tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN November 23, 2011 1:00am-2:00am EST
candidates, libertarian conservative divide over the patriot act passed after 9/11, difference on immigration as well. david gergen, your quick, first impression on what we heard from these eight republican candidates tonight? >> i don't have any sound. i'm not hearing anything. >> david's having a bit of an audio problem. dana loesch, as a conservative who watched the race, mitt romney at the top of the pack but a host of other conservatives come up what i call the anybody but romney candidate, former speaker newt gingrich came in, tied if not nationally ahead tonight, your first impression from what we learned from the eight republican candidates? >> i think there were a couple of really explosive parts of the debate for me. the first one was obviously iran. i thought that perry and gingrich led the way with strategy when it comes to iran. but the thing that sort of blew up in newt gingrich's face, i think, the discussion on immigration.
he had a rick perry heartless moment with this. i think this is really going to impact him tomorrow. it's really going to impact him with grassroots conservatives. i can see both sides of the argument here. he was reaganesque, '84-'86, reagan signed a huge amnesty bill but i don't think he made that differential during the debate. this is one of the most substantive debates, we really were able to see a lot of different sides on the candidates on this side of the issue. ron paul did surprisingly well on a couple of different parts. perry talked more than normal. it was good. i think gingrich -- gingrich probably looked one of the best. >> dana, stand by. we'll get more analysis. the pictures, conditions are shaking hands in the hall. strong debate performance overall, but did he get in trouble with conservatives, his answer on immigration, saying we're nerve ever going expel the 10 million, 11 million illegal immigrants?
gloria borger standing by with the former speaker of the house. take it away. >> here i am with former speaker of the house, newt gingrich. what did you think of the debate and your own performance? >> i thought it was terrific. i told wolf blitzer he did very well. a balanced and well-managed debate. people got to really talk about ideas. >> let me ask you, one thing that came up at the end of the debate the question of immigration. and you said that americans want to be humane about immigration. >> sure. >> they don't want to throw people out who have been in the country for a number of years. >> there are lots of people who will go home, they have no ties no roots but also millions will end up staying. i can't imagine any serious person who can walk down the street see somebody they've known for 20 years, and say you're leaving your family, your church, your community you've been in for 20, 25 years and kicking you out forcibly. >> let me tell you what michele bachmann's campaign put out,
newt gingrich is opening the door to amnesty. what would your response to that be? >> that is just totally inaccurate. what i've said is the foundation has a very good program for legalization without citizenship for people who have been here a long time. now, i'm one -- i want to say, go home to lots of people, i between create a border that's controlled. i want a guest worker program outsourced to american express or visa or mastercard. i want english as the official language of government. i'm willing to be tough but i'm not willing to kid people and i can't imagine any serious person here in the country who believes we're going to tear families apart that have been here 20, 25 years. >> do you think the republican party has hurt itself with the hispanic community because there might be that perception? >> sure. i think it makes -- it's not just hispanic community. we have people who come to america from the whole planet. i think governor romney had it
right when he said, we favor immigration, we favor legal immigration. we actually would have more opportunity for people who are talented to stay and, frankly, the democratic party and the labor unions block that. so i mean, it's a mixed bag. i think it's important, i think somebody's up here going to be president, hopefully it's going to be me, but one of us is going to be. it's important to unify the country by having an honest conversation not just a series of slogans. >> here you are standing here saying i think it's going to me -- >> i said i hope it's going to be me. >> your campaign was imploding and your staff was leaving you and here you are and can you sort of reflect upon that for a minute about what's happened? >> it's like mark twain. the reports of my death were premature, which is what he said when somebody wrote an obituary before he died. all of our core staff stayed, calista and i had a team that we assembled over the years, all stayed except one person. the professional politicians
