Republican candidates talk national security at Arizona debate
February 23rd, 2012
04:38 AM ET

Republican candidates talk national security at Arizona debate

Wednesday’s CNN/Arizona Republican Party debate dealt with a number of topics involving national security. The presidential hopefuls spoke about the role women play in the military, force modernization and Iran’s nuclear program.

Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, went after President Obama on the president’s handling of national security issues:

Everybody needs to understand - and by the way, we live in an age when we have to genuinely worry about nuclear weapons going off in our own cities. So everybody who serves in the fire department, in the police department, not just the first responders, but our National Guard, whoever is going to respond, all of us are more at risk today, men and women, boys and girls, than at any time in the history of this country… I think this is a very sober period, and I believe this is the most dangerous president on national security grounds in American history.

Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, spoke about increasing and modernizing the military due to an ever changing world:

The world is more dangerous. It is not safer. North Korea is going through transition. The Arab Spring has become the Arab Winter. Syria is in flux. And, of course, Pakistan, with 100 nuclear weapons or more, represents a potential threat. Northern Mexico is a real danger area. I mean, looking around the world, you have Hezbollah in Latin America and Mexico. I mean, we face a very dangerous world. The right course is to add ships to our Navy, to modernize and add aircraft to our Air Force, to add 100,000 troops to our active-duty personnel, and to strengthen America's military.

Rick Santorum, former senator from Pennsylvania, defended comments he made about concerns he has with women serving in certain military roles:

I said I had concerns about certain roles with respect to - and particularly in infantry. I still have those concerns, but I would defer to at least hearing the recommendations of those involved. But I think we have civilian control of the military, and these are things that should be decided not just by the generals, but we should not have social engineering, as I think we've seen from this president. We should have sober minds looking at what is in fact the best proper – proper roles for everybody in combat.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul said he does not believe that Iran has or is close to having a nuclear weapon:

We don't know if they have a weapon. As a matter of fact, there's no evidence that they have it. There is no evidence. Israel claims they do not have it and our government doesn't. I don't want them to get a weapon. But I think what we're doing is encouraging them to have a weapon because they feel threatened. If you look at a map of - if you look at a map of Iran, we have 45 bases around their country, plus our submarines. The Iranians can't possibly attack anybody. And we're worrying about the possibility of one nuclear weapon.

Filed under: 2012 Election • Defense Spending • Gingrich • Iran • Military • Obama • Paul • Romney • Santorum • Security Brief
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Portable Water Softener

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    April 15, 2012 at 1:19 am | Reply
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    April 11, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  3. Matthew Sailhardy

    Zionist traitors? Warnings from Ed Asner? Is he a space cadet, too? Little green men, anyone? Beware Barack Obama,but hang onto your sanity,folks.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:28 am | Reply
  4. jay0106

    ron paul or nothing

    February 23, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Reply
  5. helenecha

    Newt Gingrich: Where're the servicemen?
    Mitt Romney: Of course, they're over there.
    Rick Santorum: We have them home.
    Ron Paul: There stand some.

    February 23, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Reply
  6. Abaddon

    Please, please, please – do not vote for Ron Paul. For he desires peace.......and I crave fresh souls.

    February 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  7. Cant Trust zionist Traitors

    Come on WW3 Baby!

    Giddy and giddy . . . .the best part of WW3 is the cold truth . . . israel will get nuked, too. Too bad we all get nuked, but hey, blame it on israel's spy agency AIPAC and our traitor politicians who sold us out to the dirty evil khazar zionists.


    The sad truth: We're all guilty. We let these foreigners come here and take advantage of our open and free society and we became blind to their money of which they used to bribe our leaders to change and manipulate our laws. One big mistake was allowing foreigners to have U.S. citizenship while they kept one foot in their foreign country of origin.
    No loyalty only betrayal when these pig dog face zionists pursued and obtained all the posts in government to pull our strings in their favor. They have us dying for their racist regime in israel.

    israel is our enemy!

    Our rights are gone. We have become a rouge terrorist state in a endless war mentality, spurred on by manufactured 9/11 events and there will be another one coming up, Obama is a puppet of his zionist masters on Wall Street/Fed. Reserve. Tel-aviv owns our Congress. Every zionist supporter in Congress should be shot after a short trial.

    Money from the treacherous and evil zionists paid for our demise, our leader's greed made it happen, but we let them.

    So, let's get it on and get it over with.

    In the end, there will be no more israel and the evil of nwo zionist madness.

    Come oonnnnn!

    The world is going to go to hell . . . and for what? So a bunch of dirty evil khazars invaders can steal other people's land and kill innocent women and children while claiming to be the chosen people. What a bunch of crap!

    So, let's get it over with!

    February 23, 2012 at 11:07 am | Reply
  8. GOPisGreedOverPeople

    The GOP solution: Start a war with Iran (totally unfunded of course). Then send the poor people to fight/die in the war while giving the rich people "no bid contracts" (killing two birds with one stone). Then use Iran's oil to pay for the war. And when the war is over, Iran will sell us cheap oil!!!.......Just like in Iraq!!!!..........Oh wait.......Never mind.

    February 23, 2012 at 9:17 am | Reply
  9. mipolitic

    the iranian jihad nuke threat was left out by cnn news, oops , do not make obama look bad.

    but the fact is all three of these guys agree like most americans , that the foeign policy of obama is weak and the 19 detained americans in egypt supports this fact

    February 23, 2012 at 7:48 am | Reply
  10. michaelfury

    "Appearing on the Alex Jones Show on Monday, Emmy Award-winning actor Ed Asner said Navy Seals have told him military action against Iran is forthcoming and will be preceded by a false flag attack.

    Asner told Alex and his nationally syndicated radio show audience that the Seals are attempting to alert the American people about the prospect of a false flag operation and “more foreign escapades” before the establishment media “starts brainwashing us.”

    Asner said it is up to the American people to recognize and prevent an imminent false flag operation and stop another disastrous war before it gets started. He said the Navy Seals are now coming forward because they are worried that an Iran false flag attack “runs the danger” of creating a “world-wide conflict if it gets out of hand.”

    February 23, 2012 at 7:46 am | Reply
  11. chizzlin sam

    romney wants to add 100,000 troops?! hasnt he noticed our vets are tired out from successive duties? more importantly, it would take a drastic increase in benefits (or a draft) to Get another 100,000 new soldiers–money we dont have... guess mitt missed the part about upcoming cuts in the military budget??

    February 23, 2012 at 6:54 am | Reply
  12. chizzlin sam

    gingrich gives me mccarthy flashbacks with his scare tactics and negative bodyslams...except for ron paul it sounds like they believe america should control the world–coporate imperialists run by the cia...

    February 23, 2012 at 6:45 am | Reply
  13. Sayan Majumdar

    At last a declaration from “top echelon” (Presidential candidate Mitt Romney) that “Pakistan, with 100 nuclear weapons or more, represents a potential threat”.

    Well, the irony is successive Republican administrations (1980 to 1992) simply buried their heads in the sand on the issue of Pakistan’s active involvement in development and subsequent proliferation of nuclear “assets” with China and North Korea playing their own shady part.

    On the positive side, better late than never.


    February 23, 2012 at 6:31 am | Reply

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