Separating from the GOP candidate pack
November 22nd, 2011
06:00 AM ET

Separating from the GOP candidate pack

By National Security Producer Jamie Crawford

There is one area where all eight Republican candidates seem to be in complete agreement: In their minds, Barack Obama's presidency has been a failure, and his national security policies have only served to weaken America's standing in the world, and left the United States more vulnerable to attack. That consensus aside, there are positions each candidate has taken in the areas of foreign policy and national security that set them apart from the field. As CNN prepares to host a debate Tuesday night on national security topics with the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute, here is a look at some distinctive positions and experiences the candidates are raising on the trail.
Herman Cain

What sets Herman Cain completely apart from the rest of the field is his lack of foreign policy experience, and it is that distinction he is happy to wear as a badge of honor on the trail and his debate performances.

While he may lack experience in the foreign policy establishment, Cain says it would be his experience in the business world that would guide him on matters of national security.

"I don't believe you need to have extensive foreign policy experience if you know how to make sure you're working on the right problems, establishing the right priorities, surround yourself with the right people, which would allow you to put together the plans necessary to solve the problem," he said at a press conference last month.

Cain had one of the more memorable moments of the GOP candidates in the national security area when he seemed confused and fumbled for his thoughts on President Obama's policy toward Libya during an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Cain's campaign said the video was taken somewhat "out of context," and that Cain was just taking a moment to think about it after the various briefings he was receiving on the Arab Spring. That may be, but in a press conference in Orlando on Friday, Cain suggested that elements of al Qaeda and the Taliban comprise part of Libya's new government. There have been questions about the role Islam will play in a new Libyan constitution. The sympathies of some militia members also have been questioned during the uprising because of the presence of a regional al Qaeda affiliate, but there has been no plausible evidence that either the Afghan or Pakistani Taliban have moved beyond their bases of operation to include Libya.

Cain's command of national security issues has been called into question after comments he has made since launching his candidacy. In an earlier debate, Cain seemed unaware that China had a nuclear weapon, despite its membership in the nuclear club since 1964. He was also criticized for saying in an interview that he didn't need to know the name of the leader in "Ubeki-beki-beki-stan-stan," or asking how you pronounce something in "Cuban" while at a Cuban restaurant in Miami.
Mitt Romney

China, more than any other issue, seems to be in the cross-hairs for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and his rhetoric on the consequences of China's currency and trade polices has gone further than any of the other candidates.

He has repeatedly called China a "cheater" for manipulating the value of its currency, and has said President Obama has not done enough to assert U.S. interests in his dealings with the world's second largest economy.

"China has learned the extraordinary effect of cheating, and it has had a very positive effect on China and a very negative effect on us," Romney told an audience at Microsoft headquarters in Seattle last month. Through its use of hacking and intellectual property theft, Romney said China is cheating the global economic system.

If elected president, he says he would enact higher duties on Chinese goods entering the American market, would label China a "currency manipulator" and would support strong measures to bring China in line with global trade rules.

In addition to criticizing its trade practices, Romney said China needs to begin pulling more of its weight in the area of foreign aid.

"This galls me. We give $10 million in foreign aid a year to China. Its not that they're bad people, but the idea that a nation that is as large and robust and economically viable as theirs is getting money from us just makes no sense at all," he said in a speech in Exeter, New Hampshire. Romney said it is time for China to use its own financial resources in place of U.S. financial assistance.

Romney has said he will reverse defense cuts undertaken by the Obama administration and expand defense spending, particularly in the area of naval power. He has said he will also focus on the U.S. relationship in Latin America to create economic opportunity through a "robust public diplomacy and trade promotion campaign."
Newt Gingrich

Immigration reform has been a touchy issue over the years for the Republican party and its outreach to the electorate. The former House speaker has gone further than any of his competitors on the issue of legal status for illegal immigrants and the children of illegal immigrants.

In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer in September, Gingrich said he would support a system based on the Selective Service boards started under World War II to help determine who should have a path to U.S. citizenship. "I think we need local boards that apply a human approach to trying to deal with this with some sympathy, but that's also very tough with criminals and very tough with people that have no ties to the U.S. and should go back home immediately," he told Blitzer.

He has also said the counterinsurgency policy followed by the Obama administration in Afghanistan does not work in a society driven by ethnicity and tribe. He also favors cutting U.S. aid to Pakistan, and accuses the Pakistani government of having played a role in hiding Osama bin Laden in the garrison city of Abbottabad.

One area where Gingrich has taken heat is his position on Libya. In a March 7 interview with Fox News before the NATO operation began, Gingrich said he would "exercise a no-fly zone this evening" in Libya. Six days later in an interview with NBC, Gingrich said, "I think that two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is a lot. ... I would not have intervened. I think there are a lot of other ways to affect Gadhafi." Politifact labeled the contradictory statements as a "full" flip-flop. Gingrich then took to his Facebook page, saying his statements were not inconsistent, but it was rather President Obama stating publicly that Gadhafi must step aside, and thus taking away other options for confronting the dictator, that led to his follow-up statement on NBC.

