at these international fora — and I’ve said this before — the degree to which America is still the one indispensable nation, the degree to which, even as other countries are rising and their economies are expanding, we are still looked to for leadership, for agenda setting — not just because of our size, not just because of our military power, but because there is a sense that unlike most superpowers in the past, we try to set out a set of universal rules, a set of principles by which everybody can benefit.

And that’s true on the economic front as well.  We continue to be the world’s largest market, an important engine for economic growth.  We can’t return to a time when by simply borrowing and consuming, we end up driving global economic growth.

I said this a few months after I was elected at the first G20 summit.  I said the days when Americans using their credit cards and home equity loans finance the rest of the world’s growth by taking in imports from every place else — those days are over.  On the other hand, we continue to be a extraordinarily important market and foundation for global economic growth.

We do have to take care of our deficits.  I think Christine has spoken before, and I think most economists would argue as well, that the challenge when it comes to our deficits is not short-term discretionary spending, which is manageable.  As I said before and I want to repeat, as a percentage of our GDP, our discretionary spending — all the things that the Republicans are proposing cutting — is actually lower than it’s been since Dwight Eisenhower.  There has not been some massive expansion of social programs, programs that help the poor, environmental programs, education programs.  That’s not our problem.

Our problem is that our revenue has dropped down to between 15 and 16 percent — far lower than it has been historically, certainly far lower than it was under Ronald Reagan — at the same time as our health care costs have surged, and our demographics mean that there is more and more pressure being placed on financing our Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security programs.

So at a time when the recovery is still gaining steam, and unemployment is still very high, the solution should be pretty apparent.  And that is even as we continue to make investments in growth today — for example, putting some of our construction workers back to work rebuilding schools and roads and bridges, or helping states to rehire teachers at a time when schools are having a huge difficulty retaining quality teachers in the classroom — all of which would benefit our economy, we focus on a long-term plan to stabilize our revenues at a responsible level and to deal with our health care programs in a responsible way.  And that’s exactly what I’m proposing.

And what we’ve proposed is let’s go back, for folks who are making more than $250,000 a year, to levels that were in place during the Clinton era, when wealthy people were doing just fine, and the economy was growing a lot stronger than it did after they were cut.  And let’s take on Medicare and Medicaid in a serious way — which is not just a matter of taking those costs off the books, off the federal books, and pushing them onto individual seniors, but let’s actually reduce health care costs.  Because we spend more on health care with not as good outcomes as any other advanced, developed nation on Earth.

And that would seem to be a sensible proposal.  The problem right now is not the technical means to solve it.  The problem is our politics.  And that’s part of what this election and what this debate will need to be about, is, are we, as a country, willing to get back to common-sense, balanced, fair solutions that encourage our long-term economic growth and stabilize our budget.  And it can be done.

One last point I want to make, Dean, that I think is important, because it goes to the growth issue.  If state and local government hiring were basically on par to what our current recovery — on par to past recoveries, the unemployment rate would probably be about a point lower than it is right now.  If the construction industry were going through what we normally go through, that would be another point lower.  The challenge we have right now — part of the challenge we have in terms of growth has to do with the very specific issues of huge cuts in state and local government, and the housing market still recovering from this massive bubble.  And that — those two things are huge headwinds in terms of growth.

I say this because if we, for example, put some of those construction workers back to work, or we put some of those teachers back in the classroom, that could actually help create the kind of virtuous cycle that would bring in more revenues just because of economic growth, would benefit the private sector in significant ways.  And that could help contribute to deficit reduction in the short term, even as we still have to do these important changes to our health care programs over the long term.

MR. SINGLETON:  Mr. President, you said yesterday that it would be unprecedented for a Supreme Court to overturn laws passed by an elected Congress.  But that is exactly what the Court has done during its entire existence.  If the Court were to overturn individual mandate, what would you do, or propose to do, for the 30 million people who wouldn’t have health care after that ruling?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, first of all, let me be very specific. We have not seen a Court overturn a law that was passed by Congress on a economic issue, like health care, that I think most people would clearly consider commerce — a law like that has not been overturned at least since Lochner.  Right?  So we’re going back to the ’30s, pre New Deal.

And the point I was making is that the Supreme Court is the final say on our Constitution and our laws, and all of us have to respect it, but it’s precisely because of that extraordinary power that the Court has traditionally exercised significant restraint and deference to our duly elected legislature, our Congress.  And so the burden is on those who would overturn a law like this.

Now, as I said, I expect the Supreme Court actually to recognize that and to abide by well-established precedence out there.  I have enormous confidence that in looking at this law, not only is it constitutional, but that the Court is going to exercise its jurisprudence carefully because of the profound power that our Supreme Court has.  As a consequence, we’re not spending a whole bunch of time planning for contingencies.

What I did emphasize yesterday is there is a human element to this that everybody has to remember.  This is not an abstract exercise.  I get letters every day from people who are affected by the health care law right now, even though it’s not fully implemented.  Young people who are 24, 25, who say, you know what, I just got diagnosed with a tumor.  First of all, I would not have gone to get a check-up if I hadn’t had health insurance. Second of all, I wouldn’t have been able to afford to get it treated had I not been on my parent’s plan.  Thank you and thank Congress for getting this done.

I get letters from folks who have just lost their job, their COBRA is running out.  They’re in the middle of treatment for colon cancer or breast cancer, and they’re worried when their COBRA runs out, if they’re still sick, what are they going to be able to do because they’re not going to be able to get health insurance.

And the point I think that was made very ably before the Supreme Court, but I think most health care economists who have looked at this have acknowledged, is there are basically two ways to cover people with preexisting conditions or assure that people can always get coverage even when they had bad illnesses.  One way is the single-payer plan — everybody is under a single system, like Medicare.  The other way is to set up a system in which you don’t have people who are healthy but don’t bother to get health insurance, and then we all have to pay for them in the emergency room.

That doesn’t work, and so, as a consequence, we’ve got to make sure that those folks are taking their responsibility seriously, which is what the individual mandate does.

So I don’t anticipate the Court striking this down.  I think they take their responsibilities very seriously.  But I think what’s more important is for all of us, Democrats and Republicans, to recognize that in a country like ours — the wealthiest, most powerful country on Earth — we shouldn’t have a system in which millions of people are at risk of bankruptcy because they get sick, or end up waiting until they do get sick and then go to the emergency room, which involves all of us paying for it.

MR. SINGLETON:  Mr. President, you’ve been very, very generous with your time, and we appreciate very much you being here.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you so much, everybody.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

1:35 P.M. EDT


Getting at the Facts

Source: WH, 4-6-12

On Tuesday, the President gave a speech in which he contrasted his vision for our economy – one where everyone pays their fair share and everyone plays by the same set of rules – with the Republican approach of giving massive tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires paid for by cuts to programs that the middle class and seniors depend on.

Congressman Ryan and his staff has since taken issue with some of the critiques the President made about the Republican approach.  We believe in backing up our facts – so here’s some further explanation of some of the core problems with the Ryan Republican Budget.

1. The Republican budget enacts a drastic, unspecified 19 percent cut in non-defense discretionary programs that help the middle class and help our economy grow.

The House Budget resolution includes a $1.060 trillion cut in non-defense discretionary spending, below the levels to which both Democrats and Republicans agreed in the Budget Control Act.  We did the math, and a $1.060 trillion cut to discretionary programs – as called for in the Republican budget – would amount to a 19 percent cut in non-defense discretionary spending.  By comparison, the cuts proposed in the House Budget resolution would be three times as great as the cuts required by the sequester and because of the lack of detail in the resolution, we are left to assume that they would be applied in the same arbitrary, across the board, manner.  The President carefully described the impact of those cuts if they were distributed across the board, and noted that protecting some places would require even deeper cuts in other places.

House Budget Committee Chairman Ryan’s office responded that considering the cut across-the-board wasn’t fair because “the House Budget Committee made dozens of specific assumptions to justify our numbers, and we made these assumptions public in the hundreds of pages of text we posted in plain view on the House Budget Committee’s website.”  But if you look at the report, it only includes a list of “illustrative policy options.”  But they’re just that—as you can see on page 30 of that same PDF: “this report offers a range of policy options to help demonstrate how the budget’s fiscal goals could be achieved.  These options are illustrative….”  So it’s not as though the House is taking ownership of these proposals—as President Obama has owned his specific ideas in each of his budgets.

What’s more, even if you look at the specific numbers in the House budget, you see that they aren’t very specific.  A Budget Resolution shows federal spending distributed across different categories of spending.  Most of the categories are specific—things like “Energy” or “Administration of Justice.”  But the House put 85 percent of their cuts into a category called “Allowances” (see page 16 of the same report).  That’s a great big “TBD.”  The 19 percent cut is calculated by taking the level Congress agreed to last summer in the Budget Control Act for non-defense discretionary programs in 2013 and subtracting the proposed $406 billion cap for 2014 in the House Republican Budget.  That’s a $95 billion cut that, when left undistributed, is a 19 percent cut to the 2012 level of services in every non-defense discretionary program.

And even if you were going to give the House Republican Budget credit for the 15% of their domestic discretionary cut which does fall into specific categories, you would have to make deeper cuts in other programs.  For example: the House said they don’t want to cut Veterans Benefits.  When we calculated the percentage cut in non-defense spending, we spread it across the entire discretionary budget, including Veterans programs.  If you took Veterans benefits out of the mix, the cuts to everything else would be a lot bigger.

The bottom line is that when a budget proposes cuts as vast and vague as this budget, the best way to illustrate its impact is to show the effects across the board. The Republican budget’s lack of specifics gives us no other choice.

2. The Republican approach would end Medicare as we know it.

Chairman Ryan’s team also disputes the President’s characterization that House Republican Budget would “end Medicare as we know it.”  But that’s exactly what would result from a plan that would voucherize the Medicare program beginning in 2023 and would reduce deficits only by shifting cost and risk onto America’s seniors.

First, they claim that the “second-lowest-cost private plan” (the benchmark at which Chairman Ryan would set the value of a senior citizen’s Medicare voucher) would provide the same benefits in a more cost-effective way than traditional Medicare.

  • But analysis by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office on this topic in 2011 found something far different:  that private plans cost 39 percent more than traditional Medicare, in part because Medicare enjoys lower administrative costs and better purchasing power.  And the flip side is that, for those limited areas of the country where private plans are cheaper than traditional Medicare, premiums for seniors seeking to stay in traditional Medicare will rise as a result of the bidding program – upwards of 49 to 64 percent on average, according to 2006 CBO study of a similar proposal.  In other words:  In most of the country, private Medicare providers will cost more to deliver the same benefit as traditional Medicare.  And in those few places where that’s not true, the security of the traditional Medicare program will become a lot more expensive for seniors who wish to stay in it. While the exact numbers in Chairman Ryan’s current plan may differ from these previous studies, which had different details and different assumptions, the broad analysis would still apply to his current proposal.

Second, the Ryan team claims that, under their plan, the risk of private plans going up in price faster than the value of the Medicare voucher would not entirely fall on the beneficiary because Congress would be required to act.

  • The Ryan team does not even need to look beyond its own ranks to disprove this one.  According to testimony by House GOP Budget Committee staff, the Ryan budget would cap growth in the value of voucher payments to the rate of GDP growth plus 0.5 percent – a rate below the average annual growth of health care costs.  And when asked what would happen if competitive bids increased faster than that rate, Staff Director Austin Smythe testified: “The premium support payment would be capped at that level” – in other words, if the voucher’s value does not keep up with the cost of private plans, seniors will be expected to pick up the difference, a radical departure from the promise of the current Medicare program. Moreover, there is no way around this conclusion because under the Ryan Medicare plan just about the only cost to the government is what it pays for the voucher, so the only way to hit his Medicare growth rate target is to reduce the voucher and shift costs to seniors.

Third, the Ryan team claims that there will always be one health plan that is fully covered by the voucher and always one plan that costs even less.

  • But, after 2023, the first year their budget goes into effect, this just isn’t true.  While it is true that every newly eligible senior could choose a plan that was fully covered in that first year, even then that plan generally would not provide many of the benefits that Medicare beneficiaries have enjoyed from traditional Medicare.   And, after 2023, there is no guarantee that any plan – even those geared toward younger and healthier seniors – would be fully covered.  Because the voucher amount would not be based on the actual bids of private providers, but rather on a growth rate capped below the historical and projected growth of health care costs, there is simply no guarantee that the voucher will be able to keep up – with seniors on the hook if it does not.

The House Republican plan’s voucher is based on an spending  target with all of the risk falling on beneficiaries, which is a key reason that led Henry Aaron, one of the co-inventors of premium support, to write “current proposals are not premium support as [former Urban Institute President Robert] Reischauer and I used the term.”

Last, the Ryan team claims that private plans “cherry picking” the healthiest seniors away from traditional Medicare would be prohibited under their reforms because their plan includes risk-adjusting as an extra precaution against doing so.

  • For starters, the House Republican Budget does not provide any details that would allow one to judge if they contained even an attempt at serious regulations.  But even the best intentioned and implemented regulations and risk adjustment procedures would still fall well short of what is needed to prevent an adverse selection spiral from driving healthier seniors out of traditional Medicare and dramatically raising the costs for those who remain.  For example, a 2002 study published by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that if risk-adjustment were 50 percent effective (which is four times the effectiveness of risk adjustment in Medicare today [] according to the non-partisan Medicare Payments Advisory Commission (MedPAC) that advises Congress), 76 percent of seniors would be pushed out of traditional Medicare by the 20th year of the program – effectively ending Medicare as we know it.

3. The Republican budget would mean 19 million Americans lose the health coverage they are already getting under current Medicaid

Finally, Chairman Ryan’s staff is disputing the President’s statement yesterday that the House Republican budget would take away health care for 19 million Americans.  Yet again, the Ryan team is missing the mark with their criticisms.  If anything, the President was conservative in his characterization of the effects of the House Republican Medicaid plan.

The President based his statement on a study by the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation.  That study found that, by block granting Medicaid, “the House Budget Plan would lead to . . .  19.4 million people being cut” from the program.

The reason is this:  The House Republican budget plan turns Medicaid into a block grant and indexes it to consumer prices, but without any adjustment for additional beneficiaries or health costs.  So if health care costs continue to rise faster than other prices, or if the aging population results in more elderly Medicaid enrollees, or if a future recession results in Americans losing their jobs and newly qualifying for Medicaid, the block grant structure proposed in Ryan’s budget would prevent the program from expanding to meet those needs.

Over the next decade, this structure would result in $800 billion in cuts to the Medicaid program as it currently exists, 34 percent less funding than is currently projected and a cut so deep that it would be impossible to achieve without denying care to many of the people who rely on Medicaid today.

And that’s just the Ryan plan’s cuts from the existing Medicaid program.

That same Kaiser study also found that the Ryan plan’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act would take away Medicaid coverage from the additional 17 million Americans who are slated to receive it when health reform goes into full effect.  As a result, according to Kaiser, counting the impact of the ACA as well as the block grant, the result would be a cut of 36.4 million enrollees, a reduction of 48 percent.

Jay Carney is the White House Press Secretary.

History Buzz March 9, 2012: Controversial “Game Change” based on the 2008 Presidential Election & GOP Candidates John McCain & Sarah Palin Premieres on HBO Saturday, March 10 @ 9PM


History Buzz

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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



Game Change airs on HBO, Saturday, March 10, 2012 @ 9PM

Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, Game Change

“Hollywood lies are Hollywood lies. The film is based on a false narrative.” Palin told Fox News last week. She said she has no plans to see the film though she did catch the trailer. Her PAC even created its own “trailer” to counteract “Game Change,” dubbing the HBO film “fiction.”

  • Trying to Train and Contain a Candidate: “Game Change,” an engaging HBO docudrama about Gov. Sarah Palin’s 2008 run for the vice presidency, stars Julianne Moore as the Alaska governor with her eyes on the White House…. – NYT, 3-9-12
  • ‘Game Change’ debuts Saturday, draws criticism from Palin, McCain: HBO’s much anticipated movie adaptation of “Game Change,” the best-selling book by journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann about the 2008 presidential election, airs Saturday night. The film has drawn criticism from two of the major characters…. – WaPo, 3-9-12
  • Sarah Palin attacks HBO’s film ‘Game Change’ about Sarah Palin: Near the end of the HBO film “Game Change,” John McCain (Ed Harris) gives kudos to his running mate Sarah Palin (Julianne Moore) during his concession speech, calling her “one of the best campaigners I’ve ever seen.”
    “Still think she’s fit for office?” says senior campaign strategist Steve Schmidt (Woody Harrelson) to campaign manager Rick Davis (Peter MacNicol).
    “Who cares?” Davis responds. “In 48 hours, nobody will even remember who she is.”…. – Atlanta Journal Constitution, 3-7-12
  • Sarah Palin comes unhinged as star rises in ‘Game Change’: There is one thing the new HBO movie “Game Change” won’t alter after it airs on television in one week: Sarah Palin still will be loved by many Republican conservatives and loathed by liberal Democrats.
    In the controversial new TV movie that aims at a behind-the-scenes portrait of the former U.S. vice presidential candidate, Julianne Moore portrays Sarah Palin as a devoted Republican who lacks basic knowledge of world affairs and careens out of control.
    Adapted from parts of the bestselling book of the same name by journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, “Game Change” dramatizes Republican John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign and his choice of Palin as a running mate who was shaped into a political star, nearly leading to a nervous breakdown…. – Reuters, 3-2-12
  • Sarah Palin Takes Shots At HBO’s ‘Game Change’: Sarah Palin is firing back at the coming HBO docudrama “Game Change.” The former Alaska governor posted a video called “Game Change We Can Believe In” on YouTube that’s critical of the TV docudrama. The HBO film tells the story of the 2008 presidential campaign, focusing on John McCain’s failed bid for the White House alongside vice-presidential candidate Palin. In Palin’s YouTube parody, she labels the movie “Fact Change” and titles announce “we know the truth.” The clip also features real-life images of Palin that put her in a more positive light. In the movie, Palin is played by actress Julianne Moore…. – WSJ, 3-2-12
  • ‘Game Change’ Screenwriter Responds To Charges That Film Borrowed From Palin Biography: After concluding her debate with now-Vice President Joe Biden in the upcoming HBO movie “Game Change,” Sarah Palin tells John McCain’s campaign manager Steve Schmidt why McCain needs to definitely win the 2008 presidential election. “I so don’t want to go back to Alaska,” Palin says.
    The line, uttered by actress Julianne Moore, who portrays Palin in the film, echoes a similar one from a book about Palin — but it isn’t “Game Change,” the bestseller by Time’s Mark Halperin and New York magazine’s John Heilemann. Instead, a slight variation of the quote can be found in “Sarah From Alaska,” a book written by political reporters Scott Conroy and Shushannah Walshe, both of whom were embedded with Palin during her two months on the Republican ticket. “I just don’t want to go back to Alaska,” Palin says in “Sarah From Alaska” after the debate…. – Huff Post, 3-7-12
  • Moviegoers hail Julianne Moore’s Palin: Did DC’s political and media elite find Hollywood’s portrayal of “Game Change” and Sarah Palin fascinating? You betcha. HBO’s “Game Change” had its star-studded — for Washington, at least — premiere Thursday night in the Newseum with some of the town’s … – Politico, 3-9-12
  • Television review: ‘Game Change’: HBO’s surprisingly kind film about Sarah Palin’s run for vice president stars Julianne Moore and Ed Harris. “Game Change” with Julianne Moore and Ed Harris…. – LAT, 3-9-12
  • A star is born on ‘Game Change’ named Sarah Palin: A certain segment of the U.S. population will presumably shun “Game Change.’’
    As a warts-and-all portrayal of the 2008 campaign of GOP presidential candidate John McCain and his vice presidential running mate, Sarah Palin, this HBO film (premiering Saturday at 9 p.m. EST) has raised suspicions, and hackles, among Palin loyalists. Surely its mission is to trash her, they contend.
    Meanwhile, viewers from the other end of the political spectrum will tune in gleefully expecting the same thing: an evisceration of the world’s most famous hockey mom…. – AP, 3-8-12
  • Palin calls movie fiction Film portrays 2008 campaign: The hotly anticipated HBO movie Game Change airs this weekend just as former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has audaciously reinserted herself into the American political scene, suggesting on so-called Super Tuesday she’d step in to save the Republican party if necessary.
    Palin has been complaining bitterly for weeks about the film, which airs Saturday and is based on the best-selling memoir of the same name about the 2008 presidential campaign. She’s demanded HBO add a fiction disclaimer to the movie that portrays her as ill-informed, inept and possibly mentally unstable; the cable giant has refused.
    Her political action committee recently released its own two-minute video, a mock movie trailer entitled Game Change We Can Believe In.
    It’s a collection of laudatory remarks about Palin by many of the same Republican strategists who later spoke of deep regret for pushing John McCain to tap the young, dynamic Alaska governor as his running mate in a high-stakes gamble to beat Barack Obama…. – Winniped Free Press, 3-9-12
  • Around the remote: Television picks for the week of March 4-10: “GAME CHANGE” – Like a master illusionist, actress Julianne Moore makes an incredible metamorphosis to become Sarah Palin in this compelling, behind-the-scenes look into John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign…. – Kansas City Star, 3-4-12
  • HBO’s Game Change shows Sarah Palin out of her depth: There is one thing the new HBO movie Game Change won’t alter after it airs on television in one week: Sarah Palin will still be loved by many US Republican conservatives and loathed by American liberals…. – Ottawa Citizen, 3-3-12
  • ‘Game Change’ and Politics as Reality TV: There’s a great scene toward the end of HBO’s Game Change, the controversial and shamelessly entertaining movie about Sarah Palin and the 2008 presidential campaign, starring Julianne Moore as the Wasilla Windbag. A few of John McCain’s advisers hit … –, 3-2-12
  • Game Change: Game Change is based on a small portion of the best-selling book of the same name by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin — the portion that eviscerates John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate in the 2008 presidential campaign…. – Entertainment Weekly, 3-2-12
  • ‘Game Change’ is unlikely to change minds about Sarah Palin: If you like the former vice presidential candidate, you will find the film to be offensive. If not, you are primed to enjoy it…. – USA Today, 3-8-12
  • Julianne Moore aims for ‘total immersion’: The 51-year-old Oscar-nominated actress portrays American politician and 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in HBO’s political drama Going Rogue. The film based on the eponymous book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin follows the 2008 US … – Belfast Telegraph, 3-2-12
  • Sarah Palin PAC unveils ‘trailer’ mocking HBO’s ‘Game Change,’: Sarah Palin has ripped the movie “Game Change,” which documents her 2008 bid for the vice presidency. Attention HBO: Sarah Palin won’t see your movie. But she will raise you a trailer…. – New York Daily News, 3-2-12
  • Sarah Palin: The big loser in ‘Game Change’: Predictably, Sarah Palin emerges as the big loser in HBO’s movie adaptation of “Game Change,” the best-selling book about the 2008 presidential race. The people in charge of the film could have done … – MarketWatch, 3-9-12
  • Dressing the Part: Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin in ‘Game Change’: The HBO movie “Game Change” has come under fire by Sarah Palin and her supporters for its characterization of her as a vice presidential candidate who was obstinate, out of her depth and even delusional. One aspect of the portrait that hasn’t been attacked: its costuming.
    “It’s a pretty easy thing to be uncontroversial about,” says director Jay Roach, whose team combed through reams of rally footage and rope line photos to source the clothes worn by Palin (played by Julianne Moore), John McCain (Ed Harris) and other members of the Republican team…. – WSJ, 3-9-12
  • Game Change: No one doubted that Julianne Moore would nail the physical details playing Sarah Palin in Game Change, about the Alaska governor’s astonishing explosion on the political scene in 2008 as John McCain’s running mate. So, yes, she does “the voice,” which … – People Magazine, 3-9-12

Campaign Headlines March 7, 2012: Mitt Romney wins 6 States in Super Tuesday GOP primaries but race continues Rick Santorum & Newt Gingrich vow to continue towards the nomination



Romney wins 6 of 10 states on Super Tuesday but Santorum, Gingrich vow to fight on

Source: WaPo, 3-7-12

Video: The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza discusses what the presidential Republican race looks like after Mitt Romney’s win in Ohio on Super Tuesday, and whether the former Massachusetts governor has the nomination sewn up.

Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum each won Republican presidential primaries in multiple states on Tuesday night, with Romney narrowly edging his rival in the key state of Ohio after a battle that highlighted stubborn divisions in their party.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich won the primary in his home state of Georgia, once again reviving his campaign. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas did surprisingly well in a losing effort in Virginia, indicating that the tumultuous four-way GOP race is likely to rumble on for weeks.

Ohio Primary Results

Results as of 1:25 PM ET  |   0:00

Candidate Votes % Won
Mitt Romney 455,993 37.9%
Rick Santorum 445,690 37.1%
Newt Gingrich 175,352 14.6%
Ron Paul 111,129 9.3%
Other 13,848 1.1%

Romney beat Santorum by just one percentage point in Ohio, a state that is vital to Republican hopes in November’s general election. Romney had trailed badly there in recent weeks, but rebounded as a result of heavy TV advertising and repeated visits to the state. He also won four states where he faced little opposition: Massachusetts, Virginia, Vermont and Idaho. In the Alaska caucuses, he won with 32.6 percent of the vote, compared to 29 percent for Santorum, 24 percent for Paul and 14.2 percent for Gingrich.

Each victory helped Romney add to his lead in delegates, the tally that will ultimately determine the GOP’s nominee. But the former Massachusetts governor, who has struggled to capture the passion of Republican voters, acknowledged that it could be a struggle for him to clinch the nomination before the Republicans’ nominating convention….READ MORE

Full Text Campaign Buzz March 6, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Speech / Remarks after Super Tuesday Victories in GOP / Republican Presidential Primaries



Mitt Romney Delivers Remarks on Super Tuesday


Thank you!  What a great night!

And thank you, Massachusetts!  We are excited to be in the Bay State tonight celebrating with family and friends who have worked tirelessly on this campaign.  And, of course, it’s an honor to have so many of the citizens I served as governor join our cause.  Your support means everything to me, and I will not let you down.

Tonight, we are counting up the delegates for the convention – and counting down the days until November.  We’re going to take your vote and our victory all the way to the White House!

It’s been a long road to Super Tuesday.  My opponents have all worked very hard – and I’d like to congratulate Newt Gingrich on a good night in Georgia, Rick Santorum on his night, and Ron Paul for his steadfast commitment to our Constitution and his strong support in every state.

We started our campaign nine months ago on a New Hampshire farm not too far from here.  It was a beautiful spring day full of hope and promise, a day that made us all recognize once again how lucky we are to be Americans. What we launched that day was not just an effort to win more votes – or more delegates – it was the start of an effort to restore the promise of America, a promise we all know has been frayed by these difficult times.

We’ve sounded our clarion call across this country, from airport tarmacs to factory floors, from door to door, and heart to heart.  I’ve met with moms and dads, teachers and students, business owners and factory workers. I’ve listened and I’ve learned.  I hope I’m a better candidate for it. And I will be forever grateful for this greatest of experiences.

I’ve met people like Norm Byrne, who exemplify the innovative spirit that built this country.

Norm didn’t get to go to college.  He doesn’t have an engineering degree.  But he does have over 100 patents to his name.  He turned a small shop in his basement into a successful company that helped build an industry.  And it’s entrepreneurs like Norm who are going to get the American economy back on track.

I’ve met parents like David McArthur, whose children have served and suffered for their country in war.  David’s son was seriously injured in Afghanistan.  He returned from the front lines only to face a new fight to get the medical care he needs – and he has surely earned.  As I told David, I believe that to those who put everything on the line, we owe everything they need.

America’s veterans deserve a lot better than long lines and reduced benefits. And, as President, I’m going to make sure they get it.

As a candidate for President, I’ve had the privilege of meeting people like Norm and David.

Their stories are inspiring.  But I’ve also met people who are really hurting in this stagnant Obama Economy – and their stories are heart-breaking.

Some have lost their jobs, others work two jobs just to get by.  Some used to be middle class, but now they are struggling again, right back where they started.  The prices for gas and food and clothing keep going up, but their paycheck stays the same.

President Obama keeps telling these Americans that the recovery is here.  But, for them, the recession isn’t over.

From generation to generation, Americans have always known that the future would be brighter and better.  Americans have always believed in a tomorrow full of possibility and prosperity.

That deep confidence in a better tomorrow is the basic promise of America.  Today, that promise is being threatened by a faltering economy and a failed presidency.

To the millions of Americans who look around and can only see jobs they can’t get and bills they can’t pay, I have a message:  You have not failed.  This President has failed you.

President Obama said he would create jobs.  For 36 months, unemployment has been above 8%.

He said he would cut the deficit in half.  He’s doubled it.

Today, our debts are too high and our opportunities are too few.  And we’ve seen enough of this President over the last three years to know that we don’t need another five.

This President is out of ideas.  He’s running out of excuses.  And, in 2012, he’ll be out of office.

President Obama seems to believe he is unchecked by our Constitution.  He is unresponsive to the will of our people; he operates by command instead of by consensus.  In a second term, he would be unrestrained by the demands of re-election. And if there is one thing we can’t afford, it is four years of a Barack Obama with no one to answer to.

These days, the President and his team keep telling us that things are getting better.  24 million Americans are still struggling for work, and they are high-fiving each other in the West Wing.

But, my friends, the truth is this:  8% unemployment is not the best America can do; it’s just the best this administration can do.  When I am President, the American economy will not be lagging behind; it will be leading the world.

For this administration, the unemployment number is just another inconvenient statistic standing in the way of a second term.  But those numbers are more than data on a spreadsheet; they are worried families and anxious faces.  And tonight, I’d like to say to each of them:  You have not been forgotten. We will not leave you behind.  Our campaign is on the move.  And real change is finally on the way.

Times may be tough, but our citizens still believe in the promise of America.  And they deserve a President who believes in them.

That’s why our campaign is about more than just replacing a President.  It is about restoring America’s promise.

We won’t settle for this President’s “new normal.”  I am offering a real choice and a new beginning.  And I have a plan that will deliver more jobs, less debt, and smaller government.

President Obama raised the national debt.  I will cut, cap, and balance the budget.

He passed Obamacare.  I’ll repeal Obamacare.

He lost our AAA credit rating; I’ll restore it.

He rejected the Keystone Pipeline.  I’ll approve it.  He has stalled domestic energy production.  I will open up our lands for development, so we can finally get the energy we need at a price we can afford.

When it comes to the economy, my highest priority will be worrying about your job, not saving my own.  I have a pro-growth tax plan that will jumpstart the economy.

President Obama wants to raise your taxes.  I will cut them.  That starts with an across-the-board, 20% rate cut for every American.  I will repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax – and I will finally abolish the death tax.

He’s proposed raising taxes for job creators.  I will cut taxes for job creators.

He wants to raise taxes on savings and investment.  I will help middle class families save and invest tax-free.

President Obama doesn’t have a single serious proposal for saving Medicare or Social Security.  I have a plan that saves and strengthens both – and I have the courage to put it on the table.

As President, I will get our economy back on track – and get our citizens back to work.  And, unlike President Obama, I actually have the experience to deliver on that promise.

I spent 25 years in business.  I have been the steward of an Olympics and the leader of this great state.  I’ve cut taxes 19 times.  I’ve turned a budget shortfall into a surplus.  I know how government kills jobs – and, yes, how it can help create them.  I stand ready to lead our Party to victory – and our nation to prosperity.

I have said before – and I firmly believe – that this campaign is about saving the soul of America.  And it is driven by the unshakable optimism that lies within our American hearts.

We know that our future is brighter and better than these troubled times. We have been knocked down. We have been tested.  But we don’t accept an America of limits.  We know that America is a land of opportunity. We still get up each day and thank God that we’re Americans.  And we know that with hard work and strong leadership, our greatest days are ahead.

Tonight we’ve taken one more step toward restoring the promise of America.  Tomorrow we wake up and we start again.  And the next day we do the same.  And so it will go, day by day, step by step, door to door, heart to heart.

There will be good days and bad days, always long hours and never enough time.  But, on November 6th, we will stand united – not only having won an election, but having saved a future.

It is time we believe in ourselves. It is time to Believe in America.

I’m asking you to join our cause.  We need your energy and your conviction and your commitment.

I’m asking for you to pledge your support at mitt-romney-dot-com.  We need your voice and your vote in this campaign.

I’m asking you to join in the fight for our freedom – and ensure that tomorrow will be better than today.

Let’s go forward together and restore the promise of America!  Together, let’s fight for the country we love.

Thank you.  And God bless America.

Campaign Buzz March 3, 2012: Mitt Romney Wins Washington State’s Nonbinding Caucuses Ahead of Super Tuesday


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.



Romney wins Republican caucuses in Washington: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has won the Republican caucuses in Washington by a double-digit margin. The win is the fourth straight for Romney as the candidates approach the 10-state Super Tuesday contest next week.
Candidates Rick Santorum and Ron Paul are battling for second place with Newt Gingrich in a distant fourth… – WaPo, 3-3-12

Mitt Romney Wins Washington State Presidential Caucuses, A.P. Reports: Mitt Romney won Saturday’s nonbinding caucuses in Washington State, according to The Associated Press, handing him a symbolic victory in his quest for the Republican nomination as he heads into the critical Super Tuesday contests just three days away.
The vote was a nonbinding straw poll and has no bearing on the selection of the state’s 43 delegates. Of those, 40 are up for grabs, but they will not be picked until later…. – NYT, 3-3-12


  • Romney wins Washington caucuses: Mitt Romney rolled to a double-digit victory in Washington state’s Republican presidential caucuses Saturday night, his fourth campaign triumph in a row and a fresh show of strength in the run-up to 10 Super Tuesday contests in all … – USA Today, AP, 3-3-12
  • Romney Takes Washington Ahead of a Big Election Day: Mitt Romney won Saturday’s nonbinding caucuses in Washington State, handing him a symbolic victory in his quest for the Republican nomination as he heads into the critical “Super Tuesday” contests just three days away. The vote was a nonbinding straw … NYT, 3-3-12
  • Romney’s win in Washington state adds to delegate lead heading into Super Tuesday: Mitt Romney is adding to his lead in the race for convention delegates with his win in Washington state’s Republican presidential caucuses. Romney has won at least 12 delegates while Rick Santorum and Ron Paul have each won at least three…. – WaPo, 3-3-12
  • Romney projected winner of Washington state’s caucuses: Mitt Romney was projected as the winner of Washington state’s GOP presidential caucuses late Saturday, based on surveys by a consortium of television networks, giving him the prospect of a welcome … – LAT, 3-3-12
  • Washington caucuses offer GOP candidates another chance at delegates, but focus is on Ohio: Washington state was Saturday’s prize for the Republican presidential candidates, but they focused on delegate-rich Ohio, among the 10 states holding contests on Super Tuesday in what will be campaign’s biggest payday…. – WaPo, 3-3-12
  • Paul, Romney and Santorum see opportunity in Washington caucuses: Saturday’s Washington state Republican caucuses provide, in an admittedly limited way, a metaphor for the 2012 GOP primary campaign. Mitt Romney’s campaign organization: steady as she goes. Rick Santorum’s: flying by the seat of … – LAT, 3-3-12
  • Washington State caucuses could foreshadow Super Tuesday: The Republican presidential caucuses in Washington State are being held Saturday, three days before Super Tuesday. Mitt Romney is leading in polls, but Rick Santorum is strong there too…. – CS Monitor, 3-3-12
  • Santorum seeks a pre-Super Tuesday win in Washington caucuses: Rick Santorum left Ohio on Thursday to come to the Republican heartland of eastern Washington aiming to steal one more victory in advance of the multiple-state showdown on Super Tuesday. The people and the money are over in urban King … – LAT, 3-3-12
  • Washington GOP chair predicts Romney, Paul win in state’s caucuses: Washington state began its Republican presidential caucuses Saturday with 40 delegates up for grabs, and with the state’s GOP chairman predicting a win for either Mitt Romney or Ron Paul. The turnout required for a win can be bolstered by a … – CNN, 3-3-12

History Op-eds February 17, 2012: Jules Witcover A brokered convention?


A brokered convention?

The winnowing process in the Republican presidential nomination race has reduced the field to four candidates — Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich— each of whom has a legitimate rationale to keep going.Mr. Romney continues to have the most money and largest field organization. Mr. Santorum has recent, if modest, primary or caucus successes to sustain him. Mr. Gingrich has his immense ego and a rabid following to drive him on. And Mr. Paul has his own goal of advancing a libertarian strain in the Republican Party quite apart from achieving the nomination, and an idealistic and undaunted youth brigade behind him.

With Mr. Romney failing to gain clear majorities of voters in the contests to date, and with no message that seems to promise a broader constituency, there’s no reason for the other candidates to fold up. The free televised debates, though temporarily in suspension, will resume soon, enabling them to remain visible to millions of voters.

Between now and the next primaries in Arizona and Michigan on Feb. 28, the super-PACs supporting Mr. Romney and Mr. Gingrich can be expected to fire a host of negative advertising at Mr. Santorum. The latest New York Times/CBS News survey has him at 30 percent support to 27 percent for Mr. Romney, 12 percent for Mr. Paul and only 10 percent for Mr. Gingrich.

The former House speaker has been fading so fast that ordinarily a candidate in his straits would be expected to drop out soon. But Mr. Gingrich has vowed to stay in the race into the convention, and a combination of more impressive debate performances and his immense self-assurance could well keep him going.

So what happens if this quartet of presidential wannabes hangs in, with none of them catching fire but each of them picking up a share of the national convention delegates as the process proceeds? With many states allocating them in proportion to the percentage of votes won in the primaries and caucuses, split decisions in many states seem entirely possible….READ MORE

Campaign Buzz February 16, 2012: Sarah Palin Willing to Run for President as GOP Nominee if Asked at a Brokered Republican Convention


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.


Sarah Palin is pictured. | AP Photo


“If one of the nominees, one of the GOPers, doesn’t get enough delegates, it could go to a brokered convention. If it does get to that, and someone said, ‘Governor, would you be interested,’ would you be interested?
For one, I think that it could get to that. … If it had to be closed up today, the whole nominating process, then we could be looking at a brokered convention. … Nobody is quite there yet, so I think that months from now, if that is the case, all bets are off as to who it will be, willing to offer up themselves up in their name in service to their country.
I would do whatever I could to help.” — Sarah Palin to Fox Business Network’s Eric Bolling in an interview

  • Guess Who Made a Surprise Visit to ‘The Five’?: Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin drops in on ‘The Five’ and discusses a possible brokered convention in the GOP Presidential race…. – Fox News, 2-16-12
  • Sarah Palin won’t rule out running: Sarah Palin is keeping the door open for another political run and even offered to “help” should the Republican party fail to pick a presidential nominee by the August convention. “…If it had to be closed up today, the whole nominating … – Boston Herald, 2-16-12
  • Sarah Palin says she is “game” for another run for office: Fox News analyst Sarah Palin hinted Wednesday that it is not too late for her to get into the Republican presidential contest. Asked in an interview if she would be interested in jumping in the race if there is no clear winner by the time Republicans … – CBS News, 2-16-12
  • Analysts Say There’s Still Potential for Palin Presidency: The former VP: Former vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was hands-down the brightest star at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, bringing attendees to their feet more than any other speaker, including three GOP presidential … – Chicago Tribune, 2-16-12
  • Sarah Palin: I’d ‘help’ with brokered convention: Former Republican Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Wednesday that a brokered Republican presidential convention was a possibility and that if it happened she “would do whatever I could to help.” “If one of the nominees, one of the GOPers…. – Politico, 2-16-12
  • Palin: GOP nominee will be picked by bosses, not voters: Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin says no ‘enthusiasm’ for Republican candidates in presidential race means primaries will likely end with a deal. Would you vote for Sarah Palin if she decided to run?… – New York Daily News, 2-16-12

Campaign Buzz February 7, 2012: Rick Santorum Sweeps GOP Missouri, Minnesota & Colorado Primaries & Caucuses Claims Victory for Conservatism — Puts Conservative Support for Mitt Romney for the Republican Presidential Nomination in Question


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.


Dilip Vishwanat for The New York Times
Rick Santorum addressed his supporters with his wife, Karen, at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Mo., on Tuesday night. More Photos »


Caucus Results
10:05 AM ET 2:00

Minnesota »
Candidate Votes Pct.
Santorum 21,436 44.8%
Paul 13,030 27.2
Romney 8,096 16.9
Gingrich 5,134 10.7
95% reporting
Colorado »
Santorum 26,372 40.2%
Romney 22,875 34.9
Gingrich 8,394 12.8
Paul 7,713 11.8
100% reporting

The Missouri primary is nonbinding and has no effect on delegates.

Santorum Upsets G.O.P. Race With Three Victories: Rick Santorum won the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses and a nonbinding primary in Missouri on Tuesday, raising fresh questions about Mitt Romney’s ability to corral conservative support…. – NYT, 2-8-12 Full Results and Recap

Jubilant Santorum wins Minn., challenges in Colo.: A resurgent Rick Santorum won Minnesota’s Republican presidential caucuses with ease Tuesday night and challenged Mitt Romney in Colorado, raising fresh questions about the front-runner’s appeal among the ardent conservatives at the core of the party’s political base.
Santorum triumphed, as well, in a nonbinding Missouri primary that was worth bragging rights but no delegates…. – AP, 2-7-12

Rick Santorum wins Colorado caucuses to claim clean sweep: Rick Santorum had a breakthrough night Tuesday, winning GOP presidential contests in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado. Santorum solidly defeated Romney in Minnesota and Missouri, and he narrowly edged the former Massachusetts governor in Colorado, according to state GOP officials…. – Read more at:

AP: Rick Santorum wins Minnesota GOP caucuses: Victory is former Pennsylvania senator’s second of the night, coming after a win in Missouri’s non-binding primary…. – WaPo, 2-7-12

AP declares Rick Santorum winner in Missouri: Missouri’s primary awards no delegates, but the victory gives a boost to the former Pennsylvania senator’s efforts to slow Mitt Romney’s march to the Republican presidential nomination. Newt Gingrich did not compete in Missouri…. – WaPo, 2-7-12

Rick Santorum Wins Minnesota Republican Caucus: Rick Santorum has won Minnesota’s Republican caucus, giving him a second big win on Tuesday night and adding to the headache for Mitt Romney and his hopes of quickly wrapping up the Republican presidential nomination.
Mr. Santorum’s victory in Minnesota — a state that Mr. Romney won easily in 2008 — came shortly after he was declared the easy victor in Missouri, where he trounced his rivals in the Republican primary.
He is also leading in early returns in Colorado’s Republican caucus…. – NYT, 2-7-12

“Conservatism is alive and well in Missouri and Minnesota.” — Rick Santorum

“This was a good night for Rick Santorum. I want to congratulate Sen. Santorum, but I expect to become the nominee with your help.” — Mitt Romney

  • Live blog: Santorum wins Missouri primary: We’re live-blogging the results from GOP presidential contests in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado. Rick Santorum has scored the first victory of the night with a win in Missouri. He’s battling with Mitt Romney in Minnesota … – USA Today, 2-7-12
  • Live: Santorum proclaims victory for ‘conservatism’: Rick Santorum scored two victories Tuesday night in the GOP presidential race, easily defeating Mitt Romney in Missouri and Ron Paul in Minnesota. In Colorado, a state that will be among those hotly contested in the general … – USA Today, 2-7-12
  • After 3-state sweep, Santorum ready for Romney: Fresh from his three-state sweep, a confident Rick Santorum said he is prepared for an onslaught from Mitt Romney as he tries to make his case that he’s the best conservative to take on President Obama…. – USA Today, 2-8-12
  • In Santorum’s Sweep, Sign of GOP Unease With Romney: Rick Santorum’s sweep of Mitt Romney in Tuesday’s three Republican presidential contests sets the stage for a new and bitter round of intraparty acrimony as Mr. Romney once again faces a surging conservative challenge to his claim on the party’s nomination… – NYT, 2-8-12
  • Voters in Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri choose Santorum: The Republican presidential candidates made last-minute campaign stops before the Colorado and Minnesota caucuses and the Missouri primary. Tuesday was a breakthrough night for Rick Santorum, who swept all three states…. – WaPo, 2-8-12
  • Santorum sweep slows Romney’s drive: Rick Santorum shook up the race for the Republican presidential nomination by sweeping three contests yesterday, casting doubt on front-runner Mitt Romney’s hold over the party’s core voters…. – Bloomberg, 2-8-12
  • What went wrong for Mitt Romney in Colorado?: Mitt Romney downplayed expectations going into Tuesday night, and it was predicted he could lose to Rick Santorum in Minnesota and Missouri. But his loss in Colorado was a shocker…. – CS Monitor, 2-8-12
  • Another Twist for GOP as Santorum Fares Well: His candidacy all but dismissed just days ago, Rick Santorum won the Minnesota caucuses and a nonbinding primary in Missouri on Tuesday, raising fresh questions about Mitt Romney’s ability to corral conservative support. Mr. Santorum was also running … – NYT, 2-7-12
  • Voter turnout slides in GOP contests: Rick Santorum may have scored a political hat trick Tuesday night, but voter turnout was down in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri. That continues a trend that began in Florida and occurred again in Nevada…. – USA Today, 2-8-12
  • Santorum victories in Missouri, Minnesota bolster his case: Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who says he’s on a clear path to the Republican presidential nomination, hit a speed bump Tuesday night as rival Rick Santorum scored easy victories in the Minnesota caucuses and the Missouri primary… – USA Today, 2-7-12
  • Santorum rips Obama, Romney in victory speech: After being declared the winner in both the Missouri presidential primary and Minnesota’s caucuses, Santorum addressed a cheering crowd in St. Charles, Mo., branding himself as the best candidate to take on President Obama in the fall … – LAT, 2-7-12
  • Rick Santorum triumphant as election takes another unpredictable swing: Rick Santorum has been declared the winner in Minnesota and Missouri – by wide margins – and could yet upset Mitt Romney in Colorado. But bigger contests lie ahead…. – CS Monitor, 2-7-12
  • Facing a sweep, humbled Romney congratulates Santorum: It was a grim election night party for Mitt Romney. First came word that he lost Missouri. Next came news of his defeat in Minnesota. With early returns showing the potential for a third loss in Colorado, Romney declined to wait for … – LAT, 2-7-12
  • Colorado looks like a solid purple state for fall election: Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s ability to attract thousands to his stump speeches here may make it look as if Colorado is destined to return to a red state in 2012, but Republicans and Democrats here … – USA Today, 2-7-12
  • Santorum declared winner in Missouri: Rick Santorum had a breakthrough night on Tuesday by winning the Missouri primary and making strong showings in the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses, breathing life into his struggling campaign and slowing Mitt Romney’s march to the Republican … – WaPo, 2-7-12
  • Missouri’s meaningless primary? Not anymore: The Missouri primary is the only so-called “beauty contest” in the Republican presidential race this year. But it might be remembered as where things got a little ugly for Mitt Romney. Rick Santorum’s win in the meaningless Show Me State primary on … – WaPo, 2-7-12
  • Santorum deals Romney a setback by winning Missouri: Rick Santorum dealt Mitt Romney a setback Tuesday night, winning the presidential primary in Missouri as Republicans in three states voted on a day that could produce a shift in the momentum of the 2012 race…. – LAT, 2-7-12
  • Rick Santorum wins Missouri ‘beauty contest’: Rick Santorum won Missouri’s presidential primary Tuesday, according to an Associated Press projection, but the only thing he can claim as a result is some newfound momentum. Because of a scheduling dispute within the state … – LAT, 2-7-12
  • Santorum wins Missouri primary, getting bragging rights but no delegates for GOP Nomination: Rick Santorum has won the Missouri Republican primary, a nonbinding election that carries bragging rights but does not award any delegates in the race for the presidential nomination. Missouri will pick its delegates at caucuses … – WaPo, 2-7-12
  • In Minnesota, Santorum ahead in early returns in statewide GOP caucuses for President: With 9 percent of Minnesota’s precincts reporting, former Sen. Rick Santorum is jumping to a lead, with 44 percent support, hoping to extinguish front-runner Mitt Romney’s modest winning streak and launch a comeback of his own…. – WaPo, 2-7-12
  • Voters in Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri head to the polls: The Republican presidential candidates made last-minute campaign stops before the Colorado and Minnesota caucuses and the Missouri primary. Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) poses for a photo as he visits a caucus site in Coon … – WaPo, 2-7-12
  • Campaign 2012: Santorum at center stage as three states vote: Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who says he’s on a clear path to the Republican presidential nomination, braced for a speed bump Tuesday night amid signs of strength by rival Rick Santorum in two of the three states … – USA Today, 2-7-12

Campaign Buzz December 20, 2011: Sarah Palin on Fox Business: Not Too Late to Jump into Republican Presidential Race



Sarah Palin: Not Too Late to Jump into Republican Race

Source: AP, 12-20-11

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin says it’s not too late for someone to jump into the Republican presidential race.

Asked by Fox Business Network’s “Follow the Money” about the likelihood that she’d become a candidate, the former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee said it’s not too late for “folks” to jump in.

Said Palin: “Who knows what will happen in the future.”

The full interview is scheduled for broadcast Monday night.

Palin told Fox News Channel over the weekend that she felt no enthusiasm for anyone in the current GOP field and that she needed to feel something before she would offer an endorsement.

Palin said in October that she wouldn’t seek the GOP nomination. She said she could be more effective helping others get elected.

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


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.


Monica Almeida/The New York Times

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


  • Las Vegas Republican debate: The Live Blog: Tonight at 8 p.m. eastern time seven Republican candidates running for president will take the stage in Las Vegas for the fifth debate in the last six weeks…. – WaPo
  • Western Republican Leadership Conference (WRLC)/CNN Debate at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino: The following is a transcript of the Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nev…. – NYT, 10-19-11

Faith and religion

Gov. Rick Perry: “I can no more remove my faith than I can [the fact that] I’m the son of a tenant farmer. That individual expressed an opinion. I didn’t agree with it, Mitt…. “Americans understand faith, and what they’ve lost faith in is the current resident” of the White House…. “I did not agree with Pastor Jeffress’ remarks. I cannot apologize more than that.”

Tax plans

Gov. Rick Perry: “Herman, I love you, brother, but let me tell you something. You don’t need a big analysis to figure this thing out. Go to New Hampshire where they don’t have a sales tax, and you’re fixing to give them one.”
“They’re not interested in 9-9-9. What they’re interested in is flatter and fairer. At the end of the week, I’m going to be laying out a plan that clearly — I’ll bump plans with you, brother, and we’ll see who has the best idea about how you get this country working again.”

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Lake Jackson: “What would you replace the income tax with?” “I’ll say ‘nothing,'” Paul said.

Foreign aid:

Gov. Rick Perry: “I think it’s time for this country to have a very real debate about foreign aid. I think it’s time for us to have a very serious conversation about defunding the United Nations. … Why are we funding that particular organization?”

Rep. Ron Paul: “It’s taking from poor people in this country and giving to rich people in other countries.”

Herman Cain: “If we clarify who our friends are and clarify who our enemies are.”

Health plans

Gov. Rick Perry: Perry: Texas has “one of the finest healthcare systems in the world.”

Border security

Gov. Rick Perry: while a fence separating the U.S. and Mexico border can be built, “there’s a better way.” Primarily that would be putting “boots on the ground” and using technology to create a “virtual defense zone along that border … with strategic fencing in obvious places where it matters.”

