Full Text Campaign Buzz 2016 October 19, 2016: The third Trump-Clinton presidential debate transcript

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

2016 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN:

The third Trump-Clinton presidential debate transcript

Source: Vox, 10-19-16

Chris Wallace: I’m Chris Wallace of Fox News. And I welcome you to the third and final of the 2016 presidential debates between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump.

This debate is sponsored by the commission on presidential debates. The commission has designed the format, six roughly 15-minute segments with two-minute answers to the first question, then open discussion for the rest of each segment. Both campaigns have agreed to those rules. For the record, I decided the topics and the questions in each topic. None of those questions has been shared with the commission or the two candidates. The audience here in the hall has promised to remain silent. No cheers, boos, or other interruptions, so we and you can focus on what the candidates have to say. No noise except right now as we welcome the Democratic nominee for president, Secretary Clinton, and the Republican nominee for president, Mr. Trump.

Secretary Clinton, Mr. Trump, welcome. Let’s get right to it. The first topic is the Supreme Court. We — you both talked briefly about the court in the last debate, but I want to drill down on this because the next president will almost certainly have at least one appointment and likely or possibly two or three appointments, which means that you will in effect determine the balance of the court for what could be the next quarter century. First of all, where do you want to see the court take the country? And secondly, what’s your view on how the Constitution should be interpreted? Do the founders’ words mean what they say, or is it a living document to be applied flexibly according to changing circumstances? In this segment, Secretary Clinton, go first, you have two minutes.

Hillary Clinton: Thank you very much, Chris, and thanks to UNLV for hosting us. When we talk about the Supreme Court it really raises the central issue in this election, namely, what kind of country are we going to be? What kind of opportunities will we provide for our citizens?

What kind of rights will Americans have? And I feel strongly that the Supreme Court needs to stand on the side of the American people, not on the side of the powerful corporations and the wealthy.

For me, that means that we need a Supreme Court that will stand up on behalf of women’s rights, on behalf of the rights of the LGBT community, that will stand up and say no to Citizens United, a decision that has undermined the election system in the country because of the way it permits dark, unaccountable money to come into our electoral system. I have major disagreements with my opponent about these issues and others that will be before the Supreme Court, but I feel that at this point in our country’s history, it is important that we not reverse marriage equality, that we not reverse Roe v. Wade, that we stand up against Citizens United, we stand up for the rights of people in the workplace, that we stand up and basically say the Supreme Court should represent all of us. That’s how I see the court, and the kind of people that I would be looking to nominate to the court would be in the great tradition of standing up to the powerful, standing up on behalf of our rights as Americans, and I look forward to having that opportunity.

I would hope that the Senate would do its job and confirm the nominee that President Obama has sent to them. That’s the way the Constitution fundamentally should operate. The president nominates and then the Senate advises and consents or not.

But they go forward with the process.

Wallace: Secretary Clinton, thank you. Mr. Trump, same question. Where do you want to see the court take the country, and how do you believe the Constitution should be interpreted?

Donald Trump: Well, first of all, it’s great to be with you and thank you, everybody. The Supreme Court, it’s what it’s all about. Our country is so, so, just so imperative that we have the right justices. Something happened recently where Justice Ginsburg made some very inappropriate statements toward me and toward a tremendous number of people, many, many millions of people that I represent, and she was forced to apologize, and apologize she did. But these were statements that should never, ever have been made.

We need a Supreme Court that, in my opinion, is going to uphold the Second Amendment and all amendments, but the Second Amendment, which is under absolute siege. I believe if my opponent should win this race, which I truly don’t think will happen, we will have a Second Amendment which will be a very, very small replica of what it is right now. But I feel that it’s absolutely important that we recall because of the fact that it is under such trauma. I feel that the justices that I am going to appoint — and I’ve named 20 of them — the justices that I’m going to appoint will be pro-life, they will have a conservative bent, they will be protecting the Second Amendment, they are great scholars in all cases, and they’re people of tremendous respect. They will interpret the Constitution the way the founders wanted it interpreted.

And I believe that’s very, very important. I don’t think we should have justices appointed that decide what they want to hear.

It’s all about the Constitution of — and so important, the Constitution the way it was meant to be and those are the people that I will appoint.

Wallace: We now have 10 minutes for open discussion. I want to focus on two issues that in fact by the justices that you name could end up changing the existing law of the land. First is one that you mentioned, Mr. Trump, and that is guns. Secretary Clinton, you said last year, and let me quote, the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment.

Now, in fact, in the 2008 Heller case, the court ruled that there is a constitutional right to bear arms but a right that is reasonably limited. Those were the words of Judge Antonin Scalia, who wrote the decision. What’s wrong with that?

Clinton: Well, first of all, I support the Second Amendment. I lived in Arkansas for 18 wonderful years. I represented upstate New York. I understand and respect the tradition of gun ownership. It goes back to the founding of our country. But I also believe that there can be and must be reasonable regulation. Because I support the Second Amendment doesn’t mean that I want people who shouldn’t have guns to be able to threaten you, kill you or members of your family.

And so when I think about what we need to do, we have 33,000 people a year who die from guns. I think we need comprehensive background checks. We need to close the online loophole, close the gun show loophole. There are other matters that I think are sensible that are the kind of reforms that would make a difference that are not in any way conflicting with the Second Amendment.

You mentioned the Heller decision, and what I was saying that you reference, Chris, was that I disagreed with the way the court applied the Second Amendment in that case. Because what the District of Columbia was trying to do was protect toddlers from guns. They wanted people with guns to safely store them, and the court didn’t accept that reasonable regulation, but they’ve accepted many other.

I see no conflict between saving people’s lives and defending the Second Amendment.

Wallace: Let me bring Mr. Trump in here. The bipartisan open debate coalition got millions of votes on questions to ask here, and this was, in fact, one of the top questions that they got. How will you ensure the Second Amendment is protected? You just heard Secretary Clinton’s answer. Does she persuade you that, while you may differ on regulation, that she supports a Second Amendment right to bear arms?

Trump: The DC v. Heller decision was very strongly and she was extremely angry about it. I watched. She was very, very angry when upheld. And Justice Scalia was so involved, and it was a well-crafted decision, but Hillary was extremely upset, extremely angry, and people that believe in the Second Amendment and believe in it very strongly were very upset with what she had to say.

Wallace: Let me bring in Secretary Clinton. Were you extremely upset?

Clinton: Well, I was upset because, unfortunately, dozens of toddlers injure themselves, even kill people with guns because, unfortunately, not everyone who has loaded guns in their homes takes appropriate precautions.

But there’s no doubt that I respect the Second Amendment, that I also believe there’s an individual right to bear arms. That is not in conflict with sensible, commonsense regulation. And you know, look, I understand that Donald’s been strongly supported by the NRA, the gun lobby’s on his side, they’re running millions of dollars of ads against me. And I regret that, because what I would like to see is for people to come together and say of course we’re going to protect and defend the Second Amendment, but we’re going to do it in a way that tries to save some of these 33,000 lives that we lose every year.

Wallace: Let me bring Mr. Trump back into that. Because, in fact, you oppose any limits on assault weapons, any limits on magazines. You support a national right to carry law. Why, sir?

Trump: Let me just tell you before we go any further, in Chicago, which has the toughest gun laws in the United States, probably you could say by far they have more gun violence than any other city. So we have the toughest laws and you have tremendous gun violence.

I am a very strong supporter of the Second Amendment. And I don’t know if Hillary was saying it in a sarcastic manner, but I’m very proud to have the endorsement of the NRA. It’s the earliest endorsement they’ve ever given to anybody who ran for president. I’m very honored by all of that.

We are going to appoint justices. This is the best way to help the Second Amendment. We’re going to appoint justices that will feel very seriously about the Second Amendment. That will not do damage to the Second Amendment.

Wallace: Let’s pick up on another issue which divides you and the justices that whoever ends up winning this election appoints could have a dramatic effect there, and that’s the issue of abortion. Mr. Trump, you’re pro-life. But I want to ask you specifically, do you want the court, including the justices that you will name, to overturn Roe v. Wade, which includes, in fact states, a woman’s right to abortion?

Trump: Well, if that would happen, because I am pro-life and I will be appointing pro-life judges, I would think that that would go back to the individual states.

Wallace: But I’m asking you specifically —

Trump: If they overturned it, it will go back to the states.

Wallace: What I’m asking you, sir, is do you want to see the court overturn? You just said you want to see the court protect the Second Amendment. Do you want to see the court overturn Roe v. Wade?

Trump: If we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that will happen. And that will happen automatically in my opinion because I’m putting pro-life justices on the court. I will say this, it will go back to the states and the states will then make a determination.

Wallace: Secretary Clinton?

Clinton: I strongly support Roe v. Wade, which guarantees a constitutional right to a woman to make the most intimate, most difficult in many cases decisions about her health care that one can imagine. And in this case it’s not only about Roe v. Wade. It is about what’s happening right now in America. So many states are putting very stringent regulations on women that block them from exercising that choice to the extent that they are defunding Planned Parenthood, which, of course, provides all kinds of cancer screenings and other benefits for women in our country.

Donald has said he’s in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood. He even supported shutting the government down to defund Planned Parenthood. I will defend Planned Parenthood. I will defend Roe v. Wade, and I will defend women’s rights to make their own health care decisions.

Wallace: Secretary —

Clinton: And we’ve come too far to have that turn back now. Indeed, he said women should be punished, that there should be some form of punishment for women who obtain abortions. And I could just not be more opposed to that kind of thinking.

Wallace: I’m going to give you a chance to respond, but I want to ask you, Secretary Clinton, how far you believe the right to abortion goes. You have been quoted as saying that the fetus has no constitutional rights. You also voted against a ban on late-term partial-birth abortions. Why?

Clinton: Because Roe v. Wade very clearly sets out that there can be regulations on abortion so long as the life and the health of the mother are taken into account. And when I voted as a senator, I did not think that that was the case. The kinds of cases that fall at the end of pregnancy are often the most heartbreaking, painful decisions for families to make. I have met with women who toward the end of their pregnancy get the worst news one could get, that their health is in jeopardy if they continue to carry to term or that something terrible has happened or just been discovered about the pregnancy. I do not think the United States government should be stepping in and making those most personal of decisions. So you can regulate if you are doing so with the life and the health of the mother taken into account.

Wallace: Mr. Trump, your reaction, and particularly on this issue of late-term partial birth abortion.

Trump: I think it’s terrible if you go with what Hillary is saying in the ninth month you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.

Now, you can say that that’s okay, and Hillary can say that that’s okay, but it’s not okay with me. Because based on what she’s saying and based on where she’s going and where she’s been, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month, only the final day. And that’s not acceptable.

Clinton: Well, that is not what happens in these cases. And using that kind of scare rhetoric is just terribly unfortunate. You should meet with some of the women that I’ve met with. Women I’ve known over the course of my life.

This is one of the worst possible choices that any woman and her family has to make. I do not believe the government should be making it. I’ve been to countries where governments forced women to have abortions like they did in China or force women to bear children like they used to do in Romania. I can tell you the government has no business in the decisions that women make with their families in accordance with their faith, with medical advice, and I will stand up for that right.

Wallace: All right. Just briefly, I want to move on.

Trump: And honestly, nobody has business doing what I just said, doing that as late as one or two or three or four days prior to birth, nobody has that.

Wallace: All right. Let’s move on to the subject of immigration, and there is almost no issue that separates the two of you more than the issue of immigration.

Actually, there are a lot of issues. Mr. Trump, you want to build a wall. Secretary Clinton, you’ve offered no specific plan for how you want to secure our southern border.

Mr. Trump, you are calling for major deportations. Secretary Clinton, you say within your first 100 days as president you’ll offer a package that includes a pathway to citizenship. The question really is why are you right and your opponent wrong? Mr. Trump, you go first in this segment. You have two minutes.

Trump: First of all, she wants to give amnesty, which is a disaster and very unfair to all the people who are waiting in line for many years. We need strong borders. In the audience tonight we have four mothers of — I mean, these are unbelievable people that I’ve gotten to know over a period of years whose children have been killed, brutally killed by people who came into the country illegally. You have mothers, fathers, relatives all over the county. They’re coming in illegally.

Drugs are pouring in through the border. We have no country if we have no border. Hillary wants to give amnesty, she wants to have open borders.

As you know, the Border Patrol agency, 16,500-plus ICE last week endorsed me. First time they’ve ever endorsed a candidate. It means their job is tougher, but they know what’s going on. They know it better than anybody. They want strong borders. They feel we have to have strong borders. I was up in New Hampshire, the biggest complaint they have with all the problems going on in the world, many of the problems caused by Hillary Clinton and by Barack Obama, all of the problems, their single biggest problem is heroin that pours across our southern borders, just pouring and destroying their youth. It’s poisoning the blood of their youth and plenty of other people.

We have to have strong borders. We have to keep the drugs out of our country. Right now we’re getting the drugs, they’re getting the cash. We need strong borders. We absolute — we cannot give amnesty.

Now I want to build a wall. We need the wall. The border patrol, ICE, they all want the wall. We stop the drugs, shore up the border.

One of my first acts will be to get all of the drug lords, we have some bad, bad people in this country that have to go out. We’ll get them out, secure the border, and once the border is secured, at a later date we’ll make a determination as to the rest. But we have some bad hombres here and we’re going to get them out.

Wallace: Mr. Trump, thank you. Same question to you, Secretary Clinton, basically why are you right and Mr. Trump is wrong?

Clinton: As he was talking, I was thinking about a young girl I met here in Las Vegas, Carla, who was very worried that her parents might be deported because she was born in this country but they were not. They work hard and do everything they can to give her a good life. And you’re right, I don’t want to rip families apart. I don’t want to be sending parents away from children. I don’t want to see the deportation force that Donald has talked about in action in our country. We have 11 million undocumented people. They have 4 million American citizen children — 15 million people. He said as recently as a few weeks ago in Phoenix that every undocumented person would be subject to deportation.

Now, here’s what that means. It means you would have to have a massive law enforcement presence where law enforcement officers would be going school to school, home to home, business to business, rounding up people who are undocumented, and we would then have to put them on trains, on buses, to get them out of our country. I think that is an idea that is not in keeping with who we are as a nation. I think it’s an idea that would rip our country apart. I have been for border security for years.

I voted for border security in the United States Senate. And my comprehensive immigration reform plan of course includes border security. But I want to put our resources where I think they’re most needed — getting rid of any violent person, anybody who should be deported, we should deport them. When it comes to the wall that Donald talks about building, he went to Mexico. He had a meeting with the Mexican president. Didn’t even raise it. He choked, then got into a Twitter war because the Mexican president said, “We’re not paying for that wall.”

So I think we are both a nation of immigrants and we are a nation of laws and that we can act accordingly. That’s why I’m introducing immigration reform within the first 100 days with a path to citizenship.

Trump: Chris, I think it’s an issue to respond to. First of all, I had a very good meeting with the president of Mexico. Very nice man. We will be doing very much better with Mexico on trade deals, believe me, than the NAFTA deal by her husband, one of the worst deals of any kind signed by anybody. It’s a disaster. Hillary Clinton wanted the wall. Hillary Clinton fought for the wall in 2006 or thereabouts.

Now, she never gets anything done, so naturally the wall wasn’t built. But Hillary Clinton want the wall. We’re a country of laws. And by the way —

Wallace: I’d like to hear from Secretary Clinton.

Clinton: I voted for border security, and there are —

Trump: And the wall.

Clinton: There are some limited places where that was appropriate. There’s also going to be new technology and how best to deploy that. But it is clear, when you look at what Donald has been proposing — he started his campaign bashing immigrants, calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals and drug dealers — that he has a very different view about what we should do to deal with immigrants. Now, what I am also arguing is that bringing undocumented immigrants out from the shadows, putting them in the formal economy, will be good because employers can’t exploit them and undercut their wages.

Donald knows a lot about this; he used undocumented labor to build Trump Tower. He underpaid undocumented workers, and when they complained he said what a lot of [people] do, you complain I’ll get you deported. I want to get the economy working and not let employers like Donald exploit undocumented workers that hurts them and undocumented workers.

Trump: President Obama has moved millions of people out. Nobody knows about it, nobody talks about it. But under Obama, millions of people have been moved out of this country, they’ve been deported. She doesn’t want to say that, but that’s what’s happened. And that’s what’s happened big league. As far as moving these people out and moving, we have a country or we don’t. We’re a country of laws. We either have a border or we don’t. You can come back in and you can become a citizen, but it’s very unfair — we have million of people that did it the right way.

They’re on line, they’re waiting. We’re going to speed up the process big league because it’s very inefficient. But they’re in line and they’re waiting to become citizens. Very unfair that somebody runs across the border, becomes a citizen. Under her plan you have open borders. You would have a disaster on trade. And you’ll have a disaster with your open borders. What she doesn’t say is that president Obama has deported millions and millions of people just the way it is. Wallace: Secretary Clinton — Clinton: We will not have open borders. That is a rank mischaracterization. Wallace: Secretary Clinton? Clinton: We’ll have secure borders but we’ll also have reform. This used to be a bipartisan issue. Ronald Reagan was the last president — Wallace: Excuse me. Secretary Clinton. Clinton: Designed immigration reform and George W. Bush supported it as well. Wallace: Secretary Clinton, I want to clear up your position on this issue because in a speech you gave to a Brazilian bank for which you were paid $225,000 we’ve learned from the Wikileaks that you said this and I want to quote, my dream is a hemispheric common market with open trade and open borders —Trump: Thank you.

Wallace: So that’s the question. Please, quiet, everybody. Is that your dream, open borders?

Clinton: Well, if you went on to read the rest of the sentence, I was talking about energy. You know, we trade more energy with our neighbors than we trade with the rest of the world combined. And I do want us to have an electric grid, energy system that crosses borders. I think that would be a great benefit to us. But you are very clearly quoting from wikileaks and what’s really important about wikileaks is that the Russian government has engaged in espionage against Americans. They have hacked American websites, American accounts of private people, of institutions, then they have given that information to Wikileaks for the purpose of putting it on the internet.

This has come from the highest levels of the Russian government, clearly from Putin himself, in an effort, as 17 of our intelligence agencies have confirmed to influence our election. So I actually think the most important question of this evening, Chris, is finally will Donald Trump admit and condemn that the Russians are doing this and make it clear that he will not have the help of Putin in this election, that he rejects Russian espionage against Americans which he actually encouraged in the past?

Those are the questions we need answered. We’ve never had anything like this happen in any of our elections before.

Trump: That was a great pivot off the fact that she wants open borders, okay? How did we get off to Putin?

Wallace: Hold on.

Trump: No, no.

Wallace: Hold on, folks. Because this is going to end up getting out of control. Let’s try to keep it quiet for the candidates and for the American people.

Trump: Just to finish on the borders —

Wallace: Yes.

Trump: She wants open borders. People are going to pour into our country. People are going to come in from Syria. She wants 550% more people than Barack Obama, and he has thousands and thousands of people. They have no idea where they come from and you see, we are going to stop radical islamic terrorism in this country. She won’t even mention the words and neither will president Obama. So I just want to tell you, she wants open borders.

Now we can talk about Putin. I don’t know Putin. He said nice things about me. If we got along well, that would be good.

If Russia and the United States got along well and went after ISIS, that would be good. He has no respect for her. He has no respect for our president. And I’ll tell you what, we’re in very serious trouble because we have a country with tremendous numbers of nuclear warheads, 1,800, by the way, where they expanded and we didn’t — 1800 nuclear warheads, and she’s playing chicken. Look —

[Crosstalk]

Clinton: Well, that’s because he’d rather have a puppet as president.

Trump: No puppet, no puppet.

Clinton: And it’s pretty clear —

Trump: You’re the puppet.

Clinton: It’s pretty clear you won’t admit.

Trump: No, you’re the puppet.

Clinton: That the Russians have engaged in cyber attacks against the United States of America, that you encouraged espionage against our people, that you are willing to spout the Putin line, sign up for his wish list, rake up nato, do whatever he wants to do, and that you continue to get help from him because he has a very clear favorite in this race so I think this is such an unprecedented situation, we’ve never had a foreign government trying to interfere in our election.

We have 17, 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber attacks come from the highest levels of the Kremlin and they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing.

Wallace: Secretary Clinton —

Trump: She has no idea whether it’s Russia, China or anybody else.

Clinton: I am not quoting myself.

Trump: She has no idea.

Clinton: There are 17 —

Trump: You have no idea.

Clinton: 17 intelligence. Do you doubt? 17 military —

Trump: Our country has no idea.

Clinton: And civilian agencies.

Trump: I doubt it.

Clinton: He’d rather believe Vladimir Putin than the military and civilian intelligence professionals who are sworn to protect us. I find that just absolutely —

Trump: She doesn’t like Putin because Putin has outsmarted her at every step of the way.

Wallace: Mr. Trump —

Trump: Excuse me.

Wallace: Mr. Trump —

Trump: Putin has outsmarted her.

Wallace: Mr. Trump, I do get to ask some questions.

Trump: Yes.

Wallace: I would like to ask you this direct question. The top national security officials of this country do believe that Russia is behind these hacks. Even if you don’t know for sure whether they are, do you condemn any interference by Russia in the American election?

Trump: By Russia or anybody else.

Wallace: You condemn their interference?

Trump: Of course I condemn. Of course. I don’t know Putin. I have no idea —

Wallace: I’m not asking you that.

Trump: This is not my best friend. But if the United States got along with Russia, wouldn’t be so bad. Let me tell you, Putin has outsmarted her and Obama at every single step of the way. Whether it’s Syria. You name it. Missiles. Take a look at the start-up that they signed. The Russians have said, according to many, many reports, I can’t believe they allowed us to do this. They create warheads and we can’t. The Russians can’t believe it. She’s been outsmarted by Putin. All you have to do is look at the Middle East. They’ve taken over. We’ve spent $6 trillion. They’ve taken over the Middle East. She has been outsmarted and outplayed worse than anybody I’ve ever seen in any government whatsoever.

Wallace: We’re a long way away from immigration, but I’m going to let you finish this topic. You have about 45 seconds.

Trump: And she always will be.

Clinton: I find it ironic that he’s raising nuclear weapons. This is a person who has been very cavalier, even casual about the use of nuclear weapons.

Trump: Wrong.

Clinton: Japan, Korea, even Saudi Arabia. He said if we have them, why don’t we use them, which I think is terrifying. The bottom line on nuclear weapons is that when the president gives the order, it must be followed. There’s about four minutes between the order being given and the people responsible for launching nuclear weapons to do so. And that’s why 10 people who have had that awesome responsibility have come out and in an unprecedented way said they would not trust Donald Trump with the nuclear codes or to have his finger on the nuclear button.

Trump: I have 200 generals and admirals, 21 endorsing me, 21 congressional medal of honor recipients. As far as Japan and other countries, we are being ripped off by everybody — we’re defending other country. We’re spending a fortune doing it. They have the bargain of the century. All I said is we have to renegotiate these agreements because our country cannot afford to defend Saudi Arabia, Japan, Germany, South Korea and many other places. We cannot continue to afford. She took that as saying nuclear weapons.

Look, she’s been proven to be a liar on so many different ways. This is just another lie.

Clinton: Well, I’m just quoting you —

Trump: There’s no quote. You’re not going to find a quote from me.

Clinton: Nuclear competition in Asia, you said, you know, go ahead, enjoy yourselves, folks. That kind of —

Trump: And defend yourselves. And defend yourselves. I didn’t say nuclear. And defend yourselves.

Clinton: United States has kept the peace through our alliances. Donald wants to tear up our alliances. I think it makes the world safer and, frankly, it makes the United States safer. I would work with our allies in Asia, in Europe, in the middle East and elsewhere. That’s the only way we’re going to —

Wallace: We’re going to move on to the next topic, which is the economy. And I hope we handle that as well as we did immigration. You also have very different ideas about how to get the economy growing faster. Secretary Clinton, in your plan, government plays a big role. You see more government spending, more entitlements more tax credit, more penalties. Mr. Trump you want to get government out with less regulation. We’ll drill down into this a little more. But in this overview, please explain to me why you think your plan will create more jobs and growth for this country and your opponent’s plan will not. In this round, you go first, Secretary Clinton.

Clinton: I think when the middle class thrives, America thrives. And so my plan is based on growing the economy, giving middle class families many more opportunities.

I want us to have the biggest jobs program since World War II, jobs and infrastructure and advanced manufacturing. I think we can compete with high wage countries, and I believe we should. New jobs and clean energy not only to fight climate change, which is a serious problem, but to create new opportunities and new business I want us to do more to help small businesses.

I want to raise the minimum wage because people who live in poverty, who work full-time should not still be in poverty. I want to make sure that women get equal pay for the work we do. I feel strongly we have to have an education system that starts with preschool and goes through college. That’s why I want more technical education in high schools and community colleges, real apprenticeships to prepare people for the real jobs of the future. I want to make college debt free and for families making less than $125,000, you will not get a division bill from a public college or university if the plan that I worked on with Bernie Sanders is enacted.

And we’re going to work hard to make sure that it is. Because we are going to go where the money is. Most of the gains in the last years since the great recession have gone to the very top. So we’ll have the wealthy pay their fair share.

We’ll have corporations make a contribution greater than they are now to our country. [I have] a plan that has been analyzed by independent experts which said that it could produce 10 million new jobs. By contrast, Donald’s plan has been analyzed to conclude it might lose jobs. Why? Because his whole plan is to give the biggest tax breaks ever to the wealthy and to corporations adding $20 trillion to our debt and pausing the kind of dislocation that we have seen before because it truly will be trickle-down economics on steroids.

So the plan I have I think will actually produce greater opportunities. The plan he has will cost us jobs and possibly lead to another great recession.

Wallace: Secretary, thank you. Mr. Trump, why will your plan create more jobs and growth?

Trump: Her plan is going to raise taxes and even double your taxes. Her tax plan is a disaster. And she can say all she wants about college tuition and I’m a big proponent, we’re going to do a lot of things for college tuition, but the rest of the public’s going be paying for it. We’ll have a massive, massive tax increase under Hillary Clinton’s plan.

But I’d like to start off where we left because when I said Japan and Germany and I’m not to single them out, South Korea, these are very rich, powerful countries. Saudi Arabia, nothing but money. We protect Saudi Arabia. Why aren’t they paying?

She immediately, when she heard this, I questioned and I questioned NATO, why aren’t the NATO questions paying, because they weren’t paying. Since I did this, a year ago, all of a sudden they’re paying. I’ve been given a lot of credit for it. All of a sudden they’re starting to pay up.

They have to pay up. We’re protecting people. They have to pay up. I’m a big fan of NATO, but they have to pay up. She comes out and said, we love our allies, we think our allies are great. It’s awfully hard to get them to pay up when you have somebody saying we think how great they are. We have to tell Japan in a very nice way, we have to tell Germany, all of these countries, South Korea, we have to say, you have to help us out. We have during his regime, during President Obama’s regime, we’ve doubled our national debt. We’re up to $20 trillion.

So my plan, we’re going to re-negotiate trade deals. We’ll have more free trade than we have right now, but we have horrible deals. Our jobs are being taken out. NAFTA, one of the worst deals ever. Our jobs are being sucked out of our economy. You look at all of the places that I just left, you go the Pennsylvania, you go to Ohio, you go to Florida, you go to any of them, upstate New York, our jobs have fled to Mexico and other places. We’re bringing our jobs back. I’m going to renegotiate NAFTA.

And if I can’t make a great deal, then we’re going to terminate nafta and great new deals. We’ll have trade, but we’ll terminate it, we’ll make a great trade deal. And if we can’t, we’re going to go a separate way because it has been a disaster.

We’re going to cut taxes massively. We’ll cut business taxes massively. They’re going to start hiring people. We’re going to bring the $2.5 trillion that’s offshore back into the country. We’re going to start the engine rolling again because right now our country is dying at 1 percent GDP.

Clinton: Let me translate that if I can, Chris. Because —

Trump: You can’t.

Clinton: Fact is, he’s going to advocate for the largest tax cuts we’ve ever seen.

Three times more than the tax cuts under the Bush administration. I have said repeatedly throughout this campaign, I will not raise taxes on anyone making $250,000 or less. I also will not add a penny to the debt. I have costed out what I’m going to do. He will, through his massive tax cuts, add $20 trillion to the debt. He mentioned the debt. We know how to get control of the debt.

When my husband was president, we went from a $300 billion deficit to a $200 billion surplus and we’re actually on the path to eliminating the national debt. When President Obama came into office he inherited the worst economic disaster since the great depression. He has cut the deficit by two-thirds.

So yes, one of the ways you go after the debt. One of the ways you create jobs is by investing in people. I do have investments, investments in new jobs, investments in education, skill training and the opportunities for people who get ahead and stay ahead. That’s the kind of approach —

Wallace: Secretary.

Clinton: That will work. Cutting taxes on the wealthy. We tried that. It has not worked the way that it has been —

Wallace: Secretary Clinton, I want to pursue your plan. Because in many ways it is similar to the Obama stimulus plan in 2009, which has led to the slowest GDP growth since 1949.

Trump: Correct.

Wallace: Thank you, secretary. You told me in July when we spoke that the problem is that president Obama didn’t get to do enough in what he was trying to do with this stimulus. So is your plan basically even more of the Obama stimulus?

Clinton: Well, it’s a combination, Chris. Let me say that when you inherit the level of economic catastrophe that president Obama inherited, it was a real touch and go situation.

I was in the senate before I became secretary of state. I’ve never seen people as physically distraught as the bush administration team was because of what was happening to the economy.

I personally believe that the steps that president Obama took saved the economy. He doesn’t get the credit he deserves for taking some very hard positions, but it was a terrible recession. So now we’ve dug ourselves out of it. We’re standing, but we’re not yet running. So what I am proposing is that we invest from the middle out and the ground up, not the top down.