Gingrich has also taken the lead in calling for a cessation of all U.S. funding for any kind of activity for a United Nations global initiative to combat global climate change known as Agenda 21. In a report by CNN's Jim Acosta, Gingrich acknowledged that Agenda 21 had not been ratified by the U.S. Senate, and that it is not binding on the local communities that adopt it. The fact that it is being implemented by local communities is the reason Gingrich raises the issue, he told CNN's Acosta.
Rick Perry

While most of the field agrees with the premise U.S. foreign assistance needs to be overhauled, none of the candidates has gone as far as Rick Perry in advocating for an across the board elimination of foreign assistance to other countries.

"The foreign aid budget in my administration for every country is going to start at zero dollars - zero dollars," he said at a debate earlier this month in South Carolina. This stance puts him at odds with many of his fellow competitors like Michele Bachmann, who maintain there are certain countries, such as Israel, whose importance to U.S. national security interests should immunize them from such across the board cuts. In Perry's view, foreign aid would be extended only to those countries who share the values of the United States and support its policies.

Perry has also been pretty outspoken about the war Mexico is waging with drug cartels, telling an audience in New Hampshire the war, "may require our military in Mexico working in concert with them to kill these drug cartels and to keep them off of our border and to destroy their networks." Perry has said the violence spilling over the U.S. border has a real danger of escalating, and that no options should be taken off the table in confronting it. When it comes to border security, Perry also has called for the deployment of Predator drones over the U.S./Mexican border to relay threats to border security so law enforcement agencies can move in quickly to put a stop to it.

He is also hawkish when it comes to Iran. In an interview with CNN's John King, Perry was asked whether going to war with Iran to prevent the country from acquiring a nuclear program would be an option on the table in a Perry administration. "We cannot allow that mad man to get his hands on a nuclear weapon, because we know what he would do with it," Perry said.
Rep. Ron Paul

The Texas congressman's position on re-structuring and reducing America's presence in the world goes much further than any plan laid out by the other seven candidates.

Paul, who is making his third run for the presidency, is harshly critical of America's membership in multilateral organizations such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and NATO, saying they infringe on the sovereignty of the nation. Under a Paul administration, the United States would withdraw from such organizations. An outspoken critic of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Paul said both wars are being waged with little or no national interest, and that U.S. troops should return home immediately. Although he supports military spending for the national defense, the current spending structure, in his view, is out of control. In addition to calling for an end to funding of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Paul said the U.S. must close its bases in Asia, Europe and elsewhere in keeping with his libertarian, noninterventionist stance.

While he voted to authorize military force to hunt down Osama bin Laden, Paul said the U.S. military is stretched too thin through its commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with its commitments in Europe, Asia, Africa and elsewhere. Paul said the U.S. Congress has effectively ceded its authority in national security to the executive branch over the years, and he would undertake a complete replenishing of war-making power to Congress if he were elected president.

His other national security priority is securing U.S. borders. While he opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants and the granting of citizenship to children of illegal immigrants born in the United States, he is against any type of militarized border fence, saying such a fence would likely function more as a way to keep Americans penned in, rather that illegal immigrants out.
Rep. Michele Bachmann

While most of her fellow candidates have government experience of their own, Bachmann uses her own national security credentials, more than any other candidate, as an argument for her readiness to be commander in chief.

Bachmann touts her membership on the House Select Committee on Intelligence as giving her a greater understanding of the threats the United States faces from abroad. Her exposure to such issues makes her most qualified to debate President Obama when the general election campaign begins, she recently told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "And in particular, our nominee has to be able to be conversant and be able to debate with President Obama on the stage on this issue. It's not like we can poll the audience or ask for a lifeline when it comes to the foreign policy debates with President Obama," she said in the interview.

Bachmann has also been an outspoken critic of the Obama administration's role in the NATO operation in Libya since its beginning in March after then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the United States had no clear vital interest to protect in Libya. While the NATO mission was designed to protect the civilian population in Libya from an attack by Moammar Gadhafi's forces, Bachmann said the decision to let NATO take the lead in Libya opened up a dangerous and chaotic environment as the new government tries to assert its authority over a country ruled by a strongman for 42 years. "The problem is, no one really knows who's in charge in Libya today," Bachmann told Blitzer in the recent interview. "There's militias that are going after one another even street to street, city to city. That leadership hasn't yet been fully determined and we don't know who that will be. It's chaos in Libya now," she said of the still unsettled nation.

Bachmann has also been a strong backer of Israel on the trail and in the debates, and critical of opponents like Texas Gov. Rick Perry for proposing a cut in foreign aid to the vital U.S. ally. She has been even more forceful in her criticism of President Obama's handling of the Israeli/Palestinian peace plan. "President Obama has been more than willing to stand with Occupy Wall Street, but he hasn't been willing to stand with Israel. Israel looks at President Obama, and they do not see a friend," she said in a debate earlier this month.
Rick Santorum

More than any other candidate in the race, Rick Santorum has championed the neoconservative foreign policy that held sway during the administration of President George W. Bush that championed the promotion of democracy worldwide, and argued for robust military spending.

While calling for fiscal austerity in other areas of the federal budget, it is Santorum who has been especially critical of the cuts in the defense budget that have occurred under the Obama administration. He said such cuts should be reversed, and has argued for much greater military spending, which he said will create more jobs for American workers. While his fellow candidates have been fiercely critical of the Obama administration's withdrawal plan from Afghanistan, Santorum has been the most effusive in noting the need for a long-term military commitment in Afghanistan to prevent the Taliban's return to power.