  • The Caucus: Las Vegas Debate Wrap-Up: In the most contentious debate so far, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry clashed repeatedly. It signaled the start of a tough new phase of the campaign…. – NYT, 10-19-11
  • Las Vegas Debate Fact Check: New York Times reporters examine statements from candidates in the Republican field on immigration, the economy, foreign policy and health care…. – NYT, 10-18-11
  • GOP debate in Vegas: Winners and losers: The latest – and most contentious – Republican presidential debate of the 2012 cycle has wrapped up in Las Vegas, which means it’s time to look at who had a night to remember and who had one to forget:
    Winners: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum
    Losers: Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman Draw: Rick Perry, Ron Paul…. –
    CBS News, 10-19-11
  • Candidates swap barbs in GOP debate: Herman Cain’s surge in the polls made him an early target in the CNN Western Republican debate but before it was over, Republican presidential rivals were taking personal shots at each other…. – CNN, 10-18-11
  • Four takeaways from the GOP debate in Las Vegas: Rick Perry came out swinging in this debate, notes DCDecoder. Herman Cain’s 999 plan took some hits, and Mitt Romney had some red-faced moments…. –

    1. Rick Perry – don’t call it a comeback.
    2. Herman Cain is apparently incapable of answering any question about foreign policy without fumbling. Hard.
    3. The longer Rick Santorum sticks around, the more nervous Romney, Perry and to some extent Cain, are going to be.
    4. Mitt Romney can have pretty thin skin.

    CS Monitor, 10-19-11

  • Gloves come off, candidates go all out in Las Vegas debate:

    Seven of the top GOP presidential candidates faced off in Las Vegas
    Jon Huntsman decided to boycott Nevada and instead will campaign in New Hampshire
    Frontrunners Cain, Romney and Perry came under frequent attack
    Romney and Perry face off, trade sharp accusations

    Republican presidential candidates face off in the Western Republican Debate, moderated by Anderson Cooper, at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday on CNN, the CNN mobile apps and Tweet your questions to #CNNDebate on Twitter.
    Tuesday night was fight night in Las Vegas. Seven Republican presidential candidates clashed sharply over issues such as illegal immigration, taxes and health care at a presidential debate in Nevada sponsored by CNN and the Western Republican Leadership Conference.
    But it was the three Republican frontrunners — former Godfather’s Pizza executive Herman Cain, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov Rick Perry — who came under frequent attack.
    The long-standing bad blood between Romney and Perry boiled over in the debate’s first hour as the two GOP heavyweights traded harsh accusations and showed flashes of anger…. – CNN, 10-18-11

  • A Fierce Clash for Romney and Perry as Republican Candidates Debate: Mitt Romney came under intensive attack from his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination at a debate here Tuesday night, with a newly assertive Rick Perry leading a sometimes personal barrage against him on conservative consistency, health care policy and even the immigration status of yard workers at his home.
    Seven of the Republican candidates for president gathered again tonight for the eighth debate of the year and the first held in the West.
    It was the most acrimonious debate so far this year. Marked by raised voices, accusations of lying and acerbic and personal asides, it signaled the start of a tough new phase of the primary campaign a little more than two months before the first votes are cast.
    Mr. Romney responded aggressively to the attacks and sometimes testily. Once, after Mr. Perry spoke over him, he turned to the debate moderator, Anderson Cooper of CNN, to plead, “Anderson?”…. – NYT, 10-18-11
  • Republican debate: What we learned in Las Vegas: * Mitt and Rick, not BFF: Before last night’s debate, most of the skirmishing between the former Massachusetts governor and the Texas governor was at the staff level. No longer. Perry repeatedly got into Romney’s face and Romney repeatedly took umbrage.
    Perry’s attack on Romney employing illegal immigrant lawn service workers was decidedly personal and aggressive, and, for the first time in these debates, Romney got visibly angry. The extended “let me finish, no let me talk” exchange over immigration rapidly escalated to the point where it was very uncomfortable (and yet strangely alluring) to watch.
    The ill will between the men seems to set the stage for a very nasty next few months as the two best-funded candidates in the race (not to mention their super PACs) will soon take to the television airwaves to continue the argument begun last night.
    * Perry — not dead yet : Perry’s performance was somewhat uneven — he was terrific in the earlier part of the debate and less so as it wore on — but overall it was by far his best showing. Perry actually seemed like he wanted to be there; he was energetic and feisty.
    We’ve written before that Republican primary voters want to nominate a fighter, someone they believe can take the fight to President Obama on all fronts. Last night, Perry was that guy…. – WaPo, 10-19-11
  • Mitt Romney aide: He stood up to ‘bully’ Rick Perry at debate: Mitt Romney’s adviser Eric Fehrnstrom, on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell a bit ago, gave the line that the frontrunner’s camp has used to spin Rick Perry’s performance – that he was too aggressive…. – Politico, 10-19-11
  • Perry calling for flat tax: Texas Gov. Rick Perry is calling for a flat tax. Perry told the Western Republican Leadership Conference on Wednesday that he’ll unveil the tax as part of his broad plan to revive the economy and create jobs. … – AP, 10-19-11
  • Perry to unveil flat tax plan: Rick Perry will outline a plan next week to replace the US tax code with a federal “flat tax,” he told an audience in Las Vegas Wednesday. Continue Reading Perry’s plan, he told the Western Republican Leadership Conference… – Politico, 10-19-11
  • Rick Perry Previews His Next Economic Plan: After his strongest debate performance since his entrance in the presidential race, Texas Gov. Rick Perry shared a portion of his forthcoming economic growth plan which he will unveil in next week in South Carolina…. – ABC News, 10-19-11
  • Rick Perry continues the tough talk: “I am not a candidate of the establishment”: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, fresh from his feisty attacks on Mitt Romney in Tuesday’s GOP “fight night” CNN debate in Las Vegas, hit the Western Republican Leadership Conference Wednesday and kept up the jabs… – San Francisco Chronicle, 10-19-11
  • Las Vegas Republican debate: How each candidate fared: Seven GOP presidential candidates showed up in Las Vegas last night for what ended up being the most contentious debate of the campaign cycle. While much of the attention focused on Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Herman Cain…. – WaPo, 10-19-11
  • All against Cain: Upstart targeted in GOP debate: Republican presidential contenders attacked upstart Herman Cain’s economic plan as a tax increase waiting to happen Tuesday night, moving swiftly in a fiery campaign debate to blunt the former businessman’s … – Boston Globe, 10-18-11
  • Republican presidential debate puts Herman Cain to test: In what has become a near-weekly ritual, the 2012 Republican presidential field came together on a debate stage Tuesday — this time, one that tested whether Herman Cain is a serious contender…. – WaPo, 10-18-11
  • Republicans brawl in Vegas: Tonight’s Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas was anything but dull. From the get-go, it was a free-for-all, with Herman Cain the principal target of his competitors…. – WaPo, 10-18-11
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Full Text Campaign Buzz October 18, 2011: CNN / Western Republican Leadership Conference (WRLC) GOP Republican Presidential Debate in Las Vegas, Nevada — Candidates Mitt Romney & Rick Perry Fight & Clash in 8th Debate over the Economy, Health Care & Immigration — Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 Plan in the Hot Seat — Transcript



Monica Almeida/The New York Times

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


Western Republican Leadership Conference (WRLC)/CNN Debate at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino

The following is a transcript of the Western Republican Leadership Conference (WRLC)/CNN Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nev., as provided by Federal News Service.

Speakers: Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-MINN.

Rep. Ron Paul, R-TEXAS

Gov. Rick Perry, R-TEXAS

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-PA.

Former Rep. Newt Gingrich, R-GA.

Former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-MASS.

Hermain Cain

Moderator: Anderson Cooper

ANDERSON COOPER: All right. Let’s — time to begin, and we’ll begin with actually a question in the hall.

Q: This is for all candidates. What’s your position on replacing the federal income tax with a federal sales tax?

MR. COOPER: I’ll direct that to Congresswoman Bachmann . You’ve been very critical of Herman’s Cain 9-9-9 plan, which calls for a 9 percent sales tax and 9 percent income tax and 9 percent corporate tax. In fact, you said it would destroy the economy. Why?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN): Well, I am a former federal tax litigation attorney, and also my husband and I are job creators.

One thing I know about Congress, being a member of Congress for five years, is that any time you give the Congress a brand-new tax, it doesn’t go away. When we got the income tax in 1913, the top rate was 7 percent. By 1980 the top rate was 70 percent. If we give Congress a 9 percent sales tax, how long will it take a liberal president and a liberal Congress to run that up to maybe 90 percent?

Who knows?

What I do know is that we all have to be concerned about the hidden tax of the value-added tax, because at every step and stage of production, you’d be taxing that item 9 percent on the profits. That’s the worry. In my plan — again, that’s a tax plan, it’s not a jobs plan. My plan for economic recovery is real jobs right now.

I have a tax plan, I have a jobs plan, I have an energy plan and a plan to really turn this country around and create millions of high- paying jobs.

MR. COOPER: Mr. Cain, a lot of prominent conservatives now are coming forward saying that your 9-9-9 plan would actually raise taxes on middle-class voters, on lower-income voters.

HERMAN CAIN: The thing that I would encourage people to do before they engage in this knee-jerk reaction is read our analysis. It is available at It was performed by Fiscal Associates. And all of the claims that are made against it, it is a jobs plan. It is revenue neutral. It does not raise taxes on those that are making the least. All of those are simply not true.

The reason that my plan — the reason that our plan is being attacked so much is because lobbyists, accountants, politicians, they don’t want to throw out the current tax code and put in something that’s simple and fair. They want to continue to be able to manipulate the American people with a 10-million-word mess. Let’s throw out the 10-million-word mess and put in our plan, which will liberate the American workers and liberate American businesses. (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: Senator Santorum, will his plan raise taxes?

RICK SANTORUM: Herman’s well-meaning. I — and I love his boldness and it’s great. But the fact of the matter is, I mean, reports are now out that 84 percent of Americans would pay more taxes under his plan. That’s the analysis. And it makes sense, because when you — what you — when you don’t provide a standard deduction, when you don’t provide anything for low-income individuals and you have a sales tax and an income tax and, as Michele said, a value added tax, which is really what his corporate tax is, we’re talking about major increases in taxes on people.

He also doesn’t have anything that takes care of the families. I mean, you have a — you have a situation where under Herman’s plan a single person pays as much in taxes as a — as a man and a woman raising three children. We — every — ever since we’ve had the income tax in America, we’ve always taken advantage of the fact that we want to encourage people to — to have children and not have to pay more — already to raise children, but also pay that additional taxes. We gave some breaks for families. He doesn’t do that in this bill. And we’re going to — we’ve seen that happen in Europe, and what happened? Boom! Birth rates went in the — into the — into the basement.

It’s a — it’s a bad tax for — I — again, it’s bold. I give him credit for starting a debate, but it’s not good for families and it’s not good for low-income people.

MR. COOPER: I’m going — I’m going to give you 30 seconds to respond. That 84 percent figure comes from the Tax Policy Center.

MR. CAIN: That simply is not true. I invite people to look at our analysis which we make available. Secondly, the point that he makes about it’s a value added tax, I’m sorry, Representative Bachmann, it’s not a value added tax. It’s a single tax. And if — I invite every American to do their own math, because most of these are kneejerk reactions.

And we do provide a provision, if you read the analysis, something we call “opportunity zones” —

MR. COOPER: All right.

MR. CAIN:  — that will in fact address the issue of those making the least.

MR. COOPER: I want to bring Congresswoman Bachmann in, since she was referenced by you.

REP. BACHMANN: But Anderson, how do you not have a value added tax? Because at every level of production, you have a profit, and that profit gets taxed, because you produce one portion at one level, and then you take it to the next supplier or vender at the next level and you have — you have an exchange. That is a taxable event. And ultimately, that becomes a value added tax. It’s a hidden tax, and any time the federal government needs revenue, they dial up the rate.

And the American people think that it’s the — the — it is the vendor that creates the tax, but it’s the government that creates the tax. (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor — Governor Perry, in your state, you have a 6 1/4 percent sales tax. Would taxpayers pay more under the 9-9-9 plan?

GOVERNOR RICK PERRY: Herman, I love you, brother, but let me tell you something: You don’t have to have a big analysis to figure this thing out. Go to New Hampshire, where they don’t have a sales tax, and you’re fixing to give them one. They’re not interested in 9- 9-9. What they’re interested in is flatter and fairer. At the end of the week, I’m going to be laying out a plan that clearly — I’ll bump plans with you, brother — and we’ll see who has the best idea about how you get this country working again.

And one of the ways — right here in Nevada, you’ve got 8-plus percent. You want nine cents on top of that and 9 cents on a new home — or 9 percent on a new home, 9 percent on your Social Security, 9 percent more? I don’t think so, Herman. It’s not going to fly.

MR. COOPER: Mr. Cain, 30 seconds. (Scattered applause.)

MR. CAIN: This is — this is an example of mixing apples and oranges. The state tax is an apple. We are replacing the current tax code with oranges. So it’s not correct to mix apples and oranges.

Secondly, it is not a value-added tax — tax. If you take most of the products — take a loaf of bread. It does have five taxes in it right now. What the 9 percent does is that we take out those five invisible taxes and replace it with one visible 9 percent. So you’re absolutely wrong. It’s not a value-added tax.

Now one other quick thing.

MR. COOPER: Your time’s up. I’m sorry.

MR. CAIN: This whole — this whole thing about —

MR. COOPER: You’ll have another 30 seconds, trust me. They’re going to go —

MR. CAIN: Tonight?

MR. COOPER: Yes, I guarantee it. (Laughter.) In about a minute.

MR. COOPER: Congressman Paul, you called his plan “dangerous” today.

REPRESENTATIVE RON PAUL (R-TX): Oh, it is, because it raises revenues. And the worst part about it, it’s regressive. A lot of people that have — aren’t paying any taxes — and I like that. I don’t think that we should even things up by raising taxes.

(Applause.) So it is a regressive tax. So it’s very, very dangerous in that thing, and it will raise more revenues.

But the gentleman asked the question — he didn’t even ask what we’re talking about. He asked the question, what are you going to replace the income tax with. And I say, nothing. That’s what we should replace it with. (Cheers, applause.)

But I do want to make the point that spending is a tax. As soon as the government spend money, eventually it’s a tax. Sometimes we put a direct tax on the people. Sometimes we borrow the money. And sometimes we print the money. And then when prices go up, like today the — the — the wholesale price index went up 7 percent rate. And if you look at the free market, prices are going up 9 and 10 percent. So that is the tax.

So spending is the tax. That is the reason I offered the program to cut $1 trillion out of the first-year budget that I offer. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Mr. Cain, 30 seconds.

MR. CAIN: Once again, unfortunately, none of my distinguished colleagues who have attacked me up here tonight understand the plan. They’re wrong about it being a value-added tax. We simply remove the hidden taxes that are in goods and services with our plan and replace it with a single rate, 9 percent. I invite every family to do your own calculations with that arithmetic.

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney, you have your own 59-point plan. In the last debate, Mr. Cain suggested it was too complicated. Is simpler better?

MR. ROMNEY: Oftentimes simpler is better. But — and I know we’re not supposed to ask each other questions, but if you permit, Herman, are you saying that the state sales tax will also go away?

MR. CAIN: No. That’s an apple.


MR. CAIN: We are replacing a bunch of oranges. (Laughter, applause.)

MR. ROMNEY: So — so then Governor Perry was right.

MR. CAIN: No, he wasn’t. He was mixing apples and oranges.

MR. ROMNEY: Well, but will the people in Nevada not have to pay Nevada sales tax and, in addition, pay the 9 percent tax?

MR. CAIN: Governor Romney, you are doing the same thing that they’re doing. You’re mixing apples and oranges.

You’re going to pay the state —


MR. CAIN: No, no, no, no. You’re going to pay the state sales tax, no matter what.

MR. ROMNEY: Right.

MR. CAIN: Whether you throw out the existing code and you put in our plan, you’re still going to pay that. That’s apples and oranges.


MR. CAIN: Yes.

MR. ROMNEY: And I am going to be getting a bushel basket that has apples and oranges in it, because I’m going to pay both taxes.

MR. CAIN: No, no.

MR. ROMNEY: And the people of Nevada don’t want to pay both taxes. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. CAIN: No –

MR. ROMNEY: Let me make this comment. Let me — let’s just — let’s just step back here. We got a lot of people in America that are out of work. We got a lot of people in this state — 13.4 percent of the people in this state out of work. We got home prices going down. We got to talk about how to get America growing again, how to start adding jobs, raising incomes.

And tax is part of it. I want to reduce taxes on our employers, to make it easier to invest in America. I want to reduce taxes on middle-income families.

I like your chutzpah on this, Herman, but I have to tell you, the analysis I did, person by person, return by return, is that middle- income people see higher taxes under your plan. If it’s lower for the middle class, that’s great, but that’s not what I saw. I have to tell you, I want to get our burden down on our employers, on our people. I want to make sure our regulations work to encourage the private sector, as opposed to put a damper on it. I want to get trade opening up new markets for America.

I want to also find a way to get our energy resources — and they’re all over the world or all over this country — using for — used for us. This is time to get America growing again, and that’s what this campaign ought to be about.

MR. COOPER: Thank you, Governor.

Mr. Speaker, you — (cheers, applause) — Speaker Gingrich, you have said in recent days that Mr. Cain’s 9-9-9 plan would be a harder sell than he lets on. How so?

NEWT GINGRICH: Well, you just watched it.

MR. : Yeah. (Laughter.)

REP. BACHMANN: (Inaudible.)

MR. GINGRICH: I mean, there — look, there — there — there are — first of all, I think that Herman Cain deserves a lot of credit. He’s had the courage to go out and take a specific, very big idea — (applause) — at the right level — and he has us — he has us at least talking about something that matters, as opposed to the junk that all too often is masquerading as politics in this country.

So I think that’s important.

There are two parts to this. The first is, if you take his plan — and I think it’s in the interest of the whole country to have serious people take his plan and go through it step by step — there are real — there are much more complexities than Herman lets on. OK? When 9-9-9 — when you get into details, like you pay it on a new product, you don’t pay it on an old product, et cetera, there’s a lot more detail here than he lets on.

Second, I favor very narrow, focused tax cuts, such as zero capital gains, a hundred percent expensing, because I think, as Governor Romney said, jobs are the number-one challenge of the next two or three years. Get something you can do very fast. Change on this scale takes years to think through if you’re going to do it right. (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: Congresswoman Bachmann, you also said at the last debate that everyone should pay something. Does that mean that you would raise taxes on the 47 percent of Americans who currently don’t pay taxes?

REP. BACHMANN: I believe absolutely, every American benefits by this magnificent country; absolutely, every American should pay something, even if it’s a dollar. (Cheers, applause.) Everyone needs to pay something in this country.

That’s why, with my tax plan I take a page out of not theory but what’s provable and what works. What is provable and what works was the economic miracle that was wrought by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. That’s the — that is the plan that I look at.

I also want to completely abolish the tax code. I want to flatten the tax for all of Americans, simplify that tax for all of Americans. And that creates job growth, which is exactly what we need to have, because to be able to fuel the fire for this economy, again, it is the tax code but it doesn’t end with the tax code.

It’s the regulatory burden that costs us $1.8 trillion every year, but it’s more than that cost. It’s jobs that are lost. So we need to repeal “Obamacare,” repeal the jobs and housing destruction act known as Dodd-Frank. (Applause.)

President Obama’s plan has been a plan for destruction of this economy just — and failure.

MR. COOPER: Thank you.

REP. BACHMANN: I plan to change that with real jobs right now: (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: We’ve been talking about Herman Cain’s plan. Let’s talk about Governor Romney’s plan. Governor Perry, you have said that Governor Romney was an abject failure in creating jobs when he was governor of Massachusetts. If you’ve read his 59-point plan, has it changed your mind?

GOV. PERRY: Well, here’s the nine that we need to get focused on, and it’s not 9-9-9 and it’s not 59; it’s that 9 percent unemployment in this country. And that’s where we got to get focused in America, is how to create an environment where the men and women get back to work. It’s the reason I laid out a plan, Newt, this last week to get this energy that’s under our feet.

We’ve got 300 years of resources right under our feet in this country. Yet we’ve got an administration that is blockading our ability to bring that to the — to the surface, whether it’s our petroleum or our natural gas or our coal. And 1.2 million jobs could be put to work. Americans who are sitting out there listening to this conversation tonight, somebody wants someone on this stage to say: Listen, we got an idea here how to get you to work and take care of your family and have the dignity of a job.

And that’s exactly what I did with my plan: laid it out where Americans understand we don’t have to wait on OPEC any more. We don’t have to let them hold us hostage. America’s got the energy. Let’s have American energy independence. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney, does Governor Perry have the answer?

MR. ROMNEY: Well, he’s absolutely right about — about getting energy independence and taking advantage of our natural resources here. We’re an energy-rich nation that’s acting like an energy-poor nation. And that’s something I’ve been talking about for some time, as the governor has. He’s absolutely right.

But there are also a lot of good jobs we need in manufacturing and high-tech jobs and good service jobs, technology of all kinds. America produces an economy that’s very, very broad, and that’s why our policy to get America the most attractive place in the world for investment and job growth encompasses more than just energy. It includes that, but also tax policy, regulatory policy, trade policy, education, training and balancing the federal budget. And that starts with — with repealing “Obamacare,” which is a huge burden on this economy. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Senator Santorum, does Mitt Romney have the answers for jobs?

MR. SANTORUM: I agree with — with — with all of what Governor Romney and both — and Governor Perry said. I would add the fact that — that I’ve put forward the plan that’s going to allow for income mobility. That’s a new term, but I’ve been using it for a long time, which is people at the bottom part of the income scale being able to rise in society. Believe it or not, studies have been done that show that in Western Europe, people at the lower parts of the income scale actually have a better mobility going up the ladder now than in America.

And I believe that’s because we’ve lost our manufacturing base. No more stamp, “Made in America” is really hurting people in the middle. And that’s why I’ve focused all of the real big changes in the tax code at manufacturing. I’d cut the corporate rate for manufacturing to zero, repeal all regulations affecting manufacturers that cost over $100 million and replace them with something that’s friendly they can work with. We repatriate $1.2 trillion that manufacturers made overseas and allow them to bring it back here if they invest it in plants and equipment. They can do it without having to pay any — any excise tax.

The final point I would make to Governor Romney: You just don’t have credibility, Mitt, when it comes to repealing “Obamacare.” You are — you are — your plan was the basis for “Obamacare.” Your consultants helped Obama craft “Obamacare.” (Applause.) And to say that you were going to repeal it, you just — you have no track record on that that we can trust you that you’re going to do that.

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney, 30 seconds. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. PERRY: We don’t.

MR. ROMNEY: You know, this, I think, is either our eighth or ninth debate. And each chance I’ve had to talk about “Obamacare,” I’ve made it very clear, and also my book. At the time — by the way, I crafted the plan in the last campaign, I was asked: Is this something that you would have the whole nation do? And I said, no; this is something that was crafted for Massachusetts. It would be wrong to adopt this as a nation.

MR. SANTORUM: That’s not what you said.

MR. ROMNEY: You’re shaking — you’re shaking — you’re shaking your head.

MR. SANTORUM: Governor, no, that’s not what you said. That happens — that happens —

(Cross talk.)

MR. COOPER: Guys —

MR. ROMNEY: Let me — his turn, OK, and mine.

(Cross talk.)

MR. SANTORUM: Governor, Governor, hold on.

MR. ROMNEY: I’ll tell you what. Why don’t you let me speak? Why don’t you let me speak?

MR. SANTORUM: You’re allowed to speak. You’re allowed to change your — (inaudible). You can’t change the facts.

MR. ROMNEY: Rick, you had your chance, let me speak. Rick, you had your chance, let me speak. Rick —

MR. SANTORUM: You’re out of time. You’re out of time.

MR. COOPER (?): He ate into your time. (Boos.) I’m sorry, Rick.

(Cross talk.)

MR. ROMNEY: I haven’t had a chance to respond yet —

MR. SANTORUM: You did.

MR. ROMNEY:  — because you were interrupting me the entire time I was trying to speak. So let me make it very clear.

MR. COOPER: Another 20 seconds.

MR. ROMNEY: Look, we’ll let everybody take a look at the fact checks. I was interviewed by Dan Balz. I was interviewed in this debate stage with you four years ago. I was asked about the Massachusetts plan, was it something I’d impose on the nation. And the answer is: absolutely not. It was something crafted for a state. And I’ve said time and again, “Obamacare” is bad news. It’s unconstitutional, it caused way too much money — a trillion dollars — and if I’m president of the United States, I will repeal it for the American people. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: All right, Senator Santorum.

MR. SANTORUM: Mitt, the governor of Massachusetts just — is coming forward saying we have to pick up the job left undone by — by “Romneycare,” which is doing something about cutting health care costs. What you did is exactly what Barack Obama did: focused on the wrong problem. Herman always says you’ve got to find the right problem. Well, the right problem is health care costs. What you did with a top-down government-run program was focus on the problem of health care access.

You expanded the pool of insurance without controlling costs. You’ve blown a hole in the budget up there. And you authored in “Obamacare,” which is going to blow a hole in the budget of this country.

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney, I’ll give you 30 seconds.

MR. ROMNEY: I’m sorry, Rick, that you find so much to dislike in my plan. But I’ll tell you, the people of Massachusetts like it by about a 3-to-1 margin. And we dealt with the challenge that we had, a lot of people that were expecting government to pay their way. And we said, you know what? If people have the capacity to care for themselves and pay their own way, they should.

I can tell you this. There’s — it’s absolutely right that there’s a lot that needs to be done. And I didn’t get the job done in Massachusetts, and getting the health care costs down in this country is something I think we got to do at the national level. I intend to do that.

But one thing’s for sure: What Obama has done has imposed on the nation a plan that will not work, that must be repealed. And when it comes to knowledge about health care and how to get our health care system working, I may not be a doctor, like (this one ?) over here, but I sure understand how to bring the cost of health care down and how to also make sure that we have a system that works for the American people. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. : Didn’t do it.

MR. COOPER: Speaker Gingrich?

MR. : You didn’t do it.

MR. ROMNEY: (We ?) did.

MR. COOPER: Speaker Gingrich, you’ve also been very critical of Mitt Romney’s plan, not only on “Obamacare” but his plan to lower the capital gains tax only on those earning under $200,000.

MR. GINGRICH: I want to stay on health for a minute, OK? I mean, let’s just focus. (Laughter.)

The Boston — the Boston Herald today reported that the state of Massachusetts is fining a local small business $3,000 because their $750 a month insurance plan is inadequate, according to the bureaucrats in Boston. Now, there’s a fundamental difference between trying to solve the problems of this country from the top down and trying to create environments in which doctors and patients and families solve the problem from the bottom up.

And candidly, Mitt, your plan ultimately, philosophically — it’s not “Obamacare.” That’s not a fair charge. But your plan essentially is one more big-government, bureaucratic, high-cost system which, candidly, could not have been done by any other state, because no other state had a Medicaid program as lavish as yours and no other state got as much money from the federal government under the Bush administration for this experiment.

So there’s a lot of big government behind “Romneycare,” not as much as “Obamacare,” but a heck of a lot more than — than your campaign is admitting. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. ROMNEY: (OK ?) —

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney, 30 seconds.

MR. ROMNEY: Actually, Newt, we got the idea of an individual mandate from you.

MR. GINGRICH: That’s not true. You got it from the Heritage Foundation.

MR. ROMNEY: Well, it was something — yeah, we got it from you and the — you — got it from the Heritage Foundation and from you.

MR. GINGRICH: No, but — well, you — well, you — (inaudible) —

MR. ROMNEY: But let me — but let me just —

MR. GINGRICH: Wait a second. What you just said is not true.

MR. ROMNEY: Well, I thought —

MR. GINGRICH: You did not get that from me.

MR. ROMNEY: I think you —

MR. GINGRICH: You got it from the Heritage Foundation.

MR. ROMNEY: And — and you’ve never — never supported —

MR. GINGRICH: I was — I agree with them, but I’m just saying what you’ve said to this audience just now plain wasn’t true. That’s not where you got it from.

MR. ROMNEY: OK. Let me ask — have you — have you supported in the past an individual mandate?

MR. GINGRICH: I absolutely did, with the Heritage Foundation, against “Hillarycare.”

MR. ROMNEY: You did support an individual mandate?

MR. GINGRICH: Yes, sir.

MR. ROMNEY: Oh, OK. That’s what I’m saying. We got the idea from you and the Heritage Foundation.

MR. GINGRICH: OK. Little broader. (Laughter.)


MR. GINGRICH: Keep on. I —

MR. ROMNEY: All right.

REP. BACHMANN: Anderson, Anderson —

MR. ROMNEY: Number — all right — number — all right —

MR. COOPER: He still has time. I’m sorry. He still has time. He still has time

MR. ROMNEY: Number two — number two — let me finish —

REP. BACHMANN: Anderson, Anderson —

MR. COOPER: He still has time. Let him finish.

MR. ROMNEY: I get a little time here. Number — number two, we don’t have a government insurance plan. What we do is rely on private insurers, and people — 93 percent of our people who are already insured — nothing changed. For the people who didn’t have insurance, they get private insurance, not government insurance. And the best way to make markets work is for people to be able to buy their own products from private enterprises. What we did was right for our state, according to the people in our state. And the great thing about a state solution to a state issue is, if people don’t like it, they can change it.

Now there are a lot of things that —

REP. BACHMANN: Anderson, Anderson —

MR. COOPER: Yeah, Congresswoman Bachmann.

REP. BACHMANN: Anderson, Anderson, I think it has to be stated that “Obamacare” is so flat-out unpopular that even the Obama administration chose to reject part of “Obamacare” last Friday — (applause) — when they tried to throw out the CLASS Act, which is the long-term care function. The — Secretary Sebelius, who’s the head of Health and Human Services, reported that the government can’t even afford that part and has to throw it out.

And now the administration is arguing with itself. When even the Obama administration wants to repeal this bill, I think we’re going to win this thing. We’re going to repeal it! And I will! (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: We’ve got to take a quick break. We will continue this discussion on the other side. We have a long way to go. We’ll be right back. (Cheers, applause.)


MR. COOPER: And welcome back to the continuing debate.

We’ve got a Twitter question. We ended talking about medicine, “Obamacare.” We actually have a Twitter question about it, too. It was a question left at cnndebate. If Obama’s health plan is bad for the U.S., what is the alternative, and how will you implement it?

Congressman Paul, is there any aspect of “Obamacare” that you would like to keep, whether it’s keeping kids to stay on their parents’ insurance until they’re 26, or no pre-existing conditions?

REP. PAUL: Really not, because he’s just adding on more government. There’s been a lot of discussion about medicine, but it seems to be talking about which kind of government management is best. But our problem is we have too much. We’ve had it for 30, 40 years. We have Medicare; we have prescription drug programs; we have Medicaid.

And what we need — I mean, there’s a pretty good support up here for getting rid of “Obamacare,” because it’s a Democratic proposal and we want to opt out; I think we’d all agree on this. But if you want better competition and better health care, you’re not — you should allow the American people to opt out of government medicine. And — (cheers, applause) — and the way to do this is to not de-emphasize the medical savings account, but let people opt out, pay their bills, get back to the doctor-patient relationship.

There is inflation worked into it. When the government gets involved in an industry, prices always go up. We have tort laws to deal with, and we need more competition in medicine. But most important thing is letting the people have control of their money and getting it out of the hands of the third party. As soon as you go to the government, the lobbyists line up, the drug companies line up, the insurance companies line up. And even with “Obamacare,” the industries, the corporations, get behind it and expect the outcome —

MR. COOPER: All right.

REP. PAUL:  — and already insurance premiums are going up. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Herman Cain, same question: Is there any aspect of so-called “Obamacare” that you would keep?

MR. CAIN: No. I think we all agree that “Obamacare” must be repealed because it is a disaster, and the more we learn about it and the more time goes along, the more we see. We’re all in agreement with that.

But here’s where I would start in answering that question. It’s called H.R. 3400. This was introduced back in 2009, but you didn’t hear a lot of talk about it.

Instead of government being imposed on — on our system, it — it basically passes market — market-driven, patient-centered sort of reforms to allow association health plans, to allow “loser pay” laws, to allow insurance products to be sold across state lines and a whole list of other things.

So that’s a great place to start. It allows the patient and the doctors to make the decisions, not a bureaucrat. I’d start with H.R. 3400. (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor Perry, in the last debate, Governor Romney pointed out that Texas has one of the highest rates of uninsured children in the country, over 1 million kids. You were — you did not get an opportunity to respond to that. What do you say to — how do you explain that?

GOV. PERRY: Well, we’ve got one of the finest health care systems in the — in the world in — in — in Texas. As a matter of fact, the Houston — the Texas Medical Center, there’s more doctors, nurses go to work there every morning than anyplace else in America, for the idea that you can have access to health care, some of the finest health care in the world.

But we have a 1,200-mile border with Mexico. And the fact is we have a huge number of illegals that are coming into this country. And they’re coming into this country because the federal government has failed to secure that border. But they’re coming here because there is a magnet. And the magnet is called jobs. And those people that hire illegals ought to be penalized.

And Mitt, you lose all of your standing from my perspective because you hired illegals in your home, and you knew for — about it for a year. And the idea that you stand here before us and talk about that you’re strong on immigration is, on its face, the height of hypocrisy. (Boos, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney.

MR. ROMNEY: (Chuckles.) Rick, I don’t think that I’ve ever hired an illegal in my life. And so I’m — I’m looking forward to finding your facts on that because that just doesn’t — just —

GOV. PERRY: I’ll tell you what the facts are. You had the — you — your newspaper — the newspaper —

MR. ROMNEY: Rick, again — Rick, I’m speaking. I’m speaking. I’m speaking. I’m speaking.

GOV. PERRY: And it’s time for you to tell the truth.

MR. ROMNEY: You get — you get 30 seconds —

GOV. PERRY: It’s time for you to tell the —

MR. ROMNEY: The way — the way the rules work here is that I get 60 seconds.

MR. PERRY: But no, but the American people want the truth.

MR. ROMNEY: And you get — and then you get 30 seconds to respond, right? Anderson —

GOV. PERRY: And they want to hear you say that you knew you had illlegals working at your — (boos).

MR. ROMNEY: Will you please — would you please wait? Are you just going to keep talking, or are you going to let me finish with my — what I have to say?

Look, Rick —

Cross talk.)

MR. ROMNEY: This has been a tough couple of debates for Rick, and I understand that, and so you’re going to get — (cheers, applause) — you’re going to get testy. But let’s let — I’ll tell you what: Let me take my time, and then you can take your time.

GOV. PERRY: Great, have at it.

MR. ROMNEY: All right, my time is this, which is I have in my state, when I was governor, I took the action of empowering our state police to enforce immigration laws. When you were governor, you said: I don’t want to build a fence. You put in place a magnet — you talk about magnets — you put in place a magnet to draw illlegals into the state, which is giving a hundred thousand dollars of tuition credit to illlegals that come into this country. (Cheers, applause.)

And then you have states — you have states — the big states of illegal immigrants are California and Florida. Over the last 10 years they’ve had no increase in illegal immigration. Texas has had 60 percent increase in illegal immigrants, in Texas. If there’s someone who has a record as governor with regards to illegal immigration that doesn’t stand up to muster, it’s you, not me.

MR. COOPER: Governor Perry, you have 30 seconds. (Cheers, applause.)

GOV. PERRY: You stood here in front of the American people and did not tell the truth, that you had illlegals working on your property. And the newspaper came to you and brought it to your attention, and you still, a year later, had those individuals working for you. The idea that you can sit here and talk about any of us having an immigration issue is beyond me. I’ve got a strong policy — I’ve always been against amnesty. You, on the other hand, were for amnesty.

MR. COOPER: Thirty seconds, then we’ve got to move on to another — (inaudible).

MR. ROMNEY: OK. You had an op-ed in the newspaper saying you were open to amnesty. That’s number one.

Number two, we hired a lawn company to mow our lawn, and they had illegal immigrants who were working there. And when that was pointed out to us, we let them go. And we went to them and said —

GOV. PERRY: A year later?

MR. ROMNEY: You have a problem with allowing someone to finish speaking. (Laughter.) And I suggest that if you want to become president of the United States, you got to let both people speak. So first, let me speak. (Cheers, applause.)

So we went to the company and we said, look, you can’t have any illegals working on our property. That’s — I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake, I can’t have illegals.

It turns out that once again they hired someone who had falsified their documents, had — documents, and therefore we fired them.

And let me tell you, it is hard in this country, as an individual homeowner, to know if people who are contractors working at your home — if they’ve hired people that are illegal. If I’m president, we will put in place an eVerify (sp) system —

MR. COOPER: (Out of time ?).

MR. ROMNEY:  — which you’ve opposed — to make sure that we can find out who’s here legally and not — (cheers, applause) — and crack down on people who come here illegally. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: All right, we’re going to stay on the topic of immigration. (Cheers and applause continuing.)

We’re going to stay on the topic of immigration. Everyone’s going to get a chance to weigh in. This is a question that was left at As president, will you order completion of the physical border fence along the entire border between the U.S. and Mexico? That’s from Marilyn L.

Herman Cain, let me start with you. Obviously, over the weekend you got a lot of headlines by saying you would have an electrified fence. You then later said it was — (laughter) — you then later said it was a joke. And then last night you said it might be electrified; I’m not walking away from that, I just don’t want to offend anyone. (Laughter, applause.)

So would you build an entire fence along the entire border, and would you have it be electrified? (Laughter.)

MR. CAIN: Allow me to give the serious answer. Yes, I believe we should secure the border for real. And it would be a combination of a fence, technology, as well as possibly boots on the ground for some of the more dangerous areas.

I don’t apologize at all for wanting to protect the American citizens and to protect our agents on the border. (Cheers, applause.) No.

Secondly, the second thing that I would do — see, I believe in let’s solve the whole problem. We must shut the back door, so people can come in the front door. Secondly, promote the existing path to citizenship by cleaning up the bureaucracy in Washington, D.C.

Thirdly, enforce the laws, the immigration laws, that are already on the books. (Applause.) And here’s another one of these bold ideas by the nonpolitician up here: Empower the states to do what the federal government is not doing in terms of enforcing those laws. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor Perry, you have — you have the — your state has the longest border with Mexico. Is it possible — to the question, is it possible to build a fence an entire — across the entire border?

GOV. PERRY: Sure. You can — you can build a fence, but it takes anywhere between 10 and 15 years and $30 billion. There’s a better way, and that’s to build a virtual defense zone, if you will, along that border, which — not unlike what Herman’s talking about. And you can do it with strategic fencing in the obvious places where it matters.

But the way you really stop the activities along that border that are illegal — whether it’s the drug cartels or whether it’s bringing in illegal weapons or whether it’s illegal immigrants that are coming in — is to put boots on the ground.

I — I will tell you, Herman, you put a lot of boots on the ground. You use Predator drones, that are being trained right up here at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, to use that real-time information to give those boots on the ground that information, and they can instantly move to those areas. And that is the way to shut that border down, to secure that border and really make America safe from individuals like those Iranians that are using the drug cartels to penetrate this country. (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: Congresswoman Bachmann, do you agree with Governor Perry?

REP. BACHMANN: Well, I think the person who really has a problem with illegal immigration in the country is President Obama. It’s his uncle and his aunt who are illegal aliens who’ve been allowed to stay in this country despite the fact that they’re illegal. (Cheers, applause.)

This last Saturday I was the very first candidate that signed a pledge that said that by a date certain I will build a double-walled fence with a — with a area of security neutrality in between. I will build that because this is what we know. This is an economics issue and a jobs issue. Every year —

MR. COOPER: You’re saying you would build a fence along the entire border?

REP. BACHMANN: I will build it on the entire border, and I’ll tell you why. Every year it costs this country $113 billion in the costs that we put out to pay for illegal aliens. It costs the state and local government, of that amount, 82 billion (dollars). For every household of an American citizen, it costs us $1,000 a year. We are robbing the household of Americans who can’t afford that.

I will build the fence. I will enforce English as the official language of the United States government. (Cheers, applause.) And every — every person who comes into this country will have to agree that they will not receive taxpayer-subsidized benefits of any American citizen.


REP. BACHMANN: Thank you.

MR. COOPER: Governor Perry, does that — can you actually — does that make sense? She says she can build the fence along the entire border.

GOV. PERRY: As I said, you can build that fence. But by the time that fence gets built —

MR. COOPER: She was also talking about your taxpayer-subsidized benefits.

GOV. PERRY: But my — my point is that by the time that fence gets built, there is a lot better way than to stand here and to — to play to some group of people somewhere and say we’re going to build a fence and then wipe our hands of it. I’ve been dealing with this border for 10 years as the governor. And the reason that we have this issue is because the federal government has failed miserably to defend and secure that border.

REP. BACHMANN: Which is why you build the — (applause).

GOV. PERRY: You know, for someone that’s been in the United States Congress to — to lecture me on the issues that are going on on that border is not right.

Let me tell you, we’ve had to deal with that issue in the state of Texas. We’ve had to deal with the impact on our state. And I put $400 million on that border of Texas taxpayers’ money, Texas ranger recon teams there. We know how to secure the border. I shared with you earlier how to do it. You put the boots on the ground, the aviation assets in the air, and you secure that border.

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney —

REP. BACHMANN: Anderson, can I respond? Can I respond?

MR. COOPER: He wasn’t — he wasn’t talking about you directly.

REP. BACHMANN: No, (he did respond ?).

MR. ROMNEY: Let’s step back. I think it’s important for us, as Republicans on this stage, to say something which hasn’t been said, and that is I think every single person here loves legal immigration. We respect people who come here legally. (Cheers, applause.)

And the reason we’re so animated about stopping illegal immigration is there are 4 1/2 million people who want to come here, who are in line legally. We want that to happen in an orderly and legal process.

And in terms of how to secure the border, it’s really not that hard. You have a fence, you have enough Border Patrol agents to oversee the fence, and you turn off the magnets — and that’s employers that hire people who they know are here illegally. That’s why you have an e-verify system, so they can know that. And number two, you turn off the magnets, like tuition breaks or other breaks that draw people into this country illegally. It’s not that hard. We have to get the political will to get the job done.

And Governor Perry, you say you’ve got the experience. It’s a bit like saying, you know, the college coach that’s lost 40 games in a row has the experience to go to the NFL. But the truth is, California — I’ll say it again — California and — and Florida have both had no increase in illegal immigration, and yours is up 60 percent over the last 10 years.


Governor Perry, 30 seconds to respond?

GOV. PERRY: Well, the bottom line is, is that we have a federal government that has failed. There is a clear problem here.

And he hit the nail on the head awhile ago. He said there was a magnet of people that will hire illlegals, and you are number one on that list, sir.



GOV. PERRY: And people need to understand that.


GOV. PERRY: You’re one of the problems, Mitt. (Boos.)

MR. COOPER: I think we’ve been down that road.

MR. ROMNEY: Yeah, I think we’ve been down that road sufficiently. Sounds like the audience agrees with me.

MR. COOPER: We’ve got to — we’ve — we’re continuing on immigration. We have a question in the audience. (Cheers, applause.)

Q: Good evening. Thank you for the opportunity to ask my question. We have 50 million Latinos and not all of us are illegal. What is the message from you guys to our Latino community?

MR. COOPER: Speaker Gingrich —

(Scattered applause.)

MR. GINGRICH: Well, look —

MR. COOPER:  — President Obama got, I think, 67 percent of the Latino vote the last time around.

MR. GINGRICH: Look, I think that there’s a very clear message to Americans of all backgrounds. Latinos, Korean-Americans, Vietnamese- Americans, there are hundreds of different groups who have come to America. As Governor Romney said, I think anybody who understands America has to be proud of our record as the country which has been the most open in history to legal immigration.

The truth is, most Latinos in the United States aren’t immigrants. Most Latinos in the United States now have been born in the United States. And the fact is, they want virtually exactly what everyone else wants. They want an economy that’s growing. They want a job that has take-home pay. They want to access to health insurance that they can afford. They want a chance to get educated that actually is useful and worthwhile. They want to be able to know that their family’s going to grow up in safety, and they want to have a chance that their country’s going to work to give their children and their grandchildren a better future.

I think we have to have the same message for every American of every ethnic background that we want to make America work again. And you’ll know it’s working because you will have a job and you’ll have a chance to take care of your family.

MR. COOPER: Congressman Paul, there — (cheers, applause) — Congressman Paul, there are some Latino voters who believe that some of these strong anti-immigration laws — anti-illegal immigration laws are actually anti-Latino laws.

What do you say to them?

REP. PAUL: Well, I think some people do believe that. I think a fence is symbolic of that, and I can understand why somebody might look at that. But when we approach this immigration problem, we should look at the incentives, and that are the mandates from the federal government saying that you must educate and must give them free education. You have to remove these incentives. But I don’t think the answer is a fence, whatsoever.

But in order to attract Latino votes, I think — you know, too long, this country has always put people in groups. They penalize people because they’re in groups, and then they reward people because they’re in groups.

But following up on what Newt was saying, we need a healthy economy. We wouldn’t be talking about this. We need to see everybody as an individual. And to me, seeing everybody as an individual means their liberties are protected as individuals and they are treated that way and they’re never penalized that way. So if you have a free and prosperous society, all of a sudden this group mentality melts away.

As long as there’s no abuse — one place where there’s still a lot of discrimination in this country is in our court systems, and I think the minorities come up with a short hand in our court system. (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: All right. Herman Cain, the 14th Amendment allows that anybody born in the United States is an American citizen. Should that change?

MR. CAIN: I want to go back and answer this question first, OK? And that is, my message to Latinos, blacks, whites and all Americans is that we must first start with significantly boosting this economy, which is on life support. This is why I have put forth a very bold plan, and I’m not afraid to try and sell it to the American people. I’m not afraid to fight for it when I become president of the United States of America.

So that’s my message: If we have this economy growing, people will be able to take care of their families and go after their American dream. And until we boost this economy, all of us are going to suffer for a long time.

MR. COOPER: Then let me ask the question of Governor Perry. Governor Perry, the 14th Amendment allows any — anybody — a child of illegal immigrants who’s born here is automatically an American citizen.

Should that change?

GOV. PERRY: Well, let me address Herman’s issue that he just talked about.

MR. COOPER: Actually, I’d rather you — rather you — I’d rather you ask the question — answer that question.

GOV. PERRY: All right, I understand that. You get to ask the questions, and I get to answer like I want to. (Laughter.)


GOV. PERRY: And Herman — Herman talked about —

MR. COOPER: That’s actually a response. That’s not an answer. But go ahead.

GOV. PERRY:  — talked about the — the issue of how we get this country back working. And truly, the plan that I laid out last week, where we talk about the energy industry and this treasure trove that we have under this country.

And we need to recognize that the administration that we have today is blocking mining that could be going on in the state of Nevada. I talked to Brian Sandoval before I came in here today. You have an — an administration that is killing jobs because they want to move us to a green energy. You have a secretary of energy who has basically said he wants to see gas prices up close to the European model, that we want to — the president himself said electricity rates are necessarily going to skyrocket.

That’s what we’ve got to stop. That’s the reason we’ve got to have a president of the United States that understands that you get Americans working, and it addresses these issues that we have in this country. And the fastest way to do it is to open up these federal lands —


GOV. PERRY:  — to pull back those regulations —


GOV. PERRY:  — and get America working again. (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: You implicated — to the question on the 14th Amendment, do you support repealing the 14th Amendment?


MR. COOPER: No, you do not.

GOV. PERRY: I do not.

MR. COOPER: Congresswoman Bachmann, do you support it?

REP. BACHMANN: I think there’s a very real issue with magnets in this country. And I think the issue that you’re referring to is the issue of “anchor babies.” And that’s an issue that — that — I was just in Arizona this last weekend, and the state is very concerned because when someone comes illegally across the border specifically for the purpose of utilizing American resources to have a baby here, then all of the welfare benefits then attach to that baby.

This is an issue that we don’t have to deal with with the Constitution. This is an issue that we can deal with legislatively. And there are a lot of Americans that would like us to deal with this issue of anchor babies legislatively. (Applause)

MR. COOPER: Senator Santorum?

MR. SANTORUM: Yeah, I — I’d like to address the issue that the gentleman brought up, which is, what are we going to say to the Latino community, and not one person here mentioned the issue of family, faith, marriage. This is a community that is a faith-filled community; that family is at the center of that community.

I disagree in some respects with Congressman Paul, who says, you know, the country’s founded on the individual. The basic building block of the society is not the individual, it’s the family. It’s the basic unit of society. (Cheers, applause.) And — and the Latino community understands that. They understand the importance of faith and marriage. They understand that bond that builds that solid foundation, and that inculcation of faith and religious freedom.

And I think the Latino community knows that’s at stake in this country. There’s a lot going on right now that’s eroding our religious freedom, that’s eroding the traditional values of marriage and family. And there’s one candidate up here who consistently sounds that theme.

Look, I’m for jobs, too. I’ve got an economic plan. I agree with everything that’s been said. But we keep running roughshod over the fact that this — the family in America and faith in America is being crushed —


MR. SANTORUM:  — by the courts and by our government, and someone has to stand up and fight for those (institutions ?). (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Congressman Paul, you were referenced directly. Thirty seconds.REP. PAUL: Well, I would like to explain that rights don’t come in bunches. Rights come as individuals. (Applause.) They come from a God. And they come as — each individual has a right to life and liberty.

But I might add about the border control and the — and the Latino vote, is we lack resources there. I think we should have more border guards on and a more orderly transition and run it much better. But where are our resources? You know, we worry more about the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. We need to bring the Guard units home — (cheers, applause) — and the units back here so we can have more personnel on our border.

(Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: We have a question in the audience.

Q: My question for you is, do you support opening the national nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain?

MR. COOPER: Speaker Gingrich, let’s start with you. I’m sorry, go ahead.

MR. GINGRICH: But look, we worked on this when I was speaker. I think that it has to be looked at scientifically. But I think at some point we have to find a safe method of taking care of nuclear waste. And today, because this has been caught up in a political fight, we have small units of nuclear waste all over this country in a way that is vastly more dangerous to the United States than finding a method of keeping it in a very, very deep place that would be able to sustain 10,000 or 20,000 or 30,000 years of geological safety.

MR. COOPER: Is Yucca Mountain that place?

MR. GINGRICH: I’m not a scientist. I mean, Yucca Mountain certainly was picked by the scientific community as one of the safest places in the United States. It has always had very deep opposition here in Nevada. And frankly —

MR. COOPER: You were for opening it in Congress, right? When you were in Congress —

MR. GINGRICH: When I was in Congress, frankly, I worked with the — with the Nevada delegation to make sure that there was time for scientific studies. But we have to find some method of finding a very geologically stable place. And most geologists believe that, in fact, Yucca Mountain is that.

MR. COOPER: Congressman Paul, you opposed this.

REP. PAUL: Yes, yes. I’ve opposed this. We’ve had votes in the Congress. There was a time when I voted with two other individuals: the two congressmen from Nevada. And I approach it from a states’ rights position. What right does 49 states have to punish one state and say, we’re going to put our garbage in your state? (Cheers, applause.) I think that’s wrong.

So I think it’s very serious — I think it’s very serious and that, quite frankly, the government shouldn’t be in the business of subsidizing any form of energy. And nuclear energy, I think, is a good source of energy, but they still get subsidies, then they assume this responsibility, then we as politicians and the bureaucrats get involved in this and then we get involved with which state’s going to get stuck with the garbage. So I would say the more the free market handles this and the more you deal with property rights and no subsidies to any form of energy, the easier this problem would be solved.


MR. COOPER: Governor Romney, where do you stand on this?

MR. ROMNEY: Congressman Paul is right on that. (Cheers, applause.) I don’t always agree with him, but I do on that. The idea that 49 states can tell Nevada, “We want to give you our nuclear waste” doesn’t make a lot of sense. I think the people of Nevada ought to have the final say as to whether they want that. And my guess is that for them to say yes to something like that, someone’s going to have to offer them a pretty good deal, as opposed to having the federal government jam it down their throat. (Applause.)

