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tv   Republican Debate  CBS  November 12, 2011 8:00pm-9:00pm EST

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future. >> something to be proud of. >> i'm the champion of liberty. >> we have the answers. we don't have relationship. >> if you want to become president of the united states you have to let both people speak. >> i won't breast until i repeal oh, balma-care. >> let me speak. >> you're out of line. >> forcing girls to take an inoculation-- >> it is a ponzi scheme. >> 9-9-9 plan is a bold solution. >> this country is never again going to bail out corporations. >> i will-- >> we know how to secure the borders. >> this is about nation building at home. >> the american people create jobs, not government. >> government is not very capable of managing almost anything. >> middle-income americans need a break and i'll give it to them. >> this economy is on life support. >> if you are too big to fail, you are too big. captioning sponsored by cbs
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>> pelley: 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.
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>> pelley: good evening. and wofford college in spartanburg, south carolina, i'm scott pelley from 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's nomination.
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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 moderators there can be a 30-second follow-up, or a 30-secretary 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, and and we invite you to submit questions during the debate to
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either web site. joining me now in asking the questions, major garrett. >> garrett: scott, thank you very much. one more piece of housekeeping. let's introduce the candidates. forker utah governor, jon huntsman. from minnesota, congresswoman michele bachmann. representing the 14th district of texas, congressman ron paul ( cheers and applause ) frommality lanta, georgia, business man herman cain. former massachusetts governor, mitt romney ( applause ) former house speaker newt gingrich ( applause ) current texas governor rick perry ( applause ) and former pennsylvania senator rick santorum ( applause ) mr. cain, i'd like to begin this evening with you, sir. >> 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 obtang a nuclear weapon? >> the first thing that i would do is to insist the opposition
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movement in iran that's trying to overthrough 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 will impact the price of oil on the world market because iran uses oil, not only as a means of 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 where i do believe they have a nuclear weapons program and they are closer to have having a nuclear weapon, stopping them, the only way we can stop them is
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through economic means. >> garrett: aa quick follow-up. when you say assisting the opposition, would you entertain military opposition? >> no, i would not entertain military opposition. i'm talking about to help the opposition movement within the country. and there's one other thing that we could do. we could deploy our ballistic missile defense capable ageis 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 they were able to fire a ballistic missile. >> pelley: governor romney, would it be worth going to war to prevent iran from obtang a nuclear weapon? >> well, let's start back from there and 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 america and the world 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 it speak out when dissidents took
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to the streets and say america is with you and work on a covert basis to encourage the disdents. he should have put in place crippling sanctions but instead of getting russians-- what we gave in our missile defense system to agree to stand with those crippling sanctions we gave what russia what they wanted and got nothing in return-- >> pelley: that's the time on the question. we will adhere toime-- >> i got seconds and that was 30. sorry, it started at yellow so i have much more time to go. >> pelley: you know what, governor? i stand corrected. please continue. >> thank you ( applause ) >> finally, the president should have built 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 re-elect barack
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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: sir, just described where we are today and that's what you're going to have to deal with it you become president. how do you prevent them from obtaining aa nuclear weapon? is it worth going to war to prevent that? >> it's worth putting in place crippling sanctions. it's worth working with the insurgents in want country to encourage regime change in the country and if all else fails, if after all of the work we've done there's notion else we can do beside 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 requested unacceptable" has been applied by several presidents over history and our current president has made it very clear he's not willing to do those things necessary to get iran to be dissuaded from the nuclear folly. i will take a different course. i will make sure that the sanctions, diplomat pressure, economic pressure, and support of insurgents within the country help them become dissuaded to
