Full Text Obama Presidency June 18, 2015: President Barack Obama’s Statement on the Charleston Church Shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina Transcript

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 114TH CONGRESS:

Statement by the President on the Shooting in Charleston, South Carolina

Source: WH, 6-18-15

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

12:20 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody.  This morning, I spoke with, and Vice President Biden spoke with, Mayor Joe Riley and other leaders of Charleston to express our deep sorrow over the senseless murders that took place last night.

Michelle and I know several members of Emanuel AME Church.  We knew their pastor, Reverend Clementa Pinckney, who, along with eight others, gathered in prayer and fellowship and was murdered last night.  And to say our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families, and their community doesn’t say enough to convey the heartache and the sadness and the anger that we feel.

Any death of this sort is a tragedy.  Any shooting involving multiple victims is a tragedy.  There is something particularly heartbreaking about the death happening in a place in which we seek solace and we seek peace, in a place of worship.

Mother Emanuel is, in fact, more than a church.  This is a place of worship that was founded by African Americans seeking liberty.  This is a church that was burned to the ground because its worshipers worked to end slavery.  When there were laws banning all-black church gatherings, they conducted services in secret.  When there was a nonviolent movement to bring our country closer in line with our highest ideals, some of our brightest leaders spoke and led marches from this church’s steps.  This is a sacred place in the history of Charleston and in the history of America.

The FBI is now on the scene with local police, and more of the Bureau’s best are on the way to join them.  The Attorney General has announced plans for the FBI to open a hate crime investigation.  We understand that the suspect is in custody.  And I’ll let the best of law enforcement do its work to make sure that justice is served.

Until the investigation is complete, I’m necessarily constrained in terms of talking about the details of the case.  But I don’t need to be constrained about the emotions that tragedies like this raise.  I’ve had to make statements like this too many times.  Communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times.  We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that, once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun.  Now is the time for mourning and for healing.

But let’s be clear:  At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.  It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency.  And it is in our power to do something about it.  I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now.  But it would be wrong for us not to acknowledge it.  And at some point it’s going to be important for the American people to come to grips with it, and for us to be able to shift how we think about the issue of gun violence collectively.

The fact that this took place in a black church obviously also raises questions about a dark part of our history.  This is not the first time that black churches have been attacked.  And we know that hatred across races and faiths pose a particular threat to our democracy and our ideals.

The good news is I am confident that the outpouring of unity and strength and fellowship and love across Charleston today, from all races, from all faiths, from all places of worship indicates the degree to which those old vestiges of hatred can be overcome.  That, certainly, was Dr. King’s hope just over 50 years ago, after four little girls were killed in a bombing in a black church in Birmingham, Alabama.

He said they lived meaningful lives, and they died nobly.  “They say to each of us,” Dr. King said, “black and white alike, that we must substitute courage for caution.  They say to us that we must be concerned not merely with [about] who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers.  Their death says to us that we must work passionately and unrelentingly for the realization of the American Dream.

“And if one will hold on, he will discover that God walks with him, and that God is able to lift you from the fatigue of despair to the buoyancy of hope, and transform dark and desolate valleys into sunlit paths of inner peace.”

Reverend Pinckney and his congregation understood that spirit.  Their Christian faith compelled them to reach out not just to members of their congregation, or to members of their own communities, but to all in need.  They opened their doors to strangers who might enter a church in search of healing or redemption.

Mother Emanuel church and its congregation have risen before –- from flames, from an earthquake, from other dark times -– to give hope to generations of Charlestonians.  And with our prayers and our love, and the buoyancy of hope, it will rise again now as a place of peace.

Thank you.

END
12:28 P.M. EDT

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Political Headlines May 15, 2013: Mark Sanford Sworn In to House for South Carolina Seat

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Mark Sanford Sworn In to House

Source: ABC News Radio, 5-15-13

Mark Sanford, the former Republican governor of South Carolina who resigned from office more than three years ago only to mount a political comeback with a special election victory earlier this month, was sworn into the House of Representatives Wednesday evening, saying he was “simply humbled to be here.”

Sanford made headlines in 2009 after he skipped the country for Argentina to see his former mistress, now his fiancée, Maria Belen Chapur….READ MORE

Political Headlines May 7, 2013: Mark Sanford Wins South Carolina Congressional Seat

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Mark Sanford Wins South Carolina Congressional Seat

Source: ABC News Radio, 5-7-13

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Mark Sanford has pulled off a political comeback some thought impossible….

Now Sanford is back, having retaken the South Carolina House seat he held in the 1990s. With 187 of 317 precincts reporting, Sanford led 54 percent to Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch’s 45 percent….READ MORE

Political Headlines May 7, 2013: Mark Sanford makes political comeback wins South Carolina House seat in special election

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Mark Sanford wins South Carolina special election

Source: WaPo, 5-7-13

Sanford voting in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

Sanford voting in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

Mark Sanford won the South Carolina special election comfortably Tuesday, emerging victorious in a competitive race for what in normal circumstances is a safe Republican seat.

The former governor beat Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert Busch, for the state’s 1st congressional district.

In the end, Sanford won by nine points, 54 percent to 45 percent, according to the Associated Press’s tally….READ MORE

Political Headlines May 4, 2013: VP Joe Biden, Sen. Ted Cruz Speak in South Carolina Amid 2016 Presidential Campaign Buzz

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Biden, Sen. Ted Cruz Speak in South Carolina Amid 2016 Buzz

Source: ABC News Radio, 5-4-13

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

South Carolina got a taste of two very different political acts Friday night….

“One of the things that bothers me most about the new Republican party is how down on America they are, how down on our prospects they are, how they talk about how we’re getting clobbered, how they talk about things that have no relationship to reality, all in the name of making sure that the very few at the top do very well,” Biden said at the South Carolina Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner Friday night….READ MORE

Political Headlines December 17, 2012: South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley Names Rep. Tim Scott to Replace Jim DeMint in Senate

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

SC Governor Names Tim Scott to Replace Jim DeMint in Senate

Source: ABC News Radio, 12-17-12

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Rep. Tim Scott will be the first African American senator from the South since Reconstruction, following South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s announcement on Monday.

Haley named Scott, a Tea Party Republican congressman from the state, to replace Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., in a press conference just after noon on Monday.  Scott will also be the only black in the Senate….READ MORE

Campaign Headlines August 16, 2012: Mitt Romney Discusses Medicare Reform Plan at Press Conference in South Carolina

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Romney Sends Mixed Signals on Medicare Reform Plan

Source: ABC News Radio, 8-16-12

J.D. Pooley/Getty Images

Mitt Romney took another crack at resetting the Medicare debate on Thursday, calling an impromptu press conference on the tarmac of a South Carolina airport.

With a black marker in his hand and a whiteboard to his side, the Republican presidential candidate tried to spell out, literally, the differences between his and President Obama’s policies.

“You’re going to have to take me over here,” Romney said, asking the cameras to track along with him as he gestured toward his handy visual aid.  “As you can see, there’s no change in Medicare for seniors.  None, under my plan.”

“My plan stays the same.  No adjustments, no changes, no savings,” Romney said.

“Next generation retirees,” he added, will get “the option of having standard Medicare, a fee for service-type government run Medicare, or private run Medicare.”…READ MORE

Romney: President Obama’s $716 Billion Medicare Cut Is A Mistake

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 8-16-12

“Under the current projections, Medicare will be insolvent in 12 years, and that’s not acceptable to me. That’s why we have worked very hard to come up with a solution. But, the idea that the President has put forward, cutting $716 billion out of Medicare? I think that’s a real mistake.” – Mitt Romney

Fox 35 Orlando
August 15, 2012

Click Here To Watch Mitt Romney

MITT ROMNEY: “But I would note that the President has a plan for people who are 55 years and older. If Obamacare is allowed to be installed, Medicare will be raided by $716 billion. The President takes $716 out of the Medicare trust fund to pay for Obamacare. I think this is something which seniors are going to be very concerned about. Paul Ryan and I are talking about what adjustments we should make to Medicare for young people so that when they come along and become seniors, that they have a program that’s solvent. Under the current projections, Medicare will be insolvent in 12 years, and that’s not acceptable to me. That’s why we have worked very hard to come up with a solution. But, the idea that the President has put forward, cutting $716 billion out of Medicare? I think that’s a real mistake.”

Romney: President Obama Cut Medicare To Pay For Obamacare

 Source: Mitt Romney Press, 8-15-12 
WTSP-Tampa, FL
August 15, 2012

Click Here To Watch Mitt Romney

MITT ROMNEY: “What the people are focused on is the issue of Medicare and the fact that under the President’s plan, he cuts Medicare by $716 billion, takes that money out of the Medicare trust fund, and uses it to pay for Obamacare. And I think this is something which people are just now focused on and they find it very, very difficult to understand why he would cut Medicare funding for our current seniors.”

Campaign Headlines August 16, 2012: Mitt Romney Says He Never Paid Less Than 13% In Income Taxes

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Romney Says He Paid at Least 13% in Income Taxes

Source: NYT, 8-16-12

Mitt Romney in South Carolina on Thursday, outlining a point on Medicare before answering a question about income taxes.
Evan Vucci/Associated Press

Mitt Romney in South Carolina on Thursday, outlining a point on Medicare before answering a question about income taxes.

Calling interest in his taxes “small-minded,” Mitt Romney said he had looked at 10 years of returns, a response to Democrats who suggested he might have paid nothing in some years….READ MORE

Romney Says He Never Paid Less Than 13% In Taxes

Source: ABC News Radio, 8-16-12

Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Mitt Romney said today he has not paid less than 13 percent in taxes during the past ten years. The candidate had told ABC News’ David Muir last month that he’d be “happy to go back and look” at his returns.

The tax issue has been a touchy one for Romney and he made clear that he feels there are more important issues on which to concentrate.

“I just have to say given the challenges that America faces 23 million people out of work, Iran about to become nuclear, one out of six Americans in poverty, the fascination with  taxes I paid I find to be very small minded compared to the broad issues we face,” he said. “But I did go back and look at my taxes and over the past 10 years I never paid less than 13 percent. I think the most recent year is 13.6 or something like that,” Romney said today during a press conference on a tarmac in South Carolina, where the candidate came to attend a fundraiser….READ MORE

Campaign Buzz January 19, 2012: CNN South Carolina Southern Republican Debate — Gingrich Gives & Takes Punches & Attacks

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

https://i2.wp.com/graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2012/01/19/us/20120119_DEBATE_337-slide-D6SP/20120119_DEBATE_337-slide-D6SP-hpMedium-v2.jpg

IN FOCUS: CNN SOUTHERN REPUBLICAN DEBATE

Live Blog: CNN Southern Republican Debate: The CNN Political Ticker is live blogging the CNN Southern Republican Debate in Charleston, South Carolina…. – CNN, 1-19-12

“I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that…. The story is false.” — Newt Gingrich

“I’m not questioned on character and integrity very often. I don’t feel like standing here for that.” — Mitt Romney

“I did my very best to be a pro-life governor. I will be a pro-life president.” — Mitt Romney

“Because I want to make sure that I beat President Obama.” — Mitt Romney

“Maybe. I don’t know how many years I’ll release. I’ll take a look at what our documents are.” — Mitt Romney

“Grandiosity has never been a problem with Newt Gingrich… I’m not the most flamboyant and I don’t get the biggest applause lines here, but I’m steady. I’m solid. I’m not going to go out and do things that you’re going to worry about.” — Rick Santorum

“I know we’re going to get hit hard from President Obama. But we’re going to stuff it down his throat and point out it is capitalism and freedom that makes America strong.” — Mitt Romney

“I’m very proud, that my wife of 54 years is with me tonight.” — Ron Paul

Long before Rick came to Congress, I was busy being a rebel…. I spent 16 years on a grandiose project called creating a Republican majority in the House. You’re right, I think grandiose thoughts. This is a grandiose country of big people doing big things.” — Newy Gingrich

South Carolina Republican debate: live: Live coverage of the build up to the South Carolina Republican debate, as Mitt Romney tries to suppress a surging Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum is declared the winner of the Iowa caucuses…. – Telegraph.co.uk, 1-20-12

    • Truth Squad: 4 checks on Thursday’s GOP debate: CNN examines statements by Republican presidential candidates during Monday night’s CNN Southern Republican Debate in Charleston, South Carolina…. – CNN, 1-20-12
    • FACT CHECK: History flubs in Republican debate: Mitt Romney perpetuated one unsubstantiated claim, about his record at Bain Capital, and more or less corrected himself on another, about President Barack Obama’s health care law, in the latest Republican presidential debate… – Fox News, 1-20-12
    • Fact checking the CNN debate in Charleston: Two debates in a week…and another two next week. This could get tiring. Here’s quick round-up of some of the more dubious or interesting claims at the CNN Debate in Charleston, examined in the order in which they … – WaPo, 1-19-12

Fact check: History flubs in Republican debate: Mitt Romney perpetuated one unsubstantiated claim, about his record at Bain Capital, and more or less corrected himself on another, about President Barack Obama’s health care law, in the latest Republican presidential debate.
His rivals flubbed history, Newt Gingrich blaming a Democratic president for a jobless rate he never had, and Ron Paul painting an idyllic picture of life before Medicare that did not reflect deprivations of that time.
A look at some of the claims in the debate Thursday night and how they compare with the facts…. – AP, 1-20-12

  • South Carolina debate in under 60 seconds (0:59): The number of presidential candidates was down to four at the CNN Republican debate in South Carolina…. – WaPo, 1-19-12
  • Republican debate brings out aggression in candidates: Republican debate getting spicy: South Carolina held the latest Republican debate and the candidates didn’t hold their punches…. – CS Monitor, 1-19-12
  • Gingrich Jousts With Rivals on Matters Professional and Personal: Newt Gingrich angrily turned aside questions about his marital history at the outset of the final Republican presidential debate before the South Carolina primary, and then aggressively took on Mitt Romney and the other remaining … – NYT, 1-19-12
  • At South Carolina GOP debate, four survivors spar; Gingrich adds host to the fray: In an electric debate here Thursday night, the four remaining Republican presidential candidates clashed sharply over who has the temperament, character and know-how to lead the party into a general election as they clamored… – WaPo, 1-19-12
  • Debate tops bizarre GOP day: Romney loses Iowa, Perry bows out, Gingrich’s ex: The race for the Republican presidential nomination took a turn toward the South Carolina surreal Thursday as Rick Perry dropped out, Newt Gingrich faced stunning allegations from an ex-wife and Mitt Romney struggled to maintain … – WaPo, 1-19-12
  • Republicans battle it out in South Carolina debate: The contest to decide which Republican will challenge President Obama for the White House is down to four contenders – Texas governor Rick Perry has now withdrawn. Newt Gingrich, considered to be the main challenger to the front runner, Mitt Romney…. – BBC News, 1-20-12
  • Newt Gingrich’s already-famous media rant, dissected: By Erik Wemple As long as this land sticks to quadrennial presidential elections, there’ll be quadrennial tributes to what Newt Gingrich accomplished tonight on CNN, at the last debate before Saturday’s South Carolina primary…. – WaPo, 1-19-12
  • Mitt Romney’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad debate: This debate was fun to watch for exactly the same reason the Ancient Romans enjoyed watching Christians being fed to lions. Tonight, Santorum and Gingrich traded off lion duty, while Romney played the unfortunate believer.
    Thursday night, Newt Gingrich proved that there’s a reason his entire campaign can be summed up in the phrase, “I can beat Barack Obama in a debate.”… – WaPo, 1-19-12
  • Gingrich rips into media, then his rivals, in GOP debate: He blasts the moderator for asking a question about an ex-wife and then trades sharp jabs with Rick Santorum and front-runner Mitt Romney. Contenders for the Republican presidential nomination arrive onstage for their latest debate in South Carolina. … – LAT, 1-20-12
  • GOP presidential campaign weathers trio of potential shake-ups: Rick Perry drops out, Mitt Romney loses his claim to Iowa and Newt Gingrich faces new accusations of immorality from one of his ex-wives…. – LAT, 1-20-12
  • Romney’s ‘Prevent Defense’ Yielding Big Gains to Opponents: Most football fans have learned to hate the ‘prevent defense’, a strategy that is employed when a team holds a lead late in the game. In theory, the strategy involves being willing to yield short completions to the offense in an effort … – NYT, 1-20-12
  • GOP debate: Candidates recount campaign regrets: The four remaining GOP presidential candidates were asked at Thursday’s debate how they would have run their campaigns differently in hindsight. “I would skip the opening three months where I hired regular … – The Hill, 1-19-12
  • Republican Debate: Gingrich’s Grandiosity Withstands Santorum’s Attacks: But he’s no match for the Ego that ate the debate. By Michelle Cottle “Elect us, and your kids will be able to move out because they’ll have work!… – Daily Beast, 1-20-12
  • Republican Debate Audience Boos Mitt Romney Over Releasing Tax Returns: At Thursday night’s South Carolina Republican debate, Romney was put on the spot to release his tax returns before April, and when he balked, the crowd reacted disapprovingly…. – Mediate, 1-19-12
  • SOPA at Republican debate opposed by all four GOP candidates: All four Republican presidential candidates said at the debate Thursday night that they oppose the Stop Online Piracy Act in its current form…. – Politico, 1-19-12
  • Gingrich Knocks Media for ‘Open Marriage’ Questions at Republican Debate: “I am frankly astounded that CNN would take trash like that and use it to open a presidential debate,” he said. “The story is false.”… – Bloomberg, 1-19-12
  • Republicans remember Reagan. Bush? Oh, right: But there’s one thing you’d be hard pressed to find mentioned at a Republican debate. George W. Bush. (Who?) You’d think the last Republican president – you know, that two-termer who’s been out of the White House a scant three years – might come up … – WaPo, 1-19-12
  • CNN Defends Debate Schedule In Gearing Up For 17th Contest: Washington bureau chief Sam Feist got a call Thursday morning that would not only shake up the Republican primary but lead to some last-minute tweaks before CNN’s prime-time debate…. – Huff Post, 1-19-12

Full Text Campaign Buzz January 19, 2012: CNN South Carolina Southern Republican Debate Transcript — 17th GOP Debate — Gingrich Gives & Takes Punches & Attacks

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

James Estrin/The New York Times

The four remaining Republican presidential candidates debated on Thursday at a sports arena in North Charleston, S.C. The South Carolina primary is Saturday. More Photos »

Full Transcript of the CNN Southern Republican Debate 2000-2200 EST

Source: CNN, 1-19-12

Aired January 19, 2012 – 20:00   ET

JOHN KING, DEBATE MODERATOR AND CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We’re live in Charleston, South Carolina. It’s debate night after a dramatic day in the Republican race for president. Iowa declares a new winner. Rick Perry bows out. And 35 hours before the polls open here in South Carolina, we have a dead heat. The Southern Republican Presidential Debate starts right now.

(APPLAUSE)

ANNOUNCER: Welcome to the South, the heart of the Republican Party, where tradition lives.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FORMER GOV. MITT ROMNEY (R-MA.), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The strongest military in the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: And values matter.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FORMER SEN. RICK SANTORUM (R-PA.), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We want a conservative on the ticket.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Tonight, the Republican candidates on stage in South Carolina for their final debate before the first-in-the-South primary.

Mitt Romney, the front-runner, going for another win, trying to close the deal with skeptical voters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I will work to get good jobs back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Newt Gingrich, on the rise, trying to harness conservative support as the field gets smaller.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FORMER REP. NEWT GINGRICH (R-GA.), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am the only candidate capable of stopping a moderate from winning the nomination.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Rick Santorum, with renewed momentum, after learning that he won Iowa after all.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM: We defeated Mitt Romney in Iowa.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Ron Paul, the insurgent, a powerful force in the first contests, with an army of young voters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. RON PAUL (R-TX.), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are dangerous to the status quo of this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Now, South Carolina is ready to put its stamp on the 2012 presidential race.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(UNKNOWN): The president of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Welcome to Charleston and the fight for the South.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: From the North Charleston Coliseum, this is the Southern Republican Presidential Debate. Tonight, the four remaining Republican candidates are with us with their ultimate goal now in sight.

Welcome this evening. I’m John King. This is the final debate before the South Carolina presidential primary. That’s on Saturday. Republican leaders from here in South Carolina, 13 other southern states in this audience tonight, along with members of the Tea Party Patriots.

Some of our audience members will get a chance to directly question the candidates. You can also take part in this debate by sending us your questions online. On Twitter, make sure to include the hash tag #CNNdebate. On Facebook, at Facebook.com/CNNpolitics. And of course as always, on CNNPolitics.com.

It’s time now to meet the 2012 Republican presidential contenders. Joining us on stage first, the Texas congressman, Ron Paul.

(APPLAUSE)

The former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.

(APPLAUSE)

The former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney.

(APPLAUSE)

And the former senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum.

(APPLAUSE)

Ladies and gentlemen, the Republican presidential candidates.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, just before we came on the air tonight we recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Now please rise for our national anthem.

We’re blessed tonight to have it performed by military cadets from The Citadel right here in Charleston, South Carolina.

(SINGING OF NATIONAL ANTHEM)

KING: That was fabulous. Absolutely fabulous.

I want to ask the candidates to get comfortable at their podiums, have our audience take their seats, while I tell you a bit about how tonight’s debate will work.

I’ll ask questions, as will some members of our audience tonight. I’ll follow up and guide the discussion.

Candidates, I promise you, we’re going to try to make sure each of you gets your fair share of the time and the questions. You’ll have one minute to answer and 30 seconds for follow-ups and rebuttals. And I’ll make sure you get time to respond if you are singled out for criticism.

Now let’s have the candidates introduce themselves. We’re going to ask them to keep it short. And here’s an example. I’m John King from CNN. I’m rooting for the Patriots this weekend, and I’m honored to be your moderator this evening.

Senator Santorum, let’s begin with you.

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I’m Rick Santorum, and I want to thank the people of the Lowcountry for their hospitality to my wife Karen and our seven children.

And I also want to thank the people of Iowa for a little delayed but most welcome victory there. Thank you to the people of Iowa.

(APPLAUSE)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I’m Mitt Romney. It’s good to be back in South Carolina. I see many good friends here.

It’s also great to be here with my wife and some of my kids. I’m married now 42 years. I have five sons, five daughters-in-law, 16 grandkids, and they’re the joy of my life.

Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Mr. Speaker.

GINGRICH: I’m Newt Gingrich. I want to thank the people of South Carolina for being so hospitable. As a Georgian, it feels good to be back at home in the South, and I look forward to this evening.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Congressman Paul.

PAUL: Thank you very much. It’s great to be here tonight.

I’m a congressman from Texas. I’ve been elected for 12 times. And also, I practiced OB/GYN for a 30-year period. I’ve also served five years in the military, and I’m the only U.S. veteran on this stage tonight.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: You’ve met the candidates. It’s time now to begin the debate, an event that has quite a dramatically different feel than just a few hours ago.

Just this morning, as Senator Santorum just noted, we learned he, not Governor Romney, won the Iowa caucuses. There were five podiums on the stage when the sun came up. Four now because of Governor Rick Perry’s decision to drop out.

And just as Speaker Gingrich surged into contention here in South Carolina, a direct fresh character attack on the Speaker.

And Mr. Speaker, I want to start with that this evening.

As you know, your ex-wife gave an interview to ABC News and another interview with “The Washington Post.” And this story has now gone viral on the Internet.

In it, she says that you came to her in 1999, at a time when you were having an affair. She says you asked her, sir, to enter into an open marriage.

Would you like to take some time to respond to that?

GINGRICH: No, but I will. (APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH: I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office. And I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Is that all you want to say, sir?

GINGRICH: Let me finish.

KING: Please.

GINGRICH: Every person in here knows personal pain. Every person in here has had someone close to them go through painful things. To take an ex-wife and make it two days before the primary a significant question for a presidential campaign is as close to despicable as anything I can imagine.

(APPLAUSE)

My — my two daughters — my two daughters wrote the head of ABC and made the point that it was wrong, that they should pull it, and I am frankly astounded that CNN would take trash like that and use it to open a presidential debate.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: As you noted, Mr. Speaker, this story did not come from our network. As you also know, it is a subject of conversation on the campaign. I’m not — I get your point. I take your point.

GINGRICH: John — John, it was repeated by your network. You chose to start the debate with it. Don’t try to blame somebody else. You and your staff chose to start this debate with it.

(APPLAUSE)

Let me be quite clear. Let me be quite clear. The story is false. Every personal friend I have who knew us in that period said the story was false. We offered several of them to ABC to prove it was false. They weren’t interested because they would like to attack any Republican. They’re attacking the governor. They’re attacking me. I’m sure they’ll presently get around to Senator Santorum and Congressman Paul.

I am tired of the elite media protecting Barack Obama by attacking Republicans.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: As I noted — as I noted at the beginning, we have four podiums on this stage tonight, not five. And when he exited the race this morning, Governor Perry quickly and forcefully endorsed Speaker Gingrich. And in that remark, he said that, “No, Mr. Gingrich is not a perfect man.” Senator Santorum, he said “none of us are.” And he said he believes in his Christian faith that guides him to the value of redemption.

Speaker Gingrich doesn’t believe this is an issue. Governor Perry says this is not an issue. I just want to start with you, sir, and go down. Do you believe it is?

SANTORUM: I’ve answered this question repeatedly throughout the course of this campaign. I am a Christian, too. And I thank God for forgiveness. But, you know, these — these are issues of our lives and what we did in our lives. They are issues of character for people to consider. But the bottom line is those are — those are things for everyone in this audience to look at. And they’re going to look at me, look at what I’ve done in my private life and personal life, unfortunately.

And what I say is that this country is a very forgiving country. This country understands that we are all fallen and I’m very hopeful that we will be judged by that standard and not by a higher one on the ultimate day.

KING: Governor Romney?

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: John, let’s get on to the real issues is all I’ve got to say.

KING: Congressman?

(APPLAUSE)

PAUL: I think too often all of us are on the receiving ends of attacks from the media. It’s very disturbing because sometimes they’re not based on facts and we suffer the consequences. You know, sometimes it reminds me of this idea of getting corporations out of running campaigns. But what about the corporations that run the media? I mean, they’re always…

(APPLAUSE)

And I think our responsibility, since sorting facts and fiction, the people have to sort this out. But I think setting standards are very important and I’m very proud that my wife of 54 years is with me tonight.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: All right. As I said at the top of the debate — as I said at the top of the debate, we’ll take some questions from the audience. We’ve reached out to people online. We’ve also reached out to a number of votes, some who wish they could be here tonight, but can’t be here tonight.

I want to turn to a question from one of those voters. Her name is Jane Gallagher (ph). She’s from here in South Carolina. As all of you know, and as everyone in this audience in South Carolina knows, we’re in a state with 9.9 percent unemployment. And Jane (ph) asked this question: List three or more specific programs that will put American people back to work?

Congressman Paul, I want to begin with you. Do you believe we need specific federal programs to put the American people back to work?

PAUL: Well, most of the things the federal government could do to get us back to work is get out of the way. I’d like to…

(APPLAUSE)

I’d like to see the federal government have a sound currency. That creates a healthy economy.

(APPLAUSE)

I — I would like to see massive reduction of regulations. I would like to see income tax reduced to near zero as possible. And that is what we have to do. We have to get the government out of the way. We have to recognize why we have unemployment. And it comes because we have a deeply flawed financial system that causes financial bubbles. The bubbles burst and you have the unemployment.

Now, the most important thing to get over that hump that was created artificially by bad economic policies is to allow the correction to occur. You have to get rid of the excessive debt and you have to get rid of the malinvestment.

And you don’t do that by buying the debt off the people who were benefiting from it. So we, the people, shouldn’t be stuck with these debts on these mortgage derivatives and all. We need to get that behind us, which means the government shouldn’t be doing any bailouts.

So most of the things to improve the environment is getting the government out of the way and enforce contract laws and enforce bankruptcy laws.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Mr. Speaker, come in on that point, as you address what you would like to do but also specifically the question, do we need federal programs?

GINGRICH: Well, there are three things that can be done at a specifically South Carolina level. There’s one easy thing to do at a national level, and that’s repeal the Dodd-Frank bill, which is killing small business, killing small banks.

(APPLAUSE)

That would help overnight.

(APPLAUSE)

But three specifics. One, there’s $29 billion-plus of natural gas offshore. In Louisiana, jobs for that kind of production are $80,000 a year. That would help us become energy independent from the Middle East. Part of the royalties of the natural gas could be used then to modernize the Port of Charleston and the Port of Georgetown.

Charleston has to be modernized to meet the largest ships that will come through the Panama Canal in 2014. One out of every five jobs in South Carolina is dependent on the Port of Charleston.

The third thing you could do, frankly, is fundamentally, radically overhaul the — the Corps of Engineers. The Corps of Engineers today takes eight years to study — not to complete — to study doing the port. We won the entire second World War in three years and eight months.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: A subset of the jobs conversation among the candidates in this state over the past week, Mr. Speaker, has been from you and from the now-departed Governor Perry, pretty sharp criticism of Governor Romney’s tenure as the CEO of Bain Capital.

I want you to be specific. What do you think he did wrong that makes you question his ability as a president to create jobs?

GINGRICH: I think there are specific cases — Georgetown Steel would be a case here, and a company in Gaffney, South Carolina — specific cases where Bain Capital’s model, which was to take over a company and dramatically leverage it, leave it with a great deal of debt, made it less likely to survive.

I think the governor ought to explain — because it started because he cited his experience as a key part of his preparation for being president. And so I think the underlying model of that kind of investment, which is very different from venture capital, ought to be explained, and those cases ought to be looked at.

KING: Well, Governor Romney, let me give you a chance. Explain.

ROMNEY: Well, I hope I get a chance to talk about the topic you began with. We’ll come back to the — the direct attack from Speaker Gingrich in a moment.

(APPLAUSE)

So let’s go back and talk about first what you do to get the economy going. And of course we’ve spoken time and again about our tax code that’s out of alignment with other nations. We’ve spoken about the fact that regulation is overwhelming us, that we need to take care of our energy resources and become energy secure. We have to open up markets. And we have to crack down on China when they cheat.

But I’d like to talk about something else that President Obama has been doing. He’s been practicing crony capitalism. And if you want to get America going again…

(APPLAUSE) … you’ve got to stop the spread of crony capitalism. He gives General Motors to the UAW. He takes $500 million and sticks it into Solyndra. He — he stacks the labor stooges on the NLRB so they can say no to Boeing and take care of their friends in the labor movement.

(APPLAUSE)

You go across the country with regards to energy because he has to bow to the most extreme members of the environmental movement. He turns down the Keystone Pipeline, which would bring energy and jobs to America.

(BOOING)

(APPLAUSE)

This — this president is the biggest impediment to job growth in this country. And we have to replace Barack Obama to get America working again.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: So — so let’s go — let’s go back. I’m glad you had that opportunity. I do want to go back, see if we can clear this up.

Now, the questions about Bain, many have been about the number. You have said 120,000 jobs that you can tie back to decisions you made at Bain Capital. I want you to take your time, sir, and do the math. Do the math and how you get to 100,000 or 120,000 jobs?

ROMNEY: I’ll do the math, but let me tell you, I know we’re going to get attacked from the left, from Barack Obama, on capitalism. I know that people are going to say, oh, you should only practice it this way or that way and think they know better than the private market.

My view is capitalism works. Free enterprise works. And I…

(APPLAUSE)

… and I find it — I find it, kind of, strange, on a stage like this with Republicans, having to describe how private equity and venture capital work and how they’re successful and how they create jobs.

(APPLAUSE)

But let me tell you the answer. We started a number of businesses. Four in particular created 120,000 jobs as of today. We started them years ago. They’ve grown well beyond the time I was there, to 120,000 people that have employed by those enterprises.

There are others we’ve been with, some of which have lost jobs. People have evaluated that since — well, since I ran four years ago, when I ran for governor. And those that have been documented to lost jobs lost about 10,000 jobs.

So 120,000 less 10,000 means that we created something over 100,000 jobs. And there’s some, by the way, that were businesses we acquired that grew and became more successful like Domino’s Pizza and a company called Duane Reade and others.

I’m very proud of the fact that throughout my career, I have worked to try and build enterprises, hopefully to return money to investors. There’s nothing wrong with profit, by the way. That profit —

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: That profit went to pension funds, to charities. It went to a wide array of institutions. A lot of people benefited from that. And by the way, as enterprises become more profitable, they can hire more people.

I’m someone who believes in free enterprise. I think Adam Smith was right. And I’m going to stand and defend capitalism across this country, throughout this campaign. I know we’re going to get hit hard from President Obama, but we’re going to stuff it down his throat and point out it is capitalism and freedom that makes America strong.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Senator Santorum, join the conversation, specifically to the initial question from Jane. What should the federal government be doing? And do you believe in specific programs? And I also want to ask you if you share the Speaker’s concern about Governor Romney’s tenure at Bain.

SANTORUM: Well, on the first question, I believe in capitalism, too. I believe in capitalism for everybody. Not necessarily high finance, but capitalism that works for the working men and women of this country who are out there paddling alone in America right now, who have an unemployment rate 2.5 times those who are college educated and feel that no party cares about them. Because you have the Democratic Party, and Barack Obama, and all he wants to do is make them more dependent, give them more food stamps, give them more Medicaid.

I was talking to a state official the other day in Iowa that told me that the state of Iowa is being fined because they’re not signing up enough people on to the Medicaid program. This is what the answer is for the economic squalor that Barack Obama has visited on working men and women in this country, and it’s creating more government programs and getting them more dependent on those programs.

We need a party that just doesn’t talk about high finance and cutting corporate taxes or cutting the top tax rates. We need to talk about how we’re going to put men and women in this country, who built this country, back to work in this country in the manufacturing sector of our economy.

(APPLAUSE)

SANTORUM: And there’s one candidate that has done that. I have done that. I’ve done that throughout the course of this campaign.

I talked about who (ph) we’re going to target and make sure that we can be competitive. I was in Boeing today and I was up at BMW yesterday. South Carolina can compete with anybody in this world in manufacturing.

(APPLAUSE)

SANTORUM: We just need to give them the opportunity to compete. And we are 20 percent more costly than our top nine trading partners, and that’s excluding labor costs.

That’s why I said we need to cut the corporate tax and manufacturing down to zero. We need to give manufacturers a leg up so they can compete for the jobs, half of which went from 21 percent of this country in manufacturing, down to nine percent. And we left the dreams of working men and women on the sideline.

We need to show that we’re the party, we’re the movement that’s going to get those Reagan Democrats, those conservative Democrats, all throughout the states that we need to win to win this election, to sign up with us, and we’ll put them back to work.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Let’s stay on the economy and let’s stay on the South Carolina experience all you gentlemen have had.

As you know, and as this audience reflects, this is a state incredibly proud of its military tradition and incredibly proud of its veterans. Many of those veterans who have served post-9/11, served honorably in Iraq and Afghanistan, are coming back to a terrible economy. Right now, the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans aged 18 to 24 is at 22 percent.

Congressman Paul, to you first, sir. Should the federal government be specifically targeting that part, our veterans coming back, saying the unemployment rate is so high among that sub group, that the federal government should offer tax incentives to employers or take other steps to help them to incentivize the economy to help them get jobs?

PAUL: To some degree, but you really want to make the environment — the economy healthy for everybody and not designate special places. But to help them out to come back is probably necessary on some occasions now.

But we have to think about how serious our problems are here, because we face something much, much greater. After World War II, we had 10 million came home all at once. But what did we do then? There were some of the liberals back then that said, oh, we have to have more work programs and do this and that. And they thought they would have to do everything conceivable for those 10 million. They never got around to it because they came home so quickly.

And you know what the government did? They cut the budget by 60 percent.

They cut taxes by 30 percent. By that time, the debt had been liquidated. And everybody went back to work again, you didn’t need any special programs.

So…

(APPLAUSE)

But the one thing, talking about concern about the — the military and the veterans, I’m very proud that, you know, I get twice as many donations from the military, active military people, then all the rest put together.

(APPLAUSE)

So I am very concerned about them. I think where the real problem is, is we can create a healthy economic environment if we did the right things. Where the veterans really deserve help, both as a physician and as a congressman, is the people who come back and aren’t doing well health-wise. They need a lot more help.

We have an epidemic now of suicide of our military coming back. So they need a lot of medical help. And I think they come up shortchanged. They come up shortchanged after Vietnam war, Persian Gulf war, and even now. They don’t get care from the Veterans Administration.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: I think we all agree there’s a generational challenge for the country with the brain injuries and the other injuries and the suicide, as you mentioned.

I want to stay on the economy for a minute, though. Senator Santorum, you started to shake your head. Again, specifically, it’s a role of government question. Should the government be stepping in and saying we need to help this subgroup in the economy that’s hurting, the veterans?

SANTORUM: Well, obviously, we have — we have and should continue to have veterans preferences. People who went out and served this country should have — should have preferences when it comes to job positions when they come back to work in this economy.

(APPLAUSE)

My dad and mom worked for the Veterans Administration. I grew up on a V.A. grounds, lived in an apartment in those — on those V.A. grounds for the first 18 years of my life.

And I saw the — the impact of the Vietnam war on — on those veterans who came back. And they came back very damaged, not just — not just with — with physical wounds, but a lot of psychological ones. And that’s, I’m sure, a very big part of the high unemployment rate that we’re dealing with.

And we need to be much, much more aggressive. We have the president of the United States who said he is going to cut veterans benefits, cut our military, at a time when these folks are four, five, six, seven tours, coming back, in and out of jobs, sacrificing everything for this country. And the president of the United States can’t cut one penny out of the social welfare system and he wants to cut a trillion dollars out of our military and hit our veterans and that’s disgusting.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: So, Governor, Governor, and then Mr. Speaker, Senator Santorum passionately makes the case. It also is a time, as all of you know, of very tough budget decisions the next president’s going to have to make, setting priorities.

How do you do it? How — what specifically do you do to help the veterans?

ROMNEY: Well, let’s distinguish between what gets done at the federal level and what gets done at the state level.

In our state we found a way to help our — our veterans by saying, “Look, if you’re going to come back, particularly if you’re in the National Guard, we’ll pay for your education, college degree, both the fees and tuition. We give you a full ride.”

And we also had a plan that said, “If you come back and you’ve been out of work for a year or more, we’re going to put like a bonus on your back, which if anyone hires you, that bonus goes to them to pay for your training.”

