Full Text Campaign Buzz 2016 January 14, 2016: Fox Business Network sixth undercard Republican debate transcript

ELECTION 2016

CampaignBuzz2016

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2016

Fox Business undercard Republican debate transcript

Source: WaPo, 1-14-16

Hosted by Fox Business Network in North Charleston, South Carolina

Participants: CEO Carly Fiorina, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

Moderators: Trish Regan and Sandra Smith

TRISH REGAN, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK ANCHOR: In Tuesday’s State of the Union Address, the president said that our economy is strong. He cited the significant decline we’ve seen in unemployment rate and the millions of jobs that have been created.

What is your assessment of the economy right now? And I would like to hear from all of you on this one, beginning with Ms. Fiorina.

CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, thank you. Good evening. If I may begin by saying how honored I am to be standing here with two former Iowa Caucus winners.

Governor, Senator.

And how honored I am to be talking with all of you. You know, I’m not a political insider. I haven’t spent my lifetime running for office. The truth is I have had and been blessed by a lot of opportunities to do a lot of things in my life.

And unlike another woman in this race, I actually love spending time with my husband.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

FIORINA: I’m standing here because I think we have to restore a citizen government in this country. I think we have to end crony capitalism. The crony capitalism that starts with both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

You know, Hillary Clinton sits inside government and rakes in millions, handing out access and favors. And Donald Trump sits outside government and rakes in billions buying people like Hillary Clinton.

The state of our economy is not strong. We have record numbers of men out of work. We have record numbers of women living in poverty. We have young people who no longer believe that the American dream applies to them.

We have working families whose wages have stagnated for decades, all while the rich get richer, the powerful get more powerful, the wealthy and the well-connected get more connected.

Citizens, it’s time to take our country back.

(APPLAUSE)

SANDRA SMITH, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK ANCHOR: Governor Huckabee, same question to you. Where do you see the country right now?

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I wish I saw the country in the same place that the president presented it to be the other night in the State of the Union. He talked about how great the economy was doing. And I guess for the people he hangs out with, it’s probably doing great.

But the president should’ve stood in the line at the layaway counter at Walmart just before Christmas. He would have heard a very different story about the economy of America.

HUCKABEE: I wish I could introduce him the lady who cleans the building where our campaign headquarters is located in Little Rock. Her name is Kathleen (ph). She works all day at a local hospital cleaning, and then she goes to the building where a bank, and our headquarters, and other offices are she spends another seven hours. She works 15 hours a day.

I guarantee you she’s not working 15 hours a day because she loves scrubbing toilets, and sweeping floors. She’s working that many hours because that’s what it takes for her to make it work.

And, she’s not alone. There are people all over this country who are working like that. Many of them working two jobs — and they used to have one job, and that would take care of them. But, because of wage stagnation, which we’ve had for 40 years, because the fact that they’re punished for working harder if they work that many hours. The government gets more of their second shift than they do.

And, as a result there are a lot of people who are hurting today. I wish the President knew more of them. He might make a change in the economy and the way he’s managing it.

(APPLAUSE)

REGAN: Thank you Governor Huckabee. Senator Santorum?

SANTORUM: Well, all he has to do is listen to the Democratic debate and find out how bad the economy is. All they do is complain about the hollowing out of the middle of America, and how America is struggling so badly, and have to make these radical changes in Washington.

But they’ve been in control for the last seven years, and what have we seen? The most important jobs, I believe, in this country are the ones that fill the middle. For the 74% of Americans who don’t have a college degree between the age of 25 and 65 are manufacturing jobs. Your governor, and your legislature, and your team here have done an amazing job of bringing manufacturing jobs back to South Carolina.

(APPLAUSE) (CHEERING)

SANTORUM: Right here. Right here in Charleston, right down in the street in Boeing (ph). You’ve done a great job, and what’s happened? You’ve grown this economy, you’ve strengthened the center of your state, the middle. That’s because you know that if you’re really going to create wealth and opportunity, you got to get jobs, and good paying jobs for everybody.

And, so what’s happened? Two million jobs, manufacturing jobs, have left this country because of Barack Obama. Regulations, EPA, workplace regulations, things driving people off-shore all because of his number one priority, global climate change.

Well, let me tell you this, Mr. President. For every dollar of GDP, China creates five times as much pollution as we do here. You want to — lower global climate change, bring those jobs back to America and let American workers do that job with less pollution.

(APPLAUSE)

SMITH: Thank you, Senator Santorum. Thank you, candidates.

Moving to the world stage. The middle east is on the brink of chaos. Iran continues to provoke the United States, North Korea claims it’s tested a hydrogen bomb, and Afghanistan is in danger of falling back into Taliban hands. Critics of the administration say it’s all due to lack of U.S. leadership.

To you, Mrs. Fiorina, how do you see America’s role in the world today?

FIORINA: America must lead because when we do not lead, when this exceptional nation does not lead, the world is more dangerous and a more tragic place.

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, they all refuse to lead. Worse, they refuse to respond when this nation is provoked. Hillary Clinton famously asked what difference does it make how four Americans died in Benghazi?

Mrs. Clinton, here’s what difference it makes. When you do not stand up and say the truth, that this was a purposeful terrorist attack, when you do not say the United States of America will retaliate for that attack, terrorists assume it’s open season.

We have refused to respond to every provocation. The President wouldn’t even mention the fact that Iran had taken two Navy boats and our sailors — hostage. He didn’t mention the fact that they violated the Geneva convention. He didn’t respond to the fact that Iran launched two ballistic missile just a short time ago, in direct violation of a deal they had just signed. We didn’t respond to the fact that North Korea attacked Sony Pictures.

When we refuse to respond over, and over to provocation and bad behavior, we will get more provocation and bad behavior. I know most of our allies personally. I have met many of our adversaries. I know our military and our intelligence capability, and I know this. When we will not stand with our allies, when we will not respond to our adversaries, when we do not lead in the world the world is a dangerous and tragic place. I will be a Commander in Chief who will lead.

(APPLAUSE)

REGAN: Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

REGAN: Well, since we’ve been talking about the Middle East, Senator Santorum, conflicts between Saudi Arabia and Iran have certainly escalated, amid accusations that Saudi Arabia bombed the Iranian Embassy in Yemen after the Saudi Embassy in Tehran was attacked.

As we confront an increasingly unstable Middle East, how will you, as president, navigate this administration’s promises to Iran while standing by our historic allies in the region?

RICK SANTORUM (R-PA), FORMER SENATOR, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, the historic promises that we have made to — to Iran in this agreement need to be torn up on the first day in office of the next president.

(APPLAUSE)

SANTORUM: And let me tell you why, because Iran has already torn it up. Iran has not approved the agreement that President Obama has said that they have approved. They have approved a different agreement in their parliament.

The fact of the matter is they have violated this agreement. Carly just mentioned some of those violations.

They have launched ballistic missiles, tested them, in clear violation.

And here’s the pathetic part. The president announced that they were going to impose sanctions. And then President Rouhani went on Twitter and said there would be retaliation.

And what did we do?

We backed down.

Ladies and gentlemen, there are 50 some Citadel cadets in this audience tonight.

(APPLAUSE) SANTORUM: I would ask them to stand up if they will. And here’s what I want to tell each and every one of them, as you stand. Here’s what I want to tell them.

(APPLAUSE)

SANTORUM: Whether it’s you’re watching that movie this weekend that just came out when we abandoned our men and women in Benghazi, or whether it’s we treat Iran, that gave courtesies to our sailors, as they made them record a hostage video, let me tell you this, if you choose to serve this country, I will have your back. I will not let America be trampled upon anymore by these radical jihadists.

REGAN: Thank you, Senator Santorum.

(APPLAUSE)

SMITH: Governor Huckabee, in Afghanistan, the Taliban is strengthening. Attacks are on the rise and thousands more civilians have been wounded or killed. Much of the Taliban surge can be attributed to the withdrawal of U.S. forces there.

You have expressed skepticism with the war there, saying you see no end game in sight.

What, then, is your solution to the growing conflict there?

MIKE HUCKABEE (R-AK), FORMER GOVERNOR, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let me put that in context. When I went to Afghanistan, I saw a land that looked like the land of the Flintstones. It was desolate. It was barren. It was primitive.

And it’s been that way for thousands of years. They want to take the world back to be just like that.

We don’t.

We need to make a clear goal as to why we want to be anywhere in the Middle East, and I’ll tell you why we want to be and need to be, is to destroy radical Islam and everything that threatens civilization. It’s not just a threat…

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: — to Israel or to America, it’s a threat to every civilized person on this Earth. And we need to be equipping not only the Kurds in Iraq, we need to be making sure that those who are willing to fight radical Muslims will do it, but we need to never ever spend a drop of American blood unless there is a clearly defined goal and we can’t make sure we win unless we have a military that’s the strongest in the history of mankind.

We’ve got to rebuild our navy. It’s the smallest navy we’ve had since 1915, when my grandfather got on a destroyer in World War I when he was in the U.S. Navy. We’ve got young men in Air Force B-52s, one in particular, he’s flying a B-52 that his father flew in the ’80s and his grandfather flew in the ’50s. Those planes are older than me.

We’ve got to have a military that the world is afraid of, use it sparingly, but when we do, the whole world will know that America is on their tail and they will be on their tail on the ground, never ever to rise up again.

(APPLAUSE)

REGAN: Governor Huckabee, if I could just follow-up with that.

Do we need to be in Afghanistan?

HUCKABEE: Only if there is a concerted effort to destroy the advance of radical Islamists who are against us. As far as what are we going to make it look like. Frankly, I don’t know what we can make it look like. You can’t create for other people a desire for freedom and democracy.

And frankly, that is not the role of the United States. The role of the United States military is not to build schools, it is not to build bridges, it is not to go around and pass out food packets.

It is to kill and destroy our enemy and make America safe and that is the purpose we should be there if we’re going to be there.

REGAN: Thank you Governor Huckabee.

(APPLAUSE)

REGAN: Ms. Fiorina, nearly 600 women say they were attacked in a German city on New Year’s Eve by men of Arab or North African descent and 45 percent of those alleged attacks were sexual assaults. Twenty-two of those 32 men arrested so far are asylum-seekers. Are you worried about similar problems in the United States?

FIORINA: Of course I’m worried about similar problems in the United States. We can not allow refugees to enter this country unless we can adequately vet them and we know we can’t. Therefore we should stop allowing refugees into this country.

(APPLAUSE)

FIORINA: And by the way, we do not need to be lectured about why we’re angry and frustrated and fearful because we’ve had an illegal immigration problem in this country for 25 years.

(APPLAUSE)

FIORINA: And we have every right to be frustrated about the fact that politicians stand up in election after election after election and promise us to fix the problem and yet, it has never been fixed.

I offer leadership that understands that actions speak louder than words, that results count. We must secure our border. We must fix our broken immigration system. We must enforce a pro-American immigration system that serves our interests, not the rest of the world. I understand what it takes to translate goals into results and that is what I will do as president of the United States. Of course, we should be worried, for heavens sakes.

This administration has now told us they don’t know who has overstayed a visa. This administration has told us they don’t even bother to check Facebook or Twitter to find out who’s pledging allegiance to jihadis. We can do better than this, citizens. We need to take our country back.

(APPLAUSE)

REGAN: I want to stay with you on this. The world shares a common enemy right now in the way of ISIS. Russia, the European Union, Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, we all agree ISIS is a threat and it must be stopped.

During World War II, the world partnered with Joseph Stalin, who was arguably one of the most formidable — despicable figures of the 20th century. But they partnered with him to fight the Nazis.

Today, everyone seems to agree we need some kind of coalition to fight ISIS. Do you agree with that? And if so, would your coalition include possibly, Russia and Iran?

FIORINA: We need to be very clear-eyed now about who are our allies and who are our adversaries. In the fight against ISIS, Saudi Arabia is our ally. Iran is our adversary. And despite Donald trump’s bromance with Vladmir Putin, Vladmir Putin and Russia are our adversary. We can not…

(APPLAUSE)

FIORINA: We can not outsource leadership in the Middle East to Iran and Russia. We must stand and lead. The Kuwaitis, the Jordanians, the Saudis, Egyptians, Bahrainis (sic), the Emirates, the Kurds. I know virtually all of these nations and their leaders. And they have asked us for very specific kinds of support: bombs, material, arms, intelligence.

We are not providing any of it today. I will provide all of it. We have allies who will stand up and help us deny ISIS territory, which is what we must do to defeat them. We must deny them territory. They will help us do this. And yes, we need a coalition.

But only in the United States of America can lead such a coalition. I will lead it. But we must be clear-eyed through this fight. Iran is our adversary. Russia is our adversary. We can never outsource our leadership. Only the United States of America can lead to defeat ISIS. I will.

(APPLAUSE)

REGAN: Ms. Fiorina, thank you.

SMITH: All right, thank you, candidates. We’re just getting started. Jobs, Homeland Security, gun rights, all those issues are coming up straight ahead. We’re live from North Charleston and the Republican Presidential Debate. We’ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(APPLAUSE)

REGAN: Welcome back, everyone, to the Republican presidential debate. On to the next round of questions — Sandra.

SMITH: All right, let’s get started. Senator Santorum, to you first. President Obama has urged technology leaders to make it hard for terrorists to use technology to escape from justice. Hillary Clinton says social media companies can help by swiftly shutting down terrorist accounts.

The companies say that they’re already working with law enforcement and any proposed legislation would do more harm than good. Should companies like Facebook and Twitter be required by law to more actively — be more actively engaged in fighting terror?

SANTORUM: I would just say that if we were doing a better job within the government, we wouldn’t need the private sector to do the things that we’re asking them to do.

(APPLAUSE)

SANTORUM: I’ve had a little experience in this in the private sector myself. And what I found was a government with layers and layers of bureaucracy, of people who had some technical expertise but they had no authority, number one.

And one of the things I found out about in the bureaucracy is if a lot of people have authority, nobody has authority, number one. And number two, that if you don’t do anything, you don’t get fired.

It’s only when you do something and something goes wrong, you get fired. So they do nothing. And that’s what is happening in our Defense Department right now. We have a capability that they’re trying to develop to play defense.

We have a lot of technologists that are very skilled. And they’re trying to figure out how to play defense. But what we don’t have is we don’t have folks who are thinking about offense.

We don’t have war-fighters. We have technologists. Technologists are not war-fighters. Technologists are thinking, how do I protect cyber-security, how do I secure, how do I protect?

SANTORUM: And we need to have a much more dynamic, how do we — how do we go after them?

How do we respond?

And we need leadership that’s willing to make sure that when someone attacks us — and ladies and gentlemen, they’re attacking us as we speak. They’re attacking us all day every day, not just the government, but they’re attacking private sector companies all day every day.

They have to learn that we’re going to pay — they’re going to pay a price when they do so.

And then right now, just like in every other aspect of our national security, people who attack us are not paying a price. We need a leader who will make sure that they know when they mess with America, they’re going to pay a price.

SMITH: Senator, would you — would you require anything of those companies like Facebook and Twitter if you were president?

SANTORUM: Look, Facebook and Twitter can teach us things. We can cooperate with them. We can share ideas and information. But this is a — and this is a very dicey area for the government to go in and require the industry to do its job.

It needs to develop that capability. We need to be — have responsible dialogue, but I don’t think requirements are the order of the day.

SMITH: Thank you, Senator.

(APPLAUSE)

REGAN: Ms. Fiorina, the president has just issued an executive order to expand the gun laws and background checks. And none of you on stage agree with this.

But recent polls show the majority of Americans are in favor of universal background checks.

(BOOS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not in this room.

REGAN: It’s the poll data.

(CROSSTALK)

FIORINA: And we all believe the polling data all the time, don’t we?

REGAN: So tell me…

(APPLAUSE)

REGAN: — why, in your view, is the president’s proposal a problem?

FIORINA: Oh, it’s a problem for so many reasons.

First of all, it is yet another lawless executive order. You see, he doesn’t like the fact that Congress has rejected his ideas twice on a bipartisan basis, so he’s decided he just gets to override them.

Sorry, Mr. President, not the way “The Constitution” works.

Secondly…

(APPLAUSE)

FIORINA: — secondly, he basically admitted in that speech that he hasn’t been paying much attention to enforcing the laws we have. He said, gee, we need a few more FBI agents. That would have helped, perhaps, stop a tragedy here in South Carolina with Dylann Roof, a guy who clearly never should have been sold a gun.

In other words, Mr. President, you’re right, we need to enforce the laws we have. Let’s enforce the laws we have. There are criminals running around with guns who shouldn’t have them. We don’t prosecute any of them. Less than 1 percent.

But I want to go back to the technology issue for a moment, if I may, as well, because in this regard, I disagree with Senator Santorum. Look, I come from the technology industry and I can tell you there is one thing that bureaucracies don’t know how to do. They do not know how to innovate.

We have come seven generations of technology since 2011. We have bureaucracies that are incapable of bringing in that innovation.

So, yes, there are some very specific things that we should ask the private sector to help us with, including making sure we have the latest and greatest in algorithms to search through all these databases so that we find terrorists before they attack us, not after it’s too late.

And, finally, when a president who understands technology in the Oval Office. Mrs. Clinton, actually, you cannot wipe a server with a towel.

(APPLAUSE)

REGAN: Ms. Fiorina, you’ve said that was when you were CEO of HP, you actually worked with the government.

FIORINA: Yes, and see…

REGAN: — to try and combat some of these terrorist threats.

FIORINA: As CEO of Hewlett Packard…

REGAN: What did you do?

FIORINA: As CEO of Hewlett Packard, I was asked very specifically for some very real help. The help I was asked to provide, this is now public information. So I am not revealing what — something that was — was classified.

We had a very large shipment of equipment, software and hardware, headed to a retail outlet. And I was called by the head of the NSA, who had an urgent need for that capability, to begin laying out a program to track terrorists.

We turned that truck around on a highway and it was escorted to the headquarters in San Jose.

In World War II, our government went to the private sector and said, help us do things that we cannot do.

The private sector has capabilities that the government does not have. There are some legal authorities that are required.

The Sony attack could have been detected and repelled, had legal authorities been passed in Congress allowing private networks and public networks to work together.

Those legal authorities have not yet been passed.

Yes, I was asked to help.

(RINGS BELL)

FIORINA: I know the technology industry. They will help again. But they must be asked by a president who understands what they have.

REGAN: Ms. Fiorina, thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

SMITH: All right, Governor Huckabee, you called President Obama’s executive orders on gun control unconstitutional and completely insane.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: (LAUGHING) Yes, I did.

SMITH: You even told gun store owners to ignore the President’s orders.

(APPLAUSE)

SMITH: Yet, innocent people are dying from gun violence in cities like Detroit, Chicago, and Charleston everyday. Is there anything that can be done at the federal level to prevent guns from falling into the hands of criminals?

HUCKABEE: Well, why don’t we start by making sure the Justice Department never does an idiotic program like Fast and Furious where the U.S. Government put guns…

(CHEERING)

HUCKABEE: …in the hands of Mexican drug lords…

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: …and end up killing one of our border agents. You know, they want to talk about law abiding citizens, I just find it amazing the President keeps saying the gun show loophole. There is no gun show loophole. I promise you I’ve been to more gun shows than President Obama.

SMITH: (LAUGHING)

HUCKABEE: And, I’ve bought more weapons at them, and you fill out forms. The President also says things that it’s easier to get a gun now than it is to grow trees. Again, I purchase guns, and I can assure you that it is much more difficult to purchase a firearm than it is to get the ingredients of a salad at the supermarket.

What the President keeps pushing are ideas that have never worked. Ideas that would not have stopped San Bernadino, Sandy Hook, Aurora, and at some point you wonder if you keep retrying things that don’t work, maybe we should just see if we could resell all those used lottery tickets that didn’t work real well because that’s the logic of just keep doing the same thing, but something that has failed. Of course, we want to stop gun violence, but the one common thing that has happened in most mass shootings is that they happened in gun- free zones where people who would have been law abiding citizens, who could have stood up and at least tried to stop it and we’re not allowed to under the law.

(APPLAUSE)

SMITH: Thank you, Governor Huckabee.

REGAN: Governor Huckabee, an American in San Bernardino murdered 14 people while terrorists with Belgian and French passports murdered 130 people. Were facing a threat within our borders, and from outside the United States. Those European terrorists, they could have come here at any time given that we have a visa waiver program that enables people to travel back and forth. It exists within those countries, and 36 others.

In countries around the world, including many in Europe, cannot ensure that their citizens are not jihadists, why are we waiving the visa requirement at all?

HUCKABEE: Well, we shouldn’t be and that’s one of the reasons that I think there a lot of voices in our country who are saying it’s time to relook (ph) at the visa program. The European Union is a failure, it’s not allowed for even the economic goals that they were trying to achieve.

But, what we’re not seeing is that it’s making Europe less safe, and it’s proven not to be exactly what they all thought it was going to be.

Our first and foremost responsibility in this country, and the first responsibility of the President of the United States is protect America, and protect Americans. We have a President who seems to be more interested in protecting the reputation and image of Islam than he is protecting us. And, I want to be very clear…

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: …that this President.

(CHEERING)

HUCKABEE: Makes comments like he did the other night, that we have to be so careful because we don’t want to offend Muslims. He needs to read his own FBI crime stats from last year which would show him that of the hate crimes in the country, over 5,500, about 1,100 were religious hate crimes. And, of those, 58% were directed toward Jews. Only 16% directed toward Muslims.

Maybe what the President should have talked about the other night is how we ought to be more careful in the anti-semitic comments that are going toward American Jews than toward Muslims because by three times as many…

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: …they’re being targeted for religious hate crime.

REGAN: If you get the visa waiver program, does that shut down international commerce?

HUCKABEE: It does not shut down international commerce, but it may slow it down. And, you don’t want to slowdown commerce that is making us safer. It’s worth it. This lady who came and joined with the San Bernardino killer had passed three background checks, and that’s why a lot of Americans didn’t buy it when the President said we’ll bring in Syrian refugees, but don’t worry we’ll check them out.

We have a lot of confidence in a president who told us that we could keep our doctor, we could keep our health insurance, and cost us less, and now the latest is if you like your gun you can keep it too, and frankly, we don’t buy it. We don’t believe it. He’s lost his credibility, and his inept…

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: …inability to work with Congress and pass legislation has led him to do what I never even imagined doing as a governor, and that’s just going and doing it my own way.

HUCKABEE: That’s why we elect a president, is to lead, is to be able to shepherd things through. And if I can do it with a 90 percent Democrat legislature in Arkansas, there is no excuse for any president not being able to lead in Washington if he knows what the heck he is doing when he gets there.

(APPLAUSE)

REGAN: Thank you, Governor Huckabee.

SMITH: Senator Santorum, many of our military leaders believe America’s critical infrastructure is vulnerable to a terrorist attack. This is the power in our homes, the water we drink, the Internet and phone systems by which we stay connected.

If attacked, these essential services that underpin American society could come to a grinding halt. Do you have a specific plan to protect us from this type of attack?

SANTORUM: Well, the most devastating attack that could occur is an electromagnetic pulse attack, and that would be an attack that would be triggered by a nuclear explosion in the upper atmosphere of our country.

The best way to stop that from happening is to make sure that those who contemplating and actually war-gaming and talking about using it, Iran, doesn’t get a nuclear weapon so they can’t explode that device.

(APPLAUSE)

SANTORUM: And the president of the United States has put Iran on a path to a nuclear weapon. And we have done nothing to do anything to harden our grid. There is actually a bill in Congress that would put money forward to try to put redundancy and harden our electric grid so it could actually survive an EMP.

An EMP is a devastating explosion that sends a pulse that knocks out all electric, everything, everything that is connected to any kind — that is wired, that has a circuit board gets fried out. Everything is gone. Cars stop. Planes fall out of the sky.

This is a devastating attack. And this president has done nothing, number one, to take the most probable person to — probable country to launch an attack and stop them, and has done nothing to try to defend us, particularly our electric grid. The bottom line is, I put the original sanctions on the Iranian nuclear program when I was in the United States Senate. I’ve been fighting for 12 years with one thing in mind, that we must stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. And…

(APPLAUSE)

SANTORUM: Because they’re different than every other country. They do not want a nuclear weapon to defend themselves. They want a nuclear weapon to have theological ends to bring about their mahdi so they can control the world. And that is the most serious threat facing this country right now.

(APPLAUSE)

SMITH: Senator Santorum, I want to stay with you on this, moving to jobs and the economy. In his State of the Union Address the other night, President Obama touted his record on jobs, citing more than 14 million new jobs and boasted of nearly 900,000 manufacturing jobs added in the past six years.

Do you dispute his track record of creating jobs?

SANTORUM: Well, the numbers just don’t add up. I mean, they have not added manufacturing jobs. Manufacturing jobs have been lost in this country, 2 million of them. The bottom line is that this president has done more to take jobs away from the hard-working people who are struggling the most.

And that’s folks who are, as I said, the 74 percent of Americans who don’t have a college degree. And they’re out there talking about, well, we’re going to provide free college for everybody. Well, who is going to pay for it? The 74 percent that don’t have a college degree.

They’re not — nobody is focused. Let’s just be honest, nobody is focused on the people who are struggling the most in America today. We talk about immigration. Talk about the president’s immigration plan. He wants to bring in more and more people into this country. Let people who are here illegally stay in this country.

Almost all of the people who are here illegally, and most of the people who came here legally over the last 20 years, they’re working in wage-earning jobs. That is why wages have flat-lined.

And we have unfortunately two political parties with most of the candidates in this field for some form of amnesty, some form of allowing people to stay here even though they’re here illegally and for increasing levels of legal immigration.

I’m someone who believes that we need to be the party that stands for the American worker. And when we say we need to send people back, I mean we send people back.

And let me just make one point. I was in Storm Lake, Iowa, the other day, near a Tyson’s plant, 91 percent of the kids that go to the elementary school there are minority kids. And they said, well, what are you going to do with all of these people, their families, they’ve lived here for a long time?

I said, I’m going to give them a gift. I’m going to give them a gift of being able to help the country they were born in.

SANTORUM: And I’m going to export America, the education they were able to see. They learned English language. They learned about capitalism. They learned about democracy. You want to stop flow of immigrants?

Let’s send six million Mexicans, Hondurans, Guatemalans, El Savadorians…

(BELL RINGS)

… back into their country, so they can start a renaissance in their country so they won’t be coming over here anymore.

(APPLAUSE)

REGAN: Senator Santorum, thank you.

SMITH: Governor Huckabee, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen, has said the greatest threat to our security is our national debt.

Our national debt is now on pace to top $19 trillion. Yet, you as well as Ms. Fiorina have laid forward no plan to reform entitlements. How can you say you’re going to pay down our country’s debt without cutting Social Security or Medicare?

HUCKABEE: Well, first of all, let’s just remember that Social Security is not the government’s money, it belongs to the people who had it taken out of their checks involuntarily their entire working lives.

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: For the government to say, well it is fault of working people that we have a Social Security problem, no. It is the fault of a government that used those people’s money for something other than protecting those people’s accounts. So let’s not blame them and punish them.

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: But here is a fact, and I sometimes hear Republicans say well, we’re going to have to cut this and extend the age. You know what I think a lot of times when I hear people say, well, let’s make people work to their 70. That sounds great for white-collar people who sat at a desk most of their lives. You ever talk to somebody that stood on concrete floor for the first 40 years of their working life? Do you think they can stand another five years or 10 years, many of them will retired virtually crippled because they worked hard. And we’re going to punish them some more? I don’t think so. Here’s the fact.

(APPLAUSE)

HUCAKBEE: Four percent economic growth, we fully fund Social Security and Medicare. Our problem is not that Social Security is just too generous to seniors. It isn’t. Our problem is that our politicians have not created the kind of policies that would bring economic growth.

And I still support strongly that we get rid of the 77,000 pages of the monstrous tax code…

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: … pass the fair tax, supercharge this economy with the rocket fuel that happens with the consumption tax and we don’t have to cut Social Security to any senior who has worked their lifetime for it.

(APPLAUSE)

REGAN: Thank you, Governor Huckabee.

SMITH: OK. We’re going to continue this conversation. We’re taking a quick break and then coming up, the candidates’ plans for strengthening the middle class. We’re live in North Charleston with the Republican Presidential Debate. We’ll be right back.

(APPLAUSE)

(COMMERICAL BREAK)

REGAN: Welcome back to the Republican presidential debate live from North Charleston.

We want to jump right back in.

Sandra is kicking it off.

SMITH: All right, thanks, Trish.

Well, let’s get started with Ms. Fiorina.

Today, the middle class represents about 50 percent of the U.S. population, down from about 61 percent back in 1971. That’s according to Pew Research. The same research revealed a widening income gap in America. The rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

What will you do to strengthen a middle class that is no longer the majority?

FIORINA: For decades, the professional political class in both parties has been talking about the middle class. For decades, Republicans in particular have been talking about reducing the size and scope of government, spending less money, reducing the complexity.

And yet, for 40 years, the government has gotten bigger and more expensive.

We now have a 75,000 plus page tax code, although politicians have run for office for decades promising reform. And all the while, middle class incomes have stagnated.

You see, when government gets bigger and bigger, more powerful, the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the middle class gets squeezed.

We need to understand who the job creators are in this country, because we need more jobs to grow the middle class and to grow the wages of the middle class.

Who creates jobs?

Small businesses, new businesses, family-owned businesses. (APPLAUSE)

FIORINA: They create two thirds of the new jobs in this country and they employ half the people.

I started out typing for a nine person real estate firm. My husband Frank started out driving a tow truck for a family-owned auto body shop. And we are crushing small businesses and destroying the middle class.

So here’s my blueprint to take back America. Let us first actually reform the tax code from 73,000 pages down to three. There’s a 20-year-old plan to do exactly that.

And then let us begin piece by piece to focus on every single dollar the government spends, so that we will spend less overall and still have enough for our priorities. And that requires the government to budget the way you do at home — examine every dollar, cut any dollar, move any dollar. The fancy term for that is zero- based budgeting, but I call it common sense.

Citizens, we’ve got to take our country back.

(APPLAUSE)

SMITH: Thank you, Ms. Fiorina.

(APPLAUSE)

REGAN: Governor Huckabee, you know it used to be you could graduate from high school and get a pretty good job at the local factory, enough to take care of your family and yourself. Those days seem to be gone. It’s pretty hard to do that nowadays.

Businesses are increasingly turning to automation to increase their productivity levels. It’s happening right here, in fact, at the Boeing factory in North Charleston.

The president says automation threatens workers’ ability to get higher wages.

Do you agree with that?

And if so, do you have a solution?

HUCKABEE: Let me go back to the reason so many people are having a hard time getting ahead. The tax system punishes them.

Think about this. If you work really hard and you start moving up the economic ladder, you get bumped into a different tax bracket. So the government thinks it deserves more of your hard work than you do.

And it’s one of the reasons that no matter how many different reforms you have to a tax on people’s productivity, you’re still taxing their work, their savings. You’re taxing their capital gains, inheritance, dividends, you’re taxing everything that produces something.

And it’s way I really believe it’s time to do something bold, not something minute. This is no time for a tap of the hammer, a twist of the screwdriver. It’s time for something big. That’s why the fair tax transforms our economy.

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: And we don’t punish workers. It’s the only way we’re going to get middle class people moving ahead again, because the harder they work, the more they keep. No payroll tax deducted from their checks. They get their entire paycheck.

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: And, one of the most important parts, it’s built on the common sense with which we raised our kids, and trained dogs. You reward behavior you want more of. And, you punish behavior you want less of. That’s how I raise kids, it’s how I trained our dogs, and folks, it’s not that difficult.

We now punish the behavior we say we want more of by taxing it, and we reward the behavior that we say we want less of, so if you make a good investment, we punish you with a tax. If you make a bad investment you can write that off and the rest of the taxpayers will help subsidize you, and bail you out.

(APPLAUSE)

REGAN: Thank you very much, Governor Huckabee.

Senator Santorum, 40% of babies born today are born to single moms. That’s twice as high as reported back in 1980, and it’s 11 times as high as in 1940. Studies show that children are always better off economically, most often — and emotionally, with two parents in a household. From a policy perspective, should the government be doing anything to encourage family formation?

SANTORUM: You know, we’ve had this debate about the economy, and we haven’t talked the one issue now increasingly even the right, and even the are coming to agreement. I’ve run around doing 300 town hall meetings talking about a book written by a liberal Harvard sociologist, not a normal thing for me to be talking about, but I now name Robert Putnam who wrote a book called, “Our Kids”.

And, he wrote this book, I think, ostensibly to support the Democratic argument that the middle of America’s hollowing out, and income gap is widening, and rich are getting richer. When he studied all the information as to what was going on, he realized that the biggest reason that we’re seeing the hollowing out of the middle of America is the breakdown of the American family.

The reality is that if you’re a single parent — a child of a single parent, and you grew up in a single parent family neighborhood, you went to that single parent family school, the chance of you ever, ever reaching the top 20% of income earners is 3% in America. At least — I don’t know about you, but that’s not good enough. And, we have been too politically correct in this country because we don’t want to offend anybody to fight for the lives of our children. (APPLAUSE)

You want — You want to be shocked? You read the first few chapters of Mr. — Dr. Putnam’ book. He talks about Port Clinton, Ohio and growing up there in the 1950’s, and how poor kids actually survived and did well, even though they were poor and disadvantaged. But, then he goes to the towns today and these kids are failing, and failing miserably. They don’t even have a shot, and we won’t even have the courage to have leadership at the federal level — not with legislation, but the most powerful tool a president have, the bully pulpit to encourage each and everyone of you, churches and businesses, and educators, and community leaders to let’s have a national campaign to rebuild the American family, and give every child its birthright which is a Mom and a Dad who loves them.

That will change this economy.

(CHEERING & APPLAUSE)

REGAN: Thank you.

SMITH: Thank you, Senator.

We’re not finished yet. More Republican Presidential Debate in North Charleston after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SMITH: Welcome back, it’s time for the closing statements. Candidates will each get one minute, starting with Senator Santorum.

Thank you very much, I want to thank the people of Charleston, which has become a little bit of a second home to me, because I am very privileged to have two young men who go to the Citadel here and they’re here tonight, my son John and my son Daniel.

(APPLAUSE)

SANTORUM: Ladies and gentlemen, America is frustrated and angry and looking for someone who’s a fighter, but I also think they’re looking for someone who’s a winner. Somebody who can go out there and take on the establishment and make a difference. And take on someone who’s going to be the person who’s going to be between a Republican holding the presidency and that’s Hillary Clinton.

And there’s one person on this stage, one person in the race who’s done it and done it repeatedly. I’ve taken on Hillary Clinton on the issues you care about. Partial-birth abortion.

Go and google Rick Santorum and Hillary Clinton and there you’ll see a five-minute debate. I’ll let you decide who won the debate. I’ll tell you who won, because we passed the bill and I know I’m out of time but I’m going to take some of Rand Paul’s time here for a second.

(APPLAUSE)

SANTORUM: If you’re looking for someone who fought Hillary Clinton on Iran’s sanctions, she was one of four who voted — who’s deciding vote who voted against Iran’s sanctions, so we didn’t get it in place as earlier as we should have.

I’ve fought battles against her. In 1994, I ran against the Clinton machine. James Carville and Paul Begala, ran the race against me when I took on the author of Hillary care.

And each one of those battles, I won. You want a fighter, you want a winner, I’d appreciate your vote. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

SMITH: Thank you, Senator Santorum. Governor Mike Huckabee.

HUCAKBEE: Well, Rick, I’m pretty sure I did also fight the Clinton machine because every election I was ever in in Arkansas, I assure you, they were behind it, helping finance and campaign for every opponent.

And I share with you the understanding that it’s going to be a tough battle. But I spent the first half of my adult life in the private and nonprofit sector, raising a family, understanding how tough it is for people to make it.

And that first half of my life is what led me to believe that America needs a different kind of leadership, not people who spent their whole life running from one office to the next, and living off the government dime. And I got involved because I got sick of what I saw.

I also believe that there’s got to be some leadership that not only addresses the monetary and military issues of this country, but the moral issues of this country. At the end of every political speech, most of us say, God bless America.

But how can he do that when we continue to slaughter 4,000 babies a day?

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: And I want to be the president that treats every person, including the unborn, as a person. And protect them under the 5th and 14th amendments of the constitution. I close with this word from a gentleman in East Texas named Butel Lucre (ph). He’s 100 years old and I met him down in East Texas.

HUCKABEE: And he said this to me. “I sure wish, Mike, we had the days when The Ten Commandments were in all of our capitals and in every school, and we prayed again.

You know, he may be 100 years old, but I believe some of those old ideas to get this country back where we unapologetically get on our knees before we get on our feet might be the best solutions we’ve ever sought as a country.

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: And I ask for your support and your vote.

Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

SMITH: Thank you, Governor.

REGAN: Carly Fiorina?

FIORINA: My husband Frank, that I mentioned, I love spending time with. He’s down there. He was real excited the other day because in New Hampshire, he was introduced as my eye candy.

(LAUGHTER)

FIORINA: You know, everybody out there watching knows this. You cannot wait to see the debate between me and Hillary Clinton. You would pay to see that fight.

(APPLAUSE)

FIORINA: And that’s because you know I will win. And that’s important. We’ve got to start by beating Hillary Clinton.

All of my life, I have been told to sit down and be quiet. Settle. Settle. Don’t challenge the system.

That’s what the American people are being told now and we have been told that for way too long — sit down and be quiet about our God, about our guns, about the abortion industry, settle for illegal immigration that’s been a problem for decades, as so many of our problems have festered for decades. Accept a system of government and politics that no longer works for us.

I will not sit down and be quiet. And neither will you.

So I ask you to stand with me, fight with me, vote for me, citizens. It is time to take our future back, time to take our politics back. It is time to take our government back. Citizens, it is time. We must take our country back.

(APPLAUSE)

REGAN: Thank you to all the candidates.

(CROSSTALK)

REGAN: That does it, everyone for the first debate right here in North Charleston.

 

 

Full Text Campaign Buzz 2016 December 15, 2015: CNN Fifth Undercard Republican Debate in Las Vegas, Nevada Transcript

ELECTION 2016

CampaignBuzz2016

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2016

Transcript: CNN undercard GOP debate

Source: WaPo, 12-15-15

Participants

  • Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee
  • Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.)
  • Former New York governor George Pataki
  • Former U.S. senator Rick Santorum (Pa.).

We have posted the complete transcript below.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer introduced the candidates, and the debate was underway.

BLITZER: We know you’re all eager to jump in and debate these important issues, but please wait until you’re called on. Now that everyone is this place, it’s time for the candidates to introduce themselves to our audience. You’ll each have one minute.

Senator Graham, you’re first.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you very much.

I just returned from Iraq two weeks ago. It was my 36th trip to Iraq and Afghanistan in the last decade. Toward the end, I met a very impressive Special Forces sergeant. It was his job to train Iraqi Kurdish commandos.

He was so proud of what he was doing and so proud of the people he was training. He was the replacement for Master Sergeant Wheeler, a Delta Force member who was killed two months ago in a raid against an ISIL prison to free prisoners.

As I departed, I told this young man, stay safe. He replied, sir, I will do my best to stay safe, but I came here to win. As commander-in-chief, I will do everything in my power to make sure that he can win. As president, we will win.

(APPLAUSE) BLITZER: Governor Pataki.

GEORGE PATAKI (R), FORMER NEW YORK GOVERNOR, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, Wolf.

I want to speak to you this evening not as a Republican or a presidential candidate, but as an American. As we saw today in L.A., we are at a crisis in our country. Radical Islam poses a threat to our safety not just overseas, but literally in every community in America.

And yet at a time when we should be united, we have a president who has divided us, who refuses to call radical Islam what it is, let alone have a coherent strategy to defeat it.

The leading Democrat, Hillary Clinton, won’t call ISIS by its name, failed as secretary of state, and has continually lied to the American people.

On the other hand, the leading Republican candidate, Donald Trump, continually demonizes and demeans millions of Americans, and when confronted about it, laughs it off. Neither is fit to be president of the United States.

Our party, as Republicans, needs to nominate a strong leader who will unite us as Republicans, but more importantly, unite us as Americans, committed to destroying and defeating radical Islam, restoring our confidence in our safety right here, and our belief in freedom, and that the best of America is ahead of us.

Thank you very much.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Senator Santorum.

RICK SANTORUM (R), FORMER PENNSYLVANIA SENATOR, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, Wolf.

It’s great to be here in Las Vegas. And I just want to thank everybody for the opportunity to be here.

This is an important time in our country’s history. We have entered World War III. World War III has begun and we have a leader who refuses to identify it and be truthful to the American people to the stakes that are involved, in part, because his policies have led us here.

SANTORUM: His policy toward Iran lit the fuse of a nuclear Iran. Just a few weeks ago the International Atomic Agency reported that Iran has had a nuclear program, but they don’t know if it’s continuing because they refuse to share any information about the current status. And this President marches on, forgiving them hundreds of billions of dollars to allow them to not just reconstitute their robust nuclear program, pursue their missile program, but also to foment terror around the world. And then his policies in the Middle East with Iraq create ISIS. Ladies and gentlemen, we need a President who will be honest with you and identify these problems and defeat them. I hope you will give me the chance to do that. Thank you.

BLITZER: Governor Huckabee.

GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE, (R) ARKANSAS: Wolf, I want to say thanks to you and CNN for giving us the opportunity especially to focus on national security issues at a time when Americans are not only angry — angry at their government that they feel like has failed them, been indifferent to them, cost them their livelihoods — but they’re in addition to angry, they’re just plain scared. They’re scared when they thing that they go to a Christmas party and get shot at by somebody who sat and had lunch with them an hour earlier. They’re scared when they realize that our government, who promises that it can vet people and is begging us to approve bringing 10,000 Syrian refugees into this country, can’t even catch somebody after a third background check, who had posted things on social media clearly indicating she wanted to kill Americans. And we couldn’t catch that. We’ve lost confidence in our government. And when Americans lose confidence in their government, we’re in a dangerous place. We’re in danger because we have an enemy that is out to kill us, and we have a government that we don’t trust any more. This election is about going back to having a government we can trust with leaders who have the courage and conviction to actually lead and not follow.

BLITZER: Let’s begin. The United States just suffered the worst terrorist attack since 9-11, the murder of 14 people by two terrorists, one of whom was an American citizen. In response, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump proposed a temporary ban on all Muslims coming into the United States until the government can figure out what is going on. Senator Graham, the polls show most Republicans do support Mr. Trump. What do you say to them?