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get away from their nuclear ambition-- >> pelley: this time it is time. >> finally-- >> pelley: this time, it's just 30 seconds on the follow-up. 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 dealing with iran that it has not employed. >> let me start saying both of answers you just got are superior to the current administration ( applause ) you know, there are a number of ways to be smart about iran and relatively few ways to be dumb, and the administration skipped all the ways to be smart. ( laughter ). >> garrett: could you tell us the smart way, mr. speaker? >> sure, first of all, maximum covert operationes 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 coordination with the israelis in a way which
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allows them to maximize their impact in iran. third, absolute strategic program comparable to what president reagan, pope john paul ii and margaret thatcher did to the soviet union of ever possible aspect short of war of breaking the regime and bringing it down. i agree 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 the capacity to have a nuclear weapon. >> pelley: is it worth going to war to prevent a weapon in iran? >> no, it isn't worthwhile. the only way you would do that is you would have to go to the congress. we as commander in chief aren't making the decision to go to war. 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. you know, they didn't have weapons of mass destruction and
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it was orchestrated and it was-- to me, a tragedy of what's happened these last 10 years, the death and destruction, $4 trillion in debt, so ( applause ) >> pelley: governor perry, what's your appraisal of the combat situation on the ground in afghanistan today and what would you change? >> ar let me answer the previous question very quickly, if i may. >> pelley: governor, i'd like to move on. could you give me a sense of your appraisal of the combat situation. >> i can do both in one minute. i promise you. and the issue that has not been raised is that this country can singles 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
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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, 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 can just follow up for 30 seconds, the question was what is your appraisal of the combat situation on the ground there and what would you change as commander in chief? >> obviously, we're discussing with our commanders on the field about what's going on in afghanistan. i think we're making progress there. the issue is training up the afghan security forces so that we're comfortable that they can
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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 c can, considering the lack of support that they're getting for this administration and telegraphing to the enemy when we're going to pull out. >> garrett: senator santorum i know you want to jump in on iran and i will let you do that nisecond. the taliban said the afghans have an endless stamina for war. if you were commandinger in chief would you have endless stamina for victory in afghanistan. >> thank you, major, i appreciate that. victory against the taliban in afghanistan is the taliban is a neutered force. they are no longer a security threat to the afghan people or to our country. that would be victory. it doesn't mean wipe them out. you wipe them out but they're no
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longer a security threat. the bigger issue-- and i know there are those of us at the end that don't get a lot of questions so this is the most important national security issue that we're going to be dealing with here this year and that's the issue of iran getting a nuclear weapon. i think everyone should have the opportunity to answer that question. particularly me. i've been working on iran since back in 2004. >> and proposed exactly the things that herman and mitt romney suggested, which was to give money to the rebel forces there to help the prodemocracy movement and put tough sanctions in place. i was opposed by president bush, and yet we were able to overcome that and pass the rahm freedom support act. i was able to get that done and president bush didn't provide money for the prodemocracy movement and president obama cut that money. what we-- we have a situation that's different. i disagree with newt. more sanctions and providing more support for the prodemocracy movement isn't going to be enough in time.
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read the i.a.e.a. report. >> pelley: senator, i'm sorry, that's time. we're going to try to adhere to time and be fair to everyone in the application of that rule. >> 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 ) representative bachmann, do you think the 30,000 surge troops in afghanistan have made a difference, and if so, where? >> 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
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into the southern province in helmund and also going into the eastern province in 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 by our men and women in that area. however, we have to recognition-- 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 in the eastern region? >> pelley: thank you, thank you, congresswoman bachmann. thank you very much. let me come over to you, governor huntsman, and ask you, we are seeing spikes in casualties in afghanistan in new places.