So we can encourage that to occur. But let’s do it at the state level. Let’s not have the federal government continue to extend its — its tentacles into everything that goes on in this country. Let’s take the…

(APPLAUSE)

Let’s take the — let’s take the money that — that we use to help people who have real needs and instead of having it all administered by the federal government, that thinks they know how to do everything, let’s take that money, bundle up South Carolina’s fair share and every other state’s fair share, send it to them and say, “You care for your people in the way you feel best.” Let’s do that at the state level.

And I agree with what — what Senator Santorum said with regards to our military budget. Right now for the president to be cutting $350,000 from our military budget, planning to cut another $650,000 — $650 billion, excuse me, $350 billion, another $650 billion, a trillion dollars, his secretary of defense says that represents a doomsday scenario.

We’ve got an aging Navy. We’ve got an aging Air Force. They’re planning on cutting our number of active duty personnel. They can’t possibly keep up with the needs of our veterans.

It is absolutely wrong to balance our budget on the backs of our military. We need a strong military, so strong no one in the world would ever think of testing it. (APPLAUSE)

KING: Mr. Speaker, please come in. We’re going to have — we’ll have some conversations about commander in chief. You have the floor now. Specifically veterans who need jobs.

GINGRICH: Let me just say two things about Congressman Paul’s history.

The U.S. government did two dramatic things after World War II. They created a G.I. Bill, which enabled literally millions of returning veterans to go to college for the very first time. My father, who was in the Second World War, went to college on a G.I. Bill. So there was an enormous expansion of opportunity that enabled them to integrate into a new, emerging society.

The second thing they did is they dramatically cut taxes and the economy took off and grew dramatically and it absorbed the workforce.

So I would say we ought to both have a transition process for veterans to enable them to have a real advantage at getting a job when they come home, and we ought to have a very aggressive economic program of regulatory cuts and tax cuts and American energy so that the entire population is absorbed by getting back to about 4 percent unemployment, in which case virtually every veteran would have a very good job at the end of the transition period.

JOHN KING, DEBATE MODERATOR AND CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Let’s turn to our audience now.

(APPLAUSE)

Let’s turn now and take a question from down in our audience tonight. Go ahead, sir.

QUESTION: My name is Sonny Cohen (ph). I’m from Sevier County, Tennessee. My question to any of the candidates is: Do any of you sincerely believe that Obamacare can either be repealed or reversed in its entirety?

KING: Let me go first to Governor Romney on that one.

Governor, you had said you would do it on day one with an executive order that would free the states up to opt out, waivers essentially to get out of that program. I know your friend, the South Carolina governor might like to have that option.

Help me understand as you do that how would it play out? And what happens to those, someone with a preexisting condition for example, who now has coverage under the president’s health care plan, or a young American, 22, 23, 24, who because of the changes in the law, can now stay a few extra years on their parents’ health care? What happens to them when you sign that executive order?

FORMER GOV. MITT ROMNEY (R-MA.), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, first of all, the executive order is a beginning process. It’s one thing, but it doesn’t completely eliminate Obamacare. It’s one thing I want to get done to make sure that states could take action to pull out of Obamacare.

But number two, we have to go after a complete repeal and that’s going to have to happen…

(APPLAUSE)

… that — that’s going to have to happen with a House and a Senate, hopefully that are Republican. If we don’t have a Republican majority, I think we’re going to be able to convince some Democrats that when the American people stand up loud and clear and say, “We do not want Obamacare; we do not want the higher taxes; we do not want a $500 billion cut in Medicare to pay for Obamacare,” I think you’re going to see the American people stand with our president and say, “Let’s get rid of Obamacare.”

But we’ll replace it, and I’ve laid out what I’ll replace it with. First, it’s a bill that does care for people that have preexisting conditions. If they’ve got a preexisting condition and they’ve been previously insured, they won’t be denied insurance going forward.

Secondly, I’d allow people to own their own insurance, rather than just be able to get it from their employer. I want people to be able to take their insurance with them if they go from job to job.

So — so we’ll make it work in the way that’s designed to have health care act like a market, a consumer market, as opposed to have it run like Amtrak and the post office. That’s what’s at risk…

(APPLAUSE)

… at stake here. Do we — we — we go back to this. Ours is the party of free enterprise, freedom, markets, consumer choice. Theirs is the party of government knowledge, government — government domination, where Barack Obama believes that he knows better for the American people what’s best for them. He’s wrong. We’re right. That’s why we’re going to win.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Mr. Speaker, you heard the skepticism. This is a southern Republican voter, but he’s skeptical. He knows how Washington works. He’s watched Washington work. He’s asking it be reversed in its entirety.

You — you were the speaker of the House. You understand how this works. How — how can it be repealed in this current political environment?

GINGRICH: Well, let me say first of all, if you’ve watched Washington and you’re not skeptical, you haven’t learned anything.

(LAUGHTER)

I mean, this — this system is a total mess right now. Second, can you get it repealed in total? Sure. You have to elect a House, a Senate and a president committed to that. It has to be major part of the fall campaign. And I think that, frankly, on our side with any of us, it’s going to be a major part of the fall campaign.

The American people are frightened of bureaucratic centralized medicine. They deeply distrust Washington and the pressure will be to repeal it. And a lot of what Governor Romney has said I think is actually a pretty good, sound step for part of the replacement.

I would always repeal all of it because I so deeply distrust the congressional staffs that I would not want them to be able to pick and choose which things they cut.

But let me make one observation. He raised a good example. Why is President Obama for young people being allowed to stay on their parents’ insurance until 26? Because he can’t get any jobs for them to go out and buy their own insurance.

(APPLAUSE)

I mean I have — I have an offer — I have an offer to the parents of America: Elect us and your kids will be able to move out because they’ll have work.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Senator Santorum, you heard Governor Romney and you heard Speaker Gingrich. Do you trust them if one of them is the Republican party’s nominee and potentially the next president of the United States to repeal this?

FORMER SEN. RICK SANTORUM (R-PA.), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The biggest — the biggest thing we have to do is elect a president. I think Newt’s right. The problem is that two of the people up here would be very difficult to elect on, I think, the most important issue that this country is dealing with right now, which is the robbing of our freedom because of Obamacare.

Governor Romney tells a very nice story about what his plan is now. It wasn’t his plan when he was in a position to do a plan. When he was governor of Massachusetts, he put forth Romneycare, which was not a bottom-up free market system. It was a government-run health care system that was the basis of Obamacare, and it has been an abject failure. And he has stood by it. He’s stood by the fact that it’s $8 billion more expensive…

(APPLAUSE)

… than under the current law. He stood by the fact that Massachusetts has the highest health insurance premiums of any state in the country. It is 27 percent more expensive than the average state in the country.

Doctors — if you’re in the Massachusetts health care system, over 50 percent of the doctors now are not seeing new patients — primary care doctors are not seeing new patients. Those who do get to see a patient are waiting 44 days on average for the care. It is an abject disaster. He’s standing by it. And he’s going to have to run against a president — he’s going to have to run against a president who’s going to say, well, look, look at what you did for Massachusetts, and you’re the one criticizing me for what I’ve done? I used your model for it. And then…

(APPLAUSE)

… then we have Speaker Gingrich, who has been — who has been for an individual mandate, not back when the time that just was — Heritage was floating around in the ’90s, but as late as comments since 2008, just a few years ago.

He stood up and said that you should have an individual mandate or post $150,000 bond. How many $150,000 bond holders do we have here who can post a bond for their health insurance?

These are two folks who don’t present the clear contrast that I do, who was the author of health savings accounts, which is the primary basis of every single conservative reform of health care.

(APPLAUSE)

I was the author of it back in 1991 and ’92, 20 years ago. I’ve been fighting for health reform, private sector, bottom up, the way America works best, for 20 years, while these two guys were playing (inaudible) with the left.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: I want to bring Congressman Paul — bring you into the discussion in just a moment. But Senator Santorum directly challenged the governor and then the speaker. Governor, you first.

ROMNEY: Well, so much of what the senator said was wrong. Let me mention a few of the things. First of all, the system and my state is not a government-run system. Ninety-two percent of the people had their own insurance before the system was put in place and nothing changed for them. They still had the same private insurance. And the 8 percent of the uninsured, they brought private insurance, not government insurance.

And the people in the state still favor the plan 3-1. And it certainly doesn’t work perfectly. Massachusetts, by the way, had the highest insurance costs before the plan was put in place and after. But fortunately, the rate of growth has slowed down a little less than the overall nation.

And one of the things I was proud of is that individuals who wanted to buy their own insurance saw their rates — when they were not part of a big group — saw their rates drop by some 40 percent with our plan.

Is it perfect? Absolutely not. But I do believe that having been there, having been in the front lines, showing that I have compassion for people that don’t have insurance but that the Obama plan is a 2,700-page massive tax increase, Medicare-cutting monster. I know how to cut it. I’ll eliminate it. I will repeal it. And I’ll return to the — I’ll return the power to the states, where the power for caring for the uninsured ought to reside constitutionally. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Senator Santorum, he says your facts are wrong.

SANTORUM: Well, they’re simply not wrong. The fact is that, yes, you’re right, Governor Romney. Ninety-two percent of people did have health insurance in — in Massachusetts. But that wasn’t private- sector health insurance. A lot of those people were, as you know, on Medicare and Medicaid. So they’re already on government insurance, and you just expanded.

In fact, over half the people that came on the rolls since you put Romneycare into effect are fully subsidized by the state of Massachusetts. And a lot of those are on the Medicaid program.

So the idea that you have created this marketplace in — with this government-run health care system, where you have very prescriptive programs about reimbursements rates. You have very prescriptive programs just like what President Obama is trying to put in place here.

You’re arguing for a plan; you’re defending a plan that is top-down. It is not a free-market health care system. It is not bottom-up. It is prescriptive and government. It was the basis for Obamacare.

(APPLAUSE)

And you do not draw a distinction that’s going to be effective for us just because it was the state level, not the federal level.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: If you want, Governor, quickly?

ROMNEY: Sure, absolutely. First of all, as you probably know, Medicaid is not a state program.

SANTORUM: Of course it is. It’s a state and federal program.

ROMNEY: Medicaid is as demanded by the federal government and it is — it’s a mandate by the federal government and it’s shared 50/50, state and federal.

The people of Massachusetts who are on Medicaid — I would like to end that program at the federal level, take the Medicaid dollars and return them to the states and allow states to craft their own plans. That would make the plan we had in Massachusetts a heck of a lot better.

My view is get the federal government out of Medicaid, get it out of health care. Return it to the states. And if you want to go be governor of Massachusetts, fine. But I want to be president and let states take responsibility for their own plans.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Mr. Speaker — it may seem like a while ago, Mr. Speaker, but Senator Santorum made the point, in his view, you don’t have credibility on this issue.

GINGRICH: No, what he said, which I found mildly amazing, was that he thought I would have a hard time debating Barack Obama over health care. Now, in fact, I — as Republican whip, I led the charge against Hillarycare in the House. As Speaker of the House, I helped preside over the conference which wrote into law his idea on health savings accounts. So I was delighted to help him get it to be a law.

And the fact is, I helped found the Center for Health Transformation. I wrote a book called “Saving Lives and Saving Money” in 2002. You can go to healthtransformation.net and you’ll see hundreds of ideas, none of which resemble Barack Obama’s programs.

So I’d be quite happy to have a three-hour Lincoln/Douglas style debate with Barack Obama. I’d let him use a teleprompter. I’ll just rely on knowledge. We’ll do fine.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Senator, I want to bring Congressman Paul in. You’re shaking your head. Quickly.

SANTORUM: The core of Obamacare is an individual mandate. It is what is being litigated in the Supreme Court right now. It is government, top-down, telling every business, every American what kind of health care you will have. That is the problem with Obamacare at the core of it, and the Speaker supported it repeatedly for a 10-year period.

So when he goes and says, I can, you know, run rings around President Obama in a Lincoln/Douglas debate, you can’t run rings around the fact, Newt, that you supported the primary, core basis of what President Obama’s put in place.

GINGRICH: Look, just one —

KING: Quickly, Mr. Speaker. The congressman’s getting lonely down here. Let’s go.

GINGRICH: Just one brief comment. Of course you can. I can say, you know, I was wrong and I figured it out. You were wrong and you didn’t.

(APPLAUSE)

SANTORUM: Newt, you held that position for over 10 years. And, you know, it’s not going to be the most attractive thing to go out there and say it took me 10 or 12 years to figure out I was wrong when guys like Rick Santorum knew it was wrong from the beginning.

(APPLAUSE) KING: Congressman Paul, you have the floor. Do you trust these men to repeal Obamacare?

REP. RON PAUL (R-TX.), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

PAUL: I thought you were — I thought maybe you were prejudiced against doctors and a doctor that practiced medicine in the military or something.

No, I want to address the question. The gentleman asked whether he thinks we can repeal Obamacare.

Theoretically, we can. The likelihood isn’t all that good.

We can diminish some of the effect, but I’m more concerned about a bigger picture of what’s happening. And that is, government involvement in medicine.

I had the privilege of practicing medicine in the early ’60s before we had any government. It worked rather well and there was nobody out in the street suffering with no medical care.

But Medicare and Medicaid came in and it just expanded. But even when we had the chance to cut back on it, when we had a Republican Congress and a Republican president, we gave them prescription drug programs. Senator Santorum supported it. You know, that’s expanding the government.

(APPLAUSE)

PAUL: So — and most of them are bankrupt. Prescription drugs, they’re not going to be financed. Medicare’s not financed. Medicaid’s in trouble. But nobody talks about where the money’s going to come from.

Now, even in my budget proposal, which is very, very tough, because I’m going to cut $1 trillion the first year, but I try to really —

(APPLAUSE)

PAUL: Even though these programs should have never started but a lot of people depend on it, I want to try to protect the people who are dependent on medical care.

Now, where does the money come? My suggestion is, look at some of the overseas spending that we don’t need to be doing.

(APPLAUSE)

PAUL: We have troops in Korea since the Korean War, in Japan since World War II, in Germany since — those are subsidies to these countries. And we keep fighting these wars that don’t need to be fought. They’re undeclared. They never end. Newt pointed out that World War II was won in less than four years. Afghanistan, we’re there for 10 years. Nobody says where’s the money coming from?

We could work our way out of here and take care of these people with these medical needs. But we can’t do it with the current philosophy of the government taking care of everybody forever on medical care, cradle to grave, and being the policeman of the world.

We will get rid of all this government program, unfortunately because we’re going bankrupt and you’re going to have runaway inflation, and our checks are going to bounce. And that’s going to be a lot worse problem than we’re facing tonight.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: All right.

Going to ask our candidates to stand by, our audience as well. We have a couple breaks tonight. We’re going to take one of them now.

One candidate on this stage suggested this week that two candidates should get out of the race. One of them listened. We’ll get the reaction from the other coming up.

And also coming up, this is just in. While we’ve been on the air having this debate, Speaker Gingrich has released his tax returns. He’s put them online. We’ll ask him what’s in them when we come back.

(APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Back in Charleston, South Carolina, and our Southern Republican Presidential Debate. Let’s get back to questioning the four gentlemen who would like to be the Republican nominee for president and the next president of the United States.

Part of the political conversation during the crackling campaign in this great state this week, Senator Santorum, Speaker Gingrich said he thought it would be preferable for the conservative movement if one candidate, in his view, had a direct campaign against Governor Romney. He suggested — said it was up to you — but he suggested perhaps Governor Perry and Senator Santorum should get out of the race.

In suggesting that, he said this: You don’t have, quote, “any of the knowledge for how to do something on this scale.”

What do you say to that?

SANTORUM: Grandiosity has never been a problem with Newt Gingrich. He — he handles it very, very well.

(APPLAUSE) And that’s really one of the issues here, folks. I mean, a month ago, he was saying that, “Oh, I’m — it’s inevitable that I’m going to win the election. And it’s I’m destined to do it.”

I don’t want a nominee that I have to worry about going out and looking at the paper the next day and figuring out what is he — worrying about what he’s going to say next.

And that’s — that’s what I think we’re seeing here.

(APPLAUSE)

For him to suggest that — that someone who was tied for first and eventually won the Iowa caucuses and finished with twice as many votes as he did and finished ahead of him in New Hampshire, in spite of the fact that he spent an enormous amount more money in both those places, plus had the most important endorsement in the state, the Manchester Union Leader, and I was 10 points behind him a week before the election, and then finished ahead of him.

So I was 2-0 coming into South Carolina, and I should get out of the race?

These are — there are not — there are not cogent thoughts. I mean, and — and let’s just be honest.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

I mean, Newt’s — Newt’s a friend. I love him. But at times, you’ve just got, you know, sort of that, you know, worrisome moment that something’s going to pop. And we can’t afford that in a nominee.

We need someone — I’m not the most flamboyant, and I don’t get the biggest applause lines here. But I’m steady. I’m solid. I’m not going to go out and do things that you’re going to worry about. I’m going to be out there. I’m going to make Barack Obama the issue in this campaign.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Mr. Speaker, take some time to respond.

As you do so, what exactly did you mean, “doesn’t have any of the knowledge for how to do something on this scale”?

GINGRICH: Well, it’s a very simple question. How big a scale of change do we want in Washington? I started working with Governor Reagan in 1974. I helped with Jack Kemp and others the development of supply-side economics in the late ’70s.

I participated in the ’80s in an enormous project of economic growth and, with President Reagan’s leadership, the American people created 16 million jobs. With President Reagan’s leadership, the Soviet Union disappeared. I came back — I spent 16 years on a grandiose project called creating a Republican majority in the House — 16 years. And most of the Republican leaders in the House thought it was a joke. Even the night before the election, they thought it was a joke.

And we created the first majority. We then worked for two solid years, reformed welfare. Two out of three people went back to work or went to school. We ultimately became the first re-elected Republican majority since 1928.

We then went on to cut taxes for the first time in 16 years, the largest capital gains tax cut in American history. In the four years I was speaker, the American people created 11 million new jobs. We balanced the budget for four consecutive years, (inaudible).

You’re right. I think grandiose thoughts. This is a grandiose country of big people doing big things. And we need leadership prepared to take on big projects.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Quickly?

(APPLAUSE)

SANTORUM: I will give Newt Gingrich his due on grandiose ideas and grandiose projects. I will not give him his — his — his due on executing those projects, which is exactly what the president of the United States is supposed to do.

Four years into his speakership, he was thrown out by the conservatives. It was a coup against him in three. I served with him. I was there. I knew what the problems were going on in the House of Representatives when Newt Gingrich was leading this — leading there. It was an idea a minute, no discipline, no ability to be able to pull things together.

I understand your taking credit for the 1994 election, and you did have a lot of plans. As you know, I worked with you on those, and we had meetings early in the morning on many — many a week. And so we worked together on that.

But you also have to admit that this freshman congressman who wasn’t supposed to win a race came and did something you never did, which is blew the lid off the biggest scandal to hit the Congress in 50 years. You knew about it for 10 or 15 years because you told me you knew about it. And you did nothing because you didn’t have the courage to stand up to your own leadership, the Democratic speaker of the House, take to the floor of the Senate, demand the releasing of the checks that were being kited by members of Congress, risk your political career, risk your promotion within the ranks and do what was right for America. And that had more or as much to do with the 1994 win as any plan that you put together.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Mr. Speaker, respond.

(APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH: You know, campaigns are interesting experiences for all of us. And each of us writes a selective history that fits our interest.

As a freshman in 1979, I moved to expel a member who was a convicted felon, for the first time since 1917, against the wishes of our leadership. In the page scandal in the 1980s, I moved and threatened to expel them unless they were punished much more severely, against the wishes of the leadership. In the late 1980s, I initiated charges against the speaker of the House, Jim Wright, at rather considerable risk for a back-bench member. In 1990, I opposed the president of the United States of my own party when he tried to raise taxes. I said I actually thought he meant “Read my lips,” and I led the fight against raising taxes, against the wishes of my party’s leadership.

I think, long before Rick came to Congress, I was busy being a rebel, creating the Conservative Opportunity Society, developing a plan to win a majority in the Congress. And if you talk to anybody who worked at the Congressional Campaign Committee from December of 1978 on, for 16 years, I worked to help create the Republican Party nationally to become a majority. I worked to create GOPAC to train a majority. Those are just historic facts, even if they’re inconvenient for Rick’s campaign.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Governor Romney, you’re raising your hand to come in the conversation. I want to let you in on the conversation, but also, as I do, you put an ad on the air paid by your campaign, not one of the super PAC ads, calling the Speaker an unreliable leader. Why?

ROMNEY: Well, let me go back and address first what you just heard.

What you’ve listened to, in my view, and the Speaker’s rendition of history going back to 1978 and his involvement in Washington, is, in my view, a perfect example of why we need to send to Washington someone who has not lived in Washington, but someone who’s lived in the real streets of America, working in the private sector, who’s led a business, who started a business, who helped lead the Olympics, who helped lead a state. We need to have someone outside Washington go to Washington.

If we want people who spent their life and their career, most of their career, in Washington, we have three people on the stage — well, I take that back. We’ve got a doctor down here who spent most of his time in the surgical suite — well not surgery, in the birthing suite.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: But I think America has to make a choice as to whether we’re going to send people who spent their life in Washington go represent our country or, instead, whether we’re going to lead — have someone who goes who’s been a leader in the private sector and knows how the economy works at the grassroots level. Now, you asked me an entirely different question.

GINGRICH: It beats me. I don’t know.

Where are we at, John?

(LAUGHTER)

ROMNEY: Let me tell you, one of the things I find amusing is listening to how much credit is taken in Washington for what goes on, on Main Street.

I mean, Mr. Speaker, it was — you talk about all the things you did with Ronald Reagan and the Reagan revolution and the jobs created during the Reagan years and so forth. I mean, I looked at the Reagan diary. You’re mentioned once in Ronald Reagan’s diary.

And in the diary, he says you had an idea in a meeting of young congressmen, and it wasn’t a very good idea and he dismissed it. That’s the entire mention.

I mean, he mentions George Bush 100 times. He even mentions my dad once.

So there’s a sense that Washington is pulling the strings in America. But you know what? The free people of America, pursuing their dreams and taking risk and going to school and working hard, those are the people that make America strong, not Washington.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Quickly respond, Mr. Speaker.

GINGRICH: This is probably a fundamental difference in our background and our experience.

Under Jimmy Carter, we had the wrong laws, the law regulations, the wrong leadership, and we killed jobs, we had inflation, we went to 10.8 percent unemployment. Under Ronald Reagan, we had the right jobs, the right laws, the right regulators, the right leadership. We created 16 million new jobs.

We then had two consecutive tax increases, one by a Republican, one by a Democrat. The economy stagnated. When I became Speaker, we went back to the Ronald Reagan playbook: lower taxes, less regulation, more American energy, and 11 million jobs showed up.

Now, I do think government can kill jobs, and I do think government can create the environment where entrepreneurs create jobs. And the truth is, you did very well under the rules that we created to make it easier for entrepreneurs to go out and do things. You’d have been much poorer if Jimmy Carter had remained president.

ROMNEY: Let me just —

KING: Go ahead, quickly. ROMNEY: Let me just tell you, Mr. Speaker, you were Speaker four years.

GINGRICH: Right.

ROMNEY: I was in business 25 years.

GINGRICH: Right.

ROMNEY: So you’re not going to get credit for my 25 years, number one.

Number two, I don’t recall — I don’t recall a single day saying, oh, thanks heavens Washington is there for me. Thank heavens. I said, please get out of my way, let me start a business and put Americans to work.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: All right. Let me get out of the way for a second and go back out to our audience and take a question from an audience member.

Sir.

JOHN MARCOUX, RETIRED STOCK TRADER: John Marcoux from the great city of Charleston.

(APPLAUSE)

MARCOUX: Gentlemen, when will you release your tax returns specifically?

GINGRICH: An hour ago.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Mr. Speaker posted his online an hour ago. We know that.

Congressman Paul — we’ll come down the line. Congressman Paul, I want to start with you.

We reached out to your campaign this week, and they said you would not release your tax returns. Why?

PAUL: Well, I hadn’t thought it through. I don’t have an intention of doing it, but for a different reason. I’d probably be embarrassed to put my financial statement up against their income. And I don’t want to be embarrassed because I don’t have a greater income.

(APPLAUSE)

PAUL: Now, I mean, it may come to that, but right now, I have no intention of doing that.

I think with our financial statements, congressional financial statements, I think you know more about me than I know about myself. That’s how my wife found out so much about what we were doing, you know, from my financial statements.

No, we don’t need — I don’t think people need that because nobody’s challenging me, because I have no conflict of interest. And I don’t even talk to lobbyists and I don’t take that kind of money. So there’s no conflicts.

(APPLAUSE)

JOHN KING, DEBATE MODERATOR AND CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Governor Romney, when will we see yours?

FORMER GOV. MITT ROMNEY (R-MA.), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When my taxes are complete for this year, and I know that if I’m the nominee, the president’s going to want to insist that I show what my income was this last year and so forth. When they’re completed this year in April, I’ll release my returns in April and probably for other years as well.

I know that’s what’s going to come. Every time the Democrats are out there trying their very best to — to try and attack people because they’ve been successful. And — and I have been successful. But let me tell you, the — the challenge in America is not people who’ve been successful. The challenge in America, and President Obama doesn’t want to talk about this, is you’ve got a president who’s played 90 rounds of golf while there are 25 million Americans out of work, and — and you’ve got…

(APPLAUSE)

… and while the price of gasoline has doubled, he said “no” to the Keystone pipeline. And while we’ve got $15 trillion of debt, he — he said, “Look, I’m going to put another $1 trillion of debt for Obamacare.” That’s the problem in America, not the attacks they make on people who’ve been successful.

KING: But some of the questions about when you release your taxes have not come — the president has raised them; his campaign has raised them — you’re right on that — but so have some of your rivals up here. Speaker Gingrich has said you owe them to the people of South Carolina before they vote. Governor Perry made that point as well before he left the race.

Why not should the people of South Carolina before this election see last year’s return?

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: Because I want to make sure that I beat President Obama. And every time we release things drip by drip, the Democrats go out with another array of attacks. As has been done in the past, if I’m the nominee, I’ll put these out at one time so we have one discussion of all of this. I — I obviously pay all full taxes. I’m honest in my dealings with people. People understand that. My taxes are carefully managed and I pay a lot of taxes. I’ve been very successful and when I have our — our taxes ready for this year, I’ll release them.

KING: Speaker Gingrich, is that good enough?

FORMER REP. NEWT GINGRICH (R-GA.), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, he’s got to decide and the people of South Carolina have to decide. But if there’s anything in there that is going to help us lose the election, we should know it before the nomination. And if there’s nothing in there — if there’s nothing in there, why not release it?

I mean, it’s a very simple model, but he’s got to decide. It’s his decision and everybody’s got to run their own campaign based on what they think is a reasonable risk. I have filed — I released mine this evening. We also released the little small charitable foundation we have so people can see what we do and how we did it and what our values are.

KING: Senator Santorum, when will we see yours?

FORMER SEN. RICK SANTORUM (R-PA.), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I do my own taxes and they’re on my computer and I’m not home. So…

(LAUGHTER)

… and there’s nobody at home right now. Until I get home, I won’t get them. When I get home, you’ll get my taxes.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: But you — you did call on the governor to release his.

SANTORUM: No, someone asked me, “would it be OK for the governor,” and I said “yes.” I didn’t think — I don’t think it’s a big deal. I mean, if Governor Romney’s told what his tax rate is. Mine’s higher than that, I can assure you, but I can’t tell you what it was. All I know it was very painful writing the check last April. That’s all I can tell you.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: I want to — Governor Romney, you mentioned the Democratic attacks. I want to ask you to go back in history a little bit. Back in 1967, your father set a groundbreaking — what was then a groundbreaking standard in American politics. He released his tax return. He released them for not one year, but for 12 years. And when he did that, he said this: “One year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show.”

When you release yours, will you follow your father’s example?

ROMNEY: Maybe.

(LAUGHTER)

You know, I don’t know how many years I’ll release. I’ll take a look at what the — what our documents are and I’ll release multiple years. I don’t know how many years, and — but I’ll be happy to do that.

Let me tell you, I know there are some who are very anxious to see if they can’t make it more difficult for a campaign to be successful. I know the Democrats want to go after the fact that I’ve been successful. I — I’m not going to apologize for being successful.

(APPLAUSE)

And I’m not — I’m not suggesting — I’m not suggesting these people are — are doing that, but I know the Democrats will go after me on that basis and that’s why I want to release these things all at the same time. And — and I — you know, my — my dad, as you know, born in Mexico, poor, didn’t get a college degree, became head of a car company. I could have stayed in Detroit like him and gotten pulled up in a car company.

I went off on my own. I didn’t inherit money from my parents. What I have I earned. I worked hard, the American way, and…

(APPLAUSE)

… I’m going to be able — I’m going to be able to talk to President Obama in a way no one else can that’s in this race right now, about how the free economy works, what it takes to put Americans back to work, and make sure he understands that this divisiveness, of dividing Americans between 99 and one is dangerous. We are one nation under God.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: You’ve raised the topic of putting America back to work. I think we’re ready for another question from our audience. Am I right?

Not quite yet. All right. So let’s stay up here for a second.

Let’s move — you mentioned putting America back to work. Let’s talk about something: Apple Computer. Apple computer is a breathtakingly important American company.

Senator Santorum, it’s one of the most respected companies in the country. I’ve handed it off, but I carry Apple products to do my work every day. It employs about 500,000 people in China. It is based in the United States, has some employees here, about 40-something thousand, I think 46,000. Most of them in retail stores and at the headquarters. Five hundred thousand of them are in China.

As a president of the United States, what do you do about that?

SANTORUM: I’m the only person on this stage that will do something about it. I’ve got a specific plan in place that — that I’ve put out there, called the Made in the USA Plan, for exactly these kinds of companies that have great technology and then go somewhere else to make them because America is uncompetitive.

And that’s why we have to cut the corporate tax to zero for all corporations who manufacture and process in this country. People have said, “Well, why are you doing it for corporations and only cutting it in half?” which I do, to 17.5 percent for the rest. It’s because the local pharmacy’s not going to move to China. They’re not going to — the jobs that we’re losing are jobs that we have to compete with other countries, and those are manufacturing jobs.

The reason they’re going there is not because our — our — our workers or our management in this country are not productive. We have great productivity gains. It’s amazing the transformation that has been made in the last decade or two about our manufacturing processing here. It is simply government getting in the way.

None of these folks do anything. I do dramatic things that send a signal: Apple, you want — you — you have all those employees over there, you make all those profits over there, if you want to bring that money back, right now you pay a 35 percent tax. Under our plan, if you bring it back and invest it in plant and equipment here in Charleston, you pay nothing. You put that money to work. If you invest it, you pay nothing.

(APPLAUSE)

It’s a powerful incentive. You throw on top of that the energy policy that we put out there to revitalize the energy sector. You — which will create — again, manufacturing, energy cost is a big deal. So we have an energy piece.

We also a piece having to do with regulations. The Obama administration has promulgated two and a half times the number of regulations that cost American businesses over $100 million a year. Two and a half time the last 16 years of presidents.

This president is putting a burden on manufacturers and business. It’s the reason they’re not — we’re not making things here. I’ll repeal every single one of those regulations on day one.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Congressman Paul, how do you revive made in America?

PAUL: You have to create the right conditions to bring these companies back and they have to bring their capital back and should be taxed.

But Apple’s a great company, but the way you asked the question, it infers that because there’s a bunch of workers overseas it hasn’t benefited a lot of people here. The consumers obviously have been benefited by a good company well run. But obviously there’s a lot of employees with Apple in this country as well.

I don’t think that’s the number that you have to be concerned about. A lot of people worry about us buying and money going overseas. But if you send money to China, let’s say they’re paying wages other there and we send dollars over there, they don’t put the dollars in a shoe box. They have to spend those dollars.

Unfortunately, they’re buying our debt and perpetuating our consumerism here and our debt here. But immediately there’s a benefit to us because those dollars come back.

But also when you get products, if they’re buying products cheaper over there, let’s say the computer cost $100 instead of $1,000. Well, the person’s just saved $900. That helps the economy. That $900 stays in that person’s pocket. So whether it’s shoes or a computer.

So we shouldn’t be frightened about trade or sending money on. But we have to look at the reason why they’re doing this. I mean, even the car companies, there’s obviously a problem with car companies here. They’re in bigger trouble. We had to bail them out.

But there are foreign companies that build cars in this country and they make a living out of it. So it’s more complex than that. But we have to do whatever we can.

I think the — I think the — the union problem, the right to work states, and of course I’ve chided Senator Santorum on this…

(APPLAUSE)

… because he has voted, you know, against right to work. But we have to change these conditions to invite people back. But believe me, the regulations and the fact that we are the issuer of the reserve currency of the world is a real temporary blessing for us because it’s easy for us to export our money. That’s unfortunately our greatest export and they’re still taking our money. Soon, though, they’re going to quit and this whole ball game is going to end and we better get prepared for it.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: He mentioned you, Senator Santorum. Go ahead, quickly.

SANTORUM: Congressman Paul knows because we’ve talked about this before. I’ve already signed a pledge and said I would sign a national right to work bill. And when I was a senator from Pennsylvania, which is a state that is not a right to work state, the state made a decision not to be right to work. And I wasn’t going to go to Washington and overturn that from the federal government and do that to the state.

That’s a very different position.

KING: Quickly, sir.

PAUL: Yes, the response should be — yes, I understand that, that’s the way politics works. You voted the way you thought —

SANTORUM: Representative government works.

KING: Yes, for your state. But, as president, are you going to represent South Carolina or Pennsylvania? That’s really the question.

(APPLAUSE)

SANTORUM: Well, maybe you didn’t hear what I said. I said I would support a national right to work law and sign it into law, and would support and advocate for one.

KING: Let’s continue the economic conversation with some input from a question from Twitter. If you look up here you can see it, CNNDebate.

“What is your take on SOPA and how do you believe it affects Americans?”

For those who have not been following it, SOPA is the Stop Online Piracy Act, a crackdown on Internet piracy, which is clearly a problem. But opponents say it’s censorship. Full disclosure, our parent company, Time Warner, says we need a law like this because some of its products, movies, programming, and the like, are being ripped off online.

Let me start with you, Mr. Speaker. There’s two competing ends, two engines, even, of our economy here at on this.

How do you deal with it?

GINGRICH: Well, you’re asking a conservative about the economic interests of Hollywood.

(APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH: And I’m weighing it. I’m weighing it. I’m not rushing in. I’m trying to think through all of the many fond left-wing people who are so eager to protect.

On the other hand, you have virtually everybody who is technologically advanced, including Google and YouTube and Facebook and all the folks who say this is going to totally mess up the Internet. And the bill in its current form is written really badly and leads to a range of censorship that is totally unacceptable.

Well, I favor freedom. And I think that if you — I think we have a patent office, we have copyright law. If a company finds that it has genuinely been infringed upon, it has the right to sue. But the idea that we’re going to preemptively have the government start censoring the Internet on behalf of giant corporations, economic interests, strikes me as exactly the wrong thing to do.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Mr. Speaker, Governor Romney, these companies complain — some of them are based in Hollywood, not all of them are — that their software, that their publishing, that their movies, that their shows are being ripped off.

ROMNEY: I think he got it just about right. The truth of the matter is that the law, as written, is far too intrusive, far too expensive, far too threatening, the freedom of speech and movement of information across the Internet. It would have a potentially depressing impact on one of the fastest growing industries in America, which is the Internet, and all those industries connected to it.

At the same time, we care very deeply about intellectual content that’s going across the Internet. And if we can find a way to very narrowly, through our current laws, go after those people who are pirating, particularly those from off shore, we’ll do that. But a very broad law which gives the government the power to start stepping into the Internet and saying who can pass what to whom, I think that’s a mistake. And so I’d say no, I’m standing for freedom.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: I mean, it’s a big issue in the country right now.

Congressman Paul and Senator Santorum, your views on this one quickly.

PAUL: I was the first Republican to sign on with a host of Democrats to oppose this law. And we have worked —

(APPLAUSE)

PAUL: We have had a concerted effort, and I feel like we’re making achievement. This bill is not going to pass. But watch out for the next one.

And I am pleased that the attitude has sort of mellowed up here, because the Republicans unfortunately have been on the wrong side of this issue. And this is a good example on why it’s good to have somebody that can look at civil liberties and work with coalitions and bring people together. Freedom and the Constitution bring factions together. I think this is a good example.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Those who support the law, Senator, argue tens of thousands of jobs are at stake.

SANTORUM: I don’t support this law. And I agree with everybody up here that is goes too far. But I will not agree with everybody up here that there isn’t something that can and should be done to protect the intellectual property rights of people.

The Internet is not a free zone where anybody can do anything they want to do and trample the rights of other people, and particularly when we’re talking about — in this case, we’re talking about entities offshore that are doing so, that are pirating things. So, the idea that the government — that you have businesses in this country, and that the government has no role to try to protect the intellectual property of people who have those rights in this country from people overseas pirating them and then selling them back into this country, it’s great.

I mean, I’m for free, but I’m not for people abusing the law. And that’s what’s happening right now, and I think something proper should be done. I agree this goes too far.

But the idea that, you know, anything goes on the Internet, where did that come from? Where in America does it say that anything goes? We have laws, and we respect the law. And the rule of law is an important thing, and property rights should be respected.

KING: All right. Gentlemen, I want to thank you. I’ll ask our audience — applaud if you wish. Stand by one second. We’ll take one more break.

Much more of our Southern Republican Presidential Debate to come, including this question: After months of campaigning, if these candidates could do one thing over, what would it be?

(APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(APPLAUSE)

KING: I’m John King. We’re live in Charleston, South Carolina, and this is the CNN Southern Republican Presidential Debate. Many of you are watching online, commenting on Twitter, Facebook and at CNN.com.

When we come back, we’ll ask the four candidates for president this question: After months and months of campaigning, if you could do one thing over, what would it be? Stay with us.

(APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Welcome back to the Southern Republican Presidential Debate. I’m John King. We’re live in Charleston, South Carolina. A lot more issues to wander through tonight.

But I just want to take this moment. After months and months of campaigning, maybe this is fun; maybe it isn’t.