GOV. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: You may think this makes us safe, but it doesn’t. The good news for everybody in this room is, after 36 trips to Iraq and Afghanistan, most people over there, Wolf, are not buying what ISIL’s selling. This is a religious war between radical Islam and the rest of the world. And there’s only one way you’re going to win this war. Help people in Islam who reject radical Islam to fight over there and destroy this ideology. Donald Trump has done the one single thing you cannot do. Declare war on Islam itself. ISIL would be dancing in the streets, they just believe in dancing. This is a coup for them, and to all of our Muslim friends throughout the world, like the King of Jordan and the President of Egypt, I am sorry. He does not represent us. If I am President, we will work together. People in the faith to all over the world destroy this radical ideology. Declaring war on the religion only helps ISIL.

BLITZER: Senator Graham, you say you’d rather lose the election without Trump than try to win with him. Does that mean you’ll be voting for the Democratic nominee if Donald Trump wins the presidential nomination?

GRAHAM: I will support the Republican nominee, whoever he or she may be. Like Bob Dole, I may sleep late that day if it’s Trump. But the bottom line, if it’s Trump, so be it. That’s who I’ll support. Please understand we’re in a war that we can’t afford to lose, and what he said about banning Muslims coming here to America has made us all less safe, and it’s the worst possible thing he could do in this war. He clearly doesn’t understand this war and how to win it. For God’s sakes, pick somebody who is worthy of the sacrifice of those who are fighting this war and who actually knows how to win, and I don’t believe that’s Mr. Trump, and I know it’s not Hillary Clinton.

BLITZER: Governor Pataki, you mentioned Donald Trump in your opening statement. You’ve also suggested Mr. Trump’s plan is un- American and absurd. Why?

GEORGE PATAKI, FORMER NEW YORK GOVERNOR: Absolutely. It’s one of many absurd things this President has said.

PATAKI: To target a religion and say that, regardless of whether you’re an American soldier who’s fought on our side or allies we have overseas, simply because of your religion we’re going to ban you is un-American, it is unconstitutional and it is wrong. And by the way, Wolf, now there was a group that tried to do that 150 to 160 years ago, they were called the Know-Nothing Party. They wanted to ban Catholics. They thought they were going to destroy America.

Well, Donald trump is the Know-Nothing candidate of the 21st century and cannot be our nominee.

By the way, though. I fault Hillary and Obama as well because by not distinguishing between Muslims and radicalized Jihadists, by refusing to acknowledge that it’s radical Muslim, radical Islamists who are carrying out these attacks against America — they let Americans who are confused and angry lump everyone together. We have to embrace the Muslims who embrace our freedom and living and safety. We have to destroy those who embrace Jihad and want to engage in violence against us here or abroad.

BLITZER: Senator Santorum, you object to Mr. Trump’s proposals on the grounds that it’s unworkable. You’ve made religious liberty a hallmark of your career. Do you believe in religious liberty for Muslims as well as Christians?

SANTORUM: Of course I do. But what Donald Trump was saying was nothing against Muslims. His comment was against this administration who doesn’t have a policy to properly vet people coming into this country. Let’s just be honest about what’s — what’s being talked about here. And I know people will pile on because it makes sense to pile on, maybe from the polls. But he brings up a legitimate issue. The fact of the matter is not all Muslims are Jihadists and no one, including I suspect, Donald Trump would say that. But the reality is, all Jihadists are Muslims.

That’s a reality. And we have — we have to stop worrying about offending some people and start defending all Americans. Because we’re not right now.

BLITZER: Senator Graham.

Rick, please understand the only way we’re gonna win the war against radical Islam is for the world to unite. Very few fathers and mothers want to turn hair daughters and sons over to ISIL. If you spend any time in the region, you’d know that. Muslims have died by the thousands fighting this hateful ideology. You can say what you like, but when you utter the word I will ban all Americans, all Muslims from coming to America, how do you think the king of Jordan must feel to hear that? He is our friend, he is our ally. This is not the way to make America safe. This is the way to help our enemies. Stop this before it’s too late.

BLITZER: Senator Santorum.

SANTORUM: I would agree — I would agree that Donald Trump’s proposal was not the right proposal. But he brings up a very important issue that I think we’ve been ignoring for far too long in this country. The reality is that, yes, we need to get reformist Muslims to join us. We need to get those who are being persecuted and killed within the Middle East to join us. But we also have to protect this country from those who want to harm us and we have to defeat those who are radicalized in the Middle East and wherever we find them around the world.

BLITZER: Governor Huckabee, you called Mr. Trump’s plan to ban Muslims impossible and unconstitutional. But what is your specific plan to prevent would-be Jihadists from carrying out attacks against Americans?

HUCKABEE: Well, let me begin by saying I’m not that afraid of Donald Trump. And, in the sense that I’d rather him be President than I had Hillary be president any day. And so if he becomes president, I think he will do a whole lot more to protect us than Hillary will. And a whole lot more than Barack Obama has done in his eight years.

So I want to make it very clear that when I was making that comment, I was simply speaking that I’m not sure that you can have a religious test per se. And it’s very impractical because if somebody comes to our borders and says I’d like to come in. They say are you a Muslim? Well, they’re — if they’re going to come in here to kill us, they’re not gonna say yeah, and I’m coming to kill you. They’re going to lie about it. Anybody that will kill you, for God’s sake, will lie to you.

So that’s why I say it’s impractical. But what he has done, and I don’t think a lot of people understand, he has touched a nerve because people are angry and afraid that we are facing an enemy that this administration refuses to acknowledge, refuses to want to go fight. And our only answer is to go after ISIS and to go after every form of radical Islam where they are, take them down, so they never get here and do what they did in San Bernardino again ever.

BLITZER: The terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino have sparked a debate here in the United States about the balance between privacy and security. I want to bring in CNN’s Dana Bash and Hugh Hewitt for more on this.

BASH: Senator Santorum, you want to give the intelligence community more power to collect American’s phone data. But the government had this ability until just days before the San Bernardino attack.

BASH: If it couldn’t prevent San Bernardino, why will it protect America?

SANTORUM: Just because it couldn’t have prevented San Bernardino doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have all tools available to us that doesn’t impinge upon people’s privacy. This sort of data collection is not collecting people’s phones calls, their voices; they’re not collecting information that’s personal. There’s no names attached to these numbers. They’re simply numbers and times and relationships that throughout algorithms that computer technology can be able to sort through relationship about what numbers are calling what numbers and be able to track those down to see if there’s any leakage’s between someone who’s potentially a terrorist.

That is to me just fundamental that we have to have this type of data to be able to not impinge upon people’s privacy. In fact, I would make the argument that the more data we can collect that’s anonymous that we can through, through using algorithms, the less we need to involve people in and imposing themselves in people’s privacy.

BASH: Senator Graham, when this program was exposed, you said, ” you have nothing to worry about if you’re not talking to terrorist.” Do you understand why though some Americans are concerned that the government is keeping tabs on them in any way?

GRAHAM: Well, here’s what I’m here to tell you, when I first started this process of running for president., I said, ” if you didn’t realize we need more America boots on the ground in Iraq and eventually in Syria as a part of the regional army – not ready to be commander in chief.” Like nobody said a word, now everybody’s on board except Senator Paul.

Senator Paul and Senator Cruz, are isolationists. They both want to restrict the ability of the NSA to do the following; find out if somebody overseas is calling into America and if somebody is on the other end of the phone, don’t you want to know who their talking to? IF a terrorist is calling into America and we can match up phone numbers we get a get a court order to find out what the content is.

We’re at war folks, they’re not trying to steal your car, they’re trying to kills us all. So yes, I would re-institute this program. There’s four things you need to understand about this war, it’s a religious war, them against the world, if you don’t fight them over there, they’re coming here. If you don’t hit them first, they’re going to hit us. If you’re not determined to fight it as a ware, you’re going to lose it. So if you’re worried about somebody having your phone in the government, don’t be. The only thing you need to worry about is if you’re talking to terrorist and a judge gives an order to listen to what you’re saying. That’s all you need to worry about.

BASH: Thank you.

Governor Huckabee, you said, “not one terrorist plot has been foiled by the NSA’s collection of American’s phone records. The director of the CIA says,. “not having these programs makes it ability to find terrorists, quote, “much more challenging.”” Are you taking a potential tool to fight terrorists?

HUCKABEE: No. I’m not taking it away, I just want to make sure that everything we use is going to be effective. We’re spending billions of dollars, let’s make sure it’s effective. Let’s use every tool, but let’s also check out the Facebook posts, let’s look at Twitter accounts.

My gosh, we were told we couldn’t do it because it might invade somebody’s privacy. This lady who came over here and shot up San Bernardino was posting things on Facebook, yet, we were restricted from looking. Every college kid who goes to a frat party gets drunk and puts his picture on Facebook is going to have a potential employer looking at that photo before he gets hired.

Why should we have more attention? I mean, for heaven’s sake, towards some college kid who wants to one day ten years from to get a job, then we’re going after who wants to come in with a semi automatic weapon or a pipe bomb and blow up a bunch of Americans. This is what I think a lot of Americans are frustrated with, it’s the duplicity of our policy that is illogical and irrational.

Our goal ought to be, “protect Americans and put Americans first not last,” which is what I think this administration has done.

BASH: Senator Santorum?

SANTORUM: Look, I agree with Governor Huckabee, that we should in fact be looking at people’s social media posts. That’s just common sense.

But we’ve defunded and tied the hands behind the backs of our intelligence agencies because of political correctness. We’re not allowed to ask any questions or really pursue, whether there’s any mosque that they’re attending that could be spreading Jihadism, and we know that in this country there are Imams that are doing that. But we’re not allowed to ask those questions, we’re not allowed to pursue to those things because we have a president who denies the reality of the enemy we confront.

HEWITT: Wait, let’s pursue that in fact Governor Pataki?

PATAKI: Yes.

HEWITT: You called for following and finding those Imams who are preaching violence in mosques. How exactly would you do that and what Mosques would you shut down? How extensive of a surveillance program are you proposing?

PATAKI: You know, I think it’s very important that we do everything in our power to prevent radicalization of Americans right here. And it is happening, not just overseas, but it’s happening here from Mosques on social media.

PATAKI: And truth — interaction and community meetings.

New York police department had a very active group, aggressively monitoring and using intelligence to — in certain Muslim communities, consistent with our constitution, consistent of our civil rights, so they could have the intelligence as to where these sermons are being given, and who is being radicalized. And, they stopped and prevented dozens, and dozens of attacks in New York.

You know, I’m a great believer in the First Amendment, of Freedom of Speech. I wish we had more of it on our college campuses, but you can’t shout fire in a crowded theater. Calling on Americans to engage in violence against their fellow Americans in the name of jihad is crying fire in a crowded theater. It is not constitutionally protected speech, it should be shut down.

And, by the way, the two murders who went to Garland, Texas to massacre many Americans before the Texas police officer courageously killed them, had been radicalized here.

Getting to that metadata question, one of those terrorists, the day before the attacks, had sent…

[BELL RINGING]

…109 message to a known terrorist overseas. We could not read those messages, we can not read those today…

HEWITT: …Thank you, Governor…

PATAKI: …We have got to do far better.

HEWITT: Governor Huckabee…

(APPLAUSE)

HEWITT: …As Governor Pataki noted earlier, we have a history of religious intoleration in this country. About the American Muslims who would be subject to this kind of surveillance, does it violate their First Amendment rights?

HUCKABEE: No, it does not violate their First Amendment rights to have someone go and listen to the sermons. You can go to any church in America, it’s a public place, you can listen, and — you know, if you go to my church, you’ll probably get a real blessing. Heck, it’ll be a wonderful experience. You go to some people’s church, you may go to sleep, I don’t know what happens in every church, but, the point is that these are public places, and folks are invited to come.

So, if it’s a public place, and people are invited to come, how does it violate anybody’s First Amendment rights that somebody shows up because they might want to just listen in and see is there something that is a little nefarious? And, if there is, then you take the second step of getting a search warrant, you do whatever you have to do. That’s all protected under the constitution.

So, Huge, I hear people act like there’s something that is terrible about going and sitting in and listening to the sermons of a mosque. If Islam is as wonderful, and peaceful as its adherents say, shouldn’t they be begging us to all come in and listen to these peaceful sermons? Shouldn’t they be begging us all to come, and listen, and bring the FBI so we’d all want to convert to Islam?

HEWITT: Senator Santorum…

(APPLAUSE)

HEWITT: …I want to start then, not on the First Amendment, but on the Second Amendment. There is a terror watchlist. You can legally purchase a gun in the United States if you’re on that watchlist. Your old colleague, Peter King in the House, wants to change that law. Do you agree with him?

SANTORUM: I don’t. I don’t think we should be able to deny someone’s constitutional rights based on a list kept by the government that nobody knows how they get on it, or how they get off of it.

If you’re going to make that list public, if you’re going to put criteria out there as to how you’re going to get on it, if you’re going to deny someone’s constitutional right, than I think there has to be more transparency. Let’s just be honest, when someone applies for a gun, you do a background check. And, if you’re on the terrorist watch list, guess what very well may happen? You may get denied that.

That’s a discretion of the people — of the ATF in making that kind of decision. I want to leave that discretion — as long as this list is not well known, as long as it’s not transparent, we have to leave that discretion.

I want to make a comment about what Mike said, and George said, about mus — Islam.

The fact of the matter is, Islam is different. I know this is going to come as a shock to a lot of people, and I mean the sincerely. Islam is not just a religion. It is also a political governing structure. The fact of the matter is, Islam is a religion, but it is also Sharia law, it is also a civil government, it is also a form of government. And, so, the idea that that is protected under the First Amendment is wrong.

And, in fact, that political structure is what is the big problem. The imposition of Sharia law adherence to fundamental Islam as it was practiced in the Seventh Century…

HEWITT: Governor…

SANTORUM: …There has to be a line drawn.

HEWITT: Governor, back to you. Your response?

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: I don’t disagree. I don’t disagree with anything that the Senator just said because that’s exactly right. But, I just want to go back to the point that when people say we can’t go into the mosque, we can’t listen. That’s utter nonsense. Of course we can. And, if we can’t, if there’s something so secretive going on in there that somebody isn’t allowed to go and hear it, maybe we do need for sure to send somebody in there and gather the intelligence. And, that’s all to the world I’m saying, I think it stands to be true.

GRAHAM: Can I say something?

HEWITT: Senator Graham, are you trying to get in?

GRAHAM: Yeah. There are at least 3,500 American muslims serving in the armed forces. Thank you for your service.

(APPLAUSE)

You are not the enemy.

GRAHAM: Your religion is not the enemy. Let me make this real to you.

I was at the second presidential election in Afghanistan. The guy guarding me was an American Muslim sergeant in the Army who grew up in Kabul, left when he was — graduated high school, joined the U.S. Army, went back to his high school where they were doing polling, people voting, he took me there and cried like a baby. I cried like a baby.

He is the solution to this problem, folks. He is not the problem. Leave the faith alone. Go after the radicals that kill us all.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Governor Pataki.

PATAKI: Yes, Wolf.

BLITZER: There are a lot of people who have been frustrated, especially Senator Graham, that law enforcement can’t tap into information on terrorist cell phones. Senator Graham has called on companies in Silicon Valley to change their business models.

As president of the United States, would you force these companies to change their models so the government can better monitor the traffic on these cell phones?

PATAKI: I would pass a law requiring them to do that. Let me just give you one example. I mentioned in Garland, Texas, where that murderer, that terrorist, the day before sent 109 messages overseas to a known terrorist.

But they were encrypted. So to this date we don’t know what that said. Companies are entitled to encrypt and protect their knowledge and their intelligence. But what we need is a back door for law enforcement to be able, when they can establish that that communication poses a risk to our safety and engages in terrorism, to get a court order and go in and access those communications.

Allow the companies to continue encryption, provide an entry way for law enforcement when they can prove to a court that there is a sufficient risk of an attack upon us that they have the right to look at those messages.

BLITZER: Senator Graham?

PATAKI: And just one more thing, Wolf. When that murderer came from Pakistan to San Bernardino and committed those atrocious crimes just a few weeks ago, she applied for a visa.

She had posted on social media jihadist messages. Because this administration is so politically correct, they have a rule that they cannot look at social media postings of people applying to come to the United States.

That is utterly absurd. One of the things we must do, the next president must do is get rid of that law and make sure we do everything in our power to find out if someone poses a threat to our existence here.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Senator Graham.

GRAHAM: Thank you. This is why I own a flip phone. You don’t have to worry about all of this stuff.

(LAUGHTER)

GRAHAM: The bottom line is, we’re at war. They’re trying to come here to kill us all and it’s up to the government to protect you within constitutional means. Any system that would allow a terrorist to communicate with somebody in our country and we can’t find out what they’re saying is stupid.

If I’m president of the United States, and you join ISIL, you are going to get killed or captured. And the last thing you are going to hear if I’m president is, you’ve got a right to remain silent.

(LAUGHTER)

BLITZER: Here is a question we have on the fight against ISIS from Facebook. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANNAH DEBELLA, COLLEGE STUDENT: I’m Hannah DeBella. And I go to the University of Florida. People say that we’re fighting an ideological war with ISIS. If you’re president, how would you defeat them both militarily and ideologically, as well?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Governor Huckabee, how would you defeat ISIS ideologically?

HUCKABEE: The way we defeat them ideologically is that we remind people that what their intent is is to kill us, and that it is our intent to use every means possible to get to them before they get to us. We are pretending that this is a war that is not that significant. We have a president who called it the JV team, said we had contained it. Nine hours after he said we contained it, there was a massacre in Paris.

We’ve got to make it so untenable for somebody to join ISIS. Rather than making it so that teenagers from around the world want to go and be to be a part of this, we need to go after it with significant ground troops, air campaign.

The president boasted we had 9,000 flown sorties, air missions over 18 months. What he failed to tell the American people, we were flying 3,000 air missions per day during Desert Storm.

And the rules of engagement have got to be loosened, because we have to make sure that we are not just going over and setting off some fireworks. We have to kill some terrorists and kill every one of them we can to make it very clear that to take action or threaten action against the United States, and you’ve just signed your death warrant.

We’re coming to get you. And you won’t be coming to our shores. You’re going to be going to your funeral. That’s what we need to do to begin to defeat it ideologically.

BLITZER: Senator Graham, you have an aggressive military plan to try to defeat ISIS. The U.S. citizen who killed 14 people in San Bernardino was radicalized right here in the United States. As President, how would you defeat ISIS online?

GRAHAM: Well, what you want to do is you want to knock them off line. How about this idea? If you pledge allegiance to al-Baghdadi, you can’t get married in America? The bottom line is you have to go after them everywhere. The key to winning this war is to provide the capacity to those in the faith who reject the ideology. The key to fighting this war is to fight it in their backyard, not ours. Two years ago I came up with a plan that requires more American boots on the ground in Iraq. The first thing out of my mouth running for President was, if you don’t understand we need 10,000 troops in Iraq, rather than 3,500, you’re not ready. What would I do in Syria? I’d form a regional army of Arabs and Turkey. Ninety percent them, 10 percent us. Up to 10,000 U.S. forces to go in on the ground and destroy the caliphate and its roots. Take Raqqah away from ISIL, kill every one of these bastards we could find. Then I would stay. I would hold the hands of those who are willing to live in peace with us. I would build small school houses in remote regions of the world to give a young woman a voice about her children, something that will end radical Islam more than the bomb. I’m all in. Whatever it takes, as long as it takes. To the isolationists in our party, you’re no better than Obama. If you want to win this war, follow me. I am seeking victory, folks, not containment.

BLITZER: Senator Santorum, following up on what we just heard from Senator Graham, at least one U.S. intelligence report from the White House has concluded that, in order to defeat ISIS and to stop its spread worldwide, you have to defeat it on the battlefield. You’ve called for more U.S. troops in Iraq, but you say that sending U.S. troops into Syria would be a mistake. How do you defeat ISIS with no U.S. ground troops in the country where ISIS is headquartered.

SANTORUM: Well, there’s all sorts of theological reasons why we may not want to go into Syria right now to take ISIS. But let me set that aside for a moment and say this. ISIS is a caliphate. They’ve established a caliphate, the first Sunni caliphate since 1924, when Ataturk disbanded the Ottoman Empire. They’ve established a caliphate and, under Islamic law, good Muslims who see them as a legitimate caliphate are required to follow them. That’s why we have people in this country who see them as a legitimate caliphate, which is the leader of the Sunni Muslim world, they are required under their law to follow them. How do we defeat their caliphate? Well, it’s very clear in Islamic law how you do so. You take their land. You have to take land back from the caliphate and in the Islamic world that delegitimizes, that delegitimizes the caliphate. It makes the caliphate unsuccessful. Therefore not blessed by Allah. Therefore, you should not follow it. We need to take back the land in Iraq and we need to use Sunni, not Shiites, not Iranian troops, not Shiite Iraqis, but Sunni Muslims in Iraq and the Kurds, the Peshmerga, and take back Iraqi land. I believe if we did that, you would see ISIS begin to collapse. And then we can look at other ways in which we’re going to deal with it. I have great hesitancy, based on ISIS’ desire to draw us into Syria, and a particular town in Syria, for their own, again, apocalyptic version, to go in with ground troops in Syria at this point.

BLITZER: Senator Graham, you’re shaking your head.

GRAHAM: Yeh, it’s just you’re not going to win that way, Rick. There’s nobody left in Syria to train. Between the Russians and Assad, they have killed all the people we trained, and our President sat on the sidelines and watched people get killed that we enticed into the fight. There is nobody left to train. I would get the Arabs who are threatened by ISIL just as much as we are, along with Turkey. We would use their armies. They have modern armies. Ninety percent them. But some of us have to go, folks. You’re not going to keep the war from here if some of us don’t go over there. Ninety percent them, 10 percent us, and we go in and destroy the caliphate. There must be American boots on the ground in Syria to win. If you don’t understand that, you’re not ready to be Commander in Chief.

SANTORUM: I would have no problem with Sy — with boots on the ground in Syria in a training capacity. I do not want American troops on the front line in Syria because I don’t believe that that would serve to the interest. Again, understanding what ISIS is preaching. You have to learn what they’re telling their people. They want to draw the United States, they want to draw the great Satan into Syria, into a particular town in Syria, because it, it’s consistent with their theology. And you say, well, this sounds like gobbledy gook. It’s what they believe. And if we don’t take seriously what they believe and how they’re able to attract people, then we’re going to make mistakes like invading Syria with a ground force and bringing them into the battle that they so deeply deserve and desire.

BLITZER: I’m going to bring Governor Pataki in a minute, but go ahead and respond, Senator Graham.

GRAHAM: Well, number one, dead men don’t preach anything.

GRAHAM: If you don’t understand we need a ground force to go into Syria, then you’re not ready to destroy ISIL. Rick, there’s nobody left to train inside of Syria. Let the Arabs fight this fight, pay for this war, but they need our help.

The difference between me and you and others is that I see you’ve got two choices. Fight them over there or they’re coming here. They’re planning another 9/11 as I speak. Paris was well planned. They wake up every day in Syria trying to find a way to hit us here. If I’m president, we’re going in with the Arabs in Turkey and we’re gonna destroy them before they hit us here. We’re running out of time, folks.

BLITZER: Governor Pataki, should the U.S. send ground troops into Syria?

PATAKI: Wolf, I think the answer is we have to send troops with allies and supporters. Wherever it is necessary to destroy the training centers, recruitment centers, planning hubs of ISIS.

Two points though. First of all today, Saudi Arabia announced a coalition of 34 states, mostly Arab, but other Muslim states to engage actively in a war against radical Islam. We have to work with them. Not just step back. Let them take the lead but work with them to destroy ISIS.

And the second point, Wolf, I want to make, is this is on the armed forces network. And thank you for doing that. Because I’m sure watching this debate this evening are some of our soldiers deployed all over the world. As the proud father of a son who was a Marine officer in Iraq and another son that was a 10th Mountain Division officer in Afghanistan, I know we produce no finer people than the men and women who put on their uniform to defend our freedom. They are watching overseas now.

God bless you. This isn’t about us. This is about you. Thank you for your service.

BLITZER: Governor Huckabee, you have not put a number of how many U.S. ground troops would be needed to combat ISIS. Is Senator Graham’s proposal sufficient?

HUCKABEE: Wolf, it may be sufficient, but rather than put a number — and I’m comfortable that we say 10,000, 20,000 — look, I think we make a mistake when we start telling the enemy what our limitations are. I think we make a huge mistake when we say we’re gonna do up to this. I think what we say is, we’re gonna do whatever it takes. If it’s 10,000, if it’s 100,000, if it’s 3,000 sorties a day, if it’s 5,000 sorties a day.

We never tell our enemy what our limitations are, what we are willing and what we’re unwilling to do. And that’s one of the mistakes I believe that we’re making militarily. But the biggest mistake we’ve made militarily is letting Barack Obama cut our defense forces by 25 percent and leaving us at the least prepared position we’ve been in since before World War II.

We have to get our Military rebuilt from the ground up. And all over America I hear young people say, would you tell me what you’re going to do? Would you give me free college? Will you make sure that I can have medical marijuana?

You know what we ought to tell young people? We aren’t going to give you anything. We’re give you the opportunity to get off your butt and go serve your country and secure your freedom. Because if you don’t, nobody else is.

BLITZER: Senator Graham, and I just want to remind our viewers, you want 10,000 U.S. ground troops in Iraq, and 10,000 in Syria?

GRAHAM: Yeah. I just don’t make this up, Wolf. I talk to people who are combat trained who have won in Iraq who I trust.

Here’s what I want to tell the Arab world and Turkey. We’re not going to send 100,000 troops. You’re going to do the fighting this time and we’re gonna help you. We paid for the last two wars, you’re gonna pay for this one.

And (inaudible), by the way, they get it because ISIL wants to cut their heads off, too. The point I’m trying to make is, there needs to be a ground component. We need to be smart, and we need to fight the war over there. And to the people in my party who believe you can withdraw from the battlefield like Senator Cruz and Paul and we be safe, you really don’t understand this war.

BLITZER: Governor Huckabee, you have said as president you would tell ISIS, and I’m quoting you now, “we will take you down and we’ll try to get it done in ten days.” Do you really think the U.S. can defeat ISIS in ten days?

HUCKABEE: I’d sure want them to think we would. And I’d want to make sure that we did everything we could. But we can’t do it with our current Military strength. We’ve got to build up and have the most robust, well trained, well equipped, well prepared and ample Military force in the history of the world because we’re not fighting just a known enemy in one place. We’re fighting people all over the world who can go anywhere.

And the reason I say that is because if we tried to win this war on the cheap or we try to do it with the, “light footprint,” we’re making a huge mistake.

When all of us were in grade school, one thing we all knew, the bully never picked on the kid except for the weak one.

HUCKABEE: He never picked on the kid he knew, he’d whip(ph) him. We need to make to sure that we have the kind of military that ISIS recognizes in every radical Islamist in the world recognizes, they may start but we by god will finish the fight. And it will be their rear ends on the ground, not ours when it’s all over whether it takes ten days, ten months, or ten eternities’ we’re going to win this fight and have to make sure they understand that.

BLITZER: Senator Samtorum?

SANTORUM: No look, I’m committed to whatever is necessary understanding the nature of the enemy. The enemy is a theocracy and their allure is their theocracy. It’s their doctrine and so we have to understand that doctrine. That’s why, I love the fact that people are angry and outraged in Washington and want someone new and fresh. But we need someone who understands and has knowledge and experience in these areas.

And I can see that you know, Senator Graham has that experience and we have a little difference of opinion. But frankly, it’s not that big of difference in our opinion, we both want to defeat ISIS. We have elements in our party that don’t and I will use whatever means necessary within the confines of not crossing a tripwire theologically that could turn on us.

BLITZER: Governor Pataki, you support ground troops – deploying grounds troops.

PATAKI: Yes.

BLITZER: The U.S. Army’s Former Cheif of Staff, General Raymond Odierno said that, and I’m quoting, “now ISIS is a ten to twenty year problem. How long would you be willing to commit U.S. forces to fight ISIS?”

PATAKI: You know, I don’t think it’s a function of years of going after ISIS. They are out in the open and in cities like, Mosul, where we know they have their centers. They have centers that we could bomb. And what we have to do though, is have a commitment from our government, not just for troops on the ground but to do whatever we can to help our allies on the grounds right now,.

The Kurds, the Peshmurga are fighting. If we don’t give them the equipment, the training, and the support they need because our government insists that it all go through Baghdad. Baghdad doesn’t want a strong independent Kurdish army. There are right now Sunni, Sheikh, and Tribes in the Anbar province, taking on ISIS. In fact, they’re in the process of reclaiming Ramadi, the provincial capital this week. They are on our side and they are Sunni, but we are not arming, supporting, training, and helping them as much as we can because all support goes through Baghdad and they don’t want a strong autonomous Sunni area.

We have to put our interests first. Not the interests of Baghdad or of Iran, we have to support those on the ground fighting on our side. Give them every bit of help that they want and to the extent that it’s necessary, for us to send in Special Ops to destroy those training centers, recruitment hubs, planning hubs, social media centers.

Do that. Destroy them. Protect our freedom and get out.

BLITZER: But how long would you be willing to commit U.S. troops to fight ISIS.

PATAKI: You know, I don’t want to see us occupy a country. I’ve been to Iraq a couple of times and Afghanistan. The first time I went, I had an uneasy feeling that when we went there we were liberators. But as we stayed ,we became occupiers.

I saw American troops move into some of Saddam’s old hideous marble palaces. And I thought that was exactly the wrong message. We do not have to occupy. We do not have to nation build and try to create a democracy where one hasn’t existed. WE have to destroy ISIS, protect our safety and our freedom here, and then get out.

BLITZER: Senator Graham, you called for U.S. ground troops as we know in Iraq and Syria.

GRAHAM: Two years ago.

BLITZER: As you know, there’s a growing ISIS presence right now in Libya.

GRAHAM: Yes.

BLITZER: Are you ready to deploy U.S. troops to Libya to try to defeat ISIS there?

GRAHAM: I think we need to have a military strategy regarding Libya. They’ve just take over Gaddafi’s hometown called Sur(Ph). There’s about 2000 of them.

Here’s what I’ve learned in my 36 visits, you can’t deter these guys, they’re ready to die, bring on the virgins. Dying is first place in their world. What we have to do is work with others over time to destroy to ideology. We have to offer a hopeful life to compete with the glory of this.

Most young people folks want the same thing you do. They don’t want to live in the 11th century. So yes, you have to destroy the caliphate. I want to work with Arabs and Turkey to do it, but here’s the key is to not leave. If we left Germany and Japan only god knows what would’ve happened. If we have 10000 troops left in Iraq, there would be no ISIL and I hate what Obama did. He gave away everything we fought for and I hate what he did.

I begged him not to and I’ve been right more than I’ve been wrong.

BLITZER: Senator? Senator, are you ready to commit U.S. ground troops to Libya?

GRAHAM: I want to talk to General Keane first. I want to find out, what do we need militarily to keep them contained and eventually destroy them in Libya. They’re in nine countries.

GRAHAM: You want to deal with Libya, go to Iraq and Syria. You want to prevent another 9/11, take the caliphate headquarters away from ISIL. There is no other way to do it without a ground force going into Syria. We have to be part of that ground force, or another 9/11 is coming just as sure as I’m standing here. They’re planning it tonight.

The ISIL leadership wants to hurt you, and your family, and if I’m president, they will not get here ’cause we’re going to kill ’em over them.

BLITZER: Alright, gentleman, standby. The fight against ISIS clearly is sparking new tensions with another super power. How these candidates will handle Vladimir Putin, that’s next.

(APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: We’re live here at the Venetian in Las Vegas. Welcome back.

(APPLAUSE)

As the U.S. fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria continues, the question remains whether to take out the Syrian dictator, Bashar al Assad. That has become a major policy difference among the Republican candidates.

Governor Huckabee, you said the Middle East was more stable when Bashar al Assad was fully in control of Syria. The Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to keep him in power. As President of the United States, would you join with Putin to do the same thing?

HUCKABEE: Well, I want to be real clear, I don’t trust Putin, I don’t trust Assad. I’m not saying that I would endorse him for his reelection bid. The man is a tyrant, he’s killed lots of people, but he wasn’t killing Americans. And, the thing that I’m concerned about is that we have seen a complete destabilization, not only of Syria, but we’ve seen it in Yemen, that the President pronouncing great shape just before it collapsed.

HUCKABEE: Destabilization of Libya, destabilization of Iraq and Afghanistan.

It seems like wherever we try to pick a side under this administration, we always pick the wrong one. We picked the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

So all I’m saying is, let’s be careful to understand who it is that is our direct immediate threat. Do I think that we can hug Putin and have a wonderful relationship with the Russians and go off into the sunset like the end of “Casablanca”? No, I don’t.

But let me tell you what I think we ought to be doing. We ought to be challenging not only Russia but the Iranians and the Saudis on the point of energy. We ought to be drilling every bit of oil, getting all the coal out.

We need to be going after our natural gas and biofuels and become the energy exporter to the world, and take the weaponry out of the hands of the Russians, the Iranians, and the Saudis by taking their money away, and let America become the number one energy exporter to the entire world.

That enriches Americans and it destabilizes our enemies overseas.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Senator Graham.

GRAHAM: It is absolutely imperative that Bashar Assad go. The biggest mistake Obama made was drawing a red line. Assad crossed it. He is still standing.

If I’m president, Assad will not stand. He has murdered 240,000 of his own people. They’re not going to accept him as their leader. The war never ends if he stays in power. You’re giving Damascus to the Iranians.

He’s a puppet of the ayatollah, a proxy of Iran. He is the biggest benefactor of Hezbollah. Weapons flowing from Damascus to Lebanon will continue to flow if Assad stays. For our interests and the stability of the region, he must go.

And if I’m president, he will go. And the Syrians will pick their leader, not the ayatollah.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Governor Huckabee.

HUCKABEE: Well, the only thing I disagree with is that I still believe if you take away their ability to fund their weaponry and fund their terrorism, they don’t have terrorism.

I still say we need to take an offensive approach by using our energy, the one weapon we have, we have hundreds of years of energy under our feet. The president thinks that climate change is the number one enemy.

I think people bombing us is a bigger enemy than the temperature change over several hundred years. So let’s get our energy. Let’s use that as an offensive weapon to change the dynamics of the entire globe, and especially change the dynamics of the Middle East.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: I’m going to get to the others in a moment. But you’re once again shaking your head, Senator Graham.

GRAHAM: Well, I agree with that. I would like to become — you know, I’d like to stop sending $350 billion overseas to buy oil from people who hate our guts, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you like to export natural gas to cut Putin’s legs out from under him?

I’m not afraid of a guy riding around on a horse without his shirt.

(LAUGHTER)

GRAHAM: The guy has got a pair twos and we’ve got a full house, and he’s walking all over Obama.

Mike, the surge worked. It worked. George W. Bush made mistakes, but he did adjust. I blame Obama for ISIL, not Bush. I’m tired of beating on Bush. I miss George W. Bush. I wish he were president right now. We wouldn’t be in this mess.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

GRAHAM: I’m tired of dictators walking all over us. I’m tired of siding with the Iranians and the Russians.

BLITZER: Thank you.

Governor Pataki.

PATAKI: Lindsey is looking back and defending President Bush, but I want to look forward.

This is about the next president of the United States. And you mentioned Libya and you mentioned Russia. And what they have in common, the disaster they have in common is Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state. Do you remember… GRAHAM: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

PATAKI Do you remember in Libya where it was Hillary Clinton who went and tried to convince and ultimately did convince Obama that the United States had to go in for humanitarian reasons to protect people from the dictator at the time, Gadhafi?

What has happened? We led from behind. We have chaos. We have ISIS controlling a major city. We’ve had hundreds of thousands of refugees. That’s Hillary’s policy in Libya.

And then Putin, the reset button, you remember who that was? That was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressing the reset button. We can be friends with Russia. Russia is not our friend. They’re friends with the Iranians.

BLITZER: Thank you, Governor.

PATAKI: They are friends with Assad. They are friends with Hezbollah. We have got to stand up with them. And we have got to hold Hillary accountable for her failed time as secretary of state.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Senator Santorum, you’ve suggested that there’s no good options for the United States in Syria. As commander-in-chief, would you be willing to let Russia take the lead in the fight against ISIS there?

SANTORUM: I don’t want Russia taking the lead anywhere, particularly working with Assad, because what that shows, and I think Lindsey is correct in this, is that, you know, we’ve abandoned that region, which we don’t want to do, number one.

Number two, the relationship between Iran and Damascus is one of the reasons that ISIS has the power they have.

SANTORUM: And the fact that we have a nuclear treaty with the Shiites in Iran, that we have now partnered with the Russians and appearing to allow Assad to stay, which is a satellite Alawites, very interrelated to the Shiites, this looks to ISIS — and what they’re selling is that we are now lining up with the Shiite world against the Sunni world.

Well the Shiite world is 15 percent of the Muslim world. The Sunni world is 85 percent. We’re — we’re picking the wrong horse here. Not only is the Iranian deal the greatest betrayal of this — of this country in the history of our country by signing that deal, but secondly, we have now lined up to empower ISIS by partnering with the Shiites. So the answer is this. The answer is we have to take them on in Iraq, defeat them in Iraq. Delegitimize their caliphate. Join with legitimate rebel forces which exist in Syria and begin to arm them and train them. But it’s a one-two step. The first step has to be Iraq.

BLITZER: We have a video question from Facebook. Let’s watch.

QUESTION: Hi, I’m Adithya Sivakumar. I’m from Vanderbilt University. And I was wondering with U.S. designated state sponsors of terrorism such as Iran and other traditional U.S. enemies fighting ISIL, do you think the United States should ally with these groups or continue with their own separate coalition?

BLITZER: Governor Pataki.

PATAKI: I’m not sure — ally with which groups? I didn’t quite catch that.

BLITZER: He says he was wondering with U.S. designated state sponsors of terrorism like Iran and other traditional U.S. enemies fighting ISIL, do you think the United States should ally with these specific groups?

PATAKI: Not at all. Iran is our enemy. They are the number one sponsor of state terror. The Iranian Deal is a disaster. And by the way, I don’t think the next president has to aggregate it. It was never ratified by the Iranians. They have tested long-range ballistic missiles in violation of U.N. resolutions. They have broken the agreement. It is void. They can never have a nuclear weapon and should not get relief.

With respect to the other groups, like Hezbollah, of course we should not work with them. I’ll tell you who we should work with in Syria. There are two groups. One are the PYD, the — the Kurds in Syria who led the defense of Kobani, and are in northern and eastern Syria and anti-ISIS and anti-Assad.

The second thing I’d do is three years ago, Turkey called for a no-fly zone along the Turkish border. Obama said no. We need to work with the Turks, create that no-fly zone so that Syrian refugees don’t have to flock to Europe or try to get to the United States. They will have a safe haven. Anti-Assad Syrians can group there, train, organize there and let them fight the fight to protect our allies.

BLITZER: Hugh Hewitt and Dana Bash have questions.

Hugh go ahead.

HEWITT: Thank you, Wolf.

Governor Huckabee, ten minutes ago you blasted President Obama for destabilizing Iraq. You hit former Secretary of State Clinton for supporting the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt. But you have said recently you would sanction countries that don’t join the fight aggressively against ISIS. Having had an administration that has effectively undermined our friends and emboldened our foes, why would you start sanctioning those who are not yet on our side against ISIS?

HUCKABEE: Well what we have done, and we created an impossible atmosphere. This administration has put more pressure on Israel to stop building bedrooms in Judea and Samaria than they’ve put on Iranians to stop building a nuclear bomb. And I’m just simply pointing out the obvious, that we need to recognize who our friends are, who our enemies are…

HEWITT: Which country?

HUCKABEE: … but I’m convinced…

HEWITT: Which countries are those, governor, that you would sanction?

HUCKABEE: Well, first of all, it would be the Iranians. I would have never entered into this deal. I don’t know why on God’s earth that the senators gave it so that it was easier for Obama to have the agreement than it would be to make it a treaty.

HEWITT: That’s an easy, give. Are you going to sanction any of our allies who say, no this isn’t our fight we’re gonna let you do this. Are you going to leave our allies alone? For example, Indonesia and Malaysia — other Muslim countries — will you leave them alone?

HUCKABEE: I would make sure that there was economic pressure put on them. Why not? Why should we fund every single battle against radical Islam? Why should we stand back and watch Israel get targeted, the United States get targeted and we watch with people with their hands in their pocket, and their hands in our pocket because we’re getting them a lot of money. And let’s say your hands can be in your pocket, you can stand still, but your hands aren’t going to be in our pockets anymore. We’re not going to give you another dime unless you engage the battle with us. We are not sending our sons and daughters, and grandsons and granddaughters to war to fight for your interest. You either get in with us or be on your own. But we’re not gonna fight the battle for you.

HEWITT: Senator Graham, I just named two Islamic countries…

(APPLAUSE)

HEWITT: Senator Graham, I just named two Islamic countries that are allies that he suggested we sanction. Is that the appropriate approach to this war?

GRAHAM: No. What I would do is I would try to make friends throughout the world to destroy a common threat to the world. These people are religious Nazis. Most people in Islam don’t buy what they’re selling.

GRAHAM: I’ve told you a thousand times that I would partner with the Arabs in Turkey.

But, the reason they don’t partner with Obama is they just don’t trust him. Do you think they would trust me? I know them all. I’ve been working for a decade to figure out how to win this war.

To my good friend Ted Cruz, please ask him the following question, you say you would keep Assad in power, I will tell you that is the worst possible thing that could come out of an American leaders mouth. It would be disastrous. His favorite movie is, apparently, Princess Bride. Ted, getting in bed with Iran and Russia to save Assad is inconceivable.

(APPLAUSE)

HEWITT: Senator Santorum, let me ask you…

GRAHAM: Princess Buttercup would not like this.

(LAUGHTER)

HEWITT: Senator Santorum, let me ask you, the opposite of getting into bed is shooting down the prince’s plane. Senator Santorum has — Senator Graham has said he would shoot down Russian planes bombing Syrian fighters on our side. Would you shoot down a Russian plane bombing American allied fighters in Syria (ph)?

SANTORUM: Well, I would establish a no-fly zone. And, I think we just…

HEWITT: What — if they fly into it, would you shoot it down?