left because i don't run a traditional campaign. i run a positive campaign. >> what happened? what happened? >> now? >> yes. why are you where you are? >> i think what's happened people want substance, they want the exact conversation you and i had, exactly what this debate was like. they know the country's in trouble and want a serious person willing to talk through at a level of detail that's real and not just political slogans. >> one last question. looking at the folks around you on the podium tonight, who is it going to come down to, you and who else, do you think? >> look, i always think that governor romney would be one of two finalists, he has the money, he's run before, he's got a tremendous base in new hampshire. so if it does come down to two people, i hope i'm one of the two, i'm absolutely certain the other will be mitt romney, he has five years of campaigning and that gives you an enormous base. >> thank you. >> good catch grabbing the
former speaker of the house, newt gingrich, one of the strong performers in tonight opposite debatele. we'll see if they agree if his remark at the end on immigration could hurt him with conservative. a look at the memorable moments from the just wrapped up debate. >> i think the patriot act is unpatriotic. i'm concerned as everybody is about the terrorist attack. timmy mcveigh was a vicious terrorist. he was arrested. i have a personal belief you never have to give up liberty for security. you still k. still provide security without sacrificing our bill of rights. >> you want to respond, mr. speaker? >> yeah. timothy mcveigh succeeded. that's the whole point. timothy mcveigh killed a lot of americans. i want a law that says you try to take out an american city, we're going to stop you. >> is it okay for muslim
americans to get more intensive pat-downs or security when they go through airports than christian americans or jewish americans? >> no, blitz, that's oversimplifying it. i happen to believe that if you allow our intelligence agencies to do their job, they can come up with an approach -- sorry, blitz, i meant wolf, okay? blitz, wolf. >> thank you, cain. >> we haven't done a very good job defining and articulating what the end point is in afghanistan. i think the american people are getting very tired about where we find ourselves today. >> let me let governor romney respond. >> let me respond. are you suggesting, governor that we take all of our troops out next week? what's your proposal. >> i said we should draw down from 100,000. we don't need 100 troops. we need a presence on the ground that is more akin to 10,000, 15,000.
>> president ahmadinejad came to the u.n. general assembly. he said that he wanted to eradicate israel from the face of the earth. he has said if he has a nuclear weapon he will use it to wipe israel off the face of the earth. he will use it against the united states of america. and that's why president obama has failed the american people. he has changes the course of history because at the time when we needed a leader most, we didn't have one. >> conllars out of the defense budget. we need to protect ameca and protect our troops and our military and stop the idea of obama care. that's the best way to save money, not the military. >> hold on one second. ron paul wants to respond to that point. >> they're not cutting anything out of anything. all of this talk is just talk. believe me. >> i don't think anybody is particularly surprised that a super committee failed. it was a super failure.
this president has been an absolute failure when it came to this budget process. >> this president has poisoned the well. he's campaigned all over this country trying to divide group from group in order to win, you know, to position himself to win this election, to rally his troops, and what he's done is poisoned the well here in congress. >> some of the highlights there from tonight's debate. this was the 11th debate among and between the republican candidates for president. michele bachmann back in our first debate, at cnn in june, after that, strong performance skyrocketed in the polls. she has struggled sense. how does she rate her performance tonight? the conservative tea party favorite standing live with gloria borger. >> thanks so much, john. thank you for being with us, congresswoman. >> thank you. >> i was most interested in your comments on pakistan. you said that pakistan is too nuclear to fail, and you criticized governor perry as naive when he talked about foreign aid to pakistan,
essentially saying we shouldn't write any more blank checks. >> with pakistan we don't necessarily write blank checks we deal with our -- our -- it's been a long night. thank you for your understanding. no, we deal with intelligence services and exchanges with them and we gain information on al qaeda, although there's more things that we need. this -- pakistan is a very imperfect partner in dealing with national affairs and national security. and one thing that we realize about them is that they are a very fragile country. they have a thin veneer of a government holding them together yet you have the epicenter of terrorism right there and you have hundreds of nuclear weapons. >> what would you say to governor perry? governor perry says we're essentially just handing the money and not getting anything in return. are we getting enough in return? >> we're getting something from them.
