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MANCHESTER (GOFFSTON), N.H.--Click below for transcript of first (30) (UPDATE NOW 60)( NOW 90) ENTIRE two-hour GOP debate. This is the third time the 10 Republican White House hopefuls have met. I'll post the complete transcript later. Transcript from CNN, a sponsor of the debate with WMUR and the Union Leader.

By the way.... It's raining outside and the storm or some technical difficulty is causing the audio to cut in and out.

Attached and pasted below.

Spike Y Jones, Political Coordinating Editor


JUNE 5, 2007














BLITZER: Let's begin our questioning.

Right now Tom Fahey of the New Hampshire Union Leader with the
first question.

FAHEY: Thanks, Wolf.

Governor Romney, I wanted to start by asking you a question on
which every American has formed an opinion.

We have lost 3,400 troops, civilian casualties are even higher,
and the Iraqi government does not appear ready to provide for the
security of its own country. Knowing everything you know right now,
was it a mistake for us to invade Iraq?

ROMNEY: Well, the question is, kind of, a non sequitur, if you
will. What I mean by that -- or a null set -- that is that if you're
saying let's turn back the clock and Saddam Hussein had opening up his
country to IAEA inspectors and they'd come in and they'd found that
there were no weapons of mass destruction, had Saddam Hussein
therefore not violated United Nations resolutions, we wouldn't be in
the conflict we're in.

But he didn't do those things, and we knew what we knew at the
point we made the decision to get in.

I supported the president's decision based on what we knew at
that time.

I think we were underprepared and underplanned for what came
after we knocked down Saddam Hussein.

ROMNEY: By the way, Harry Reid was wrong. We did not lose the
war in Iraq. And that's not the sort of thing you say when you have
men and women in harm's way.

We did, however, not do a great job after we knocked down Saddam
Hussein and won the war to take him down and his military.

And at this stage, the right thing for us to do is to see if we
could possibly stabilize the central government in Iraq so that they
can have stability, and so we can bring our troops home as soon as

Not to do that adds an enormous potential risk that the whole
region could be embroiled in a regional conflict.

FAHEY: Governor, thank you, but the question was, knowing what
you know right now -- not what you knew then, what you know right now
-- was it a mistake for the United States to invade Iraq?

ROMNEY: Well, I answered the question by saying it's a non-
sequitur. It's a non -- null set kind of question, because you can go
back and say, "If we knew then what we know now, by virtue of
inspectors having been let in and giving us that information, by
virtue of if Saddam Hussein had followed the U.N. resolutions, we
wouldn't be having this discussion."

ROMNEY: So it's a hypothetical that I think is an unreasonable

And the answer is: We did what we did. We did the right thing
based on what we knew at that time. I think we made mistakes
following the conduct or the collapse of Saddam's government.

FAHEY: Mayor Giuliani, same question to you. Knowing what you
know right now, was it a good decision?

GIULIANI: Absolutely the right thing to do. It's unthinkable
that you would leave Saddam Hussein in charge of Iraq and be able to
fight the war on terror.

And the problem is that we see Iraq in a vacuum. Iraq should not
be seen in a vacuum. Iraq is part of the overall terrorist war
against the United States.

The problem the Democrats make is they're in denial. That's why
you hear things like you heard in the debate the other night, that,
you know, Iran really isn't dangerous; it's 10 years away from nuclear

Iran is not 10 years away from nuclear weapons. And the danger
to us is not just missiles. The danger to us is a state like Iran
handing nuclear weapons over to terrorists.

GIULIANI: So it has to be seen in that light. And we have to be
successful in Iraq.

BLITZER: Senator McCain, arguably going to war is the most
important decision a member of the Senate can make.

Did you read the national intelligence estimate, which included
all the caveats on whether or not there were weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq?

MCCAIN: I did not read that particular document. I received
hundreds of briefing, tens and hundreds of hours of study and
background and information on it. And the fact is that the sanctions
were breaking down. The sanctions were not going to hold. We had a
multi-billion dollar scandal in the form of oil for food.

The fact is that Saddam Hussein had used weapons of mass
destruction before on his own people and on his enemies. And if he'd
gotten them again, he'd have used them again. That was his commitment
and his belief, that he was going to. And we did the right thing.

The problem was the mismanagement of the conflict.

BLITZER: Thank you, Senator.

Senator Brownback, you're also a member of the United States
Senate. Did you read that classified national intelligence estimate?

BROWNBACK: I don't remember that report. I had a number of
briefings and I held a number of committee hearings. At that time, I
was chairing the Middle East Subcommittee on Foreign Relations. And
we held hearings on this topic and what was taking place and what
Saddam was doing.

But the issue is that we've got to put forward, now, a political
plan. And that's something I'm going to introduce tomorrow, a
political plan to create a three-state solution in Iraq: a Kurdish
state, a Sunni state, a Shia state. Because Iraq is more three groups
held together by exterior forces. And that's what we've lacked is a
political plan to get us moving forward in success.

BLITZER: Thank you, Senator.

Governor Gilmore, let me go to you. You chaired this commission.
Do you think it was appropriate that members of Congress would
authorize the president to go to war without reading that national
intelligence estimate?

GILMORE: You know, I think the people who are in Congress who
are responsible for sending this country to war, with the enormous
dangers that it has geopolitically and strategically, ought to read at
least that kind of material. I know they get a lot of stuff and they
can't read everything.

But you know what, Wolf? I think the true business is this: The
interests of the United States is in creating as much stability as
possible in the Middle East. There is a very great danger to this
country: our interests in Israel, our interests in energy and in
other ways. There is a giant danger of the Middle East becoming an
unstable place.

GILMORE: Saddam Hussein was unstable, and so taking him out was
good there. But we certainly didn't anticipate the further
instability that was to come after.

BLITZER: We're going to bring all of you in, but I want to go to
Scott Spradling of WMUR for the next question.

SPRADLING: Thanks, Wolf.

Senator McCain, we've just spent a few minutes looking back. I'd
ask you to look forward now, if you will.

Since June 1st there have been at least 17 confirmed deaths of
American soldiers in Iraq. Approximately 100 U.S. troops are dying
there every month. If our top military commander in Iraq, General
Petraeus, reports back to Congress this September that the surge
hasn't significantly improved the situation on the ground, what then?

MCCAIN: Well, let me say, first of all, I know how frustrated
and saddened all Americans are. This morning I was with the family of
Matthew Stanley of Wolfeboro, who sacrificed his life. And our hearts
and our sympathy goes out to all those who have sacrificed their lives
in this conflict.

MCCAIN: I (inaudible) think this strategy needs to be given a
chance to succeed. We haven't barely gotten the fifth brigade over
there, which is part of this strategy.

I am convinced that if we fail and we have to withdraw, they will
follow us home. It will be a base for Al Qaida. And we will be
facing greater challenges and greater sacrifices than that already
made by Matthew Stanley and his family.

There is no doubt in my mind that this will become a base for
terrorism, there will be chaos in the region. And when Senator
Clinton says this is Mr. Bush's war, that this is President Bush's war
-- when President Clinton was in power, I didn't say that Bosnia, our
intervention there was President Clinton's war. When we intervened in
Kosovo, I didn't say it was President Clinton's war.

What Senator Clinton doesn't understand that presidents don't
lose wars. Political parties don't lose wars.

MCCAIN: Nations lose wars, and nations lose the -- have the
consequences of failure.

BLITZER: Senator...

MCCAIN: We must succeed in this conflict.

BLITZER: ... the question was, if General Petraeus says...


... it's not working so far in September, what do you do then?

MCCAIN: Then you have to examine the options.

And I'll tell you the options: One is the division that Sam
described. You would have to divide bedrooms in Baghdad because Sunni
and Shia are married to each other. You have 2 million Sunni and 4
million Shia living in Baghdad together.

You would have to -- you withdraw to the borders and watch
genocide take place inside Baghdad. You watch the destabilization of
Jordan. You see further jeopardy of Israel because of the threats of
Hezbollah and Iranian hegemony in the region.

All of the options I could run through with you. My friend, none
of them are good. That's why we must succeed and give it a chance to

BLITZER: All right.

Now, let me bring in Governor Thompson.

BLITZER: Go ahead, same question to you: If General Petraeus
says it's not working in September, what should the U.S. do then?

THOMPSON: The first thing the president should do is demand the
al-Maliki government to vote as to whether or not they want the United
States to stay in Iraq. We've been there four years. Give the
government the responsibility of voting.

If they vote "yes," how are they going to help us win this war?
If they vote "no," we should redeploy our forces outside.

Secondly, there are 18 territories in Iraq, geographically
defined. Those 18 territories, just like 50 states in America, should
elect their state leaders. And if they do so, the Shiites will elect
Shiites, Sunnis will elect Sunnis, Kurds will elect Kurds. And you
know something? People will go to those particular territories, and
you get rid of this civil war internecine.

Number three...

BLITZER: All right...

THOMPSON: ... I would like to have the oil revenue proceeds --
very quickly -- oil revenue proceeds split: one-third to the federal
government, one-third to the states, and one-third to every man, woman
and child. And that will get everybody a stake in their country.

BLITZER: Let me bring in Congressman Duncan Hunter.

Congressman, if it's not working at that point, how much longer
should the United States stay?

HUNTER: Well, Wolf, you know, I read that NIE report, and I held
briefings before we made the vote to go in and invited everybody,
Democrat and Republican, to get the classified information.

And this depends -- the turnover of the security apparatus
depends on one thing: reliable Iraqi forces.

You've got 129 Iraqi battalions. We've trained them up. We've
got a lot of them in the fight. Over the next three to four months,
we need to get them all in the fight, get them that combat capability.
When they're combat-hardened, we rotate them in, we displace American
heavy combat forces off that battlefield, and Americans come home.
And, Wolf...

BLITZER: Thank you.

HUNTER: ... I can tell you, as the chairman of the Armed
Services Committee for the last four years, I have the credentials to
leave Iraq the right way.

BLITZER: Congressman Ron Paul, how much longer should the United
States stay in Iraq?

PAUL: The sooner we come home, the better. If they declare
there's no progress in September, we should come home. It was a
mistake to go, so it's a mistake to stay.

PAUL: If we made the wrong diagnosis, we should change the
treatment. So we're not making progress there and we should come

The weapons weren't there and we went in under U.N. resolutions.
And our national security was not threatened. We're more threatened
now by staying.

BLITZER: Governor Huckabee, do you have confidence in the
government of Iraq...


... the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, that he's
going to do what needs to be done?

HUCKABEE: I think there's some real doubt about that, Wolf.

But I want to remind all of us on this stage and the people in
the audience that there's a reason that this is such a struggle. And
I think we miss it over here in the West.

Today's the birthday of Ronald Reagan. We all would believe that
Ronald Reagan is the one who ended the Cold War and Ronald Reagan is
the one who helped bring about the collapse of the Soviet Union.

But there's a group of people who don't believe that, and that's
the Taliban. They believe they brought about the demise of the Soviet
Union because of the way they fought in Afghanistan.

HUCKABEE: And what I want to just mention is that it is not the
size of the dog in the fight, it is the size of the fight in the dog.
And we underestimate -- grossly underestimate how fierce this dog is
and how determined they are to destroy every last one of us.

BLITZER: All right.

Congressman Tom Tancredo, what do you say?

TANCREDO: I'll tell you this, that if it comes to that point in
that time that you described, that the surge is apparent that it is
not working, I did support it. I hope to God it does work. I hope
I'm wrong. I hope we pacify Iraq.

However, if it is apparent that we cannot, then we have to do and
tell the Iraqis the exact same thing that Benjamin Franklin said when
he came out of the convention in 1787 and somebody said to him, "Dr.
Franklin, what have you given us?" And he said, "A republic, if you
can keep it."

It is exactly that time and it is exactly that thing that we have
to say to the Iraqi government: "We have given you this. We bought
it with our blood and sweat. It is now up to you to keep it."

And I want the Iraqis to be in fact patrolling Baghdad. If they
need vehicles, you let them have the vehicles. But I want them
patrolling their city and putting their lives at risk.

TANCREDO: Then we move out.

BLITZER: Thank you, Congressman.


I want to go to the next question. I want to go back to Tom.

Tom, go ahead.