SANTORUM: Well — the first thing you have to do is establish a no-fly zone, and you don’t do that by just sort of declaring it. You work through the process of making sure you work with people who, hopefully, have the same objective that you do. And, if they don’t, then you establish the no-fly zone, and you take the consequences of whatever — who violates that law.

HEWITT: The consequences would be war with Russia. Would you risk…

SANTORUM: …I don’t think it’s a war with Russia anymore than Turkey went to war with Russia when Turkey shot down a plane…

HEWITT: Senator Graham, do you agree?

SANTORUM: These are — these are incidents not something that we’re threatening the motherland. This is a tactical decision within an area that we have an obligation for the refugees, for providing stability to the rebels, and an opportunity for the rebels to reconstitute. And, making sure that we stop the flow of refugees into Europe, and into the United States to establish a no-fly zone.

And, Russia either is going to comply with it or not, and if they don’t, I think it can be contained to that region.

HEWITT: OK, we know you agree, Senator Graham. How about you, Governor Pataki, would you shoot down Russian planes?

PATAKI: I could create…

GRAHAM: …I didn’t get to say yes. Yes.

PATAKI: I would create the no-fly zone, and let me tell you, something very simply. Putin is a bully, and the most important and effective thing you can do to a bully is punch him in the face. Create a no-fly zone.

If Russian planes violate that space, either us, or the Turks, should shoot them down to keep our word. And, I guarantee you that Putin would back off. Bullies, when you stand up to them, back down.

We have had, under Obama, and under Hillary as Secretary of State, nothing but weakness in the face of Russia, whether it was in the Crimea, whether it was in Ukraine, or now in the Middle East. I would give the Ukrainians lethal weapons so they could defend themselves. I would create the no-fly zone, and if Russian planes flew into it in violation of what we have declared, yes.

BASH: Senator — Senator Graham…

GRAHAM: Yeah, this is an important discussion. The American president is the strongest voice in the world — until Obama came along. Now, we’re just one of many. When you ask people to help you, when you entice Syrians to join your cause, to take down the dictator they hate to destroy ISIL which will attack our homeland, and you sit on the sidelines and watch the Russian president kill them, it makes it harder for us to get partners in the future.

The point I’m trying to make is we got to mean what we say…

(BELL RINGING)

…And, I am begging people to wake up to Syria. The next 9/11 is coming from Syria, it’s coming soon…

BASH: Senator Graham…

GRAHAM: …we’d better do something about it, and I have a plan.

BASH: Senator Graham, we’ve heard here tonight a lot about the fact that you want to send U.S. troops, ground troops, into Iraq, and Syria to defeat ISIS. Would you consider reinstating the draft in order to complete that mission?

GRAHAM: I don’t think it’s necessary. If you don’t want to be there, I don’t want you to be there. I just retired after 33 years in the Air Force, 140 days on the ground as an Air Force Reservist. To those who are watching, thank you for your service.

I’ve had a small walk in your shoes. We have the best military in the world. Obama has put it in a box. Let’s take it out of the box and use it before we get attacked here. We don’t need a draft, we need a commander in chief who knows what the hell they’re doing.

(APPLAUSE)

BASH: Governor Huckabee…

(APPLAUSE)

GRAHAM: And, I am that guy.

BASH: Governor Huckabee, would you reinstate the draft?

HUCKABEE: I wouldn’t reinstate a draft, but, I think it’s noteworthy that we are fighting all the battles we have with less than one percent of the American population.

HUCKABEE: We have the lowest level of percentage of population participating in the military than ever. And they’re over-deployed, they’re over used, especially among our reserves and Guard troops. Any governor will tell you.

BASH: So what would you do about it?

HUCKABEE: Well, I would say that, if you want a college education, let’s go back and reinstate the full-blown G.I. bill. You give something to your country; your country gives something back to you. We need to ask young people to step up and buy their own freedom because there’s not going to be enough people left at less than one percent. And as my good friend Ken Allard, former Dean of the War College, has often said, we’re fighting all the wars with other people’s kids. And that’s one of the things that’s making us much less safe, is because we don’t have enough Americans truly invested in the process of defeating our enemies. Therefore, I do think without a draft we do need to ask people to recognize we are at war.

GRAHAM: Can, can I…

BASH: Senator…

GRAHAM: This is important. We’re not fighting all the wars with our kids. If you’ve been to Iraq and Afghanistan and you made any friends, you’ve lots of bunch. Thousands have died in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting.

BASH: Thank you, Senator Graham.

GRAHAM: Don’t belittle their sacrifice.

HUCKABEE: I’m not belittling their sacrifice, Lindsey, but I’m just making note that on the part of Americans we have sent National Guard troops over for an 18-month em — 18-month deployment. They come back for five, they go back for another 18. We’re wearing these guys out. They agreed to be citizen soldiers. We turned them into full time soldiers because we’ve not kept up the pace by recruiting enough people in the military to fully fill these forces, and that’s what we need to be doing.

BASH: Senator Graham.

GRAHAM: No.

BASH: Senator Graham, quick response. GRAHAM: To, to those the (well) times in the Army were a bigger problem than they are today. If you want to fix this, you get the Army to 500,000, not 420,000. You want to win this war, grow the Navy to 350 ships, not 275. Sequestration is Latin for doing really dumb things. We’re going to have the smallest Navy since 1915, the smallest Army since 1940. I was yelling and screaming don’t do sequestration. I was right. If I am President of the United States, Commander in Chief, we’re going to rebuild our military without a draft…

BASH: Thank you, Senator Graham.

GRAHAM: …and we’re going to go on the offense and they’re ready to go.

BASH: Thank you, Senator Graham.

GRAHAM: They are ready to go. They just need to be led.

BASH: Senator Santorum, earlier this month the Pentagon opened all U.S. military combat positions to women. You previously opposed allowing women in combat roles. As President, would you change the Pentagon’s new policy?

SANTORUM: I would use the studies that were done that were ignored by this military that there were certain positions that frankly were not suitable. And they pushed a political agenda above what is in the best interest of the safety, security, and effective of our, of our fighting units. So I would go back to using what we should be doing. Which is putting forth people on those front line positions who are best prepared to do the job, survive the job, and come back home safely.

BASH: So, just to be clear, you’re saying, yes, you would change the policy back?

SANTORUM: I would change the policy to reflect what is the best interest of the people that we’re asking. I’ve got a son who’s going, who’s going into the Air Force right now, and I, as a father, I want to make sure that, if he’s out there on the front line — and he may be a pilot flying an airplane — I want to make sure that the person who’s responsible for, for his wing has the ability to do the job they’re doing. And if they don’t have that ability to do the job, if we’re doing a social promotion as opposed to what’s best for the efficacy of our fighting force and for the survivability of our men and women, I’ll change that policy.

BASH: Governor Pataki, as you mentioned earlier, you have two sons who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Would you maintain this new policy as President, or do you agree with Senator Santorum.

PATAKI: No, I completely disagree with Rick. This is America. And we’ve made enormous progress. And I don’t care if you’re a man or a woman. I care if you’re good and capable of doing the job. If you can do the job — don’t lower standards, don’t lower the criteria — but if a woman is capable of doing these jobs, there is no reason why we should deny a patriot who wants to serve and help defend our country that right.

BASH: Senator Santorum.

SANTORUM: So what you just said is you agree with me. Because that’s exactly what I said.

PATAKI: It’s not.

SANTORUM: I said if you can’t do the job, you shouldn’t be able to…you shouldn’t have the position.

PATAKI: No, you said you would reverse the policy which excluded women from those jobs whether or not they were able to do that. That is wrong.

SANTORUM: No, I did not say that, George. I mean, you may, you may have heard that, but I didn’t say that. What I said was, if they can in fact do the job that any, any other person can do, I will allow them to do so.

PATAKI: Ah.

SANTORUM: But if they cannot, I would reverse the policy. And what happened here is there were many studies done, particularly in the Marine Corps, which begged this President not to move forward with this because people are going to get killed as a result of it. The President went forward anyway.

SANTORUM: That is not looking out after the best interest of anybody, including women in that front-line position.

BASH: Now Governor Pataki, do you a final response?

PATAKI: Yes, I think what Rick said is very different from what he said initially which was that, “he would reverse the policy that gave woman not the right but the opportunity to serve in combat.” They can only do it if they’re fit and capable and meet the same standards as men. And so, to reverse that policy and deny a woman who is prepared to risk her life to defend our freedom and is capable of doing everything a man could do is not the right thing for America in the 21st century.

By the way, you see in Iraq, the Peshmerga, the Kurds ,many of their top fighters are women. This is the 21st century. We’re not radical Islam. We want to give women the opportunity to do whatever they are capable of achieving in this country.

BLITZER: Governor Pataki, let me stick with you.

Governor Pataki, a U.S. Army Sargent Bowe Bergdahl now facing a court marshall after leaving his base in Afghanistan, getting captured by the Taliban – Donald Trump, has called for his execution. The former house speak John Boehner says “he’s innocent until proven guilty.” Where do you stand?

PATAKI: Of course he’s innocent until proven guilty. I happen to believe he’s guilty. The military did a very clear and long study as to whether or not he deserted in the face of enemy and they are not court marshalling him. I don’t think he should executed. I do think he will have a fair military trial, not a civilian trial, at which time, assuming he’s found guilty as I think he would, he will be sentenced appropriately.

But there’s a bigger issue here, this administration has failed to protect us because they have treated radical Islamists as Americans who should be tried in civil court. That is ridiculous. They are enemy aliens engaged in terror against Americans. And by the way, the fact that this president is now threatening to close Guantanamo Bay when we know that time after time, terrorists he released are involved in a high level capacity helping ISIS and Al Queda, this is a disgrace.

Ask Hilary Clinton, would she keep Guantanamo Bay open so that Americans can be safe and terrorists kept from going back to the battlefield?

BLITZER: Senator Graham, where do you stand?

GRAHAM: Well I stand unique, having been a military lawyer for 33 years. I’ve been a defense attorney, a prosecutor, and a military judge. Mr. Trump, you don’t have to speak about everything, that’s not required.

(LAUGHTER)

I would make sure that everybody had a fair trial. Does that make sense to you?

(APPLAUSE)

We’re at war folks and this stuff has to stop. It’s bad for morale to hear somebody wanting to be Commander in Chief that would deny due process to somebody who’s been charged in the military. For God’s sakes Mr. Trump, you’re asking to be the Commander in Chief , the leader of the free world, up your game. As to women, if you want to kill terrorists, I’m your guy.

BLIZTER: Governor Huckabee? Governor Huckbee, ISIS demanded ransom before killing American hostages, James Foley and Kayla Mueller. Their families wanted to pay even though at the time the U.S. government discouraged them. Since then, U.S. policy has changed.

As president, would you support families of the approximately 30 Americans being held worldwide if they chose to pay ransom?

HUCKABEE: The horrors that those families have to go through, if that were my son, my daughter, I’d give my last drop of blood to get them back. You bet I would. Is it a good policy? No.

It’s a terrible policy because once we do it, we’re only going to invite more and more hostages, more and more ransoms, and the diasters gets even worse. But I don’t blame any of these families. You know who I blame? I blame a policy in our government that has made it so that families are so desperate that they’re willing to pay ransom to terrorists organizations because they don’t believe our government will fight the fight for them and they think they’re out there on their own.

My goodness people, this is America. When did we have to start telling people that you’ve got to bake your own bread in order to fight the battles? That’s what we have a government for, it’s what we pay taxes for. And I believe, those families ought to have a better expectation of what this government will do.

We should never has sat at the table with the Iranians as long Sayed Abadnini is sitting in an Iranian prison. As long as the Washington Post report is over there. Until the four hostages of America were on an airplane safely out of Tehran. We should’ve told them, ” we won’t even walk into the room with you much less sit down and negotiate with you.”

HUCKABEE: That’s what we ought to be doing.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Thank you, Governor.

Governor Pataki, speaking of those four Americans being held in Iran right now. Iran has suggested they might be willing to have a prisoner swap, release Iranian prisoners held in the United States, in exchange for those four Americans.

Would you support that?

PATAKI: You know, again, it comes down to something that, as Mike said, breaks your heart. We clearly want to get them back. But the idea that by taking a journalist, for example, and holding him hostage in Iran, they’re going to be able to get some of their terrorist leaders back, is simply bad policy.

Israel has shown the way on this in rejecting hostage exchanges such as this and then not paying ransom.

But, by the way, Mike is absolutely right. We have to do more to protect our people overseas, but then we also have to do more to help our veterans when they come back here today.

We haven’t talked about that. But more talking about defeating terrorism, one of the things we have to do is give our veterans the support and help that they require. What has happened at the VA is a disgrace.

Give our veterans a medical card that they can use to get the best quality care anywhere, including outside of the VA system.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: We have to take a quick break, but, Governor, Israel has exchanged a lot of the prisoners it was holding for Israeli soldiers who were being held by Hamas, for example.

PATAKI: And that — but that was involved in combat, where they were actually involved in a war against each other and exchanged prisoners. We have not been in a war with Iran. They have taken civilians as hostages. It’s a totally different situation. And we cannot encourage them to do any more of that. BLITZER: Thank you. Let’s take another quick break. The scramble, the scramble to protect Americans after ISIS attacks from the inside, does the country need to tighten its borders to prevent another San Bernardino slaughter?

Where the candidates stand, that’s next.

(APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Welcome back to the Republican Presidential Debate here at the Venetian in Las Vegas.

Gentlemen, in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, the Obama Administration policy of allowing Syrian refugees to come into the United States has come under fire.

Senator Santorum, you say accepting Syrian refugees is dangerous. You say it just takes one Jihadist to destroy the world.

Do you think there is any way to properly vet refugees coming into the United States?

SANTORUM: Of course there is a proper way to vet refugees coming into the United States. But not from the ISIS-controlled area or Syria. How can you do a background check? Where are you gonna go? Who are you going to call? Call Assad and say, hey, you know, tell me about this guy from Aleppo.

There’s no possibility in these — in these types of war-torn countries to adequately vet someone to allow them to come into this country. It’s impossible.

So you have a physical impossibility here. Secondly, we shouldn’t be taking people out of that region and move them here to the United States. And the reason we shouldn’t is very clear. If you talk to the clerical leaders and particularly those who are religious minorities, they don’t want their people to be relocated so they’re never gonna come back. And let me assure you, if they come to America, they’re not going to come back. They’re not gonna go back to those areas. So who stays? Those who cooperated with ISIS and maybe a few of the refugees who’s come back.

We need to have refugee camps in the region. We need to provide no-fly zones to make sure that don’t even need refugee camps so people can stay in the area. But the last thing we need to do is to relocate moderate Muslims, relocate minorities and Christians out of the region so they’re not going to return and reestablish a — a — a state that can be won, that can be cooperative for us and safe going forward.

BLITZER: Governor Pataki, you have said you wouldn’t accept a single Syrian refugee. What should become of them? PATAKI: You know, I think what I said earlier is that I would create a no-fly zone in Syria. Turkey just agreed to take 3 million more Syrian refugees. The EU just came up with a funding program to provide camps for Syrian refugees, but I would also create that no-fly zone where refugees can be there.

I have to say I agree with Rick, because this President is talking about taking 10,000 people from Syria, who we cannot vet. This administration, allegedly, vetted the woman who carried out the attacks in San Bernardino and never found out that she had a false address and was on social media talking about radical Jihad.

Coming from Syria, it’s impossible to do that check. And we know, by the way, that ISIS is using this refugee program to send terrorists to the West to engage in attacks. They have said that. That this is an opportunity for them to do that.

So, the answer is no. No Syrian refugees. Whether it’s the 10,000 Obama wants or the 60,000 that Hillary Clinton wants. Think about it, I was governor on September 11th. Those attacks were carried out by only 18 people. We take 60,000 Syrian refugees that we can’t vet. If one in 1,000, 1 in 1,000 is a terrorist, we would have 60 terrorists living amongst us looking to carry out attacks. We cannot let that happen.

BLITZER: Let’s go back to Dana Bash and Hugh Hewitt for more questions. Dana?

BASH: Governor Huckabee, the U.S. has a program that allows visitors from America’s closest allies to travel to the U.S. without obtaining a visa. But new legislation in Congress says that privilege should not apply to those who have visited is hot spots like Iraq and Syria in the last five years. You say that legislation doesn’t go far enough. Why?

HUCKABEE: We just need to take a real pause and all the people that coming here and we don’t know who they are or what their affiliations are. What George just said is right. We can’t take the risk. And why should we take the risk?

And if it’s such a doggone good idea to bring people here that we really don’t know who they are and Obama thinks that we’re being un- Christian to not do it, I’ve got a suggestion. Let’s send the first wave of them to Chappaqua, Martha’s Vineyard and the upper east side of Manhattan and to the south lawn of the White House where we’ll set up a camp.

Let’s see how that works out. And if they behave wonderfully, that’s fine. I want to say, I don’t want someone lecturing me about what it means to be a Christian that I should invite a potential terrorist into my backyard. On one hand, the left says separation of church and state. Let’s not have any discussion of religion, and then the left wants to tell me what it means to be a Christian.

HUCKABEE: They need to figure out if they know more about being a Christian than I do, then tell me. They are no longer going to say separation of church and state, but, we have the most fundamental right above everything else — is not to protect the reputation of Islam. It is to protect Americans first and foremost. That is our job.

(APPLAUSE)

HEWITT: Senator Graham, in 2013 you were part of the leadership that pushed through immigration reform, comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate of the United States. It died in the House. Many accused you of amnesty, and may have undermined your ability to get your message out on the war.

Would you sign that bill again today? Would you — sponsor that bill again today?

GRAHAM: Well, the first thing I would do is make adjustments to reality. I want to look and see if this was a terrorist arranged marriage between the couple in California. The fact that they met online accidentally is almost zero. So, no, I would have a time-out on Syrian refugees because you’d be crazy if you didn’t after Paris.

But, I’ve been to the refugee camps in Turkey, and Jordan. Trust me with your Christian — and I’m a lousy Christian saved by grace, but — this is important. We’ve got to stop this war. Do you realize that there are more Syrian refugees in Lebanon going to school than Lebanese children? Do you realize if this war goes for another year the King of Jordan could fall?

Let’s have a no-fly zone.

HEWITT: But, Senator, I misunderstand, did you…

GRAHAM: I would — make changes to that bill in light of what I know today.

HEWITT: Senator Santorum, is that sufficient for you?

SANTORUM: Lindsay says this is a real war, until it comes to immigration. And, then, all of a sudden it’s not such a real war. The reality is that we’ve seen since the events of 9/11, the president talks about how he’s worried about discrimination and acts against Muslims. There’s four times as many acts of violence against Jews than there are against Muslims. I never hear the president talk about that.

(APPLAUSE)

The reality is that under this president, since 9/11, this anti- Muslim United States of America has doubled the rate of Muslim immigration. Since 9/11.

(BELL RINGING)

That’s what we’ve done. So, the idea that we have an immigration system that is working…

HEWITT: Thank you, Senator.

SANTORUM: Is not — and, I’m out of time.

HEWITT: Yep. Governor Huckabee, you have said that children of immigrants who came here illegally should not be punished by their parents actions. As president, would you continue President Obama’s policy, vis-a-vis, the Dreamers?

HUCKABEE: No, because he did it unconstitutionally. Twenty-three times he’s said he couldn’t do it, and then one day he woke up and he found he had a pen in one hand, and a phone in another, and wow. That Constitution didn’t mean much anymore.

Look, President’s can’t just do what they want to do. That’s the purpose of getting elected and working with other people who got elected, is that our system was designed to function with the power of persuasion, it’s really what you elect a president to do.

HEWITT: Senator…

HUCKABEE: …Let me finish, Hugh. You elect him to lead which means that if you think it’s a good idea to not punish the children for something their parents did, then you go to the members of Congress and you persuade them. And, you persuade the American people.

You don’t just jump up and shove it up the nostrils of Congress, and the American people because you think you have a superior intellect, and a superior will, and a superior theology than everybody else. Our system is not a system of tyranny. We don’t elect kings, we elect servants.

If I’m elected president, I don’t consider myself to be elected to be the king of the country, but the servant of the country to work with other people who are elected to get things done that need to be done.

HEWITT: Senator Santorum, you…

(APPLAUSE)

…Your position on that policy, assuming that it was passed constitutionally, would you allow this, would you support such an act?

SANTORUM: Here’s the problem. I was with, in fact, one my guests here today is the Sheriff in Cochise County, down on the border in Arizona. And, he talked with me last night when I was with him about all of the children coming across. All of the children, why?

Because we’ve created a magnet. These children are not coming over, and in great shape, not coming over — and not in harms way, and — going through difficult times. We’re attracting people.

He’s also the Sheriff that caught Syrian’s at the border. We have through the policies supported by almost everybody in this field…

(BELL RINGING)

…A policy that says amnesty. The world hears this, and knows that if they can come across this border, by and large, they’re going to be able to stay. That has to change.

BLITZER: Thank you, Senator. Gentlemen, standby, we are going to take another very quick break. Coming up, with America on edge, who has what it takes to be the next Commander in Chief? These candidates, they will make their case.

(APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Welcome back. We’re live here at the Venetian Las Vegas.

Gentlemen, it’s time for your closing statements. Each candidate will have 30 seconds.

Senator graham, you’re first.

GRAHAM: The next president is going to be a war-time president, whether they like it or not. I’m ready for that job. Two years ago isolationism led by Senator Paul and Cruz was white hot in our party. Now it is in retreat because events have proven me more right than wrong and has proven them to be wrong.

In the first debate I called for American troops on the ground to protect our homeland. Nobody came forward. Now, most have. We’ve spent a lot of carnage to get them to where I have always been.

Make me president, I will keep you and your family safe.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Thank you, Senator.

Governor Pataki.

PATAKI: Thank you. This debate has been about terrorism and appropriately so. I’m proud to have been governor of New York on September 11th and have led our state through and during the aftermath of that horrible attack.

I vowed then that if I ever had the chance to lead this country, I would do everything in my power to make sure that Americans were safe. But I also saw a positive from that. New Yorkers and the American people came together and vowed that we weren’t just going to defend ourselves.

We were not going to live in fear. We were going to rise to new heights and celebrate our freedom.

Come to Lower Manhattan today. You will see a magnificent tribute to those who died, the memorial and the museum. You will also see a new tower soaring 1,776 feet tall, the Freedom Tower, a symbol of our freedom, a symbol of our belief that as a free people we can soar to new heights.

Give us the chance to unite Americans, not just Republicans. And this country’s future is unlimited.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Thank you, Governor.

Senator Santorum.

SANTORUM: Barack Obama has not kept this country safe. Hillary Clinton will not keep this country safe. We need to nominate someone who America knows will keep this country safe.

Ten years ago I put the sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program. Before that, I gave speech after speech, including to President Bush, to identify the enemy and call these radical Islamists who they are.

Ladies and gentlemen, this week ISIS put out a fatwa on disabled children and killed dozens of them because of their disability. Now, I am the father of a disabled child. I know and have known the face of evil. And I, if you give me the opportunity, will defeat it. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Thank you, Senator.

Governor Huckabee.

HUCKABEE: The terrorists don’t win just because they kill us. The terrorists win when they make us change everything we do in our daily lives and alter our routines. And they’re doing that, from getting on a plane to going in a building.

And it is high time that we recognize that we have to take them out, not a little bit, but totally, because I want my grandkids to grow up not in fear, but in faith and in freedom.

And if you give me the opportunity to be president of the United States, I will fight for your grandkids as much as I will for mine.

Thank you and God bless you.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Thank you. Thanks to all of the candidates for a very important discussion on critically important issues.

This debate night is just getting started here at the Venetian Las Vegas. The top nine candidates, they are standing by for their turn on this stage in just a little while. I’ll be back as the moderator.

Right now, let’s go to my colleague, Anderson Cooper.

(APPLAUSE)

Full Text Campaign Buzz 2016 September 16, 2015: CNN Republican Early Lower Tier Debate Transcript Lindsey Graham Wins

ELECTION 2016

CampaignBuzz2016

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2016

CNN Early Lower Tier Debate Transcript

Source: CNN, 9-16-15

CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

GOP Presidential Debate. Aired 6-7:45p ET.

Aired September 16, 2015 – 18:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: It’s debate night for the Republicans. The candidates are here. The pressure is on, and the stakes are higher than ever.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: In the California hills, an epic rematch is about to begin against the backdrop of history, and Ronald Reagan’s legacy. When it’s over, the fight for the nation’s highest office won’t be the same.

TRUMP: How stupid are our leaders? How stupid are they?

ANNOUNCER: Tonight, a debate double header at the Reagan Library. A second chance for voters to compare the candidates side by side.

TRUMP: I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.

ANNOUNCER: The front runner, riding a wave of anger at political insiders, and railing against his rivals.

TRUMP: You notice Jeb never uses his last name? Why? Because he’s ashamed of it.

ANNOUNCER: The early favorite. He’s stumbled as Trump gained momentum. Now, he’s hitting back hard.

BUSH: This guy is now the front runner. He should be held to account, just like me.

ANNOUNCER: Outsiders on the rise. A retired neurosurgeon, and a former CEO. They shined in the first debate, now he’s closing in on the leader.

CARSON: Do I want to respond to Donald Trump’s charges? I’m not going there.

ANNOUNCER: Eleven other candidates are fighting to stand out from the pack.

WALKER(?): How are you? Good to see you.

ANNOUNCER: The Senators. Power players distancing themselves from the culture of the capital. CRUZ: If you see a candidate who Washington is races (ph), run

and hide.

ANNOUNCER: The governors. Chief executives with mixed success in their bids to be commander in chief.

WALKER: You see, talk is cheap. We need action.

ANNOUNCER: The campaign veterans, struggling in an election season when experience does not seem to count.

SANTORUM: Today is the day we are going to begin to fight back.

ANNOUNCER: Now, the stage is set for a crowded clash.

FIORINA: Donald Trump is an entertainer, and, I think, I am a leader.

ANNOUNCER: Of hot button issues.

HUCKABEE: Marriage is what it has always been, and what the Bible says it to be.

ANNOUNCER: And big personalities.

TRUMP: I will build a great, great wall, and I will have Mexico pay for that wall.

ANNOUNCER: If you thought round one was intense, you haven’t seen anything yet.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: We’re live at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California for one of the most highly anticipated primary season debates ever. On this stage 15 candidates in two rounds of questioning with one goal, to show they have what it takes to be the Republican Presidential Nominee.

Welcome to our viewers, I’m Jake Tapper. Tonight’s debate is airing on CNN networks around the world, and, of course, here in the United States. It’s also being broadcast across the country on the Salmen (ph) Radio Network.

We want to thank our host, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, and the Reagan Library for this very impressive setting, the Air Force One pavilion. Behind me, you can see the actual plane…

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: (APPLAUSE)…That Ronald Reagan flew in when he was president.

Now, because the GOP field is so large, we have divided the candidates into two groups based on their rankings in recent national polls. Later this evening we will hear from the top 11 contenders. The other four candidates are taking part in the first round, and they are ready to join us now.

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

(APPLAUSE)

Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal.

(APPLAUSE)

The former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum.

(APPLAUSE)

and former New York Governor, George Pataki.

(APPLAUSE)

Ladies and gentleman, please welcome these Republican candidates for President of the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

And, now, if you would, please rise for our national anthem performed by actress and singer, Natalie Hill.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(APPLAUSE)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: I’d like to ask the candidates to please take their podiums while I tell you a little more about how tonight debate will work.

I’m Jake Tapper. I’ll be the moderator.

Joining me in the questioning, Salem Radio Network talk show host Hugh Hewitt; he worked in the Reagan administration for six years and CNN’s chief political correspondent, Dana Bash.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: I will follow up and guide the discussion; candidates, I’ll try to make sure each of you gets your fair share of questions. You’ll have one minute to answer questions and 30 seconds for followups and rebuttals. I’ll give you time to respond if you have been singled out for criticism.

We have timing lights that are visible to the candidates. Those lights will warn them when their time is up.

Our goal tonight is to have a true debate, candidates actually addressing each other in areas where they disagree, where they differ on policy, on politics and on leadership.

Now that everyone is in place, it’s time for the candidates to introduce themselves to our audience. Please keep it brief. Governor Pataki, you’re first.

GEORGE PATAKI, FORMER GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK: Thank you, Jake.

Hi, I’m George Pataki, and I am honored to be here this afternoon with all of you at the Reagan Library.

You know, when I think of Ronald Reagan, I think of his tremendous smile, a smile that reflected his optimism and his unending belief and faith in America and in Americans.

And it was that belief in America that led to a great presidency, a presidency that led to decades of safety, security and prosperity for America. That’s exactly the type of leadership we need in Washington today and that’s why I’m running for President of the United States. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

RICK SANTORUM, FORMER SENATOR: Hi, I’m Rick Santorum. Some of you may know me because I led the fight to end partial birth abortion. Some of you may know me because the I led the fight to end welfare as we know it, put people back to work, reduce poverty and reduce the federal budget.

Some of you may know me because I successfully put sanctions on the Iranian nuclear program in Congress, over opposition of both parties initially.

But hopefully, most of you know me most because I’m the proud father of seven children with particularly a special little disabled girl, who is the heart and core of my heart and married to a wonderful woman named Karen for 25 years, who is the love of my life.

(APPLAUSE)

BOBBY JINDAL (R), GOVERNOR OF LOUISIANA: Hi, I’m Bobby Jindal.

Now, look, I don’t have a famous last name. My daddy didn’t run for president. I don’t have a reality TV show. I’ll tell you what I do have, I’ve got the backbone, I’ve got the bandwidth, I’ve got the experience to get us through these tough times, to make sure that we don’t turn the American dream into the European nightmare. Thank you for having me today.

(APPLAUSE)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), S.C.: One, thanks, CNN, for having people at this debate.

(LAUGHTER)

GRAHAM: I’m Lindsey Graham from South Carolina, in case you can’t tell. I want to thank Ms. Reagan (ph) for inviting me. It means the world to me. I’m the only candidate tonight who served in the military while Ronald Reagan was our president and our commander in chief. It was one of the highlights of my life.

I’m running for president to destroy radical Islam, to win the war on terror, to protect you and your family.

GRAHAM: And in that quest, I have an uncompromising determination to win this war, just like President Reagan had an uncompromising determination to destroy the evil empire, and win the Cold War.

Above all others on both sides of the isle, I’m most qualified to be commander and chief on day one — 33 years in the Air Force, 35 trips to Iraq and Afghanistan, I understand this war. I have a plan to win it, and I intend to win it.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Thank you candidates. We’re going to talk a lot about policy and your proposals this evening.

But first, Governor Jindal, I want to start with you. You have said that the front runner, Donald Trump, is a, quote, “unstable, narcissistic, ego maniac.” Now, we are in the house of Reagan, who made famous the so-called 11th Commandment, “Thou shalt not speak ill of thy fellow Republican.”

What drove you to violate that unofficial commandment?

JINDAL: Well, Jake, I’m in compliance with the 11th Commandment, and I would tell my fellow Republicans, let’s stop treating Donald Trump like a Republican. If he were really a conservative…

(APPLAUSE)

If he were really a conservative and 30 points ahead, I would endorse him. He’s not a conservative. He’s not a liberal. He’s not a Democrat. He’s not a Republican. He’s not an independent. He believes in Donald Trump.

Here is the reality, the idea of America is slipping away. Eighteen trillion dollars of debt, Planned Parenthood selling baby parts across our country. Our government is creating a new entitlement program, when we can’t afford the government we’ve got today.

We’ve got a president who won’t even say the words radical Islamic terrorism. He has declared war on trans fats and a truce with Iran. Think about that. He’s more worried about Twinkies than he is about the ayatollahs having a nuclear weapon.

(APPLAUSE) That’s what is happening, the idea of America is slipping away. We must not let that happen on our watch. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to rescue the idea of America, the choice for conservatives. Do we depend on proven conservative principles like Ronald Reagan did, or do we turn this over to a narcissist who only believes in himself…

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor.

JINDAL: Thank you, Jake.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Senator Santorum, do you think Governor Jindal is wrong for attacking your party’s front runner?

SANTORUM: I think personal attacks, just please one person, Hillary Clinton.

And all we do when we go after each other — and we’ve seen a bunch of it, from people up on this stage, people who are going to be on the stage afterwards, who go after and make personal attacks on people. There are plenty of policy differences between the candidates up here and the candidates later.

Donald Trump has ever right to run for president as a Republican, as anybody else in this audience, and he may have positions I disagree with, but he has the right to do that and the people should be given the benefit of the doubt for people to see through these things.

I don’t think it helps when Republicans attack Republicans personally. I’ll say some things tonight which will be very big differences. The issue of immigration is one that there are huge differences in this field, and I will be out there talking about how we have to control immigration. How we have to look after the American worker.

The focus of this debate should be on how we’re going to win this election and help improve the quality of life for American workers, and we aren’t doing that, when we’re out there picking at each other and calling each other names.

The name we should call out is, what are we going to do for average Americans losing ground in America today. And that should be our focus.

TAPPER: Thank you.

Governor Jindal, do you want to respond to that?

(APPLAUSE)

JINDAL: Absolutely. Look, the reality is, Hillary Clinton is gift-wrapping this election to us. They are running their weakest candidate. They have got a socialist that is gaining on Hillary Clinton. Folks, you can’t make that up. A socialist is doing well in the Democratic primary.

The best way for us to give this election back would be to nominate a Donald Trump. He’ll implode in the general election, or if, God forbid, if he were in the White House, we have no idea what he would do.

You can’t just attack him on policy. He doesn’t care about policy. It’s not enough to say he was for socialized medicine or higher taxes…

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor.

JINDAL: He’s not serious.

TAPPER: Senator Santorum, just to assure you, we will get to those issues. But just a couple more on this general subject.

Senator Graham, you have called Donald Trump a, quote, “wrecking ball for the Republican party.” Voters in your home state of South Carolina, in a recent poll, prefer Donald Trump 30 percent to your 4 percent.

How do you explain why so many of your constituents would rather have Donald Trump as the Republican nominee than you?

GRAHAM: Well, all I can say, if you looked at polling in 2012 and 2008 at this level, we’d have — at this stage, we would have President Perry and President Giuliani. I have a long way to go.

And here’s what I’m going to try to do tonight — convince you that I’m best qualified to be the commander-in-chief of the one percent who are doing the fighting for the rest of us. And we’ll have a serious discussion tonight.

GRAHAM: All of us are going to say we want to destroy ISIL.

But here’s what I’m going to tell you. What we’re doing is not working. I have a plan to do it. If I’m president of the United States, we’re going to send more ground forces into Iraq because we have to. President Obama made a huge mistake by leaving too soon against sound military advice.

To every candidate tonight, are you willing to commit before the American people that you will destroy ISIL and you understand we need a ground force to do it?

Are you willing — Jake, please ask everybody the following question.

Would you go from 3,500 to 10,000 American boots on the ground in Iraq to destroy ISIL?

Because if you don’t, we’re going to lose.

Are you willing to send American combat forces into Syria as part of a regional army, because if you don’t, we’ll never destroy ISIL in Syria.

If you’re not ready to these things you’re not ready to be commander-in-chief.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator Graham.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: We’re going to bring in Hugh Hewitt now, who has a question for Governor Pataki.

HUGH HEWITT, TALK RADIO HOST: Thank you, Jake.

Governor, you signed the pledge to support the Republican nominee and you promptly broke it. By doing so, by Tweeting out that you would not support Donald Trump, have you released Donald Trump to be a free agent again or anyone else in the field?

GEORGE PATAKI (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No. Hugh, not at all. I have not broken the pledge because Donald Trump is not going to be the Republican nominee, period, flat out, I guarantee you that. I would vote…

HEWITT: Governor…

PATAKI: — for the Republican nominee…

HEWITT: — you said on Twitter that you would not support Donald Trump.

If he’s the nominee…

PATAKI: He’s not going to be the nominee.

HEWITT: — will you support him?

PATAKI: He’s not going to be the nominee, Hugh. And let me just say one word here. This is an important election with an enormous number of challenges facing the American people. And the first four questions are about Donald Trump.

(CROSSTALK)

HEWITT: Would you really vote for Hillary Clinton…

PATAKI: No, I would not vote for Hillary Clinton.

HEWITT: — or vote for Donald Trump if he’s the nominee?

PATAKI: No, I will vote for the Republican nominee. But let me say this flat out, Donald Trump is unfit to be president of the United States or the Republican Party’s nominee.

Look at what he did in Atlantic City.

He says he’s going to make America great again?

He invested four casinos in Atlantic City and he said, essentially, I’m going to make Atlantic City great again.

Every one of those casinos went bankrupt. Over 5,000 Americans lost their job. And you know people who, in this difficult economic time, have lost their job and the pain that causes.

He didn’t lose anything, 5,000 lost their jobs. He will do for America what he did for Atlantic City and that is not someone we will nominate.

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor.

PATAKI: Thank you.

TAPPER: Senator Graham?

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: One of the — the reasons why Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina are doing well is because they are political outsiders. In fact, that’s one of the things — in fact, there are two things that they have in common. They’ve never been elected to office before and they’re doing better than all of you in the polls.

The four of you have a combined seven decades in elected office.

Senator Graham, in this election season, do Republican voters see your service in government as a liability and not an asset?

GRAHAM: Well, what I hope Republican voters, libertarian, vegetarians, Democrats, you name it, will look for somebody to lead us in a new direction, domestically, but particularly on the foreign policy front.

President Obama is making a mess of the world. What I’m trying to tell you here tonight, that Syria is hell on Earth and it’s not going to get fixed by insulting each other. I’ve been there 35 times to Iraq and Afghanistan. I am ready to be commander-in-chief on day one.

I’ve been in the military 33 years, 140 days on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am so ready to get on with winning a war that we can’t afford to lose.

I hope you believe that experience matters. It’s an all- volunteer force of — when you vote for commander-in-chief, they are stuck with your choice. We’ve had one novice being commander-in- chief. Let’s don’t replace one novice with another.

And if I thought…

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

GRAHAM: — I could win this war without more American ground forces in Iraq and Syria, I would tell you, but we can’t…

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

GRAHAM: — and if we don’t get on with this, they are coming here.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

Let’s turn to the topic of immigration.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: For that, I want to bring in my colleague, Dana Bash.

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Senator Santorum, Governor Jindal has supported a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants once the border is secure.

Why do you disagree with that?

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, in fact, just about everybody in this field supports some pathway to citizenship. There are just a few, Governor Jindal, Senator Cruz, Senator Rubio, Jeb Bush, a lot of others, Senator Graham, all support some sort of amnesty at some point in time or another.

And this is really the interesting thing about this whole debate. This debate should not be about what we’re going to do with someone who’s here illegally.

SANTORUM: This debate should not be about what we’re going to do with someone who’s here illegally; This debate should be about what — what every other debate on every other policy issue is in America. What’s in the best interest of hardworking Americans? What’s in the best interest of our country.

We’ve had to focus because the other side has set up for us, here is who we have to be concerned about on the issue of immigration, someone who’s here illegally and their family, and what are we going to do about it? A greater leader will see that the objection of every law in America is to do what’s in the best interest of America.

And what’s in the best interest of America right now is to look at wages, look at employment among wager earners. 70 to 90 percent of people who’ve come into this country, 35 million over the last 20 years, are wage earners that are holding wages down, taking jobs away from America.

BASH: Senator, your time’s up. I want to get the governor to respond to that.

JINDAL: Yeah, I wanted to clarify — I want to make very clear that everybody understands my position is, we need to secure the border, period.

Any talk of doing any more — we don’t need a comprehensive plan, don’t need an 1,000-page bill, like the Gang of Eight. We don’t need amnesty.

Everybody in D.C. talks about it. We need to get it done. As president, I’ll get it done in six months. It won’t be perfect, but we can get it done.

I’m not for amnesty. We do need to secure the border. A smart immigration makes our — our country stronger. Right now, we’ve got a weak one. One of the things I’ve said — I know the left — I know Hillary

didn’t like this — immigration without assimilation is invasion. We need to insist the people who come here come here legally, learn English, adopt our values, roll up their sleeves and get to work. We do need to secure the border.

(APPLAUSE)

BASH: Senator — Senator Santorum, do you buy that, that the governor’s not for amnesty?

SANTORUM: Well, just because you don’t call it amnesty doesn’t mean that what — what almost everybody in this field is for is allowing people who are in this country illegally, people who broke the law to come into this country, people who came here legally and overstayed, to stay in — in America.

Again, we have 35 million — we have the highest percentage of — of — of immigrants in this country, as far as numbers ever, as far as percentage, the — the highest in 105 years. Wages are flatlining.

The reason that you’re seeing the angst and the anger out there and the reason this issue has taken off is because workers in America know that their wages are being undermined.

If you look at, from the year 2000 to the year 2014, there’re 5.7 million net new jobs created. What percentage of those jobs are held by people who weren’t born here? The answer is all of them.

The fact is, American workers are — are getting hurt by immigration…

BASH: Senator, your time is up…

SANTORUM: … and that’s why they’re upset.

BASH: Your time is up.

And Governor, I’m sorry. Just — you — you really need to clarify your position, because you say you’re not for amnesty, but you have been for a path to citizenship…

JINDAL: Dana, that’s not right. What I’ve said consistently is secure the border. I’ve said after that is done, the American people will deal with the folks that are here pragmatically and compassionately.

Now, Rick, if he wants to say that Rubio, Senator Rubio, or Jeb or others are for amnesty, that’s his right. I’m not for amnesty. I’ve never been for amnesty, will never be for amnesty.

Secure the border. We don’t need to do that as a comprehensive — I’ve also said we need to put an end to sanctuary cities. It’s not enough to defund them; I think we need to criminalize, accuse and jail those mayors and councilman as accessories…

(UNKNOWN): Thank you, Governor.

JINDAL: … for the crimes committed by people who shouldn’t be here in the first place.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor.

TAPPER: I — I want to change the subject. We’re staying on immigration, and I’m bringing you in, Governor Pataki…

PATAKI: OK. All right. Thank you.

TAPPER: … and Senator Graham, I’m coming to you as well.

GRAHAM: Thank you.

TAPPER: Governor Pataki, Republicans right now are — are debating birthright citizenship, the policy of granting U.S. citizenship to every baby born in this country, even if they born to undocumented immigrants.

Senator Graham wants to end the policy of birthright citizenship. Governor Pataki, you support keeping it. Tell him why he’s wrong.