and it's a relationship where we need them, they need us, and we need to hold them more accountable than what we are. there's no question about that. >> and let me also switch conversation, back to immigration for a moment because you and newt gingrich got into it a little bit there. your campaign put out a press release saying, after the debate, saying that speaker gingrich had opened the door to amnesty. is that the way you would put it he is talking about amnesty? >> i'm not speaking personally or ill of anyone on a personal level, this is based upon issues and there's a distinct difference. when it comes to immigration, i think there's one immigration organization that gave speaker gingrich a d minus on his immigration policy because he wants to legalize 11 million illegal aliens in the united states. that's not what i'm seeing from people who are talking to me about it, and he wanted to legalize the dream act. that's at the federal level for all states. that increases magnets to the united states and that's something that i don't believe that we should do. >> so it's amnesty? >> well, you're legalizing 11
million workers. if you're legalizing 11 million workers it sounds like am messty to me. >> let me ask you finally about the state of your campaign. when you came on early on you were the favorite in iowa, you won the straw poll. and now your numbers are down in single digits and you have to win iowa in order to stay in the race? >> we're working hard in iowa and the good news is, we've identified more supporters than mike huckabee had when he won in iowa. iowa was a matter of getting your supporters out to the polls, that's what we are in the process of doing. don't count us out by a long shot. we have a very good opportunity in iowa and then to go on and secure the nomination. i think it's time to have a mother in the white house. >> do you need to win iowa? >> i think the country needs to have a new president and i believe that i'm the best candidate to be the next president of the united states. >> we've heard that. thank you so much congresswoman. back to you, john. >> nice try, gloria. trying to get congresswoman bachmann whether she needs to win in iowa.
it's an important question. an important night. our debate, six weeks from tonight iowans cast the first official votes when then caucus. after that the new hampshire primary. including what the candidates said about a host of other issues, the patriot act, racial profiling, fireworks early on in the debate. we'll be back after a quick break. large pan toll consider. anderson cooper "360" special coverage of the republican presidential debate continues in just a moment. aaron, you're all set. great, thanks. mike, thanks for doing that discount double check. you saved us hundreds. what was that? the discount double check? it's when we comb through your policies and make sure that you're getting all the discounts you deserve. no, i get that part, but you guys are doing my move. the discount double check move? that's my touchdown dance. so you're a dancer?
welcome back. live from dar constitution hall, steps from the white house. tonight's republican presidential debate right near washington, the former house speaker, newt gingrich, said he would look at strengthening the patriot act passed after 9/11 after elected. congressman ron paul disagreed strongly. he said timothy mcveigh was caught and executed without the patriot act. >> i have a personal belief that you never have to give up liberty for security. you can still provide security without sacrificing our bill of rights.
>> i want to bring others in. do you want to respond, mr. speaker? >> yeah. timothy mcveigh succeeded. that's the whole point. timothy mcveigh killed a lot of americans. i don't want a law that says, after we lose a major american city we're sure going to come and find you. i want a law that says, you try to take out an american city, we're going to stop you. >> racial profiling also came up. herman cain and rick santorum said it should be used to prevent attack. joining me donna brazile, ari fleischer, dana loesch, erin burnett. david gergen, the patriot act, conservative libertarian split that has existed since this was passed right after 9/11 came out in full force tonight however. >> absolutely. ron paul, i should tell you, john, he continues to speak well for the libertarians and you can
see him on twitter, they're cheering him on because they thought he was strong tonight. but at the same time, i think when newt gingrich came back, as did mitt romney, they really speak for the majority of the republican party. a much stronger patriot act would be tough on terrorism, the war continues from their point of view. >> that's a question that essentially puts the legacy of the president you worked for in question, you want to continue in strength under the policies put in by bush or as congressman paul says walk way from it? >> it is 8% to 10% group that follows ron paul on this earn. i remember this, arlen specter, former prosecutor, senator from pennsylvania, sat in a meeting with bush that bin laden has been indicted and nobody paid attention to that because it wasn't enough. that debate was largely settled in the country, not alone the republican party, by using the military to protect us september 11th. >> do you agree with ari about the size of the ron paul constituency in the sense tea
