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  Anderson Cooper 360 GOP Town Hall  CNN  February 19, 2016 9:15pm-11:31pm PST

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situations make sure that our law enforcement and our first responders have the kind of support that they feel that they need. because quite frankly, mr. trump, first responders' lives truly matter. >> you're right. i am a big, big supporter of the police. i think the police are being treated horribly in this country. and certainly have you some bad acts and bad mistakes made on occasion. it's a tiny fraction compared to the great work they do. and i am without question a huge supporter of the police. we wouldn't be sitting here right now. we wouldn't have a safe society, really. you look at what's happening around the world, we wouldn't have a safe society. so i can tell you right now, i assume you are also with me on this. i'm a tremendous supporter of the police, and i think they are mistreated and misunderstood. and i think we should give them much more credit than we have given them. >> i want to ask you, at the end of these, we like to ask a couple personal questions to let viewers get to know you in a different way.
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last night, we did a town hall. senator cruz, i talked to him. he said, he was claiming that you had suggested your sister as a supreme court justice. you had not actually done that. >> i have not. >> she would be great. >> she's very smart. >> you would have to rule that out because she's your sister. what he said was, it's great to support your sister, but that's a nice thing, if you're suggesting someone for the supreme court, his sister is a radical pro-abortion judge. she struck down new jersey's ban on partial birth abortion, is irrational. that's an extreme position. that's who he suggested as a supreme court justice last year. what's your reaction? >> my sister is a brilliant woman, who was always a fabulous student, very, very smart. she was appointed by ronald reagan, he said appointed by bill clinton, she was elevated to the court of appeals, very high position, right under the supreme court as you know, she was elevated to the court of appeals by clinton. appointed by reagan, elevated -- the reason she was elevated, she was an outstanding intellect and outstanding judge. i don't even know what her views
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are on abortion, i don't. she's certainly not a radical anything, because that's not her thing. this is the kind of thing, he said radical this, this, this, on abortion. not radical. she may have made a decision one way or another. i never asked her. i wouldn't ask her. she wouldn't want to tell me. i got a very big call from a great reporter at the new york times, they wanted to do a major piece on my sister. and they called me, could i possibly get her to do the piece. i called her, she said, no, no, i don't do that. i don't want a piece, i don't want anything to do with it. and they did the piece anyway. it was a very nice piece on her. but she refused to participate. she has no interest in that. i said, are you sure, you're my sister. the reporter said -- >> a trump who doesn't like publicity, i don't know -- >> i don't like -- i get a lot of publicity, i don't necessarily like it. >> come on. wait a minute. i got to call you on that. what? >> it's true. you know what, it's true. i don't love that, i can't stand -- for the most part, i
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find the press is extremely dishonest. very dishonest. i find the political press to be unbelievably dishonest, and 25% agree, of course, you're in that category. he did a great interview with me two weeks ago, that i really liked. i thought it was a great interview because based on an article a little bit on "the wall street journal" by monica, who is a terrific person. my sister is a great intellect, terrific person. she's not radical anything i don't know what she did having to do with abortion, but she's a great judge. i would have such a conflict of interest, and i think you probably went back and you checked, i do say sometimes, and i joke, my sister should be on the supreme court. i'm laughing and having fun. i would never do a thing like that, it's a conflict of interest. >> i want to read the quote, i visit on the record. i think she would be phenomenal. i think she would be one of the best. but frankly, we'd have to rule that out. >> i don't think she'd want to do it either. >> last night after the town hall, i went to celebrate at mcdonald's. i had a number one meal. which is my favorite meal.
quote
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i understand you bring fast food to your plane sometimes? >> i do. sometimes. >> what do you eat? when you roll up at a mcdonald's, what does donald trump order? >> a fish delight sometimes. the big macs are great, the quarter pounders with cheese. it's great stuff. >> are people at the windows like? >> i'm a person that can't sort of believe it, i like cleanliness, i like clean, the one thing about the big franchises, you have to have a certain -- you know, because of the importance. one bad hamburger you can destroy mcdonald's. one bad hamburger you take wendy's and all these other places and they're out of business. you can't do it. i don't want to mention the firm, but a firm is going through that now. do they make it, do they not make it? so i'm a very -- i'm a very clean person. i like cleanliness. i think you're probably better going there than maybe some place you have no idea where the food is coming from. it's a certain standard. i think the food's good. i eat it very carefully.