PATAKI: Yeah, it’s a small part of a very important issue, and let me comment on what my colleagues were saying here.

We all agree you have to secure the border. We have to make sure that people come to America legally. That has got to be step one.

Step two is, we have to stop releasing criminals into the communities. If you are charged with a crime as an illegal alien, you should either be in jail or be deported. You should not released, as the Obama administration has done. Of course, we should outlaw sanctuary cities and hold them responsible.

But we can’t ignore 11 million people who are here. What are we going to do? We’re not going to send them back, despite somebody saying we’re going to drag kids out of classrooms and send them back.

But we have to send a message that we are a nation that depends on the rule of law, and when your first act is to break the law, there has to be a consequence.

So what I would do is require those who want to have legal status, not citizenship, come forward, acknowledge they broke the law, and if they do it again, they can be immediately deported, and then do what we do in communities across America when we want to sanction someone…

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor.

PATAKI: … and that is community service — 200 hours working in a hospital…

TAPPER: Governor…

PATAKI: … working in a school, and then they could have legal…

TAPPER: What I — what I asked about was about birthright citizenship and why you think that we should preserve birthright…

PATAKI: I don’t — I don’t think that we should tell that child born in America that we’re going to send them back. The way to avoid that is to have an intelligent immigration policy where we know who is coming here, why they are coming here, so we don’t have this flood of people coming here for the wrong reasons.

TAPPER: Senator Graham, most countries in the world do not have birthright citizenship.

GRAHAM: Probably for a good reason.

TAPPER: Why do you think Governor Pataki is wrong?

GRAHAM: Well, let’s talk about immigration. Number one, I like Rick. I don’t remember the Santorum plan when I was in the Senate.

The peanut gallery on this is interesting. I have been trying to solve this problem for a decade. There are no democrats here tonight. If you’re here, raise your hand. You went to the wrong — we’ll, welcome. Thank you very much for coming.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: Was that a…

GRAHAM: The bottom line, I’m trying to pitch the problem. We’re not going to deport 11 million people here illegally, but we’ll start with felons, and off they go. And, as to the rest, you can stay, but you got to learn our language. I don’t speak it very well, well, look how far I’ve come?

(LAUGHTER) Speaking English is a good thing. You got to pay taxes, you got to pay a fine, you got to get in the back of the line. You’ve got to secure your border or they’ll keep coming. If you don’t control who gets a job that never ends — so (ph) got two borders. One with Canadia — Canada, one with Mexico. I never met an illegal Canadian.

This is an economic problem, so, folks, let’s solve it. Amnesty is doing nothing, and that’s what we’ve been doing.

As to birthright citizenship, once we clean up this mess, in the future, prospectively, I’m going to look at the following. There are people buying tourist visas that go to resorts with maternity wards with the expressed purpose of having a children here in America. There are rich Asians, there are rich people up in the Mid-East…

TAPPER: …Thank you Senator…

GRAHAM: …That to me is bastardizing citizenship…

TAPPER: …Thank you Senator…

GRAHAM: …Yeah, I’d like to stop that in the future…

TAPPER(?): Governor Pataki, I’d just want to…

SANTORUM: …Hold on, hold on, hold on…

TAPPER: …We’ll come back to you Senator Santorum, I promise…

SANTORUM: …He mentioned my name, and that i didn’t have a plan. And, the fact of the matter is…

TAPPER: …alright…

SANTORUM: …that I did have a plan back in 2006. I introduced a plan called, A Comprehensive Border Security Bill, which did, in fact, put the resources to build the fencing, and deploy the troops, and the technology necessary which…

GRAHAM: …What do you do with the 11 million?

SANTORUM: As you know, Lindsay…

GRAHAM: …What are you going to do with the 11 million?

SANTORUM: …As you know, 40 to 60 percent of the 11 million are here on visa overstays. We know exactly who they are, we should know where they are, but we have a government that doesn’t tell them to return home. You can solve half of the problem of the 11 million…

GRAHAM: …Well, what about the other half…

SANTORUM: …by simply telling the 11 million that they have to return to their country of origin, so, that’s half your problem…

GRAHAM: …How many democrats support yourplan…

SANTORUM: …Now, it’s not 11 million…

GRAHAM: …How many democrats did you have on your bill?

SANTORUM: I don’t know how many democrats I had on my bill…

GRAHAM: …I can tell you. None.

SANTORUM: But, the point is — the point is is that I had a bill…

GRAHAM: …That went nowhere.

SANTORUM: Well, you’re right, Lindsay, it went no where because we had a president back then who was for more comprehensive immigration reform…

GRAHAM: …George W. Bush…

SANTORUM: …That’s right…

GRAHAM: …Who won with hispanics.

SANTORUM: You know what we need to do…

GRAHAM: …Compared to what we’re doing…

SANTORUM: Lindsay, is we need to win — we need to win fighting for Americans. We need to win fighting for the workers in this country…

GRAHAM: …Hispanics…

SANTORUM: …who are hurting, including including hispanics…

GRAHAM: …Are Americans…

SANTORUM: …the people who are hurt the most by illegal immigration are hispanics.

GRAHAM: (APPLAUSE)…In my world, hispanics are Americans…

SANTORUM: …The folks — the folks who are — hurt the worst are recent immigrants. By illegal immigrants coming to this country last year alone, 700,000 illegal immigrants came into this country. Who do you think are most impacted? It’s the folks who came into this country, played by the rules, did what they were supposed to do. Came here, and went to work, and now they’re finding themselves out of work because someone illegally is willing to come in and work for less…

GRAHAM: …I have a little different take on where the country is going on this issue. Number one, in 1950, there were 16 workers for every retiree. How many are there today? There’s three. In 20 years, there’s going to be two, and you’re going to have 80 million baby boomers like me retiree in mass wanting a Social Security check, and their Medicare bills paid.

We’re going to need more legal immigration. Let’s just make it logical. Let’s pick people from all over the world on our terms, not just somebody from Mexico. Let’s create a rational, legal immigration system because we have a declining workforce.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator…

GRAHAM: …Strom Thurmond had four kids after he was 67, if you’re not willing to do that, we’ve got to come up with a new legal immigration system.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator. Governor Pataki, I want to let you have the final word here. SANTORUM: I just want to say — I just want to say, I have seven

kids, I’ve done my part.

TAPPER: Governor Pataki?

PATAKI: We have to deal with the people who are here illegally. We can’t just ignore them, or send them back. I think my policy would work to give them legal status, make them a part of an economy that will grow, and help America. TAPPER: I want to turn to another pressing immigration issue. Governor Jindal, over the next year, at least 10,000 Syrian refugees will be allowed to enter the United States. Governor Jindal, you’ve said it’s ridiculous for America to let more refugees in from Syria, and you’ve expressed concerns about security.

Senator Graham says that the United States has a moral obligation to these Syrian refugees. Governor Jindal, does the United States have any obligation to them?

JINDAL: Jake, look, America’s the most compassionate country in the entire world. We do more for folks around this world, and that’s the nature of the American people.

Two things. One, let us draw line, a direct line, between this refugee crisis, and this president’s failed foreign policy.

JINDAL: Jake, look, America is the most compassionate country in the entire world. We do more for folks around this world. And that’s the nature of the American people.

Two things: one, let us draw a line, a direct line between this refugee crisis and this president’s failed foreign policy. He drew a red line in Syria and did not enforce it and now we’re seeing millions of refugees potentially, hundreds of thousands going into Europe.

The answer is not to put a Band-aid on this and allow even more people to come into America. We should not short-circuit; we have got a vetting process, we’ve got a normal refugee process. Simply allowing more into our country doesn’t solve this problem.

The way to solve this problem is for us to be clear to our friends and allies that we’re going to replace Assad, we’re going to hunt down and destroy ISIS; our friends don’t trust us, our enemies don’t fear and respect us.

But I want to go back on immigration. Let me be very clear. Immigration, we need to insist on assimilation in immigration. My parents came here legally almost 45 years ago. They came here, they followed the rule of law. They knew English, they adopted the values. They didn’t come here to be hyphenated Americans. They’re not Indian Americans. They’re not Asian Americans. They’re —

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor.

JINDAL: We — it is important we insist on that in immigration going — TAPPER: Thank you, Governor.

Senator Graham, your response when it comes to Syrian refugees?

GRAHAM: Yes, number one, how does President Obama sleep at night?

Look what you let happen on your watch. Your commanders told you, don’t withdrawal from Iraq because we’ll lose of our gains.

Three years ago your entire national security team, Senator McCain and I begged you to do a no-fly zone and help the Free Syrian Army while it would matter. But you said no.

I’m not blaming Bobby, I’m not blaming Rick, I’m not blaming anybody, I’m blaming Barack Obama for this mess.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: I want to turn now —

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I want to fix it.

TAPPER: We’re going to keep talking about the situation in the Middle East. Let me bring in my colleague, Dana Bash, again.

BASH: Thank you.

Senator Graham, you mentioned this earlier; you are calling for an additional 20,000 U.S. ground forces to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria and you have said — again, just this evening — that anyone who’s not willing to do that should not be commander in chief.

GRAHAM: Right.

BASH: No one on this stage has gone that far.

So are you saying, for Iraq and Syria, are you saying that everybody to your right is not fit for the Oval Office?

GRAHAM: I’m saying this, if they don’t understand that Barack Obama’s policies are not working, that we’re not going to destroy ISIL in Iraq and Syria from the air, they are not ready.

What have I learned in 35 trips? I learned what works and what doesn’t.

We were in a good spot in Iraq, President Bush made mistakes but he adjusted. To those who fought in Iraq, you did your job and Barack Obama wasted it all.

Now we’re in a spot where, if we don’t destroy ISIL soon, they are coming here. There are 3,500 American boots on the ground. You would never know it, hearing your president, but we need about 10,000 to turn the tide of battle in Iraq. Then there is nobody left, Dana, to train inside of Syria.

We spent $50 million training 54 people and they are down to four or five. They have been slaughtered. So we’re going to need a regional army, the turks, the Jordanians, the Saudis, the Egyptians get their armies up together and 90 percent of it will be them. They’re going to pay for this war because we paid for the last two.

But 10 percent at least will have to be us and we’re going in on the ground and we’re going to pull the caliphate up by its roots and we’re going to kill every one of these bastards we can find because, if we don’t, they are coming here.

(APPLAUSE)

BASH: Senator —

(CROSSTALK)

BASH: — Senator Santorum, I know you’re raising your hand.

You’re committing to this number of troops, both in Iraq and on the ground in Syria?

SANTORUM: I have proposed 10,000 troops, I did so about six or seven months ago, that we needed to deploy additional troops to do exactly what Lindsey said, arm the Kurds, arm —

(CROSSTALK)

BASH: And he’s saying 20,000.

Would you…?

SANTORUM: I’ve said — I’ve said 10,000 and, if more is necessary, look, the answer is this, once ISIS established a caliphate, the game changed because once you establish a caliphate, you have an area of control, you have to take ground from that caliphate, because if you don’t, then, in the Islamic world, it’s seen as a legitimate caliphate.

As long as they have territorial integrity, and even expand it, they have legitimacy and much of the Muslim world to call people to join their jihad here in America as well as in Iraq and in Syria. So we must take their ground.

BASH: Thank you, Senator.

Governor Jindal?

JINDAL: Look, absolutely. We need to do whatever is necessary to hunt down and kill these radical Islamic terrorists but this president has helped — his policies have helped to contribute to this problem.

He went to the Pentagon the same week they announced they were cutting back the number of troops in the Army to say that we’re not going to win this through guns, it’s going to be a change of hearts and minds. This will be a generational conflict, that is nonsense. These are barbarians.

They are burning, crucifying people alive, Christians and other Muslims. We need to hunt them down and —

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor.

JINDAL: — by having a president willing to —

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor.

JINDAL: — Islamic —

TAPPER: Thank you, thank you, Governor.

(CROSSTALK)

GRAHAM: — does that include American ground forces in Syria as part of a regional army?

Are all of you willing to commit to American ground forces going into Syria as part of a regional army to destroy the caliphate and its headquarters?

TAPPER: Governor Pataki —

PATAKI: Lindsey, let me comment on this.

Last week was the anniversary of September 11th and I was governor of New York on September 11th and led us through that horrible day.

PATAKI: And I learned that we cannot assume that because radical Islam is a continent away, it doesn’t pose a threat to us here in America. It did then, and today, I think, we are at greater risk of an attack than at any time since.

We have got to destroy ISIS’s ability to attack us here. But it’s not 10,000 troops. It’s not 20,000 troops. In my view, it’s three things. First, we have to directly arm those fighting ISIS on the ground now. The Kurds…

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor. Sorry. We have rules and timing.

Governor Jindal, I do want to bring you in. I want to turn to a story in news in the story today. A 14-year-old Muslim high school student in Texas was arrested on Monday for bringing a homemade clock to school after it was mistaken for a fake bomb. Police released the young man after they determined it was, in fact, a clock. Today, President Obama invited that student to the White House.

Governor Jindal, throughout your campaign, you’ve spoken many times about Muslim extremists in this country. How would you, as president, strike a balance between vigilance and discrimination? JINDAL: Well, Jake, look, I think the American people — we

don’t discriminate anybody based on the color of their skin or their creed. I think the way you strike that balance, you say to Muslim leaders, they have got two responsibilities.

One, it’s not enough to denounce just simply generic acts of violence. They have got to denounce the individuals by name, and say these are not martyrs. These terrorists are not martyrs; rather, they are going straight to hell. They are not going to enjoy a reward in their afterlife.

Secondly, they have to explicitly embrace the same freedoms for everybody else they want for themselves. Look, I know it’s politically incorrect to say this, the president says Fort Hood was an issue of workplace violence.

We are at war with radical Islam. Our president loves to apologize for America, he goes to the National Prayer Breakfast, brings up the Crusades, criticizes Christians. We’re at war today with radical Islamic extremists.

It’s not politically correct to say that, but the way you strike that balance, you say to Muslim leaders, denounce these fools, these radical terrorists by name, say they are not martyrs.

TAPPER: Governor Jindal, I’m afraid you didn’t answer the question. How do you strike the balance between vigilance and discrimination?

Obviously, we know how you feel about the vigilance part of this. Do you ever see the discrimination part of it?

JINDAL: Sure, I don’t think a 14-year-old should ever get arrested for bringing a clock to school. So, if you’re asking me I’m glad he wasn’t — he was released. I’m glad that police are careful. I’m glad they are worried about security and safety issues.

Look, in America we don’t tolerate them. The biggest discrimination is going on against Christian business owners and individuals who believe in traditional forms of marriage. They are throwing this woman in jail in Kentucky.

(APPLAUSE)

Let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about the Christian florist, the caterer, the musician, who simply want to say, don’t arrest us for having — or don’t discriminate against us, don’t shut down our businesses, don’t fine us thousands of dollars for believing marriage is between a man and a woman. Lets talk about not discriminating against Christians.

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor. We will get to that subject later in the debate.

Senator Graham? GRAHAM: Well, you know, Kim Davis, I’m not worried about her

attacking me. I am worried about radical Islamic terrorists who are already here planning another 9/11.

We’re at war, folks. I’m not fighting a crime. I want to have a legal system that understands the difference between fighting a war and fighting a crime, and here’s the reality. Young men from the Mid- East are different than Kim Davis. And we’ve got to understand that.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

GRAHAM: Islamic websites need to be monitored.

PATAKI: Jake…

GRAHAM: And if you are on one, I want to know what you’re doing.

TAPPER: Governor Pataki?

PATAKI: Jake, if I can comment on this. Yes, Kim Davis is different from Islamist radicalists from the Middle East.

But on the other hand, we have run rule in America, an elected official can’t say I’m not going to follow that law if it conflicts with my beliefs. I think she should have been fired and if she worked for me, I would have fired her. We have to uphold the rule of law.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor.

PATAKI: Imagine one minute — Jake, imagine one minute that was a Muslim who said I don’t believe in gay marriage, and refused to perform that wedding. We wouldn’t have had that outrage. There’s a place where religion supersedes the rule of law. It’s called Iran. It shouldn’t be the United States.

TAPPER: We’ll get to that subject in the next block. We’re going to take a very quick break. When we come back, both Jeb Bush and Donald Trump agree on one thing when it comes to taxes. We’ll see if any of the candidates on stage agree as well.

TAPPER: That’s next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Welcome back to the CNN Republican Debate at the beautiful Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California.

Before we took the break, you were all chomping at the bit to talk about Kim Davis, that Kentucky clerk.

Governor Pataki said he would have fired Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk jailed for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Senator Santorum, do you agree with Governor Pataki?

SANTORUM: 16 years ago, this country was tremendously inspired by a young woman who faced a gunman in Columbine and was challenged about her faith and she refused to deny God. We saw her as a hero.

Today, someone who refuses to defy (sic) a judge’s unconstitutional verdict is ridiculed and criticized, chastised because she’s standing up and denying — not denying her God and her faith.

That is a huge difference in 16 years. People have a fundamental right in the First Amendment. There’s no more important right. It is the right that is the trunk that all other rights come from, and that’s the freedom of conscience.

And when we say in America that we have no room — how many bakers, how many florists, how many pastors, how many clerks are we going to throw in jail because they stand up and say, “I cannot violate what my faith says is against its teachings”? Is there not room in America? I believe there has to be room.

First, I believe we have to pass the First Amendment Defense Act, which provides that room for government officials and others who do not want to be complicit in what they believe is against their faith.

Second, we need as a president who’s going to fight a court that is abusive, that has superseded their authority. Judicial supremacy is not in the Constitution, and we need a president and a Congress to stand up to a court when it exceeds its constitutional authority.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

Governor Pataki, your response?

PATAKI: My response is kind of, “Wow.” You know, we’re going to have a president who defies the Supreme Court because they don’t agree?

SANTORUM: I hope so. If they’re wrong.

PATAKI: Then you don’t have the rule of law…

SANTORUM: No, what you have is judicial supremacy. You don’t have a rule of law when the court has the final say on everything.

PATAKI: The — the elected representatives of the people always have the opportunity to change that law. The Supreme Court makes a determination, but it’s ultimately the elected officials who decide whether or not that would be accepted.

By the way, if I have a chance to lead this country, I will appoint judges who understand their role. They’re not going to be making the law; they’re going to be interpreting law that the elected officials passed.

PATAKI: But there’s a huge difference between an individual standing up and saying I am going to stand for my religious freedom and my religious rights. I applaud that. This is America. You should be able to engage in your religious belief in the way you see fit.

But when you are an elected official and you take an oath of office to uphold the law, all the laws, you cannot pick and choose or you no longer have a society that depends on the rule of law.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator Santorum?

SANTORUM: Martin Luther King wrote a letter from the Birmingham jail. And he said in that letter that there are just laws and there are unjust laws. And we have no obligation to — to condone and accept unjust laws.

And he — and they — then he followed up and said what’s an unjust law?

An unjust law is a job that — a law that go against the moral code or God’s law or the natural law.

I would argue that what the Supreme Court did is against the natural law, it’s against God’s law and we have every obligation to stand in opposition to it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jake…

PATAKI: Yes, I — I didn’t agree with the Supreme Court’s decision, but it is the law of this land. And I am a great admirer of Martin Luther King. And he was prepared to break the law. But it wasn’t in an office of political power. It was civil disobedience, where what he was willing to do is voluntarily go to jail with his followers to send a message to the elected representatives that these laws were wrong and had to be changed.

And because of his courage, we didn’t ignore the courts, we changed the laws and made America a better place. That’s the way to do it.

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor.

JINDAL: Jake — Jake… (CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: We’re coming to both of you.

JINDAL: Jake, I’ve got a practical question.

TAPPER: What…

(CROSSTALK) JINDAL: I’ve got a practical question. I’d like the left to

give us a list of jobs that Christians aren’t allowed to have. If we’re not allowed to be clerks, bakers, musicians, caterers, are we allowed to be pastors (INAUDIBLE)?

TAPPER: Governor Jindal…

JINDAL: We’re not allowed to be elected officials. I firmly — this is an important point. The First Amendment rights, the right to religious freedom is in the First Amendment of “The Constitution.” It isn’t breaking the law to exercise our constitutional rights. America did not create religious liberty, religious liberty created the United States of America. It is the reason we’re here today.

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I…

TAPPER: Senator Graham, do you want to weigh in?

GRAHAM: I wasn’t the best law student. By the end of this debate, it would be the most time I’ve ever spent in any library.

(LAUGHTER)

GRAHAM: But on the first day in law school view (ph), it’s called “Marbury v. Madison.” The group in our constitutional democracy that interprets “The Constitution” as to what it means is the Supreme Court. In a 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court, they have ruled that same-sex marriage bans at the state level violate the Fourteenth Amendment to “The United States Constitution” equal protection clause.

I don’t agree with it, but that is the law of the land. But as president, what I want make sure of is that everybody in this room, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, whatever religion that you can practice your faith without government interference, you can marry people consistent with the tenets of your faith. That’s the number one obligation of my presidency, is to protect religious people when they exercise their religious rights.

But this decision is the law as it is of right now.

And here’s the one thing I want to tell you, Jake.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

GRAHAM: Wait — wait a minute.

Whether you’re the wedding cake baker or the gay couple or the Baptist preacher, radical Islam would kill you all if they could.

TAPPER: Senator…

GRAHAM: Let’s don’t lose sight of the big picture here.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator. I want to stay with the subject of Supreme Court judges —

justices.

Governor Jindal, both Senators graham and Santorum voted to confirm chief justice of the United States, John Roberts, who has led with the majority twice to uphold ObamaCare.

Do you think that Graham’s and Santorum’s votes to confirm John Roberts were a mistake?

JINDAL: I think actually putting Roberts, I think putting Kennedy, I think putting — before them, I think putting Souter on the bench was a mistake. But look, I think the — the first responsibility starts in the White House. The reality is conservatives have not been willing to stand up for our beliefs, unlike the liberals — look, you never worry about where the Democratic judges are going to vote, it’s always the conservatives. You’ve never had a Democratic judge wake up and say, surprise, I’ve evolved, I’ve become a conservative.

It’s always the Republicans, because we have presidents that try to find judges with no records, no rulings, no writings. I’ll tell you, I am going to have a litmus test. For judges, I’m going to find judges that are conservative, judges that are going to be pro-life, judges that are going to follow “The Constitution,” judges, by the way, that are going to follow the American law, not international law.

They’re not appointed there to interpret international law, they’re there to apply “The United States Constitution.” Judges understand, their job is not to write law. If they want to write law, they should run for the Senate or the House.

JINDAL: It’s time for a Republican president as the next commander in chief, I will do as the Democrats have done. I will appoint bold judges that are actually consistent with my values that will be conservatives and enforce the Senate —

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor.

Senator Graham, I want to give you an opportunity to respond —

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: — I would note that Anthony Kennedy, was, of course, a Ronald Reagan appointee.

Senator Graham, do you stand by your vote for John Roberts?

GRAHAM: He’s one of the most qualified men to ever come before the United States Senate and I don’t agree with his decision, but 99 times out of 100, I will.

To the Republicans, the biggest prize on the table in 2017 is the presidency. If it is Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders, they are going to pick people that we will disagree with all the time. Please understand, we have to win this election. The court’s at

stake. It is the most important reason for us to turn out, to make sure we don’t lose the judiciary for decades to come.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Senator Santorum, do you stand by your vote for John Roberts?

SANTORUM: Well, contrary to what Governor Jindal said, Governor — Justice Roberts had a long record and it was a long, good record. And so he made a bad decision on — a couple of bad decisions on ObamaCare but he’s made a lot of great decisions, too.

And so I don’t — I don’t regret at all standing up for John Roberts but, you know, it’s easy to sit out in Louisiana and talk about how, you know, well, I’d be tougher.

I fought when I was in the United States Senate. We fought, for the first time, to defeat justices and judges that Bill Clinton nominated and I fought with President Bush to defend his nominees, to push even a filibuster, breaking the filibuster. I led that fight against someone who didn’t want to end the filibuster in order for us to get good, conservative justices.

So I have been there on the front line, fighting for judges and conservative justices and I will do so as president like none other.

TAPPER: Governor Jindal, I’m going to give you 30 seconds to respond.

JINDAL: Thank you, Jake. But look, it’s not a minor ruling. Justice Roberts twice rewrote the law to save ObamaCare, the biggest expansion of government, creating a new entitlement when we can’t afford the government we’ve got today, an expansion of socialism in our country.

It’s not that he got a minor ruling wrong. This is twice he rewrote the law. Now, look, I have a lot of respect for these senators that have big bladders. They give great speeches in the Senate. And I respect that.

I’ve actually signed the executive order. I’ve actually signed a law protecting religious liberty in the state of Louisiana.

It’s not 99-1. The one that he got wrong was a big one. Twice he bent over backwards to save ObamaCare. If the Republicans had voted the way that we should — they should have, we would still have our 19th Amendment rights and ObamaCare would not be the law of the land.

TAPPER: Let me bring back Hugh Hewitt.

HEWITT: Governor Jindal, Senator Graham just said it’s all about winning and, in fact, if former Secretary of State Clinton is the successor to President Obama, none of this matters and all this conversation is beside the point.

In the Washington elite, they have a habit of saying nice things about each other until election time. Senator Graham has praised Secretary of State Clinton as a great choice to be the secretary of state, as a national treasure.

Can anyone from inside of Washington win this election cycle, having praised Secretary of State Clinton that way?

JINDAL: No. And it’s not only whether they can win. They shouldn’t win this election cycle.

One of the things I do agree — and I want to thank Donald Trump after I’ve criticized him for everything from being a narcissist to an egomaniac — one of the things he was right about was to say nonsense to the D.C. establishment. It is time to fire all of them. You’ve got a choice between honest Socialists on the Left, like Bernie Sanders, and lying conservatives on the Right.

We have got the majority; what good has it done us? See, they said they were going to stop amnesty. They said they were going to repeal ObamaCare. They didn’t do either. Now they’re not even willing to fight to defund Planned Parenthood. They’ve already — McConnell has already waved the white flag of defeat.

They are not willing to stand up to fight for the issues that count. I think it is time to have term limits. I think it’s time to have part-time citizen legislators. Let’s pay them a per diem instead of a six-figure salary, stop them from being seven-figure lobbyists. Let’s also pay them a per diem for every day they don’t go to D.C. Let’s keep them out of D.C., working in the real —

(CROSSTALK)

JINDAL: — let’s make them live under the same rules and laws they apply to the rest of us. Not only shouldn’t they be elected, they can’t be elected. Let’s fire all of them from their current positions.

(APPLAUSE)

HEWITT: Senator Graham, took a shot at there and you’re having a good debate but there is this problem of Washington elites and saying wonderful things about each other.

GRAHAM: I’ve been called a lot of things but never elite before. My dad owned a liquor store, a bar and a poolroom.

So only in America can you go from the back of a liquor store to being an elite.

HEWITT: Is that responsive to calling Hillary Clinton a national treasure, Senator?

GRAHAM: I introduced her at a conference about Africa. I thought Secretary Clinton did a good job when it came to dealing with our problems in Africa, particularly among women. George W. Bush set $40 billion aside and Rick Santorum helped him and President Bush wiped out an entire — wiped out AIDS and malaria for an entire generation of young African children.

Secretary Clinton —

(APPLAUSE)

GRAHAM: — Secretary Clinton did a good — here’s my problem with Secretary Clinton.

Where the hell were you on the night of the Benghazi attack?

How did you let it become a death threat to begin with?

And why did you lie about what happened to these people?

GRAHAM: And if you want a new change in terms of foreign policy, don’t pick her, because she’s his secretary of state.

I’ve got a real good chance of beating her, because I don’t say things bad about her all the time — just when she deserves it. And her definition of flat broke and mine are a little bit different.

HEWITT: But Senator, can you go back and forth that way, and expect to have an argument with the American people to persuade them about that?

GRAHAM: Well, Ronald Reagan did a couple of really big things that we should all remember.

He sat down with Tip O’Neill, the most liberal guy in the entire House. They started drinking together. That’s the first thing I’m going to do as president. We’re going to drink more.

(APPLAUSE)

And what did this — two great Irishmen do? They found a way to save Social Security from bankruptcy by adjusting the age of retirement from 65 to 67.

So, yes, I will say nice things at times about Democrats. Yes, I will work them — work with them.

(LAUGHTER)

I will put the country ahead of party. Absolutely I want to work with them. At the end of the day, Hugh, I’m lucky to be standing here. I’m the first in my family to ever go to college. Neither one of my parents finished high school. Darline’s here with me tonight. We owned a restaurant…

HEWITT: Thank you, Senator.

GRAHAM: Well, wait a minute. We…

HEWITT: Thank you, senator.

GRAHAM: You asked me a question. This is important. Republicans need to tell the American people we get it as to who you are.

When my mom died, I was 21. When my dad died, when I was 22. We were wiped out financially. If it weren’t for Social Security survivor benefit check coming into Darline, we wouldn’t have made it. I don’t need a lecture from Democrats about Social Security.

HEWITT: Thank you, Senator.

GRAHAM: I want to save it, just like Ronald Reagan did.

(APPLAUSE)

HEWITT: Let’s talk about the economy, if We could.

Governor Pataki.

PATAKI: Yes?

HEWITT: Jeb Bush and Donald Trump are both proposing raising taxes on hedge fund managers who pay at a lower rate. Governor Pataki, you were the governor of New York, home of Wall Street.

Do you agree that hedge fund managers need to be paying a higher rate?

PATAKI: I would throw out the entire corrupt tax code.

(APPLAUSE)

It’s a symbol of the corruption and the power of the lobbyists and the special interests in Washington. It is 74,000 pages of incomprehensible gobbledygook.

What I would do is get rid of the 1.4 million every year in exemptions and loopholes, dramatically lower the rates. The normal American person is paying higher taxes than they should because of loopholes, and one of them is that carried interest loophole.

I would tax that income the same as ordinary income. I’d lower the rate to 24 percent for all Americans, but I would not give a special break to the Wall Street fat caps — fat cats.

HEWITT: So you are with Jeb Bush and Donald Trump on the hedge fund?

PATAKI: It’s hard for me to say I’m with Donald trump on anything, but on this issue, I agree with him. But let me just make one other point.

It’s not just throwing out the tax code to break the back of the special interests that control Washington. It’s other reforms. I would propose a law — right now there are over 400 former members of the House and Senate who are registered lobbyists in Washington. I would propose a law on day one, you serve one day in the House or Senate, there’s a lifetime ban on you ever being a lobbyist in Washington, D.C.

You get elected, you go back home. You don’t stay and support the special interests. (APPLAUSE)

HEWITT: Governor Jindal — Governor Jindal, that’s three Republicans running for president who support hedge fund managers paying a higher rate. Are you the fourth?

JINDAL: Two things, Jake. One, I’m absolutely for all of these carve-outs and loopholes and special interests for as — they get lobbyists. They get sweetheart deals you and I and the rest of this audience couldn’t get.

So as part of an overall comprehensive tax reform that has a lower, flatter tax code, sure. As a single, I am just to raise taxes, no. I don’t want to give the government more money.

The government has grown over this president where now, it’s going to overwhelm the American economy. We’ve got to cut the size of the government economy.

Nobody else running for president has done that. I’m the only candidate. I’ve cut my state budget 26 percent. Everybody else talks about it, we have done it.

So, there’s a part of overall tax reform that cuts rates, flattens and lowers the tax code, sure. But I’m not for raising taxes on anybody. We already have too much money going to D.C.

HEWITT: Let’s stay on the topic of taxes.

PATAKI: Can I just…

HEWITT: I want to bring in my colleague, Dana Bash.

BASH: Senator Santorum, you just heard Governor Jindal and Governor Pataki talk about tax reform.

Jeb Bush has proposed a tax reform plan, and in it, he limits deductions, including the popular home mortgage deduction. Would you do the same as president?

SANTORUM: Actually, I’m going to be proposing a plan, I call it the 20/20 perfect vision for America as flat tax, a 20 percent flat tax on income, 20 percent flat tax on capital gains and on corporations.

We eliminate all the deductions, special interest provisions and corporations. We deal with the carried interest issue, because everybody pays the same 20 percent. So, there’s no advantage as to how you take your income. That will create growth.

We’re going to allow expensing for corporations. SANTORUM: For manufacturing, again, I print — I pledged, when I

announced that I was going to run for president on the factory floor that I would make America the number one manufacturer in the world. Why? Because we need to put Americans back to work.

Hard working Americans, who are not doing well in this economy, and we start creating jobs here, and manufacturing. These people from all skill levels are going to be able to work. We put a 20 percent rate on corporations, we’re competitive with almost every country in the world. We allow for expensing, we have a three year phase in. We start at zero for manufacturers, phase it up to 20. You’re going to see an enormous investment of capital, and equipment. You’re going to see people — you’re going to have problems finding folks are going to be able to work in manufacturing. That’s how many jobs we’re going to create.

So, the answer is, you know, we’re going to lower, and flatten taxes. We’re going to put government on a — on a budget. A 10 percent across the board cut…

BASH: …times up, Senator.

SANTORUM: …employment. We’ve got a lot of plans.

BASH: …OK, times up, Senator. Governor, just to bring you back into this, you said that you would be OK with what is effectively raising taxes on hedge fund managers as part of a tax reform plan. Would you aslo be for doing away with people’s deductions for their mortgages.

PATAKI: No, I would not. I would keep that deduction. I would lower the rates dramatically, so, yes, that root that has a special carve out would pay more, but everybody else is going to pay less.

I would keep the home mortgage deduction, the charitable deduction, and others. And, by the way, you know, I agree with Rick on manufacturing, but my approach is different. I would pass a rate on manufacturing of 12 percent, the lowest in the developed world so we can make this America again. I know how important those jobs are.

When I work — went through college, Christmas and summer vacations, I worked in a factory. My grandparents worked in a factory. We have the opportunity now with lower energy costs, with the world labor cost getting higher, to make things in America so we don’t have to worry about China.

Lower the tax burden on manufacturing, improve the work skills…

TAPPER: …Thank you, Governor…

PATAKI: …of Americans. Get rid of job killing regulations. If we’re going to…

TAPPER: …Thank you, Governor…

PATAKI: …If we’re going to make this America… TAPPER: …I want to turn — you’re going to be involved in the

next question…

SANTORUM: …Let me just…

TAPPER: …Senator Graham…

SANTORUM: …He talked about manufacturing, and the fact is that we have a zero percent rate that faces the 20, we’d have a seven percent repatriation, so money — about two trillion dollars over seas…

TAPPER: …Thank you, Senator…

SANTORUM: …Would come back, and be invested in equipment here. We will create more jobs with this plan, than any plan out…

TAPPER: …Thank you Senator. Senator Graham, I want to turn to the minimum…

GRAHAM: If you want to see manufacturing, come to South Carolina…

TAPPER: …Well, let’s talk about South Carolina…

GRAHAM: …We’ll show ‘ya.

TAPPER: …Senator, let’s turn to the minimum wage.

(LAUGHTER)

TAPPER: Senator Santorum is the only person on the stage who has proposed increasing the federal minimum wage. How would that affect South Carolinians? Do you agree with Senator Santorum that the federal minimum wage should be increased?

GRAHAM: Well, I know this. That when my mom and dad owned a restaurant, the bar, the pool room, that if you increased the minimum wage it’d been hard to hire more people.

Hillary Clinton has a list a mile long to help the middle class. We’re talking all around this. The middle class for the last six and a half years has been squeezed, and squeezed hard.

To the middle class, I understand who you are. You’re one broken down car from not going on vacation. You’re from one sick child away from having to change your whole budget.

Here’s what I want to do as your president. I want to grow this economy. When Boeing came to South Carolina to build a 787, everybody paid more they would have lost their employees to Boeing. If you’re a waitress out there wanting more money, I’m not going to increase the minimum wage, I’m going to try to create an environment where somebody else will open up a restaurant across the street to hire you away at a higher rate, or they’ll have to pay you more to keep you. You got to borrow money to create jobs in this country. Banking

is locked down because of Dodd-Frank. The tax code is a complete mess, but nobody’s talked about the elephant in the room, which is debt. Not one more penny to the federal government until w2e come up with a plan to get out of debt.

TAPPER: Senator Graham, thank you so much. Senator Santorum…

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Senator Graham is suggesting that your proposal would not allot South Carolinians to hire more workers.

SANTORUM: Lindsay, what percentage of American workers make the minimum wage right now?

GRAHAM: It’s probably a small bit, but the ones that get it…

SANTORUM: It’s less than one percent.

GRAHAM: Yeah, but I…

SANTORUM: …So, what you’re saying, what every Republican’s up here saying is we’re against the minimum wage because, if you’re not for increasing it, than whoevers making the minimum wage right now…

GRAHAM: …Have you ever thought why all of us say that…

SANTORUM: …The answer is Republicans don’t believe in a floor wage in America. Fine, you go ahead and make that case to the American public, I’m not going to. Not from a party that supported bailouts. I didn’t, but this party did.

MALE: (INAUDIBLE)

SANTORUM: Not from a party that supports special interest tax provisions for a whole bunch of other businesses, and, but, when it comes to hardworking Americans who are at the bottom of the income scale, we can’t provide some level of income support? What I’ve proposed is not anything but the (ph) presidents (ph) proposed (ph) I believe that would be harmful to the American public, but a $.50 cents an hour increase over three years, which is what I’m proposing.

SANTORUM: So we would have a minimum wage which would be roughly in the area of what it’s been historically, about 5 percent of wages.

To me, if you’re going to talk to 90 percent of American workers — by the way, 90 percent of American workers don’t own a bar. They don’t own a business. They work for a living. They’re wage — most of them are wage earners.

And Republicans are losing elections because we’re not talking about them. All we want to talk about is, what happened to our business? There are people who work in that business.

I was at a — I was at the convention four years ago, and on the signs — on all of the seats the night I spoke was a sign that said, “We built that,” because Barack Obama had talked about how businesses didn’t build their own businesses.

Then we trotted out one small-business person after another for almost an hour that night talking about how they built their businesses. And that’s wonderful.

But you know what we didn’t do? We didn’t bring one worker on that stage.

How are you going to win, ladies and gentlemen? How are we going to win if 90 percent of Americans don’t think we care at all…

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

SANTORUM: … about them and their chance to rise…

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator. We have to take a quick break.

When we come back, confrontation or negotiation? How will these candidates attempt to handle Russian President Vladimir Putin? That’s next.

(APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: And we’re back at the CNN Republican Debate at the Reagan Library in beautiful Simi Valley, California.

TAPPER: Let’s turn now to some issues of foreign policy.

Senator Graham, you all oppose the U.S. nuclear deal with Iran. Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, a Republican, is pushing for a U.S. military strike against Iran, against its nuclear facilities.

Senator Graham, would you authorize, as president, a nuclear strike against — I mean, sorry — a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities?

GRAHAM: If I believed they were trying to break out and get a bomb, absolutely. And here’s the most important thing: they know I would if I had to.

And none of us are going to be able to defend this country adequately until we rebuild our military. A weak economy, a military in decline, the world on fire, does that sound familiar to you?

Michael, does that sound familiar to you?

The first thing I’m going to do as commander in chief on day one is call the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and say, what do you need that you don’t have?

We’re cutting our military; we’re on track to have the smallest Army since 1940, the smallest Navy since 1915 and John Kasich says he wants to close more bases. I want to rebuild our military and I want the Iranians to know that, if I had to, I would use it.

The worst nightmare in the world is a radical Islamic regime with a weapon of mass destruction. The only reason 3,000 of us died on 9/11 is not 3 million, not 3 million is because they couldn’t get the weapons to kill us. They’re on track to get a bomb even if they don’t cheat.

This deal is a nightmare for Israel. They are coming here if we don’t watch it terrorism with a nuclear capability sponsored by Iran. So, yes, I would use military force to stop them. I would set this deal aside and I would get you a better deal.

If you gave $100 billion, I could get almost anybody out of jail. We couldn’t even get our hostages out of jail.

TAPPER: Governor —

(APPLAUSE) TAPPER: — Hugh — I’m going to go to Hugh Hewitt for a question for Governor Pataki.

HEWITT: There are other ways, Governor, than bombing Iran.

I want to quote Rick Santorum.

“We should send a very clear message that If you are a scientist and you’re going to work on a nuclear program to develop a bomb for Iran, you are not safe.”

Does that message work?

Is anything that works on the table?

PATAKI: Not on the table but I think there’s a lot that does work. And that is to have a strong America, a strong military and a resolve where the Iranians know that not only are we going to reject this deal on day one and reimpose sanctions but, if they move forward with the nuclear program, their safety for those facilities will be at risk.

I’ll tell you a couple of things I’d do. I’d give the Israelis bombs called MOPs, massive ordnance penetrators. Give them to Israel. Let the Iranians know we’re prepared to work with Israel to make sure they never have a nuclear weapon.

And let me point out that Hillary Clinton, supporting this deal, she was the senator from New York on September 11th, she saw what happened at the hands of radical Islam. This is the senator who did the reset program with Russia, who allowed the Middle East to deteriorate to flames, who has lied about Benghazi and is now supporting the Iranian deal.

That’s the opponent we’re going to have next November. We have got to win this election. Everything we say is wonderful. But we have to win and, once we win, we have to actually do what we say. I can do this.

HEWITT: Senator Santorum, stay on that: any means necessary?

Is that what you meant to say?

Is that what’s still on this table after this, what many of us believe is a catastrophic deal?

SANTORUM: As you know, Hugh, 12 years ago I authored the Iran Freedom Support Act, which put sanctions on the Iran nuclear program as we came within four votes of passing a very strong version of that. The four people who opposed on the floor: Joe Biden, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. And we came four votes short.

But for 12 years, I have been laser-beam focused on the issue of Iran with a nuclear weapon. Why? Because I understand who they are.

Yes, they are radical Islamists, that’s true. But their particular version of it, which is an apocalyptic version, which is a death cult, they believe in bringing about the end of the — end of the world. If you — if you poll Iranians and Iraqis, Shiites in the region, more than two-thirds of them believe that the end of the world is going to come within their lifetime.

Why? Because their regime preaches it. They believe in bringing about the end of times. That’s their theological goal and we are in the process of giving them a nuclear weapon to do just that.

That’s why, on day one, I would say to the Iranian government, you open up all of these facilities for inspection, you make them available to the U.N. and to the U.S., everything, we can go everywhere or else we will take out those facilities.