Speaker Gingrich, I want to start with you. You’re at this for months and you’re out there. If there’s one thing, just one thing in this campaign you could do over, what would it be?

GINGRICH: I would skip the opening three months where I hired regular consultants and tried to figure how to be a normal candidate. And I would just go straight to being a big ideas, big solutions, Internet- based campaign from day one.

Just didn’t work. I mean, it’s not who I am. I’m not capable of being a sort of traditional candidate. I’m a very ideal-oriented candidate and I think the Internet makes it possible to create a momentum of ideas that’s very, very exciting.

KING: Governor Romney?

ROMNEY: Well, I would have worked to get 25 more votes in Iowa, that’s for sure.

(APPLAUSE)

And — well, let’s see. I guess — I guess I also would go back and take every moment I spent talking about one of the guys on the stage and spent that time talking about Barack Obama because… (APPLAUSE)

… the — the truth is that — that Barack Obama is just way over his head and he’s taking our country down a path that is very dangerous. He’s making us more and more like a European social welfare state. He’s making us an entitlement society. He’s taking away the rights of our citizens. He believes government should run this country.

Look, the right course for America is to return to our fundamental principles, and I would be talking about that more, and probably about my colleagues less because frankly, any one of them would be a better president than the one we’ve got.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Senator?

SANTORUM: I just thought about that, and you know what? I wouldn’t a change a thing. It’s — for me to be standing here in the final four is about as amazing a thing that I could have ever conceived of happening; someone who had no money; who lost his last race; who everyone basically ignored as I traveled around South Carolina, Iowa and — and New Hampshire and just talked to people. A town hall meeting — after 700 town hall meetings, just going around.

And it proved that good ideas and hard work still pay off in America and it just was an affirmation to me of the great process that we have.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Congressman?

PAUL: I can’t — I can’t think of any one thing that I would do differently, but I would continue to do what I’m always trying to do. One thing that I believe about a free society is it provides the opportunity for us to work for our own virtue and excellence. And in campaigning, I think I can still learn a lot about becoming a better deliverer of a message.

And the conviction I have that I think if I spoke a little slower and maybe more conviction, that I could do a better job. So I think in general, I could — I will continue to work on delivering a message which I think is a great message.

KING: All right, gentlemen. Thank you.

Let’s get back to our issues discussion and let’s begin with a question down in our audience.

QUESTION: Hi. I would like to ask on the issue of amnesty of the illegal aliens, would you — how would you secure that the American citizens would get — keep the jobs in line first for them?

KING: Mr. Speaker, let’s start with you on that. She mentioned the word “amnesty.” You have explained your position in this campaign. And as you know, some conservatives have said, “No, Mr. Speaker, you say you can’t deport maybe it’s 10 million, 11 million, some people say as high as 20 million people illegally in this country. You say it’s unrealistic to deport them all. So some would have to be given a path to legal status.”

And as you know, many conservatives say, “No, that’s amnesty, Mr. Speaker.”

GINGRICH: Right. What I say, we’ll start with I think you have to first of all control the border. I don’t think you can pass a comprehensive bill because nobody trusts the government. So first, you control the border. We have a bill that would have it controlled by January 1, 2014. And I’m prepared both to waive all federal regulations to get it built and controlled by 2014 and I’m prepared to move up to half the people who work for Homeland Security — about 20,000 — they have 23,000 employees in Washington. I’d be prepared to move half of them to Texas, Arizona and New Mexico if that’s what it took to control the border.

(APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH: Second, I favor English as the official language of government. And I think that creates a continuity.

(APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH: Third, I would actually modernize the legal system of visas, because currently we make it too difficult to come here legally and too easy to come here illegally.

(APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH: Fourth, I would make it much easier to deport people. So if you are a non-citizen who belonged, say, to MS-13, an El Salvadorian gang, we should be able to get rid of you in two weeks, not two years. And we should have a much easier deportation.

Fifth, I favor a guest worker program. And I would outsource it to American Express, Visa or MasterCard, because they can run it without fraud and the federal government’s hopeless. So you want a system that is accurate and that is anti-fraud, which leads you then to be able to say to private employers, if you hire somebody who’s illegal, we’re going to have an enormous economic sanction, because there will be no excuse once you have a guest worker program that’s legal.

Then you get down to the question of people who are already here. I believe in what I just described most of them will go home.

The one group I signaled out — and we do have a lively debate on this up here. There are people who have been here 25 years. They’ve been working. They’ve been paying their bills.

They’re married. They have children. They may have grandchildren. They may be in your church.

Now, I don’t think we’re going to deport grandmothers and grandfathers who have 25 years of networking and relationships in a community. So I’ve suggested a World War II-style draft board where local citizens would review the applications. You could only apply if you proved that you were financially responsible, you proved you had genuine family ties, and you had an American family sponsor you.

You still wouldn’t get amnesty. You wouldn’t get citizenship. You would get a residency permit.

In order to apply for a citizenship, you would have to go back to your own country and get in line behind everybody else and be processed as a person from that country. But I think this is a doable, solvable, practical solution. And I think trying to deport grandmothers and grandfathers will never pass the Congress and would never be accepted by the American people.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Governor Romney, is that the doable, practical solution?

ROMNEY: You know, the issue of illegal immigration is relatively straightforward compared to the tough issues we face, issues like how we’re going to compete with China as it grows a military which is of extraordinary scale and a navy of that scale; how we’re going to deal with radical violent jihadists; Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, making sure they’re solvent. We’ve got real challenges that are tough. This one is not tough.

You build a fence. You have enough border patrol agents to secure the fence. And you also have a system of giving to people who come here legally an identification card, and you expect employers and insist that employers check that card before they hire someone.

If they don’t check the card, if they don’t run it through the U.S. database and get an instant response from the government or from MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or whomever, then those employers are going to get severely sanctioned. If you do that, we solve the problem of illegal immigration.

And with regards to those that have come here illegally now, we’re not going to round them all up and deport them, but we’re also not going to give them a preferential pathway to become permanent residents or citizens. They need to go back home, apply for citizenship, apply for permanent residency, like everyone else. Coming here illegally should not give you an advantage being able to become a permanent resident of the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Do you have the same view, Senator?

SANTORUM: Well, I come at it from — as being the son of an immigrant. And my grandfather came to this country and brought my dad when he was 7 years old. And that’s the story that I love and am familiar with, and believe in my heart of hearts that immigration is — people who want to come to this country and be Americans is really the continuing infusion of freedom and enthusiasm for our country. But when you come here illegally, the first act you take is to break our law, that’s a different story.

And we have two folks here, both Governor Romney and Speaker Gingrich. Mitt Romney has a position now that people have to go home. But as of just a few years ago, he said that there could be a pathway to citizenship. He’s repeatedly said that.

Now he’s changed his position. I understand that. He’s done that on a couple of occasions.

And you have Speaker Gingrich, who believes there needs to be a legal pathway. That’s where President Obama’s position is.

Again, just like health care, we need a clear contrast, someone who can say, look, I have always been for making sure that the law is enforced and enforced fairly. I agree for people who have been here 25 years and maybe have to be separated from their family if they were picked up and deported, but my father grieved for his father when he came to this country and lived here five years.

And other folks who sacrificed, who came here to America, did it the right way according to the law. Because America was worth it. And if you want to be an American, the first thing you should do is respect our laws and obey our laws. And…

(APPLAUSE)

And the idea that someone, whether it’s either of these two gentlemen, the idea that someone who came here and lived here 25 years has only broken one law — if they’ve worked for 25 years, they’ve been breaking the law for 25 years.

(APPLAUSE)

If they’ve been working, they have probably stolen someone’s Social Security number and they’ve committed Social Security fraud. They — this is not just a single occurrence. It’s an ongoing issue. And if we treat people like that differently than we do with a mother who, out of a desperate situation, goes out and shoplifts or does something and gets thrown in jail, what are we saying, that we’re going to treat people in this country who do things for their family differently than those who are here illegally?

(APPLAUSE)

I don’t think so.

(APPLAUSE)

JOHN KING, DEBATE MODERATOR AND CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: You mentioned both Governor Romney and the speaker. Take a moment, quickly. I want to bring Congressman Paul into the conversation. He is essentially saying he doesn’t trust you on this.

FORMER GOV. MITT ROMNEY (R-MA.), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you know, I ran for president four years ago. This was the position I described when I ran four years ago. I wrote a book, laid out my position. I actually agreed, I think, with what you just said, which is I believe those people who have come here illegally should not be given a preferential path to become permanent residents or citizens of this country.

You shake your head…

(CROSSTALK)

SANTORUM: I’ll be happy to show you the quotes of what you said…

ROMNEY: OK, good. Good.

SANTORUM: … that people should have a pathway to citizenship.

ROMNEY: And the…

SANTORUM: Not — not — not citizens, a pathway to be legal in this country, not citizenship.

ROMNEY: And the pathway that I’ve described is that those individuals who have come here illegally should be able to register in this country, have a temporary period to arrange their affairs and return home and get at the — at the back of the line like everyone else.

And the position I’ve had is that the people who have come here illegally should not be given a preferential pathway relative to others but should be able to get in the same line at the back of the line.

And I agree with the senator. I’m sorry you don’t acknowledge my agreement, but I agree with you, that this is a nation of laws. At the same time, I think it’s important. I’m glad you mentioned this because I didn’t in my answer.

And that is we need to underscore the fact that we’re a party of legal immigration. We like legal immigration. We want legal immigration.

(APPLAUSE)

And to protect…

(APPLAUSE)

… to protect legal immigration, we want to stop illegal immigration. And we don’t want to do anything that would suggest to people, “Come on in here, just wait long enough, whether it’s five years or 10 years, wait long enough and we’ll take you all in on an amnesty basis.” I want people to get in line legally.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Congressman Paul, you’re from a border state. If this is a problem, you’ve heard your colleagues talk about making sure employers, companies that hire large numbers of people, making sure they get the message they can’t hire illegals. What about individuals? About a quarter of the illegal immigrants in the country work for individuals. If this is a problem — if I hired an illegal immigrant, say, to clean my home, should I be prosecuted for doing that?

REP. RON PAUL (R-TX.), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don’t believe you should be. Because I think those laws are misdirected. That makes you the policeman, or the businessman the policeman, or the Catholic Church the policeman, if they do anything to help an illegal immigrant.

It should be the law enforcers, and that is the border guards. And the federal government’s in charge of immigration. So, no, I don’t agree with those laws. But it doesn’t mean that I’m soft in the issue of illegal immigration.

Illegal — I can’t imagine anybody standing up here and saying, oh, I’m for illegal immigration. We’re all against illegal immigration. But I think what we fail to do is — is look at the incentives.

And it has a lot to do with economics. There’s an economic incentive for them to come, for immigrants to come. But there’s also an incentive for some of our people in this country not to take a job that’s a low-paying job. You’re not supposed to say that, but that is true.

But there’s also an economic incentive in the welfare state for immigrants to come in. In Texas, we suffer from the fact that there are federal mandates that we have to take care of their medical needs and their educational needs, and it bankrupts some of our — our school districts and our hospitals. So it’s those mandates.

But we need a more generous immigration policy. It should be legal, but we need more resources.

But I find that the resources are all overseas. When I was in the military, I was on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, and that is a no- man’s-land. You can’t see the border. At least we can — we can see the river south of Texas. We know where the Rio Grande is. Over there, we can’t see it. But we’re over there fighting and dying over that border, looking for problems. Why don’t we take those resources and quit pretending we can defend those borders and put them on our borders and take care of our needs here?

(APPLAUSE)

KING: The Speaker?

(APPLAUSE)

FORMER REP. NEWT GINGRICH (R-GA.), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: John, I just think, if you’re going to raise immigration, I want to make the point, on the very first day that I’m inaugurated, I will issue an executive order to the Justice Department to drop the lawsuits against South Carolina, Alabama and Arizona.

The federal government should enforce the law, not stop states from helping it enforce the law.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: I think we have nodding heads. I assume we have agreement on that. But let’s move on to another issue that came up in the campaign right here in South Carolina this week, and that’s the life issue.

Mr. Speaker, your campaign sent out a mailing to South Carolina Republicans across this state essentially questioning Governor Romney’s commitment on this issue, saying that he has changed his position on the abortion issue.

If you’ll recall, I moderated a debate back in New Hampshire in June. There were seven candidates then. We have four tonight. But when this came up, we talked about it briefly, and then I asked, is this fair game, an issue in this campaign, or is it case closed?

Mr. Cain, who was with us at the time, said case closed, and I paused. No one else took the opportunity to speak up.

If it was case closed then, why is a legitimate issue now?

GINGRICH: You just said nobody else spoke. So nobody else said, yes, it’s case closed. I mean, Herman Cain said it was case closed, the rest of us, it wasn’t a particular issue we wanted to fight that night.

I mean, we are allowed to run our own campaigns, John. It’s not an automatic requirement that we fit in your debate schedule.

(APPLAUSE)

This is — look, this is a very straightforward question. Governor Romney — and I — and I accept this — I mean, Governor Romney has said that he had a experience in a lab and became pro-life, and I accept that.

After he became pro-life, Romneycare does pay for tax-paid abortions. Romneycare has written into it Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country, by name. Does not have any right to life group written into it.

He did appoint pro-abortion judges. And a branch of the government which included his appointees did agree to fund an abortion clinic for Planned Parenthood. All that occurred after he had become pro-life.

Now, those are all facts which we validated, and it seems to me that’s a legitimate part of the campaign, is to say, “OK, if you’re genuinely pro-life, how come these things are occurring?”

KING: Governor Romney, he questions whether you’re genuinely pro- life.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: I’m not questioned on character or integrity very often. And I don’t feel like standing here for that. But let me clarify the things which are wrong in what the speaker just said. And — and he can get a scintilla of truth in there to make it seem like this is a significant issue. But let’s go through one by one.

First, in Romneycare there’s no mention of abortion whatsoever. The courts in Massachusetts, the supreme court was the body that decided that all times if there was any subsidy of health care in Massachusetts that one received abortion care. That was not done by the legislature. Would not be done by me either. I would have vetoed such a thing. That was done by the courts, not by the legislature or by me.

Number two, it’s true, somewhere in that bill of ours, 70 pages, there’s the mention of the word Planned Parenthood, but it describes a person at a technical advisory board about payment structures. There’s no requirement or no participation of Planned Parenthood in our health care plan.

With regards to judges, I appointed probably 50 or 60 judges, at the trial court level mostly, the great majority. These were former prosecutors, 80 percent of them former prosecutors. We don’t have a litmus test for appointing judges, asking them if they’re pro-life or not pro-life. These are people going after crimes and — and — and the like. I didn’t get to appoint any supreme court justices.

I am pro-life. And the Massachusetts Citizens for Life and several other family-oriented groups wrote a letter two weeks ago and said they’d watched my record, that I was an avidly pro-life governor. I’m a pro-life governor. I am a pro-life individual.

And — and I — I have to be honest here. It is — this is not the time to be doubting people’s words or questioning their integrity. I’m pro-life.

By the way, is there any possibility that I’ve ever made a mistake in that regard, I didn’t see something that I should have seen? Possibly. But you can count on me as president of the United States to pursue a policy that protects the life of the unborn, whether here in this country or overseas. And I’ll reverse the policies of this president.

Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Mr. Speaker, he says you’re questioning his integrity.

GINGRICH: I’ll yield to Senator Santorum.

KING: Senator?

SANTORUM: I just want to make one point. And a lot of legislatures here — legislators here in the room and they — and they know this to be the truth, that if you write a piece of legislation and you — and you say medical care and you do not specifically mention that abortion is not covered, we know from every court decision at the state and federal levels that the federal courts and state courts will require it.

That is someone (sic) every governor knows, every state legislator knows. And so when Governor Romney did not put that in the bill, you can’t say, “Oh, gee, surprise, the court made us cover abortions.” He knew very well that the court would make them cover abortions. That’s number one.

Number two…

(APPLAUSE)

Number — number two, what we’re talking about here is someone who’s not going to just check the boxes and say, “Yes, I’m pro-life.”

We’ve got a lot of folks who just whisper into the microphone that they’re pro-life, and then you have other people who go out and fight the battle and defend life and come out of the trenches and actually work to make sure that the dignity of every human life, innocent human life in this country is protected.

And I’ve done that.

(APPLAUSE)

And I — and I would say to you in — in contrast with Speaker Gingrich, who on the social issues, in particular when he was speaker and even afterwards, they were pushed on the back bench. There was a pledge to America that the Congress tried to put together in 2010. I got phone calls ringing off the hook that Speaker Gingrich went in and told them, “Keep social issues out of the pledge to America for the 2010 elections, and we need you to come in and help to try to convince these folks to put that back into the pledge.”

We don’t need someone who in the back rooms is going to say social issues in the front — are in the back of the bus, and then come out here and try to prevent they’re pro-life.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Governor Romney and then Speaker Gingrich, he mentioned (inaudible). Very quickly.

ROMNEY: Senator, I — I admire the fact that you’ve been a stalwart defender of — of pro-life and in a state where that’s not easy. I was also a governor in a state where being pro-life was not easy. And I — and I battled hard. What came to my desk was a piece of legislation that said “We’re going to redefine when life begins.” In our state, we said life began at conception. The legislature wanted to change that to say, “No, we’re going to do it an implantation.” I vetoed that.

The legislature also said, “We want to allow cloning for purposes of — of creating new embryos for testing.” I vetoed that. The legislature did not want to abstinence education. I pushed and pursued abstinence education. There was an effort to also have a morning-after pill provided to, as I recall, young women in their teens. I can’t remember the exact age. I vetoed that.

I stood as a pro-life governor and that’s why the Massachusetts Pro- Life Family Association supported my record as governor, endorsed my record as governor. I — I did my very best to be a pro-life governor. I will be a pro-life president. I’m proud of that. I wrote about it in my book. My record is — is solid.

I appreciate your record. I hope you’ll appreciate mine.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Mr. Speaker, he — he mentioned you specifically, and then we want to move on, but please respond.

GINGRICH: Well, the fact is that I voted with Henry Hyde, who was the leading pro-life advocate in the House for a generation. I had a 98.6 percent pro-life voting record. The only one we disagreed on was welfare reform, which they scored for reasons we never understood. Otherwise, it was a perfect record on — on pro-life.

When I was speaker, we twice passed a bill that actually Rick was — was very active in, to end partial-birth abortion. Twice, it was vetoed by Clinton, but twice we passed it.

In the 2010 election, the freshman class has the highest percentage of pro-life members ever in history, and my job was to maximize their winning. And the fact is, we won a huge victory in 2010 with the largest number of pro-life members ever elected in a freshman class.

KING: All right, let’s move on. Let’s take another question.

Congressman, I’ll (inaudible) on this one. Let’s — let’s take a question now from social media. Question — (inaudible), before we move on, do you want in on this issue? They want you in on this issue. Would you like in on this issue?

(APPLAUSE)

PAUL: John, once again, it’s a medical subject and I’m a doctor.

(LAUGHTER)

No, I do want to make a couple of comments because I can remember the very early years studying obstetrics and I was told — and it was before the age of abortion. And I was told taking care of a woman that’s pregnant, you have two patients. And I think that’s — that solves a lot of the problems of life — you know, when life begins and all.

(APPLAUSE)

And I also experienced a time later on in my training, in the 1960s when the culture was changing. The Vietnam War was going on. The drugs were there and pornography and everything came in. And abortion became prevalent, even though it was illegal. So the morality of the country changed, but then the law followed up. When the morality changed, it will — reflects on the laws.

The law is very important. We shouldn’t have these laws, but law will not correct the basic problem, and that’s the morality of the people that we must do.

Now, just very, very briefly, I want to talk a little bit about that funding because the flaw there is if you — if you send funding out and you say, “Well, you can have it for birth control, but not for abortion,” all funds are fungible. Even funds that go to any hospital if you say, “Well, it’s not for birth control and it’s not for Planned Parenthood and it’s not for abortion,” if you send it to the hospital, they can still use that money.

This is an indictment of government-run medicine because you never can sort that all out. You need the government out of that business or you will always argue over who’s paying what bills.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Very quickly, Senator.

SANTORUM: I think that was directed at me, and so I would just say this. Congressman Paul has a national right-to-life voting record of 50 percent, which is pretty much what Harry Reid’s national right to life voting record is.

So for — to go out and say that you’re someone who stands up for the right to life, you repeatedly vote against bills on a federal level to promote the right to life. And you say that this is an individual, a personal decision, or state decision. Life should be protected, and you should have the willingness to stand up on a federal law and every level of government and protect what our Declaration protects, which is the right of our creator to life, and that is a federal issue, not a state issue.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Quickly, sir.

PAUL: Just for the record, I wasn’t even thinking about you when I was giving my statement, so you are overly sensitive.

(APPLAUSE)

PAUL: But it is true that we have a disagreement on how we approach it. I follow what my understanding is of the Constitution. And it does allow for the states to deal with difficult problems.

A matter of fact, it allows the states to deal with almost all the problems if you look at it. It is not given — these powers aren’t given to the Congress.

I see abortion as a violent act. All other violence is handled by the states — murder, burglary, violence. That’s a state issue.

So don’t try to say that I’m less pro-life because I want to be particular about the way we do it and allow the states the prerogative. This is the solution. This is the solution. Because if we would allow the states to write their laws, take away the jurisdiction by a majority vote in the Congress, you repeal Roe versus Wade overnight, instead of waiting year after year to change the court system.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: All right.

We need to take one more break, Gentlemen. Stand by.

Less than 35 hours away now from the polls opening right here in South Carolina, a state that is crucial, often decisive in Republican presidential politics.

Stay with us. Hear the candidates’ closing arguments to the voters of a state that takes pride in picking presidents.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Welcome back to the Southern Republican Presidential Debate.

(APPLAUSE)

We’re in Charleston, South Carolina, tonight.

Gentlemen, we’re running out of time. Time flies. I wish we could stay all night. I don’t suspect you have campaigning to do. I don’t suspect you’ll agree.

(LAUGHTER)

I didn’t think so.

(LAUGHTER)

You know the history of this state. We’re inside 35 hours now from voters in South Carolina going to the polls, and we all know the history of this state.

In modern times, the winner of the South Carolina Republican primary has gone on to be your party’s nominee.

We have an interesting race at the moment. Senator Santorum wins Iowa; Governor Romney wins New Hampshire. Everybody’s waiting to see. Most people believe, if Governor Romney wins here, he would be the prohibitive favorite.

I want each of you, since we have a short time left, and I’ll start on the end. We’ll come down the line.

Congressman Paul, make your case. Make your case. South Carolina essentially faces this decision: “Not so fast, let’s continue the race,” or embrace Governor Romney. Make your case to the people of South Carolina in these final hours.

PAUL: Well, South Carolina is known for their respect for liberty, and a lot of people will ask the question…

(APPLAUSE)

They will ask the question, in a way, what will you do for South Carolina or what will you do for New Hampshire? What will you do for the various states?

But if you understand liberty, it’s equal for everybody; it benefits everybody, so if you have a protection of liberty, which is the purpose of the Constitution, protection of individual liberty, and that means you protect the private property rights system. And if you do that, that benefits everybody.

And this is what we have to do, is convince people that we can bring people together with the understanding of what those — those beliefs were that made America great. And it is freedom. It isn’t this continued spending money and debt. This is the reason — we’re in a mountain of debt and we have to deal with it. We really never even got around to talking about that tonight.

And one of my very modest proposals…

(APPLAUSE)

My modest proposal is in the first year, cut $1 trillion out of the budget to get started…

(APPLAUSE)

… because the debt bubble is a great burden. It’s a burden to all of us, and as I mentioned earlier, these programs are going to go down if we don’t get our budget under control. And we have to be willing to look at overseas spending and all of the entitlement system here in the country.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Mr. Speaker?

(APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH: Well, let me start — I want to thank CNN and I want to thank the people of Charleston for a very, very interesting and very useful evening.

We have a real challenge. It is imperative that we defeat Barack Obama.

(APPLAUSE)

This is, I believe, the most dangerous president of our lifetime.

And if he is re-elected after the disaster he has been, the level of radicalism of his second term will be truly frightening.

But in addition to beating Obama, we have to have a team victory in the Senate and the House and we have to have a principled victory so the American people send a signal that in January of 2013, they want very dramatic, very deep change in Washington.

(APPLAUSE)

I believe the only way to create the momentum is to be able to overcome his billion-dollar campaign with a series of debates which decisively convince the American people that a Sol Alinsky radical who is incompetent cannot be reelected, and I hope you will vote for me on Saturday as the person who could do that.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Governor Romney?

ROMNEY: I agree with a lot of what these last two men have just said. I think this is an absolutely critical election.

I believe that the founders took very careful thought in the preparation of the words of our Declaration of Independence that said that the creator had endowed us with certain unalienable rights, not the state but the creator, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

And by virtue of those words, the pursuit of happiness, this became the place on the planet where we were able to pursue our dreams as we might choose. People came here from all over the world, wishing to pursue happiness in their own way. And that has made us the most powerful economic engine in the world, where we can guard freedom because our military is the strongest in the world, coming from that powerful economic engine.

This president’s changing that. He’s changing the very nature of America. He’s turning us not from a merit society, an opportunity society, where people are free to choose their own course, but instead he’s making us an entitlement society, where people think they’re entitled to what other people have, where government takes from some and gives to others.

That has never been the source of American greatness. We need to return to the principles upon which this country was founded.

Our president said, I think in a very revealing way, that he wants to fundamentally transform America. He’s wrong. We need to restore the values that made America the hope of the Earth. And I understand those values.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: I will do everything in my power to restore those values by keeping America free, by fighting for free enterprise, by standing up to President Obama and pointing out how he has made it almost impossible for our private sector to reboot. I will get America working again. I will defeat Barack Obama and keep America as it’s always been, the shining on a hill.

Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Senator Santorum.

SANTORUM: I agree with Governor Romney 100 percent of what he said about what the stakes are. The question is, who is the best person to take on President Obama?

I would make the argument that a conviction conservative who has a clear contrast with President Obama on the most important issues of the day is the best person, someone who has a clear contrast on health care, a clear contrast on global warming, a clear contrast on the Wall Street bailout. Talk about the one issue — the huge issue in the last couple of years where the government has come in and taken over, and both Newt and Governor Romney have supported that.

We need someone who not only says now they’re going to stand up for conservative principles, the big issues, but someone who has a track record of doing so and winning. I’m the only one in this race that’s ever defeated a Democratic incumbent. I did it for the Congress and I did it for the Senate.

(APPLAUSE)

SANTORUM: We’re the only people in this race that actually has won a swing state. And I did it because I have a plan like I outlined today.

I come from those states. I come from the background. I come with the working class and strong credentials, not just with a plan, but with the character that fits in with exactly the voters we need, those Reagan Democrats in Pennsylvania and Ohio and Michigan and Indiana and Wisconsin. Those are the votes and those are the states.

You want to win? Elect someone who can win in the states we have to win and draw the clear contrast with President Obama.

South Carolina, you’ve been told in the past, you’ve got to settle for a moderate because they can win, and you said the last time we had a situation like this, in 1980, you said, no, we’re going to take the strong conviction conservative, and you voted for Reagan before Reagan was the Reagan we knew. Vote for the one who can do the job that America needs. Vote for me.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: That concludes our debate this evening.

I want to thank all of our candidates for their time tonight.

I want to thank our wonderful audience. We also want to thank the people of South Carolina.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: I do appreciate it, and I know the candidates do as well.

Tune into CNN 600 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, our special coverage of the South Carolina presidential primary.

Also, next Thursday, we’ll be live in Jacksonville, Florida, for a Republican presidential debate there.

Our coverage of “America Votes 2012” continues right now.

END

Campaign Buzz January 19, 2012: Texas Governor Rick Perry Ends Bid for Republican Presidential Nomination & Endorses Newt Gingrich

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Gov. Rick Perry of Texas announced on Thursday that he will end<br /> his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
Luke Sharrett for The New York TimesGov. Rick Perry of Texas announced on Thursday that he would end his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

IN FOCUS: RICK PERRY DROPS BID FOR REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION & ENDORSES NEWT GINGRICH

Rick Perry to drop out of presidential race Thursday: Texas Gov. Rick Perry has announced an 11 a.m. press conference amid reports that he will abandon his pursuit of the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.

Gov. Rick Perry to Drop Out of Presidential Race, Two Republicans Say: Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is poised to end his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, according to two Republicans close to Mr. Perry, a decision that comes two days before the South Carolina primary…. – NYT, 1-19-12

Rick Perry expected to end presidential campaign (Live video, tweets): Perry is expected endorse former House speaker Newt Gingrich upon his withdrawal from the race…. – WaPo, 1-19-12

  • AP sources: Texas Gov. Rick Perry to abandon presidential bid and back Newt Gingrich: Rick Perry will abandon his presidential bid and endorse Newt Gingrich, two Republican officials said Thursday, a move coming just two days before the pivotal South Carolina primary as Republican front-runner Mitt Romney struggles to fend off… – WaPo, 1-19-12
  • Perry to End Bid for Presidency: Mr. Perry speaking at a campaign event in Mason City, Iowa, on Dec. 30, 2011. Mr. Perry is poised to end his candidacy and endorse Newt Gingrich on Thursday. … – NYT, 1-19-12
  • Perry closes campaign, endorses Gingrich: Texas Gov. Rick Perry ended his campaign for president today and endorsed Newt Gingrich as the best conservative to take on President Obama in the fall…. – USA Today, 1-19-12
  • Texas critics cheer as Rick Perry drops White House bid: When news broke Thursday morning that Texas Gov. Rick Perry was dropping out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination, longtime Texas progressive pundit Jim Hightower was positively jubilant…. – LAT, 1-19-12
  • Perry bows out of GOP race, seeing ‘no viable path to victory’: Texas Gov. Rick Perry abruptly quit the Republican presidential race Thursday and threw his support behind Newt Gingrich, a move aimed at slowing Mitt Romney’s drive toward the GOP nomination. … – LAT, 1-19-12
  • In up-and-down day, Gingrich wins Perry endorsement but faces ex-wife allegations: In an up-and-down kind of campaign day, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich picked up an endorsement Thursday from former rival Rick Perry but also faced new accusations from one of his former wives that he had asked her … – WaPo, 1-19-12
  • Gingrich welcomes Perry nod, discounts character questions: Newt Gingrich welcomed Rick Perry’s endorsement today — but not questions about his ex-wife’s allegations that he once sought an “open marriage.” Speaking with reporters after an event at a bayside park…. – USA Today, 1-19-12
  • GOP contest has a day full of upheaval: The Republican presidential contest took a series of unexpected twists Thursday as Texas Gov. Rick Perry quit the race and endorsed Newt Gingrich, while officials in Iowa declared that former senator Rick Santorum had in fact won … – WaPo, 1-19-12
  • Perry announced decision to drop from GOP presidential race, endorse Newt Gingrich: Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday dropped out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination and endorsed Newt Gingrich, adding a fresh layer of unpredictability to the campaign two days before the South Carolina primary. … – WaPo, 1-19-12
  • Perry ends presidential bid, endorses Gingrich: Texas Gov. Rick Perry ended his campaign for president today and endorsed Newt Gingrich as the best conservative to take on President Obama in the fall. “I believe Newt is a conservative visionary who can transform our … – USA Today, 1-19-12
  • Rick Perry to end presidential candidacy, expected to endorse Newt Gingrich: Texas Gov. Rick Perry will end his bid for the Republican presidential nomination today and is expected to endorse former House speaker Newt Gingrich, according to two sources familiar with his thinking. Gingrich himself said via email this morning … – WaPo, 1-19-12
  • South Carolina uncertainty: Uncertainty is the theme of the morning. Iowa can’t tell who won the caucuses. We don’t know where the supporters of Texas Gov. Rick Perry will go. Perry has decided to end his run and endorse Newt Gingrich before he has to endure … – WaPo, 1-19-12
  • Rick Perry drops out: Who benefits?: Rick Perry is expected to end his campaign for the Republican nomination today. Perry’s announcement will be just hours before candidates are to gather for the 16th televised debate and two days before the South Carolina primary…. – WaPo, 1-19-12
  • Rick Perry Ends Presidential Run, Endorses Gingrich: Perry who entered the race to tons of buzz last fall today announced the end of his presidential campaign. He will hold a press conference in Charleston, SC today to announce his plans…. – The Root, 1-19-12
  • CNN: Perry to end campaign: CNN is reporting that Rick Perry today will suspend his campaign for the GOP nomination. The Texas governor has been lagging in national and South Carolina polls, and has been battling with Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum … – USA Today, 1-19-12
  • Perry likely endorsing Gingrich for president: sources: Texas Governor Rick Perry is dropping out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination, and is likely to endorse Newt Gingrich, two Perry campaign sources said on Thursday. … – Reuters, 1-19-12
  • Perry to drop out of GOP presidential race: The Texas governor’s decision comes after a disappointing campaign and just days before the critical South Carolina primary… Texas Governor Rick Perry is set to announce he is dropping out of the Republican presidential … – msnbc.com. 1-19-12
  • Report: Perry abandoning bid, backing Gingrich: Rick Perry will abandon his presidential bid and endorse Newt Gingrich, two Republican officials said today, a move coming just two days before the pivotal South Carolina primary as Republican front- runner Mitt Romney struggles to fend off a challenge … – The Tribune-Democrat, 1-19-12
  • Rick Perry exiting GOP race, backing Gingrich: Rick Perry, who parachuted into the 2012 Republican presidential contest on a surge of upbeat expectations, is expected to exit the contest Thursday, two days before a South Carolina primary in which he was trailing far behind the leaders…. – Torrington Register Citizen, 1-19-12

Complete transcript of Rick Perry’s withdrawal announcement

Source: Houston Chronicle, 1-19-12

This is the prepared text of Rick Perry’s presidential withdrawal announcement. He diverged slightly from this text in his speech in North Charleston, S.C.

Thank you. As I have stated numerous times on the campaign trail, this campaign has never been about the candidates.

I ran for President because I love America, our people and our freedom.

But the mission is greater than the man.

As I have traveled across this great country: from New Hampshire to California, from Iowa to Florida, and to numerous states in between, I have discovered a tremendous purpose and resiliency in our people.

They have never lost hope despite current circumstances.

They haven’t stopped believing in the promise of America or the American Dream.

Americans are down, but we can never be counted out. We are too great a people.

What is broken in America is not our people, but our politics.

And what we need is a Washington that is humbler, with a federal government that is smaller so our people can live freer.

I entered this campaign offering a unique perspective: a governor who has led a large state leading the nation in job creation, an executive leader who has implemented conservative policies, a son of tenant farmers born with little more than a good name, but who has experienced the great possibilities of freedom.

But I have never believed that the cause of conservatism is embodied by any one individual.

Our party, and the conservative philosophy, transcends any one individual.

It is a movement of ideas that are greater than any one of us, and that will live beyond our years.

As a former Air Force pilot, I know we can’t lose track of the ultimate objective in carrying out our mission, and that objective is not only to defeat President Obama, but to replace him with a conservative leader who will bring about real change.

Our country is hurting with more than 13 million unemployed, nearly 50 million on food stamps and a debt of more than $15 trillion and growing.

We need bold, conservative leadership that will take on the entrenched interests and give the American People their country back.

I have always believed the mission is greater than the man.

As I have contemplated the future of this campaign, I have come to the conclusion that there is no viable path to victory for my candidacy in 2012.

Therefore, today I am suspending my campaign and endorsing Newt Gingrich for president.

I believe Newt is a conservative visionary who can transform our country.

We have had our differences, which campaigns inevitably bring out. And Newt is not perfect, but who among us is?

The fact is, there is forgiveness for those who seek God and I believe in the power of redemption, for it is a central tenet of my own Christian faith.

And I have no question Newt Gingrich has the heart of a conservative reformer, the ability to rally and captivate the conservative movement and the courage to tell the Washington interests to take a hike if it’s what is best for the country.

As a Texan, I have never shied away from a good fight, especially when the cause was right.

But as someone who has always admired a great Texas forefather — Sam Houston — I know when it is time for a “strategic retreat.”

So I will leave the trail, return home to Texas and wind down my 2012 campaign organization. And I will do so with pride knowing I gave myself fully to a cause worthy of our country.

And as I head home, I do so with the love of my life by my side, a woman who makes every day a good one when she is by my side, my wife Anita.

Thank you Anita for all you have done.

I also want to thank my son Griffin, my daughter Sydney, and my daughter-in-law Meredith for standing with us in this great effort.

With a good wife, three wonderful children, and a loving God in my life, things will be good no matter what the future holds.

I’m proud of the policies we put forward to the American people and believe they provide the right path forward for our party and our nation: overhauling Washington and returning power to state and local governments and to the people, creating energy jobs and energy security, cutting spending and eliminating unnecessary federal agencies and cutting taxes to a flat, fair 20 percent.

And I will continue to fight for these conservative reforms because the future of our country is at stake and the road we are traveling today – President Obama’s road – endangers our future.

I want to thank some wonderful individuals who have stood by my side in this state: Katon Dawson, Ambassador Wilkins, and a strong and good man serving you in Congress, Mick Mulvaney.

I want to thank all my supporters from across the country, in particular Governor Bobby Jindal, Steve Forbes and Governor Sam Brownback, as well as Senator Jim Inhofe, Congresswoman Candice Miller and Congressman Sam Graves.

And I want to say a special thanks to three distinguished veterans who have joined me on the campaign trail: Medal of Honor awardee and Navy SEAL Mike Thornton, Navy Cross recipient Marcus Luttrell and Purple Heart recipient, Marine Captain Dan Moran.

I began this race with a sense of calling.

I felt led into this arena to fight for the future of this country.

I feel no different today than I did then, knowing a calling never guarantees a particular destination, but a journey that tests one’s faith and character.

So now the journey leads us back to Texas, neither discouraged nor disenchanted, but instead rewarded for the experience and resolute to remain in the arena and in the service of a great nation.

Our country needs bold leadership and a real transformation.

We must rise to the occasion and elect a conservative champion to put our nation back on the right track.