And by the way, if Nevada says, look, we don’t want it, then let other states make bids and say: Hey, look, we’ll take it. Here’s a geological site that we’re evaluated. Here’s the compensation we want for taking it. We want your electric companies around the country that are using nuclear fuel to compensate us, a certain amount per kilowatt hour, a certain amount per ton of this stuff that comes.

Let the free market work and, on that basis, the places that are geologically safe according to science and where the people say the deal’s a good one will decide where we put this stuff. That’s the right course for America. (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor Perry?

GOV. PERRY: You know, from time to time, Mitt and I don’t agree. But on this one, he hit it — the nail right on the head. (Applause.)

And I’ll just add that when you think about France, who gets over 70 percent of their energy from nuclear power, the idea that they deal with this issue, that their (classification ?) and that the innovation — and Congressman Paul, you’re correct when it comes to allowing the states to compete with each other. That is the answer to this. We need to have a — a discussion in — in this country about our 10th Amendment and the appropriateness of it as it’s been eroded by Washington, D.C., for all these many years — whether it’s health care, whether it’s education, or whether it’s dealing with energy.

We don’t need to be subsidizing energy in any form or fashion.

Allow the states to make the decision, and some state out there will see the economic issue, and they will have it in their state.

MR. COOPER: We’re going to move on to an issue very important here in the state of Nevada and throughout the West. We have a question from the hall.

Q: Yeah, my question is those of us who own property here in Nevada have been devastated by the real estate bubble. What would you do as president to help fix the overall problem of real estate and foreclosures in America?

MR. COOPER: Senator Santorum, Nevada has the highest rate of foreclosure.

MR. SANTORUM: Yeah, I mean, it’s — it’s a situation right now where, obviously, the market is in — has been decimated. And so now you’re looking at how do you repair. The problem is, in the first place, is that several people up here, the, quote, “businesspeople,” supported the TARP, supported the bailout. Governor — Governors Perry, Romney —

GOV. PERRY: Wrong. (Laughter.)

MR. SANTORUM: No, you wrote a letter on the day of the vote —

GOV. PERRY: No. (Chuckles.)

MR. SANTORUM: You wrote a letter on the day of the vote, Governor, saying to vote for the plan. That’s what — I mean, that — the letter sent —

GOV. PERRY: No, I didn’t.

MR. SANTORUM: Yes, you did, Governor. You —

MR. COOPER: You’ll have a chance to respond. Let him finish.

MR. SANTORUM: Your whole mansion signed it with you. So you supported it. Governor Romney and Herman Cain all supported the TARP program, which started this ball —

MR. CAIN: Not all of it. (Laughter.)

MR. SANTORUM: I mean — I mean, you guys complain about Governor Romney flip-flopping. I mean, look at what’s going on here. I mean, the — the bottom line is you all supported it. You all started this ball rolling where the government injected itself in trying to make — try to — try to fix the market with the government top-down trying to do it and manage decline. And what happened was people who — who did things that were wrong, that invested in things, took risks were bailed out. And the folks who — who acted responsibly are now getting hurt because their houses have gone down in value.

MR. COOPER: I’ve got to allow —

MR. SANTORUM: We need to let the market work. And that’s what hasn’t been happening so far.

MR. COOPER: I’ve got to allow each — three of you to respond, so Governor Perry, you have 30 seconds.

GOV. PERRY: The — the — the fact is Rick just has that wrong. We wrote a letter to Congress asking them to act. What we meant by acting was cut the regulations, cut the taxation burden, not passing TARP. There is clearly a letter out of our office that says that, Rick.

I’ll get you a copy of it, so you’ll understand it.

MR. COOPER: Governor, Governor —

MR. SANTORUM: OK, I — hold on, hold on. I need to respond to that. He sent a letter the day of the vote on the floor of the House saying pass the economic plan. There was only one plan, and that was the plan that was voted on the floor. It was TARP. You sent a letter on that day saying vote for that plan.

Now you can send a letter later saying I didn’t mean it, but when you said it, it was the only plan that was in play, and that — that was the TARP plan.

MR. ROMNEY: (Inaudible) — was this — oh, I’m sorry.

MR. COOPER: Governor Perry, do you want — do you want to respond, Governor Perry?

GOV. PERRY: I’m — I’m just telling you, I know what we sent. I know what the intention was. You can read it any way you want, but the fact of the matter — I wasn’t for TARP, and have talked about it for years since then afterwards.

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney, 30 seconds.

MR. ROMNEY: There’s an effort on the part of people in Washington to think somehow they know better than markets how to — how to rebalance America’s economy. And the idea of the federal government running around and saying, hey, we’re going to — we’re going to give you some money for trading in your old car, or we’re going to give you a few thousand bucks for buying a new house, or we’re going to keep banks from foreclosing if you can’t make your payments, these — these kinds of actions on the part of government haven’t worked.

The right course is to let markets work. And in order to get markets to work and to help people, the best thing we can do is to get the economy going. And that’s why the fundamental restructuring I’ve described is so essential to help homeowners and people across this country.

MR. COOPER: Mr. Cain, I want you to be able to respond. Thirty seconds. (Applause.)

MR. CAIN: I have said before that we were in a crisis at the end of 2008 with this potential financial meltdown. I supported the concept of TARP, but then when this administration used discretion and did a whole lot of things that the American people didn’t like, I was then against it. So yes — and I’m honing (sic) up to that.

Now, getting back to the gentleman’s question, in terms of what we need to do, we need to get government out of the way. It starts with making sure that we can boost this economy and then reform Dodd- Frank and reform a lot of these other regulations that have gotten in the way —


MR. CAIN:  — and let the market do it, just like Mitt has talked about.

MR. COOPER: Congresswoman Bachmann, does the federal government have a role in keeping people in their homes, saving people from foreclosure in the state of Nevada?

REP. BACHMANN: That was the question that was initially asked. And what I want to say is this: Every day I’m out somewhere in the United States of America, and most of the time I am talking to moms across this country. When you talk about housing, when you talk about foreclosures, you’re talking about women who are at the end of their rope because they’re losing their nest for their children and for their family. And there are women right now all across this country and moms across this country whose husbands, through not fault of their own, are losing their job and they can’t keep that house. And there are women who are losing that house.

I’m a mom. I talk to these moms. I just want to say one thing to moms all across America tonight. This is a real issue; it’s got to be solved. President Obama has failed you on this issue of housing and foreclosures. I will not fail you on this issue. I will turn this country around. We will turn the economy around. We will create jobs. That’s how you hold on to your house. Hold on, moms out there. It’s not too late.

MR. COOPER: We have another question. This one is a Twitter question. How do you explain the Occupy Wall Street movement happening across the country, and how does it relate with your message?

Herman Cain, I got to ask you. You said, quote: Don’t blame — a couple — two weeks ago you said, don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job, you’re not rich, blame yourself.

That was two weeks ago. The movement has grown. Do you still say that? (Applause.)

MR. CAIN: Yes, I do still say that. And here’s why. (Cheers, applause.) I still stand by my statement, and here’s why. They might be frustrated with Wall Street and the bankers, but they’re directing their anger at the wrong place. Wall Street didn’t put in failed economic policies. Wall Street didn’t spend a trillion dollars that didn’t do any good.

Wall Street isn’t going around the country trying to sell another $450 billion. They ought to be over in front of the White House taking out their frustration. (Cheers, applause.) So I do stand by that.

MR. COOPER: Congressman Paul, you’ve been — Congressman Paul, you’ve been critical of Governor Romney for holding fundraisers with Wall Streeters. Do you think he understands what the protest is about? Do you understand?

REP. PAUL: Well, I think Mr. Cain had blamed the victims. There’s a lot of people that are victims of this business cycle, and we can’t blame the victims. But we also have to point — I’d go to Washington as well as Wall Street, but I’d go over to the Federal Reserve. (Cheers, applause.) They — they create the financial bubbles. And you have to understand that; you can solve these problems if you don’t know where these bubbles come from.

But then when the bailout came and — supported by both parties. You have to realize, oh, wait, the Republicans were still in charge. So the bailouts came from both parties. Guess who they bailed out? The big corporations, the people who were ripping off the people in the derivatives market. And they said, oh, the world’s going to come to an end unless we bail out all the banks. So the banks were involved, and the Federal Reserve was involved.

But who got stuck? The middle class got stuck. They got stuck. They lost their jobs, and they lost their houses. If you had to give money out, you should have given it to the people who were losing it in their mortgages, not to the banks. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Mr. Cain, do you want to respond? He referenced you, so if you want to respond, you have 30 seconds.

MR. CAIN: All I want to say is that Representative Paul is partly right, but he’s mixing problems here, that it’s more than one problem. Look, the people — the bank — yes, the banks and the businesses on Wall Street, yes; the way that was administered was not right.

But my point is this: What are the people who are protesting want from bankers on Wall Street? To come downstairs and write them a check? This is what we don’t understand.

Take — go and get to the source of the problem, is all I’m saying. And that’s the White House.

MR. COOPER: I’ve got to give you 30 seconds, Senator (sic), then we’ll go to Governor Romney — Congressman.

REP. PAUL: Yes. The argument is — it’s said the program was OK, but it was mismanaged. But I work on the assumption that government’s not very capable of managing almost anything — (applause) — so you shouldn’t put that much trust in the government.

You have to — you have to trust the marketplace. And when the government gets involved, they have to deal with fraud. And how many people have gone to jail either in the government’s Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac that participated in this? And nobody suffers the consequences. All these investigations, and yet the people who lose their jobs and lose their houses — it’s their fault, according — that’s why they’re on Wall Street. And we can’t blame them. We have to blame the business cycles —


REP. PAUL:  — and the economic policies that led to this disaster. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney, you originally called the protests dangerous. You said it was class warfare. You recently sounded more sympathetic. Where do you stand now? What is your message to those people protesting?

MR. ROMNEY: Well, we can spend our time talking about what happened three years ago and what the cause was of our collapse, but let’s talk about what’s happened over the last three years. We’ve had a president responsible for this economy for the last three years, and he’s failed us. He’s failed us in part because he has no idea how the private sector works or how to create jobs. On every single issue, he’s made it harder for our economy to reboot. And as a result, we have 25 million Americans out of work — or stopped looking for work, or part-time work and can’t get full-time employed. Home values going down. You have median income in America that in the last three years has dropped by 10 percent.

Americans are hurting across this country, and the president’s out there campaigning. Why isn’t he governing? He doesn’t understand — he doesn’t have a jobs plan, even now. (Applause.) This is — this is a critical time for America, and I — and — and I can tell you that this is time to have someone who understands how the economy works, who can get America working again. Instead of dividing and blaming, as this president is, let’s grow America again and have jobs that are the envy of the world. And I know how to do it.

(Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: All right. We’ve got to take a quick break. We’re going to continue right on the other side. We’ll be right back.


MR. COOPER: And welcome back to the CNN GOP debate, live from the Venetian in Las Vegas. Let’s continue.

We’ve got an email question that was left at This is from a Mike Richards, who says: With the controversy surrounding Robert Jeffress, is it acceptable to let the issue of a candidate’s faith shape the debate?

Senator Santorum, this is in reference to a Baptist pastor who, at the Values Voter summit, after introducing Governor Rick Perry, said of — said that Mitt Romney is not a Christian and that Mormonism is a cult. Those were his words. (Boos.)

Should — should voters — should voters pay attention to a candidate’s religion?

MR. SANTORUM: I think they should pay attention to the candidate’s values, what the candidate stands for. (Cheers, applause.) That’s — that’s what’s at play, and the person’s faith. And — and you look at that faith and what the faith teaches with respect to morals and values that are reflected in that person’s belief structure.

So that’s — those are important things. I — I — I’m a Catholic. Catholic has a — has social teachings. Catholic has teachings as to what’s right and what’s wrong. And those are legitimate things for voters to look at, to say if you’re a faithful Catholic, which I try to be — fall short all the time — (chuckles) — but I try to be — and — and it’s a legitimate thing to look at as to what the tenets and teachings of that faith are with respect to how you live your life and — and how you would govern this country.

With respect to what is the road to salvation, that’s a whole different story. That’s not applicable to what — what the role is of being the president or a senator or any other job. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Speaker Gingrich, do you agree with that?

MR. GINGRICH: Well, I — I think if the question is does faith matter, absolutely. How can you have a country which is founded on truth, which begins, “We are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights” — how — how can you have the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which says religion, morality and knowledge being important, education matters? That’s the order: religion, morality and knowledge.

Now, I happen to think that none of us should rush in judgment of others in the way in which they approach God. And I think that all of us up here, I believe, would agree. (Cheers, applause.) But I think all of us would also agree that there’s a very central part of your faith in how you approach public life. And I, frankly, would be really worried if somebody assured me that nothing in their faith would affect their judgments because then I’d wonder, where’s your judgment — how can you have judgment if you have no faith? And how can I trust you with power if you don’t pray? (Applause.)

Who you pray to, how you pray, how you come close to God is between you and God. But the notion that you’re endowed by your creator sets a certain boundary on what we mean by America. (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor Perry, Mitt Romney asked you to repudiate the comments of that pastor who introduced you on that stage. He didn’t make the comments on the stage. He made them afterward in an interview. Will you repudiate those comments?

GOV. PERRY: Well, our faith — I can no more remove my faith than I can that I’m the son of a tenant farmer. I mean, the issue is, are we going to be individuals who stand by our faith? And I have said I didn’t agree with that individual’s statement. And our Founding Fathers truly understood and had an understanding of freedom of religion. And this country is based on, as Newt talked about, these values that are so important as we go forward, and the idea that we should not have our freedom of religion, to be taken away by any means.

But we also are a country that is free to express our opinions. That individual expressed an opinion. I didn’t agree with it, Mitt, and I said so.

But the fact is, Americans understand faith, and what they’ve lost faith in is the current resident of the White House. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney, is that — is that acceptable to you?

MR. ROMNEY: You know, with — with regards to the disparaging comments about my faith, I’ve heard worse, so I’m not going to lose sleep over that.

What I actually found that was most troubling in what the reverend said in the introduction was he said, in choosing our nominee, we should inspect his religion. And someone who’s a good moral person is not someone who we should select; instead, we should choose someone who subscribes to our religious belief.

That — that idea that we should choose people, based upon their religion, for public office is what I find to be most troubling, because the founders of this country went to great length to make sure, and even put it in the Constitution, that we would not choose people who represent us in government based upon their religion; that this would be a nation that recognized and respected other faiths, where there’s a plurality of faiths, where there was tolerance for other people and faiths. That’s bedrock principle.

And it was that principle, Governor, that I wanted you to be able to say, no, no, that’s wrong, Reverend Jeffress. Instead of saying, as you did, that introduction knocked the ball out of the park, I’d have said: Reverend Jeffress, you got that wrong, we should select people not based upon their faith — even though — and I don’t suggest you distance yourself from your faith, any more than I would, but the concept that we select people based on the church or the synagogue they go to, I think is a very dangerous and enormous departure from the principles of our Constitution. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Would you still like him to say that?

MR. ROMNEY: I’m sorry?

MR. COOPER: Would you still like the governor to say that, or was that something you wanted —

MR. ROMNEY: I’ll — I’ll let him — it’s — as his choice.

MR. COOPER: Do you want to respond to that, Governor Perry?

GOV. PERRY: I have. I said I did not agree with the — Pastor Jeffress’ remarks. I don’t agree with them. I can’t apologize any more than that.

MR. ROMNEY: Yeah, that’s fine.

MR. COOPER: We’ve got a question from the audience.

Q: Currently there’s a deficit reduction measure to cut defense spending by $500 billion. Would you support such a reduction in defense spending? And if elected president, how will you provide a strong national defense?

MR. COOPER: Congresswoman Bachmann, should defense be cut?

REP. BACHMANN: Well, $500 billion is the amount that the questioner had mentioned. And don’t forget, this was a historic week when it came to American foreign policy. We saw potentially an international assassination attempt from Iran on American soil. That says something about Iran, that they disrespect the United States so much that they would attempt some sort of a heinous act like that.

Then we saw the president of the United States engage American troops in a fourth conflict in a foreign land. This is historic.

Then on Sunday we heard the reports that now that in Iraq that the 5,000 troops that were going to be left there won’t even be granted immunity by Iraq. This is how disrespected the United States is in the world today, and it’s because of President Obama’s failed policies. He’s taken his eyes off the number-one issue in the world. That’s an Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon. That makes all of us much danger — (applause) — and the president of Iran is —


REP. BACHMANN:  — is a genocidal maniac. We need to stand up against Iran. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Congresswoman —

REP. BACHMANN: And as president of the United States, I will. We will be respected again in the world.

MR. COOPER: The question, though, was about budget cuts, and is everything on the table in terms of cutting the budget?

REP. BACHMANN: Every — absolutely everything in the —

MR. COOPER: So defense spending would be on the table — should be.

REP. BACHMANN: Defense spending is on the table, but again, Anderson, now with the president — he put us in Libya. He is now putting us in Africa. We already were stretched too thin, and he put our special operations forces in Africa.

MR. COOPER: I just want to make sure — OK, just — it’s on the table.

REP. BACHMANN: It’s on the table, but we cannot cut it by $500 billion. We can’t do that to our brave men and women who are on the ground fighting for us.

MR. COOPER: Speaker Gingrich?

MR. GINGRICH: Look, I mean, if you want to understand how totally broken Washington is, look at this entire model of a supercommittee, which has now got a magic number to achieve, and if it doesn’t achieve the magic number, then we’ll all have to shoot ourselves in the head, so when they come back with a really dumb idea to merely cut off our right leg, we’ll all be grateful that they are only semi-stupid instead of being totally stupid. (Cheers, applause.)

Now the idea that you’ll — the idea that you’ll have a bunch historically illiterate politicians who have no sophistication about national security trying to make a numerical decision about the size of the defense budget tells you everything you need to know about the bankruptcy of the current elite in this country — in both parties.

The fact is, we ought to first figure out what threatens us. We ought to figure out what strategies will respond to that. We should figure out what structures we need for those strategies. We should then cost them.

I found — helped found the Military Reform Caucus. I’m a hawk, but I’m a cheap hawk. But the fact is — (laughter) — the fact is, to say I’m going to put the security of the United States up against some arbitrary budget number is suicidally stupid. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Congressman Paul, you proposed — (cheers, applause).

MR. GINGRICH: I should have done — (inaudible).

MR. COOPER: Congressman Paul, you just proposed eliminating the Departments of Commerce, Education, Energy, Interior, Housing and Urban Development. (Laughter.) You say it’ll save a trillion dollars — (whistles, cheers) — in one year. You’re proposing a 15-percent cut to the Defense Department. Can you guarantee national security will not be hurt by that?

REP. PAUL: I think it would be enhanced. I don’t want to cut any defense. And you have to get it straight. There’s a lot of money spent in the military budget that doesn’t do any good for our defense. What — how does — how does it help us to keep troops in Korea all these years? We’re broke. We have to borrow this money. Why are we in Japan? Why do we subsidize Germany, and they subsidize their socialized system over there because we pay for it. We’re broke.

And this whole thing that this can’t be on the table, I’ll tell you what. This debt bubble is the thing you’d better really worry about, because it’s imploding on us right now; it’s worldwide. We are no more removed from this than the man in the moon. It’s going to get much worse.

And to cut military spending is a wise thing to do. We would be safer if we weren’t in so many places. We have an empire; we can’t afford it. The empires always bring great nations down. We’ve spread ourselves too thinly around the world. This is what’s happened throughout history.

And we’re doing it to ourselves. The most recent empire to fail was a(n) empire that went into, of all places, Afghanistan.


REP. PAUL: Then went broke. So where are we in Afghanistan? I say it’s time to come home. (Cheers, applause.)


We do have a Twitter question. Given that Israel has just negotiated with Palestine for a soldier, would any of you negotiate for a hostage? Herman Cain, let me ask this to you. A few hours ago you were asked by Wolf Blitzer, if al-Qaida had an American soldier in captivity and they demanded the release of everyone at Guantanamo Bay, would you release them? And you said, quote, “I could see myself authorizing that kind of a transfer.” Can you explain?

MR. CAIN: The rest of the statement was quite simply you would have to consider the entire situation. But let me say this first: I would have a policy that we do not negotiate with terrorists. We have to lay that principle down first. (Applause.)

Now, then you have to look at each individual situation and consider all the facts. The point that I made about this particular situation is that I’m sure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had to consider a lot of things before he made that. So on the surface, I don’t think we can say he did the right thing or not. A responsible decision-maker would have considered everything.

MR. COOPER: But you’re saying you could — I mean, in your words, you said that, “I could see myself authorizing that kind of a transfer.” Isn’t that negotiating with, in this case, al-Qaida?

MR. CAIN: I don’t recall him ever saying that it was al-Qaida- related.

MR. COOPER: Yeah, he did. He said —

MR. CAIN: Well, I don’t — I — my policy would be we cannot negotiate with terrorists. That’s where we have to start as a fundamental principle.

MR. COOPER: Senator Santorum.

MR. SANTORUM: Oh, absolutely not. I mean, you can’t negotiate with terrorists, period. To address Congressman Paul’s answer and the other answer on — on military spending, I would absolutely not cut one penny out of military spending. They — the first order of the federal government — the only thing the federal government can do that nobody — no other level of government can do is protect us.

It is the first duty of the president of the United States, is to protect us. (Applause.) And we should — we should have the resources and we should have all the resources in place to make sure that we can defend our borders, that we can make sure that we — we — when we engage in foreign countries, we do so to succeed. That’s been the problem in this administration. We’ve had political objectives instead of objectives for success, and that’s why we haven’t succeeded.

And as Michele said and correctly said, the central threat right now is Iran — the disrespect, yes, but it’s more than that. They sent a message. The two countries that they went after was the leader of the Islamic world, Saudi Arabia, and the leader of the, quote, “secular world,” the United States. This was a call by Iran to say: We are the ones who are going to be the supreme leader of the Islamic world.


MR. SANTORUM: We are going to be the supreme leader of the secular world. And that’s why they attacked here. And by the way, they did it in coordination with Central and South Americans, which I had been talking about and writing about for 10 years.


Congressman Paul, you were referenced in that answer. Thirty seconds.

REP. PAUL: Well, I think we’re on economic suicide if we’re not even willing to look at some of these overseas expenditures, 150 bases — 900 bases, 150 different countries. We have enough weapons to blow up the world about 20, 25 times. We have more weapons than all the other countries put together, essentially. And we want to spend more and more and you can’t cut a penny? I mean, this is why we’re at an impasse. I mean, this — I want to hear somebody up here willing to cut something, something real. (Cheers, applause.)

This budget is in bad shape, and the financial calamity is going to be much worse than anybody ever, you know, invading this country. Which country? Are they going to invade this country?


REP. PAUL: They can’t even shoot a missile — (inaudible).

MR. COOPER: We have a question in the hall that gets — gets to your — gets to your question. The question in the hall on foreign aid — yes, ma’am.

Q: The American people are suffering in our country right now. Why do we continue to send foreign aid to other countries when we need all the help we can get for ourselves?

(Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor Perry, what about that? I mean —

GOV. PERRY: Absolutely. I think it’s time for this country to have a very real debate about foreign aid. Clearly, there are places — as a matter of fact, I think it’s time for us to have a very serious discussion about defunding the United Nations. (Cheers, applause.) When you think about — when you think about the Palestinian Authority circumventing those Oslo accords and going to New York to try to create the conflict and to have themselves approved as a state without going through the proper channels, it is a travesty. And I think it’s time not only to have that entire debate about all of our foreign aid, but in particular, the U.N. Why are we funding that organization? (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney, should foreign aid be eliminated?

MR. ROMNEY: Foreign aid has several elements. One of those elements is defense, is to make sure that we are able to have the defense resources we want in certain places of the world. That probably ought to fall under the Department of Defense budget rather than a foreign aid budget.

Part of it is humanitarian aid around the world. I happen to think it doesn’t make a lot of sense for us to borrow money from the Chinese to go give it to another country for humanitarian aid. We ought to get the Chinese to take care of the people that are — that are — and think of that borrowed money (today ?). (Applause.)

And finally, there’s a portion of our foreign aid that allows us to carry out our — our activities in the world, such as what’s happening in Pakistan, where we’re taking — we’re supplying our troops in Afghanistan through Pakistan.

But let me tell you, we’re spending more on foreign aid than we ought to be spending. And — and Congressman Paul asked, is there a place we can cut the budget. Let me tell you where we cut the budget. Discretionary accounts you bring back to 2008 level. We get rid of “Obamacare.” Number three, we take Medicaid, turn it back to the states, grow it at only 1 (percent) to 2 percent per year.

Number three, we cut — number four, rather, we cut federal employment by at least 10 percent through attrition. And finally, we say to federal employees: You’re not going to make more money than the people in the private sector who are paying for you. We link their compensation. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Time. Congressman Paul?

REP. PAUL: On foreign aid, that should be the easiest thing to cut. It’s not authorized in the Constitution that we can take money from you and give it to particular countries around the world. (Applause.)

To me, foreign aid is taking money from poor people in this country and giving it to rich people in poor countries, and it becomes weapons of war, essentially, no well — no matter how well motivated it is. So while —

MR. COOPER: Congressman Paul, would you cut aid to Israel?

REP. PAUL: I would cut all foreign aid. I would treat everybody equally and fairly. And I don’t think aid to Israel actually helps them. I think it teaches them to be dependent. We’re on a bankruptcy court — course — and we — and look at what’s the result of all that foreign aid we gave Egypt. I mean, their — their dictator that we pumped up, we spent all these billions of dollars, and now there’s a more hostile regime in Egypt. And that’s what’s happening all around Israel. That foreign aid makes Israel dependent on us. It softens them for their own economy. And they should have their sovereignty back —


REP. PAUL:  — they should be able to deal with their neighbors at their own will. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Congresswoman Bachmann, should we cut foreign aid to Israel?

REP. BACHMANN: No, we should not be cutting foreign aid to Israel. Israel is our greatest ally. The biggest problem is the fact that the president — (applause) — the biggest problem with this administration and foreign policy is that President Obama is the first president since Israel declared her sovereignty put daylight between the United States and Israel. That’s heavily contributed to the current hostilities that we see in the Middle East region.

Cutting back on foreign aid is one thing. Being reimbursed by nations that we have liberated is another. We should look to Iraq and Libya to reimburse us for part of what we have done to liberate these nations.

(Cheers, applause.)

Now, I need to add something on this issue of negotiating for hostages. This is a very serious issue. For any candidate to say that they would release the prisoners at Guantanamo in exchange for a hostage would be absolutely contrary to the historical nature of the United States and what we do in our policy. That’s naive. We cannot do that. The United States has done well because we have an absolute policy: we don’t negotiate.

MR. COOPER: Herman Cain, I’ve got to give you 30 seconds because she was referring to — basically saying you’re naive or — if that’s what you were suggesting.

MR. CAIN: No. I said that I believe in the philosophy of we don’t negotiate with terrorists. I think — I’ve been saying — I would never agree to letting hostages in Guantanamo Bay go. No, that wasn’t the intent at all.

But let me go back to this, if I could, very quickly, in the time that I have left, the question they asked about foreign aid. My approach is an extension of the Reagan approach: peace through strength, which is peace through strength and clarity. If we clarify who our friends are, clarify who our enemies are, and stop giving money to our enemies, then we ought to continue to give money to our friends, like Israel. (Applause.)

MR. COOPER: You have 30 seconds, Congressman Paul, then I got to go.

REP. PAUL: As a matter of fact, I don’t want to make a statement, I want to ask a question. Are you all willing to condemn Ronald Reagan for exchanging weapons for hostages out of Iran? We all know that was done.

MR. SANTORUM: Well, that’s not — Iran was a sovereign country, it was not a terrorist organization, number one. That’s —

REP. PAUL (?): Well, they were our good friends —

(Cross talk.)

MR. : They’re a sovereign country — just like the Palestinian Authority is not good friends of Israel.

REP. PAUL: He negotiated for hostages.

MR. SANTORUM: There’s a role — we negotiated with hostages — (inaudible) — the Soviet Union. We’ve negotiated with hostages, depending on the scale. But there’s a difference between releasing terrorists from Guantanamo Bay in response to terrorist demands than —

REP. PAUL: But they’re all suspects, they’re not terrorists. You haven’t convicted them of anything.

MR. SANTORUM:  — than negotiating with other countries where we may have an interest.

And that is certainly a proper role for the United States — (inaudible).

MR. COOPER: We’ve got to take a quick break. I do want to give Speaker Gingrich thirty seconds and then —

MR. GINGRICH: Just very straightforward. (Inaudible) — did a film on Ronald Reagan, there’s a very painful moment in the film when he looks in the camera and says: I didn’t think we did this; I’m against doing it. I went back and looked. The truth is, we did. It was an enormous mistake. And he thought the Iranian deal was a terrible mistake.

MR. COOPER: We’re going to take a short break. Our debate, though, continues on the other side of the break, so stay tuned. (Cheers, applause.) When we return, which candidate has the best chance to beat Barack Obama? It’s going to matter in your vote. Stay with us.


(Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: And welcome back. The GOP debate is under way.

Let’s talk about probably the most important issue to everybody on this stage and probably just about everybody on (sic) this room, which is, who can beat President Barack Obama in this next election? (Cheers, applause.)

In today’s new CNN/ORC poll, 41 percent of Republican voters think that Governor Romney has the best chance of beating the president. (Cheers, applause.)

To Senator Santorum, you got 1 percent. Why shouldn’t Republican voters go with the candidate they feel they can best beat — that can best beat President Obama?

MR. SANTORUM: Well, the Pew poll last week asked how many people in this country can name any of us, and less than 50 percent could come up with even one. So the idea that this has any relevance to people who aren’t paying close attention to this debate is — is — is in fact irrelevant.

What’s relevant is to look at the track record. No one in this field has won a swing state. Pennsylvania’s a swing state. We win Pennsylvania, we win the election. The Republican is nominated.

I’ve won it twice. I defeated a Democratic incumbent winning it the first time, and I won the state of Pennsylvania — the only senator to win a state who is a conservative that George Bush lost. Bush lost it by 5. I won it by 6.

So you have someone who’s defeated and — and been matched up against three Democratic incumbents. I’m 3 and 0. Nobody in this field has won a major race against a Democratic incumbent — except me. No one has won a swing state — except me, as a conservative. I didn’t run as a Democrat in Texas when it was popular, one, and win there. I didn’t run as a liberal in 1994. I ran in 1994, the same year Mitt did in — in — in Massachusetts. He ran as a liberal, to the left of Kennedy, and lost. I ran as a conservative against James Carville and Paul Begala, and I won.

In — in — in 2002 he ran as a moderate. He ran as a moderate in — in — in Massachusetts.

I ran for re-election having sponsored and passed welfare reform, having authored the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act.


MR. SANTORUM: I was for — a moral conservative. I was a foreign policy conservative.

MR. COOPER: Time, sir.

MR. SANTORUM: I was a fiscal conservative, and I got elected in a state that hasn’t an elected a president since 1988 as a Republican.

MR. COOPER: Thank you. (Applause.)

Governor Romney, I’ve got to give you 30 seconds since he referenced you.

MR. ROMNEY: I think the people of America are looking for someone who can beat President Obama and can get the country on the right track. And I believe that they recognize that if we elect someone who’s spent their life in politics, that they’re not going to be able to post up well against President Obama and convince the American people of the truth of the principles that we believe in. I believe that having spent my life in the private sector, having actually created jobs is what allows me to have the kind of support that’s going to allow me to replace President Obama and get the country on the right track again. That for me is the distinguishing feature that’s going to get me elected as the president of the United States.

MR. COOPER: Governor — (cheers, applause) — Governor Perry, was he was referring to you?

GOV. PERRY: If you want to know how someone’s going to act in the future, look how they act in the past. I mean, so, Mitt, while you were the governor of Massachusetts in that period of time, you were 47th in the nation in job creation. During that same period of time we created 20 times more jobs. As a matter of fact, you’ve created 40,000 jobs total in your four years. Last two months we created more jobs than that in Texas.

What we need is someone who will draw a bright contrast between themselves and President Obama. And let me tell you one thing: I will draw that bright contrast.

MR. COOPER: I’ve got to give you 30 seconds. Governor Romney?

MR. ROMNEY: Yeah, with regards to track record in the past, Governor, you were the chairman of Al Gore’s campaign. All right? (Laughter.) And there was a fellow — there was a fellow Texan named George Bush running. So if we’re looking at the past, I think we know where you were.

Secondly, our unemployment rate I got down to 4.7 percent. Pretty darn good. I think a lot of people would be happy to have 4.7 percent. And with regards — (cheers, applause) — with regards to the — to the record — to the record in Texas, you probably also ought to tell people that if you look over the last several years, 40 percent, almost half the jobs created in Texas were created for illegal aliens, illegal immigrants.

GOV. PERRY: That is an absolutely falsehood on is face, Mitt.

MR. ROMNEY: Well, it’s — it’s actually — it’s actually —

MR. COOPER: You have 30 seconds, Governor Perry.

GOV. PERRY: That is absolutely incorrect, sir.

MR. ROMNEY: Well, take a look at the study.

GOV. PERRY: There’s a third — there’s been a third party take a look at that study, and it is absolutely incorrect. The fact is Texas has led the nation in job creation. EBay and Facebook and Caterpillar didn’t come there because there weren’t jobs and there wasn’t an environment to — to be created. That’s what Americans are looking for. They’re looking for somebody that they trust, that knows — has the executive governing experience. I’ve got it. You failed as the governor of Massachusetts.


MR. COOPER: I’ve got to give Governor Romney 30 seconds when you said he failed.

MR. ROMNEY: (Chuckles.) I’m very proud of the fact — actually, during the — the four years we were both governors, my unemployment rate in Massachusetts was lower than your unemployment rate in Texas. That’s number one. Number two, getting it down to 4.7 (percent) I’m pretty happy with. We worked very hard to balance our budget, did every year, put in place a rainy-day fund of $2 billion by the time I was finished.

And I’ll tell you this: The American people would be happy for an individual who can lead the country who’s actually created jobs, not just watching them get created by others, but someone who knows how the economy works because he’s been in it. I have. I’ve created jobs. I’ll use that skill to get America working again. That’s what we want. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Herman Cain, you’re — Herman Cain, you’re tied with Governor Romney in some of the polls for the top leadership position right now. Is a — are they the ones — are either Governor Perry or Governor Romney — are they the ones who should be president?

MR. CAIN: (Chuckles.) No, I should be president. (Laughter.)

MR. COOPER: Well, obviously.

MR. CAIN: Governor Romney has a very distinguished career, and I would agree with much of what he has said. And there’s one difference between the two of us in terms of our experience. With all due respect, his business-executive experience has been more Wall Street- oriented. Mine has been more Main Street.

I have managed small companies. I’ve actually had to clean the parking lot. I’ve worked with groups of businesses, et cetera.

And as far as contrasting me with President Obama, if I am fortunate enough to become the Republican nominee, it’s going to be the problem solver who fixes stuff, versus a president who hasn’t fixed anything in this country. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: Governor Romney, you’ve got 30 seconds.

MR. ROMNEY: I appreciate that. And probably, the fact that we’re doing as well as we are is we both have a private-sector background. That probably helps. But I just want to set the record state of my record — record straight on my record.

I’ve been chief executive officer four times: once for a startup and three times for turnarounds. One was the financial services company, that was the startup; a consulting company, that’s a mainstream business; the Olympics, that’s certainly mainstream; and of course, the state of Massachusetts. In all those settings, I learned how to create jobs.

MR. COOPER: We — your campaigns are telling us we have to end — it’s time — I’m sorry —

REP. BACHMANN: Oh, no, no, no!

EP. PAUL: Oh, wait — wait a second.

REP. BACHMANN: Anderson — Anderson, that is —

MR. COOPER: It’s your campaigns. I’m just —

REP. PAUL: No, just — (inaudible) —

REP. BACHMANN: Anderson, this is — Anderson? Anderson — Anderson —

MR. COOPER: If you want to defy your campaigns, go ahead. Go ahead. Congresswoman Bachmann, 30 seconds.

REP. BACHMANN: The good news is the cake is baked. Barack Obama will be a one-term president. There’s no question about this. (Cheers, applause.)

Now the question is, we need to listen to Ronald Reagan who said: No pastels; bold colors. I am the most different candidate from Barack Obama than anyone on this stage.

MR. COOPER: Speaker Gingrich?

REP. BACHMANN: We can’t settle in this race.

MR. COOPER: Speaker Gingrich, why don’t you get in this?

MR. GINGRICH: Well, let me just — let me just point out a second that maximizing bickering is probably not the road to the White House. (Applause.) And the technique you’ve used maximizes going back and forth, over and over again.

I just want to say two things. I think that I would be the strongest candidate because of sheer substance, if you go to and look at the 21st century Contract with America. As the nominee, I will challenge Obama to meet the Lincoln-Douglas standard of seven three-hour debates, no timekeep — no moderator, only a timekeeper.

I believe we can defeat him decisively to a point where we re- establish a conservative America on our values. And I think that is a key part of thinking about next year. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. COOPER: We’d love to host those on CNN.

I want to thank all the candidates, the GOP candidates tonight. (Cheers, applause.)

Want to thank all the candidates for a spirited debate on the stage. We also want to thank our co-sponsor, the Western Republican Leadership Conference, our host the Sands Convention Center at the Venetian.

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 11, 2011: Bloomberg / Washington Post GOP Republican Presidential Debate on the Economy at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire Transcript — 7th & Least Combative GOP 2012 Debate has Mitt Romney as Front Runner, Herman Cain in the Hot Seat & Rick Perry in the Sidelines




Republican Debate transcript

Pool photo by Toni Sandys

The Republicans gathered for debate on Tuesday at Dartmouth College, and the scene resembled a talk show. Charlie Rose was one of the moderators. More Photos »

Source: WaPo, 10-11-11

Bloomberg/Washington Post/WBIN-TV Republican Presidential Candidates Debate Republican Candidates: Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN); 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-TX); Governor Rick Perry (R-TX); Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R); Former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) Moderators: Charlie Rose; Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg TV White House Correspondent; Karen Tumulty, Washington Post Political Correspondent Location: Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire Time: 8:01 p.m. EDT Date: Tuesday, October 11, 2011
CHARLIE ROSE:  I am pleased to be here at this table to have an opportunity to talk to them about the issues that all of us are thinking about, and I begin this evening first with Herman Cain.

As you know, when Standard & Poor’s downgraded American credit, they noted not only the economic difficulties but the political   dysfunction.  So we begin this evening with the question:  What would you do specifically to end the paralysis in Washington?

HERMAN CAIN:  Two things:  Present a bold plan to grow this economy, which — I have put my 9-9-9 plan on the table, and it starts with throwing out the current tax code and putting in the 9-9-9 plan.

Secondly, get serious about bringing down the national debt.  The only way we’re going to do that is the first year that I’m president and I oversee a fiscal year budget, make sure that revenues equals spending.  If we stop adding to the national debt, we can bring it down.

So the answer is, we must grow this economy with a bold solution, which is why I’ve proposed 9-9-9 and at same time get serious about not creating annual deficits, so we can bring the national debt.  That will re-establish confidence in our system, and I believe we could get our credit rating back.

MR. ROSE:  Governor Perry, are you prepared, even though you have said you want to make Washington inconsequential, to go to Washington and, as Ronald Reagan did, compromise on spending cuts and taxes in order to produce results?

GOVERNOR RICK PERRY (R-TX):  Well, certainly, as the governor of the second-largest state, I’ve had to deal with folks on both sides of the aisle.

I’ve signed six balanced budgets as the governor of — of Texas.  So working with folks on both sides of the aisle and — and bringing ideas, whether it’s ways to redo your tax structure or what have you.

One of the things that I laid out today I think is a pretty bold plan to put 1.2 million Americans working in the energy industry.  And you don’t need Congress to do that; you need a president with a plan, which I’m laying out over the next three days, and clearly the intent to open up this treasure trove that America’s sitting on and getting America independent on the domestic energy side.  It’s time for another American Declaration of Independence.  It’s time for energy independence.

MR. ROSE:  We’ll come back to energy and also your economic plan this evening, but I go now to Governor Romney.

The paralysis is there and everybody’s concerned about it.  What specifically would you be prepared to do to make the country moving again on addressing its problems?

MITT ROMNEY:  I’d be prepared to be a leader.  You can’t get the country to go in the right direction and get Washington to work if you don’t have a president that’s a leader.  And — and three years ago we selected a person who’d never had any leadership experience, never worked in the private sector, never had the opportunity to actually bring people together, and he hasn’t been able to do so.  He said he’d bring us hope and change.  Instead he’s divided the nation and tried to blame other people.

The real course for America is to have someone who’s a leader, who can identify people in both parties who care more about the country than they care about getting reelected.  There are Democrats like that.  There are Republicans like that.  I was the governor of a state that had a few Democrats.  (Laughs.)  People in this room know how many we had in Massachusetts.

MR. ROSE:  So it’s essential to deal with Democrats —

MR. ROMNEY:  Yeah, you have to —

MR. ROSE:  — and to be prepared to compromise on the big issues of our time?

MR. ROMNEY:  You have to stand by your principles.  At the same time, you know that good Democrats and good Republicans who love the   country first will be able to find common ground from time to time and recognize we can’t keep on spending like we’re spending.

We can’t demand more from tax revenue from people, because that kills jobs and hurts working families.  We have got to help the middle class in this country.

The only way that’ll come together is if you have people on both sides of the aisle who will listen to a leader who has the experience of leading.  And that’s what America’s looking for and desperately longing for.

MR. ROSE:  And back to Governor Perry:  this plan that you would like to lay out — because Governor Romney has said you’ve had two months to produce a plan, an economic plan.  He’s had a 59-point plan. What’s the plan?  What will you say specifically?

GOV. PERRY:  Well, clearly, opening up a lot of the areas of our domestic energy area; that’s the real key.  You’ve got an administration that, by and large, has either by intimidation or over- regulation, put our energy industry and the rest of the economy in jeopardy.  And we’ve got to have a president who is willing to stand up and to clearly pull back those regulations that are strangling the American entrepreneurship that’s out there.

And it doesn’t make any difference whether it’s “Obamacare,” whether it’s Dodd-Frank, or whether it’s the tax burden, a president, particularly with the plan that I’m going to be laying out over the next three days — and I’m not going to lay it out all for you tonight.  You know, Mitt’s had six years to be working on a plan; I’ve been in this for about eight weeks.  But clearly, we’re going to be focused on initially the energy industry in this country and making America again independent and clearly the place where domestic energy needs to be produced from.

MR. ROSE:  Let me introduce my friend Karen.  Karen?

KAREN TUMULTY:  Congresswoman Bachmann, three years after the financial meltdown, Main Street continues to suffer.  People have lost their jobs, they’ve lost their homes, they’ve lost their faith in the future.

But Wall Street is thriving.  The banks not only got bailed out by the government:  They made huge profits; they paid themselves huge bonuses.  Do you think it’s right that no Wall Street executives have gone to jail for the damage they did to the economy?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN):  I think if you look at the problem with the economic meltdown, you can trace it right back to the federal government, because it was the federal government that demanded that banks and mortgage companies lower platinum-level — level — lending standards to new lows.  It was —

MS. TUMULTY:  But the federal government had also deregulated them.

REP. BACHMANN:  It was the federal government that pushed the subprime loans.  It was the federal government that pushed the Community Reinvestment Act.  It was Congressman Barney Frank and also Senator Chris Dodd that continued to push government-directed housing goals.  They pushed the banks to meet these rules.  And if banks failed to meet those rules, then the federal government said, we won’t let you merge; we won’t let you grow.  There’s a real problem:  It began with the federal government, and it began with Feddie and — Freddie and Fannie.

If you look at these secondary mortgage companies, which the federal government is essentially backing 100 percent, they put American mortgages in a very difficult place.  We had artificially low interest rates.  Freddie and Fannie were the center of the universe on the mortgage meltdown, and we had lending standards lowered for the first time in American history.  The fault goes back to the federal government.  And that’s what’s wrong with Dodd-Frank:  Dodd-Frank institutionalized all of these problems that were put into effect by the federal government.  That’s what I introduced the bill to repeal Dodd-Frank.  It’s the “jobs and housing destruction act.”

MS. TUMULTY:  So Speaker Gingrich, it sounds like Congresswoman Bachmann does not believe that Wall Street is to blame for the financial mess.  You’ve said that the current protests on Wall Street are, in your words, “the natural product of Obama’s class warfare.”

Does this mean that these people who are out there protesting on Wall Street, across the country, have no grievance?

MR. GINGRICH:  No.  I — let me draw a distinction.  I think there are — virtually every American has a reason to be angry.  I think virtually every American has a reason to be worried.  I think the people who are protesting on Wall Street break into two groups: one is left-wing agitators who would be happy to show up next week on any other topic, and the other is sincere middle-class people who, frankly, are very close to the tea party people in actually caring. You can tell which group is which.

The people who are decent and responsible citizens pick up after themselves.  The people who are just out there as activists trash the place and walk off and are proud of having trashed it.  So let’s draw that distinction.

If they want to really change things, the first person to fire is Bernanke, who is a disastrous chairman of the Federal Reserve.  The second person to fire is Geithner.  The fact is, in both the Bush and the Obama administrations, the fix has been in, and I think it’s perfectly reasonable for people to be angry.  But let’s be clear who put the fix in.  The fix was put in by the federal government.  And if you want to put people in jail, I want to second what Michele said: You ought to start with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.  And let’s look at the politicians who created the environment, the politicians who profited from the environment, and the politicians who put this country in trouble.

MR. ROSE:  Clearly, you’re not saying they should go to jail.

MR. GINGRICH:  Well, in Chris Dodd’s case, go back and look at the Countryside deals.  In Barney Frank’s case, go back and look at the lobbyists he was close to at — at the — at Freddie Mac.  All I’m saying is, everybody —

MS. TUMULTY:  So if you were in the White —

MR. GINGRICH:  — everybody — everybody in the media who wants to go after the business community ought to start by going after the politicians who have been at the heart of the sickness which is weakening this country, and ought to start with Bernanke, who has still not been exposed for the hundreds of billions of dollars — (applause) —  MS. TUMULTY:  But —

MR. GINGRICH:  I’m going to say one other thing.  I’m going to repeat this:  Bernanke has in secret spent hundreds of billions of dollars bailing out one group and not bailing out another group.  I don’t see anybody in the news media demanding the kind of transparency at the Fed that you would demand of every other aspect of the federal government.

And I think it is corrupt and it is wrong for one man to have that kind of secret power.

MS. TUMULTY:  So, Congressman Paul, where do you come down this?

(Laughter, cross talk.)

REPRESENTATIVE RON PAUL (R-TX):  The one thing — one thing I might — might say — that we have made some inroads on the Federal Reserve.  We passed a bill last year — we got a partial, you know, audit of the Fed.  We’ve learned a whole lot.  They were dealing in $15 trillion.  Five trillion (dollars) went overseas to bail out foreign banks.

But you know what?  The Congress did a lot.  I’ve worked on it for a good many years.  But Bloomberg helped and Fox helped.  They had court cases, Freedom of Information Act, and there are some, even at this table, who didn’t think auditing the Fed was such a good idea, that we could call up the Fed and ask him — and it would tell us what to do.  And I’ve been calling them up for 30 years and they never tell me.  (Laughter.)

But we’re getting to the bottom of it.  But if you want to understand why we have a problem, you have to understand the Fed, because the cause comes from the business cycle.  We shouldn’t be asking what to do exactly with the recession — obviously we have to deal with that — but you can’t solve, you can’t cure the disease if you don’t know the cause of it.  And the cause is the booms.  When there are booms, and they’re artificial, whether it’s the CRA or whether it’s the Fed, easy credit, when you have bubbles, whether it’s the NASDAQ or whether it’s the housing bubbles —


REP. PAUL:  — they burst.  And when they do, you have to have corrections.  And that’s what we’re dealing with.  And we can do this by building coalitions —

MR. ROSE:  Thank you.

REP. PAUL:  — and not sacrificing any principles.

MR. ROSE:  Julianna.  JULIANNA GOLDMAN:  Thank you, Charlie.

Senator Santorum, I want to turn to jobs, because you’ve said that when you were growing up in a steel town in Pennsylvania, 21 percent of the country was involved in manufacturing.  Now it’s down to 9 percent.  Can those jobs ever return?  And what would you do to create jobs now?

RICK SANTORUM:  Yeah, the jobs can come back if you create a climate for them to be profitable.

I — I — we have a lot of businesspeople, manufacturers in Pennsylvania.  I don’t know a single one who wanted to ship their jobs offshore, who didn’t want them in their own community to be able to employ people and see the fruits of their labor being — benefiting the community that they live in.  What happened was we became uncompetitive.

So we need to be competitive.  And that’s why I proposed taking the corporate tax from manufacturers and processors, taking it from 35 percent and eliminating it, zero percent tax.  Allow this to be the — the — the manufacturing capital of the world again.  Take that money — $1.2 trillion that over — that’s overseas from manufacturers who did send their jobs overseas — bring it back, zero percent tax rate if you invest it in plant and equipment in this country.

Repeal every regulation the Obama administration has put in place that’s over $100 million.  Repeal them all.  You may have to replace a few, but let’s repeal them all because they are all antagonistic to businesses, particularly in the manufacturing sector.

And do as Governor Perry suggested.  We need a bold energy plan — I’ve put one out there — to drill.  Pennsylvania — I don’t want to brag, Governor, but Pennsylvania is the gas capital of the world right now, not Texas, because —

MR. ROSE:  All right.


MR. SANTORUM:  — we are — we’re doing a great job.  And energy prices and gas went down by 75 percent —

MS. GOLDMAN:  But let me just follow up because we are in a crisis.  So what would you do right now to create jobs?

MR. SANTORUM:  The — the cool thing about my plan as opposed to Herman’s plans and some of the other plans out here, it’ll pass tomorrow.  It would pass tomorrow.  Why?  Because industrial-state Democrats want those jobs and they know if we put a pro-manufacturing- jobs plan on the table it will pass overnight.  We’ll get votes from Indiana and Pennsylvania and Ohio and Michigan, all of those states.

So it’s not just proposing a plan that will get — get things started that The Wall Street Journal will smile at — excuse me, The    Washington Post — or — but it’s a plan that can actually pass and get things done and bring people together.  That’s why I put it on the table.

MS. GOLDMAN:  Thank you.

I want to follow up now to Governor Huntsman.  From the Erie Canal to the Internet, it’s what — innovation is what’s always fueled economic recovery.  So shouldn’t the focus now be on trying to create the innovative jobs of tomorrow?  And what do you think those are?

JON HUNTSMAN:  We need to regain our industrial base.  I would, first and foremost, disagree with Rick on one measure.  And that is, Pennsylvania is not the gas capital of the country; Washington, D.C., is the gas capital of the country.  (Laughter.)

GOV. PERRY:  (That’s OK — that’s OK ?).

MR. HUNTSMAN:  There are two things that critically need to be done for us to stay ahead in this highly competitive world, and when we lose one or both of them, we lose out to the Chinese and the Indians.  One is maintaining a strong commitment to innovation, entrepreneurship and freedom in the marketplace.  We have the sense of innovation that no country has been able to replicate.  Some have tried, and some will continue to try, but nobody does it like we do here.  And that gives rise to high technology, to regular manufacturing jobs cross the board.  It makes this economy hum when it’s working well.

The second part of this:  You need a marketplace, like Rick described a moment ago, in which you can translate those innovations into products.  We are losing our ability to maintain a competitive marketplace today.

MR. ROSE:  All right.

MR. HUNTSMAN:  That’s taxes, that’s regulation.  We’ve lost it to others, so right now we’re not able to translate innovation to the — we’ve got to regain the magic of a strong marketplace, so that we have the complete package.

MR. ROSE:  Karen.