And when people say, you’re going to start a war —

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

SANTORUM: — my response is, no, I’m going to stop a war because a nuclear Iran is the end.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

Senator Graham —

(APPLAUSE)

JINDAL: Jake, I’d like to answer that question.

TAPPER: We’re bringing you in on this question as well.

TAPPER: Senator Graham, Vladimir Putin in recent days has sent an estimated six more tanks, four helicopters and Russian ground troops into Syria to help support President Assad, an enemy of the United States. The Russian military is also buzzing American planes and Naval vessels around the world.

Your front-runner, Donald Trump, says he can do details with President Putin, that the two of them will get along, quote, “very well.”

Why would your confrontational approach work better than Mr. Trump’s negotiation?

GRAHAM: Do you think Putin would be in the Ukraine or Syria today if Ronald Reagan were president? No.

This is what happens when you have a weak, unqualified commander- in-chief who doesn’t understand the role America plays in the world.

Why is it bad for you that Russia’s helping Assad? He’s the magnet for Sunni extremists. The Syrian people are not going to accept him as their legitimate leader.

By Assad being helped by Russia, it means the war never ends. It means the next 9/11, which is most likely to occur from an attack from Syria. It’s more likely.

At the end of the day, if I’m president of the United States, I’ve told you what I’m going to do. There’s nobody left in Syria to train. We’re going to get a regional army who doesn’t like ISIL, who won’t accept Assad, because he’s a puppet of Iran. We’re going in the ground, and we’re going to destroy the caliphate, pull it up by roots, and we’re going to hold the territory.

This is a slap in a face from Putin to Kerry and Obama. Assad must go. If he doesn’t go, this war never ends…

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

GRAHAM: … and if the war in Syria continues, it is coming here.

For God’s sakes, let’s get on with…

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

GRAHAM: … with fixing the problem in Syria.

TAPPER: Governor Jindal, how would President Jindal…

(APPLAUSE)

… get the Russians out of Syria?

JINDAL: Well, Jake, I want to answer that question. I want to go back to Iran. I didn’t get a chance to answer that as well.

Look, on Russia, across the world, dictators walk all over this president. He treats our friends like dirt. He lets our enemies walk all over us.

The only group he’s able to out-negotiate are the Senate Republicans. They never should’ve passed this bad Corker bill. Instead of a two-thirds vote to reject — to approve the Iran deal, now it takes a two-thirds vote to reject the Iran deal. I want to ask Lindsey a question. Will the Senate Republicans —

they still have time — are they willing to use the nuclear option, meaning get rid of the filibusters, stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power?

Now is the time for the Senate Republicans to stand up and fight. We are tired of the establishment saying there’s nothing we can do.

(APPLAUSE)

All night tonight, we’ve heard Republicans say things like, “Well, if the Supreme Court’s ruled, there’s nothing I can do about religious liberty,” you know. “The president did this. There’s nothing we can do about it for two more years.”

There is something we can do. We won the Senate. We won the House. What was the point of winning those chambers if we’re not going to do anything with them?

You’re going back tonight. You still have time before the Thursday deadline. Will y’all use the nuclear option to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power?

(APPLAUSE)

GRAHAM: Bobby, you were in the Congress, and all I can tell you, to everybody here, if you want to repeal Obamacare, get a new president. If you want to defund Planned Parenthood, elect a pro-life president, because that’s the only way.

If we pass the Cardin bill, Graham, Menendez, it would go to the president. He would veto it. 67 votes are required to override the veto.

JINDAL: Lindsey…

GRAHAM: Wait a minute. Now, you asked me a question. So I don’t want to take off the table the ability to slow down Obama in his last 13 to 14 months, because I want 60 votes to stop what I think he’s going to do between now and January 2017. Five Republicans deflect — leave — we’re in trouble.

So folks, the world really is the way it is. President Obama is president. The goal is to get him out of there and pick somebody who would actually do something to repeal Obamacare, who would get you a better agreement.

So Bobby, he would veto the bill, we don’t have 67 votes, and you’re giving away a defense against Obama for the rest of his presidency.

No, I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to tell you things I can’t do. I’m not going to tell you by shutting the government down, we’re going to defund Obamacare as long as he’s president. All that does is hurt us. I am trying to lead this party to winning.

JINDAL: Lindsey, well, that’s my frustration.

(APPLAUSE)

JINDAL: Listen to what you’ve heard. You — you basically heard a Senate Republican say, “We can’t defund Planned Parenthood, despite these barbaric videos.”

GRAHAM: Are you going to shut the government down?

JINDAL: “We can’t — we can’t…”

GRAHAM: Are you going to shut the government…

JINDAL: “… we can’t get rid of Obamacare” — Lindsey, let me answer this question now. I wish the Senate Republicans had half the fight in them the Senate Democrats did.

Look, President Obama didn’t give up on Obamacare when they lost the Senate election in Massachusetts. I want my side to follow the Constitution. They broke the Constitution, they broke the law, but they forced Obamacare down our throats, even when they didn’t have 60 votes.

I wish Republicans in D.C. had half the fight of the Senate Democrats to get rid of Obamacare, to defund Planned Parenthood.

(APPLAUSE)

If we can’t defund Planned Parenthood now, if we can’t stand for innocent human life after these barbaric videos, it is time to be done with the Republican Party.

We defunded them in Louisiana. Let’s defund them in D.C.

JINDAL: If we can’t win…

TAPPER: (INAUDIBLE)…

JINDAL: — on that issue, there is no point for being cheaper Democrats, no point grabbing a second liberal party. It is time to get rid of the Republican Party, start over with a new one that’s at least conservative.

Give Harry Reid and Pelosi credit. At least they fight for what they believe in. I want senators and House members in DC to fight for what we believe in, as well. It’s time to have Republican…

TAPPER: Well…

JINDAL: — with a backbone in DC.

GRAHAM: Can I just say something?

(APPLAUSE)

GRAHAM: You know, Bobby, we’re running to be president of the United States, the most important job in the free world. With it comes a certain amount of honesty. I’m tired of telling people things they want to hear that I know we can’t do.

He is not going to sign a bill that would defund ObamaCare. If I am president of the United States, I wouldn’t put one penny in — in my budget for Planned Parenthood, not one penny. I’m as offended by these videos as you are.

But the one thing I’m not going to do going into 2016 is shut the government down and tank our ability to win. What you’re saying and what Senator Cruz is saying, I am really sick of hearing, trying to get the bottom…

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

GRAHAM: — the Republican Party in a position…

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator…

GRAHAM: — to win. That’s what I’m trying to do. And that does matter to me (INAUDIBLE)…

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator. The final question…

GRAHAM: It matters a lot.

TAPPER: The final questions for these four Republicans as the top contenders get ready to take their places on the debate stage when we come back right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back to the CNN Republican debates at the Reagan Library in beautiful Simi Valley, California. We have time for one more question for the candidates.

Governor Pataki, let’s start with you. You have all spent the last hour and a half debating each other. The other 11 candidates are on their way to the stage.

What is the one thing as a candidate that you offer that no one at the next debate can offer?

PATAKI: I think there are two things, Jake. Two things that we need as Republicans.

First, we have to win the election. You’re going to hear a lot of great ideas, I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that. None of it matters unless you win the election.

And the second is, once you win, you have to be able to govern successfully. You’ve heard a lot of fighting back and forth, you didn’t get this done, you didn’t get that done. That’s the way Washington is today. You have to have a leader, a president, who will actually get a conservative agenda through. I’m running because I have done both those things, and I did them

in one of the most liberal states in America. I got elected three times in the state of New York. Twice by the largest pluralities ever for a Republican. I ran as a Republican conservative.

If I get the nomination, I will be able to get broad support and win this election, and take the White House back for our party. But more importantly, once I’ve won, I will put in place a sweeping conservative agenda. I did that in New York.

Over $143 billion in tax cuts. More than the other 49 states combined. Taking one million people off welfare and putting them into jobs, in a state where the Democrats control the state assembly.

TAPPER: Thank you, senator.

PATAKI: 103-47. I got them to support a conservative agenda. If I get elected president, I will make things work in Washington.

TAPPER: Thank you. PATAKI: For the Republican party and for the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPER: Thank you, Governor.

Senator Santorum?

SANTORUM: I came to Washington in the most unlikely way. I defeated a 14-year incumbent, a 60 percent Democratic district. I went to Washington thinking I was only going to be there for one term, and so I just shook things up.

We sent the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee to jail. We ended 40 years, 40 years of Democratic control of the Congress. And I led that fight with reforms, substantive reforms, welfare reform. I led the charge — I wrote the bill when I was in the House. I led the charge in the United States Senate.

Partial-birth abortion — in fact, three pro-life bills, bipartisan pro-life bills. I mentioned the Iran bill. We also passed one on Syria. Health savings accounts, as many of you know, I authored the original bill on health savings accounts, pushed that through the Congress for private sector health care reform.

An outsider who came to Washington from the tough state of Pennsylvania, and we got conservative things done. I made things happen in a town where things don’t happen very much. Now, after 10 years of seeing the mess, the retreat that we see in the Republican party in Washington, D.C., it’s time to get someone who is an outsider.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

SANTORUM: Who can go to Washington, D.C., and get things done. You know what, you have a lot of folks who will tell you a lot of things. Look at their record. I went to Washington as an outsider.

TAPPER: Thank you.

SANTORUM: Shook things up, got things done.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

SANTORUM: And that’s why you can trust me to do it again.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator Santorum.

Governor Jindal, what is something that you offer as a candidate that the other 11 candidates coming on stage in a few minutes cannot offer?

JINDAL: Jake, I’m a doer, not a talker. Look, the idea of America is slipping away from us. If you want somebody who is going to manage the slow decline of this country, makes incremental changes, vote for somebody else. If you want to vote for somebody who understands what is at stake — Planned Parenthood is selling baby parts across this country, and the Senate Republicans have already given up, even without a fight.

I am tired of this surrender (ph) caucus, I am angrier at the Republicans in D.C. than I am at the president. The president is a socialist. At least he fights for what we believe in.

We don’t need to just send any Republican to the White House. We need to sent somebody who understands that it’s time to make big changes. It’s time to take on the establishment, it’s time to take on the D.C. permanent governing class.

Every Republican says they will shrink the size of the government. I’m the only one that has done it. Cut our budget 26 percent.

If you want somebody that’s going to make incremental change, vote for somebody else. It’s time to get the idea of America back. At some point, we’re going to be held — we’ll be asked, what did you do when the idea of America was slipping away?

I’ll promise you this. I will give every ounce of blood, energy, sweat I’ve got to save the idea of America, the greatest country in the history of the world.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Senator Graham?

GRAHAM: Well, number one, I will win a war that we can’t afford to lose. I have a plan to destroy radical Islam because it has to be. These are religious Nazis running while President Obama has made one mistake after another and it’s caught up with us.

What do I have to offer that’s different?

I get my foreign policy from being in on the ground. I’ve been to Iraq and Afghanistan in the Middle East 35 times in the last decade, trying to understand how we got in this mess.

Our leading candidate gets his foreign policy from watching television.

And what I heard last night is the Cartoon Network, oh, I’m big, I’m strong, we’re going to hit them in the head.

(LAUGHTER)

GRAHAM: That’s not foreign policy. That’s a cartoon character.

John Kasich, a good friend of mine, said in New Hampshire, we’re going to close more bases on his watch.

On my watch, we’re going to open up more bases. The military is in decline, folks. We’re going to have the smallest military in modern times, spending half of what we’d normally spend by the end of this decade.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

GRAHAM: What do I offer? What do I offer?

To make your families safe and our country strong again, a vision and a determination to win a war that we cannot afford to lose.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator Graham.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Our thanks to the candidates for a great debate. In just a moment, we’re bringing the candidates from both of tonight’s debates together for a group photo. That will be a first in this campaign.

And then, of course, the main event, the top 11 candidates going head to head. I will be back as moderator.

Right now, let’s go to my colleague, Anderson Cooper.

 

Full Text Campaign Buzz 2016 August 6, 2015: Full Text of the Fox News Republican Undercard Debate Transcript

ELECTION 2016

CampaignBuzz2016

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2016

Transcript: Read the Full Text of the Republican Undercard Debate

Source: Time, 8-6-15

 

Seven Republican presidential candidates met for an undercard debate on Fox News Thursday night.

The candidates who did not make the main debate due to low poll numbers hit each other, Donald Trump and President Obama during an hour-long debate that began at 5 p.m., nicknamed the “happy hour debate.”

At the debate: former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore and former New York Gov. George Pataki.

The moderators were Fox News anchors Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum.

Here is a complete transcript of the debate.

HEMMER: This is first official event in the campaign for the Republican nomination for president. Welcome to Cleveland Ohio. It is debate night.

HEMMER: I’m Bill Hemmer.

MACCALLUM: And I’m Martha MacCallum.

It all starts here. We are ready, the candidates are ready. We’re live at the Quicken Loans Arena, where we have partnered with Facebook to bring you, the voter, into today’s debate.

HEMMER: So you will hear from all 17 candidates tonight, and you’ll meet seven of them right now, starting with three-time governor in the state of Texas, Rick Perry.

(APPLAUSE)

MACCALLUM: Also, two-time senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum.

(APPLAUSE)

HEMMER: Two-time. Two-time governor of the State of Louisiana, Acting Governor Bobby Jindal.

HEMMER: So you will hear from all 17 candidates tonight, and you’ll meet seven of them right now, starting with three-time governor in the state of Texas, Rick Perry.

(APPLAUSE)

MACCALLUM: Also, two-time senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum.

(APPLAUSE)

HEMMER: Two-time. Two-time governor of the State of Louisiana, Acting Governor Bobby Jindal.

(APPLAUSE)

MACCALLUM: Businesswoman and former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Carly Fiorina.

(APPLAUSE)

HEMMER: The senior senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham.

(APPLAUSE)

MACCALLUM: Former three-term governor of New York, George Pataki.

(APPLAUSE)

HEMMER: And former Virginia governor, Jim Gilmore.

MACCALLUM: Now, this debate will last one hour. We’re going to have four commercial breaks.

MACCALLUM: Each candidate will have one minute to anwer each question and 30 seconds for rebuttal. If you run out of time, you’re going to hear this.

OK?

HEMMER: Gentle.

MACCALLUM: Everybody got the bell?

HEMMER: Wait til you hear what the others are going to get later, huh?

MACCALLUM: Exactly.

(LAUGHTER)

HEMMER: One year from now, a Republican nominee will be standing on this stage in this very same arena. That person is in Cleveland today.

So let’s get started. First topic, electability.

First question to Governor Perry from Texas.

Welcome, Governor.

PERRY: It’s good to be with you.

HEMMER: You were in charge of the 12th largest economy in the world, and you recently said that four years ago, you weren’t ready for this job.

HEMMER: Why should someone vote for you now?

PERRY: After those four years of looking back and being prepared, the preparation to be the most powerful individual in the world requires an extraordinary amount of work: not just having been the governor of the 12th largest economy in the world, which I might add, we added 1.5 million jobs during that period of time over that 2007 through 2014 period, a period when America was going through the most deep recession it had been through since the Great Depression.

I think Americans want someone to have a track record of showing them how to get this country back on record, someone who will stand up and every day project that best days of America are in front of us.

And I will assure you, as the governor of the state of Texas, and as those last four years have shown me, the preparation to be ready to stand on this stage and talk about those monetary policies, those domestic policies, and those foreign policies, Americans are going to see that I am ready to be that individual.

HEMMER: Thank you, Governor.

MACCALLUM: Now we go to Carly Fiorina.

Carly, you were CEO of Hewlett-Packard. You ran for Senate and lost in California in 2010. This week, you said “Margaret Thatcher was not content to manage a great nation in decline, and neither am I.”

Given your current standings in the polls, is the Iron Lady comparison a stretch?

FIORINA: Well, I would begin by reminding people that at this point in previous presidential elections, Jimmy Carter couldn’t win, Ronald Reagan couldn’t win, Bill Clinton couldn’t win, and neither could’ve Barack Obama.

I started as a secretary and became ultimately the chief executive of the largest technology company in the world, almost $90 billion in over 150 countries. I know personally how extraordinary and unique this nation is.

I think to be commander in chief in the 21st century requires someone who understands how the economy works, someone who understands how the world works and who’s in it; I know more world leaders on the stage today than anyone running, with the possible exception of Hillary Clinton; understands bureaucracies, how to cut them down to size and hold them accountable; and understands technology, which is a tool, but it’s also a weapon that’s being used against us.

Most importantly, I think I understand leadership, which sometimes requires a tough call in a tough time. But mostly, the highest calling of leadership is to challenge the status-quo and unlock the potential of others. We need a leader who will lead the resurgence of this great nation and unlock its potential once again.

Thank you.

HEMMER: Senator Santorum, you won the Iowa caucus four years ago and 10 other states. But you failed to beat Mitt Romney for the nomination. And no one here tonight is going to question your conviction or your love for country. But has your moment passed, Senator?

SANTORUM: You know, we didn’t start out four years ago at the top of the heap. We were behind where we were today. But we stuck to our message. We stuck to the fact that Americans are tired of Washington corporate interests and Democrats who are interested in just politics and power and they’re looking for someone who’s going to fight for them; looking for someone who’s going to grow manufacturing sector of our economy, so those 74 percent of Americans who don’t have a college degree have a chance to rise again. Someone who’s going to stand up, and be very clear with our enemies as to the lines their going to draw and stand with them.

I’ve got a track record. The reason I did so well last time is not just because of the vision, it’s because I have a track record in Washington, D.C. of getting things done. Iran sanctions — the Iran sanctions that brought them to the table, those are sanctions that we put in place when I was in the United States Senate, and a whole host of other things that put me in a position of saying, I not only have a great vision, but I can govern effectively in Washington.

HEMMER: Thank you, Senator.

MACCALLUM: Governor Jindal, you’re one of two sitting governors on the stage tonight. But your approval numbers at home are in the mid 30s at this point. In a recent poll that showed you in a head-to- head against Hillary Clinton in Louisiana, she beat you by several points.

So if the people of Louisiana are not satisfied, what makes you think that the people of this nation would be?

JINDAL: Well, first of all, thank you all for having us.

You know, I won two record elections. Last time I was elected governor, won a record margin in my state. Martha, we got a lot of politicians that will kiss babies, cut ribbons, do whatever it takes to be popular. That’s not why I ran for office.

I ran for office to make the generational changes in Louisiana. We’ve cut 26 percent of our budget. We have 30,000 fewer state bureaucrats than the day I took office. I don’t think anybody has cut that much government anywhere, at any time. As a result, eight credit upgrades; as a result, a top ten state for private sector job creation. And we fought for statewide school choice, where the dollars follow the child, instead of the child following the dollars. We’ve been the most pro-life state six years in a row. My point is this: I won two landslide elections, I made big changes. I think our country is tired of the politicians who simply read the polls and fail to lead. Both Democrats and Republicans have gotten us in the mess we’re in — $18 trillion of debt, a bad deal with Iran, we’re not staying with Israel.

I think the American people are look for real leadership. That’s what I’ve done in Louisiana, that’s what I’ll do in America.

HEMMER: Senator Lindsey Graham, you worked with Democrats and President Obama when it came to climate change, something you know is extremely unpopular with conservative Republicans.

How can they trust you based on that record?

GRAHAM: You can trust me to do the following: that when I get on change with Hillary Clinton, we won’t be debating about the science, we’ll be debating about the solutions. In her world, cap- and-trade would dominate, that we will destroy the economy in the name of helping the environment. In my world, we’ll focus on energy independence and a clean environment.

When it comes to fossil fuels, we’re going to find more here and use less. Over time, we’re going to become energy independent. I am tired of sending $300 billion overseas to buy oil from people who hate our guts. The choice between a weak economy and a strong environment is a false choice, that is not the choice I’ll offer America.

A healthy environment, a strong economy and energy independent America — that would be the purpose of my presidency, is break the strangle hold that people enjoy on fossil fuels who hate our guts.

HEMMER: Thank you, Senator.

MACCALLUM: Governor Pataki, four years ago this month, you called it quits in a race for the presidency in 2012, but now you’re back. Mitt Romney declined to run this time, because he believed that the party needed new blood.

Does he have a point?

PATAKI: I think he means somebody who hasn’t been a career politician, and who’s been out of office for awhile. I think the last eight years in the private sector have allowed me to see government from the outside, and I think that is a positive thing. Yes, I thought about running four years ago. I was ready to lead, but I wasn’t ready to run.

But I look at this country today, and I look at how divided we are, I look at how politicians are always posturing and issuing sound bites but never solving problems. What I did in New York was bring people together, an overwhelmingly Democratic state. But I was able to get Democrats to support the most conservative sweeping policy changes in any state in America.

And when I look at Washington today, we need to bring us together. We need to solve problems, we need to rebuild our military so we can stand up to radical Islam, we need to get our economy growing much faster by throwing out the corrupt tax code and lowering the rates. We have to end crony capitalism in Washington, where the lobbyists and the powerful can get tax breaks and tax credits, and the American people don’t get laws in their interest.

I can do that. And I can do it regardless of what the makeup of Congress is because I did it in New York state. So we need new leadership — yes. I will be that new leader.

MACCALLUM: Thank you, Governor.

From one side of the stage, the other — the other, Governor Jim Gilmore.

You were the last person on stage to declare your candidacy. You ran for the White House once and lost. You ran for the Senate one time and lost. You haven’t held public office in 13 years.

Similar question, is it time for new blood?

GILMORE: I think the times are different now. I think the times are much more serious.

Because Obama and Clinton policies, the United States is moving further and further into a decline. I want to reverse that decline. That’s why I’ve entered this race, and I think I have the experience to do it.

Former elected prosecutor, attorney general, governor, I was elected to all of those offices.

A person who, in fact, has a long experience in foreign-policy issues, which is different from many of the other governors and prospective governors who are running. I was an Army intelligence agent and a veteran during the Cold War, assigned to West Germany.

I was the chairman of the National Commission on Homeland Security and Terrorism for the United States for five years. I was a person who has dealt extensively with these homeland security issues. I was a governor during the 9/11 attack.

I understand both of these issues, how to build the economy and doing that as a governor who’d built jobs, had cut taxes and also a governor who understands foreign-policy, and that’s why I entered this race.

HEMMER: Thank you, Governor.

MACCALLUM: Alright, everybody. Now to the elephant that is not in the room tonight, Donald Trump.

Let’s take a look at this graphic that shows the huge amount of political chatter that he is driving on Facebook right now, some of it good, probably, some of it bad. But he is dominating this conversation. Governor Perry, you two have been going at it. But given the large disparity in your poll numbers, he seems to be getting the better of you.

PERRY: Well, when you look at the celebrity of Donald Trump, then I think that says a lot about it.

One thing I like to remind people is, back in 2007, Rudy Giuliani was leading the polls for almost a year. I’ll suggest a part of that was his celebrity. Fred Thompson was the other one, a man who had spent a lot of time on that screen.

I’ve had my issues with Donald Trump. I talked about Donald Trump from the standpoint of being an individual who was using his celebrity rather than his conservatism.

How can you run for the Republican nomination and be for single- payer health care? I mean, I ask that with all due respect. And nobody, nobody on either one of these stages has done more than I’ve done and the people of the State of Texas to deal with securing that border.

We sent our Texas ranger recon teams. We sent our parks and wildlife wardens. I deployed the National Guard after I stood on the ramp in Dallas, Texas and looked the president of the United States in the eye and said, “Mr. President, if you won’t secure the border, Texas will,” and that’s exactly what we did.

We need a president that doesn’t just talk a game, but a president that’s got real results.

MACCALLUM: Alright, I want to ask that same question, because it’s true, really, of all of you on this stage that, like it or not, Donald Trump is — there’s a huge disparity between the poll numbers that you have and the poll numbers that he has, given also the fact that Rudy Giuliani said he thought that there may be some Reagan qualities to Donald Trump.

So Carly Fiorina, is he getting the better of you?

FIORINA: Well, I don’t know. I didn’t get a phone call from Bill Clinton before I jumped in the race. Did any of you get a phone call from Bill Clinton? I didn’t. Maybe it’s because I hadn’t given money to the foundation or donated to his wife’s Senate campaign.

Here’s the thing that I would ask Donald Trump in all seriousness. He is the party’s frontrunner right now, and good for him.

I think he’s tapped into an anger that people feel. They’re sick of politics as usual. You know, whatever your issue, your cause, the festering problem you hoped would resolved, the political class has failed you. That’s just a fact, and that’s what Donald Trump taps into.

I would also just say this. Since he has changed his mind on amnesty, on health care and on abortion, I would just ask, what are the principles by which he will govern?

MACCALLUM: Thank you.

HEMMER: This Saturday, August 8th, two days from now marks one year since the strikes began against ISIS in Iraq and followed in Syria one month later. This week, a leading general in the U.S. Marine Corps says, “One year later, that fight is at a stalemate.”

Governor Jindal, give me one example how your fight against ISIS would be different over there?

JINDAL: Well, to start with, unlike President Obama, I’ll actually name the enemy that we confront. We’ve got a president who cannot bring himself to say the words “radical Islamic terrorism.”

Now, Bill, he loves to criticize America, apologize for us, criticize medieval Christians. How can we beat an enemy if our commander-in-chief doesn’t have the moral honesty and clarity to say that Islam has a problem, and that problem is radical Islam, to say they’ve got to condemn not generic acts of violence, but the individual murderers who are committing these acts of violence.

We’ve got a president who instead says, we’re going to change hearts and minds. Well, you know what? Sometimes you win a war by killing murderous, evil terrorists. We’re going to take the political handcuffs off the military. We will arm and train the Kurds. We will work with our Sunni allies. They know we will be committed to victory.

We had this failed red line with Assad and it discouraged folks that want to help us on the ground. Finally, we’ll take off the political handcuffs. We’ll go to the Congress. This president has gone to Congress and said give me a three-year deadline, give me a ban on ground troops. I’m going to go to the commanders and say give me a plan to win. You can’t send your troops into harm’s way unless you give them every opportunity to be successful.

HEMMER: And the senator to your right has called for 20,000 American troops in Syria and Iraq so far today, Senator Graham, and I’ll give this question to you. Why should the American people after two wars in Iraq sacrifice yet again on a third war?

GRAHAM: If we don’t stop them over there, they are coming here just as sure as I stand here in front of you.

One thing I want to be clear about tonight. If you’re running for president of the United States and you don’t understand that we need more American ground forces in Iraq and that America has to be part of a regional ground force that will go into Syria and destroy ISIL in Syria, then you’re not ready to be commander in chief. And you’re not serious about destroying ISIL.

According to the generals that I know and trust, this air campaign will not destroy ISIL. We need a ground force in Iraq and Syria, and America has to be part of that ground force. According to the FBI and the director of national intelligence, Syria’s becoming a perfect platform to strike our nation. I’ve got a very simple strategy as your president against ISIL. Whatever it takes, as long as it takes, to defeat them.

HEMMER: Senator, thank you.

MACCALLUM: All right. Let’s get to our first commercial break. There is plenty more to discuss tonight. Coming up, immigration, more on ISIS and homeland security as well as we continue live tonight from Cleveland, Ohio.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HEMMER: It is debate night, and welcome back to Cleveland, Ohio. Let’s get back to the questions right now with Martha.

MACCALLUM: All right. Let’s talk about ISIS and the threat to the homeland that we have seen growing in recent months. This goes to Governor Pataki.

Sixty-nine ISIS-inspired terrorists have been arrested in this country, in homeland plots, and the FBI assures us that there are likely many more to come.

The president is reluctant to label these terrorists Islamic extremists, but you’ve said that you have no problem with that label. Then comes the hard part.

So here’s the question. How far are you willing to go to root out this problem here at home? Would you put mosques, for example, potentially, under surveillance? And keep in mind that conservatives are increasingly concerned in this country with religious liberty.

PATAKI: Martha, religious liberty doesn’t include encouraging a fellow American to engage in violent jihad and kill an American here. That is not protected free speech. That is not protected religious belief.

That is like shouting “fire” in a crowded theater, and that is illegal, and I would do everything in our power not just to go after those who are here who we know who are here, before they can radicalize other Americans to carry out attacks, and it’s not just the ones they’ve arrested.

Think back to Garland, Texas. But for that Texas police officer, we could have had a mass murder. We have to shut down their internet capability. We have to shut down, whether or not they’re in prisons preaching or on — in mosques preaching. No radical Islam that is allowed to engage in encouraging violence against Americans, that is not protected speech.

Let me just add one thing about ISIS over there. We have got to destroy their training camps and recruiting centers.

I was governor of New York on September 11. I know that we are at greater risk today than at any time since then of another attack. We have got to destroy their training camps over there before they can attack us here.

I don’t agree that we’re going to occupy and spend another decade or a trillion dollars. What we need to do is destroy their ability to attack us here over there, and then get out.

You know, I have two sons. Both served. One as a marine officer in Iraq, one as an army officer in Afghanistan. I do not see — want to see one parent or loved one worrying about getting a call in the middle of the night.

I would not place one American life at risk unless it was absolutely necessary. But to destroy ISIS, it is necessary.

MACCALLUM: All right. This question to Carly Fiorina. The FBI director Comey says that terrorists can thrive here at home because they go dark and they recruit behind the cyber walls that are built by American companies like Google and Apple.

Comey says this is a big problem. Rand Paul says that the government forcing these companies to bring down those walls would be a big privacy issue and a dangerous way to go on this. You’ve been a tech leader in this country. Which side are you on?

FIORINA: Let me say first that it is disturbing that every time one of these home-grown terrorist attacks occurs, and, as your question points out, they are occurring with far too great frequency, it turns out we had warning signals.

It turns out we knew something was wrong. It turns out some dot wasn’t connected, and so the first thing we have to do is make sure that everyone and every responsible agency is attuned to all of these possibilities and symptoms.

We even had warnings about the Boston Marathon bombers, and yet the dots weren’t connected. So we need to get on a different mindset.

Secondly, I certainly support that we need to tear down cyber walls, not on a mass basis, but on a targeted basis. But let me just say that we also need down — to tear down the cyber walls that China is erecting, that Russia is erecting.

FIORINA: We need to be very well aware of the fact that China and Russia are using technology to attack us, just as ISIS is using technology to recruit those who would murder American citizens. I do not believe that we need to wholesale destroy every American citizen’s privacy in order to go after those that we know are suspect or are — are already a problem. But yes, there is more collaboration required between private sector companies and the public sector. And specifically, we know that we could have detected and repelled some of these cyber attacks if that collaboration had been permitted. A law has been sitting — languishing, sadly, on Capitol Hill and has not yet been passed, and it would help.

MACCALLUM: So, would you tonight call for Google and Apple to cooperate in these Investigations and let the FBI, in where they need to go?

FIORINA: I absolutely would call on them to collaborate and cooperate, yes.

HEMMER: Excuse me, Martha. I have not heard the bell just yet, so you’re all very well behaved so far.

Governor Gilmore, 30 seconds.

GILMORE: Well, yes, indeed. I chaired the National Commission on Homeland Security Committee for United States. We warned about the 9/11 attack before the 9/11 attack occurred. I was the governor during the 9/11 attack when the Pentagon was struck.

And I’m going to tell you this, we need to use the benefit of our law enforcement people across this country, combined with our intelligence people across this country. We need to use our technological advantages, because what we’ve warned of is an international guerrilla movement that threatens this country. It’s going to happen in this country, there are going to be further attacks.

We have to be prepared to defend the American people, prepare them for a long war, stand up for the defense of this country, and stand up for the values of this country…

HEMMER: Thank you, Governor. I’ve got to move on to immigration here.

Senator Santorum, you would argue you have one of the tougher positions on illegal immigration in the entire 17 candidate field at the moment. We often talk about this issue on the abstract level in Washington, D.C., but you know how it’s being talked about in states like Iowa and New Hampshire among illegals in our country today — 11 million plus.

And some are asking, what would you say to a child, born and raised in America, who could see their family broken apart by your policy?

SANTORUM: My father was born in Italy, and shortly after he was born my grandfather immigrated to this country. And under the laws of this country, he wasn’t allowed to be with his father for seven years. Spent the first seven years of his life in Fascist Italy, under Benito Mussolini. Not a very pleasant place to be.

I asked my dad after — obviously, when I found out about this. And I said, “Didn’t you resent America for not letting you be with your father in those formative and very threatening years?” You know what he said to me? “America was worth the wait.”

We’re a country of laws, Bill. We’re a country of laws, not of men, not of people who do whatever they want to do. I know we have a president who wants to do whatever he wants to do, and take his pen and his phone and just tell everybody what he thinks is best. But the reason America is a great country, the reason is because our compassion is in our laws. And when we live by those laws and we treat everybody equally under the law, that’s when people feel good about being Americans.

And I put forth an immigration policy that is as strong in favor of the folks who are struggling in America the most than anybody else. It’s the strongest pro-worker immigration plan. It says that after 35 million people have come here over the last 20 years, almost all of whom are unskilled workers, flattening wages, creating horrible opportunity — a lack of opportunities for unskilled workers, we’re going to do something about reducing the level of immigration by 25 percent.

We’re going to be tough at the border, we’re going to be tough on all of the illegal immigrants that everybody else in this field — we’re going to be different. We’re going to be actually out there trying to create a better life for hard-working Americans.

HEMMER: Governor Perry, try and answer this question again.

What do you say to the family of illegals? Are you going to break them apart?

PERRY: Bill, here’s the interesting position on this. Americans are tired of hearing this debate — want to go to, what are you going to do about illegal immigration? For 30 years this country has been baited with that. All the way back to when Ronald Reagan signed a piece of legislation that basically allowed for amnesty for over 4 million people, and the border is still not secure.

The American people are never going to trust Washington, D.C., and for good reason. We hear all this discussion about well, I would do this, or I would do that, when the fact is, the border is still porous. Until we have a president of the United States that gets up every day and goes to the Oval Office with the intent purpose of securing that border, and there’s not anybody on either one of these stages that has the experience of dealing with this as I have for over 14 years with that 1200-mile border.

PERRY: We have to put the personnel on that border in the right places; you have to put the strategic fencing in place; and you have to have aviation assets that fly all the way from Tijuana to El Paso to Brownsville, Texas — 1,933 miles looking down 24/7, with the technology to be able to identify what individuals are doing, and ID when they are in obviously illegal activities or suspicious activities, and quick response teams come.

At that particular point in time, then Americans will believe that Washington is up to a conversation to deal with the millions of people that are here illegally, but not until.

If you elect me president of the United States, I will secure that southern border.

HEMMER: Governor, thank you.

MACCALLUM: On that note, next, the candidates take on the future of the U.S. economy when we come back after this quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: Welcome back, everybody. It is the bottom of the hour, and we are back, live from Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena, kicking off the first 2016 Republican primary debate.

HEMMER: And so right now, we’re 30 minutes in. Going to jump back into the topics and continue our discussion of national issues on the domestic level.

The issue that is really number one on the minds of many voters, that’s the economy and jobs.

MACCALLUM: So let’s start here with Senator Graham.

Senator Graham, 82 million Americans over the age of 20 are out of the workforce.

GRAHAM: Right.

MACCALLUM: Forty-five million people in this country are on food stamps. Nine million are on disability.

All of these numbers have been rising sharply in recent years.

There is an increasing willingness in this country to accept assistance. How do you get Americans who are able to take the job instead of a handout?

GRHAAM: I think America is dying to work, you just need to give them a chance. To all the Americans who want a better life, don’t vote for Hillary Clinton. You’re not going to get it. She’s not going to repeal “Obamacare” and replace it. I will. She’s not going to build the Keystone Pipeline. I will. She’s not going to change Dodd-Frank. I will.

Until you change the policies of Barack Obama, we’re never going to grow this economy. Until you change the policies of Barack Obama, we’re never going to be safe. She represents a third term of a failed presidency.

I’m fluent in Clinton-speak; I’ve been dealing with this crowd for 20 years. You know, when Bill Clinton says it depends on what the meaning of is is, that means is is whatever Bill wants it to mean. When Hillary Clinton tells you I’ve given you all the emails you need, that means she hasn’t. So to the people who are dying for a better America, you better change course, and she doesn’t represent the change that we need.

Do we all agree that ISIL is not the JV team? If I have to monitor a mosque, I’ll monitor a mosque. If I have to take down a cyber wall, I’ll take it. If I have to send more American troops to protect us here, I will do it. She will not. She has empowered a failed agenda. She is going to empower a failed solution to an American economy dying to grow.

Elect me, I know the difference between being flat broke. Apparently, she doesn’t. In Hillary Clinton’s world, after two terms in the White House where her husband was president, she said she was flat broke. Hillary, I’ll show you flat broke. That’s not it.

MACCALLUM: All right. Senator Santorum, let’s get back to the question at hand, which is whether or not Americans have become too reliant on assistance or too willing to take assistance. Do you believe that we need to change the culture in this country in terms of whether or not we should be encouraging people to get off of it and take the job when it’s available? Some are able and not doing that.

SANTORUM: I think it’s — yeah, I think it’s a one-two punch. Number one, we have to create better paying jobs. I mean, that’s just the bottom line. We haven’t. And that’s the reason that I’ve said under my presidency, we’ll create jobs and make American the number one manufacturing country in the world.

If we want to create jobs for the folks that you’re talking about, who are having trouble getting off government benefits, primarily because of their low skill level, there is no better way — it’s worked for 100 years in America — putting people back to work in manufacturing is it.

I’m going to be introducing a plan which I call the 2020 Perfect Vision for America. It’s a 20 percent flat rate tax, it’ll take a blowtorch to the — to the IRS. It will create a manufacturing juggernaut in this country. And you combine that with reforms of our welfare system.

You’re looking at the — at the man who introduced and fought on the floor as a freshman senator and passed the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 over two President Clinton vetoes. Got 70 votes in the United States Senate. Bipartisan issue. And I ended a federal entitlement. Never been done before, never been done since.

What we need to do is take the rest of the federal entitlements, not just welfare, but food stamps and Medicaid and housing programs and do the same thing we did with welfare. Work requirements and time limits. That will change everything.

MACCALLUM: All right. New question, same topic, goes to Governor Gilmore. You know, based on your record and what we’re discussing here, which is potentially cutting back some entitlement, cutting back benefits, it’s tricky business as we all know because people will argue that that’s their means to escape poverty. So they’re going to look at you when you want to do that and they will call you heartless. What will you tell them?

GILMORE: I’ll tell them that we’re going to grow the economy so that we can give people better opportunities so they don’t have to rely exclusively on benefit types of programs. Some do, but many Americans are dying to have an opportunity to grow and to create something inside this economy. And I’m glad that I have a chance to answer this question.

I’ve had the growth code (ph) there for about five years, and it’s this specific program. We’re going to do a tax cut for all Americans. We’re going to have a three-bracket tax code, 10, 15 and 25 percent. We’re going to combine all commercial activity in business into one place in the tax code and charge it 15 percent, which is going to suddenly make us competitive with the rest of the world. And we’re going to eliminate the death tax.

GILMORE: With a couple of additional tweaks, we know what this will do. It will cause the economy to grow, to explode, to create more jobs. And first of all, we’ve got to recognize that there is problem that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have caused. And that problem is too big regulations like the EPA, too much new taxes on business that we have seen and “Obamacare.” These are drags on the economy, it’s a deliberate drag. I propose to reverse that and get this economy moving again.

HEMMER: Thank you, Governor.

Your last topic brings us to the state of Ohio.

You know, the saying, right? No Republican wins the White House unless you win here in the Buckeye state. Well, here in the Buckeye state, the Governor John Kasich took the federal money for Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.

And Governor Jindal of Louisiana, you passed on those tax dollars. Why do you think Governor Kasich got it wrong here?

JINDAL: Well, this goes to the question you were just asking. Look, under President Obama and Secretary Clinton, they’re working hard to change the American dream into the European nightmare. They do celebrate more dependence on the government.

Give Bernie Sanders credit. At least he’s honest enough to call himself a socialist. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, they’re no better. If we were to expand Medicaid, for every uninsured person we would cover, we’d kick more than one person out of private insurance or remove their opportunity to get private insurance.

We’re going to have too many people in the cart rather than pulling the cart. This isn’t free money. I know some people like to say, “well, this is free money.” We pay federal taxes. We are borrowing money from China today.

Yesterday, the president stunningly admitted this. He said, “we don’t have leverage with China to get a better deal on Iran because we need them to lend us money to continue operating our government.”

The president of the United States admitting that he’s weakening our government’s position, our foreign policy standing, because he can’t control spending in D.C..

There is a better way to provide health care. The Oregon study showed this. Simply expanding Medicaid does not improve health care outcomes. In Louisiana, instead we’re helping people getting better paying jobs so they can provide for their own health care.

HEMMER: So Governor Kasich was wrong, just to be clear.

JINDAL: I don’t — look, I don’t think anybody should be expanding Medicaid. I think it’s a mistake to create new and more expensive entitlement programs when we can’t afford the ones we’ve got today. We’ve got to stop this culture of government dependence.

HEMMER: I didn’t hear an answer regarding Governor Kasich, but for now I’ll go to Governor Pataki. Yes or no?

JINDAL: I’ll say this. I don’t think anybody should expand Medicaid. I think it was a mistake to expand Medicaid everywhere in Ohio and across the country.

HEMMER: Governor Pataki, three term governor of New York. Is he right, Governor Jindal from Louisiana?

PATAKI: I think he is right. I don’t think you expand entitlements when so many people are dependent on government and when the money the federal government is offering is going to be taken away from you after just a couple of years.

But getting back to Martha’s question about how we end dependency, do we have to have a cultural change? The answer is no. And I know this, because when I ran for governor of New York, one in 11 of every man, woman, and child in the state of New York was on welfare. On welfare. Think about that.

And people said “you can’t win, you can’t change the culture.” But I knew that good people who wanted to be a part of the American dream have become trapped in dependency because the federal government and the state government had made it in their economic interest not to take a job because the benefits that they didn’t work were better.

I changed that. We put in place mandatory work fair (ph). But we allowed people to keep health care. We put in place child care support.

HEMMER: Yes or no, would you have expanded Obamacare in the state of New York, had you been governor at that time?

PATAKI: No, it should be repealed. And by the way, when I left, there were over 1 million fewer people on welfare in New York state than when I took office…

HEMMER: OK.

PATAKI: … replacing dependency with opportunity.

HEMMER: Thank you, Governor Pataki.