And this I know, I am not done fighting for the cause of conservatism. In fact I have only begun to fight.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

Campaign Buzz January 16, 2012: Fox News Channel & Wall Street Journal South Carolina Republican Presidential Debate — Gingrich Impresses, Romney Fumbles

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

https://i2.wp.com/graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2012/01/17/us/politics/20120117_337_DEBATE-slide-5TUZ/20120117_337_DEBATE-slide-5TUZ-hpMedium.jpg

IN FOCUS: FOX NEWS SOUTH CAROLINA REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

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Highlights and Fact-Checks From the Debate

Romney defends record at Bain, suggests he’d release tax forms; Gingrich defends attacks: Some notable moments from the Republican presidential hopefuls’ debate Monday in Myrtle Beach, S.C…. – WaPo, 1-16-12

“Every time we invested, we tried to grow an enterprise, add jobs to make it more successful. The record is pretty darn good.” — Mitt Romney

MITT ROMNEY: “I’ve heard enough from folks saying, ‘Look, let’s see your tax records.’ I have nothing in them that suggests there’s any problem and I’m happy to do so. If I become our nominee, and what’s happened in history is people have released them in about April of the coming year, and that’s probably what I would do.”

RICK PERRY: “We can’t fire our nominee in September. We need to know now.”

“I don’t think Republicans should allow themselves to automatically be intimidated because every time you raise a question somebody yells, ‘You are doing something the Democrats will do.'” — Newt Gingrich

  • Romney Is Opponents’ Main Target in GOP Debate: Mitt Romney withstood forceful attacks during a debate here on Monday evening, with his Republican rivals lining up to question his job-creation record, wealth and character, as they implored voters to scrutinize his candidacy more … – NYT, 1-16-12
  • FACT CHECK: Distortions on trade, campaign ads and Romney’s record in latest: Mitt Romney ignored the most significant expansion of trade ties in nearly two decades when he accused the Obama administration Monday night of doing nothing to open new markets. Rick Santorum claimed to be taking purely the high road…. – WaPo, 1-16-12
  • South Carolina Republican debate: Winners and losers: Another day, another Republican presidential debate. (Missed it? Don’t worry – we liveblogged the entire night right here…. – WaPo, 1-16-12
  • Debate night, round 16: We’ll be live-blogging the 16th GOP primary debate, this one hosted by Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, and held in South Carolina. The event, set to last an hour and 45 minutes, will be the first one without Jon Huntsman…. – Politico, 1-16-12
  • Debate reactions on Twitter: All eyes are on the GOP hopefuls who are taking the stage tonight in South Carolina at a debate sponsored by The Wall Street Journal and FOX News. The NBC political team will be live-tweeting the debate, offering minute-by-minute updates and analysis…. – msnbc.com, 1-16-12
  • Fact check: GOP candidates stretch truth in SC debate: In a spirited debate, Republican candidates variously strained the facts on President Obama’s record on trade, tangled with each other over a misleading ad about allowing felons to vote…. – USA Today, 1-17-12
  • FACT CHECK: Distortions on trade, campaign ads and Romney’s record in latest republican debate: Mitt Romney ignored the most significant expansion of trade ties in nearly two decades when he accused the Obama administration Monday night of doing nothing to open new markets. Rick Santorum claimed to be taking purely the high road in … – WaPo, 1-16-12
  • Republican Debate Boosts Fox News; Cable News Ratings for Monday, January 16, 2012: FOX News Channel’s debate this past Monday night (MLK holiday) in South Carolina attracted 5.5 million viewers with 1.6 million in the 25-54 demographic – even with the holiday, FNC’s debate beat the last debate held by NBC’s Meet The Press in both … – TVbytheNumbers, 1-17-12
  • Romney Is Opponents’ Main Target in GOP Debate: Mitt Romney withstood forceful attacks during a debate here on Monday evening, with his Republican rivals lining up to question his job-creation record, wealth and character, as they implored voters to scrutinize his candidacy more … – NYT, 1-16-12
  • In South Carolina debate, focus is on tactics in GOP race: Mitt Romney came under renewed assault Monday night for his business record and tactics, but in a turnabout, his rivals found themselves forced to defend their criticism and the increasingly harsh tone of the … – LAT, 1-16-12
  • In South Carolina, a good night for Gingrich, but will it matter?: If Republican presidential debates mattered as much as everyone has said they do, the final days before Saturday’s South Carolina primary might now be seen as a political duel between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. … – WaPo, 1-16-12
  • In South Carolina debate, rough patches for usually polished Mitt Romney: Mitt Romney spoke haltingly and indecisively, during GOP’s South Carolina debate, about his tenure at Bain Capital and whether he would release his tax returns…. – CS Monitor, 1-21-12
  • Romney may release his tax records — in April: Mitt Romney indicated last night he will release his tax returns — but only after he has clinched the Republican nomination. Using the phrase “if I become our nominee,” Romney said at last night’s debate in Myrtle Beach, … – USA Today, 1-21-12
  • Confronted by GOP rivals, Romney says he may release tax returns in April: Mitt Romney’s four remaining challengers are keeping the spotlight on the Republican front-runner’s wealth and business dealings by pressing him to release his income tax returns. Romney says he might make them public in April. … – WaPo, 1-21-12
  • Did SC debate damage Romney?: Mitt Romney fended off attacks from his rivals during the Republican debate Monday in Myrtle Beach, SC With only days to go in the South Carolina primary race, opponents looked to plant new doubts about Romney’s … – WaPo, AP, 1-21-12
  • GOP Race Intensifies: Republican rivals at Monday’s debate asked front-runner Mitt Romney, center, to release his tax returns. And they pressed the former Massachusetts governor to release his tax returns to avoid any surprise revelations in a general-election fight with … – WSJ, 1-16-12
  • Rep. Scott praises Newt’s debate performance: Rep. Tim Scott (RS.C.) on Tuesday praised Newt Gingrich’s performance during the previous night’s Fox News-Wall Street Journal debate. “Newt really had a strong performance,” Scott said Tuesday on the Laura … – The Hill, 1-17-12
  • Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum split the fearful faction: Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are reading from the same script as they vie to be the “not Romney” champion of the frightened right. Monday, both candidates roved around this city of deserted beach … – LAT, 1-16-12
  • Not moose. Not varmints. It was elk Mitt Romney was after when hunting with friends in Montana: Mitt Romney confused moose with elk as he described his last hunting trip. In Monday night’s Republican debate in South Carolina, the GOP front-runner said he “went moose hunting” in Montana with friends, then quickly corrected … – WaPo, 1-16-12
  • Paul doubles down on cutting military spending overseas: Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul says he will make deep cuts to the military budget even though many voters in South Carolina and elsewhere are employed by the military. The Texas congressman was grilled Monday…. – WaPo, 1-21-12
  • Newt Gingrich warmongering, standing ovation for ‘Kill them’: Whilst Ron Paul was jeered and booed for his anti-war stance during a GOP debate in South Carolina, his rival candidate Newt Gingrich received a standing ovation for his warmongering rhetoric. … – DigitalJournal.com, 1-17-12
  • A smaller field and sharper tone in South Carolina campaign: The major Republican presidential hopefuls gathered for their 16th televised debate Monday night in a field that was smaller in size — former Utah governor Jon Huntsman had suspended his campaign a few hours … – USA Today, 1-17-12
  • In South Carolina debate, focus is on tactics in GOP race: Mitt Romney came under renewed assault Monday night for his business record and tactics, but in a turnabout, his rivals found themselves forced to defend their criticism and the increasingly harsh tone… – LAT, 1-16-12
  • At debate, Romney hedges on whether he would release tax returns: Under pressure to release his tax returns, Mitt Romney gave conflicting signals at the Fox News/Wall Street Journal debate in Myrtle Beach, SC as to whether he would make them public. At one point, Romney was asked directly whether…. – LAT, 1-16-12
  • Republican debate in South Carolina: Ron Paul takes drubbing: I’ve kind of been the one saying, ‘Please, come on in, get in the state.’ So it’s going to be interesting to see what he gets on Saturday…. – Politico, 1-16-12
  • Perry: Turkey ruled by ‘Islamic terrorists’?: We wonder if Turkey will be filing any protests with the State Department after presidential candidate Rick Perry labeled it a virtual terrorist state during last night’s Republican debate. Asked if Turkey belongs in NATO…. – USA Today, 1-17-12
  • Republican Debate: MLK Day Edition: On Monday night, the five remaining Republican presidential candidates debated in South Carolina. The two-hour event, broadcast on Fox News and held at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, covered a broad range of topics, but with its overlap on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day… – The Root, 1-16-12

Full Text Campaign Buzz January 16, 2012: Fox News Channel & Wall Street Journal South Carolina Republican Presidential Debate Transcript — 17th GOP Debate — Gingrich Impresses, Romney Fumbles

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

TRANSCRIPT: Fox News Channel & Wall Street Journal Debate in South Carolina

Source: WSJ, 1-16-12

Here’s a full transcript from tonight’s GOP debate in South Carolina:

BAIER: Thanks, Bill, and welcome to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center and the Republican presidential debate. It’s being sponsored by Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, and the South Carolina Republican Party.
Now let’s meet the five remaining candidates. Texas Governor Rick Perry.
(APPLAUSE)
Former Senator Rick Santorum.
(APPLAUSE)
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
(APPLAUSE)
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
(APPLAUSE)
And Congressman Ron Paul.
(APPLAUSE)
And, of course, our stage is down one podium, with Governor Jon Huntsman’s announcement today that he is leaving the race. You at home can participate through Twitter tonight. You can weigh in on how well the candidates are answering the questions. Tweet the candidate’s last name and hashtag answer if you think he’s tackling the question or hashtag dodge if you think he’s avoiding the question.
Then you can go to foxnews.com/debate to see the results during the break. You can head there and check it out.
Now let’s meet our panelists tonight. Fox News political analyst and my colleague, Juan Williams.
(APPLAUSE)
And from the Wall Street Journal, economics correspondent Kelly Evans.
(APPLAUSE)
And Washington bureau chief Jerry Seib.
Our rules are similar to our previous Fox debates, except now answers will be 1 minute and 30 seconds to allow for a fuller discussion of the issues. But follow-ups will still be 30 seconds.
Now, in past debates, we’ve reminded candidates it’s time to wrap up with various sounds. We started with a doorbell. That didn’t work for dog-owners. And then we had a digital sound, which seemed rarely — pretty ineffective.
Tonight, after a long string of debates and with longer answer time, we’re going to try to not use any sound. You all have done this now 15 times. I’m sure you know the drill. But warning: We do reserve the right to bring back the bell if we have to.
Today, as you know, is Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. As we look live at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial in Washington, its first year on the mall, we’re reminded of one of the many notable quotes from the late Dr. King. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in a moment of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
This campaign has been filled with challenge and controversy. The challenges are large. Here in South Carolina, the unemployment rate is near 10 percent, well above the national average. And on this MLK Day, unemployment in African-American communities is near 16 percent.
But the controversy on the campaign trail in recent days has been about Governor Romney’s record. We are going to talk extensively about jobs, federal debt, world hotspots, and social issues, but, first, let’s clear the air.
Speaker Gingrich, on a debate stage in September, you vowed to, quote, “repudiate every effort of the news media to get Republicans to fight each other to protect Barack Obama, who deserves to be defeated,” close quote. And yet in recent days, you and your campaign have cited numerous outlets, from the New York Times to Salon.com, to attack Governor Romney’s business record, the exact line of attack the Obama campaign is using. Why?

GINGRICH: Well, first of all, I think that the staying positive through Iowa, through $3.5 million of negative attacks, proved you either have to unilaterally disarm and leave the race or you have to at least bring up your competitor’s record.
Second, I think it’s very important for us to look at job creation. As a young member of Congress, I worked with President Ronald Reagan. We passed an economic growth package. We created 16 million jobs. The American people within a framework that Reagan had established created 16 million jobs.
As speaker I came back — working with President Bill Clinton, we passed a very Reagan-like program, less regulation, lower taxes. Unemployment dropped to 4.2 percent. We created 11 million jobs. Now, those are real numbers that people can verify out in the open.
____________________
DEBATE HIGHLIGHTS:
HEATED EXCHANGE: Newt Gingrich and Juan Williams Square Off Over Food Stamp Comments and Whether They Are Insulting to African-Americans
Santorum Addresses Poverty Rate Among Black Americans
Perry: Obama Administration Is at War With South Carolina, Religion
Ron Paul: My Only Problem With Attack Ad Against Santorum Was That I Couldn’t Get in All of the Things I Wanted To
Mitt Romney Defends Bain Capital; Says Free Enterprise Works
____________________

GINGRICH: Governor Romney as governor raised taxes and Massachusetts was 47th in job creation, fourth from the bottom. That’s a public record difference.
The second part of his campaign is citing his experience in business, which is perfectly legitimate, but if that’s a part of your campaign, then questioning it has to be equally legitimate.
And it struck me raising those questions, giving me an opportunity to answer them is exactly what campaigns ought to be about. And we need to satisfy the country that whoever we nominate has a record that can stand up to Barack Obama in a very effective way.
(APPLAUSE)
BAIER: Governor Romney, I will give you time to respond in just a minute. Speaker Gingrich, the Wall Street Journal editorial page calls your attacks crude and damaging caricatures of modern business and capitalism. And they write that you are embarrassing yourself by taking the Obama line.
How do you respond to that?
GINGRICH: Well, first of all, I don’t think raising questions is a prerogative only of Barack Obama and I don’t think Republicans should allow themselves to automatically be intimidated because every time you raise a question somebody yells you are doing something the Democrats will do.
I raise questions that I think are legitimate questions. The questions, some of which came straight out of Wall Street Journal articles. The governor has every opportunity to answer those questions to give us facts and data and I think that’s part of his responsibility as a candidate and I think that’s part of what a campaign is about, is to raise question and see whether or not whether or not your competitor can answer them effectively before you get to a general election where you know those questions are going to be asked.

BAIER: One more time. You said last week if somebody comes in and takes all the money out of your company and leaves you bankrupt while they go off with millions, that’s not traditional capitalism. That doesn’t sound like a question.

GINGRICH: I think if you look at the record, part of which is published in the Wall Street Journal, remember its very limited public record because he was in a very private company. But there was a pattern in some companies, a handful of them, of leaving them with enormous debt and then within a year or two or three having them go broke. I think that is something he ought to answer.

BAIER: Governor Romney, your response.

ROMNEY: Well, I appreciate the chance to talk about my record and the private sector and also the governmental sector. And I appreciate the speaker’s work working in the Reagan years and in the Clinton years. We did see good growth in this country. I want to see that come back again.
My experience in the private sector took me, one to be head of a consulting firm that got in trouble and work to create jobs there and hold on to jobs. We were in tough times. And then I got the chance to start a business of my own.
And four of the companies that we invested in, they weren’t businesses I ran, but we invested in, ended up today having some 120,000 jobs. Some of the business we invested weren’t successful and lost jobs. And I’m very proud of the fact that we learned from the experience.
We invested in well over 100 different businesses. And the people have looked at the places that have added jobs and lost jobs and that record is pretty much available for people to take a close look at.
But my record as the governor of Massachusetts and as the person that led the Olympics flowed from the fact that I had experience turning around tough situations, that I worked in the private sector, demonstrated a record of success. By virtue of that I was asked to come out and organize the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.
And then was asked after the success of that experience to come back to Massachusetts by a number of people there, encouraged me to come back, run for governor. I did. We were fortunate to have an unemployment rate by the time I left office of 4.7 percent. Sounds pretty good today.
And I was also proud of the fact that we balanced the budget every year I was in office. We reduced taxes 19 times, put in place a rainy day fund of over $2 billion by the time I left.
And so my record is out there, proud of it, and I think if team want to have someone who understand how the economy works, having worked in the real economy, that I’m the guy that can best post up against Barack Obama.
(APPLAUSE)
BAIER: Governor Perry, you have gone so far as to call what Mitt Romney did at Bain vulture capitalism. But you’ve also said regulations in America are killing America. In fact, you said we should repeal the most recent financial regulations law, Dodd-Frank.
So what specific regulations would you put in place to curb vulture capitalism?

PERRY: Well, let me go back and say that having been the governor of the state that created over a million net new jobs, that we are all about capitalism, and I think our record proves that we are all about capitalism.
But I visited Georgetown, South Carolina. It was one of those towns where there was a steel mill that Bain swept in, they picked that company over and a lot of people lost jobs there.
And the fact of the matter is we’ve got records. We’ve got records. My record is one of those that’s been open to the public for quite a few years. And as a matter of fact, my income tax have been out every year.
Newt, I think you will let your income tax come out Thursday.
And Mitt, we need for you to release your income tax so the people of this country can see how you made your money. And — and I think that’s a — I think that’s a fair thing. Listen, here’s the real issue for us, as — as — as Republicans, we cannot fire our nominee in September. We need to know now. So I hope you’ll put your tax records out there this week so the people of South Carolina can take a look and decide if, you know, we’ve got a flawed candidate or not.
But the fact is on the regulatory side, Dodd-Frank does need to — to be gone. We’ve got too many regulations. Everyone knows that. We are strangling this country with regulations.
(APPLAUSE)
And we as a country, need to get rid of Dodd-Frank. We’ve got plenty — matter of fact, I would get rid of a substantial amount of those financial regulators so that we can in fact, get back to capitalism without Washington strangling it.
BAIER: Governor Romney, 30 seconds.
(APPLAUSE)
ROMNEY: Well, Brett I need a little longer than that, we had a couple of…
BAIER: Well there will be plenty of time.
ROMNEY: Well…
BAIER: Thirty seconds for this time.
ROMNEY: Lets take a little more time than that. First — first of all, I think — I think Governor Perry makes a — a very good point about — about Georgetown. For those that don’t know, it was a steel mill and — and my firm invested in that steel mill and another one in Kansas City, tried to make them successful. Invested there for seven or eight years. And ultimately what happened from abroad, dumping steel into this country lead to some 40 different steel mills being closed.
And — and that was one of those. I understand what happens when China cheats, or when others cheat and dump products into this country. That’s one of the reasons I’m running is to make sure we crack down on cheaters. By the way, we also started a new steel mill with new technology in Indiana. That one’s growing and thriving. I — I think that experience is what America needs in a president. Secondly I — I agree with the governor with regards to regulations. Regulations are choking off this economy.
I will do everything in my power to put a halt to all the Obama era regulations, review those that kill jobs and get rid of those so we can get the private sector working again.
(APPLAUSE)
BAIER: Gerald Seib with the Wall Street Journal.
SEIB: Governor Romney, let’s look a little deeper at the business record that you’re talking about. In a nutshell, what your opponents here are saying is that Bain Capital and other private equity firms, buy companies, load them up with debt, take the profits and then head for the exits. Let’s look at another example and allow you to respond through that. America Pad and Paper is a company that Bain Capital bought with $5 million, took on more debt to expand, couldn’t pay back the loans, went bankrupt and several hundred people lost their jobs.
Bain Capital though, took $100 million in profits and fees. Does that show a flaw in the Bain Capital model? Or is that just the rough and tumble of America capitalism?

ROMNEY: Well, first of all you never want to seen an enterprise go bankrupt. And you never want to see anyone lose a job. At the time I was at Bain Capital, the business was still going and didn’t go bankrupt. What the company did, is they had one paper company and then they bought another one down the road and they said, we don’t need to have, in — in an industry that’s shrinking, two different plants making the same product, so lets consolidate the two plans together.
And all the people in the plant that was closed were offered jobs in the new plant. Now they were union workers. They didn’t all want that non-union plant work rule setting. But ultimately, do I believe that — that free enterprise works? And that — and that private equity and the various features of our economy work to actually improve our economy? To make America more productive with higher incomes and a brighter future? Absolutely. The — the — this is a major part of our economy, has been for a long time. Free enterprise, with all of it’s different dimensions and players, makes America the — the strongest economic nation in the world.
The GDP per capita in this country, income per capita in this country, is about 50 percent higher than the average in Europe. Every time we invested, we tried to grow an enterprise, add jobs to make it more successful. And — and I know that people are going to come after me. I know President Obama is going to come after me. But the record is pretty darn good. You look at places like Staples, Bright Horizons, that steel company I talked about, the Sports Authority. They alone added 120,000 jobs as of today.
And — and those kinds of experiences are the kinds of things that allow me to know what it takes to get this economy working and to put people back to work. We’ve got a president in office three years, and he does not have a jobs plan yet. I’ve got one out there already and I’m not even president, yet. Thank you.
(APPLAUSE)
BAIER: Kelly Evans from the Wall Street Journal.

EVANS: Congressman Paul — Congressman Paul, this morning when he suspended his campaign, Governor Huntsman said the Republican presidential race has, quote “degenerated into an onslaught of negative and personal attacks, not worthy of the American people.” You have been particularly scathing in your ads against the other candidates up here on stage tonight. Do you agree with Governor Huntsman that these attacks should be abandoned?

PAUL: Well, they should be abandoned if you’re not telling the truth. But if you’re exposing a voting record I think it’s quite proper. There was one ad that we used against Senator Santorum, and I was only — I only had one problem, is I couldn’t get all the things in I wanted to say in one minute.
(APPLAUSE)
PAUL: But, you know, we mentioned No Child Left Behind and that he supported deficits times five, raising the national debt, and that he voted for prescription drug programs, as well as he voted against right-to-work. And I could have added, you know, things like — he voted for Sarbanes-Oxley. So my only regret is that I couldn’t get enough in in that one minute that I should have.
(UNKNOWN): Congressman Paul?
QUESTION: Hold up. Senator Santorum, you are going to get a question next, but respond, please, to Congressman Paul.

SANTORUM: Look, Congressman Paul has been quoting sources like CREW, which is a George Soros or a left-wing-backed organization, saying that I was corrupt. And in fact, throughout his entire ad, he quotes a lot of left-wing organizations.
Well, of course, left-wing organization say a lot of bad things about me. I would expect them. And that’s — I wear that as a badge of honor, not something that I’m ashamed of.
With respect to some of the votes that they elicit, I admit, I’m a strong conservative, but I’m not perfect. President Bush’s signature initiative of No Child Left Behind, I voted for it, I shouldn’t have. It was something that I said, and I will say publicly, that we should repeal. In fact, we should repeal all of federal government’s role in primary and secondary education, and if you give me the opportunity, I’ll do that.
(APPLAUSE)
QUESTION: We have a question for you (inaudible) –
(CROSSTALK)
QUESTION: — go ahead; finish your thought.
SANTORUM: And with right-to-work, look, I represented the state of Pennsylvania, which is one of the — which is not a right-to-work state. If you look at who voted for the right-to-work bill in the Congress, those who came from right-to-work states voted for it. Those who came from non-right-to-work states represented their states. I wasn’t going to vote in Washington, D.C., to change the law in my state.
I support right-to-work. I actually, as president, will sign and advocate for a right-to-work bill, but when I represented the people of Pennsylvania, I made the decision that I wasn’t going to do in Washington and change the law in my state when my state didn’t want to have that provision in their laws.
QUESTION: Juan Williams.
WILLIAMS: Senator Santorum, today you said Governor Romney is guilty of distorting your record as well as, quote, “lies and hypocrisy.” You said this behavior is classic Romney, and no one is holding him accountable.
So the same question that Kelly asked, this time to you, should these barbed personal attacks against fellow Republicans be abandoned by the candidates?
SANTORUM: I — look, I have run a very strong and positive campaign. My ads have been positive. The only ad that I’ve ever put up that has contrasted myself with the other candidates, and does so in a way talking about issues.
Governor Romney’s super PAC has put an ad out there suggesting that I voted to allow felons to be able to vote from prison, because they said I’m allowing felons to vote, and they put a prisoner — a person in a prison jumpsuit.
I would ask Governor Romney, do you believe people who have — who were felons, who served their time, who have extended — exhausted their parole and probation, should they be given the right to vote?
WILLIAMS: Governor Romney?
ROMNEY: First of all, as you know, the PACs that run ads on various candidates, as we unfortunately know in this –
SANTORUM: I’m looking for a question — an answer to the question first.
(APPLAUSE)
ROMNEY: We have plenty of time. I’ll get there. I’ll do it in the order I want to do. I believe that, as you realize that the Super PACs run ads. And if they ever run an ad or say something that is not accurate, I hope they either take off the ad or make it — or make it correct. I guess that you said that they — they said that you voted to make felons vote? Is that it?
SANTORUM: That’s correct. That’s what the ad says.
ROMNEY: And you’re saying that you didn’t?
SANTORUM: Well, first, I’m asking you to answer the question, because that’s how you got the time. It’s actually my time. So if you can answer the question, do you believe, do you believe that felons who have served their time, gone through probation and parole, exhausted their entire sentence, should they be given the right to have a vote?
This is Martin Luther King Day. This is a huge deal in the African-American community, because we have very high rates of incarceration, disproportionately high rates, particularly with drug crimes, in the African-American community.
The bill I voted on was the Martin Luther King Voting Rights bill. And this was a provision that said, particularly targeted African-Americans. And I voted to allow — to allow them to have their voting rights back once they completed their sentence.
(CROSSTALK)
QUESTION: Governor Romney, 30 seconds to respond.
ROMNEY: Yes. I don’t think people who have committed violent crimes should be allowed to vote again. That’s my own view.
(APPLAUSE)
SANTORUM: That’s very –
QUESTION: Last thing, Senator.
SANTORUM: You know, it’s very interesting you should say that, Governor Romney, because in the state of Massachusetts, when you were governor, the law was that not only could violent felons vote after they exhausted their sentences, but they could vote while they were on probation and parole, which was a more liberal position than I took when I voted for the bill in the — in the Congress. So…
(CROSSTALK)
BAIER: Governor?
SANTORUM: If, in fact — let me finish — if, in fact, you felt so passionately about this that you are now going to go out and have somebody criticize me for restoring voting rights to people who have — who have exhausted their sentence and served their time and paid their debt to society, then why didn’t you try to change that when you were governor of Massachusetts?
ROMNEY: Well, first of all, as…
(APPLAUSE)
As governor of Massachusetts, I had an 85 percent Democratic legislature. This is something we discussed. My view was people who committed violent crimes should not be able to vote, even upon coming out of office.
Secondly, I did not have a super PAC run an ad against you. That’s — as you know, that’s something which is completely out of the control of candidates.
One of the things I decried in the current financial system that gets behind campaigns is that we have these voting requirements that put these super PACs in power that say things we disagree with. And I’ll tell you, there have been some — there have been some attacks on me, I mean, that — that have just been outrageous and completely inaccurate and have been shown to be inaccurate. That’s the nature of the process. I hope…
BAIER: We have a…
ROMNEY: I hope — I hope it ends. I hope it ends.
(CROSSTALK)
BAIER: We have a lot of questions.
SANTORUM: I need to — I need to respond to this. What the governor said is he didn’t propose anything to change that law, and what he’s saying is that the — the ad that says that I said that — or I voted to allow felons to vote is inaccurate. And it is inaccurate. And if I had something — the super PAC that was supporting me that was inaccurate, I would go out and say, “Stop it,” that you’re representing me and you’re representing my campaign. Stop it.
(APPLAUSE)
BAIER: Governor — Governor Perry, go ahead.
PERRY: Here’s — here’s the issue.
ROMNEY: I actually think…
PERRY: And this is a great — this is a great example of the insiders that are having the conversation up here. And the fact of the matter is this.
(APPLAUSE)
Washington, D.C., needs to leave the states alone and let the states decide these issues and don’t do it from Washington, D.C. That’s what needs to happen.
(APPLAUSE)
BAIER: Governor Romney, any response to either one of those?
ROMNEY: I — I agree with Governor Perry, that it should be decided at the state level. I also agree with — with Congressman Paul that — that a number of the positions that were described that Governor — or that Senator Santorum took were — were positions that were very different than the conservative views that he would suggest today.
I think the decision on — on voting against right-to-work was a bad decision and was made — as he indicated — based upon the — the reflection of the people of the state he was representing. It’s politics, if you will.
In my state, I had a state that — that said that they did not favor my position. I’m not letting felons who had committed violent crimes vote. I think it’s a — a position that’s reasonable, and that’s the position I’ve got.
BAIER: We may have to rethink that whole bell thing, but we’re going to take a break right here. Remember to send your thoughts on how the candidates are answering the questions via Twitter. Tweet the candidate’s last name and #answer or #dodge. Send me questions at bretbaier. Include that hashtag scdebate.
After the break, key issues and some more fireworks. We’ll see. Stay with us.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BAIER: Welcome back to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and the Republican presidential debate.
We are getting questions from Twitter. Governor Romney — Governor Huntsman endorsed you today. But in New Hampshire he called you a, quote, “perfectly lubricated weather vein on the important issues of the day.” And just last week, Governor Huntsman charged that it’s hard to find your core. Which leads to our first Twitter question.
From MissinDixie (ph), quote, “I want to support Mitt Romney, but considering his changing views, convince me you won’t change again.”

ROMNEY: You know, the issue where I change my mind, which obviously draws a lot of attention was that when I was running for governor, I said I would leave the law in place as it related to abortion. And I thought I could go in that narrow path between my personal belief and letting government stay out of the issue.
Then a piece of legislation came to my desk and it said we would begin to create embryos for the purpose of destroying those embryos, and I said I simply couldn’t sign something like that. And I penned an op-ed in the Boston Globe and said I’m pro-life, described my view and served as a pro-life governor.
The Massachusetts Citizens for Life have just written a letter last week describing my record and saying this is a solid record of a very pro-life governor. I’m proud of that record.
My view on other social issues such as gay marriage, I’ve always opposed gay marriage. I believe that we should provide equal rights to people regardless of their sexual orientation but I do not believe that marriage should be between two people of the same gender.
My care by getting in this race is about my belief in America and my concern that what we’re seeing with this president is a change in course for America to be become something we wouldn’t recognize. I think he is drawing us into becoming more like a European social welfare state. I think he wants us to become an entitlement society where people in this country feel they’re entitled to something from government and where government takes from some to give to others.
I’m running to make sure that we don’t transform America into something we don’t recognize, but instead we restore the principles that made America the hope of the Earth.
ROMNEY: I believe in free enterprise, I believe in freedom, I believe in liberty, I believe in an opportunity society. And everything I do will be designed to strengthen the values of this country, to strengthen the families of this country, to strengthen our economy and to keep a military that is second to none in the world.
(APPLAUSE)
BAIER: Juan Williams, Juan?
WILLIAMS: Governor Perry, last month the Department of Justice challenged South Carolina’s new law requiring registered voters to show state issued identification before they can vote. Governor Haley has pledged to fight the federal government all the way to the Supreme Court. You sided with the government.
(APPLAUSE)
WILLIAMS: Now, Governor Perry, are you suggesting on this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, that the federal government has no business scrutinizing the voting laws of states where minorities were once denied the right to vote?
PERRY: I’m saying — I’m saying that the state of — of Texas is under assault by federal government. I’m saying also that South Carolina is at war with this federal government and with this administration.
(APPLAUSE)
PERRY: If you look at what this Justice Department has done, not only have they taken them to task on voter ID, they’ve also taken them to task on their immigration law and in then the most egregious thing obviously is this National Labor Relations Board, where they come into a right to work state and tell the state of South Carolina…
(APPLAUSE)
PERRY: …we’re not going to let a private company come in here. That is irresponsible. I would suggest to you it’s unconstitutional. And when I’m the president of the United States, the states are going to have substantially more right to take care of their business. And not be forced by the EPA, or by the Justice Department for that matter, to do things that are against the will of the people.
Look, I’ve said this administration is at war against organized religion. And when you look at what they’ve done, going after churches because churches have that ministerial exception in there and can decide who they were going to hire at — at their churches. The idea that the Catholic charities cannot take money or the federal government, this administration won’t give them those dollars for sexually trafficked individuals because this administration doesn’t agree with the Catholic church on the issue of abortion.
If that’s not a war on religion, I don’t know what it is. And this administration is out of control.
(APPLAUSE)
BAIER: Senator Santorum, we talked about the high unemployment rate here in South Carolina, almost 10 percent, well above the national average. We’ve talked about the skyrocketing national debt. In December, Congress authorized an additional 20 weeks of jobless benefits. Benefits being paid by the federal government in many cases because states can’t afford them. Do you support extending these benefits when they expire at the end of the month? Why or why not?

SANTORUM: Well, I think we have to look at having a reasonable time for people to be able to come back, get a job and then turn their lives around. But, what we’ve seen in — in the past under this administration, is extending benefits up to 99 weeks. I don’t support that. I think if you have people who are out of work that — that long a period of time, it’s — it’s without question it makes it harder to find work when you come back. When you’re that far long away from a job, then you lose certain skills. You lose — you lose a lot of things when you’re out of work.
And that’s — there’s a lot of research that show that to be the case. And so what I believe is, just like I did with welfare reform when we reformed welfare, we sent it back to the states. And we gave the states the flexibility to design these programs. Just as I would do here with unemployment insurance. It should go back to the states. Let the states design it. If South Carolina because of a unique situation, wants to have a longer unemployment period of time because of a unique situation here, fine. But to have a federal program that roughly and crudely tries to assess the problem of unemployment from state to state and area to area, is the wrong approach.
What we should do, is have it just like welfare. Give it to the states, put a time limit. In the case of welfare, it was 40 weeks. Give flexibility to the states to — to — to operate those programs and even in unemployment, I mean, you can — you can have as we did on welfare, have some sort of either work requirement of job training required as a condition. We’re not doing people any favors by keeping them on unemployment insurance for a long period of time.
(APPLAUSE)

BAIER: Speaker Gingrich, Senator Santorum just mentioned it, the surge in unemployment has created these so-called 99′ers, people who collect benefits for the maximum 99 weeks offered now. What is the maximum length anyone should be able to collect unemployment checks?

GINGRICH: Well, you know Brett, I think there’s a better way to — to think about this. All unemployment compensation should be tied to a job training requirement. If somebody can’t find a job…
(APPLAUSE)
… and they show up, and they say, “You know, I need help,” the help we ought to give them is to get them connected to a business-run training program to acquire the skills to be employable. Now the fact is, 99 weeks is an associate degree.
(APPLAUSE)
It — it tells you — I think it tells you everything. I — I hope my four colleagues would agree here. It tells you everything you need to know about the difference between Barack Obama and the five of us, that we actually think work is good.
(APPLAUSE)
We actually — we actually think saying to somebody, “I’ll help you if you’re willing to help yourself,” is good.
(APPLAUSE)
And we think unconditional efforts by the best food stamp president in American history to maximize dependency is terrible for the future of this country.
(APPLAUSE)
BAIER: Kelly Evans?
EVANS: Governor Romney — Governor Romney, core European nations have just been downgraded, and several are only able to raise funds because of help from central banks. As president, you could immediately be faced with another financial crisis, perhaps this time sparked in Europe. This is not some imaginary event. How far would you be willing to go to keep the financial system functioning?

ROMNEY: Well, of course you want to keep our financial system functioning, but we’ve learned some lessons from the experience of the last several years. What you don’t want to do is to give the president or anyone else a blank check or a slush fund to take care of their friends or take care of industries or companies they think they want to save. What we have to do…
(APPLAUSE)
What we have to do is to recognize that — that bankruptcy can be a process, reorganization for banks, as well as other institutions, that allow them to get rid of their excess costs, to re-establish a sound foundation, and to emerge stronger. We’re seeing that as a result of the bankruptcy in the auto industry. We could see that in our banking sector, as well, if a bank or two get in trouble.
And so the right course for us is not to think we have to go run over to Europe to try and save their banking system or to try and pump money into the banks here in this country. This is time for us to recognize that the system of laws we have and the free enterprise system works and we don’t need government stepping in with regulations and higher taxes and telling us what we can and cannot do as a society to try and keep America strong.
The best way to get America’s economy going is not to think about how much we can push government into the American economy, but instead how much we can get government out of the American economy.
(APPLAUSE)
And our — our tax rates — our tax rates are too high on individuals, as well as on our employers. Our regulations are too burdensome. Regulators see themselves as the — the opponents of free enterprise as opposed to those that encourage it.
We have an energy policy that doesn’t take advantage of our natural resources. That makes no sense. We need our oil, our coal, our gas, our nuclear.
And, finally, we need to open up new markets. This president has opened up no new markets for American goods around the world in his three years, even as European nations and China have opened up 44. We have to have a policy to open markets, put Americans to work. That’s the answer, not bailouts.

BAIER: Jerry Seib has the next question.
SEIB: Congressman Paul, South Carolina has seven major military bases, and thousands of people employed in the defense industry. But you want to make major cuts in defense spending, several hundred billion dollars in the coming years, that inevitably would cost South Carolina jobs. What do you say to people in this state who worry that your military plans would hurt the national security and cost South Carolina jobs?

PAUL: I would say your — your question suggests you’re very confused about my position.
(APPLAUSE)
I want to cut money, overseas money. That’s what I want to do. I want to cut military money. I don’t want to cut defense money. I want to bring the troops home. I’d probably have more bases here at home. We were closing them down in the 1990s and building them overseas. That’s how we got into trouble.
PAUL: So we would save a lot more money and have a stronger national defense, and that’s what we should do. But to say that we would be weaker is absolutely wrong, because — and — and — and another important thing you should consider is the fact that the military is behind me more than the others. I get twice as much money from the…
(APPLAUSE)
… from the active military duties than all the other candidates put together. So they’re saying that I’m on the right track. They’re sick and tired of those wars. They’re sick and tired of the nation- building and the policing activity.
But to say that we would have less money for defense, we’d actually have more money. And if I may, I’d like to go back to the international financial thing.

SEIB: Congressman, just to be clear, your plan calls for freezing defense spending at 2006 levels, which is where –
PAUL: No, see, I — you still don’t understand.
BAIER: What is he missing, Congressman?
PAUL: You don’t understand there’s a difference between military spending and defense spending. Just because you spend a billion dollars on an embassy in Baghdad, bigger than the Vatican, you consider that defense spending. I consider that waste.
(APPLAUSE)

PAUL: So if you want to — a little while ago we were talking about funding the unemployed — and of course that should be privatized and I don’t support it — but I don’t support cutting it off like that. I would cut some of this military spending like Eisenhower advises, watch out for the military industrial complex. Defend this country. We have to have a strong national defense, but we don’t get strength by diluting ourselves in 900 bases in 130 countries. That is where the problem is.
But you need to understand that there is a difference between just military spending and defense spending, just to spend money. We understand this domestically. If you spend more money domestically, we know it’s wrong, but we are supposed to spend more money and that’s conservative. I’ve never quite understood this. We are supposed to be conservatives. Spend less money.
(APPLAUSE)
BAIER: I’d like to ask a question about keeping money for all of the candidates down the line. What is the highest federal income tax any American should have to pay? We are looking for a number.
Governor?