FAHEY: Senator Brownback, President Bush has stated that states
that sponsor terrorism are no different than terrorists themselves.
Yet Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently met with Iranian
officials to discuss security in Iraq. Iran is a known support of
Hezbollah, Hamas.

Did President Bush make the right call in opening a dialogue with

BROWNBACK: I think he made a right call on saying that about
terrorist states, particularly Iran. But I think we have to at times
talk with them in different situations.

Like, before we went into Afghanistan, we talked with Iran. It
wasn't we were negotiating. We didn't open up formal diplomatic
relations and we shouldn't.

Iran is the lead sponsor of terrorism. Ahmadinejad just this
past week called for the destruction of Israel, continues to call for
attacking of the United States.

BROWNBACK: On Iraq, I think we need to talk with them. I think
we have to confront them aggressively for what they are, which is the
lead sponsor of terrorism in the world. I think we need to push the
sanctions forward more aggressively. I think we need to work with the
labor union movement that's developing inside of Iran. You had a bus
driver strike that recently took place.

And I think we have to show that purpose and resolve, that we're
going to confront these guys and we're going to stand with our allies
like Israel, we're going to stand against them oppressing and pushing
us, and trying to fund terrorists against us.

BLITZER: Thank you, Congressman.

Congressman Hunter, let me bring...

BROWNBACK: Senator, if you don't mind.

BLITZER: Excuse me, Senator.


BLITZER: Congressman Hunter, let me bring you back in. Do you
agree with Senator Brownback that President Bush made the right
decision in opening a direct dialogue with Iran?

HUNTER: With two conditions. And I think that you do have a
dialogue with everybody, whether they're adversaries or friends.

The two conditions are: Number one, they are moving deadly
equipment across the border that is killing Americans in Iraq.

HUNTER: We have license to utilize anything that we want to use:
special operations, intelligence, whatever it takes to stop that
deadly equipment from moving across the border and hitting Americans
in Iraq. And we don't give that up with these talks.

Secondly, they've got about 1,000 centrifuges now working,
enriching the material that can make, at some point, a nuclear device.
The United States reserves the right to preempt, and we may have to
preempt that nuclear weapons program. We cannot allow them to have a
nuclear device.

With those two caveats, talk to your enemies.

BLITZER: If it came down to a preemptive U.S. strike against
Iran's nuclear facility if necessary, would you authorize as president
the use of tactical nuclear weapons?

HUNTER: I would authorize the use of tactical nuclear weapons if
there was no other way to preempt those particular centrifuges.

When the Osirak reactor was hit in '86, when the six F-18s came
over the horizon and knocked that out, they didn't need anything but
conventional weapons.

HUNTER: Probably it's going to take a little more than that. I
don't think it's going to take tactical nukes.

BLITZER: What do you think, Mayor? Do you think, if you were
president of the United States and it came down to Iran having a
nuclear bomb, which you say is unacceptable, you would authorize the
use of tactical nuclear weapons?

GIULIANI: Part of the premise of talking to Iran has to be that
they have to know very clearly that it is unacceptable to the United
States that they have nuclear power. I think it could be done with
conventional weapons, but you can't rule out anything and you
shouldn't take any option off the table.

And during the debate the other night, the Democrats seemed to be
back in the 1990s. They don't seem to have gotten beyond the Cold

Iran is a threat, a nuclear threat, not just because they can
deliver a nuclear warhead with missiles. They're a nuclear threat
because they are the biggest state sponsor of terrorism and they can
hand nuclear materials to terrorists.

And we just saw it just last week in New York, an attempt by
Islamist terrorists to attack JFK airport; three weeks ago, an attempt
to attack Fort Dix.

These are real problems. This war is not a bumper sticker. This
war is a real war.

BLITZER: Thank you, Mayor.


BLITZER: Let me bring Governor Gilmore in.

What do you say about the potential use of tactical nuclear
weapons if that's what it takes to go deep underground and destroy
those Iraqi facilities?

GILMORE: One of the central problems of the Middle East is the
desire for Iran to dominate that portion of the world, because of what
they are doing. And that is why I believe that they are seeking this
kind of nuclear capacity. That is one of the reasons why we are, in
fact, in Iraq.

And that's why our soldiers, when they fight and die there, are
in fact serving the interests of the United States. Nobody ought to
have any doubt about that.

With respect to Iran, the policy I would follow would be dual.

Number one, we need to work with our European allies in order to
put in appropriate sanctions. We need to communicate directly with
the Iranians that we are going to offer them an opportunity to work
with us.

But we are also going to say that having a nuclear weapon is
unacceptable; they need to understand it. And all options are on the
table by the United States in that instance.

BLITZER: All right. Thank you, Governor.

Governor Romney, I want to get you on the record. Do you agree
with the mayor, the governor, others here, that the use of tactical
nuclear weapons, potentially, would be possible if that were the only
way to stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb?

ROMNEY: You don't take options off the table, but what you do is
stand back and say, "What's going on here?" You see what's happening
in Sudan and Afghanistan, in Iraq and Iran. All over the world, we're
seeing the same thing happening, and that is people are testing the
United States of America.

And we have to make sure they understand that we're not arrogant;
we have resolve. And we have the strength to protect our interests
and to protect people who love liberty.

For that to happen, we're going to have to not just attack each
one of these problems one by one, but say, how do we help move the
world of Islam so that the moderate Muslims can reject the extreme?

And for that to happen, we're going to have to have a strong
military and an effort to combine with our allies in such a way, we
combine for an effort to help move Islam toward modernity.

ROMNEY: That's what we're going to have to do, instead of
looking at each theater one by one and saying, "We'll bomb here, we'll
attack here, we'll go to Sudan."

I watched the Democrats...

BLITZER: Thank you.

ROMNEY: ... they don't think there's a war on terror.

BLITZER: Thank you.

ROMNEY: There's a war going on, and we need a broad response to
make sure that these people have a different vision.


BLITZER: Thank you, Governor.

All of you are going to have an opportunity to weigh on all of
these questions as well.

If you're hearing some sounds out there, it's lightning here in
Manchester, New Hampshire. Those are the crackling sounds that you're

Let's go back to Scott.

SPRADLING: Thanks, Wolf.

Congressman Tancredo, let's talk immigration.


SPRADLING: You oppose the immigration reform compromise, calling
it, quote, "the worst piece of legislation to come down the pike in a
long time." Just this morning in Manchester, you vowed to oust any
senator who supports the bill, including possibly New Hampshire's
senior Senator Judd Gregg, who's undecided, and says to your comments
that you are part of the know-nothing wing of the political spectrum.

In the meantime, the president says his plan is the last best
chance for serious immigration reform.

SPRADLING: He's criticized conservatives for being

With that tension at stake, if this becomes law, what are the
consequences for the country?

TANCREDO: They are incredible, and they are disastrous.

And that is exactly why I have said what I've said, and that is
why I have consistently tried to impress upon the American public the
seriousness of this issue.

We're not just talking about the number of jobs that we may be
losing or the number of kids that are in our schools and impacting our
school system or the number of people that are abusing our hospital
system and taking advantage of the welfare system in this country.
We're not just talking about that.

We're talking about something that goes to the very heart of this
nation: whether or not we will actually survive as a nation.

And here's what I mean by that.

What we're doing here in this immigration battle is testing our
willingness to actually hold together as a nation or split apart into
a lot of balkanized pieces.

We are testing our willingness to actually hold on to something
called the English language, something that is the glue that is
supposed to hold us together as a nation.

TANCREDO: We are becoming a bilingual nation. And that is not

And that is the fearful part of this. The ramifications are
much, much more significant than any that we've been discussing so

And so, yes, I have said dramatic things. And, yes, I am willing
to do whatever is necessary to try to stop this piece of legislation.
And that includes go after any Republican that votes for it, because
the Republicans can stop this.

BLITZER: Thank you. Thank you, Congressman.


Mayor Giuliani, what do you think the consequences for the nation
are if this immigration plan proposed by President Bush goes through?

GIULIANI: The problem with this immigration plan is it has no
real unifying purpose. It's a typical Washington mess. It's
everybody compromises -- four or five compromises.

And the compromises leave you with the following conclusion: The
litmus test you should have for legislation is, is it going to make
things better? And when you look at these compromises, it is quite
possible it will make things worse.

GIULIANI: The organizing purpose should be that our immigration
laws should allow us to identify everyone who is in this country that
comes here from a foreign country.

They should have a tamper-proof I.D. card. It should be in a
database that allows you to figure out who they are, why they're here,
make sure they're not illegal immigrants coming here for a bad
purpose, and then to be able to throw out the ones who are not in that

We can do that. Credit card companies...

BLITZER: Thank you.

GIULIANI: ... take care of data that is greater than that.

BLITZER: Thank you, Mayor.

I want to get to Senator McCain in a moment, but first, Governor
Romney, Senator McCain has accused you of flip-flopping on this issue,
in effect.

Yesterday in Miami, he said the following: "Pandering for votes
on this issue while offering no solution to the problem amounts to
doing nothing. And doing nothing is silent amnesty."

What do you say to Senator McCain?

ROMNEY: Well, he's my friend. He campaigned for me two times.
I consider him a friend. I'm not going to make this a matter of
personal politics. It's an issue that's way too important for that.

My view is that we should enforce our immigration laws.

ROMNEY: And this bill, unfortunately, has at least one provision
that's a real problem. It's the Z visa.

And what it allows is people who have come here illegally to stay
here for the rest of their lives -- not necessarily as citizens; they
have to wait 13 years to become citizens. That's not the point.

The point is: Every illegal alien, almost every one, under this
bill, gets to stay here. That's not fair to the millions and millions
of people around the world that would love to come here, join with
family members, bring skill and education that we need.

It's simply not fair to say those people get put ahead in the
line of all the people who've been waiting legally to come to this


BLITZER: All right, Senator McCain, this is your chance. I'd
like you to respond as someone who is the co-author of this

MCCAIN: Well, first of all, I agree with Judd Gregg. He's a
great senator.


Second of all, Rudy, you just described our legislation, so I'd
be glad to have further conversation with you, because it does account
for people who are here illegally.

MCCAIN: It does have an employment verification system. And it
weeds out those who shouldn't be here, and it gives others a chance to
remain in this country.

Look, this is a national security issue, first and foremost.
Ever since 9/11, it's a national security issue.

People came to Fort Dix, New Jersey, from across our southern
border and tried to kill our soldiers.

For us to do nothing is silent and de facto amnesty.

What we have done is what you expect us to do, my friends, and
that's come together with the president of the United States, the
leader of our party, Democrat and Republican, conservative Republicans
like Jon Kyl, Johnny Isakson, Saxby Chambliss and Trent Lott, and sit
down and figure out an approach to this problem.

MCCAIN: And it is a serious national security problem.

We need to act, my friends. And if someone else has a better
idea, I'd love to have them pursue -- give it to us.

BLITZER: Thank you, Senator.



Hold on.

MCCAIN: That can get...

BLITZER: Senator...


AUDIENCE MEMBER: ... a better idea!

MCCAIN: That will get the support of enough people so that we
can pass legislation.

This isn't the bill that I would have written, but it does...

BLITZER: All right. Thank you.

MCCAIN: ... it does satisfy our national security challenges,
which are severe and intense. And we cannot 12 million people washing
around America illegally, my friends.


MCCAIN: And I hope you'll examine the legislation.

BLITZER: Thank you, Senator.

MCCAIN: And I hope we can move forward with it. And we can make
it better.

BLITZER: All right.

MCCAIN: But it's our job to do the hard things...

BLITZER: Mayor, go ahead.
MCCAIN: ... not the easy things.


GIULIANI: I've read the 400 pages. And this is part of the
problem in Washington: They say things and then it's not in the

GIULIANI: There are four or five different methods of
identification, not one.

It does not provide information about who exited the United
States. Now, tell me how you're going to figure out who's in the
United States if you can't figure out who's left the United States.

And finally, it doesn't provide for a uniform database. Many
countries have this. The United States doesn't have it.

On September 11th, when we tried to figure out who was in this
country, it took weeks to figure out who were the right people and who
weren't, because there isn't such a database. And that is a fatal
flaw in this legislation. And wishing it away doesn't make it


BLITZER: Governor Romney, what would you do with the 12 million
or so illegal immigrants who are, right now, in this country?