That is not going to work. That’s why what I have put forward doesn’t add a penny to the debt, but it is the kind of approach that will enable more people to take those new jobs, higher paying jobs.

We’re beginning to see some increase in incomes and we certainly have had a long string of increasing jobs. We’ve got to do more to get the whole economy moving, and that’s what I believe I will be able to do.

Wallace: Mr. Trump, even conservative economists who have looked at your plan say that the numbers don’t add up, that your idea, and you’ve talked about 25 million jobs created, 4%.

Trump: Over a ten-year period.

Wallace: Growth is unrealistic. And they say you talk a lot about growing the energy industry. They say with oil prices as they are right now, that’s unrealistic as well. Your response?

Trump: So I just left some high representatives of India. They’re growing at 8 percent. China is growing at 7 percent. And that for them is a catastrophically low number. We are growing, our last report came out and it’s right around the 1 percent level and I think it’s going down. Last week, as you know, the end of last week, they came out with an anemic jobs report. A terrible jobs report. In fact, I said is that the last jobs report before the election? Because if it is, I should win easily. It was so bad. The report was so bad. Look, our country is stagnant. We’ve lost our jobs. We’ve lost our businesses.

We’re not making things anymore, relatively speaking, our product is pouring in from China, pouring in from Vietnam, pouring in from all over the world. I’ve visited so many communities, this has been such an incredible education for me, Chris. I’ve gotten to know so many — I’ve developed so many friends over the last year. And they cry when they see what’s happened. I pass factories that were thriving 20, 25 years ago and because of the bill that her husband signed and she blessed a hundred percent, it is just horrible what’s happened to these people in these communities. She can say that her husband did well, but boy, did they suffer as NAFTA kicked in because it didn’t really kick in very much but it kicked in after they left. Boy, did they suffer. That was one of the worst things that’s ever been signed by our country. Now she wants to sign transpacific partnership.

She lied when she said she didn’t call it the gold standard in one of the debates. She totally lied and they fact checked and said I was right.

Wallace: I want to give you a chance to briefly speak to that and I want to pivot to — Trump: And that was — Wallace: Obamacare. Clinton: Let me say, number one, when I saw the final agreement for TPP, I said I was against it. It didn’t meet my test. I’ve had the same test. Does it create jobs, raise incomes and further our national security? I’m against it now, I’ll be against it after the election, I’ll be against it when I’m President.

There’s only one of us on this stages that actually shipped jobs to Mexico because that’s Donald. He shipped jobs to 12 countries including Mexico, but he mentioned China. One of the biggest problems we have with China is the illegal dumping of steel and aluminum into our markets.

I’ve fought against that as a senator, I stood up against it as secretary of state, Donald has bought Chinese steel and aluminum. The Trump Hotel here in las Vegas was made with Chinese steel. He goes around with crocodile tears about how terrible it is, but he has given jobs to Chinese steel workers, not American teal workers —

Wallace: Mr. Trump?

Trump: That’s the kind of approach that’s going to work. We’ll pull the country together. We’ll have trade agreements that we enforce. I’ll have trade prosecutor for the first time in history. We’re going to enforce those agreements and look for businesses that help us by buying American products.

I ask a simple question. She’s been doing this for 30 years. Why didn’t you do it over the last 15, 20 years? You were very much involved — excuse me, my turn. You were very much involved in every aspect of this country, very much.

And you do have experience. I say the one thing you have over me is experience, but it’s bad experience because what you’ve done is turned out badly. For 30 years you’ve been in a position to help and if you say that I used theater or I use something else make it impossible for me to do that.

You talk, but you don’t get anything done, Hillary. You don’t, just like when you ran the state department, $6 billion is missing. How do you miss $6 billion? You ran the state department. It was either stolen, they don’t know, it’s gone — 6 billion. If you become president, this country is going to be in some mess, believe me.

Clinton: Well, first of all, what he just said about the state department is not only untrue, it’s been did you debunked numerous times. But I think it’s really an important issue he raised the 30 years of experience.

Let me just talk briefly about that. You know, back in the 1970s, I worked for Children’s Defense Fund, and I was taking on discrimination against African-American kids in schools. He was getting sued by the Justice Department for racial discrimination in his apartment buildings.

In the 1980s, I was working to reform the schools in Arkansas. He was bore rogue $14 million from his father to start his businesses. In the 1990s, I went to Beijing and I said women’s rights are human rights. He insulted a former miss universe, Alicia Machado, called her an eating machine.

Trump: Give me a break.

Clinton: And on the day when I was in the situation room, monitoring the raid that brought Osama bin Laden to justice, he was host “The Celebrity Apprentice.” So I’m happy to compare my 30 years of experience, what I’ve done for this country, trying to help in every way I could, especially kids and families get ahead and stay ahead with your 30 years. And I’ll let the American people make that decision.

Trump: Well, I think I did a much better job. I built a massive company, a great company, some of the greatest assets anywhere in the world worth many, many billions of dollars. I started with a $1 million loan. I agree with that. It’s a $1 million loan. But I built a phenomenal company. And if we could run our country the way I’ve run my company, we would have a country that you would be so proud of, you would even be proud of it.

And frankly, when you look at her real record, take a look at Syria. Take a look at the migration. Take a look at Libya. Take a look at Iraq. She gave us ISIS because her and Obama created this small vacuum. A small group came out of that huge vacuum. We should have never been in Iraq. But once we were there, we never should have got out the way they wanted to get out. She gave us ISIS as sure as you are sitting there. And what happened is now ISIS is in 32 countries. And now I listen how she is going to get rid of ISIS. She is going to get rid of nobody.

Wallace: All right. We are going to get to foreign hot spots in a few moments. But the next segment is fitness to be president of the United States. Mr. Trump, at the last debate you said your talk about grabbing women was just that, talk, and that you had never actually done it. And since then, as we all know, nine women have come forward and said you either groped them or kissed them without their consent. Why would so many different women from so many different circumstances over so many different years, why would they all in this last couple of weeks make up — you deny this. Why would they all make up these stories. And since this is a question for both of you, secretary Clinton, Mr. Trump says what your husband did and that you defended was even worse. Mr. Trump, you go first.

Trump: Well, first of all, those stories have been largely debunked. Those people, I don’t know those people. I have a feeling how they came. I believe it was her campaign that did it. Just like if you look at what came out today on the clips where I was wondering what happened with my rally in Chicago and other rallies where we had such violence. She is the one — and Obama — that caused the violence. They hired people. They paid them $1500 and they’re on tape saying be violent, cause fights, do bad things. I would say the only way, because the stories are all totally false. I have to say that. And I didn’t even apologize to my wife who is sitting right here because I didn’t do anything. I didn’t know any of these women. I didn’t see these women. These women, the woman on the plane, I think they want either fame or her campaign did it. And I think it’s her campaign. When I saw what they did, which is a criminal act, by the way, where they’re telling people to go out and start fistfights and start violence, I tell you what, in particular in Chicago, people were hurt and people could have been killed in that riot.

And that was now all on tape started by her. I believe, Chris, that she got these people to step forward. If it wasn’t, they get their ten minutes of fame. But they were all totally — it was all fiction. It was lies and it was fiction.

Wallace: Secretary Clinton?

Clinton: Well, at the last debate we heard Donald talking about what he did to women. And after that a number of women have come forward saying that’s exactly what he did to them. Now what was his response? Well, he held a number of big rallies where he said that he could not possibly have done those things to those women because they were not attractive enough for —

Trump: I did not say that. I did not say that.

Clinton: In fact, he went on to say —

Wallace: Sir, her two minutes.

Trump: I did not say that.

Wallace: Her two minutes.

Clinton: He went on to say look at her. I don’t think so. About another woman, he said that wouldn’t be my first choice. He attacked the woman reporter writing the story, called her disgusting as he has called a number of women during this campaign. Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger. He goes after their dignity, their self-worth, and I don’t think there is a woman anywhere who doesn’t know what that feels like.

So we now know what Donald thinks and what he says and how he acts towards women. That’s who Donald is. I think it’s really up to all of us to demonstrate who we are and who our country is and to stand up and be very clear about what we expect from our next president, how we want to bring our country together where we don’t want to have the kind of pitting of people one against the other, where instead we celebrate our diversity, we lift people up.

And we make our country even greater. America is great because America is good. And it really is up to all of us to make that true, now and in the future in particular for our children and our grandchildren.

Wallace: Mr. Trump —

Trump: Nobody has more respect for women than I do. Nobody. Nobody has more respect.

[Audience Reaction]

Wallace: Please, everybody.

Trump: And frankly, those stories have been largely debunked. And I really want to talk about something slightly different. She mentions this. Which is all fiction, all a fictionalized. Probable or possibly started by her and her very sleazy campaign. But I will tell you what isn’t fictionalized are her e-mails where she destroyed 33,000 e-mails criminally, criminally, after getting a subpoena from the United States Congress.

What happened to the FBI? I don’t know. We have a great general, four-star general today. You read it in all the papers, going to potentially serve five years in jail for lying to the FBI. One lie. She’s lied hundreds of times to the people, to congress, and to the FBI. He is going to probably go to jail. This is a four-star general. And she gets away with it, and she can run for presidency of the United States? That’s really what you should be talking about. Not fiction where somebody wants fame or where they come out of their crooked campaign.

Wallace: Secretary Clinton?

Clinton: Well, every time Donald has pushed on something which is obviously uncomfortable like what these women are saying, he immediately goes to denying responsibility. And it’s not just about women. He never apologizes or says he is sorry for anything. So we know what he has said and what he has done to women. But he also went after a disabled reporter —

Trump: Wrong.

Clinton: He mocked and Mr and Mrs. Khan on national television. He went after Mr. And Mrs. Khan, the parents of Han who died serving our country, a gold star family because of their religion. He went after John McCain, a prisoner of war. Said he prefers people who aren’t captured. He went after a federal judge, born in Indiana but who Donald said couldn’t be trusted to try the fraud and racketeering case against Trump University because his parents were Mexican.

So it’s not one thing. This is a pattern, a pattern of divisiveness of a very dark and in many ways dangerous vision of our country where he incites violence, where he applauds people who are pushing and pulling and punching at his rallies. That is not who America is. And I hope that as we move in the last weeks of this campaign, more and more people will understand what’s at stake in this election. It really does come down to what kind of country we are going to have.

Trump: So sad when she talks about violence at my rallies and she caused the violence. It’s on tape. Now the other things are false, but honestly, I’d love to talk about getting rid of ISIS. And I’d love to talk about other things.

Wallace: Okay.

Trump: But the other charges as she knows are frauds.

Wallace: In this bucket about fitness to be president, there has been a lot of developments over the last ten days since the last debate. I’d like to ask you about them. These are questions that the American people have. Secretary Clinton, during your 2009 senate confirmation hearing, you promised to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest with your dealing with the Clinton Foundation while you were secretary of state. But e-mails show that donors got special access to you.

Those seeking grants for Haiti relief were considered simply from non-donors, and some of those donors got contract, government contracts, active money. Can you really say you kept your pledge to that senate committee, and what happened and what went on between you and the Clinton foundation. Why isn’t it what Mr. Trump calls pay to play.

Clinton: Well, everything I did as secretary of state was in furtherance of our country’s interests and our values. The state department said that. I think that’s been proven. But I am happy. In fact, I am thrilled to talk about the Clinton Foundation.

Because it’s a world-renowned charity. I’m so proud of the work it does. I could talk for the rest of the debate. I know I don’t have the time to do that. But just briefly, the Clinton foundation made it possible for 11 million people around the world with HIV/AIDS to afford treatment. That’s about half of all the people in the world who are getting treatment.

Wallace: Secretary Clinton —

Clinton: In partnership with the American Health Association, we have made environments in schools including healthier lunches.

Wallace: Secretary, respectfully, this is an open discussion.

Clinton: Well it is.

Wallace: I asked a specific question, pay or the play.

Clinton: But there is no evidence —

Wallace: Let’s ask Mr. Trump.

[ Overlapping dialog ]

Trump: It’s a criminal enterprise. Saudi Arabia giving $25 million. Qatar, all of these companies. You talk about women and women’s rights. So these are people that push gays off buildings. These are people that kill women and treat women horribly. And yet you take their money. So I’d like to ask you right now why don’t you give back the money that you have taken from certain countries that treat certain groups of people so horribly? Why don’t you give back the money?

I think it would be great gesture. Because she takes a tremendous amount of money. And you take a look at the people of Haiti. I was in little Haiti the other day in Florida. And I want to tell you, they hate the Clintons because what’s happened in Haiti with the Clinton Foundation is a disgrace. And you know it and they know it and everybody knows it.

Wallace: Secretary Clinton?

Clinton: Well, very quickly at the Clinton Foundation spend 90% of all the money that is donated on behalf of programs around the world and in our own country. I’m very proud of that. We are the highest rating from the watchdogs that follow foundations.

And I’d be happy to compare what we do with the Trump Foundation, which took money from other people and bought a six-foot portrait of Donald. I mean, who does that? It just was astonishing. But when it comes to Haiti, Haiti is the poorest country in our hemisphere. The earthquake and the hurricane, it has devastated Haiti.

Bill and have I been involved in trying to help Haiti for many years. The Clinton Foundation raised $30 million to help Haiti after the catastrophic earthquake and all of the terrible problems the people there had. We’ve done things to help small businesses, agriculture, and so much else. And we’re going to keep working to help Haiti because it’s an important part of the American experience.

Trump: I’d like to mention one thing: Trump Foundation, small foundation. People contribute. I contribute. The money — 100% goes to different charity, including a lot of military. I don’t get anything. I don’t buy boats. I don’t buy planes. What happens, the money goes in —

Wallace: Wasn’t some of the money used to settle your lawsuit, sir?

Trump: No, we put up the American flag. And that’s it. They put up the American flag. We fought for the right in palm beach to put up the American flag.

Wallace: But there was a penalty imposed by Palm Beach County.

Trump: There was.

Wallace: The money came from your foundation.

Trump: There was.

Wallace: Instead of Mar-a-Lago.

Trump: Went to Fisher House, where they build houses, the money that you’re talking about went to Fisher House, where they build houses for veterans and disabled.

Clinton: But of course there is no way we can know whether any of that is true because he hasn’t released his tax returns. He is the first candidate ever to run for president in the last 40 plus years who has not released his tax returns. Serving what he says about charity or anything else we can’t prove it. You can look at our tax returns. We’ve got them all out there. But what is really troubling is that we learned in the last debate he has not paid a penny in federal income tax. And we were talking about immigrants a few minutes ago, Chris. Half of all immigrants, undocumented immigrants in our country actually pay federal income tax. We have undocumented immigrants in America who are paying more federal income tax than a billionaire. I find that just astonishing.

Trump: We’re entitled because of the laws that people like her passed to take massive amounts of depreciation and other charges, and we do it. And all of our donors, just about all of them, I know [Warren] Buffett took hundreds of millions of dollars, George Soros took hundreds of millions of dollars. Let me just explain.

Wallace: We heard this.

Trump: Most of her donors have done the same thing as I do.

Wallace: Folks we have heard this.

Trump: Hillary, what you should have done, you should have changed the law when you a United States senator.

Wallace: We heard this.

Trump: Because your donors and your special interests are doing the same thing as I do, except even more. So you should have changed the law, but you won’t change the law because you take in so much money. I mean, I sat in my apartment today on a very beautiful hotel down the street.

Clinton: Made with Chinese steel.

Trump: I will tell you, I sat there watching ad after false ad, all paid for by your friends on wall Street that gave so much money because they know you’re going to protect them. And frankly, you should have changed the laws. If you don’t like what I did, you should have changed the laws.

Wallace: Mr. Trump, I want to ask you about one last question in this topic. You have been warning at rallies recently that this election is rigged and that Hillary Clinton is in the process of trying to steal it from you. Your running mate Governor Pence pledged on Sunday that he and you, his words, will absolutely accept the result of this election. Today your daughter Ivanka said the same thing. I want to ask you here on this stage tonight do, you make the same commitment that you will absolutely, sir, that you will absolutely accept the result of this election?

Trump: I will look at it at the time. I’m not looking at anything now. I will look at it at the time. What I’ve seen, what I’ve seen is so bad. First of all, the media is so dishonest and so corrupt. And the pile-on is so amazing. The New York Times actually wrote an article about it, that they don’t even care. It’s so dishonest. And they have poisoned the minds of the voters. But unfortunately for them, I think the voters are seeing through it. I think they’re going to see through it. We’ll find out on November 8.

Wallace: But sir —

Trump: Excuse me, Chris, if you look at your voter rolls, you will see millions of people registered to vote. This isn’t coming from me, from fury report and other places. Millions of people that are registered to vote that shouldn’t be registered to vote.

So let me just give you one other thing as I talk about the corrupt media. I talk about the millions of people. I tell you one other thing. She shouldn’t be allowed to run. She’s guilty of a very, very serious crime. She should not be allowed to run. And just in that respect I say it’s rigged. Because she should never — Chris, she should never have been allowed to run for the presidency based on what she did with e-mails and so many other things.

Wallace: Sir, there is a tradition in this country, in fact one of the primes of this country is the peaceful transition of power. And that no matter how hard fought a campaign is, that at the end of the campaign, that the loser concedes to the winner. Not saying that you’re necessarily going to be the loser or the winner. But that the loser concedes to the winner, and that the country comes together in part for the good of the country. Are you saying you’re not prepared now to commit to that principle?

Trump: What I’m saying is I’ll tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense, okay?

Clinton: Let me respond to that, because that’s horrifying.

Every time Donald thinks things are not going in his direction, he claims whatever it is is rigged against him. The FBI conducted a year-long investigation into my e-mails. They concluded there was no case. He said the FBI was rigged. He lost the Iowa caucus. He lost the Wisconsin primary.

He said the Republican primary was rigged against him. Then Trump University gets sued for fraud and racketeering. He claims the court system and the federal judge is rigged against him. There was even a time when he didn’t get an Emmy for his TV program three years in a row and he started tweeting that the Emmys were rigged.

Trump: Should have gotten it.

Clinton: This is a mind-set. This is how Donald thinks. And it’s funny, but it’s also really troubling.

Trump: Okay.

Clinton: Now that is not the way our democracy works. We’ve been around for 240 years. We’ve had free and fair election. We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them. And that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a debate stage during a general election. You know, president Obama said the other day when you’re whining —

Wallace: — Hold on, folks, hold on, folks.

Clinton: Before you’re even finished, it shows you’re not up to doing the job. And let’s, you know, let’s be clear about what he is saying and what that means. He is denigrating, he is talking down our democracy.

And I for one am appalled that somebody who is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that kind of position.

Trump: I think what the FBI did and the Department of Justice did including meeting with her husband, the attorney general in the back of an airplane on the tarmac in Arizona, I think it’s disgraceful. I think it’s a disgrace.

Wallace: All right.

Trump: I think we’ve never had a situation so bad as. This.

Wallace: Hold on, folks. This doesn’t do any good for anyone. Let’s please continue the debate and move on to the subject of foreign hot spots. The Iraqi defensive to take back Mosul has begun. If they’re successful in pushing ISIS out of that city and out of all of Iraq, the question then becomes what happens the day after. And that’s something that whichever — whoever of you ends up as president is going to have to confront. Will you put U.S. troops into that vacuum to make sure ISIS doesn’t come back or isn’t replaced by something even worse? Secretary Clinton, you go first in this segment. You have two minutes.

Clinton: Well, I am encouraged that there is an effort led by the Iraqi army, supported by Kurdish

forces and also given the help and advice from the number of special forces and Americans on the ground. I will not support putting American forces into Iraq as a force. I don’t think that is in our interest and I don’t think it would be smart to do. Chris, I think that would be a big red flag waving for ISIS to reconstitute itself. The goal here is to take back Mosul. It’s going to be a hard fight. I’ve got no illusions about that. And then continue to press into Syria to begin to take back and move on Raqqah, which is the ISIS headquarters.

I am hopeful that the hard work that American military advisers have done will pay off, and that we will see a really successful military operation. But we know we’ve got lots of work to do. Syria will remain a hotbed as terrorism as long as the civil war aided and abetted by the Iranians and the Russians continue.

So I have said look, we need to keep our eye on ISIS. That’s why I want to have an intelligence surge that protect us here at home while we have to go after them from the air, on the ground, online. Why we have to make sure here at home we don’t let terrorists buy weapons. If you’re too dangerous to fly, you’re too dangerous to buy a gun. And I’m going to continue to push for a no-fly zone and safe havens within Syria. Not only to help protect the iranians and prevent the constant outflow of refugees, but to frankly gain some leverage on both the Syrian government and the Russians so that perhaps we can have the kind of serious negotiation necessary to bring the conflict to an end and go forward on a political track.

Wallace: Mr. Trump, same question. If we are able to push ISIS out of mosul and out of Iraq, would you be willing to put U.S. Troops in there to prevent their return or something else?

Trump: Let me tell you, Mosul is so sad. We had Mosul. But when she left, she took everybody out, we lost Mosul. Now we’re fight again to get Mosul. The problem with Mosul and what they wanted to do is they wanted to get the leaders of ISIS who they felt were in Mosul. About three months ago, I started reading that they want to get the leaders. And they’re going to attack Mosul. Whatever happened to the element of surprise? Okay? We announce we’re going after Mosul. I’ve been reading about going after mosul now for how long? Three months? These people have all left. They’ve all left. The element of surprise. Douglas MacArthur, George Patton spinning in their graves when they see the stupidity of our country. So we’re now fighting for mosul that we had. All she had to do is stay there. Now we’re going in to get it. But you know who is big winner in mosul is going to be after we eventually get it? And the only reason they did it is because she is running for the office of president, and they want to look tough. They want to look good.

He violated the red line in the sand. And he made so many mistakes. Made all mistakes. That’s why we have the great migration. But she wanted to look good for the election. So they’re going in. But who is going to Mosul, really? By the way, much tougher than they thought.

Much tougher, going to be more deaths than they thought. But the leaders we wanted to get are all gone because they’re smart. They said what do we need this for? So Mosul is going to be a wonderful thing, and Iran should write us a letter of thank you, just like really stupid, the stupidest deal of all time.

A deal that is going to give Iran absolutely nuclear weapons. Iran should write us yet another letter saying thank you very much. Because Iran, as I said many years ago, Iran is taking over Iraq. Something they’ve wanted to do forever. But we’ve made it so easy for them. So we’re now going to take Mosul. And you know who is going to be the beneficiary? Iran. Boy are they making — I mean, they are outsmarting. Look, you’re not there. You might be involved in that decision. But you were there when you took everybody out of Mosul and out of Iraq. You shouldn’t have been in Iraq. But you did vote for it. You shouldn’t have been in Iraq. But once you were in Iraq, you should have never left the way.

Wallace: Sir, your two minutes are up.

Trump: The point is the winner is going to be Iran.

Clinton: Well, once again, Donald is implying that he didn’t support the invasion of Iraq. I said it was a mistake. I said that years ago. He has consistently defined knight —

Trump: Wrong.

Clinton: What is a very clear fact.

Trump: Wrong.

Clinton: That before the invasion he supported it. I just want everybody to go Google it. Google Donald Trump Iraq and you will see the dozens of sources which verify that he was for the invasion of Iraq.

Trump: Wrong.

Clinton: And you can actually hear the audio of him saying that. Now why does that matter? Well, it matters because he has not told the truth about that position. I guess he believes it makes him look better now to contrast with me because I did vote for it. What’s really important here is to understand all the interplay. Mosul is a Sunni city. Mosul is on the border of Syria. And yes, we do need to go after Baghdadi, just like we went after bin laden while you were doingCelebrity Apprentice, and we brought him to justice. We need to go after the leadership, but we need to get rid of them, get rid of their fighters, their estimated several thousand fighters in Mosul.

They’ve been digging underground. They’ve been prepared to defend. It’s going to be tough fighting. I think we can take back mosul and move on into Syria and take bacharach ca. This is what we have to do. I’m just amazed that he seems to think that the Iraqi government and our allies and everybody else launched the attack on mosul to help me in this election. But that’s how Donald thinks, you know. Looking for some —

Trump: Chris, we don’t gain anything. Iran is taking over Iraq.

Wallace: Secretary Clinton —

Trump: Iran is taking over Iraq.

Wallace: Secretary Clinton —

Trump: We would have gained if we had surprise.

Wallace: Secretary Clinton, it’s an open discussion. Secretary, secretary, please let Mr. Trump speak. Go ahead.

Clinton: And he proves it every time he talks.

Trump: No, you are the one that is unfit. Wikileaks just came out. John Podesta said some horrible things about you. And boy was he right. He said some beauties. And you know, Bernie Sanders, he said you have bad judgment. You do. And if you think that going into mosul after we let the world know we’re going in and all of the people that we really wanted, the leaders, they’re all gone. If you think that was good, then you do. Now John Podesta said you have terrible instincts. Bernie Sanders said you have bad judgment. I agree with both.

Clinton: Well, you should ask Bernie Sanders who he is supporting for president. And he has said —

Trump: Which is a big mistake.

Clinton: And campaigned for me around the country. You the most dangerous person to run for president in the modern history of America. I think he is right.

Wallace: Let’s turn to Aleppo. Mr. Trump, in the last debate, you were both asked about the situation in the Syrian city of Aleppo. And I want to follow up on that because you said several things in that debate which were not true, sir. You said that Aleppo has basically fallen. In fact, there are — it’s a catastrophe.

Trump: It is a catastrophe.

[Crosstalk]

Wallace: Are a quarter million people still living there and being slaughtered.

Trump: That’s right. And they’re being slaughtered because of bad decisions.

Wallace: If I may just finish here. And you also said that ISIS — that Syria and Russia are busy fighting ISIS. In fact, they have been the ones who have been bombing and shelling eastern Aleppo. And they just announced a humanitarian pause, in effect admit Thanksgiving have been bombing and shelling Aleppo. Would you like to clear that up, sir?

Trump: Well, Aleppo is a disaster. It’s a humanitarian nightmare. But it has fallen from any standpoint. Whether you need to sign a document, take a look at Aleppo. It is so sad when you see what’s happened. And a lot of this is because of Hillary Clinton. Because what has happened, by fighting Assad, who turned out to be a lot tougher than she thought, and now she is going to say oh, he loves Assad, he’s just much tougher and much smarter than her and Obama. And everyone thought he was gone two years ago, three years ago. He aligned with Russia. He now also aligned with Iran. Who we made very powerful. We gave them $150 billion back. We give them $1.7 billion in cash. I mean cash, bundles of cash as big as this stage. We gave them $1.7 billion.

Now they have aligned, he has aligned with Russia and with Iran. They don’t want ISIS. But they have other things because we’re backing, we’re backing rebels. We don’t know who the rebels are. We’re giving them lots of money, lots of everything. We don’t know who the rebels are. And when and if, and it’s not going to happen because you have Russia and you have Iran now. But if they ever did overthrow Assad, you might end up as bad as Assad is, and he is a bad guy.

But you may very well end up with worse than Assad. If she did nothing, we’d be in much better shape. And this is what has caused the great migration where she has taken in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees who probably in many case, not probably, who are definitely in many cases ISIS aligned. And we now have them in our country and wait until you see this is going to be the great Trojan horse.

And wait until you see what happens in the coming years. Lots of luck, Hillary. Thanks a lot for doing a great job.

Wallace: Secretary Clinton, you have talked about in the last debate and again today that you would impose a no-fly zone to try to protect top the killing there. President Obama has refused to do that because he fears it’s going to draw us closer, deeper into the conflict. And general Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff there says you want to impose a no-fly zone, chances are you’re going to get into a war, his words, with Syria and Russia. So the question I have, if you impose a no-fly zone, first of all, how do you respond to their concerns? Secondly, if you impose a no-fly zone and a Russian plane violates that, does president Putin shoot that plane down?

Clinton: First of all, I think a no-fly zone could save lives and could hasten the end of the conflict. I’m well aware of the really legitimate concerns you have expressed from both the president and the general. This would not be done just on the first day. This would take a lot of negotiation, and it would also take making it clear to the Russians and the Syrians that our purpose here was to provide safe Zones on the ground.

We’ve had millions of people leave Syria. And those millions of people inside Syria who have been dislocated. So I think we could strike a deal and make a it very clear to the Russians and the Syrians that this was something that we believe was in the best interests of the people on the ground in Syria. It would help was our fight against ISIS. But I want to respond to what Donald said about refugees. He has made these claims repeatedly. I am not going to let anyone into this country who is not vetted, who we do not have confidence in.

But I’m not going to slam the door on women and children. That picture of that little 4-year-old boy in Aleppo with the blood coming down his face while he sat in an ambulance is haunting. And so we are going to do very careful, thorough vetting that does not solve our internal challenges with ISIS and our

need to stop radicalization, to work with American Muslim communities who are on the front lines to identify and prevent attacks. In fact, the killer of the dozens of people at the nightclub in Orlando, the pulse nightclub was born in queens, the same place Donald was born. So let’s be clear about what the threat is and how we are best going to be able to meet it. And yes, some of that threat emanates from over in Syria and Iraq, and we’ve got to keep fighting. And I will defeat ISIS. And some of it is we have to up our game and be much smarter here at home.

Wallace: I want to get into our final segment.

Trump: But I just have to, it’s so ridiculous. She will defeat ISIS. We should have never let ISIS in the first place. And right now they’re in 32 countries. Wait, one second. They have, and a ceasefire three weeks ago. A ceasefire, United States, Russian, Syria. And during the ceasefire, Russia took over vast swatches of land and then said we don’t want the ceasefire anymore. We’re so outplayed on missiles, on ceasefires. She was not there so I assume she has nothing to do with it. But our country is so outplayed by Putin and Assad and by Iran. Nobody can believe how stupid our leadership is.