A former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, Santorum has national security credentials from his eight years on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Afterthe last debate, where many of the candidates followed Perry's lead in calling for the elimination of U.S. assistance to Pakistan, Santorum argued back that Pakistan "must be our friend," because the country has nuclear weapons that might fall into the hands of terrorists. In the days after that debate, Santorum warned his fellow candidates to be mindful of tough talk in the area of foreign policy. "You have to be very, very careful in making these kinds of statements as to how it's going to reflect upon our ability to pursue the national security interests of our country," he said.

When it comes to Iran, Santorum has been critical of the Bush and Obama administrations' policies on Iran, and has said neither administration did enough to support pro-democracy groups inside Iran, nor toughened sanctions enough against the Islamic Republic. He has said the United States must support Israel in what he expects will be an Israeli led pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear program. "A country that is developing a weapon of mass destruction to use it or destroy another country must be stopped in a pre-emptive strike," he said in a New Hampshire speech earlier this month. "I cannot imagine that any leader of the state of Israel cannot act at this point." Santorum said it is not a matter of whether the United States was ready for another war, but rather the United States must be willing to draw the line when it's security interests are at stake.
Jon Huntsman

Huntsman is in a league of his own among his fellow candidates with his own experiences in U.S. foreign policy, most recently serving on the front lines of what is likely to be the greatest foreign policy challenge going forward.

As President Obama's first ambassador to China, the Mandarin speaking Huntsman received a view no other candidate has of what is likely to be the most challenging foreign policy issue in the decades to come. And having served in the diplomatic post, Huntsman is well-versed in how the machinery of the State Department and U.S. foreign policy operates. China was not Huntsman's first overseas posting. He served as an ambassador to Singapore under President George H.W. Bush, and was a Deputy Trade Representative under President George W. Bush.

Huntsman said he accepted the China post because one always serves when asked by the president. He has been skeptical of the American effort in Afghanistan. "We don't need 100,000 troops in Afghanistan. This should not be a nation-building exercise," Huntsman said in August. "It's time to come home." While some of the other candidates have said they would rely on the military leadership on the ground in Afghanistan to decide when U.S. troops should come home, Huntsman calls for a complete removal of U.S. troops now, save for a component of rapid reaction Special Forces contingent and a small training force for the Afghan Army. Huntsman said the nation's future is "not Afghanistan," but rather the Asia-Pacific region, where the U.S. should focus its attention.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Bachman • Cain • Debate Preps • Foreign Policy • Gingrich • Huntsman • Paul • Perry • Romney • Santorum
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  17. Patricia Williams

    An Open letter to all Presidential Candidates and the 1%,

    My race, gender and age are irrelevant, as is the fact that I am formerly middle class and now living in poverty. For the ignorant, I bathe daily and apply to every employment opportunity that I discover. I also condemn the use of drugs, drink only on holidays (probably less than you) and have no criminal history. I have worked hard every day I can recollect. I first lived on a farm as a small child, and as anyone from that particular sector knows, that is very hard work. I then moved to the city and worked as a babysitter and performed various tasks for neighbors until I was of legal working age. I have worked every day possible since then, which has not been a small number of years. I am fortunate enough to not have to face discrimination often in. In the past year I have applied for hundreds of positions, and have had two interviews; neither of which resulting in an offer for employment. I regularly follow up on employment opportunities and each have stated that they received hundreds of applicants for their single open position. I ask that you let that sink in for a moment. I am a spirited overachiever, and prior to one year ago, my accepting a job interview resulted in an employment offer nearly 90% of the time. Even in a down economy, I had choices.
    So, tomorrow morning I will wake up early, Bathe, and try again as I have done every day for over a year along with the hundreds of other applicants that are applying for the same positions and still unemployed.
    To Dr. Ron Paul specifically; Thank you! You are a good man. Unfortunately, that fact makes me fear for you. In the despicable state our country is in, and foul excuses of “leaders” we currently have along with those who are truly in control, I fear for anyone with the guts to oppose them as you do. With the most heartfelt sincerity possible, thank you, and regardless of the fact that the election will probably be rigged (again), please for the sake of all of us, do not stop trying.


    Patricia Williams
    Damascus, OR

    November 26, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Reply
  18. Tim

    Mitt Romney calls himself a Mormon. He is NOT a Christian. The US needs a Born-Again Christian who is obedient to The Lord – Jesus Christ. Only then, will the US get back on track. Turn away from God, and you suffer the consequences. Repent USA people or perish.

    November 24, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  19. Tim

    Mormons are NOT Christians. They are like Muslims. They believe that Jesus was a prophet, nothing more. A TRUE CHRISTIAN is a Born-Again Christian, who believes that Jesus Christ is God's Son, who died for all our sins on The Cross, Died, was buried, and on the third day, ROSE from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of The Father. If you have not asked Jesus, God's Son, to forgive you of your sins, asked Him to come into your life, by The Holy Spirit, YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN and your destination after death is Hell. That, is a FACT !!!

    November 24, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Reply
  20. Cheshire

    Ron Paul appears to be running for the wrong parties nomination...that said I hope he is the republican nominee.