In a moment here, we’ll talk to the candidates about an issue today on Planned Parenthood, and also the U.S. Supreme Court. That’s all next here in Cleveland.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HEMMER: Welcome back to Cleveland, Ohio. Want to get back to the questions and the issues in this debate now, with my co-anchor, Martha.

MACCALLUM: All right.

Well, there’s been a lot of discussion on Facebook, as you would imagine, about the Iran nuclear deal. Let’s just take a look, as an opener, at this one question that comes from Logan Christopher Boyer of St. Louis, Missouri.

He says, “How will you disarm Iran and keep the Middle East from becoming nuclearized?

So let’s open this discussion about Iran with this question that comes to Governor Perry. Governor Perry, here’s the question for you:

Critics of the Iran deal say that it puts America on the same side as the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world, of Hamas, of Hezbollah, of the backers of those groups of people who chant ‘Death to America,’ in the street, that this deal puts on that side of the equation.

But our traditional Middle East allies, led by Saudi Arabia, have also funneled support to Islamic radical groups who want to kill Americans.

So which side do you believe we should be on?

PERRY: We need to be on the side that keeps Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. That’s the side we need to be on, and that’s the side of the bulk of the — of the Middle East.

We need to have some coalitions in that part of the world to go after ISIS, but we also need to send a clear message. And hopefully — you know, Senator Graham, I — I know where he’s going to be on this, but we use Congress, and we use Congress to cut this funding.

One of the great challenges that we have, $150 billion is fixing to go to a country that killed our Marines in Lebanon, that used their weapons to kill our young men in Iran. And the idea that this negotiation — I will tell you one thing. I would a whole lot rather had Carly Fiorina over there doing our negotiation than John Kerry. Maybe we would’ve gotten a deal where we didn’t give everything away.

But the issue for us is to have a Congress that stands up and says not only no, but “Hell no” to this money going to a regime that is going to use it for terror, Susan Rice has said that, and we need to stand up and strongly and clearly tell the ayatollah that — whoever the next president of the United States is going to be, and I’ll promise you, if it’s me, the first thing that I will do is tear up that agreement with Iran.

MACCALLUM: Alright. I want to go to Carly Fiorina on this, but I want to ask you some of what I just asked to Governor Perry.

The issue is that the allies that we are with sometimes have groups within them that funnel money to terrorists as well. This is a complicated situation. Are you OK with us being on their side?

FIORINA: Yeah. Sometimes it’s a complicated situation, but some things are black and white.

On day one in the Oval Office, I would make two phone calls. The first one would be to my good friend, Bibi Netanyahu, to reassure him we will stand with the State of Israel.

The second will be to the supreme leader of Iran. He might not take my phone call, but he would get the message, and the message is this: Until you open every nuclear and every military facility to full, open, anytime/anywhere, for real, inspections, we are going to make it as difficult as possible for you to move money around the global financial system.

FIORINA: I hope Congress says no to this deal. But realistically, even if they do, the money is flowing.

China and Russia have never been on our side of the table. The Europeans have moved on. We have to stop the money flow. And by the way, as important as those two phone calls are, they are also very important because they say this. America is back in the leadership business. And when America does not lead, the world is a dangerous and a tragic place.

This is a bad deal. Obama broke every rule of negotiation. Yes, our allies are not perfect. But Iran is at the heart of most of the evil that is going on in the Middle East through their proxies.

MACCALLUM: Very, very briefly, would you help our allies in that region to get nuclear weapons if Iran has them?

FIORINA: Let me tell you what I would do immediately, day two in the Oval Office. I would hold a Camp David summit with our Arab allies, not to talk them into this lousy deal with Iran, but to say to them, “what is it that you need to defeat ISIL?”

You know, Obama has presented the American people with a false choice every time. It’s what I’ve done or not done, or it’s war. It is a false choice.

King Abdullah of Jordan, a man I’ve known for a long time, has been asking for bombs and materiel. We have not provided them. He has gone to China.

The Kurds have been asking us to arm them for three years. We haven’t done so.

The Egyptians have asked us to share intelligence. We’re not doing it. We have Arab allies.

They are not perfect. I know every one. But they need to see leadership, support and resolve from the United States of America, and we can help them defeat ISIS.

HEMMER: Next question on the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s been 42 years, Senator Santorum, since Roe v. Wade, and many consider, in this country, to be a case of settled law.

Recently the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on same-sex marriage. Is that now settled law in America today? SANTORUM: It is not any more than Dred Scott was settled law to Abraham Lincoln, who, in his first inaugural address, said “it won’t stand.” And they went ahead and passed laws in direct contravention to a rogue Supreme Court.

This is a rogue Supreme Court decision, just like Justice Roberts said. There is no constitutional basis for the Supreme Court’s decision, and I know something about this.

The — one of the times the Supreme Court spoke that I thought they were acting outside of their authority was in a partial-birth abortion case. You know, these Planned Parenthood tapes, what they’re showing are partial-birth abortions.

Abortions being done where the baby’s being delivered first, to preserve those organs, and then they crush the skull. Well, the Supreme Court found a bill that I was the author of unconstitutional.

What did I do? I didn’t stop. I didn’t say “oh, well we lost. It’s the law of the land.” We worked together. The House and Senate, under my leadership, and we passed a bill, and we said, “Supreme Court, you’re wrong.”

We’re a coequal branch of the government. We have every right to be able to stand up and say what is constitutional. We passed a bill, bipartisan support, and the Supreme Court, they — they sided with us.

Sometimes it just takes someone to lead and stand up to the court.

HEMMER: Alright, Senator, thank you.

To Governor Gilmore. For years, presidential candidates have not said they would have a litmus test for justices nominated to the Supreme Court.

Recently, Hillary Clinton broke that precedent. She said she would apply that on the case of Citizens United, which deals with campaign finance laws in America today.

Is it time for conservatives to impose a litmus test on abortion?

GILMORE: Well, as you know, I’m a former elected prosecutor, a former elected attorney general, trained at the University of Virginia in constitutional law, and I don’t believe in litmus tests except this.

I believe we should be appointing Supreme Court justices who will follow the law and not try to make the law. Now, the challenge we’re seeing today is that the Supreme Court is being converted into some type of political body.

They have to have some legal basis and precedence for being able to follow the law instead of making the law up, and my goal is — in appointing Supreme Court justices, would be to point — to appoint justices who would follow the law. Bill, I want to say one more thing about…

HEMMER: So, no litmus test?

GILMORE: Not — not on that, no. But let me say one more thing. I want to — before my time runs out I want to get back to this issue of ISIS versus Iran. It is Iran that’s the expansionist power. ISIL is trying to create themselves into a new state.

Our job has to be to recognize the conflict between the two. I have proposed there be a Middle East NATO so that we can combine our allies there to stand up to Iranian expansion, and at the same time join together to begin to stop and this ISIL thing before it becomes an actual state.

HEMMER: Thank you, governor.

MACCALLUM: All right. With that, we are going to take a quick break. We’ll be right back with much more from Cleveland. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HEMMER: As the first debate of the nomination season continues, welcome back to Cleveland. Let’s get back to the questions right now, and the issues here in the U.S.

Martha?

MACCALLUM: We want to get back to Planned Parenthood. And this question goes to Governor Pataki.

Governor Pataki, you’re the only pro-choice candidate running. A Republican holding that position has not won a single primary in 35 years. With the recent Planned Parenthood videos that we have all seen, shedding new light on abortion practices, I know that you have said that you would defund Planned Parenthood.

PATAKI: Yes.

MACCALLUM: But has this story changed your heart when it comes to abortion?

PATAKI: My heart has not changed, because I’ve always been appalled by abortion. I’m a Catholic, I believe life begins at conception. But as Bill said earlier, Roe v. Wade, it’s has been the law for 42 years, and I don’t think we should continue to try to change it.

But we can do is defund Planned Parenthood, and by the way, put in place an absolute permanent ban on any taxpayer dollars ever being used to fund abortions. Also, when you look at these videos, they are horrific and show just a hideous disrespect for life. What else we can do is that we should believe in science.

PATAKI: You know, Hillary Clinton’s always saying how Republicans don’t follow science? Well, they’re the ones not listening to the scientists today, because doctors say that at 20 weeks that is a viable life inside the womb. And at that point, it’s a life that we have the right to protect, and I think we should protect.

So, I would pass legislation outlawing abortion after 20 weeks. It is Hillary, it is Biden, it is the others who insist on allowing abortion well into viable (inaudible) wrong, and that should be stopped.

MACCALLUM: All right.

On the same topic, let’s go to Governor Jindal.

Carly Fiorina, also on the stage, said that she would go so far as to shut down the government over the issue of defunding Planned Parenthood. Would you do that? Would you be willing to shut down the government when it comes to defunding this group?

JINDAL: Well, a couple of things. Planned Parenthood had better hope that Hillary Clinton wins this election, because I guarantee under President Jindal, January 2017, the Department of Justice and the IRS and everybody else that we can send from the federal government will be going in to Planned Parenthood.

This is absolutely disgusting, and revolts the conscience of the nation. Absolutely, we need to defund Planned Parenthood. In my own state, for example, we launched an investigation, asked the FBI to cooperate. We just, earlier this week, kicked them out of Medicaid in Louisiana as well, canceled their provider contract. They don’t provide any abortions in Louisiana.

But in terms of shutting down the government, I don’t think President Obama should choose to shut down the government simply to send taxpayer dollars to this group that has been caught, I believe, breaking the law, but also offending our values and our ethics.

It is time for Republicans in D.C. to fight. Too often, they give up, they negotiate with themselves. They said they would get rid of the unconstitutional amnesty. They didn’t do that. They said they would repeal Obamacare if we gave them the majority. They didn’t do that either. They said they’d shrink and balance the budget. They haven’t done that. Absolutely, they should fight to fund — defund Planned Parenthood, and I don’t think the president should shut down the government simply to send our taxpayer dollars to this group.

MACCALLUM: All right.

Lindsey Graham, this conversation will no doubt go to the war on women, and that cutting funding to this group could be a very broad brush against all of you or anybody who will hold this nomination as being against women’s health, against these organizations that people will say provide positive things for many women.

GRAHAM: I don’t think it’s a war on women for all of us as Americans to stand up and stop harvesting organs from little babies. Let’s take the money that we would give to Planned Parenthood and put it in women’s health care without having to harvest the organs of the unborn. The only way we’re going to defund Planned Parenthood is have a pro-life president.

You want to see a war on women? Come with me to Iraq and Afghanistan, folks. I’ve been there 35 times. I will show you what they do to women. These mythical Arab armies that my friends talk about that are going to protect us don’t exist. If I am president of the United States, we’re going to send soldiers back to Iraq, back to Syria, to keep us from being attacked here and keep soldiers in Afghanistan because we must.

I cannot tell you how much our nation is threatened and how we need a commander in chief who understands the threats to this nation.

If you’re running for president of the United States and you do not understand that we cannot defend this nation without more of our soldiers over there, you are not ready for this job.

HEMMER: Thank you, Senator.

Executive power. It appears that you all have a little bit of an issue with it at the moment. I want to move through this as quickly as I can, from stage left to stage right.

On the second day of his presidency, January 22nd 2009, President Obama signed one of his first executive orders. That was close Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Still open today. What would be your first executive order?

Governor Gilmore, start.

GILMORE: Well, it’s not a matter of what the first executive order would be, Bill. The matter is what orders exist now that shouldn’t exist?

The president has done an executive order with respect to illegal immigration that is illegal. Illegal. And it creates a — a contempt for the law, for the rule of law. If i were the president of the United States, I would go and look at every executive order that exists right now and determine which ones want to be voided, because the president shouldn’t be legislating: not through that vehicle or any other. We should be relying upon the leadership of the Congress to pass the laws.

HEMMER: Senator Graham.

GRAHAM: Change the Mexico City policy, not take one dime of taxpayer money to fund abortion organizations overseas, and restore the NSA that’s been gutted. We’re going dark when it comes to detecting the next attack. We have gutted our ability to detect the next attack. And I would not stand for that as president of the United States. I would take the fight to these guys, whatever it took, as long as it took.

HEMMER: Governor Jindal, your first executive order would be in the White House would be what?

JINDAL: To repeal these unconstitutional illegal orders, whether it’s amnesty or whether it’s this president going around the Congress, whether it’s in Obamacare, to restore the rule of law. I’d also go after these sanctuary cities, do everything we can to make sure that we are not — that we are actually prosecuting and cutting off funding for cities that are harboring illegal aliens, and then finally making sure the IRS is not going after conservative or religious groups.

I would sign an executive order protecting religious liberty, our first amendment rights, so Christian business owners and individuals don’t face discrimination for having a traditional view of marriage.

HEMMER: Governor Perry.

PERRY: It’ll be a pretty busy day, but that Iran negotiation is going to be torn up on day one. We’re going to start the process of securing that border. I’m also going to take a bottle of White-Out with me to get started on all those executive orders that Mr. Obama has put his name to.

HEMMER: That will be a long day.

PERRY: It will be a long day.

HEMMER: Senator Santorum?

SANTORUM: Just ditto to that.

We’re going to suspend — I’ve — I’ve said this for four years. We’re going to suspend and repeal every executive order, every regulation that cost American jobs and is — is — is impacting our freedom.

And second, the First Amendment Defense Act, which is protecting religious liberty, if it’s not passed by then, which I suspect it won’t, because the president will veto it, I will institute an executive order to make sure that people of faith are not being — not being harassed and persecuted by the federal government for standing up for the religious beliefs.

HEMMER: First order, Carly Fiorina?

FIORINA: I agree with my colleagues. We need to begin by undoing — I would begin by undoing a whole set of things that President Obama has done, whether it’s illegal amnesty or this latest round of EPA regulations. But let me go back to something that’s very important. We have been debating right here the core difference between conservatism and progressivism.

Conservatives, I am a conservative because I believe no one of us is any better than any other one of us. Every one of us is gifted by God, whether it is those poor babies being picked over or it’s someone whose life is tangled up in a web of dependence.

Progressives don’t believe that. They believe some are smarter than others, some are better than others, so some are going to need to take care of others.

That is the fight we have to have, and we have to undo a whole set of things that President Obama has done that get at the heart of his disrespect and disregard for too many Americans.

HEMMER: Governor Pataki?

PATAKI: Bill, I defeated Mario Cuomo. In the first day in office, my first executive order, I revoked every one of the executive orders that he had — he had enacted over the prior 12 years. I would do that to Barack Obama’s executive orders.

But I’d sign a second one, as I did in New York, as well, having a hard hiring freeze on adding new employees except for the military or defense-related positions. I’d sign that executive order.

When I left the workforce, New York State had been reduced by over 15 percent. We can do that in Washington. I will do that in Washington.

HEMMER: Thank you all.

MCCALLUM: Moving on to the next question, President Obama promised hope and change for the country, yet 60 percent of Americans are not satisfied with the shape that the country is in right now. Many think that America has lost its “can do” spirit and that it’s not the nation that it once was.

Ronald Reagan was confronted with a similar atmosphere, and he said that it could be morning in America again. JFK said it was a new frontier. FDR said that we had nothing to fear but fear itself.

On this level, Carly Fiorina, can you inspire this nation?

FIORINA: This is a great nation. It is a unique nation in all of human history and on the face of the planet, because here, our founders believed that everyone has a right to fulfill their potential and that that right –they called it life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness — comes from God and cannot be taken away by government.

We have arrived at a point in our nation’s history where the potential of this nation and too many Americans is being crushed by the weight, the power, the cost, the complexity, the ineptitude, the corruption of the federal government, and only someone who will challenge the status quo of Washington, D.C. can lead the resurgence of this great nation.

I will do that.

MCCALLUM: We’re talking about tapping into historic levels of leadership and lifting the nation in this kind of way that we’re discussing.

So Senator Santorum, how would you do it?

SANTORUM: I came to Washington, D.C. in 1990. That sounds like a long time ago. It was. It was 25 years ago, and I came by defeating the Democratic incumbent. I came as a reformer.

I started the Gang of Seven, and it led to the overtaking of the 40-year Democratic rule of Congress, because I didn’t — I stood up to the old-boy network in Washington, D.C. because I believed that Washington was not the solution, that Washington was the problem, just like Ronald Reagan said. I was a child of Ronald Reagan.

And I went there, and for 16 years, I fought the insiders and was able to get things done. That’s the difference. We need to elect someone who will stand with the American people, who understands its greatness, who understands what an open economy and freedom is all about, but at the same time, has a record of being able to get things done in Washington like we’ve never seen before.

Reforms, everything from moral and cultural issues to economic issues. Those of you health savings accounts. Health savings accounts are something that we introduced. It’s a private-sector solution that believes in freedom, not Obamacare that believes in government control.

SANTORUM: Those are the things we brought, and we were able to get things done. If you want someone who’s not going to divide Washington, but gets things done, then you should make me your president.

HEMMER: Thank you, senator.

MACCALLUM: (inaudible) Lindsey Graham?

GRAHAM: Thank you.

First thing I’d tell the American people, whatever it takes to defend our nation, I would do.

To the 1 percent who have been fighting this war for over a decade, I’d try my best to be a commander-in-chief worthy of your sacrifice.

We’re going to lose Social Security and Medicare if Republicans and Democrats do not come together and find a solution like Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill. I will be the Ronald Reagan if I can find a Tip O’Neill.

When I was 21, my mom died. When I was 22, my dad died. We owned a liquor store, restaurant, bar and we lived in the back. Every penny we needed from — every penny we got from Social Security, because my sister was a minor, we needed. Today, I’m 60, I’m not married, I don’t have any kids. I would give up some Social Security to save a system that Americans are going to depend on now and in the future.

Half of American seniors would be in poverty without a Social Security check. If you make your president, I’m going to put the country ahead of the party. I’m going to do what it takes to defend this nation. This nation has been great to me, and that’s the only way I know to pay you back.

MACCALLUM: Thank you.

HEMMER: Thank you, Senator. I need a two-word answer to the following query. In 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama described Hillary Clinton as, quote, “likable enough,” end quote. What two words would you use to describe the Democratic frontrunner? Governor Pataki to start.

PATAKI: Divisive and with no vision. No vision at all. HEMMER: Wow. Carly Fiorina.

FIORINA: Not trustworthy. No accomplishment.

UNKNOWN: Secretive and untrustworthy.

PERRY: Well, let’s go with three. Good at email.

HEMMER: Governor Jindal?

JINDAL: Socialist and government dependent.

GRAHAM: Not the change we need at a time we need it.

HEMMER: Governor?

GILMORE: Professional politician that can’t be trusted.

HEMMER: Not a lot of compliments. To be continued.

MACCALLUM: So every candidate will have the opportunity to make a closing statement tonight. Each candidate will have 30 second for that. And we start with Governor Perry.

PERRY: Well, this is going to be a show me, don’t tell me election. I think America is just a few good decisions and a leadership change at the top away from the best years we’ve ever had. And I think that the record of the governor of the last 14 years of the 12th largest economy in the world is just the medicine America is looking for.

1.5 million jobs created during the worst economic time this country has had since the Great Depression while the rest of the country lost 400,000 jobs. We’re talking about a state that moved graduation rates forward from 27th in the nation to second-highest. As a matter of fact, if you’re Hispanic or African-American in Texas, you have the number one high school graduation rates in America.

Americans are looking for somebody that’s going to give them, and there is a place in this country over the last eight years in particular that talked about hope every day, and they didn’t just talk about it, they delivered it. And that was the state of Texas. And if we can do that in Texas, that 12th largest economy in the world, we can do it in America.

Our best days are in front of us. We can reform those entitlements, we can change that corporate tax code and lower it. We can put America back on track on a growth level and a growth rate that we’ve never seen in the history of this country. Manufacturing will flow back into this country. It just needs a corporate executive type at the top that’s done it before. And I will suggest to you nobody’s done it like Rick Perry has done it over the last eight years. And if you elect me president, we will bring incredible growth back to this country. And as someone who’s worn the uniform of the country, that’s how we build our military back up.

HEMMER: Thank you Governor. Senator Santorum?

SANTORUM: I’ll tell you how optimistic I am about America. Karen and I have seven children. You don’t have seven children and bring them into this world if you’re not optimistic about the future of this country.

I am, but people are upset, and they’re upset for a reason about the future of this country. Donald Trump actually seized on it when he talked about immigration. And I think the reason he did is because immigration is sort of an example of what’s broken and what’s wrong in Washington, D..C.

You see, you have one side, the Democrats, and with immigration, all they care about is votes. They don’t care about American workers, they just care about bringing as many people in so they can get as many votes as they can. ON the other side, you have so many Republicans, and what do they care about? Helping business make profits. There’s nobody out there looking out for the American worker.

I’m looking out for the American worker. I’m the only one on this stage who has a plan that’s actually reduced — actually going to reduce immigration. Actually going to do something to help the American worker. And you combine that with a plan to make manufacturing — this country number one in manufacturing, you’ve got someone who’s going to help revitalize and give hope to America, the place — the place is that is the most hopeless today.

That’s why I ask for your support for president.

HEMMER: All right. Senator thank you.

MACCALLUM: Governor Jindal?

JINDAL: You know, we’ve got a lot of great talkers running for president. We’ve already got a great talker in the White House. We cannot afford four more years of on the job training. We need a doer, not a talker. We also need a nominee, a candidate who will endorse our own principles.

Jeb Bush says we’ve got to be willing to lose the primary in order to win the general. Let me translate that for you. That’s the establishment telling us to hide our conservative principles to get the left and the media to like us. That never works. If we do that again, we will lose again, we will deserve to lose again.

One principle, for example, we’ve got to embrace is on immigration. We must insist on assimilation — immigration without assimilation is an invasion. We need to tell folks who want to come here, they need to come here legally. They need to learn English, adopt our values, roll up their sleeves and get to work.

I’m tired of the hyphenated Americans and the division. I’ve got the backbone, I’ve got the band width, I’ve got the experience to get us through this. I’m asking folks not just to join my campaign, but join a cause. It is time to believe in America again. MACCALLUM: Thank you, Governor.

HEMMER: Carly Fiorina, closing statement.

FIORINA: Hillary Clinton lies about Benghazi, she lies about e- mails. She is still defending Planned Parenthood, and she is still her party’s frontrunner. 2016 is going to be a fight between conservatism, and a Democrat party that is undermining the very character of this nation. We need a nominee who is going to throw every punch, not pull punches, and someone who cannot stumble before he even gets into the ring.

I am not a member of the political class. I am a conservative; I can win this job, I can do this job, I need your help, I need your support. I will, with your help and support, lead the resurgence of this great nation.

Thank you.

HEMMER: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Senator Graham.

GRAHAM: We need somebody ready to be commander-in-chief on day one, who understands there are no moderates in Iran, they’ve been killed a long time ago. That the Ayatollah is a radical jihadist who really means it when he chants, “Death to America, death to Israel.” And this deal is giving him a pathway to a bomb, a missile to deliver it, and money to pay for it all.

We need a president who can solve our problems, bring us together. We’re becoming Greece if we don’t work together. At the end of the day, ladies and gentlemen, our best days are ahead of us only if we work together, and I intend to put this country on a path of success by working together and doing the hard things that should have been done a very long time ago.

HEMMER: And to Governor Pataki, closing statement now.

PATAKI: With all the candidates, why me?

My background is different. I look at Washington, and I hear the talk, and I see the promises and it seems nothing ever changes. Washington gets bigger, taxes get higher, and the American people feel more distance from our government. I have the opportunity not just to run, but to win in the deep blue state of New York three times. And not only did I win, but I then worked with a Democratic legislature to put in place the most sweeping conservative reforms of any state in America, taking us from the most dangerous state in America to the fourth safest; reducing our welfare rolls by over 1 million, and replacing over 700,000 private sector jobs.

I can govern by bringing people together. And also, I’ve been tested in a way no one else has. I was governor on September 11th, and I’m proud of my leadership in bringing New York through that time. And when I left, we were stronger, we were safer, and we were more united than at any time in my lifetime.

We need to bring people together in Washington. The talk has got to stop, the action has got to begin. People can promise you something, I delivered in the blue state of New York. I will deliver for the American people if I have the privilege of leading this country.

HEMMER: Thank you, Governor.

MACCALLUM: Governor Gilmore.

GILMORE: Well, I was a conservative governor of Virginia, I governed that way, and that’s my track record. But the key thing that we’re seeing now is serious challenges to this country that must change, the direction of this nation must change. And that’s why I’ve offered a specific program to the people of America tonight to address the fundamental problem of getting our country growing again, getting our economy growing, wages up, opportunities for people.

And second, the international crisis we are facing is most dreadful and most dangerous. I have the experience as a prosecutor, attorney general, governor, United States Army intelligence veteran, governor during the 9/11 attack, chairman of the Terrorism Commission for this country. It’s time for real substance and real experience.

And that’s what I’ll offer to the people of the United States in this candidacy for the presidency.

MACCALLUM: Thank you, Governor.

HEMMER: That concludes the first debate of the 2016 Republican primary. We would like to thank all seven of you for being here today.

Political Headlines March 14, 2013: Guide to CPAC 2013 the Conservative Political Action Conference — Why It Matters, Who’s Going, What We Will Learn From It

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

CPAC 2013 – Why It Matters, Who’s Going, What We Will Learn From It

CPAC 2013 the Conservative Political Action Conference Official Site

Source: ABC News, 3-14-13

LIVE UPDATES: CPAC 2013

Today marks the start of a three-day gathering of conservative leaders and activists from around the country. The Conservative Political Action Conference — CPAC, for short — is organized by the American Conservative Union and has become an annual focal point that brings together establishment figures, new leaders, grassroots types and, in particular, the younger generation of conservatives. It kicks off this morning at the Gaylord National Hotel in National Harbor, Md., just outside Washington, D.C.

Here’s a quick guide about what we can expect:

WHO’S GOING: A whole lot of big-name speakers such as Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul and many more….The National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre, American Crossroads head Steven Law, American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist and Heritage Foundation President and former Sen. Jim DeMint.

WHO’S NOT GOING: The two most-talked-about names who don’t have speaking slots at this year’s CPAC conference are New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (although McDonnell plans to participate in a prayer breakfast associated with the conference on Friday morning)….READ MORE

FEATURED SPEAKERS

Kelly Ayotte Kelly AyotteU.S. Senator

John Barrasso John BarrassoU.S. Senator

Diane Black Diane BlackU.S. Representative

Marsha Blackburn Marsha BlackburnU.S. Representative

Jeb Bush Jeb BushFormer Governor of Florida

Eric Cantor Eric CantorHouse Majority Leader

Cardenas Al CardenasACU Chairman

Ben Carson Dr. Ben CarsonDirector of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital

Francesca-Chambers Francesca ChambersEditor, Red Alert Politics

Steven Crowder Steven CrowderActor, Comedian

Ted Cruz Ted CruzU.S. Senator

Ken Cuccinelli Ken CuccinelliVirginia Attorney General

Artur Davis Artur DavisFormer U.S. Representative

Carly Fiorina Carly FiorinaACU Board Member

Tom Fitton Tom FittonPresident, Judicial Watch

Jeff Frazee Jeff FrazeePresident, Young Americans for Liberty

Newt Gingrich Newt GingrichFormer House Speaker

Kristan Hawkins Kristan HawkinsPresident, Students for Life

Chelsi Henry Chelsi HenryOutreach Chair, Young Republican National Federation

Bobby Jindal Bobby JindalGovernor of Louisiana

Ron Johnson Ron JohnsonU.S. Senator

Sonnie Johnson Sonnie JohnsonFounder, “Did She Say That”/Breitbart News Network

David Keene David KeenePresident, NRA

Katie Kieffer Katie Kieffer

Wayne LaPierre Wayne LaPierreExecutive VP, NRA

Mike Lee Mike LeeU.S. Senator

Art Linares Art LinaresConnecticut State Senator

Dana Loesch 3 Dana LoeschHost, “The Dana Loesch Show”

JennyBeth Martin Jenny Beth MartinCo-Founder, Tea Party Patriots

Alexander McCobin Alexander McCobinPresident, Students for Liberty

Mitch McConnell Mitch McConnellU.S. Senate Republican Leader

Kate Obenshain Kate ObenshainAuthor/Commentator

Sarah Palin Sarah PalinFormer Governor of Alaska

Rand Paul Rand PaulU.S. Senator

Katie Pavlich Katie PavlichNews Editor, Town Hall

Rick Perry Rick PerryGovernor of Texas

Mitt Romney Mitt RomneyFormer Republican Nominee for President

Root, Wayne Wayne Allyn Root2008 Libertarian Nominee for Vice President

Marco Rubio Marco RubioU.S. Senator

Paul Ryan Paul RyanChairman, House Budget Committee

Rick-Santorum Rick SantorumFormer U.S. Senator

Tim Scott Tim ScottU.S. Senator

T.W. Shannon T.W. ShannonSpeaker, Oklahoma House of Representatives

Pat Toomey Pat ToomeyU.S. Senator

Donald Trump Donald TrumpChairman & President, The Trump Organization

Scott Walker Scott WalkerGovernor of Wisconsin

Allen West Allen WestFormer U.S. Representative

Crystal Wright Crystal WrightEditor & Publisher, conservativeblackchick.com

Full Text Campaign Buzz August 28, 2012: Sen. Rick Santorum’s Speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Remarks by Rick Santorum at the Republican National Convention

Source: Politico, 8-28-12

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Rick Santorum’s remarks Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention as prepared for delivery.
___

It’s an honor to be here tonight with the love of my life, Karen, my 93-year-old mother and some of our kids.

You think it’s crowded in here, good thing I didn’t bring all my kids.

I am a first-generation American.

At age seven, my dad came to Johnstown, Pennsylvania from the mountains of northern Italy, on a ship named Providence.

How providential that one day his son would announce for President just down the road from the deep mines where his father — my grandfather — mined coal ’til he was 72 years old.

When my grandfather died, I remember as a kid kneeling at his casket and not being able to take my eyes off his thick strong hands — hands that dug his path in life — and gave his family a chance — at living the American Dream.

Working the mines may not have been the dream he dreamed – I never dared to ask him – but I think his answer would have been that America gave him more than he had ever hoped.

America believed in him, that’s why he believed in America.

My grandfather, like millions of other immigrants, didn’t come here for some government guarantee of income equality or government benefits to take care of his family.

In 1923 there were no government benefits for immigrants except one: Freedom!

Under President Obama, the dream of freedom and opportunity has become a nightmare of dependency with almost half of America receiving some government benefit.

It is no surprise fewer and fewer Americans are achieving their dreams and more and more parents are concerned their children won’t realize theirs.

President Obama spent four years and borrowed five trillion dollars, trying to convince you that he could make things better for you —— to put your trust in him and the government to take care of every problem.

The result — massive debt, anemic growth and millions more unemployed. The President’s plan didn’t work for America, because that’s not how America works.

In America we believe in freedom and the responsibility that comes with it to work hard to make that dream of reaching our God-given potential come true.

We believe it because it still works.

Even today.

Graduate from high school, work hard, and get married before you have children and the chance you will ever be in poverty is just two percent.

Yet if you don’t do these three things you’re 38 times more likely to end up in poverty!

We understand many Americans don’t succeed because the family that should be there to guide them, and serve as the first rung on the ladder of success, isn’t there or is badly broken.

The fact is that marriage is disappearing in places where government dependency is highest. Most single mothers do heroic work and an amazing job raising their children, but if America is going to succeed, we must stop the assault on marriage and the family.

From lowering taxes to reforming social programs, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are dedicated to restoring the home where married moms and dads are pillars of strong communities raising good citizens.

A solid education should be the second rung on the ladder to success, but the system is failing.

President Obama’s solution has been to deny parents choice, attack private schools and nationalize curriculum and student loans.

Mitt Romney believes that parents and the local community must be put in charge — not the Department of Education.

We all know there is one key to success that has helped people overcome even the greatest of obstacles – hard work. That’s why work was the centerpiece of the bipartisan welfare reform law.

Requiring work as a condition for receiving welfare succeeded — and not just because the welfare rolls were cut in half — but because employment went way up, poverty went down and dreams were realized.

It’s a sturdy ladder to success that is built with healthy families, education and hard work.

But President Obama’s policies undermine the traditional family, weaken the education system.

And this summer he showed us once again he believes in government handouts and dependency by waiving the work requirement for welfare.

I helped write welfare reform; we made the law crystal clear – no president can waive the work requirement. But as with his refusal to enforce our immigration laws, President Obama rules like he is above the law.

America take heed, when a president can simply give a speech or write a memo and change the law to do what the law says he can’t, we weaken our republic.

Yet as my family and I crisscrossed America, something became so obvious to us.

America is still the greatest country in the world – and with God’s help and good leadership we can restore the American Dream.

Why?

I held its hand. I shook the hand of the American Dream. And it has a strong grip.

I shook hands of farmers and ranchers who made America the bread basket of the world. Hands weathered and worn. And proud of it.

I grasped dirty hands with scars that come from years of labor in the oil and gas fields, mines and mills. Hands that power and build America and are stewards of the abundant resources that God has given us.

I gripped hands that work in restaurants and hotels, in hospitals, banks, and grocery stores. Hands that serve and care for all of us.

I clasped hands of men and women in uniform and their families. Hands that sacrifice and risk all to protect and keep us free. And hands that pray for their safe return home.

I held hands that are in want. Hands looking for the dignity of a good job, hands growing weary of not finding one but refusing to give up hope.

And finally, I cradled the little, broken hands of the disabled. Hands that struggle and bring pain, hands that ennoble us and bring great joy.

They came to see us – oh did they come — when they found out Karen and I are blessed with caring for someone very special too, our Bella.

Four and a half years ago I stood over a hospital isolette staring at the tiny hands of our newborn daughter who we hoped was perfectly healthy. But Bella’s hands were just a little different – and I knew different wasn’t good news.

The doctors later told us Bella was incompatible with life and to prepare to let go. They said, even if she did survive, her disabilities would be so severe that Bella would not have a life worth living.

We didn’t let go and today Bella is full of life and she has made our lives and countless others much more worth living.

I thank God that America still has one party that reaches out their hands in love to lift up all of God’s children – born and unborn – and says that each of us has dignity and all of us have the right to live the American Dream.

And without you America is not keeping faith with that dream.

We are stewards of a great inheritance. In November we have a chance to vote for life and liberty, not dependency. A vote for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will put our country back in the hands of leaders who understand what America can and, for the sake of our children, must be to keep the dream alive.

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

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

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.

IN FOCUS: RICK SANTORUM FINALLY ENDORSES MITT ROMNEY FOR GOP PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION

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

Campaign Buzz April 24, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Speech After Sweeping all 5 Northeast Primaries — Moves on to General Election Assails Barack Obama in Manchester, New Hampshire

CAMPAIGN 2012

 

 

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

 

Mitt Romney Delivers Remarks in Manchester, NH

 


Source: Mitt Romney, 4-24-12

Location

 

Boston, MA

United States

 

Mitt Romney tonight delivered remarks in Manchester, New Hampshire. The following remarks were prepared for delivery:

 

Thank you Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York!  And tonight I can say thank you, America.  After 43 primaries and caucuses, many long days and more than a few long nights, I can say with confidence – and gratitude – that you have given me a great honor and solemn responsibility.  And, together, we will win on November 6th!

 

We launched this campaign not far from here on a beautiful June day. It has been an extraordinarily journey.

 

Americans have always been eternal optimists.  But over the last three and a half years, we have seen hopes and dreams diminished by false promises and weak leadership. Everywhere I go, Americans are tired of being tired, and many of those who are fortunate enough to have a job are working harder for less.

 

For every single mom who feels heartbroken when she has to explain to her kids that she needs to take a second job … for grandparents who can’t afford the gas to visit their grandchildren … for the mom and dad who never thought they’d be on food stamps … for the small business owner desperately cutting back just to keep the doors open one more month – to all of the thousands of good and decent Americans I’ve met who want nothing more than a better chance, a fighting chance, to all of you, I have a simple message: Hold on a little longer.  A better America begins tonight.

 

Tonight is the start of a new campaign to unite every American who knows in their heart that we can do better! The last few years have been the best that Barack Obama can do, but it’s not the best America can do!

 

Tonight is the beginning of the end of the disappointments of the Obama years and the start of a new and better chapter that we will write together.

 

This has already been a long campaign, but many Americans are just now beginning to focus on the choice before the country. In the days ahead, I look forward to spending time with many of you personally. I want to hear what’s on your mind, hear about your concerns, and learn about your families. I want to know what you think we can do to make this country better…and what you expect from your next President.

 

And I’ll tell you a little bit about myself. I’ll probably start out talking about my wonderful wife Ann – I usually do – and I’ll probably bore you with stories about our kids and grandkids. I’ll tell you about how much I love this country, where someone like my dad, who grew up poor and never graduated from college, could pursue his dreams and work his way up to running a great car company.  Only in America could a man like my dad become governor of the state in which he once sold paint from the trunk of his car.

 

I’d say that you might have heard that I was successful in business.  And that rumor is true.  But you might not have heard that I became successful by helping start a business that grew from 10 people to hundreds of people.  You might not have heard that our business helped start other businesses, like Staples and Sports Authority and a new steel mill and a learning center called Bright Horizons. And I’d tell you that not every business made it and there were good days and bad days, but every day was a lesson.  And after 25 years, I know how to lead us out of this stagnant Obama economy and into a job-creating recovery!

 

Four years ago Barack Obama dazzled us in front of Greek columns with sweeping promises of hope and change.  But after we came down to earth, after the celebration and parades, what do we have to show for three and a half years of President Obama?

 

Is it easier to make ends meet? Is it easier to sell your home or buy a new one?  Have you saved what you needed for retirement? Are you making more in your job?  Do you have a better chance to get a better job?  Do you pay less at the pump?

 

If the answer were “yes” to those questions, then President Obama would be running for re-election based on his achievements…and rightly so.  But because he has failed, he will run a campaign of diversions, distractions, and distortions.  That kind of campaign may have worked at another place and in a different time.  But not here and not now.  It’s still about the economy …and we’re not stupid.

 

People are hurting in America. And we know that something is wrong, terribly wrong with the direction of the country.

 

We know that this election is about the kind of America we will live in and the kind of America we will leave to future generations.  When it comes to the character of America, President Obama and I have very different visions.

 

Government is at the center of his vision. It dispenses the benefits, borrows what it cannot take, and consumes a greater and greater share of the economy. With Obamacare fully installed, government will come to control half the economy, and we will have effectively ceased to be a free enterprise society.

 

This President is putting us on a path where our lives will be ruled by bureaucrats and boards, commissions and czars.  He’s asking us to accept that Washington knows best – and can provide all.

 

We’ve already seen where this path leads.  It erodes freedom.  It deadens the entrepreneurial spirit.  And it hurts the very people it’s supposed to help.  Those who promise to spread the wealth around only ever succeed in spreading poverty.  Other nations have chosen that path. It leads to chronic high unemployment, crushing debt, and stagnant wages.

 

I have a very different vision for America, and of our future. It is an America driven by freedom, where free people, pursuing happiness in their own unique ways, create free enterprises that employ more and more Americans. Because there are so many enterprises that are succeeding, the competition for hard-working, educated and skilled employees is intense, and so wages and salaries rise.

 

I see an America with a growing middle class, with rising standards of living. I see children even more successful than their parents – some successful even beyond their wildest dreams – and others congratulating them for their achievement, not attacking them for it.

 

This America is fundamentally fair. We will stop the unfairness of urban children being denied access to the good schools of their choice; we will stop the unfairness of politicians giving taxpayer money to their friends’ businesses; we will stop the unfairness of requiring union workers to contribute to politicians not of their choosing; we will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the taxpayers they serve; and we will stop the unfairness of one generation passing larger and larger debts on to the next.

 

In the America I see, character and choices matter.  And education, hard work, and living within our means are valued and rewarded.  And poverty will be defeated, not with a government check, but with respect and achievement that is taught by parents, learned in school, and practiced in the workplace.

 

This is the America that was won for us by the nation’s Founders, and earned for us by the Greatest Generation.  It is the America that has produced the most innovative, most productive, and the most powerful economy in the world.

 

As I look around at the millions of Americans without work, the graduates who can’t get a job, the soldiers who return home to an unemployment line, it breaks my heart. This does not have to be. It is the result of failed leadership and of a faulty vision. We will restore the promise of America only if we restore the principles of freedom and opportunity that made America the greatest nation on earth.

 

Today, the hill before us is a little steep but we have always been a nation of big steppers.  Many Americans have given up on this President but they haven’t ever thought about giving up. Not on themselves. Not on each other. And not on America.

 

In the days ahead, join me in the next step toward that destination of November 6th, when across America we can give a sigh of relief and know that the Promise of America has been kept. The dreamers can dream a little bigger, the help wanted signs can be dusted off, and we can start again.

 

And this time we’ll get it right. We’ll stop the days of apologizing for success at home and never again apologize for America abroad.

 

There was a time – not so long ago – when each of us could walk a little taller and stand a little straighter because we had a gift that no one else in the world shared. We were Americans. That meant something different to each of us but it meant something special to all of us. We knew it without question. And so did the world.

 

Those days are coming back. That’s our destiny.

 

We believe in America. We believe in ourselves. Our greatest days are still ahead. We are, after all, Americans!