party people are suspicious of any government reach into their lives? >> i think it would probably be bigger than that but i also think there ray lot of conversations like myself who can see both sides and sort of have a foot in either -- in either party of the conservative ideology. i see libertarian principles that seem valid but i have conservative reservations that newt gingrich mentioned in the debate tonight. what good does it do if you're going to tell a terrorist, well after you've been successful, we're going to come and hunt you down? that doesn't deter anything. i understand that, but at the same time you also don't want to chip away at the civil liberties of american citizen whose are innocent. >> another flash point in the debate that was one of them, the conservative libertarians and the patriot act. the sensitive question of racial profiling came up, take a listen. >> if you're trying to fine somebody who may have a nuclear weapon that they're trying to bring into an american city, i think you want to use every tool that you can possibly use to gather the intelligence. >> obviously muslims would be
someone you'd look at, absolutely. those are the folks, radical muslims are the people that are committing these crimes, by and large, as well as younger males. these are things that not exclusively, but these are things that you profile to find your best -- the most likely candidate. >> target identification, if you take a look at the people who have tried to kill us, it would be easy to figure out exactly what that identification profile looks like. >> don't be willing to sacrifice liberty for security. today it seems too easy that our government and our congresses are so willing to give up our liberties for our security. i have a personal belief that you never have to give up liberty for security. you can still provide security without sacrificing our bill of rights. >> erin burnett, a decade after 9/11, this is another debate in the country, do you subject everybody who wants to get on a plane to the same security, or do you profile, do you say on
9/11 the attackers were muslims, therefore any muslim trying to board a plane, do you have a database that says who is more at risk of creating a terrorist attack or is it everybody gets the same thing? >> this is a really tough issue, right? when you look at recent attacks that we've had, even domestically, right, not necessarily people coming from overseas, domestically, and you look at some of the names, all right, some of those people would have identified themselves as people who studied under clerics, whether yemen or elsewhere, it's a tough issue. i think people can see both sides of it, but when you start talking about profiling it becomes much more difficult when looking at obviously the vast majority of muslims, whether they be muslim americans or not are not doing this. if you pick out ari fleischer and somebody else because you're so busy being politically correct and you miss someone with bad intent. >> we can never racially profile. it's wrong for law enforcement of any type to say we're going after one targeted group. if there's evidence that all of
these people fit a profile, go after the individuals. if it ends up 90% are one ethnicity as law as the law's driven to go after individuals we can never put people in that categories and say that categories suspect, knit our dna. >> there's no place in the country for stereotyping and racially profiling people that some would say that this will help us get rid of terrorists. so i have to agree with ron paul on this issue. but you know, john, this is like a retro debate. i felt like we were going back into the past. the neocons, like the last hurrah, celebration of the past, not looking at the current threats in the way the president handled them and the way we handle future threats. >> the twitter verse will be glad donna brazile agrees with ron paul. stand by. we'll work in a quick break. the moderator of tonight's debate, wolf blitzer.
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no, blitz, that's oversimplifying it it. i happen to believe that if you allow our intelligence agencies to do their job, they can come up with an approach -- i'm sorry blitz, i meant wolf, okay? blitz, wolf. since we are on a blitz debate, i apologize. wolf. >> one of the lighter moment there's of tonight's republican debate here in washington. blitz, you know, wolf, wolf
blitzer, with me right now. can i call you wolf? >> call me whatever you want. >> your impression, eight republican candidates disagreements on the big security issues. what stood out to you? >> on most of the issues they agreed, looking for opportunities to go after president obama, but there were disagreements. and the most you know out from these other republicans was ron paul, as he takes views that almost all of these republican candidates disagree with. governor huntsman, he disagrees with a lot of them, especially afghanistan, thinks it's time to move on, spend a lot less money in afghanistan, reduce the force from 100,000 u.s. troops to 10,000, 15,000, he said. but the others are not ready to make that decision yet. there was some significant differences, some significant agreement as well. we were hoping out of this debate we would have a better appreciation on national security where these candidates stand. i think we got a little bit better appreciation. >> at the en, an interesting conversation about immigration,
which has been an issue that has moved the numbers in this republican race. governor perry gets into the race, he's up high, says i don't support a fence, give in-state tuition grant. the compassionate conversation who wanted to have a path to citizenship, then a path to legal status for those in the country illegally. newt gingrich says you have to do something, you're not going to expel them. a lot of the others don't know what to say, they can't find the right word because they know if they say anything open to letting those who broke the law to get here stay, they'll be accused of amnesty. they're struggling on that one. >> i was surprised how governor romney was. newt gingrich, if you've been here 25 years, your kids were raised here, you go to a church, find a way to stay here legally. you don't get a pathway to citizenship, but you can stay, not all 11 million, 12 million illegal immigrants. governor romney said that in effect is a magnet.