MS. TUMULTY:  Congressman Gingrich — Speaker Gingrich, Medicare —

NEWT GINGRICH:  Newt — (off mic).

MS. TUMULTY:  (Laughs.)  Medicare is going broke.  Consider the fact that half of all Medicare spending is done in the last two years of life.  And research that has done — been done right here at Dartmouth by the Dartmouth Atlas would suggest that much of this money is going to treatments and interventions that do nothing to prolong life, or to improve it.  In fact, some of it does the opposite.  Do you consider this wasteful spending?  And if so, should the government do anything about it?  MR. GINGRICH:  You know, I’m really glad you asked that, because I was just swapping emails today with Andy von Eschenbach, who was the head of the National Cancer Institute, the head of the Food and Drug Administration.  But before that, he was the provost at MD Anderson, the largest cancer treatment center in the world.

And he wrote me to point out that the most recent U.S. government intervention on whether or not to have prostate testing is basically going to kill people.  So if you ask me, do I want some Washington bureaucrat to create a class action decision which affects every American’s last two years of life, not ever.  I think it is a disaster.  I think, candidly, Governor Palin got attacked unfairly for describing what would — would, in fact, be death panels.

And — and — what von Eschenbach will tell you if you call him is:  The decision to suggest that we not test men for — with PSA will mean that a number of people who do not have the — who are susceptible to a very rapid prostate cancer will die unnecessarily. And there was not a single urologist — not a single specialist on the board that looked at it.  So I’m — I’m opposed to class intervention for these things.

MS. TUMULTY:  Well, Congresswoman Bachmann, of course no one wants the government to come between a doctor and a patient, but do you think that Americans are getting the most for their money in Medicare spending?  And how can we make sure that the money that is being spent is being spent on the treatments and the — and the preventive treatments that do the most?

REP. BACHMANN:  We have a big problem today when it comes to Medicare, because we know that nine years from now, the Medicare hospital Part B Trust Fund is going to be dead flat broke.  So we’ve got to deal with this issue.

I was in the White House with President Obama this summer.  We asked him not once but three times:  President Obama, what is your plan to save Medicare?  And the president mumbled and he didn’t give an answer the first time, the second time.  And the third time the president said something very interesting, Karen.

He said “Obamacare.”  I think that senior citizens across the country have no idea that President Obama plans for Medicare to collapse, and instead everyone will be pushed into “Obamacare.”

And just like Newt Gingrich said, the way that “Obamacare” runs, there’s a board called IPAB.  It’s made up of 15 political appointees. These 15 political appointees will make all the major health care decisions for over 300 million Americans.  I don’t want 15 political appointees to make a health care decision for a beautiful, fragile, 85-year-old woman who should be making her own decision.

MR. ROSE:  We’ll come back to Medicare as well and medical issues and the cost of medical in the United States.

I want to talk about advisers and appointees.  Tell me, Governor Huntsman, whose advice do you seek on economic issues?  And who — what’s the profile of the kind of person you’d like to have advising you in your White House?

MR. HUNTSMAN:  I’d like the profile of my own father, who was a great entrepreneur.  And he started with nothing, and he built a great business, and my brother now runs that business.

People who have been out in the world, who have actually had their hands on products and manufacturing and know something about how to build something from the ground up.  That’s what this country has always done, is what we need to continue to do.

But in order to have the right policies in place.  And some I put forward as governor of the great state of Utah.  Tax reform:  I created a flat tax in the state of Utah.  It took that state to the number-one position in terms of job creation.  Regulatory reform and energy independence.

I want the kind of people who understand what makes an economy work.

But let’s be real about what it takes to get into federal government service these days.  Who on Earth from the private sector is ever going to want to give up their privacy and enter government service with the background checks, the financial disclosures, and everything else that serve as tremendous disincentives for good people to get into government.  So what we have today, Charlie, we’ve got a professional governing class of people on one end, and then you’ve got private- sector — (inaudible) — on the other —

MR. ROSE:  And so what would you do about that to change that, to attract those —

MR. HUNTSMAN:  We need —

MR. ROSE:  — kind of people so that they would be willing to serve — a cross section of people from every —

MR. HUNTSMAN:  Let’s get back to —

MR. ROSE:  (Inaudible.)

MR. HUNTSMAN:  — what we did a generation or two ago when we were more open in terms of accommodating people from all backgrounds who wanted to take a little bit of their life and serve in government, and then leave and go back to what it is they did best, whether on the farm or whether insurance or whether business or whether academia.

MR. ROSE:  When you mentioned the flat tax, does that mean that you look with some favor upon 9-9-9 that Herman Cain mentioned at the beginning of this conversation?

MR. HUNTSMAN:  I think it’s a catchy phrase.  In fact, I thought it was a price of a pizza when I first heard about it, Herman. (Laughter, applause).

MR. ROSE (?):  Price of a pizza.

MR. HUNTSMAN:  Here’s — here’s — here’s what — here’s what we need:  We need something that’s doable, doable, doable.  And what I have put forward is a tax program that is doable.  It actually wipes clean all of the loopholes and the deductions.  This is right out of what the Simpson-Bowles commission recommended — a bipartisan group of people that took a thoughtful approach to tax for corporate and individual — individual, and on the corporate side, phase out all of the corporate welfare, all of the subsidies because we can’t afford it any longer; in a revenue-neutral fashion, buy down the rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, leveling the playing field for businesses big and small, allowing us to be a whole lot more competitive in the second decade of the 21st century.  MR. ROSE:  Julianna.

MS. GOLDMAN:  Thank you.  We will be coming back to 9-9-9, but first —

MR. CAIN:  (Now ?), wait, wait —

MS. GOLDMAN:  Well, but — but —

MR. CAIN:  He mentioned me —

MR. ROSE:  Give him 30 seconds.

MR. CAIN:  And he — (inaudible) — me, and you didn’t give me an opportunity to respond.

MR. ROSE:  And you have that opportunity (now ?).

MR. CAIN:  Thank you very much.  (Laughter.)  9-9-9 will pass, and it is not the price of pizza because, it has been well-studied and well-developed.  It starts with, unlike your proposals, throwing out the current tax code.  Continuing to pivot off the current tax code is not going to boost this economy.

This is why we developed 9-9-9 — 9 percent corporate business flat tax, 9 percent personal income flat tax, and a 9 percent national sales tax.  And it will pass, Senator, because the American people want it to pass.

MR. ROSE:  This is beginning to sound more like my table. Julianna — I mean, Karen.

MS. TUMULTY:  Mr. Cain, who do you turn to for political advice and for economic advice?

MR. CAIN:  My advisers come from the American people.  Now, I will have some experts.  One of my experts that helped me to develop this is a gentleman by the name of Rich Lowry out of Cleveland, Ohio. He is an economist, and he has worked in the business of wealth creation most of his career.  I also have a number of other well- recognized economists that helped me to develop this 9-9-9 plan.  It didn’t come off a pizza box, no.  It was well studied and well developed because it will replace the corporate income tax, the personal income tax, the capital gains tax, the death tax, and most importantly the payroll tax.

MS. TUMULTY:  So who are some of these economists?

MR. CAIN:  Rich Lowry out of Cleveland, Texas is one of the economists that I have used.  He’s been my lead economists on helping to develop this.

MR. ROSE:  Julianna.

MS. GOLDMAN:  Thank you.  Governor Romney, it’s 2013 and the European debt crisis has worsened, countries are defaulting, Europe’s largest banks are on the verge of bankruptcy, contagion has spread to the U.S., and the global financial system is on the brink.  What would you do differently than what President Bush, Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke did in 2008?

MR. ROMNEY:  Well, you’re — you’re talking about a scenario that’s obviously very difficult to imagine, and — and — and —

MS. GOLDMAN:  But it’s not a hypothetical because more than half the —

MR. ROMNEY:  It — it is — I’m — I’m afraid it is a hypothetical.  MS. GOLDMAN:  It’s not — Governor, it’s not a —

MR. ROMNEY:  Do you want to explain why it’s not a hypothetical?



MS. GOLDMAN:  Because more than half the country believes that a financial meltdown is likely in the next several years, and the U.S. banks have at least $700 billion in exposure to Europe.  So it’s a very real threat, and voters want to know what you would do differently.

MR. ROMNEY:  There — it’s still a hypothetical as to what’s going to precisely happen in the future.

I’m not very good at being omniscient, but I can tell you this:  that I’m not going to have to call up Timothy Geithner and say how does the economy work, because I’ve spent my life in the economy.  I spent my entire career working in the private sector, starting businesses, helping turn around businesses, sometimes successfully and sometimes not.  And I know how to make tough decisions, and to gather the input of people from around the country to help make the important decisions that have to be made.

Clearly if you think the entire financial system is going to collapse, you take action to keep that from happening.  In the case of Europe right now, they’re looking at what’s happening with Greece. Are they going to default on their debt?  Are they not?  That’s a decision which I would like to have input on, if I were president of the United States, and try and prevent the kind of contagion that would affect the U.S. banking system and put us at risk.

But I can tell you this.  I’m not interested in bailing out individual institutions that have wealthy people that want to make sure that their shares are worth something.  I am interested in making sure that we preserve our financial system, our currency, the banks across the entire country, and I will always put the interest of the American people ahead of the interests of any institution.

MS. GOLDMAN:  But — so would you — so would you or would you not be open to another Wall Street bailout?

MR. ROMNEY:  Well, no one likes the idea of a Wall Street bailout.  I certainly don’t.  Asset — asset —

MS. GOLDMAN:  But you said in 2008 that it prevented the collapse of the financial —

MR. ROMNEY:  There’s no question but that the action that President Bush and that Secretary Paulson took was designed to keep not just a collapse of individual banking institutions but to keep the entire currency of the country worth something and to keep all the banks from closing and to make sure we didn’t all lose our jobs.  My — my experience tells me that we were on the — on the precipice and we could have had a complete meltdown of our entire financial system, wiping out all the savings of the American people.  So action had to be taken.

Was it perfect?  No.  Was it well-implemented?  No, not particularly.  Were there some institutions that should not have been   bailed out?  Absolutely.  Should they have used the funds to bail out General Motors and Chrysler?  No, that was the wrong source for that funding.

But this — but this approach of saying, look, we’re going to have to preserve our currency and maintain America and our financial system is — is essential.

MR. ROSE:  So you agree — you agree with Speaker Gingrich about Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Fed?

MR. ROMNEY:  I wouldn’t keep Ben Bernanke in office.  I’d choose someone of my — of my own — (inaudible).

MR. ROSE:  And who might that be?

MR. ROMNEY:  Well, I haven’t chosen that person.  I haven’t even chosen a vice president.  I’m not sure I’m the nominee yet. (Laughter.)

MR. ROSE:  Well, we’d like to — we’d like to have — we would like to have — nor has anyone else, but we’d like to have an idea of the kind of people, you know, that you would have confidence in, in playing this very important role — although, Congressman Paul may differ about how important it is.

MR. ROMNEY:  Well, I wish we could find Milton Friedman again. Although what Milton said to us was, he said, you know, if you took all the economists in America, and you laid them end to end, it would be a good thing.  And I — (laughter) — and I have more respect for economists than that.  The people who help guide my economic policy are Greg Mankiw at Harvard —

MR. ROSE:  Right.

MR. ROMNEY: — and Glenn Hutchins at Columbia.  They were both former chairs of the Council of Economic Advisers.  I don’t always agree with them.  I also talk to a number of business leaders.  I talk to people who are currently in the economy, in the financial sector, and in the manufacturing sector.  And on the basis of these various viewpoints I make my decisions.  And I believe that drawing on the best minds in this country, including economists, is something that’s essential to make sure that we preserve our financial system.

Right now America’s in crisis.  We don’t need to think about a hypothetical of what happens if Europe explodes and pulls us under. Although, if that does happen, you want to have someone who’s smart, who has experience, who knows how the financial services sector works, who knows how to protect American jobs — and I do; I’ve done it.

MR. ROSE:  And as far as you’re concerned, there’s no institution — no financial institution that’s too big to fail.  MR. ROMNEY:  Well, no, you don’t — you don’t — you don’t want to bail out anybody.  The idea of trying to bail out an institution to protect its shareholders or to protect a certain interest group: that’s a terrible idea, and that shouldn’t happen.  You do want to make sure we don’t lose the country, and we don’t lose our financial system, and we don’t lose American jobs, and that all the banks don’t go under.  So you have to take action very carefully to make sure that you preserve our currency and preserve our financial system.

But bailouts of individual institutions?  No one has interest in that, I don’t think.

MS. GOLDMAN:  Mr. Cain, back in 2008, you wrote that the Wall Street bailout was a win-win for the taxpayer.  You just heard Governor Romney.  Do you agree?

MR. CAIN:  Conceptually, I made that statement based upon the concept, but I happen to agree with Governor Romney.  The way it was administered is where it got off track.  They were discretionary in which institutions they were going to save, rather than apply it equitably, which is what most of us thought was going to be done.  The implementation of it is where they got off track.  I didn’t agree with it.  I don’t think Governor Romney agreed with it, so did a lot of us. The implementation was at fault.

MR. ROSE:  Housing is considered one of the real problems in terms of our economy, and getting housing starts up —

MR. GINGRICH:  Can I say one thing before we go to housing?

MR. ROSE:  Yes.

MR. GINGRICH:  Because I think this is really important.  There’s a real possibility that you can’t have the euro and the Greek economy in the same system.  There’s a possibility we could have a meltdown in the next year.  The thing that is most obvious, looking back, is that Paulson and Bernanke and Geithner didn’t have a clue — not because they’re not smart, but because they were operating in a world that has suddenly changed so radically, they didn’t know.

MR. ROSE:  All right.

MR. GINGRICH:  One of the reasons I’ve said that the Congress should insist that every decision document from 2008, 2009 and 2010 at the Fed be released is we are not any better prepared today for a crisis of that scale, because the people who were in that crisis and were wrong are still in charge.  And I think we need to learn what did they do right —

MR. ROSE:  All right.

MR. GINGRICH:  — and what did they do learn — wrong — precisely for the reason you raised about 2013.  MR. ROSE:  Let me go to housing.  What would you do — would you get the federal government out of housing?  Yes?

REP. PAUL:  Absolutely.  I mean, there’s no need to.  Look at the —

MR. ROSE:  No Freddie — no Freddie Mac, no Fannie Mae, nothing?

REP. PAUL:  No, that’s where the distortions come.  That’s where the moral hazard comes from.  That’s where the mal-investment — overbilled.  It was predictable.

You talked about what economists we should look to, and unfortunately we’ve been living with Keynesian economics for many, many decades, and everybody who was right about predicting the bubbles were Austrian economists.  They said they were coming.  And yet they’re also saying — and I agree with them — that everything that we’re doing right now is wrong.

So what we did with the housing bubble, yes, we had too many houses.  It was glaring in our face.  The bubble was doomed to burst, and it came because of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, easy credit, and also the Community Reinvestment Act.

So who — who got into trouble?  The people who did the speculating and the Wall Street, the derivatives market.  They got the bailout.  They got privileges.  So what happened to the middle class? They lost their jobs.  They lost their houses.  This whole system is all messed up.

And you’re — what I hear here is just tinkering with the current system and not looking at something new and different, and it’s a free-market economy without a Federal Reserve System, with sound money.  If you don’t have that, you’re going to continue with a bubble.

And this propping up this debt and keeping the correction — you need the correction.  You need to get rid of the malinvestment and the debt.  The debt is the burden on the economy.

MR. ROSE:  Time.

All right, we’ll be back.  Take a break and be right back.  Stay with us from Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire.


MR. ROSE:  In order to take the pulse of America, we have partnered with LinkedIn — LinkedIn — and they have some 120 billion (sic) networked professionals, and we’ve asked them to take part in this by giving us some polling that they have done.  But before I bring some of those results in, I want to take a look at a series of clips we’ll show you in this segment, beginning with this one of a former president.

(Begin videotaped segment.)

FORMER PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN:  The single-most important question facing us tonight is, do we reduce deficits and interest rates by raising revenue from those who are not now paying their fair share, or do we accept bigger budget deficits, higher interest rates and higher unemployment simply because we disagree on certain features of a legislative package which offers hope for millions of Americans at home, on the farm and in the workplace?

(End videotaped segment.)

MR. ROSE:  Let me go to the governor of Texas.  Do you agree with the former president?

GOV. PERRY:  Well, I think we’re certainly talking about different times, because what I heard him say there, that he was willing to trade tax increases for reductions, and I don’t think he ever saw those reductions, he just saw the tax increase.  As a matter of fact, in his diary he made that statement that he’s still looking around for those — those reductions.

So I mean, from the standpoint — that’s one of the problems that we got in Washington, D.C.  One of the reasons that I think Americans are so untrustworthy of what’s going on in Washington is because they never see a cut in spending.  They always hear the — the siren song of, you know, if you’ll allow us to raise taxes, then we’ll make these reductions over here, when the fact of the matter is the issue is we need to have a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution.  (Applause.)  And the next president of the United States needs to spend his time passing a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution.

MR. ROSE:  But I want to stay with this idea of spending cuts and revenue increases and go back to you, Governor Romney.  This is where it is, it seems in Washington right now, not only the paralysis, but also you got the supercommittees.  And if in fact they can’t find an agreement, you’re going to have a trigger with automatic cuts, including defense.  So doesn’t that demand some kind of compromise, as Reagan suggested?

MR. ROMNEY:  Well, I — I don’t know what particular compromises he was referring to.  We can take a look at that.

But I can tell you this, if you go back a few years before that clip and go to JFK’s time, the government at all levels — federal, state and local — was consuming about 27 percent of the U.S. economy. Today it consumes about 37 percent of the U.S. economy.  It’s on track to get to 40 percent.  We cease at some point to be a free economy. And the idea of saying, we just want a little more, just give us some more tax revenue, we need that, that is the answer for America.

The answer is to cut federal spending.  The answer is to cap how much the federal government can spend as a percentage of our economy and have a balanced budget amendment.

And the second part of the answer is to get our economy to grow, because the idea of just cutting and cutting and taxing more — I understand mathematically those things work, but nothing works as well as getting the economy going.

MS. TUMULTY:  But can we —

MR. ROMNEY:  Get Americans back to work.  Get them paying taxes. Get — get corporations growing in America, investing in America. Bring dollars back, as Rick said, repatriation dollars — bring a trillion-three (dollars) back from overseas.  Invest in the United States.  Get this economy going.  And I’ll tell you, these kinds of problems will disappear.

MS. TUMULTY:  But could we get back to the actual choice that is likely to confront Congress at the end of the year, which is some mix of revenues and cuts or these draconian automatic spending cuts that would include defense.  Which of those two, if that is the choice, would you prefer?

MR. ROMNEY:  Well, my choice is not to cut defense.  I think it’s a terrible idea to cut defense.  I think it’s a terrible idea to raise taxes.  Particularly at a time when the economy’s struggling, the idea of raising taxes, taking more money away from the American people, so government can spend it, and can spend it — right now the president has a jobs bill.

MS. TUMULTY:  So this is —

MR. ROMNEY:  How’d his last jobs bill work out for us?

MS. TUMULTY:  But this is the automatic cut —

MR. ROMNEY:  Not — not so well.

MS. TUMULTY:  — (inaudible)?

MR. ROMNEY:  Yeah, the — no, I do not want the automatic cuts. I want to see that supercommittee take responsibility for getting the economy going again by reining in the scale of the federal government —  MR. ROSE:  OK.

MR. ROMNEY:  — and saying we’re going to pull back on some of the programs we have —

MR. ROSE:  All right.

MR. ROMNEY:  — and reform our entitlements, so they’re sustainable.

The American people want to see growth and jobs, and they believe that the right way to do it is by cutting back on the scale of government.  And they’re right.

MR. ROSE:  Without any increase in revenue?  (Applause.)

(Cross talk.)

MR. GINGRICH:  I just want to say one — I want to say one thing about the entire way Washington works, which was just posed in that question.  First of all, the Congress couldn’t figure out how to get the debt ceiling done with a president who shows zero leadership, so they adopt a truly stupid bill, OK?

And the bill basically says:  We’re either going to shoot ourselves in the head, or cut off our right leg.  And we’ll come in and — around Thanksgiving, and we’ll show you how we’re going to cut off the right leg.  And the alternative will be shooting ourselves in the head.

Let me just say bluntly, all of the spending cuts that are built into the debt ceiling bill — all of them are acts of Congress.  They can all be repealed at any moment.  It is nonsense to say we’re going to disarm the United States unilaterally because we’re too stupid to balance the budget any other way.  (Applause.)

MR. ROSE:  All right.

Congressman Bachmann.

REP. BACHMANN:  Charlie, last summer I was a leading voice in the wilderness of Washington, and a lone voice as a matter of fact, saying:  Do not increase the debt ceiling.  By that, what I was saying is, let’s not give Barack Obama another $2.4 trillion blank check to spend.

Think of what this means.  Our government right now — this is significant.  We are spending 40 percent more than what we take in. We all paid a lot of taxes this year.  We paid $2.2 trillion in taxes. That’s a lot of money from all the American people.  The American government spent a hundred percent of that 2.2 trillion (dollars). But the travesty is they spent 1.5 trillion (dollars) more than that. That’s the problem.  Every year, we are spending about 40 percent more than what we take in.

Our answer has to be that we cut back on the spending so we get to balance.  We can’t do this because all —

MR. ROSE:  Will cutting back on the spending —

REP. BACHMANN:  — all around us are young people that are going to be paying for this burden.  And their tax rates won’t be our tax rates.  Their tax rates could come at some point, their overall effective burden — I’m a federal tax lawyer; that’s what I do for a living.  And my background is in economics.  Their tax rates some day in their peak earning years, Charlie, could be as much as 75 percent. Who’s going to get out of bed in the morning to go to work, if they’re paying 75 percent tax rates?  We’ve got to get our spending house in order and cut back on spending.

MR. ROSE:  Cutting back on spending, in your judgment, will do it?

REP. BACHMANN:  That’s one piece of the answer.  That’s not the whole answer —

MR. ROSE:  Yeah —

REP. BACHMANN:  — but we have to cut taxes —

MR. ROSE:  I want you to take a look — we’ll come to all of you, but let me take a look at another clip; this one you will recognize as well.  Here it is.

(Begin videotaped segment.)

MR. CAIN:  It’s called the 9-9-9 plan.  (Applause.)  It imposes a 9 percent business flat tax, a 9 percent personal flat tax and a 9 percent national sales tax.

(End videotaped segment.)

MR. ROSE:  Go ahead, Julianna.

MS. GOLDMAN:  Thanks.  I said we would get back to 9-9-9. (Laughter.)

Mr. Cain, you say that your plan is revenue neutral.  And last year, the U.S. collected $2.2 trillion in tax revenue.  But Bloomberg Government has run the numbers, and your plan would have raised no more than $2 trillion.  And even with that shortfall, you’d still be slapping a 9 percent sales tax on food and medicine.

MR. CAIN:  The problem with that analysis is that it is incorrect.  (Laughter, applause.)

MS. GOLDMAN:  Well — well —

MR. CAIN:  The — the reason — the reason it’s incorrect is because they start with assumptions that we don’t make.  Remember, 9- 9-9 plan throws out the current tax code.  And it starts with three simple economic driving principles:  production drives the economy;    risk-taking drives growth; and we need sound money — measurements must be dependable.

Now, what 9-9-9 does, it expands the base.  When you expand the base, we can arrive at the lowest possible rate, which is 9-9-9.  The difference between the 9-9-9 plan and the other plans that are being proposed is that they pivot off of the existing tax code.

We’ve had an outside firm — independent firm —

MR. ROSE:  All right.

MR. CAIN:  — dynamically score it, and so our numbers will make it revenue neutral.

MR. ROSE:  All right.  Karen — go ahead.  I’m sorry, go ahead.

MS. GOLDMAN:  But then explain why, under your plan, all Americans should be paying more for milk, for a loaf of bread, and beer?

MR. ROSE:  And pizza.

MS. GOLDMAN:  Yeah, and pizza.  (Laughs.)

MR. CAIN:  I don’t buy beer.  (Laughter.)

You have to start with the biggest tax cut a lot of Americans pay, which is the payroll tax, 15.3 percent.  That goes to 9 percent. That’s a 6 percentage point difference, and the prices will not go up. So they’ve got a 6 percentage point difference to apply to the national sales tax piece of that, and in doing so they have the flexibility to decide on how much they want to spend it on new goods, how much they want to spend it on used goods —

MR. ROSE:  All right.

MR. CAIN:  — because there is no tax on used goods.

MS. GOLDMAN:  But Congresswoman Bachmann, you’re a former IRS lawyer.  Do you agree?

REP. BACHMANN:  I would have to say the 9-9-9 plan isn’t a jobs plan, it is a tax plan.  And I would say that from my experience being in Congress but also as a federal tax lawyer, when you — the last thing you would do is give Congress another pipeline of a revenue stream, and this gives Congress a pipeline in a sales tax.  A sales tax can also lead to a value added tax.

The United States Congress put into place the Spanish-American War tax in — in 1898.  We only partially repealed that in 2006.  So once you get a new revenue stream, you’re never going to get rid of it.  And one thing I would say is, when you take the 9-9-9 plan and you turn it upside down, I think the devil’s in the details. (Laughter.)

MR. ROSE:  All right.  I have to —

MR. CAIN:  You’ve got to let me respond.

MR. ROSE:  We’ve given you several chances to respond.  I’ll come back.  We will continue to talk about taxes and spending.

We also know here that there has been a paradigm shift in the world economic order.

We know about China and we know about India.  Here is our next clip, and we will respond from that.  Here it is:

(Video begins.)

MR. ROMNEY:  And I will label China as it is, a currency manipulator, and I will go after them for stealing our intellectual property, and they will recognize that if they cheat, there is a price to pay.  I certainly don’t want a trade war with anybody, and we’re not going to have a trade war, but we can’t have a trade surrender either.

(Video ends.)

MR. ROSE:  Karen.

MS. TUMULTY:  Governor Huntsman, you were also ambassador to China, and you say that this would risk a trade war.  But if China is indeed keeping its currency low, that means that everything they sell in this country is artificially cheap and everything that our companies try to sell in China is artificially expensive.  So what do you say to people who ask, aren’t we already in a trade war with China?

MR. HUNTSMAN:  Well, first of all, I don’t subscribe to the Don Trump school or the Mitt Romney school of international trade.  I don’t want to find ourselves in a trade war.

With respect to China, if you start slapping penalties on them based on countervailing duties, you’re going to get the same thing in return because what they’re going to say, because of quantitative easing part one and part two, you’re doing a similar thing to your currency.  And then you’re going to find yourself in a trade war very, very quickly.

And what does that do?  That disadvantages our small businesses. It disadvantages our exporters.  It disadvantages our agricultural producers.  So I say, for the first and the second-largest economies in the world, we have no choice; we have to find common ground.  We have to of course use our trade laws, and use them very, very aggressively.

But at the end of the day, we’ve got to find more market-opening measures.  We’ve got to get more governors from this country together    with governors from provinces of China, mayors together with mayors, and exploit the opportunities that exist for exporters.  That’s a job- creator in this country.  It’s a huge job creator.  And we have to get used to the fact that as far as the eye can see into the 21st century, it’s going to be the United States and China on the world stage.

MS. TUMULTY:  You know, Governor Romney, this issue does carry a lot of resonance, especially in states like New Hampshire which, as you probably know, has lost a greater percentage of its manufacturing jobs to China than any other state.  But voters have heard candidates talk tough on China before — George W. Bush did it, Barack Obama did it — only to see that, once elected, the president takes a much more cautious approach, because of the complexity of the relationship and the fact that this is our biggest creditor.  Why should voters believe that you would be any different?

MR. ROMNEY:  I’m afraid that people who’ve looked at this in the past have been played like a fiddle by the Chinese.  And the Chinese are smiling all the way to the bank, taking our currency and taking our jobs and taking a lot of our future.  And I’m not willing to let that happen.

I’m in this race to try and get America to make sure we’re strong again, we’re creating jobs, we’re the best place in the world to be middle class again.  And for that to happen, we’ve got to call cheating for what it is.

MS. TUMULTY:  But is —

MR. ROMNEY:  And you can’t — you can’t — you know, people say, well, we might have a trade war with China.  Well, now, think about that.  We buy this much stuff from China; they buy that much stuff from us.  You think they want to have a trade war?  I mean, this is — this is a time when we’re being hollowed out by China that is artificially holding down their prices, as you just said a moment ago. And that’s having a massive impact on jobs here.  It is the wrong course for us, when people have pursued unfair trade practices.  You have to have a president that will take action.

And on day one — I’ve indicated, day one — I will issue an executive order identifying China as a currency manipulator.  We’ll bring an action against them in front of the WTO for manipulating their currency, and we will go after them.  If you’re not willing to stand up to China, you’ll get run over by China.  And that’s what’s happened for 20 years.  (Applause.)

MS. TUMULTY:  But as recently as —

GOV. PERRY:  But we’re —  MR. ROSE:  Let me go to Governor Perry and then governor — then Governor Huntsman.

Governor Perry.

GOV. PERRY:  We’re missing this so much.  What we need to be focused on in this country today is not whether or not we’re going to have this policy or that policy.  What we need to be focused on is how we get America working again.  That’s where we need to be focused.

And let me tell you, we’re sitting on this absolute treasure trove of — of energy in this country.  And I don’t need 9-9-9, we don’t need any plan to pass Congress.  We need to get a president of the United States that is committed to passing the types of — of regulations, pulling the regulations back, freeing this country to go develop the energy industry that we have in this country.

I can promise you that we do that and we’ll create an environment in this country where the manufacturing will come back to this country.  We did it in Texas.  We brought CHI Manufacturing, that had business in China, back to the state of Texas.  You free up this country’s entrepreneurs where they know that they can risk their capital and have a chance to have a return on investment and all of this conversation that we’re having today becomes substantially less impactful.

MR. ROSE:  All right.  I want to come back to these issues, but let me introduce — speaking of CEOs and business — this is a New Hampshire native.  His name is David Cote.  He is chairman and CEO of Honeywell, and he is a former member of the Simpson-Bowles commission. Here he is.

DAVID COTE (chairman and CEO, Honeywell):  (From videotape.) Twenty years ago there were a billion people actively participating in the global economy.  Today there are more than 4 billion active participants in the global economy, with China, India, former CIS states and other emerging economies now in the game.  While that is a good and peaceful phenomenon, it also means we need to compete more strongly than we did in the past.  We need an American competitiveness agenda.  We need to inspire that American competitive spirit that has served us so well for over 200 years.

I would like to ask, what would be on your American competitiveness agenda?  And with one last small request.  My guess is, all of us are ready to accept that we’re a great country and a great people, so if your response could focus on specifics, it would be much appreciated.  Thank you.

MR. ROSE:  Senator Santorum, we talked about jobs in Pennsylvania.  A competitive agenda of yours would be what?

MR. SANTORUM:  Well, I already put forward a plan.  You know, Mitt, I don’t want to go to a trade war.  I want to beat China.  I want to go war with China and — and make America the most attractive place in the world to do business, and we need to do that with the agenda that I outlined, which, unlike Herman’s plan, which could not pass, because no — how many people here are for a sales tax in New Hampshire?  Raise your hand.  There you go, Herman.  That’s how many votes you’ll get in New Hampshire.

MR. ROSE:  Yeah.

MR. SANTORUM:  You know, we’re not going to — we’re not going to give the — we’re not going to give the federal government, Nancy Pelosi, a new pipeline, a 9 percent sales tax, for consumers to get hammered by the federal government.  How many people believe that we’ll keep the income tax at 9 percent?  Anybody?  There.  There’s — that’s why people won’t trust —

MR. ROSE:  All right.  So if you keep —

MR. SANTORUM:  — giving people — (inaudible) — if you if you give us a plan —

MR. ROSE:  — if you keep mentioning 9-9-9 and Herman Cain, I’m going to have to go back to him every other question.

(Cross talk, laughter.)

MR. CAIN:  That’s right.  (Applause.)

MR. SANTORUM:  Charlie, whoa, whoa.  I’m not done yet.

MR. CAIN:  Thank you.

MR. ROSE:  (Chuckles.)

MR. SANTORUM:  I’m not done yet.  I’ve — I’ve only been able to answer one question, unlike everybody else here, so let let me just finish what I’m saying.

MR. ROSE:  Right.

MR. SANTORUM:  We need to repeal “Obamacare.”  That’s the first thing we need to do.  We want to create jobs.  I went to Osippi (ph) today and I talked to a small-business man there, and he said:  I will not hire anybody, I will not do — I will not make a move until I find    out what’s going to happen with this health care bill and how it’s going to crush me and — and — and so repealing “Obamacare” — and we can do it, not by waivers.  That’s the wrong idea, Mitt.  And you — reason it’s the wrong idea — because you get a waiver — California going to waive that?  No.  New York going to waive it?  No.  All these states — many of them, liberal states — are going to continue on, and then states like New Hampshire that will waive it will end up subsidizing California.

MR. ROSE:  All right.

MR. SANTORUM:  We need to repeal it — let me finish.

MR. ROSE:  Yes, you do, but you —

MR. SANTORUM:  We need to repeal it —

MR. ROSE:  All right, but their time —

MR. SANTORUM:  I know.  Well, I’m —

MR. ROSE:  Time.  You see the red light.  Time!

MR. SANTORUM:  — (spending up the ?) time.  We need to repeal it —

MR. ROSE:  All right.

MR. SANTORUM:  — by doing it through a reconciliation process, and since I have the experience and know how to do that, we’ll take care of and get it rid of it the first —

MR. ROSE:  I’ve got to go to the break and I’m — but I’m — both — give both Herman Cain and Governor Romney a chance to make their point, because they were both mentioned — first Cain, then Romney, then break.

MR. CAIN:  Therein lies the difference between me, the nonpolitician, and all of the politicians.  They want to pass what they think they can get passed, rather than what we need, which is a bold solution.

9-9-9 is bold, and the American people want a bold solution, not just what’s going to kick the can down the table — down the road.

MR. ROSE:  Governor Romney.  (Applause.)

MR. ROMNEY:  Rick, you’re absolutely right.  On day one, granting a waiver for — to all 50 states doesn’t stop in its tracks entirely “Obamacare.”  That’s why I also say we have to repeal “Obamacare,” and I will do that on day two with a reconciliation bill, because, as you know, it was passed by reconciliation, 51 votes.  We can get rid of it with 51 votes.  We have to get rid of “Obamacare” and return to the states the responsibility —

MR.     :  (Inaudible.)

MR. ROMNEY:  No, not if you get rid of it.  And by the way, the Supreme Court may get rid of it.

MR.     :  (Inaudible.)

MR. ROMNEY:  Let me finish.  Let me finish.

MR. ROSE:  OK.  Let him finish, then we’ll go to Huntsman, then we go to break.  And then when we come back, each of you can question each other.  (Laughter, applause.)

MR. ROMNEY:  All right.  (That’s a good deal ?).

And let me — let me just say this, which is, we all agree about repeal and replace.  And I’m proud of the fact that I put together a plan that says what I’m going to replace it with.  And I think it’s incumbent on everybody around this table to put together a plan that says, this is what I’ll replace it with, because the American people are not satisfied with the status quo.  They want us to solve the problem of health care, to get it to work like a market, and that’s what has to happen.

MR. ROSE:  All right.  Government Huntsman, then we go.

MR. HUNTSMAN:  It’s disingenuous to — to just say that you — you can can waive it all the way.  The mandate will be in place.  The IRS is already planning on 19,500 new employees to administer that mandate.  That will stay, and that’s the ruinous part of “Obamacare.” And that — Mitt, your plan is not going to do anything.  MR. ROMNEY:  (Inaudible) — a way to repeal it.  Did you miss that?

MR. HUNTSMAN:  (Inaudible.)  It doesn’t — it doesn’t repeal the mandate.

(Cross talk.)

MR. SANTORUM:  Through reconciliation you can repeal the taxes, you can repeal the spending, and therefore the mandate has no teeth because there’s no tax penalty if you don’t enforce (them ?).

MR. ROSE:  All right, we have much to talk about.  When we come back, the candidates will ask questions of each other, after this break.  (Applause.)


MR. ROSE:  Welcome back.  We’re at the Republican presidential candidates’ debate.  We’re at Dartmouth College in New Hanover (sic) — in Hanover, New Hampshire — and we’re pleased now to turn around a bit and have the candidates question each other.  They will each have 30 seconds to pose and answer — will have one minute to respond — 30 seconds per question, one minute to respond.

They’ll proceed in alphabetical order.  I remember that — I want you to remember, as we talk about this, we’re talking about the economy or those things that affect the economy.

Beginning in alphabetical order:  Congresswoman Bachmann.

REP. BACHMANN:  Thank you.  In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan introduced an economic miracle.  And while all of us were wishing and yearning for a third term for Ronald Reagan, Governor Perry, you were campaigning and cochairing Al Gore’s election campaign for president of the United States.  You went on to increase spending in Texas by over 50 percent, and you financed that spending by increasing bond debt by over 137 percent.  That’s exactly what Barack Obama has been doing:  increasing debt by trillions of dollars.  How can we trust you to not go down the Obama way and overspend and pay for that spending with indebtedness on the backs of the next generation?

GOV. PERRY:  Well, I, like most people in the state of Texas and in those southern states, grew up a Democrat.  Michael Reagan and I were talking just the other day, Charlie, that I came to the Republican Party sooner in age than his dad, Ronald Reagan did.

And let me just address this issue of the debt in the state of Texas.  Texas has the sixth-lowest debt per capita when I started as the governor back in 2000.  And today, Texas has the second-lowest debt per capita in the United States.  I think that’s what America’s looking for, is a president of the United States that understands how to balance budgets, how to deal with the spending issue and how to get Americans back working again.

MR. ROSE:  Herman Cain — question.

MR. CAIN:  Yes.  One of my guiding principles has been and will always be:  Surround yourself with good people.  The 9-9-9 plan that I have proposed is simple, transparent, efficient, fair and neutral.

My question is to Governor Romney.  Can you name all 59 points in your 160-page plan?  And does it satisfy that criteria of being simple, transparent, efficient, fair and neutral?  (Laughter, applause.)

MR. ROMNEY:  (Laughs.)  Herman, I — I’ve had the experience in my life of taking — taking on some tough problems.  And — and I must admit that — that simple answers are — are always very helpful, but oftentimes inadequate.  And in my view, to get this economy going again, we’re going to have to deal with more than just tax policy and just energy policy, even though both of those are part of my plan.

And the other parts of my plan are these.

One is to make sure that we stop the regulatory creep that’s occurred in Washington.  And all of the Obama regulations we say no to — we put a halt on them and reverse all of those that cost jobs.

Number two, we have trade policies that open up new markets to American goods.  And I lay out a number of things I’d do in that 59 points that open up more markets to American goods.  And we of course stop the cheating that goes on.

We also have to have the rule of law.  By that I mean you can’t have the federal government through its friends at the National Labor Relations Board saying to a company like Boeing that you can’t build a factory in a non-union state.  That’s simply wrong and violates the principle of the rule of law.

We also have to have institutions that create human capital. We’re a capitalist system, but we don’t — don’t just believe in — in physical capital or financial capital —

MR. ROSE:  All right.

MR. ROMNEY:  — also human capital.  We need great schools, great institutions.

Finally, you got to have a government that doesn’t spend more money than it takes in.

Those are the seven major pillars of those 59 points.

MR. CAIN:  So no, it’s not simple is what you’re saying.  MR. ROMNEY:  It — I — let me — let me tell you, to get this economy restructured fundamentally to put America on a path to be the most competitive place in the world to create jobs is going to take someone who knows how to do it.  And it’s not one or two things; it’s a good number of things to get America — (inaudible).

MR. ROSE:  All right.  Speaker Gingrich, question.

MR. GINGRICH:  Now, Governor Romney, let me say first of all there’s an awful lot in your plan that’s very good and that I think would be very helpful if implemented — a lot better than what Obama is doing.  But one of the characteristics of Obama in his class- warfare approach has been to talk about going after people who made over $250,000 a year and divide us.  And I was a little surprised — I think it’s about page 47 of your plan — that you have a capital-gains tax cut for people under $200,000, which is actually lower than the Obama model.

Now, as a businessman, you know that you actually lose economic effectiveness if you limit capital-gains tax cuts only to people who don’t get capital gains.  So I’m curious:  What was the rationale for setting an even lower base mark than — than — than Obama had?

MR. ROMNEY:  Well, the reason for giving a tax break to middle- income Americans is that middle-income Americans have been the people who have been most hurt by the Obama economy.  The reason you’re seeing protests, as you indicated, on Wall Street and across the country is middle-income Americans are having a hard time making ends meet.  Not only do we have 25 million people out of work or stopped looking for work, or in part-time jobs needing full-time employ, we just saw this week that median income in America has declined by 10 percent during the Obama years.  People are having a hard time making ends meet.

And so if I’m going to use precious dollars to reduce taxes, I want to focus it on where the people are hurting the most, and that’s the middle class.  I’m — I’m not worried about rich people; they’re doing just fine.  The very poor have a safety net; they’re taken care of.  But the people in the middle, the hard-working Americans, are the people who need a break, and that’s why I focus my tax cut right there.

MR. ROSE:  Governor Huntsman.

MR. HUNTSMAN:  Since this discussion is all about economics, Governor Romney, I promise this won’t be about religion.  (Laughter.) Some — (laughter) — sorry about that, Rick.

Since some might see it because of your past employment with Bain Capital as more of a financial engineer — somebody who breaks down    businesses, destroys jobs as opposed to creating jobs and opportunity, leveraging up, spinning off, enriching shareholders — Since you were number 47 as governor of the state of Massachusetts — where we were number one for example — and the whole discussion around this campaign is going to be job creation, how can you win that debate given your background?

MR. ROMNEY:  Well, my background is quite different than you describe, Jon.  (Chuckles.)  So the way I’ll win it is by telling people an accurate rendition of what I’ve done in my life.

And fortunately, people in New Hampshire, living next door, have a pretty good sense of that.  They understand that in the business I was in, we didn’t take things apart and cut them off and sell them off.  We — we instead helped start businesses.

And they know some of the names.  We started Staples, we started the Sports Authority, we started Bright Horizons children centers. Heck, we even started a steel mill in a farm field in Indiana.  And that steel mill operates today and employs a lot of people.  So we began businesses.

Sometimes we acquired businesses and tried to turn them around — typically effectively — and net — net created tens of thousands of new jobs.  And I’m proud of the fact that we were able to do that. That’s a big part of the American system.  People are not going to — in my opinion, are not going to be looking for someone who’s not successful.  They want someone who has been successful and who knows how fundamentally the economy works.

I — look, I — I would not be in this race had I spent my life in politics alone.  Nothing wrong with that, of course.  But right now, with the American people in the kind of financial crisis they’re in, they need someone who knows how to create jobs, and I do.

MR. ROSE:  All right.  Congressman Paul.

REP. PAUL:  Since the Federal Reserve is the engine of inflation, creates the business cycle, produces our recessions and our depressions, the Federal Reserve obviously is a very important issue. And fortunately tonight, we have a former director of the Federal Reserve at Kansas City, so I have a question for Mr. Cain.

Mr. Cain, in the past, you’ve been rather critical of any of us who would want to audit the Fed.

You said — you’ve used pretty strong terms, that we were ignorant and that we didn’t know what we were doing, and therefore there is no need for a(n) audit anyway because if you had one you’re not going to find out everything because everybody knows everything about the Fed.  But now that we have found — and we’ve gotten an audit, we have found out an awful lot on how special businesses get, you know, bailed out — Wall Street, the banks and special companies, foreign governments. And — and you said that — you advised those of us who are concerned and you belittled.  You say, call up the Federal Reserve and just ask ’em —

MR. ROSE:  Question?

REP. PAUL:  — to get the PR person.  So do you still stick by this, that this is a — this is frivolous?  Or do you think it’s very important?  Sixty-four percent of the American people want a full audit of the Fed on a regular basis.

MR. ROSE:  Mr. Cain?

MR. CAIN:  First of all, you have misquoted me.  I did not call you or any of your people “ignorant.”  I don’t know where that came from.

REP. PAUL:  (Off mic.)

MR. CAIN:  All right?  Now, so you got to be careful of the stuff that you get off the Internet because that’s just not something that I have said.  (Laughter.)

Secondly, when I served on the board of the Federal Reserve in the 1990s, we didn’t do any of the things that this Federal Reserve is doing.  I don’t agree with the actions of this Federal Reserve.  I don’t agree with the actions that have been undertaken by Ben Bernanke.  We didn’t have a $14 trillion national debt to prop up with some of the actions that they are taking.

And I have also said, to be precise, I do not object to the Federal Reserve being audited.  I simply said if someone wants to initiate that option, go right ahead.  It doesn’t bother me.  So you — I’ve been misrepresented in that regard.  I don’t have a problem with the Federal Reserve being audited.  It’s simply not my top priority.  My top priority is 9-9-9.  (Laughter.)  Jobs, jobs, jobs! (Applause.)  MR. ROSE:  Governor Perry, question for —

GOV. PERRY:  (Chuckles.)  Governor Romney, your chief economic adviser, Glenn Hubbard, who you know well — he said that “Romneycare” was “Obamacare.”  And “Romneycare” has driven the cost of small business insurance premiums up by 14 percent over the national average in Massachusetts.

So my question for you would be, how would you respond to his criticism of your signature legislative achievement?

MR. ROMNEY:  You know, the — the great thing about running for president is that you get the chance also to talk about your experience as governor, and I’m proud of the fact that we took on a major problem in my state.  And the problem was that we had a lot of kids without insurance, a lot of adults without insurance, but it added up to about 8 percent of our population.  And we said:  You know what?  We want to find a way to get those folks insured, but we don’t want to change anything for the 92 percent of the people that already have insurance.  And so our plan dealt with those 8 percent, not the 92 (percent).

One of the problems with “Obamacare” is, he doesn’t deal with the people without insurance, he takes over health care for everyone. Then he does something else that Chris Christie said today.  He said: The problem with “Obamacare” is he spends an extra trillion dollars and raises taxes.  And raising taxes is one of the big problems — something we didn’t do in Massachusetts.

He also cuts Medicare!  Only — but — but with people out there talking about Medicare — it’s President Obama that did that.

And I — I’m proud of what we were able to accomplish.  I’ll tell you this, though.  We have the lowest number of kids, as a percentage, uninsured, of any state in America.  You have the highest.  You have over —

GOV. PERRY:  (Inaudible) —

MR. ROMNEY:  — I’m still — I’m still speaking.  I’m still speaking.

GOV. PERRY:  — Mr. Glenn Hubbard’s criticism.    MR. ROMNEY:  I’m still speaking.  We have — we have less than 1 percent of our kids — they’re uninsured.  You have a million kids uninsured in Texas — a million kids.

Under President Bush, the percent uninsured went down.  Under your leadership, it’s gone up.

I care about people.  Now our plan isn’t perfect.  Glenn Hubbard is a fine fellow.  I (will ?) take a look at his quote.

Some people say that.  Just because people say something doesn’t mean it’s true.  (Chuckles.)  The truth is, our plan is different.  And the people of Massachusetts, if they don’t like it, they get rid of it. Right now, they favor it three-to-one.

But I’m not running for governor of Massachusetts; I’m running for president of the United States.  And as president, I will repeal “Obamacare.”  I’ll grant a waiver on day one to get that started.  And I’ll make sure that we return to the states what we had when I was governor:  the right to care for our poor in the way we thought best for our respective states.

MR. ROSE:  Senator Santorum.

MR. SANTORUM:  Romney’s before me — R.

MR. ROSE:  No, I’m sorry, you’re right.  You’re right. (Laughter.)  Governor Romney.  (Laughs, laughter.)  Very good. (Applause.)

I missed school that day.  I missed school that day when they said R is before S.  (Laughter.)

MR. GINGRICH:  Think of us as your — (inaudible).

MR. ROSE:  That’s right.  (Laughs.)

MR. ROMNEY:  You’d think someone from PBS would know that, wouldn’t you?  (Laughter.)

MR. ROSE:  I was — I was thinking how much I was enjoying this. (Laughter.)

MR. ROMNEY:  (Laughs.)  Yeah, exactly — exactly right.

Let me turn to Congresswoman Bachmann, and just ask you Congresswoman, as we’ve spoken this evening, we’re all concerned about getting Americans back to work.  And you’ve laid out some pretty bold ideas with regards to taxation and cutting back the scale of the federal government.  And there’s no question, that’s a very important element of getting people back to work.  And I’d like to ask you to expand on your other ideas.

What do you do to help the American people get back to work, be able to make ends meet?  You’ve got families that are sitting around   the kitchen table, wondering how they’re going to make it — make it to the end of the month.  You got — you got young people coming out of college — maybe not here at Dartmouth, but a lot of colleges across the country — wondering where they can get a job.  What would you do, beyond the tax policies you described, to get people back to work?

REP. BACHMANN:  Well, I do understand that.  I’m a mother of 28 kids — 23 foster kids, five biological kids.  I get how difficult it is for young people right now to get jobs right out of college.  It’s very, very tough.  And the solutions that I’m offering in my plan — which, if I can give a commercial, are at — the solutions that I’m offering aren’t just a silver bullet.

It’s not just the tax code.  It’s also dealing with the regulatory burden, because businesses — my husband and I started our own successful business.  I’m 55.  I spent my whole life in the private sector.  I get job creation, too.  And the business world is looking at 1.8 trillion (dollars) every year in compliance costs with government regulations.  That has to go.  So I want to get rid of that.  It’s the mother of all repeal bills.

But the number-one reason that employers say that they aren’t hiring today is “Obamacare.”  And I was the leading critic for President Obama in Washington, D.C., against “Obamacare.”  That’s why I was the first member of Congress to introduce that bill to repeal “Obamacare.”  I understand that’s what’s inhibiting job creation and job growth.  We have to repeal that.  I also introduced and I fought on Barney Frank’s committee against Dodd-Frank, which is the “housing and jobs destruction act.”  That’s why I was the chief author of that bill as well.

MR. ROSE:  Time.

REP. BACHMANN:  There’s much more to my solutions.  Go to and you can find out.

(Cross talk, laughter.)

MR. SANTORUM:  We’re in the “live free or die” state, and I opposed the single-biggest government intrusion into the private sector, the Wall Street bailout, the TARP program.  I opposed it because it violated the principles of our Constitution, the spirit of our Constitution, because the experience I had, that if you open up the door of government involvement in the private sector, some president will, and in fact did, drive a truck through it and explode the size of the federal government and constrict our freedom.

The interesting thing here is, is the four people on this panel that actually supported TARP at the time of its — of its passage are the people who say that they are the anti-Washington candidates, that they are the business candidates, and they’re the four on this — on this program that supported the Washington bailout, giving Washington — naively, I would say — tools to constrict our freedom.

MS.    :  So do you have a question for one of them?

MORE  MR. SANTORUM:  My question is — you’ve — you’ve prompted it perfectly because here’s my question.

MR. CAIN:  (Laughs.)

MR. SANTORUM:  My question is, since I think Herman Cain is giving naively a tool in his 9-9-9 plan of giving Washington a huge new tax — tax opportunity to get money through a sales tax, why can we trust you that, with your lack of experience, that you won’t continually give Washington the ability to take freedom away from freedom-loving people here in the Live Free or Die State?

MR. CAIN:  There are three deterrents to the —

MR. SANTORUM:  And by the way, it’s one — the four people were Governor Huntsman, Governor Perry, Herman Cain and Governor Romney all supported TARP.

MR. CAIN:  There are three deterrents to this nightmare scenario you described in terms of how bad things are going to be because we are trying to fix the real problem.

The first deterrent is that I’m going to ask the United States Congress to include a two-thirds majority vote before they can raise the 9-9-9 tax.