 

God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

 

Campaign Buzz April 24, 2012: Mitt Romney Sweeps Northeast Primarie, Wins all 5 — Moves on to General Election Assails Barack Obama in Manchester, New Hampshire Speech

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Cheryl Senter for The New York Times

As Republicans in five other states voted Tuesday, Mitt Romney addressed general election themes in Manchester, N.H. More Photos »

IN FOCUS: MITT ROMNEY SWEEPS NORTHEAST PRIMARIES, WINS ALL 5 — MOVES ON TO GENERAL ELECTION ASSAILING OBAMA IN MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE SPEECH

Romney goes five for five with New York primary victory: In an energetic speech in New Hampshire after winning Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, New York and Pennsylvania, Romney stakes his claim as the Republican nominee…. – WaPo, 4-24-12

After 5 More Contests, Romney Solidifies Lead: As Republicans in five other states voted Tuesday, Mitt Romney addressed general election themes in Manchester, N.H.
Mitt Romney effectively took the Republican Party helm on Tuesday after five primary victories in the Northeast solidified his status as presidential nominee-in-waiting…. – NYT, 4-24-12

  • Tuesday night wins make it official: Romney is the nominee: Romney swept Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware and Pennsylvania, and is expected to win New York shortly.
    Mitt Romney laid claim to a fiercely contested Republican presidential nomination Tuesday night with a fistful of primary triumphs, then urged all who struggle in a shaky U.S. economy to “hold on a little longer, a better America begins tonight.”
    Eager to turn the political page to the general election, Romney accused President Barack Obama of “false promises and weak leadership.” He said, “Everywhere I go, Americans are tired of being tired, and many of those who are fortunate enough to have a job are working harder for less.”
    The former Massachusetts governor spoke as he pocketed primary victories in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware and Pennsylvania in the first contests since Rick Santorum conceded the nomination. New York was expected to follow. He delivered his remarks to a national television audience from New Hampshire, the state where he won his first primary of the campaign and one of about a dozen states expected to be battlegrounds in the summer and fall campaign for the White House…. – CS Monitor, 4-24-12
  • Romney Delivers Big Primary Wins, Assails Obama in Speech: Mitt Romney declared that he had accomplished a sweep of five states on Tuesday night and laid claim to the Republican presidential nomination…. – NYT, 4-24-12
  • New York gives Romney clean sweep of Tuesday primaries: By David Meeks Mitt Romney won all five Republican presidential primaries Tuesday, effectively ending the GOP nomination battle. The Associated Press called New York for the former Massachusetts governor not long after the polls closed at 9 pm EDT…. – LAT, 4-24-12
  • Mitt Romney sweeps primaries in five states: Mitt Romney won all five Republican presidential primaries Tuesday night, completing a sweep of contests in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
    Romney boasted more than 50 percent of the vote in all five states.
    In Connecticut, with 90 percent of the expected votes in, Romney led Ron Paul 67 percent to 13 percent. In Rhode Island, with most of the expected votes counted, Romney led Paul 63 percent to 24 percent.
    In Pennsylvania, with nearly all of the votes in, Romney had 56 percent. Rick Santorum, who dropped out of the Republican presidential contest earlier this month, followed with 20 percent of the vote.
    In Delaware, with most of the votes counted, Romney led Newt Gingrich 56 percent to 27 percent. And in New York, with 51 percent of the expected votes in, Romney led Paul 60 percent to 17 percent…. – CBS News, 4-24-12
  • Romney to claim GOP nomination after primary victories: With victories expected in five Northeastern primaries, Mitt Romney prepared to claim the mantle of Republican presidential nominee — though he has not officially clinched the race — and turn his focus to a general election…. – LAT, 4-24-12
  • Romney: ‘It’s still about the economy, and we’re not stupid’: As votes continued to roll in for Mitt Romney after five Northeastern states weighed in on the Republican presidential campaign, Romney declared Tuesday “the start of a new campaign” in a victory speech focused exclusively…. – LAT, 4-24-12
  • Once a fierce rival, Rick Santorum hints at Mitt Romney endorsement in Presidential race: Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says he expects to endorse Mitt Romney. Santorum says that he believes Romney is “the right guy” to challenge President Barack Obama. Still, he’s stopping short of an official…. – WaPo, 4-24-12
  • Gingrich plans to ‘realistically’ review campaign: Former House speaker Newt Gingrich said Tuesday that over the next few days he and his wife, Callista, would look “realistically” at the state of his beleaguered presidential campaign, but stopped short of dropping out…. – USA Today, 4-24-12
  • Gingrich says he’ll decide next move in campaign after finishing week of stops: Newt Gingrich says he plans to finish a week of campaigning in North Carolina but acknowledges that he needs to look realistically at where it stands. Gingrich spoke Tuesday night to about 100 supporters in Concord, NC, as he learned that…. – WaPo, 4-24-12

Campaign Buzz April 10, 2012: Rick Santorum Suspends Presidential Campaign for GOP / Republican Nomination says Presidential Race ‘is over for me’

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Santorum Suspends Run for President

Rick Santorum announced the suspension of his presidential  campaign in Gettysburg, Pa., on Tuesday.

Stephanie Strasburg for The New York Times — Rick Santorum announced the suspension of his presidential campaign in Gettysburg, Pa., on Tuesday.

The decision abruptly ends Rick Santorum’s quest for the Republican presidential nomination after weeks in which he has struggled to compete with Mitt Romney’s well-financed campaign apparatus.

IN FOCUS: RICK SANTORUM SUSPENDS BID FOR REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION

Today I announced that I am suspending my campaign for the President of the United States. This has been one of the hardest decisions Karen and I have ever had to face together. And it has been hard in large measure because of you. I know that my candidacy has offered you a way to fight for your convictions. Together, we have fought for the principles that this country was founded on; that made this country great. Without fighting for them, this country cannot continue to be great.
I thank you for your support, and urge you to continue this fight. God bless you, and please keep us in your prayers. And know that we keep you in ours. — Rick Santorum

 

“Over and over again, we were told, ‘Forget it, you can’t win.’ We were winning. We were winning in a very different way because we were touching hearts. We were raising issues that, well, frankly, a lot of people didn’t want to have raised.”

“This race was as improbable as any race that you will ever see for president. I want to thank God for that and I want to thank all of you. Thank all of you across this country for what you have given– well, hopefully not just me and our family but what you’ve given which is a voice to those who are in many cases voiceless.”

“We traveled around and did 385 town hall meetings in Iowa. We weren’t out there trashing anybody … We painted a hopeful, positive vision for our country. One that was based on how we could get this country turned around, not just economically.”

“Against all odds, we won 11 states. Millions of voters. Millions of votes. We won more counties than all the other people in this race combined.”

“We made a decision over the weekend that while this presidential race for us is over, for me, and we will suspend our campaign effective today, we are not done fighting. We are going to continue to fight for those voices. We’re going to continue to fight for the Americans who stood up and gave us that air under our wings that allowed us to accomplish things that no political expert would have ever expected.”

Mitt Romney: I Congratulate Senator Santorum on the Campaign He Ran: “Senator Santorum is an able and worthy competitor, and I congratulate him on the campaign he ran. He has proven himself to be an important voice in our party and in the nation. We both recognize that what is most important is putting the failures of the last three years behind us and setting America back on the path to prosperity.”

Santorum to withdraw from presidential race: Rick Santorum announced Tuesday afternoon that he is suspending his presidential campaign, according to a campaign official. Santorum will announce his withdrawal at a campaign event in Gettysburg, Pa., all but bringing to a close the 2012 GOP presidential contest and handing the nomination to Mitt Romney…. – WaPo, 4-10-12

Santorum Suspends Presidential Campaign: Rick Santorum suspended his presidential campaign on Tuesday, bowing to the inevitability of Mitt Romney’s nomination and ending his improbable, come-from-behind quest to become the party’s conservative standard-bearer in the fall.
“We made a decision over the weekend, that while this presidential race for us is over, for me, and we will suspend our campaign today, we are not done fighting,” Mr. Santorum said.
Mr. Santorum made the announcement at a stop in his home state of Pennsylvania after a weekend in which he tended to his 3-year-old daughter, Bella, who had been hospitalized with pneumonia.
Mr. Santorum, who was holding back tears, did not exactly specify why he was ending his presidential bid. He referred to his daughter’s illness, but said she was making great progress and was back home after being hospitalized over the weekend…. – NYT, 4-10-12

US Election 2012: highlights from Rick Santorum’s campaign: Rick Santorum said his candidacy was “as improbable as any race you will ever see for president”. Here are the highlights from a shoe-string campaign that one point threatened to derail Mitt Romney…. – Telegraph.co.uk, 4-10-12

 

  • Santorum quits race, handing Romney Republican crown: Mitt Romney on Tuesday effectively won the Republican Party crown to challenge President Barack Obama in November elections, as chief rival Rick Santorum dropped his long-shot White House bid…. – AFP, 4-10-12
  • Santorum suspends GOP presidential campaign: Bowing to the inevitable after an improbably resilient run for the White House, Rick Santorum quit the presidential race on Tuesday, clearing the way for Mitt Romney to claim the Republican…. – AP, 4-10-12
  • Santorum White House bid stirred love, loathing: Rick Santorum, who ended his race for the White House Tuesday, emerged as an improbable contender for the Republican nomination, with a faith-and-family message that caught fire with the party’s most…. – AFP, 4-10-12
  • Santorum suspends campaign, clearing Romney’s path CNN International – ?3 minutes ago? By Tom Cohen, CNN Washington (CNN) — Conservative challenger Rick Santorum announced Tuesday that he is suspending his Republican presidential campaign after a weekend of “prayer and thought,” effectively ceding the GOP nomination to front-runner Mitt Romney…
  • Rick Santorum ends bid for GOP nomination: Rick Santorum suspended his bid for the presidency on Tuesday, removing the last significant obstacle in … – CBS News, 4-10-12
  • Rick Santorum suspends presidential campaign, is ‘not done fighting’: Rick Santorum announced Tuesday that he will suspend his presidential campaign but vowed “we are not done fighting.” “While this presidential race is over for us, for me…we are not done fighting,” Santorum said. “We are going to continue … – LAT, 4-10-12
  • Ron Paul: Rick Santorum exit could provide opening: With Rick Santorum’s exit Tuesday, the GOP race is down to three, and Ron Paul becomes Mitt Romney’s biggest threat. Paul can’t win, but he could stop Romney from beating Obama…. – CS Monitor, 4-10-12
  • Rick Santorum bows out of 2012 presidential race: Rick Santorum ended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, clearing a path for Mitt Romney to become the nominee…. – CS Monitor, 4-10-12
  • Santorum suspends GOP presidential campaign: Bowing to the inevitable, Rick Santorum quit the presidential campaign Tuesday, clearing the way for Mitt Romney to claim the Republican nomination. Santorum, appearing with his wife and family in his home state of Pennsylvania, told supporters the … – LAT, 4-10-12
  • Santorum Suspends Presidential Campaign: Rick Santorum is suspending his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday, according to a person with knowledge of his plans, bowing to the inevitability of Mitt Romney’s nomination and ending his improbable, come-from-behind quest to become the party’s conservative standard-bearer in the fall…. – NYT, 4-10-12
  • Santorum suspends GOP presidential campaign: AP Rick Santorum is suspending his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, clearing a path for Mitt Romney to become the nominee. A Republican close to the campaign says the former Pennsylvania senator was to make the announcement Tuesday…. – LAT, 4-10-12
  • Rick Santorum to suspend presidential campaign: Santorum is set to speak to reporters shortly in Gettysburg, Pa. It is his first campaign event since taking time off for the Easter holiday and to deal with the hospitalization of his youngest daughter, Bella…. – USA Today, 4-10-12
  • Rick Santorum withdraws from GOP presidential race, clearing path for Romney: Rick Santorum is suspending his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination, clearing a path for Mitt Romney to become the nominee. A campaign spokesman says the former Pennsylvania senator was to make the announcement Tuesday in his…. – WaPo, 4-10-12
  • Poll: What do voters think of Santorum campaign suspension?: Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator and leading stumbling block to Mitt Romney’s path to the GOP nomination, announced Tuesday he will suspend his presidential campaign. Republicans and independents who lean to the GOP…. – WaPo, 4-10-12
  • What happens to Rick Santorum’s delegates?: “Against all odds, we won 11 states,” Rick Santorum told supporters in Gettysburg on Tuesday afternoon as he announced that he was suspending his campaign for the GOP presidential nod. “Millions of voters. Millions of votes.”
    So, what happens to the 281 Republican National Convention delegates that the former Pennsylvania senator has won over the course of the campaign?
    It depends on the states in which Santorum won them…. – WaPo, 4-10-12

 


(The Washington Post)

Campaign Headlines April 5, 2012: Despite calls to drop his Presidential bid, Rick Santorum benefits from staying in GOP race

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Santorum benefits from staying in GOP race

Source: CNN, 4-5-12
Santorum: ‘Plan to win’ in Pennsylvania
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Rick Santorum’s campaign disputes media delegate count
  • Despite increasing calls to drop out, Santorum stays in the Republican presidential race
  • Pressure to get out fits campaign theme as a conservative bucking the establishment
  • Hurting Romney’s chances could benefit Santorum in 2016, analyst Darrell West says

Get out Rick, a growing Republican chorus says. Forget it, responds Rick Santorum to the calls to drop his increasingly long-shot bid for the GOP presidential nomination.

The pressure to withdraw is actually incentive for Santorum to stay in the race.

It keeps the media spotlight on him and bolsters the image he constantly projects of himself as the lone conservative battling the GOP establishment’s desire for the more moderate Mitt Romney to face President Barack Obama in November.

Private meetings focused on Santorum’s way forward

Both elements are vital to the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, who has seen his campaign rise from shoestring status to become the main conservative challenge to Romney’s front-running bid….READ MORE

Full Text Campaign Buzz April 4, 2012: Rick Santorum’s Speech in Pennsylvania After Losing all 3 Primaries in Maryland, Washington DC & Wisconsin

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Rick Santorum: Wisconsin Primary speech (Transcript, video)

Source: WaPo, 4-3-12

Rick Santorum delivered his election-night speech from Mars, Penn., on Tuesday night as the results from the Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin primaries were coming in. Unfortunately for Santorum, he was defeated in all three primaries by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

SANTORUM: Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. It is great to be home. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

I’m here with Karen and the kids and the people behind us, that’s just — that’s not all of Karen’s family but most of it. Karen is — Karen and her — Karen’s parents had 11 children and umpteen nieces and nephews that we have and it’s — it’s just great to be here with — with friends and family. And we have now reached the point where it’s halftime. Half the delegates in this process have been — have been selected. And who’s ready to charge out of the locker room in Pennsylvania for a strong second half?

(APPLAUSE)

It is — it is great to be here in Southwestern Pennsylvania where — where I grew up in a — in a steel town about 20 miles north — northeast of here in this same county, Butler, Pennsylvania. How about a shout out for Butler?

(APPLAUSE)

And this area — this area like that town and like the people in it, forged steel to build this country, to help win world wars and not just have we built the country and forged steel to win wars, we’ve forged people with strong values and a strong commitment to what made America great. OK you can applaud that too.

(APPLAUSE)

I can always be interrupted for applause, don’t worry about that. This is — this why we came here. This is why we wanted to come back to west — Southwestern Pennsylvania to — to kick off the second half. This is a — a part of the country, Pennsylvania that well, it’s where America started. Not only did we forge steel in this state, we forged liberty in this state.

(APPLAUSE)

The symbol of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, where that document that those who have been following me about on the campaign trail have been seeing, this document both the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence forged right here in Pennsylvania. And there’s no place where those values are more instilled than in this great commonwealth. Ladies and gentleman…

(APPLAUSE)

This great commonwealth has given a tremendous amount to our country. If you look at just the history of our — of our great state, not only the Declaration and the Constitution created here, but we won key battles. Washington’s crossing — Washington crossing the Delaware to save the revolution. That plan was hatched up here in Pennsylvania. Some in the other camps in this race have said that all of the significant people have spoken in this race so far. See, General Washington knew that in fact not all the significant are those elites in society. Those who are the generals and the ranked officers, but in fact what General Washington understood, some of the best ideas, some of the best plans, in fact what has made this country great is that we have listened to real significant voices of every day Americans. And he did. And that’s why he crossed the Delaware, surprised the Hessian’s and turned the tide of the revolution. Ladies and gentleman, Pennsylvania and half the other people in this country have yet to be heard and we’re going to to out and campaign here and across this nation to make sure that their voices are heard in the next few months.

(APPLAUSE)

We know who we are here in Pennsylvania. We know who we are. We know the stock that we are made of. We’ve contributed a lot. Great deeds have occurred here. Great Pennsylvanians have contributed. I know, I had the privilege of representing this state in the Senate for 12 years and this community here in Southwestern Pennsylvania for four.

(APPLAUSE)

I went to every one of those counties every year, all 67 and I understand the greatness of the people of this state. And I understand how important this race is here in Pennsylvania. This is called the Keystone State for a reason. We are in fact the keystone. We’re the — we’re the place upon which our country was built and great things continue to happen here. Great things like in manufacturing and oil and gas production here in Pennsylvania that is turning our economy around and creating opportunities for us to grow our economy. Not just here in Pennsylvania, but because of lower natural gas prices we’re seeing manufacturing and other businesses come back in spite of the crushing burden that Barack Obama and his administration has put on our economy.

SANTORUM: We need someone who understands what liberty is all about. Someone who’s going to go out and fight to make sure that the biggest and most crushing burden that this administration has put on us, one that was debated just last week in the United States Supreme Court about government taking control of your health and of course as a result, of your very life. And dictating to you – dictating to you what you will do, how much you will pay, what insurance you will get. And even what the practice of your faith will be dictated by the federal government.

We need someone in this race who can go out and make the clarion call for liberty. Someone who has stood tall and opposed government run health care at any level, state or federal. Who can go out and make the case of what Barack Obama is doing, which even Justice Stevens, which is what ObamaCare does and what his agenda of government control of health care and his attempt to get Cap and Trade, where he’s going dictate how you — energy — how much energy, not just health care, but how much energy you’re going to use.

That this is a fundamental change in the relationship between the people and their government. Ladies and gentleman if we’re going to win this race, we can’t have little differences between our nominee and President Obama. We have to have clear contrasting colors. In the last 120 years…

(APPLAUSE)

In the last 120 years, we’ve had one time where the Republican Party has defeated an incumbent Democrat for president. One time. Time and time again the Republican establishment and aristocracy have shoved down the throats of the Republican Party and people across this country, moderate Republicans. Because of course we have to win by getting people in the middle. There’s one person who understood, we don’t win by moving to the middle. We win by getting people in the middle to move to us and move this country forward.

(APPLAUSE)

Not only do we know who we are here in Pennsylvania and what we stand for, but you know who I am. You’re going to hear a lot of things being thrown as has happened in all the other states where we’ve seen a whole bunch of negative campaigning. We’ve gone out across this country. And with the most improbable of odds, and with limited resources except one in which we’ve had incredible resources, and that’s human resources. The people of this country have stood up and followed because they’ve seen someone who has a clear positive vision. Someone whose convictions are also forged in steel, not on an Etch-A-Sketch.

(APPLAUSE)

So you’ll be seeing the negative ads and you’ll be here getting the robo-calls and all the other things thrown at us. But you know me. You know how hard I work. You know how strongly I believe the things that — the values of Southwestern Pennsylvania have instilled in me. You know that I come from a steel town from immigrant parents. Grandfather worked in the mines. Someone who lived in government housing on a V.A. grounds and saw the great sacrifice of our men and women in uniform, serving them as they served our country. You know me. They’ll say all the things, that I’m someone who doesn’t stand up for what I believe in. You know me.

(APPLAUSE)

And so I ask you over the next three weeks, this isn’t halftime, no marching bands. We’re hitting the field. The clock starts tonight. We’ve got three weeks to go out here in Pennsylvania and win this state and after winning this state, the field looks a little different in May. I remind everybody the one time that we did win in the last 120 years, the Republican Party had the courage to go out and nominate someone who all the experts and all the pundits and all the media — all the Republican establishment said couldn’t win. He was too conservative.

He lost almost every early primary. He only won one until May. One primary till May. Everybody told him to get out of the race. This was back in 1976. They said, get out of the race, we need a moderate. In 1976, Ronald Reagan didn’t get out of the race. He was able to stand tall in May, win the state of Texas, which we have every intention of doing.

(APPLAUSE)

He took that race the entire way to the convention and he fell short. And in the fall Republicans fell short because we nominated another moderate who couldn’t galvanize our party and bring those votes to our side to get the kind of change that we needed in America. And then four years later, they fought him again. We need another moderate. We have to defeat this Democratic incumbent. And this time the Republican establishment lost. Let’s not make the mistake of 1976 again. Let’s bypass that error and move straight to 1980. And let’s defeat a Democratic incumbent. And you can help me here in Pennsylvania. Thank you very much. God bless you. God bless you. Thank you. Thank you.

Full Text Campaign Buzz April 3, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Speech After Winning Wisconsin, Maryland, Washington DC Primary Trio — Transcript

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Mitt Romney Delivers Remarks in Wisconsin

Source: Mitt Romney, 4-3-12

romney-2012-blog-photo-mitt-speech-wisconsin-election.jpg

Thank you, Wisconsin! And Maryland! And Washington, DC!

We have won a great victory tonight in our campaign to restore the promise of America.

You won’t find Americans with bigger hearts than those here in our heartland.  But as I’ve travelled across this beautiful state, I’ve visited with far too many whose hearts are filled with anxiety about the future. So many good and decent people seem to be running harder just to stay in place and, for many, no matter how hard they run, every day puts them just a little bit further behind.

It’s that way across so much of America.

Under this President’s watch, more Americans have lost their jobs than during any other period since the Depression. Millions have lost their homes, and a record number of Americans are living in poverty. And the most vulnerable have been hurt the most – over 30% of single moms are struggling in poverty. New business startups are at the lowest level in 30 years, and our national debt is at a record high. And when you drive home tonight and stop at a gas station, just take a look at the prices and ask yourself, “Four more years?”

And that’s why it is important to understand one astonishing fact about this election: President Obama thinks he’s doing a good job. No, I’m not kidding. He actually thinks he’s doing a great job. An historically great job. According to the President, only Lincoln, FDR and Lyndon Johnson have accomplished more. And no, he didn’t say that on Saturday Night Live.

It’s enough to make you think that years of flying around on Air Force One, surrounded by an adoring staff of True Believers telling you what a great job you are doing, well, that might be enough to make you a little out of touch.

This campaign will deal with many complicated issues but there is a basic choice before us:

The President has pledged to “transform America,” and he has spent the last four years laying the foundation for a new Government-Centered Society.

I will spend the next four years rebuilding the foundation of our Opportunity Society, led by free people and free enterprises.

Our different visions for America are the product of our values and our life experiences.

Barack Obama once said that his work as a community organizer motivated him to help “communities that had been ravaged by plant closings.”  His desire to help others could not be more admirable but it’s clear that he saw free enterprise as the villain and not the solution.

He never seemed to grasp the basic point that a plant closes when a business loses money. So today when the President attacks business and when his policies make it more difficult for businesses to grow and prosper, he is also attacking the very communities he wanted to help. That’s how it works in America. Or at least that’s how it works when America is working.

But under Barack Obama, America hasn’t been working. The ironic tragedy is that the community organizer who wanted to help those hurt by a plant closing became the President on whose watch more jobs have been lost than any time since the Great Depression.

In Barack Obama’s Government-Centered Society, the government must do more because the economy is doomed to do less. When you attack business and vilify success, you will have less business and less success. And then, of course, the debate becomes about how much to extend unemployment insurance because you have guaranteed there will be millions more unemployed.

In Barack Obama’s Government-Centered Society, tax increases become not only a necessity, but also a desired tool for social justice. In that world of shrinking means, there’s a finite amount of money, and as someone once famously said, you need taxes to spread the wealth around.

In Barack Obama’s Government-Centered Society, government spending will always increase because…there’s no reason to stop it. There’s always someone who is entitled to something more, and who will vote for anyone who will give them something more.

We know where that transformation leads. There are other nations that have chosen that path. It leads to chronic high unemployment, crushing debt, and stagnant wages. Sound familiar?

I don’t want to transform America; I want to restore the values of economic freedom and opportunity and limited government that have made this nation the leader it is.

It is opportunity that has always driven America and defined us as Americans!

I’m not naïve enough to believe that free enterprise is the solution to all of our problems – nor am I naïve enough to doubt that it is one of the greatest forces of good this world has ever known.

Free enterprise has done more to lift people out of poverty, to help build a strong middle class, to help educate our kids, and to make our lives better, than all of the government programs put together.

If we become one of those societies that attack success, one outcome is certain – there will be a lot less success.

That’s not who we are. The promise of America has always been that if you worked hard, and took some risks, that there was the opportunity to build a better life for your family and for the next generation.

This means that government must be smaller and have strict limits placed on its power.  Obamacare violates both principles. I will repeal it.

Taxes should be as low as possible, in line with those of competing nations, and designed to foster innovation and growth. That’s why I will cut marginal tax rates across the board.

Regulations are necessary, but they must be continuously updated, streamlined, and modernized. Regulators should see part of their job as protecting economic freedom, promoting enterprise, and fostering job creation.

Workers should have the right to form unions, but unions should not be forced upon them. And unions should not have the power to take money out of their members’ paychecks to buy the support of politicians favored by the union bosses.

Out-of-touch liberals like Barack Obama say they want a strong economy, but they really don’t like businesses very much.  But the economy is simply the product of all the nation’s businesses added together.  So it’s like saying you love omelets but don’t like eggs.

To build a strong economy that provides good jobs and rising wages and that reduces poverty, we need to build successful businesses of every kind imaginable.  And President Obama has been attacking successful businesses of every kind imaginable.

We have always been the country where dreamers build dreams and where one dream helps launch another. And if those dreamers are rewarded with prosperity, we view that as a reason others would be encouraged to dream big as well.

These last few years have been difficult, made worse by mistakes and failures of leadership.

But if the hill before us is a little steeper we have always been a nation of big steppers.

In this last year, I have been all over this country, from student union cafeterias to kitchen tables, from factory break rooms to boardrooms, and I’ve heard frustration and anger but rarely hopelessness. Many Americans have given up on this President but they haven’t ever thought about giving up. Not on themselves. Not on each other. And not on America.

We have a sacred duty to restore the promise of America. And we will do it.  We will do it because we believe in America.

Tonight, I’m asking the good people of Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island to join me.  Join me in the next step toward that destination of November 6th, when across America we can give a sigh of relief and know that the Promise of America has been kept. The dreamers can dream a little bigger, the help wanted signs can be dusted off, and we can start again.

And this time we’ll get it right. We’ll stop the days of apologizing for success at home and never again apologize for America abroad. Together we’ll build the greatest America we have ever known, where prosperity is grown and shared, not limited and divided, an America that guarantees that ours is the door that innovation and greatness always knocks on first.

There was a time – not so long ago – when each of us could walk a little taller and stand a little straighter because we had a gift that no one else in the world shared. We were Americans. That meant something different to each of us, but it meant something special to all of us. We knew it without question. And so did the world.

Those days are coming back. That’s our destiny. Join me.  And take another step every day until November 6th.

We believe in America. We believe in ourselves. Our greatest days are still ahead. We are, after all, Americans!

God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

Campaign Buzz April 3, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Clean Sweep Wins all 3 Primaries — Deciscive Victories in Wisconsin, Maryland, Washington DC Primaries

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

IN FOCUS: MITT ROMNEY’S CLEAN SWEEP WINS ALL 3 PRIMARIES — DECISIVE VICTORIES IN WISCONSIN, MARYLAND & WASHINGTON DC PRIMARIES

Live Coverage of the Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington Primaries: Mitt Romney won the Maryland and Washington primaries on Tuesday night, with a comfortable lead in Wisconsin, steadily adding to a comfortable delegate lead that he hopes will soon be formidable enough to drive his lagging rivals from the race for the Republican presidential nomination…. – NYT, 4-3-12

  • Mitt Romney wins Republican primary in Wisconsin: Mitt Romney has won the Wisconsin primary, AP reports, adding to his commanding lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. The former Massachusetts governor also captured Tuesday’s GOP primaries in Maryland and the District of Columbia…. – WaPo, 4-3-12Mitt Romney wins District of Columbia GOP primary: Mitt Romney has won the District of Columbia Republican primary, AP reports. Romney’s leading opponent, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, wasn’t on the D.C. ballot.
    Romney also captured Maryland earlier Tuesday, and polls have closed in Wisconsin, the day’s most contested primary race…. – WaPo, 4-3-12
    Mitt Romney wins Republican primary in Maryland: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney cruised to victory in the Maryland Republican presidential primary Tuesday night, easily defeating former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum…. – WaPo, 4-3-12
  • Romney Scores Decisive Victories in Maryland and Wisconsin: Mitt Romney tightened his grip on the Republican nomination on Tuesday, and found himself in his first direct engagement with President Obama…. – NYT, 4-3-12
  • Romney wins Wisconsin GOP primary, CBS News projects: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney scored a high-profile victory Tuesday night in the politically-charged state of Wisconsin, CBS News projects…. – CBS News, 4-3-12
  • In blow to Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney wins Wisconsin GOP primary: Mitt Romney has won the Republican presidential primary in Wisconsin, according to the Associated Press, delivering what could be a final blow to the sputtering candidacy of Rick Santorum. As voters in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District…. – LAT, 4-3-12
  • Romney Wins Maryland and Spars With Obama: Mitt Romney was poised to tighten his grip on the Republican nomination, and found himself in his first direct engagement with President Obama…. – NYT, 4-3-12
  • Romney picks up two wins in Republican race: Mitt Romney won contests in Maryland and Washington, DC on Tuesday to tighten his grip on the race for the Republican presidential nomination and looked to land a big blow on rival Rick Santorum with an expected…. – Reuters, 4-3-12
  • In Wisconsin Exit Polls, Hints at the Leanings of November Voters: More than 8 in 10 Wisconsin voters said they thought Mr. Romney would be the party’s standard-bearer, according to preliminary exit poll results…. – NYT, 4-3-12
  • Romney wins rare conservative majority in Maryland; Wisconsin voters see him: Mitt Romney won the Maryland Republican presidential primary broadly and deeply, besting chief rival Rick Santorum among conservatives as well as moderates and emerging as the runaway favorite of those who care most about beating President…. – WaPo, 4-3-12

Campaign Buzz April 3, 2012: Live Coverage of Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington DC Primaries — Mitt Romney Set to Win All 3

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

IN FOCUS: LIVE COVERAGE OF WISCONSIN, MARYLAND & WASHINGTON DC PRIMARIES — MITT ROMNEY SET TO WIN ALL THREE

Live Coverage of the Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington Primaries: Follow along for live updates, analysis, exit polls and results from The New York Times political unit…. – NYT, 4-3-12

Wisconsin primary looms large for Romney, larger for Santorum: Forty-two delegates are up for grabs when Wisconsin holds its Republican presidential primary Tuesday. But for Rick Santorum, much more appears to be at stake…. – CNN, 4-3-12

  • Can Mitt Romney settle doubts once and for all in tonight’s primaries?: With Republican primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, DC today, front-runner Mitt Romney is poised to win a hat-trick and cement recent gains, but can he change the script – and the doubts over his candidacy – for good this time?… – Globe and Mail, 4-3-12
  • Primary voting begins in Washington, turnout light as expected: Mitt Romney is expected to coast to victory Tuesday in the lightly contested Republican presidential primary in the District of Columbia, which offers GOP voters in the nation’s capital a rare opportunity to have their voices heard in … – WaPo, 4-3-12
  • Wisconsin Votes After Fiercely Fought Battle: As Wisconsin voters went to the polls on Tuesday in the first hard-fought Republican presidential primary in the state since 1980, many echoed the arguments made by the two main rivals on the campaign trail…. – NYT, 4-3-12
  • Wisconsin, Maryland, DC primaries could move Romney closer to nomination: Polls are open in Maryland, the District and Wisconsin, where Tuesday’s Republican primaries could move Mitt Romney closer to a nomination that has hovered just out of his reach.
    Romney is favored to win in all three jurisdictions: the closest race appears to be in Wisconsin, where recent polls have shown him with a single-digit lead over former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.)…. – WaPo, 4-3-12
  • Santorum’s county victories show rural strength: Rick Santorum spent a lot of time campaigning recently in more rural areas of Wisconsin and Maryland, hoping to boost his vote totals today in the states’ primaries. A new analysis shows Santorum is doing better than Mitt Romney… – USA Today, 4-3-12
  • Primary voters in Wisconsin, DC and Maryland head to polls: Primary voters here will either help solidify Mitt Romney’s grip on the Republican presidential nomination or give Rick Santorum another reason to continue his campaign…. – USA Today, 4-3-12

Campaign Buzz March 24, 2012: Rick Santorum Wins Louisiana GOP / Republican Presidential Primary — 11th Win and 3rd Southern State Win

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Rick Santorum hands back an autographed campaign flyer at a rally in Shreveport, La. | AP Photo

IN FOCUS: RICK SANTORUM WINS LOUISIANA GOP / REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY — THIRD SOUTHERN STATE WIN

Rick Santorum wins Republican primary in Louisiana: Rick Santorum has won the Republican primary in Louisiana, the latest Southern state under his belt after wins in Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi.

But rival Mitt Romney already has a growing, if not insurmountable, delegate lead over Santorum…. – WaPo, 3-24-12

“The people of Louisiana sent a loud and clear message: This race is long, and far from over.” — Rick Santorum

“We’re very excited about the win. … This race proves that this thing has some legs. This is a momentum shift for us. I think the tide is turning.” — Rick Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley on MSNBC

  • Santorum wins Louisiana Republican primary: CNN: Rick Santorum won the Louisiana Republican primary on Saturday, CNN projected based on exit polls, adding an 11th state to his total but still trailing Mitt Romney by a wide margin in the national delegate count…. – Reuters, 3-24-12
  • Santorum beats Romney in Louisiana: Rick Santorum won the Louisiana Republican presidential primary Saturday, beating front-runner Mitt Romney in yet another conservative Southern state.

    Although the victory gives Santorum bragging rights, it does not change the overall dynamics of the race; the former Pennsylvania senator still dramatically lags behind Romney in the hunt for delegates to the GOP’s summertime nominating convention…. – AP, 3-24-12

  • Lousiana primary results: Rick Santorum wins: Rick Santorum picked up another win on Saturday in Louisiana, but the victory won’t significantly change the delegate advantage held by Mitt Romney in the GOP nominating contest.

    The Associated Press called the race for Santorum within minutes of the polls closing, after exit polls indicated he held a comfortable lead. Romney placed second and Gingrich third with a small percentage of precincts reporting.

    With the results pretty much set before voting began, the field of GOP hopefuls had already shifted its attention to future contests. Santorum and Gingrich spent Saturday in Pennsylvania, and Santorum went on to Wisconsin. Romney took a break from the trail this weekend and will resume campaigning Monday in southern California…. – Politico, 3-24-12

  • Santorum wins Louisiana GOP primary: Rick Santorum won Louisiana’s Republican presidential primary Saturday, but his victory seemed unlikely to change the trajectory of the race, in which Mitt Romney remains the prohibitive favorite.

    Louisiana was Santorum’s third Southern state win this month — he also won Alabama and Mississippi primaries March 13 — and Newt Gingrich’s third loss in the region that he had made the focus of his campaign…. – USA Today, 3-24-12

  • Santorum Projected Winner of Louisiana Primary: Rick Santorum was projected as the winner of the Louisiana Republican primary Saturday night, capturing a deeply conservative state with a hefty portion of the kind of evangelical Christian voters who have helped him claim victories in 10 other states.

    The Associated Press projected Mr. Santorum as the winner shortly after the polls closed. The victory gives Mr. Santorum a much-needed psychological boost but it will be unlikely to change the dynamics of the race. Only 20 delegates were up for grabs on Saturday, with 26 more to be allocated later. Even if Mr. Santorum were to claim most of them, he would still have only half the delegates that Mitt Romney, his chief rival, has already accumulated…. – NYT, 3-24-12

  • Rick Santorum wins Louisiana primary: Rick Santorum has won the Louisiana Republican primary, giving his campaign a boost as front-runner Mitt Romney seeks to wind down the nominating process. The Associated Press declared the former senator from Pennsylvania the … – LAT, 3-24-12
  • Santorum strong across board in LA GOP primary, dominates with conservatives: Preliminary results of an exit poll of voters in Louisiana’s Republican presidential primary show Rick Santorum winning with his most dominant performance yet this year among conservatives and blue-collar voters and getting robust support … – WaPo, 3-24-12
  • Santorum adds delegates with win in Louisiana primary; haul limited by proportional rule: Rick Santorum picked up at least eight convention delegates by winning the Republican presidential primary in Louisiana. Santorum’s haul was limited by Louisiana’s rules for awarding delegates. The state has a total of 46 delegates to the … – WaPo, 3-24-12
  • Santorum wins Louisiana primary, renews his campaign to catch Romney: Rick Santorum is the winner of the Louisiana Republican presidential primary, defeating GOP front-runner Mitt Romney in yet another conservative Southern state. Santorum is Romney’s chief challenger and a former Pennsylvania senator who … – WaPo, 3-24-12
  • Enthusiastic backers lift Santorum in Louisiana: Early results from exit polls of Louisiana Republican voters show Rick Santorum carried the state with a broad base of enthusiastic supporters and his widest margins of the campaign over Mitt Romney among the conservatives and evangelicals who have lifted his campaign across the South…. – AP, 3-24-12
  • Louisiana votes in GOP primary Saturday: Republicans went to the polls Saturday in Louisiana to vote in a primary poised to give a boost to Rick Santorum, but also add to Mitt Romney’s growing, if not insurmountable delegate lead in the race for the GOP nomination…. – WaPo, 3-24-12
  • Exit poll of LA GOP presidential voters shows few consider Etch A Sketch flap: Few voters in Louisiana’s Republican presidential primary said they were influenced by a comment by a Mitt Romney aide likening his campaign’s tactics to an Etch A Sketch toy, even though it was one of the week’s big political stories…. – NYT, 3-24-12
  • Voter Turnout Appears Light in Louisiana Primary: As Louisiana became the 28th state to head to the polls in a drawn-out Republican presidential race, turnout appeared very light at several sites around New Orleans, a combination perhaps of campaign fatigue and the competition of a … – NYT, 3-24-12
  • GOP Campaign Could End Soon — But Not in Louisiana: Rick Santorum is likely to win the Louisiana Republican primary on Saturday. He has had a clear and fairly consistent lead of about 14 percentage points in recent polls there. Moreover, Lousiana’s demographics are favorable to Mr. Santorum…. – NYT, 3-24-12
  • Will a Santorum win in Louisiana change GOP race?: Registered Republicans voted Saturday in Louisiana’s primary while Rick Santorum, heavily favored to win there, and Newt Gingrich assailed President Barack Obama’s energy policies and Mitt Romney’s … – CNN, 3-24-12
  • Five scenarios that could finally settle the GOP race: Are we there yet? Not quite. Mitt Romney’s two steps forward, one flub back campaign continues its tantalizing progress toward a total victory that always seems just ahead…. – USA Today, 3-24-12
  • Voters head to polls in Louisiana: Despite clear blue skies and one of the most closely watched Republican primaries in Louisiana history, voting here Saturday morning was thin and sporadic…. – USA Today, 3-24-12

Campaign Buzz March 20 2012: Newt Gingrich Statement Reacting to the Results of the Illinois Republican Presidential Primary — Transcript

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Gingrich statement on Illinois results

Source: WaPo, 3-20-12
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich issued the following statement via his website reacting to the results of the Illinois Primary.

“To defeat Barack Obama, Republicans can’t nominate a candidate who relies on outspending his opponents 7-1. Instead, we need a nominee who offers powerful solutions that hold the president accountable for his failures. Over the past few weeks, my $2.50 gas plan has shown how America could have cheaper gas, more jobs and greater national security while putting the White House on the defense over their anti-American energy policies. This is the type of leadership I can offer as the nominee, and this campaign will spend (the time) between now and when the delegates vote in Tampa relentlessly taking the fight to President Obama to make this case.”

Campaign Buzz March 20 2012: Rick Santorum’s Speech / Remarks after Losing Illinois Republican Presidential Primary in Second Placed Finish to Mitt Romney — Transcript

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Rick Santorum: ‘Big things are adrift’ (Video, Speech transcript)

Source: WaPo, 3-20-12

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. It is great to be back in Pennsylvania. Thank you for joining us here.

Let me just thank all of you for being here. And I know that they’re not going to be hearing me, but I — I just feel so bad. We have about 1,000-1,500 people who couldn’t get in here. We’re just overwhelmed by the response here, and I just want to say: I feel welcomed back home to Pennsylvania, so thank you very, very much.

It is — it is — first, I just want to congratulate Governor Romney. I gave him a call a little earlier and congratulated him on winning the state of Illinois. But I also want to say — I just want to thank all of the folks in Illinois, all in the — you know, if you look at what — what’s going to happen tonight, we’re going to win downstate, we’re going to win central Illinois, we’re going to win western Illinois. We won the areas that conservatives and Republicans populate, and we’re very happy about that. We’re happy about the delegates we’re going to get, too.

We wanted to come here tonight back to Pennsylvania, back to a favorite place of mine in Pennsylvania, the city and the town of Gettysburg. It’s…

Obviously, it’s — so many memories come to mind when we walk on here in the town and across the street where Abraham Lincoln finished the Gettysburg Address at the Wills House. And you think about the great elections of our past.

And I’ve gone around this country over the past year now and said this is the most important election in our lifetimes. And, in fact, I think it’s the most important election since the election of 1860.

The election in 1860 was about whether these united states — which is what it was mostly referred to prior to the election of 1860 — would become the United States, whether it would be a union, a country bound together to build a great and prosperous nation, a — a nation based on a concept, a concept that we were birthed with, a concept birthed with our founding document of the Declaration of Independence.

I’ve said throughout the course of this campaign that while other issues are certainly important — the economy, joblessness, national security concerns, the family, the issue of life — all of these issues are important, but the foundational issue in this race, the one that is, in fact, the cause of the other maladies that we are feeling, whether it’s in the economy or whether it’s in the budget crisis that we’re dealing with, all boils down to one word, and that’s what’s at stake in this election, and it’s right behind me on that banner, and that’s the word “freedom.”

I was pleased to hear before I came out that Governor Romney is now adopting that theme as his speech tonight.

I am — I am glad we are moving the debate here in the Republican Party. But I’ve been focused on this, because I’ve actually been out talking to people across this country, doing over a thousand town hall meetings. And I know the anxiety and the concerns that people have in this country about an ever-expanding government, a government that is trying to dictate how we’re going to live our lives, trying to order us around, trample our freedoms, whether it’s our economic freedoms or our religious liberty.

But in addition to trampling that freedom, in addition to building a dependency, a dependency on government, as we see government expand and grow, now almost half the people in this country depend on some form of federal payment to help them get — make ends meet in America. And after and if Obamacare is implemented, every single American will depend upon the federal government for something that is critical, their health and their life.

That’s why this election is so important. This is an election about fundamental and foundational things. This is an election about not who’s the best person to manage Washington or manage the economy. We don’t need a manager. We need someone who’s going to pull up government by the roots and throw it out and do something to liberate the private sector in America. That’s what we need.

It’s great to have Wall Street experience. I don’t have Wall Street experience, but I have experience growing up in a small town in western Pennsylvania, growing up in a steel town, growing up in public housing in apartments and seeing how men and women of this country scraped and clawed because they had the opportunity to climb the ladder of success in America.