if you do that that will encourage more illegal immigration. so they got into a little bit on that. afterwards speaking to the speaker, newt gingrich, and he said, look, he was saying what he feels it might get him into trouble with conservatives and republicans but that's his position, and he's thought a lot about it and willing to take the grief, if he gets grief. >> iowa, the immigration plays between the tea party and the conservative base there, six weeks from tonight is the vote there? who is at the top? is the front-runner get a target? gingrich, for the first time at least governor romney's equal, if not slightly ahead of him in the national polls. in the immigration, at the en, yes criticism. everyone's trying to say newt's a smart guy. >> he didn't get a lot of grief, he got a little bit, not much. i was expecting frankly the so-called second tier candidates to go after newt gingrich because he has emerged as the top, one of the front-runners
now, he and romney, and the polls in iowa, even in new hampshire, south carolina, both of them are doing really well. i thought maybe we would see more from michele bachmann, for example, or rick santorum or other candidates, huntsman going after newt gingrich, and romney, but you didn't see a lot of that right now. i think there -- maybe it's before thanksgiving, they're try to be nice. >> i suspect maybe by sunrise tomorrow or iowa or sundown. great job. thank you for spending time with us. foreign policy, national security of course the focus of the republican debate. it's not surprising that pakistan came up, specifically, the amount of u.s. aid that goes to pakistan. here's what congresswoman michele bachmann and governor rick perry had to say that question. >> one of most violent, unstable nations there is. we have to recognize that 15 of the sites, nuclear sites, are available or potentially penetrable by jihadists.
six attempts have been made on nuclear sites about i would continue that aid but i think the obama policy of keeping your fingers crossed is not working in pakistan and i also think that pakistan is a nation that it's kind of like too nuclear to fail. >> until pakistan clearly shows they have america's best interest in mind i would not send them one penny, period. it's important for us to sent the message to those across the world that if you're not going to be an ally of the united states, do not expect a dime of our citizens' money to be coming into your country. >> with all due respect to the governor that's highly naive, again we have to recognize what's happening on the ground. these are nuclear weapons all across this nation, potentially al qaeda could get a hold of these weapons. these weapons could find their way out of pakistan, into new york city or into washington, d.c.
>> we need to be engaged about in that part of the world. i never said for us not to be engaged. i said we need to quit writing blank collects to this countries. >> candidates can't talk about pakistan without talking about afghanistan, its neighbor. the candidates clashed over what u.s. policy on that country should be going forward. jon huntsman, for example, texas congressman, ron paul, came under attack for their positions. david gergen, donna brazile, ari fleischer, dana loesch, erin burnett. candidates are struggling because if you answer friend, foe, don't know, you get a don't know from most policy experts yet bachmann using a clever line, from an atlantic piece, too nuclear to fail, said you can't walk away because if the united states walks away, somebody will step in or the nuclear weapons will be at risk. a tough challenge for the sitting president but also for would-be presidents. >> sure is. look at what this president's
done, he's pulled back a third of the military that we're providing to pakistan because of his frustration how they've been cooperating or not cooperating with the u.s. you don't have a choice. mitt romney came out and said what the sixth most populous country in the world, they have nuclear weapons, it is too big to ignore for this country. >> do you have a choice? you need to be tougher with pakistan, the perry approach is go to zero based foreign aid period so everybody comes in at zero and you have to make your case for it. do you i have choice when it comes to pakistan which clearly frustrates the president and the security apparatus. >> you have to choice but to keep pakistan on our side and remain as friendly as possible under the circumstances given the fact they've got nuclear weapons and could get into the hands of the terrorists. you've got to work at it. the obama administration has tried very hard with back channels, having the head of the joint chiefs gone over there, repeated envoys over there, they have been really disappointed.