The second deterrent — the second deterrent is the fact that because it is visible, simple and transparent, the American people are going to be the ones to hold Congress — Congress’ feet to the fire.

The third deterrent is that I would be president and I won’t sign anything that raises the 9-9-9.

MR. SANTORUM:  You’re not going to be president forever.

MR. ROSE:  With that we take a break and come back for our final segment.  Stay with us.  (Applause.)


MR. ROSE:  We are back at Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire, talking with the eight Republican candidates about a variety of issues.  Clearly, we come back to health care.  I want to go to Governor Perry.  Explain to me what you think the difference is about your health care ideas and Governor Romney’s health care ideas and how you see mandates and how he sees mandates and the Constitution, because not only has there been some exchange here, Governor Christie got involved today.

GOV. PERRY:  Well, certainly the issue of health care is probably one of the biggest one that’s facing us.  I mean, there are a lot of Americans sitting out there today, and — and getting those people back to work’s the most important thing that we do as a country so that they can have the opportunity to purchase health care.  And I think that is probably the biggest issue that are facing Americans. There are people sitting out there around the kitchen table watching TV tonight who are looking for someone to lay out an idea that truly will get this country back working again.

And that’s why I lay out, without having any congressional impact at all, how to get our energy industry back to work and back to work very quickly.

But in the state of Texas, from the standpoint of what we’ve done to make access of health care better, we passed the most sweeping tort reform in the nation in — in 2003.  We also passed Healthy Texas, which expands the private sector insurance, and we’ve driven down the cost of insurance by 30 percent.

So those are some of the ways that the states — but the real issue for us is Medicaid and how to get the flexibility on Medicaid so that the innovators can occur in the states.  I can promise you whether it’s Governor Jindal or myself or Susana Martinez over in New Mexico, that’s where you’ll find the real innovation in health care. The way to deliver health care more efficiently, more effectively is to block grant those dollars back to the state and keep this federal government that has this one-size-fits-all mentality from driving the thought process that we’ve seen that’s destroyed health care in this country today.

MS. TUMULTY:  But Governor Perry, as The Washington Post fact- checker noted, Texas has had 16 waivers for Medicaid.  So how can you say that the problem is that the federal government has not given Texas enough flexibility?

GOV. PERRY:  They haven’t anywhere near given the states — I think what you should see is the block granting, not having to go to Washington, D.C. and ask them mother may I every time you come up with a concept or an idea.  Block granting back to the states, I’ll guarantee you the governors and — and their innovators in — in their states will come up with ways to better deliver health care more efficiently, more effectively, more cost-efficiently.  And that’s what this country’s looking for, is a president who understands that we have these 50 laboratories of innovation.  Free up these states from Washington, D.C.’s one-size-fits-all.

MR. ROSE:  Julianna.

MS. GOLDMAN:  Thank you, Charlie.

Mr. Cain, you disapprove of Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, and we all know that your priority is 9-9-9.

But one of the most important appointments that you’re going to have to make your first year, should you be president, would be Fed chairman.  So which Federal Reserve chairman, over the last 40 years, do you think has been most successful and might serve as a model for that appointment?

MR. CAIN:  Alan Greenspan.


MR. CAIN:  Because that’s when I served on the board of the Federal Reserve in the early 1990s, and the way Alan Greenspan oversaw the Fed and the way he coordinated with — the way he coordinated with all of the Federal Reserve banks, I think that it worked fine back in the early 1990s.

Now, on that same point, I have already identified two candidates, which I cannot give their names, to replace the — Bernanke in anticipation of having that responsibility.  We must narrow the mission of the Fed first.  I don’t believe in ending the Fed; I believe we can fix the Fed by getting their mission re-focused on monetary price stability.  And I have candidates in mind that will help us do that.

MS. GOLDMAN:  So you have two appointments waiting in the wings for — for 2013, for this — when his —

MR. CAIN:  Yes.

MS. GOLDMAN:  — term is up, 2014?

MR. CAIN:  Yes.  I have two candidates waiting in the wings to take that job.

MS. GOLDMAN:  How about a hint?

MR. CAIN:  I got to keep them confidential.

MS. GOLDMAN:  OK.  Congressman Paul?  (Laughs, laughter.)

REP. PAUL:  Spoken like a true insider.  (Chuckles.)  No, Alan Greenspan was a disaster.  (Laughter, applause.)  Everybody in Washington — liberals and conservatives — said he kept interest rates too low too long.  Of course, the solution was lower ’em even more, and they think that’s going to solve our problems.  But if I had to name one person that did a little bit of good, that was Paul Volcker.  He at least knew how to end — or help, you know, end the inflation.

But of course, with my position that I don’t think highly of the Federal Reserve and I think we should have sound money and we shouldn’t have somebody deciding what the interest rates should be and how much money supply we should have, I mean, nobody satisfies me.

But certainly Alan Greenspan has ushered in the biggest bubble. And what did we do?  We’ve continued the same thing, doing the same thing.  We think the inflation of — under Alan Greenspan was bad, so we’re trying to solve the problem by inflating even further.  So Bernanke compounds the problem.  He’s inflating twice as fast as Greenspan was.

But Greenspan caused so much trouble.  And he used to believe in the gold standard.  I think he’s coming around to that.  And before he retires, he’ll write his biography and explain why he’s coming back to the gold standard.

MR. ROSE:  I want go to from the gold standard to a small- business person who is from New Hampshire, who’s in the audience with us and has a question about small business, of which she has founded one:  Margot Thompson (ph).

MARGOT THOMPSON (ph):  Businesses like mine have great difficulty obtaining credit.  What specifically would you do to make bank lending more accessible to small businesses?

MR. ROSE:  You would direct it to —

Q:  I was told to direct it to you —

MR. ROSE:  Oh, Governor Romney?  (Laughter.)

MR. ROMNEY:  Give her the answer, Charlie.  (Laughter.)

MR. ROSE:  I ask questions, not answer them, governor.


MR. ROSE:  I forgot to explain that.

MR. ROMNEY:  What’s happened in this country, under the Obama administration, is that you have a president who I think is well- meaning but just over his head when it comes to the economy.  And the absolute wrong time to have the absolute wrong people put together a    financial regulatory bill was right now and Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.  They were the wrong guys at the wrong time.  Because what they did with this new bill is usher in what will be hundreds and thousands of pages of new regulations.

The big banks, the big money center banks in Wall Street, they can deal with that.  I spoke with one banker there that said they have hundreds of lawyers working on that legislation and trying to implement it.

For community banks that provide loans to business like yours, they can’t possibly deal with a regulatory burden like that.

Then you have inspectors coming in and writing down your — their — their assets and saying they’re not worth as much as the bank thought they were worth, and therefore the banks are unable to lend.

Small community banks across this country are starving and struggling because of inspectors that are making their job impossible and because of regulation that’s fine for the big banks, because they can deal with it.  It’s a killer for the small banks.  And those small banks loaning to small businesses and entrepreneurs are what have typically gotten our economy out of recession.

What’s — what the president has done on almost every dimension —

MR. ROSE:  All right.

MR. ROMNEY:  — is exactly the wrong thing to get this economy going again.


MR. ROSE:  Congresswoman Bachmann.

REP. BACHMANN:  I’d like to add to that, because the Dodd-Frank bill IS the — the jobs and housing destruction act.  And I have spoken to — to Iowa bankers, and they told me that they are going to see the collapse of community banks, just like Mitt said, all across the state.  I talked to a banker in Texas who owns multiple branch banks.  He said he’s going to lose 20 million (dollars) on his bottom line this year because of all of the compliance.

So government is putting a huge layer of regulation on banks.  We will literally thousands of banks close their door.  That will be hard for small business owners like you and like me.  And so that’s going to hurt real people, and it will lead to job destruction.

MR. ROSE:  All right.

REP. BACHMANN:  That’s why I introduced the bill to repeal Dodd- Frank, because it’ll hurt credit, not add to credit.  And by the way, that’s why we see the new $5 debit card fee that people are paying    every — every month that they’re upset about, because of Dodd-Frank. And that was insider dealing, because Senator Durbin had former staffers that came to lobby him on behalf of retailers.  This is dirty dealing.  As president of the United States, I would end all of these payoffs to political donors by — by — by our legislators.

That’s a — that’s wrong.  That’s got to end.

MR. ROSE:  OK.  Here, and then go over here — first, and then there.

MR. CAIN:  In addition to what Governor Romney said, I agree, repeal Dodd-Frank.  But also, get rid of the capital gains tax. That’s a big wall between people with ideas and people with money. And we know which plan gets rid of the capital gains tax.  (Laughter.)

REP. PAUL:  I just want to add one quick thing.  You know, Dodd- Frank, obviously, is a disaster.  It’s estimated it’s going to cost a trillion dollars.  I think one of the reasons we’re not getting anywhere, and we’re not getting anywhere in Washington, is it’s a partisan fight; it’s a fight over power.  Because Sarbanes-Oxley, which was done by the Republicans, it cost a trillion dollars, too. Let’s repeal that, too.

I mean, if you look at what we’ve done as Republicans, we have caused a lot of problems.  To say it’s all in these past two years, I mean, I think that is so misleading.  That’s why the American people are sick and tired of listening to the politics — (inaudible).

MR. ROSE:  All right, I want to bring my colleagues in.


MS. TUMULTY:  Right.  Governor Perry, taxpayers stand to lose half a billion dollars in the collapse of Solyndra, which is a solar energy firm that was a centerpiece of the Obama green jobs initiative. Do you think there were inadequate safeguards there, or do you think this is just the risk we run when the government gets involved in subsidizing new industries and technologies?

GOV. PERRY:  Well, I don’t think the federal government should be involved in that type of investment, period.  If states want to choose to do that, I think that’s fine for states to do that.

MS. TUMULTY:  And you have in Texas done that with the emerging technology fund.  But your own state auditor said earlier this year that that fund is neither accountable nor transparent.  The Dallas Morning News reported that that fund gave $16 million to companies that are connected to your campaign contributors.  And like Solyndra, some of the emerging technology fund investments have gone bust.  So how is this different in principle from the Obama administration’s efforts to pick winners in the future economy?

GOV. PERRY:  Well, first off, the Texas legislature has full oversight of that committee.  It’s approved it for — I think since 2003.  So every two years the Texas legislature looks at it and it’s had full oversight, and I can promise you the 54,600 jobs that have been created and the 14-plus billion dollars worth of investment that has come out of the Enterprise Fund in the state of Texas, those people that have jobs today in the state of Texas, they are absolutely happy that we’ve got a program like that.  And — and 75 percent of those Emerging Technology Fund dollars — or my appointees never made a contribution to me, period.

MS. TUMULTY:  But you talk about — you talk about oversight. The fact is that in some instances your appointees have overruled the regional boards that have tried to turn back some of these deals.

GOV. PERRY:  Every — every one of those projects had the lieutenant governor, the speaker and the governor’s office.  So there’s extraordinary amount of oversight in those programs, and we’re proud of them.  I mean, we feel like that those are part of the reason that Texas has led the nation in the creation of jobs.  While this country was losing 2 1/2 million jobs, Texas was creating 1 million jobs.  That’s the kind of leadership that America’s longing for, someone that actually understands that you have to be able to give a climate where people know they can risk their capital and have a chance to have a return on that investment.

MR. ROSE:  We have one more video I want to show.  Here it is.

FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH:  (From videotape.)  The more people who own their home, the better off America is.  And we’re making good progress.  Our nation’s 68 percent homeownership rate is the highest ever.  More people own homes now than ever before in the country’s history, and that’s exciting for the future of America. (Applause.)

MR. ROSE:  Speaker Gingrich, is the American dream of owning a home no longer a realistic dream?  And is it too easy in America?

MR. GINGRICH:  You know, there’s a stream of American thought that really wishes we would decay and fall apart, and that the future would be bleak so the government could then share the misery.  It was captured by Jimmy Carter in his “malaise speech.”  It’s captured every week by Barack Obama in his apologias disguised as press conferences. (Laughter, scattered applause.)

The fact is — and the governor is exactly right.  When we get back — I mean, a lot of these folks are right about a lot of things. His energy plan, his industrial manufacturing plan, most of what he put down — a fair amount, but not totally what my good friend said there — hard money with a very limited Federal Reserve —

MS. TUMULTY (?):  Repeal “Obamacare” —

MR. GINGRICH:  What Huntsman has done —

MS. TUMULTY (?):  Repeal “Obamacare” —

MR. GINGRICH:  And she — she’s right on repealing Dodd-Frank. I’m shocked that the House Republicans haven’t repealed Dodd-Frank. They ought to do it now.

MS. TUMULTY:  (Off mic.)

MR. GINGRICH:  They ought to repeal Sarbanes-Oxley now.  If we get back on track, the — and you know this, as a former ambassador — the Chinese couldn’t compete with us in a hundred years if we got our act together in this country and we got back to doing the right things in this country; at which point we could afford to buy houses, which would solve virtually everything else.  You got to be able to afford it to be able to buy it, and that’s where things went wrong in the — in the last decade.

MR. ROSE:  All right.


MS. GOLDMAN:  Mr. Cain — (applause) — you recently said, quoting you:  Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks; if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself.  So are you telling the 14 million unemployed Americans that it’s their fault that they don’t have a job?

MR. CAIN:  No, the question was — that response was directed at the people that are protesting on Wall Street, not that 14 million people who are out of work for no reason of their own other than that the economy is not growing, not the millions of people that are underemployed.

That statement was not directed at them.  It was specifically directed at the people who were protesting on Wall Street.  And I also said that they have basically targeted the wrong target.  It should be against the failed policies of this administration, not Wall Street, is where they should be protesting.

MS. GOLDMAN:  Governor Romney, I want to ask you, because President Obama’s jobs bill was stalled in the Senate today, and so it may have to be broken into component parts for Congress to vote on. If the payroll tax cut is not extended, that would mean a tax increase for all Americans.  What would be the consequences of that?

MR. ROMNEY:  No one likes to see tax increases, but look, the — the stimulus bills the president comes out with that are supposedly going to create jobs, we’ve now seen this played in the theater several times.  And what we’re seeing hasn’t worked.  The American people know that when he — when he went into office and borrowed $800 billion for a massive jobs stimulus program, that they didn’t see the jobs.  Some of those green jobs we were supposed to get, that’s money down the drain.  The right course for America is not to keep spending money on stimulus bills, but instead to make permanent changes to the tax code.

Look, when you give — as the president’s bill does, if you give a temporary change to the payroll tax and you say, we’re going to extend this for a year or two, employers don’t hire people for a year or two.  They make an investment in a person that goes over a long period of time.  And so if you want to get this economy going again, you have to have people who understand how employers think, what it takes to create jobs.  And what it takes to create jobs is more than just a temporary shift in a tax stimulus.  It needs instead fundamental restructuring of our economy to make sure that we are the most attractive place in the world for investment, for innovation, for growth and for hiring, and we can do that again.

MS. GOLDMAN:  So you would be OK with seeing the payroll tax cuts —

MR. ROMNEY:  Look, I don’t like — (inaudible) — little Band- Aids.  I want to fundamentally restructure America’s foundation economically.

MR. ROSE:  Before a closing question, I want not this hour and a half to pass without some recognition and conversation about the question of disparity in America.  Karen.

MS. TUMULTY:  Governor Perry, over the last 30 years, the income of the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans has grown by more than 300 percent.  And yet, we have more people living in poverty in this country than at any time in the last 50 years.  Is this acceptable? And what would you do to close that gap?

GOV. PERRY:  The reason we have that many people living in poverty is because we’ve got a president of the United States who’s a job killer.  That’s what’s wrong with this country today.  You have a president who does not understand how to create wealth.  He has overtaxed, over-regulated the small-businessmen and -women to the point where they’re laying off people.

Two-and-a-half million Americans are out there who have lost their jobs.  We have 14 million without work.  This president, I will suggest to you, is the biggest deterrent to getting this country back on track.  And we have to do everything we can to replace Barack Obama in 2012.  (Applause.)

MR. ROSE:  All right, let me just —

MR. SANTORUM:  There’s more — there’s more to it —

MR. ROSE:  OK, but we’re almost out of time.  I want to give you a chance, and then we have to go to a final question.

MR. SANTORUM:  There’s more to it than that.  I agree with Rick, what he said.  But the biggest problem with poverty in America we don’t talk about here, because it’s an economic discussion.  And that is the breakdown of the American family.  You want to look at the poverty rate among families that have two — a husband and wife working in them?  It’s 5 percent today.  A family that’s headed by one person?  It’s 30 percent today.

We need to do something.  We need to talk about economics, the home — the word “home” in Greek is the basis of the word “economy.” It is — it is the foundation of our country.  We need to have a policy that supports families, that encourages marriage —

MR. ROSE:  All right.

MR. SANTORUM:  — that has fathers take responsibility for their children.  You can’t have limited government, you can’t have a wealthy   society, if the family breaks down that basic unit of society.  And that needs to be included in this economic discussion.

MR. ROSE:  All right, I’ve got one last question.

One last question with 30 minutes of — one last question —


MR. ROSE:  All right.  One last question as we close this evening, and each of you 30 seconds.  What is it about you that you want to connect with the American people in their both despair and in their hope for the future that says something essentially about who you are?  And I begin with Congresswoman Bachmann.

REP. BACHMANN:  I’m sorry, Charlie.

REP. PAUL:  (Chuckles.)  A little distraction.  (Laughter.)

MR. ROSE:  It is about the individual.  We have 30 seconds here. We’ve talked about issues here, but I want to talk for a moment, as a last impression, a sense of what it is about you that you want to hear and let the American people know about you and your sense of recognizing their own pain as well as their hope?

REP. BACHMANN:  Well, I do — I grew up in a middle-class home. We went to below —

MR. ROSE:  Thirty seconds.  I’m sorry.

REP. BACHMANN:  We — we went to below poverty when my parents divorced, and my mother worked very hard.  We all did.  We all got jobs and we were able to work our way through college.  And — and eventually my husband and I started a business.

We have broken hearts for at-risk kids, Charlie.  That’s why we took 23 foster children into our home.

I believe the best solutions are the ones closest to home.  If we reach out as individuals to help people and have broken hearts for people and care for them on a personal basis, then we don’t need big government to step in and do that job.  The more that we can do to love people, the better off the society will be.

MR. ROSE:  And Herman Cain.  Thirty seconds.

MR. CAIN:  I can connect with people’s pain because I was po’ before I was poor.  My dad worked three jobs.  I understand what that means.  But more importantly, with my career and with my record, I    understand that leaders are supposed to make sure we’re working on the right problems, we assign the right priority; surround yourself with the right people, which will allow you to put together the right plans — and yes, sometimes those plans will be bold plans, because this economy is on life support.

We don’t need to trim around the edges.  We need a bold plan.

MR. ROSE:  Congressman — Speaker Gingrich.

MR. GINGRICH:  Well, look, I grew up in an Army brat family.  We moved all over the country.  In recent years I’ve had relatives out of work.  I’ve had folks who were trying to find jobs for up to a year. We have, I think, a pretty good sense of the pain level.

But I also think it’s important to say of leaders that you find solution — I don’t think people hire one of us just to say:  I sympathize with you.

I think they hire us to say:  This is how we will solve it.

And I would say every person at this table is more likely to solve those problems than Barack Obama.

MR. ROSE:  Congressman Paul.  (Applause.)

REP. PAUL:  My motivation, my goals has always been to promote liberty, believing that’s what made America great.  If we want prosperity, if we want peace, we understand what the cause of liberty is all about.  And we have to understand that a free market system and sound money gives us the prosperity.  And it also is the humanitarian program, because once you get into the welfare state and a socialist state, it all backfires.  So if you care about people, you believe in liberty, that’s what made America great.  That’s what I want to restore.

MR. ROSE:  Senator Santorum.  (Applause.)

MR. SANTORUM:  As was mentioned, I grew up in a steel town, and one of the things that I realized is the when manufacturing left, a lot of the people in the middle income of America left.

And what we — what I — I just read a recent study that actually income mobility from the bottom two quintiles up into the middle of — up into the middle income is actually greater — the mobility in Europe — than it is in America today.  We need to change that, and the way you do it is by — in — by creating jobs in the manufacturing sector of the economy, which is what I will do.  It create that income mobility.  It’ll create the opportunity for semiskilled and lower- skilled and — and skilled workers to rise in society.  It will take    those people off of Occupy — and bring them into the workplace, where they can — they can have family-sustaining jobs.

MR. ROSE:  Governor Huntsman.

MR. HUNTSMAN:  Not only have I seen and participated in the creation of a great family business where jobs mean something, but I presided over a state that delivered the lowest level of unemployment in this country, 2.4 percent.  And when I saw on the faces of people who had the dignity of a job, you knew what it meant to moms and dads and entire families.

And when Sheriff Hardy who was here in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, when he talks about his deputies who for the first time are handing our foreclosure notices to the middle class and they’re seeing a rise in suicides, they’re seeing a rise in spousal abuse, they’re seeing a rise in substance abuse, it gives you a sense of what it means to have the dignity of a job.  We don’t have enough of them in this country.

MR. ROSE:  Governor Perry.

GOV. PERRY:  Charlie, as the son of tenant farmers and a young man who had the opportunity to wear the uniform of my country, and then the great privilege to serve as the governor of the second- largest state in this country, I’ve got not only the CEO experience but also working with the private sector to create the jobs.  And that’s what people are begging for.  Talking to that out-of-work rig worker out in the Gulf of Mexico today, they’re begging for someone to make America America again.

MR. ROSE:  Governor Romney.

MR. ROMNEY:  You know, we talked about a crisis this evening, an economic crisis, people out of work, incomes going down.  But there’s another crisis, and that’s that people wonder whether their future will be brighter for the kids than it’s been for them.  It’s always been what it means to be American, to have a greater degree of confidence in the future than even what we’ve enjoyed ourselves.  And what we have to do is to have the leadership in this country, like the men and women at this table, who believe in America.  My experience will help us get our values strong, get our economy strong, and make sure that our military is second to none in the world.

I am absolutely devoted to making America the strongest nation on Earth.  And if you don’t want that as your objective, don’t vote for me — we already have a president that doesn’t make that his first — first objective.

MR. ROSE:  All right.  I want to thank each and all of the candidates who sat at this table this evening.  As I said at the beginning, I believe in tables and I believe that places where you can come and talk about the country and its future and your beliefs is important.

Secondly, I want to thank Karen and thank Julianna for joining us.

I want to thank all of you who came here this evening to hear these candidates.  Thank you very much.  For those at home, thank you for watching.  A post-debate program will follow this.  We thank you for your time.  Good night.  (Applause.)


Campaign Buzz October 11, 2011: Bloomberg / Washington Post GOP Republican Presidential Debate on the Economy at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire — Least Combative GOP 2012 Debate has Mitt Romney as Front Runner, Herman Cain in the Hot Seat & Rick Perry in the Sidelines



Pool photo by Toni Sandys

The Republicans gathered for debate on Tuesday at Dartmouth College, and the scene resembled a talk show. Charlie Rose was one of the moderators. More Photos »


Debate Live Blog: Republicans Take On the Economy: The Republican presidential candidates gather in Hanover, N.H., to discuss the economy and other issues…. – NYT, 10-11-11

Republican debate: Winners and losers: Mitt Romney shines as Rick Perry, Herman Cain fall short at GOP face-off in New Hampshire…. – CBS News, 10-12-11

  • Republican debate: Winners and Losers:

    Mitt Romney
    9-9-9/Herman Cain: The “9-9-9” plan is Herman Cain. Herman Cain is the “9-9-9 plan”. Nothing so dominated tonight’s debate as chatter about Cain’s “bold”(his words — repeatedly) plan to restructure the tax system in the country. There’s little question that the 9/9/9 plan will be the single most searched term in the wake of this debate — and that’s a very good thing for Cain.
    Newt Gingrich
    Candidates asking candidates questions


    Rick Perry
    Michele Bachmann
    Chilean Model

    WaPo, 10-11-11

  • When the Talk Turns to Taxes and Medicine: The Republican debate covered a range of topics, including income and sales taxes, prostate cancer tests and tax holidays…. – NYT, 10-11-11

“What we need to be focused on in this country today is not whether or not we are going to have this policy or that policy. What we need to be focused on is how we get Americans working again.” — Gov. Rick Perry

“Mitt’s had six years to be working on a plan. I’ve been in this for about eight weeks.” — Gov. Rick Perry

“I have had the experience in my life of taking on some tough problems. And I must admit that simple answers are always very helpful but oftentimes inadequate. And in my view, to get this economy going again, we’re going to have to deal with more than just tax policy and just energy policy, even though both of those are part of my plan.” — Mitt Romney

“If you want to understand why we have a problem, you have to understand the Fed. When there are booms and they’re artificial. . . . When you have bubbles, whether it’s the Nasdaq or whether it’s the housing bubbles, they burst.” — Rep. Ron Paul

“I think it’s a catchy phrase. In fact, I thought it was the price of a pizza when I first heard about it.” — Jon Huntsman

“9-9-9 will pass, and it is not the price of a pizza, because it has been well studied and well developed.” — Herman Cain

“When you take the 9-9-9 plan and you turn it upside down, I think the devil is in the details” — Rep. Michele Bachmann

“I don’t need 9-9-9. We don’t need any plan to pass Congress. We need to get a president of the United States that is committed to passing the types of regulations, pulling the regulations back, freeing this country to go develop the energy industry that we have in this country.” — Gov. Rick Perry

“I’m proud of the fact that we took on a major problem in my state. We had a lot of kids without insurance, a lot of adults without insurance. And we said, we don’t want to change anything for the 92 percent of the people that already have insurance. One of the problems with Obamacare is he doesn’t just deal with the people without insurance. He takes over health care for everyone.” — Mitt Romney

  • Romney Snubs Perry as Debate Focuses on the Economy: The Republicans gathered for debate on Tuesday at Dartmouth College, and the scene resembled a talk show. Charlie Rose was one of the moderators.
    With a fresh air of confidence in his candidacy, Mitt Romney set out to diminish Gov. Rick Perry of Texas while presenting himself as the leader best prepared to take on President Obama…. – NYT, 10-11-11
  • Mitt Romney solidifies his front-runner status in Republican debate: A comfortable and confident Mitt Romney solidified his front-runner status on Tuesday night in the battle for the Republican presidential nomination, navigating 90 minutes of tough questions on the economy from his rivals and debate moderators.
    All eight Republican hopefuls who shared an intimate round table on the debate stage at Dartmouth College clamored to blame Washington for the country’s economic ills. In turn, they pointed fingers at President Obama, the Federal Reserve and the government in general, although they sparred over the details of their plans to grow the economy.
    The participants uniformly criticized Obama and official Washington for, in their view, not reviving the economy and for stunting its growth with too many regulations, overreach by the Federal Reserve and inadequate tax relief…. – WaPo, 10-11-11
  • Live: GOP candidates debate the economy and jobs: We’re live blogging the GOP presidential debate on the economy, being held at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Mitt Romney and Herman Cain are at the top of the latest Gallup Poll on the race, followed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry…. – USA Today, 10-11-11
  • GOP Debate Live Blog: All eyes might be on Texas Gov. Rick Perry at tonight’s debate, but Mitt Romney stole the pregame buzz by trotting out an unexpected endorsement from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The New Jersey governor announced his support for Mr. Romney…. – WSJ, 10-11-11
  • New Hampshire debate: Only minutes to go: Until the Republican candidates go head to head in Hanover, NH, for their fourth debate in a little over a month. Looming over the evening: Chris Christie’s endorsement of Mitt Romney, Herman Cain’s surge in the polls and a vocal Rick Perry supporters…. – Politico, 10-11-11
  • Live coverage: GOP debate at Dartmouth College: Only a month ago, Texas Gov. Rick Perry was the Justin Bieber of American conservatism — an appealing new face who soared to the top of the charts (in this case, polls) with improbable speed. But then Perry went head to head with his Republican rivals…. – LAT, 10-11-11
  • Republican Presidential Debate: Photos: Images of the Republican Presidential debate hosted by Bloomberg and The Washington Post in partnership with WBIN-TV Derry, NH and Dartmouth College…. – BusinessWeek, 10-11-11
  • Romney Looks Past Rivals as Debate Focuses on Economy: Mitt Romney offered a robust defense of the health care plan he signed as governor of Massachusetts and sought to look beyond his Republican presidential rivals at a debate here Tuesday night by presenting himself as the leader who is best prepared to take on President Obama.
    With a fresh air of confidence in his candidacy, Mr. Romney set out to diminish Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and all but ignored him, a different approach from the last three debates, where he repeatedly tangled with Mr. Perry. Given a chance to question a fellow candidate, Mr. Romney selected Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.
    In a debate that focused on the nation’s economic burdens, Mr. Romney defended elements of the Wall Street bailout in late 2008 as an imperfect but necessary solution. The view is at odds with the sentiment of many conservative voters, who will help decide the party’s nominee…. – NYT, 10-11-11
  • New Hampshire debate: Perry still in the hot seat: After a steep drop-off in his poll numbers, Rick Perry sat down at the Republican debate table Tuesday night with much to prove after three shaky debates, and stumbles on the stump. He needed to be sharp, quick, and show that he could go toe-to-toe with Mitt Romney.
    Well, the reviews are in and they are good and bad.
    The consensus seems to be this: Perry’s no debater, but he’s got money…. – WaPo, 10-12-11
  • Republican Presidential Candidate Debate: Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum talk about the US economy, job markets, tax code and their policies. … – Bloomberg, 10-12-11
  • Cain’s ‘9-9-9? plan in focus at Republican debate: The buzz word was definitely “9-9-9? in Tuesday’s Republican debate at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire that focused on economic issues. During the debate, the catchphrase 9-9-9 was mentioned 25 times (including 16 times by the man who conceived it)…. – Reuters Blogs, 10-11-11
  • New debate format familiar answers: Two big stories dominated the news cycle Tuesday: An alleged Iranian assassination plot against a diplomat on American soil and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s endorsement of Mitt Romney. Neither got an airing in Tuesday’s GOP presidential debate. … – Politico, 10-12-11
  • Cain Discusses 9-9-9 Plan, Independent Voters: Republican presidential candidate and former Godfather’s Pizza chief executive officer Herman Cain explains the specifics of his 9-9-9 tax plan and his campaign’s appeal to independent voters…. – Bloomberg, 10-11-11
  • Debate fatigue as GOP gathers in Dartmouth: Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate is the seventh since May and the fourth in a little over a month. There’s another one scheduled for next Tuesday, and more on the calendar before the end of the year…. – Politico, 10-11-11
  • GOP presidential debate fallout: Is Mitt Romney becoming inevitable?: At Tuesday’s GOP presidential debate, Mitt Romney fielded questions deftly, attacked when given an opening, and stayed out of jab-fests. Contenders so far haven’t knocked him off stride…. – CS Monitor, 10-12-11
  • Dartmouth aims to control debate crowd: At the last three GOP presidential debates, the crowd has cheered for executions, screamed out that a man without health insurance should be left to die and booed a gay soldier. Dartmouth is trying to keep Tuesday night’s Washington Post/Bloomberg … – Politico, 10-11-11
  • Buddy Roemer: Let me participate in the Republican debate: It’s too late for Buddy Roemer to get in on tonight’s Republican debate, but he has a simple pitch for whomever is planning the next one. “I hope the sponsors and the GOP say, ‘Roemer has a degree in economics and maybe we ought … – Washington Post, 10-11-11
  • Tonight’s Debate Deserves the Hype: Tuesday’s debate about economic issues takes on extra importance, particularly for Rick Perry…. – NYT, 10-11-11
  • Bloomberg debate: Cain, Perry look to upstage Romney: On a red-letter day already for Mitt Romney, he’ll have a chance to play to his strength — the economy — at a Republican presidential debate Tuesday evening in New Hampshire. The debate, broadcast live from Dartmouth College…. – LAT, 10-11-11
  • Republican debate: Five things to watch: For 90 minutes in New Hampshire tonight, eight Republican presidential hopefuls will sit around a wooden table and take shots at each other and President Obama. The theme of The Washington Post/Bloomberg debate, which starts at 8 p.m, is the economy. As Karen Tumulty, who will be one of the journalists asking questions, wrote, previous debates definitively shifted the momentum of the race. And tonight’s debate will likely set off yet another a new phase…. –

    1. Is Herman Cain a contender or a pretender?
    2. Can Romney take a punch?
    3. Rick Perry rebound?
    4. Will the debate veer off topic?
    5. Who will debate his or her way into a Saturday Night Live skit?

    WaPo, 10-11-11

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 7, 2011: GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney’s Speech on Foreign Policy at The Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina




Text of Mitt Romney’s Speech on Foreign Policy at The Citadel

Source: WSJ, 10-7-11

Here is the text of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s speech on foreign policy as prepared for delivery Friday at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C.:

Mr. Romney: It’s a great honor to be in South Carolina, where patriotism is a passion that tops even barbeque and football.

And it’s a great honor to be here at the Citadel.

Every great university and college produces future engineers, doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs. Here at the Citadel, you do all that but you have another specialty – you produce heroes.  Over 1400 of your alumni have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere fighting the war against terrorism.  And sixteen have paid the ultimate price.

Since 1842, every tyrant, petty thug or great power that threatened America learned that if you wanted to take on America, you were taking on the Citadel.  That’s a line of heroes that’s never broken and never will be.

This is a true citadel of American honor, values and courage.

The other day I heard the President say that Americans had gone “soft.” I guess he wasn’t talking about how hard it is for millions of Americans who are trying to get a job or stretch a too small paycheck through the week.

As each of you looks beyond this great institution, to the life before you, I know you face many difficult questions in a world fraught with uncertainty.  America is in an economic crisis the likes of which we have never seen in our lifetime. Europe is struggling with the greatest economic crisis since the Cold War, one that calls into question the very definition of the European Union.

Around the world we see tremendous upheaval and change. Our next President will face extraordinary challenges that could alter the destiny of America and, indeed, the future of freedom.

Today, I want you to join me in looking forward. Forward beyond that next Recognition Day, beyond Ring Weekend to four years from today, October 7th, 2015.

What kind of world will we be facing?

Will Iran be a fully activated nuclear weapons state, threatening its neighbors, dominating the world’s oil supply with a stranglehold on the Strait of Hormuz?  In the hands of the ayatollahs, a nuclear Iran is nothing less than an existential threat to Israel. Iran’s suicidal fanatics could blackmail the world.

By 2015, will Israel be even more isolated by a hostile international community? Will those who seek Israel’s destruction feel emboldened by American ambivalence? Will Israel have been forced to fight yet another war to protect its citizens and its right to exist?

In Afghanistan, after the United States and NATO have withdrawn all forces, will the Taliban find a path back to power? After over a decade of American sacrifice in treasure and blood, will the country sink back into the medieval terrors of fundamentalist rule and the mullahs again open a sanctuary for terrorists?

Next door, Pakistan awaits the uncertain future, armed with more than 100 nuclear weapons. The danger of a failed Pakistan is difficult to overestimate, fraught with nightmare scenarios: Will a nuclear weapon be in the hands of Islamic Jihadists?

China has made it clear that it intends to be a military and economic superpower. Will her rulers lead their people to a new era of freedom and prosperity or will they go down a darker path, intimidating their neighbors, brushing aside an inferior American Navy in the Pacific, and building a global alliance of authoritarian states?

Russia is at a historic crossroads.  Vladimir Putin has called the breakup of the Soviet empire the great tragedy of the 20th Century. Will he try to reverse that tragedy and bludgeon the countries of the former Soviet Union into submission, and intimidate Europe with the levers of its energy resources?

To our South, will the malign socialism of Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, in tight alliance with the malign socialism of Castro’s Cuba, undermine the prospects of democracy in a region thirsting for freedom and stability and prosperity?

Our border with Mexico remains an open sore.  Will drug cartels dominate the regions adjoining the United States, with greater and greater violence spilling over into our country? Will we have failed to secure the border and to stem the tide of illegal immigrants? And will drug smugglers and terrorists increasingly make their way into our midst?

This would be a troubling and threatening world for America. But it is not unrealistic. These are only some of the very real dangers that America faces, if we continue with the feckless policies of the past three years.

But of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. This isn’t our destiny, it is a choice. We are a democracy. You decide. In this campaign for President, I will offer a very different vision of America’s role in the world and of America’s destiny.

Our next President will face many difficult and complex foreign policy decisions. Few will be black and white.

But I am here today to tell you that I am guided by one overwhelming conviction and passion: This century must be an American Century. In an American Century, America has the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world. In an American Century, America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world.

God did not create this country to be a nation of followers. America is not destined to be one of several equally balanced global powers.  America must lead the world, or someone else will. Without American leadership, without clarity of American purpose and resolve, the world becomes a far more dangerous place, and liberty and prosperity would surely be among the first casualties.

Let me make this very clear. As President of the United States, I will devote myself to an American Century. And I will never, ever apologize for America.

Some may ask, “Why America? Why should America be any different than scores of other countries around the globe?”

I believe we are an exceptional country with a unique destiny and role in the world. Not exceptional, as the President has derisively said, in the way that the British think Great Britain is exceptional or the Greeks think Greece is exceptional. In Barack Obama’s profoundly mistaken view, there is nothing unique about the United States.

But we are exceptional because we are a nation founded on a precious idea that was birthed in the American Revolution, and propounded by our greatest statesmen, in our fundamental documents. We are a people who threw off the yoke of tyranny and established a government, in Abraham Lincoln’s words, “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

We are a people who, in the language of our Declaration of Independence, hold certain truths to be self-evident: namely, that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. It is our belief in the universality of these unalienable rights that leads us to our exceptional role on the world stage, that of a great champion of human dignity and human freedom.

I was born in 1947, a classic baby boomer. I grew up in a world formed by one dominant threat to America: the Soviet Union and Communism. The “duck and cover” drills we learned in school during the Cuban Missile Crisis resulted from a threat by a known, identifiable enemy, with clear borders and established leaders. We needed spy planes to find the hidden missile bases in Cuba but we didn’t need them to find Nikita Khrushchev. President Reagan could negotiate with Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev and sign treaties for which each side could be held accountable. And when we caught the Soviets cheating, we could bring the world’s attention to their transgressions.

Today, our world is far more chaotic. We still face grave threats, but they come not from one country, or one group, or one ideology. The world is unfortunately not so defined.  What America and our allies are facing is a series of threatening forces, ones that overlap and reinforce each other.  To defend America, and to secure a peaceful and prosperous world, we need to clearly understand these emerging threats, grasp their complexity, and formulate a strategy that deals with them before they explode into conflict.

It is far too easy for a President to jump from crisis to crisis, dealing with one hot spot after another. But to do so is to be shaped by events rather than to shape events. To avoid this paralyzing seduction of action rather than progress, a President must have a broad vision of the world coupled with clarity of purpose.

When I look around the world, I see a handful of major forces that vie with America and free nations, to shape the world in an image of their choosing. These are not exclusively military threats.  Rather, they are determined, powerful forces that may threaten freedom, prosperity, and America’s national interests.

First, Islamic fundamentalism with which we have been at war since Sept. 11, 2001.

Second, the struggle in the greater Middle East between those who yearn for freedom, and those who seek to crush it.

The dangerous and destabilizing ripple effects of failed and failing states, from which terrorists may find safe haven.

The anti-American visions of regimes in Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and Cuba—two of which are seeking nuclear weapons.

And these forces include rising nations with hidden and emerging aspirations, like China, determined to be a world superpower, and a resurgent Russia, led by a man who believes the Soviet Union was great, not evil.

There is no one approach to these challenges. There is no Wall that the next President can demand to be torn down. But there is one unifying thread that connects each of these possible threats: when America is strong, the world is safer.

Ronald Reagan called it “Peace through Strength” and he was never more right than today. It is only American power—conceived in the broadest terms—that can provide the foundation of an international system that ensures the security and prosperity of the United States and our friends and allies around the world.

American strength rises from a strong economy, a strong defense, and the enduring strength of our values.  Unfortunately, under this President, all three of those elements have been weakened.

As President, on Day One, I will focus on rebuilding America’s economy.  I will reverse President Obama’s massive defense cuts.  Time and again, we have seen that attempts to balance the budget by weakening our military only lead to a far higher price, not only in treasure, but in blood.

My strategy of American strength is guided by a set of core principles.

First, American foreign policy must be prosecuted with clarity and resolve. Our friends and allies must have no doubts about where we stand. And neither should our rivals. If the world knows we are resolute, our allies will be comforted and those who wish us harm will be far less tempted to test that resolve.

Second, America must promote open markets, representative government, and respect for human rights. The path from authoritarianism to freedom and representative government is not always a straight line or an easy evolution, but history teaches us that nations that share our values, will be reliable partners and stand with us in pursuit of common security and shared prosperity.

Third, the United States will apply the full spectrum of hard and soft power to influence events before they erupt into conflict. Resort to force is always the least desirable and costliest option. We must therefore employ all the tools of statecraft to shape the outcome of threatening situations before they demand military action. The United States should always retain military supremacy to deter would-be aggressors and to defend our allies and ourselves.  If America is the undisputed leader of the world, it reduces our need to police a more chaotic world.

Fourth, the United States will exercise leadership in multilateral organizations and alliances. American leadership lends credibility and breeds faith in the ultimate success of any action, and attracts full participation from other nations. American leadership will also focus multilateral institutions like the United Nations on achieving the substantive goals of democracy and human rights enshrined in their charters.  Too often, these bodies prize the act of negotiating over the outcome to be reached.  And shamefully, they can become forums for the tantrums of tyrants and the airing of the world’s most ancient of prejudices: anti-Semitism. The United States must fight to return these bodies to their proper role. But know this: while America should work with other nations, we always reserve the right to act alone to protect our vital national interests.

In my first 100 days in office, I will take a series of measures to put these principles into action, and place America—and the world—on safer footing.

Among these actions will be to restore America’s national defense.  I will reverse the hollowing of our Navy and announce an initiative to increase the shipbuilding rate from 9 per year to 15.  I will begin reversing Obama-era cuts to national missile defense and prioritize the full deployment of a multilayered national ballistic missile defense system. I will order the formulation of a national cybersecurity strategy, to deter and defend against the growing threats of militarized cyber-attacks, cyber-terrorism, and cyber-espionage.

I will enhance our deterrent against the Iranian regime by ordering the regular presence of aircraft carrier task forces, one in the Eastern Mediterranean and one in the Persian Gulf region. I will begin discussions with Israel to increase the level of our military assistance and coordination. And I will again reiterate that Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is unacceptable.

I will begin organizing all of our diplomatic and assistance efforts in the greater Middle East under one official with the authority and accountability necessary to train all our soft power resources on ensuring that the Arab Spring does not fade into a long winter.

I will launch a campaign to advance economic opportunity in Latin America, and contrast the benefits of democracy, free trade, and free enterprise against the material and moral bankruptcy of the Venezuelan and Cuban model.

I will order a full review of our transition to the Afghan military to secure that nation’s sovereignty from the tyranny of the Taliban.  I will speak with our generals in the field, and receive the best recommendation of our military commanders.  The force level necessary to secure our gains and complete our mission successfully is a decision I will make free from politics.

And I will bolster and repair our alliances. Our friends should never fear that we will not stand by them in an hour of need. I will reaffirm as a vital national interest Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. I will count as dear our Special Relationship with the United Kingdom.  And I will begin talks with Mexico, to strengthen our cooperation on our shared problems of drugs and security.

This is America’s moment.  We should embrace the challenge, not shrink from it, not crawl into an isolationist shell, not wave the white flag of surrender, nor give in to those who assert America’s time has passed. That is utter nonsense. An eloquently justified surrender of world leadership is still surrender.

I will not surrender America’s role in the world. This is very simple: If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on Earth, I am not your President.

You have that President today.

The 21st century can and must be an American century. It began with terror, war, and economic calamity. It is our duty to steer it onto the path of freedom, peace, and prosperity. My hope is that our grandchildren will remember us in the same way that we remember the past generations of Americans who overcame adversity, the generations that fought in world wars, that came through the Great Depression, and that gained victory in the Cold War. Let future generations look back on us and say, they rose to the occasion, they embraced their duty, and they led our nation to safety and to greatness.

The Greatest Generation is passing. But as their light fades, we must seize the torch they carried so gallantly at such sacrifice. It is an eternal torch of decency, freedom and hope. It is not America’s torch alone. But it is America’s duty – and honor – to hold it high enough that all the world can see its light.

Believe in America.

Thank you, and God Bless the United States of America.

Campaign Recap September 26, 2011: Herman Cain & Mitt Romney Beat Rick Perry in Florida & Michigan Straw Polls — GOP Candidates Debate in the Fox News / Google GOP Republican Presidential Debate


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.


Chip Litherland for The New York Times


Republican Presidential Candidates: Primaries 2012 — NYT

Democratic Nominee 2012: President Barack Obama’s Official Reelection Campaign Website —

Republican National Committee

Democratic National Committee

  • Gallup Poll: Election 2012 — Track GOP Contender’s Images Week by Week — Generic Ballot Gallup
  • Gallup: Presidential Job Approval Gallup
  • Gallup Daily: Obama Job Approval: Each result is based on a three-day rolling average Gallup
  • Poll Watch: Polls and Related Articles From The New York Times NYT
  • Perry present favorite among Florida Republicans: A poll released early Thursday indicates Florida Republicans slightly prefer Perry over Romney in their party’s battle to find a nominee to face President Barack Obama next year. Perry was favored by 28 percent of the 374 registered Republican voters…. – AP, 9-22-11
  • Romney dominates NH poll, well ahead of Perry: Mitt Romney may be tightening his grip on New Hampshire voters, despite tremendous buzz surrounding Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the nation’s first presidential primary state and elsewhere.
    The former Massachusetts governor now leads his nearest rival, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, by 27 points among likely New Hampshire voters, according to a Suffolk University-7News poll released Wednesday night. Perry finished far back, earning 8 percent compared with Romney’s 41 percent. Paul took 14 percent and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman received 10 percent to round out the top four finishers…. – AP, 9-21-11
  • Is Michele Bachmann’s campaign cratering?: A new poll shows Michele Bachmann falling back in the Republican field – and that her problems extend beyond front-runner Rick Perry siphoning off her supporters…. – CS Monitor, 9-20-11
  • Poll: Perry, Romney far ahead of field as SC looms: The Winthrop Poll shows Perry as the first choice among 30 percent of Republican voters; Romney is close behind at 27 percent. That’s within the 4 percentage-point margin of sampling error for the 596 GOP or Republican-leaning voters called between Sept. 11 and Sept. 18.
    Businessman Herman Cain had 7 percent, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin 6 percent and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich 5 percent.
    Reps. Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul, both tea party favorites, were at 4 percent…. AP, 9-20-11


Romney Wins Michigan Straw Poll: Mr. Romney won 51 percent of the vote in the straw poll, far surpassing Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who finished second with 17 percent. Herman Cain, the former chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza, was third…. – NYT, 9-25-11

  • Romney bests Perry in Michigan straw poll: Michigan native Mitt Romney rolled over Texas Gov. Rick Perry and the rest of his Republican presidential rivals in a Michigan straw poll on Sunday, reinforcing a favorite son status that could make it tough for anyone else to win the state’s GOP primary.
    It was the second day of bad news for Perry, who lost to businessman Herman Cain in a Florida straw poll Saturday before heading to the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference in Michigan.
    Perry’s second-place finish in Florida came just days after he faltered in a debate in Orlando, Fla. Romney came in third there, although he isn’t officially competing in straw polls.
    More than 1,600 elected officials and party regulars attended Michigan’s three-day conference, and state Republican Chairman Bobby Schostak said it’s no surprise that the former Massachusetts governor did so well in Sunday’s poll…. – CBS News, 9-25-11
  • On Home Turf, Romney Prevails in Straw Poll: Mitt Romney didn’t disappoint on his home turf this weekend, receiving 51 percent of the votes at the Michigan Straw Poll, a wide victory over Texas Gov. Rick Perry who garnered just 17 percent. Third place in the straw poll went to Herman Cain…. – ABC News, 9-25-11
  • Mitt Romney wins Michigan straw poll, Rick Perry a distant second: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says he isn’t competing in any straw polls — not even the one this weekend on the island where he spent summers as a boy, where pictures of his father adorn the Grand Hotel and where George Romney’s legacy as a popular governor hung over the proceedings.
    To say Romney was the heavy favorite at the biennial Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference would be an understatement. And he did not disappoint, winning the straw poll with 51 percent of the 681 votes cast. His top rival for the nomination, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, finished second with 17 percent.
    For Romney, the victory was especially sweet considering that Perry flew here — a remote island on Lake Huron, accessible only by ferry and where visitors ride bicycles or horse-drawn carriages because automobiles are banned — to deliver a luncheon speech Saturday to conference attendees. Romney was here, too, and gave his speech during Saturday night’s dinner program.
    Former Godfather’s Pizza chief executive Herman Cain, who won the Florida straw poll Saturday, finished third in Michigan with 9 percent, according to the results announced Sunday morning. He was followed by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) with 8 percent; Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), 4 percent; former House speaker Newt Gingrich, 4 percent; former senator Rick Santorum, 3 percent; and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman Jr., 2 percent.
    The straw poll, organized and sponsored by National Journal Hotline and the National Association of Home Builders, surveyed the party leaders, donors and activists who attended this weekend’s conference.
    The poll also surveyed voters’ favorites to be the GOP vice presidential nominee. Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) easily won, with 23 percent of the 481 votes cast in that category. Cain finished second with 14 percent, followed by Gingrich with 13 percent and Bachmann with 12 percent…. – WaPo, 9-25-11


Herman Cain Wins Florida Straw Poll: Herman Cain, the former chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza, won the Florida straw poll today, defeating second-place Rick Perry…. – NYT, 9-24-121

In a stunning upset Saturday, Herman Cain won Florida’s Presidency 5 straw poll, a vote of 2,657 Republican activists that in past years has predicted the party nominee. Here are the results:

Herman Cain: 37 percent
Rick Perry: 15 percent
Mitt Romney: 14 percent
Rick Santorum: 10.9 percent
Ron Paul: 10.4 percent
Newt Gingrich: 8 percent
Jon Huntsman: 2.3 percent
Michelle Bachmann: 1.5 percent

“Folks, this is what you call momentum. The Herman Cain train is picking up steam.” — Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza

“Floridians and voters nationally want a candidate who is clear on the issues and talks honestly about the future. Not someone who takes multiple sides of an issue and changes views every election season. Today’s vote demonstrates that Floridians are energized and ready to help get America working again.” — Rick Perry

“Cain won, we still have work to do. It’s his day. The conservative message won today. We’ve been in this race for five weeks. We’re going to continue campaigning hard….
It’s more of what happened to Mitt Romney. He’s not going to be crowned president of the United States. He’s going to have to work for it. And after five and a half years he once again got rejected in a key state in the Republican primary process.” — Rick Perry spokesman Mark Miner

  • Cain upsets Perry in Florida Republican straw poll: Former pizza executive Herman Cain surprised rival Rick Perry with an upset victory on Saturday in a nonbinding Republican presidential straw poll in Florida, dealing a disappointing loss to the Texas governor two days after a shaky debate performance.
    Perry, leading in the polls for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, had needed a victory in the key test of strength in a crucial state to salve the wounds left over from a debate with his rivals on Thursday in which he struggled.
    Instead, former Godfather’s Pizza executive Cain, who is far behind the two top-tier candidates Perry and Mitt Romney, won with 37 percent of 2,657 votes cast.
    Perry was a distant second at 15 percent, just ahead of Romney, who won 14 percent despite not participating in the poll. Further back were Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman and Michele Bachmann.
    Florida’s straw poll is a nonbinding popularity poll and is significant only in terms of showing a candidate’s strength in the state. The state contests to determine the Republican nominee do not start until early next year.
    The Perry camp shrugged off the results…. – Reuters, 9-24-11
  • Cain’s Moment in the Sunshine State: The former chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza has hit his rhetorical stride in the Republican contest, whipping up crowds of true-believers everywhere he goes. And he was rewarded on Saturday with a decisive win in the straw poll…. – NYT, 9-25-11
  • Herman Cain upsets Rick Perry in Florida straw poll: Rick Perry in a straw ballot of Florida Republican activists Saturday. The vote has no bearing on the choice of a 2012 nominee but, along with recent campaign events, is likely to increase the chances that the Republican presidential contest will … – LAT, 9-24-11
  • Cain wins Florida straw poll, finishing far ahead of Perry: Businessman Herman Cain won the Florida GOP presidential straw poll in a major surprise on Saturday, finishing well ahead of Texas Gov. Rick Perry…. – WaPo, 9-24-11
  • Perry on Straw Poll: “I have all my hopes on Florida”: In an effort to regain momentum after Thursday’s debate performance that left many Republicans here disappointed, GOP front-runner Governor Rick Perry lashed out at his rivals who have decided to skip Florida’s P5 presidential straw poll– a forum which has now become a significant test for Perry’s campaign for the White House.
    “There are a number of candidates who have spurned Florida’s straw poll and I think that’s a big mistake,” Perry said to a group of several hundred GOP delegates who had gathered to hear him speak at an Orlando breakfast event.
    “I have all my hopes on Florida,” Perry added.
    The poll is voted on by a convention of over 3,500 GOP delegates from across the battleground state…. – Fox News, 9-24-11
  • Herman Cain wins Florida straw poll in stunning victory; Perry in deep trouble: From the bottom of the polls to the top of the pack, businessman Herman Cain won the Republican Party of Florida’s nationally watched presidential straw poll Saturday in a sign that frontrunner Rick Perry is in deep trouble.
    Cain’s victory with 37 percent of the vote was a major defeat for Perry, the frontrunner in Florida and national polls, who garnered only 15 percent after wooing the nearly 3,000 party faithful with a free breakfast and mailers.
    The vote also showed how soft Republican support is for Mitt Romney, who came in third with 14 percent. Unlike Perry, though, he avoided schmoozing the GOP voters, called delegates. Miami Herald, 9-24-11
  • Can Herman Cain keep up the momentum after his Florida straw poll win?: Herman Cain is basking in the Sunday glow of his surprise win Saturday in the Florida straw poll. But he lags in national polls, and his Florida win may draw sharper scrutiny of his positions…. – CS Monitor, 9-25-11


Mitt Romney: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts

Rick Perry: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts

Ron Paul: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts

Herman Cain: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts

Michele Bachmann: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts

Newt Gingrich: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts

Jon Huntsman: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts

Rick Santorum: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts

  • Fox News-Google Republican Presidential Debate: The following is a transcript of the Republican presidential debate in Orlando, Fla…. – NYT, 9-23-11



Full Text Campaign Buzz September 22, 2011: Fox News / Google GOP Republican Presidential Debate — Rick Perry Under Attack Goes on the Offensive — Especially Against Chief Rival Mitt Romney — Social Security, Healthcare Main Issues Fox News, 9-22-11

Small business: Gov. Rick Perry: “What we’ve done in Texas over the course of the last decade is to lower that tax burden on small-business men and women, have a regulatory climate that is fair and predictable and a sweeping tort reform system that we passed in 2003. … That’s the way you get the government off the back of small businesses, and that’s the way you free up those small-business entrepreneurs when they know they can risk their capital and have a chance to get a return on their investments.
“If it will work in the state of Texas, it will work in Washington, D.C. And that’s exactly what I’m going to bring when I go there in November, excuse me, in January of 2013.”