PERRY: Seven 7 percent flat tax. Simple. Keep it simple.
BAIER: Senator Santorum?
SANTORUM: Well, my plan has two rates, 10 and 28 percent, which is the highest rate under Ronald Reagan when he cut taxes.
BAIER: Governor Romney.
ROMNEY: I would like 25 percent, but right now it’s at 35, so people better pay what is legally required. But ultimately let’s get it down to as low as we possibly can, if it’s 20, if it’s 25 but paying more than 25 percent, I think, is taking too much out of our pockets.
BAIER: So the highest you had was 35?
ROMNEY: Well, that’s what the law is right now, but 25 is where I would like to see us go.
BAIER: Speaker Gingrich.
GINGRICH: I would like to see it be a flat tax at 15 percent and I would like to see us reduce government to meet the revenue, not raise revenue to meet the government.
BAIER: Congressman Paul.
PAUL: Well, we should have the lowest tax that we’ve ever had, and up until 1913 it was 0 percent. What’s so bad about that?
(APPLAUSE)
PAUL: Now, I would like to follow up on that, because I think the question on taxes is generally misleading, because anytime you spend money, it’s a tax. You might tax, you might borrow, you might inflate. The vicious tax, that’s attacking the American people, the retired people today, is the inflation tax, the devaluation of the currency, the standard of living is going down, and you need to address that. And that’s why I want to make the inflation tax zero, as well.
BAIER: So your answer is zero?
PAUL: Zero.

BAIER: OK. About taxes. Kelly?
EVANS: Governor Romney, Speaker Gingrich, Senator Santorum and now vocally tonight Senator Perry — Governor Perry — are calling for you to release your tax records. The Obama campaign is asking for the same thing. Governor, will you release your income tax records?

ROMNEY: You know, I looked at what has been done in campaigns in the past with Senator McCain and President George W. Bush and others. They have tended to release tax records in April or tax season. I hadn’t planned on releasing tax records because the law requires us to release all of our assets, all the things we own. That I have already released. It’s a pretty full disclosure. But, you know, if that’s been the tradition and I’m not opposed to doing that, time will tell. But I anticipate that most likely I am going to get asked to do that around the April time period and I’ll keep that open.

EVANS: Governor, you will plan then to release your income tax records around April?
ROMNEY: I think I’ve heard enough from folks saying, look, let’s see your tax records. I have nothing in them that suggests there’s any problem and I’m happy to do so. I sort of feel like we are showing a lot of exposure at this point. And if I become our nominee, and what’s happened in history is people have released them in about April of the coming year and that’s probably what I would do.

BAIER: OK. Next round of questions, Juan Williams.
WILLIAMS: Governor Romney, your father was born in Mexico. You still have family there, yet you have taken the hardest line of anyone on this stage on immigration reform, including opposition to key parts of the DREAM Act, which is supported by 80 percent of Latinos in this country. Are you alienating Latino voters that Republicans will need to win the general election?

ROMNEY: You know, I think Latino voters, like all voters in this country, are interested in America being an opportunity nation. People come here because they believe they want to have a brighter future and that’s been the story of America. The president looks out across the country and says it could be worse. I can’t believe saying that. The American people recognize it’s got to be better.
In my view, as long as we communicate to the people of all backgrounds in this country that it can be better, and that America is a land of opportunity, we will get those votes.
Now with regards to immigration policy, I absolutely believe that those who come here illegally should not be given favoritism or a special route to becoming permanent residents or citizens that’s not given to those people who have stayed in line legally. I just think we have to follow the law, I think that’s the right course.
(APPLAUSE)
ROMNEY: And I have indicated I would veto the DREAM Act if provisions included in that act to say that people who are here illegally, if they go to school here long enough, get a degree here that they can become permanent residents.
I think that’s a mistake. I think we have to follow the law and insist those who come here illegally, ultimately return home, apply, and get in line with everyone else.
Look, I want people to know I love legal immigration. Almost all of us in this room are descendants of immigrants or are immigrants ourselves. Our nation is stronger and more vibrant by virtue of a strong legal immigration system.
But to protect our legal immigration system we have got to protect our borders and stop the flood of illegal immigration and I will not do anything that opens up another wave of illegal immigration.

WILLIAMS: Senator Santorum, the Obama administration has not specifically addressed high levels of joblessness and a 25 percent poverty rate in black America. They say they want to fix the economy for all, but given the crisis situation among a group of historically disadvantaged Americans, do you feel the time has come to take special steps to deal with the extraordinary level of poverty afflicting one race of America?

SANTORUM: It’s very interesting, if you look at a study that was done by the Brookings Institute back in 2009, they determined that if Americans do three things, they can avoid poverty. Three things. Work, graduate from high school, and get married before you have children. Those three things…
(APPLAUSE)
SANTORUM: Those three things, if you do, according to Brookings, results in only 2 percent of people who do all those things ending up in poverty, and 77 percent above the national average in income. It’s a huge, huge opportunity for us.
But what is the Obama administration doing? Elaine Bennett runs a program called Best Friends, the wife of Bill Bennett. And she told me through Bill that the Obama administration now has a policy, and this program is a program targeted at at-risk youth, specifically in many case necessary the African-American community, who are at-risk young girls. The Obama administration now has regulations that tells them that they can no longer promote marriage to these young girls. They can no longer promote marriage as a way of avoiding poverty and bad choices that they make in their life. They can no longer even teach abstinence education. They have to be neutral with respect to how people behave.
The problem is neutrality ends in poverty, neutrality ends in choices that hurt people’s lives. This administration is deliberately telling organizations that are there to help young girls make good choices, not to tell them what the good choice is. That is absolutely unconscionable.
(APPLAUSE)

WILLIAMS: Congressman Paul. An analysis by the Prison Policy Initiative finds that blacks who are jailed at four times the rate of whites in South Carolina are most often convicted on drug offenses. Do you see racial disparities in drug-related arrests and convictions as a problem? And if so, how would you fix it?

PAUL: Yes. Definitely. There is a disparity. It’s not that it is my opinion, it is very clear. Blacks and minorities who are involved with drugs, are arrested disproportionately. They are tried and imprisoned disproportionately. They suffer the consequence of the death penalty disproportionately. Rich white people don’t get the death penalty very often.
And most of these are victimless crimes. Sometimes people can use drugs and arrested three times and never committed a violent act and they can go to prison for life. And yet we see times just recently we heard where actually murders get out of prison in shorter periods of time. So I think it’s way — way disproportionate.
I don’t think we can do a whole lot about it. I think there’s discrimination in the system, but you have to address the drug war. You know, the drug war is — is very violent on our borders. We have the immigration problem, and I’m all for having, you know, tight immigration policies, but we can’t ignore the border without looking at the drug war.
In the last five years, 47,500 people died in the drug war down there. This is a major thing going on. And it unfairly hits the minorities.
This is one thing I am quite sure that Martin Luther King would be in agreement with me on this. As a matter of fact, Martin Luther King he would be in agreement with me on the wars, as well, because he was a strong opponent to the Vietnam War.
So I — I — I would say, yes, the judicial system is probably one of the worst places where — where prejudice and — and discrimination still exists in this country.

WILLIAMS: Speaker Gingrich, you recently said black Americans should demand jobs, not food stamps. You also said poor kids lack a strong work ethic and proposed having them work as janitors in their schools. Can’t you see that this is viewed, at a minimum, as insulting to all Americans, but particularly to black Americans?

GINGRICH: No. I don’t see that.
(APPLAUSE)
You know, my daughter, Jackie, who’s sitting back there, Jackie Cushman, reminded me that her first job was at First Baptist Church in Carrollton, Georgia, doing janitorial work at 13. And she liked earning the money. She liked learning that if you worked, you got paid. She liked being in charge of her own money, and she thought it was a good start.
I had a young man in New Hampshire who walked up to me. I’ve written two newsletters now about this topic. I’ve had over 50 people write me about the jobs they got at 11, 12, 13 years of age. Ran into a young man who started a doughnut company at 11. He’s now 16. He has several restaurants that take his doughnuts. His father is thrilled that he’s 16 because he can now deliver his own doughnuts.
(LAUGHTER)
What I tried to say — and I think it’s fascinating, because Joe Klein reminded me that this started with an article he wrote 20 years ago. New York City pays their janitors an absurd amount of money because of the union. You could take one janitor and hire 30-some kids to work in the school for the price of one janitor, and those 30 kids would be a lot less likely to drop out. They would actually have money in their pocket. They’d learn to show up for work. They could do light janitorial duty. They could work in the cafeteria. They could work in the front office. They could work in the library. They’d be getting money, which is a good thing if you’re poor. Only the elites despise earning money.
(APPLAUSE)
WILLIAMS: Well…
(APPLAUSE)
(CROSSTALK)
WILLIAMS: The suggestion that he made was about a lack of work ethic. And I’ve got to tell you, my e-mail account, my Twitter account has been inundated with people of all races who are asking if your comments are not intended to belittle the poor and racial minorities.
You saw some of this reaction during your visit…
(BOOING)
… to a black church in South Carolina. You saw some of this during your visit to a black church in South Carolina, where a woman asked you why you refer to President Obama as “the food stamp president.” It sounds as if you are seeking to belittle people.
(BOOING)
GINGRICH: Well, first of all, Juan, the fact is that more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history.
(APPLAUSE)
Now, I know among the politically correct, you’re not supposed to use facts that are uncomfortable.
(LAUGHTER)
(APPLAUSE)
Second, you’re the one who earlier raised a key point. There’s — the area that ought to be I-73 was called by Barack Obama a corridor of shame because of unemployment. Has it improved in three years? No. They haven’t built the road. They haven’t helped the people. They haven’t done anything.
(APPLAUSE)
So…
(APPLAUSE)
BAIER: Finish your thought, Mr. Speaker.

GINGRICH
: One last thing.
BAIER: Yes, sir.
GINGRICH: So here’s my point. I believe every American of every background has been endowed by their creator with the right to pursue happiness. And if that makes liberals unhappy, I’m going to continue to find ways to help poor people learn how to get a job, learn how to get a better job and learn some day to own the job.
(APPLAUSE)
BAIER: Okay. When we come back — they can’t hear me, but I’ll talk to you, foreign policy. Bring me your questions, BretBair, include #SCdebate after this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BAIER: Welcome back to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. That was a time lapsed video of a sand sculpture right outside the convention center here. It does still have Governor Huntsman on that sand sculpture. He’s not here tonight. Next round of questions is on foreign policy. And we’ll begin with Congressman Paul. In a recent interview, Congressman Paul with a Des Moines radio station you said you were against the operation that killed Usama bin Laden. You said the U.S. operation that took out the terrorist responsible for killing 3,000 people on American soil, quote, showed no respect for the rule of law, international law.
So to be clear, you believe international law should have constrained us from tracking down and killing the man responsible for the most brazen attack on the U.S. since Pearl Harbor?

PAUL: Obviously no. And that’s what — I did not say that.
What I — as a matter of fact, after 9/11 I voted for the authority to go after him. And my frustration was that we didn’t go after him. It took us ten years. We had him trapped at Tora Bora and I thought we should have trapped him there. I even introduced another resolution on the principle of marque and reprisal to keep our eye on target rather than getting involved in nation building.
BAIER: But no respect for international law was the question about the quote that you used in Des Moines.
PAUL: Well, you know, I can’t say — his colleague was in Pakistan, and we communicated, you know, with the government of Pakistan and they turned him over. And what I suggested there was that if we have no respect for the sovereignty of another nation that it will lead to disruption of that nation.
Here we have a nation that we are becoming constantly trying to kill people who we consider our enemies. At the same time we are giving the government of Pakistan billions of dollars. Now there’s a civil war going on, the people are mad at us but yet the government is getting money from us and I think it’s a deeply flawed policy.
But to not go after him — and if I voted for the authority, obviously I think it was proper. But once they waited ten years, I don’t see any reason why they couldn’t have done it like they did after Khalid Sheikh Aman (ph). And that would have been a more proper way.
If somebody in this country, say a Chinese dissident come over here, we wouldn’t endorse the idea, well, they can come over here and bomb us and do whatever. I’m just trying to suggest that respect for other nation’s sovereignty — and look at the chaos in Pakistan now. We are at war in Pakistan, but to say that I didn’t want him killed…
BAIER: No, I just quoted from your radio.
PAUL: I’m just suggesting that there are processes that if you could follow and that you should do it. There is proper procedures rather than digging bigger holes for ourselves.
That’s what we have been doing in the Middle East, digging bigger and bigger holes for ourselves and it’s so hard for us to get out of that mess. And we have a long ways to go. We are still in Iraq and that’s getting worse and we are not leaving Afghanistan and the American people are sick and tired of it. 80 percent of the American people want us out of there. I am just suggesting that we work within the rule of law.
Like only going to war when you declare the law, then we wouldn’t be…
BAIER: International law. I understand.
I guess U.S. intelligence officials say they had documents recovered in the compound in Abbottabad that that shows that al Qaeda was planning other attacks, perhaps bigger than 9/11. I asked you in our debate in Sioux City on the topic of Iran about this. But on this topic, GOP nominee Ron Paul would be running far to the left of President Obama on the issue of tracking down and killing terrorists who want to attack the U.S.
PAUL: I would say that if you do your best and you can’t do anything, yes, we had the authority, we voted for it, you got it from the congress, you do it. I just didn’t think they had gone through the process enough to actually, you know, capture him in a different way.
I mean, think about Saddam Hussein. We did that. We captured him. We tried him. I mean the government tried him and he got hung. What’s so terrible about this?
This whole idea that you can’t capture — just a minute. This whole idea you can’t capture people…
BAIER: but you voted against the war in Iraq.
BAIER: Adolf Eichmann was captured. He was given a trial. What is wrong with capturing people? Why didn’t we try to get some information from him? You know, we are accustomed to asking people questions, but all of a sudden gone, you know, that’s it.
So I would say that there are different ways without trying to turn around and say, oh, for some reason this doesn’t mean he’s supporting America.
BAIER: Speaker Gingrich?
If you received, Speaker Gingrich actionable intelligence about the location of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar inside Pakistan would you authorize a unilateral operation, much like the one that killed bin Laden, with or without the Pakistani government knowing, even if the consequence was an end to all U.S.-Pakistani cooperation?

GINGRICH: well, let me go back to set the stage as you did awhile ago. Bin Laden plotted deliberately, bombing American embassies, bombings the USS Cole, and killing 3,100 Americans, and his only regret was he didn’t kill more. Now, he’s not a Chinese dissident.
(APPLAUSE)
You know, the analogy that Congressman Paul used was — was utterly irrational. A Chinese dissident who comes in here — a Chinese dissident who comes here seeking freedom is not the same as a terrorist who goes to Pakistan seeking asylum.
Furthermore, when you give a country $20 billion, and you learn that they have been hiding — I mean, nobody in their — nobody believes that bin Laden was sitting in a compound in a military city one mile from the national defense university and the Pakistanis didn’t know it. Now…
(APPLAUSE)
We’re in South Carolina. South Carolina in the Revolutionary War had a young 13-year-old named Andrew Jackson. He was sabred by a British officer and wore a scar his whole life. Andrew Jackson had a pretty clear-cut idea about America’s enemies: Kill them.
(APPLAUSE)
BAIER: Congressman Paul, 30 seconds, please, 30 seconds to respond, since you were mentioned.

PAUL: My — my — my point is, if another country does to us what we do others, we’re not going to like it very much. So I would say that maybe we ought to consider a golden rule in — in foreign policy. Don’t do to other nations…
(BOOING)
… what we don’t want to have them do to us. So we — we endlessly bomb — we endlessly these countries and then we wonder — wonder why they get upset with us? And — and yet it — it continues on and on. I mean, this — this idea…
BAIER: That’s time.
PAUL: This idea that we can’t debate foreign policy, then all we have to do is start another war? I mean, it’s — it’s warmongering. They’re building up for another war against Iran, and people can’t wait to get in another war. This country doesn’t need another war. We need to quit the ones we’re in. We need to save the money and bring our troops home.
(APPLAUSE)
BAIER: Governor Romney? And, again, the bell may be making a comeback.
(LAUGHTER)
Governor Romney, should the United States negotiate with the Taliban to end the fighting in Afghanistan?

ROMNEY: Of course not. And Speaker Gingrich is right. Of course you take out our enemies, wherever they are. These people declared war on us. They’ve killed Americans. We go anywhere they are, and we kill them. And the — the right thing for…
(APPLAUSE)
The right thing for Osama bin Laden was the bullet in the — in the head that he received. That’s the right thing for people who kill American citizens.
(APPLAUSE)
Now, the Taliban is killing Americans. This president has done an extraordinary thing. He announced the date of our withdrawal. He announced the date of the withdrawal of our surge forces based upon a political calendar, not the calendar that the commanders on the ground said it was based for our mission. That was wrong.
(APPLAUSE)
And then he announced the day that we’re going to pull out of the country all together. And now he wants to negotiate from a position of extraordinary weakness? You don’t negotiate from — with your enemy from a position of weakness as this president has done.
The right course for America is to recognize we’re under attack. We’re under attack by people, whether they’re Al Qaida or other radical violent jihadists around the world, and we’re going to have to take action around the world to protect ourselves.
And hopefully we can do it as we did with Usama bin Laden, as opposed to going to war as we had to do in — in the case of — of Iraq. The right way, Congressman Paul, in my view, is — to keep us from having to go to those wars is to have a military so strong that no one would ever think of testing it. That’s the kind of military we have to have, and we have to pursue our interests around the world.
(APPLAUSE)
BAIER: Governor Romney, Mitchell Reiss — Mitchell Reiss, who I believe is one of your top foreign policy advisers, said that the Taliban may well be, quote, “our enemy and our negotiating partner.” He said this means that some type of negotiated solution is the best near-term bet to halt the fighting. Is he wrong?

ROMNEY: Yes. The — the right course for America is not to negotiate with the Taliban while the Taliban are killing our soldiers. The right course is to recognize they’re the enemy of the United States. It’s the vice president who said they’re not the enemy of the United States. The vice president’s wrong. They are the enemy. They’re killing American soldiers.
We don’t negotiate from a position of weakness as we’re pulling our troops out. The right course for us is to strengthen the Afghan military force so they can reject the Taliban.
Think what it says to the people in Afghanistan and the military in Afghanistan, when we’re asking them to stand up and fight to protect the sovereignty of their people, if they see us, their ally, turning and negotiating with the very people they’re going to have to protect their nation from. It’s the wrong course. The vice president’s wrong. We should not negotiate with the Taliban. We should defeat the Taliban.
(APPLAUSE)
BAIER: Senator Santorum, you said earlier, in the Libyan operation that President Obama missed an opportunity to capitalize on rebel offensives. Now, in Syria at the hands of Bashar al Assad, it’s estimated that some 5,000 people have been killed. The country appears to be sliding into civil war and Arab League peace monitors seem to be failing. How would President Santorum, deal with this international crisis?

SANTORUM: Well, the — first off President Obama has dealt with it about as badly as possible. First he emboldened Assad by coming into office and establishing an embassy there, reestablishing diplomatic relationships, going through the process of trying to rehabilitate this tyrant. All, I’m sure, to the consternation of our friend, Israel who has consistently done the opposite, tried to step away and isolate Israel while at the time they’re trying to negotiate in a very difficult situation in their country.
With respect to — to — to Syria, look, Syria and Assad are a threat to Israel. I was the author of a bill when I was in the United States Senate to put sanctions on Syria. And in fact, they worked to get Syria out of Lebanon, which was — which was step number one. That’s no longer a viable option. We need to rally the international community, work and cooperate with removing Assad and work in — in concert with the Arab League, work with others.
As far as a military mission on our own, no I do not support a military mission into Syria, but we should be much more aggressive in following through with policies that effectuate the removal of Assad for the benefit of the Syrian people and for our neighbor — and for their neighbor, Israel.
(APPLAUSE)
BAIR: Governor Perry, since the Islamist-oriented party took over in Turkey, the murder rate of women has increased 1,400 percent there. Press freedom has declined to the level of Russia. The prime minister of Turkey has embraced Hamas and Turkey has threatened military force against both Israel and Cypress. Given Turkey’s turn, do you believe Turkey still belongs in NATO?

PERRY: Well, obviously when you have a country that is being ruled by, what many would perceive to be Islamic terrorists, when you start seeing that type of activity against their own citizens, then yes. Not only is it time for us to have a conversation about whether or not they belong to be in NATO, but it’s time for the United States, when we look at their foreign aid, to go to zero with it.
(APPLAUSE)
PERRY: And you go to zero with foreign aid for all of those countries. And it doesn’t make any difference who they are. You go to zero with that foreign aid and then you have the conversation about, do they have America’s best interest in mind? And when you have countries like Turkey that are moving far away from the country that I lived in back in the 1970′s as a pilot in the United States Air Force that was our ally, that worked with us, but today we don’t see that.
Our — our — our president, has a foreign policy that makes our allies very nervous and emboldens our enemies. And we have to have a president of the United States that clearly sends the message, whether it’s to Israel, our friend and there should be no space between the United States and Israel, period.
(APPLAUSE)
PERRY: And we need to send a powerful message to countries like Iran, and Syria and Turkey that the United States is serious and that we’re going to have to be dealt with.
BAIER: Governor Perry, you sounded like you wanted to get in when Congressman Paul was talking at the beginning of this round on foreign policy.
PERRY: Well, I was just saying that I thought maybe that the noise that you were looking for was a gong.
(LAUGHTER)
BAIER: Do you have any reaction to what Congressman Paul said?
(APPLAUSE)
PERRY: Listen, as — you know, I volunteered to wear the uniform of our country. And what bothers me more than anything, is this administration and this administration’s disdain all too often for our men and women in uniform. Whether it was what they’ve said about the Marines — now these young men made a mistake. They obviously made a — a mistake.
BAIER: You’re talking about urinating on the corpses?
PERRY: They — they made a — a mistake that the military needs to deal with. And they need to be punished. But the fact of the matter — the fact of the matter is this, when the Secretary of Defense calls that a despicable act, when he calls that utterly despicable. Let me tell you what’s utterly despicable, cutting Danny Pearl’s head off and showing the video of it.
(APPLAUSE)
PERRY: Hanging our contractors from bridges. That’s utterly despicable. For our president for the Secretary of State, for the Department of Defense secretary to make those kinds of statements about those young Marines — yes, they need to be punished, but when you see this president with that type of disdain for our country, taking a trillion dollars out of our defense budget, 100,000 of our military off of our front lines, and a reduction of forces, I lived through a reduction of force once and I saw the result of it in the sands of Iran in 1979. Never again.
BAIER: Kelly.
Yes, sir.
Congressman Paul.

PAUL: Just a very brief statement. I, too, served in the air force for five years during the height of the Cold War from ’62 to ’68 so I’ve had a little bit of experience. In a matter of fact, I was over in the Afghanistan, Pakistan region.
But I would like to point out one thing about the Taliban. The Taliban used to be our allies when we were fighting the Russians. So Taliban are people who want — their main goal is to keep foreigners off their land. It’s the al Qaeda you can’t mix the two. The al Qaeda want to come here to kill us. The Taliban just says we don’t want foreigners. We need to understand that, or we can’t resolve this problem in the Middle East. We are going to spend a lot of lives and a lot of money for a long time to come.
BAIER: Kelly Evans.
EVANS: Governor Romney, when President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law, he enacted a provision allowing him to indefinitely detain American citizens in U.S. military custody, many, including Congressman Paul, have called it unconstitutional. At the same time the bill did provide money to continue funding U.S. troops.
Governor Romney, as president, would you have signed the National Defense Act as written?

ROMNEY
: Yes, I would have. And I do believe that it is appropriate to have in our nation the capacity to detain people who are threats to this country, who are members of al Qaeda.
Look, you have every right in this country to protest and to express your views on a wide range of issues but you don’t have a right to join a group that is killed Americans, and has declared war against America. That’s treason. In this country we have a right to take those people and put them in jail.
And I recognize, I recognize that in a setting where they are enemy combatants and on our own soil, that could possibly be abused. There are a lot of things I think this president does wrong, lots of them, but I don’t think he is going to abuse this power and I that if I were president I would not abuse this power. And I can also tell you that in my view you have to choose people who you believe have sufficient character not to abuse the power of the presidency and to make sure that we do not violate our constitutional principles.
But let me tell you, people who join al Qqaeda are not entitled to rights of due process under our normal legal code. They are entitled instead to be treated as enemy combatants.
EVANS: Senator Santorum…
ROMNEY: I’ve still got time. So as long as I still have time I just want to go back and agree with what Governor Perry said, the most extraordinary thing that’s happened with this military authorization is the president is planning on cutting $1 trillion out of military spending. Our navy is smaller than it’s been since 1917. Our air force is smaller and older than any time since 1947.
We are cutting our number of troops. We are not giving the veterans the care they deserve. We simply cannot continue to cut our Department of Defense budget if we are going to remain the hope of the Earth. And I will fight to make sure America retains military superiority.
EVANS: Senator Santorum, 30 seconds to you, sir. Same question would you have signed, as president would you have signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law as written?
SANTORUM: So he gets two minutes and I get 30 seconds?
BAIER: Take whatever time you want.

SANTORUM: OK.
First off, I would say this, what the law should be and what the law has been is that if you are a United States citizen and you are detained as an enemy combatant, then you have the right to go to federal court and file a habeas corpus position and be provided a lawyer. That was the state of the law before the National Defense Authorization Act and that should be the state of the law today.
You should not have — you should not have — if you are not an American citizen, that’s one thing. But if you are a citizen and you are being held indefinitely, then you have the right to go to a federal court — and again, the law prior to the National Defense Authorization Act was that you had the right to go to a court, and for that court to determine by a preponderance of the evidence whether you could continue to be held. That is a standard that should be maintained and I would maintain that standard as president.
EVANS: Congressman Paul, different question.
PAUL: Why can’t I answer about that one?
BAIER: You were included in the question in the first place. Do you want 30 seconds to respond to this?
PAUL: I need a minute.
No, I think we are going in the wrong direction for the protection of our liberties here at home. They are under deep threat. The PATRIOT Act has eliminated the fourth amendment. We now have a policy of preemptive war, you don’t have to declare war and you don’t even have to have an enemy. We can start the wars, that’s what preemptive war is all about.
Now with the military appropriations defense act, this — this is — this is major. This says that the military can arrest an American citizen for under suspicion, and he can be held indefinitely, without habeas corpus, and be denied a lawyer indefinitely even in a prison here.
Let me give you one statistic. You’re worrying about all these — all these — where we’re going to try people, where are they going to do it, we have to do it secretly, because our rule of law is so flawed. We have arrested 362 people related to Al Qaeda-type operation; 260 of them are in prison. They’ve been tried and convicted. So don’t give up on our American judicial system so easily, I beg of you.
(APPLAUSE)
BAIER: Kelly?
EVANS: All right. Change of topic. This question to Governor Perry. What measures would you immediately take to improve the housing market? Or do you consider any such intervention to be an overreach of government?

PERRY: Well, obviously, the first thing we need to do in this country is cut the tax rate down to where the people feel confident that they can risk their capital and have a return on their investment. That’s the reason I laid out a simple and — and flat tax of 20 percent with their home mortgage deduction and charitable expenses and local taxes, get rid of capital gains tax, get rid of the benefits tax, get rid of the tax on Social Security benefits, and then take 20 percent of that and mail your check in. I mean, even Timothy Geithner can get his taxes in on time with that type of a system.
(APPLAUSE)
And — and — and that is where we need to be focused, is creating jobs. As — pulling back those regulations that we talk about since ’08, that this administration have pushed into place that have strangled jobs, getting America back to work again. That’s what I’ve done for 11 years as the governor of the 13th-largest economy in the world. A million jobs have been created in our state. And our housing market not only is — is pretty solid, it’s growing, and it’s doing because we have created that climate where job creators know that they can go out and risk their capital and have a return on investment.
As the president of the United States, that’s what I’m going to do, is to walk into Washington, D.C., work towards a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution, and try to pass a constitutional amendment, if the people will accept and work with me, to make Congress a part-time body, so they stay less time in Washington, D.C., they go back home and get a real job, like everybody else has, and live under the laws that they passed.
(APPLAUSE)
EVANS: Governor, so beyond moving to a part-time Congress and encouraging the rest of the nation to follow Texas in terms of job creation, you would take no pointed measures aimed at helping the U.S. housing market?

PERRY: I think I said two things that are pretty powerful: cut the taxes and cut the regulations, and — which will increase the jobs and people will have the income to come in.
It is — I don’t think it is the government’s responsibility. Look, we’ve already seen that with Freddie and Fannie. We don’t need the federal government in the housing market anymore. They need to be out of the housing market.
(APPLAUSE)
BAIER: Jerry Seib?
SEIB: Governor Romney, in the book you wrote just before this campaign began, you said you were surprised that the press in the last campaign didn’t press for more specifics on how to fix Social Security and Medicare, so let’s fix that tonight. Let me ask you specifically: Would you reduce the cost of these programs by raising the retirement age for Social Security, by raising the eligibility age for Medicare, or by reducing benefits for seniors with higher incomes?

ROMNEY: Let me lay it out. First of all, for the people who are already retired or 55 years of age and older, nothing changes. It’s very important, because I know the Democrats are going to be showing videos of, you know, old people being thrown off cliffs and so forth. But don’t forget…
(APPLAUSE)
Don’t forget who it was that cut Medicare by $500 billion, and that was President Obama to pay for Obamacare. So let’s not forget that.
(APPLAUSE)
What — what I would do with Social Security is that I would lower — if you will, the 2.0, the version for the next generations coming up, I’d lower the rate of inflation growth in the benefits received by higher-income recipients and keep the rate as it is now pretty high for lower income recipients. And I’d also add a year or two to the retirement age under Social Security. That balances Social Security.

ROMNEY: With regards to Medicare, I would lay out the plan that — well, I actually did a couple of months ago that said, again, for higher-income recipients, lower benefit, a premium support program which allows people to buy either current standard Medicare or a private plan.
And this is the proposal which Congressman Paul Ryan has adopted. It’s a proposal which I believe is absolutely right on. We have a premium support program. Give people choice. Let competition exist in our Medicare program by virtue of the two things that I’ve described: higher benefits for lower-income people, lower benefits for higher-income people and making a premium support program in Medicare and in — and Social Security a slightly higher retirement age. You balance those two programs.
By the way, the third major entitlement, Medicaid, you send back to the states. And the fourth new entitlement, ObamaCare, you repeal that one and finally get our balance sheet right.
(APPLAUSE)
BAIER: Speaker Gingrich. Speaker Gingrich, the plan that you have endorsed for addressing Social Security, you suggest also that younger workers should be allowed to put their tax money into private accounts rather than into the government program.
But that plan also says that if those private accounts don’t pay out as much as the government program would, Washington should cut a check to make up the difference. Is that really a free market outcome if the government guarantees the outcome?

GINGRICH: Well, it is, as a historian, a fact-based model that has Galveston, Texas, and the entire country of Chile as testing grounds. Chile has done this. Jose Pinera’s glad to talk about it, the guy who created it, they have done it for over 30 years.
First of all, it’s totally voluntary. If you want to stay in the current system, stay in it. If you are younger and you want to go and take a personal savings account, which would be a Social Security savings account, you can take it.
Your share of the tax goes into that. The employer’s share goes into the regular fund to pay for the regular fund. The historic record in Chile is the average young person gets two to three times the retirement income. In 30 years they have never written a single check, because nobody has fallen below the minimum payment of Social Security, and these are historic facts.
They now have 74 percent of the GDP in their savings fund, so much that they now allow people to actually invest outside the country. The principal group in Des Moines, Iowa, actually runs part of this program, and I actually interviewed the person who is in charge of it for the principal group.
So the Social Security actuary estimate if you make it a voluntary program, 95 to 97 percent of young people will take the program, because it is such a big return on your investment, you’d be relatively stupid not to do it. OK.
(APPLAUSE)
GINGRICH: Now, what does it do? It gets the government out of telling you when to retire. It gets the government out of picking winners and losers. You save — it makes every American an investor when they first go to work. They all have a buildup of an estate, which you do not get in the current system.
And the estimate by Martin Feldstein at Harvard is, who was Reagan’s chief counsel and economic advisors, was you actually reduce wealth inequality in America by 50 percent over the next generation because everybody becomes a saver and an investor and you have a universal investing nation.
(APPLAUSE)
BAIER: Senator Santorum, Senator Santorum, in your jobs program you propose to eliminate the corporate income tax for manufacturers, but not for other businesses. Isn’t that picking winners and losers in the same way the Obama administration did when it gave grants to one solar energy company, Solyndra, and it went bankrupt?

SANTORUM: No, it’s not. What we do is cut corporate taxes for everybody. We cut it from 35 percent to 17.5 percent, make it a — basically a net profits tax. And then we take the area of the economy that’s under competition from overseas for our jobs. The rest of the economy is not being shipped off like the mills here in South Carolina were to other countries around the world because of foreign competition.
Why? The foreign competition that we are dealing with right now is much cheaper to do business, excluding labor costs than we are, about 20 percent more, and that 20 percent differential is government. It’s government regulation and it’s also government taxation.
So part of what we are trying to do is to have a government system that can compete with who our competitor is. The competitor at the local drugstore is not China. The competitor is other people.
And as long as that is level and everybody’s paying, the big corporations and the little ones — and that’s why we have a flat 17 1/2 percent — so we keep the little guys paying the same rate as the big guys who have — right now, with this very complex code, a lot of folks in there trying to reduce rates by using the tax code to shrink their tax liability.
So we’ve leveled the playing field for the guys here in this country and we’ve created a competitive environment for the manufacturer. I want to make a point about Newt and his plans because they are not bold. And they’re not — in the case of Governor Romney.
SANTORUM: And they are — and they’re irresponsible. And I say that against Newt because there’s nobody for the last 15 years that’s been more in favor of personal savings accounts than I have for Social Security. But we were doing that when we had a surplus in Social Security. We are now running a deficit in Social Security. We are now running a huge deficit in this country.
Under Congressman Gingrich’s proposals, if he’s right, that 95 percent of younger workers taken, there will be hundreds of billions of dollars in increased debt, hundreds of billions of more debt being put on the books, which we can’t simply — we’re going to be borrowing money from China to fund these accounts, which is wrong. I’m for those accounts, but first we have to get our fiscal house in order, balance this budget and then create the opportunity that Newt wants. But the idea of doing that now, is fiscal insanity.
BAIER: Speaker Gingrich?
SANTORUM: And Mitt Romney’s plan is simply not bold. We have a deficit now in Social Security. We have deficits now in Medicare. And he wants to say, well we’re not going to touch anybody now. There’s 60,000 people in this country who are earning over $1 million a year as a senior and he’s saying, no let’s not touch them. I’m saying, yes. We should absolutely do something about people who don’t need Social Security when we’re borrowing money from China to pay those millionaires.

BAIER: Okay, first Speaker Gingrich, your response?

GINGRICH
: Well if you actually look at the plan at newt.org, you’ll see that one of the ways we pay for it is we take 185 different federal bureaucracies that deal with low income Americans. Think about this, there are 185 separate bureaucracies with separate regulations, all dealing with low income Americans. We can consolidate them into a single block grant. We send it back to the states and we take the billions of dollars in federal overhead that saves and put that into Social Security in order to make up the difference.
So in fact Rick, it is a very sound plan and I say this as somebody who helped balance the budget four times in a row.
(APPLAUSE)
BAIER: Quickly. Quickly.
SANTORUM: Newt, I support that idea. But we need that to reduce the deficit we have now, not doing what you’re suggesting, which is ballooning the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars more and then using things that we should be doing now to strengthen this budget deficit, to add more fiscal — financial responsibility on to the federal government.
BAIER: Last one.
GINGRICH: Okay, Martin Feldstein estimates that if you have a personal savings account model, you increase the size of the economy by $7 to $8 trillion over a generation because of the massive reinvestment. In addition, I would just suggest having helped balance the budget for four consecutive years, for the only time in your lifetime, I’m reasonably confident I can find ways to balance the budget.
(APPLAUSE)
GINGRICH: Without hurting young people and blocking them from Social Security.
(APPLAUSE)

BAIER: Governor Romney, do you want your 30 seconds? Or are you just enjoying this back and forth? Would you like to weigh in?

ROMNEY
: Rick is right. I — I know it’s popular here to say, oh we could just — we can do this and it’s not going to cost anything. But look, it’s going to get tough to get our federal spending from the current 25 percent of the GDP down to 20, down to 18 percent, which has been our history. We’ve got a huge number of obligations in this country and cutting back is going to have to happen. I know something about balancing budgets.
In the private sector, you don’t have a choice. You balance your budget, or you go out of business. And we — we simply can’t say we’re going to go out and borrow more money to let people set up new accounts that take money away from Social Security and Medicare today. Therefore, we should allow people to have a voluntary account, a voluntary savings program, tax free. That’s why I’ve said anybody middle income should be abl

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

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

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

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

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

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

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

Related

Speakers:

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-PA.

Former Rep. Newt Gingrich, R-GA.

Former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-MASS.

Former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., R-UTAH

Hermain Cain

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-MINN.

Gov. Rick Perry, R-TEXAS

Rep. Ron Paul, R-TEXAS

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY:  You had your chance.  Let me speak.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM:  You’re out of line.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL:  Fourteen girls to take an inoculation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BACHMANN:  I will build the fence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERRY:  We know how to secure the borders.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

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GINGRICH:  The American people create jobs, not governments.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAIN:  This economy is on life support.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

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

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

(APPLAUSE)

GARRETT:  From Atlanta, Georgia, businessman Herman Cain.

(APPLAUSE)

GARRETT:  Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

(APPLAUSE)

GARRETT:  Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich

(APPLAUSE)

GARRETT:  Current Texas Governor Rick Perry.

(APPLAUSE)

GARRETT:  And former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

(APPLAUSE)

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

CAIN:  Yes?

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

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

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

CAIN:  Yes.

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

CAIN:  No…

GARRETT:  (INAUDIBLE).

