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Monday January 09, 2012

Key Republican Statements from Latest New Hampshire Debate

Posted by Guest at 10:35 am

By Jamila Benkato

Saturday night’s debate in Manchester, New Hampshire covered everything from Romney’s record as a job creator, to Ron Paul’s controversial old newsletters, to a wide array of foreign policy issues. We have collected the most relevant statements of the evening below. Of particular interest are Mitt Romney’s explanation of why Iranians love America, Newt Gingrich’s rant about anti-Christian bigotry, and Rick Perry’s declaration that he would send troops back to Iraq – yes, you read that correctly. All that and much more listed below by category.

THE TEA PARTY

Perry:

“We -- we have to -- we have to nominate someone that can beat Barack Obama, that can get the Tea Party behind them, that can go to Washington, D.C., and stop the corrupt spending that has been going on.”

IRAN

Romney:

“We have a nation, which is intent on becoming nuclear. Iran has pursued their -- their ambition without having crippling sanctions against them. The president was silent when over a million voices took to the streets in Iran. Voices he should have stood up for and said, we’re supporting you. And he’s -- and he’s failed to put together a plan to show Iran that we have the capacity to remove them militarily from their plans to have nuclear weaponry.”

[Note: The millions of people marching in the streets in Iran were not marching against any reported nuclear ambition on the part of their government, but were related to the controversial 2009 presidential elections and associated with the opposition Green Movement.]

THE MILITARY AND MILITARY BUDGET 

Romney:

“We’re facing a very dangerous world. And we have a president now who unbelievably has decided to shrink the size of the -- of the military. Who unbelievably has said, for the first time since FDR, we’re going to no longer have the capacity to fight two wars at a time.”

Perry:

“You cannot cut $1 trillion from the Department of Defense budget and expect that America’s freedoms are not going to be jeopardized. That, to me, is the biggest problem that America faces, is a president that doesn’t understand the military and a president who is allowing the reduction of the DOD budget so that he can spend money in other places, and it will put America’s freedom in jeopardy.”

RACISM/BIGOTRY

Paul:

“More importantly, you ought to ask me what my relationship is for racial relationships. And one of my heroes is Martin Luther King because he practiced the libertarian principle of peaceful resistance and peaceful civil disobedience, as did Rosa Parks did.”

[Note: The newsletters discussed in this debate, and referred to in Paul’s answer above, can be viewed here. They are also being tweeted line-by-line here. Paul’s answer is in contrast to a long passage in one of the newsletters, which accuses Dr. King of various immoral and illegal activities.]

Gingrich:

“Should the Catholic Church be driven out of providing charitable services in the District of Columbia because it won’t give in to secular bigotry? Should the Catholic Church find itself discriminated against by the Obama administration on key delivery of services because of the bias and the bigotry of the administration?

The bigotry question goes both ways. And there’s a lot more anti-Christian bigotry today than there is concerning the other side. And none of it gets covered by the news media.”

THE PATRIOT ACT

Paul:

“I think the Fourth Amendment is very clear. It is explicit in our privacy. You can’t go into anybody’s house and look at what they have or their papers or any private things without a search warrant. This is why the Patriot Act is wrong, because you have a right of privacy by the Fourth Amendment.”

Santorum:

“Well, Congressman Paul is talking about privacy rights under the Fourth Amendment, which I agree with him in, I don’t necessarily agree that the Patriot Act violates that.”

AFGHANISTAN

Huntsman:

“You know we’ve been at the war on terror for 10 years now, we’ve been in Afghanistan. And I say we’ve got a lot to show for our efforts…The Taliban is no longer in power. We’ve run out al Qaeda, they’re now in sanctuaries. We’ve had free elections. Osama bin Laden is no longer around. We have strengthened civil society. We’ve helped the military. We’ve helped the police. I believe it’s time to come home. And I would say within the first year of my administration…I would want to draw them down. And I want to recognize Afghanistan for what it is. It is not a counter insurgency. I don’t want to be nation building in Southwest Asia when this nation is in such need of repair.”

“I think civil war is around the corner in Afghanistan. And I don’t want to be the president who invests another penny in a civil war. And I don’t want to be the president who sends another man or woman into harm’s way that we don’t -- we’re not able to bring back alive.”

Romney:

“We want to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can. And -- and I will, if I’m president, I will inform myself based upon the experience of the people on the ground that are leading our effort there. I want to make sure that we hand off the responsibility to an Afghan security force that is capable of maintaining the sovereignty of their nation from -- from the Taliban.”

MIDDLE EAST STRATEGY

Gingrich:

“Afghanistan is a tiny piece of a gigantic mess that is very dangerous. Pakistan is unstable and they probably have between 100 and 200 nuclear weapons. Iran is actively trying to get nuclear weapons. I mean they go out and practice closing the Strait of Hormuz, where one out of every six barrels of oil goes through every day.

And if they close the Straits of Hormuz, you have an industrial depression across the planet within 48 hours. You have the Muslim Brotherhood winning the elections in Egypt. The truth is, we don’t know who’s in charge in Libya.”

“And I think we need a fundamentally new strategy for the region comparable to what we developed to fight the cold war.”

Santorum:

“He has been making mistakes at every turn in Iran, in Egypt, I would argue, Libya, Syria, Israel. All of these places, he has made mistakes on the ground that have shown the people in that region that we are the weak horse…

That’s what this administration has done. They did it by withdrawing from Iraq…”

“This president has sanitized every defense document, everything. The word radical Islam doesn’t appear anywhere. Why? Because we’re trying to fight this politically correct war and not being honest with the American public as to who the enemy is, how virulent they are and why they hate us and what we must do to stop them.”

IRAN/IRAQ

Perry:

“Well, I think that you have to -- I would send troops back into Iraq, because I will tell you... The idea that we allow the Iranians to come back into Iraq and take over that country, with all of the treasure, both in blood and money, that we have spent in Iraq, because this president wants to kowtow to his liberal, leftist base and move out those men and women. They’re going to move back in, and all of the work that we’ve done, every young man that has lost his life in that country will have been for nothing…”

[Note: Young women have also lost their lives in Iraq.]

Gingrich:

“If you’re worried about the Iranians in Iraq, develop a strategy to replace the Iranian dictatorship and Iraq will be fine.”

Paul:

“Sanctions themselves always lead up to war. And that’s what we’re doing. Eastern Europe is going to be destabilized if they don’t have this oil. And this just pushes Iran right into the hands of the Chinese. So our policy may be well intended, but it has a lot of downside, a lot of unintended consequences, and, unfortunately, blowback.”

Romney:

“The Iranian people have come to the streets -- have taken to the streets repeatedly and still do, in trying to overthrow their government. And we had a president of the United States who stood silently by as thousands were killed on the streets, and did nothing. Did nothing. In fact, he tacitly supported the results of the election. Now Ahmadinejad announced right after the election polls were closed that he won with 60-some percent of the vote and the president of the United States said, well, that sounds like a legitimate election. Obviously a Chicago politician.”

“The Iranian people love America because we stand up for the truth and say -- and call evil, which is what Ahmadinejad and the mullahs are, we call evil what it is. That’s why they admire us, because we tell the truth.”

Full transcript available here.

 

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