A lot of those folks out there today feel like nobody in Washington and no one in this debate is really talking about them. That’s why this is a wonderful movement as I travel around this country and everywhere I go. I see people, people in work clothes, folks with children who are maybe not getting the educational opportunities that they hoped for so they could climb that ladder of success, people who are looking for someone to voice their concerns about how this economy is going to turn around for them, not just for those at the top of the income ladder.

That’s why I’ve talked about a manufacturing plan, an energy plan, someone who believes that if we create opportunities by, yes, cutting taxes, but reducing the oppressive regulatory burden that this administration has put on businesspeople and people who want to drill for energy, it needs someone who’s got a strong and clear record that can appeal to voters all across this country and someone who you can trust, someone that you know when they say they’re going to do something, they’re not saying it because, well, that happens to be the popular theme of the moment, but someone who has a long track record of deep convictions, someone who’s going to go out and stand and fight, because it’s not just what the pollster tells them to say or what’s on their TelePrompTer. I don’t happen to have one here tonight.

Because — because they know in their gut from their life experiences, from living in America, that this is what America needs and America wants. They want someone who’s not going to go to Washington, D.C., because they want to be the most powerful person in the world to manage Washington. They want someone who’s going to take that power and give it back to the people of this country.

There is one candidate in this race who can go out and make that contrast with the current occupant of the White House, someone who has a track record of being for you, being for limited government, being for solutions that empower people on the biggest issues of the day, whether it’s Obamacare, Romneycare. They’re interchangeable.

We need someone who understands that the solution to the problem with almost 1/17th of the economy is not government control over that sector economy, but your control over that sector of the economy.

We need someone who understands that we need to grow our energy supplies here in this country. And we need someone you can trust who when in good times and in bad, when times were tough and people thought, well, that — all this oil and gas and coal in the ground is all a source of carbon dioxide, and we can’t take that out of the ground because, well, there’s a finite supply and it could — it could damage our environment and cause global warming…

.. when the climate — when those who — who — who profess manmade global warming and climate science convinced many, many Republicans, including two who are running for president on the Republican ticket, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

But there was one who said: I know this isn’t climate science. This is political science.

And this was another attempt of those who want to take power away from you and control your access to energy, your utilization, whether it’s in your car or in your home of energy, because they are better to make these decisions about how you use energy than you do.

That’s what they believe. And unfortunately, just like in health care, Governor Romney and Speaker Gingrich went along with the ride. And guess what? When the climate changed, they changed their position. And now they’re all for drilling and they’re all for oil and gas and coal. I was for it because it was the right thing to do then; I’ll be for it tomorrow and the next day and the next day. I’m not going to change with the climate.

Ladies and gentlemen, I grew up in this great state, and this is the first day — this is the launch we wanted to come here to Pennsylvania, to launch our campaign here in Pennsylvania. We’ve got five weeks, five weeks to a big win and a big delegate sweep in Pennsylvania.

I come as a son of Pennsylvania, someone who grew up in western Pennsylvania. Everyone knows the story, I hope, of my grandfather, my dad coming to Pennsylvania to work in those coal mines in Somerset County. I learned everything, everything about freedom and opportunity and hard work, and growing up with folks who worked in the mills and the mines in western Pennsylvania.

And so when I speak and I speak from the heart, in the back of my mind are the pictures of those men and women who worked and scraped and clawed so their children and grandchildren could, yes, have a better quality of life, yes, maybe even go to college and not have to work in tough, manual labor, but, most importantly, they fought for the things that the people in this battlefield just down the road fought for.

They fought for big things, things that America’s always stood for, that Ronald Reagan referred to as that shining city on the hill. It’s things that I’m fighting for here today, the reason Karen and I decided, in the face of having seven children ages 20 to 3 — not exactly the best time to run for president of the United States when you have children 20 to 3…

… but Karen and I felt compelled. We felt compelled, because as Ronald Reagan said in one of his great speeches, we didn’t want to have to sit down someday and look at the eyes of our children and our children’s children and describe to them an America where once men were free.

We don’t want to be that generation that lost the torch of freedom. That’s why Karen and the kids behind me, all of whom born in Pennsylvania, all of those folks who understand the — the greatness of our state and the greatness of the values of this state, all of us understand what was sacrificed, in the mills and on the battlefields.

And that’s why we must go out and fight this fight. That’s why we must go out and nominate someone who understands, not because some pollster tells them, because they know in their gut — just like you do — all across this country, you know in your gut big things are adrift and at stake in this election.

So I ask each and every one of you to join us, to saddle up, like Reagan did in the cowboy movies, to saddle up, take on that responsibility over the next five weeks. We’re going to head to Louisiana from here. We’re feeling very, very good about winning Louisiana on Saturday, I might add.

We’re heading to Louisiana for the rest of the week, and then we’re going to be back here in Pennsylvania, and we’re going to pick up a whole boatload of delegates and close this gap and on to victory.

Thank you all very much. God bless you. Thank you.

Campaign Buzz March 20, 2012: Mitt Romney Wins Decisive Victory over Second Placed Rick Santorum in Illinois Republican Presidential Primary

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Damon Winter/The New York Times

IN FOCUS: MITT ROMNEY WINS ILLINOIS PRIMARY BY A LARGE MARGIN OVER SECOND PLACED RICK SANTORUM

Romney Wins Illinois Republican Primary, Exit Polls Say: Mitt Romney won a commanding victory over Rick Santorum in Illinois on Tuesday, providing new ammunition for his argument that the Republican nomination contest should quickly give way to a focus on defeating President Obama.
Mr. Romney bested his chief rival among many types of voters, winning among voters of all ages and most income groups. Mr. Romney drew the support of more moderate voters — as he has in the past — but also won among voters who said they were supportive of the Tea Party movement.
For Mr. Santorum, the loss was a missed opportunity to blunt Mr. Romney’s momentum. Mr. Santorum’s victories have mostly come in the south and Tuesday’s primary was a moment that he could have used to demonstrate strength elsewhere…. – NYT, 3-20-12

Mitt Romney wins Republican primary in Illinois: Mitt Romney has won the Republican presidential primary in Illinois by a wide margin over chief rival Rick Santorum.
The victory renews questions about Santorum’s viability as a candidate, but it is unlikely to shake up the general geometry of the race, as Santorum has vowed to soldier on in hopes of a comeback before the Republican National Convention in August…. – WaPo, 3-20-12

Live blog: Romney wins Illinois primary: At stake are 54 delegates. Romney is nearly halfway to the 1,144 needed for the GOP nod…. – USA Today, 3-20-12

Live Coverage of the Illinois Primary: Follow along for live updates, analysis, results and exit polls from the Illinois primary…. – NYT, 3-20-12

Live blog of Illinois primaryCNN, 3-20-12

  • CBS News: Romney to win Illinois primary: CBS News estimates that Mitt Romney will defeat Rick Santorum and his other rivals to take the Republican presidential primary in Illinois…. – CBS News, 3-20-12
  • Mitt Romney wins Illinois presidential primary: Mitt Romney scored a decisive victory over Rick Santorum in the Illinois primary on Tuesday, tightening his grip on the Republican front-runner’s slot and improving his chances of locking up the nomination by the end of the presidential…. – LAT, 3-20-12
  • Romney sweeps Illinois primary: Mitt Romney swept to another primary victory Tuesday night, capturing a big chunk of Illinois’ early GOP primary vote…. – USA Today, 3-20-12
  • Romney takes the lead in Illinois, looking to gain a little distance on Santorum in GOP race: Backed by a crushing television ad advantage, Mitt Romney jumped ahead of Rick Santorum in early returns from the Illinois primary Tuesday night, bidding for yet another industrial-state triumph in the race for the Republican…. – WaPo, 3-20-12
  • Exit poll shows huge Romney IL edge from GOP voters looking for candidate to beat Obama: Early exit polling in the Illinois primary is showing Mitt Romney enjoying a big edge among voters seeking a candidate to oust President Barack Obama. Romney is also taking a large lead among those worrying about the economy and federal…. – WaPo, 3-20-12
  • Illinois Votes in Rare Turn in Spotlight: The Illinois primary has largely come down to a battle between Mitt Romney, who leads in delegates, and Rick Santorum, and in recent days the two campaigned furiously across the state….. – NYT, 3-20-12
  • Illinois Republican Primary: Mitt Romney and his allies have pounded Rick Santorum on television and radio, especially in the expensive market of Chicago, where the suburban vote could prove decisive for Mr. Romney. Mr. Santorum was still hoping for a strong vote from downstate…. – NYT, 3-20-12
  • Illinois Primary: Live coverage: The Republican presidential primaries continue Tuesday in Illinois, the land of Lincoln and of President Obama — although, it should be noted, neither was born there. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney hopes that Illinois will give him the kind of … – LAT, 3-20-12
  • Live blog: Romney banking on big llinois victory: We’re live blogging the results from the Illinois primary, where it’s essentially a two-man battle between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. Romney, the GOP front-runner, is hoping for a big win in President Obama’s home state … – USA Today, 3-20-12
  • Poll: Economy a top issue as Illinois voters head to polls: The economy appears to be a top issue for Illinois voters, just as it has been in other primary states…. – USA Today, 3-20-12
  • Illinois voters: Keep the primary going!: Even as the Washington Republican political establishment grumbles about the possible ill effects of an extended primary fight for the party’s presidential nomination, voters in today’s Illinois race seem perfectly content for the race to continue for … – WaPo, 3-20-12
  • Exit poll shows few IL voters worried about prolonged fight for GOP Presidential nomination: Even more months of battling for the Republican presidential nomination? Most voters in Tuesday’s Illinois primary have little problem with that, as long as their candidate wins. An exit poll of Illinois voters shows that around two-thirds…. – WaPo, 3-20-12
  • Illinois primary: Romney aims to restore inevitability aura: Mitt Romney is seeking a win in today’s Illinois Republican primary to restore the air of inevitability that once surrounded his presidential candidacy, as his closest rival Rick Santorum fights to stay viable with a strong…. – WaPo, 3-20-12
  • Santorum to speak tonight from Gettysburg: When TV cameras tonight record Rick Santorum’s speech after votes are counted in the Illinois primary, the GOP presidential hopeful won’t be anywhere in the Land of Lincoln. Santorum will be speaking from Gettysburg, Pa…. – USA Today, 3-20-12
  • Illinois primary: For Mitt Romney, delegates less important than ‘winning’: The Illinois primary Tuesday is an opportunity for Mitt Romney to extend his delegate lead on Rick Santorum. But a big win in the popular vote might be more important…. – CS Monitor, 3-20-12
  • Long GOP nomination fight worries few IL voters: A battle for the Republican presidential nomination that slogs on for months more? If that’s what it takes for their candidate to prevail, most voters in Tuesday’s Illinois GOP primary say it’s not a problem.
    Less than a third of them want the already prolonged GOP fight to end quickly, even if their favorite loses out, according to preliminary results of an exit poll Tuesday. About two thirds say they’re happy to let the contest continue for months more, as long as their candidate comes out on top.
    Illinois voters expressed that sentiment with the nomination fight already well into its third month and appearing likely to stretch into April and beyond…. – AP, 3-20-12
  • Five things to know about the Illinois presidential primary: On a balmy first day of spring, Illinois voters may be about to play a decisive role in a Republican presidential marathon that started in the winter chill in neighboring Iowa. 1. Voting early and often. It’s a tired political cliché…. – LAT, 3-20-12
  • CBS News early Illinois exit polls: 4 in 10 Romney, Santorum voters “have reservations”: More than four in ten of the people who voted for Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in Tuesday’s GOP primary in Illinois “have reservations” about their choice, according to early CBS News exit polls.
    Forty-seven percent of Romney voters “strongly” favor their candidate, as do 44 percent of Santorum voters. But 41 percent of Romney voters and 44 percent of Santorum voters say they have concerns about their choice. Another one in ten supporters of each candidate say they dislike the other candidates.
    The exit polls also found that two in three Illinois GOP voters would prefer that their candidate win the nomination even if the race goes on a long time. Twenty-nine percent said they would prefer that the race end soon even if it means their candidate loses…. – CBS News, 3-20-12

Campaign Buzz March 18, 2012: Mitt Romney Decisively Wins Puerto Rico’s Republican Presidential Primary — Takes all 20 Delegates

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

IN FOCUS: MITT ROMNEY DECISIVELY WINS PUERTO RICO PRIMARY — TAKES ALL 20 DELEGATES

“Mitt Romney won the Puerto Rican primary by a huge margin and we are granting him the 20 delegates.” — Enrique Melendez, the Republican representative on the Puerto Rican State Electoral Commission

“This is a primary process where somebody had a huge advantage, huge money advantage, huge advantage of establishment support and he hasn’t been able to close the deal and even come close to closing the deal. That tells you that there’s a real flaw there.” — Rick Santorum

“I can’t tell you exactly how the process is going to work. But I bet I’m going to become the nominee.” — Mitt Romney

Romney wins Puerto Rico, GOP campaign continues: Mitt Romney scored an overwhelming win Sunday in Puerto Rico’s Republican presidential primary, trouncing chief rival Rick Santorum on the Caribbean island even as the two rivals looked ahead to more competitive contests this week in Illinois and Louisiana.
The victory in the U.S. territory was so convincing that Romney, the GOP front-runner, won all 20 delegates to the national convention at stake because he prevailed with more than 50 percent of the vote. That padded his comfortable lead over Santorum in the race to amass the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.
Nevertheless, the GOP nomination fight is unlikely to end anytime soon, with Santorum refusing to step aside even though Romney is pulling further ahead in the delegate hunt…. – AP, 3-18-12

 

  • Mitt Romney wins GOP primary in Puerto Rico: Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has won Puerto Rico’s winner-take-all Republican primary and is projected to take the state’s 20 GOP convention delegates, AP reported…. – WaPo, 3-18-12
  • Romney the Winner in Puerto Rico: Mitt Romney picked up another victory with a decisive win in Puerto Rico, according to projections…. – NYT, 3-18-12
  • Romney Wins Primary in Puerto Rico: Mitt Romney won the Puerto Rican Republican presidential primary contest on Sunday, the Associated Press quoted an election official as saying…. – WSJ, 3-18-12
  • Romney wins Puerto Rico, GOP campaign continues: Mitt Romney scored an overwhelming win Sunday in Puerto Rico’s Republican presidential primary, trouncing chief rival Rick Santorum on the Caribbean island even as the two rivals looked ahead to more competitive contests … – USA Today, 3-18-12
  • Mitt Romney cruises to victory in Puerto Rico: Mitt Romney has easily won the Puerto Rico primary, continuing his dominance in GOP contests in America’s island territories. Romney went into the vote heavily favored, and with the backing of Gov. Luis Fortuno…. – LAT, 3-18-12
  • Puerto Rico votes; Romney, Santorum campaign in next-up primary states: The GOP presidential race veered offshore to Puerto Rico, where 20 delegates were in stake in Sunday’s primary but residents cannot vote in the general election. While fighting for votes in the US territory, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum … WaPo, 3-18-12
  • Romney Projected Winner in Puerto Rico: Mitt Romney was projected Sunday as the winner of the Republican presidential primary in Puerto Rico, a winning streak he is aggressively working to repeat here in the Illinois primary on Tuesday…. – NYT, 3-18-12
  • Romney will win Puerto Rico’s GOP primary, CNN projects: Mitt Romney will win Sunday’s Republican presidential primary in Puerto Rico, CNN projects, based on vote results obtained from local party and election officials. At 7:22 pm ET, with about 18% … – CNN, 3-18-12
  • A look at Puerto Rico as it holds its primary: 75.8 percent white; 99 percent Hispanic or Latino origin; 0.2 percent Asian; 12.4 percent black; 7.8 percent other; 3.3 percent two or more races; 0.5 percent American Indian. 100000 (according to statistics from the 2000 primary…. – AP, 3-18-12
  • Newt Missed Puerto Rico Opportunity, Says His Island Chief: Why is the candidate with the strongest record on Hispanic issues poised to wash out on the island? If he had shown up, the race “would have been a lot closer,” Regis tells BuzzFeed’s McKay Coppins…. – BuzzFeed, 3-18-12
  • Romney would support statehood for Puerto Rico: Mitt Romney on Saturday shopped for tropical fruit and told a small crowd he would support statehood for the island if that option wins the Nov. 6 referendum on Puerto Rico’s political status. Puerto Rico is currently a US territory…. – AP, 3-18-12
  • The day before the island’s primary, Romney says he would support statehood: Mitt Romney is courting voters in Puerto Rico ahead of the island’s primary as he looks toward voting in Illinois next week. Romney on Saturday shopped for tropical fruit and told a small crowd he would support statehood for the … – WaPo, 3-18-12
  • Romney campaigns in Puerto Rican style, says he supports statehood if they want it: In Puerto Rico on Friday the Romney campaign found that politics here comes in a distinctly local flavor. Gone were the rusty factories, introductions to campaign theme song “Born Free,” and even the “thanks you guys” … – msnbc.com, 3-18-12
  • In Puerto Rico, Romney repeats Sotomayor criticism: Campaigning in Puerto Rico ahead of Sunday’s presidential primary, Mitt Romney refused to back off criticism of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and encouraged residents to speak English…. – AP, 3-18-12
  • Romney supports Puerto Rican statehood without English condition: After his main rival ignited a firestorm over requiring Puerto Rico to adopt English as a condition of statehood, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney flew to the island … – CBS News, 3-18-12

Campaign Headlines March 15, 2012: Final Republican Presidential debate in Oregon canceled after Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum drop out

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Final Republican debate canceled after Romney, Santorum drop out

Source: Washington Times, 3-15-12

Organizers on Thursday canceled the final debate of the Republican presidential campaign season, slated for Monday, after two of the GOP’s four candidates declined to participate.

The affair, which was sponsored by The Washington Times, Oregon Public Broadcasting and the Oregon Republican Party, was to have taken place on Monday in Portland — and would have been the 21st debate of the primary.

But Mitt Romney, the field’s front-runner, said earlier this week he wouldn’t participate, and Rick Santorum, his chief opponent, couldn’t commit to the debate eitther…READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency March 15, 2012: Vice President Joe Biden Kick-off’s Obama 2012 Campaign — Speech on the Automotive Industry — Rips GOP Candidates, Mocks Romney

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

In Toledo, Biden Makes a Working-Class Appeal

Source: NYT, 3-15-12

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. reacted to cheers before speaking on Thursday at the United Auto Workers Local 12 hall in Toledo, Ohio.

Madalyn Ruggiero/Associated Press

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. reacted to cheers before speaking on Thursday at the United Auto Workers Local 12 hall in Toledo, Ohio.

The vice president criticized the Republican presidential candidates by name – repeatedly – accusing them of being “about protecting the privileged sector.”…READ MORE

Biden rips GOP field, mocks Romney

Source: Politico, 3-15-12

Joe Biden descended on an Ohio union hall to deliver his first bona fide campaign speech of the 2012 cycle, ripping into the GOP field for opposing the auto bailout — and mocking Mitt Romney’s connections to Bain Capital…READ MORE

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Remarks by the Vice President on the Automotive Industry

Source: WH, 3-15-12
UAW Local 12, Main Hall
Toledo, Ohio

11:18 A.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Hey, folks, how are you?  Hello, Toledo.  Good to see you all.  Please excuse my back.  I apologize.

AUDIENCE MEMBERS:  Four more years!  Four more years!  Four more years!

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you.

Well, I want to tell you — let’s start off by congratulating Marcy Kaptur for two more years.  (Applause.)  And, Shelley, when the Secret Service used to let me drive — they don’t let Presidents or Vice Presidents drive.  When I used to drive, I drove those Jeeps you built.  My daughter still drives a Jeep.  (Applause.)

And, Marcy, I wish my dad had owned a dealership.  He didn’t, he managed it.  If he owned it, I would have been able to own those new cars I took my girlfriends to the prom in.  (Laughter.)  Instead, I had to borrow them but I still got them.  (Laughter.)  It’s good having a dad in the automobile business, man.  (Laughter.)

Hey, I’m back, you’re back, and the industry is back.  (Applause.)  The President and I made a bet, a simple bet.  We bet on you.  We bet on American ingenuity.  We bet on you and we won.  (Applause.)  Chrysler, fastest growing car company in America, General Motors has seen the largest profits in its history — (applause) — 200,000 auto jobs lost since the rescue plan — 400,000 lost before we took office; 200,000 new jobs since the rescue plan was in place.  (Applause.)  That’s 200,000 people who had their dignity returned to them, reinstated, and a paycheck they can raise their family on.  (Applause.)

My dad knew something and taught us that all of you know, that a job is about a lot more than a paycheck.  It’s about your dignity.  It’s about respect.  It’s about your place in the community.  It’s about being able to turn to your kids and say, it’s going to be okay.  That’s what a job is about.

I don’t know if these other guys understand that.  And, folks, that’s how Barack and I measure economic success, whether the middle class is growing or not, that’s the measure of success.  (Applause.)  A growing, vibrant middle class where moms and dads, mothers and fathers, can look at their kids and say, Honey, it’s going to be okay.  Look, that’s what I want to talk to you about today.

This is the first of four speeches I’ll be making on behalf of the President and me in the coming weeks, laying out what we believe are clear, stark differences between us and our opponents and what’s at stake for the middle class, because it is the middle class that’s at stake in this election.

Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich — these guys have a fundamentally different economic philosophy than we do.  Our philosophy, ours is one that values the workers in the success of a business.  It values the middle class and the success of our economy.

Simply stated, we’re about promoting the private sector, they’re about protecting the privileged sector.  (Applause.)  We are for a fair shot and a fair shake.  They’re about no rules, no risks, and no accountability.

Look, there’s no clearer example of these two different views of the economy than how we reacted to the crisis in the automobile industry.  It’s sort of a cautionary tale of how they would run the government again and the economy again if given a chance.

Remember, and you do remember — and Shelley, you captured it all.  Remember what the headlines were saying when you woke up a couple of years ago.  “It’s bankruptcy time for GM.”  Another headline — “Crunch time looms for Chrysler.”  Another headline — “Government must act quickly to prevent the collapse of suppliers.”  You guys know for every one of you on the line, there’s four people in another job supplying those parts.

Folks, a million jobs at stake — a million good jobs were at stake on the assembly line, at the parts factories, at the automobile dealerships, right down to the diners outside each of those facilities.  Our friends on the other side, our Republican friends, had started a mantra.  They started the mantra that said, we would make auto companies “wards of the state” was their phrase.  Governor Romney was more direct — let Detroit go bankrupt.

AUDIENCE MEMBERS:  Booo!

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  He said that.  He said that what we proposed, and I quote, “is even worse than bankruptcy.”  He said it would make GM “the living dead.”  Newt Gingrich said, “a mistake.”

But the guy I work with every day, the President, he didn’t flinch.  This is a man with steel in his spine.  He knew that resurrecting the industry wasn’t going to be popular.  It was absolutely clear in every bit of polling data.  And he knew he was taking a chance, but he believed.  He wasn’t going to give up on a million jobs and on the iconic industry America invented.  At least, he wasn’t going to give it up without a real fight.

AUDIENCE MEMBERS:  That’s right.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  That’s the kind of President, in my view, we all want, a President with the courage of his convictions — (applause) — a President willing to take risks on behalf of American workers and the American people.  And, folks, that’s exactly what we have, a President with the courage of his convictions.  He made the tough call and the verdict is in.  President Obama was right and they were dead wrong.  (Applause.)

And I say — I say to Governor Romney, his prediction — Governor Romney’s prediction of the “living dead,” we have now living proof, a million jobs saved, 200,000 new jobs created, the Toledo powertrain plant adding 250 good paying jobs over the next two years — GM investing $200 million to build an efficient eight-speed transmission that the world will see; the Toledo Chrysler Assembly Complex preparing to bring on a new shift, 1,100 new jobs building the best cars in the world, Jeeps — (applause) — building Jeeps not only to sell in the United States, but to export abroad.  All told, right here in Ohio just since reorganization, 15,000 good paying, union, autoworker jobs, jobs you can raise a family on and live in a decent neighborhood on.  (Applause.)

American-made cars that are once again cars we want to drive and the world wants to buy.  And one more thing, the President’s historic fuel economy efficiency standards that nearly doubled the efficiency of cars, saving the American families $1.7 trillion at the pump, helping free us from foreign oil dependence.  (Applause.)  And they were against that too.

But you know, even though the verdict is in, Marcy, our Republican opponents, they just won’t give up.  They can’t deny the automobile industry is back.  They can’t deny we’re creating good jobs, good paying jobs again.  So now, they’re trotting out a new argument — it’s kind of old and new.  They say, not only should we not have done it, but had we not done it the private sector would have done it.

They say the private markets would have stepped in to save the industry.  Governor Romney says the market, Wall Street, “will help lift them out.”  Wrong.  Any honest expert will tell you in 2009, no one was lining up to lend General Motors or Chrysler any money or for that matter to lend money to anybody.  That includes Bain Capital.  They weren’t lining up to lend anybody any money either.  (Laughter and applause.)

So now, when that argument doesn’t have legs, they’ve now gone to another one, the new argument.  They argue that our plan to save the industry was just a giveaway to union bosses and the unions.  Senator Santorum said it was, “a payoff to special interests.”  You know it’s kind of amazing Gingrich and Romney and Santorum, they don’t let the facts get in their way.  (Laughter.)

Nobody knows better than you and your families the real price you paid to allow this reorganization to take place — plant closures, wage freezes, lower wages.  They know, everybody knows, these companies would not be in existence today without the sacrifices of all of you in the UAW that you made.  (Applause.)

Then they trot out another argument.  They argue that if GM and Chrysler had gone under that’s okay, because Ford and other auto companies would have stepped in and filled the void — absolutely zero evidence for that.  In fact, Alan Mulally said  — of Ford Motor Company, the CEO — said that if GM and Chrysler went down, and I quote here, “they would have taken the industry down, plus maybe turn the U.S. recession into a depression.”  Ford would have taken up the slack.  Ford says, hey, no, had you not done what you did the whole thing would have collapsed.

Look, I want to tell you what’s real bankruptcy, the economic theories of Gingrich, Santorum, and Romney — they are bankrupt.  (Applause.)  If you give any one of these guys the keys to the White House, they will bankrupt the middle class again.  (Applause.)

Look, the President and I have a fundamental commitment to dealing the middle class back into the American economy that they’ve been dealt out of for so long.  And, ultimately, that’s what this election is all about.  It’s a choice, a clear choice, a choice between a system that’s rigged and a system that’s fair — a system that says everyone will be held accountable for their actions, not just the middle class, a system that trusts the workers on the line instead of listening to the folks up in the suites.  Folks, that’s the choice.  It’s a stark choice and in my mind it’s not even a close call.

Look, a lot of you and your friends and family understand what I understand.  As a kid, I saw my dad trapped in the city where all the good jobs were gone after World War II in the early ‘50s and middle ‘50s.  I remember him walking up to my bedroom in my grandpop’s house and saying, Joey, dad is going to have to move away for a year.  I’m going to move to Wilmington, Delaware.  Uncle Frank is down there.  It’s only 156 miles away.  And I’ll try to come home every weekend.  Joey, there are good jobs down there.  And when I get one and I’m settled, I’m going to bring you, mom, Val, and Jimmy.  It’s going to be good.

A lot of you — a lot of you and a lot of your friends made that long walk to your kid’s bedroom.  But because of the actions of the President, things are changing.  Today, hundreds of thousands of workers are replacing the longest walks with a different journey.  It’s a journey that ends with workers who are able to go home and say, I’ve got a job.  I’m building cars again.  These are amazing cars that people in America and all over the world are going to want to buy.

It’s not just the automobile industry is coming back, folks.  Manufacturing is coming back.  The middle class is coming back.  America is coming back — (applause) — worker by worker, home by home, community by community, this country is coming back because of you.  (Applause.)

God bless you all and may God protect our troops.  Go build those cars.  (Applause.)

END
11:33 A.M. EDT

Campaign Buzz March 13, 2012: Rick Santorum’s Double-Header Win in Alabama & Mississippi Primaries — Sweeps South, Newt Gingrich Places Second, Mitt Romney Third — Blow to Romney Campaign — Romney Wins American Samoa Caucuses

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Mike Stone/Reuters
Rick Santorum prepared to address supporters at his Alabama and Mississippi primary election night rally in Lafayette, La., on Tuesday night. More Photos »

IN FOCUS: RICK SANTORUM WINS ALABAMA & MISSISSIPPI PRIMARIES, NEWT GINGRICH PLACES SECOND, MITT ROMNEY THIRD — ROMNEY WINS AMERICAN SAMOA CAUCUSES

Rick Santorum wins GOP primary in Mississippi: Rick Santorum has won the Republican primary in Mississippi, his second victory of the night after winning in Alabama.
Results in Hawaii and the American Samoa, which also voted today, are expected early Wednesday morning…. – WaPo, 3-13-12

Rick Santorum wins Republican primary in Alabama: Rick Santorum has won the Republican primary in Alabama, beating Mitt Romney and dealing a blow to Newt Gingrich’s hopes of keeping his candidacy alive with victories in the South. WaPo, 3-13-12

AP: Mitt Romney wins GOP caucus in American Samoa: Former Mass. governor Mitt Romney has won the Republican presidential caucus in American Samoa, picking up all nine delegates, the Associated Press reported…. – WaPo, 3-13-12

Santorum Wins Mississippi and Alabama Primaries: Rick Santorum captured both Republican primaries in Mississippi and Alabama on Tuesday, dealing a forceful rebuke to Mitt Romney’s hopes of demonstrating political strength in the South as he grinds toward his party’s nomination.
The failure by Mr. Romney to emerge as a victor in the three-way battle with Mr. Santorum and Newt Gingrich was underscored by his weakness with the Republican party’s traditional constituencies. Mr. Romney lost among very conservative voters and evangelical Christians, according to exit polls.
Mr. Gingrich appeared poised to come in second in both states Tuesday night, ahead of Mr. Romney but having failed to deliver any first-place victories in southern states outside of his home state of Georgia.
The immediate question for Mr. Gingrich will be whether pressure mounts for him to exit the race to allow conservatives to coalesce behind someone other than Mr. Romney…. – NYT, 3-13-12

“We did it again. This is a grassroots campaign for president. Who would have ever thought in the age of media that we have in this country today that ordinary folks from across this country can defy the odds day in, day out?
For someone who thinks this race is inevitable, he’s spending a whole lot of money against me.
The time is now for conservatives to pull together. The time is now to make sure — to make sure that we have the best chance to win this election, and the best chance to win this election is to nominate a conservative to go up against Barack Obama who can take him on, on every issue.” — Rick Santorum

“Because this is proportional representation, we are going to leave Mississippi and Alabama with a substantial number of delegates.
One of the things tonight proved is that the elite media’s effort to convince the nation that Mitt Romney is inevitable just collapsed. If you’re the frontrunner and you keep coming in third, you’re not much of a frontrunner.” — Newt Gingrich

“With the delegates won tonight, we are even closer to the nomination. Ann and I would like to thank the people of Alabama and Mississippi. Because of their support, our campaign is on the move and ready to take on President Obama in the fall.” — Mitt Romney Statement

Live Coverage of the Alabama, Mississippi and Hawaii Primaries: Follow along for live updates, analysis, results and more from The New York Times political unit…. – NYT, 3-13-12

Live blog: Three-way GOP tossup in Deep South: We’re live blogging the results from tonight’s GOP presidential primaries in Alabama and Mississippi.
The few statewide polls available show a tight race in both states among Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. Ron Paul lags well behind and hasn’t really been competing in the two states…. – USA Today, 3-13-12

  • Santorum sweeps Mississippi, Alabama primaries: Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has won Tuesday night’s primary contests in Alabama and Mississippi.
    With almost all of the precincts reporting in Alabama, Santorum earned 35 percent support, with Newt Gingrich barely edging Mitt Romney out for second as each won about 29 percent of the vote.
    Meanwhile, in Mississippi, with nearly all of the votes in, Santorum led his rivals with 33 percent support, while Gingrich followed him with 31 percent. Romney came in third with 30 percent.
    The Associated Press reported that Romney picked up all nine delegates in the Republican caucus in American Samoa. There are also caucuses going on in Hawaii, although results have not yet been announced…. – CBS News, 3-13-12
  • Santorum wins big in South, grabs conservative banner: Republican Rick Santorum won a pair of crucial Deep South primaries on Tuesday, taking control of the party’s conservative wing in the presidential race and dealing a severe setback to rival Newt Gingrich.
    Santorum narrowly defeated Gingrich and front-runner Mitt Romney in three-way battles that shook up a volatile Republican presidential race that has already seen a series of shifts and stumbles.
    The losses were a huge blow to Gingrich, who represented Georgia in Congress and desperately needed a win in one of the Deep South states to validate his southern-based comeback strategy and keep his struggling campaign afloat…. – Reuters, 3-14-12
  • Santorum wins GOP primaries in Mississippi, Alabama: Rick Santorum won Republican presidential primaries in Alabama and Mississippi tonight, propelling his candidacy and wrecking Mitt Romney’s hopes for a game-changing Southern breakthrough.
    While the returns were incomplete, Newt Gingrich was running second ahead of Romney in both states.
    Santorum, speaking in Louisiana, took a rhetorical swipe at Romney, the front-runner who has depicted himself as the inevitable GOP nominee. The former Pennsylvania senator predicted he would win the nomination.
    “He spent a whole lot of money against me, for being inevitable,” Santorum said of Romney. He added that “all the establishment” of the Republican Party was “on the other side of this race.”
    “We are going to win this nomination,” Santorum said. “If we nominate a conservative, we will defeat Barack Obama and set this country back on the right track.”
    With most precincts counted in Alabama, Santorum had nearly 35% of the vote.
    In Mississippi, Santorum had a small lead and 33% of the vote with nearly all precincts counted…. – USA Today, 3-13-12
  • Wins in South For Santorum: Rick Santorum won the Republican presidential primaries in Alabama and Mississippi Tuesday, solidifying his claim to be the favored candidate of the party’s conservative base and the main challenger to front-runner Mitt Romney.
    Mr. Santorum’s victories will bring new clarity to a race so far marked primarily by the inability of Mr. Romney to overcome resistance from the party’s most conservative voters. A nominating contest that has lasted longer than most expected may enter a new chapter in which Messrs. Romney and Santorum go head-to-head.
    Mr. Romney was hoping that he could prove his ability to consolidate the party behind him by scoring an upset win in the Deep South. His campaign argued Tuesday night that the losses wouldn’t diminish Mr. Romney’s lead in the delegate count or ease Mr. Santorum’s path to winning the 1,144 delegates needed to claim the nomination…. – WSJ, 3-13-12
  • Rick Santorum sweeps to victories in Alabama and Mississippi Republican Primaries: A resurgent Rick Santorum swept primaries in Alabama and Mississippi Tuesday night, upending the race for the Republican presidential nomination yet again and nudging Newt Gingrich toward the sidelines. Mitt Romney was running third in … – WaPo, 3-13-12
  • Santorum wins Alabama, Mississippi: Rick Santorum delivered another sharp shock to Mitt Romney’s campaign Tuesday night…. – Politico, 3-13-12
  • Santorum: Voters want ‘one-on-one’: Rick Santorum told Fox News on Tuesday night that conservative voters want him in a “one-on-one” contest with Mitt Romney, but noted that he “can’t control” whether Newt Gingrich drops out of the race…. – Politico, 3-13-12
  • Santorum: Time to ‘pull together’: Rick Santorum solidified his status as the conservative candidate in the GOP nomination fight after capturing double wins Tuesday in Alabama and Mississippi. The pair of scores robbed rival Mitt Romney of the opportunity to claim credibility in the South, thereby putting a quick end to the protracted GOP nominating fight…. – Politico, 3-13-12
  • After wins, Santorum says it’s time ‘for conservatives to pull together’: Rick Santorum scored two major victories in his insurgent campaign for the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday, winning the Alabama and Mississippi primaries and dealing a potentially…. – LAT, 3-13-12
  • GOP rivals look to Louisiana as next red state to woo: With victories in Alabama and Mississippi on Tuesday, Rick Santorum was already looking ahead to Louisiana’s presidential primary in 10 days, gathering here with supporters to press for another win in the Deep South…. – USA Today, 3-13-12
  • Gingrich vows fight, says Romney ‘not much of a front-runner’: Newt Gingrich fell short in his bid Tuesday to reignite his presidential campaign with wins in two Southern primaries but did not budge from his pledge to go all the way to the Republican convention, arguing that the … – LAT, 3-13-12
  • Newt Gingrich second in Alabama, Mississippi primaries: Newt Gingrich has said he plans to continue on in the Republican presidential race no matter the outcome of the primaries in Alabama and Mississippi. But Tuesday’s losses in both of these Deep South states — territory that should have set up favorably…. – WaPo, 3-14-12
  • Gingrich: I’m not leaving: Newt Gingrich said Tuesday night he feels “no pressure” to drop out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination. After delivering his primary-night speech in Birmingham, Ala., Gingrich told Fox News’s Bret Baier that he will stay in the race after losing both Mississippi and Alabama on Tuesday…. – Politico, 3-13-12
  • Mitt points to the scoreboard: Reacting to this evening’s primaries in a statement, rather than live remarks, Mitt Romney emphasizes that the delegate-level fundamentals of the race haven’t changed…. – Politico, 3-13-12
  • Mitt fails to clinch Southern wins: Mitt Romney placed third in Alabama and Mississippi Tuesday, but his campaign argues that’s irrelevant. With Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich bunched within five percentage points of each other, the trio is poised to effectively split the 90 delegates at stake in the two Southern states…. – Politico, 3-13-12
  • Exit polls show Santorum wins in AL with voters considering candidate’s….: Santorum had a huge lead among voters in both states seeking a candidate who is a real conservative, winning just over half of their votes. He also captured more than 6 in 10 of those in each state preferring a candidate with strong moral … – WaPo, 3-13-12
  • Early exit polls show deeply conservative Ala., Miss. voters strongly back: Voters going to the polls for the tightly fought GOP primaries in Mississippi and Alabama expressed strong support for their chosen candidates, compared with voters in earlier primaries, according to Tuesday’s exit polls. And those polls suggested the … – WaPo, 3-13-12
  • Voting in Alabama, Mississippi could clarify race: Mitt Romney hoped to seal his status as the Republican presidential front-runner with a thus-far-elusive victory in the Deep South, a region that has been slow to embrace the former Massachusetts governor…. – AP, USA Today, 3-13-12
  • In Alabama and Mississippi primaries, expect the unexpected: Just one week after an indecisive Super Tuesday, voters in two Deep South states could rewrite the story line of the 2012 presidential race. The outcomes in Alabama and Mississippi are expected to be close, with any of three Republican…. – LAT, 3-13-12

Campaign Headlines March 13, 2012: Live Coverage of the Alabama, Mississippi and Hawaii GOP / Republican Presidential Primaries Results — Romney tries to take control

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Live Coverage of the Alabama, Mississippi and Hawaii Primaries

Source: NYT, 3-13-12

Follow along for live updates, analysis, results and more from The New York Times political unit….READ MORE

Live blog: Three-way GOP tossup in Deep South

Source: USA Today, 3-13-12

We’re live blogging the results from tonight’s GOP presidential primaries in Alabama and Mississippi.

The few statewide polls available show a tight race in both states among Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. Ron Paul lags well behind and hasn’t really been competing in the two states.

Key questions: Does Romney win in either state and solidify his grasp on the GOP nomination? Can Gingrich, the former House speaker and Georgia congressman, do well in his backyard and pick up some momentum? Will Santorum eke out a win to stake his claim on conservatives?

Romney, the overall delegate leader, has couched the two Southern states as an “away game” for him. Because delegates are awarded by proportion of the vote, each candidate stands to win some tonight — thus ensuring the GOP race will continue.

Caucuses are also being held in Hawaii and American Samoa. Overall, the states and American Samoa have a total of 119 delegates, and most come from Alabama and Mississippi….READ MORE

Alabama, Mississippi primary night: Romney tries to take control

Source: Politico, 3-13-12
Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign event in St. Louis, Mo. on Tuesday. | AP Photo

Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign event in St. Louis, Mo. | AP Photo
Mitt Romney hopes to finally take control of the Republican presidential race by winning one or both of the primaries in Alabama and Mississippi on Tuesday night.

But his conservative foes are vowing to fight on regardless of tonight’s outcome, seeking to deny Romney the delegates he needs to clinch the GOP nomination.

A Romney victory in either of the Deep South states would put Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich on shakier ground as they argue that their party’s conservative base will not accept Romney as its candidate. Throughout the 2012 race, Romney has struggled to win evangelicals and the GOP’s most conservative voters and has been unable to win a Southern state so far — except for Virginia, where Santorum and Gingrich were not on the ballot.

But the most recent polling before tonight’s races, conducted by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, showed a close single-digit race in both Alabama and Mississippi, with all the candidates within reach of first place….READ MORE

Campaign Headlines March 13, 2012: Close 3 way race in Alabama & Mississippi Primaries between, Romney, Santorum & Gingrich — Wins for Romney would clarify race for Republican nomination

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Votes Are More Against Than For in 2 Southern States

Source: NYT, 3-13-12

Rick Santorum greeted the staff behind the counter of the Sweet Peppers Deli in Tupelo, Miss.
Damon Winter/The New York Times

Rick Santorum greeted the staff behind the counter of the Sweet Peppers Deli in Tupelo, Miss.

A win in Alabama or Mississippi for Mitt Romney on Tuesday could all but wrap up the nomination and give him a victory in one of the most conservative parts of the country….READ MORE

Voting in Alabama, Mississippi could clarify race

Source: AP, 3-13-12

Mitt Romney hoped to seal his status as the Republican presidential front-runner with a thus-far-elusive victory in the Deep South, a region that has been slow to embrace the former Massachusetts governor.

A pair of closely fought primaries Tuesday in Alabama and Mississippi also could render a possible final verdict on Newt Gingrich’s Southern-focused candidacy and give Rick Santorum the two-man race he’s sought against Romney.

Santorum picked up a vote from Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, who had not publicly endorsed the former Pennsylvania senator. Bentley’s spokesman said the governor traveled to his hometown of Tuscaloosa to vote for Santorum, whom he considers “the most conservative candidate in the Republican presidential race.”

With polls showing an unexpectedly tight race in the conservative bellwether states, Romney stopped in Alabama on Monday — a clear indication he was eyeing a potential win there….READ MORE

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