ROMNEY: Well, one is to enforce the law as it exists. The law
that was passed in 1986...


The law passed in 1986 asked for us to secure the border and said
also to put in place an employment verification system.

Neither one of those was done. So let's make sure that we
enforce the law as it exists.

ROMNEY: And if you want to improve this bill, well, one thing
you could do to make it better is to take that Z visa and make it
temporary instead of a permanent right to stay in America. That's
simply just not fair.


BLITZER: I want to stay on immigration. Everybody's going to
have a chance to weigh in. But let's go back to Tom for another
question on immigration.

FAHEY: Congressman Hunter, whether we like it or not, in cities
across America, counties across America, including your district in
San Diego, illegal immigrants are doing jobs that American citizens
don't want, working on farms, in hotels, restaurants.

If you have your way and they all leave this country, who's going
to fill those jobs?

HUNTER: Well, first, I disagree with that premise, because when
they made the sweep on the Swift plants -- those were the meat-
packaging plants in Iowa; took out some 850 people who were working
there illegally several months ago -- there were American citizens
lined up the next day to get their jobs back at 18 bucks an hour.

And let me tell you, this is a disastrous bill. And John McCain
is right in saying that this is a national security issue. And it is:
border enforcement.

Then the Hunter bill, which was signed by the president on the
26th of October, mandating 854 miles of double fence -- not that
scraggly, little fence you show on CNN all the time, Wolf, that people
get across so easily.

If they get across my fence, we sign them up for the Olympics


We've got a big fence.

HUNTER: But 854 miles of double border fence was mandated to be
constructed. Homeland Security has a billion bucks, cash on hand.
It's been six months, and they've done 11 miles.

So this administration has a case of the slows. And I think they
slowed the fence down so that they could come out with the amnesty at
the same time, put the two together, and the Bush-McCain-Kennedy bill
would then be accepted by conservatives and liberals alike.

It's a bad bill.

BLITZER: Thank you, Congressman.


Senator Brownback, what do you say about this notion of a pathway
toward citizenship for these 12 million illegal immigrants who are in
the country right now? Under what circumstances would you let them
begin that path?

BROWNBACK: I don't think you create any new paths to
citizenship. But I also think you allow them to be able to use paths
that they would currently qualify for, and to be able to get in the
back of the line. And that's part of leadership and getting something

I think, you know, we can go on a lot of slogans here. And I've
been around this issue for a while. I was in Congress in 1994,
elected then. We did the first immigration bill I was involved in
then in 1996.

You know what? That was an enforcement-only bill in 1996. And
we had 7 million undocumented here in the country then. We're at 12
million to 20 million now.

The point of saying that -- and my colleagues and people up here,
everybody is concerned that we get something done and get something

I think if you do exterior enforcement, border enforcement, you
do aggressive interior enforcement, and then you work on a
comprehensive solution interior, that's something that a lot of people
are going to be upset with but that can work and move us forward. And
it's better than not doing anything.

BLITZER: Thank you. So you support this pending compromise

BROWNBACK: If we can hold together those things in it. Those
things have to be in it.

BLITZER: You're with Senator McCain.

BROWNBACK: If those things are in it.

BLITZER: What about you, Governor Thompson?

THOMPSON: Wolf, the first thing you have to do is you've got to
secure the border. Securing the border is going to allow everything
else to follow.

But unless you secure the border, it is not right to give 12
million individuals who have illegal rights in this country status
before that border is protected.

There should be no amnesty. And this bill, no matter how you
cover it, is an amnesty bill.

And the people in this country do not believe in that bill. And
they believe very much that the best hope for us to have a secure
border, just like Congressman Hunter has been talking about and every
other Republican up here.

Have a secure border, then move on. But don't do it the other

BLITZER: Thank you, Governor.

Congressman Paul, I want you to weigh in on this as well. I
believe -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- you voted to support that
700-mile fence along the border between the United States and Mexico.
Did you?

PAUL: I did.

BLITZER: What about Canada? Is there a need for a similar fence
along the border between...


BLITZER: ... the United States and Canada?

PAUL: No, because that bill -- probably the fence was my weakest
reason for doing that, but for other reasons, to enforce the law was
important. And border security is important.

And we talked about amnesty, which I'm positively opposed to.

But one thing that has not been mentioned here, which I think is
very, very important: If you subsidize something, you get more of it.
So we subsidize illegal immigration. We reward it by easy
citizenship, either birthright or amnesty. But we force our states
and our local communities to pay for the health care, to pay for the
education. Why wouldn't they bring their families?

And because of our economic conditions, we do need workers. But
if we had a truly free-market economy, the illegal immigrants would
not be the scapegoat. We would probably need them, and they would be
acceptable. But because of economic conditions, they have become the

BLITZER: Thank you, Congressman.


BLITZER: The other night, Sunday night, I asked the eight
Democratic presidential candidates whether or not they thought English
should be the official language of the United States. Only one of
them said English should be the official language of the United

If there's someone here who doesn't believe English should be the
official language of the United States, please speak up right now.

MCCAIN: I think it's fine.

I would like to remind you that we made treaties with Native
Americans such as the Navajos in my state, where we respect their
sovereignty and they use their native language in their deliberations.
It's not a big deal. But Native Americans are important to me in my

Everybody knows that English has to be learned if anyone ever
wants to move up the economic ladder. That is obvious.

And part of our legislation, by the way, is a requirement to
learn English.

MCCAIN: And by the way, 30 percent of the people who are in this
country illegally never came across our borders, my friends. They
overstayed their visas. That's why it has to be a comprehensive

And I'm proud of the support of the president and his brother,
Governor Jeb Bush, who was governor of the state of Florida. People
who have to deal with this issue every day understand we have to act,
my friends.

And we can have our own ways to improve it. But if we don't
address this issue, we are going to pay a heavy price. Because
something bad could happen when 12 million people are in this country
illegally, 2 million of them having committed serious crimes.


BLITZER: I see people raising their hands.

But the question was, I'd only like those to speak up who believe
that English should not necessarily be the official language of the
United States.

Is there anyone else who stands with Senator McCain specifically
on that question?

All right. We're going to go back to Scott.

BLITZER: Go ahead, Scott.


BLITZER: Scott, go ahead.

HUNTER (?): Wolf, if I've got -- if I have reservations in my
district, can I speak up also?

BLITZER: You'll have an opportunity.

Go ahead, Scott.

SPRADLING: OK. This question's for Governor Gilmore.

Conservative credentials is the topic, sir. You've gotten a lot
of mileage out of lumping Messrs. Giuliani, McCain and Romney together
by calling them Rudy McRomney.


Now, with former Senator Fred Thompson likely to join you at the
next debate, in your opinion, is he conservative enough for America or
are we changing the name now to Rudy McRomneyson?


GILMORE: Well, we've gotten a little mileage out of Rudy
McRomney. I know the mayor one time said that it would make a good
ticket, and it would. But it isn't a conservative ticket. And we
don't know what Fred Thompson is either.

I think he's a fine man. He served in the Senate a term and a
half. Let's see exactly what his views are.

I'm coming forward and offering my views as a 40-year battler for
conservative values and conservative principles on behalf of the
people of the United States.

GILMORE: And I have the record to back it up. I've been a
prosecutor. I've been an attorney general. I've been a governor. I
governed as a conservative. I cut taxes for the people of the
Commonwealth of Virginia. I've stood by these principles for years
and years.

The question is that when Fred Thompson comes into the race, as I
believe he will -- and maybe even Speaker Gingrich may come into the
race. They'll have to stand on their records and stand on their
credentials and offer their ideas the same way that every person here
on the stage is doing.

I look forward to that day, and I look forward to the debate.

BLITZER: Thank you, Governor.

Governor Thompson, is there a need for another Thompson in this


THOMPSON: I think that anybody with a Thompson name should get
involved if they want to get involved. It's a great name. He's a
great candidate. And I think it will help the Republican Party to
have him in.

I just would like to say that if you're talking about
conservatism -- and that's what you're talking about -- there isn't a
candidate on either side of the aisle that has had as many vetoes as I

THOMPSON: Nobody has reduced taxes as much as I have.

And if you're talking about a reliable conservative, it is this
Thompson, Tommy Thompson, not the other, that's the conservative.


BLITZER: Thank you, Governor. Thank you, Governor.

Mayor Giuliani, there was some news here today. A Catholic
bishop in Rhode Island said some words about your position on
abortion, suggesting that it was similar to Pontius Pilate's personal
opposition to Jesus Christ's crucifixion, but allowing it to happen
anyway. How does that make you feel when you hear words like that
from a Catholic bishop?

GIULIANI: Well, Catholic bishop -- any religion (inaudible).

BLITZER: That's the lightning that's having an effect on our



I guess I'm here by myself.

Look, for someone who went to parochial schools all his life,
this is a very frightening thing that's happening right now.


GIULIANI: But the reality is I respect, you know, the opinion of
Catholic (inaudible) and religious leaders of all kinds. Religion is
very important to me. It's a very important part of my life.

But ultimately, as (inaudible) been in public life most of my
life and taken oaths of office to enforce the law, I've got to make
the decisions that I think are the right ones in a country like ours.

And my view on abortion is that it's wrong, but that ultimately
government should not be enforcing that decision on a woman.

That is my view that I -- I consult my religion. I consult my
reading of the Constitution. I consult my views of what I think are
important in a pluralistic society, and the reality that we have to
respect the fact that there are people that are equally as religious,
equally as moral, that make a different decision about this, and
should government put them in jail?

BLITZER: You made, Governor Romney, this decision on abortion,
opposing abortion, relatively recently.

BLITZER: Why should conservatives out there, people who oppose
abortion, believe you?

ROMNEY: Well, people can look at my record. I'm not going to
apologize for the fact that I became pro-life. I served as governor.
As I was governor, as we were debating cloning and as we were debating
also embryo farming, I said Roe v. Wade has gone too far.

I want to make it very clear that I'm pro-life. People here in
New Hampshire have seen that I fought for life. I fought also for
traditional marriage, to keep taxes down, to have education in our
schools that includes abstinence education. I've fought for English
immersion in our schools.

They know that I've got conservative credentials. And that's one
of the things that brings me to this race.

But there's something bigger in conservatism that I don't think
we've spoken about. And that is that America is a land of
opportunity. And our future is going to be far brighter than our
past, not just as we overcome these challenges, but as we take
advantage of the new opportunity of the 21st century.

BLITZER: Thank you very much, Governor.

Let's go back to Tom for the next question.


FAHEY: (inaudible) do not believe in evolution. You're an
ordained minister. What do you believe? Is it the story of creation,
as it is reported in the Bible or described in the Bible?

HUCKABEE: It's interesting that that question would even be
asked of somebody running for president. I'm not planning on writing
the curriculum for an 8th-grade science book. I'm asking for the
opportunity to be president of the United States.

But you've raised the question, so let me answer it.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth. To me,
it's pretty simple. A person either believes that God created this
process or believes that it was an accident and that it just happened
all on its own.

And the basic question was an unfair question, because it simply
asked us in a simplistic manner whether or not we believed, in my
view, whether there is a God or not.

Well, let me be very clear: I believe there is a God. I believe
there's a God who was active in the creation process.

Now, how did he do it and when did he do it and how long did he
take, I don't honestly know. And I don't think knowing that would
make me a better or a worse president.

HUCKABEE: But I'll tell you what I can tell this country: If
they want a president who doesn't believe in God, there's probably
plenty of choices. But if I'm selected as president of this country,
they'll have one who believes in those words that God did create.

And as the words of Martin Luther, here I stand. I can do no
other. And I will not take that back.


BLITZER: Governor, but I think the specific question is, do you
believe literally it was done in six days and it occurred 6,000 years

HUCKABEE: No, I did answer that, Wolf. I said, I don't know.

My point is, I don't know. I wasn't there.


But I believe, whether God did it in six days or whether he did
it in six days that represented periods of time, he did it. And
that's what's important.

But, you know, if anybody wants to believe that they are the
descendants of a primate, they are certainly welcome to do it. I
don't know how far they will march that back.

But I believe that all of us in this room are the unique
creations of a god who knows us and loves us, and who created us for
his own purpose.