Wallace: Mr. Trump, Secretary Clinton, we need to move on to our final segment. And that is the national debt, which has not been discussed until tonight. Our national debt a share of gdp is now 70 percent. That’s the highest since just after World War II. But the nonpartisan Committee for Responsible Budget says Secretary Clinton, under your plan, debt would rise to 86 percent of GPD over the next 10 years. Mr. Trump, under your plan, they say it would rise to 105 percent of GDP over the next 10 years. Question is, why are both of you ignoring this problem? Mr. Trump, you go first.

Trump: I say they’re wrong because I’m going to create tremendous jobs. And we’re bringing gdp from really 1 percent, which is what it is now. And if she got in it would be less than zero. But we’re bringing it from 1 percent up to 4 percent. I think you can go higher, to 5 or 6 percent. We have a tremendous machine. We will have created a tremendous economic machine. To do that, we’re taking back jobs. We’re not going to let our countries be raided by other countries where we don’t make our product anymore. It’s very sad. I’m going to create a kind of country that we were from the standpoint of industry. We used to be there. We have given it up. We have become very, very sloppy. We’ve had people that are political ax making the biggest deal in the world. Bigger than companies. You take these big companies.

These trade deals are far bigger than companies. Yet we don’t use our great leaders. Many of whom back me and many of whom back Hillary, I must say. But we don’t use those people. These are the greatest negotiators in the world. We are the greatest business people in the world. We have to use them to negotiate our trade deals. We use political hacks. We use people that get the position because they made a campaign contribution. And they’re dealing with China and people who have very much smarter than they are. We have to use our great people. We will create an economic machine the likes of which we haven’t seen in many decades. And people, Chris, will again go back to work. And they’ll make a lot of money. And we’ll have companies that will grow and expand and start from new.

Wallace: Secretary Clinton?

Clinton: Well, first when I hear Donald talk about that and his slogan is “Make America Great Again.” I wonder when he thought America was great. And before he rushes and says “Before you and president Obama were there,” I think it’s important to recognize that he has been criticizing our government for decades. You know, back in 1987, he took out a $100,000 ad in the New York Times during the time when President Reagan was president and basically said exactly what he just said now, that we were the laughingstock of the world.

He was criticizing President Reagan. This is the way Donald thinks about himself, puts himself into, you know, the middle and says I alone can fix it, as he said on the convention stage. But if you look at the debt, which is the issue you asked about, Chris, I pay for everything I’m proposing.

I do not add a penny to the national debt. I take that very seriously because I do think it’s one of the issues we’ve got to come to grips with.

So when I talk about how we’re going to pay for education, how we’re going to invest in infrastructure, how we’re going to get the cost of prescription drugs down, and a lot of the other issues that people talk to me about all the time, I’ve made it very clear, we are going where the money is.

We are going to ask the wealthy corporations to pay their fair share. And there is no evidence whatsoever that that will slow down or diminish our growth. In fact, I think just the opposite. We’ll have what economists call middle outgrowth. We’ve got to get back to rebuilding the middle class. The families of America. That’s where growth will come from. That’s why I want to invest in you. I want to invest in your family. And I think that’s the smartest way to grow the economy, to make the economy fairer. And we just have a big disagreement about this. It may be because of our experience. He started off with his dad as a millionaire. I started off with my dad as a small businessman.

Trump: We’ve heard this before. We’ve heard this before.

Clinton: I think it’s a difference that affects how we see the world and what we want to do with the economy.

Wallace: Time.

Trump: Thank you, Hillary. Could I just respond?

Wallace: Well, no. Because we’re running out of time.

Trump: Reagan was very strongly on trade. I disagreed with him. We should have been much tougher on trade even then. I’ve been waiting for years. Nobody does it right. And frankly now we’re going to do it right.

Wallace: The one last area I want to get into in this debate is the fact that the biggest driver of our debt is entitlements, which is 60 percent of all federal spending. Now the committee for federal — responsible federal budget has looked at both of your plans and they say neither of you has a serious plan that is going to solve the fact that Medicare is going to run out of money in the 2020s. Social Security is going to run out of money in the 2030s. And at that time, recipients are going to take huge cuts in their benefits.

So in effect, the final question I want to ask you in this regard, and let me start with you, Mr. Trump, would President Trump make a deal to save Medicare and Social Security that included both tax increases and benefit cuts in effect a grand bargain on entitlements?

Trump: I’m cutting tax. We’re going to grow the economy. It’s going grow at a record rate.

Wallace: But that’s not going to help entitlements.

Trump: It’s going to totally help you. And one thing we have to do, repeal and replace the disaster known as Obamacare. It’s destroying our country. It’s destroying businesses. We have to repeal and replace Obamacare. You take a look at the kind of numbers that that will cost us in the year ’17.

It is a disaster. If we don’t repeal and replace it’s probably going to die of its own weight. But Obamacare has to go. It’s — the premiums are going up 60, 70, 80 percent.

Next year they’re going to go up over 100 percent. And I’m really glad that the premiums have started at least the people see what is happening because she wants to keep Obamacare. And she wants to make it’s even worse. And it can’t get any worse. Bad Hillary Clinton — at the most we have to repeal and replace.

Wallace: Secretary Clinton, same question. At this point, social security and medicare are going to run out. Will you as president consider a grand bargain, a deal that includes both tax increases and benefit cuts to try to save both fronts?

Clinton: I want to enhance benefits for low income workers and for women who have been disadvantaged by the current social security system. But what Donald is proposing with the massive tax cuts will result in a $20 trillion national debt — that will have dire consequences for social security and medicare. And I’ll say something about the Affordable Care Act, which he wants to repeal: The Affordable Care Act extended the solvency of the Medicare trust fund. So if he repeals it, our Medicare problem gets worse.

Trump: Your husband disagrees with you.

Clinton: The long-term health care drivers. We’ve got to get costs down, increase value, emphasize wellness. I have a plan for doing that. And I think that we will be able to get entitle spending under control by with more resources and smarter decisions. Wallace: This is the final time probably to both of your delight that you’re going to be on stage together in this campaign. I would like to end it on a positive note, that you had not agreed to closing statements. But it seems to me in a funny way that might make it more interesting, because you haven’t prepared closing statements. So I would like you each to take — we’re going to put a clock up, a minute, as the final question and the final debate to tell the American people why they should elect you to be the next president. This is another new mini segment. Secretary Clinton, it’s your turn to go first.

Clinton: Well, I would like to say to everyone watching tonight, that I’m reaching out to all Americans — Democrats, Republicans and Independents — because we need everybody to help make our country what it should be to grow the economy, to make it fairer, to make it work for everyone. We need your talents, your skills, your commitment, your energy, your ambition. I’ve been privileged to see the presidency up close.

And I know the awesome responsibility of protecting our country and the incredible opportunity of working to try to make life better for you. I have made the cause of children and families really my life’s work.

That’s what my mission will be in the presidency. I will stand up for families against powerful interests, against corporations. I will do everything that I can to make sure that you have good jobs with rising incomes, that your kids have good educations from preschool through college. I hope you will give me a chance to serve as your president.

Wallace: Secretary Clinton, thank you. Mr. Trump?

Trump: She is raising the money from the people she wants to control. It doesn’t work that way. When I started this campaign, I started it very strongly. It’s called make America great again.

We’re going to make America great. We have a depleted military. It has to be helped. It has to be fixed. We have the greatest people on Earth in our military.

Well don’t take care off our veterans. We take care of illegal immigrants better than we take care of our military. That can’t happen. Our policemen and women are disrespected. We need law and order, but we need justice too. Our inner cities are a disaster. You get shot walking to the store. They have no education, they have no jobs. I will do more for African Americans and Latinos than she can ever do in ten lifetimes. All she has done is talk to the African Americans and to the Latinos.

But they get the vote and then they come back — they say we’ll see you in four years. We are going to make America strong again. And we are going to make America great again. And it has to start now. We cannot take four more years of Barack Obama. And that’s what you get when you get her.

Wallace: Thank you, both. Secretary Clinton — hold on just a moment, folks — Secretary Clinton, and Mr.Trump, I want to thank you both for participating in all three of these debates that brings to an end this year’s debate sponsored by the commission on presidential debates.

We want to thank the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and its students for having us. Now the decision is up to you.

Well, millions have already voted election day, November 8th is just 20 days away. One thing everyone here can agree on. We hope you will go vote. It’s one of the honors and obligations of living in this great country. Thank you and good night.

September 22, 2011: Fox News / Google /  Florida Republican Party Republican Presidential Debate Transcript

Republican Candidates Debate in Orlando, Florida September 22, 2011

PARTICIPANTS:
Representative Michele Bachmann (MN);
Herman Cain (GA);
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (GA);
Former Governor Jon Huntsman (UT);
Former Governor Gary Johnson (NM);
Representative Ron Paul (TX);
Governor Rick Perry (TX);
Former Governor Mitt Romney (MA); and
Former Senator Rick Santorum (PA)MODERATORS:
Bret Baier (Fox News);
Megyn Kelly (Fox News);
Chris Wallace (Fox News)

BAIER: Welcome to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, the site of our Republican presidential debate. It is being sponsored by Fox News and Google in conjunction with the Florida Republican Party.

Besides watching us on Fox News Channel, we are being streamed on YouTube.com/Fox News and heard on Fox News Radio.

Now let’s meet the candidates.

Texas Governor Rick Perry. [applause]

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. [applause]

Congressman Ron Paul. [applause]

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. [applause]

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. [applause]

Businessman Herman Cain. [applause]

Former Senator Rick Santorum. [applause]

Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman. [applause]

And former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. [applause]

Joining me at the big desk tonight, my Fox News colleagues Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace. [applause]

With our partner Google, we have some new features we’d like to quickly tell you about.

Throughout the night we’ll be playing some questions from viewers who posted their video and text questions on YouTube. We will also be polling viewers on key issues while the debate is under way. We will have updates from our own Shannon Bream.

Our rules are similar to previous Fox debates, one minute for answers, 30 seconds for follow-ups. And after an outpouring of e-mails from dog owners who said the last bell sounded like their doorbell, we have a new sound for the candidates if they run too long.

Thank you to Google for that sound. We hope after a string of debates we don’t have to use that too much.

Now, we received thousands and thousands of questions from around the world on different topics. Each one of these pins on the map is another question from health care and immigration, to foreign policy and social issues. But the highest percentage of questions dealt with jobs, the economy, debt, and government spending. And that was even before today’s major market slide.

What makes this debate unique is that not only did you submit the questions, you voted on them, letting everyone know which questions you think the candidates should be asked tonight.

We received questions from all 50 states, but our first question comes from Dave Meldeau, right here in Florida.

[begin video clip]

QUESTION: As a small business owner, one of the obstacles I have in growing my business in today’s economy is having the confidence and incentive to go out and hire new employees. I’m wondering what each one of our candidates would propose to do as president to help incent small businesses like mine to hire new employees and to confidently grow our business in this troublesome economic environment.

[end video clip]

BAIER: Governor Perry, I’ll put that question to you.

PERRY: Yes, sir.

Well, Rick Scott is sitting right over there, and he and I compete every day with trying to get jobs into our states. And what we have done in the state of Texas over the course of the last decade is to lower that tax burden on the small businessmen and women, have a regulatory climate that is fair and predictable, and sweeping tort reform that we passed in 2003 that told personal injury trial lawyers, don’t come to Texas, because you are not going to be suing our doctors frivolously. [applause]

PERRY: That’s the way you get the government off of the back of small businessmen and women. And that’s the way you free up those small business entrepreneurs, where they know that they can risk their capital and have a chance to have a return on investment.

If it will work in the state of Texas, it will work in Washington, D.C. And that’s exactly what I’m going bring to Washington when I go there in November — or, excuse me, in January of 2013.

BAIER: Governor Perry, the thing we’ve heard from most people who submitted questions is they wanted specifics, they wanted details. Most of the people on the stage, opponents, have a specific jobs plan on paper that people can read.

Where is your jobs plan?

PERRY: Well, you will see a more extensive jobs plan. But the fact of the matter is, you look at the state of Texas and see what we’ve done there from the standpoint of lowering that tax burden, the regulatory climate in the state of Texas. We’ve taken those types of regulation off the throat of small business operators.

People understand that the state of Texas, during the last decade, something special happened there. It was the number one state for relocation for five years in a row. And we plan on keeping it that way, Rick. [laughter]

BAIER: Governor Romney — Governor Romney, you have a specific plan. In recent days, actually, the top rising search of your name on Google actually dealt with people searching for specifics of that plan.

But a Wall Street Journal editorial recently called your 59-point economic plan, quote, “surprisingly timid and tactical considering our economic predicament.” Specifically, the editorial board had a problem with you picking the $200,000 income threshold for eliminating interest, dividends, and capital gains taxes, writing that you were afraid of President Obama’s, quote, “class warfare rhetoric.”

How do you response to that criticism?

ROMNEY: Well, let’s go back — let’s go back and talk — microphone on? Can we get the mike on? There we go.

BAIER: There we go.

ROMNEY: Let’s go back and talk about the question that Dave asked, which is how to get small business a break. And President Obama has done everything wrong.

I happen to believe that to create jobs it helps to have had a job, and I have. And having had a job in small business and in big business, I know what you have to do is make America the most attractive place in the world for business, and that means our corporate tax rates, our employer tax rates have to be competitive. Small business pays at the highest rate. We need to get those rates down to globally competitive levels.

Number two, government and regulators have to be allies of business, not foes.

Number three, we’ve got to become energy secure in this country.

Number four, we have to have trade policies that work for us, not just for the other guys, and crack down on cheaters like China.

And my list goes on in my 59 points. But finally, let me tell you this… [applause]

I — I know there are some that say, look, we should lower taxes for the very highest-income people. Other folks have different plans. My view is very simple: The people that have been hurt most by the president’s economy, the Obama economy, has been the middle class.

That’s why I cut taxes for the middle class.

BAIER: So, sir, what… [applause] … what do you consider rich? Is half-a-million dollars, a million dollars rich? At what income does someone reach your definition of rich?

ROMNEY: I don’t try and define who’s — who’s rich and who’s not rich. I want everybody in America to be rich. I want people in this country to have opportunity. [applause]

And I want everybody to have the kind of opportunities that we on this stage have had. I want people in America to recognize that the future will be brighter for their kids than it was for them.

I know that the — the president’s party wants to try and take from some people and give to the others. That isn’t the way to lift America. The way to lift America is to give people opportunity and to let them enjoy the freedoms that have made us the envy of the world. [applause]

BAIER: Governor, thank you very much. Occasionally, through the debate, we will ask the same questions we ask the candidates to you at home. The first one, what is your definition of rich? You can vote on that answer at youtube.com/foxnews. We’ll bring some of those results throughout the show with Shannon Bream.

Now to my colleague, Megyn Kelly.

KELLY: Thanks, Bret.

Congresswoman Bachmann, after the last debate, a young member of the California Tea Party said he didn’t feel he had had his question fully answered. And it’s a question that received the most votes on Google and YouTube on the list, as well. The answer his question is a number. And the question was, quote, “Out of every dollar I earn, how much do you think that I deserve to keep?”

BACHMANN: And after the debate, I talked to that young man, and I said I wish I could have answered that question, because I want to tell you what my answer is: I think you earned every dollar. You should get to keep every dollar that you earn. That’s your money; that’s not the government’s money. [applause]

That’s the whole point. Barack Obama seems to think that when we earn money, it belongs to him and we’re lucky just to keep a little bit of it. I don’t think that at all. I think when people make money, it’s their money.

Obviously, we have to give money back to the government so that we can run the government, but we have to have a completely different mindset. And that mindset is, the American people are the genius of this economy. It certainly isn’t government that’s the genius. And that’s the two views.

President Obama has embraced a view of government-directed temporary fixes and gimmicks. They don’t work. He’s destroyed the economy. What does work is private solutions that are permanent in the private sector. That gives certainty; that will grow our economy. [applause]

KELLY: Senator Santorum, next question is for you. This map from Google depicts 22 states in the U.S. are right-to-work states. In the other 28, if a business is a union shop, you have to join the union if you want to work there. Now, this next question is one of the top-voted questions online, and it comes to us via YouTube from Yates Wilburn of Hilton Head, South Carolina.

[begin video clip]

QUESTION: With unemployment numbers remaining above 9 percent, union issues, such as the National Labor Relations Board lawsuit against Boeing and several union battles in state legislatures across the country have become incredibly relevant to the national discussion. For all the candidates, would you support some form of a federal right-to-work law, allowing all workers to choose whether or not to join a union?

[end video clip] [applause]

KELLY: That’s for you, Senator Santorum.

SANTORUM: I — I think the most important area that we have to focus in on when it comes to unions is public employee unions. That’s the area of unionization that’s growing the fastest and it’s costing us the most money.

We’ve seen these battles on the state level, where unions have — have really bankrupted states from pension plans to here on the federal level, for example, 30 percent to 40 percent union — union employees make above their private-sector equivalents.

I do not believe that — that state, federal or local workers, unions, should be involved in unions. And I would actually support a bill that says that we should not have public employee unions for the purposes of wages and benefits to be negotiated. [applause]

KELLY: Speaker Gingrich, this next one’s for you. You criticized extending unemployment benefits, saying that you were, quote, “opposed to giving people money for doing nothing.” Benefits have already been extended to 99 weeks, and they are set to expire soon. If you were president today, would you extend unemployment benefits? And if not, how do you justify that to the millions of unemployed Americans who are looking in earnest and whose families are depending on those checks?

GINGRICH: Well, what I’ve said is that I think unemployment compensation should be tied directly to a training program. And if you have to — if you don’t have a job and you need help, then in order for us to give you the help, you should sign up for a business-led training program so that that 99 weeks becomes an investment in human capital, giving us the best-trained workforce in the world so you can get a job.

But I believe it is fundamentally wrong to give people money for 99 weeks for doing nothing. That’s why we had welfare reform. [applause]

And, frankly, the easiest thing for Congress to do, if the president sends up a proposed extension, is to allow all 50 states to experiment at the state level with developing a mandatory training component of unemployment compensation, so you’d have 50 parallel experiments, and not pretend that Washington knows best or that Washington can solve the problem by itself. But I believe deeply, people should not get money for doing nothing. [applause]

BAIER: Now I turn to my colleague, Chris Wallace.

Chris?

WALLACE: Bret, thank you. Good evening, candidates.

Governor Huntsman, in Utah, you offered millions of dollars in tax credits to promote clean energy. In June you said that as president you would subsidize natural gas companies. How is that different from the Obama administration, which gave the solar panel company Solyndra a half-a-billion dollars in federal loan guarantees, and as we all know, that company ended up bankrupt, and we taxpayers ended up on the hook?

HUNTSMAN: Chris, first of all, it’s an honor to be here in Orlando, home of my wife, the greatest human being I’ve known in 28 years.

We’ve learned some important lessons as this economy has spun out of control. We have some hard decisions to make. And we’re not going to fix the problem. We’re not going to be able to bring our people together in America until we fix the economy.

I’m convinced that part of the divide that we’re experiencing in the United States, which is unprecedented, it’s unnatural, and it’s un-American, is because we’re divided economically, too few jobs, too few opportunities.

We have learned that subsidies don’t work and that we can no longer afford them. I believe that we can move toward renewable energy, but we’re going to have to have a bridge product. Everybody wants to draw from the sun and draw from the wind, and I’m here to tell you that eventually that will make sense, but today the economics don’t work.

We need something like natural gas. I’ve put forward an energy independence program, along with tax reform and regulatory reform. Just by drawing from natural gas, for example, you’re looking at 500,000 to 1 million jobs over the next five years. It is ours, it’s affordable, it has important national security implications, and we should begin the conversion process.

WALLACE: But just a 30-second follow-up, sir. In June, you told the New Hampshire Union Leader as president you would subsidies the natural gas industry.

HUNTSMAN: I would be willing to begin an effort, so long as there was a rapid phase-out. I do not like subsidies. I do not like long-term subsidies. But if there was some sort of way to get the ball rolling with a — with a — with a quick phase-out, I would be in favor of that.

WALLACE: Mr. Cain, I want to follow up on your 999 plan for economic growth. That’s a 9 percent… [applause]

Well, they seem to already know what it is. But for the few who don’t, it’s a 9 percent flat corporate tax, a 9 percent flat income tax, and a new 9 percent national sales tax.

Now, conservatives usually say repeal the income tax before you impose a new tax. Isn’t there a danger with your 999 plan, with these three taxes, that some government down the road after President Cain is going to increase three forms of taxation on Americans?

CAIN: No, there’s no danger in that. And first, let me answer Dave’s question with the 9, 9, 9 plan. Unfortunately, nobody up here answered his question. He wanted to know as a small businessman what are we going to do to help him as a small business person? I have walked in Dave’s shoes.

This economy is on life support, that’s why my 9, 9, 9 plan is a bold solution. It starts with throw out the current tax code and pass 9 percent business flat tax, 9 percent personal income tax, and the 9% national sales tax. This is the most important part, it eliminates, or replaces corporate income tax, personal income tax, capital gains tax as well as the estate tax.

Then it treats all businesses the same. And the people who are paying only payroll tax, 15.3, that 15.4 they don’t have to pay, now they only have to pay that 9 percent.

And unlike Governor Romney’s plan my plan throws out the old one.

He’s still hooked to the current tax code. That dog won’t hunt. [applause]

WALLACE: The rule is if your name is mentioned in an answer you get 30 seconds to respond — Governor Romney.

ROMNEY: That’s fine. I put my plan out, I want to make it clear my intent is to help the people who have been most hurt by President Obama’s economy. And the people who have been most hurt are the middle income families of America. And that’s why my plan says that if middle income families want to save their money, anybody earning under $200,000 and not pay any taxes on interest, dividends or capital gains, zero tax on their savings, that’s the plan I’m for. And I will get that done in my first year. Thank you.

WALLACE: Congressman Paul I want to show the video that got the most votes of all the video questions submitted to YouTube. And this one comes, as you can see, from Brandy and Michael in Spencer, Indiana.

[begin video clip]

QUESTION: There’s growing concern among Americans about the size and the scope of the federal government and its infringement upon state and individual rights.

QUESTION: If you’re elected president how do you plan to restore the 10th amendment, hold the federal government only to those enumerated powers in the Constitution and allow states to govern themselves?

[end video clip]

WALLACE: Congressman what is your answer for Brandy and Michael?

PAUL: Well obviously, it would take more than one individual, but the responsibility of the president would be to veto every single bill that violates the 10th amendment. That would be the solution. [applause]

WALLACE: Anything else? You have a little time left. [laughter]

PAUL: Well, I’ll tell you what, that is the subject that is crucial because government is too big in Washington, D.C. It’s run away. We have no controls of spending, taxes, regulations, no control in the Federal Reserve printing money. So if we want government, whether it is medical care or whatever, it is proper to do it at the local level as well as our schools. But there’s no authority in the constitution to do so much what we’re doing. There’s no authority for them to run our schools, no authority to control our economy, and no authority to control us as individuals on what we do with our personal lives! [applause]

BAIER: OK, we got to the full answer there at the end. Governor Johnson, same question to you about the 10th amendment. With this added, you are an outspoken libertarian. What makes you a better choice for libertarian Republicans than Congressman Paul?

JOHNSON: I’m not going to presume to make that assumption, but I would like to say that I do bring a unique perspective to this stage. I started a one-man handyman business in Albuquerque in 1974 and grew it to over 1,000 employees. I have run for two political offices in my life: governor of New Mexico and reelection. I promise to submit a balanced budget to congress in the year 2013. I promise to veto legislation where expenditures exceed revenue.

And if anybody doubts my willingness to veto bills, I think I vetoed more bills than any governor in the history of the United States. I think I vetoed more bills than all the other governors in the country combined.

Add to that, throwing out the entire federal tax system and replacing it with a consumption tax, the fair tax, which would absolutely reboot the American economy because it does away with the corporate tax to create tens of millions of jobs in this country.

BAIER: Governor Johnson, thank you.

We’ll be coming back to the issue of the economy throughout this debate tonight. As I mentioned at the top of the show, we’ll also be checking in with our own Shannon Bream throughout the night to get real-time updates from people watching — Shannon.

BREAM: Hi Bret.

Well, this is the most interactive debate ever, and it’s thanks to our partner Google. You can go to YouTube.com/Fox News. What happens there, folks can see the debate streaming live. But also, to the right of the screen, all night long, we are sending out questions so we can get your answers at home. And you can participate and weigh in.

Bret, a little bit earlier, asked Governor Romney how he defines rich. It’s a question we put to folks out on the Internet as well, and we’ve got the results.

Here’s the question: “I define rich as someone having an annual income higher than.” A hundred thousand dollars, 13 percent of you weighed in there; $250,000, 22 percent; $500,000, 22 percent; and the majority went with $1 million annual income, that defines you as rich,
44 percent of those who voted.

We’ll be going through all kinds of polls and data on the commercials. Join us at YouTube.com/Fox News.

Bret, back to you.

BAIER: Thanks, Shannon.

After the break, we will be tackling foreign policy, government spending. Shannon will have more on that, too. And also the issue of immigration.

Now, here for a preview of what’s to come, let’s take a look at what’s called a word cloud. It shows the words that were used most often in all of the questions you asked about immigration. The bigger the word, the more often it was used.

The biggest word in this cloud, as you see, is “illegal.”

Back after a short break. [applause]

[commercial break]

[begin video clip]

GOV. RICK SCOTT, R-FLA.: Good evening. I’m Florida Governor Rick Scott. Because of Florida’s size and diversity, our state represents the very pulse of our great nation. Not only will Florida be a must win for a Republican to be our party’s nominee, Florida is a must win on the road to the White House.

It is my belief that the next president will be the candidate who both articulates a plan for getting America’s economy back on the right track and inspires confidence in the hearts and minds of all Americans.

Good luck to all the candidates.

This debate is a partnership with Fox News and Google. I thank the men and women of Fox News and Google for choosing Florida, and thank all of you for being part of this exciting event.

[end video clip]

BAIER: Thank you Governor Scott.

And welcome back to Orlando, Florida, and the Republican presidential debate. [applause]

BAIER: My colleague Megyn Kelly will take us through the next round of questions on government spending and debt.

KELLY: Thanks, Bret.

Governor Perry, Governor Romney has been hammering you on your idea of turning Social Security back to the states, repeatedly. Can you explain specifically how 50 separate Social Security systems are supposed to work?

PERRY: Well, let me just say first, for those people that are on Social Security today, for those people that are approaching Social Security, they don’t have anything in the world to worry about. We have made a solemn oath to the people of this country that that Social Security program in place today will be there for them.

Now, it’s not the first time that Mitt has been wrong on some issues before. And the bottom line is, is we never said that we were going to move this back to the states. What we said was, we ought to have as one of the options the state employees and the state retirees, they being able to go off of the current system, on to one that the states would operate themselves.

As a matter of fact, in Massachusetts, his home state, almost 96 percent of the people who are on that program, retirees and state people, are off of the Social Security program. So having that option out there to have the states — Louisiana does it, almost every state has their state employees and the retirees that are options to go off of Social Security.

That makes sense. It’s an option that we should have.

KELLY: Governor Romney, you’re satisfied with that?

ROMNEY: Well, it’s different than what the governor put in his book just, what, six months, and what you said in your interviews following the book. So I don’t know. There’s a Rick Perry out there that is saying — and almost to quote, it says that the federal government shouldn’t be in the pension business, that it’s unconstitutional.

Unconstitutional and it should be returned to the states.

So you better find that Rick Perry and get him to stop saying that. [applause]

ROMNEY: Now, my own view is, that we have to make it very, very clear that Social Security is a responsibility of the federal government, not the state governments, that we’re going to have one plan, and we’re going to make sure that it’s fiscally sound and stable.

And I’m absolutely committed to keeping Social Security working. I put in my book that I wrote a couple of years ago a plan for how we can do that and to make sure Social Security stable not just for the next 25 years, but for the next 75.

Thank you.

PERRY: And I would like to respond to that.

KELLY: Go ahead, Governor Perry.

PERRY: Speaking of books and talking about being able to have things in your books, back and forth, your economic adviser talked about Romneycare and how that was an absolute bust. And it was exactly what Obamacare was all about.

As a matter of fact, between books, your hard copy book, you said it was exactly what the American people needed, to have that Romneycare given to them as you had in Massachusetts. Then in your paperback, you took that line out. So, speaking of not getting it straight in your book sir, that would be a — [applause]

KELLY: Governor Romney?

ROMNEY: Governor Perry, we were talking about Social Security, but if you want to talk about health care, I’m happy to do that.

BAIER: We are going to have a round on that.

ROMNEY: I actually wrote my book, and in my book I said no such thing. What I said, actually — when I put my health care plan together
— and I met with Dan Balz, for instance, of The Washington Post. He said, “Is this is a plan that if you were president you would put on the whole nation, have a whole nation adopt it?”

I said, “Absolutely not.” I said, “This is a state plan for a state, it is not a national plan.”

And it’s fine for to you retreat from your own words in your own book, but please don’t try and make me retreat from the words that I wrote in my book. I stand by what I wrote. I believe in what I did.

And I believe that the people of this country can read my book and see exactly what it is.

Thank you. [applause]

KELLY: We’ve got plenty of questions for all the other candidates up here tonight, but I want to stick with you on this one, Governor Romney.
Congresswoman Bachmann has said that President Obama has “ushered in socialism” during his first term. Governor Perry says that this administration is “hell bent” toward taking America toward a socialist country” When Speaker Gingrich was asked if he believes President Obama is a socialist, he responded, quote, “Sure, of course he is.” [laughter]

Do you, Governor Romney… [applause]

Do you, Governor Romney, believe that President Obama is a socialist?