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you can explain to me what's happening there and how you would change that as commander in chief? >> 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 election election 2004. we 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 competitive challenges, that's economic and that's education and that's going to 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
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to be built. >> pelley: let me make sure i understand-- bring all the troops home today. >> here is what i would keep behind because we still have work to do. we don't need 100,000 troops nation building, meant 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. we are fighting an asymmetric threat, a counter-terror threat, not only there but in wazirstan and other other corner of the world and we need to prepare for that as the reality of our 21st century foreign policy. >> pelley: that's time. >> garrett: governor romney, a much smaller foot print in afghanistan? do you support that. secondly, sir, is it time or would it ever be time for the united states to negotiate with the taliban? >> we do not negotiate with terrorists. i would not negotiate with the taliban. that's shoul something afghaniso
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decide how to pursue that in the future. we should do our best to support the victories this are so hard won 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 fight, season. our commander said that puts our troops at risk, at danger. please, don't pull them out there. they said. but he said, no i'm going to get them out early. i think that was a mistake. our surge troops should have been withdrawn by december of next year and 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 small footprint of support forces. >> pelley: mr. speaker, how do you achieve peace in afghanistan if you don't negotiate with the taliban? >> i don't think you do. >> pelley: would you agree that the taliban-- >> i think this is so much
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bigger and deeper a problem than we've talked about as a country. that we don't have a clue how hard this is going to be. first of all, the taliban survives for the very same reason historically we said guril as have always survived, they have a sanctuary. the sanctuary is pakistan. you are never going to stop the taliban as long as they can hide and every week there are new bomb, and new killings and new trainings upon. i think this has to be a much larger strategic discussion that starts with pakistan on one hand and iran on the other because afghanistan is in between the two countries and is the least important of the three countries. >> garrett: related to that, mr. cain, i'd like to mick up on a point speaker gingrich just made. you have said about foreign policy america needs to be clear about who it's friends are and who its foes are. this evening, sir, pakistan, friend or foe? >> we don't know. because pakistan-- it's not
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clear because pakistan is where osama bin laden was found and eliminated. secondly, pakistan has had a conversation with president karzai from afghanistan, and president karzai has said that if the united states gets into a dispute with pakistan, than 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 interrelated. so that isn't a clear answer as to whether or not pakistan is a friend or foe. that relationship must be reevaluated. >> garrett: 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? >> 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 foe and be specific about that. will they make commitments relative to the commitment of
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that 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, when 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? >> i think we're having an interesting conversation here, but the deeper one that the speaker makes a reference to is the whole issue 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
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administration for every country is going to start at zero dollars ( applause ) 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 don't deserve our foreign aid that we're getting because they're not being honest with us. american soldiers' lives are being put in jeopardy because of that country and the decisions that they're making 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 ( applause ). >> 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? >> they've been doing this-- they've been doing this for years. their political people are not
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who are in charge of that country. it's the military. it's the secret service. that's who's 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 upon. 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 rather than just dollars flowing in to some administration. >> pelley: thank you very much. >> garrett: you serve on the intelligence committee, i'd like to get your assessment of what you think is happening in pakistan especially with the haqqani network, andun from sitting on that committee those in the diplomatic core in this country believe there's a tangible benefit at times to properly apply foreign aid to this country? i want to know if you agree with the governor on that question of starting at zero and your assessment of the intelligence
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situation in pakistan and what you would do about it. >> pakistan is a very difficult area because they have been house, terrorists and they have been training there. 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 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 the link with syria, because iran is working through proxies like syria, hezbollah, through hamas. it seems that the table is being set for worldwide nuclear war against israel.
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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. >> pelley: congresswoman, thank you. speaker gingrich-- ( applause ) you presided as speaker over several foreign aid budgets to the united states and i remember covering in 1995 the intervention on behalf of the 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? >> absolutely. what he said made absolutely perfect sense. why would you start every year-- consider the alternative. you're giving some country $7 billion a year. you start off-- or in the case of egypt, $3 billion a year. you start off every year and say here's your $3 billion. now i'll start thinking? you ought to start off at zero and say explain to me why i should give you a penny. let me tell you the fact that the pakistanis-- think about this-- the pakistanis hid bin laden for at least six years in
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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. we think those are the allies? i think that's a pretty good idea to start at zero and sometimes stay there. >> garrett: a quick follow-up mr. speaker-- ( applause ) since you mentioned egypt, mr. speaker, i just want to know if you were president if the aid that we currently provide on an analyzed basis to egypt would be completely rethought of and possibly eliminated? >> 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 being persecuted under the new system, having their churches burned, having people killed, and i would be pretty insistent we are not going to be supportive of a regime which is explicitly hostile to religions, islam. >> pelley: senator santorum, if a pakistani nuclear weapon
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goes missing, what do you do? >> 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 michelle outlined. pakistan is a nuclear power and there are people in that country if they gain 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 must engage them as friends, get over the difficulties we have, as we did with saudi arabia, with respect to the events of 9/11. the terrorists came from saudi arabia. and we said, 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
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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. how to you make friends out of pakistan? >> a lot of the pakistanis and most of the government would say they don't back the haqqani network and the haqqani network causes as much trouble in pakistan as it hawse caused us in afghanistan. we need to work with the elements of pakistan and there are elements in the government of pakistan and the military. we need to continue those joint exercises. we need to continue 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 sending military hardware, which creates jobs in this country, to those countries creating nexus and relationships and dependency on our weapon systems that's important for those future relationships. >> pelley: senator, we'll have to leave it right there.