BLITZER: Senator Brownback, you recently elaborated on your
position on this, and I wonder if you'd want to spend 30 seconds and
tell our audience out there where you stand on the issue of evolution.

BROWNBACK: I'd be happy to.

And it's interesting that we're doing this here at St. Anselm's,
who this -- that saint had a philosophy of faith seeking reason.

And that's the issue that's missing here, if I could highlight
that point, is that I believe that we are created in the image of God
for a particular purpose. And I believe that with all my heart.

And I'm somebody, I've had cancer in the past, I've had a season
to really look at this and study it and think about the end of life.
And I am fully convinced there's a god of the universe that loves us
very much and was involved in the process.

How he did it, I don't know.

One of the problems we have with our society today is that we've
put faith and science at odds with each other. They aren't at odds
with each other. If they are, check your faith or check your science,
and we should have a discussion.

BLITZER: Thank you.

BROWNBACK: And we should engage faith and reason like St. Anselm

BLITZER: Thank you.

BROWNBACK: That's something we should do.

BLITZER: Thank you, Senator Brownback.


Senator McCain, do you believe creationism should be taught
alongside evolution in the nation's schools?

MCCAIN: No, I believe that that's up to the school districts.
But I think that every American should be exposed to all theories.

But I can't say it more eloquently than Pastor Huckabee --
Governor Huckabee just did. And I admire his description because I
hold that view.

The point is that the time before time, there's no doubt in my
mind that the hand of God was in what we are today. And I do believe
that we are unique, and I believe that God loves us. But I also
believe that all of our children in school can be taught different
views on different issues.

But I leave the curricula up to the school boards.

BLITZER: Thank you, Senator, for that.

Governor Romney, there was a recent poll here in New Hampshire.

BLITZER: Ten percent said they wouldn't vote for you because
you're a Mormon. And last week, we saw that picture of that man who
refused to shake your hand because you are a Mormon.

What would you like to say to the voters out there tonight about
your faith, about yourself and about God?

ROMNEY: Well, President Kennedy some time ago said he was not a
Catholic running for president, he was an American running for
president. And I'm happy to be a proud member of my faith.

You know, I think it's a fair question for people to ask, what do
you believe? And I think if you want to understand what I believe,
you could recognize that the values that I have are the same values
you'll find in faiths across this country.

I believe in God, believe in the Bible, believe Jesus Christ is
my savior. I believe that God created man in his image. I believe
that the freedoms of man derive from inalienable rights that were
given to us by God.

And I also believe that there are some pundits out there that are
hoping that I'll distance myself from my church so that that'll help
me politically. And that's not going to happen.


BLITZER: Thank you, Governor, for that.

Congressman Paul, you ran for president once before as a
libertarian. What do you say about this whole issue of church and
state and these issues that are coming forward right now?

PAUL: Well, I think we should read the First Amendment, where it
says, "Congress shall write no law," and we should write a lot less
laws regarding this matter. It shouldn't be a matter of the president
or the Congress. It should be local people, local officials.

The state should determine so many of these things that we just
don't need more laws determining religious things or prayer in
schools. We should allow people at the local level. That's what the
Constitution tells us.

We don't need somebody in Washington telling us what we can do,
because we don't have perfect knowledge. And that's the magnificence
of our Constitution and our republic. We sort out the difficult
problems at local levels, and we don't have, you know, one-case-fit-

Because you have a Supreme Court ruling, like on Roe v. Wade, it
ruined it for the whole country. And that's why we shouldn't have it
at a central level.

BLITZER: Thank you, Congressman.


Let's go back to another question from Tom.

FAHEY: This is for Mayor Giuliani.

Sea levels around the world are rising. Average temperatures are
increasing. A U.N. report written by scientists from 113 countries
recently said that climate change is very likely man-made and may
affect us for centuries to come.

Is science wrong on global warming? And what, if any, steps
would you take as president to address the issue of climate change?

GIULIANI: I think we have to accept the view that scientists
have, that there is global warming, and that human operation, human
condition contributes to that.

And the fact is that there is a way to deal with it and to
address it in a way that we can also accomplish energy independence,
which we need as a matter of national security.

GIULIANI: It's frustrating and really dangerous for us to see
money going to our enemies because we have to buy oil from certain
countries. We should be supporting all the alternatives.

We need a project similar to putting a man on the moon. That
project started with Eisenhower. It was carried out by Kennedy and
then Johnson and then Nixon. And that was two Democrats and two
Republicans working (inaudible) Democrats working in the national

BLITZER: Thank you. Thank you, Mayor.

I want Governor Romney to weigh in as well.

There's a perception, at least among some, that Republicans are
-- at least the Republican Party -- very close to big oil. A lot of
Americans are suffering now from the price of gasoline -- high price
of gasoline.

What do you say to the audience out there who believes that
there's too much of an alliance, if you will, between the big oil
companies and Republicans?

ROMNEY: Well, first of all, Rudy Giuliani is right, in terms of
an Apollo project to get us to energy independent. And the effects of
that on global warming are positive. It's a no-regrets policy. It's
a great idea.

Secondly, with regards to big oil, big oil is making a lot of
money right now. And I'd like to see them using that money to invest
in refineries.

Don't forget that when companies earn profit, that money's
supposed to be reinvested in growth. And our refineries are old.

Someone said to me -- Matt Simmons, an investment banker down in
Houston -- he said, "Our refineries today are rust, with paint holding
them up."

And we need to see these companies, if they're making that kind
of money, reinvest in capital equipment.

But let's not forget that where the money is being made this year
is not just -- and throughout these years -- is not just in Exxon and
Shell and the major oil companies. It's in the countries that own
this oil.

Russia last year took in $500 billion by selling oil.
Ahmadinejad, Putin, Chavez -- these people are getting rich off of
people buying too much oil.

And that's why we have to pursue, as a strategic imperative,
energy independence for America.

ROMNEY: And it takes that Apollo project. It also takes
biodiesel, biofuel, ethanol...

BLITZER: Thank you.

ROMNEY: ... cellulosic ethanol, nuclear power, more drilling in

We have to be serious also about efficiency.

BLITZER: Thank you, Governor.

ROMNEY: And that's going to allow us to become energy-

BLITZER: Senator McCain, do you have a problem at this time with
these oil companies making these huge profits?

MCCAIN: Sure. I think we all do. And they ought to be
reinvesting it.

And one of the areas that they ought to be involved in is nuclear
power. Nuclear power is safe. Nuclear power is green, does not emit
greenhouse gases. Nuclear power is used on Navy ships which have
sailed around the world for 60 years without an accident.

And of course we ought to be investing in alternate energy

Recently there was a group of retired military officers who said
that climate change and energy independence is a national security
issue. It is. We've got to reduce our dependence on imported oil.

MCCAIN: We can do it through a wide variety of alternative
fuels. But we have to be serious about it and we're going to have to
go to places where we have never gone before. And nuclear power is
one of the major issues, but also all kinds of ethanol as well.

BLITZER: Thank you, Senator.

Let me bring Congressman Paul back into this conversation.

In 2005, President Bush signed an energy bill that provided
billions of dollars in tax break subsidies to the oil companies, with
the goal of boosting domestic production. At a time of these record
profits, do you believe these companies need a helping hand from the
federal government?

PAUL: I don't think the profits is the issue. The profits are
OK if they're legitimately earned in a free market. What I object to
are subsidies to big corporations when we subsidize them and give them
R&D money. I don't think that should be that way. They should take
it out of the funds that they earn.

But also, you can't discuss energy without discussing our foreign

PAUL: Why do we go to the Middle East? We know the oil is very
important about the Middle East and why we're there. Why did we, our
government, help overthrow Mosaddeq in 1953? It had to do with oil.

So, our foreign policy is designed to protect our oil interests.

The profits, that's not the problem. It's the problem that we
succumb to the temptation to protect oil interests by literally going
out and fighting wars over oil.

BLITZER: Governor Gilmore, you agree?

GILMORE: I agree that if you make profits of the open
marketplace, that that's an appropriate thing to do. I also believe
that they should be going in and putting this additional money into
additional drilling, into additional exploration.

But it's going to have to be bigger than that. We're going to
have to in fact look to all sources: ethanol, biomass, coal, clean
coal, the opportunities for natural gas, and nuclear power.

And by the way, nuclear power will help this whole issue of
global warming.

And one more point in direct answer to your question: The Kyoto
treaty was, in fact, fatally flawed. That was a treaty that in fact
was going to basically just transfer our money directly to Russia for
nothing, because they were going to get credits because simply that
their economy had declined.

GILMORE: The truth is, we're going to have to get a program in
place, an international diplomatic answer, that is going to include
every nation of the world in this entire project. And that includes
China and India.


BLITZER: Thank you, Governor.

Let me bring Scott back for the next question.

SPRADLING: Congressman Paul, a question for you.

Most of our closest allies, including Great Britain and Israel,
allow gays and lesbians to openly serve in the military. Is it time
to end don't ask/don't tell policy and allow gays and lesbians to
serve openly in the U.S. military?

PAUL: I think the current policy is a decent policy.

And the problem that we have with dealing with this subject is we
see people as groups, as they belong to certain groups and that they
derive their rights as belonging to groups.

We don't get our rights because we're gays or women or
minorities. We get our rights from our creator as individuals. So
every individual should be treated the same way.

So if there is homosexual behavior in the military that is
disruptive, it should be dealt with.

PAUL: But if there's heterosexual sexual behavior that is
disruptive, it should be dealt with.

So it isn't the issue of homosexuality. It's the concept and the
understanding of individual rights. If we understood that, we would
not be dealing with this very important problem.


BLITZER: Governor Huckabee, I want you to weigh in as well.

Do you believe it's time to allow homosexuals to serve openly in
the United States military?

HUCKABEE: Wolf, I think it's already covered by the Uniform Code
of Military Conduct. I think that's what Congressman Paul was saying:
It's about conduct; it's not about attitude.

But I'd like to ask you. You said a moment ago that you were
going to all give us a chance to deal with the issue of immigration.

BLITZER: We're going to come back to that.

HUCKABEE: And I hope you'll do that.

BLITZER: We will. We'll come back to immigration.

HUCKABEE: You held us to it, and now I want to hold you to it,

BLITZER: We're going to come back...

HUCKABEE: ... if you could give us that opportunity.

BLITZER: We're going to come back to immigration.

But right now, we're talking about allowing gays to serve openly
in the military. But you're opposed to that?

HUCKABEE: I just said I think it's a matter -- it's not -- you
don't punish people for their attitudes; you punish them if their
behavior creates a problem. And it's already covered by the Uniform
Code of Military Conduct.

BLITZER: So you wouldn't change existing policy.


BLITZER: You wouldn't change existing policy.

HUCKABEE: I don't think that I would. I think it's already
covered by the existing policy that we do have, in fact.

BLITZER: Mayor Giuliani, recently we've learned that several
talented trained linguists -- Arabic speakers, Farsi speakers, Urdu
speakers -- trained by the U.S. government to learn those languages to
help us in the war on terrorism, were dismissed from the military
because they announced they were gays or lesbians.

Is that, in your mind, appropriate?

GIULIANI: This is not the time to deal with disruptive issues
like this.

Back in 1994 we went through this. And it created a tremendous
amount of disruption. Colin Powell, I think, was still the head of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff before he left at the beginning of the
Clinton administration.

He came to the view that this was a good policy.

GIULIANI: And I think in time of war, in a time where we're
trying to deal with this transition to a new kind of warfare that we
have to be fighting -- and we haven't gotten all the way there yet.
We need a hybrid army, we need to look at nation-building as part of
what we have to teach our military. I don't think this would be the
right time to raise these issues.

BLITZER: Thank you.

GIULIANI: And I think we should rely on the judgment of our
commanders in a situation like this. They know what's disruptive and
what's not. And at a time of war, you don't make fundamental changes
like this.

BLITZER: Thank you, Mayor.

Governor Romney, the mayor referred to the don't ask/don't tell
policy, which was implemented during the Clinton administration, after
Bill Clinton became president.

In 1994, you were quoted as saying that you advocated gays being
able to serve openly and honestly in our nation's military.

The question to you is, do you still feel that way?

ROMNEY: No, actually when I first heard of the don't ask/don't
tell policy I thought it sounded awfully silly and didn't think that'd
be very effective, and I turned out to be wrong.