ROMNEY: Let me tell you the title that I want to hear said about President Obama, and that is: former President Barack Obama. That’s the title I want to hear. [applause]

Let me tell you this. What President — what President Obama is, is a big-spending liberal. And he takes his political inspiration from Europe and from the socialist democrats in Europe. Guess what? Europe isn’t working in Europe. It’s not going to work here.

I believe in America. I believe in the opportunity and in the freedom that is American opportunity and freedom. I believe in free enterprise and capitalism. I believe government is too big. It’s gone from 27 percent of our economy in the years of JFK to 37 percent of our economy. We have to rein in the scale of government or we’re not going to be — continue to be a free economy.

I love this country. I spent my life in the private sector, not in government. I only spent four years as a governor. I didn’t inhale. [laughter]

I’m a business guy. I’m going to get America working again, because I believe in the principles that make America the hope of the Earth.

Thank you. [applause]

KELLY: Governor Huntsman, this next one’s for you. This week, President Obama proposed a tax hike on millionaires, saying that they need to pay their, quote, “fair share.” According to an August Gallup poll, 66 percent of American adults actually believe that a tax hike on the wealthy is a good idea to help tackle our mounting debt. Is there any scenario under which you could side with the 66 percent of people who believe that it is a good idea to raise taxes on millionaires?

HUNTSMAN: We’re not going to raise taxes. This is the worst time to be raising taxes, and everybody knows that. [applause]

We need to grow. We need to be reminded of what Ronald Reagan told us so beautifully, that which is great about America, freedom. We need to re-establish freedom in the marketplace.

We need to address our underlying structural problems that we have.

And in order to do that, we’re going to have to fix our taxes. And we put forward a program endorsed by the Wall Street Journal that phases out for individuals all the loopholes, all the deductions, and creates three rates, 8, 14, 23.

On the corporate side, it phases out all of the corporate welfare, all of the subsidies, and it gets it from 35 percent to 25 percent.

This is exactly where we need to be. We need to grow; we need to create jobs. This is not a point in time where we should be raising taxes.

We need to fix the underlying structural problems in this economy.

And until such time as we do, we’re not going to provide the confidence to businesses who are looking to deploy capital in the marketplace and hire people. And that would be serious tax reform, like I proposed, and like I did in the stay of Utah, and that would be — that would be structural reform, as well, dealing with Dodd-Frank, and repealing Obamacare, because they are presenting tremendous uncertainty to the marketplace right now.

KELLY: Thank you, Governor.

Mr. Cain, this question was one of the top 10 video questions voted on by people online, and it comes to us from Lee Doren of Arlington, Virginia, via YouTube.

[begin video clip]

QUESTION: My question is, if you were forced to eliminate one department from the federal government, which one would you eliminate and why? Thank you.

[end video clip] [laughter]

CAIN: The first — the first department, if I were forced to eliminate a department, I would start with the EPA and start all over.

It’s out of control. [applause]

Now, I know that makes some people nervous, but the EPA has gone wild. The fact that they have a regulation that goes into effect January 1, 2012, to regulate dust says that they’ve gone too far. [laughter]

So rather than try to fix it, eliminate all of the things that they have right now and then start rebuilding a responsible EPA.

Now, with the rest of my time, may I offer a solution for Social Security, rather than continuing to talk about what to call it? I have proposed the Chilean model. It’s been around 30 years, and it works.

It’s a personal retirement account. And in the last 30 years, not only has Chile succeeded with that model, but 30 other countries have done so. I don’t think we’re doing a service to the American people to keep bantering about what you call it and what you don’t call it. The solution is: Fix it. [applause]

KELLY: Speaker Gingrich, every day the federal government takes in about $6 billion, but spends about $10 billion. So we borrow 40 cents of every dollar we spend. Now, I understand that you believe that if we modernize the federal government that it’ll help a lot, it’ll save billions. But given the resistance that we’ve seen in Washington — the seeming intractable resistance we’ve seen in Washington to spending cuts, how can you possibly slash spending by 40 percent? How can you do it?

GINGRICH: Well, the way you described the question, you can’t. [laughter]

KELLY: Well, that’s it. Stick a fork in us.

GINGRICH: If — if you assume Washington remains the way Washington is right now, it’s all hopeless. We might as well buy Greek bonds and go down together. [laughter]

KELLY: How do you get us out of that? [applause]

GINGRICH: Well, next Thursday in Des Moines, I’m going to outline a 21st century Contract with America. And it’s going to be far bolder, far deeper, far more profound than what we did in 1994 or what I helped Jack Kemp and Ronald Reagan do in 1980.

It’s important to remember, this month, in the Reagan administration, September 1983, we created 1,100,000 new jobs. Obama’s socialist policies, class warfare, and bureaucratic socialism, we created zero in August.

I believe with leadership we can balance the budget. I did it for four consecutive years. We went from $2.2 trillion projected deficit over a decade to $2.7 trillion projected surplus when I left. I think it is doable, but it takes real leadership. [applause]

BAIER: Thank you, Megyn.

The next question is for all of the candidates. It comes to us from Atlanta, Georgia, on the topic of education.

[begin video clip]

QUESTION: Hi, I’m Stella Lohmann from Atlanta, Georgia. I’ve taught in both public and private schools, and now as a substitute teacher I see administrators more focused on satisfying federal mandates, retaining funding, trying not to get sued, while the teachers are jumping through hoops trying to serve up a one-size-fits-all education for their students. What as president would you seriously do about what I consider a massive overreach of big government into the classroom? Thank you.

[end video clip] [applause]

BAIER: That topic is for all candidates. And to get everyone to weigh in, 30 seconds each, please.

Governor Johnson?

JOHNSON: I’m promising to submit a balanced budget to Congress in the year 2013. That’s a 43 percent reduction in federal spending.

I am going to promise to advocate the abolishment of the federal Department of Education. [applause]

The federal Department of Education gives each state 11 cents out of every dollar that every state spends, but it comes with 16 cents worth of strings attached. So what America does not understand is that it’s a negative to take federal money. Give it to 50 laboratories of innovation, the states, to improve on, and that’s what we’ll see dramatic improvement. [applause]

BAIER: Senator Santorum?

SANTORUM: Yeah, 20 years ago, the federal contribution to education was 3 percent. It’s now at 11 percent, and our schools are doing worse, and it’s exactly what Gary Johnson just said. It’s because the federal government’s meddling.

The bottom-line problem with education is that the education system doesn’t serve the customer of the education system. And who’s the customer? The parents, because it’s the parents’ responsibility to educate the children.

It’s been that responsibility — from the moment they were born, they began the education of their children. And at some point, we have
— the government has convinced parents that at some point it’s no longer their responsibility. And in fact, they force them, in many respects, to turn their children over to the public education system and wrest control from them and block them out of participation of that.

That has to change or education will not improve in this country. [applause]

BAIER: Speaker Gingrich?

GINGRICH: I think you need very profound reform of education at the state level. You need to dramatically shrink the federal Department of Education, get rid of virtually all of its regulations.

And the truth is, I believe we’d be far better off if most states adopted a program of the equivalent of Pell Grants for K-through-12, so that parents could choose where their child went to school, whether it was public, or private, or home-schooling, and parents could be involved. Florida has a virtual school program that is worth the entire country studying as an example. [applause]

BAIER: Congressman Paul?

PAUL: If you care about your children, you’ll get the federal government out of the business of educating our kids. [applause]

In 1980, when the Republican Party ran, part of the platform was to get rid of the Department of Education. By the year 2000, it was eliminated, and we fed on to it. Then (inaudible) Republicans added No Child Left Behind.

So the first thing a president should do is — the goal should be set to get the government out completely, but don’t enforce this law of No Child Left Behind. It’s not going to do any good, and nobody likes it. And there’s no value to it. The teachers don’t like it, and the students don’t like it.

But there are other things that the federal government can do, and that is give tax credits for the people who will opt out. We ought to have a right to opt out of the public system if you want.

BAIER: Governor Perry.

PERRY: There are a lot of good ideas here on the side and whether it is cutting back on the Department of Education, making those types of reductions.

I happen to believe we ought to be promoting school choice all across this country. I think school — the voucher system, charter schools all across this country. But there is one person on this stage that is for Obama’s Race to the Top and that is Governor Romney. He said so just this last week. And I think that is an important difference between the rest of the people on this stage and one person that wants to run for the presidency.

Being in favor of the Obama Race to the Top and that is not conservative.

BAIER: Governor Romney?

ROMNEY: Nice try.

Let me tell you what I think I would do.

One, education has to be held at the local and state level, not at the federal level. We need get the federal government out of education. And secondly, all the talk about we need smaller classroom size, look that’s promoted by the teachers unions to hire more teachers. We looked at what drives good education in our state, what we found is the best thing for education is great teachers, hire the very best and brightest to be teachers, pay them properly, make sure that you have school choice, test your kids to see if they are meeting the standards that need to be met, and make sure that you put the parents in charge.

And as president I will stand up to the National Teachers Unions.

BAIER: Governor Romney, I want give you more time. Did Governor Perry say something that wasn’t true?

ROMNEY: I’m not sure exactly what he’s saying. I don’t support any particular program that he’s describing. I think that the president — I think the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is doing a good thing by saying, you know what, we should insist that teachers get evaluated and that schools have the opportunity to see which teachers exceeding and which ones are failing and that teachers that are not successful are removed from the classroom. Those ideas by Secretary Duncan, that is a lot better than what the president did which is cutting off school choice in the Washington, D.C. schools. So let’s give us a full chance to talk about it.

BAIER: Congresswoman Bachmann?

BACHMANN: We need that to do with education what has always worked historically, and that’s local control with parents. What doesn’t work is what we see happen right now.

I’m a mom five biological kids. We’ve raised 23 foster children in our home. The reason why I got involved in politics was because of the concern I had about our foster children and the education they were getting. What I would do as president of the United States is pass the mother of all repeal bills on education. I would take the entire federal education law, repeal it. Then I would go over to the Department of Education, I’d turn off the lights, I would lock the door and I would send all the money back to the states and localities.

BAIER: Mr. Cain?

CAIN: A lot of good ideas, I won’t repeat them.

All of the programs at the federal level where there’s strings attached, cut all the strings. We have got to encourage parents to take advantage of choices, but provide those choices and we must find ways to empower the students. This is how we are going to improve education, but primarily get the federal government out of trying to educate our kids at the local level.

BAIER: Governor Huntsman?

HUNTSMAN: This is a key question, because it has so much to do with our nation’s competitiveness. I feel like I’ve run my own clinical trial in my home, raising seven kids. We’ve seen every option. We’ve experienced everything out there. But as governor I learned some important things. I signed the first — or the second voucher bill in the United States, Carson-Smith. I’ve actually done something about this.

We actually worked on early childhood literacy. If you can lock in the pillars of cognitive development around reading and math before age six, you are giving those kids the best gift possible as they then proceed through education.

Finally, you’ve got to say no to unfunded mandates coming out of Washington. They are totally unacceptable. No one loves their schools more than parents and local school boards, and local elected officials.

Localize, localize, localize. [applause]

BAIER: Governor Huntsman thank you.

And by the way, everyone likes the new sound, it’s far more pleasing instead of the bell? OK, I guess they do. [laughter]

BAIER: …round of questions on immigration.

WALLACE: Congresswoman Bachmann, as you well know, a number of states are trying to crack down on illegal immigration. We got a bunch of questions on immigration like this one from Tim Emerson, this is a text question so you don’t need to look up there. Tim Emerson of California.

He wrote this, “would you support each state enforcing the immigration laws since the federal government is not?”

Congresswoman, could you answer Tim’s question? And if your answer is yes, how do you square that with the constitution which says that congress has the power to establish a uniform rule of naturalization?

BACHMANN: Well, the reason why he’s asking this question is because the federal government has failed the American people and has failed the states. It’s reprehensible that President Obama has sued the state of Arizona and the governor of Arizona for trying to protect the people in Arizona. That’s wrong. [applause]

BACHMANN: As president of the United States, I would do what my job would demand of me. That’s to uphold the sovereignty of the United States of America.

To do that, I would build a fence on America’s southern border on every mile, on every yard, on every foot, on every inch of the southern border. I think that’s what we have to do, not only build it, but then also have sufficient border security and enforce the laws that are on the books with the ICE agents, with our border security.

And here’s the other thing I would do. I would not allow taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal aliens or for their children. [applause]

BACHMANN: That’s a madness. End the madness for illegal aliens to come into the United States of America.

WALLACE: Congresswoman, thank you.

And we’re going to get back to that issue in a moment.

But first, Speaker Gingrich, as you well know, there’s a debate going on in Congress right now about whether or not to make all employers, all businesses use E-Verify, a government database, to check whether or not new hires are illegal. Now, some Tea Partiers object to that idea because they say it would turn small businessmen into immigration agents.

But Kristen Williamson of the Federation for American Immigration Reform sent this question. Please look at it.

[begin video clip]

QUESTION: Kristen Williamson, the Federal for American Immigration Reform.

Struggling U.S. workers continue to compete with millions of illegal aliens. Do you support legislation to require all employers to use E-Verify in order to ensure that the people that they hire are actually legally authorized to work in the U.S.? And will you impose penalties against employers who continue to hire illegal workers?

[end video clip]

WALLACE: The question, Mr. Speaker, is, should employers be required to use E-Verify?

GINGRICH: Well, let me say, first of all, I think we would be better off to outsource E-Verify to American Express, MasterCard or Visa, because they actually know how to run a program like that without massive fraud. [applause]

GINGRICH: Second, the program should be as easy as swiping your credit card when you buy gasoline. And so I would ask of employers, what is it you would object to in helping the United States of America in dealing with the problem involving illegal immigration?

But, in addition, I want to reinforce what Congresswoman Bachmann said. I strongly favor 100 percent control of the border, and I strongly favor English as the official language of government. [applause]

GINGRICH: And I favor modernizing the legal visa system to make it far more convenient, far easier and far more practical. Here in Orlando, where we have a huge interest in people being able to visit easily for tourism, we have a terribly antiquated legal system while our border is too open for people who are illegal. [applause]

WALLACE: Mr. Speaker, thank you.

Governor Romney, I want to continue a conversation that you had with Governor Perry in the last debate.

In Massachusetts, you vetoed legislation to provide interstate tuition rates to the children of illegals. Governor Perry of course signed the Texas Dream Act to do exactly that. But what about Governor Perry’s argument that it’s better to get these kids an education and to get them jobs than to consign them just to being a burden on the state?

ROMNEY: It’s an argument I just can’t follow. I’ve got be honest with you, I don’t see how it is that a state like Texas — to go to the University of Texas, if you’re an illegal alien, you get an in-state tuition discount. You know how much that is? That’s $22,000 a year.

Four years of college, almost $100,000 discount if you are an illegal alien go to the University of Texas. If you are a United States citizen from any one of the other 49 states, you have to pay $100,000 more. That doesn’t make sense to me. And that kind of magnet — [applause]

ROMNEY: That kind of magnet draws people into this country to get that education, to get the $100,000 break. It makes no sense. We have to have — just as Speaker Gingrich said, and as Michele Bachmann said as well, Congresswoman Bachmann, and that is we have to have a fence, we have to have enough Border Patrol agents to secure the fence, we have to have a system like E-Verify that employers can use to identify who is here legally and illegally.

We have to crackdown on employers that hire people that are here illegally. And we have to turn off the magnet of extraordinary government benefits like a $100,000 tax credit — or, excuse me, discount for going to the University of Texas. That shouldn’t be allowed. It makes no sense at all. [applause]

WALLACE: Governor Perry, I’m going to ask you a question, so you don’t need to respond to him, because you’re going to get a full minute to answer your question, which is on directly this point. You’re the candidate whose name, by a wide margin, came up most often in the questions being submitted to all of you candidates about immigration.

Dave Hollenback of Arizona sent this “To date, it appears that you have not tried to stop the illegals from coming. We have high unemployment and a considerable amount of jobs going to illegals. Are you going to exert an effort to stop the abuse of U.S. citizens by illegals?”

Now, last year, more than 16,000 children of illegals, young people in Texas, took advantage of your in-state tuition rate. Speak to that issue. And just, generally, how do you feel being criticized by a number of these other candidates on the stage for being too soft on immigration, sir?

PERRY: Well, I feel pretty normal getting criticized by these folks, but the fact of the matter is this: there is nobody on this stage who has spent more time working on border security than I have.

For a decade, I’ve been the governor of a state with a 1,200-mile border with Mexico. We put $400 million of our taxpayer money into securing that border. We’ve got our Texas Ranger recon teams there now.

I supported Arizona’s immigration law by joining in that lawsuit to defend it. Every day I have Texans on that border that are doing their job.

But if you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they’ve been brought there by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart. We need to be educating these children, because they will become a drag on our society.

I think that’s what Texans wanted to do. Out of 181 members of the Texas legislature, when this issue came up, only four dissenting votes.

This was a state issue. Texans voted on it. And I still support it greatly. [applause]

WALLACE: Senator Santorum — [booing]

SANTORUM: Chris, no one here is suggesting —

WALLACE: Senator Santorum, you don’t need to butt in because I was about to ask you a question on this exact issue.

You say that Governor Perry’s opposition to building a border along the entire fence shows that he is a “big government moderate.”

Question: Is he soft on illegal immigration?

SANTORUM: Governor Perry, no one is suggesting up here that the students that are illegal in this country shouldn’t be able to go to a college and university. I think you are sort of making this leap that, unless we subsidize this, the taxpayers subsidize it, they won’t be able to go.

Well, most folks who want go to the state of Texas or any other state out of state have to pay the full boat. The point is, why are we subsidizing?

Not that they can’t go. They can go. They just have to borrow money, find other sources to be able to go.

And why should they be given preferential treatment as an illegal in this country? That’s what we’re saying. [applause]

SANTORUM: And so, yes, I would say that he is soft on illegal immigration. I think the fact that he doesn’t want to build a fence — he gave a speech in 2001 where he talked about, buy national health insurance between Mexico and Texas. I mean, I don’t even think Barack Obama would be for buy national health insurance.

So I think he’s very weak on this issue of American sovereignty and protecting our borders and not being a magnet for illegal immigration, yes.

WALLACE: Governor Perry, 30 seconds to respond, sir.

PERRY: I’ve got one question for him.

Have you ever even been to the border with Mexico?

SANTORUM: Yes.

PERRY: I’m surprised if you have, but you weren’t paying attention, because the idea that you —

SANTORUM: Well, the answer is, yes, I have.

PERRY: — are going to build a wall, a fence for 1,200 miles, and then go 800 miles more to Tijuana, does not make sense. You put the boots on the ground.

We know how to make this work. You put the boots on the ground.

You put the aviation assets —

SANTORUM: But it’s not working, Governor.

PERRY: — in the ground. No, it’s not working because the federal government has not —

SANTORUM: But you said we know how it works. Is it working in Texas?

PERRY: The federal government has not engaged in this at all. When I’m the president of the United States, I’ll promise you one thing —

SANTORUM: But you’re saying you put the assets there. Has it worked in Texas?

PERRY: — we will put the assets on the ground —

SANTORUM: You said you have.

PERRY: — the boots on the ground —

BAIER: Senator Santorum, let him finish, please.

PERRY: — the aviation assets on the ground, and we will stop illegal immigration, we will stop the drug cartels, and we will make America secure.

SANTORUM: Can you answer the question? Is it working?

WALLACE: Well, you know, you asked your question, he gave his answer, sir.

SANTORUM: OK.

WALLACE: Sometimes we are frustrated with all of you answering questions. [laughter]

WALLACE: Congressman Paul, I want to ask you a question about a comment you made a couple of weeks ago about a border fence with Mexico. Here’s what you said, sir. I want to quote it: “There’s capital controls and there’s people control. So every time you think of a fence keeping all those bad people out, think about those fences maybe being used against us, keeping us in.”

Question, Congressman, do you know a lot of Americans who want to take their money and flee the United States of America? [laughter]

PAUL: There are — there are some. All the candidates up here talk about repatriation of dollars. They’ve already taken them overseas.

We’re talking about trying to bring in $1.5 trillion because they leave our country, because we make it uncomfortable, too many regulations, too much taxation. They can’t start business; they’ve lost confidence.

Yes, when countries destroy a currency, they do lead to capital controls and they lead to people control. So I think it is a real concern. [applause]

And, also, once you have these data banks, the data banks means that everybody is going to be in the data bank. You say, oh, no, the data bank’s there for the illegals. But everybody’s in the data bank.

That’s national ID card. If you care about your personal liberty, you’ll be cautious when you feel comfortable, blame all the illegal immigrants for everything. What you need to do is attack their benefits: no free education, no free subsidies, no citizenship, no birth-right citizenship. [applause]

And that would get to the bottom of it a lot sooner. But economically, you should not ignore the fact that, in tough economic times, money and people want to leave the country. That’s unfortunate.

WALLACE: Congressman Paul, thank you very much, sir.

BAIER: Chris, thank you. Let’s check in now with Shannon Bream.

Shannon?

BREAM: Well, Bret, one of the really interesting and valuable pieces of information we get from our partner, Google, is looking at search trends. We want to take you through some of those.

They’ve looked online for people within the U.S. who have been searching for coupons. We’ve talked about the economy a lot. If you look at the trend, it has been going up, up, up very steadily since 2004 to right now.

Another search compares home loan searches for foreclosure searches. Those have slipped over time. And now more people searching for information about foreclosures than home loans.

And another look, this compares folks searching for the best SUV miles per gallon and also gas prices, and those go together. When people are worried about their pocketbooks, worried about finding a bargain, they’re also looking at how they can save on gas and how they can conserve.

We’ve also been tracking questions that you’ve been putting to the candidates. We’ve put them to the folks at home, as well, and we’ve got some results. This question the same one we asked the candidates. If you had to cut a government department, what would you cut?

This is what the folks at home told us: the Labor Department, 8 percent; the EPA, 12 percent; Housing and Urban Development, 12 percent; Education,
47 percent, easily the majority there; and none, 20 percent. [applause]

Check it all out, YouTube.com/foxnews. Bret, back to you.

BAIER: Thanks, Shannon. We’ll check back with you a little later.

Up next, foreign policy, social issues, and health care, after the break.

[commercial break]

BAIER: Welcome back to Orlando and the Republican presidential debate. We’re parting — partner — partnering — easy for me to say — with Google and the Florida Republican Party.

Now to the topic of foreign policy. And all night we’ve been showing you these word clouds. Take a look at this one. All the searches on foreign policy, Israel is the biggest word. These are actually the words used in questions.

And that brings us to our first question. This week, with the Palestinian efforts at the United Nations, the issue of the future of Israel is a big concern to questioners. In fact, Governor Romney, the next question was a top question voted in the foreign policy section from Yigal Marcus in Teaneck, New Jersey.

[begin video clip]

QUESTION: As president, how would you approach the new reality in the Middle East, specifically with regards to our ally, Israel, and the existential threats it faces from Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, and now the Palestinian Authority?

[end video clip]

BAIER: Governor Romney?

ROMNEY: Very simple. You start off by saying that you don’t allow an inch of space to exist between you and your friends and your allies. [applause]

The president went about this all wrong. He went around the world and apologized for America. He — he addressed the United Nations in his inaugural address and chastised our friend, Israel, for building settlements and said nothing about Hamas launching thousands of rockets into Israel.

Just before Bibi Netanyahu came to the United States, he threw Israel under the bus, tried to negotiate for Israel.

The right course — if you disagree with an ally, you talk about it privately. But in public, you stand shoulder-to-shoulder with your allies. The right course for us… [applause]

The right course for us is not to try and negotiate for Israel. The right course is to stand behind our friends, to listen to them, and to let the entire world know that we will stay with them and that we will support them and defend them.

And with regards to Iran, which perhaps represents the greatest existential threat to Israel, we have to make it abundantly clear: It is unacceptable — and I take those — that word carefully — it is unacceptable for Iran to become a nuclear nation. [applause]

BAIER: Thank you, Governor Romney.

Mr. Cain, this week, the Palestinian Authority brought their bid for statehood to the United Nations. How would you respond to the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state?

CAIN: It starts with an extension of the Reagan philosophy of peace through strength. My philosophy would extend that to peace through strength and clarity. This administration has not made it clear how it stands with Israel.

When I was in Israel last month, I met with the deputy prime minister. And he made it shockingly, chillingly clear that, given everything that’s going on, number one, Israel will defend itself, with all of the tensions going on in the Middle East.

And he also made it real clear that he wasn’t sure how this administration stood when it came to Israel. I made it clear, which — and I would also make it clear to all of — our — the other people in the world, that if you mess with Israel, you’re messing with the United States of America. We will stand solidly behind Israel. [applause]

CAIN: If in fact it was clear to the Palestinians, where the United States stood, they might have had second thoughts about trying to pull such a move without negotiating with Israel.

BAIER: Mr. Cain, thank you.

Here’s a comparison of searches on Google for Israel, Pakistan and Afghanistan over the past few years. You can see the lines, Israel dominates the searches except for a few critical moments in time for Pakistan.

Which brings us to this, Governor Perry, if you were president, and you go a call at 3 am telling you that Pakistan had lost control of is nuclear weapons, at the hands of the Taliban, what would be your first move?

PERRY: Well obviously, before you ever get to that point you have to build a relationship in that region. That’s one of the things that this administration has not done. Yesterday, we found out through Admiral Mullen that Haqqani has been involved with — and that’s the terrorist group directly associated with the Pakistani country. So to have a relationship with India, to make sure that India knows that they are an ally of the United States.

For instance, when we had the opportunity to sell India the upgraded F-16’s, we chose not to do that. We did the same with Taiwan. The point is, our allies need to understand clearly that we are their friends, we will be standing by there with them.

Today, we don’t have those allies in that region that can assist us if that situation that you talked about were to become a reality.

BAIER: Senator Santorum if the security situation were to fall apart in Iraq in 2012 would you support sending U.S. troops back to the region to stabilize the gains made?

SANTORUM: I’m not for taking them out of the region. I believe we need to listen to our generals, and our generals are being very, very clear that we need to continue to stabilize Iraq, the Iraqi government wants and needs our intelligence in particular, needs force protection.

We need to have anywhere — I’m hearing numbers of 20,000, 30,000 troops potentially to remain in Iraq, not indefinitely, but to continue to make sure that this is a stable transition.

This is the difference between Congressman Paul, Governor Huntsman, Governor Perry and myself when it comes to this issue. I stand up and say that when we engage in Iraq and Afghanistan, we engage because we want to be successful. We want victory. We want to have accomplished a national security objective for this country to make sure that we are safer.

We are not on a political agenda to withdraw troops. So the first thing is to make sure that we secure success.

To answer the question on Pakistan, which I’m not too sure was answered. The bottom line is, that we should be establishing relationships in Pakistan with allies of ours, folks like relationships with President Musharraf who we had in the past with others in that country so if in fact something like that would occur we could work in concert to make sure that that coup could be overturned and make sure those nuclear weapon do not fall in those hands.

But working with allies at that point is the last thing we want to do. We want to work in that country to make sure the problem is defused.

BAIER: Speaker Gingrich, many of the foreign policy questions we received had directly to do with the U.S. economy as well when it came to the topic of foreign aid.

Butch Russell had the top voted video question in the section of foreign policy.

[begin video clip]

QUESTION: When are we gonna get someone in the White House that can stand up to these other countries and say you are not getting any more of our money. This is stupid. We send billions of dollars overseas to countries that hate us.

[end video clip] [applause]

BAIER: Speaker Gingrich.

GINGRICH: I think — I actually there’s a lot to that. And I’ve been a strong supporter of international assistance, but I think there are a couple of good reasons to review the whole program.

First of all, I would replace virtually all government to government aid with some kind of investment approach that encouraged American companies to create jobs that made both the United States and the other country wealthier. Our bureaucrats giving their bureaucrats money is a guaranteed step towards corruption.

Second, I think when you have countries that vote against you in the United Nations consistently you really have to ask yourself why are you giving them anything? I mean, if they are not your ally why are… [applause]

GINGRICH: We came out of World War II with the generosity that made perfect sense when we had 50 percent of the world economy. And it was a different world. And we need to understand how different it is.

But I want to go back to your question on Pakistan, because I think people need to understand how real this is. This world is in danger of becoming dramatically more dangerous in the not-too-distant future.

People talk about an Iranian weapon? There may be well over 100 nuclear weapons in Pakistan. And the example you used is not too far-fetched to worry about.

BAIER: Speaker Gingrich, thank you.

Governor Johnson, here in Florida, charter flights from Ft. Lauderdale to Havana, Cuba, have resumed. Is there a problem with that? And what are your thoughts on U.S.-Cuba policy?

JOHNSON: I think the biggest threat to our national security is the fact that we’re bankrupt, so I am promising to submit a balanced budget to Congress in the year 2013, and included in that is a 43 percent reduction in military spending.

I think it’s crazy that we have foreign aid to company — to countries when we’re borrowing 43 cents out of every dollar to do that. [applause]

Military alliances — military alliances are really key to other countries taking up the slack.

With regard to flights to Cuba? You know, I’m — I’m in favor, I think, of the whole notion that trade promotes friendship, as opposed to not. So I would be inclined to looking at establishing or supporting those kinds of flights.

BACHMANN: Bret? Bret?

BAIER: Governor Johnson, thank you.

Now…

BACHMANN: Excuse me, Bret? Could I weigh in on this?

BAIER: Congresswoman Bachmann?

BACHMANN: I’d like to weigh on this, because according to the State Department’s website, there are four nations that are state sponsors of terror. Cuba is one of those nations. We would never have flights between the United States and Cuba. It’s a state sponsor of terror. [applause]

BAIER: Thank you, Congresswoman.

Now to my colleague, Megyn Kelly, on the topic of social issues.

KELLY: Governor Huntsman?

HUNTSMAN: Just one issue. I just want to respond to my friend, Rick Santorum, here. Is the microphone working?

BAIER: It is.