States’ rights: Rep. Ron Paul: “The responsibility of the president would be to veto every single bill that violates the 10th Amendment. That would be the solution.
“Government is too big in Washington, D.C. It has run away, we have no controls on spending, taxes, regulations. … If we want government, whether it’s medical care or whatever, it’s proper to do it at the local level.”

Perry vs. Bush: Perry disputed any notion of a rift between him and former President George W. Bush. Perry said they have “a great rapport” and talk “on a relatively regular basis.”
“I highly respect the president and his public service,” Perry said.

Education: Paul: “If you care about your children, you will get the federal government out of the business of educating our kids,” he said.


    • Live Blogging the G.O.P. Debate in Orlando: Nine candidates will take the debate stage tonight in Orlando, Fla., in what is likely to feature the continuing slugfest between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry…. – NYUT, 9-22-11
    • Fact Checking the G.O.P. Debate in Orlando: Examining statements on Social Security, education, foreign policy and more…. – NYT, 9-23-11

Romney, Perry go after each other in GOP debate: Side by side in confrontational debate, Republican presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Rick Perry sarcastically accused each other Thursday night of flip-flopping on Social Security and health care, flashpoints in their intense struggle for the party nomination.
In a debate that focused on character and credibility as much as other issues, Perry insisted he had backed off “not one inch, Sir” from what he had written in a campaign-season book published a few months ago.
Romney vouched for his own steadfastness moments later. “There are a lot of reasons not to elect me,” he said. “There are a lot of reasons not to elect other people on this stage. … But one reason to elect me is I know what I stand for. I’ve written it down. Words have meaning.”
The two men assailed one another in the third debate in as many weeks in a race for the Republican presidential nomination growing testier by the day. AP, 9-22-11

  • Under Attack, Perry Hits Back at Rivals in GOP Debate: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the GOP presidential front-runner, fended off fierce attacks during Thursday night’s debate from his rivals over his criticism of Social Security and his record on immigration…. – Fox News, 9-22-11
  • GOP presidential debate: Who won the wrangle in Orlando?: The critics were brutal about Rick Perry’s performance. But voters react to the images that candidates project in a presidential debate over time, as snippets are worked into news reports and political ads…. – CS Monitor, 9-23-11
  • GOP debate: Winners and losers: The six Republican presidential debate this year, which took place Thursday night in Orlando, Florida, left some candidates more prepared than others and gave some candidates some key standout moments. Here’s our breakdown of the winners and losers: … Winners: Mitt Romney — Rick Santorum — Herman Cain…
    Losers: Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, YouTube Questions…. – CBS News, 9-22-11
  • Perry and Romney Come Out Swinging at Each Other in G.O.P. Debate: In their third debate in as many weeks, former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas engaged in a sometimes heated back and forth over immigration, health care and entitlements, their rivalry dominating a stage that included seven other candidates struggling to catch up in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
    Mr. Romney and Mr. Perry arrived here with a strategic imperative to challenge the other’s consistency and conservative credentials. The tensions only grew as the night wore on, to the point where Jon M. Huntsman Jr., the former governor of Utah, joked that Mr. Romney and Mr. Perry were at risk of bludgeoning each other to death.
    Still, after two hours of dueling it was unclear whether Mr. Perry had achieved his goal of knocking Mr. Romney off his fairly unruffled stride. It was similarly not certain that Mr. Romney had made headway in knocking Mr. Perry down a few pegs in what has been a relatively strong opening to his young campaign…. – NYT, 9-22-11
  • GOP debate: Rick Perry vs. Mitt Romney, plus Gary Johnson and some dogs: If you believe pollster Frank Luntz’s focus group in the post-game analysis on Fox News, Mitt Romney did himself a lot of good in Thursday’s two-hour Fox News/Google GOP Debate, held in Orlando, Fla. Nine candidates faced questions from FNC anchors … – LAT, 9-22-11
  • The GOP debate: 6 takeaways: It’s official — the frontrunners aren’t a mutual fan club. With three debates in the books featuring Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, the animosity between the Texas governor and the former Massachusetts governor is palpable.
    Here are POLITICO’s six takeaways from Thursday’s slugfest in Orlando…. – Politico, 9-22-11
  • Republican Presidential Hopefuls Debate Health Care,Retirement: The top two contenders for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination fended off accusations of changing their positions on everything from health care to Social Security during a nationally televised debate Thursday in Florida. … – Voice of America, 9-23-11
  • Orlando GOP debate: A strong night for Santorum as Perry fades: When the Republican presidential contenders debated in Orlando tonight, it was really two debates. In the first third of the evening, a series of disjointed questions without follow-ups, Texas Gov. Rick Perry seemed strong and well-prepared. But he faded over the rest of the debate, appearing to lose his steam just as he was trying to paint Mitt Romney as a flip-flopper.
    The big winner of the night, however, was Rick Santorum…. – WaPo, 9-22-11
  • Thursday’s ‘high-stakes’ GOP debate: 4 key questions: The Republican presidential hopefuls are preparing to clash in yet another debate. What can we expect?
    The Republican presidential candidates repeatedly bashed each other’s records this week, ahead of Thursday night’s debate in Florida, a crucial swing state. Indeed, there will be “high stakes” for frontrunners Rick Perry and Mitt Romney — and for rivals struggling to keep their hopes alive — as the showdown in Orlando sets the table for a Saturday straw poll that leading Sunshine State Republicans say will predict the party’s 2012 nominee. What should viewers watch for when the candidates square off on stage Thursday? Here, four key questions:

    1. Can Romney take down Perry over Social Security?
    2. Which Rick Perry will take the stage?
    3. Can Gary Johnson make a difference?
    4. Will second-tier candidates break through?

    The Week, 9-22-11


    • Lady Gaga shows at Obama fundraiser: Pop singer Lady Gaga was among the guests at a Silicon Valley fundraiser for President Barack Obama. The intimate gathering was held under a tent in the yard of Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg on Sunday night…. – AP, 9-25-11
    • Obama takes shots at Perry, GOP debates: President Barack Obama is swiping at Texas Gov. Rick Perry, criticizing him as “a governor whose state is on fire, denying climate change.”… – AP, 9-25-11
    • NYC’s Bloomberg says Obama could be re-elected: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he thinks President Barack Obama could win re-election next year in spite of the country’s high unemployment rate. Bloomberg cites the power of incumbency as one of Obama’s advantage. … – AP, 9-25-11
    • Obama adviser: GOP will target middle class: A top White House adviser is laying out the theme of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, saying the Republicans running for president would “take dead aim” at middle class Americans. Obama’s 2008 campaign manager…. – AP, 9-25-11
    • Romney using wife’s story to connect with voters: …Ann Romney, his wife of 42 years, stood with him, spatula in hand, wearing the same white apron and the comfortable smile of a woman who spent countless mornings flipping flapjacks for five hungry sons.
      Her presence on that day, like so many others during the long campaign, is an acknowledged blessing for a 2012 White House contender who struggles to shake a robotic image. Friends and foes alike say she makes him seem more genuine…. – AP, 9-25-11

“I see anybody that gets in the race that believes in America and is a small government but efficient government individual, I would welcome into the race. It just strengthens the point that the Republican Party’s all about getting our country working again. Whoever that is. And I’m also a big believer in these governors being freed up to be able to compete against each other. Chris Christie is a great competitor — and I’ll be up there, you know, in Jersey, looking for some businesses to move to Texas.” — Gov. Rick Perry

  • Perry works to show he’s strongest GOP contender: Texas Gov. Rick Perry worked to convince Florida Republicans Saturday that he is the strongest contender for the GOP nomination despite a shaky debate performance earlier this week that has sparked jitters about his bid…. – AP, 9-25-11
  • Perry, Romney look beyond early-voting states: Mitt Romney and Rick Perry are the only two Republican presidential candidates who can afford to spend their time and money in states that aren’t first on the primary calendar.
    That helps explain their appearances Saturday in Michigan, where GOP voters will have their say in 2012, but only after Iowa, New Hampshire and several other states that second-tier contenders must win to survive…. – AP, 9-24-11
  • Obama’s likability is keeping him afloat: This is a factor any Republican challenger must consider: Public opinion polls routinely show that Americans like the president personally even though they don’t agree with his policies, even if hurt by them.
    People who have lost their jobs or homes during Obama’s presidency nonetheless say they want him to succeed and, what’s more, they’re working to help re-elect him because of the affinity they feel for him…. – AP, 9-24-11
  • As Perry sags, Christie in spotlight: With the party’s frontrunner sagging, Chris Christie is reconsidering pleas from Republican elites and donors to run for president in 2012. Two Republican sources told POLITICO, says the governor will make a decision in roughly a week…. – Politico, 9-24-11
  • Can Rick Perry make a comeback?: Rick Perry’s debate performance this week was universally panned, even by conservatives. Now, he’s pushing his “authenticity” versus the “slickness” of his main Republican rival Mitt Romney…. – CS Monitor, 9-24-11
  • Tampering With the Electoral College: Pennsylvania Republicans propose changing the state’s voting system for partisan advantage…. – NYT, 9-24-11
  • Small Donors Are Slow to Return to the Obama Fold: The frustration and disillusionment that have dragged down President Obama’s approval ratings have crept into the ranks of his vaunted small-donor army…. – NYT, 9-24-11
  • Texas May Be Solid Red at the Ballot Box, but Big Money Makes It Bipartisan: Red state or blue doesn’t really matter when it comes to where politicians go to raise money, and Texas, a major supplier of campaign cash, is proof of that. NYT, 9-24-11
  • Perry and Romney Set Clear Lines of Attack: The animosity between Gov. Rick Perry and Mitt Romney has deepened as they compete for contributors and endorsements…. – NYT, 9-24-11
  • Perry on shaky ground? Doubts among some in GOP: The findings underscore Romney’s effort to present himself as an economic conservative capable of drawing independent voters in a head-to-head campaign with Obama. Regardless of the polling, some voters in Florida are grimacing. … – AP, 9-24-11
  • Democrats working to undercut Perry, Romney: To hear Democrats tell it, Gov. Rick Perry’s economic record in Texas is nothing more than a mirage and his views on Social Security make him “America’s Most Dangerous Cowboy.” In Massachusetts, President Barack Obama’s allies say job creation lagged under Mitt Romney, whose policies would undermine the middle class.
    Republicans won’t pick a candidate to challenge Obama for months but Democrats already are working to poke holes in the two who, according to polls, are mostly likely to win the GOP nomination…. – AP, 9-23-11
  • Tea Party Group to Form Super PAC: Unlike similar organizations, the FreedomWorks Super PAC plans to raise $20 million from small donors to spend in Republican primaries…. – NYT, 9-23-11
  • Romney Leads Endorsement Race: Endorsements can be a good predictor of electoral success, something that bodes well for Mitt Romney…. – NYT, 9-23-11
  • GOP presidential debate: Who won the wrangle in Orlando?: The critics were brutal about Rick Perry’s performance. But voters react to the images that candidates project in a presidential debate over time, as snippets are worked into news reports and political ads…. – CS Monitor, 9-23-11
  • Caucus Video: Five Key Moments from the Debate: Reporters look at the debate’s importance going forward in the Republican race…. – The Caucus, 9-23-11
  • Rick Perry’s Stance on Immigration May Hurt His Chances: For Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, the issue of immigration could be treacherous in early-nominating states that have few Hispanics…. – NYT, 9-23-11
  • Obama’s Los Angeles campaign office smashed up: Police said Friday they are investigating what appears to be a politically motivated attack on a campaign office for President Barack Obama in Los Angeles, only days before he’s scheduled to arrive in Southern California. … – AP, 9-23-11
  • Only Palms Are Swaying: Outside supermarkets and restaurants, inside bookstores and candy shops, Jewish voters in this affluent yet diverse Jewish community in north Miami said they planned to mostly stay the course…. – NYT, 9-23-11
  • Fears Gnaw at Liberalism: Local Jewish leaders say most of the more than 200,000 Jews who live in greater Philadelphia remain Democrats and are almost sure to support Mr. Obama in 2012…. – NYT, 9-23-11
  • An Enthusiasm Cools Down: At a small gathering Thursday morning in a rabbi’s office to chat about the president, those in attendance said they would vote for Mr. Obama again, regardless of their disappointment…. – NYT, 9-23-11
  • Romney, Bachmann challenge Perry on immigration: Keeping the heat on Rick Perry, rivals Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann on Friday challenged his suggestion that people are heartless if they don’t support his Texas law that gives some illegal immigrants in-state tuition rates at universities.
    “If you’re opposed to illegal immigration, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a heart,” Romney told a gathering of conservatives in Florida, which has a sizable immigrant population. “It means that you have a heart and a brain.”
    In her speech, Bachmann said: “We will not have taxpayer-subsidized benefits for illegal immigrants or their children.” She pledged to build a fence along the U.S.-Mexican border, a move that Perry opposes…. – AP, 9-23-11
  • Web verdict on Perry: Brutal: There was no election-ending gaffe or singularly disqualifying remark. But his second consecutive weak outing set off alarm bells on the right, where too many cringeworthy moments raised questions about Perry’s durability, his seriousness and ability to compete on a stage with Barack Obama…. – Politico, 9-23-11
  • Texas toast? Perry worries GOP: The first line of Rick Perry’s campaign obituary may have been drafted Thursday night: He got in too late…. – Politico, 9-23-11
  • The GOP debate: 6 takeaways: With three debates in the books featuring Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, the animosity between the Texas governor and the former Massachusetts governor is palpable…. – Politico, 9-23-11
  • GOP debate shows Michele Bachmann’s star continues to fizzle: Bachmann barely merited a mention in the post-debate analysis, from a post-debate focus group on Fox News to the ever-roiling debate-about-the-debate on Twitter. At one point mid-debate, conservative pundit Michelle Malkin tweeted, “Is Michele Bachmann still there?”… – Politico, 9-23-11
  • Analysis: Perry, Romney defend records in forum: The candidate who best figures out how to appeal to that audience without abandoning his own record is likely to win the nomination to challenge President Barack Obama in 2012. As governors of Texas and Massachusetts, respectively, Perry and Romney … – AP, 9-23-11
  • Romney, Perry spar on Social Security at Florida GOP debate: Under fire from Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann on the same issue, Perry said he didn’t believe in punishing children who entered the country illegally through no fault of their own….
    Rick Perry and Mitt Romney traded charges of flip-flopping and political opportunism at the GOP debate in Orlando on Thursday night, with both men again turning to each others’ books for harsh, personal criticism…. – Politico, 9-22-11
  • FACT CHECK: Slippery assertions in GOP debate: Mitt Romney denied supporting an Obama administration education program that he had praised. But the most consequential exchange may have been over Social Security, and Perry’s changing thoughts about it…. – AP, 9-23-11
  • GOP candidates parry over Afghanistan withdrawal: Two Republican presidential hopefuls are divided over President Barack Obama’s plan to bring home troops from Afghanistan. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman says “this country has given its all” and the US is ready to bring home troops…. – AP, 9-22-11
  • Romney says US-Israel policy must be in step: Romney and other GOP candidates on Thursday criticized President Barack Obama’s administration and posture toward Israel. He says that Obama has disrespected its closest friend in the Middle East and has been unclear in its broader policy in the region…. – AP, 9-22-11
  • Romney says he wants all Americans to be rich: The Republican presidential contender said during a debate on Thursday that he wants all Americans to have the same opportunities to build wealth while President Barack Obama’s Democratic Party wants to raise taxes on wealthy workers…. – AP, 9-22-11
  • Candidates in Debate Trip Over Foreign Policy: The candidates gave some head-scratching remarks when quizzed about foreign policy and other topics on Thursday…. – NYT, 9-22-11
  • Republican Presidential Candidates Debate: With Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and Mitt Romney well out in front, the other candidates sought to break through in the Republicans’ third presidential debate in 15 days…. – NYT, 9-22-11
  • 5 things to watch in Thursday debate: Which Rick Perry will show up? And does Romney pin Perry down on Social Security and illegal immigration?… – Politico, 9-22-11
  • Perry Calls Prayer Vital to His Life: Rick Perry tells religious conservatives that he has “been driven to my knees on many occasions.”… – NYT, 9-22-11
  • McCotter Ends Long-Shot Presidential Bid: Representative Thad McCotter ends his presidential campaign as he faces a primary challenge for his House seat in Michigan…. – NYT, 9-22-11
  • Thaddeus McCotter drops 2012 bid for president, endorses Mitt Romney: Several candidates had already begun to make moves to run for McCotter’s seat in a redrawn Michigan district, making clear that they were not waiting to give deference to him. McCotter’s announcement, first reported by the Detroit News, comes days before state senator Mike Kowall’s campaign kickoff this weekend at the biennial Republican Leadership Conference on Mackinac Island.
    The Michigan lawmaker, whose presidential campaign was a longshot, “will likely run again” for his seat…. – Politico, 9-22-11
  • Is Rick Perry winning the ‘Donald Trump primary’?: Rick Perry met with Donald Trump last week. Mitt Romney is set to meet with him next week. Michele Bachmann met him in July. Why are all the Republican presidential candidates lining up?… – CS Monitor, 9-21-11
  • Perry rivals work to undercut his character: United on the economic issues that most worry voters, the Republican presidential candidates have turned to subjects like vaccines, immigration and the future of Social Security. And while there are some policy differences, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann and others are raising those topics partly to make character arguments against GOP front-runner Rick Perry…. – AP, 9-21-11
  • RNC surpasses DNC in August fundraising: The Republican National Committee raised about $8.2 million in August, far outpacing its Democratic rival in a typically slow fundraising month.
    The Democratic National Committee reported that it raised $5.4 million last month, including $1.4 million for the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising account by the DNC and Obama’s campaign…. – AP, 9-21-11
  • FACT CHECK: GOP candidates overreach on Israel: The Palestinian bid to win UN recognition is focusing attention on the Obama administration’s Mideast policy, which Republican presidential candidates say is all wrong. Presenting themselves as stronger advocates for Israel…. – AP, 9-21-11
  • Perry Opens Record of Financial Investments: The Texas governor, now a Republican candidate for president, revoked his blind trust and must report his holdings to the Federal Election Commission…. – AP, 9-20-11
  • Dodd-Frank Act Is a Target on G.O.P. Campaign Trail: The Dodd-Frank Act, the sprawling law to address the causes of the financial crisis, is a job killer that should be repealed, Republican presidential candidates say…. – NYT, 9-20-11
  • Stuart Stevens, Redefining Romney’s Presidential Run: A laid-back yet competitive strategist has given the Romney campaign a very different feel this time around…. – NYT, 9-20-11
  • Obama says ‘better ideas’ will win him re-election: President Barack Obama says he intends to win the 2012 election because he’s got “better ideas.” Speaking at a fundraiser Tuesday night for his re-election campaign, Obama said his ideas are based on the notion that Americans should … – AP, 9-20-11
  • Republican candidates assail Obama over Israel: Republican presidential candidates slammed President Barack Obama’s Middle East policies Tuesday while emphatically declaring their own support for Israel as the United Nations considered a bid for Palestinian statehood. … – AP, 9-20-11
  • Obama warns of ‘perilous path’ for US: President Barack Obama warned Monday that the United States is headed down a “perilous path” if its leaders cannot move quickly and responsibly to help people get back to work. Obama, speaking at an exclusive Park Avenue fundraiser … – AP, 9-19-11
  • Mitch Daniels Calls for a More Honest Campaign Debate: The governor of Indiana says his party’s presidential candidates should “campaign to govern, not just win.”… – NYT, 9-19-11
  • Rivals ask: Is Perry weak on the right, or left?: Rick Perry’s Republican rivals are struggling to find a coherent, easy-to-grasp argument against the Texas governor, who tops GOP presidential polls despite attacks from all sides.
    In fact, it’s the “all sides” nature that complicates the opposition’s message. Republican voters who watched last week’s presidential debate and its aftermath might wonder: Should I see Perry as too conservative or too moderate?… – AP, 9-19-11


  • Warren’s TARP panel under scrutiny: Elizabeth Warren, who is seeking the Democratic Senate nomination in Massachusetts to take on Republican Scott Brown, has yet to break down exactly how her congressional panel spent more than $10 million on travel expenses, meals and consultants, nor has Warren revealed the total amount she was paid while serving as chairman…. – Politico, 9-22-11


  • Politico Arena: Daily Debate with Policymakers, Opinionshapers & Academics Politico
  • Julian Zelizer: Should GOP go for inspiration or victory?: With all the talk about the ideological and strategic divisions within the GOP, the real choice that primary voters will have to make next year is a simple one.
    Republicans have to decide whether to pick a candidate who appeals to their hearts or to their minds. The field is still fluid, but so far Texas Gov. Rick Perry appears to be the candidate who appeals most strongly to the ideological passion of conservatives, even though he stumbled in last week’s debate.
    Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who doesn’t inspire that passion seems to be the right man at the right time to defeat a struggling incumbent president. In recent weeks, at least based on the polls, logic seems to be a stronger pull.
    Traditionally, voters tend to go for the candidate who appeals to their hearts, even if the choice may be less likely to win. The primary process favors candidates who play to the base of the party and voters want someone they can believe in…. – CNN, 9-26-11

Campaign Buzz September 22, 2011: Fox News / Google GOP Republican Presidential Debate — Mitt Romney Winner of Debate Attacks Offensive Rick Perry — Social Security, Healthcare & Immigration Main Issues



Chip Litherland for The New York Times



Full Text Campaign Buzz September 22, 2011: Fox News / Google GOP Republican Presidential Debate — Rick Perry Under Attack Goes on the Offensive — Especially Against Chief Rival Mitt Romney — Social Security, Healthcare Main IssuesFox News, 9-22-11

Small business: Gov. Rick Perry: “What we’ve done in Texas over the course of the last decade is to lower that tax burden on small-business men and women, have a regulatory climate that is fair and predictable and a sweeping tort reform system that we passed in 2003. … That’s the way you get the government off the back of small businesses, and that’s the way you free up those small-business entrepreneurs when they know they can risk their capital and have a chance to get a return on their investments.
“If it will work in the state of Texas, it will work in Washington, D.C. And that’s exactly what I’m going to bring when I go there in November, excuse me, in January of 2013.”

States’ rights: Rep. Ron Paul: “The responsibility of the president would be to veto every single bill that violates the 10th Amendment. That would be the solution.
“Government is too big in Washington, D.C. It has run away, we have no controls on spending, taxes, regulations. … If we want government, whether it’s medical care or whatever, it’s proper to do it at the local level.”

Perry vs. Bush: Perry disputed any notion of a rift between him and former President George W. Bush. Perry said they have “a great rapport” and talk “on a relatively regular basis.”
“I highly respect the president and his public service,” Perry said.

Education: Paul: “If you care about your children, you will get the federal government out of the business of educating our kids,” he said.


  • Live Blogging the G.O.P. Debate in Orlando: Nine candidates will take the debate stage tonight in Orlando, Fla., in what is likely to feature the continuing slugfest between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry…. – NYUT, 9-22-11
  • Fact Checking the G.O.P. Debate in Orlando: Examining statements on Social Security, education, foreign policy and more…. – NYT, 9-23-11Romney, Perry go after each other in GOP debate: Side by side in confrontational debate, Republican presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Rick Perry sarcastically accused each other Thursday night of flip-flopping on Social Security and health care, flashpoints in their intense struggle for the party nomination.
    In a debate that focused on character and credibility as much as other issues, Perry insisted he had backed off “not one inch, Sir” from what he had written in a campaign-season book published a few months ago.
    Romney vouched for his own steadfastness moments later. “There are a lot of reasons not to elect me,” he said. “There are a lot of reasons not to elect other people on this stage. … But one reason to elect me is I know what I stand for. I’ve written it down. Words have meaning.”
    The two men assailed one another in the third debate in as many weeks in a race for the Republican presidential nomination growing testier by the day. AP, 9-22-11
  • Under Attack, Perry Hits Back at Rivals in GOP Debate: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the GOP presidential front-runner, fended off fierce attacks during Thursday night’s debate from his rivals over his criticism of Social Security and his record on immigration…. – Fox News, 9-22-11
  • GOP debate: Winners and losers: The six Republican presidential debate this year, which took place Thursday night in Orlando, Florida, left some candidates more prepared than others and gave some candidates some key standout moments. Here’s our breakdown of the winners and losers: … Winners: Mitt Romney — Rick Santorum — Herman Cain…
    Losers: Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, YouTube Questions…. – CBS News, 9-22-11
  • Perry and Romney Come Out Swinging at Each Other in G.O.P. Debate: In their third debate in as many weeks, former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas engaged in a sometimes heated back and forth over immigration, health care and entitlements, their rivalry dominating a stage that included seven other candidates struggling to catch up in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
    Mr. Romney and Mr. Perry arrived here with a strategic imperative to challenge the other’s consistency and conservative credentials. The tensions only grew as the night wore on, to the point where Jon M. Huntsman Jr., the former governor of Utah, joked that Mr. Romney and Mr. Perry were at risk of bludgeoning each other to death.
    Still, after two hours of dueling it was unclear whether Mr. Perry had achieved his goal of knocking Mr. Romney off his fairly unruffled stride. It was similarly not certain that Mr. Romney had made headway in knocking Mr. Perry down a few pegs in what has been a relatively strong opening to his young campaign…. – NYT, 9-22-11
  • GOP debate: Rick Perry vs. Mitt Romney, plus Gary Johnson and some dogs: If you believe pollster Frank Luntz’s focus group in the post-game analysis on Fox News, Mitt Romney did himself a lot of good in Thursday’s two-hour Fox News/Google GOP Debate, held in Orlando, Fla. Nine candidates faced questions from FNC anchors … – LAT, 9-22-11
  • The GOP debate: 6 takeaways: It’s official — the frontrunners aren’t a mutual fan club. With three debates in the books featuring Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, the animosity between the Texas governor and the former Massachusetts governor is palpable.
    Here are POLITICO’s six takeaways from Thursday’s slugfest in Orlando…. – Politico, 9-22-11
  • Republican Presidential Hopefuls Debate Health Care,Retirement: The top two contenders for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination fended off accusations of changing their positions on everything from health care to Social Security during a nationally televised debate Thursday in Florida. … – Voice of America, 9-23-11
  • Orlando GOP debate: A strong night for Santorum as Perry fades: When the Republican presidential contenders debated in Orlando tonight, it was really two debates. In the first third of the evening, a series of disjointed questions without follow-ups, Texas Gov. Rick Perry seemed strong and well-prepared. But he faded over the rest of the debate, appearing to lose his steam just as he was trying to paint Mitt Romney as a flip-flopper.
    The big winner of the night, however, was Rick Santorum…. – WaPo, 9-22-11
  • Thursday’s ‘high-stakes’ GOP debate: 4 key questions: The Republican presidential hopefuls are preparing to clash in yet another debate. What can we expect?
    The Republican presidential candidates repeatedly bashed each other’s records this week, ahead of Thursday night’s debate in Florida, a crucial swing state. Indeed, there will be “high stakes” for frontrunners Rick Perry and Mitt Romney — and for rivals struggling to keep their hopes alive — as the showdown in Orlando sets the table for a Saturday straw poll that leading Sunshine State Republicans say will predict the party’s 2012 nominee. What should viewers watch for when the candidates square off on stage Thursday? Here, four key questions:

    1. Can Romney take down Perry over Social Security?
    2. Which Rick Perry will take the stage?
    3. Can Gary Johnson make a difference?
    4. Will second-tier candidates break through?

    The Week, 9-22-11

Full Text Campaign Buzz September 22, 2011: Fox News / Google GOP Republican Presidential Debate — Rick Perry Under Attack Goes on the Offensive — Especially Against Chief Rival Mitt Romney — Social Security, Healthcare Main Issues



Under Attack, Perry Hits Back at Rivals in GOP Debate


Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the GOP presidential front-runner, fended off fierce attacks during Thursday night’s debate from his rivals over his criticism of Social Security and his record on immigration.

TRANSCRIPT: Fox News-Google GOP Debate


This is a rush transcript from the Fox News-Google GOP Presidential debate on September 22, 2011 at the Orlando Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Welcome to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, the site of our Republican presidential debate. It is being sponsored by Fox News and Google in conjunction with the Florida Republican Party.

Besides watching us on Fox News Channel, we are being streamed on News and heard on Fox News Radio.

Now let’s meet the candidates.

Texas Governor Rick Perry.


BAIER: Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.


BAIER: Congressman Ron Paul.


BAIER: Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.


BAIER: Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.


BAIER: Businessman Herman Cain.


BAIER: Former Senator Rick Santorum.


BAIER: Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman.


BAIER: And former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.


BAIER: Joining me at the big desk tonight, my Fox News colleagues Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace.


BAIER: With our partner Google, we have some new features we’d like to quickly tell you about.

Throughout the night we’ll be playing some questions from viewers who posted their video and text questions on YouTube. We will also be polling viewers on key issues while the debate is under way. We will have updates from our own Shannon Bream.

Our rules are similar to previous Fox debates, one minute for answers, 30 seconds for follow-ups. And after an outpouring of e-mails from dog owners who said the last bell sounded like their doorbell, we have a new sound for the candidates if they run too long.

Thank you to Google for that sound. We hope after a string of debates we don’t have to use that too much.

Now, we received thousands and thousands of questions from around the world on different topics. Each one of these pins on the map is another question from health care and immigration, to foreign policy and social issues. But the highest percentage of questions dealt with jobs, the economy, debt, and government spending. And that was even before today’s major market slide.

What makes this debate unique is that not only did you submit the questions, you voted on them, letting everyone know which questions you think the candidates should be asked tonight.

We received questions from all 50 states, but our first question comes from Dave Meldeau, right here in Florida.


QUESTION: As a small business owner, one of the obstacles I have in growing my business in today’s economy is having the confidence and incentive to go out and hire new employees. I’m wondering what each one of our candidates would propose to do as president to help incent small businesses like mine to hire new employees and to confidently grow our business in this troublesome economic environment.


BAIER: Governor Perry, I’ll put that question to you.


Well, Rick Scott is sitting right over there, and he and I compete every day with trying to get jobs into our states. And what we have done in the state of Texas over the course of the last decade is to lower that tax burden on the small businessmen and women, have a regulatory climate that is fair and predictable, and sweeping tort reform that we passed in 2003 that told personal injury trial lawyers, don’t come to Texas, because you are not going to be suing our doctors frivolously.


PERRY: That’s the way you get the government off of the back of small businessmen and women. And that’s the way you free up those small business entrepreneurs, where they know that they can risk their capital and have a chance to have a return on investment.

If it will work in the state of Texas, it will work in Washington, D.C. And that’s exactly what I’m going bring to Washington when I go there in November — or, excuse me, in January of 2013.

BAIER: Governor Perry, the thing we’ve heard from most people who submitted questions is they wanted specifics, they wanted details. Most of the people on the stage, opponents, have a specific jobs plan on paper that people can read.

Where is your jobs plan?

PERRY: Well, you will see a more extensive jobs plan. But the fact of the matter is, you look at the state of Texas and see what we’ve done there from the standpoint of lowering that tax burden, the regulatory climate in the state of Texas. We’ve taken those types of regulation off the throat of small business operators.

People understand that the state of Texas, during the last decade, something special happened there. It was the number one state for relocation for five years in a row. And we plan on keeping it that way, Rick.


BAIER: Governor Romney — Governor Romney, you have a specific plan. In recent days, actually, the top rising search of your name on Google actually dealt with people searching for specifics of that plan.

But a Wall Street Journal editorial recently called your 59-point economic plan, quote, “surprisingly timid and tactical considering our economic predicament.” Specifically, the editorial board had a problem with you picking the $200,000 income threshold for eliminating interest, dividends, and capital gains taxes, writing that you were afraid of President Obama’s, quote, “class warfare rhetoric.”

How do you response to that criticism?

MITT ROMNEY, FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR: Well, let’s go back — let’s go back and talk — microphone on? Can we get the mike on? There we go.

BAIER: There we go.

ROMNEY: Let’s go back and talk about the question that Dave asked, which is how to get small business a break. And President Obama has done everything wrong.

I happen to believe that to create jobs it helps to have had a job, and I have (ph). And having had a job in small business and in big business, I know what you have to do is make America the most attractive place in the world for business, and that means our corporate tax rates, our employer tax rates have to be competitive. Small business pays at the highest rate. We need to get those rates down to globally competitive levels.

Number two, government and regulators have to be allies of business, not foes.

Number three, we’ve got to become energy secure in this country.

Number four, we have to have trade policies that work for us, not just for the other guys, and crack down on cheaters like China.

And my list goes on in my 59 points. But finally, let me tell you this…


I — I know there are some that say, look, we should lower taxes for the very highest-income people. Other folks have different plans. My view is very simple: The people that have been hurt most by the president’s economy, the Obama economy, has been the middle class.

That’s why I cut taxes for the middle class.

BAIER: So, sir, what…


… what do you consider rich? Is half-a-million dollars, a million dollars rich? At what income does someone reach your definition of rich?

ROMNEY: I don’t try and define who’s — who’s rich and who’s not rich. I want everybody in America to be rich. I want people in this country to have opportunity.


And I want everybody to have the kind of opportunities that we on this stage have had. I want people in America to recognize that the future will be brighter for their kids than it was for them.

I know that the — the president’s party wants to try and take from some people and give to the others. That isn’t the way to lift America. The way to lift America is to give people opportunity and to let them enjoy the freedoms that have made us the envy of the world.


BAIER: Governor, thank you very much. Occasionally, through the debate, we will ask the same questions we ask the candidates to you at home. The first one, what is your definition of rich? You can vote on that answer at We’ll bring some of those results throughout the show with Shannon Bream.

Now to my colleague, Megyn Kelly.

KELLY: Thanks, Bret.

Congresswoman Bachmann, after the last debate, a young member of the California Tea Party said he didn’t feel he had had his question fully answered. And it’s a question that received the most votes on Google and YouTube on the list, as well. The answer his question is a number. And the question was, quote, “Out of every dollar I earn, how much do you think that I deserve to keep?”

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, R-MINN.: And after the debate, I talked to that young man, and I said I wish I could have answered that question, because I want to tell you what my answer is: I think you earned every dollar. You should get to keep every dollar that you earn. That’s your money; that’s not the government’s money.


That’s the whole point. Barack Obama seems to think that when we earn money, it belongs to him and we’re lucky just to keep a little bit of it. I don’t think that at all. I think when people make money, it’s their money.

Obviously, we have to give money back to the government so that we can run the government, but we have to have a completely different mindset. And that mindset is, the American people are the genius of this economy. It certainly isn’t government that’s the genius. And that’s the two views.

President Obama has embraced a view of government-directed temporary fixes and gimmicks. They don’t work. He’s destroyed the economy. What does work is private solutions that are permanent in the private sector. That gives certainty; that will grow our economy.


MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS: Senator Santorum, next question is for you. This map from Google depicts 22 states in the U.S. are right-to-work states. In the other 28, if a business is a union shop, you have to join the union if you want to work there. Now, this next question is one of the top-voted questions online, and it comes to us via YouTube from Yates Wilburn of Hilton Head, South Carolina.


QUESTION: With unemployment numbers remaining above 9 percent, union issues, such as the National Labor Relations Board lawsuit against Boeing and several union battles in state legislatures across the country have become incredibly relevant to the national discussion. For all the candidates, would you support some form of a federal right-to-work law, allowing all workers to choose whether or not to join a union?



KELLY: That’s for you, Senator Santorum.

FORMER SEN. RICK SANTORUM, R-PA.: I — I think the most important area that we have to focus in on when it comes to unions is public employee unions. That’s the area of unionization that’s growing the fastest and it’s costing us the most money.

We’ve seen these battles on the state level, where unions have — have really bankrupted states from pension plans to here on the federal level, for example, 30 percent to 40 percent union — union employees make above their private-sector equivalents.

I do not believe that — that state, federal or local workers, unions, should be involved in unions. And I would actually support a bill that says that we should not have public employee unions for the purposes of wages and benefits to be negotiated.


KELLY: Speaker Gingrich, this next one’s for you. You criticized extending unemployment benefits, saying that you were, quote, “opposed to giving people money for doing nothing.” Benefits have already been extended to 99 weeks, and they are set to expire soon. If you were president today, would you extend unemployment benefits? And if not, how do you justify that to the millions of unemployed Americans who are looking in earnest and whose families are depending on those checks?

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Well, what I’ve said is that I think unemployment compensation should be tied directly to a training program. And if you have to — if you don’t have a job and you need help, then in order for us to give you the help, you should sign up for a business-led training program so that that 99 weeks becomes an investment in human capital, giving us the best-trained workforce in the world so you can get a job.

But I believe it is fundamentally wrong to give people money for 99 weeks for doing nothing. That’s why we had welfare reform.


And, frankly, the easiest thing for Congress to do, if the president sends up a proposed extension, is to allow all 50 states to experiment at the state level with developing a mandatory training component of unemployment compensation, so you’d have 50 parallel experiments, and not pretend that Washington knows best or that Washington can solve the problem by itself. But I believe deeply, people should not get money for doing nothing.


BAIER: Now I turn to my colleague, Chris Wallace.


CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: Bret, thank you. Good evening, candidates.

Governor Huntsman, in Utah, you offered millions of dollars in tax credits to promote clean energy. In June you said that as president you would subsidize natural gas companies. How is that different from the Obama administration, which gave the solar panel company Solyndra a half-a-billion dollars in federal loan guarantees, and as we all know, that company ended up bankrupt, and we taxpayers ended up on the hook?

FORMER GOV. JON HUNTSMAN, R-UTAH: Chris, first of all, it’s an honor to be here in Orlando, home of my wife, the greatest human being I’ve known in 28 years.

We’ve learned some important lessons as this economy has spun out of control. We have some hard decisions to make. And we’re not going to fix the problem. We’re not going to be able to bring our people together in America until we fix the economy.

I’m convinced that part of the divide that we’re experiencing in the United States, which is unprecedented, it’s unnatural, and it’s un-American, is because we’re divided economically, too few jobs, too few opportunities.

We have learned that subsidies don’t work and that we can no longer afford them. I believe that we can move toward renewable energy, but we’re going to have to have a bridge product. Everybody wants to draw from the sun and draw from the wind, and I’m here to tell you that eventually that will make sense, but today the economics don’t work.

We need something like natural gas. I’ve put forward an energy independence program, along with tax reform and regulatory reform. Just by drawing from natural gas, for example, you’re looking at 500,000 to 1 million jobs over the next five years. It is ours, it’s affordable, it has important national security implications, and we should begin the conversion process.

WALLACE: But just a 30-second follow-up, sir. In June, you told the New Hampshire Union Leader as president you would subsidies the natural gas industry.

HUNTSMAN: I would be willing to begin an effort, so long as there was a rapid phase-out. I do not like subsidies. I do not like long-term subsidies. But if there was some sort of way to get the ball rolling with a — with a — with a quick phase-out, I would be in favor of that.

WALLACE: Mr. Cain, I want to follow up on your 999 plan for economic growth. That’s a 9 percent…


Well, they seem to already know what it is. But for the few who don’t, it’s a 9 percent flat corporate tax, a 9 percent flat income tax, and a new 9 percent national sales tax.

Now, conservatives usually say repeal the income tax before you impose a new tax. Isn’t there a danger with your 999 plan, with these three taxes, that some government down the road after President Cain is going to increase three forms of taxation on Americans?

HERMAN CAIN, FORMER CEO OF GODFATHER’S PIZZA: No, there’s no danger in that. And first, let me answer Dave’s question with the 9, 9, 9 plan. Unfortunately, nobody up here answered his question. He wanted to know as a small businessman what are we going to do to help him as a small business person? I have walked in Dave’s shoes.

This economy is on life support, that’s why my 9, 9, 9 plan is a bold solution. It starts with throw out the current tax code and pass 9 percent business flat tax, 9 percent personal income tax, and the 9% national sales tax. This is the most important part, it eliminates, or replaces corporate income tax, personal income tax, capital gains tax as well as the estate tax.

Then it treats all businesses the same. And the people who are paying only payroll tax, 15.3, that 15.4 they don’t have to pay, now they only have to pay that 9 percent.

And unlike Governor Romney’s plan my plan throws out the old one.

He’s still hooked to the current tax code. That dog won’t hunt.


WALLACE: The rule is if your name is mentioned in an answer you get 30 seconds to respond — Governor Romney.

ROMNEY: That’s fine. I put my plan out, I want to make it clear my intent is to help the people who have been most hurt by President Obama’s economy. And the people who have been most hurt are the middle income families of America. And that’s why my plan says that if middle income families want to save their money, anybody earning under $200,000 and not pay any taxes on interest, dividends or capital gains, zero tax on their savings, that’s the plan I’m for. And I will get that done in my first year. Thank you.

WALLACE: Congressman Paul I want to show the video that got the most votes of all the video questions submitted to YouTube. And this one comes, as you can see, from Brandy and Michael in Spencer, Indiana.


QUESTION: There’s growing concern among Americans about the size and the scope of the federal government and its infringement upon state and individual rights.

QUESTION: If you’re elected president how do you plan to restore the 10th amendment, hold the federal government only to those enumerated powers in the Constitution and allow states to govern themselves?


WALLACE: Congressman what is your answer for Brandy and Michael?

REP. RON PAUL, R-TEXAS: Well obviously, it would take more than one individual, but the responsibility of the president would be to veto every single bill that violates the 10th amendment. That would be the solution.


WALLACE: Anything else? You have a little time left.


PAUL: Well, I’ll tell you what, that is the subject that is crucial because government is too big in Washington, D.C. It’s run away. We have no controls of spending, taxes, regulations, no control in the Federal Reserve printing money. So if we want government, whether it is medical care or whatever, it is proper to do it at the local level as well as our schools. But there’s no authority in the constitution to do so much what we’re doing. There’s no authority for them to run our schools, no authority to control our economy, and no authority to control us as individuals on what we do with our personal lives!


BAIER: OK, we got to the full answer there at the end. Governor Johnson, same question to you about the 10th amendment. With this added, you are an outspoken libertarian. What makes you a better choice for libertarian Republicans than Congressman Paul?

FORMER GOV. GARY JOHNSON, R-N.M.: I’m not going to presume to make that assumption, but I would like to say that I do bring a unique perspective to this stage. I started a one-man handyman business in Albuquerque in 1974 and grew it to over 1,000 employees. I have run for two political offices in my life: governor of New Mexico and reelection. I promise to submit a balanced budget to congress in the year 2013. I promise to veto legislation where expenditures exceed revenue.

And if anybody doubts my willingness to veto bills, I think I vetoed more bills than any governor in the history of the United States. I think I vetoed more bills than all the other governors in the country combined.

Add to that, throwing out the entire federal tax system and replacing it with a consumption tax, the fair tax, which would absolutely reboot the American economy because it does away with the corporate tax to create tens of millions of jobs in this country.

BAIER: Governor Johnson, thank you.

We’ll be coming back to the issue of the economy throughout this debate tonight. As I mentioned at the top of the show, we’ll also be checking in with our own Shannon Bream throughout the night to get real-time updates from people watching — Shannon.


Well, this is the most interactive debate ever, and it’s thanks to our partner Google. You can go to News. What happens there, folks can see the debate streaming live. But also, to the right of the screen, all night long, we are sending out questions so we can get your answers at home. And you can participate and weigh in.

Bret, a little bit earlier, asked Governor Romney how he defines rich. It’s a question we put to folks out on the Internet as well, and we’ve got the results.

Here’s the question: “I define rich as someone having an annual income higher than.” A hundred thousand dollars, 13 percent of you weighed in there; $250,000, 22 percent; $500,000, 22 percent; and the majority went with $1 million annual income, that defines you as rich,
44 percent of those who voted.

We’ll be going through all kinds of polls and data on the commercials. Join us at News.

Bret, back to you.

BAIER: Thanks, Shannon.

After the break, we will be tackling foreign policy, government spending. Shannon will have more on that, too. And also the issue of immigration.

Now, here for a preview of what’s to come, let’s take a look at what’s called a word cloud. It shows the words that were used most often in all of the questions you asked about immigration. The bigger the word, the more often it was used.

The biggest word in this cloud, as you see, is “illegal.”

Back after a short break.




GOV. RICK SCOTT, R-FLA.: Good evening. I’m Florida Governor Rick Scott. Because of Florida’s size and diversity, our state represents the very pulse of our great nation. Not only will Florida be a must win for a Republican to be our party’s nominee, Florida is a must win on the road to the White House.

It is my belief that the next president will be the candidate who both articulates a plan for getting America’s economy back on the right track and inspires confidence in the hearts and minds of all Americans.

Good luck to all the candidates.

This debate is a partnership with Fox News and Google. I thank the men and women of Fox News and Google for choosing Florida, and thank all of you for being part of this exciting event.


BAIER: Thank you Governor Scott.

And welcome back to Orlando, Florida, and the Republican presidential debate.


BAIER: My colleague Megyn Kelly will take us through the next round of questions on government spending and debt.

KELLY: Thanks, Bret.

Governor Perry, Governor Romney has been hammering you on your idea of turning Social Security back to the states, repeatedly. Can you explain specifically how 50 separate Social Security systems are supposed to work?

PERRY: Well, let me just say first, for those people that are on Social Security today, for those people that are approaching Social Security, they don’t have anything in the world to worry about. We have made a solemn oath to the people of this country that that Social Security program in place today will be there for them.

Now, it’s not the first time that Mitt has been wrong on some issues before. And the bottom line is, is we never said that we were going to move this back to the states. What we said was, we ought to have as one of the options the state employees and the state retirees, they being able to go off of the current system, on to one that the states would operate themselves.

As a matter of fact, in Massachusetts, his home state, almost 96 percent of the people who are on that program, retirees and state people, are off of the Social Security program. So having that option out there to have the states — Louisiana does it, almost every state has their state employees and the retirees that are options to go off of Social Security.

That makes sense. It’s an option that we should have.

KELLY: Governor Romney, you’re satisfied with that?

ROMNEY: Well, it’s different than what the governor put in his book just, what, six months, and what you said in your interviews following the book. So I don’t know. There’s a Rick Perry out there that is saying — and almost to quote, it says that the federal government shouldn’t be in the pension business, that it’s unconstitutional.

Unconstitutional and it should be returned to the states.

So you better find that Rick Perry and get him to stop saying that.


ROMNEY: Now, my own view is, that we have to make it very, very clear that Social Security is a responsibility of the federal government, not the state governments, that we’re going to have one plan, and we’re going to make sure that it’s fiscally sound and stable.

And I’m absolutely committed to keeping Social Security working. I put in my book that I wrote a couple of years ago a plan for how we can do that and to make sure Social Security stable not just for the next 25 years, but for the next 75.

Thank you.

PERRY: And I would like to respond to that.

KELLY: Go ahead, Governor Perry.

PERRY: Speaking of books and talking about being able to have things in your books, back and forth, your economic adviser talked about Romneycare and how that was an absolute bust. And it was exactly what Obamacare was all about.

As a matter of fact, between books, your hard copy book, you said it was exactly what the American people needed, to have that Romneycare given to them as you had in Massachusetts. Then in your paperback, you took that line out. So, speaking of not getting it straight in your book sir, that would be a —


KELLY: Governor Romney?

ROMNEY: Governor Perry, we were talking about Social Security, but if you want to talk about health care, I’m happy to do that.

BAIER: We are going to have a round on that.

ROMNEY: I actually wrote my book, and in my book I said no such thing. What I said, actually — when I put my health care plan together
— and I met with Dan Balz, for instance, of The Washington Post. He said, “Is this is a plan that if you were president you would put on the whole nation, have a whole nation adopt it?”

I said, “Absolutely not.” I said, “This is a state plan for a state, it is not a national plan.”

And it’s fine for to you retreat from your own words in your own book, but please don’t try and make me retreat from the words that I wrote in my book. I stand by what I wrote. I believe in what I did.

And I believe that the people of this country can read my book and see exactly what it is.

Thank you.


KELLY: We’ve got plenty of questions for all the other candidates up here tonight, but I want to stick with you on this one, Governor Romney.
Congresswoman Bachmann has said that President Obama has “ushered in socialism” during his first term. Governor Perry says that this administration is “hell bent” toward taking America toward a socialist country” When Speaker Gingrich was asked if he believes President Obama is a socialist, he responded, quote, “Sure, of course he is.”


Do you, Governor Romney…


Do you, Governor Romney, believe that President Obama is a socialist?