    November 22, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Reply
  21. david

    they don't like food stamps or social sucurity or medicare or unemployment checks or mimumum wages or medicaid or clean air or the FDA or public education or maybe they just don't like people in general except those who they can send around the world to all kinds of places they want 'BOOTS ON THE GROUND CARING ARMS FOR THEM". maybe the should take their rich friends and themselves and move to haiti were they won't have to spend on thin dime on anyone but them selves. that would be capitalism on steroids there they would have the have and the have nots world they dream about every night.

    November 22, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Reply
  22. FedUpPeriod

    Does China still have nukes?

    November 22, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Reply
  23. ..a laurel and hardy handshake..............

    They all have one thing in common – THEY FEEL LIKE THEY (as Dubya did in IRAQ) CAN ATTACK ANY COUNTRY, ANY DAY, ANY WAY, WHETHER IT IS THE WRONG PLACE (such as IRAQ) OR NOT!

    November 22, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Reply
    • Winston "Dr. W.A.R." Ritter

      I would like to submit a question for each candidate. That question is as follows:

      Would you say that America has abided by the Constitution in the last few decades, and if not, would you work to restore the Constitution of the United States of America if elected President?

      November 22, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Reply
    • Jeb

      The Republican race has become a contest to see who would get us into the most wars. These people are crazy.

      November 22, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  24. Bill

    The Republican foreign policy "Why talk when you can bomb?'

    November 22, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Reply
    • Co Lo

      Not Ron Paul...

      November 22, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Reply
      • RP

        Get Paul and Huntsman out of here, they are nothing but liberal Democrats

        November 22, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
  25. jon

    Any of them will be better than Obama

    November 22, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Reply
    • Robert

      Wait wait wait... Huntsman is on Par with, and Paul would be a complete opposite against, but none of the rest could hold a candle to our current president on international issues.

      November 22, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Reply
      • RP

        Robert – You're as stupid as they are, get back to your liberal Democrat asshole post!

        November 22, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
      • Dan

        What internationalskill has Obama shown other than make a fool of himself.

        November 22, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • 40acres

      What a useless comment.

      November 22, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Reply
  26. mm

    Who needs Jersey shore when we have these bafoons debating?
    Mindless, entertaining TV at it's best!

    November 22, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  27. mm

    Who needs Jersey Shore when you have these bafoons debating?
    Mindless, entertaining TV at it's best!

    November 22, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Reply
    • Dan

      I c an see you are for a nonsense imposter,treasonist,fraud, American hater,Jew hater, out to destroy America,with his socialist knowledge and Indonesia citizenship , with 7 aliases, 28 addresses and a S.S.# of a dead man.

      November 22, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Reply
  28. MartyGRMI

    There is no difference between them. Just like there isn't any difference between them and Obama. They will all get in the WH and do the same thing we have been doing for 30 years.

    November 22, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • Scott

      Ron Paul has been doing teh same thing for thirty years, which is vote against most of the empire-building, and give harsh words to insensible decisions made to go to constant war and bomb and pillage.

      November 22, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  29. Georga Collins


    November 22, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  30. Michael Hrabovsky

    What branch of service did each candidate serve in??

    November 22, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Reply
    • mm

      Ha, that's funny!! Try zero, nada, none.....

      November 22, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Reply
      • Jimmer

        Ron Paul served in the air force you f u c k i n g m o r o n. take your worthless dribble somewhere else....

        November 22, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
      • Robert

        Perry served as well. I do not believe the rest have served. But to be honest, there hasn't been a member of the military as commander in chief in the past 20 years (Bush's position in the Air Force was a *Special* position known as 'My-Daddy-Wrote-me"-in-chief)

        November 22, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • Wow. Just Wow.

      Not a clue. Which branch did Obama serve in?

      November 22, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Reply
    • Co Lo

      Same branch as Obama?

      November 22, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  31. Common Sense Journalist

    Ron Paul now firmly in FIRST place today in Iowa according to the new TeleResearch poll of 2,900 likely Republican voters! Our efforts are paying off. Keep up the good work everyone! PLEASE SHARE! I have a Master's Degree in Communication and I feel the lack of fair coverage for Ron Paul goes against every standard of integrity in journalism. Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite would be ashamed of the modern mainstream media. Here are FIFTEEN FACTS that PROVE Ron Paul is the BEST candidate for President for any doubters that think he is "unelectable" whether they are Republican, Independent, or Democrat. Thank you for reading and sharing now!:
    1) This video shows that the FEC (Federal Election Commission) proves Ron Paul gets SEVENTY-ONE PERCENT of all donations from active duty soldiers more than any other Republican candidate combined. He even receives more money from them than Obama as well. Our troops support his respect for the Constitution, our economy, and foreign policy. Please respect them and watch this:

    2) "Ron Paul bests President Obama 48 to 39 percent among independent voters. The poll also showed Paul as the ONLY Republican candidate leading President Obama among independents." Here's the proof.

    3) Everyone (especially journalists with an agenda) should watch and share this five minute video that aired yesterday from a Fox News affiliate that completely DEBUNKS three big myths about
    Presidential candidate and frontrunner Ron Paul:
    Myth 1: He's too radical.
    Myth 2: He wants to let older people die. Myth 3: He's an isolationist. Here is the Iran foreign policy follow-up video.
    4) Foreign policy experts agree with Ron Paul as well

    5) Here is Ron Paul's plan for national security and restoring our foreign policy.