HUNTSMAN: Thank you. We do have a difference of opinion here in terms of overall foreign policy. And I think, you know, as the only one on stage with any hands-on foreign policy experience, having served — having lived overseas four different times, we’re at a critical juncture in our country. We don’t have a foreign policy, and we don’t project the goodness of this country in terms of liberty, democracy, open markets, and human rights, with a weak core.

And right now in this country, our core, our economy, is broken.

And we don’t shine that light today. We’re 25 percent of the world’s GDP. The world is a better place when the United States is strong. So guiding anything that we talk about from a foreign policy standpoint needs to be fixing our core.

But, second of all, I believe that, you know, after 10 years of fighting the war on terror, people are ready to bring our troops home from Afghanistan, Rick. [applause]

They’re ready to bring our troops home. This country — this country has given its all.

KELLY: Governor Huntsman?

HUNTSMAN: What remains behind, some element to collect intelligence, special forces capability, and we’re going to have to do that in every corner of the world. But we need to fix this core and get serious about what the rest of the 21st century holds for this country.

BAIER: Senator Santorum, very quickly?

SANTORUM: Just because our economy is sick does not mean our country is sick, and it doesn’t mean our values are sick. And we’re going to stand up for those values every opportunity… [applause] … and to do so to make sure that our country is safe. The bottom line is — that you just mentioned is — is — is we should be fighting wars to win, not fighting wars for politics. [applause]

And this president is fighting a war in Afghanistan — in Afghanistan with one hand tied behind our generals, not giving the troops they need, not giving the authority, the rules of engagement to allow us to be successful. And unless we change those rules of engagement and make sure that our folks can win, then we are going to play politics with our military. [applause]

HUNTSMAN: This — this may — this may not come as a huge revelation. We’ve been talking about Pakistan here. But at the end of the day, folks, only Pakistan can save Pakistan. Only Afghanistan can save Afghanistan. [applause]

All that I want right now at this point in history is for America to save America. We’ve got to fix our core and… [crosstalk] [applause]

BAIER: Thank you very much. Now, as I originally said, Megyn Kelly on social issues. [laughter]

KELLY: And now I’m moving on from you, Governor Huntsman, to you, Congresswoman Bachmann. In 2006, you said that public schools are, quote, “teaching children that there is separation of church and state,” and said, quote, “I am here to tell you that’s a myth.”

Do you believe that there is a limit… [applause] … on government’s ability to inject religion into the public square? And if so, what is that limit?

BACHMANN: Well, I think that Thomas Jefferson stated it best. He was the author of the — the religious liberty that he valued so much, and that’s the — the United States government should not be a state church. That’s really what the fundamental was of separation of church and state.

And when Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptists, the Danbury Baptists wanted to know, will you have a national church in the United States? He said no, because we believe in freedom of conscience, we believe in freedom of religious liberty, and expression, and speech.

That’s a foundational principle in the United States. But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t people of faith and that people of faith shouldn’t be allowed to exercise religious liberty in the public square. Of course we should be able to… [applause] … (inaudible) exercise our faith. And — and whether that expression occurs in a public school or occurs — occurs in a public building, we should be able to allow — to have freedom for all people to express our belief in God. [applause]

KELLY: Senator Santorum, this question stirred up a whole lot of controversy online, and it comes from Stephen Hill, who is a soldier serving in Iraq.

[begin video clip]

QUESTION: In 2010, when I was deployed to Iraq, I had to lie about who I was, because I’m a gay soldier, and I didn’t want to lose my job.

My question is, under one of your presidencies, do you intend to circumvent the progress that’s been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?

[end video clip] [booing]

SANTORUM: Yeah, I — I would say, any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military. And the fact that they’re making a point to include it as a provision within the military that we are going to recognize a group of people and give them a special privilege to — to — and removing “don’t ask/don’t tell” I think tries to inject social policy into the military. And the military’s job is to do one thing, and that is to defend our country.

We need to give the military, which is all-volunteer, the ability to do so in a way that is most efficient at protecting our men and women in uniform. [applause]

And I believe this undermines that ability. [applause]

KELLY: So what — what — what would you do with soldiers like Stephen Hill? I mean, he’s — now he’s out. He’s — you know, you saw his face on camera. When he first submitted this video to us, it was without his face on camera. Now he’s out. So what would you do as president?

SANTORUM: I think it’s — it’s — it’s — look, what we’re doing is playing social experimentation with — with our military right now. And that’s tragic.

I would — I would just say that, going forward, we would — we would reinstitute that policy, if Rick Santorum was president, period.

That policy would be reinstituted. And as far as people who are in — in — I would not throw them out, because that would be unfair to them because of the policy of this administration, but we would move forward in — in conformity with what was happening in the past, which was, sex is not an issue. It is — it should not be an issue. Leave it alone, keep it — keep it to yourself, whether you’re a heterosexual or a homosexual. [applause]

KELLY: Congressman Paul, you have said that you believe that life begins at conception and that abortion ends an innocent life. If you believe that, how can you support a rape exception to abortion bans, and how can you support the morning-after pill? Aren’t those lives just as innocent?

PAUL: They may be, but the way this is taken care of in our country, it is not a national issue. This is a state issue. And there are circumstances… [applause]

There are circumstances where doctors in the past have used certain day-after pills for somebody with rape. And, quite frankly, if somebody is treated, you don’t even know if a person is pregnant, you don’t even know if there’s a disease, but if it’s 24 hours after rape, I don’t know where — how you’re going to police it.

So I don’t think you should create — we have too many laws already. Now, how are you going to police the day-after pill? It doesn’t make any sense to me in a practical matter.

So I would say that nobody can out-do me on respect for life. I’ve spent a lifetime dealing with life. But I still think there is a time where the law doesn’t solve the problems. Only the moral character of the people will eventually solve this problem, not the law. [applause]

KELLY: Governor Perry, you and our former president, George W. Bush, have a lot in common. You’re both Republicans from Texas. You both ran on the same ticket for the statehouse. You both share a deep religious faith.

Now, you’ve made a point of saying, well, we went to different colleges, Texas A&M and Yale, and point out that you have a different approach from President Bush when it comes to government spending. But what are the other differences that you can cite between you and President Bush? And what say you about these reports that there is some bad blood between the two of you?

PERRY: Well, let me address the first — or the last issue first.

And we got a great rapport. I talk to the president from time to time, call him on his birthday, wish him happy birthday, talk to him on a relatively regular basis. I highly respect the president and his public service.

What we have in — in — in difference is probably as much as in style as in substance on various issues. For instance, you know, I was very vocal in my disagreement with him on Medicaid Part D that the federal government should be involved in that very expensive program.

And I was also vocal against No Child Left Behind.

It gets back to the federal government has no business telling the states how to educate our children. [applause]

BAIER: Thank you, Meagan.

We’ve been showing you these word clouds throughout the night. Take a look at this one, all of the questions on health care. You can see the big word there, Obamacare.

Chris has the questions on health care.

WALLACE: And we’ll get right to that question of Obamacare.

Mr. Cain, you are a survivor of stage 4 colon and liver cancer. And you say, if Obamacare had been… [applause]

WALLACE: …and we all share in the happiness about your situation. But, you say if Obamacare had been in effect when you were first being treated, you would dead now. Why?

CAIN: The reason I said that I would be dead under Obamacare is because my cancer was detected in March of 2006. From March 2006 all the way to the end of 2006, for that number of months, I was able to get the necessary CAT scan tests, go to the necessary doctors, get a second opinion, get chemotherapy, go — get surgery, recuperate from surgery, get more chemotherapy in a span of nine months. If we had been under Obamacare and a bureaucrat was trying to tell me when I could get that CAT scan that would have delayed by treatment.

My surgeons and doctors have told me that because I was able get the treatment as fast as I could, based upon my timetable and not the government’s timetable that’s what saved my life, because I only had a 30 percent chance of survival. And now I’m here five years cancer free, because I could do it on my timetable and not a bureaucrat’s timetable.

This is one of the reasons I believe a lot of people are objecting to Obamacare, because we need get bureaucrats out of the business of trying to micromanage health care in this nation. [applause]

WALLACE: Governor Huntsman, you say President Obama’s health care plan is a trillion dollar bomb dropping — dropped on taxpayers and job creation. But I want to show you the top voted question on YouTube that was submitted on health care. And it comes from Ian McDonald of Michigan who says he has a health problem. Watch it, sir.

[begin video clip]

QUESTION: Hi, I’m a student. And I have a chronic heart condition. So for me, and those like me, the Democrats’ health care reform, allowing us to stay on our parents’ insurance longer was a godsend.

If were you elected, would you work as is the stated position of your party to repeal this reform? And if so, are we supposed to pray really hard that our ailments don’t prevent us from going to class?

[end video clip]

WALLACE: Governor, what about provisions that Ian talks about? For instance, the one that allows kids to stay on their parents’ policies until they were 26, or not limiting coverage for preexisting conditions. President Obama says the only way that insurance companies can afford to provide those kinds of reforms is with the individual mandate where they get a lot of new customers.

HUNTSMAN: When I hear this discussion, I think of my daughter Elizabeth who is sitting on the front row who suffers from juvenile diabetes. And I also am reminded that we are fundamentally approaching health care reform the wrong way.

This one trillion dollar bomb that Obamacare means to this country over 10 years is creating such uncertainty in the marketplace that businesses aren’t willing to hire, they’re not willing to deploy capital into the marketplace. It everyone it has gummed up our system.

So you say what do we do? I say we go out to the states and let the states experiment and find breakthroughs in how we address health care reform. Health care reform, it’s is a three trillion dollar industry.

It’s the size of the GDP of France. It’s large. It’s complicated. All I want to do is do the kind of thing we did in the state of Utah.

In direct response, we need affordable insurance policies. We don’t have affordable insurance policies today. We got one in Utah a stripped down bare bones catastrophic coverage policy that young people can finally afford.And then you can start whittling down the high percentage of the people who are uninsured in this country because they have an affordable policy. That’s number one.

Number two, we have to deal with cost containment measures like harmonizing medical records. We were the first state to do that. So let’s forget federal fixes in solutions and turn to the states where we’re going to find real breakthroughs and real answers to this terribly difficult and complicated problem.

WALLACE: Thank you, governor.

Congresswoman Bachmann, in the last debate you criticized Governor Perry for his executive order mandating that 6th graders get the HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer. Then afterward, you suggested that the vaccine was linked to mental retardation and you said that it could be, quote, “potentially be a very dangerous drug.”

But the American Academy of Pediatrics has looked at it and says that the HPV vaccine has an excellent safety record. So my question to you is, do you stand by your statement that the HPV vaccine is potentially dangerous? And if not, should you be more careful when you’re talking about public health issue?

BACHMANN: Well, first I didn’t make that claim nor did I make that statement. Immediately after the debate, a mother came up to me and she was visibly shaken and heart broken because of what her daughter had gone through. I so I only related what her story was.

But here’s the real issue, Governor Perry mandated a health care decision on all 12-year-old little girls in the state of Texas. And by that mandate, those girls had to have a shot for a sexually transmitted disease. That is not appropriate to be a decision that a governor makes.

It is appropriate that parents make that decision in consultation with their doctor.

But here’s the even more important point, because Governor Perry made a decision where he gave parental rights to a big drug company.

That big drug company gave him campaign contributions and hired his former chief of staff to lobby him to benefit the big drug company.

That’s what was wrong with that picture. [applause]

WALLACE: Governor Perry, obviously 30 seconds to respond.

PERRY: Thank you.

I got lobbied on this issue. I got lobbied by a 31-year-old young lady who had stage 4 cervical cancer. I spent a lot of time with her.

She came by my office talked to me about in program.

I readily admitted we should have had an opt-in, in this program.

But, I don’t know what part of opt-out most parents don’t get. And the fact is, I erred on the side of life and I will always err on the side of life as a governor as the president of the United States. [applause]

WALLACE: Governor Perry, I now have a question for you. Texas has the most uninsured residents of any state in the country, 25 percent.

In the last debate, you blamed it on restrictions imposed by the federal government. But we checked about that, sir, in fact the feds treat Texas like they do all the other big states. On its own, on its own, Texas has imposed some of the toughest eligibility rules for Medicaid of any state in the country. In fact, you rank 49th in Medicaid coverage of low income residents.

So the question is, isn’t Texas’ uninsured problem because of decisions made by Texas?

PERRY: Well, I disagree with your analysis there, because we’ve had a request in for the federal government so that we could have a Medicaid waiver for years. And the federal government has stopped us from having that Medicaid waiver. Allowing the state of Texas, or for that matter the other states that we’re making reference to here, that have waivers give them more options to be able to give the options, there’s a menu of options that we could have, just like Jon Huntsman talked about. That is how we go forward with our health care.

Each state deciding how they’re going to deliver that health care.

Not one size fits all. And I think this whole concept of not allowing the states to come up with the best ideas about how to deliver health care in their state. And the fact is, people continue to move to the state of Texas. Some of the highest rates in the country, because we’ve created a state where opportunity is very much the word of the day there, if you will, for finding work and what have you.

And our health care is part of that. Our education is part of that. And we are proud of what we put together in the state of Texas.

WALLACE: Governor Romney, the other day Governor Perry called Romneycare socialized medicine. He said it has failed in western Europe and in Massachusetts. And he warns that Republicans should not nominate his words, Obama-lite.

How do you respond to Governor Perry?

ROMNEY: I don’t think he knows what he was talking about in that — in that regard.

Let me tell you this about our system in Massachusetts: 92 percent of our people were insured before we put our plan in place. Nothing’s changed for them. The system is the same. They have private market-based insurance.

We had 8 percent of our people that weren’t insured. And so what we did is we said let’s find a way to get them insurance, again, market-based private insurance. We didn’t come up with some new government insurance plan.

Our plan in Massachusetts has some good parts, some bad parts, some things I’d change, some things I like about it. It’s different than Obamacare.

And what you — what you heard from Herman Cain is one absolutely key point, which is Obamacare intends to put someone between you and your physician. It must be repealed. And if I’m president of the United States, on my first day in office, I will issue an executive order which directs the secretary of health and human services to provide a waiver from Obamacare to all 50 states. That law is bad; it’s unconstitutional; it shall not stand. [applause]

WALLACE: Governor — Governor Perry, 30 seconds to respond.

PERRY: I think Americans just don’t know sometimes which Mitt Romney they’re dealing with. Is it the Mitt Romney that was on the side of against the Second Amendment before he was for the Second Amendment?

Was it — was before he was before the social programs, from the standpoint of he was for standing up for Roe v. Wade before he was against Roe v. Wade? He was for Race to the Top, he’s for Obamacare, and now he’s against it. I mean, we’ll wait until tomorrow and — and — and see which Mitt Romney we’re really talking to tonight.

WALLACE: Governor Romney?

ROMNEY: I’ll use the same term again: Nice try. [laughter]

Governor, I’m — I wrote a book two years ago, and I laid out in that book what my views are on a wide range of issues.

I’m a conservative businessman. I haven’t spent my life in politics. I spent my life in business. I know how jobs come, how jobs go. My positions are laid out in that book. I stand by them.

Governor Perry, you wrote a book six months ago. You’re already retreating from the positions that were in that book.

PERRY: Not an — not an — not an inch, sir.

ROMNEY: Yeah, well, in that book, it says that Social Security was forced upon the American people. It says that, by any measure, Social Security is a failure. Not to 75 million people. And you also said that — that Social Security should be returned to the states.

Now, those are the positions in your book. And simply, in my view, I’m stand by my positions. I’m proud of them.

There are a lot of reasons not to elect me, a lot of reasons not to elect other people on this stage, but one reason to elect me is that I know what I stand for, I’ve written it down. Words have meaning, and I have the experience to get this country going again. [applause]

WALLACE: Gentlemen, thank you both.

Bret?

BAIER: Coming up, we return to issue number one: jobs.

Stay tuned.

[commercial break]

BAIER: Welcome back to the Orange County Convention Center here in Orlando, Florida, and the Republican presidential debate.

Now a question for all of the candidates. Independent New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently fretted over the possibility of the unemployed rioting in the streets. Ohio’s Republican Governor John Kasich recently said, quote, “For the first time in my life, I’m worried about this country.” And recently, a liberal columnist wrote this, quote, “We’ve lost our mojo.”

You know, President Obama promised hope and change. And according to many polls, fewer and fewer Americans believe he’s delivered.

Now, I’m not asking for your jobs plan here. What I’m asking for is, how are you going to turn this country around? We’ll go down the row, 30 seconds each.
Governor Huntsman?

HUNTSMAN: First of all, let me say that this is a human tragedy playing out, with 15 million unemployed, so many million beyond who are so dispirited, they’ve absolutely given up.

Sheriff Hardy, who’s a great sheriff in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, talks about foreclosures, that his folks are now handing out first time ever to the middle class.

I would drop three things on the doorstep of Congress to change and turn the situation around: one, my tax reform package, endorsed by the Wall Street Journal; two, serious regulatory reform, Dodd-Frank, Obamacare repealed; three, energy independence. Boone Pickens had some great ideas in terms of converting to natural gas. It’s a 500,000 job creator over five years. It would get the engines of growth going like nothing else I can think of.

BAIER: Mr. Cain?

CAIN: Obviously starts with economic growth. And, yes, I’ve already laid out how I would do that with my 999 plan. But what Americans are looking for in order to build their confidence is leadership. There is a severe deficiency of leadership in Washington, D.C. And once we fill that void, I believe the American people will begin to develop some confidence again.

In terms of believing in this nation, Ronald Reagan was the one who said that we are a shining city on a hill. We’ve slid down the side of that hill. [laughter]

Americans want somebody who’s going to lead them back up to the top of that hill. That’s how we turn this country around. [applause]

BAIER: Congresswoman Bachmann?

BACHMANN: I agree. It’s time to reach for the brass ring of liberty once again. And we can. The signature issue of Barack Obama and his presidency has been the passage of Obamacare. This week, a study came out from UBS that said the number-one reason why employers aren’t hiring is because of Obamacare.

That’s why I introduced the bill to repeal Obamacare. And as president of the United States, that’s the very first thing I would do, is repeal Obamacare.

BAIER: Governor Romney?

ROMNEY: All across America, you’ve got families sitting across from their — sitting in their living rooms and their kitchens, sitting at that kitchen table, with a calculator and a checkbook, seeing if they have enough money to make ends meet for the month or the week.
You’ve got people who are sitting at that same table filling out job application forms, knowing that there are hundreds of other people that are doing the same thing for the same job.

These are tough times for a lot of people in this country, but we are a patriotic people. We place our hand over our heart during the playing of the national anthem. No other people on Earth do that. And if we’re led by a leader who draws on that patriotism, who tells the truth, who lives with integrity, and who knows how to lead, America will remain the hope of the Earth and the strongest nation in the world. I’ll do it. [applause]

BAIER: Governor Perry?

PERRY: Americans — Americans want a leader who’s got a proven record of job creation. Number one, we get rid of Obamacare. Secondly, we pull back all of those regulations that are job-killing today, whether it’s Dodd-Frank or whether it’s the EPA.

And then we sit with Congress and we lower those corporate tax rates, we lower those personal tax rates, and then we put our plan to make America energy independent, and that is the way you get America working again. [applause]

BAIER: Congressman Paul?

PAUL: Government destroys jobs; the market creates jobs. So the government isn’t going to be expected to create the jobs; they have to change the environment. But you can’t do that unless you understand where the depression, recessions come from, and you can’t understand that unless you know where the bubbles come from.

I’ve been arguing this case for 20 years and warning about bubbles and housing bubbles and Nasdaq bubbles. And a lot of other economists have been doing the same thing.

Until we understand that, you can’t solve the problem. You have to deal with the Federal Reserve system. You have to deal with free markets. And you have to deal with the tax program and the regulatory system. [applause]

Then you can get your jobs, because the people will create the jobs, not the government. [applause]

BAIER: Waiting for the applause.

Speaker Gingrich?

GINGRICH: Thirty-two years ago, we were in the same place. We had a failing president. He gave a speech on malaise. People wrote about the presidency being too big, nobody could do it. The Soviet Union was on offense.

And a leader came along. He said, when your brother-in-law is unemployed, it’s a recession. When you’re unemployed, it’s a depression. When Jimmy Carter’s unemployed, it’s a recovery. [applause]

Nothing — nothing will turn America around more than Election Night, when Barack Obama loses decisively. [applause]

BAIER: Senator Santorum?

SANTORUM: The last words Ronald Reagan said as president of the United States in his farewell address, he was concerned about the future of our country because we were forgetting who we were, didn’t remember what America was really all about.

I think that’s what’s the problem right now, is we have a president who doesn’t understand what America is all about.

America is a great country because we are a country that believes in God-given rights to every single man, woman and child in America… [applause] … and that we built this country from the bottom up, believing in free people, to have that responsibility to live their lives in service to themselves, their family, their community, and their god, and in so doing, we transformed the world.

We had a leader in Reagan who believed in you. President Obama is the new King George III, who believes in things being dictated from on high. We need to replace him with someone who believes in the American people again. [applause]

BAIER: Governor Johnson?

JOHNSON: My next-door neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration. [laughter] [applause]

Balance the federal budget now, not 15 years from now, not 20 years from now, but now. And throw out the entire federal tax system, replace it with a fair tax, a consumption tax, that by all measurements is just that. It’s fair. It does away with corporate income tax. If that doesn’t create tens of millions of jobs in this country, I don’t know what does. [applause]

BAIER: You just made your neighbor’s dog very famous. [laughter]

When we come back in just one minute — one minute — the final round. We’ll be talking about the Republican ticket. We’re back from Orlando, Florida. [applause]

[commercial break]

BAIER: Welcome back to Orlando for our final round, our final question from YouTube. Our wildcard question comes from Darrell Owens in Richmond, Virginia.

[begin video clip]

QUESTION: If you had to choose one of your opponents on the stage tonight to be your running mate in the 2012 election, who would you choose, and why? And why would this person help you make the country better?

[end video clip]

BAIER: Again, if you had to choose a running mate, one of the people on the stage with you, who would you choose and why? Thirty seconds down the row.
Governor Johnson?

JOHNSON: Well, that would be the guy three down, Congressman Paul.

And that would be… [applause]

And that would be the notion that this country is about liberty and freedom and that right now we are facing an extraordinary crisis that, if we do not address it now, we’re going to find ourselves in a monetary crisis that is going to leave us all with nothing. And if we want to look at an example of that, that would be Russia that experienced a monetary collapse, that in our lifetimes may never acquire. We need to avoid that now.

BAIER: Senator Santorum, who would you choose?

SANTORUM: I would pick someone who would do what I have articulated I would do as president of the United States. That’s what you — that’s what a vice president should be, someone who would follow through on what you promise the American public to do.

BAIER: You have eight to choose.

SANTORUM: And — and I — and I would say that, you know, right now that, you know, the guy that I’m agreeing with most up on stage is probably the guy to my left. So I would say that Newt Gingrich would be the guy that I would — I would pick as someone who — who would follow through with what I’m saying.

BAIER: Speaker Gingrich?

GINGRICH: Yeah, I’m going to disappoint those in the audience who want this to be a Hollywood game. I don’t have any idea who I would pick as the vice presidential nominee. What I do know is, it would have to be a person capable of being president of the United States, and that would be the first criteria. These are all good friends of mine. I couldn’t imagine hurting any of their feelings by choosing one tonight. [laughter]

BAIER: Congressman Paul, hurt away.

PAUL: I don’t plan to make a choice at the moment, because I am on national polls. It seems like I’m in third place now. I think it would be inappropriate. [applause]

As soon as — as soon as I’m one of the two top tier, then I will start thinking along that line. But right now, I’m going to defer, and just work very hard, and make sure that I stay in the top tier and then eventually be one of the top two contenders. [applause]

BAIER: Governor Perry, how do you answer Darrell Jones?

PERRY: Well, staying with the game show idea here, I don’t know how you would do this, but if you could take Herman Cain and mate him up with Newt Gingrich, I think you would have a couple of really interesting guys to work with. [laughter]

I don’t know how you’d do it.

BAIER: Governor Romney, Darrell Owens would like an answer.

ROMNEY: There are a couple of images I’m going to have a hard time getting out of my mind. [laughter]

That’s one, and Gary Johnson’s dogs are the other, I’ll tell you. [laughter]

I’m — I’m going to go with Newt on this, meaning I’m going to subscribe to his same view. I know I’m going to disappoint.

But my view is, if you pick a vice president, if you’re lucky enough to become the nominee of this party, picking a vice president would be something you give a lot of thought to, a lot of evaluation to, and you want someone who without question could become the president of the United States.

These people could all fill that — that position. Any one of them would be a better president than what we have now. [applause]

BAIER: Governor Romney, I hate to follow up here, but you called Governor Perry unelectable based on his Social Security…

ROMNEY: Actually, I — actually, I didn’t use that term, but the newspaper did. That happens now and then. But the point is still, I think, that there are some problems that exist in each of our backgrounds that make it harder for us to get elected. I hope we get elected. I hope one of us gets to that White House. I think we will, because I think this president has failed miserably.

But I’ll tell you one thing. I — look, Governor Perry and I disagree on some issues. I think I probably disagree with everybody — we all have differing views on different issues. But one thing’s for sure: We all agree that President Obama needs to be former President Obama, and we’re going to make that happen. [applause]

BAIER: Congresswoman Bachmann, back to the original question?

BACHMANN: Obviously, we need to have a strong constitutional conservative, and that’s what I would look for in a vice president.

But I want to say this, as well. Every four years, conservatives are told that we have to settle, and it’s anybody but Obama. That’s what we’re hearing this year.

I don’t think that’s true. I think if there’s any year — President Obama has the lowest public approval ratings of any president in modern times. He hasn’t gone to the basement yet. It’ll be a lot lower than what it is now. That’s why we need to choose a candidate who represents conservatives and constitutional conservative positions. [applause]

BAIER: Mr. Cain?

CAIN: This is a game, and it is hypothetical. I’ll play the game. [laughter]

If — if Governor Romney would throw out his jobs growth plan and replace it with 999, he has a shot. [laughter]

If he does not, I would probably go with Speaker Gingrich, who I have the greatest admiration for, in all seriousness, because of his history and because of his depth of knowledge. I could go on because I have respect for everybody up here. But it’s a game. [laughter]

BAIER: It is a YouTube question.

Governor Huntsman?

HUNTSMAN: You know, I’m tempted to say that, when all is said and done, the two guys standing in the middle here, Romney and Perry, aren’t going to be around, because they’re going to bludgeon each other to death. [laughter]

But — but I’m also reminded of about four years ago, we had two frontrunners in similar situations, one by the name of Rudy Giuliani, I think, and the other by the name of Fred Thompson. They seemed to disappear altogether; I can’t remember where they went.

But I would have — I would have to say, since Chris Wallace doesn’t qualify as somebody on the stage, so I can’t — I can’t pick one of you, that Herman Cain, because of his selection of ties, the fact that — the fact that we both — we both apparently agree with the gold standard, wearing the yellow ties here tonight. And because of the good neighbor policy, 999, mixed with my tax policy, would be the most competitive thing this nation could ever achieve. I’d have to say Herman’s my man. [applause]

BAIER: Candidates, thank you very much. That is it for our debate tonight. Our thanks to the candidates and their staffs. A big thank you to our debate partner, Google, and the Florida Republican Party, to all the great people here in the Orange County Convention Center and, of course, the state of Florida. They could not have been more hospitable.

Stay with Fox News Channel, America’s election headquarters, all the way to the general election and the inauguration.

August 11, 2011: Fox News / Washington Examiner / Iowa Republican Party Republican Presidential Debate Transcript

Republican Presidential Candidates Debate in Ames, Iowa August 11, 2011

PARTICIPANTS:
Representative Michele Bachmann (MN);
Herman Cain (GA);
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (GA);
Former Governor Jon Huntsman (UT);
Representative Ron Paul (TX);
Former Governor Tim Pawlenty (MN);
Former Governor Mitt Romney (MA); and
Former Senator Rick Santorum (PA)

MODERATORS:
Bret Baier (Fox News);
Susan Ferrechio (Washington Examiner);
Chris Wallace (Fox News); and
Byron York (Washington Examiner)

BAIER: Welcome to Ames, Iowa, on the campus of Iowa State University and the Republican presidential debate.

Our event is being sponsored by Fox News and the Washington Examiner, in conjunction — in conjunction with the Iowa Republican Party. We’re being seen, obviously, on Fox News Channel, being streamed on foxnews.com. You can log on and check out how you can react to our debate. We’re also being heard on Fox News Radio.

And these folks in the stadium — in the studio are just fired up, as you can hear.

Okay … now let’s meet the candidates: former Senator Rick Santorum; businessman Herman Cain; Congressman Ron Paul; former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney; Congresswoman Michele Bachmann; former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty; former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman; and former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.

Joining me at the desk tonight, my Fox News colleague and anchor of “Fox News Sunday,” Chris Wallace. And from the Washington Examiner, Byron York and Susan Ferrechio.

We’re gathered tonight at a very unsettling moment for Americans. We’ve watched the stock market on a wild rollercoaster ride this week, as people are anxiously tracking their balances and their retirement accounts and college funds. About 14 million people don’t have a job tonight, and millions more have given up looking or have taken part-time work to try to scrape by. The nation’s credit rating was downgraded for the first time in history, as we try to get a handle on the country’s skyrocketing debt. And just last weekend in Afghanistan, more American lives were lost than on any other day in this decade-long conflict.

So tonight, we are respectfully asking you, the candidates, to try to put aside the talking points, to try to put aside the polished lines that get applause on the campaign trail here in Iowa and around the country, and to level with the American people, to speak from the heart about how you would navigate this country through the challenges America faces.

So let’s begin. Congresswoman Bachmann, you say you can turn the economy around within one quarter by cutting taxes, reducing spending, and repealing the health care law. In fact, this week you said, quote, “It isn’t that difficult,” and, quote, “Solutions aren’t that tough to figure out.”