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but i think all of those places, burger king, mcdonald's, i can live with them. the other night i had kentucky fried chicken. not the worst thing in the world. [ laughter ] >> what's your favorite kind of music, what music do you like? >> i think elton john is great, i think the stones are great, the beatles i love, michael jackson was actually a very good friend of mine. i knew michael jackson very well. lived in trump tower for a long period of time. would go down mira lago. he got married, lisa marie presley, they got married in mira lago. he was up there for a week with her never came down. a lot of people say they -- he was up there for a week. they never, ever came down. i say where the hell is michael? but he was a very talented guy. one of the truly most talented people. i knew him very well. i knew the real story of michael jackson, you know, when he died, i would watch people get on -- i don't want to mention names, but people you know very well, people you interview, they would talk about michael jackson, they didn't even know him.
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i mean, very few people got to know michael jackson. he was an unbelievably talented guy, he lost his confidence. and he lost tremendous confidence because of -- honestly, bad, bad, bad, bad surgery, he had the worst -- he had people that did numbers on him that were just unbelievable, facially, and, you know, the plastic surgeons, michael was an unbelievable talent who actually lost his confidence, and, you know, believe it or not, when you lose your confidence in something, you can lose your talent. >> you talked about working hard as president. you don't sleep a lot. how many hours a night do you sleep? and how much television news do you watch? >> i do like it. i watch -- >> you seem to know everything that's being said about you. i actually get criticized for it. but i watch it. i watch you a lot. you learn. especially with what i'm doing. somebody said you watch, you get your generals through television. no, i don't. i read a lot, okay? i love to read. when i see you interviewing a general or a -- some security adviser or somebody, i mean, you learn a lot from that --
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>> how much do you sleep? >> about three to four hours a night. >> that's all you need? >> that's all i need luckily. i mean -- >> have you always been like that? >> pretty much. i honestly believe this. i love what i do, i love my business, i love the apprentice, it was such a tremendous success, nbc would have done anything to renew it with me. i mean anything. steve burke came up to my office of comcast and said please do it, do it. i'm going to run for president. you can't run for president and have a show. no, steve, i'm not going to do it. they couldn't believe it. nobody believed i was going to run. my wife actually said, if you run, you will win, but you have to actually run. you can't just say you're going to run, you won't do well. the original polls, nobody believed i was going to run. even when they say if he runs. and they wouldn't even do polls. but she said if you run, you'll win. and steve burke came up to the office, he said, i really -- they wanted to renew the apprentice, because it was doing phenomenally well. can you believe it? 14 seasons and "the apprentice" still did well.
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i have that with mark burnett and we're using arnold schwarzenegger. and hopefully arnold will do well. is arnold going to do well? will he beat trump? >> are you concerned about that? >> he is no trump. >> what kind of a parent are you? your kids, a lot of people speak glowingly about your kids. they speak glowingly about you. were you a tough dad? and are you different as grandfather? >> i get credit for my children, they're very good children. they were smart, they went to good schools they did well, ivanka, everybody knows, don and eric, tiffany is a terrific young woman, she's just graduated from penn and mostly a's. and baron is doing really good. i have five children, one thing, i think i was really, really a good parent, i put my children above everything, above business and above everything. and ivanka speaks to it very well, and so do the others. when people come up and they say why?