ROMNEY: It's been the policy now in the military for, what, 10,
15 years? And it seems to be working.

And I agree with what Mayor Giuliani said, that this is not the
time to put in place a major change, a social experiment, in the
middle of a war going on.

I wouldn't change it at this point. We can look at it down the
road. But it does seem to me that we have much bigger issues as a
nation that we ought to be talking about than that policy right now.

BLITZER: Senator McCain, you've been involved in military
matters virtually your whole life. What do you say?

MCCAIN: We have the best-trained, most professional, best-
equipped, most efficient, most wonderful military in the history of
this country. And I'm proud of every one of them.


There just aren't enough of them. So I have to rely on our
military leadership, in whom we place the responsibility to lead these
brave young Americans in combat as we speak.

So I think it would be a terrific mistake to even reopen the
issue. It is working, my friends. The policy is working.

MCCAIN: And I am convinced that that's the way we can maintain
this greatest military. As much as I revere the greatest generation,
as much as I love my own generation, this is the very best. Let's not
tamper with them.

BLITZER: Is there anyone here who believes gays and lesbians
should be allowed to serve openly in the United States military?

If you do, speak up now.

Scott, go ahead with your question.

SPRADLING: Gentlemen, last night, we asked Democrats, if they
were elected, what role would they use former President Clinton? I'm
not going to ask you that.


But, Governor Thompson, I'd like to know, seeing as how you were
a member of President Bush's Cabinet as health and human services
secretary, how would you use George W. Bush in your administration?

THOMPSON: I certainly would not send him to the United Nations.


I believe George W. Bush has tremendous characteristics. He's
very honest. He's very straightforward.

I would put him out on a lecture series, talking to the youth of
America about honesty, integrity, perseverance, passion, and serving
the public.

THOMPSON: George W. Bush believes very much in public service,
as does his father, as does his brothers, as does his mother.

I think he could be a wonderful spokesperson, making sure that
young people realize that public service is a very noble cause and
something that young people should aspire to, like all the young
people here on this campus should also have the opportunity to serve
in public life.


BLITZER: Senator Brownback, same question to you: If you're
elected president, what would you ask your predecessor to do?

BROWNBACK: Well, I would talk with him about it first, and I
would ask him about it. I think he would probably take a position the
way his dad did, saying, "You know, I think you need to have your time
in the limelight. And I will be willing to help out if you have a
tragedy overseas."

His father has been excellent, in the tsunami that hit Sri Lanka
and other places, in helping fund-raising.

BROWNBACK: He's been a wonderful ambassador in those sorts of

And frankly, I think that's the right role for an ex-president.
And I really think, in many respects, President Clinton has not
assumed the right role of an ex-president, where he's injected himself
a lot more on policy issues that haven't been appropriate, and he
really should defer more to the person that's in the job.

There's one person that's president at a time, and that's the way
it should be.

BLITZER: Congressman Tancredo, I see you anxious to weigh in.

TANCREDO: Thank you.

Some time ago, in 2003 I think it was, that I got a call from
Karl Rove, who told me that, because of my criticism of the president,
I should never darken the doorstep of the White House.

I have been so disappointed in the president in so many ways
since his -- actually for the last several years, not just the
immigration issue, but several other things, including the No Child
Left Behind and the massive increase in government that we call
prescription drug -- Medicare prescription drug, that I'm afraid I
would have to tell the president of the United States -- I mean, as
president, I would have to tell George Bush exactly the same thing
Karl Rove told me.

BLITZER: Thank you, Congressman.

Governor Huckabee...


... you served, as you reminded us, a long time as a governor,
Republican governor of Arkansas. Your old job is now in Democratic
hands. Here in New Hampshire, the GOP has suffered some significant
losses as well. And the Republicans lost the majority in the House
and the Senate, as you well know.

Simple question: What's happened to the GOP?

HUCKABEE: Lost credibility, because we didn't do what we were
hired to do.

When you're elected, you're hired to do a job. You're hired to
cut spending, lower taxes, bring more government back to the local
people. We did the polar opposite. And the people fired us.

And I think, in many ways, though there were some good people
that got caught up in the tsunami of the 2006 elections, the
Republican Party, as a whole, deserved to get beat.

We've lost credibility, the way we bungled Katrina, the fact that
there was corruption that was unchecked in Washington, and the fact
that there was a feeling that there was not a proper handling of the
Iraqi war in all of its details, and the indifference to people
pouring over our borders.

HUCKABEE: And let me just add this, Wolf. There are a lot of
people for whom the immigration issue is like a lot of them. They see
Washington not taking the kind of positions to build a fence, and they
know that when they go to the airport to get on an airplane, they have
to show photo I.D., they have to go through layers of security, and
they don't understand why someone across an international border
doesn't have to do the same thing.

BLITZER: Thank you. Thank you, Governor.


Congressman Hunter, I want to just -- because he raised the issue
-- he raised the issue of corruption.

Do you think it would be appropriate for President Bush to pardon
Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who was sentenced today to 30 months in prison
for his role in the CIA leak case?

HUNTER: You know, I think, Wolf, to make a determination on
that, you'd have to look at the transcript.

I'll tell you a couple of transcripts I have looked at, and
that's the agents, Compean and Ramos, who were given 11 and 12 years
respectively for stopping a drug dealer bringing 750 pounds of drugs
across the border.

I've looked at their transcript; I would pardon Compean and Ramos
right now.


And let me say, with respect to what Mike said, we've got to
bring back the Reagan Democrats to this party, because we need the
Reagan Democrats for Republican leadership to work.

And we're going to have to get a good trade bill that brings jobs
back to this country. We're going to have to stop China from cheating
on trade, build the middle class, build jobs, Wolf. That's what
strengthens the Republican Party.


BLITZER: I just want to do a quick "yes" or "no." And I'm going
to go down the rest of the group and let everybody just tell me "yes"
or "no": Would you pardon Scooter Libby?


(UNKNOWN): No. I'm steeped in the law. I wouldn't do that.

(UNKNOWN): No, not without reading the transcript.

(UNKNOWN): Not without reading the transcript.

MCCAIN: He's going through an appeal process. We've got to see
what happens here.

GIULIANI: I think the sentence was way out of line. I mean, the
sentence was grossly excessive in a situation in which, at the
beginning, the prosecutor knew who the leak was...

BLITZER: So, yes or no, would you pardon him?

GIULIANI: ... and he knew a crime wasn't committed.

GIULIANI: I recommended over a thousand pardons to President
Reagan when I was associate attorney general. I would see if it fit
the criteria for pardon. I'd wait for the appeal.

I think what the judge did today argues more in favor of a pardon

BLITZER: Thank you.

GIULIANI: ... this is excessive punishment.

BLITZER: All right.

GIULIANI: When you consider -- I've prosecuted 5,000 cases.

BLITZER: I'm trying to get a yes or no.


GIULIANI: Well, this is a very important issue. This is a very,
very important -- a man's life is at stake. And the reality is, this
is an incomprehensible situation.

They knew who the leak was.

ROMNEY: Hey, Wolf, can I explain...

GIULIANI: And ultimately, there was no underlying crime

BLITZER: All right.

ROMNEY: This is one of those situations where I go back to my
record as governor. I didn't pardon anybody as governor, because I
didn't want to overturn a jury.

But in this case, you have a prosecutor who clearly abused
prosecutorial discretion by going after somebody when he already knew
that the source of the leak was Richard Armitage.

ROMNEY: He'd been told that. So he went on a political

BLITZER: Was that a yes?

ROMNEY: It's worth looking at that. I will study it very
closely if I'm lucky enough to be president. And I'd keep that option

BLITZER: Senator?

BROWNBACK: Yes. The basic crime here didn't happen. What they
were saying was that the identity of an agent...

BLITZER: All right.


BROWNBACK: ... was revealed, but that agent has to be in the
field for that to be a crime. That didn't occur.

BLITZER: Governor?

THOMPSON: Bill Clinton committed perjury at a grand jury, lost
his law license. Scooter Libby got 30 months. To me, it's not fair
at all.

But I would make sure the appeal was done properly, and then I
would examine the record.

BLITZER: Congressman?



All right. We heard from all of them.


We're ready to take -- go into part two of tonight's debate right
now, where voters from New Hampshire will have an opportunity to ask
their questions. We have some work to do here on the stage.

While we move some chairs around, move out the podiums, while we
do all that, and you'll be able to see it, viewers of WMUR are going
to go back to their studios. For the rest of you, I'm going to bring
in my colleagues, Larry King and Anderson Cooper, part of the best
political team on television, to give us a sense of this debate so

Our debate here will resume in about three minutes.


BLITZER: We're now set for our voters here to ask questions.
Our pool of voters here are either registered Republicans or
independents, but they're likely -- likely to vote Republican in New
Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary.

We brought them together with the help from the New Hampshire
Political Library and the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. CNN
producers have interviewed all of them. Working with me in this half
of the debate is Jennifer Vaughn from our partner WMUR-TV.

Jennifer, who has the first question?

VAUGHN: Thank you, Wolf.

And good evening to you all tonight.

I have Erin Flanagan with me tonight.

Hi, Erin.

QUESTION: Hi, Jennifer.

VAUGHN: You live in Bedford, New Hampshire.


VAUGHN: You have a question about the war in Iraq, which is
something that is deeply personal to you.

QUESTION: It is. Unfortunately, my beloved little brother, 1st
Lieutenant Michael Joseph Cleary, was killed in action in Taji, Iraq,
eight days before he was to return home on December 20th of 2005.

He was the best of the best and answered the call to serve our

My family has been devastated by the loss.

As a member of an American family who has suffered so greatly at
the choices made by the current administration, I desperately would
like to know what you as commander in chief would do, both in the
halls of the American government, to bring the parties together, as
well as on the desert sands of the Middle East to bring this conflict
to a point in which we can safely bring our troops home.
VAUGHN: Erin, thank you.

Congressman Hunter, let's begin with you on that.

HUNTER: OK. Absolutely.

The key to leaving -- and, incidentally, thank you for his

HUNTER: And I want to let you know, my son...


I want to let you know that my son Duncan, the day after 9/11,
joined the Marine Corps, quit his job, did two tours in Iraq. He's in
Afghanistan right now.

First, I want you to know that it's worth it.


What he did was worth it.

And if we can achieve a country in Iraq that will not be an state
sponsor of terrorism for the next 5 to 10 to 20 years, that will be a
friend, not an enemy, of the United States, and will have a modicum of
freedom, that is in the national interest of the United States, just
like establishing a free Japan on the other side of the Pacific was in
our interest after World War II, just like providing freedom and a
protective shield for Salvador in Central America was in our interest.

So what I would do, and what we need to do right now, and we are
doing, is standing up the Iraqi army. There is 129 battalions of
Iraqis that we've trained and equipped.

We need to start moving them into the combat zones where they
displace the heavy American combat forces. Then we can pull our
forces out. We can bring them home or send them wherever Uncle Sam
needs them again.

BLITZER: Thank you.

HUNTER: That's how we leave Iraq the right way.

BLITZER: Thank you, Congressman.

Senator Brownback, I'd like you to weigh in.

BROWNBACK: If I could.

And thank you for your family's service and what your brother
did. That's incredible and an incredible gift that he and your family
have given us.

And I think you've identified the right thing. It's not about
leaving, and it's not about being defeated. It's about getting the
situation to a point that we can turn it over to Iraqis, and then us
pull back from the front of the line.

That's why I'm putting forward tomorrow a bill, and this would be
about a three-state solution in Iraq -- a Kurdish state, a Sunni
state, a Shia state -- with Baghdad as the federal city, in a loose,
weak, federated system; oil revenues equally divided.

And it's a bipartisan bill. We will have bipartisan support.

We've got to pull together here to win over there.

BLITZER: Senator...

BROWNBACK: And we can do this together, but we haven't put yet
forward, this administration, a political solution that will be long-
term and durable.

BLITZER: Thank you. Thank you, Senator.

BROWNBACK: That's what we've got to do.

BLITZER: Senator McCain, is that a good idea, to divide up Iraq
into three separate...

BROWNBACK: It's not divided. It's three states, one country.

MCCAIN: It's not -- ma'am, I want to tell you thank you for your
brother's service and sacrifice to our country. We are proud of you
and your endurance, and we're proud of your sacrifice.