Isn’t it unrealistic to suggest that something as massive and complex as the U.S. economy can rebound in just three months?

BACHMANN: We can start to seek recovery within three months, not the whole recovery, but we can begin to see it, if we put into place what we know to be true. Number one, we should not have increased the debt ceiling. In the last two months, I was leading on the issue of not increasing the debt ceiling. That turned out to be the right answer.

And this is part of the movement that we’re seeing all across the country. I’ve been leading that movement. I’ve been giving it voice. And it’s not just Republicans. It’s disaffected Democrats. It’s independents. It’s libertarians all coming together, apolitical people, because two days from now, Bret, we get to send a message to Barack Obama. And the message is this: You are finished in 2012, and you will be a one-term president.

BAIER: Governor Romney, Congresswoman Bachmann says she can start to turn the economy around in three months. How long would it take you?

ROMNEY: Well, I’m not going to give you an exact time-frame, but I can tell you this, that if you spend your life in the private sector and you understand how jobs come and how they go, you understand that what President Obama has done is the exact opposite of what the economy needed to be done. Almost every action he took made it harder for entrepreneurs to build businesses, for banks to make loans, for businesses to hire, and to build more capital.

What needs to be done — there are really seven things that come to mind. One is to make sure our corporate tax rates are competitive with other nations. Number two is to make sure that our regulations and bureaucracy works not just for the bureaucrats in Washington, but for the businesses that are trying to grow. Number three is to have trade policies that work for us, not just for our opponents. Number four is to have an energy policy that gets us energy secure. Number five is to have the rule of law. Six, great institutions that build human capital, because capitalism is also about people, not just capital and physical goods. And number seven is to have a government that doesn’t spend more money than it takes in. And I’ll do it.

BAIER: You — Governor Romney, you mentioned leadership on the economy. You are the front-runner in this GOP field, yet when it came to weighing in on the debt ceiling deal in Congress, something that had a major impact on the economy, many on this stage say you were missing in action. Some columnists even said you were in the “Mittness Protection Program.” Then just hours before the House voted, you released a statement saying you could not support the bill. Is that leadership?

ROMNEY: You know, this is a critical issue, which is, how big is the government going to be? Back in the days of John F. Kennedy, the federal government took up, along with the state and local governments, 27 percent of the economy. Today, government consumes 37 percent of the economy. We’re inches away from no longer having a free economy.

And so this is a critical issue. And, therefore, well before the debate got pushed along, I signed a pledge saying I would not raise the debt ceiling unless we had “cut, cap and balance.” And that is the view I took on June 30th, and I reiterated that throughout the process, and, frankly, all the way to the very end.

BAIER: Just so everyone knows, when candidates go over the allotted time, they’ve agreed to this system. That’s what you hear, the bell. And we’ll try to not ring the bell that much. It’s not the doorbell.

So to be clear — and just to be clear here — you echoed Congresswoman Bachmann and Congressman Paul in being against that final compromise deal. So to phrase it another way, if you were president, you would have vetoed that bill?

ROMNEY: Look, I’m not going to eat Barack Obama’s dog food, all right? What he served up was not what I would have done if I’d had been president of the United States. If — if I’d have — if I’d have been…

BAIER: I know, but that bill was the deal on the table, Governor.

ROMNEY: If I’d have been — well, I’m not — I’m not president now, though I’d like to have been. If I were president, what I would have done is cut federal spending, capped federal spending as a percentage of the total economy, and then worked for a balanced budget amendment. If we do that, then we can rein back the scale of government. And that’s the right thing to do. And that’s what I said is the — and June 30th.

BAIER: OK. Congressman Paul, as you know, when Standard & Poor’s downgraded the country’s credit rating last week, one of the reasons S&P listed was because of partisan gridlock in Washington. Congressman, what specific things would you do as president to increase growth, calm the markets, create jobs that could pass through a divided Congress?

PAUL: Well, they didn’t downgrade it mainly because they couldn’t come to a conclusion. They couldn’t come to a conclusion because they didn’t know what was going on. The country’s bankrupt, and nobody wanted to admit it. And when you’re bankrupt, you can’t keep spending.

And all these proposed cuts weren’t cuts at all. What you have to do is restore sound money. You have to understand why you have a business cycle, why you have booms and busts. If you don’t do that, there’s no way you can solve these problems.

And the booms and busts comes from a failed monetary system that — the interest rates that are way lower than — than they should be encourages malinvestment and debt. And to get out of that, all this other tinkering, you cannot do that unless you liquidate debt. You don’t bail out the people that are bankrupt and dump the debt on the people. That is what’s happened.

So you have to allow liquidation of debt, eliminate the malinvestment. Then you go back and you can get growth again by having a better tax structure, lower taxes, invite capital back into this country, get a lot less regulations. And under those conditions, you can have growth again.

BAIER: And you can get it through a divided Congress?

PAUL: Well … [Pause] The divided Congress will exist for a long time to come. Yes, you would have to get it through a — you’d have to get it through a divided Congress. But the one thing is, if you approach it constitutionally and if you approach it on the principles of liberty, you can bring people together.

If we have to cut, maybe we wouldn’t be so — so determined that you can’t cut one nickel out of the militarism around the world. Neither the Democrats or the Republicans want to cut that. So if you want to cut, you have to put the militarism on the table, as well.

BAIER: Mr. Cain — Mr. Cain, we — we know you have a four-point economic plan. But one specific thing, what one specific thing would President Cain do first to restart the economic engine? And, again, with the caveat: That one thing would have to get through a divided Congress.

CAIN: Make the tax rates permanent. That’s one of — of the four-point plans, because the business sector is the economic engine. You have the group that’s talking about spending. You have the group that’s talking about cutting. I represent growth. And it starts with the business sector putting fuel in the engine.

In addition to that one thing that you asked me to identify, we must have a maximum tax rate for corporations and individuals of 25 percent, take the capital gains tax rate to zero, take the tax on repatriated profits to zero, make them permanent, and — and then certainty back into this economy. And I believe we can turn it around.

And one other thing. We don’t have an option to wait longer than 90 days. It is imperative that we get this economy going in 90 days with the next president of the United States of America.

BAIER: Governor Huntsman, you told the “New Hampshire Union Leader” recently you intend to convene a “council of business leaders” to figure without is needed to improve our economy.

Governor, you have essentially been running for president for three months now. We checked your Web site. We were unable to find a detailed plan.

In the middle of an economic crisis, shouldn’t you already have a pretty detailed plan by now?

HUNTSMAN: The plan you will find on our Web site, it is coming. We have been in the race only for a month and a half. But here’s what I intend to do.

I intend to do exactly what I did as governor of the state of Utah. We took a good state and we made it number one in this country in terms of job creation. If you want to know what I’m going to do, I’m going to do exactly what I did as governor.

It’s called leadership. It’s called looking at how the free market system works. It’s creating a competitive environment that speaks to growth.

We cut taxes historically. We didn’t just cut them, we cut them historically.

We created the most business-friendly environment in the entire country. We were the best-managed state in the country. We maintained a AAA bond rating. All of the things this country so desperately needs.

When you look at me and you ask, what is that guy going to do? Look at what I did as governor. That is exactly what I’m going to do, and it’s exactly what this country needs right now.

BAIER: Speaker Gingrich, some people on this stage have run big companies, some have turned around companies, some managed payrolls. What makes you more qualified than anyone else on this stage to create jobs and grow the economy?

GINGRICH: You know, you’ve been asking about divided government. This coming Saturday is the 30th anniversary of Ronald Reagan signing the Kemp-Roth tax cut which was done with divided government. I was part of that effort in the House when the Democrats were in control.

He did it by going to the American people with clarity, creating a sense of urgency, bringing pressure to bear on the Democratic congressmen, and building a bipartisan majority. That tax cut lead to seven years of growth, which in our current economy would be the equivalent of adding 25 million jobs, $4.4 trillion a year to the economy and $800 billion in new federal revenue.

A decade later, as Speaker of the House, we had divided government. We negotiated with Bill Clinton. He vetoed welfare reform twice. We passed it three times. He signed it the third time, the largest entitlement reform of your lifetime.

We passed the first tax cut in 16 years, the largest capital gains tax cut in history. Unemployment dropped to 4.2 percent. How would the country feel today at 4.2 percent unemployment?

That’s my credential.

BAIER: Governor Pawlenty, you say your economic plan with tax cuts and spending caps would grow the economy by an average rate of five percent a year for 10 years, a rate that have never been achieved in 10 years in a row.

With the last two quarters averaging less than one percent growth — and even some Republican budget analysts, very skeptical, openly skeptical of that plan — is your proposal just pie in the sky?

PAWLENTY: Well, the United States of America needs a growth target, and it needs to be an aggressive and bold growth target. I don’t want the United States’ growth target to be anemic or lag like Barack Obama’s.

So, is the bar high? Yes. But do we need that growth to get out of this hole? You bet. And I hope people will go to our Web site and read that whole plan, because it’s the most specific, comprehensive plan of any candidate in this race.

But, Bret, there’s another question here. Where is Barack Obama on these issues?

You can’t find his plans on some of the most pressing financial issues of our country. For example, where is Barack Obama’s plan on Social Security reform, Medicare reform, Medicaid reform? In fact, I’ll offer a prize tonight to anybody in this auditorium or anyone watching on television: if you can find Barack Obama’s specific plan on any of those items, I will come to your house and cook you dinner.

[Laughter]

[Applause]

BAIER: What do you think of that?

PAWLENTY: Or, if you prefer, I’ll come to your house and mow your land. But in case Mitt wins, I’m limited to one acre. One acre.

BAIER: Oh.

[Laughter]

BAIER: Governor any response?

ROMNEY: That’s just fine.

BAIER: OK. Senator Santorum, nothing about your lawn, but Governor Pawlenty says America can quickly grow five percent a year for 10 years, with the right mix of policies.

Is he right?

SANTORUM: America has unbounded potential. And I think putting a limit on that potential, we’ve grown at faster rates than that.

For me, it’s been a focus on one thing as I’ve traveled to now 68 counties in the state of Iowa, 50 in the last 14 days, working and meeting with the people of Iowa. And I’ve been talking to them about what we’re going to do to grow the manufacturing sector of this economy.

When I grew up in Butler, Pennsylvania, a little steel town, 21 percent of the people of this country worked in manufacturing. It is now nine. If you want to know where the middle of America went, it went to China, it went to Malaysia, it went to Indonesia. We need to bring it back.

I put together a four-point plan to do it, including energy — producing more energy, because of course manufacturers use more energy than just about everybody else in the business world. But the big thing I proposed is to take the corporate rate which makes us uncompetitive, particularly in exporting goods, take the corporate rate and cut it to zero for manufacturers.

You want to create opportunity for businesses in manufacturing to grow, cut that tax to zero. Our jobs will come back.

[Applause]

BAIER: Turning the economy around is the topic we’ve received the most e-mails, the most Facebook messages, the most tweets about. Of course, it’s topping all of the polls. So finding specific solutions to the country’s economic ills will be a recurring theme throughout the debate tonight.

Now to my colleague Chris Wallace with the next round of questions.

WALLACE: Thank you, Bret. Good evening candidates.

Governor Pawlenty and Congresswoman Bachmann, as you both know there’s an expression Minnesota nice. And some people believe that both of you have tested it in recent weeks.

Governor Pawlenty, you say that Representative Bachmann has no accomplishments in congress. You have questioned her ability to serve as president because of her history of migraines. Question governor, is she unqualified or is she just beating you in the polls?

PAWLENTY: Well, Chris to correct you, I have not questioned Congresswoman Bachmann’s migraine headaches. I don’t think that is an issue. The only headache I hear about on the campaign trail is the headache Barack Obama has given the people of this country with his lousy leadership and this lousy economy.

[Applause]

PAWLENTY: Now as to Congresswoman Bachmann’s record. Look, she has done wonderful things in her life, absolutely wonderful things, but it is an indisputable fact that in congress her record of accomplishment and results is nonexistent. That’s not going to be good enough for our candidate for president of the United States, that is not going to be good enough for the president of the United States to serve in that capacity. The American people are going to expect and demand more. And in fact we need somebody who can contrast with Barack Obama on results.

If you go to my record in Minnesota you will see government spending went from historic highs to historic lows. We appointed conservative justices, transformed the court in a conservative direction, we did health care reform the right way — no mandates individually, no government take-overs and more. That’s the kind of record we’re going to need to contrast and beat Barack Obama.

WALLACE: Congresswoman Bachmann, I’m going to ask you in a moment your own question about Governor Pawlenty. But I want to give you an opportunity to respond to his comments. You have 30 seconds. One, that you have no record of accomplishments in congress, and two that there’s something missing in your resume because you do not have executive experience.

BACHMANN: Well, thank you for asking the question.

I would say governor, when you were governor in Minnesota you implemented cap and trade in our state and you praised the unconstitutional individual mandates and called for requiring all people in our state to purchase health insurance that the government would mandate.

Third, you said the era of small government was over. That sounds more like Barack Obama, if you ask me.

During my time in…

[Applause]

BACHMANN: …during my time in the United States Congress I have fought all of these unconstitutional measures as well as Barack Obama. And I led against increasing the debt ceiling the last two months.

WALLACE: I just wanted to pick up, and in fact you anticipated the question I was going to ask you. And then I’m going to give you a chance to respond, governor.

Congresswoman Bachmann, isn’t that about the worst thing you can say about a fellow Republican in this campaign, that he reminds you of Barack Obama?

BACHMANN: The policies that the governor advocated for were cap and trade. He praised and wanted to require Minnesotans to purchase the unconstitutional individual mandate in health care. And he said the era of small government is over. I have a very consistent record of fighting very hard against Barack Obama and his unconstitutional measures in congress. I’m very proud of that record. That is what qualifies me, as a fighter and representative of the people, to go to Washington, D.C. and to the White House.

People are looking for a champion. They want someone who has been fighting. When it came to health care, I brought tens of thousands of Americans to Washington to fight the unconstitutional individual mandates. I didn’t praise it. When it came to cap and trade, I fought it with everything that was in me, including I introduced the Lightbulb Freedom of Choice Act so people could all purchase the lightbulb of their choice.

I also believe in big government is hurting the United States. We need to have small government.

WALLACE: And I’m sure you have been waiting for the opportunity. Governor Pawlenty, 30 seconds to respond.

PAWLENTY: Well, I’m really surprised that Congresswoman Bachmann would say those things. That’s not the kinds of things she said when I was governor of the state of Minnesota. And moreover, she’s got a record of misstating and making false statements. And that’s another example of that list.

She says that she’s fighting for these things. She fought for less government spending, we got a lot more. She led the effort against ObamaCare, we got ObamaCare. She led the effort against TARP, we got TARP. She said she’s got a titanium spine. It’s not her spine we’re worried about, it’s her record of results.

If that’s your view of effective leadership with results, please stop, because you’re killing us.

WALLACE: I…

[Murmurs from audience]

WALLACE: Wait, wait, wait, wait.

[Murmurs from audience]

WALLACE: Congresswoman Bachmann, 30 seconds to response.

BACHMANN: Thank you so much. I was at the tip of the spear fighting against the implementation of ObamaCare in the United States Congress. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama ran Congress, but I gave them a run for their money.

Again, on cap and trade, I was there from the very beginning, giving Speaker Pelosi a run for her money. That’s why I was Speaker Pelosi about her number one target to defeat last year, because I was effectively taking them on on nearly every argument they put forward.

I fought…

[Bell sounds]

BACHMANN: — when others ran, I fought. And I led against increasing the deficit.

[Murmurs from audience]

WALLACE: OK, let’s — let’s move to our panelists, if we could, so we can get more questions in.

Thank you.

WALLACE: I — I see six other candidates there. I’m going to go to Governor Romney.

You’re campaigning as the man who can fix the economy. Let’s look at your record, sir.

As head of Bain Capital, you acquired American Pad & Paper. Two U.S. plants were closed and 385 jobs were cut. Later, you bought Dade International. Almost 2,000 workers were laid off or relocated. And when you were governor, Massachusetts ranked 47th of the 50 states in job growth.

Question, you are going to be the jobs president?

ROMNEY: Absolutely, Chris.

Let me — let me tell you how the real economy works.

When I was at Bain Capital, we invested in about 100 different companies. Not all of them worked. I know there are some people in Washington that doesn’t understand how the free economy works. They think if you invest in a business, it’s always going to go well. And they don’t always go well.

But I’m very proud of the fact that I learned about how you can be successful with an enterprise, why we lose jobs, how we gain jobs and overall, in those 100 businesses we invested in, tens of thousands of jobs, net-net, were created.

I understand how the economy works. Herman Cain and I are the two on the stage here who’ve actually worked in the real economy. If people want to send to Washington someone who spent their entire career in government, they can choose a lot of folks. But if they want to choose somebody who understands how the private sector works, they’re going to have to choose one of us, because we’ve been in it during our career.

And, by the way, as the governor of Massachusetts, when I came in, jobs were being lost month after month after month. We turned that around. We were able to add jobs, balance our budget and get Massachusetts back on track. And, by the way, our unemployment was below the federal level three of the four years I was in office.

BAIER: Chris will continue his round of questions on this round.

And coming up, the issue of illegal immigration, the battle over health care.

Please go to FoxNews.com/politics to check out the live blogging on tonight’s debate.

We’ll be right back from Ames, Iowa after a short break.

BAIER: Welcome back to the Stephens Auditorium on the campus of Iowa State University and the first Republican debate in the Hawkeye State. Now back to another fiery round of questions from Chris Wallace.

WALLACE: Thank you.

Speaker Gingrich, one of the ways that we judge a candidate is the campaign they run. In June, almost your entire national campaign staff resigned, along with your staff here in Iowa. They said that you were undisciplined in campaigning and fundraising, and at last report, you’re a million dollars in debt. How do you respond to people who say that your campaign has been a mess so far?

GINGRICH: Well, let me say, first of all, Chris, that I took seriously Bret’s injunction to put aside the talking points, and I wish you would put aside the gotcha questions.

[Applause]

Like — like Ronald Reagan, who had 13 senior staff resign the morning of the New Hampshire primary and whose new campaign manager laid off 100 people because he had no money, because the consultants had spent it, like John McCain, who had to go and run an inexpensive campaign because the consultants spent it, I intend to run on ideas.

Congress should come back Monday. They should repeal the Dodd-Frank bill. They should repeal Sarbanes-Oxley. They should repeal Obamacare. They should institute Lean Six Sigma across the entire federal government, a hard idea for Washington reporters to cover, but an important idea, because it’s the key to American manufacturing success.

GINGRICH: I’d love to see the rest of tonight’s debate asking us about what we would do to lead an America whose president has failed to lead, instead of playing Mickey Mouse games.

[Applause]

WALLACE: Speaker Gingrich, if you think questions about your records are Mickey Mouse, I’m sorry. I think those are questions that a lot of people want to hear answers to, and you’re responsible for your record, sir.

[Booing]

GINGRICH: Well, if I get a rebuttal…

WALLACE: Pardon?

GINGRICH: I think that there’s too much attention paid by the press corps about the campaign minutia and not enough paid by the press corps to the basic ideas that distinguish us from Barack Obama.

[Applause]

WALLACE: Governor Huntsman — Governor Huntsman, at the risk of raising Speaker Gingrich’s ire, I’m going to ask you about your record, sir. You supported a stimulus package in 2009. In fact, you said the Obama stimulus package was not big enough. As governor, you signed onto a regional cap-and-trade market. You endorsed civil unions for same-sex couples. And you served as President Obama’s ambassador to China. Some people have suggested that maybe you’re running for president in the wrong party.

HUNTSMAN: Chris, let me just say, I’m proud of my service to this country. If you love your country, you serve her. During a time of war, during a time of economic hardship, when asked to serve your country in a sensitive position where you can actually bring a background to help your nation, I’m the kind of person who’s going to stand up and do it, and I’ll take that philosophy to my grave.

In terms of the stimulus you talked about, it was failed. And let me tell you what I talked about with respect to the stimulus. I talked about the need for more tax cuts in the stimulus. We didn’t have enough of it. And why did I talk about the need for tax cuts for business? Because we had done it in the state of Utah.

We had done historic tax cuts. We created a flat tax in the state of Utah, exactly what needs to happen in this country. We got the economy moving. We became the number-one job creator in this nation and the best managed state. That’s exactly what needs to happen in this nation. I am running on my record, and I am proud to run on my record.

WALLACE: Mr. Cain…

[Applause]

Mr. Cain, you have a compelling personal story and a strong record as a businessman, but you also have a growing list of questionable statements in this campaign, and I want to ask you about those, if I may, sir.

You said that communities have the right to ban Muslims from building mosques, before you later apologized. You have stated that you do not have a firm plan yet as to what you would do in Afghanistan until you talk to the generals. You at one point in the campaign didn’t know about the so-called Palestinian right of return during a big debate about the Mideast peace issues.

How do you reassure people that you know enough to be president of the United States, sir?

CAIN: You want me to answer all of those in one minute, Chris? Pick one.

I know more about the Palestinian — the right of return issue now…

[Crosstalk]

CAIN: … than I did then, and — but I know about it. I’ve been documented.

The first point that you raised, about saying that communities have a right to ban mosques, no, that’s not exactly what I said. Unfortunately, the people who helped you put that together have misquoted me. I have gone on record, and I put it in a press release that’s available at my office that simply says that if anyone misunderstood my intent, I apologize for that. But never will I apologize for saying that Sharia law does not belong in the courts of the United States of America.

Now, relative to Afghanistan…

[Applause]

Relative to Afghanistan, since we did this last, I have learned more about Afghanistan. And you may recall that one of the things that I always stress: Make sure you’re working on the right problem. We don’t have one problem in Afghanistan. We have three problems to deal with. I now have a better understanding of it. And if I get an opportunity to rebuttal, I’ll tell you what those three are.

[Laughter]

WALLACE: You’re going to get asked about Afghanistan, sir.

Bret?

BAIER: Now we turn to Susan Ferrechio with the Washington Examiner. She has the next round of questions for the candidates. The topic: illegal immigration. Susan?

FERRECHIO: OK, we’ll start with Governor Huntsman. You said that we need to bill a fence to secure our borders, but then we need to deal with the millions of illegal immigrants already here in the country. You said, quote, “There’s got to be an alternative to sending them back. That’s unrealistic.”

Governor Huntsman, are you proposing citizenship for illegal aliens?

HUNTSMAN: Listen, I’m — I am a conservative problem-solver. I am pro-life, I’m pro-Second Amendment, I’m pro-growth on economics, and I’m here to tell you that, when elected president, the thing we need to do most on illegal immigration — because there has been zero leadership in Washington. And with zero leadership in Washington, we’ve created this patchwork of solutions in all — in a lot of the states, which makes for a very complex and confusing environment.

When elected president, I’m simply going to prove to the American people that we can secure the border. That’s what they want done. And I’m not going to talk about anything else until we get it done. Secure the border.

Eighteen hundred miles, we’ve got a third of it done, between fencing and technology and National Guard boots on the ground. We can finish. And I will talk to the four border state governors and get verification from them that, in fact, we’ve secured the border.

And once that is done, then we can move on. But this discussion has zero in the way of any intellectual credibility until such time as we secure the border.

[Applause]

FERRECHIO: OK.

Governor Romney, turning to you, in 2008, you said you favored allowing American companies to hire more skilled foreign workers. With the unemployment rate now at 9.1 percent, do you still think that employers need to import more foreign labor?

ROMNEY: Well, of course not. We’re not looking to bring people in and — in jobs that can be done by Americans. But at the same time, we want to make sure that America is a home and welcome to the best and brightest in the world.

If someone comes here and gets a PhD in — in physics, that’s the person I’d like to staple a green card to their — to their diploma, rather than saying to them to go home.

Instead, we let people come across our border illegally or stay here and overstay their visa. They get to stay in the country. I want the best and brightest to be metered into the country based upon the needs of our employment sector and create jobs by bringing technology and innovation that comes from people around the world.

Look, we — we are a nation of immigrants. We love legal immigration. But for legal immigration to work, we have to secure the border, and we also have to crack down on employers that hire people who are here illegally.

I like legal immigration. I’d have the number of visas that we give to people here that come here legally, determined in part by the needs of our employment community. But we have to secure our border and crack down on those that bring folks here and hire here illegally.

FERRECHIO: OK.

Turning to you now, Mr. Cain.

When President Obama joked about protecting the borders with alligators and a moat, not only did you embrace the idea, you upped the ante with “a 20-foot barbed wire electrified fence.”

Were you serious?

CAIN: America has got to learn how to take a joke.

[Laughter]

But let me — allow me to give you my real solution to the immigration problem. I happen to believe that is four problems.

Yes, we must secure the border with whatever means necessary. Secondly, enforce the laws that are there. Thirdly, promote the path to citizenship that’s already there.

We have a path to citizenship for illegal aliens. It’s called legal immigration.

And then, fourth, I happen to agree with empowering the states and allow them to deal with that issue. If we work on the right problem, we will be able to solve it.

And in the case of immigration, we’ve got four problems that we need to work on simultaneously. It turns out that America can be a nation with high fences and wide open doors. That’s what built this nation. So we can have high fences and wide open doors, all at the same time.

[Applause]

FERRECHIO: All right. Thank you.

Speaker Gingrich, you recently told Univision that you’re looking at the idea of having citizen boards choose which illegal immigrants can stay in the country and which would have to go. Who decides the memberships of these boards, and how would they work?

GINGRICH: I think it’s very important to go back and look at how the Selective Service Commission worked in World War II, because it was local, practical decision-making, and people genuinely thought it was fair and it was reasonable. But let me go back to your earlier question to Herman.

I thought the president’s speech in El Paso where he talked about moats and alligators was the perfect symbol of his failure as a leader. He failed to get any immigration reform through when he controlled the Senate and he controlled us. He could ram through Obamacare, but he couldn’t deal with immigration.

Now he has the Republicans in the House in charge, and he descends to a level of attack which I think is very sad for a president of the United States on an issue like this. We ought to control the border. And I agree with Governor Huntsman, we can control the border.

I would be prepared to take as many people from Homeland Security’s bureaucracy in Washington and move them to Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, as are needed, to control the border.

[Applause]

GINGRICH: We should have English as the official language of government. And we should have a method for distinguishing between people who have lived here a long time and people who have come very recently.

FERRECHIO: OK.

Congressman Paul, you are opposed to a system that requires employers to verify the immigration status of their workers. Why would you want to eliminate one more tool to help curb illegal immigration?

PAUL: I don’t like putting the burden on our businessmen to be the policemen. That means he has to be policing activity.

And I also resent the fact that illegals come into this country, and they do have problems, but if a church helps them and feeds them, we don’t blame the church, or at least we shouldn’t in a free society. But I have a strong position on immigration.

I don’t think that we should give amnesty and they become voters. But I do think we should deal with our borders.

But one way that I would suggest that we could do it is pay less attention to the borders between Afghanistan and Iraq and Pakistan and bring our troops home and deal with the border. But why do we pay more attention to the borders overseas and less attention to the borders here at home?

We now have a mess on the borders, and it has a lot more to do with it than just immigration, because we’re financing some of this militarism against the drug dealers on the borders right now to the tune of over $1 billion. And there is a mess down there, but it’s much bigger than just the immigration problem.

But I do not believe in giving entitlements to illegal immigrants at all. And there should be no mandates on the states to make them do it.

[Applause]

BAIER: As I said, we’ll be returning to topic number one, the economy, throughout the debate.

Byron York has the next round of questions.

YORK: Thank you, Bret.

We’re going to start with Governor Romney.

Governor, in 2005, when you were the governor of Massachusetts, you successfully appealed to Standard & Poor’s to upgrade your state’s credit rating. You said you used a combination of spending cuts and new revenues to put Massachusetts on a more sound financial footing. You even approvingly cited a tax increase passed by the Democratic state legislature.

Doesn’t this show that sometimes raising taxes is necessary?

ROMNEY: No. I don’t believe in raising taxes. And as governor I cut taxes 19 times and didn’t raise taxes. Let’s step back and talk about the first part what you said. I was fortunate enough to be a governor that got an increase in the credit rating in my state. At the same time we got a president who got a decrease in the credit rating of our nation. And that’s because our president simply doesn’t understand how to lead and how to grow an economy.

I was very proud of the fact that Republicans and Democrats worked together in Massachusetts to cut spending. I came in, we had a huge deficit. I went to the legislature and I said I want expanded powers to unilaterally be able to cut spending not just slow the rate of growth but to cut spending and they gave it to me and I did. We cut spending.

Every single year I was governor we balanced the budget. And by the end of my term we had put in place over a two billion dollar rainy day fund. That kind of leadership is what allowed us to get a credit upgrade from Standard & Poor’s. And that’s the leadership we finally need in the White House.

YORK: We’re going to go to Governor Pawlenty next. Governor you say you balanced every budget without tax increases as governor of Minnesota, but in 2005 you levied a new tax on cigarettes, which you called a health impact fee. You said you had to compromise with a Democratic legislature to to end government shutdown.

But doesn’t that show that when leaders are faced with big deficits, they sometimes have to raise taxes?

PAWLENTY: No. As I said before, I have got the best record of financial management, or one of them, of any governor in the country. The CATO institute gave only four governors in America their highest grade, an “A” grade. I was one of those governors. The other aren’t running. The other three aren’t even thinking about running.

As to the circumstance that you mentioned, I had the first government shutdown in 150 years. We did put together a package, but I balanced the budget every time in Minnesota that I was governor. In fact, my last budget ended June 30 of this year with a surplus.

I did agree to the cigarette fee. I regretted that. As it turns out the courts later held it to be a fee. But nonetheless, it was an increase in revenues. It turns out we had a new budget forecast a few months later. And we didn’t even need it.