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

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

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

PELLEY:  That’s…

ROMNEY:  And finally…

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

ROMNEY:  I get — I get…

PELLEY:  We’re going to adhere to time.

ROMNEY:  I get 60…

PELLEY:  Very quickly…

ROMNEY:  — seconds.

PELLEY:  But what made…

ROMNEY:  I get 60 seconds.

PELLEY:  Yes, yes sir. And the 60…

ROMNEY:  That was 30.

PELLEY:  The 60…

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

PELLEY:  You — you know what, Governor?

ROMNEY:  Yes?

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

ROMNEY:  Yes.  All right.  Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

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

(APPLAUSE)

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

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

PELLEY:  This…

ROMNEY:  And, finally…

PELLEY:  — this time, it is time.

ROMNEY:  Yes.  And finally, at that…

PELLEY:  (INAUDIBLE)…

ROMNEY:  And, finally (INAUDIBLE)…

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

ROMNEY:  Yes.

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

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

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes!

GINGRICH:  And…

(APPLAUSE)

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

(LAUGHTER)

GARRETT:  Could you tell us the smart ways…

GINGRICH:  Sure.

GARRETT:  — Mr. Speaker?

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

(LAUGHTER)

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

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

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

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

PELLEY:  Thank you, Congressman.

(APPLAUSE)

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

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

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

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

PELLEY:  There is…

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

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

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

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

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

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

SANTORUM:  Well…

PELLEY:  … adhere to time and be fair…

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

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

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

PELLEY:  That is time.  Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

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

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

PELLEY:  Thank — thank you.

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

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

(APPLAUSE)

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

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

(APPLAUSE)

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

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

(APPLAUSE)

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

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

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

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

PELLEY:  Would you agree that the Taliban….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(CROSSTALK)

PELLEY:  And that’s…

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

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

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

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

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

PELLEY:  Thank you very much.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PELLEY:  How do you make friends out of Pakistan?

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

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

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

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

GINGRICH:  No.  No.

(LAUGHTER)

GARRETT:  You said so last night.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

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

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

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

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

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

(APPLAUSE)

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

GINGRICH:  Yes.

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

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

(APPLAUSE)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PERRY:  I’m glad you remembered it.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

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

(LAUGHTER)

PERRY:  Me, too.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

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

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

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

PELLEY:  And that’s time, sir.

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

PELLEY:  And that’s time.  Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

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

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

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

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

GARRETT:  And then you would support it as president?

(APPLAUSE)

GARRETT:  You would return…

CAIN:  Yes.

GARRETT:  … to that policy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(CROSSTALK)

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

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

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

(LAUGHTER)

(UNKNOWN):  Tell me about it.

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

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

(APPLAUSE)

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

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

(APPLAUSE)

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

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

(APPLAUSE)

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

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

PELLEY:  Not found guilty by a court, sir.

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

PELLEY:  Well, that’s extrajudicial.

(CROSSTALK)

PELLEY:  It’s not the rule of law.

(APPLAUSE)

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

(APPLAUSE)

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

(APPLAUSE)

(UNKNOWN):  Well said.  Well said.

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

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

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

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

(UNKNOWN):  And…

ROMNEY:  — stealing our intellectual property…

PELLEY:  That’s time, Governor…

ROMNEY:  — and, of course, their military…

PELLEY:  (INAUDIBLE).

ROMNEY:  — their military capacity, as well.

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

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

(APPLAUSE)

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

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

PELLEY:  And Governor…

HUNTSMAN:  — in China…

PELLEY:  — we’re going to have to…

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

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

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

PELLEY:  Governor…

HUNTSMAN:  — manufacturing muscle.

PELLEY:  That’s time.

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

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

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

(APPLAUSE)

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

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

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

PELLEY:  And Governor, I have to…

PERRY:  — without having an answer?

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

PERRY:  Why?

PELLEY:  I thank you very much.

(APPLAUSE)

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

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

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

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By Bonnie K. Goodman

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

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Alex Wong/Getty Images

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 7, 2011: GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney’s Speech on Foreign Policy at The Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina

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CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Text of Mitt Romney’s Speech on Foreign Policy at The Citadel

Source: WSJ, 10-7-11

Here is the text of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s speech on foreign policy as prepared for delivery Friday at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C.:

Mr. Romney: It’s a great honor to be in South Carolina, where patriotism is a passion that tops even barbeque and football.

And it’s a great honor to be here at the Citadel.

Every great university and college produces future engineers, doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs. Here at the Citadel, you do all that but you have another specialty – you produce heroes.  Over 1400 of your alumni have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere fighting the war against terrorism.  And sixteen have paid the ultimate price.

Since 1842, every tyrant, petty thug or great power that threatened America learned that if you wanted to take on America, you were taking on the Citadel.  That’s a line of heroes that’s never broken and never will be.

This is a true citadel of American honor, values and courage.

The other day I heard the President say that Americans had gone “soft.” I guess he wasn’t talking about how hard it is for millions of Americans who are trying to get a job or stretch a too small paycheck through the week.

As each of you looks beyond this great institution, to the life before you, I know you face many difficult questions in a world fraught with uncertainty.  America is in an economic crisis the likes of which we have never seen in our lifetime. Europe is struggling with the greatest economic crisis since the Cold War, one that calls into question the very definition of the European Union.

Around the world we see tremendous upheaval and change. Our next President will face extraordinary challenges that could alter the destiny of America and, indeed, the future of freedom.

Today, I want you to join me in looking forward. Forward beyond that next Recognition Day, beyond Ring Weekend to four years from today, October 7th, 2015.

What kind of world will we be facing?

Will Iran be a fully activated nuclear weapons state, threatening its neighbors, dominating the world’s oil supply with a stranglehold on the Strait of Hormuz?  In the hands of the ayatollahs, a nuclear Iran is nothing less than an existential threat to Israel. Iran’s suicidal fanatics could blackmail the world.

By 2015, will Israel be even more isolated by a hostile international community? Will those who seek Israel’s destruction feel emboldened by American ambivalence? Will Israel have been forced to fight yet another war to protect its citizens and its right to exist?

In Afghanistan, after the United States and NATO have withdrawn all forces, will the Taliban find a path back to power? After over a decade of American sacrifice in treasure and blood, will the country sink back into the medieval terrors of fundamentalist rule and the mullahs again open a sanctuary for terrorists?

Next door, Pakistan awaits the uncertain future, armed with more than 100 nuclear weapons. The danger of a failed Pakistan is difficult to overestimate, fraught with nightmare scenarios: Will a nuclear weapon be in the hands of Islamic Jihadists?

China has made it clear that it intends to be a military and economic superpower. Will her rulers lead their people to a new era of freedom and prosperity or will they go down a darker path, intimidating their neighbors, brushing aside an inferior American Navy in the Pacific, and building a global alliance of authoritarian states?

Russia is at a historic crossroads.  Vladimir Putin has called the breakup of the Soviet empire the great tragedy of the 20th Century. Will he try to reverse that tragedy and bludgeon the countries of the former Soviet Union into submission, and intimidate Europe with the levers of its energy resources?

To our South, will the malign socialism of Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, in tight alliance with the malign socialism of Castro’s Cuba, undermine the prospects of democracy in a region thirsting for freedom and stability and prosperity?

Our border with Mexico remains an open sore.  Will drug cartels dominate the regions adjoining the United States, with greater and greater violence spilling over into our country? Will we have failed to secure the border and to stem the tide of illegal immigrants? And will drug smugglers and terrorists increasingly make their way into our midst?

This would be a troubling and threatening world for America. But it is not unrealistic. These are only some of the very real dangers that America faces, if we continue with the feckless policies of the past three years.

But of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. This isn’t our destiny, it is a choice. We are a democracy. You decide. In this campaign for President, I will offer a very different vision of America’s role in the world and of America’s destiny.

Our next President will face many difficult and complex foreign policy decisions. Few will be black and white.

But I am here today to tell you that I am guided by one overwhelming conviction and passion: This century must be an American Century. In an American Century, America has the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world. In an American Century, America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world.

God did not create this country to be a nation of followers. America is not destined to be one of several equally balanced global powers.  America must lead the world, or someone else will. Without American leadership, without clarity of American purpose and resolve, the world becomes a far more dangerous place, and liberty and prosperity would surely be among the first casualties.

Let me make this very clear. As President of the United States, I will devote myself to an American Century. And I will never, ever apologize for America.

Some may ask, “Why America? Why should America be any different than scores of other countries around the globe?”

I believe we are an exceptional country with a unique destiny and role in the world. Not exceptional, as the President has derisively said, in the way that the British think Great Britain is exceptional or the Greeks think Greece is exceptional. In Barack Obama’s profoundly mistaken view, there is nothing unique about the United States.

But we are exceptional because we are a nation founded on a precious idea that was birthed in the American Revolution, and propounded by our greatest statesmen, in our fundamental documents. We are a people who threw off the yoke of tyranny and established a government, in Abraham Lincoln’s words, “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

We are a people who, in the language of our Declaration of Independence, hold certain truths to be self-evident: namely, that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. It is our belief in the universality of these unalienable rights that leads us to our exceptional role on the world stage, that of a great champion of human dignity and human freedom.

I was born in 1947, a classic baby boomer. I grew up in a world formed by one dominant threat to America: the Soviet Union and Communism. The “duck and cover” drills we learned in school during the Cuban Missile Crisis resulted from a threat by a known, identifiable enemy, with clear borders and established leaders. We needed spy planes to find the hidden missile bases in Cuba but we didn’t need them to find Nikita Khrushchev. President Reagan could negotiate with Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev and sign treaties for which each side could be held accountable. And when we caught the Soviets cheating, we could bring the world’s attention to their transgressions.

Today, our world is far more chaotic. We still face grave threats, but they come not from one country, or one group, or one ideology. The world is unfortunately not so defined.  What America and our allies are facing is a series of threatening forces, ones that overlap and reinforce each other.  To defend America, and to secure a peaceful and prosperous world, we need to clearly understand these emerging threats, grasp their complexity, and formulate a strategy that deals with them before they explode into conflict.

It is far too easy for a President to jump from crisis to crisis, dealing with one hot spot after another. But to do so is to be shaped by events rather than to shape events. To avoid this paralyzing seduction of action rather than progress, a President must have a broad vision of the world coupled with clarity of purpose.

When I look around the world, I see a handful of major forces that vie with America and free nations, to shape the world in an image of their choosing. These are not exclusively military threats.  Rather, they are determined, powerful forces that may threaten freedom, prosperity, and America’s national interests.

First, Islamic fundamentalism with which we have been at war since Sept. 11, 2001.

Second, the struggle in the greater Middle East between those who yearn for freedom, and those who seek to crush it.

The dangerous and destabilizing ripple effects of failed and failing states, from which terrorists may find safe haven.

The anti-American visions of regimes in Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and Cuba—two of which are seeking nuclear weapons.

And these forces include rising nations with hidden and emerging aspirations, like China, determined to be a world superpower, and a resurgent Russia, led by a man who believes the Soviet Union was great, not evil.

There is no one approach to these challenges. There is no Wall that the next President can demand to be torn down. But there is one unifying thread that connects each of these possible threats: when America is strong, the world is safer.

Ronald Reagan called it “Peace through Strength” and he was never more right than today. It is only American power—conceived in the broadest terms—that can provide the foundation of an international system that ensures the security and prosperity of the United States and our friends and allies around the world.

American strength rises from a strong economy, a strong defense, and the enduring strength of our values.  Unfortunately, under this President, all three of those elements have been weakened.

As President, on Day One, I will focus on rebuilding America’s economy.  I will reverse President Obama’s massive defense cuts.  Time and again, we have seen that attempts to balance the budget by weakening our military only lead to a far higher price, not only in treasure, but in blood.

My strategy of American strength is guided by a set of core principles.

First, American foreign policy must be prosecuted with clarity and resolve. Our friends and allies must have no doubts about where we stand. And neither should our rivals. If the world knows we are resolute, our allies will be comforted and those who wish us harm will be far less tempted to test that resolve.

Second, America must promote open markets, representative government, and respect for human rights. The path from authoritarianism to freedom and representative government is not always a straight line or an easy evolution, but history teaches us that nations that share our values, will be reliable partners and stand with us in pursuit of common security and shared prosperity.

Third, the United States will apply the full spectrum of hard and soft power to influence events before they erupt into conflict. Resort to force is always the least desirable and costliest option. We must therefore employ all the tools of statecraft to shape the outcome of threatening situations before they demand military action. The United States should always retain military supremacy to deter would-be aggressors and to defend our allies and ourselves.  If America is the undisputed leader of the world, it reduces our need to police a more chaotic world.

Fourth, the United States will exercise leadership in multilateral organizations and alliances. American leadership lends credibility and breeds faith in the ultimate success of any action, and attracts full participation from other nations. American leadership will also focus multilateral institutions like the United Nations on achieving the substantive goals of democracy and human rights enshrined in their charters.  Too often, these bodies prize the act of negotiating over the outcome to be reached.  And shamefully, they can become forums for the tantrums of tyrants and the airing of the world’s most ancient of prejudices: anti-Semitism. The United States must fight to return these bodies to their proper role. But know this: while America should work with other nations, we always reserve the right to act alone to protect our vital national interests.

In my first 100 days in office, I will take a series of measures to put these principles into action, and place America—and the world—on safer footing.

Among these actions will be to restore America’s national defense.  I will reverse the hollowing of our Navy and announce an initiative to increase the shipbuilding rate from 9 per year to 15.  I will begin reversing Obama-era cuts to national missile defense and prioritize the full deployment of a multilayered national ballistic missile defense system. I will order the formulation of a national cybersecurity strategy, to deter and defend against the growing threats of militarized cyber-attacks, cyber-terrorism, and cyber-espionage.

I will enhance our deterrent against the Iranian regime by ordering the regular presence of aircraft carrier task forces, one in the Eastern Mediterranean and one in the Persian Gulf region. I will begin discussions with Israel to increase the level of our military assistance and coordination. And I will again reiterate that Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is unacceptable.

I will begin organizing all of our diplomatic and assistance efforts in the greater Middle East under one official with the authority and accountability necessary to train all our soft power resources on ensuring that the Arab Spring does not fade into a long winter.

I will launch a campaign to advance economic opportunity in Latin America, and contrast the benefits of democracy, free trade, and free enterprise against the material and moral bankruptcy of the Venezuelan and Cuban model.

I will order a full review of our transition to the Afghan military to secure that nation’s sovereignty from the tyranny of the Taliban.  I will speak with our generals in the field, and receive the best recommendation of our military commanders.  The force level necessary to secure our gains and complete our mission successfully is a decision I will make free from politics.

And I will bolster and repair our alliances. Our friends should never fear that we will not stand by them in an hour of need. I will reaffirm as a vital national interest Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. I will count as dear our Special Relationship with the United Kingdom.  And I will begin talks with Mexico, to strengthen our cooperation on our shared problems of drugs and security.

This is America’s moment.  We should embrace the challenge, not shrink from it, not crawl into an isolationist shell, not wave the white flag of surrender, nor give in to those who assert America’s time has passed. That is utter nonsense. An eloquently justified surrender of world leadership is still surrender.

I will not surrender America’s role in the world. This is very simple: If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on Earth, I am not your President.

You have that President today.

The 21st century can and must be an American century. It began with terror, war, and economic calamity. It is our duty to steer it onto the path of freedom, peace, and prosperity. My hope is that our grandchildren will remember us in the same way that we remember the past generations of Americans who overcame adversity, the generations that fought in world wars, that came through the Great Depression, and that gained victory in the Cold War. Let future generations look back on us and say, they rose to the occasion, they embraced their duty, and they led our nation to safety and to greatness.

The Greatest Generation is passing. But as their light fades, we must seize the torch they carried so gallantly at such sacrifice. It is an eternal torch of decency, freedom and hope. It is not America’s torch alone. But it is America’s duty – and honor – to hold it high enough that all the world can see its light.

Believe in America.

Thank you, and God Bless the United States of America.

Campaign Recap August 15, 2011: Ames Iowa GOP Debate & Straw Poll — Texas Gov. Rick Perry Announces Presidential Bid While Tim Pawlenty Withdraws

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Richard Ellis/Getty Images
Gov. Rick Perry of Texas announced his candidacy for president at the RedState Gathering, a meeting of conservative activists, in Charleston, S.C., on Saturday.

STATS & POLLS

Republican Presidential Candidates: Primaries 2012 — NYT

Democratic Nominee 2012: President Barack Obama’s Official Reelection Campaign Website — BarackObama.com

Republican National Committee

Democratic National Committee

  • Gallup Poll: Election 2012 — Track GOP Contender’s Images Week by Week — Generic Ballot Gallup
  • Gallup: Presidential Job Approval Gallup
  • Gallup Daily: Obama Job Approval: Each result is based on a three-day rolling average Gallup
  • Poll Watch: Polls and Related Articles From The New York Times NYT
  • Top tier emerges as GOP nomination race enters a defining phase: With Rick Perry declaring his candidacy and Michele Bachmann winning the Iowa straw poll, the two go head-to-head for the GOP’s social and religious conservatives and against establishment front-runner Mitt Romney…. – LAT, 8-15-11

QUOTES & SPEECHES

    • AP Interview: Perry calls jobs record a big plus: Texas Gov. Rick Perry contended Monday he has the best economic record and executive experience in government of any Republican presidential candidate, contrasting his credentials with those of his top two rivals, Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann…. – AP, 8-15-11

“I respect all the other candidates in the field but there is no one that can stand toe-to-toe with us.”

“There’s plenty of time to look at his four years in Massachusetts and my 10 years in Texas.”

“Trying to compare the job creation and the numbers of jobs with any other state is just not an apples-to-apples comparison.”

“I was in the private sector for 13 years after I left the Air Force. I wasn’t on Wall Street. I wasn’t working at Bain Capital. But the principles of the free market, they work whether you’re in a farm field in Iowa or whether you’re on Wall Street.”

“It’s a fair comparison. Understanding how that process works, but more importantly making that process work, of which we have done in Texas, is inarguably better than … anyone who is aspiring to be the president.”

“I’m going to talk about the economy; don’t get any ideas that I’m going to run away from my faith or my beliefs.”

QUOTES & SPEECHES

Mitt Romney: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts mittromney.com

Rick Perry: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts rickperry.org

Ron Paul: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts ronpaul2012.com

Herman Cain: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts hermancain.com

Michele Bachmann: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts michelebachmann.com

Newt Gingrich: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts newt.org

Jon Huntsman: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts jon2012.com

Rick Santorum: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts ricksantorum.com

The Ames Republican debate transcript: Everything they said that you missed — LAT, 8-13-11

“In Iowa we have successfully maintained the chain of liberty for 150 years my family has lived in Iowa. I’m the seventh-generation Iowan. And every generation has successfully handed the torch of liberty to the next. It’s as though we have forged a chain-link of liberty, and every generation has successfully kept the chain going. And now it’s our chance, here in Iowa. We get to forge that next chain on the link of liberty.” — Rep. Michele Bachmann

“I want to say on television what I said to you personally, I sincerely apologize, I didn’t mean to do it.” — Chris Wallace, Host “Fox News Sunda.”
“All is forgiven, we move forward, so we’re good to go.” — Rep. Michele Bachmann

“It is time to get America working again, to get citizens – to get our citizens working in good jobs and getting the government to working for the people again.” — Gov. Rick Perry

“Page 1 of any economic plan to get America working is to give a pink slip to the current resident in the White House. The president of the United States has a pen. It’s called a veto pen. And I will use it until the ink runs out if that’s what it takes.” — Gov. Rick Perry in Waterloo, Iowa

“The American people now, by a large majority, are saying we have been overseas too long. We don’t need an American empire. We need to protect our borders and forget about the borders in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It’s time to bring the troops home. All we have to do is restore the belief in freedom, restore the belief in what made America great, restore our conviction that the Constitution works.” — Rep. Ron Paul of Texas in his speech at the Iowa straw poll

“Obviously that message didn’t get the kind of traction or lift that we needed and hoped for coming into and out of the Ames Straw Poll. We needed to get some lift to continue on and to have a pathway forward. That didn’t happen. So I’m announcing this morning on your show that I’m going to be ending my campaign for president.
All of them are going to be tested, and somebody who can thrive in this process will have their mettle tested, and they’ll be improved. And so a lot of times you see candidates start out weaker, they get stronger over time, or start out strong and fall by the wayside. So we just don’t know.” — Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, dropped his presidential bid in an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” program hosted by Jack Tapper

“Tim Pawlenty and his entire team ran an honorable campaign. I admire his accomplishments as a two-term governor with a record of results for his state. I consider him a friend and I know he has a bright future ahead of him as a leader in the Republican Party.” — Mitt Romney

“Tim Pawlenty is an accomplished governor, a proud conservative and someone of tremendous character. Our families became close while we were serving together as governors and we are honored to call the Pawlentys dear friends. I know this wasn’t an easy decision for Tim and Mary, and I wish them nothing but the best. Tim should be proud that he brought to this race ambitious solutions to turn around our nation’s economy and to tackle debt and spending. I hope that all of his supporters continue to stay engaged in this defining election and work with us to ensure that our party wins in November.” — Jon M. Huntsman Jr.

“Tim Pawlenty is a good friend and colleague who I have worked closely with over the years, including visiting our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a governor, Tim stuck to conservative principles despite leading a blue state like Minnesota. He and Mary are true patriots who are committed to our country, and ran an honorable campaign that reflected their integrity. Governor Pawlenty’s common-sense conservative voice will remain prominent and influential as we work to beat President Obama in 2012 and get America working again.” — Gov. Rick Perry

“This morning I spoke with Governor Pawlenty to express my respect and admiration for him, and to wish him and his family well. Running for the presidency requires enormous self-sacrifice. Governor Pawlenty brought an important voice and ideas to the campaign, and he served the people of Minnesota and our country well. Our party and our country are better as a result of his service and commitment.” — Rep. Michele Bachmann

    • GOP candidates slam Obama on US credit downgrade: The 2012 Republican presidential contenders have roundly criticized President Barack Obama for economic policies they contend helped drive the downgrade of U.S. credit by a major ratings agency…. – AP, 8-9-11

“Markets will rise and fall, but this is the United States of America. No matter what some agency may say, we’ve always been and always will be a triple-A country.” — President Obama said at the White House.

“Stop attacking, take responsibility and lead.” — Mitt Romney

“These problems have been percolating for a lot of years — both parties have to take some blame — but it’s also true that President Obama has made them exponentially worse.” — Tim Pawlenty said at an event in Ames

“You look at where the marketplace is today, you look at our downgrade, you look at all the economic woes that every American family has seen play out over the past little while. We’ve done this to ourselves and it’s time to reverse this business-unfriendly attitude of the past 2½ years.” — Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman

IN FOCUS: THE AMES IOWA GOP/REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES DEBATE

    • FACT CHECK: Republican debate strains some facts: Michele Bachmann cast her opinion as a settled fact when she told the Republican presidential debate Thursday that a key element of President Barack Obama’s health care law is unconstitutional. And Mitt Romney danced around an attempt to learn why he stayed largely mum on the epic debt limit standoff between Obama and Congress. The first big GOP debate of the primary season brought viewers a flurry of claims and counterclaims, not all built on solid ground…. – AP, 8-12-11

The Ames Republican debate transcript: Everything they said that you missed — LAT, 8-13-11

Ames presidential debate: Winners and losers: The Washinton Post names Romney, Bachmann and Paul were among the winners.

BACHMANN: Spoke of “the unconstitutional individual mandate” several times, a reference to a requirement for people to carry health insurance, a central element of the 2010 federal health care law.
THE FACTS: Nothing is unconstitutional until courts declare it to be so.

TIM PAWLENTY: “To correct you, I have not questioned Congresswoman Bachmann’s headaches.”
THE FACTS: Pawlenty was hardly dismissive when news came out about Bachmann’s history of severe headaches, even if he did not go after her directly on the matter.

ROMNEY: on the last-minute deal to avert a national debt default: “I’m not going to eat Barack Obama’s dog food, all right? What he served up was not what I would have done if I’d had been president of the United States.”
THE FACTS: Romney was defending himself against criticism that he took a pass when political leadership was most needed in the mighty struggle to negotiate an agreement to raise the debt ceiling.

RICK SANTORUM: “The problem is that we have spending that has exploded. The government’s averaged 18 percent of GDP as the percentage of the overall economy. … And we’re now at almost 25 percent. Revenues are down about 2 or 3 percent. So if you look at where the problem is, the problem is in spending, not taxes.”
THE FACTS: The former Pennsylvania senator might have been mixing statistics on federal spending with federal revenue.

BACHMANN to PAWLENTY: “You said the era of small government was over. That sounds an awful lot like Barack Obama if you ask me.”
THE FACTS: Pawlenty did not declare the era of small government over. (Neither has Obama.)

“If that’s your record of results, please stop, because you’re killing us. Leading and failing is not the objective.” — Gov. Tim Pawlenty

“I believe you can get money wrong, but you can’t get life wrong. It was a choice. The governor put us in that box and I chose to protect human life.” — Rep. Michele Bachmann

    • Bachmann, Pawlenty challenge each other in debate: Fellow Minnesotans Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann directly challenged each other during Thursday’s GOP debate in Iowa, with Pawlenty calling her a failure and Bachmann likening her Republican competitor to President Barack Obama…. – AP, 8-11-11
    • GOP debate opens with economic questions: Republican front-runner Mitt Romney says he would have supported a plan by congressional Republicans to cut spending and force a vote on a federal balanced budget amendment to address the nation’s debt crisis…. – AP, 8-11-11
    • “I’m not going to eat Barack Obama’s dog food. What he served up is not what I would have done if I’d had been president of the United States.” — Mitt Romney

“She said she’s got a titanium spine. It’s not her spine we’re worried about. It’s her record of results. If that’s your view of effective leadership with results, please stop, because you’re killing us.” — Tim Pawlenty

“Iran is not Iceland, Ron. Iran is a country that has been at war with us since 1979. Iran is a country that has killed more American men and women in uniform in Iraq and Afghanistan than the Iraqis and [Afghans] have.” — Rick Santorum

  • GOP Debate: Live Blog of Republican Face-off in Iowa — ABC News, 8-11-11
  • 7 Best Moments from the GOP Debate: Bachmann and Pawlenty drop the gloves, Herman Cain talks religion, and Rick Santorum decries the oppression of gays—in Iran. Watch the best moments from the GOP debate…. – The Daily Beast, 8-12-11
  • FACT CHECK: Republican debate strains some facts: Michele Bachmann cast her opinion as a settled fact when she told the Republican presidential debate Thursday that a key element of President Barack Obama’s health care law is unconstitutional. And Mitt Romney danced around an attempt to learn why he stayed largely mum on the epic debt limit standoff between Obama and Congress.
    The first big GOP debate of the primary season brought viewers a flurry of claims and counterclaims, not all built on solid ground.
    A look at some of those claims and how they compare with the facts…. – AP, 8-11-11
  • GOP debate: Hitting hard at each other and Obama: Minnesota rivals Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann sparred bitterly Thursday night during an eight-candidate Republican debate, trying to break out of the GOP presidential pack ahead of an Iowa test vote with huge consequences. Each seeks to become the main challenger to Republican front-runner Mitt Romney.
    Their efforts were newly complicated by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who stole some of the spotlight from afar by making it known hours before the debate that he was running for the GOP nomination.
    Romney, a multimillionaire businessman who casts himself as a jobs creator, made his own stir earlier in the day when, at the Iowa State Fair, he declared that “corporations are people,” drawing ridicule from Democrats…. – AP, 8-11-11
  • GOP debate: Romney skates amid Pawlenty, Bachmann slugfest: The Republican presidential debate here Thursday night went about as well as Mitt Romney could have asked for. Despite being the frontrunner for the nomination, Romney largely avoided the slings and arrows of his rivals. … – CBS News, 8-11-11
  • Pawlenty, Bachmann Square Off Ahead of Iowa Straw Poll: “Minnesota nice” went out the window Thursday when former Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Rep. Michele Bachmann took each other on directly in a manner that clearly suggested each one sees the other as their main obstacle to a strong showing at the Iowa Straw Poll on Saturday…. – PBS Newshour, 8-11-11
  • GOP candidates debate in Ames, Iowa: Presumptive front-runner Mitt Romney steers clear of the toughest exchanges as midtier Republican presidential hopefuls like Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty spar ahead of Saturday’s straw poll…. – LAT, 8-11-11
  • Republican Presidential Hopefuls Gather for Debate Before Iowa Straw Poll: Republican presidential rivals went on the attack in a nationally televised debate yesterday, shedding the politeness marking previous forums as they squared off in Iowa before a weekend … – Bloomberg, 8-11-11
  • GOP debate kicks campaign into new phase: For most of the year, the Republican presidential race has been a listless affair. That changed suddenly Thursday night during a raucous debate that produced the sharpest exchanges of the campaign and signaled a new and more intense phase … – WaPo, 8-11-11
  • Welcome to the race, Rick! Other candidates tweak absent Perry at Iowa debate: Rick Perry wasn’t on the stage in Ames, Iowa tonight, but he was on the minds — and tongues — of the other Republican … – Houston Chronicle, 8-11-11
  • Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann exchange blows at Republican debate: The simmering rivalry between Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann erupted at Thursday night’s Republican primary debate here, transforming Iowa’s first 2012 forum into a full-blown slugfest.
    The Minnesota duo have been in a low-grade tug of war for months over the affections of Iowa conservatives. With a crucial test looming for both at the Ames straw poll this Saturday, the Pawlenty-Bachmann rivalry turned so intense that it threatened to crowd out the other candidates completely.
    The charges were familiar: Pawlenty once again called Bachmann’s accomplishments “nonexistent.” Bachmann wielded well-worn attacks on Pawlenty tenure as governor…. – Politico, 8-11-11
  • Bachmann asked whether wives should be submissive: The Bible tells wives to be submissive to their husbands. If she were president, would that apply to Michele Bachmann? In Thursday’s Republican debate in Iowa, the Minnesota congresswoman was asked if she would be submissive to her husband… – AP, 8-11-11
  • Waiting for Bachmann: The debate just came back from the first-hour commercial break, with one podium empty. “Are we actually missing a candidate on the stage?” sked Bret Baier. “We are. Congresswoman Bachmann.” Continue Reading She walked back a minute later…. – Politico, 8-11-11
  • Fighting for Iowa: With Rick Perry on the verge of entering the presidential contest, there seem for now to be three slots: Romney’s fragile, electable machine; Perry’s conservative challenge; and — at most — one more. Michele Bachmann’s grassroots populism is the most … – Politico, 8-11-11
  • The Gloves Come Off at Iowa Debate: Fox News anchors are testing the microphones. Reporters have assembled in a cavernous room with hundreds of folding tables and chairs. Senior aides to the candidates are finishing up their efforts at pre-debate spin.
    Television viewers will tune in to Thursday night’s debate promptly at 9 Eastern time, but the highly orchestrated media event began several hours ago.
    Fox News and the Iowa Republican Party are hosting the third Republican debate of this campaign season at Stephens Auditorium on the grounds of Iowa State University. The reporters — hundreds have been issued credentials — are at the next-door Hilton Coliseum…. – NYT, 8-11-11

IN FOCUS: FORMER MINNESOTA GOVERNOR TIM PAWLENTY ENDS PRESIDENTIAL BID

    • Pawlenty ends 2012 GOP bid: Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced Sunday morning that he is stepping out of the race for the GOP presidential nomination, after a disappointing finish in the Iowa straw poll.
      “We cannot envision a path forward to victory and so therefore we made a decision to end the campaign,” he said in an early-morning conference call to supporters.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty Quitting Repubican Presidential Race: Tim Pawlenty, the former governor Minnesota, dropped out of the race for the Republican presidential race on Sunday.
Mr. Pawlenty told supporters on a conference call Sunday morning that he would announce later in the day that he was ending his campaign after a disappointing finish in the Iowa straw poll on Saturday. The poll was a test of organizational strength and popularity in the state whose caucuses lead off the nomination fight.
Mr. Pawlenty had struggled to gain traction in Iowa, a state he had said he must win, after laying the groundwork for a campaign for nearly two years. He’s been eclipsed in polls in recent months by his Minnesota rival, Representative Michele Bachmann. She topped the straw poll on Saturday…. – NYT, 8-14-11

“We needed to get some lift to continue on and have a pathway forward and that didn’t happen, so I’m announcing on your show that I’m ending my campaign for president.
I wish it would have been different, but obviously the pathway forward for me doesn’t really exist, so we’re going to end the campaign.
I’m doing this because I love this country and I want to defeat Barack Obama because I think he’s got it on the wrong course, but I don’t get my identity or my sense of worth or my values or my faith from politics. I get it from my personal faith in God, and I believe in this country, I love this country, I thought I would have been a great president.
Obviously, we had some success raising money, but we needed to continue that, and Ames was a benchmark for that. And if we didn’t do well in Ames, we weren’t going to have the fuel to keep the car going down the road. But also, there’s a lot of other choices in the race. And for me, what I brought forward I thought was a rational, established, credible, strong record of results, based on experience governing — a two-term governor of a blue state. But I think the audience, so to speak, was looking for something different.” — Tim Pawlenty announcing he is ending Presidential bid on ABC’s “This Week” with Jack Tapper

  • Pawlenty Drops Out of Republican Race: Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, dropped his bid for the Republican nomination for president on Sunday morning, saying his disappointing performance in Iowa’s straw poll convinced him that his campaign had run its course…. – NYT, 8-14-11
  • Pawlenty Drops 2012 Presidential Bid: Tim Pawlenty announced an end to his presidential candidacy Sunday after what he called a “disappointing” third place finish in the Ames, Iowa, straw poll. The former Minnesota governor said he had hoped to get a jolt from the preference poll… – Fox News, 8-14-11
  • Tim Pawlenty ends presidential campaign: Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty said today he will end his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination. Pawlenty informed his supporters in a conference call and then announced his decision on ABC’s This Week. … – USA Today, 8-14-11
  • Pawlenty to quit 2012 presidential race: Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty is ending his bid for the Republican nomination for president, he told about 75 supporters on an early morning conference call from Iowa on Sunday…. – WaPo, 8-14-11
  • Republican Tim Pawlenty ends White House bid: The former governor of Minnesota ends his bid for the GOP nomination after a disapppointing third place finish in the Iowa Straw Poll…. – LAT, 8-14-11
  • Tim Pawlenty Exits 2012 Presidential Race After Poor Iowa Showing: Tim Pawlenty made headlines Sunday but not the sort he was hoping to. He announced on ABC News This Week that he has dropped out of the hunt for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination after coming in a disappointing third in the Iowa’s Ames Straw Poll…. – NPR (blog), 8-14-11
  • Cain: Pawlenty ‘doubleddown’ in Iowa: GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain said former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty put a huge effort into a strong showing in Saturday’s Iowa straw poll and lost that gamble. Pawlenty pulled out of the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination…. – Politico, 8-14-11
  • Former Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty drops out of GOP presidential race; finished 3rd: Hours after finishing third at the Iowa straw poll, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is quitting the GOP presidential race. Pawlenty told supporters on a conference call Sunday morning that he would formally announce he’s withdrawing … New York Daily News, 8-14-11
  • Pawlenty: No fuel for the car: Martin and Cogan report: After spending much of his money to finish a distant third in the Ames Straw Poll, Tim Pawlenty ended his presidential bid Sunday. “We needed to get some lift to continue on and have a pathway forward and that didn’t happen.”… – Politico, 8-14-11
  • Tim Pawlenty leaving presidential race: After spending much of his money to finish a distant third in the Ames straw poll, Tim Pawlenty ended his presidential bid Sunday. Pawlenty revealed his decision on an early morning conference call with supporters, an aide told POLITICO…. – Politico, 8-14-11
  • Tim Pawlenty dropping out of presidential race: Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty speaks during a town hall meeting Monday, May 23, 2011, at the State of Iowa Historical Building in Des Moines, Iowa. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is dropping out of the presidential race, sources told…. – CBS News, 8-14-11
  • Pawlenty Withdraws From Race: Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has dropped out of the 2012 race for president, according to the Associated Press. Pawlenty told supporters on a conference call Sunday morning that he would announce on ABC’s “This Week”… – AP, 8-14-11

IN FOCUS: REP. MICHELE BACHMANN WINS IOWA AMES STRAW POLL

Michele Bachmann wins Ames Straw Poll: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) won the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa on Saturday. The straw poll is a key test of organizational strength in the race to run against President Obama, although its winner has not necessarily gone on to win the Iowa caucus or the Republican presidential nomination. Those candidates who underperform in the contest, however, have sometimes dropped out of the primary race soon after competing.