This war -- I'm going to give you a little straight talk. This
war was very badly mismanaged for a long time. And Americans have
made great sacrifices, some of which were unnecessary because of this
management of the war -- mismanagement of this conflict.

I believe we have a fine general. I believe we have a strategy
which can succeed, so that the sacrifice of your brother would not be
in vain, that a whole 20 million or 30 million people would have a
chance to live a free life in an open society, and practice their
religion, no matter what those differences are.

And I believe that if we fail, it will become a center of
terrorism, and we will ask more young Americans to sacrifice, as your
brother did.

MCCAIN: This is long and hard and tough. But I think we can

And God bless you.


BLITZER: Thank you, Senator.

Jennifer, go ahead with your next question.

VAUGHN: Cynthia Kiernan is here with us tonight.

Cynthia, you live in Merrimack, New Hampshire.


VAUGHN: You can go ahead and stand up.

And you brought your husband with you?

QUESTION: Yes. Michael served in Iraq.

And we have a question regarding the government in Iraq.
Everyone's talking about, "Pull our troops out; pull our troops out."
Well, considering they've lived under a dictatorship for the last 30
years or so, what are we going to do to make sure they have a
government in place before we do pull our troops out and they're able
to help themselves? Otherwise, we're just putting them in a position
to accept another terrorist leader.


VAUGHN: Congressman Paul?

PAUL: Well, we've had four years to do this and it hasn't

The biggest incentive for them to take upon themselves the
responsibility is just for us to leave.

PAUL: We don't need to lose 100 men and women every month, more
than a thousand per year.

And so, if you want it done, you want them to take over, you've
got to give them an incentive.

So I think we should immediately stop patrolling the streets.
That's a policeman's job. It's not the work of the Army. We're not
fighting a military battle. We're in a different type of warfare
right now.

So the sooner we recognize that, the sooner we can make sure that
no more Americans will die.

We have a lot of goodness in this country. And we should promote
it, but never through the barrel of a gun. We should do it by setting
good standards, motivating people and have them want to emulate us.

But you can't enforce our goodness, like the necons preach, with
an armed force. It doesn't work.

Woodrow Wilson was telling us about that, in promoting democracy
a long time ago.

BLITZER: Thank you.

PAUL: It doesn't work and we have to admit it.

BLITZER: Thank you, Congressman.


Let me bring Mayor Giuliani in.

I don't know if you consider yourself a neocon, but go ahead and
respond to what Congressman Paul said.


GIULIANI: Michael, thank you very much for serving us, and thank
your family for their tremendous sacrifice.

I'd like to put it in a slightly different context. I believe
that your service for us and your brother's sacrifice is one of the
reasons we're safe now in the United States.

I believe that this terrorist war began way back in the 1970s.
They attacked us in 1993 in New York. They attacked us again in 2001
in a horrible way.

And I believe that what we're doing in Iraq, if we can get it
right, is going to help reduce the risk for this country. And if we
get it wrong, this is going to be much, much worse for us.

And part of what we have to do and we haven't done right is take
on that responsibility of nation-building. We created that
responsibility for ourselves when we overthrew Saddam Hussein, which
we did very effectively. It was one of the greatest military actions
in American history, overthrowing Saddam Hussein.

But we didn't accomplish the second step. People can only
embrace democracy when they have an orderly existence. And we have to
help provide that. We didn't want that role, but it is our role.

And we have to train our military to do it.

GIULIANI: We should probably have an IraqStat program, in which
we measure how many people are going to school, how many factories are
open, how many people are going back to work.

We had to get into the nitty-gritty of putting an orderly society
together in Iraq. It is not too late to do it.

And I'd just like to ask, I'd just like to ask one question I
didn't get to ask before, when you said, if General Petraeus comes
back in September and reports that things aren't going well, what are
we going to do?

But suppose General Petraeus comes back in September and reports
that things are going pretty well. Are we going to report that with
the same amount of attention that we would report the negative news?


BLITZER: Jennifer, go ahead.

VAUGHN: Kysa Crusco is here with us tonight.

Hi, Kysa.


VAUGHN: You live in Manchester, New Hampshire. You are an


VAUGHN: OK. What's your question tonight?

QUESTION: My question is whether you believe that a conservative
platform can also include a conservationist agenda. And, if so, how?

VAUGHN: Governor Gilmore?

GILMORE: The question was whether or not a conservative agenda
can also have a conservation agenda. And I think that it can.

GILMORE: Certainly, when I was governor of the state of
Virginia, we worked very hard in order to make Virginia a beautiful
place and a place where we could in fact be welcoming to people, and
that it would be a nice community for people to visit.

But at the end of the day, this is going to come down to the
question of whether or not conservatism can match up with energy
independence, which is a national security issue and it is a
fundamental part of conservatism.

Conservatism means empowering people. It means cutting taxes and
controlling government spending. It also means national security.
And national security means a lot of different elements right at this
time. And we're discussing some of them tonight.

And I can assure the people who are families here tonight, their
young people, young men and women who are on the battle lines, and
people who are committing their lives, they are in fact serving the
national interests of this country in a time of major crisis.

The other two issues, however, would also go to the issue of the
immigration issue, which I want to come back to at some point, but
also energy independence.

GILMORE: And energy independence also can serve the interests of

BLITZER: All right.

GILMORE: ... particularly if we use nuclear power and other
clean forms of energy so that we can in fact make this a clean society
that is also safe and secure for the nation.

BLITZER: Thank you very much, Governor.

Congressman Tancredo, do you believe true conservatives should be
doing more to protect the environment?


I think that that's absolutely imperative, and I think so
because, frankly, you've got a conservative model to pick from. I
mean, you know, Teddy Roosevelt, after all, put this stamp on that --
the whole issue of conserving the environment, creating the national
parks system.

There's nothing anti-conservative about doing anything like that.

And you know what else you can do in order to foster that? You
do it through conservative principles. You make it profitable for
people to do exactly that, to put -- to make conservation an issue
that hits people in the pocketbook, or they can profit by getting
involved in conservation.

TANCREDO: That's one way the free market really works perfectly.
We've seen it happen all over the world. We can see and we will put
conservation to work -- conservation practices to work in the United
States through conservative principles. We have a lock on that.

BLITZER: Thank you, Congressman.

Jennifer, go ahead.

VAUGHN: Good evening, sir. You are Doug Hall.


VAUGHN: I understand that you're the town moderator for
Chichester, New Hampshire.


VAUGHN: What's your question tonight?

QUESTION: I know a business owner in northern New Hampshire who
was on vacation in Spain last year for about three weeks. While he
was there, he had to buy refills for prescription drugs, brand name
drugs, and he discovered in buying those drugs that he could buy his
refills there for $600 less than he could buy them here in New
Hampshire. So since then, he said he is going to take a trip over to
Spain and get his vacation paid for to buy his drugs.

My question to you is, why is this? And if you are elected
president, is there anything you would do to address it?

VAUGHN: Mayor Giuliani?

GIULIANI: What I would do is change the whole model that we have
for health insurance in this country.

The problem with our health insurance is, it's government and
employer-dominated. People don't make individual choices. It's your
health. You should own your health insurance.

We should be giving you a major tax deduction, $15,000 for a
family, so you can buy your own health insurance. If you buy health
insurance for $8,000 or $9,000, you'll save $5,000 or $6,000 in tax-
free money.

Then we should have a health savings account, in which you can
put some money aside to pay for your ordinary medical expenses.

Health insurance should become like homeowners insurance or like
car insurance. You don't cover everything on your homeowners policy.
If you have a slight accident in your house, if you need to refill
your oil with your car, you don't cover that with insurance. But that
is covered in many of the insurance policies, because they're
government-dominated and they're employer-dominated.

What the Democrats suggested on this stage two nights ago was
socialized medicine. There was a man in California who said to me,
"When we make health insurance free, just wait and see how expensive
it will become."

GIULIANI: And the reality is that we need a free market. We
need 100 million Americans making different decisions. It will bring
down the cost of health insurance. It will bring down the cost of
prescription medicines.

Free-market principles are the only things that reduce costs and
improve quality. Socialized medicine will ruin medicine in the United

BLITZER: Thank you, Mayor.


Congressman Hunter, you live on the border, San Diego, not far
from Mexico. A lot of Americans go to Mexico to buy cheaper
prescription drugs. A lot of Americans in this part of the country go
to Canada to buy cheaper prescription drugs.

What should we here in the United States be doing to bring down
the price of prescription drugs?

HUNTER: And, Wolf, the fabulous Grampy, my father-in-law, who
lives with us, is one of those people that trots down and goes through
the border at Yuma and does that. So lots of Americans do that.

HUNTER: But here's what happens. Eighty percent of the new
drugs and new inventions that save our lives, that help preserve the
lives of the relatives of everyone who's in this particular room right
now, 80 percent of those inventions are made in the United States
because we have free enterprise, where people can go out, invest. And
maybe they drill three dry holes in trying to produce a good drug that
will save somebody's lives. Then maybe they hit the jackpot and they
produce something that will save people and help their health.

They then recover their money in the United States. And what
they have left over, in terms of market, they put into the Third
World. But Third World countries like Mexico could never provide the
amount of money that it takes to make those inventions. Otherwise,
they would.

Here's what we have to do: We need to be able to buy our health
care insurance across state lines, Wolf. Right now the same single
policy that can be purchased in Long Beach for $73 costs $334 in New

The states lock up the insurance industry. They won't let
Americans buy across state lines, just like they do everything else.
If we're able to do that...

BLITZER: Thank you.

HUNTER: ... we're going to bring down the cost of health

BLITZER: Thank you, Congressman.

BLITZER: Jennifer, let's go back to another question.

VAUGHN: Also on the topic of health care tonight, this is a
question from our blogger, who is Joshua Williamson.

Joshua asks, "Millions of Americans are dissatisfied with the
current state of our health-care system, and U.S. employers are at a
disadvantage due to the high cost of health insurance. What would you
do to fix the health-care system? And would you support implementing
a single-payer system, in which the government acts as the insurer in
order to save enough money to cover the millions of uninsured and to
lower premiums for the rest of the U.S. population?"

Governor Thompson, let's have you weigh in on that.

THOMPSON: You know, I've been here for two debates. We never
had one question on health care. Thank that person for talking about
health care.

Number one, we spend $2 trillion on health care. That's 16
percent of the gross national product. Ninety-three percent of the
cost of health care goes into waiting until after you become sick.
Only 7 percent of the money is used to keep you well in the first

THOMPSON: We got to completely transform the health care system,
make it a wellness system and make it a prevention system.

Secondly, we have 125 million Americans that have one or more
chronic illnesses. In order to change this, we have to educate the
American people about tobacco, about diabetes, about cardiovascular
and about obesity.

You do that, you'll be able to change health care.

The third thing, 25 percent of Americans use two-thirds of the
cost of health care. If you manage those diseases, you can reduce
that down to 50 percent and save lots of money.

Fourth, information technology, electronic medical record, a
patient bill of rights and be able to have e-prescribing. And if you
do that, you're going to be able to save billions of dollars.

If you just go paperless, ladies and gentlemen, you will save 10
percent of the cost of health care.


BLITZER: Thank you, Governor, very much.

Governor Romney, you worked with the Democrats in the state
legislature in your home state, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
You worked with Ted Kennedy to come up with a program that provides
some -- mandates, in effect, the individual health insurance coverage.

BLITZER: Some conservatives say this is simply big government,
more liberal involvement in people's lives.

What do you say to those conservatives who are critical of the
way you handled this issue in Massachusetts?

ROMNEY: Well, I want to talk to the people, not just to those
conservatives who are critical. And the people of this country
recognize they've got some real concerns in health care. And I
learned after I was governor a short bit of time -- I talked to people
and they say, "If I lose my job, I'm going to lose my insurance. And
my insurance premiums are getting higher and higher and higher."

And I talked to small-business people, and they said, "I can't
afford the policies anymore."

And we said, "You know, we've got to find a way to get everybody
insured. And the last thing we want is to have the government take
over health care, because anything they take over gets worse, not

"We're going to turn to Washington, because Washington makes a
mess. Washington is all talk.

And we said, "We need to find a way to get everybody in our state
insured with private insurance."