But my record of leadership in Minnesota, cutting spending from historic highs to historic lows, balancing the budget every time, doing health care reform the right way. Again, stands in contrast to Barack Obama. He should cancel his Cape Cod vacation, call the congress back into session and get to work on this.

Barack Obama is missing in action. He should have the kind of leadership I had when I was governor of the state.

YORK: Thank you, governor. Next we’re going to go to Representative Bachmann. This is a question also about that cigarette tax increase. You were in the Minnesota state legislature at the time. And you said you opposed the tax, but in the end, you voted for it. Now you promise never to raise taxes. Why would you compromise then, but not now?

BACHMANN: That’s right. I was very vocal against that tax. And I fought against that tax. The problem is, when the deal was put together, Governor Pawlenty cut a deal with the special interest groups and he put in the same bill, a vote to increase the cigarette tax as well as the vote that would take away protections from the unborn.

And I made a decision, I believe in the sanctity of human life. And I believe you can get money wrong, but you can’t get life wrong. And that’s why I came down on that decision that I made.

[Applause]

YORK: Governor Pawlenty, do you have a response — 30 seconds — to that?

PAWLENTY: Yeah, what is wrong in the answer is the answer. Congresswoman Bachmann didn’t vote for that bill because of a stripping away of pro-life protection, she voted for it and is now creating that as the excuse.

But nonetheless, she speaks of leading these efforts in Washington and Minnesota, leading and failing is not the objective. Leading and getting results is the objective. I’ve got the best record of results as any candidate in this race.

YORK: All right. Thank you. We’re going to go to Senator Santorum.

OK, yes you can.

BACHMANN: In the — this is exactly what I’m trying to illustrate. We need to have a president of the United States who stands firm on their convictions. This is what I have demonstrated for everyday that I have been in congress. I have a consistent record of standing on my convictions. I didn’t cut deals with special interests where you put the pro-life issues together with tax increase issues. That’s a fundamental. It’s a nonnegotiable.

And when we come to a nonnegotiable, we must stand. And I stand.

[Applause]

YORK: Governor we’re going to come back around.

PAWLENTY: Just very quickly.

Her answer is illogical. Her answer is illogical. If there were two bad things in the bill — a tax increase and we’re hypothetically stripping away pro-life protections, which we weren’t, then it is a double reason to vote against it. She voted for it.

BACHMANN: I need to respond to that.

YORK: OK. We have other people here.

BACHMANN: I need to respond to that, because — I need to respond to that.

YORK: I understand.

I understand. You have the next question. [speaking to Santorum] You have the next question, senator. I promise.

[Applause]

(UNKNOWN): Congresswoman Bachmann, 15 seconds, OK?

BACHMANN: This is what I want to say. If a person — if a member casts a vote one way, they would be increasing the cigarette tax. If they cast a vote another way, they would not be voting for the pro-life protection. It was a choice. The governor put us in that box and I chose to protect human life.

BAIER: OK, we’ll come back around later.

Byron?

YORK: All right, next we’re going to Senator Santorum…

(UNKNOWN): yes, we are.

[Applause]

SANTORUM: And I told you when I traveled around Iowa, you would see me in your city, in your hometown, but you probably wouldn’t see much of me on television. So it’s totally true tonight.

[Laughter]

YORK: Well, Senator, here you are.

The deficit cutting super committee is now getting to work. Democrats will demand that savings come from a combination of spending cuts and tax increases, maybe $3 in cuts for every $1 in higher taxes.

Is there any ratio of cuts to taxes that you would accept?

Three to one?

Four to one?

Or even 10 to one?

SANTORUM: No. The answer is no, because that’s not the problem. The problem is that we have spending that has exploded. Government has averaged 18 percent of GDP as — as a percentage of the overall economy that government eats up. And we’re now at almost 25 percent.

Revenues are down about 2 or 3 percent.

So if you look at where the problem is, the president is in spending, not taxes. And we’ll get those taxes up if we grow the economy. I put forward the plan to grow the economy and I’ve provided leadership in the past to get bipartisan things done.

You know, I — I sympathize with Michele Bachmann, who stands up and says, I’m going to stand firm on these things. You need to stand firm on these things. But you can’t stand and say you give me everything I want or I’ll vote no. You have to find the principles, like I did on welfare reform. I said three things — to cut a federal entitlement, to end it, the three things we wanted to accomplish, end a federal entitlement, which we did. We wanted to require work, which we did. And we wanted to put a time limit on welfare.

We did those three things. We compromised on everything else. I didn’t get everything I wanted, but I got the core of what I wanted and we transformed welfare. You need leaders, you need people who are good at leadership, not showmanship.

[Bell sounds]

YORK: But just confirming, Senator, you would not negotiate on raising taxes?

SANTORUM: Absolutely not, because it’s not the problem. And the Democrats know it’s not the problem. This is where leadership comes in. You go to the American public and you lay out the facts. I’ve been traveling around Iowa and I lay out the facts to people and they nod their heads, and they say, yes, this makes sense.

We need to get the economy growing. That doesn’t mean taking more money out of it, that means — making — that means creating energy jobs, creating manufacturing jobs. And my plan will do that.

BAIER: Well, I’m going to ask a question to everyone here on the stage. Say you had a deal, a real spending cuts deal, 10 to one, as — as Byron said, spending cuts to tax increases.

Speaker, you’re already shocking your head.

But who on this stage would walk away from that deal?

Can you raise your hand if you feel so strongly about not raising taxes, you’d walk away on the 10 to one deal?

[Applause]

BAIER: Mr. Speaker, why are you shaking your head?

GINGRICH: I — I think this…

BAIER: Is that not an important question?

GINGRICH: Look, I think this super committee is about as dumb an idea as Washington has come up with in my lifetime.

[Applause]

GINGRICH: I mean if you look for a second, I mean I used to run the House of Representatives. I have some general notion of these things. The idea that 523 senators and congressmen are going to sit around for four months while 12 brilliant people, mostly picked for political reasons, are going to sit in some room and brilliantly come up with a trillion dollars or force us to choose between gutting our military and accepting a tax increase is irrational. This is — they’re going to walk in just before Thanksgiving and say, all right, we can shoot you in the head or cut off your right leg, which do you prefer?

[Laughter]

GINGRICH: What they ought to do is scrap the committee right now, recognize it’s a dumb idea, go back to regular legislative business, assign every subcommittee the task of finding savings, do it out in the open through regular legislative order and get rid of this secret phony business.

[Laughter]

BAIER: OK. Just making sure everyone at home and everyone here knows that they all raised their hands. They’re all saying that they feel so strongly about not raising taxes that a 10 to one deal, they would walk away from. Confirming that.

Now to Chris Wallace with a round of questions on health care.

WALLACE: Governor Pawlenty, you admit that you muffed a question in the last debate about Governor Romney’s health care plan, so I’m going to give you another chance.

You’ve said that the president’s plan and the Romney plan are so similar that you called them both ObamneyCare. And you also said this: “I don’t think you can prosecute the political case against President Obama if you are a co-conspirator.”

Could you please tell Governor Romney, who’s two down from you, what he and President Obama have conspired to do?

PAWLENTY: Yeah, I don’t want to miss that chance again, Chris.

[Laughter]

Yeah, Mitt, look, Obamacare was patterned after Mitt’s plan in Massachusetts. And for Mitt or anyone else to say that there aren’t substantial similarities or they’re not essentially the same plan, it just isn’t credible. So that’s why I called it Obamneycare, and I think that’s a fair label, and I’m happy to call it that again tonight.

But that’s not the only similarity between Governor Romney’s record and President Obama’s record. Again, if we’re going to take him on, we have to contrast with him on other important issues. For example, in spending, I’ve got the best spending record. I took Minnesota’s historic spending from highs to lows. Mitt ran up spending in his watch as governor 40-plus percent over his n four years. That’s not going to contrast very well with the president.

In the area of judicial selections, the Boston Globe said that two out of three or so of Mitt’s judicial selections, judge selections were either pro-choice, Democrat, or liberal. I appointed conservatives, strict constructionists to my supreme court. So we’re going to have to take it to Barack Obama, and we’re going to have to show contrast, not similarities.

WALLACE: Governor Romney, I’m going to ask you a question about health care, but I’d like to give you 30 seconds to respond to the criticism of other parts of your record.

ROMNEY: I think I like Tim’s answer at the last debate better.

[Laughter]

There are some similarities between what we did in Massachusetts and what President Obama did, but there are some big differences. And one is, I believe in the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. And that says that powers not specifically granted to the federal government are reserved by the states and the people.

We put together a plan that was right for Massachusetts. The president took the power of the people and the states away from them and put in place a one-size-fits-all plan. It’s bad law. It’s bad constitutional law. It’s bad medicine. And if I’m president of the United States, on my first day, I’ll direct the secretary of HHS to grant a waiver from Obamacare to all 50 states.

[Applause]

WALLACE: But, Governor — and this is — this is your one-minute question. Do you think that government at any level has the right to make someone buy a good or service just because they are a U.S. resident? Where do you find that authority, that mandating authority, government making an individual buy a good or service in the Constitution?

ROMNEY: Chris, you’re — you’re asking me, what do we think we should do about Obamacare? And the answer is…

WALLACE: No, I’m asking you…

ROMNEY: And the answer is — the answer is, I think you have to repeal Obamacare, and I will, and I’ll put in place a plan that allows states to craft their own programs to make those programs work.

WALLACE: But, sir, I’m asking you where you find that authority in the Constitution.

ROMNEY: And let — and let me tell you — where do I find it in the constitution? Are you familiar with the Massachusetts constitution? I am. And the Massachusetts constitution allows states, for instance, to say that our kids have to go to school. It has that power. The question is, is that a good idea or bad idea? And I understand different people come to different conclusions.

What we did in our state was this. We said, look, we’re finding people that can afford insurance, health insurance, that are going to the hospital and getting the state to pay for them. Taxpayers are picking up hundreds of millions of dollars of costs from people who are free riders.

We said, you know what? We’re going to insist that those people who can afford to pay for themselves do so. We believe in personal responsibility. And if the people aren’t willing to do that, then they’re going to help the government pay for them. That was our conclusion.

The right answer for every state is to determine what’s right for those states and not to impose Obamacare on the nation. That’s why I’ll repeal it.

[Applause]

WALLACE: Congresswoman Bachmann, you are a big believer in the 10th Amendment and the idea of granting power to the states. So let me ask you: Does that make any difference whether mandatory health insurance is being imposed by a state or by the federal government?

BACHMANN: No, I don’t believe that it does. I think that the government is without authority to compel a citizen to purchase a product or a service against their will, because effectively when the federal government does that, what they’re doing is they are saying to the individual, they are going to set the price of what that product is.

If the federal government can force American citizens or if a state can force their citizens to purchase health insurance, there is nothing that the state cannot do. This is clearly an unconstitutional action, whether it’s done at the federal level or whether it’s the state level.

And I will not rest, as the president of the United States, until we repeal Obamacare. And as the nominee of the Republican Party, I also will not rest until I can also elect an additional 13 senators who agree with me so we’ll have a filibuster-proof Senate and we can actually repeal Obamacare.

WALLACE: Congressman Paul, you are a constitutional expert, and you talk a lot about the Constitution. What do you think of this argument, that the state has a constitutional right to make someone buy a good or service just because they’re a resident, not because they’re driving and need a driver’s license, but just the fact that they are a resident?

PAUL: No, the way I would understand the Constitution, the federal government can’t go in and prohibit the states from doing bad things. And I would consider that a very bad thing, but you don’t send in a federal police force because they’re doing it and throw them in a court. So they do have that leeway under our Constitution.

But we have big trouble in this medical care problem. And we have drifted so far from any of our care being delivered by the marketplace. And once you get the government involved — and both parties have done it. They’ve developed a bit of a medical care delivery system based on corporatism. The corporations are doing quite well, whether it’s Obama or under the Republicans.

The drug companies do well. The insurance companies do well. The organized medicine do well. The management companies do well. The patient and the doctors suffer. There’s a wedge. Every time you have the government get in here with these regulations, and have these mandates, there’s a wedge driven in between the doctor and the patient. We have to get the people more control of their care, and that’s why these medical savings accounts could at least introduce the notion of market delivery of medical care.

[Applause]

WALLACE: Senator Santorum — Senator Santorum, I see you wanting to jump in. Your thoughts about Romneycare?

SANTORUM: Well, first, I was the first author of medical savings accounts back in 1992 with John Kasich in the House, but this is — this is a very important argument here. This is the 10th Amendment run amok. Michele Bachmann says that she would go in and fight health care being imposed by states, mandatory health, but she wouldn’t fight go in and fight marriage being imposed by the states, that would be OK.

We have Ron Paul saying, oh, what the states want to do — whatever the states want to do under the 10th Amendment’s fine. So if the states want to pass polygamy, that’s fine. If the states want to impose sterilization, that’s fine.

No, our country is based on moral laws, ladies and gentlemen. There are things the states can’t do. Abraham Lincoln said the states do not have the right to do wrong.

I respect the 10th Amendment, but we are a nation that has values. We are a nation that was built on a moral enterprise, and states don’t have the right to tramp over those because of the 10th Amendment.

[Applause]

BAIER: When we come back — we’re going to take a short break — we’re going to talk about a couple of people who are not here tonight, also, national security, foreign policy, the war on terror, and a bit later, social issues, fired-up crowd here. Check out foxnews.com and vote in our online poll. We’ll be right back after this break.

[Commercial Break]

BAIER: Welcome back to the Stephens Auditorium on the campus of Iowa State University.

Our next round is a lightning round, really quick, before we get into foreign policy and national security.

Are we actually missing a candidate on the stage? We are.

(UNKNOWN): She’ll be right back.

BAIER: She’ll be right back, Congresswoman Bachmann. There she is. That’s OK.

OK. There we go.

Texas Governor Rick Perry obviously is not here tonight. He’s giving a speech on Saturday in South Carolina. We’re told he’s getting into this race, but he’s not answering questions tonight. He’s not taking part in the straw poll on Saturday.

So, is he outsmarting you — 30 seconds — Congressman Paul?

PAUL: Maybe he didn’t want to face up to the challenge, for all we know.

[Applause]

BAIER: Are you worried about this strategy?

PAUL: Oh, no. I’m very pleased that he’s coming in, because he represents the status quo. And I feel like I’m sort of separated from the other candidates with my strong belief in liberty and limited government and different foreign policy, and wanting to deal with the Fed. So he’ll just gather all their votes.

[Applause]

BAIER: OK.

Mr. Cain, what about Texas Governor Perry?

CAIN: Welcome to the contest. From my perspective, it doesn’t bother us or my campaign. That’s just one more politician, and that makes this business problem solver stand out that much more.

[Applause]

BAIER: Governor Huntsman, your thoughts?

HUNTSMAN: We all need prayers, and I hope he offers a whole lot for everybody here on this stage.

But you know what? Aside from that, we also need jobs in this country. And I hope that if he does get in this race, he broadens and expands this dialogue about job creation.

The people in this nation know that President Obama has had two-and-a-half years to get it right on the most important issue we face, expanding the economy and creating jobs. He’s fundamentally failed us. So anyone who is going to expand this group a little bit, and brings a little savvy on the subject, I think is a net plus.

BAIER: Former governor Sarah Palin is here in Iowa this week as well. She’s not in this race yet either.

Congresswoman Bachmann, is she stealing your thunder?

BACHMANN: I like Sarah Palin a lot. We are very good friends. And I think there’s room in the race for Governor Perry, Sarah Palin, or even, Bret, you, too, if you want to throw your hat into the race.

BAIER: I think I’ll be out of this one.

[Laughter]

BAIER: Speaker Gingrich, any thoughts on either of those?

GINGRICH: Well, I want to act on what Congresswoman Bachmann just said. You know, Mayor Giuliani has every right to run, and I think he’s talking to some folks about it. Governor Perry has a great record of job creation in Texas, and I think he’s a very formidable person. Governor Palin has a nationwide audience.

And I know it’s a shock sometimes to political folks, but the first delegates are chosen in January. People have lots of time to come and play.

Now, they are missing this great opportunity to be with you guys and have all the fun that we’re having here tonight, but, you know, that’s their prerogative. And I would like forward to anybody who wants to run for office. That’s what America is all about.

BAIER: I’ll split this next round with Chris Wallace. The topic, foreign policy and national security.

Governor Pawlenty, another five U.S. soldiers were killed today in Afghanistan after the single biggest loss, that helicopter crash over the weekend, last weekend. Almost 10 years after 9/11, after the killing of Osama bin Laden, with casualties mounting there, costs adding up, many people calling the government there corrupt, is it still worth it?

PAWLENTY: Well, first of all, Bret, let’s just stop and pause and reflect upon the loss of life, the five brave members of the military that you mentioned, as well as the 30 that were lost about a week ago, and all the others who have been lost or wounded in that conflict. We owe them not just our words of thanks and appreciation, but to their families, our thoughts and prayers.

We wouldn’t have the country we have without those brave men and women. We owe them our all. Not just with our words, but with our deeds.

[Applause]

PAWLENTY: But as to Afghanistan, we were justified in the invasion. It was 10 years ago. People killed Americans. We needed to go there, find them, bring them to justice or kill them. But in terms of where we are now, 10 years removed, I was last there last summer with Governor Perry by the way, And met with General Petraeus. He thought would it take two years from last summer to have an orderly and successful wind down of our mission in Afghanistan, at least in terms of significant troop withdrawal.

President Obama has accelerated that faster than either General Mullen or General Petraeus recommended. I would have accepted their recommendations and drawn them down a little slower.

BAIER: So it is still worth it?

SANTORUM: It is still worth it. But we are going to have to have a successful draw down not one according to Barack Obama’s campaign calendar next year.

BAIER: Governor Romney in June 2009 you argued that America’s willingness to fight wars of liberation, quote, “nurture democracy and human rights all over the world,” was what made America, quote, “the hope of the earth.” Basically a full embrace of George W. Bush’s freedom agenda.

Yet last debate about Afghanistan you said this, quote, “we’ve learned that our troops shouldn’t go off and try to fight a war of independence for another nation.”

Those two statements are dramatically different. Have your views changed?

ROMNEY: No, I have the same view. And it’s this which is that we have helped the people of Afghanistan establish freedom from the Taliban. But now we are at a point where they are going to have to earn and keep that freedom themselves. This is not something we are going to do forever. We’ve been there 10 years. We’ve been training the Afghan troops.

Sometime within the next two years, we are going to draw down our troop strength and reach a point where the Afghan military is able to preserve the sovereignty of their own nation from the teary of the Taliban. That has to happen.

It’s time for the troops of Afghanistan to take on that responsibility according to, as I said in that last debate, according to the time table established and communicated by the generals in the field.

And those generals recommended to President Obama that we should not start drawing our troops down until after the fighting season in 2012. He took a political decision to draw them down faster than that. That is wrong. We should follow the recommendation of the generals and we should now look for the people of Afghanistan to pick up their fight and preserve that liberty that has been so dearly won.

BAIER: Speaker Gingrich, as President Obama was deciding what to do in Libya, you were asked what you would do. You said, quote, “exercise a no-fly zone this evening, communicate to the Libyan military that Gadhafi was gone, and that sooner they switched sides the more likely they were to survive.”

After the president launched military action a few days later you said, quote, “I would not have intervened. I think there were other ways to affect Gadhafi.”

Are you certain about the way forward in Libya and where it stands now?

GINGRICH: Let me suggest — this is a good example of a gotcha question.

BAIER: No, it is not.

GINGRICH: No, yes it is. No, go back previous to Greta Van Susteren two weeks earlier, when I said what we should do go in covertly, use Egyptian and other allies not use American forces.

BAIER: But Mr. Speaker, you said these two things.

GINGRICH: That’s right. I said that thing specifically after the president that day announced gloriously to the world as president of the United States that Gadhafi has to go. And I said if the president of the United States is serious about Gadhafi going, this is what we should do.

The following interview came after the same president said, well, I didn’t really mean go meant go, I meant go meant maybe we should have a humanitarian intervention. Now, the fact that I was commenting on Fox about a president who changes his opinion every other day ought to be covered by a Fox commentator using all the things I said, not handpicking the ones that fit your premise.

BAIER: Mr. Speaker the question was are you now certain the way forward in Libya?

GINGRICH: I have a red light, but if I’m allowed to answer.

BAIER: You’re allowed to.

GINGRICH: I talked recently to General Abizad who is probably the most knowledgeable senior general who speaks fluent Arabic who said to me we have a bigger strategic deficit than our fiscal deficit. I think we need to rethink everything in the region.

I think we need to rethink Afghanistan, we need to rethink Iraq and I think we need to recognize that right now Iran is on offense and our troops are in danger everywhere in that region. And I think we need a very serious national debate about it.

BAIER: Governor Huntsman, you were former ambassador to China for the Obama administration. Last week a top cyber security firm detailed new instances of cyber espionage, hacking into U.S. computers. Experts said, qoute, all signs point to China. Would you as president consider cyber attacks acts of war?

HUNTSMAN: Absolutely.

This is the new war field, cyber intrusion is. What we need in this country is to use this issue as not only an economic development tool, but also a national security tool. We need early warning capabilities and we need safeguards and we need counter measures.

Not only have government institutions been hacked into, but private individuals have been hacked too. It’s gone beyond the pale.

Listen, this is also part of a dialogue that has not taken place with the Chinese. We need a strategic dialogue at the highest levels between the United States and China. That is not happening.

This is a relationship, the United States and China, we are both on the world stage. As far as you can see into the 21st century, we are going to have to deal with the Chinese. We better get it right.

I understand this relationship. I’ve been at it for 30 years. I think it would be great thing to have a president of the United States who knew something about China.

BAIER: I’ll turn to my colleague, Chris Wallace.

WALLACE: Governor Pawlenty, you say we have to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. You also recently said that Syrian President Assad must go. Would you rely on the same idea of international sanctions that President Obama has been using? Or would you be more forward-leaning in possibly using military action?

PAWLENTY: Well, first of all, Chris, we need to use a increasing number of tools and measures. As to Iran, I believe we should undertake every plausible step to deny their intentions and their plans to get a nuclear weapon. That will include sanctions. That will include some of the good work that you saw with some of the scientists on their way to work in Iran. That will see — see some of the good work that you saw with the computer virus. But in the end, we should take every plausible step to deny that intention.

As to Syria, Bashar al-Assad is mowing down and killing his people, up to 2,000 right now. And the president of the United States, Barack Obama, will not say he should go. Until recently, he and Hillary Clinton suggested that Bashar Assad was a reformer. He’s not a reformer; he’s a killer.

This is another example of naive foreign policy by this president. And worse yet, he sticks his thumb in the eye of our best friends around the world, that we should stand with. For example, Israel, he repeatedly sticks his thumb in Israel’s eye. We should stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel. There should be no daylight between us and the nation of Israel. They’re one of our best friends in the world.

[Applause]

WALLACE: Congressman Paul — Congressman Paul, you say that President Obama is not too soft on Iran, you say that he is too tough on Iran. I want to put up some of your statements. “Sanctions are not diplomacy,” you say. “They are a precursor to war and an embarrassment to a country that pays lip service to free trade.” As for Iran’s nuclear ambitions, you wrote this: “One can understand why they might want to become nuclear capable, if only to defend themselves and to be treated more respectfully.”

Is that your policy towards Iran?

PAUL: Well, even our own CIA gives me this information, that they have no evidence that they’re working on a weapon. Just think of what we went through in the Cold War. When I was in the Air Force, after I was drafted in the Air Force, all through the ’60s, we were — we were standing up against the Soviets. They had like 30,000 nuclear weapons with intercontinental missiles.

Just think of the agitation and the worrying of a country that might get a nuclear weapon some day. And just think of how many nuclear weapons surround Iran. The Chinese are there. The Indians are there. The Pakistanis are there. The Israelis are there. The United States is there. All these countries — China has nuclear weapons.

Why wouldn’t it be natural that they might want a weapon? There’d be — internationally, they’d be given more respect. Why should we write people off? There was — you know, in the ’50s, we at least talked to them. At least our leaders and Reagan talked to the Soviets. What’s so terribly bad about this?

And people — countries that you put sanctions on, you are more likely to fight them. I say a policy of peace is free trade. Stay out of their internal business. Don’t get involved in these wars. And just bring our troops home.

[Applause]

WALLACE: Congressman Paul — Congressman Paul, I want to just give you 15 seconds. I want to just make sure I understand. So your policy towards Iran is, if they want to develop a nuclear weapon, that’s their right, no sanctions, no effort to stop them?

PAUL: No, I think that — I think that thing — that makes it much worse. Why would that be so strange, if the Soviets and the Chinese have nuclear weapons? We tolerated the Soviets; we didn’t attack them. And they were a much greater danger — they were the greatest danger to us in — our whole history. You don’t go to war against them.

I mean, this whole idea of sanctions, all these pretend free traders, they’re the ones who put on these trade sanctions. This is why we still don’t have trade relationships with Cuba. It’s about time we talked to Cuba and stopped fighting these wars that are about 30 or 40 years old.

[Applause]

WALLACE: Mr. Cain…

SANTORUM: Just –…

WALLACE: Senator Santorum, I got a question for you…

SANTORUM: Well, as the author of the Iran Freedom Support Act, which he is criticizing, because I authored it when I was in the United States sanction — Senate, when it actually imposed sanctions on Iran because of their nuclear program — Iran is not Iceland, Ron.

Iran is a country that has been at war with us since 1979. Iran is a country that has killed more American men and women in uniform in Iraq and Afghanistan than the Iraqis and the Afghanistans have — Afghanistan has had. The — the Iranians…

[Crosstalk}

WALLACE: Quiet, please.

SANTORUM: The Iranians — the Iranians are — are the existential threat to the state of Israel. You ask — you ask the Israelis, what keeps them up at night? It’s the Iranians funding of Hamas and Hezbollah and the support of Syria…

WALLACE: Thirty seconds…

SANTORUM: … and the reason — hold on. Let me finish.

WALLACE: No. There are rules here, sir.

SANTORUM: Yeah, I know there are rules. And you guys have been giving these guys a lot of time and not a whole lot of time to me, so let me answer the question.

BAIER: You have a question — you have a question coming.

Congressman Paul?

PAUL: OK, the senator — the senator is wrong on his history. We’ve been at war in — in — in Iran for a lot longer than ’79. We started it in 1953 when we sent in a coup, installed the shah, and the reaction — the blowback came in 1979. It’s been going on and on because we just plain don’t mind our own business. That’s our problem.

[Applause]

WALLACE: Mr. Cain — Mr. Cain, you told Bill O’Reilly in June — and I want to put it up — the way you stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon is for us to get serious about real energy independent — a real energy-independent strategy. Do you really think that more domestic oil production in this country is going to convince the mullahs in Tehran not to pursue a nuclear weapon?

CAIN: I believe that our energy strategy is directly related to national security, as well as stopping Iran in their efforts. The head of Iran, Ahmadinejad, has said that he wants to wipe Israel off of the face of the Earth. I take that seriously. He has also said — he has also said that he’s not going to listen to the United States, Britain, or anybody else in their attempts to do what they want to do.

That being said, there’s more to foreign policy than bombs and bullets. There’s bombs and bullets and economics.

If we go serious about maximizing all of our energy resources in this country, we can become a player on the world market. As the price of oil goes down, it puts an economic squeeze on Iran. This is why I believe we should have a serious energy-independent strategy in order to be able to be a player on the world market. That’s what I meant by using our energy resources, not just oil, but all of our resources to become energy independent.

[Applause]

WALLACE: Congresswoman Bachmann, I want to switch to another angle of the war on terror, though if you want to weigh in on Iran, feel free. We — you say that we don’t win the war on terror by closing Guantanamo and reading Miranda rights to terrorists. Congressman Paul says terrorism suspects — suspects have committed a crime and are due – should be given due process in civilian courts. Could you please tell Congressman Paul why he’s wrong?

BACHMANN: Well, because, simply, terrorists who commit acts against United States citizens, people who are from foreign countries who do that, do not have any right on our — under our Constitution to Miranda rights.

We’ve also seen that Guantanamo Bay has yielded significant information. In fact, we’ve learned that that led to the capture and the killing of bin Laden.

This is a tool that we need to have in order to be able to prostitute the new type of war, the new type of warfare, and the new type of terrorists that this country is dealing with.

Regarding Iran, Iran is the central issue in the Middle East and their capacity to become a nuclear power. They’re one of the four state sponsors of terror in the world.

I sit on the House Select Committee on Intelligence. I can’t reveal classified information, but I can say this: As president of the United States, I will do everything to make sure that Iran does not become a nuclear power.

WALLACE: Thirty seconds, Congressman Paul.

PAUL: Well, I think she turns our rule of law on its head. She says that the terrorists don’t deserve protection under our courts, but, therefore, a judgment has to be made. They’re ruled a terrorist. Who rules them a terrorist? I thought our courts recognized that you had to be tried.

And we’ve — we’ve done this. And we’ve brought individuals back from Pakistan and other places. We’ve given them a trial in this country, over 300, or at least — near 300, we tried and put them in prison.

So this idea that we — we have to turn it on its head and reject the rule of law, we already are at the point where this administration – please let me finish — half a second — this administration — this administration…

[Booing]

… this administration already has accepted the principle that, when you assume somebody is a terrorist, they can be targeted for assassination, even American citizens. That affects all of us eventually. You don’t want to translate our rule of law into a rule of mob rule.

[Applause]

WALLACE: Senator Santorum — Senator Santorum, I want to pick up on this debate. You say Attorney General Holder must be under the influence. And, in fact, you’ve suggested, perhaps, smoking mushrooms to want to try terrorists in civilian court.

Are you also suggesting that Congressman Paul is under the influence?