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we will have more of the republican commander in chief debate in just a moment.
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>> pelley: welcome back to spartanburg, south carolina, and the republican commander in chief debate. i'm scott pel of cbs news along with major garrett of national journal. >> mr. speaker you said yesterday governor romney was a comtent manager but were unsure if he was capable of changing washington. based on his campaign and what you heard tonight would you care to evaluate governor romney's
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ability think outside the box? >> no. no. ( laughter ) >> garrett: you said so last night ( applause ) then what was the point, sir, of bringing it up yesterday on a national radio show? >> i brought it up yesterday because i was on a national radio show. i think he brings up things because he's on a national radio show. we're here talking about why every single one of us is better than barack obama and that's a topic-- ( applause ) >> garrett: mr. speaker, if you-- if you would like to-- >> 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. speak ei well remember you talking as speaker about the necessity of leaders to think outside the box. >> yes. >> garrett: if you were president, how would you think outside the box about some of the issues we discussed here tonight? >> in a number of ways. as i said earlier, i would explicitly adopt the reagan, john paul ii, thatcher strategy
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toward iran. 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 ) there are a number of other areaize would also, frankly, apply six sigma to the pentagon to rebuild the navy. we need a capital investment program and this administration is shrinking the navy to a point that it will be incapable of doing its job worldwide. there are a number of places i would be thinking outside the box. >> pelley: mr. cain, you often said you'd listen to your generals for advice before making your distinction as commander in chief. how will you know when you should overrule your generals? >> 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
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make that assessment when we put together the cabinet and all 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 th commander in chif to make nathat 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, circ would you decide when it was necessary for you as commander in chief to overrule the advice you get from your civilian advisers or military advisers? >> >> well, i'll come into the office of the presidency with a very clear agenda and get people together that will share my point of view. when i was in the united states senate, i didn't hire people who
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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 clearaps 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 promiselet 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, more if you like, what your key agenda is on national security? >> 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 things that i've been talking about for a while, which is covert activity. there have been scientists turning up dead in russia and iran. there have been computer viruses. there have been problems at
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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: that's time, senator. thank you very much. governor perry, you advocate the elimination of the department of energy. if you limb the department of energy-- >> i'm glad you remembered it. ( laughter ) ( applause ) >> pelley: i've had some time to think about it, sir. ( laughter ) >> me, too. ( laughter ) ( applause ) >> pelley: if you eliminate the department of energy, what do you do with the nuclear weapons? >> well, there are plenty of places in our government that can have oversight on our
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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 national 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. it is 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. 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
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track that americans will feel we know that we're going to be secure. including 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 presidential politics is interactive business and of course this debate it interactive as well. we have an e-mail question e-mailed into the national journal. i'd like to address this question to mr. cain. >> i believe that following the procedures that have been established by our military. i do not agree with torture. period. however, i will trust the judgment of our military leaders
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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 about whether water boarding constitutes torture or is an enhanced interrogation technique. in the last campaign, john mccain and barack obama agreed it was torture and should not be allowed legally and the army field manual should be the methodology used to interrogate enemy combatants. do you agree with that or disagree, sir? >> i agree that it was an enhanced interrogation technique. >> garrett: and then you would support it as president. >> yes. >> garrett: you would return to that policy. >> 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. >> if i was president i would be willing to use water boarding. i think it was very effect and i have gained information for our country and i also would like to
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say that today, under barack obama, he is allowing the a.c.l.u. to run the c.i.a. you need toned that today, today we-- when we-- when we interdict a terrorist on the battle field, we have no jail for them. we have nowhere to take them. we have no c.i.a. interrogation anymore. it is as though we have decided we want to lose in the war on terroar 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: my fighting sense we have a debate to get launched here. i know you have an opinion and would like to weigh in. >> yes, tort is illegal, and by our laws, it's illegal by international laws. >> garrett: how do you define torture, sir? >> well, waterboarding is torture ( cheers and applause ) and many others. it's illegal under international law and under our law. it's also immoral and it's also
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very impractical. there's no evidence that you really get reliable evidence. why would you accept the position of torturing 100 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 has no practical advantages and it's really un-american to accept on principle that we will torture people that we capture. >> major, major, i have to weigh in-- ( applause ). >> i have to say something. i have-- i have to say something-- >> pelley: let's allow, i'm sorry, congresswoman, just a moment, if you would, please, let's give governor huntsman an opportunity to take 30 seconds on that question. >> it gets a little lonely over here in siberia. ( laughter ). first of all, let me thank the sailor on the shim. i have two boys in the united states navy. and all they want to do is go on to fight and protect and defend
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the great treatments 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 ( applause ) governor romney-- 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
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citizen suspected of terrorism? >> absolutely. in this case, this is an individual who had aligned himself with a group that declare war on the united states of america. and if there's someone that's going to join with a group like al qaeda that declares war on america and we're in a war with that enemy, then, of course, anyone who is bearing arms with that entity is fair game for the united states of america ( applause ) let me go back-- 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, and 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
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policy is through his personal affects on other people. 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' rightses. >> pelley: that's time, governor. ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen, the applause are lovely but we will not have booing. thank you very much. 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 terror suspect? >> 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. >> he was found guilty by a panel that looked at it and reported to the president. >> pelley: that's extra-judicial. it's not the rule of law. ( applause ). >> it is the rule of law.