The half a million who didn't have insurance, all the people
worried that if they lost their job, they'd lose insurance, we said,
"We've got to find a way to get them insured without raising taxes,
without a government takeover."

ROMNEY: And that's what we did. It relies on personal

This is a big issue for this country. Every Democrat up there is
talking about a form of socialized medicine, government takeover,
massive tax increase.

We have to stand up and not just talk about it. I'm the guy who
actually tackled this issue. We get all of our citizens insured. We
get people that were uninsured with private health insurance.

We have to stand up and say, "The market works. Personal
responsibility works."

We're going to have insurance for all of our citizens they can
afford, that's theirs, that's portable. They never have to worry
about losing it. That's the answer.

Thank you.

BLITZER: Thank you, Governor.


Jennifer, go ahead.

VAUGHN: Thank you, Wolf.

Next question comes from you, sir. Your name is Max Latona.

QUESTION: Yes, it is.

VAUGHN: You live in Manchester, New Hampshire. What do you do
for a living, sir?

QUESTION: I teach philosophy here at Saint Anselm College.

VAUGHN: And what's your question tonight?

QUESTION: My question is a simple one: In your opinion, what is
the most pressing moral issue facing this country today? And, if
you're elected president, how would you address that issue?

VAUGHN: Governor Huckabee, you are an ordained minister. What
is the most pressing moral issue in this country?

HUCKABEE: Well, it looks like I'm getting all the moral
questions tonight, and I guess that's a good thing.


That's better than getting the immoral questions. So I'm happy
to get those.


HUCKABEE: I really believe that, if you define it a moral issue,
it is our respect, our sanctity and our understanding of the value of
every single human life.

Because that is what makes America a unique place on this planet:
We value every life of an individual as if it represents the life of
us all.

Many of us who are pro-life, quite frankly, I think, have made
the mistake of giving people the impression that pro-life means we
care intensely about people as long as that child is in the womb. But
beyond the gestation period, we've not demonstrated as demonstrably as
we should that we respect life at all levels, not just during

We shouldn't allow a child to live under a bridge or in the
backseat of a car. We shouldn't be satisfied that elderly people are
being abused and neglected in nursing homes. It should never be
acceptable to us that people are treated as expendable -- any people.

But the unique part of our country is that we elevate and we
celebrate human life. And if you look at us with a contrast to the
Islamic jihadists, who would strap a bomb to the belly of their own
child, march him into a crowded room, set the detonator and kill
innocent people, they celebrate death; we celebrate life.

It's the fundamental thing that makes us unique, and it keeps us
free. I pray we never, ever abandon that basic principle.

BLITZER: Thank you, Governor.


BLITZER: Mayor Giuliani, what is the most pressing moral issue
in America today?

GIULIANI: I think the governor is correct. I would put it in
maybe a slightly different way.

We have great gifts in this country that come to us from God. We
have a country in which we have freedom of religion, freedom of press,
freedom for the individual, the right to elect our own officials. And
the reality is that in some of the world, much of the world, that
doesn't exist.

And I think the challenge for our generation is going to be, are
we able to share those gifts in an appropriate way with the rest of
the world?

If we can bring along the Middle East, if we can bring along
those countries that are presently our enemies, and get them to see
the values of these ideals, if we have the moral strength to be able
to explain it to them in the way Ronald Reagan was able to do with
communism, then we can end up having the peace that we want.

And we should not -- we should never become pessimistic about
this. Remember, this is the country that was at war with Vietnam just
a short while ago. We're friends now.

BLITZER: All right.

GIULIANI: This was a country that was at war with Japan, Italy
and Germany a generation ago. They're some of our best friends today.

We have great resources in this country. And watching the
strength of America when we believe in the essential ideals that we
have -- they're not just American ideals; they come from God. And I
think it's our moral obligation to find the right way to share that
with the rest of the world.

BLITZER: Thank you, Mayor.


Congressman Paul, what is the most pressing moral issue in the
United States right now?

PAUL: I think it is the acceptance just recently that we now
promote preemptive war. I do not believe that's part of the American

We, in the past, have always declared war in defense of our
liberties or go to aid somebody. But now we have accepted the
principle of preemptive war. We have rejected the just war theory of

And now, tonight, we hear that we're not even willing to remove
from the table a preemptive nuclear strike against a country that has
done no harm to us directly and is no threat to our national security.

PAUL: I mean, we have to come to our senses about this issue of
war and preemption and go back to traditions and our Constitution and
defend our liberties and defend our rights, but not to think that we
can change the world by force of arms and to start wars.


BLITZER: Thank you, Congressman.

Senator Brownback really wants to weigh in, as well.

BROWNBACK: Thank you.

And thank you for the question from a philosopher.

I think it's the life issue clearly, and I'm pro-life and I'm
whole life.

And one of the things I'm the most -- the proudest about our
party about is that we've stood for life. We've been a party that has
stood for a culture of life. And it was in our platform in 1980, and
it continues today.

And with that respect -- and I have respect for my other
colleagues -- that's why I don't think we can nominate somebody that's
not pro-life in this party, because it is at our core.

BROWNBACK: We believe that every life is beautiful, is sacred,
is a child of a loving God from natural -- from conception to natural

And that applies not only here and in the womb, it applies to
somebody that's in poverty, it applies to the child in Darfur.

And that philosophy, being pro-life and whole life, is something
I think can really help move us forward as a country and as a party.


BLITZER: Senator, if Rudy Giuliani got the Republican
presidential nomination, would you be able to support him?

BROWNBACK: That question came up at the first debate, and I
stated that this is something that we as a party have struggled with.
I have great respect for the mayor. I don't think we're going to
nominate somebody that's not pro-life.

BLITZER: Would you be able to support him?

BROWNBACK: I can support and will support the nominee of our
party. But our party has stood on principles. It's a party of
principles. It's not a party of personalities. We lose when we walk
away from our principles.

BROWNBACK: That's when we have trouble. And that's the country
wants us to do...

BLITZER: Thank you, Senator.

BROWNBACK: ... is to stand for principles.


BLITZER: Jennifer, go ahead.

VAUGHN: Next question tonight from Neil Capano.

Neil, you are an airline agent.

QUESTION: Yes, I am.

VAUGHN: You live in Manchester, New Hampshire.

You have a question tonight for Governor Romney.

QUESTION: Yes, I do.

First of all, I would like to thank all of you for joining us
tonight in beautiful Manchester, New Hampshire. However, my question
is for Governor Romney exclusively.

You've been accused of -- you've been accused of flip-flopping on

Just earlier tonight you indicated that you said that you want
the national language of the United States to be English. However,
why are you airing ads in Spanish?

VAUGHN: Governor, let me also add something on this.

Your campaign also provides a Spanish-speaking version of your
Web site, with your son also speaking in Spanish.

ROMNEY: Let me make it real clear: I'm not anti-immigrant. I
love immigrants. I love legal immigrants coming to our country. I'm
happy to communicate to them. And I hope they vote for me.

ROMNEY: And I'm happy to have people all over the country, and
I'm going to reach out to them in any language I can to have them vote
for me and understand why I'm going to support making this a great

I'll tell you as well, I very firmly believe that we have to make
sure that we enforce our borders, that we have an employment
verification system, and that those people who've come here illegally
do not get an advantage to become permanent residents. They do not
get a special pathway. That's a mistake.

That's the problem I have with the bill -- the Kennedy-McCain
bill. That's a mistake in my view.

Now, let me tell you what I think about the broader issue.

We talked tonight about all of the issues as they relate to the
problems that we have, and I understand that. But we have
extraordinary opportunities.

What the Republican Party has to stand for is more than solving
problems. In the 19th century, the new frontier for us was the
American West. In the 20th century, it was Europe -- selling products
to Europe and North America.

Now, Asia has come out of poverty. A billion people who are
steeped in poverty are coming out of poverty. They're consumers. We
can sell products to them: medicines, technology, energy.

ROMNEY: We are the party of the future, and we have to stop
worrying about the problems and thinking we can't deal with those. We
have to focus on the future and our opportunity to make America a
great place for our kids and grandkids.

Thank you.

BLITZER: Thank you, Governor.

Congressman Tancredo, would you advertise for your campaign in
Spanish? Specifically, I am referring to the highly publicized
comment you recently made that Miami was like a third world country.

TANCREDO: Right. Yes, exactly.

No, I would not advertise in Spanish.

Believe me when I tell you this: The preservation of the English
language is important for us for a lot of reasons, not the least of
which is because it is what holds us together. It is the glue that
keeps a country together -- any country. Bilingual countries don't
work, and we should not encourage it.

And even in the bill that Senator McCain is pushing he says that
it supports English-only or official English.

TANCREDO: He doesn't go on to tell you that, of course, he says
that we're going to codify President Clinton's original plan, original
executive order signed, that said all papers produced by the
government have to be in various languages.

No, it is absolutely wrong. English is the language of this
country. And you know what? We should not be ashamed of that. It's
a good thing.

And it holds us all together, regardless of where we come from,
regardless of our backgrounds, our histories. It doesn't matter. We
need that thing to hold us together.

BLITZER: All right. Thank you, Congressman.


Senator McCain, I'd like you to respond.

MCCAIN: Well, first of all, Governor, muchos gracias.


We need to enforce our borders. There is indeed a special path.
It's especially hard. It's eight to 13 years.

My friends, we know what we're talking about is the latest wave
of migrants into this country. We have to stop the illegal
immigration. But we've had waves throughout our history.

Hispanics is what we're talking about, a different culture, a
different language, which has enriched my state, where Spanish was
spoken before English was.

MCCAIN: My friends, I want you the next time you're down in
Washington, D.C., to go to the Vietnam War Memorial and look at the
names engraved in black granite. You'll find a whole lot of Hispanic

When you go to Iraq or Afghanistan today, you're going to see a
whole lot of people who are of Hispanic background. You're even going
to meet some of the few thousand that are still green card holders who
are not even citizens of this country, who love this country so much
that they're willing to risk their lives in its service in order to
accelerate their path to citizenship and enjoy the bountiful, blessed

So let's, from time to time, remember that these are God's
children. They must come into our country legally. But they have
enriched our culture and our nation, as every generation of immigrants
before them.

MCCAIN: Thank you.

BLITZER: Thank you.


Jennifer, go ahead.

VAUGHN: John Lewicke, good evening to you, sir.

QUESTION: Good evening.

VAUGHN: You live in Mason, New Hampshire. What do you do?

QUESTION: I work self-employed as an electrical engineer.

VAUGHN: What's your question tonight?

QUESTION: In 2006, we saw the worst Republican defeat in living
memory. If we do more of the same, why do we expect anything

And I'd like to ask each of the candidates how their position
differs from the present administration's so that we won't see a
repeat of 2006 in 2008.

VAUGHN: Senator McCain, do you want to begin with this one?

MCCAIN: Spending. Spending, spending, spending, which led to

We have former members of Congress in jail as we speak because of
this earmarking.

We let spending get out of control. We presided over the largest
increase in the size of government since the Great Society.

MCCAIN: And our constituents and our Republicans became
dispirited and disenchanted.

We've got to stop the earmarking. The bridge to nowhere, with
233 miles -- a $233 million bridge to an island in Alaska with 50
people on it was the tipping point.

I want to promise you, as president of the United States, I'll
veto every bill that has a pork-barrel project on it. And I'll make
the authors of it famous, and we'll get spending under control, and
we'll stop the corruption in Washington.


BLITZER: If all of you will limit your answer to about 10 or 15
seconds, we'll go down the line, starting with Mayor Giuliani.

What has been President Bush's biggest mistake since taking

GIULIANI: I would like to add to what John is saying. The thing
that I would do different is, I would establish accountability in
Washington. Washington is a mess, and that's one of the reasons
Republicans lost. Republicans became Democrats.

I would establish programs like I did in New York City, where I
had to deal with a heavily Democratic city: FedStat program to
measure accountability. You get what you measure; if you don't
measure success, you have failure.

And I turned around New York City; I can turn around Washington.


BLITZER: Governor.

Go ahead, Governor.

ROMNEY: It's going from small bore to large bore.

Yes, of course, it's spending and yes, we're going to have to
deal with all the issues and the problems we have. But the Republican
Party is a party of the future and with a vision.

Ronald Reagan had a vision for where he was going to take
America. We have to once again take people forward.