so i think these republican candidates are struggling because nobody in the foreign policy world has -- there's no consensus in the foreign policy community as it's called on what to do. >> donna, it was interesting, governor huntsman, among those who said the united states should have had no role in libya, said that early on, no role at all, not in our national interest, and the case of pakistan he would be in favor of more drone attacks, which infuriate the pakistani government. anything strike you? >> what struck me about governor huntsman's response to mitt romney on the issue of afghanistan is he said basically you have to make decisions as commander in chief. you cannot leave it to your generals. i thought huntsman came across clearly understanding more about afghanistan, the region itself, pakistan, look, secretary clinton was there recently, putting pressure once again on the leaders in pakistan to get its act together. we cannot abandon pakistan.
we have to find a way to convince them to help us in our pursuit of the terrorists at the same time the u.s. may have to resort to drones. of course we have to be cognizant of the civilians kill in that area as well. >> if a republican voter out there watching we think the economy will dominate next october, november. is this person a commander in chief, do i trust them with the nuclear football? do i trust them, question came up at end of the debate, for the unpredictable. >> george w. bush never asked about al qaeda in 2,000. any impressions saying that was commander in chief? >> a great question, what don't you see out there. it's fascinating when you look at all of these debates, is the republican party, supposed to nominate the most conservative and this year against barack obama the biggest outsider. but who's leading? the biggest established figures, mitt romney and newt gingrich. who is not getting traction? the one who is taking the toughest, most conservative positions, rick perry, no-fly
zone over syria, social security is a ponzi scheme, send congress home, cut their pay. typical things that are red meat aren't working this year. the biggest thought during the debates, newt gingrich, propelled himself back from debts. fascinating open primary for republicans. it's great to be a consumer watching these republicans. >> after the rise of the tea party, is the tea party influenced when it comes to the campaign fading and the establishment resurging? >> i don't think so necessarily, newt gingrich has walked back -- he's walked back a lot of things. first new york 23, the fight between grassroots and the establishment and the grassroots won that, of course. they ended up taking out the republican candidate but they won that. that was the goal. and in discussing gingrich and pair perry the a deals of the grassroots, super conservative ideas that are red meat and poll well and people identify with this, fiscally want to see
certain things happen, when it comes to perry being one -- as ari was saying, i don't think it's the ideas that failed. i think it's perhaps the vehicle in which they were delivered for getting the third department that you cut necessarily, is it helpful. i do think that he's coming back from that, but that being said, i think if those ideas had been delivered in a newt gingrich way, authoritative, aggressive, dare i say confrontational, i think it would have gone over a lot better and we'd see more support from those results. you have to be able to convey your ideas to people and that's what rick perry hasn't been doing in the beginning. >> six weeks until the iowa caucuses critical to the perry strategy. he has to prove himself in state number one. our panel will be back just ahead. tom foreman tells us how candidates claims and counterclaims stand up to the stubborn facts. we're "keeping them honest." congratulations.
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"keeping them honest," a lot of claims were made in tonight's republican debate near washington. numbers, names, places and dates all flying as the eight candidates duked it out over national security and foreign policy. did they stick to the facts or maybe wander a bit? tom forman joins us to check the facts. >> mitt romney, what he said about the administration and the cuts the administration are making to defense. listen. >> let's just talk about what they're cutting with the first $350 billion, not the next 600 which is coming down the road.