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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 ) 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 ) >> garrett: governor perry, i would like to change the subject to china. according to u.s. officials, china is using cyberattacks to steal billions of dollars of
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intellectual property that is critical to this nation's economic success. are we, sir, engaged in financial warfare with china? >> listen, there are some people who 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 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 cybersecurity to go on, we need to use all of our resources.
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the private sector working along with our government to really-- standing up to cyber-command in 2010 was a good start on that. but fighting this cyberwar i would suggest is one of the great issues that will face the next president of the united states and we must win. >> pelley: governor, thank you. that's time. governor romney, i wonder, how would you manage china to avoid a 21st century cold war? >> well, china has an interest in trade. china wants to-- as ty 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 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 system and steal from our government.
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they can't steal from corporations. they can't take patents and designs, intellectual property and duplicate them and counterfeit them and sell them around the world. and they also can't manipulate their currency in such as way to make their prices well below what they otherwise would be. we have to have china understand like everybody else on the world stage to play by the rules. if they do we will 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 economic he or militarily. but if you 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 entry into our computer systems, their spree-- stealing our intellectual property-- >> pelley: that's time. >> and of course their military capacity. >> pelley: i would like to ask you a follow-up on that point. you talked about all the things china should be doing. how do you effect that as commander in chief? how do you make china do these things. >> number one, on day one, conditionalling something everyone knows-- they're a
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currency manipulator. on that base we also go before the w.t.o. and bring an action against them a currency manipulator and that allows us to apply selectively toor tariffs where we believe they are stealing our intellectual property, hacking into our computers or artificially lowering prices and killing american jobs. we can't sit back and let china run all over us. people will say you start a trade war. there is one going on right now, folks. they're stealing our jobs and we're going to stand up to china. >> garrett: governor huntsman, governor romney said we're in the middle of a war we're not aware of, and you have been in china, you were the ambassador for the nation there under president obama. >> the reality is a little different as it usually is when you're on the ground. i've tried to figure this out for 30 years in my career. first of all, i don't think, mitt, you can take china to the w.t.o. on currency-related issues opinion second, i don't know that this country needs a
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trade war with china. who does it hurt? our small business 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: governor we're going to have to. >> they are bringing about changes the likes of which is going to take china down. >> pelley: we're going to have to leave it there. >> while we have an opportunity to go up and win back our economic manufacturing-- 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.
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>> pelley: welcome back to south carolina and the republican commander in chief debate. governor perry, we just got a question have a twitter from barbara mcmahon, and barbara asked this question of you: be >> well, governor perry would
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tweet back to her that absolutely. every country would start as zero. obviously, 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-- doing that with some of those agencies that i was trying to think the name of. ( laughter ). starting at zero, zero-based budgeting, and newt will share with you his-- we've got to go there and everyone has to come in and make your case. it'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
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country without having an answer. >> pelley: governor, we're going to have to leave it right there. i thank you very much. 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 on line at and 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, thanks to wofford college, thanks to the g.o.p. in south carolina, i'm scott pelley.
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