    6) Ex-CIA Chief Confirms that he supports Ron Paul because he is correct about foreign policy more than ANY other Presidential candidate:

    7) Vietnam Veteran Ron Paul has the power and the will as Commander and Chief to bring our troops home NOW and stop wasting money overseas to protect our own borders. More civilians were killed last year in ONE Mexican border town than ALL of Afghanistan COMBINED! Can anyone with a brain explain why our troops are overseas fighting an endless war for Empire in the Middle East when we are not protecting our back yard as a Republic?

    8 ) General Fuller in charge of training the Afghans was fired for speaking THE TRUTH about the corrupt dictator in Afghanistan (President Karzai) who is saying that if Pakistan ever declares war on the United States they will defend Pakistan instead of the United States. Afghanistan is our enemy. Please read and share.

    9) As for the economy Ron Paul has been right for 30 years and has the best plan for a balanced budget backed up by economic experts. His voting record is perfect on the issue as well. He has never voted for an unbalanced budget.

    10) He is a doctor who has personally delivered 4,000 babies and is pro-life because he respects how precious every life is AND also respects a woman's right to prevent pregnancy with birth control methods such as the morning after pill because it's impractical to police that.
    11) Ron Paul is also against ALL forms of torture including water-boarding.
    A) Proof water-boarding is illegal.
    B ) Multiple military branches say torture never works
    C) Matthew Alexander is a former senior military interrogator who conducted or supervised more than 1,300 interrogations in Iraq.

    12) Minorities support Ron Paul in droves and here is why in their own words.

    13) Ron Paul addressing the false allegations of racism on CNN.

    14) The President of the NAACP in Texas trusts Ron Paul.

    15) Finally, Here is how to register yourself and others as a Republican even if you may now be a Democrat or Independent to help Ron Paul win the GOP primary nomination in your state. Thanks!

    November 22, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Reply
    • Deb

      Seriously... you want voter fraud to get your candidate in???? This is honestly the reason I will NEVER support Ron Paul, because you are so enamered of him that you will do away with all of your values to get your way. You are all no different than ACORN and Obama supporters who tout the same underhanded tactics. I would never want to be associated with any of you dishonest lot!

      November 22, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Reply
      • Jimmer

        so who are you going to vote for debbie dear?.........don't fall off your high horse...its a lon ways down.

        November 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
      • TJprop

        You obviously have not checked out Ron Paul yourself..Ron Paul or no one ... everyone else is a two faced crook with taxpayer money...

        November 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • Robert

      Deb – Asking you to vote my way isn't fraud.

      Common Sense – constant repetition does one of two things: drives your point home or turns your listener off. Deb is the latter. I'm coming close to being the latter myself. While I agree some candidates get NO real speaking time, while others are given lavish time periods, constantly bombarding your fellow man with links to youtube and request to create explosions with personal wealth seems to be doing as much harm as good. How about taking the time to ninja your message. Slow, steady, and with a light touch. That seems vastly more in step with Dr. Paul than your current style.

      With that said, Newt's on top. $50 says someone discusses his morals and ethics before the end of tonight...

      November 22, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Reply
    • Larry L

      Ron Paul is a phisician and "charities & churches" is is solution for healthcare? He's the Ralph Nader of the Republican Party. He has a few solid concepts well-based in reality – just like Nader. He also is out of touch with the realities of the modern, interconnected and diverse world – too entrenched in his own ideology to ever function in today's dynamic society. Ron Paul wants to return to a world that never existed – and never will. Vote for President Obama. He's the only adult in the room.

      November 22, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  32. JohnW

    I'm looking at the picture, thinking "Who is that way over on the right?" Then I realized, it's all of them.

    November 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  33. CanadaOne

    The Prime Ministers of Canada, England and Australia are reported to a have had a “private talk” and all three have agreed that the biggest security threat is the GOP and the possibility that they win the next election. All three governments have assigned specialists to watch the debate tonight to determine where the biggest threat may lie and to plan strategies to mitigate the threat.

    Internationally it appears that the only countries that support the GOP are those who want the US to fail.

    We will not let it happen.


    November 22, 2011 at 11:55 am | Reply
    • Howard

      You incredibly stupid dumbocrat trolls are either clueless, or part of the corrupt obama political machine ... either way, the result is that you are flushing our country down the crapper. You fools are as big of a threat to America as any foreign enemy has ever been. It's past time for REAL Americans to fight back, starting with the removal of the TRAITOR, barack obama !!!

      November 22, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Reply
      • davec.0121

        Nice, reasoned, cogent and logical reply. I especially liked the way you presented the facts and your interpretations in such an intelligent and straightorward way to convince your readers of the rightness of your positions. Note – Howard, that's sarcasm – I wasn't sure you would recognize it.

        November 22, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
      • Larry L

        Howard... go to school... any school. Learn something... anything. You really shouldn't really be allowed to vote. That's the only positive thing about the facist government the right-wing seems to want. Those of you who lack the sense to pour-piss-from-a-boot would be in sweat shops and denied the right to give your opinion.

        November 22, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
    • T-trolls go back under the bridge

      Funny how the followers of the GOPTee-baggs are even more lame than their mindless leaders.