“I want to thank the people of Iowa for this tremendous victory. Together we sent a message that we intend to make President Obama a one-term president. The Iowa Straw Poll was a important first step in what will be a long race for the presidency. Now we turn our attention toward winning the Iowa Caucuses and taking our message of reining in wasteful spending, keeping taxes low, growing our economy and creating jobs to the people of New Hampshire, South Carolina and all 50 states.” Rep. Michele Bachmann following the announcement of her victory

“It is time to get America working again. That’s why, with the support of my family, and an unwavering belief in the goodness of America, I declare to you today my candidacy for president of the United States.” — Texas Governor Rick Perry

Ames Straw Poll Results:
Michele Bachmann: 4,823
Ron Paul: 4,671
Tim Pawlenty: 2,293
Rick Santorum: 1657
Herman Cain: 1456
Rick Perry: 718
Mitt Romney: 567

Representative Michele Bachmann Tops Iowa Straw Poll: Michele Bachmann’s high-intensity, Tea Party-inspired critique of President Obama propelled her to a first-place finish in the straw poll in Ames, Iowa, on Saturday, giving her presidential campaign a boost as the field of rivals expanded to include Gov. Rick Perry of Texas. Mrs. Bachmann bested an incomplete collection of her presidential rivals in a nonbinding, early test of political organization in the state that will hold the first presidential voting early next year.
Representative Ron Paul of Texas came in second on the strength of his appeals for radically smaller government, a pullout of troops from American wars and stronger efforts to reduce the country’s debt.
Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, came in a distant third after struggling for weeks to create the kind of political buzz that could provide momentum for his candidacy…. – NYT, 8-13-11

  • Bachmann Victorious in Iowa Straw Poll; Paul Places Second: Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann took her surging candidacy to a new level by taking first place in the straw poll with 4,823 votes. Texas Rep. Ron Paul came in a very close second with 4,671 votes. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty placed a distant third with 2,293 votes…. – PBS Newshour, 8-13-11
  • Bachmann talks like a front-runner: ‘It’s on to all 50 states’: Newly minted Ames Straw Poll winner Michele Bachmann is already sounding like a front-runner – saying her win is the “first step” on the road to the White House…. – CNN, 8-13-11
  • Bachmann wins Iowa straw poll as Perry looms: Michele Bachmann captured the famed Iowa straw poll in Ames Saturday, reaching a high-profile benchmark in her meteoric rise to a top-tier presidential candidate…. – LAT, 8-13-11
  • Bachmann wins Iowa straw poll as Perry jumps in: Bachmann narrowly won the Iowa straw poll in a contest that dealt a major setback to third- place finisher Tim Pawlenty. The events of Saturday marked the opening of an accelerating chapter in a 2012 GOP campaign that has been slow to take shape…. – WaPO, 8-13-11
  • Iowa’s Straw Poll Suicide: Ames Now Irrelevant: With Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul leading the Ames Straw Poll and Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum and Herman Cain next — ahead of Rick Perry and Mitt Romney — only the local buttermilk cows should be holding their heads high…. – The Atlantic, 8-13-11
  • ‘History was made’: Agile internet fundraiser Michele Bachmann, within two hours of her win, sent a fundraising email to her list off the fact that “history was made today in Iowa” at the Ames Straw Poll. The historic element was that she was the first woman ever to win…. – Politico, 8-13-11
  • Perry overshadows Bachmann’s Iowa victory: As the Texas governor makes a fiery entry into the Republican race, the Minnesota congresswoman narrowly defeats Ron Paul to win the Ames straw poll. Tim Pawlenty places a distant third…. – LAT, 8-13-11
  • Ames bragging rights: Perry edges Mitt: Neither was competing in Iowa, but Rick Perry won an in-your-face victory of sorts over Mitt Romney Saturday: The Texas governor bested the nominal frontrunner by 151 votes in the Ames Straw Poll…. – Politico, 8-13-11
  • Perry, Bachmann galvanize Republicans in US race: Popular Texas Governor Rick Perry hurdled into the forefront of the Republican White House race, overshadowing Tea Party darling Michele Bachmann’s victory in a telling early poll…. – AFP, 8-13-11
  • ‘Hi, y’all!’: Texas Gov. Rick Perry hits N.H. running in GOP prez bid: Texas Gov. Rick Perry brought a little Lone Star swagger to New Hampshire this evening, promising he’d boost jobs nationwide if voters send him to the White House, as he officially entered the already crowded Republican Presidential campaign…. – Boston Herald, 8-13-11
  • Rick Perry arrives to excited crowd in New Hampshire: Rick Perry touched down in New Hampshire late Saturday for his first official campaign stop, hours after kicking off his presidential campaign, and fielded questions from the delighted crowd at a house party with ease…. – Politico, 8-13-11
  • Perry Releases New Campaign Video: On the heels of his official presidential announcement, Rick Perry has unveiled a new, two-minute campaign video. The biographical video describes the governor of Texas as “America’s jobs governor.”… – NYT, 8-13-11
  • Iowa GOP straw poll: The power of not being there: This year’s Iowa Republican straw poll was largely defined by the man who wasn’t there, Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Inside the Hilton Coliseum on Saturday, one candidate after another vowed to make Barack Obama a one-term president…. – Kansas City Star, 8-13-11
  • Sarah Palin casts shadow over Rick Perry, Iowa Straw Poll: The biggest draw at the Iowa State Fair on Friday wasn’t the butter cow. It was a human magnet named Sarah Palin…. – Sacramento Bee, 8-13-11
  • Iowa straw poll wins rarely lead to big time: It was a big day in Iowa for people who will not be president. Michele Bachmann crushed at the Ames straw poll, and Ron Paul came in a strong second. If history is any guide, that means neither candidate will make it to the White House. The man who many Republicans think will win the nomination was half a country away. In South Carolina, Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced that he is running for president.
    The two poles of energy in the Republican race highlighted the tension that faces the party: between sending a message to Washington and sending a candidate who can win an election. All parties face this tension, but it is particularly acute for the Republican Party at the moment. President Barack Obama is weak, which means a Republican candidate could appeal to independents who have soured on Obama. At the same time, Tea Party activists–who give the party its power and energy and who have reshaped politics in Washington–alienate those same independent voters…. – CBS News, 8-13-11

IN FOCUS: TEXAS GOV. RICK PERRY ANNOUNCES HE IS RUNNING FOR THE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION

Rick Perry launches his 2012 presidential bid: Texas Gov. Rick Perry officially declared his presidential candidacy Saturday, telling a crowd in the key primary state of South Carolina that he will run for the nomination to challenge President Obama in 2012.
“I do not accept the path that America is on…Because a renewed nation needs a renewed president. It is time to get America working again,” Perry told the cheering crowd. “I declare to you today as a candidate for president of the United States of America.”
Perry formally announced his intentions to attendees of a conference run by the conservative blog RedState.
Perry’s speech, coming on the same day Republicans in Ames, Iowa cast the first votes of the GOP nomination contest, is the start of a campaign launch that includes a stop in New Hampshire later Saturday and then several days of events in the Hawkeye State starting Sunday.

“I came to South Carolina because I will not sit back and accept the path that America is on, because a great country requires a better direction, because a renewed nation needs a new president…. With the support of my family and unwavering belief in the goodness of America, I declare to you today as a candidate for president of the United States.” — Texas Gov. Rick Perry

“It’s time to get America working again…. Page one of any economic plan to get American working is to give a pink slip to the current residents in the White House….
This sure doesn’t feel like a recovery. Recovery is a meaningless word if the bank has foreclosed on your home….
America is not broken, Washington, D.C. is broken….
There is no taxpayer money that wasn’t first earned by the sweat and toil of one of our citizens.” — Texas Gov. Rick Perry

Transcript of Gov. Perry’s announcement of presidential campaign — RickPerry.org

www.rickperry.org

    • Texas Gov. Perry jumps into 2012 Republican race: Texas Gov. Rick Perry joined the 2012 GOP race for president Saturday with an announcement sure to reverberate halfway across the country as his rivals competed in Iowa for the support of party activists. “I full well believe I’m going to win.”… – AP, 8-13-11
    • Texas Governor Perry launches 2012 presidential bid: Rick Perry, the conservative governor of Texas, declared himself a candidate for president on Saturday, shaking up the race for the Republican nomination to face Democratic President Barack Obama…. – Reuters, 8-13-11
    • Rick Perry Enters G.O.P. Race for President: Gov. Rick Perry of Texas announced Saturday that he was running for president, declaring it was “time to get America working again” as he sought to offer the Republican Party a well-rounded candidate who appeals to fiscal conservatives and can also rally the evangelical base.
      As many of his fellow candidates flooded Iowa over the weekend to woo voters at the Ames Straw Poll, Mr. Perry headed here to announce that he was seeking the nomination at the RedState Gathering, an annual convention of conservative bloggers….. Mr. Perry, 61, whose spectral presence has lingered over the Republican primary contest — he was even the topic of a question at Thursday night’s Republican debate in Iowa — officially became a candidate for the Republican nomination…. – NYT, 8-13-11
    • Election 101: 11 questions about Rick Perry and his White House bid: James Richard Perry wants to hang his cowboy hat in the White House. The Texas governor announced Saturday at a campaign stop in South Carolina that he was running for president. He was also traveling later in the day to New Hampshire, and planned a visit to Iowa…. – CS Monitor, 8-13-11
    • Rick Perry joins 2012 race: Texas Gov. Rick Perry launched his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in Charleston, South Carolina Saturday, scrambling the GOP field from afar on the same day Iowans were casting ballots in the Ames Straw Poll…. – Politico, 8-13-11
    • Texas Gov. Rick Perry declares GOP presidential bid: Scrambling the field of Republican hopefuls vying to replace President Obama, Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced his bid for the White House Saturday, arguing that America could not afford four more years of Barack Obama…. – LAT, 8-13-11
    • Perry Says He’s Running for President: Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Saturday that he was running for president, a move that recasts the GOP nominating contest with the addition of a tough campaigner and proven fund-raiser to an unusually unsettled field. … – WSJ, 8-13-11
    • Texas Gov. Rick Perry announces presidential run: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, speaking Saturday to a conservative group meeting in South Carolina, officially launched his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Perry stated, “It’s time to get America working again.”… – CNN, 8-13-11
    • Texas Governor announces bid for presidency: Opinion polls indicate Texas Governor Rick Perry enters the race close on the heels of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the early front-runner to win the 2012 Republican nomination…. – National Post, 8-13-11
    • Rick Perry officially announces presidential bid: Texas Governor Rick Perry has announced his bid for the 2012 Republican nomination…. – CBS News, 8-13-11
    • With broad attack on Obama, Texan Rick Perry enters GOP fray: After more than a decade as his state’s longest serving governor, Texan Rick Perry moved onto the national political stage Saturday by declaring his entry into the 2012 presidential race, immediately transforming the scramble for the Republican nomination…. – Kansas City Star, 8-13-11

“Governor Perry’s economic policies are a carbon copy of the economic policies of Washington Republicans. He pledged to support the cut cap and balance plan that would preserve subsidies for oil and gas companies and tax cuts for the wealthiest while ending Medicare as we know it, eroding Social Security, eliminating hundreds of thousands of jobs and erasing investments in education and research and development. That’s the same approach he took in Texas, where middle class families know his economic record is no miracle – it’s a tall tale. Governor Perry allowed special interests to write their own rules, hired corporate lobbyists to oversee corporations, and cut funding for programs that would create opportunity for middle class families. In a Republican field that has already pledged allegiance to the Tea Party and failed to present any plan that will benefit the middle class or create the jobs America needs to win the future, Governor Perry offers more of the same.” — Obama Campaign

  • Barack Obama camp blasts Rick Perry’s record as ‘tall tale’: The Obama campaign is out with a tough statement on Rick Perry’s campaign launch, accusing the Texas governor of telling a “tall tale” about his record on job growth and economic expansion, and previewing a line of attack on Perry’s close relationships…. – Politico, 8-13-11
  • Rick Perry’s entry sets up a clarifying contrast: Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s entry into the presidential race puts into especially sharp focus the clash of visions between Republicans and President Obama over the proper role of government.
    In Perry and the state he has led for more than a decade, Republican voters are being offered the Platonic ideal of the GOP model for economic growth — low taxes, scant regulation and limited public services…. – WaPo, 8-13-11

IN FOCUS: TEXAS GOV. RICK PERRY WILL ANNOUNCE HE IS RUNNING FOR THE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION ON SATURDAY

Texas Governor Rick Perry will officially announce that he is running for the Republican Presidential nomination on Saturday in South Carolina

“He said, ‘You’ll do what’s right.’ He said, you don’t want to wake up when you’re 70 and go, ‘I wish I had tried that. I wish I had done that.'” — Gov. Rick Perry Perry of a June conversation with former president George W. Bush

“I’ve got a record. And that record, particularly when it comes to the most important issues in this campaign, which is creating the climate of America that gives incentives to job creators to risk their capital and create jobs for our citizens, I will put that up against anybody who’s running and particularly against this President we have today, whose jobs record is abysmal.” — Gov. Rick Perry

“This country’s begging for someone to lay out a vision of hope–real hope–and get America back working again….
I’ll put that record up against anybody that’s running, either on the Republican side or the Democratic side…. If you just want to look at the track record of when Mitt was the governor of Massachusetts versus my years being the governor of Texas, mine doesn’t need any propping up….
My hope is that in four years, people can take a look at what we’ve done in Washington, D.C., and they know that I’ve made Washington, D.C. less consequential in their lives” — Rick Perry in an interview Thursday with New Hampshire television station WMUR

Q&A: Rick Perry Is Ready to Run: Rick Perry is primed to announce his bid for the Republican presidential nomination on Saturday in South Carolina. TIME’s Mark Halperin caught up with the Texas governor in Austin and asked him about his feelings on a White House run, his conservative credentials and his rumored rocky relationship with the Bushes. Lightly edited highlights from their conversation follow…. – Time, 8-11-11

Perry near top of pack in GOP nomination battle: According to a CNN/ORC International poll, 15 percent of Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP pick Perry as their first choice for their party’s nomination, just two points behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who’s making his second bid for the White House. Romney’s two point margin over Perry is within the survey’s sampling error …
The survey indicates that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who is making his third bid for the White House, are at 12 percent apiece. CNN, 8-11-11

Rick Perry strong in primary, weak in general election, poll finds: Rick Perry is just 3 percentage points out of first place in the GOP presidential primary, according to a McClatchy-Marist poll released this week. The national survey found Perry with 18 percent support, versus 21 percent for current front-runner Mitt Romney…. – Politico, 8-11-11

Before Declaring Rick Perry Polls 2nd: A key reason for Perry being the weakest opponent is that he’s weakest among independents.
Obama led Romney among independents by 41-35, a 6-percentage-point lead. The president led Pawlenty among the pivotal voting bloc by 49-37, a 12-point edge. Obama led Bachmann among independents by 46-34, also a 12-point advantage, and Perry by 49-30, a 19-point lead…. – McClatchy Newspapers, 8-9-11

Rick Perry May Challenge Mitt Romney’s Frontrunner Status: Texas Governor Rick Perry will seek the Republican presidential nomination. Mark Miner, Perry’s spokesman, confirmed Perry’s presidential intentions. “He will make a definitive announcement on Saturday for the race,” Miner said. However, when Perry’s spokesman was pressed to confirm the Texas Governor’s entry into the 2012 presidential race, he said “yes.”… – The State Column, 8-11-11

  • Perry to announce WH bid Saturday, reports say: Sounds like Rick Perry is still trying to take some attention from the happenings in Iowa. Hours before the big Republican debate in Ames tonight, Perry’s people are putting out the word that the Texas governor will indeed announce he is seeking the presidency in a speech at the Red State gathering in South Carolina on Saturday…. – USA Today, 8-11-11
  • CNN: Texas Gov. Rick Perry running for president: Texas Gov. Rick Perry will announce Saturday in South Carolina that he is running for president a Republican familiar with the plans told CNN. Previous reports had indicated that Perry would use a speech at the conservative Red State Gathering in South Carolina… – CNN, 8-11-11
  • CNN Poll: Perry Among the GOP Frontrunners: He’s not yet an official candidate, but a new CNN/ORC poll indicates that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is among the frontrunners for the GOP nomination. The poll, coming as GOP hopefuls convene in Ames, Iowa for a pivotal debate ahead of the Iowa straw poll…. – U.S. News & World Report, 8-11-11
  • Rick Perry on running for president: ‘This is what I’m supposed to be doing’: On the same day many of his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination will compete in the Iowa Straw Poll, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will officially declare his candidacy Saturday, ending weeks of speculation…. – WaPo, 8-11-11
  • Texas Governor Perry to run for president: report: Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks during the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana June 18, 2011. WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Texas Governor Rick Perry will announce on Saturday that he will run for the 2012 Republican nomination … – Reuters, 8-11-11
  • Its offical (sort of): Spokesman says Rick Perry is indeed running for president: We know this will shock you, but Rick Perry is running for president. After three months of deliberation, the Texas governor is a “go,” our Austin bureau colleague Peggy Fikac reports. Of course, it’s been the worst-kept secret in Texas for weeks. … – Houston Chronicle, 8-11-11
  • Exclusive: Gov. Rick Perry’s All In: Texas Gov. Rick Perry will make “a definitive announcement that he is in the 2012 race for the presidency Saturday,” aides told Fox News. The language is significant…. – Fox News, 8-11-11
  • Perry to announce presidential run Sat.: reports: Texas Gov. Rick Perry will announce on Saturday in South Carolina that he is running for president, reports said Thursday. Reports cited Perry’s spokesman saying the Republican governor will seek the Republican Presidential nomination…. – CBS MarketWatch, 8-11-11
  • Texas Gov. Rick Perry Jumps In Presidential Race: After months of speculation and prodding by Republicans, Texas Governor Rick Perry has officially entered the 2012 race. His spokesman, Mark Miner, told the Associated Press today that Perry is running for president. Perry will deliver a speech at the Red State gathering in South Carolina… — ABC News, 8-11-11
  • Bachmann, Perry to cross paths in Iowa as Texas governor makes debut trip in Iowa: Republican Michele Bachmann isn’t ceding ground in her Iowa birthplace to possible presidential rival Rick Perry. Bachmann announced Thursday that she will appear at a GOP fundraiser in Waterloo on Sunday, the same event that … – WaPo, 8-11-11
  • Iowa website adds Perry to campaign tracker: IowaPolitics.com keeps a handy tally of how much time Republican presidential hopefuls have spent in the state that opens the primary season, and there’s a new face on the list: Gov. Rick Perry…. – Austin American-Statesman, 8-11-11
  • Perry: I’m ‘supposed to’ run for president: Texas Gov. Rick Perry has decided he wants to be president and received advice from former President George W. Bush before reaching his conclusion, according to a new interview with TIME’s Mark Halperin…. – CNN, 8-11-11
  • Perry begins to fill in the blanks: Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is about to take the plunge into the presidential race. There are, as with any candidate who’s not well known on the national stage, multiple questions. Can he debate? Does he have some policy chops? … – WaPo, 8-11-11
  • Texas Gov. Rick Perry banks on high-dollar donors: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, poised to enter the presidential race this weekend, is a fundraising powerhouse who has relied on a cadre of Republican mega-donors to collect more than $100 million for his three gubernatorial campaigns, state records show…. – USA Today, 8-11-11
  • Perry to focus on jobs: Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who’s set to announce his presidential bid Saturday, laid out his stance on one of the country’s top concerns: job creation. “This country’s begging for someone to lay out a vision of hope–real hope–and get … — CNN, 8-11-11
  • Perry prepares aggressive campaign in NH: While Texas Gov. Rick Perry prepares to declare his candidacy this weekend, behind the scenes his supporters are already planning an aggressive campaign schedule in the first-in-the-nation primary state. … – CNN, 8-11-11
  • Texas Governor Rick Perry to enter race for 2012 Republican nomination for President: Rick Perry’s entry into the GOP’s 2012 field is likely to reshape the contest for the nomination, experts say. Which GOP candidate would you like to see win the nomination? Texas Governor Rick Perry, a staunch conservative with a Washington outsider’s … – New York Daily News,8-11-11
  • Rick Perry’s path to the presidency: Ten steps on the road to 1600 Pennsylvania: After nearly three months of public posturing and private deliberation, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is finally a presidential candidate. A spokesman this afternoon confirmed the worst-kept secret in Texas: Perry will jump into a wide-open Republican race … – Houston Chronicle, 8-11-11
  • GOP insiders say Perry should do well in South Carolina: Texas Gov. Rick Perry will reshuffle the deck for Republican voters Saturday when he announces he is running for president during a visit to Charleston, SC “He’s the 800-pound gorilla who changes the whole makeup of the race,” said Dave Woodard, a Clemson University political scientist and sometimes Republican consultant. “There’s been such a ho-hum reaction to the (GOP) candidates so far. S.C. voters have been waiting for someone else to jump in.”… – Bellingham Herald, 8-11-11
  • 2012 campaign: Rick Perry, a Fred Thompson redux?: We all may remember (or, more likely, most of us don’t) Fred Thompson, the former senator from Tennessee who polled so well as a non-candidate that he belatedly jumped into the 2007-08 GOP primary race. Thompson’s campaign quickly stalled…. – LAT, 8-11-11

IN FOCUS: RICK PERRY INTENDS TO MAKE PRESIDENTIAL INTENTION CLEAR ON SATURDAY

Rick Perry to Make Clear That He Intends to Run for President: Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is preparing to make clear his intentions to join the Republican presidential race on Saturday, two associates said, by visiting South Carolina and New Hampshire on the same day that several of his potential rivals are taking part in the Iowa Straw Poll.
Mr. Perry, who has been inching closer to declaring his candidacy for weeks, is expected to stop short of making a formal announcement. But appearing before Republican crowds in the two early-voting states was intended to clear up any lingering questions about his plans…. – NYT, 8-8-11

“With President Obama’s dismal economic record and Texas’ success in creating jobs and balancing our budget, Governor Perry continues to consider a potential run for The White House…. Stay tuned.” — Mark Miner, a spokesman for Gov. Rick Perry, who declined to elaborate on the timing of any announcement

“There is still a thirst for another voice to come in. They are looking for the kind of leadership he has shown in Texas, while the country has gone the other direction.” — Craig Schoenfeld, an Iowa Republican who is leading a group here called Americans for Perry, which has been signing up supporters for the governor.

    • Perry Signals Intent to Enter Race, Sending a Jolt to GOP Candidates: Gov. Rick Perry of Texas delivered a long-distance jolt to the Republican presidential campaign on Monday by signaling that he intends to join the race and visit South Carolina and New Hampshire on Saturday, the same day his rivals are battling for survival in the Iowa Straw Poll…. — NYT, 8-8-11
    • Rick Perry to make 2012 intentions clear Saturday: Rick Perry intends to use a speech in South Carolina on Saturday to make clear that he’s running for president, POLITICO has learned.
      According to two sources familiar with the plan, the Texas governor will remove any doubt about his White House intentions during his appearance at a RedState conference in Charleston.
      It’s uncertain whether Saturday will mark a formal declaration, but Perry’s decision to disclose his intentions the same day as the Ames straw poll — and then hours later make his first trip to New Hampshire — will send shock waves through the race and upend whatever results come out of the straw poll…. – Politico, 8-8-11
    • Rick Perry to affirm plans for presidential bid: Texas’ GOP governor will probably signal his intentions Saturday in South Carolina before heading to a party in New Hampshire, another primary state. His plans will coincide with Iowa’s straw poll…. – LAT, 8-8-11

Perry expected to reveal White House plans Saturday: While a host of 2012 contenders slug it out in Ames, Iowa on Saturday, Texas Governor Rick Perry is expected to inch closer to a presidential run in another critical primary state. Perry expected to use his speech at the 2011 Red State Gathering in Charleston, SC to make it clear whether or not he will run for president, according to a report in Politico this afternoon. … – USA Today, 8-8-11

  • Busy schedule is clear sign of Perry’s political intentions, aides say: Gov. Rick Perry appears to be bounding toward a full-scale plunge into the 2012 presidential race with visits to two early battleground states later this week, where he is likely to tout Texas’ robust economic growth … – Fort Worth Star Telegram, 8-8-11
  • Perry prepares to launch campaign he promised wouldn’t happen: Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential campaign is now upon us. He’s going to the early primary states of South Carolina and New Hampshire on Saturday, and by the end of the day, it will be more obvious than ever that he will seek the presidency. … – Austin American-Statesman, 8-8-11
  • Politico: Perry to make clear hes running for president in S.C.: Gov. Rick Perry plans to “make clear” that he’s in the presidential race Saturday in Charleston, South Carolina, when he’s due to give a long-scheduled speech to the RedState conference, Politico is reporting. Perry’s office earlier confirmed… – Houston Chronicle, 8-8-11
  • As Rick Perry Nears 2012 Campaign, His Top Adviser Plots A ‘New Playbook’ Strategy: A top adviser to Texas Gov. Rick Perry was cagey about reports that Perry will make his intentions to run for president clear at a Saturday conference in South Carolina, but an organizer of the event said he expects an announcement … – Huffington Post
  • Santorum launches pre-emptive attack against Perry: With news trickling out Monday that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is poised to join the Republican presidential field, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum isn’t wasting any time attacking his soon-to-be rival. … – CNN, 8-8-11

THE HEADLINES: WEEKLY RECAP

“I believe in a very limited role for government. But the prime reason that government exists in a free society is to protect liberty, but also to protect life. And I mean all life. You cannot have relative value for life and deal with that. We cannot play God and make those decisions. All life is precious.” — Rep. Ron Paul

“The country’s bankrupt, and nobody wanted to admit it. And when you’re bankrupt, you can’t keep spending.” Ron Paul said Thursday during a Fox News Channel debate.

    • Once a fringe candidate, Paul shaping 2012 race: Ron Paul, once seen as a fringe candidate and a nuisance to the establishment, is shaping the 2012 Republican primary by giving voice to the party’s libertarian wing and reflecting frustration with the United States’ international entanglements…. – AP, 8-14-11
    • Bachmann says she’s a proven leader: A day after winning a test poll of voters in Iowa, Rep. Michele Bachmann is seeking to distinguish herself from another tea party favorite and GOP presidential hopeful, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas…. – AP, 8-14-11

“I wish it would have been different. But obviously the pathway forward for me doesn’t really exist so we are going to end the campaign.
What I brought forward, I thought, was a rational, established, credible, strong record of results, based on experience governing — a two-term governor of a blue state. But I think the audience, so to speak, was looking for something different.” — Gov. Tim Pawlenty said on ABC’s “This Week” from Iowa

    • Ex-Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty ends White House bid: Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the race for the GOP presidential nomination on Sunday, hours after finishing a disappointing third in the Iowa straw poll…. – AP, 8-14-11

“We are going to make Barack Obama a one-term president… There is no doubt in my mind we are the team that can’t be beat in 2012….
This is the very first step toward taking back the White House!” — Rep. Michele Bachmann

    • Perry’s Full-Court Press to Get Donations: The Texas governor is already promising his top donors perks for a Republican National Convention that will not be held for more than a year…. – NYT, 8-14-11
    • Iowa Poll Goes to Bachmann; Paul Is Second: The results of the straw poll represented a turning point in the campaign but also underscored an uncertainty in the Republican contest to find a presidential nominee…. – NYT, 8-13-11
    • Bachmann wins GOP 2012 test vote: Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann won a test vote of Iowans on Saturday, a show of popularity and organizational strength for the tea party favorite five months before the state’s caucuses kick off the GOP presidential nominating season.
      The result is the first indication of what Iowans think of the field of Republicans competing for the chance to challenge President Barack Obama next fall. But it’s hardly predictive of who will win the winter Iowa contest, much less the party nod or the White House…. – AP, 8-13-11
    • Rick Perry Officially Joins Race for President: Rick Perry’s entrance into the already crowded presidential field is expected to reconfigure the race’s dynamics, offering Republicans both a fiscal and social conservative…. – NYT, 8-13-11

“It is time to get America working again. We just got to get back to the basic truths of economic success…. I full well believe I’m going to win.
We reject this president’s unbridled fixation on taking more money out of the wallets and pocketbooks of American families and employers and giving it to a central government. I will not sit back and accept the path that America is on. Because a great country requires a better direction. Because a renewed nation needs a new president. — Gov. Rick Perry

    • 2012 GOP race jolted with straw poll, Perry entry: The 2012 Republican presidential race lurched into a new phase Saturday as Iowans weighed in for the first time on their expanding field of presidential hopefuls, picking Michele Bachmann as their top choice for the GOP nomination. Halfway across the country latecomer Texas Gov. Rick Perry formally entered the race, declaring: “America is not broken. Washington, D.C. is broken.”… – AP, 8-13-11
    • G.O.P. Candidates Jockey for Advantage Before Iowa Straw Poll: A half-dozen Republican presidential hopefuls sought attention Friday on the eve of the Iowa straw poll, a ritual that has taken on outsize meaning…. – NYT, 8-13-11
    • Pawlenty targets Obama in sharp rhetorical attack: Republican presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty isn’t holding back on his criticism of President Barack Obama.
      The former Minnesota governor describes Obama as being “like a manure spreader in a windstorm.”… – AP, 8-13-11

“We don’t see the role of government as guaranteeing outcomes, but allowing free men and women to flourish based on their own vision, their hard work and their personal responsibility….
The fact is for nearly three years President Obama has been downgrading American jobs. He’s been downgrading our standing in the world. He’s been downgrading our financial stability. He’s been downgrading our confidence, and downgrading the hope for a better future for our children. One in six work-eligible Americans cannot find a full-time job. That is not a recovery. That is an economic disaster.
“I intend to compete for every vote in every state. This isn’t a strategy just to go work in a few places. I’m going to be all across this country.” — Gov. Rick Perry

    • Texas Gov. Perry jumps into 2012 Republican race: Texas Gov. Rick Perry officially joined the Republican presidential race Saturday with a full-throated promise to reduce the role of the federal government, saying his goal as president would be to make Washington “as inconsequential in your lives as I can.”
      Speaking to voters here and later in New Hampshire, the Texan cast himself as a Washington outsider who would restore fiscal responsibility at home and U.S. “exceptionalism” in the world…. – AP, 8-13-11

“We come at this campaign from the private sector, from having been a successful governor and also someone who understands the world in which we live, and I think that’s going to be important to people. You don’t wait till the very end, as Gov. Romney did, and put your finger to the wind and basically come down on the safe side politically. I don’t think that’s leadership. The presidency is about exerting leadership, and if you’re not willing to show leadership on something as important as the debt ceiling, it begs the question, When are you going to show some leadership?” — Gov. Jon Huntsman

    • Huntsman, Romney leave rest of field in Iowa: Republican presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman had New Hampshire to themselves Friday while the rest of the field remained in Iowa and much of the attention remained focused Rick Perry’s entrance into the race.
      Though both Romney and Huntsman will be on the ballot at Saturday’s Iowa straw poll, neither has competed aggressively there. After Thursday’s debate in Ames, they quickly headed to New Hampshire, positioning themselves in front of voters and activists before Perry swoops in for the first time on Saturday…. – AP, 8-12-11
    • Romney defends corporation comment in NH: Mitt Romney says his recent comment in Iowa that “corporations are people” was not a mistake.
      Speaking to reporters after a New Hampshire reception Friday night, the former Massachusetts governor said it was astonishing that President Barack Obama doesn’t feel the same way…. – AP, 8-12-11
    • Enter Rick Perry, Formidable Fund-Raiser: The Texas governor has a vast network of wealthy supporters eager to bankroll his presidential ambitions…. – NYT, 8-13-11

“We cannot and must not endure four more years of rising unemployment, rising taxes, rising debt and rising energy dependence on nations that intend us harm.” — Gov. Rick Perry is to say Saturday in Charleston, S.C., according to remarks prepared for delivery.

    • Instant GOP contender: Perry announcing Saturday: Months behind other GOP candidates, Rick Perry has something most of them don’t: Buzz. The Texas governor will enter the race Saturday with splashy appearances in South Carolina and New Hampshire.
      At the same time, he is putting together what looks a lot like a traditional presidential campaign. The path he hopes will lead to the Republican nomination starts here, in the leadoff caucus state of Iowa, with a message of jobs and values as he tries to set himself apart from GOP front-runner Mitt Romney…. – AP, 8-12-11
    • Romney’s wealth endures but conflicts persist: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s personal wealth — up to $250 million — survived the nation’s economic crisis, according to figures released Friday. But his pledge to sell off interests that conflict with his GOP stances did not extend to some investments in a family charity…. – AP, 8-12-11

“There is still a whole world of work to be done in Washington, D.C., and we need to send truly fiscal conservatives to Washington to get it done.” — Gov. Rick Perry

    • Iowa test could make or break Pawlenty, Bachmann: Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann, their presidential hopes on the line, made last-minute appeals Friday along with a slew of other Republican contenders ahead of a big weekend test in Iowa that could winnow the large field of GOP candidates. But the pack was expanding, too.
      Saturday’s Iowa Straw Poll results will be the first important measure of the GOP pack — just as Texas Gov. Rick Perry officially makes it a bit larger and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin works energetically to keep her door open…. – AP, 8-12-11

“We find it troubling that the party so closely associated with basic human rights would choose a state with the lowest unionization rate in the country due to regressive policies aimed at diluting the power of workers.” — Mark Ayers, president of the building trades unit, wrote in a letter to Democratic Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

    • Some unions to skip 2012 convention: About a dozen trade unions all part of the AFL-CIO’s building and construction trades unit plan to sit out the 2012 Democratic convention because they’re angry that it’s being held in a right-to-work state and frustrated that Democrats haven’t done enough to create jobs…. – AP, 8-12-11
    • Obama adviser questions Perry’s economic successes: Part of Perry’s pitch is the Texas economy, which has fared better than most states during the nation’s economic troubles. Obama senior political adviser David Axelrod says Texas benefited from booming oil prices and increased military spending on two wars. He says, “I don’t think many people would attribute it to the leadership of the governor down there.”…. – AP, 8-12-11
    • Bachmann wants Congress back to restore credit: Rep. Michelle Bachmann says if she were president, she would immediately call Congress back to Washington with the aim of “getting this AAA credit rating back.”… – AP, 8-12-11
    • Analysis: Perry may pose biggest threat to Romney: The biggest rumblings in the Republican presidential campaign are coming from Austin, Texas — 1,000 miles from the leadoff caucus state where front-runner Mitt Romney and seven opponents squared off ahead of an important test vote this weekend. Texas Gov. Rick Perry sent word that he would join the race, casting a shadow over the debate Thursday night and threatening to upend the race…. – AP, 8-12-11
    • 8 Republican Candidates Trade Attacks in Iowa Debate: Criticism of President Obama’s record was overshadowed by a burst of incivility among the Republican presidential candidates at a debate on Thursday in Ames, Iowa…. – NYT, 8-11-11
    • Republican Debate Frames Race Ahead: Six moments that offered a peek into what could be the durable narratives of the 2012 Republican nomination campaign…. – NYT, 8-11-11
    • Spokesman: Gov. Rick Perry running for president: Texas Gov. Rick Perry is running for president, a spokesman confirmed Thursday, a move certain to shake up the race for the GOP nomination much to the delight of conservatives looking for a candidate to embrace.
      Perry spokesman Mark Miner said the governor would make his intentions known on Saturday while visiting South Carolina and New Hampshire just as most of his presidential rivals compete in a test vote in Iowa…. – AP, 8-11-11
    • GOP debate: Hitting hard at each other and Obama: Minnesota rivals Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann sparred bitterly Thursday night during an eight-candidate Republican debate, trying to break out of the GOP presidential pack ahead of an Iowa test vote with huge consequences. Each seeks to become the main challenger to Republican front-runner Mitt Romney.
      Their efforts were newly complicated by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who stole some of the spotlight from afar by making it known hours before the debate that he was running for the GOP nomination…
      In the two-hour debate, the squabbling by Pawlenty and Bachmann allowed Romney, the GOP front-runner making his second presidential bid, to remain above the fray and emerge relatively unscathed by his rivals…. – AP, 8-11-11
    • Five Things to Watch for in Iowa Debate: Eight Republican presidential contenders will debate in Ames, Iowa, on Thursday night, two days before the straw poll there…. – NYT, 8-11-11
    • Bachmann to Attend Event With Perry: Bachmann will appear at the same event in Iowa Sunday where Perry is making his campaign debut in the state…. – NYT, 8-11-11
    • With Return to Iowa, Romney Heeds Call of G.O.P. Strategists: Mitt Romney’s wait-and-see approach to campaigning in Iowa has been complicated by Rick Perry’s expected candidacy…. – NYT, 8-11-11
    • Romney’s Covert Iowa Campaign: Mitt Romney will come to Iowa on Wednesday, even as he continues to treat political activity here like an sideshow that he can afford to ignore…. – NYT, 8-10-11
    • In Iowa, Romney Is Comfortable at the Round Table: Mitt Romney criticized President Obama for a planned bus tour amid an “economic crisis,” but he declined to directly engage Gov. Rick Perry of Texas…. – NYT, 8-10-11

“Wouldn’t it be nice if people in Washington spent a good part of their career working in a real economy?….
For those people who think the economy is what really is essential in providing a brighter future for our families and preserving our values, then I think they are going to look to me as someone who can understand how the economy works and can get it back on track.” — Gov. Mitt Romney

    • Fragile front-runner: Romney faces big challenges: Mitt Romney, the GOP’s fragile presidential front-runner, faces a string of challenges in the next few days that could knock him down a couple of rungs: a debate where he can expect his rivals to attack him, an attention-drawing straw poll he is bypassing and Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s expected entrance in the race…. – AP, 8-10-11

“Before we put the new person in that office, let’s make sure that he or she is ready for the job. This is a job that requires leadership experience, executive experience and a record of results.” — Gov. Tim Pawlenty

    • Pawlenty knocks Obama, Bachmann in same swipe: Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty said Wednesday that President Barack Obama’s previous jobs as a community organizer and law professor didn’t prepare him for the White House. And, Pawlenty said, Iowa shouldn’t repeat the mistake of voting for another charismatic politician who lacks experience.
      It was an obvious reference Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who is leading Pawlenty in polls in a state he has said he must do well in to keep his candidacy alive…. – AP, 8-10-11
    • Perry to Visit Bachmann’s Hometown in Iowa: Gov. Rick Perry plans to visit Waterloo, Iowa, the day after the state’s straw poll, in which Representative Michelle Bachmann is expected to do well…. – NYT, 8-10-11
    • Obama surprises campaign volunteers at lunch in DC: Volunteers on President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign have welcomed an unexpected lunch guest: Obama himself.
      The president joined the group at Ted’s Bulletin, a new Capitol Hill restaurant that serves classic American food, including burgers and shakes…. – AP, 8-10-11
    • Barack Obama’s 2012 plan: ‘Kill Romney’: Smith and Martin peer ahead at the general election: Barack Obama’s aides and advisers are preparing to center the president’s re-election campaign on a ferocious personal assault on Mitt Romney’s character and business background, a strategy grounded … – Politico, 8-9-11
    • Bachmann Newsweek Cover Goes for Insult But Gets Criticism in Return: Rep. Michele Bachmann has declined to get into the scrum with Newsweek over its cover story of the presidential candidate called “The Queen of Rage,” accompanied by an unflattering photo of the Minnesota Republican, but others are calling the magazine … – Fox News, 8-9-11
    • Did Newsweek set out to make Michele Bachmann look like a loon?: Newsweek is coming under fire for a wild-eyed cover photo of Michele Bachmann. The headline calls her the ‘Queen of Rage.’ But was the rough treatment actually a compliment of sorts?… – CS Monitor, 8-9-11
    • Back on the Stump, Romney Blames Obama for the S&P Downgrade: The Republican candidate, campaigning in New Hampshire after a vacation, defended himself against critics who said he kept on the sidelines in the debt ceiling debate…. – NYT, 8-9-11
    • Perry seeking to change dynamics of GOP race: Though he’s not officially a candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s visits this weekend to three important presidential nominating states threaten to overshadow any lift his would-be rivals hope to gain from a big week in Iowa…
      All candidates — from GOP front-runner Mitt Romney on down — are bracing for a Perry candidacy…. – AP, 8-9-11
    • Perry Signals Intent to Enter G.O.P. Campaign: Advisers said the Texas governor has moved beyond the trial balloon stage of gauging support to executing a strategy…. – NYT, 8-9-11
    • Rick Perry to Make Clear He Intends to Run: Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is preparing to make clear his intentions to join the Republican presidential race…. – NYT, 8-8-11
    • Perry heads to early states as he leans toward bid: Leaning toward a full-fledged presidential run, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will visit at least two early primary states — South Carolina and New Hampshire — on Saturday at the same time most of his would-be opponents are competing in an important test vote in Iowa…. – AP, 8-8-11

“They’re not buying that bill of goods…. The good news is that I think there has been enough frustration at Washington, sort of reached a fevered pitch last week, that we’re now looking at 16 months in which there’s going to be a clear contrast and a clear choice.” — President Barack Obama

    • Obama sees political opportunity in debt crisis: President Barack Obama says there’s some good news from the bitterly partisan debt debate — it made people so frustrated with Washington that Democrats will be able to draw a clear divide with Republicans heading into the 2012 election…. – AP, 8-8-11
    • Romney Is Back, With S.&P. Ratings on the Brain: Mr. Romney cited flaws in President Obama’s leadership for the downgrade of the nation’s debt…. – NYT, 8-8-11
    • Romney shifting campaign into a higher gear: Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign is shifting into a higher gear. The former Massachusetts governor, who leads national and state polls in the race for the GOP nomination, has spent much of the year laying low, limiting his public appearances and rarely weighing in on the national debate…. – AP, 8-8-11
    • Romney blames Obama for credit downgrade: Mitt Romney says the nation’s credit problem arose because President Barack Obama has failed to show leadership on the economy…. – AP, 8-8-11

“You look at where the marketplace is today, you look at our downgrade, you look at all the economic woes that every American family has seen play out over the past little while — we’ve done this to ourselves. It’s time to reverse this business-unfriendly attitude of the past 2½ years….
“I can only imagine what the marketplace would look like today if we had defaulted on our debt. If we had defaulted on our debt, it would have been catastrophic.” — Gov. Jon Huntsmann

  • Huntsman faults anti-business climate under Obama: Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman says the downgrade in the nation’s credit rating shows America needs to do something about what he says is the Obama administration’s unfriendly attitude toward business…. –

CAMPAIGN 2012: ANALYSTS &S HISTORIANS COMMENTS

  • Politico Arena: Daily Debate with Policymakers, Opinionshapers & Academics Politico
  • Julian Zelizer: Americans want security for 2012: Just as the 2004 presidential election was all about the concept of security, the same term will shape the campaigns of 2012…. – CNN, 8-15-11
  • Julian Zelizer: Analysis: Palin boosts political influence, buffers brand: “Like every other Republican who potentially will run, she’s keeping her name out there, keeping her brand name but generally staying out of the debate, to avoid making any mistakes,” said Princeton University professor Julian Zelizer. “At a minimum, she keeps the Palin brand name going for other reasons,” he said…. – Reuters, 8-13-11

Full Text Campaign 2012 August 13, 2011: Texas Governor Rick Perry’s Speech Announcing Run for the Republican Presidential Nomination

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Rick Perry speaks during the RedState Gathering, a meeting of conservative activists, where he announced his run for president in Charleston, S.C., Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011. | AP Photo
Perry blasted President Obama’s economic performance and touted his job-creation record. | AP Photo

Text of Gov. Rick Perry’s Presidential Announcement Remarks

Posted on August 13th, 2011

RedState Gathering 2011- Charleston, S.C.