SANTORUM: Well, any…

[Laughter]

SANTORUM: — anyone — anyone that suggests that Iran is not a threat to this country or is not a threat to stability in the Middle East is obviously not seeing the world very clearly. He sees it exactly the way that Barack Obama sees it, that he has to go — we have to go around and apologize for the fact that we’ve gone out and exerted our influence to create freedom around the world.

I don’t apologize for that. I don’t apologize for the Iranian people being free for a long time and now they’re under a — under a mullacracy that — that tramples the rights of women, tramples the rights of gays, tramples the rights of people all — all throughout their society and it’s the greatest supporter of terrorism in the Middle East and around the world and is setting up training camps and is working with Venezuela and other countries in our — south of our border to threaten us.

This is — the — Iran is a country that must be confronted. I was in front of the — I was in front of this curve. I authored the Iran Freedom and Support Act back in 19 — excuse me, 2004. It was blocked by Joe Biden, nonetheless, and Barack Obama once. We got it passed. And I can tell you, if Rick Santorum and when Rick Santorum is president, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon because the world as we know it…

[Bell sounds]

SANTORUM: — will be no more.

WALLACE: Conger — Congressman Paul, 30 seconds.

PAUL: You’ve heard the war propaganda that is liable to lure — lead us into the sixth war. And I worry about that position. Iran is a threat because they have some militants there. But believe me, they’re all around the world and they’re…

[Crosstalk}

PAUL: Excuse me.

They’re — they’re all around the world and they’re not a whole lot different than others. Iran does not have an air force that can come here. They don’t have — they can’t even make enough gasoline for themselves. And here we are building this case up…

SANTORUM: [Inaudible].

PAUL: Please. Please. They’re building up this case like, just like we did in Iraq — build up the war propaganda. There was no al Qaeda in Iraq.

[Bell sounds]

PAUL: And they had nuclear weapons and we had to go in. I’m sure you supported that war, as well.

[Crosstalk}

WALLACE: OK…

PAUL: It’s time we quit this. It’s time — it’s trillions of dollars we’re spending on these wars.

[Applause]

[Booing]

BAIER: When we come back…

[Booing]

BAIER: — when we come back, we’ll try to get a hold of things — social issues. That should be fun. And the most prescient — pressing issues right now, getting America back to work, after this break.

[Commercial Break]

BAIER: Welcome back to Ames, Iowa, and the first Republican presidential debate in the Hawkeye State. A fiery debate, at that.

Now to Byron York from “The Washington Examiner.”

YORK: Thank you, Bret.

We’re going to talk about social issues now. We’re going to start with Speaker Gingrich.

Speaker Gingrich, you’ve said you would impose a loyalty test for Muslims to serve in your administration. You said, “We did this in dealing with the Nazis, and we did this in dealing with the communists.”

Are you really comparing American Muslims to Nazis? And what specific loyalty test would you require them to take?

GINGRICH: Well, actually, I didn’t describe it as applied to Muslims. I described it as applied to everybody.

Now, we had, after all, a Catholic head of counterespionage for the FBI who turned out to be a Soviet spy. We’ve had a Cuban-American refugee who turned out to be a major Cuban spy for over 20 years on behalf of Castro.

My point was, there is nothing illegitimate about seeking to make sure that people are loyal to the United States if they work for the government of the United States. And I was responding to this insane moment where “The New York Times” attempted bomber, the guy who built the car bomb from Pakistan, was asked by the judge, who said to him, “But you swore an oath of loyalty to the United States.” And he said to the judge, “I am your enemy. I lied.”

[Laughter]

GINGRICH: And the judge seemed mystified at the idea that somebody would have lied. And my point is, we now know, for example, from the Venona papers and others there really were communist spies. And I would suggest to you we need security provisions across the board to ensure that those Americans and the American government are loyal to the United States.

[Applause]

YORK: All right. Thank you, Speaker Gingrich.

Next, we’re going to go to Mr. Cain.

Mr. Cain, you recently said this about Governor Romney’s Mormon faith: “It doesn’t bother me, but I do know it’s an issue with a lot of Southerners.”

Could you tell us what it is about Mormonism that Southerners find objectionable?

CAIN: Well, I did make that statement, and it does not bother me. But because I live in Atlanta, Georgia, have been back in my hometown for 10 years, I listen to what people say.

What they basically say is that they are not real clear about how his Mormon religion relates to the majority of the people’s Protestant, Christian religion in the South. That was the point that I was trying to make. It was not a dispersion whatsoever on his religion. I was simply saying what others have told me about not being clear in understanding his religion. That’s what it was.

YORK: Mr. Cain, if I could ask one follow-up, you have already apologized for remarks you made about Islam. Is your focus on other people’s religions hurting your campaign?

CAIN: It is not hurting my campaign, Byron, because my focus is not on other people’s religion. Let me repeat myself and be real clear.

I believe in the First Amendment to the Constitution. I believe that the government does not have a right to impose religion on people. But when you’re talking about some of these sensitive issues, I think we owe it to ourselves to make sure people are committed to the Constitution of the United States of America first.

[Applause]

YORK: All right. Thank you, Mr. Cain.

Next, we’re going to go to Representative Bachmann.

In 2006, when you were running for Congress, you described a moment in your life when your husband said you should study for a degree in tax law. You said you hated the idea. And then you explained, “But the Lord said, ‘Be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.'”

As president, would you be submissive to your husband?

BACHMANN: Thank you for that question, Byron.

YORK: You’re welcome.

BACHMANN: Marcus and I will be married for 33 years this September 10th. I’m in love with him. I’m so proud of him. And both he and I — what submission means to us, if that’s what your question is, it means respect.

I respect my husband. He’s a wonderful, godly man, and a great father. And he respects me as his wife. That’s how we operate our marriage. We respect each other. We love each other.

And I’ve been so grateful that we’ve been able to build a home together. We have five wonderful children and 23 foster children. We’ve built a business together and a life together And I’m very proud of him.

[Applause]

YORK: Thank you Ms. Bachmann.

Now we’re going to ask a few questions about gay marriage starting with Governor Romney. When the Massachusetts supreme court legalized gay marriage in 2003, you accused the justices of assuming for themselves the powers that should belong to the state legislature.

Now that the New York state legislature has legalized gay marriage, do you believe state lawmakers have the right to make same-sex marriage legal in their states?

ROMNEY: I’d far prefer having the representers people make that decision than justices. But I believe the issue of marriage should be decided at the federal level.

You might wonder why is that? Why wouldn’t you just let each state make their own decision? And the reason is because people move from state to state of course in a society like ours, they have children. As to go to different states, if one state recognizes a marriage and the other does not, what’s the right of that child? What kind of divorce proceeding potential would there be in a state that didn’t recognize a marriage in the first place?

There are — marriage is a status. It’s not an activity that goes on within the walls of a state. And a result our marriage status relationship should be constant across the country.

I believe we should have a federal amendment in the constitution that defines marriage as a relationship between a man and woman, because I believe the ideal place to raise a child is in a home with a mom and a dad.

YORK: All right. Thank you, governor.

Next we’ll go to Governor Huntsman.

Recently, a Des Moines Register poll found that 58 percent of likely caucus goers, Republican caucus goers here in Iowa, consider support of civilian unions a deal killer for a candidate. You support civil unions. Why are you right and most other candidates along with most GOP caucus goers, why are they wrong?

HUNTSMAN: I’m running on my record. I’m proud to run on my record. Some people run from their record, I’m running on my record. I believe in traditional marriage first and foremost. I’ve been married 28 years. I have seven terrific kids to show for it.

But I also believe in civil unions. Because I think this nation can do a better job when it comes to equality. And I think this nation can do a better job when it comes to reciprocal beneficiary rights. And I believe that this is something that ought to be discussed among the various states.

I don’t have any problem with states having this discussion. But as for me, I support civil unions.

[Applause]

BAIER: So, the question was, why are they wrong?

HUNTSMAN: Why are they wrong? They are not wrong. All I’m saying is this ought to be an issue that takes place at the local level of government, that’s where these decisions ought to be made. And as for those who were polled, everybody can come to this with their own point of view.

I believe in traditional marriage. But I also believe that subordinate to that we haven’t done an adequate job when it comes to equality. That is just my personal belief. Everyone is entitled to their personal belief too.

YORK: All right. Thank you. Governor.

Next question is for Representative Paul. You’ve often said you believe defining marriage is a job that should be left to the states. Recently Senator Santorum asked if a state wanted to allow polygamy, would that be okay too? What is your answer to that?

PAUL: That is sort of like asking the question if the states wanted to legalize slavery or something like that. That so past reality that no state is going to do that.

But on the issue of marriage, I think marriage should be between a single man and a single woman. And the federal government shouldn’t be involved.

I want less government involvement. I don’t want the federal government having a marriage police. I want the states to deal with it if they need to, if they need to.

But if you didn’t need the states — really, why do we have to have a license to get married? Why don’t we just go to the church? What other individuals do, why can’t we permit them to do whatever they call it that is their problem not mine. Just so nobody else forces their definition of marriage on you. That is what we have to prevent.

So I would say less government would be better if you have to have regulations let the state governments do it.

[Applause]

YORK: All right.

Senator Santorum? You’re looking incredulous. Response?

SANTORUM: Well, it sounds to me like Representative Paul would actually say polygamous marriages are OK. If the state has the right to do it, they have the right to do it. It is not beyond reality, Ron, it is exactly what’s being offered in other states right now. And it’s being litigated in our courts right now, which is exactly how gay marriage came about as we see here in state of Iowa where seven justices forced gay marriages on the people of Iowa.

I was the only one on this panel who came to Iowa last year and made sure that those three justices were defeated. I campaigned and worked to make sure those justices were defeated, because we can’t have…

[Applause]

(UNKNOWN): You can finish, senator.

SANTORUM: We can’t have 50 marriage laws. This was the approach that the left took on abortion, which is to pick a few states, pick a few courts and then go to the Supreme Court and say equal protection, you can’t have different state laws then you will have nine people up at the Supreme Court deciding what marriage is in this country.

You have to fight in each state. And there’s where I disagree with Rick Perry, I disagree with Michele Bachmann. I will come to the states and fight to make sure this strategy of picking off a state here and there does not be successful in transforming marriage.

BAIER: Congresswoman Bachmann, quickly?

BACHMANN: Thank you. I support the federal marriage amendment, because I believe that we will see this issue at the Supreme Court someday. And as president, I will not nominate activist judges who legislate from the bench. I also want to say, when I was in Minnesota, I was the chief author of the constitutional amendment to define marriage as one man, one woman. I have an absolutely unblemished record when it comes to this issue of man-woman marriage.

YORK: All right, our next question — thank you, Representative Bachmann — our next question is for Senator Santorum. In June, you said, quote, “I believe that any doctor who performs an abortion should be criminally charged for doing so.” You would allow no exceptions for cases of rape and incest. Polls have long shown that large majorities of Americans support at least some exceptions for abortion. Are your views too much, even for many conservatives to support?

SANTORUM: You know, the Supreme Court of the United States on a recent case said that a man who committed rape could not be killed, could not be subject to the death penalty, yet the child conceived as a result of that rape could be. That to me sounds like a country that doesn’t have its morals correct. That child did nothing wrong. That child is…

[Applause]

That child is an innocent victim. To be victimized twice would be a horrible thing. It is an innocent human life. It is genetically human from the moment of conception. And it is a human life.

And we in America should be big enough to try to surround ourselves and help women in those terrible situations who’ve been traumatized already. To put them through another trauma of an abortion I think is – is too much to ask. And so I would — I would absolutely stand and say that one violence is enough.

YORK: Thank you, Senator.

[Applause]

Our next question is to Governor Pawlenty. Governor Pawlenty, you often cite an article in National Review saying you may be the strongest pro-life candidate in the race. What’s your opinion on what Senator Santorum said about exceptions? And isn’t he more pro-life than you are?

PAWLENTY: Well, National Review I think is a respected publication from a conservative and Republican perspective, and they did an online article that said, based on results, not rhetoric, but based on results, that I’m perhaps the most pro-life candidate in this race.

And the reasons for that are these: Number one, when I was in Minnesota as governor, I proposed and signed into law the Women’s Right to Know bill. I proposed and signed into law the positive alternatives to abortion bill. I proposed and signed into law the fetal pain bill and more. And our abortion rate in Minnesota has dropped dramatically, in fact, now at historic lows.

In terms of my personal views, the only exception I can really reconcile or justify is the life of the mother. And I would sign that bill if it came in that form to me as president or as governor.

But if another bill came with other exceptions that substantially advanced the pro-life cause, I’d sign that bill, too, because I want to make progress to limit and ultimately end abortions in this country. And I want to move the pro-life cause forward. And I have. And that’s why that publication said that perhaps I’m the most pro-life person on this stage, based on results, not just rhetoric.

YORK: One brief follow-up. Do you support criminal charges for doctors who perform abortions?

PAWLENTY: I think there should be absolutely consequences for doctors who perform abortions, when — if it’s illegal and when it’s illegal, and the possibility of criminal sanctions or severe civil sanctions. I don’t think the woman involved should be criminally sanctioned.

BAIER: As promised, back now to the economy. Susan Ferrechio with another round of questions. Susan?

FERRECHIO: Turning to you, Governor Romney, you’ve suggested replacing government jobless benefits with individual unemployment savings accounts. Jobless benefits for millions of Americans are about to expire in just a few months. If you were president right now, would you extend them?

ROMNEY: We got a lot of people out of work. We got a president that has a entirely failed economic policy and, frankly, doesn’t know what to do to get this economy going again. Surely we’re going to help those people who can’t find other ways to care for themselves.

But the most important thing we’re talking about tonight is making sure that President Obama is replaced by someone who knows how to get this economy going again. That’s what this debate is really about. And that’s what the American people want to understand.

Unemployment benefits, I think they’ve gone on a long, long, long time. We have to find ways to reduce our spending on a lot of the anti-poverty programs and unemployment programs. But I would far rather see a reform of our unemployment system, to allow people to have a personal account which they’re able to draw from as opposed to having endless unemployment benefits.

So, again, let’s reform the system, make the system work better by giving people responsibility for their own employment opportunities and having that account, rather than doling out year after year more money from an unemployment system.

FERRECHIO: Just a quick follow. So would you sign a bill to extend unemployment insurance if you were president right now?

ROMNEY: If I were president right now, I would go to Congress with a new system for unemployment, which would have specific accounts from which people could withdraw their own funds. And I would not put in place a continuation of the current plan.

FERRECHIO: Thank you.

Governor Huntsman, you’ve touted your job-creating abilities as Utah’s chief executive, but let’s talk about your time in the private sector. You said that you helped create thousands of jobs as vice chairman of the board of the Huntsman Corporation. But of the 12,000 workers employed by the company, almost 10,000 were hired in China and India and other places outside the U.S.

Isn’t it accurate to say that, as far as your time in the private sector, you’ve got more experience creating jobs overseas?

HUNTSMAN: I’m very proud of my experience in the private sector. Huntsman Corporation is a terrific company. It’s a wonderful example of a family entrepreneurial success story. Created jobs, to be sure, left communities a whole lot better than they found them, created a wonderful Huntsman Cancer Institute.

But let me tell you the real problem of what we’re up against. If you want to build a facility in the United States, you can’t because of the EPA’s regulatory reign of terror. If we want to strengthen our core in this country, which we must do, the percentage of our GDP that is from manufacturing is down to 10 percent or 11 percent. When I was born, it was 25 percent. It used to mean something when you read “Made in America.”

We don’t make things anymore in this country. We need to start making things in this country. And in order to do that, we need serious regulatory reform, not just repealing Obamacare, but ending the EPA’s regulatory reign of terror. We need to create a more competitive environment that speaks to real tax reform, that allows our entrepreneurs and businesses to step up and get it done and expand our economic base and create jobs.

I’m very grateful for what Huntsman Corporation has done. It’s a global company. The chemical industry is a global industry, and you’ve got to supply customers overseas. But let’s fix our core in this nation. Let’s get back on our feet. People are hurting, they’re scared, and they’re concerned.

FERRECHIO: Thank you.

Congresswoman Bachmann, turning to you, you voted against the debt ceiling increase deal and you voted against the Republicans’ “cut, cap and balance” bill. You insisted the country was not at risk of default. If you had your way, the debt ceiling would not have been raised. What do you say to analysts who insist that Americans’ investments, their 401(k)s, their college funds would have been far worse off today?

BACHMANN: It — it was very important that we not raise the debt ceiling, because — consider what happened. The Congress gave Barack Obama a blank check for $2.4 trillion. What did the American people get in return? $21 billion in illusory cuts.

So from the time I’ve been in Congress, we’ve gone from $8.67 trillion in debt to now almost double, to $16.7 trillion. This is madness. I’ve been all across Iowa. People are almost unanimous: Do not raise the debt ceiling. That was the right thing to do. The worst thing that you can do is continue to borrow money and spend money that we don’t have.

BAIER: So, I’m sorry, the — what do you say to the analysts who say that the markets would have fallen through the basement?

BACHMANN: I think the — I think the analysts — I think we just heard from Standard & Poor’s. When they dropped — when they dropped our credit rating, what they said is, we don’t have an ability to repay our debt. That’s what the final word was from them.

I was proved right in my position: We should not have raised the debt ceiling. And instead, we should have cut government spending, which was not done. And then we needed to get — get our spending priorities in order.

BAIER: Mr. Cain, do you agree with that?

CAIN: I did not agree with raising the debt ceiling, because the solution that they came up with does not solve the problem, as Representative Bachmann talks about.

The way to deal with it is pay those things that need to be paid and then make the tough choices of cutting the other things, agency by agency, program by program, based upon performance metrics. We didn’t need to raise the debt ceiling, but there was an easy way out, and the problem still has not been solved. And Standard & Poor’s has sent a message.

FERRECHIO: Mr. Cain, I’ve got another question for you. You — you say that we can boost job creation by eliminating the tax on companies that bring back overseas profits to the U.S. But when we tried a tax break like this in 2004, companies didn’t create jobs. They just paid bigger dividends to their shareholders. Why would it work this time?

CAIN: It’ll work this time for a number of reasons, because I think you’re only looking at a small piece of it. Remember, it is a combination of things that I indicated. If you just pick out one thing and try just to do that, no, that is not comprehensive.

When I talked about lowering the top corporate and personal tax rays to 25%, also taking capital gains rates to zero as well as suspending taxes on the repatriated profits. And here’s the big one, make them permanent. Uncertainty is what is killing this company.

Now if a company were to decide that they want to take some of that money and pay a bigger dividend, so what, it is their money. The people receiving the dividends might be happy with that. Maybe that is the right thing to do.

So I’m not concerned — I am not concerned about what they will do with that money if it is allowed to come back. I’m more concerned, bring it back so they will have an incentive to make some growth decisions.

I don’t know one company that sits around the board room and talk about how we are going to standstill. It is about growth. And that’s what I’m about, growth in jobs and the economy.

[Applause]

QUESTION: Speaker Gingrich, you say the unemployment problem in America has been made worse by the policies of the Federal Reserve. You call for auditing the Fed and stripping it of its banking powers. But Congressman Paul thinks the Fed needs to be abolished to create lasting prosperity. Why is the Fed worth saving?

GINGRICH: Well, I think that having some kind of central bank is an important part of how you deal with monetary policy in the modern world. But I would say to you that having Chairman Bernanke deal with hundreds of billions of dollars, some estimates as much as $16 trillion in secret is profoundly against a free society.

The feds should be totally audited. It should be out in public. Their decision documents from ’08 — ’07, ’08 and ’09 should be public. We should now who they bailed out and why they bailed them out. And who they didn’t bail out.

And I think that it is a scandal that the Federal Reserve is secret. And I think, frankly, their monetary policy since the late 90s has been a major factor in the bubble that has been created and a major factor in the economic pain we’re now going through.

So the fed is certainly — going back as Reagan did to sound money is certainly a key part of how you get back to prosperity. And the Fed is the primary villain in failing to have a sound money policy.

[Applause]

QUESTION: Congressman Paul, if I could follow up with you, is Speaker Gingrich wrong to want to save the Fed?

PAUL: Not exactly. Because my position isn’t that I’d closed the door down immediately, you can phase it out. But there are some other things that we could do in a transition phase.

For instance, and I’m delighted that mainstream is catching up with this, these days, for auditing the Fed. This is great.

[Applause]

PAUL: But I made a suggestion, which is a series of suggestions. And there’s been quite a few who have supported me on this. We owe the Fed $1.6 trillion in treasury bills. Where’d they get the money to buy it? They created it out of thin air. So we pay them interest. Now that’s on our books. So we literally, with legislation, could wipe $1.6 trillion off that is not a solution to the monetary problem or our spending problems, but it would give you a year to work this out. And wouldn’t have had that — any of that debate going on. Those were all scare tactics to try to scare people into doing things.

But that is one thing that we could do.

But eventually we have to deal with the fed, because the Fed creates the business cycle. If you don’t understand the business cycle, you don’t know why we have recessions, the sooner we learn that the better.

[Applause]

QUESTION: Thank you.

Senator Santorum, I’ve got one for you. You said that you were, quote, the Tea Party before there was a Tea Party. But a top Tea Party goal, particularly in Iowa, is to revert back to the gold standard, something you oppose. How do you consider yourself in line with the Tea Party without agreeing on this major issue?

SANTORUM: Well first off, I didn’t say that the Washington Post said it. I simply commented on what they said. I don’t take the claim, the Tea Party organization is flat and it should stay that way. It should support ideas not candidates. And people who stand up and say they lead it, well, I think most of the Tea Party people think their leadership is among the people not anybody is a member of congress or anywhere else.

What I’ve said is that I agree with Newt. I think there’s some reforms we can do at the Fed. And I agree we need to audit the Fed. Disagree with most of what Ron Paul said. Just because he’s mostly wrong, doesn’t mean he’s always wrong.

[Booing]

SANTORUM: I appreciate his contribution in that regard.

I want to talk about, because I didn’t get a chance to comment on this debt ceiling. But Congressman Paul and Congresswoman Bachmann both in the congress, and they had an opportunity to lead. They’re asking you have them lead this country, and they couldn’t lead the congress to do something responsible in making sure that we didn’t have the fiasco that we have in place now.

We should have balanced the budget. The balanced budget amendment should have been the focus from the beginning. To suggest that we never need to raise the debt ceiling, that — that is, again, showmanship, not leadership. Of course we have to raise the debt ceiling at some point. We have — we have — we’re borrowing 42 cents of every dollar, 42 cents of every dollar. You’re going to cut 42 cents of every dollar? Just to remind you, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, defense, and interest on the debt is 60 percent. That means cut everything else and something of those. That’s showmanship, not leadership.

[Applause]

BAIER: When we come back, some closing remarks from the candidates, and maybe a wild card or two. We’ll see. Stay tuned.

[Commercial Break]

BAIER: Welcome back to the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Very quickly, during the commercial break, realized I needed to give Congresswoman Bachmann 15 seconds to respond, since you were mentioned there. Congresswoman?

BACHMANN: The thinking that says that we have to continue to raise the debt ceiling and spend money that we don’t have is the wrong premise. The American people are asking for a very different, bold vision. And I was the leading voice against raising the debt ceiling.

That’s what the American people want us to do: have our balanced budgets and also have our spending priorities in order. That was the right thing to do.

BAIER: Governor Huntsman, this week, the Obama administration announced that they would grant waivers to some failing public school systems that couldn’t meet the standard of the No Child Left Behind program. If you were president, would you return to full enforcement of this Bush-era law?

HUNTSMAN: No Child Left Behind hasn’t worked for this country. It ought to be done away with. We need to take education to the local level, where parents and local elected officials can determine the destiny of these schools. Nobody wants their schools to succeed more than local elected officials and their parents.

We need choice. We need vouchers. We need more technology in the classroom.

But let me just say, on the default, while I can, just for a moment. I’m the only one on this stage who stood up for a deal, for the Boehner deal, against this nation defaulting. I know I’m a little different than everybody else in that regard.

We are 25 percent of the world’s GDP. We are the largest financial services sector by far in this entire world. And the thought that people would just let this nation default when we could have a deal that at least gets things going on cuts, raising the ceiling, gets us toward entitlement reform, gets us toward a balanced budget amendment. I thought Speaker Boehner should be complimented for what he did. This nation should never default.

[Applause]

BAIER: Mr. Cain, let me just ask you the education question. If you were president, would you return to the full enforcement of the No Child Left Behind law?

CAIN: No. I believe in education starting at the local. No Child Left Behind had some faults. I don’t believe in unfunded mandates. I believe that the federal government should be out of the business of trying to micromanage the education of our children.

BAIER: Thank you Mr. Cain. And your answer had some special lighting there. Sorry about that. We had some special lighting in that part.

Time for now some closing comments. Each candidate has 30 seconds to close. Let’s begin with Senator Santorum.

SANTORUM: Thank you very much. I want to thank the people of Iowa. My family and I, Karen and the kids, came here three weeks ago. We’ve spent three great weeks here in Iowa enjoying — enjoying the time and been to 51 cities in 15 days, been to 68 counties — not as many as Chuck Grassley, but almost.

And we keep working very, very hard, because as you’ve seen here tonight, national media may not pay a lot of attention to us, but we pay a lot of attention to the people of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. And we’re going to be out in your communities. We’re going to be working very hard to earn your trust, so you can kick the tires and you can see what kind of president you want, someone who has leadership, proven leadership, and can get things done in Washington, D.C., and been a consistent conservative, and guys who can beat incumbent Democrats, three of them, three incumbent Democrats. That’s better than anybody else on this panel.

BAIER: Mr. Cain?

CAIN: It is clear from the discussion tonight that America needs a leader and a uniter. I represent growth. All the issues that we talk about, if we don’t get this economic engine moving by putting fuel in the engine, all of the rest of it won’t matter.

A poet once said, life can be a challenge, life can seem impossible, but it’s never easy when there’s so much on the line. We have a lot on the line. Send Washington a message, and send a business problem-solver to Washington, D.C.

[Applause]

BAIER: Congressman Paul?

PAUL: I’ve been in politics for 35 years. My cause has been the cause of liberty. And I am convinced that liberty does not come from our government, but it comes from our creator.

And — and our goal should be peace and prosperity. It is under the principles of liberty that you have the greatest chance of achieving peace and prosperity. That is why I am so down on these wars that is costing us trillions of dollars, why we have to reform the monetary system, why we need honest money, a gold standard and not paper money out of the Federal Reserve system.

But also, we need to change the environment for our businesses. We need to get — lower the regulations, and — and the taxes, and have private property rights and contract rights. Then we can achieve peace and real prosperity.

[Applause]

BAIER: Governor Romney?

ROMNEY: This country is in economic crisis. I think the people of this country understand that. And we have, unfortunately, as the leader of this country a man who is out of his depth and who doesn’t understand what is needed to do to get this economy going again. He just doesn’t understand how the economy works, because he hasn’t lived in the real economy.

I think in order to create jobs, it’s helpful to have had a job. And I fundamentally believe…

[Laughter]

… that what we need in this country is someone who’s willing to go to work, who believes in America, who believes in free enterprise, who believes in capitalism, who believes in opportunity and freedom. I am that person. I love this country. And I will do everything in my power to strengthen our economy and keep America the hope of the Earth.

Thank you. I’d love your help.

BAIER: Congresswoman Bachmann?

BACHMANN: Well, the good news is, two years — two days from now, here in Ames, Iowa, all of us have a chance to send a message to Washington, D.C., about what we think about Barack Obama and his presidency. He got started here in Iowa. And now Iowa can bring that presidency effectively to a close.

I want to do that as president of the United States. And I’m inviting everyone to come to the straw poll, and let’s send a message to Washington that they can’t miss.

[Applause]

BAIER: Governor Pawlenty?

PAWLENTY: God has greatly blessed America, but with great blessing comes responsibility. And if we don’t fiercely protect our most precious blessing, freedom, we may lose it forever.

Now is the time for effective, tested, conservative leadership. I am that leader for America. And I will make sure, when I’m president, that America’s brightest, strongest, and best days are ahead.

Good night. Thank you. And may God continue to bless the United States of America.

BAIER: Governor Huntsman?

HUNTSMAN: I’m running for president of the United States because I love this country. This nation is hurting, it is scared, and it is bankrupt. We have a cancer growing in this country called debt, and we must deal realistically with it.

We’re about to hand down for the first time in the history of the greatest nation that ever was, the United States of America, to the next generation less good, less productive, less competitive than the country we got. Barack Obama won in 2008 on hope. I’m going to win in 2012 on solutions.

May God bless America. Thank you so very much.

BAIER: Speaker Gingrich?

GINGRICH: Well, let me, first of all, thank Fox and the Washington Examiner, and let me thank the people of Iowa for hosting this tonight. I think in many ways this was a very important next step in the national conversation.

But I want to remind everyone that the presidential election is 15 months away. We are in a crisis now. And I would hope everybody watching us around the country would call their congressmen and their senators now and say, “Go back to Washington, repeal Dodd-Frank, repeal Sarbanes-Oxley, repeal Obamacare. This summer, start saving American families from the pain they’re in, because we have real problems, and we need real leadership now.”

[Applause]

BAIER: Thank you all. Thank you all.

That is it tonight. Please go to foxnews.com, cast your vote on this debate. Our thanks to the candidates.

[Crosstalk]

BAIER: Thank you. And thank you to their staffs and to our debate partners, of course, Washington Examiner, the Iowa Republican Party, and to all of the great people here at the Stephens Auditorium — even him – on the campus of Iowa State University, and of course, to the wonderful people here in Iowa. They could not have been more hospitable.

You know, there’s a big straw poll here Saturday. Stay tuned to Fox News Channel, America’s election headquarters, all the way through to the general election and the inauguration. All the candidates, please note: Our next debate is September 22nd in Orlando, Florida. We will see you there.

Thanks for watching tonight. Good night.