      November 22, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Reply
    • Georga Collins

      Hoax-ster....I've seen more Canadian publications which expose Dems voter fraud, Obama's incompetence and overspending than in our media. Besides, this is the US, not Canada, and I'd prefer that we get back to the Constitution.

      November 22, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Reply
    • One_Angry_Eagle

      Dear CanadaOne –

      Excellent! I appreciate that our neighbors fret over this great land of ours so much they're willing to call others in the national stage to make sure things align properly for them. You are proof positive that good fences make good neighbors!

      With that stated, please be advised: You learned your current trumped version of liberty off the blood that was spilled to attain our own. One of your co-conspiritors used to be your landlord, be certain to retain that in your deliberations over tonight's events. The other is your poor cousin, where you received explorers, they received exploiters. Where you received Captains, they received the convicted and condemned. Just a small thought before you share your own.

      With that, I turn my attention to you, Mr. Howard (and I use that term loosely and for the moment). Creativity is a boon of the American people. Be not put off by it. Not everyone's opinion is a poor regurgitation of another's speech. For some, it's exactly how we feel.

      Dave – WTG! That's a great response!! (note, not sarcasm)

      Georgia – Both sides have fraud. Can we all just accept that truth?

      T-Trolls – Don't feed the trolls!


      One Angry Eagle

      November 22, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Reply
  34. CanadaOne

    The Prime Ministers of Canada, England and Australia are reported to a have had a “private talk” and all three have agreed that the biggest security threat is the GOP and the possibility that they may win the next election. All three governments have assigned specialists to watch the debate tonight to determine where the biggest threat may lie and to plan strategies to mitigate the threat.

    Internationally it appears that the only countries that support the GOP are those who want the US to fail.

    We will not let it happen.


    November 22, 2011 at 11:54 am | Reply
  35. F. Hugh Jurkwad

    That's the GOP logic at work. The guy who allowed the attacks on the World Trade center "kept us safe" and the guy who removed Osama Bin Laden and a host of other terrorists without resorting to major armed conflict has "left the United States more vulnerable to attack".

    November 22, 2011 at 11:47 am | Reply
  36. ton

    In the last debate, the CBS one, it was revealed they all approve waterboarding, killing u.s. citizens by drone and going to war with Iran as soon as possible. All except Ron Paul and Huntsman.

    November 22, 2011 at 11:40 am | Reply
    • lgny

      That same gang of 6 were eager to invade Iran. Just what we need... another major Middle East war with little or not support from the rest of the world (Coalition of the Willing).

      November 22, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Reply
    • Larry L

      Ron Paul believes charities and churches are the solution for healthcare. Huntsman is rational and therefore disqualified as a Republican candidate. President Obama remains the most logical choice in 2012. That's a bonus because you don't get the GOP obstructionists as part of the deal.

      November 22, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Reply
  37. Daniel in Denver

    Tragically, I believe the current 'gimme more' populace will not elect Dr. Paul even if he makes it on the ballot next year. He's just too much of a grown up for most. I believe that with four more years of decline, more folks may see the light. Perhaps we should honor Dr. Paul's legacy now by printing up "Rand Paul – 2016" bumper stickers. It's our best shot at sanity that I can discern.

    November 22, 2011 at 10:58 am | Reply
    • Larry L

      Rand Paul is not Ron Paul. He grew up the pampered kid of a famous person and has nothing to offer America but an expansion of Ron Paul's concept of anarchy. He is a professional politician and simply throws out outrageous propositions to fuel the fires of the disgruntled Paul fans. Don't take the bait...

      November 22, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Reply
  38. Daniel in Denver

    Beauty, Ellen. Count me in!

    November 22, 2011 at 10:54 am | Reply
  39. ..a laurel and hardy handshake..............

    ..and the teanut-gop, as a whole, STILL BLAMES SADDAM HUSSEIN AND BILL CLINTON FOR THE 9/11 ATTACKS.
    ..Hey, Dubya got the MAN IN THE HOLE....
    ................................................... – PRESIDENT OBAMA GOT BIN LADEN AND GHADAFI!

    November 22, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
  40. More lies

    Someone needs to point out that most of the candidates "great ideas" are actually stolen from Ron Paul. Ron Paul has had these "great ideas" for 20+ years. The only difference is Ron Paul does not change his "great ideas to fit the audience. America needs to wake up and realize Ron Paul had been right for 20+ years, and he is right now.

    Do your own research and you will see.

    November 22, 2011 at 10:39 am | Reply
    • Larry L

      He thinks healthcare is about charities and churches. He's a physician and that's wht he's offering to the debate. Ron Paul has been rejected at least twice for good reasons. He wants to return to an America that never existed. "Aunt Bea... could you bring me and Opie some pie out here on the veranda?"... Join the modern world and work toward pragmatic solutions in a dynamic and interconnected society.

      November 22, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Reply
  41. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Cain is now protected by the Secret Service! What a joke. This was set up by the GOP to make Cain look like he's actually "presidential material." America, what more proof do you need to get it in your head that CAIN IS NOT ANY WAY, SHAPE or FORM, Presidential qualified. I strongly encourage you to watch the Cain interview where he was asked about whether he agreed with President Obama’s policy on Libya. His response was beyond pathetic. Even his sympathizers had pity on him. He clearly had no idea whatsoever about what just happened in Libya and what Obama did in the effort. He was completely clueless. If this had been a high school test, CAIN would have been put back another year to repeat the same grade over.