first $350, stop the f-22, delayed aircraft carriers, stopped the navy cruiser system, said long range air force bombs are aren't going to be built, cut our troops by 50,000, the list goes on. they're cutting programs that cut the capacity of america to defend itself. >> cutting the capacity of america to defend itself, that is true? he's got all of his numbers right. all of those cuts are correct, ones he named. however, this is a context that may be missing. last year the u.s. spent $700 billion on defense, more than the next 17 nations combined, that's why there is a debate about this, because some people say, look, we can cut defense and still have a lot of defense out there. so the bottom line is, he is correct, what he has said is true, but it is incomplete. let's turn from that to something that was said about newt gingrich which was also very interesting in all of this. he talked about the idea of putting pressure on iran over developing a nuclear programming
by going after their oil, economic attack in effect. and he said this about u.s. oil production -- >> all sources, energy program in the united states, designed once again to create a surplus of energy here so we can say to the europeans, all of the various sources of oil in the united states we could literally replace the i rain ran oil. >> could we replace the iranian oil? this is a trap that comes up all the time when we talk about oil as a weapon. it has to do with the speed at which you can do it. the truth is, we could increase our capacity but look at this. we produce 9,688,000 barrels per day. iran produces 4,252,000. so we would have to increase by 50% if we wanted to truly replace the oil they have on the world market and put pressure on them. even if you put that aside it takes time. we'd need refinery capacity,
we'd need to build all of these facilities and when we talk about the iranian nuclear program, pressure on that, that seems to be pretty far along. so the simple truth is, while this is not something that couldn't be considered, it it is a bit on the side of being misleading, to say say that you could ramp up our oil production and this would put this enormous pressure on iran. earlier you played bite from michele bachmann where she talked all about the pakistani nukes and the threat there. the simple truth is if you look at this, there is significant concern in the u.s. intelligence forces about the pakistani nukes but mainly that's because you cannot afford to be wrong about something like this. pakistani security is considered fairly strong and their nukes are kept dismantled in different part, in different places. idea that terrorists would get them together as she suggested somehow have them operational, get them out of the country, get them across the ocean, get them to the united states and blow
one up in new york, washington, or denver or somewhere like that, is a real stretch. that makes this statement in many ways, something that we'd have to say is more along the lines of being misleading, to suggest there's some imminent threat of that happening to the u.s. we have to take it seriously, but it's not something that's right around the corn that intelligence forces think is right around the corner. >> tom foreman, keeping them honest tonight. thank you. one of the most heated moments during tonight's debate came when the candidates started discussion the emotional issue of illegal immigration. mitt romney clashes with newt gingrich when the former house speaker shared his thoughts on the immigration topic. listen right here. >> i do not believe that the people of the united states are going to take people who have been here a quarter century who have children and grandchildren, who are members of the community, who may have done something 25 years ago, separate them from their families, and
expel them. i do believe if you've been here recently and you have no ties to the u.s., we should deport you. i do believe we should control the border. i believe we should have severe penalties for employers. look at the foundation plan, i don't see the party that says it's the party of the family is going to adopt an immigration policy which destroys families that have been here a quarter century and i'm prepared to take the heat for saying, let's be humane in enforcing the law without giving them citizenship, but by finding a way to create legality so that they are not separated from their families. >> governor perry? >> he won't like me saying it this way, but the former speaker sounding like former president george w. bush and the original john mccain when it came to the immigration issue, mccain would put it, they're god's children, we're not going to kick them out. gloria borger, this is the issue that will not go away in republican primary politics, and the speaker had another strong
debate performance. the question is, does that one at the end, the compassionate conservative answer, we're not going to expel them, does it do to him, now that he's come up in the polls, talking about immigration and tuition benefits for the children of illegal immigrants and not building the fence across texas, does this question to newt gingrich what we know it did to rick perry? >> we're going to have to say, aren't we? i asked him about it after the debate. he stuck to it, and michele bachmann's campaign put out a statement right after the debate which said that newt gingrich, quote, opens the door to amnesty and he said that's not the case but i just believe we can't -- we can't pretend that we're going to deport 12 million people. he said it's just essentially realistic. he is someone who voted for ronald reagan's bill in 1986, which a lot of people called amnesty at the time, and i think that it could -- it could really hurt him although he also said, after the debate, look, we've