ROMNEY: Let me tell you the title that I want to hear said about President Obama, and that is: former President Barack Obama. That’s the title I want to hear.


Let me tell you this. What President — what President Obama is, is a big-spending liberal. And he takes his political inspiration from Europe and from the socialist democrats in Europe. Guess what? Europe isn’t working in Europe. It’s not going to work here.

I believe in America. I believe in the opportunity and in the freedom that is American opportunity and freedom. I believe in free enterprise and capitalism. I believe government is too big. It’s gone from 27 percent of our economy in the years of JFK to 37 percent of our economy. We have to rein in the scale of government or we’re not going to be — continue to be a free economy.

I love this country. I spent my life in the private sector, not in government. I only spent four years as a governor. I didn’t inhale.


I’m a business guy. I’m going to get America working again, because I believe in the principles that make America the hope of the Earth.

Thank you.


MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS: Governor Huntsman, this next one’s for you. This week, President Obama proposed a tax hike on millionaires, saying that they need to pay their, quote, “fair share.” According to an August Gallup poll, 66 percent of American adults actually believe that a tax hike on the wealthy is a good idea to help tackle our mounting debt. Is there any scenario under which you could side with the 66 percent of people who believe that it is a good idea to raise taxes on millionaires?
FORMER GOV. JON HUNTSMAN, R-UTAH: We’re not going to raise taxes. This is the worst time to be raising taxes, and everybody knows that.

We need to grow. We need to be reminded of what Ronald Reagan told us so beautifully, that which is great about America, freedom. We need to re-establish freedom in the marketplace.

We need to address our underlying structural problems that we have.

And in order to do that, we’re going to have to fix our taxes. And we put forward a program endorsed by the Wall Street Journal that phases out for individuals all the loopholes, all the deductions, and creates three rates, 8, 14, 23.

On the corporate side, it phases out all of the corporate welfare, all of the subsidies, and it gets it from 35 percent to 25 percent.

This is exactly where we need to be. We need to grow; we need to create jobs. This is not a point in time where we should be raising taxes.

We need to fix the underlying structural problems in this economy.

And until such time as we do, we’re not going to provide the confidence to businesses who are looking to deploy capital in the marketplace and hire people. And that would be serious tax reform, like I proposed, and like I did in the stay of Utah, and that would be — that would be structural reform, as well, dealing with Dodd-Frank, and repealing Obamacare, because they are presenting tremendous uncertainty to the marketplace right now.

KELLY: Thank you, Governor.

Mr. Cain, this question was one of the top 10 video questions voted on by people online, and it comes to us from Lee Doren of Arlington, Virginia, via YouTube.


QUESTION: My question is, if you were forced to eliminate one department from the federal government, which one would you eliminate and why? Thank you.



HERMAN CAIN, BUSINESSMAN: The first — the first department, if I were forced to eliminate a department, I would start with the EPA and start all over.

It’s out of control.


Now, I know that makes some people nervous, but the EPA has gone wild. The fact that they have a regulation that goes into effect January 1, 2012, to regulate dust says that they’ve gone too far.


So rather than try to fix it, eliminate all of the things that they have right now and then start rebuilding a responsible EPA.

Now, with the rest of my time, may I offer a solution for Social Security, rather than continuing to talk about what to call it? I have proposed the Chilean model. It’s been around 30 years, and it works.

It’s a personal retirement account. And in the last 30 years, not only has Chile succeeded with that model, but 30 other countries have done so. I don’t think we’re doing a service to the American people to keep bantering about what you call it and what you don’t call it. The solution is: Fix it.


KELLY: Speaker Gingrich, every day the federal government takes in about $6 billion, but spends about $10 billion. So we borrow 40 cents of every dollar we spend. Now, I understand that you believe that if we modernize the federal government that it’ll help a lot, it’ll save billions. But given the resistance that we’ve seen in Washington — the seeming intractable resistance we’ve seen in Washington to spending cuts, how can you possibly slash spending by 40 percent? How can you do it?

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSR: Well, the way you described the question, you can’t.


KELLY: Well, that’s it. Stick a fork in us.

GINGRICH: If — if you assume Washington remains the way Washington is right now, it’s all hopeless. We might as well buy Greek bonds and go down together.


KELLY: How do you get us out of that?


GINGRICH: Well, next Thursday in Des Moines, I’m going to outline a 21st century Contract with America. And it’s going to be far bolder, far deeper, far more profound than what we did in 1994 or what I helped Jack Kemp and Ronald Reagan do in 1980.

It’s important to remember, this month, in the Reagan administration, September 1983, we created 1,100,000 new jobs. Obama’s socialist policies, class warfare, and bureaucratic socialism, we created zero in August.

I believe with leadership we can balance the budget. I did it for four consecutive years. We went from $2.2 trillion projected deficit over a decade to $2.7 trillion projected surplus when I left. I think it is doable, but it takes real leadership.


BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS: Thank you, Megyn.
The next question is for all of the candidates. It comes to us from Atlanta, Georgia, on the topic of education.


QUESTION: Hi, I’m Stella Lohmann from Atlanta, Georgia. I’ve taught in both public and private schools, and now as a substitute teacher I see administrators more focused on satisfying federal mandates, retaining funding, trying not to get sued, while the teachers are jumping through hoops trying to serve up a one-size-fits-all education for their students. What as president would you seriously do about what I consider a massive overreach of big government into the classroom? Thank you.



BAIER: That topic is for all candidates. And to get everyone to weigh in, 30 seconds each, please.

Governor Johnson?

FORMER GOV. GARY JOHNSON, R-N.M.: I’m promising to submit a balanced budget to Congress in the year 2013. That’s a 43 percent reduction in federal spending.

I am going to promise to advocate the abolishment of the federal Department of Education.


The federal Department of Education gives each state 11 cents out of every dollar that every state spends, but it comes with 16 cents worth of strings attached. So what America does not understand is that it’s a negative to take federal money. Give it to 50 laboratories of innovation, the states, to improve on, and that’s what we’ll see:
dramatic improvement.


BAIER: Senator Santorum?

FORMER SEN. RICK SANTORUM, R-PA.: Yeah, 20 years ago, the federal contribution to education was 3 percent. It’s now at 11 percent, and our schools are doing worse, and it’s exactly what Gary Johnson just said. It’s because the federal government’s meddling.

The bottom-line problem with education is that the education system doesn’t serve the customer of the education system. And who’s the customer? The parents, because it’s the parents’ responsibility to educate the children.

It’s been that responsibility — from the moment they were born, they began the education of their children. And at some point, we have
— the government has convinced parents that at some point it’s no longer their responsibility. And in fact, they force them, in many respects, to turn their children over to the public education system and wrest control from them and block them out of participation of that.

That has to change or education will not improve in this country.


BAIER: Speaker Gingrich?

GINGRICH: I think you need very profound reform of education at the state level. You need to dramatically shrink the federal Department of Education, get rid of virtually all of its regulations.

And the truth is, I believe we’d be far better off if most states adopted a program of the equivalent of Pell Grants for K-through-12, so that parents could choose where their child went to school, whether it was public, or private, or home-schooling, and parents could be involved. Florida has a virtual school program that is worth the entire country studying as an example.


BAIER: Congressman Paul?

REP. RON PAUL, R-TEXAS: If you care about your children, you’ll get the federal government out of the business of educating our kids.


In 1980, when the Republican Party ran, part of the platform was to get rid of the Department of Education. By the year 2000, it was eliminated, and we fed on to it. Then (inaudible) Republicans added No Child Left Behind.

So the first thing a president should do is — the goal should be set to get the government out completely, but don’t enforce this law of No Child Left Behind. It’s not going to do any good, and nobody likes it. And there’s no value to it. The teachers don’t like it, and the students don’t like it.

But there are other things that the federal government can do, and that is give tax credits for the people who will opt out. We ought to have a right to opt out of the public system if you want.

BAIER: Governor Perry.

GOV. RICK PERRY, R-TEXAS: There are a lot of good ideas here on the side and whether it is cutting back on the Department of Education, making those types of reductions.

I happen to believe we ought to be promoting school choice all across this country. I think school — the voucher system, charter schools all across this country. But there is one person on this stage that is for Obama’s Race to the Top and that is Governor Romney. He said so just this last week. And I think that is an important difference between the rest of the people on this stage and one person that wants to run for the presidency.

Being in favor of the Obama Race to the Top and that is not conservative.

BAIER: Governor Romney?


Let me tell you what I think I would do.

One, education has to be held at the local and state level, not at the federal level. We need get the federal government out of education. And secondly, all the talk about we need smaller classroom size, look that’s promoted by the teachers unions to hire more teachers. We looked at what drives good education in our state, what we found is the best thing for education is great teachers, hire the very best and brightest to be teachers, pay them properly, make sure that you have school choice, test your kids to see if they are meeting the standards that need to be met, and make sure that you put the parents in charge.

And as president I will stand up to the National Teachers Unions.

BAIER: Governor Romney, I want give you more time. Did Governor Perry say something that wasn’t true?

ROMNEY: I’m not sure exactly what he’s saying. I don’t support any particular program that he’s describing. I think that the president — I think the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is doing a good thing by saying, you know what, we should insist that teachers get evaluated and that schools have the opportunity to see which teachers exceeding and which ones are failing and that teachers that are not successful are removed from the classroom. Those ideas by Secretary Duncan, that is a lot better than what the president did which is cutting off school choice in the Washington, D.C. schools. So let’s give us a full chance to talk about it.

BAIER: Congresswoman Bachmann?

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, R-MINN.: We need that to do with education what has always worked historically, and that’s local control with parents. What doesn’t work is what we see happen right now.

I’m a mom five biological kids. We’ve raised 23 foster children in our home. The reason why I got involved in politics was because of the concern I had about our foster children and the education they were getting. What I would do as president of the United States is pass the mother of all repeal bills on education. I would take the entire federal education law, repeal it. Then I would go over to the Department of Education, I’d turn off the lights, I would lock the door and I would send all the money back to the states and localities.

BAIER: Mr. Cain?

CAIN: A lot of good ideas, I won’t repeat them.

All of the programs at the federal level where there’s strings attached, cut all the strings. We have got to encourage parents to take advantage of choices, but provide those choices and we must find ways to empower the students. This is how we are going to improve education, but primarily get the federal government out of trying to educate our kids at the local level.

BAIER: Governor Huntsman?

HUNTSMAN: This is a key question, because it has so much to do with our nation’s competitiveness. I feel like I’ve run my own clinical trial in my home, raising seven kids. We’ve seen every option. We’ve experienced everything out there. But as governor I learned some important things. I signed the first — or the second voucher bill in the United States, Carson-Smith. I’ve actually done something about this.

We actually worked on early childhood literacy. If you can lock in the pillars of cognitive development around reading and math before age six, you are giving those kids the best gift possible as they then proceed through education.

Finally, you’ve got to say no to unfunded mandates coming out of Washington. They are totally unacceptable. No one loves their schools more than parents and local school boards, and local elected officials.

Localize, localize, localize.


BAIER: Governor Huntsman thank you.

And by the way, everyone likes the new sound, it’s far more pleasing instead of the bell? OK, I guess they do.


BAIER: …round of questions on immigration.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: Congresswoman Bachmann, as you well know, a number of states are trying to crack down on illegal immigration. We got a bunch of questions on immigration like this one from Tim Emerson, this is a text question so you don’t need to look up there. Tim Emerson of California.

He wrote this, “would you support each state enforcing the immigration laws since the federal government is not?”

Congresswoman, could you answer Tim’s question? And if your answer is yes, how do you square that with the constitution which says that congress has the power to establish a uniform rule of naturalization?

BACHMANN: Well, the reason why he’s asking this question is because the federal government has failed the American people and has failed the states. It’s reprehensible that President Obama has sued the state of Arizona and the governor of Arizona for trying to protect the people in Arizona. That’s wrong.


BACHMANN: As president of the United States, I would do what my job would demand of me. That’s to uphold the sovereignty of the United States of America.

To do that, I would build a fence on America’s southern border on every mile, on every yard, on every foot, on every inch of the southern border. I think that’s what we have to do, not only build it, but then also have sufficient border security and enforce the laws that are on the books with the ICE agents, with our border security.

And here’s the other thing I would do. I would not allow taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal aliens or for their children.


BACHMANN: That’s a madness. End the madness for illegal aliens to come into the United States of America.

WALLACE: Congresswoman, thank you.

And we’re going to get back to that issue in a moment.

But first, Speaker Gingrich, as you well know, there’s a debate going on in Congress right now about whether or not to make all employers, all businesses use E-Verify, a government database, to check whether or not new hires are illegal. Now, some Tea Partiers object to that idea because they say it would turn small businessmen into immigration agents.

But Kristen Williamson of the Federation for American Immigration Reform sent this question. Please look at it.


QUESTION: Kristen Williamson, the Federal for American Immigration Reform.

Struggling U.S. workers continue to compete with millions of illegal aliens. Do you support legislation to require all employers to use E-Verify in order to ensure that the people that they hire are actually legally authorized to work in the U.S.? And will you impose penalties against employers who continue to hire illegal workers?


WALLACE: The question, Mr. Speaker, is, should employers be required to use E-Verify?

GINGRICH: Well, let me say, first of all, I think we would be better off to outsource E-Verify to American Express, MasterCard or Visa, because they actually know how to run a program like that without massive fraud.


GINGRICH: Second, the program should be as easy as swiping your credit card when you buy gasoline. And so I would ask of employers, what is it you would object to in helping the United States of America in dealing with the problem involving illegal immigration?

But, in addition, I want to reinforce what Congresswoman Bachmann said. I strongly favor 100 percent control of the border, and I strongly favor English as the official language of government.


GINGRICH: And I favor modernizing the legal visa system to make it far more convenient, far easier and far more practical. Here in Orlando, where we have a huge interest in people being able to visit easily for tourism, we have a terribly antiquated legal system while our border is too open for people who are illegal.


WALLACE: Mr. Speaker, thank you.

Governor Romney, I want to continue a conversation that you had with Governor Perry in the last debate.

In Massachusetts, you vetoed legislation to provide interstate tuition rates to the children of illegals. Governor Perry of course signed the Texas Dream Act to do exactly that. But what about Governor Perry’s argument that it’s better to get these kids an education and to get them jobs than to consign them just to being a burden on the state?

ROMNEY: It’s an argument I just can’t follow. I’ve got be honest with you, I don’t see how it is that a state like Texas — to go to the University of Texas, if you’re an illegal alien, you get an in-state tuition discount. You know how much that is? That’s $22,000 a year.

Four years of college, almost $100,000 discount if you are an illegal alien go to the University of Texas. If you are a United States citizen from any one of the other 49 states, you have to pay $100,000 more. That doesn’t make sense to me. And that kind of magnet —


ROMNEY: That kind of magnet draws people into this country to get that education, to get the $100,000 break. It makes no sense. We have to have — just as Speaker Gingrich said, and as Michele Bachmann said as well, Congresswoman Bachmann, and that is we have to have a fence, we have to have enough Border Patrol agents to secure the fence, we have to have a system like E-Verify that employers can use to identify who is here legally and illegally.

We have to crackdown on employers that hire people that are here illegally. And we have to turn off the magnet of extraordinary government benefits like a $100,000 tax credit — or, excuse me, discount for going to the University of Texas. That shouldn’t be allowed. It makes no sense at all.


WALLACE: Governor Perry, I’m going to ask you a question, so you don’t need to respond to him, because you’re going to get a full minute to answer your question, which is on directly this point. You’re the candidate whose name, by a wide margin, came up most often in the questions being submitted to all of you candidates about immigration.

Dave Hollenback (ph) of Arizona sent this “To date, it appears that you have not tried to stop the illegals from coming. We have high unemployment and a considerable amount of jobs going to illegals. Are you going to exert an effort to stop the abuse of U.S. citizens by illegals?”

Now, last year, more than 16,000 children of illegals, young people in Texas, took advantage of your in-state tuition rate. Speak to that issue. And just, generally, how do you feel being criticized by a number of these other candidates on the stage for being too soft on immigration, sir?

PERRY: Well, I feel pretty normal getting criticized by these folks, but the fact of the matter is this: there is nobody on this stage who has spent more time working on border security than I have.

For a decade, I’ve been the governor of a state with a 1,200-mile border with Mexico. We put $400 million of our taxpayer money into securing that border. We’ve got our Texas Ranger recon teams there now.

I supported Arizona’s immigration law by joining in that lawsuit to defend it. Every day I have Texans on that border that are doing their job.

But if you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they’ve been brought there by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart. We need to be educating these children, because they will become a drag on our society.

I think that’s what Texans wanted to do. Out of 181 members of the Texas legislature, when this issue came up, only four dissenting votes.

This was a state issue. Texans voted on it. And I still support it greatly.


WALLACE: Senator Santorum —


SANTORUM: Chris, no one here is suggesting —

WALLACE: Senator Santorum, you don’t need to butt in because I was about to ask you a question on this exact issue.

You say that Governor Perry’s opposition to building a border along the entire fence shows that he is a “big government moderate.”

Question: Is he soft on illegal immigration?

SANTORUM: Governor Perry, no one is suggesting up here that the students that are illegal in this country shouldn’t be able to go to a college and university. I think you are sort of making this leap that, unless we subsidize this, the taxpayers subsidize it, they won’t be able to go.

Well, most folks who want go to the state of Texas or any other state out of state have to pay the full boat (ph). The point is, why are we subsidizing?

Not that they can’t go. They can go. They just have to borrow money, find other sources to be able to go.

And why should they be given preferential treatment as an illegal in this country? That’s what we’re saying.


SANTORUM: And so, yes, I would say that he is soft on illegal immigration. I think the fact that he doesn’t want to build a fence — he gave a speech in 2001 where he talked about, buy national health insurance between Mexico and Texas. I mean, I don’t even think Barack Obama would be for buy national health insurance.

So I think he’s very weak on this issue of American sovereignty and protecting our borders and not being a magnet for illegal immigration, yes.

WALLACE: Governor Perry, 30 seconds to respond, sir.

PERRY: I’ve got one question for him.

Have you ever even been to the border with Mexico?


PERRY: I’m surprised if you have, but you weren’t paying attention, because the idea that you —

SANTORUM: Well, the answer is, yes, I have.

PERRY: — are going to build a wall, a fence for 1,200 miles, and then go 800 miles more to Tijuana, does not make sense. You put the boots on the ground.

We know how to make this work. You put the boots on the ground.

You put the aviation assets —

SANTORUM: But it’s not working, Governor.

PERRY: — in the ground. No, it’s not working because the federal government has not —

SANTORUM: But you said we know how it works. Is it working in Texas?

PERRY: The federal government has not engaged in this at all. When I’m the president of the United States, I’ll promise you one thing —

SANTORUM: But you’re saying you put the assets there. Has it worked in Texas?

PERRY: — we will put the assets on the ground —

SANTORUM: You said you have.

PERRY: — the boots on the ground —

BAIER: Senator Santorum, let him finish, please.

PERRY: — the aviation assets on the ground, and we will stop illegal immigration, we will stop the drug cartels, and we will make America secure.

SANTORUM: Can you answer the question? Is it working?

WALLACE: Well, you know, you asked your question, he gave his answer, sir.


WALLACE: Sometimes we are frustrated with all of you answering questions.


WALLACE: Congressman Paul, I want to ask you a question about a comment you made a couple of weeks ago about a border fence with Mexico. Here’s what you said, sir. I want to quote it: “There’s capital controls and there’s people control. So every time you think of a fence keeping all those bad people out, think about those fences maybe being used against us, keeping us in.”

Question, Congressman, do you know a lot of Americans who want to take their money and flee the United States of America?


PAUL: There are — there are some. All the candidates up here talk about repatriation of dollars. They’ve already taken them overseas.

We’re talking about trying to bring in $1.5 trillion because they leave our country, because we make it uncomfortable, too many regulations, too much taxation. They can’t start business; they’ve lost confidence.

Yes, when countries destroy a currency, they do lead to capital controls and they lead to people control. So I think it is a real concern.


And, also, once you have these data banks, the data banks means that everybody is going to be in the data bank. You say, oh, no, the data bank’s there for the illegals. But everybody’s in the data bank.

That’s national ID card. If you care about your personal liberty, you’ll be cautious when you feel comfortable, blame all the illegal immigrants for everything. What you need to do is attack their
benefits: no free education, no free subsidies, no citizenship, no birth-right citizenship.


And that would get to the bottom of it a lot sooner. But economically, you should not ignore the fact that, in tough economic times, money and people want to leave the country. That’s unfortunate.

WALLACE: Congressman Paul, thank you very much, sir.

BAIER: Chris, thank you. Let’s check in now with Shannon Bream.


SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS: Well, Bret, one of the really interesting and valuable pieces of information we get from our partner, Google, is looking at search trends. We want to take you through some of those.

They’ve looked online for people within the U.S. who have been searching for coupons. We’ve talked about the economy a lot. If you look at the trend, it has been going up, up, up very steadily since 2004 to right now.

Another search compares home loan searches for foreclosure searches. Those have slipped over time. And now more people searching for information about foreclosures than home loans.

And another look, this compares folks searching for the best SUV miles per gallon and also gas prices, and those go together. When people are worried about their pocketbooks, worried about finding a bargain, they’re also looking at how they can save on gas and how they can conserve.

We’ve also been tracking questions that you’ve been putting to the candidates. We’ve put them to the folks at home, as well, and we’ve got some results. This question the same one we asked the candidates. If you had to cut a government department, what would you cut?

This is what the folks at home told us: the Labor Department, 8 percent; the EPA, 12 percent; Housing and Urban Development, 12 percent; Education,
47 percent, easily the majority there; and none, 20 percent.


Check it all out, Bret, back to you.

BAIER: Thanks, Shannon. We’ll check back with you a little later.

Up next, foreign policy, social issues, and health care, after the break.


BAIER: Welcome back to Orlando and the Republican presidential debate. We’re parting — partner — partnering — easy for me to say — with Google and the Florida Republican Party.

Now to the topic of foreign policy. And all night we’ve been showing you these word clouds. Take a look at this one. All the searches on foreign policy, Israel is the biggest word. These are actually the words used in questions.

And that brings us to our first question. This week, with the Palestinian efforts at the United Nations, the issue of the future of Israel is a big concern to questioners. In fact, Governor Romney, the next question was a top question voted in the foreign policy section from Yigal Marcus in Teaneck, New Jersey.


QUESTION: As president, how would you approach the new reality in the Middle East, specifically with regards to our ally, Israel, and the existential threats it faces from Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, and now the Palestinian Authority?


BAIER: Governor Romney?

ROMNEY: Very simple. You start off by saying that you don’t allow an inch of space to exist between you and your friends and your allies.


The president went about this all wrong. He went around the world and apologized for America. He — he addressed the United Nations in his inaugural address and chastised our friend, Israel, for building settlements and said nothing about Hamas launching thousands of rockets into Israel.

Just before Bibi Netanyahu came to the United States, he threw Israel under the bus, tried to negotiate for Israel.

The right course — if you disagree with an ally, you talk about it privately. But in public, you stand shoulder-to-shoulder with your allies. The right course for us…


The right course for us is not to try and negotiate for Israel. The right course is to stand behind our friends, to listen to them, and to let the entire world know that we will stay with them and that we will support them and defend them.

And with regards to Iran, which perhaps represents the greatest existential threat to Israel, we have to make it abundantly clear: It is unacceptable — and I take those — that word carefully — it is unacceptable for Iran to become a nuclear nation.


BAIER: Thank you, Governor Romney.

Mr. Cain, this week, the Palestinian Authority brought their bid for statehood to the United Nations. How would you respond to the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state?

CAIN: It starts with an extension of the Reagan philosophy of peace through strength. My philosophy would extend that to peace through strength and clarity. This administration has not made it clear how it stands with Israel.

When I was in Israel last month, I met with the deputy prime minister. And he made it shockingly, chillingly clear that, given everything that’s going on, number one, Israel will defend itself, with all of the tensions going on in the Middle East.

And he also made it real clear that he wasn’t sure how this administration stood when it came to Israel. I made it clear, which — and I would also make it clear to all of — our — the other people in the world, that if you mess with Israel, you’re messing with the United States of America. We will stand solidly behind Israel.


CAIN: If in fact it was clear to the Palestinians, where the United States stood, they might have had second thoughts about trying to pull such a move without negotiating with Israel.

BAIER: Mr. Cain, thank you.

Here’s a comparison of searches on Google for Israel, Pakistan and Afghanistan over the past few years. You can see the lines, Israel dominates the searches except for a few critical moments in time for Pakistan.

Which brings us to this, Governor Perry, if you were president, and you go a call at 3 am telling you that Pakistan had lost control of is nuclear weapons, at the hands of the Taliban, what would be your first move?

PERRY: Well obviously, before you ever get to that point you have to build a relationship in that region. That’s one of the things that this administration has not done. Yesterday, we found out through Admiral Mullen that Haqqani has been involved with — and that’s the terrorist group directly associated with the Pakistani country. So to have a relationship with India, to make sure that India knows that they are an ally of the United States.

For instance, when we had the opportunity to sell India the upgraded F-16’s, we chose not to do that. We did the same with Taiwan. The point is, our allies need to understand clearly that we are their friends, we will be standing by there with them.

Today, we don’t have those allies in that region that can assist us if that situation that you talked about were to become a reality.

BAIER: Senator Santorum if the security situation were to fall apart in Iraq in 2012 would you support sending U.S. troops back to the region to stabilize the gains made?

SANTORUM: I’m not for taking them out of the region. I believe we need to listen to our generals, and our generals are being very, very clear that we need to continue to stabilize Iraq, the Iraqi government wants and needs our intelligence in particular, needs force protection.

We need to have anywhere — I’m hearing numbers of 20,000, 30,000 troops potentially to remain in Iraq, not indefinitely, but to continue to make sure that this is a stable transition.

This is the difference between Congressman Paul, Governor Huntsman, Governor Perry and myself when it comes to this issue. I stand up and say that when we engage in Iraq and Afghanistan, we engage because we want to be successful. We want victory. We want to have accomplished a national security objective for this country to make sure that we are safer.

We are not on a political agenda to withdraw troops. So the first thing is to make sure that we secure success.

To answer the question on Pakistan, which I’m not too sure was answered. The bottom line is, that we should be establishing relationships in Pakistan with allies of ours, folks like relationships with President Musharraf who we had in the past with others in that country so if in fact something like that would occur we could work in concert to make sure that that coup could be overturned and make sure those nuclear weapon do not fall in those hands.

But working with allies at that point is the last thing we want to do. We want to work in that country to make sure the problem is defused.

BAIER: Speaker Gingrich, many of the foreign policy questions we received had directly to do with the U.S. economy as well when it came to the topic of foreign aid.

Butch Russell (ph) had the top voted video question in the section of foreign policy.


QUESTION: When are we gonna get someone in the White House that can stand up to these other countries and say you are not getting any more of our money. This is stupid. We send billions of dollars overseas to countries that hate us.



BAIER: Speaker Gingrich.

GINGRICH: I think — I actually there’s a lot to that. And I’ve been a strong supporter of international assistance, but I think there are a couple of good reasons to review the whole program.

First of all, I would replace virtually all government to government aid with some kind of investment approach that encouraged American companies to create jobs that made both the United States and the other country wealthier. Our bureaucrats giving their bureaucrats money is a guaranteed step towards corruption.

Second, I think when you have countries that vote against you in the United Nations consistently you really have to ask yourself why are you giving them anything? I mean, if they are not your ally why are…


GINGRICH: We came out of World War II with the generosity that made perfect sense when we had 50 percent of the world economy. And it was a different world. And we need to understand how different it is.

But I want to go back to your question on Pakistan, because I think people need to understand how real this is. This world is in danger of becoming dramatically more dangerous in the not-too-distant future.

People talk about an Iranian weapon? There may be well over 100 nuclear weapons in Pakistan. And the example you used is not too far-fetched to worry about.

BAIER: Speaker Gingrich, thank you.

Governor Johnson, here in Florida, charter flights from Ft.

Lauderdale to Havana, Cuba, have resumed. Is there a problem with that? And what are your thoughts on U.S.-Cuba policy?

JOHNSON: I think the biggest threat to our national security is the fact that we’re bankrupt, so I am promising to submit a balanced budget to Congress in the year 2013, and included in that is a 43 percent reduction in military spending.

I think it’s crazy that we have foreign aid to company — to countries when we’re borrowing 43 cents out of every dollar to do that.


Military alliances — military alliances are really key to other countries taking up the slack.

With regard to flights to Cuba? You know, I’m — I’m in favor, I think, of the whole notion that trade promotes friendship, as opposed to not. So I would be inclined to looking at establishing or supporting those kinds of flights.

BACHMANN: Bret? Bret?

BAIER: Governor Johnson, thank you.


BACHMANN: Excuse me, Bret? Could I weigh in on this?

BAIER: Congresswoman Bachmann?

BACHMANN: I’d like to weigh on this, because according to the State Department’s website, there are four nations that are state sponsors of terror. Cuba is one of those nations. We would never have flights between the United States and Cuba. It’s a state sponsor of terror.


BAIER: Thank you, Congresswoman.

Now to my colleague, Megyn Kelly, on the topic of social issues.

KELLY: Governor Huntsman?

HUNTSMAN: Just one issue. I just want to respond to my friend, Rick Santorum, here. Is the microphone working?

BAIER: It is.

HUNTSMAN: Thank you. We do have a difference of opinion here in terms of overall foreign policy. And I think, you know, as the only one on stage with any hands-on foreign policy experience, having served — having lived overseas four different times, we’re at a critical juncture in our country. We don’t have a foreign policy, and we don’t project the goodness of this country in terms of liberty, democracy, open markets, and human rights, with a weak core.

And right now in this country, our core, our economy, is broken.

And we don’t shine that light today. We’re 25 percent of the world’s GDP. The world is a better place when the United States is strong. So guiding anything that we talk about from a foreign policy standpoint needs to be fixing our core.

But, second of all, I believe that, you know, after 10 years of fighting the war on terror, people are ready to bring our troops home from Afghanistan, Rick.


They’re ready to bring our troops home. This country — this country has given its all.

KELLY: Governor Huntsman?

HUNTSMAN: What remains behind, some element to collect intelligence, special forces capability, and we’re going to have to do that in every corner of the world. But we need to fix this core and get serious about what the rest of the 21st century holds for this country.

BAIER: Senator Santorum, very quickly?

SANTORUM: Just because our economy is sick does not mean our country is sick, and it doesn’t mean our values are sick. And we’re going to stand up for those values every opportunity…


… and to do so to make sure that our country is safe. The bottom line is — that you just mentioned is — is — is we should be fighting wars to win, not fighting wars for politics.


And this president is fighting a war in Afghanistan — in Afghanistan with one hand tied behind our generals, not giving the troops they need, not giving the authority, the rules of engagement to allow us to be successful. And unless we change those rules of engagement and make sure that our folks can win, then we are going to play politics with our military.


HUNTSMAN: This — this may — this may not come as a huge revelation. We’ve been talking about Pakistan here. But at the end of the day, folks, only Pakistan can save Pakistan. Only Afghanistan can save Afghanistan.


All that I want right now at this point in history is for America to save America. We’ve got to fix our core and…



BAIER: Thank you very much. Now, as I originally said, Megyn Kelly on social issues.


KELLY: And now I’m moving on from you, Governor Huntsman, to you, Congresswoman Bachmann. In 2006, you said that public schools are, quote, “teaching children that there is separation of church and state,”
and said, quote, “I am here to tell you that’s a myth.”

Do you believe that there is a limit…


… on government’s ability to inject religion into the public square? And if so, what is that limit?

BACHMANN: Well, I think that Thomas Jefferson stated it best. He was the author of the — the religious liberty that he valued so much, and that’s the — the United States government should not be a state church. That’s really what the fundamental was of separation of church and state.

And when Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptists, the Danbury Baptists wanted to know, will you have a national church in the United States? He said no, because we believe in freedom of conscience, we believe in freedom of religious liberty, and expression, and speech.

That’s a foundational principle in the United States. But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t people of faith and that people of faith shouldn’t be allowed to exercise religious liberty in the public square. Of course we should be able to…


… (inaudible) exercise our faith. And — and whether that expression occurs in a public school or occurs — occurs in a public building, we should be able to allow — to have freedom for all people to express our belief in God.


KELLY: Senator Santorum, this question stirred up a whole lot of controversy online, and it comes from Stephen Hill, who is a soldier serving in Iraq.


QUESTION: In 2010, when I was deployed to Iraq, I had to lie about who I was, because I’m a gay soldier, and I didn’t want to lose my job.

My question is, under one of your presidencies, do you intend to circumvent the progress that’s been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?



SANTORUM: Yeah, I — I would say, any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military. And the fact that they’re making a point to include it as a provision within the military that we are going to recognize a group of people and give them a special privilege to — to — and removing “don’t ask/don’t tell” I think tries to inject social policy into the military. And the military’s job is to do one thing, and that is to defend our country.

We need to give the military, which is all-volunteer, the ability to do so in a way that is most efficient at protecting our men and women in uniform.


And I believe this undermines that ability.


KELLY: So what — what — what would you do with soldiers like Stephen Hill? I mean, he’s — now he’s out. He’s — you know, you saw his face on camera. When he first submitted this video to us, it was without his face on camera. Now he’s out. So what would you do as president?

SANTORUM: I think it’s — it’s — it’s — look, what we’re doing is playing social experimentation with — with our military right now. And that’s tragic.

I would — I would just say that, going forward, we would — we would reinstitute that policy, if Rick Santorum was president, period.

That policy would be reinstituted. And as far as people who are in — in — I would not throw them out, because that would be unfair to them because of the policy of this administration, but we would move forward in — in conformity with what was happening in the past, which was, sex is not an issue. It is — it should not be an issue. Leave it alone, keep it — keep it to yourself, whether you’re a heterosexual or a homosexual.


KELLY: Congressman Paul, you have said that you believe that life begins at conception and that abortion ends an innocent life. If you believe that, how can you support a rape exception to abortion bans, and how can you support the morning-after pill? Aren’t those lives just as innocent?

PAUL: They may be, but the way this is taken care of in our country, it is not a national issue. This is a state issue. And there are circumstances…


There are circumstances where doctors in the past have used certain day-after pills for somebody with rape. And, quite frankly, if somebody is treated, you don’t even know if a person is pregnant, you don’t even know if there’s a disease, but if it’s 24 hours after rape, I don’t know where — how you’re going to police it.

So I don’t think you should create — we have too many laws already. Now, how are you going to police the day-after pill? It doesn’t make any sense to me in a practical matter.

So I would say that nobody can out-do me on respect for life. I’ve spent a lifetime dealing with life. But I still think there is a time where the law doesn’t solve the problems. Only the moral character of the people will eventually solve this problem, not the law.


KELLY: Governor Perry, you and our former president, George W.

Bush, have a lot in common. You’re both Republicans from Texas. You both ran on the same ticket for the statehouse. You both share a deep religious faith.

Now, you’ve made a point of saying, well, we went to different colleges, Texas A&M and Yale, and point out that you have a different approach from President Bush when it comes to government spending. But what are the other differences that you can cite between you and President Bush? And what say you about these reports that there is some bad blood between the two of you?

PERRY: Well, let me address the first — or the last issue first.

And we got a great rapport. I talk to the president from time to time, call him on his birthday, wish him happy birthday, talk to him on a relatively regular basis. I highly respect the president and his public service.

What we have in — in — in difference is probably as much as in style as in substance on various issues. For instance, you know, I was very vocal in my disagreement with him on Medicaid Part D that the federal government should be involved in that very expensive program.

And I was also vocal against No Child Left Behind.

It gets back to the federal government has no business telling the states how to educate our children.


BAIER: Thank you, Meagan (ph).

We’ve been showing you these word clouds throughout the night. Take a look at this one, all of the questions on health care. You can see the big word there, Obamacare.

Chris has the questions on health care.

WALLACE: And we’ll get right to that question of Obamacare.

Mr. Cain, you are a survivor of stage 4 colon and liver cancer. And you say, if Obamacare had been…


WALLACE: …and we all share in the happiness about your situation. But, you say if Obamacare had been in effect when you were first being treated, you would dead now. Why?

CAIN: The reason I said that I would be dead under Obamacare is because my cancer was detected in March of 2006. From March 2006 all the way to the end of 2006, for that number of months, I was able to get the necessary CAT scan tests, go to the necessary doctors, get a second opinion, get chemotherapy, go — get surgery, recuperate from surgery, get more chemotherapy in a span of nine months. If we had been under Obamacare and a bureaucrat was trying to tell me when I could get that CAT scan that would have delayed by treatment.

My surgeons and doctors have told me that because I was able get the treatment as fast as I could, based upon my timetable and not the government’s timetable that’s what saved my life, because I only had a 30 percent chance of survival. And now I’m here five years cancer free, because I could do it on my timetable and not a bureaucrat’s timetable.

This is one of the reasons I believe a lot of people are objecting to Obamacare, because we need get bureaucrats out of the business of trying to micromanage health care in this nation.


WALLACE: Governor Huntsman, you say President Obama’s health care plan is a trillion dollar bomb dropping — dropped on taxpayers and job creation. But I want to show you the top voted question on YouTube that was submitted on health care. And it comes from Ian McDonald of Michigan who says he has a health problem. Watch it, sir.


QUESTION: Hi, I’m a student. And I have a chronic heart condition. So for me, and those like me, the Democrats’ health care reform, allowing us to stay on our parents’ insurance longer was a godsend.

If were you elected, would you work as is the stated position of your party to repeal this reform? And if so, are we supposed to pray really hard that our ailments don’t prevent us from going to class?


WALLACE: Governor, what about provisions that Ian talks about? For instance, the one that allows kids to stay on their parents’ policies until they were 26, or not limiting coverage for preexisting conditions. President Obama says the only way that insurance companies can afford to provide those kinds of reforms is with the individual mandate where they get a lot of new customers.

HUNTSMAN: When I hear this discussion, I think of my daughter Elizabeth who is sitting on the front row who suffers from juvenile diabetes. And I also am reminded that we are fundamentally approaching health care reform the wrong way.

This one trillion dollar bomb that Obamacare means to this country over 10 years is creating such uncertainty in the marketplace that businesses aren’t willing to hire, they’re not willing to deploy capital into the marketplace. It everyone it has gummed up our system.

So you say what do we do? I say we go out to the states and let the states experiment and find breakthroughs in how we address health care reform. Health care reform, it’s is a three trillion dollar industry.

It’s the size of the GDP of France. It’s large. It’s complicated. All I want to do is do the kind of thing we did in the state of Utah.

In direct response, we need affordable insurance policies. We don’t have affordable insurance policies today. We got one in Utah a stripped down bare bones catastrophic coverage policy that young people can finally afford.And then you can start whittling down the high percentage of the people who are uninsured in this country because they have an affordable policy. That’s number one.

Number two, we have to deal with cost containment measures like harmonizing medical records. We were the first state to do that. So let’s forget federal fixes in solutions and turn to the states where we’re going to find real breakthroughs and real answers to this terribly difficult and complicated problem.

WALLACE: Thank you, governor.

Congresswoman Bachmann, in the last debate you criticized Governor Perry for his executive order mandating that 6th graders get the HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer. Then afterward, you suggested that the vaccine was linked to mental retardation and you said that it could be, quote, “potentially be a very dangerous drug.”

But the American Academy of Pediatrics has looked at it and says that the HPV vaccine has an excellent safety record. So my question to you is, do you stand by your statement that the HPV vaccine is potentially dangerous? And if not, should you be more careful when you’re talking about public health issue?

BACHMANN: Well, first I didn’t make that claim nor did I make that statement. Immediately after the debate, a mother came up to me and she was visibly shaken and heart broken because of what her daughter had gone through. I so I only related what her story was.

But here’s the real issue, Governor Perry mandated a health care decision on all 12-year-old little girls in the state of Texas. And by that mandate, those girls had to have a shot for a sexually transmitted disease. That is not appropriate to be a decision that a governor makes.

It is appropriate that parents make that decision in consultation with their doctor.

But here’s the even more important point, because Governor Perry made a decision where he gave parental rights to a big drug company.

That big drug company gave him campaign contributions and hired his former chief of staff to lobby him to benefit the big drug company.

That’s what was wrong with that picture.


WALLACE: Governor Perry, obviously 30 seconds to respond.

PERRY: Thank you.

I got lobbied on this issue. I got lobbied by a 31-year-old young lady who had stage 4 cervical cancer. I spent a lot of time with her.

She came by my office talked to me about in program.

I readily admitted we should have had an opt-in, in this program.

But, I don’t know what part of opt-out most parents don’t get. And the fact is, I erred on the side of life and I will always err on the side of life as a governor as the president of the United States.


WALLACE: Governor Perry, I now have a question for you. Texas has the most uninsured residents of any state in the country, 25 percent.

In the last debate, you blamed it on restrictions imposed by the federal government. But we checked about that, sir, in fact the feds treat Texas like they do all the other big states. On its own, on its own, Texas has imposed some of the toughest eligibility rules for Medicaid of any state in the country. In fact, you rank 49th in Medicaid coverage of low income residents.

So the question is, isn’t Texas’ uninsured problem because of decisions made by Texas?

PERRY: Well, I disagree with your analysis there, because we’ve had a request in for the federal government so that we could have a Medicaid waiver for years. And the federal government has stopped us from having that Medicaid waiver. Allowing the state of Texas, or for that matter the other states that we’re making reference to here, that have waivers give them more options to be able to give the options, there’s a menu of options that we could have, just like Jon Huntsman talked about. That is how we go forward with our health care.

Each state deciding how they’re going to deliver that health care.

Not one size fits all. And I think this whole concept of not allowing the states to come up with the best ideas about how to deliver health care in their state. And the fact is, people continue to move to the state of Texas. Some of the highest rates in the country, because we’ve created a state where opportunity is very much the word of the day there, if you will, for finding work and what have you.

And our health care is part of that. Our education is part of that. And we are proud of what we put together in the state of Texas.

WALLACE: Governor Romney, the other day Governor Perry called Romneycare socialized medicine. He said it has failed in western Europe and in Massachusetts. And he warns that Republicans should not nominate his words, Obama-lite.

How do you respond to Governor Perry?

ROMNEY: I don’t think he knows what he was talking about in that — in that regard.

Let me tell you this about our system in Massachusetts: 92 percent of our people were insured before we put our plan in place. Nothing’s changed for them. The system is the same. They have private market-based insurance.

We had 8 percent of our people that weren’t insured. And so what we did is we said let’s find a way to get them insurance, again, market-based private insurance. We didn’t come up with some new government insurance plan.

Our plan in Massachusetts has some good parts, some bad parts, some things I’d change, some things I like about it. It’s different than Obamacare.

And what you — what you heard from Herman Cain is one absolutely key point, which is Obamacare intends to put someone between you and your physician. It must be repealed. And if I’m president of the United States, on my first day in office, I will issue an executive order which directs the secretary of health and human services to provide a waiver from Obamacare to all 50 states. That law is bad; it’s unconstitutional; it shall not stand.


WALLACE: Governor — Governor Perry, 30 seconds to respond.PERRY: I think Americans just don’t know sometimes which Mitt Romney they’re dealing with. Is it the Mitt Romney that was on the side of against the Second Amendment before he was for the Second Amendment?

Was it — was before he was before the social programs, from the standpoint of he was for standing up for Roe v. Wade before he was against Roe v. Wade? He was for Race to the Top, he’s for Obamacare, and now he’s against it. I mean, we’ll wait until tomorrow and —


— and see which Mitt Romney we’re really talking to tonight.

WALLACE: Governor Romney?

ROMNEY: I’ll use the same term again: Nice try.


Governor, I’m — I wrote a book two years ago, and I laid out in that book what my views are on a wide range of issues.

I’m a conservative businessman. I haven’t spent my life in politics. I spent my life in business. I know how jobs come, how jobs go. My positions are laid out in that book. I stand by them.

Governor Perry, you wrote a book six months ago. You’re already retreating from the positions that were in that book.

PERRY: Not an — not an — not an inch, sir.

ROMNEY: Yeah, well, in that book, it says that Social Security was forced upon the American people. It says that, by any measure, Social Security is a failure. Not to 75 million people. And you also said that — that Social Security should be returned to the states.

Now, those are the positions in your book. And simply, in my view, I’m stand by my positions. I’m proud of them.

There are a lot of reasons not to elect me, a lot of reasons not to elect other people on this stage, but one reason to elect me is that I know what I stand for, I’ve written it down. Words have meaning, and I have the experience to get this country going again.


WALLACE: Gentlemen, thank you both.


BAIER: Coming up, we return to issue number one: jobs.

Stay tuned.


BAIER: Welcome back to the Orange County Convention Center here in Orlando, Florida, and the Republican presidential debate.

Now a question for all of the candidates. Independent New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently fretted over the possibility of the unemployed rioting in the streets. Ohio’s Republican Governor John Kasich recently said, quote, “For the first time in my life, I’m worried about this country.” And recently, a liberal columnist wrote this, quote, “We’ve lost our mojo.”

You know, President Obama promised hope and change. And according to many polls, fewer and fewer Americans believe he’s delivered.

Now, I’m not asking for your jobs plan here. What I’m asking for is, how are you going to turn this country around? We’ll go down the row, 30 seconds each.
Governor Huntsman?

HUNTSMAN: First of all, let me say that this is a human tragedy playing out, with 15 million unemployed, so many million beyond who are so dispirited, they’ve absolutely given up.

Sheriff Hardy, who’s a great sheriff in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, talks about foreclosures, that his folks are now handing out first time ever to the middle class.

I would drop three things on the doorstep of Congress to change and turn the situation around: one, my tax reform package, endorsed by the Wall Street Journal; two, serious regulatory reform, Dodd-Frank, Obamacare repealed; three, energy independence. Boone Pickens had some great ideas in terms of converting to natural gas. It’s a 500,000 job creator over five years. It would get the engines of growth going like nothing else I can think of.

BAIER: Mr. Cain?

CAIN: Obviously starts with economic growth. And, yes, I’ve already laid out how I would do that with my 999 plan. But what Americans are looking for in order to build their confidence is leadership. There is a severe deficiency of leadership in Washington, D.C. And once we fill that void, I believe the American people will begin to develop some confidence again.

In terms of believing in this nation, Ronald Reagan was the one who said that we are a shining city on a hill. We’ve slid down the side of that hill.


Americans want somebody who’s going to lead them back up to the top of that hill. That’s how we turn this country around.


BAIER: Congresswoman Bachmann?

BACHMANN: I agree. It’s time to reach for the brass ring of liberty once again. And we can. The signature issue of Barack Obama and his presidency has been the passage of Obamacare. This week, a study came out from UBS that said the number-one reason why employers aren’t hiring is because of Obamacare.

That’s why I introduced the bill to repeal Obamacare. And as president of the United States, that’s the very first thing I would do, is repeal Obamacare.

BAIER: Governor Romney?

ROMNEY: All across America, you’ve got families sitting across from their — sitting in their living rooms and their kitchens, sitting at that kitchen table, with a calculator and a checkbook, seeing if they have enough money to make ends meet for the month or the week.
You’ve got people who are sitting at that same table filling out job application forms, knowing that there are hundreds of other people that are doing the same thing for the same job.

These are tough times for a lot of people in this country, but we are a patriotic people. We place our hand over our heart during the playing of the national anthem. No other people on Earth do that. And if we’re led by a leader who draws on that patriotism, who tells the truth, who lives with integrity, and who knows how to lead, America will remain the hope of the Earth and the strongest nation in the world.
I’ll do it.


BAIER: Governor Perry?

PERRY: Americans — Americans want a leader who’s got a proven record of job creation. Number one, we get rid of Obamacare. Secondly, we pull back all of those regulations that are job-killing today, whether it’s Dodd-Frank or whether it’s the EPA.

And then we sit with Congress and we lower those corporate tax rates, we lower those personal tax rates, and then we put our plan to make America energy independent, and that is the way you get America working again.


BAIER: Congressman Paul?

PAUL: Government destroys jobs; the market creates jobs. So the government isn’t going to be expected to create the jobs; they have to change the environment. But you can’t do that unless you understand where the depression, recessions come from, and you can’t understand that unless you know where the bubbles come from.

I’ve been arguing this case for 20 years and warning about bubbles and housing bubbles and Nasdaq bubbles. And a lot of other economists have been doing the same thing.

Until we understand that, you can’t solve the problem. You have to deal with the Federal Reserve system. You have to deal with free markets. And you have to deal with the tax program and the regulatory system.


Then you can get your jobs, because the people will create the jobs, not the government.


BAIER: Waiting for the applause.

Speaker Gingrich?

GINGRICH: Thirty-two years ago, we were in the same place. We had a failing president. He gave a speech on malaise. People wrote about the presidency being too big, nobody could do it. The Soviet Union was on offense.

And a leader came along. He said, when your brother-in-law is unemployed, it’s a recession. When you’re unemployed, it’s a depression. When Jimmy Carter’s unemployed, it’s a recovery.


Nothing — nothing will turn America around more than Election Night, when Barack Obama loses decisively.


BAIER: Senator Santorum?

SANTORUM: The last words Ronald Reagan said as president of the United States in his farewell address, he was concerned about the future of our country because we were forgetting who we were, didn’t remember what America was really all about.

I think that’s what’s the problem right now, is we have a president who doesn’t understand what America is all about.

America is a great country because we are a country that believes in God-given rights to every single man, woman and child in America…


… and that we built this country from the bottom up, believing in free people, to have that responsibility to live their lives in service to themselves, their family, their community, and their god, and in so doing, we transformed the world.

We had a leader in Reagan who believed in you. President Obama is the new King George III, who believes in things being dictated from on high. We need to replace him with someone who believes in the American people again.


BAIER: Governor Johnson?

JOHNSON: My next-door neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration.



Balance the federal budget now, not 15 years from now, not 20 years from now, but now. And throw out the entire federal tax system, replace it with a fair tax, a consumption tax, that by all measurements is just that. It’s fair. It does away with corporate income tax. If that doesn’t create tens of millions of jobs in this country, I don’t know what does.


BAIER: You just made your neighbor’s dog very famous.


When we come back in just one minute — one minute — the final round. We’ll be talking about the Republican ticket. We’re back from Orlando, Florida.



BAIER: Welcome back to Orlando for our final round, our final question from YouTube. Our wildcard question comes from Darrell Owens in Richmond, Virginia.


QUESTION: If you had to choose one of your opponents on the stage tonight to be your running mate in the 2012 election, who would you choose, and why? And why would this person help you make the country better?


BAIER: Again, if you had to choose a running mate, one of the people on the stage with you, who would you choose and why? Thirty seconds down the row.
Governor Johnson?

JOHNSON: Well, that would be the guy three down, Congressman Paul.

And that would be…


And that would be the notion that this country is about liberty and freedom and that right now we are facing an extraordinary crisis that, if we do not address it now, we’re going to find ourselves in a monetary crisis that is going to leave us all with nothing. And if we want to look at an example of that, that would be Russia that experienced a monetary collapse, that in our lifetimes may never acquire (ph). We need to avoid that now.

BAIER: Senator Santorum, who would you choose?

SANTORUM: I would pick someone who would do what I have articulated I would do as president of the United States. That’s what you — that’s what a vice president should be, someone who would follow through on what you promise the American public to do.

BAIER: You have eight to choose.

SANTORUM: And — and I — and I would say that, you know, right now that, you know, the guy that I’m agreeing with most up on stage is probably the guy to my left. So I would say that Newt Gingrich would be the guy that I would — I would pick as someone who — who would follow through with what I’m saying.

BAIER: Speaker Gingrich?