Text of Gov. Perry’s remarks as delivered:

Howdy. Thank you, Erick (Erickson, editor of RedState). It is great to be at RedState. And I’ll tell you what, it’s even better to be governor of the largest red state in America.

It’s sure good to be back in the Palmetto State, in South Carolina. I enjoy coming to places where people elect folks like Nikki Haley, true conservatives. And also where they love the greatest fighting force on the face of the earth…the United States Military.

And I want to take a moment and ask you to just take a silence, think about those young Navy SEALs and the other special operators who gave it all in the service of their country. Just take a moment to say Thank you, Lord, that we have those kind of selfless, sacrificial men and women. Their sacrifice was immeasurable, their dedication profound, and we will never, ever forget them.

I stand before you today as the governor of Texas. But I also stand before you the son of two tenant farmers, Ray Perry, who came home after 35 bombing missions over Europe to work his little corner of land out there, and Amelia who made sure my sister Milla and I had everything that we needed, including hand-sewing my clothes until I went off to college.

I am also the product of a place called Paint Creek. Doesn’t have a zip code. It’s too small to be called a town along the rolling plains of Texas. We grew dryland cotton and wheat, and when I wasn’t farming or attending Paint Creek Rural School, I was generally over at Troop 48 working on my Eagle Scout award.

Around the age of 8, I was blessed – didn’t realize it, but I was blessed to meet my future wife, Anita Thigpen, at a piano recital. We had our first date eight years later. And she finally agreed to marry me 16 years after that. Nobody says I am not persistent.

There is no greater way to live life than with someone you love, and my first love is with us today, my lovely wife Anita. We’re also blessed to have two incredible children, Griffin and Sydney, and they are also with us today, and our wonderful daughter-in-law Meredith. I’d just like to introduce those two. Thank you.

What I learned growing up on the farm was a way of life that was centered on hard work, and on faith and on thrift. Those values have stuck with me my whole life. But it wasn’t until I graduated from Texas A&M University and joined the United States Air Force, flying C-130’s all around the globe, that I truly appreciated the blessings of freedom.

To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, I realized that the United States of America really is the last great hope of mankind. What I saw was systems of government that elevated rulers at the expense of the people. Socialist systems cloaked maybe in good intentions but were delivering misery and stagnation. And I learned that not everyone values life like we do in America, or the rights that are endowed to every human being by a loving God.

You see, as Americans we’re not defined by class, and we will never be told our place. What makes our nation exceptional is that anyone, from any background, can climb the highest of heights. As Americans, we don’t see the role of government as guaranteeing outcomes, but allowing free men and women to flourish based on their own vision, their hard work and their personal responsibility. And as Americans, we realize there is no taxpayer money that wasn’t first earned by the sweat and toil of one of our citizens.

That’s why we reject this President’s unbridled fixation on taking more money out of the wallets and pocketbooks of American families and employers and giving it to a central government. “Spreading the wealth” punishes success while setting America on course to greater dependency on government. Washington’s insatiable desire to spend our children’s inheritance on failed “stimulus” plans and other misguided economic theories have given us record debt and left us with far too many unemployed.

But of course, now we’re told we are in recovery. Yeah.

But this sure doesn’t feel like a recovery to more than nine percent of Americans out there who are unemployed, or the sixteen percent of African Americans and 11 percent of Hispanics in the same position, or the millions more who can only find part-time work, or those who have stopped even looking for a job.

One in six work-eligible Americans cannot find a full-time job. That is not a recovery. That is an economic disaster.

If you think about it, for those Americans who do have full-time jobs, they aren’t experiencing economic recovery with the rising fuel costs and the food prices that are going up. Recovery is a meaningless word if the bank has foreclosed on your home, if you are under water on your mortgage, or if you are up to the max on your credit card debt. Those Americans know that this President and his big-spending, big-government policies have prolonged our national misery, not alleviated it.

And what do we say to our children? Y’all figure it out? Don’t worry, Washington’s created 17 debt and entitlement commissions in 30 years, but the fact of the matter is they just didn’t have the courage to make the decisions to allow you to have the future that you actually deserve? That Washington wouldn’t even make modest entitlement program reforms in this last debate? And the President even refused to lay out a plan, for fear of the next election? How can the wealthiest nation in the history of civilization fail so miserably to pay its bills? How does that happen?

Well, Mr. President, let us tell you something: you can’t win the future by selling America off to foreign creditors.

We cannot afford four more years of this rudderless leadership. Last week, that leadership failed, and the tax and spend and borrow agenda of this President led to the first ever downgrade of the credit rating of the United States of America.

In reality though, this is just the most recent downgrade. The fact is for nearly three years President Obama has been downgrading American jobs. He’s been downgrading our standing in the world. He’s been downgrading our financial stability. He’s been downgrading our confidence, and downgrading the hope for a better future for our children. That’s a fact.

His policies are not only a threat to this economy, so are his appointees – a threat. You see he stacked the National Labor Relations Board with anti-business cronies who want to dictate to a private company, Boeing, where they can build a plant. No president, no president should kill jobs in South Carolina, or any other state for that matter, simply because they choose to go to a right-to-work state.

You see, when the Obama Administration is not stifling economic growth with over-regulation, they are achieving the same through their reckless spending. Debt is not only a threat to our economy, but also to our security.

America’s standing in the world is in peril, not only because of disastrous economic policies, but from the incoherent muddle that they call foreign policy. Our president has insulted our friends and he’s encouraged our enemies, thumbing his nose at traditional allies like Israel. He seeks to dictate new borders for the Middle East and the oldest democracy there, Israel, while he is an abject failure in his constitutional duty to protect our borders in the United States.

His foreign policy seems to be based on alienating our traditional allies, while basing our domestic agenda on importing those failed Western European social values. We don’t need a president who apologizes for America. We need a president who protects and projects those values.

Look, it’s pretty simple: we’re going to stand with those who stand with us, and we will vigorously defend our interests. And those who threaten our interests, harm our citizens – we will simply not be scolding you, we will defeat you.

Our nation cannot and it must not endure four more years of aimless foreign policy. We cannot and must not endure four more years of rising unemployment, rising taxes, rising debt, rising energy dependence on nations that intend us harm.

It is time to get America working again.  To get citizens – to get our citizens working in good jobs and getting the government to working for the people again.

Page one of any economic plan to get America working is to give a pink slip to the current resident in the White House.

Listen, we just got to get back to the basic truths of economic success.  As Governor, I’ve had to deal with the consequences of this national recession.  In 2003, and again this year, my state faced billions of dollars in budget shortfalls. But we worked hard, we made tough decisions, we balanced our budget. Not by raising taxes, but by setting priorities and cutting government spending.  It can and it must be done in Washington, DC.

Dr. Schwertner (State Representative, R-Williamson County, TX), we have led Texas based on some just really pretty simple guiding principles. One is don’t spend all of the money. Two is keeping the taxes low and under control. Three is you have your regulatory climate fair and predictable. Four is reform the legal system so frivolous lawsuits don’t paralyze employers that are trying to create jobs.

Over the years, we have followed this recipe to produce the strongest economy in the nation. Since June of 2009, Texas is responsible for more than 40 percent of all of the new jobs created in America.

Now think about that. We’re home to less than 10 percent of the population in America, but forty percent of all the new jobs were created in that state.

I’ve cut taxes. I have delivered historic property tax reductions. I was the first governor since World War II to cut general revenue spending in our state budget. We passed lawsuit reform, including just this last session a “loser pays” law to stop the frivolous lawsuits that were happening.

And I know I’ve talked a lot about Texas here in the last little bit. I’m a Texan and proud of it. But first, and foremost, I’m an incredibly proud American.

And I know something: America is not broken. Washington, D.C., is broken!

We need balanced budgets. We need lower taxes. We need less regulation. And we need civil justice reform – those same four principles. Our country’s most urgent need is to revitalize our economy, stop the generational theft that is going on with this record debt.

I come to South Carolina because I will not sit back and accept the path that America is on. Because a great country requires a better direction. Because a renewed nation needs a new president.

It is time to get America working again. And that’s why, with the support of my family, and an unwavering belief in the goodness of America, I declare to you today as a candidate for President of the United States.

It’s time for America to believe again. It’s time to believe that the promise of our future is far greater than even our best days behind us. It’s time to believe again in the potential of private enterprise, set free from the shackles of overbearing federal government. And it’s time to truly restore our standing in the world, and renew our faith in freedom as the best hope for peace in this world that’s beset with strife.

The change we seek will never emanate out of Washington, D.C. It will come from the windswept prairies of Middle America, the farms and factories across this great land, from the hearts and minds of the goodhearted Americans who will accept not a future that is less than our past, patriots – patriots who will not be consigned to a fate of less freedom in exchange for more government.

We do not have to accept our current circumstances. We will change them. We are Americans. That’s what we do.  We roll up our sleeves. We go to work. We fix things.

We stand up and proudly proclaim that Washington is not our caretaker and we reject the state that, in Margaret Thatcher’s words, she said a state that takes too much from us in order to do too much for us.  We will not stand for that any longer.

We’re dismayed at the injustice that nearly half of all Americans don’t even pay any income tax. And you know the liberals out there are saying that we need to pay more. We are indignant about leaders who do not listen and spend money faster than they can print it.

In America, the people are not subjects of government. The government is subject to the people. And it is up to us, to this present generation of Americans, to take a stand for freedom, to send a message to Washington that we’re taking our future back from the grips of central planners who would control our healthcare, who would spend our treasure, who downgrade our future and micro-manage our lives.

It is time to limit and simplify the taxes in this country. We have to quit spending money we don’t have. We need to get our fiscal house in order and restore our good credit. And we will repeal this President’s misguided, one-size-fits-all government healthcare plan immediately.

We’ll create jobs. We’ll get America working again. We’ll create jobs and we’ll build wealth, we’ll truly educate and innovate in science, and in technology, engineering and math. We’ll create the jobs and the progress needed to get America working again.

And I’ll promise you this: I’ll work every day to make Washington, D.C. as inconsequential in your life as I can. And at the same time, we’ll be freeing our families and small businesses and states from the burdensome and costly federal government so those groups can create, innovate and succeed.

I believe in America. I believe in Her purpose and Her promise. I believe Her best days have not yet been lived. I believe Her greatest deeds are reserved for the generations to come. With the help and the courage of the American people, we will get our country working again. God bless you and God bless the United States of America.

Campaign Buzz 2012 August 13, 2011: Texas Governor Rick Perry Officially Launches 2012 Presidential Bid

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Richard Ellis/Getty Images
Gov. Rick Perry of Texas announced his candidacy for president at the RedState Gathering, a meeting of conservative activists, in Charleston, S.C., on Saturday.

TEXAS GOV. RICK PERRY ANNOUNCES HE IS RUNNING FOR THE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION

Rick Perry launches his 2012 presidential bid: Texas Gov. Rick Perry officially declared his presidential candidacy Saturday, telling a crowd in the key primary state of South Carolina that he will run for the nomination to challenge President Obama in 2012.
“I do not accept the path that America is on…Because a renewed nation needs a renewed president. It is time to get America working again,” Perry told the cheering crowd. “I declare to you today as a candidate for president of the United States of America.”
Perry formally announced his intentions to attendees of a conference run by the conservative blog RedState.
Perry’s speech, coming on the same day Republicans in Ames, Iowa cast the first votes of the GOP nomination contest, is the start of a campaign launch that includes a stop in New Hampshire later Saturday and then several days of events in the Hawkeye State starting Sunday.

“I came to South Carolina because I will not sit back and accept the path that America is on, because a great country requires a better direction, because a renewed nation needs a new president…. With the support of my family and unwavering belief in the goodness of America, I declare to you today as a candidate for president of the United States.” — Texas Gov. Rick Perry

“It’s time to get America working again…. Page one of any economic plan to get American working is to give a pink slip to the current residents in the White House….
This sure doesn’t feel like a recovery. Recovery is a meaningless word if the bank has foreclosed on your home….
America is not broken, Washington, D.C. is broken….
There is no taxpayer money that wasn’t first earned by the sweat and toil of one of our citizens.” — Texas Gov. Rick Perry

Transcript of Gov. Perry’s announcement of presidential campaign — RickPerry.org

Rick Perry Campaign Website: www.rickperry.org

    • Texas Gov. Perry jumps into 2012 Republican race: Texas Gov. Rick Perry joined the 2012 GOP race for president Saturday with an announcement sure to reverberate halfway across the country as his rivals competed in Iowa for the support of party activists. “I full well believe I’m going to win.”… – AP, 8-13-11
    • Texas Governor Perry launches 2012 presidential bid: Rick Perry, the conservative governor of Texas, declared himself a candidate for president on Saturday, shaking up the race for the Republican nomination to face Democratic President Barack Obama…. – Reuters, 8-13-11
    • Rick Perry Enters G.O.P. Race for President: Gov. Rick Perry of Texas announced Saturday that he was running for president, declaring it was “time to get America working again” as he sought to offer the Republican Party a well-rounded candidate who appeals to fiscal conservatives and can also rally the evangelical base.
      As many of his fellow candidates flooded Iowa over the weekend to woo voters at the Ames Straw Poll, Mr. Perry headed here to announce that he was seeking the nomination at the RedState Gathering, an annual convention of conservative bloggers….. Mr. Perry, 61, whose spectral presence has lingered over the Republican primary contest — he was even the topic of a question at Thursday night’s Republican debate in Iowa — officially became a candidate for the Republican nomination…. – NYT, 8-13-11
    • Election 101: 11 questions about Rick Perry and his White House bid: James Richard Perry wants to hang his cowboy hat in the White House. The Texas governor announced Saturday at a campaign stop in South Carolina that he was running for president. He was also traveling later in the day to New Hampshire, and planned a visit to Iowa…. – CS Monitor, 8-13-11
    • Rick Perry joins 2012 race: Texas Gov. Rick Perry launched his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in Charleston, South Carolina Saturday, scrambling the GOP field from afar on the same day Iowans were casting ballots in the Ames Straw Poll…. – Politico, 8-13-11
    • Texas Gov. Rick Perry declares GOP presidential bid: Scrambling the field of Republican hopefuls vying to replace President Obama, Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced his bid for the White House Saturday, arguing that America could not afford four more years of Barack Obama…. – LAT, 8-13-11
    • Perry Says He’s Running for President: Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Saturday that he was running for president, a move that recasts the GOP nominating contest with the addition of a tough campaigner and proven fund-raiser to an unusually unsettled field. … – WSJ, 8-13-11
    • Texas Gov. Rick Perry announces presidential run: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, speaking Saturday to a conservative group meeting in South Carolina, officially launched his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Perry stated, “It’s time to get America working again.”… – CNN, 8-13-11
    • Texas Governor announces bid for presidency: Opinion polls indicate Texas Governor Rick Perry enters the race close on the heels of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the early front-runner to win the 2012 Republican nomination…. – National Post, 8-13-11
    • Rick Perry officially announces presidential bid: Texas Governor Rick Perry has announced his bid for the 2012 Republican nomination…. – CBS News, 8-13-11
    • With broad attack on Obama, Texan Rick Perry enters GOP fray: After more than a decade as his state’s longest serving governor, Texan Rick Perry moved onto the national political stage Saturday by declaring his entry into the 2012 presidential race, immediately transforming the scramble for the Republican nomination…. – Kansas City Star, 8-13-11

“Governor Perry’s economic policies are a carbon copy of the economic policies of Washington Republicans. He pledged to support the cut cap and balance plan that would preserve subsidies for oil and gas companies and tax cuts for the wealthiest while ending Medicare as we know it, eroding Social Security, eliminating hundreds of thousands of jobs and erasing investments in education and research and development. That’s the same approach he took in Texas, where middle class families know his economic record is no miracle – it’s a tall tale. Governor Perry allowed special interests to write their own rules, hired corporate lobbyists to oversee corporations, and cut funding for programs that would create opportunity for middle class families. In a Republican field that has already pledged allegiance to the Tea Party and failed to present any plan that will benefit the middle class or create the jobs America needs to win the future, Governor Perry offers more of the same.” — Obama Campaign

  • Barack Obama camp blasts Rick Perry’s record as ‘tall tale’: The Obama campaign is out with a tough statement on Rick Perry’s campaign launch, accusing the Texas governor of telling a “tall tale” about his record on job growth and economic expansion, and previewing a line of attack on Perry’s close relationships…. – Politico, 8-13-11
  • Rick Perry’s entry sets up a clarifying contrast: Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s entry into the presidential race puts into especially sharp focus the clash of visions between Republicans and President Obama over the proper role of government.
    In Perry and the state he has led for more than a decade, Republican voters are being offered the Platonic ideal of the GOP model for economic growth — low taxes, scant regulation and limited public services…. – WaPo, 8-13-11

Campaign Buzz 2012 August 11, 2011: Campaign Game Changer — Texas Gov. Rick Perry Will Officially Announce He is Running for the Republican Presidential Nomination on Saturday in South Carolina

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Perry to focus on jobs

TEXAS GOV. RICK PERRY WILL ANNOUNCE HE IS RUNNING FOR THE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION ON SATURDAY

Texas Governor Rick Perry will officially announce that he is running for the Republican Presidential nomination on Saturday in South Carolina

“He said, ‘You’ll do what’s right.’ He said, you don’t want to wake up when you’re 70 and go, ‘I wish I had tried that. I wish I had done that.'” — Gov. Rick Perry Perry of a June conversation with former president George W. Bush

“I’ve got a record. And that record, particularly when it comes to the most important issues in this campaign, which is creating the climate of America that gives incentives to job creators to risk their capital and create jobs for our citizens, I will put that up against anybody who’s running and particularly against this President we have today, whose jobs record is abysmal.” — Gov. Rick Perry

“This country’s begging for someone to lay out a vision of hope–real hope–and get America back working again….
I’ll put that record up against anybody that’s running, either on the Republican side or the Democratic side…. If you just want to look at the track record of when Mitt was the governor of Massachusetts versus my years being the governor of Texas, mine doesn’t need any propping up….
My hope is that in four years, people can take a look at what we’ve done in Washington, D.C., and they know that I’ve made Washington, D.C. less consequential in their lives” — Rick Perry in an interview Thursday with New Hampshire television station WMUR

Q&A: Rick Perry Is Ready to Run: Rick Perry is primed to announce his bid for the Republican presidential nomination on Saturday in South Carolina. TIME’s Mark Halperin caught up with the Texas governor in Austin and asked him about his feelings on a White House run, his conservative credentials and his rumored rocky relationship with the Bushes. Lightly edited highlights from their conversation follow…. – Time, 8-11-11

Perry near top of pack in GOP nomination battle: According to a CNN/ORC International poll, 15 percent of Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP pick Perry as their first choice for their party’s nomination, just two points behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who’s making his second bid for the White House. Romney’s two point margin over Perry is within the survey’s sampling error …
The survey indicates that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who is making his third bid for the White House, are at 12 percent apiece. CNN, 8-11-11

Rick Perry strong in primary, weak in general election, poll finds: Rick Perry is just 3 percentage points out of first place in the GOP presidential primary, according to a McClatchy-Marist poll released this week. The national survey found Perry with 18 percent support, versus 21 percent for current front-runner Mitt Romney…. – Politico, 8-11-11

Before Declaring Rick Perry Polls 2nd: A key reason for Perry being the weakest opponent is that he’s weakest among independents.
Obama led Romney among independents by 41-35, a 6-percentage-point lead. The president led Pawlenty among the pivotal voting bloc by 49-37, a 12-point edge. Obama led Bachmann among independents by 46-34, also a 12-point advantage, and Perry by 49-30, a 19-point lead…. – McClatchy Newspapers, 8-9-11

Rick Perry May Challenge Mitt Romney’s Frontrunner Status: Texas Governor Rick Perry will seek the Republican presidential nomination. Mark Miner, Perry’s spokesman, confirmed Perry’s presidential intentions. “He will make a definitive announcement on Saturday for the race,” Miner said. However, when Perry’s spokesman was pressed to confirm the Texas Governor’s entry into the 2012 presidential race, he said “yes.”… – The State Column, 8-11-11

  • Perry to announce WH bid Saturday, reports say: Sounds like Rick Perry is still trying to take some attention from the happenings in Iowa. Hours before the big Republican debate in Ames tonight, Perry’s people are putting out the word that the Texas governor will indeed announce he is seeking the presidency in a speech at the Red State gathering in South Carolina on Saturday…. – USA Today, 8-11-11
  • CNN: Texas Gov. Rick Perry running for president: Texas Gov. Rick Perry will announce Saturday in South Carolina that he is running for president a Republican familiar with the plans told CNN. Previous reports had indicated that Perry would use a speech at the conservative Red State Gathering in South Carolina… – CNN, 8-11-11
  • CNN Poll: Perry Among the GOP Frontrunners: He’s not yet an official candidate, but a new CNN/ORC poll indicates that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is among the frontrunners for the GOP nomination. The poll, coming as GOP hopefuls convene in Ames, Iowa for a pivotal debate ahead of the Iowa straw poll…. – U.S. News & World Report, 8-11-11
  • Rick Perry on running for president: ‘This is what I’m supposed to be doing’: On the same day many of his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination will compete in the Iowa Straw Poll, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will officially declare his candidacy Saturday, ending weeks of speculation…. – WaPo, 8-11-11
  • Texas Governor Perry to run for president: report: Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks during the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana June 18, 2011. WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Texas Governor Rick Perry will announce on Saturday that he will run for the 2012 Republican nomination … – Reuters, 8-11-11
  • Its offical (sort of): Spokesman says Rick Perry is indeed running for president: We know this will shock you, but Rick Perry is running for president. After three months of deliberation, the Texas governor is a “go,” our Austin bureau colleague Peggy Fikac reports. Of course, it’s been the worst-kept secret in Texas for weeks. … – Houston Chronicle, 8-11-11
  • Exclusive: Gov. Rick Perry’s All In: Texas Gov. Rick Perry will make “a definitive announcement that he is in the 2012 race for the presidency Saturday,” aides told Fox News. The language is significant…. – Fox News, 8-11-11
  • Perry to announce presidential run Sat.: reports: Texas Gov. Rick Perry will announce on Saturday in South Carolina that he is running for president, reports said Thursday. Reports cited Perry’s spokesman saying the Republican governor will seek the Republican Presidential nomination…. – CBS MarketWatch, 8-11-11
  • Texas Gov. Rick Perry Jumps In Presidential Race: After months of speculation and prodding by Republicans, Texas Governor Rick Perry has officially entered the 2012 race. His spokesman, Mark Miner, told the Associated Press today that Perry is running for president. Perry will deliver a speech at the Red State gathering in South Carolina… — ABC News, 8-11-11
  • Bachmann, Perry to cross paths in Iowa as Texas governor makes debut trip in Iowa: Republican Michele Bachmann isn’t ceding ground in her Iowa birthplace to possible presidential rival Rick Perry. Bachmann announced Thursday that she will appear at a GOP fundraiser in Waterloo on Sunday, the same event that … – WaPo, 8-11-11
  • Iowa website adds Perry to campaign tracker: IowaPolitics.com keeps a handy tally of how much time Republican presidential hopefuls have spent in the state that opens the primary season, and there’s a new face on the list: Gov. Rick Perry…. – Austin American-Statesman, 8-11-11
  • Perry: I’m ‘supposed to’ run for president: Texas Gov. Rick Perry has decided he wants to be president and received advice from former President George W. Bush before reaching his conclusion, according to a new interview with TIME’s Mark Halperin…. – CNN, 8-11-11
  • Perry begins to fill in the blanks: Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is about to take the plunge into the presidential race. There are, as with any candidate who’s not well known on the national stage, multiple questions. Can he debate? Does he have some policy chops? … – WaPo, 8-11-11
  • Texas Gov. Rick Perry banks on high-dollar donors: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, poised to enter the presidential race this weekend, is a fundraising powerhouse who has relied on a cadre of Republican mega-donors to collect more than $100 million for his three gubernatorial campaigns, state records show…. – USA Today, 8-11-11
  • Perry to focus on jobs: Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who’s set to announce his presidential bid Saturday, laid out his stance on one of the country’s top concerns: job creation. “This country’s begging for someone to lay out a vision of hope–real hope–and get … — CNN, 8-11-11
  • Perry prepares aggressive campaign in NH: While Texas Gov. Rick Perry prepares to declare his candidacy this weekend, behind the scenes his supporters are already planning an aggressive campaign schedule in the first-in-the-nation primary state. … – CNN, 8-11-11
  • Texas Governor Rick Perry to enter race for 2012 Republican nomination for President: Rick Perry’s entry into the GOP’s 2012 field is likely to reshape the contest for the nomination, experts say. Which GOP candidate would you like to see win the nomination? Texas Governor Rick Perry, a staunch conservative with a Washington outsider’s … – New York Daily News,8-11-11
  • Rick Perry’s path to the presidency: Ten steps on the road to 1600 Pennsylvania: After nearly three months of public posturing and private deliberation, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is finally a presidential candidate. A spokesman this afternoon confirmed the worst-kept secret in Texas: Perry will jump into a wide-open Republican race … – Houston Chronicle, 8-11-11
  • GOP insiders say Perry should do well in South Carolina: Texas Gov. Rick Perry will reshuffle the deck for Republican voters Saturday when he announces he is running for president during a visit to Charleston, SC “He’s the 800-pound gorilla who changes the whole makeup of the race,” said Dave Woodard, a Clemson University political scientist and sometimes Republican consultant. “There’s been such a ho-hum reaction to the (GOP) candidates so far. S.C. voters have been waiting for someone else to jump in.”… – Bellingham Herald, 8-11-11
  • 2012 campaign: Rick Perry, a Fred Thompson redux?: We all may remember (or, more likely, most of us don’t) Fred Thompson, the former senator from Tennessee who polled so well as a non-candidate that he belatedly jumped into the 2007-08 GOP primary race. Thompson’s campaign quickly stalled…. – LAT, 8-11-11

Campaign Buzz 2012 August 8, 2011: Texas Gov Rick Perry Plans to Make His Intentions for Running as a Republican Presidential Candidate Clear on Saturday

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 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.

 

CAMPAIGN 2012

Gov.  Rick Perry of Texas, who hosted a prayer rally in Houston Saturday, is expected to make his intentions for the 2012 presidential campaign clear this weekend.

Erika Rich/The Daily Texan, via Associated PressGov.  Rick Perry of Texas, who hosted a prayer rally in Houston on Saturday, plans an announcement on his 2012 presidential ambitions this weekend.

Rick Perry to Make Clear That He Intends to Run for President: Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is preparing to make clear his intentions to join the Republican presidential race on Saturday, two associates said, by visiting South Carolina and New Hampshire on the same day that several of his potential rivals are taking part in the Iowa Straw Poll.
Mr. Perry, who has been inching closer to declaring his candidacy for weeks, is expected to stop short of making a formal announcement. But appearing before Republican crowds in the two early-voting states was intended to clear up any lingering questions about his plans…. – NYT, 8-8-11

“With President Obama’s dismal economic record and Texas’ success in creating jobs and balancing our budget, Governor Perry continues to consider a potential run for The White House…. Stay tuned.” — Mark Miner, a spokesman for Gov. Rick Perry, who declined to elaborate on the timing of any announcement

“There is still a thirst for another voice to come in. They are looking for the kind of leadership he has shown in Texas, while the country has gone the other direction.” — Craig Schoenfeld, an Iowa Republican who is leading a group here called Americans for Perry, which has been signing up supporters for the governor.

  • Perry Signals Intent to Enter Race, Sending a Jolt to GOP Candidates: Gov. Rick Perry of Texas delivered a long-distance jolt to the Republican presidential campaign on Monday by signaling that he intends to join the race and visit South Carolina and New Hampshire on Saturday, the same day his rivals are battling for survival in the Iowa Straw Poll…. — NYT, 8-8-11
  • Rick Perry to make 2012 intentions clear Saturday: Rick Perry intends to use a speech in South Carolina on Saturday to make clear that he’s running for president, POLITICO has learned.
    According to two sources familiar with the plan, the Texas governor will remove any doubt about his White House intentions during his appearance at a RedState conference in Charleston.
    It’s uncertain whether Saturday will mark a formal declaration, but Perry’s decision to disclose his intentions the same day as the Ames straw poll — and then hours later make his first trip to New Hampshire — will send shock waves through the race and upend whatever results come out of the straw poll…. – Politico, 8-8-11
  • Rick Perry to affirm plans for presidential bid: Texas’ GOP governor will probably signal his intentions Saturday in South Carolina before heading to a party in New Hampshire, another primary state. His plans will coincide with Iowa’s straw poll…. – LAT, 8-8-11Perry expected to reveal White House plans Saturday: While a host of 2012 contenders slug it out in Ames, Iowa on Saturday, Texas Governor Rick Perry is expected to inch closer to a presidential run in another critical primary state. Perry expected to use his speech at the 2011 Red State Gathering in Charleston, SC to make it clear whether or not he will run for president, according to a report in Politico this afternoon. … – USA Today, 8-8-11
  • Busy schedule is clear sign of Perry’s political intentions, aides say: Gov. Rick Perry appears to be bounding toward a full-scale plunge into the 2012 presidential race with visits to two early battleground states later this week, where he is likely to tout Texas’ robust economic growth … – Fort Worth Star Telegram, 8-8-11
  • Perry prepares to launch campaign he promised wouldn’t happen: Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential campaign is now upon us. He’s going to the early primary states of South Carolina and New Hampshire on Saturday, and by the end of the day, it will be more obvious than ever that he will seek the presidency. … – Austin American-Statesman, 8-8-11
  • Politico: Perry to make clear hes running for president in S.C.: Gov. Rick Perry plans to “make clear” that he’s in the presidential race Saturday in Charleston, South Carolina, when he’s due to give a long-scheduled speech to the RedState conference, Politico is reporting. Perry’s office earlier confirmed… – Houston Chronicle, 8-8-11
  • As Rick Perry Nears 2012 Campaign, His Top Adviser Plots A ‘New Playbook’ Strategy: A top adviser to Texas Gov. Rick Perry was cagey about reports that Perry will make his intentions to run for president clear at a Saturday conference in South Carolina, but an organizer of the event said he expects an announcement … – Huffington Post
  • Santorum launches pre-emptive attack against Perry: With news trickling out Monday that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is poised to join the Republican presidential field, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum isn’t wasting any time attacking his soon-to-be rival. … – CNN, 8-8-11

Charles Ogletree: Civil Rights Seminar Provides Basis for Book

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

History Buzz

Source: The State, 5-23-11

A day and a half seminar last week in Charleston on the late U.S. Judge Waties Waring and his landmark 1951 dissent in the South Carolina case that led to the overturning of America’s racial segregation laws will be the basis for a book.

The book will be put together by University of South Carolina School of Law professor Lewis Burke and will be an extension of remarks and speeches made at the seminar.

The seminar was called “J. Waties Waring and the Dissent that Changed America.”

“The book will be far more complete, with elaborations and footnotes,” said U.S. Judge Richard Gergel, one of the key movers in putting together the seminar, along with S.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal and the State Supreme Court Historical Society.

The 1951 dissent by Waring, made while he was a federal judge in Charleston, in the Briggs v. Elliott case eventually became the basis for the famed 1954 U.S. Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education decision. The Brown decision eventually led to the dismantling of legally sanctioned segregation in America in schools, voting, housing, accommodations, parks, dining, libraries, buses and other areas.

Waring’s dissent in Briggs v. Elliott grew out of a Clarendon County controversy in which local whites refused to do anything about the grossly inferior public schools they made available to blacks.

The historic Brown decision was made of five cases appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in the early 1950s. But in those five cases, Waring was the only judge who said segregation was wrong. Waring’s “fingerprints were all over” the Brown decision, in the words of Harvard legal professor and civil rights historian Charles Ogletree, who spoke at the Charleston seminar….READ MORE

Sesquicentennial Update: Emancipating History

Source: NYT, 3-11-11

 

Anne McQuary for The New York Times

The brick slave quarters along an avenue of oak trees greet visitors to Boone Hall Plantation. More Photos »

Multimedia
Anne McQuary for The New York Times

A daguerreotype of a black woman and the white child she took care of is on display at the Old Slave Mart Museum in Charleston. More Photos »

….Slavery and its heritage are everywhere here. Charleston was one of the main colonial ports of the 18th century, dealing in rice, indigo and slaves. In 1860 South Carolina held as many slaves as Georgia and Virginia, which were at least twice its size. The genteel grace and European travels of its wealthy citizens were made possible by the enslavement of about half the population.

So on a recent visit, I searched for a public display of an understanding of that American past and its legacy. After all, is there any more vexed aspect of this country’s history than its embrace and tolerance of slavery? And is there any aspect of its past that has been less well served in museums, exhibitions and memorials?

The sesquicentennial of the Civil War that is about to be commemorated means that it has been nearly 150 years since American slavery was brought to an end. But even in the North, the subject is still approached with caution, delicacy and worry. It inspires profound shame, guilt, anger, recrimination and remorse, aimed in many directions for many reasons on both sides of a racial divide.

There have been immensely valuable surveys of slavery in recent years, like the analysis of its connections to New York in two shows created by the historian Richard Rabinowitz and the New-York Historical Society. But there have also been misguided attempts to right historical wrongs, as in Philadelphia’s confused exhibition at its President’s House site. And even affecting commemorations — like the African Burial Ground in New York — mix important facts with overcharged analysis.

Of course, in the North slavery can seem like a distant abstraction, creating its own problems. But in Charleston all abstractions are gone. The strange thing is how long it has taken to see the substance, and how much more is yet to be shown. Several directors of the region’s historical plantations and homes, which offer tours of these once-prosperous estates, told me that until the 1990s, slavery’s role was generally met with silence…READ MORE

Melissa Walker: Haley’s history lesson suggests problems ahead

Source: The SC State, 1-17-11

I have spent the past six months trying to support the campaign and then the governorship of Gov. Nikki Haley. As a historian of women in the United States, nothing warms my heart more than when women gain seats at the tables of power. Though her politics were often a bit to the right of my own, and I had concerns about her grasp of the complexities of the issues facing our state and her overly partisan approach, I was happy that a woman and an Asian-American had been elected to the highest office in my state.

Unfortunately, Gov. Haley’s inaugural address destroyed any illusions I had that she had a good grasp of the state’s history and the challenges it faces in the coming four years. A competent governor ought to surround herself with competent researchers who will provide solid background for her speeches. Gov. Haley has failed right off the bat. Her inaugural address is riddled with inaccuracies and superficial statements about our state’s complex, rich and important history that suggest a shallow understanding of our past, present and future, undermining her credibility even before she has an opportunity to accomplish anything positive for our state…READ MORE