been hurt, the republican party has been hurt with hispanic voter because of our positions on illegal immigration. so you know, i think he spoke up and it was clear that michele bachmann was ready to attack him on that issue. >> another, we talked about the libertarian conservative divide earlier. this is the chamber of commerce/grassroots divide. the establishment republican, business community says figure this out, give us a guessworker program, you're never going to kick all of these out. gingrich's answer will be called amnesty by tea party voters, will it not? >> yes, it absolutely will be. newt gingrich has been consistent when it comes to immigration, as gloria was saying he supported reagan in '80s when he signed an amnesty law. he was excited about this when it was passes. i understand where he's coming from but i think his logic in determining his conclusion in many cases is unsound. for instance, when he talks
about families being here for a quarter of a century, break the law for a quarter of a century does not make that law that you broke somehow less illegal. he needed to understand this suggestion that wanting the law to be enforced is less humane from the bases, it's a little -- again this could be his perry heartless moment. he should have, maybe he didn't roll this out with his plan, they need to talk about ways to make immigration -- to remove some of the bureaucracy. that's the problem. immigration is bureaucratic, there's a lot of red tape, there are a lot of good people prevented from becoming citizens in this country because we make it too difficult. >> on those who are here, david, whether it's for two weeks or 25 years, illegally, newt gingrich tonight took the mike bloomberg position, does it hurt him? >> probably in the short term. but i will have to tell you, in the long term, i think it may not. look, i have -- good for him. he broke with the orthodoxy. he did have to take a more
humane position. they want to division between those who have been here a long time and let their families stay versus those who have been here a short time. the politics of it, yeah, he'll take a hit in the conservative community. he'll get credit for willing to say what he believes. i think with the broader public, john, he's just now, for the first time, americans who are not republicans, independents are thinking, might newt gingrich be the candidate? with a lot of the people seeing the humane side of gingrich tonight i think was a plus. you know, it's part of -- i kept thinking about this is a man who is also asking for redemption and seeking redemption in his personal life. >> we'll watch how it plays out. the debates have changed the republican race, almost overnight in some cases. on "360," a make or break night for any of the republican candidates? final thoughts from our panel, next. [ woman on radio, indistinct ] ♪ bum-bum ♪ bum-bum, bum-bum, bum-bum ♪ ♪ ai, ai, ai ♪ bum-bum
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that was weird. but awesome ! ♪ nationwide is on your side [♪...] >> announcer: now get a $250 airfare credit, plus save up to 65%. call 1-800-sandals. certain restrictions apply. if you're paying attention to the latest polls newt gingrich came into this debate tonight in a statistical tie at the top of the republican field with the former massachusetts governor, mitt romney. the first time in the race former speaker gingrich at the front of the pack. his job tonight, try to solidify that position. did he or did one of his fellow candidates steal the new front-runner's thunder? david gergen, i'll start on this end of the group. your final impression what did you learn tonight? >> huntsman, best night.
romney held his own but seemed to fade, didn't have as much air time, not as dominant. newt gingrich, wind at his back coming in, a big entourage following him hadn't he left. >> newt gingrich, less confrontational, more informational. so i thought he had a good night. jon huntsman, because he this is an area where he understands the world, he served under three president. herman cain faded from the landscape but we know who should be on the other end of the 3:00 a.m. phone call, it's barack obama. >> why did i know that was coming? >> i knew it was coming. the republicans rightly to your right in the conversation here, ari fleischer, final thought? >> he can be on the 3:00 a.m. phone call until january 19, 2013, then it's going to change on the line. another debate, another good night for newt. but the trend here those who have fallen behind are not coming back up. so the question is, when the music stops, who is going to be
in the not romney chair? 78% not locked in. a lot of time to go. >> i think gingrich, i have to agree, i think gingrich took this debate tonight. i thought huntsman -- he came alive, he had some answers that i thought were pretty good. perry did a lot better this debate than he has the previous debates. i think if he had been doing consistently well, he would be in the top tier as opposed to where he is now. cain fell by the way side. bachmann did good but she didn't -- she needs to be a little bit more aggressive. her aggressiveness took it towards the end when she went after gingrich a little bit. >> i have to agree. i think newt gingrich had a very good debate. i've covered him for a long time, you never know who's going to show up, it could be the good newt, smart newt, full of ideas newt, who i think we saw tonight. oh it could be the negative, nasty, anti-media, down --
>> wait a minute on the anti-media stuff. hold on. >> newt gingrich. and i think tonight we saw the first newt gingrich, the more positive newt gingrich who sort of had a vision and took on ron paul, and the patriot act debate, it was very, very interesting. the intellectual newt, but he was appealing which is something i don't think he's really been before. i think it's probably because he's more relaxed and he's doing better in the polls and people like him. i think he was more likable this evening. >> i think speaker gingrich came into the debate with the most to lose. i want to see how the immigration debate plays out. herman cain was asked a question about syria and started talking about the u.s. economy that to me is a sign of his weakness when it comes to commander in chief test. thanks to our panel. that does it for this edition of "360." you can see the debate in its you can see the debate in its entirety, next.
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