    A week after the interview where Cain was asked about Libya, Cain comes out in the press with “his thoughts” about what he would do in Libya. Everyone on earth knows he is lying and could never come up with any geopolitical solution to any problem facing the United States. Clear-and Present-Danger National Security decisions affecting the United States cannot and MUST NOT wait until CAIN has had a week to consult with the Koch brothers and a couple of hired contractors to formulate an equal response to the threat! Cain has already admitted many times he has people to delve into foreign affairs problems because he has no interest in such things; after all, what more would you expect from someone who spent his life getting rich in the restaurant business? He doesn’t even read the newspapers or watch political events on TV!! He is actually less knowledgeable about foreign affairs than Sarah Palin and that’s something that is hard to do. I would never have imagined in a trillion years that there is someone in the world dumber about foreign policy and general issues than Sarah Palin!

    Cain was a “businessman, and ONLY a businessman.” I’ll repeat that in case you don’t understand the point. Cain was a businessman at Godfather’s Pizza chain. He has already said in the media he would have his staff give him details on other countries and their leaders if he was President. The highest and most serious office in America must not and cannot be relegated to a man who is 100% out of touch with geopolitics, world affairs, and other world leaders who are either our allies or adversaries, or non-state actors and the entire political spectrum of ideologies of governments and regimes that America must deal with 24/7, rain or shine, friend or foe.

    November 22, 2011 at 10:09 am | Reply
    • Lady M

      WE have had a politican in the white house and how is that going? WE need someone that can run America like a business, I am a small business person and I would love to see a business oriented person that could possibly turn this country is a better question. WHY IS ALL THE POLITICAN SO AFRAID OF CAIN?

      November 22, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  42. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    The only reason Cain is even running for office is so that American corporations can shape U.S. policy in favor of the upper 1% of the wealthiest persons and companies in America. He was hand-picked by the billionaire Koch brothers, who are investing millions of dollars in ads and campaign contributions in the GOP Presidential and gubernatorial races or coffers of GOPers already in office. Their goal is clear: deregulate the state and federal government to ensure taxes are off the table and profits are limitless.

    November 22, 2011 at 10:08 am | Reply
  43. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Cain must go back to making pizza dough. He must not be nominated. Do not allow this incompetent buffoon anywhere near our policy table or with the reins of government under his control. Running a pizza chain has nothing to do with knowing and understanding the complexities and responsibilities that are inherent in being the leader and Commander-in-Chief of the world’s most technologically advanced armed forces ever assembled on the planet.

    Cain is not now, nor will he ever be qualified to be the President of The United States.

    What a complete incompetent uneducated buffoon. I wouldn't let this idiot get near my dog and definitely nowhere near my kids! He is so StOoPiD I'm afraid his ignorance about government, foreign affairs and politics would zap my children's education from their minds. I never thought I'd catch myself saying that there is actually someone more uneducated than Sarah Palin about the world.

    November 22, 2011 at 10:08 am | Reply
  44. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    The Parables of the Good Samaritan and Republicans and the Middle-Class

    The Parable of the Good Samaritan:

    On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

    But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

    In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So, too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

    “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

    Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

    The Parable of the Republicans and the Middle-Class:

    On one occasion an expert in GOP political maneuvering stood up to test President Obama. “Mr. President,” he asked, “what must I do to help my country?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “‘Love the common man your fellow American citizen with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “You have answered correctly,” The President replied. “Do this and you will live with the respect of all Americans.”

    But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Obama, “And who is my neighbor?”

    In reply Obama said: “A man was going down from Boston to New York to look for a job, when he was attacked by an angry Tea Party mob at a GOP rally en route. They stripped him of his health care, took away his right to collective bargaining, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A Republican congressman happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So, too, a limousine filled with tax-free billionaire and millionaire businessmen, when they came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a kind and concerned wealthy man, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and transported him to the hospital, in his own limousine, brought him to an ER. The next day he paid for all medical expenses the man owed. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

    “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of Tea Party?” The Republican consultant and expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

    Obama told him, “Go and do likewise.”

    November 22, 2011 at 10:07 am | Reply
    • bontragerfam

      Are you saying Obama is Jesus?
      No way. Obama is ruining this country.

      November 22, 2011 at 10:58 am | Reply
  45. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Romney hates the middle-class and wants to cut the deficit by cutting off the legs of the middle-class and take away everything they've worked for their entire lives. Screw this Moron Mormon! Occupy his damned office as soon as it opens with 1 million protestors and stay there until Obama and Biden are re-elected in 2012!

    November 22, 2011 at 10:06 am | Reply
  46. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Oh my God! Nutty Newt has finally fallen from the edge and brink of reality. He wants to set America back 200 years and institute childhood slavery! This isn't The Great Depression when kids helped their families by working for a nickel a day to keep their families from starving to death! The U.S. is already ranked at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to education.

    What a buffoon and retarded GOP mental case Newt-the-Nuisance is. God save us from this sick humanoid from Toiletville.