And that vision is the new frontier of the 21st century. Our
products and services can lead the world.

BLITZER: Senator?

BROWNBACK: Spending, but it's bigger than that. It's hope and
ideas, and I want one -- I have one I want to put on the line here.
Taking on cancer and deaths by cancer, and ending deaths by cancer in
10 years.

The leading cause of fear in America today is that you'll get
cancer. And this is one that's actually within our reach, and it is
something I think we can go at and we should go at, and it touches a
lot of Americans.

BLITZER: The question is, what's President Bush's biggest
mistake over these past several years?

THOMPSON: Because we went to Washington to change Washington,
Washington changed us. We didn't come up with new ideas. We got to
transform health care. We got to wind down the war in Iraq. We got
to make sure that we really are conservatives.

If we're going to spend money like as foolishly and as stupidly
as the Democrats, the voters are going to vote for the professional
spender, the Democrat, not the amateur spender, the Republican.


BLITZER: Congressman?

TANCREDO: The biggest problem, I think, in this administration
has been the fact that he ran -- the president ran as a conservative
and governed as a liberal. That is what has really been the basis, I
think, of the distrust that has developed among the Republican base.
It's well founded. We have to do something about that.

BLITZER: Thank you.

Congressman Paul?

PAUL: The president ran on a program of a humble foreign policy,
no nation-building and no policing of the world, and he changed his

PAUL: And now we are fighting a war. And our foreign operations
around the world to maintain our empire is now approaching $1 trillion
a year. That's where the money is going and that's where it has to be
cut so we can take care of education and medical cares that are needed
here in this country.


BLITZER: Governor Gilmore?

GILMORE: Let me answer the question. Principle is the
difference. The Republicans have always been a part of principle, and
when we deviate from that, the people of the United States remember

Let me say this. Number one, on the issue of immigration, it
violates the principle of the rule of law, and if we pass this bill
and support it as Republicans, we will lose again.

Spending, if we continue to earmark and spend and spend, we will
be violating our principles.

And finally on taxes, the president has a pretty good tax
program, as a matter of fact. It's not only helped the economy, but
helped regular people. And Hillary Clinton is wrong when she says
that we should eliminate those tax cuts.


BLITZER: Thank you.


HUNTER: You know, Wolf, when my son returned from Fallujah, he
wrote these words.

HUNTER: He said, "Families lift our nation up. They provide us
with fidelity, morality, faith in God and raising the next generation
of Americans."

The Republican Party has to reunite with the American family and
pass policies that are constant with the American family. Then we'll
be a great party again.

BLITZER: Governor?

HUCKABEE: I think the people of America are pretty smart. And
the fact is, they know that if they have excessive taxation and a tax
system that literally steps on their head, and they have a regulation
system that makes it very difficult for our businesses to compete, and
then we've got a system of immigration that we don't have confidence
in, and in addition to that we have litigation that makes it very
difficult for our businesses to be able to operate in the free-
enterprise system, the result is a job migration.

And if you ask what the president's problem was, it's a lack of
communication to be able to really help us understand what those
problems were and how we needed to solve them.

BLITZER: Thank you.

HUCKABEE: That's what we need to do.

BLITZER: Thank you.

Let's go back to Jennifer.

VAUGHN: Erin Gardner's here with us tonight.

Erin, you live in the Gate City -- Nashua, New Hampshire.

QUESTION: Yes, I do.

VAUGHN: What is your question tonight?

QUESTION: With regards to illegal and legal immigration, in your
opinion, what does it mean to be an American? What are the tangible
and intangible attributes of an American?

VAUGHN: Congressman Tancredo?

TANCREDO: It means, number one, cut from the past. If you come
here as an immigrant, great, welcome. If you come here legally,
welcome. It means you've cut your ties with the past, familial,
especially political ties with the country from which you came.

But let's be serious about this, you guys. We can talk about all
the immigration reform we want and what it's got to get down to is
this: Are we ready for a time-out? Are we actually ready to say,
enough is enough, we have to stop all legal immigration except for
people coming into this country as family members, immediate family
members, and/or refugees.

Are we willing to actually say that and say, enough is -- we have
got to actually begin the process of assimilating people who have come
in this great wave of immigration.

TANCREDO: The process of assimilation is not going on. And how
long -- how long will it take us -- for us to catch up with the
millions of people who have come here, both legally and illegally, and
assimilate them? I'll tell you this: It will take this long: Until
we no longer have to press one for English and two for any other


BLITZER: I promised, Governor Huckabee, you'd have a chance to
weigh in on this immigration issue. Do you agree with Congressman
Tancredo that the U.S. should effectively end most legal immigration
into the country?

HUCKABEE: No, I disagree with that.

I think that there are a number of people that we should welcome
into this country; certainly engineers and doctors and scientists that
we may need legally coming here.

What we need to do is to have a border that is sealed and the
same kind of process that we have to go through if we go into a
stadium: We go in one at a time and we have a ticket.

That's the only thing I think Americans really are asking us for,
is a sane, sensible system that's based on the idea that if you come
here, that you come here through the same process that we would be
expected to go through if we went to another country, which is not
happening today.

BLITZER: Mayor Giuliani, are you comfortable with what
Congressman Tancredo says about immigration to this country?

GIULIANI: No. I'm very uncomfortable with it.

I mean, the reality is, it's one thing to be debating illegal
immigration. It's a very complex subject. I think we've had a very
good debate about it. And I think the bill needs to be fixed in the
way that I've indicated.

But we shouldn't be having a debate about legal immigration.

Abraham Lincoln defined what an American is better than I'm going
to be able to do it or Congressman Tancredo or anyone on this stage.
Abraham Lincoln, who fought the Know-Nothing movement, said, "Being an
American is not whether you came over on the Mayflower or you came
here yesterday.

"How much do you believe in freedom? How much do you believe in
freedom of religion? How much do you believe in freedom for women?
How much do you believe in the right to vote? How much do you believe
in the rule of law?

"The person who believes in that the most is the best American.
And the person who doesn't isn't an American."

BLITZER: Thank you.

GIULIANI: And that's Abraham Lincoln's words.

We should always be open to legal immigration. It reforms us.
It makes us better. It brings us people who want to make a better
live for themselves...

BLITZER: Thank you.

GIULIANI: ... and their families. If we lose that, we lose the
genius that has made America what it is.


BLITZER: I'm going to go back to Jennifer in a second, but I
want Senator McCain to respond as well.

When you hear what Congressman Tancredo says, what goes through
your mind?

MCCAIN: It's beyond my realm of thinking.

Look, America is a land of opportunity. The question was just
asked, what is it to be an American? It's to share a common goal that
all of us -- a principle -- are created equal and endowed by our
creator with certain inalienable rights.

That means we go as far as our ambition will take us. That means
we have a better life for ourselves and our children. And the lady
that holds her lamp beside the golden door is still the ideal and the

Of course it has to be legal. Of course that it has to be

MCCAIN: And 18 months, by the way, will go by while we fix the
border before we do anything else on this issue.

But America is still the land of opportunity, and it is a beacon
of hope and liberty and, as Ronald Reagan said, a shining city on the

BLITZER: Thank you.

MCCAIN: And we're not going to erect barriers and fences.

BLITZER: Thank you, Senator.


Let me go back to Jennifer.

Go ahead, Jennifer.

VAUGHN: Carolyn Gargasz, you're here with us tonight.

You're a state legislator. What is your hometown?


VAUGHN: And what's your question?

QUESTION: What would you do to include moderate Republicans and
to bring back to the party those independents who were formerly
registered Republicans?

VAUGHN: Governor Gilmore, speaking with you.

GILMORE: Glad to.

When I was a candidate for governor, I was told that a
conservative couldn't appeal to moderate areas in the state of

GILMORE: And I rejected that because I believe that conservatism
still stands for all people. It stands for everyone.

It goes to this question that my colleagues were talking about,
what's an American? An American is someone who is noble, someone who
is greater than just themselves and their own personal interest, and
someone the rest of the world can look up to, and someone who believes
in liberty and freedom.

And when I ran for governor, I went to the moderate communities
and said, listen, we're going to talk about empowering people. We're
going to talk about giving back more tax money. We're going to talk
about the value that is yours around the kitchen table to decide where
your child is going to go to school or whether or not you can pay the
tuitions or whether you can pay the mortgages. And you earned this

We understand very well that you have to pay taxes, but we also
understand the value of every single person as a taxpayer.

BLITZER: Thank you, Governor.

Hold on one second.

BLITZER: Congressman Hunter, I want you to weigh in, because
Arnold Schwarzenegger, your governor in California, has become very
popular out there by bringing in independents and moderates, and
trying to forge a consensus among Republicans and Democrats in your

Shouldn't the GOP nationally be following that Arnold
Schwarzenegger example in California?


And let me just say, you know, I look at Governor Romney, Mayor
Giuliani, my good friend John McCain -- Governor Romney joined with
Bill Clinton for the 1994 gun ban when I was fighting that. Mayor
Giuliani stood with him at the White House on that. Governor Romney
has passed what I consider to be a major step toward socialism with
respect to his mandated health care bill. John McCain is standing
strong with Ted Kennedy on this Kennedy-McCain-Bush border enforcement

HUNTER: I think the guy who's got the most influence right here
with these three gentlemen is Ted Kennedy. And I think we need to
move away from the Kennedy wing of the Republican Party.


BLITZER: All right. I've got to let all three of them respond.

Governor Romney, go ahead first. But do it very briefly.

ROMNEY: The model for how the Republican Party wins, and wins
moderates, Democrats, independents, conservatives, is who? Ronald
Reagan. He did it.

Ronald Reagan won in Massachusetts, both times he ran. How'd he
do that?

He had a stool he sat on that had three legs.

One was a strong military, and today a strong military means more
troops, more funding to make sure that our troops are cared for on the
battlefield with the equipment they need and our veterans receive the
care they need when they get home.

BLITZER: Thanks, Governor.

ROMNEY: Strong military, strong economy, keeping our taxes down,
and strong families and strong family values.

BLITZER: Thank you.

ROMNEY: That's the stool with all three legs.


ROMNEY: And one more thing: optimism and a vision for the


BLITZER: Thank you.

Mayor, I want you to respond specifically to what we've heard
from Congressman Hunter.

GIULIANI: I think, ma'am, the way to accomplish what you want is
to nominate me.


That would be the way to do it.

And I think the Republican Party can unite around two major
principles that are being than all of us: being on offense against
terrorism -- unlike the Democrats, who are on defense against
terrorism. And you saw that two nights ago here. They couldn't even
utter the words "Islamic terrorism." It's our biggest enemy. They
couldn't utter it. We need somebody who can stand up to that.

And second, someone who'll be on offense for a growth economy --
fight this impulse to raise taxes, do socialized medicine...

BLITZER: Thank you.

GIULIANI: ... put everything in government.

Those are the two big principles that unite us and make us the
majority party.

BLITZER: Thank you.

GIULIANI: And we have to respect some of our differences.


BLITZER: Senator McCain?

MCCAIN: Protect the family -- that's one of the questions
earlier. Protect our American family. It's under assault in many
respects, as we all know.

And second, take the lead in fighting this transcendent issue of
our time, the battle and struggle against radical Islamic extremism.
It is a force of evil that is within our shores. Look at the
events of the last few days at JFK, the attempt at Fort Dix, the

London suicide bombers.

My friends, this is a transcendent struggle between good and
evil. Everything we stand for and believe in is at stake here. We
can win. We will never surrender. They will. I am prepared to lead.

My life and my experience and my background and my heroes inspire
me and qualify me to lead in this titanic struggle, which will not be
over soon. But we will prevail.

BLITZER: Thank you, Senator.


Thank all of you for joining us.

This, unfortunately, is time for us to say goodbye for this
second part of this debate. It bring the end of our debate here.

Please be sure to join us for our next debate. That will occur
on July 23rd from Charleston, South Carolina. It promises to be a
revolutionary approach to campaign debates, in partnership with
YouTube and Google. You're going to want to see this.

Our thanks once again to Saint Anselm College here in Manchester
and to our partners, WMUR-TV and the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Coverage on CNN continues right now with my colleague Anderson
Cooper and our colleague Larry King as well.


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Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 5, 2007 6:49 PM.

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