GINGRICH: Yeah, I’m going to disappoint those in the audience who want this to be a Hollywood game. I don’t have any idea who I would pick as the vice presidential nominee. What I do know is, it would have to be a person capable of being president of the United States, and that would be the first criteria. These are all good friends of mine. I couldn’t imagine hurting any of their feelings by choosing one tonight.


BAIER: Congressman Paul, hurt away.

PAUL: I don’t plan to make a choice at the moment, because I am on national polls. It seems like I’m in third place now. I think it would be inappropriate.


As soon as — as soon as I’m one of the two top tier, then I will start thinking along that line. But right now, I’m going to defer, and just work very hard, and make sure that I stay in the top tier and then eventually be one of the top two contenders.


BAIER: Governor Perry, how do you answer Darrell Jones?

PERRY: Well, staying with the game show idea here, I don’t know how you would do this, but if you could take Herman Cain and mate him up with Newt Gingrich, I think you would have a couple of really interesting guys to work with.


I don’t know how you’d do it.

BAIER: Governor Romney, Darrell Owens would like an answer.

ROMNEY: There are a couple of images I’m going to have a hard time getting out of my mind.


That’s one, and Gary Johnson’s dogs are the other, I’ll tell you.


I’m — I’m going to go with Newt on this, meaning I’m going to subscribe to his same view. I know I’m going to disappoint.

But my view is, if you pick a vice president, if you’re lucky enough to become the nominee of this party, picking a vice president would be something you give a lot of thought to, a lot of evaluation to, and you want someone who without question could become the president of the United States.

These people could all fill that — that position. Any one of them would be a better president than what we have now.


BAIER: Governor Romney, I hate to follow up here, but you called Governor Perry unelectable based on his Social Security…

ROMNEY: Actually, I — actually, I didn’t use that term, but the newspaper did. That happens now and then. But the point is still, I think, that there are some problems that exist in each of our backgrounds that make it harder for us to get elected. I hope we get elected. I hope one of us gets to that White House. I think we will, because I think this president has failed miserably.

But I’ll tell you one thing. I — look, Governor Perry and I disagree on some issues. I think I probably disagree with everybody — we all have differing views on different issues. But one thing’s for
sure: We all agree that President Obama needs to be former President Obama, and we’re going to make that happen.


BAIER: Congresswoman Bachmann, back to the original question?

BACHMANN: Obviously, we need to have a strong constitutional conservative, and that’s what I would look for in a vice president.

But I want to say this, as well. Every four years, conservatives are told that we have to settle, and it’s anybody but Obama. That’s what we’re hearing this year.

I don’t think that’s true. I think if there’s any year — President Obama has the lowest public approval ratings of any president in modern times. He hasn’t gone to the basement yet. It’ll be a lot lower than what it is now. That’s why we need to choose a candidate who represents conservatives and constitutional conservative positions.


BAIER: Mr. Cain?

CAIN: This is a game, and it is hypothetical. I’ll play the game.


If — if Governor Romney would throw out his jobs growth plan and replace it with 999, he has a shot.


If he does not, I would probably go with Speaker Gingrich, who I have the greatest admiration for, in all seriousness, because of his history and because of his depth of knowledge. I could go on because I have respect for everybody up here. But it’s a game.


BAIER: It is a YouTube question.

Governor Huntsman?

HUNTSMAN: You know, I’m tempted to say that, when all is said and done, the two guys standing in the middle here, Romney and Perry, aren’t going to be around, because they’re going to bludgeon each other to death.


But — but I’m also reminded of about four years ago, we had two frontrunners in similar situations, one by the name of Rudy Giuliani, I think, and the other by the name of Fred Thompson. They seemed to disappear altogether; I can’t remember where they went.

But I would have — I would have to say, since Chris Wallace doesn’t qualify as somebody on the stage, so I can’t — I can’t pick one of you, that Herman Cain, because of his selection of ties, the fact that — the fact that we both — we both apparently agree with the gold standard, wearing the yellow ties here tonight. And because of the good neighbor policy, 999, mixed with my tax policy, would be the most competitive thing this nation could ever achieve. I’d have to say Herman’s my man.


BAIER: Candidates, thank you very much. That is it for our debate tonight. Our thanks to the candidates and their staffs. A big thank you to our debate partner, Google, and the Florida Republican Party, to all the great people here in the Orange County Convention Center and, of course, the state of Florida. They could not have been more hospitable.

Stay with Fox News Channel, America’s election headquarters, all the way to the general election and the inauguration.

Campaign Recap September 19, 2011: GOP Candidates Gang-up on Rick Perry Attack Social Security Position at the CNN / Tea Party GOP Republican Presidential Debate


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.


Chip Litherland for The New York Times

Republican presidential candidates before their debate in Tampa, Fla. More Photos »


Republican Presidential Candidates: Primaries 2012 — NYT

Democratic Nominee 2012: President Barack Obama’s Official Reelection Campaign Website —

Republican National Committee

Democratic National Committee

  • Gallup Poll: Election 2012 — Track GOP Contender’s Images Week by Week — Generic Ballot Gallup
  • Gallup: Presidential Job Approval Gallup
  • Gallup Daily: Obama Job Approval: Each result is based on a three-day rolling average Gallup
  • Poll Watch: Polls and Related Articles From The New York Times NYT
  • Rick Perry’s ‘Ponzi scheme’ problem: new evidence it’s real: Gov. Rick Perry’s inflammatory language on Social Security doesn’t sit well with independents, though it’s a wash for Republican voters, a new Gallup poll shows…. – CS Monitor, 9-16-11


Mitt Romney: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts

Rick Perry: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts

Ron Paul: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts

Herman Cain: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts

Michele Bachmann: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts

Newt Gingrich: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts

Jon Huntsman: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts

Rick Santorum: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts

“I still have that same old dopey same old answer that I’m sure you guys are getting sick of hearing, and that is I’m still thinking about it, praying about it, contemplating, talking to my family. I’m sick of giving the same answer, believe me. I’m anxious to give an answer and get on with life one way or the other.” — Sarah Palin on Fox News 9-12-11


Full Text Campaign Buzz September 12, 2011: CNN / Tea Party GOP Republican Presidential Debate — Candidates Gang Up on Rick Perry — Target Social Security (Complete Transcript) CNN, 9-12-11

Live blog of CNN’s first-ever Tea Party Republican Debate CNN, 9-12-11

Fact-checking the Republican presidential debate San Francisco Chronicle, 9-12-11

Jon Huntsman: “Yesterday, we were reminded how extraordinary this country is … Today, ladies and gentlemen, we are deeply divided.”

Herman Cain: “I am the only non-politician on this stage tonight.”

Michele Bachmann: “I brought the voice of the tea party to the United States Congress.”

Mitt Romney: “Like you, I recognize that America’s economy is in crisis.”

Rick Perry: “I simply want to get America work again and make Washington D.C. as inconsequential in your life as I can.”

Ron Paul: “My goal has always been to promote the cause of liberty and to obey the Constitution.”

Newt Gingrich: “In the spirit of 9/12, I hope to work with you to fundamentally, profoundly change Washington.”

Rick Santorum: “I won two elections [in Pennsylvania] without having to change my policies or my party to win.”

“We’re having that conversation, Governor. We’re running for president.” — Mitt Romney

“A program that’s been there 70 or 80 years, obviously we’re not going to take that away.” — Rick Perry

“The company was Merck, and it was a $5,000 contribution that I had received from them. I raise about $30 million. And if you’re saying that I can be bought for $5,000, I’m offended.” — Rick Perry

“If you’ve been in the state of Texas for three years, if you’re working towards your college degree, and if you are working and pursuing citizenship in the state of Texas, you pay in-state tuition there. It doesn’t make any difference what the sound of your last name is, that’s the American way.” — Rick Perry

“The idea you’re going to build a wall from Brownsville to El Paso and go left to Tijuana is not reality. What you gotta have is boots on the ground … the aviation assets in the air. We understand and know how to secure that border, but the federal government needs to step up and do their constitutional duty and secure the border with Mexico.” — Rick Perry

“Of course we build a fence, and of course we do not give in-state tuition credits to people who have come here illegally.” — Mitt Romney

“I would put a little damper on this, but I don’t want to offend the governor, because he might raise my taxes or something.” — Ron Paul

“I think Gov. Perry would agree that if you’re dealt four aces, that doesn’t make you a terrific poker player.” — Mitt Romney

“Well, I was going to say Mitt you were doing pretty good until you got to talking poker.” — Rick Perry

“For Rick to say we can’t secure the border is pretty much a treasonous statement.” — Jon Huntsman

“You’ve got Governor Romney, who called it a fraud in his book ‘No Apology.’ I don’t know if that was written by Kurt Cobain or not.” — Jon Huntsman

“We could spend all night talking about where Mitt’s been on all the issues and that would take forever.” — Jon Huntsman

Perry Is Target as Republican Candidates Take Aim: The presidential candidates aggressively confronted Gov. Rick Perry and pressed him to expound upon his views on Social Security and a vaccination program for teenage girls…. – NYT, 9-12-11

Perry assailed by GOP rivals, defends his record: Attacked from all sides, Texas Gov. Rick Perry softened his rhetoric if not his position on Social Security in a snarky campaign debate Monday night and fended off attacks on his record creating jobs and requiring the vaccination of schoolgirls against a cancer-causing sexually transmitted virus…. – AP, 9-12-11

    • Factbox: Social Security central in Republican debate: Republican presidential candidates on Monday traded barbs over their positions on Social Security but avoided deep discussion of possible solutions to a coming funding crunch in the retirement program.
      Here are some important dates and possible choices lawmakers will weigh on Social Security as 77 million older Americans — Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964 — begin to draw benefits…. – Reuters, 9-12-11
    • A Ben Bernanke treason trial: Michele Bachmann refuses to respond to a question about Rick Perry’s “treasonous” comment on Ben Bernanke, saying, “As president of the US I would not be reappointing Ben Bernanke but during the bailout … I worked behind the scenes against the bailout. the enabling act legislation is written so broadly that congress is giving the federal reserve unlimited power.”
      Pushed, she said, “That’s for Gov Perry to make that decision. my decision is i would not appoint Ben Bernanke.”
      Perry, at his turn, stood by the remark, saying, “I said if you are allowing the federal reserve to be allowed to be used for political purposes it would be almost treasonous.”…. – Politico, 9-12-11
    • Jabbing over Social Security, Romney takes on Perry: a look at key moments in the GOP debate:
      Big moment: To open the debate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney immediately went after each other on Social Security — with Perry defending his inflammatory language and Romney accusing Perry of scaring seniors.
      “It has been called a Ponzi scheme by many people long before me,” Perry said. The Texas governor has also called the social safety net a “monstrous lie.”
      “I think the word ‘Ponzi scheme’ is over the top and unnecessary and frightful to many people,” Romney snapped back…. – WaPo, 9-12-11
    • Republican debate: Perry fends off assaults from GOP rivals: Gov. Rick Perry stood his ground, Monday, while fellow GOP candidates took numerous jabs at the front-runner….
      Attacked from all sides by fellow Republicans, Texas Gov. Rick Perry softened his rhetoric if not his position on Social Security in a snarky presidential campaign debate Monday night. He fended off assaults on his record creating jobs and requiring the vaccination of schoolgirls against a cancer-causing sexually transmitted virus.
      Across a crackling two-hour debate, the front-runner in opinion polls gave little ground and frequently jabbed back, particularly at his chief rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney….
      It marked the first time in the summer debates that internal Republican differences dominated rather than a common eagerness to unseat Democratic President Barack Obama…. – CS Monitor, 9-12-11
    • In debate Republicans lash out at each other: A Republican presidential debate became a race to the bottom Monday night as candidates attacked each other for treason, lack of manliness, trying to prevent cervical cancer, and even – – gasp – – letting campaign contributions affect their judgment. … – Politico, 9-12-11
    • At GOP debate, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney tear into each other: The second presidential debate in a week begins as a cross between a fight club and a book club….
      Mitt Romney and Rick Perry took the first possible opportunity to tear into each other at the CNN- and Tea Party Express-hosted forum in Florida, trading harsh accusations over their views on Social Security…. – Politico, 9-12-11
    • At Tea Party Debate, Perry Experiences the Full Force of His Rivals’ Wrath: Firmly entrenched as the double-digit front-runner for the Republican President nomination, Texas Governor Rick Perry endured the unpleasant privilege of his status on Monday night…. – TIME, 9-12-11
    • Tea Party Debate Themes: Gang Up On Rick Perry, Dismantle Washington: The dynamics of the Republican race became clear: it’s Rick Perry against the field. And the contest’s central theme became just as clear: let’s dismantle as much as we can of the federal government’s role…. – Huffington Post, 9-12-11
    • GOP debate: Rick Perry remains in front despite bumpy ride in Tampa: The Texas governor, Rick Perry, emerged bruised but still looking like the frontrunner for his party’s presidential nomination after a contentious televised debate in which he was the focus of attack from rival candidates and in which he drew scorn…. – The Guardian, UK, 9-13-11
    • The Tea Party/CNN debate: Ganging up on Rick Perry, as Kurt Cobain makes a cameo: The Tea Party Republican debate turned into a brawl pretty fast on Monday night. Well aware of the momentum that Gov. Rick Perry has as the most media-analyzed Republican of the moment, candidates including Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann went after him on issues ranging from Social Security to the HPV vaccine…. – Entertainment Weekly, 9-12-11
    • Republicans go after Rick Perry in Florida debate: Rick Perry’s Republican presidential rivals took turns ganging up on the leader of the pack during a presidential debate Monday, accusing the Texas governor of frightening senior citizens with his attacks on Social Security…. – San Francisco Chronicle, 9-12-11
    • Perry assailed by rivals, forced to defend record Texas governor clashes with Romney on Social Security, Bachmann on HPV vaccine: Attacked from all sides, Texas Gov. Rick Perry softened his rhetoric if not his position on Social Security in a snarky campaign debate Monday night and fended off attacks on his record creating jobs and requiring the vaccination of schoolgirls against a cancer-causing sexually transmitted virus.
      It marked the first time in the summer debates that internal Republican differences dominated rather than a common eagerness to unseat Democratic President Barack Obama…. – MSNBC, 9-12-11
    • Rick Perry Stands By Harsh Ben Bernanke Remarks (VIDEO): Texas Governor Rick Perry stood by eyebrow-raising remarks he made last month about Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke during Monday night’s Republican presidential debate…. – Huff Post, 9-12-11
    • Rick Perry Calls For Afghanistan Withdrawal At GOP Tea Party Debate: Rick Perry has been relatively silent on foreign policy, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. During the GOP debate Monday night, he said he believed that the US should continue to have a “presence” in Afghanistan, but that it was time to start…. – Huff Post, 9-12-11
    • Ron Paul checks Rick Perry on his jobs record: Asked about Rick Perry’s jobs record and whether he deserves so much credit, Ron Paul replies, “Not quite…I would put a little damper on this but I don’t want to offend the governor because he might raise my taxes or something.”… – Politico, 9-12-11
    • Michele Bachmann regains footing in ‘tea party’ debate: Michele Bachmann recaptured some of her stride tonight. After seeming to fade in last week’s debate at the Reagan Library, she was far more vocal and passionate. Of course, she was playing to her crowd — the “tea party” has an uncomplicated passion for her — but there was a new energy in her voice, particularly when she slammed Rick Perry for his executive order on the HPV vaccine.
      If Perry felt like a piñata at last week’s debate, as he joked then, he must have felt like the human silhouette on the wrong end of a shooting range tonight…. – LAT, 9-12-11
    • Rick Perry: “The first round of stimulus … it created zero jobs.”: Rick Perry criticized President Barack Obama’s new jobs plan during a Republican presidential debate Sept. 12, 2011, saying his previous effort “created zero jobs.”… – PolitiFact, 9-12-11
    • Santorum: I feel like I’m on ‘Survivor’: Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum used a reality television show to describe how he feels in the current Republican presidential contest. That show, “Survivor.”… – CNN, 9-12-11
    • Analysis: Bachmann comes back to life in Republican debate: Michele Bachmann won a new lease on life for her fizzling presidential campaign by aggressively targeting Republican front-runner Rick Perry and raising doubts about his conservative credentials.
      But whether Bachmann can save a campaign that is clearly on the ropes is very much in doubt, just a month after she enjoyed her best moment of the 2012 season by winning the Iowa straw poll, an important early test of strength…. – Reuters, 9-12-11
    • Commentary: Republican nomination may be Perry’s to lose: Paul Burka of Texas Monthly summed up the general consensus in Austin last month, saying Gov. Rick Perry “is going to be the Republican nominee. … We might as well skip the primary and go straight to the general election.” Burka draws a straight path … – Kansas City Star, 9-12-11
    • GOP rivals spar on Social Security: GOP presidential rivals Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry clashed again last night during their second debate — sharpening their differences on Social Security and jobs in the key battleground state of Florida, where older voters … – Boston Herald, 9-12-11
    • Texas pol storming into town as Democrats go on the offensive: GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry is kicking up a Texas-sized ruckus in Boston today — intent on skewering rival Mitt Romney’s jobs records in his own backyard while protesting Democrats plan to slam Perry’s controversial stance…. – Boston Herald, 9-12-11
    • Second tier candidates, not chief rival, score points against Perry: At least for now, Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s chief rival for the Republican presidential nomination is Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts. But it was the second- and third-tier candidates who shed light on some of Perry’s greatest vulnerabilities in Monday’s presidential debate and they did so from his right.
      U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania pounded away at Perry for ordering in 2007 that schoolgirls get vaccinated against the human papillomavirus. The order never took full effect, and it gave parents the option to opt out, but the idea of requiring an inoculation against a sexually transmitted disease just isn’t going to play well with GOP primary voters…. – Austin American-Statesman, 9-12-11
    • Perry’s not-so-innocuous inoculation at the Tea Party HPV debate: If, as the consensus seems to be, Perry only managed to whelm us at the last debate, this time he distinctly underwhelmed. Santorum and Bachmann seized him by the ankles of his hand-tooled cowboy boots and refused to let go. … – WaPo, 9-12-11
    • On immigration, Rick Perry takes heat for Texas DREAM Act: In a debate that’s already been fiery, the temperature rose further, even a little uncomfortably, when the subject of immigration came up.
      The candidates on this stage have repeatedly said they won’t elaborate on their plans for dealing with the 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants already in the country until the border with Mexico is secured.
      Perry, who signed a Texas version of the DREAM Act (which allows young people in the country illegally to pay in-state tuition at public colleges and universities) drew several rounds of boos when he defended the policy…. – LAT, 9-12-11
    • Republican candidates unite on Fed attack: Republican candidates for president squabbled over social security, foreign wars and the economy but presented a largely united front on one issue – the need to rein in the power of the Federal Reserve…. – Financial Times, 9-12-11
    • Federal Reserve is a target at Florida Republican debate: Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke was in the bullseye Monday night at the debate of Republican presidential hopefuls in Florida. Texas Governor Rick Perry stood by comments made last month that Bernanke’s efforts to jumpstart the US economy…. — CBS News, 9-12-11
    • The GOP debate: 7 takeaways: Last night’s GOP debate wasn’t a face-off, it was a pile-on. The CNN/Tea Party Express debate in Tampa, Fla. —the second in a string of five Republican meet-ups coming in rapid succession—was an opportunity to gang up on Rick Perry and his onstage rivals took full advantage. Here are seven takeaways from Monday’s debate…. – Politico, 9-12-11
    • Palin slams Perry on ‘crony capitalism’: Sarah Palin, who has kept mum about whether she’ll run, is not in sync with Rick Perry: Sarah Palin took a hard swipe against her friend Rick Perry in a post-debate TV appearance, calling him out by name for “crony capitalism”…. – Politico, 9-12-11
    • DNC Chair uses debate moment to pounce on GOP: The woman working to ensure President Obama’s re-election entered the political equivalent of the lion’s den – and pounced on a debate moment to blast the Republican presidential candidates late Monday. … – CNN, 9-12-11
    • Huntsman Paul take hits on Twitter in debate: If Twitter trends were the measure, Kurt Cobain was the clear winner of Monday’s presidential debate sponsored by CNN and the Tea Party Express. Seventeen years after the Nirvana frontman’s suicide, a name-check on stage by Jon Huntsman shot him right … – Politico, 9-12-11

“The 1 million jobs he’s helped create as governor is a stark contrast to the 2.4 million jobs lost on President Obama’s watch. Rick Perry will bring our country more than hope – he’ll get America working again.” — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal

  • Endorsement fever: Bobby Jindal backs Rick Perry: The first bit of rapid response among Republican presidential hopefuls came hours before the start of Monday’s “tea party” debate in Tampa, as Rick Perry answered Tim Pawlenty’s endorsement of Mitt Romney by announcing the support of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
    Jindal, once seen as a rising GOP star, said in a statement that Perry’s “record on job creation simply cannot be beat.”… – LAT, 9-12-11
  • As Perry Rises, GOP Elite Look Toward Romney: The rising presidential candidacy of Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is stirring excitement for many Republican voters but is creating unease in some quarters of the party’s establishment…. – NYT, 9-12-11
  • For Debate Partners, an Unusual Pairing: The sponsors, CNN and the Tea Party, each stand to benefit from reaching the other’s following…. – NYT, 9-12-11
  • Factbox: Four keys to Republican debate in Florida: Eight Republican presidential hopefuls will meet on Monday in a debate co-sponsored by CNN and the fiscally conservative Tea Party movement, which helped elect dozens of Republicans to Congress in 2010. Here are four keys to the debate…. – Reuters, 9-12-11
  • GOP Debate: Three keys to tonight’s debate: What do the presidential candidates need to do in tonight’s Tea Party Express/CNN GOP debate?…. – CS Monitor, 9-12-11
  • Five things to watch for in CNN/Tea Party Republican debate: Watch the CNN/Tea Party Republican Debate at 8 p.m. ET Monday on CNN TV and
    Here are key storylines and strategies to watch for in Monday night’s CNN/Tea Party Republican Debate
    1. Round two of the Perry-Romney slugfest? It started in Wednesday’s debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, when Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the new guy in the race and the front-runner in the national polls, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the previous front-runner, sparred over jobs creation and Social Security…. – CNN, 9-12-11


    • Pennsylvania Republicans Weigh Electoral Vote Changes: The newly empowered Republicans are considering changing the way Pennsylvania awards its electoral votes in presidential elections despite growing concerns that the move could backfire…. – NYT, 9-19-11
    • Mitch Daniels Calls for a More Honest Campaign Debate: The governor of Indiana says his party’s presidential candidates should “campaign to govern, not just win.”… – NYT, 9-18-11
    • SC senator: Presidential election is GOP’s to lose: Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham says the upcoming presidential election is the GOP’s to lose. Graham says President Barack Obama has done “everything he knows how” to beat himself and that people have little confidence in Obama’s policies because they aren’t working…. – AP, 9-18-11
    • Rick Perry, Uber Texan: We have had several Texas presidents, but none so deeply, intensely Texas as Rick Perry would be…. – NYT, 9-18-11
    • Michele Bachmann doubles down on ‘Perrycare.’ Will it work?: In a swipe at Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann took flak for suggesting that the HPV vaccine might cause “mental retardation.” But she’s not backing down, and “Perrycare” is now her prime target…. – CS Monitor, 9-17-11
    • GOP candidates revive private Social Security idea: Most of the top Republicans running for president are embracing plans to partially privatize Social Security, reviving a contentious issue that fizzled under President George W. Bush after Democrats relentlessly attacked it.
      As President Barack Obama sidesteps ways to keep the retirement system viable, his would-be rivals are keen on letting younger workers divert part of their payroll taxes into some type of personal account to be invested separately from Social Security…. – AP, 9-17-11
    • Republicans seize on waning campus Obamamania: The young people in the ad look dissatisfied and pouty. Barack Obama’s voice and the words “winning the future,” from one of his old campaign speeches, echo in the background. “You’re LOSING my future,” says one young man.
      The ad, which has aired during sportscasts, reality TV shows and late-night comedy programs popular with younger people, was produced for the College Republican National Committee. It is an attempt to play on the fears that haunt college students, that they won’t find jobs and will be living with less than their parents did…. – AP, 9-17-11
    • Perry Finds Kindred Spirits in Iowa: Gov. Rick Perry’s charisma and straight-talking Texan message have wide appeal…. – NYT, 9-16-11
    • Perry likens Romney health care program to Obama’s: Rick Perry is continuing to tie the health care program enacted by fellow Republican Mitt Romney in Massachusetts to President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. Perry told more than 100 Republican activists at a coffee shop in Iowa Friday morning…. – AP, 9-16-11
    • Republican Perry says Romney health plan cost jobs: Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry said Thursday the health care bill GOP rival Mitt Romney enacted in Massachusetts paved the way for President Barack Obama’s federal health law last year and cost the state jobs. … – AP, 9-15-11
    • Obama raising money, pitching jobs plan: Pitching his jobs plan and his re-election, President Barack Obama attended two intimate $35,800-per-couple fundraisers Thursday, assuring donors that he will push Congress to pass his economic initiative and expressing confidence in his ability to win a second term…. – AP, 9-15-11
    • Candidates bash stimulus, campaign at companies: Republican presidential contenders have crisscrossed the nation bashing President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plans as a colossal waste of taxpayer money. But with an awkward frequency, these same candidates are campaigning at businesses that benefited from the president’s landmark stimulus package…. – AP, 9-15-11
    • GOP chairman ‘very satisfied’ with candidate field: The chairman of the Republican Party says he’s “very satisfied” with the GOP presidential field and that it’s not too late for another candidate to join the race.
      Reince Priebus tells ABC’s “Good Morning America” show that it’s normal for there to be “a lot of shots” among candidates in the primary season…. – AP, 9-15-11
    • On immigration, a Democrat has kind words for GOP’s Rick Perry (VIDEO): Presidential candidate Rick Perry is right to back a Texas law that lets students who are illegal immigrants pay in-state tuition rates, said Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley…. – CS Monitor, 9-15-11
    • Misstatements Shadow Bachmann in Republican Presidential Race: Representative Michele Bachmann’s penchant for exaggeration has been getting more exposure, raising questions about her judgment and maturity…. – NYT, 9-15-11
    • Is the Republican Victory in New York a Sign?: Republicans wasted no time Tuesday night in trying to nationalize their victories in special elections in New York and Nevada…. – NYT, 9-14-11
    • With Wins in New York and Nevada, Republicans See a Trend: The Republican Party seized on the outcome of two special Congressional elections as fresh evidence that voters are souring on President Obama and are prepared to hold Democrats accountable…. – NYT, 9-14-11
    • Obama Campaign Launches The Obama campaign has started a Web site where users can report what they believe are false accusations against the president’s record…. – NYT, 9-14-11
    • Republicans See a Ripple in the Nation’s Jewish Vote: Republicans are hoping to seize on unhappiness among some Jewish voters over the president’s treatment of Israel…. – NYT, 9-14-11
    • For Democrats, It’s 2010 All Over Again: With special elections, any one race may or may not be representative of a national trend…. – NYT, 9-14-11
    • Is Rick Perry a real front-runner, or the next Michele Bachmann?: Rick Perry took a beating at the CNN/Tea Party debate in Tampa, Fla., on Monday night. But is it enough to dethrone him as front-runner of the GOP primary race? Don’t bet the ranch on it…. – CS Monitor, 9-14-11
    • Obama adviser: GOP candidates offer no job ideas: Barack Obama’s top political adviser says none of the president’s Republican challengers has much to say about how they’re going to create jobs. David Axelrod told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday that Rick Perry and Mitt Romney…. – AP, 9-13-11

“A great many of those who perished were approximately your age. Young men and women whose entire future was in front of them. They sacrificed their dreams to preserve yours. Because of what they gave, I simply ask you to make the most of the freedom that they sacrificed.” — Gov. Rick Perry at Liberty University

  • On defense, Perry talks of faith, military heroes: Texas Gov. Rick Perry avoided contentious social issues in a speech Wednesday at the nation’s largest evangelical university, offering the youth a testimonial about his own path to Christian faith and praising the men and women of the military.
    The Republican presidential contender urged students at Liberty University to remember the legacies of service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Without explicitly invoking his own presidential bid, he cast life’s choices as tributes to the military’s sacrifice in the years since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks…. – AP, 9-14-11
  • Social Security no longer a ‘monstrous lie’? Why Rick Perry is shifting. (VIDEO): Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry had questioned the very foundations of Social Security before Monday’s debate. His new, softer stance is a bow to political reality…. – CS Monitor, 9-13-11
  • Perry Wears a Bull’s-Eye at G.O.P. Debate: The presidential candidates aggressively confronted Gov. Rick Perry and pressed him to expound upon his views on Social Security and a vaccination program for teenage girls…. – NYT, 9-13-11
  • Leading the Pack Brings New Perils, Perry Discovers: After his second presidential debate, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is finding that the downsides of being tagged as the Republican front-runner are coming into sharper focus…. – NYT, 9-13-11
  • Romney’s aggressive approach here to stay: An assertive Mitt Romney has emerged in the GOP presidential race. The former Massachusetts governor has shown little willingness to assail his Republican competitors over the past few months, focusing all of his criticism on President Barack Obama. But in one night, Romney became the most prominent aggressor in a growing effort by the GOP field to derail front-runner Rick Perry. And in doing so, Romney may have started to ease concern within the GOP establishment over the strength of his candidacy…. – AP, 9-13-11
  • As Perry Rises, G.O.P. Elite Look Toward Romney: The rising presidential candidacy of Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is stirring excitement for many Republican voters but is creating unease in some quarters of the party’s establishment…. – NYT, 9-13-11
  • Perry’s Tone on Social Security Takes a Turn: Rick Perry, once highly critical of Social Security, now suggests its long-term viability must be assured…. – NYT, 9-12-11
  • Republican debate: Who did best? Who stumbled?: For the second time in a week, Mitt Romney may have turned in the best overall performance. Some conservatives believe Rick Perry did well, too. And the other candidates all had their moments…. – CS Monitor, 9-13-11
  • FACT CHECK: Social Security prompts debate miscues: Rick Perry 1.0 thought Social Security was a “disease” inflicted on the population by the federal government. Rick Perry 2.0 thinks Social Security deserves to be saved “for generations to come.”
    That metamorphosis by the Republican presidential hopeful over recent months contributed to some factual stretches Monday night in a GOP debate, both by the Texas governor and his opponents for the nomination.
    A look at some of the claims in the debate and how they compare with the facts…. – AP, 9-13-11
  • Analysis: GOP foes seek cracks in Perry’s record: Rick Perry’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination will rise or fall on his 10-year record as Texas governor.
    In Monday’s crackling GOP debate, his rivals attacked that record as never before, led by a newly energized Mitt Romney and hard-charging Michele Bachmann.
    Perry, holding his own but looking besieged at times, defended himself vigorously on most fronts. He acknowledged mishandling a schoolgirl vaccination program, however, and asked for understanding about Texas’ need to work with illegal immigrants who seek citizenship and college educations.
    As President Barack Obama might say: Welcome to the role of an incumbent with a complex record to defend from critics on all sides…. – AP, 9-13-11
  • Perry attacks Obama jobs plan: Texas Gov. Rick Perry is attacking President Barack Obama’s jobs plan as a second stimulus plan that won’t put Americans back to work.
    Obama’s plan includes some tax cuts, and Perry was asked whether he would oppose them. Perry instead says Obama’s plan would raise taxes…. – AP, 9-12-11
  • Perry assailed by GOP rivals, defends his record: It marked the first time in the summer debates that internal Republican differences dominated rather than a common eagerness to unseat Democratic President Barack Obama. Especially on Social Security. “A program that’s been there 70 or 80 years.”… – AP, 9-12-11
  • Jindal endorses Perry for president: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal endorsed Rick Perry for president on Monday, calling the Texas governor “the candidate who can lead our party to victory in 2012.”
    Jindal and Perry announced the endorsement ahead of Monday night’s GOP presidential debate in Tampa, Fla. — and just hours after former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty endorsed Mitt Romney, Perry’s most significant rival for the Republican nomination.
    Jindal praised Perry’s job creation record as Texas governor, the central message of Perry’s campaign…. – AP, 9-12-11
  • Jindal to Endorse Perry: Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana has decided to back Gov. Rick Perry in the Republican primary…. – NYT, 9-12-11
  • Romney: NLRB Boeing complaint political payback: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, fresh from picking up former rival Tim Pawlenty’s endorsement, criticized the Obama administration’s links to organized labor, arguing that a National Labor Relations Board’s complaint against Boeing is White House payback to unions…. – AP, 9-12-11
  • Pawlenty endorses Romney in GOP race: While a candidate against Romney, Pawlenty hit hard on his rival’s role in crafting a Massachusetts health law, parts of which were a template for President Barack Obama’s sweeping health care overhaul. Pawlenty once dubbed the Massachusetts law … – AP, 9-12-11
  • Pawlenty Endorses Romney: Tim Pawlenty, who dropped out of the race last month, endorses Mitt Romney’s candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination…. – NYT, 9-12-11
  • Pawlenty: Romney’s front-line defender: Within hours of picking up an endorsement from former White House contender Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney swooped into South Carolina Monday morning with his new de-facto cheerleader and front-line defender.
    Pawlenty’s new role was apparent at a press availability with the two men in North Charleston. Romney was able to step back, at least for one question, and let his new national co-chair speak for his record…. – CNN, 9-12-11
  • Perry Seeks Blessing From an Immigration Hardliner: Rick Perry, who once said he was “intrigued and open” to an amnesty program for Mexican workers in the United States illegally, is now courting the support of a famous immigration hardliner: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona…. – Texas Tribune, 9-12-11
  • GOP debate: three things we might see at tea party event tonight: The Republican candidates face off in Florida tonight, and the Tea Party Express organizers vow that the debate will focus only on tea party ‘core principles.’ Will Perry and Paul clash?… – CS Monitor, 9-12-11
  • DNC ad campaign to promote Obama jobs plan: The Democratic National Committee is launching an ad campaign in politically key states aimed at rallying the public behind President Barack Obama’s new jobs plan and pressuring a divided Congress to act. … – AP, 9-12-11


  • The Dewhurst Profile: Unexciting but Atop Polls: Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is the Mitt Romney of the United States Senate race in Texas — orderly, and leading in the polls…. – NYT, 9-15-11
  • Election Reflects New Dynamic in Brooklyn and Queens: The Democratic Party in Queens ended Tuesday night exposed as a tottering old dame, her inability to push a loyal son into Congress testament to her infirmities…. – NYT, 9-14-11
  • Warren launches US Senate campaign with Mass. tour: Harvard Law professor and consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren officially launched her Democratic campaign for the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, hoping for a chance to take on Republican Sen. Scott Brown in next year’s election…. – AP, 9-14-11


G.O.P. Gains House Seat Vacated by Weiner, AP Reports: A little-known Republican businessman from Queens, channeling voter discontent with President Obama into an upset victory, on Tuesday won election to Congress from the heavily Democratic district in New York City last represented by Anthony D. Weiner, according to The Associated Press.
The Republican, Bob Turner, a retired cable television executive, defeated Assemblyman David I. Weprin, the scion of a prominent Democratic family in Queens, in a nationally watched special election.

With 84 percent of the precincts counted early Wednesday, Mr. Turner was leading Mr. Weprin by 54 percent to 46 percent, according to The Associated Press.

Turner recently polled 6 points higher than Democrat opponent David Weprin, who is actually Jewish, and narrowed Weprin’s lead among Jewish voters by 15 points. The Turner campaign sent out 5,000 letters to registered voters in Israel, asking them to register for the ballots and place them in time.

“We congratulate Bob Turner on his historic victory.
This Republican win in an overwhelmingly Democrat district is a significant indicator of the problem that President Obama has in the Jewish community. While party leaders scramble to deny and try to stem the erosion of Jewish support for Democrats, the real issue is this President’s policies on Israel, on jobs, and on the economy. Jewish voters are coming to see that Republicans offer real solutions to our economic crisis, are resolute friends of Israel, and represent a way forward to a better future.
Bob Turner’s win tonight has huge implications for 2012 races in states with large Jewish communities, such as Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
The RJC took a proactive approach in this race, reaching out to Jewish voters in the district, and we will be a leading voice driving the debate in the Jewish community nationally through 2012 as well.” — Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) Executive Director Matt Brooks statement on the results of the special election in New York’s 9th congressional district — RJC: Jewish Defections Hurt Obama, Democrats in Queens Race

“His [President Barack Obama] hostility should concern Jews, Christians, and other supporters of Israel. Many believe the president has conveyed by his actions and demands on that state that he is willing to throw it under the bus and end the special relationship which has existed between the U.S. and Israel beginning with Harry Truman and continuing through the administration of George W. Bush….
While President Obama has made demands upon Israel that affect its security, no comparable demand — indeed, no demands — have been made upon the Palestinian Authority before entering the peace talks….
On the other hand, the election of Bob Turner in a normally safe Democratic district running against President Obama’s position on Israel and against his own party’s positions on the three entitlement programs of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid would send a message to his own party leadership, as well as to President Obama.” — Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch

“No matter who wins in the special election in New York’s 9th congressional district on Tuesday. This race highlights the serious problems that President Obama has in the Jewish community because of his policies regarding Israel. Without question, Obama’s policies are causing significant numbers of Jewish voters to re-examine their loyalty to the Democratic Party.” — Matt Brooks RJC executive director

    • G.O.P. Gains House Seat Vacated by Weiner: Bob Turner, a little-known Republican businessman from Queens, beat Assemblyman David I. Weprin in an upset victory seen as a message to Washington…. – NYT, 9-13-11
    • GOP Takes Anthony Weiner’s Seat in Congress: Republican Bob Turner, a retired media executive, bested Democrat Assemblyman David Weprin. With about 70 percent of precincts reporting late Tuesday, Turner had 53 percent of the vote to Weprin’s 47 percent when the Associated Press called the race…. – ABC News, 9-13-11
    • Republican wins Weiner’s former seat: In a blow to Democrats, a Republican candidate captured the heavily Jewish New York City congressional district previously represented by Rep. Anthony Weiner.
      The race was closely watched as a measure of attitudes toward President Obama, with the Jewish vote a particular focus of attention. Former New York City mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat, urged voters to support the Republican, Bob Turner, in order to send a message of dissatisfaction to President Obama over his policies toward Israel…. – JTA, 9-13-11
    • Why Obama Is Losing the Jewish Vote He doesn’t have a ‘messaging’ problem. He has a record of bad policies and anti-Israel rhetoric: New York’s special congressional election on Tuesday was the first electoral outcome directly affected by President Obama’s Israel policy. Democrats were forced to expend enormous resources to try to defend this safe Democratic district, covering Queens and Brooklyn, that Anthony Weiner won last year by a comfortable margin.
      A Public Policy Poll taken days before the election found a plurality of voters saying that Israel was “very important” in determining their votes. Among those voters, Republican candidate Robert Turner was winning by a 71-22 margin. Only 22% of Jewish voters approved of President Obama’s handling of Israel. Ed Koch, the Democrat and former New York mayor, endorsed Mr. Turner because he said he wanted to send a message to the president about his anti-Israel policies.
      This is a preview of what President Obama might face in his re-election campaign with a demographic group that voted overwhelmingly for him in 2008. And it could affect the electoral map, given the battleground states—such as Florida and Pennsylvania—with significant Jewish populations. In another ominous barometer for the Obama campaign, its Jewish fund-raising has deeply eroded: One poll by McLaughlin & Associates found that of Jewish donors who donated to Mr. Obama in 2008, only 64% have already donated or plan to donate to his re-election campaign…. – WSJ, 9-13-11
    • Koch Played Key Role in GOP Victory: The Republican victory in New York’s solid blue 9th Congressional District seat in Tuesday’s special election came largely with the help of an influential Democrat: former New York City Mayor Ed Koch.
      Koch was arguably the one single factor in helping the GOP win the battle to succeed disgraced Rep. Anthony Weiner in the U.S. House.
      The thrice-elected former mayor, who remains a powerful force in New York and national politics, had backed Obama strongly in the 2008 election.
      A self-describer “liberal with reason,” former Congressman Koch holds a hawkish view on U.S. foreign policy and national security matters.
      In 2004, he cited the war on terror to cross party lines and back George Bush over John Kerry for the presidency. Koch campaigned for Bush’s re-election in Florida and Ohio.
      In the special election, the 86-year-old Koch urged fellow New Yorkers, and disaffected Democrats like himself, to send a message to President Obama that they give him a thumbs down for his domestic and foreign policies.
      Koch, a staunch supporter of Israel, has been dismayed with Obama’s lukewarm support for Israel.
      The former mayor’s message appeared to resonate in the congressional district that straddles the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn and is home to many Jews, including many Orthodox ones. Newsmax, 9-13-11
    • Republican Bob Turner wins special election in New York: Democrats suffered a stunning blow Tuesday as voters in New York’s 9th Congressional District handed the seat to Republican Bob Turner, reversing a nearly 90-year tradition of electing Democrats to represent the district. … – LAT, 9-13-11
    • Republican Bob Turner wins New York special election: Businessman Bob Turner (R) defeated state Assemblyman David Weprin (D) in the special election for the House seat held by former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner (D)…. – WaPo, 9-13-11
    • A referendum on Obama and Israel: Bob Turner vs. David Weprin is really about: In deciding between Republican Bob Turner and Democrat David Weprin, the 9th’s large percentage of Jewish voters may provide an important clue about what a part of President Obama’s base in 2008 will do in next year’s presidential contest…. – New York Daily News, 9-13-11
    • Republican wins Democratic New York House seat: Republican Bob Turner won the race to succeed Anthony Weiner in New York’s 9th congressional district. By Paul Kane, With his outcome of his own reelection effort 14 difficult months away, President Obama suffered a sharp rebuke…. – WaPo, 9-13-11
    • GOP Wins in Race to Replace Weiner: AP Democrats suffered a setback Tuesday in a congressional election in New York City, where a district they have held for nearly a century elected a Republican who framed his candidacy as a rebuke to President Barack Obama. … – WSJ, 9-13-11
    • Republican wins in New York Democratic stronghold: Republicans won an upset victory in a Democratic stronghold in New York Tuesday in a special US House of Representatives election for the seat vacated by former Representative Anthony Weiner, who resigned after a Twitter sex scandal…. – Reuters, 9-13-11
    • GOP wins in NY House race, seen as Obama rebuke: Republicans have scored an upset victory in a House race that started as a contest to replace Rep. Anthony Weiner after he resigned in a sexting scandal but became a referendum on President Barack Obama…. – Forbes, 9-13-11

“The idea is telling Obama, we’re not just in your pocket because we’re Democrats and we’re ticking off Democrat all the way down the list. We are holding you responsible for your policies, and we’re telling you we don’t want them…. If Obama looks at his always historically blue district … if he gets this message from this Democrat district, this can affect his policies–again, both on fiscal and Israel — in the next year” — Ruth Lieberman, a veteran political consultant

  • NY-9 Could Affect White House Israeli Policy: This afternoon, Ruth Lieberman, a veteran political consultant who has been helping Republican Bob Turner in his special election race to win former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s seat in New York, spoke with Townhall about the dynamics between Turner and the Jewish vote in this race and broader implications for 2012. The district shows 1/3 registered Jewish voters, but of last year’s participation in the election, a large percentage were Jewish voters, according to Lieberman.
    The conversation with Lieberman revealed voters in the very blue district seem interested on two issues: jobs and Israel. Turner’s message to constituents has been that if they’re not happy with the Obama economy or with the administration’s stance on Israel, Turner is their man. Turner also picked up major Jewish Democrat endorsements along the way — local Assemblyman Dov Hikind (who has been campaigning with Turner) and former New York Mayor Ed Koch. Lieberman emphasized that these two Democrat politicians are telling voters to cross over and that this isn’t about party, but a referendum on Obama and jobs and Israel…. – Townhall, 9-13-11
  • Is Israel Policy an Election Problem for Obama?: President Barack Obama’s weakened standing with voters has helped put a safe Democratic House seat at risk of tipping to the GOP in a special election Tuesday in New York City…. – WSJ, 9-13-11
  • Shocker: White House Spox Says NY-9 Special Is Not A Referendum On Obama’: It is worth reiterating that PPP found 54% of those polled said they disapproved of Obama’s policy on Israel, but voters were split on whether Israel matters in the NY-9 election…. – New York Daily News, 9-12-11
  • Polling Israel in NY-9: Republican Bob Turner’s unusual lead in last night’s PPP poll among Jewish and pro-Israel voters in Anthony Weiner’s old district has drawn its share of attention, but a reader points out that it may be a bit of a local anomaly. … – Politico, 9-12-11
  • GOP Jewish group yokes NY-9 results to Obama: The Republican Jewish Coalition, which sent mailers to 30,000 Jewish homes in NY-9 in advance of the special congressional election this week, is trying to pre-frame the results as negative for President Obama, regardless of whether Democrat David Weprin wins or loses.
    Weprin is locked in a tight race against neophyte politician and Republican Bob Turner, in a heavily Jewish district where Obama’s approval numbers are now underwater…. – Politico, 9-9-11
  • Gaming the Catholic vote: In a brief interlude into NY-9, which appears poised to go for the Republican Bob Turner tonight and will be sifted-over for national implications, veteran New York strategist Hank Sheinkopf said one takeaway for the Democrats next year is the Catholic vote…. – Politico, 9-13-11
  • Boehner on N.Y. special election: Republicans don’t have ‘any right to think we can win”: But if businessman Bob Turner (R) does prevail at the polls, Boehner said, the message will be a clear one: Voters are unhappy with President Obama’s leadership on the economy…. – WaPo, 9-13-11
  • NY special election a measure of Obama’s strength: Democrat David Weprin faced an unusually tight race against Republican Bob Turner in a special election Tuesday in New York’s heavily Democratic 9th Congressional District, where voters unhappy with President Barack Obama could elect a Republican for the first time.
    The contest to replace disgraced Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner has become too close to call, with public opinion polling showing a slight edge for Turner, a retired media executive with no previous political experience…. – AP, 9-13-11
  • Outside groups spend $1.65 million on House races in Nevada, New York: In Nevada, Kate Marshall (about $748000 reported) has out-raised Republican Mark Amodei (about $659000), while in New York David Weprin (about $684000) has more than doubled the campaign cash of his opponent Bob Turner (about $323000)…. – iWatch News, 9-13-11
  • 6 NY Assembly seats up for grabs in NYC, upstate: The race getting the most attention is the special election in New York City’s 9th Congressional District, where Democrat David Weprin faces Republican Bob Turner in the contest to succeed replace disgraced Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner…. – Houston Chronicle, 9-13-11
  • Former Mayor Ed Koch Supports Bob Turner YouTube, 9-12-11
  • Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D) Endorses Bob Turner (R) for US Congress in NY-9 YouTube, 9-9-11


  • Politico Arena: Daily Debate with Policymakers, Opinionshapers & Academics Politico
  • Julian Zelizer: Romney offers the electability argument Portrays Perry as too extreme: “Usually [electability] is not the most effective appeal in primaries where activists are the main voices,” said Julian Zelizer, a professor of history at Princeton University. “In this election though, the anger toward President Obama is so intense for the Republican Party that the electability argument might be stronger than it usually is.”… – Boston Globe, 9-16-11

Full Text September 17, 2011: Weekly Republican Address: Rep. Peter Roskam on Addressing Excessive Regulations to Promote Job Creation (Transcript)




Weekly Republican Address: Rep. Peter Roskam on Addressing Excessive Regulations to Promote Job Creation

Source:, 9-17-11

Delivering the Weekly Republican Address, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) talks about how excessive federal regulations are hurting job creation in America, and discusses the House’s efforts to address the problem.  “In the House, Majority Leader Eric Cantor has scheduled several bills for a vote this fall aimed at cutting red tape and addressing the excessive, Washington-imposed regulations that hamper job creation,” Roskam says.  One such bill passed the House on Thursday.  Last week, Roskam recruited job creators hurt by Washington overregulation to attend the president’s address to Congress as guests of Speaker Boehner.  Rep. Roskam is in his third term as Congressman for the Sixth District of Illinois and is the Chief Deputy Whip.  Audio of the address is available here.  Video will be available here for viewing and here for downloading once the embargo is lifted tomorrow at 6:00 a.m.

Hello, I’m Peter Roskam.  I serve as the House Republicans’ Chief Deputy Whip, and I have the honor of representing the people of Illinois’ Sixth Congressional District.


Like you, I’m frustrated with America’s jobs crisis: more than 650,000 people are out of work in Illinois, President Obama’s home state.
Small business owners are fighting every day to create and innovate, but continue to face government barriers to job creation.  Among them: our unsustainable debt, the constant threat of higher taxes, and excessive regulations.

Today I’d like to talk to you about excessive federal regulations, how they hurt jobs and household budgets, and what we can do about it.


Let me start with this: appropriate and responsible regulations help protect our health and safety.  But things have changed quickly – and for the worse.  Washington has become a red tape factory, with more than 4,000 rules in the pipeline – hundreds of which would cost our economy more than $100 million each annually. The disappointing reality is that what may be a faceless regulation to most can have a profound impact on local economies and families like yours.

Just one rule has Chicago White Metal Casting, a manufacturer in my district employing 240, fighting to survive in an already tough economy.  Already facing a stream of regulations, they’ll soon face new regulations from unelected bureaucrats implementing a back-door national energy tax – after it failed in Congress.  Chicago White Metal Casting already has one employee who spends half his time dealing with existing federal audits, certification requirements, and complex paperwork.

By now, you’ve probably heard about the case of Boeing, one of the world’s leading manufacturers.  This Chicago-based company invested more than $1 billion in a new plant in South Carolina that would generate thousands of good-paying jobs … only to be sued by the government and told that the plant can’t open.   Who in the government sued them?  No one that’s elected, I’ll tell you that.  No, Boeing is being sued by the National Labor Relations Board, which is charged with looking out for labor unions.


I’d also like to share with you the story of Gibson Guitars, a company that makes world-class guitars.  Well a few weeks ago, Gibson was raided by 26 armed federal agents. No charges have been filed and regulators have not explained to the company what they may have done wrong or how to rectify the situation. Well I’d like to know how job creators can be expected to prosper with the threat of a federal raid hanging over them?


Stories like these are cropping up coast-to-coast.  One Illinois farmer stood up at a town hall meeting last month and pleaded with the president.  He said, ‘please don’t challenge us with more rules and regulations from Washington.’

I couldn’t have said it better myself.


That farmer was one of several job creators who attended [the] president’s speech to the Congress as guests of House Speaker John Boehner.

Republicans are listening to America’s job creators and working to address their concerns with real solutions.  In the House, Majority Leader Eric Cantor has scheduled several bills for a vote this fall aimed at cutting red tape and addressing the excessive, Washington-imposed regulations that hamper job creation.


This week, the House passed a bill to eliminate the barriers Boeing faces.  It stops the government from telling an employer where it can – and cannot – create jobs.

We can take common-sense steps like these and still have rules that look out for our health and safety.   What’s important is that these rules are effective and dependable.  Job creators should be able to focus on their work – not on Washington’s busy-work.


In his speech last week, the president talked about the urgency of this moment.  He said we can act ‘right now.’  I agree.

He can help us fix this hostile regulatory environment immediately.  He already canceled some counterproductive rules that hurt our economy, and he can cancel more.


He can call on the Democrat-led Senate to pass the dozen or so jobs bills we’ve passed in the House and ones that are on their way.  That includes the Boeing bill that I just mentioned.  There’s also the REINS Act, common-sense legislation that gives Congress a say before Washington imposes new rules and regulations.  So instead of being circumvented, the people’s representatives should be able to hold accountable unelected bureaucrats who encroach on our freedoms and make it harder to create jobs.

I hope the president will consider our ideas as we take a look at his.  Let’s listen to the people and find common ground to remove barriers to job creation.  Let’s help small businesses return to creating jobs so that they can pick up where they left off instead of being left behind.

You can learn more about our jobs plan by visiting  Thank you for listening.