    Newt the Nuisance Get-Rich Gingrich is the absolute Supreme Fascist of the Universe. His insane backwards looking, backwards-thinking idiotic idea of instituting and legalizing childhood slavery (yes, that’s what his plan really amount to) is so far out of all moral reasoning and human decency bounds that even Satan is shaking his head in unbelief. There’s nothing wrong with kids cutting lawns, delivering newspapers, etc., for a few hours a week as long as it doesn’t interfere with their homework. But Newt (who on earth would name someone with that nomenclature?) wants to get rid of unionized janitors and “trick” children into believing they can improve their financial plight by cleaning the toilets at their own schools!!!!! Yeah, it’s true kids did work their asses off DURING THE DEPRESSION to help their families to keep from starving to death! It’s parents and guardians of children whom society, clergy and traditional cultural norms have accepted should be the ones who take care of the kids in order to keep them from the stress of having to survive.

    Newt is fine with kids ages 9 to 16 years of age spending their time cleaning and mopping school floors instead of getting a solid education. A part-time job after school for a sixteen year-old is one thing, but passing legislation that promotes having a non-unionized Master Janitor in charge of little children minions goes beyond all rational and moral logic. Right now the U.S. ranks very far down on the scale of quality educated young people in the world, something like number 19, or something like that. Now Newt-the-Fruit wants to make that ranking worse (or prove he cares little) by making young adolescents, whose brains are still in development, think more and esteem higher, the pitiful chance of making a few measly bucks cleaning urinals and toilets more important than earning a 4.0 GPA. Newt is nuts. I’ll bet he’d have little 9 year olds in the White House cleaning his Tiffany’s jewelry and sweeping the driveway as spoiled rich GOP brats drive by laughing and spitting on them on their way to the Republican Ball.

    November 22, 2011 at 10:05 am | Reply
  47. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    To all you GOP mindless buffoons out there: You are unlearned ignorant mentally challenged midget mind retards, but it may not be your entire fault. You probably watch Fox Factless Fixed News non-stop and rely on reporters who wouldn't know a fact if God handed one to them on a stone tablet from a holy mountain. Bush himself admitted publically that he did not know where bin Laden was nor did he care to find him. In 2010, President Obama made finding bin Laden a top priority and in 2011 that became a reality. Every counter-intelligence officer, who went public, said that at no time ever, did enhanced interrogation techniques ever produce one shred of useful Intelligence to find bin Laden. That’s right – not one Intel officer will ever say differently. Go ahead; knock yourself out trying to find a credible former Intel officer who says otherwise. Even Senator John McCain went on the record on the Senate floor categorically refuting the lie that enhanced interrogation techniques were even remotely credited for tracking bin Laden down. McCain's source for this information was from then CIA Director, Leon Panetta. Obama and his Intelligence team found bin Laden through their own investigative techniques and intelligence apparatus. I am a Navy Veteran (retired) and I applaud every soldier, airman and sailor or marine who put their lives on the line against terrorists defending America and its allies, so I don’t mean to belittle in any way the sacrifices they made and contributions in the GWOT. They are America's finest and always will be. But Bush had nothing to do with finding bin Laden. He gets no credit. He only gets credit for being the idiot who attacked the wrong country (Iraq) in search of bin Laden just so he could find oil on foreign soil.

    November 22, 2011 at 10:04 am | Reply
    • bontragerfam

      have an ax to grind? If I were a mindless buffoon, addicted to Fox News, I wouldn't be on this website, would I?
      The Democrats want to strip everything away from successful people. Why should my hard earned money go to people who sit on their buts all day? I put myself through college and grad school. I've always paid my bills. Others can too.

      November 22, 2011 at 11:01 am | Reply
      • lgny

        This hyperbole is getting so tiresome. The proposals are to increase taxes a few percentage points above current levels. That's a far cry from taking away all of their earnings.

        It's fine to disagree, but let's please keep our accusations realistic.

        November 22, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
      • T-trolls go back under the bridge

        bongtraderfan – the weak "everybody who diagrees with me is a looser" rant is less than a joke – as are those who keep chanting it. Most welfare people are white and most of those vote REpubtard.

        November 22, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  48. Ryan

    "[N]one of the candidates has gone as far as Rick Perry in advocating for an across the board elimination of foreign assistance to other countries."

    Truth-O-Meter: FALSE FALSE FALSE

    Ron Paul has been preaching cutting foreign aid for years! We try to buy influence and history has always come back to kick us in the pants. Exhibits: Musharef in Iran, the Mujahadeen against the Soviets. How did those work out for us?

    November 22, 2011 at 9:55 am | Reply
  49. Ellen

    How much would I love a Paul/Huntsman ticket? Two common sense approaches!

    November 22, 2011 at 9:06 am | Reply
    • Ann

      I was just thinking exact same thing! But more... Huntsman/Paul 2012. 🙂

      November 22, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Reply
  50. Phil in KC

    Huntsman would win this one hands-down if the audience were anyone other than a bunch of right-wing Republicans. I don't totally disagree with Romney. I don't totally agree, but I don't completely disagree. Same for Gingrich. The rest are just plain dangerous and Cain is a joke.

    November 22, 2011 at 8:54 am | Reply
    • Common Sense

      You don't totally disagree with Romney because Romney picks two sides to every issue.

      November 22, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  51. RP

    I'm already against the next war
    Ron Paul 2012 or bust

    November 22, 2011 at 8:29 am | Reply

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