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i had so much experience with alcohol. i have a brother who is a phenomenal guy, the best looking guy you've ever seen. but he became -- he started drinking and so from a young age. he was quite a bit older than me. my brother fred. he was a very talented flyer of planes. great pilots would go to him to study. it was a real ability he had. but the alcohol was -- i mean, it taught me a tremendous lessen. and he taught me -- >> that's why you don't drink? >> he said don't you ever smoke. don't you ever drink. and i've never had a drink, i've never had a cigarette. those are the good things, i don't want to tell you the bad things. there are plenty of bad things. i've never had a drink, i never had -- >> were never tempted to -- >> i mean, zip, i never liked the taste. i've had friends when i went to the wharton school of finance, i had friends that didn't like scotch. they hated the taste. one in particular became pretty successful, but ultimately
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alcohol destroyed him. he would be with me and like 18 or 19 years old, he was trying to develop a taste for scotch. he ultimately became an alcoholic. he became quite successful. he lost his success because of alcohol. i've seen what it does to people. it's a horror show. the one thing i can say, if you don't drink, there's no temptation. people come up to me and say, could you see my children -- my children are doing a good job, famous last words, is that wood? yes. i'm going to knock on wood. because who knows. but my children are doing a good job and they're solid. but i would tell them from a very young age, no drugs, no alcohol, no cigarettes. i say this so -- over and over, in fact, ivanka would go, dad, you're driving me crazy. she's 4 years old, she didn't know what it was, no drugs, no alcohol, no cigarettes. i put it into their -- i've seen people that are brilliant people that, you know, the top people in the industry that have children. they're very smart children. they have all the aptitude in the world. but they get hooked on drugs. they get hooked on alcohol. and they cannot -- alcohol
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believe it or not is almost harder than drugs. it's harder to get away from it. they get hooked on alcohol and drugs, as smart as they are, they never make it. >> what is one thing you wish you didn't do? are you watching tv late at night? well, i mean, look -- advice. >> i work very hard, maybe i work too hard. i had two very wonderful women, frankly, that i -- i'm a worker, i love to work. i don't consider myself a workaholic. i'm a workaholic and i don't consider that a bad thing. i think i have probably would have had -- i have had a very good marriage now. melania is fantastic. i had two women i never blamed. i worked so hard. my job came first. never came first with my children. i always said i was a better father than a husband. but i worked very, very hard and i love doing it, and you know what, i'm very happy about it, i have tens of thousands of employees, i put so many -- thousands and thousands of
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employees, it takes care of health care, education, so many things. so not that i would change anything. but if i did a little bit less, i probably wouldn't have had two marriages that didn't work out. >> donald trump, thank you very much. >> thank you very much. >> that's all the time we have, our thanks to donald trump, governor kasich and governor bush. i want to thank everybody in the audience who had questions. thanks to the voters and viewers at home. everyone in columbia for their help and hospitality. if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis... isn't it time to let the real you shine through? introducing otezla, apremilast. otezla is not an injection, or a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. some people who took otezla saw 75% clearer skin after 4 months. and otezla's prescribing information has no requirement
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good evening. in just three days, republicans here are going to go to the polls and if history is any good, saturday's primary will make some campaigns and break others. tonight matters so much. three candidates, one last chance for voters to ask the
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candidates face-to-face. >> tonight, a conversation with three leading republicans in south carolina. they're facing the voters and fighting for every last vote. >> if you ever want to fall in love with the american people, run for president. >> marco rubio rising. ted cruz talking tough. >> the time for games is over. >> ben carson, running behind. hoping to rise above the fray and the rest of the field. >> i think i can win south carolina. >> three contenders. men of faith, in a state where faith runs deep and the faithful vote. but south carolina is the state that knows raw politics. >> he's now literally just making things up. >> marco rubio hitting cruz. cruz hitting back. >> whenever anyone points out their record, they simply start screaming "liar, liar, liar." >> three contenders in a state where manners matter, but winning matters more. just days before the first
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southern primary, at the end of a campaign like we and the voters have never seen before. this is an anderson cooper 360 cnn republican town hall. voters seeking answers, a chance to drive the debate before making a choice that could make history. [ applause ] good evening. welcome from greenville, south carolina. what a night. we are here tonight with just three days to go until primary day. just three days left to decide. yet a lot of voters in the state remain undecided. tomorrow night, i'll be with john kasich, jeb bush and donald
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trump with voters in columbia, south carolina. i want to welcome our viewers watching in the united states and here in south carolina and around the world on cnn international. i also want to extend a warm welcome to our servicemen and women watching and those who are listening and on cnn channel 116 on sirius xm. people tell us they will be participating in saturday's republican primary. we asked audience members to come up with their own question, which we reviewed to make sure they don't overlap. tonight, we hope this is about south carolina voters getting to know the candidates. so let's get started. joining us first tonight is retired neuro surgeon dr. ben carson. welcome. [ applause ] >> thank you. >> have a seat. how is it going?
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>> very good. >> good. i want to start with just -- you are obviously a retired neurosurgeon. you've been on the campaign trail for ten months. what is harder, brain surgery or politics? >> brain surgery is a lot harder. but the interesting thing i've discovered about politics, good things and bad things, it's been wonderful having an opportunity to meet so many people across the country and hear what their concerns are. it hadn't been that great, you know, dealing with the press. >> are you looking at me? [ laughter ] that's what really tonight is about. it's you interacting with the voters. i'm going to ask a couple questions and turn it over to the voters. as you know, the government is trying to unlock the cell phone of one of the terrorists in san bernardino. they've been unable to do that. they now have a judge to ask apple or try to order apple to create new operating software
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that would allow them essentially a back door to open up and get access. do you think apple should be forced to do that? apple says that's going to violate not only privacy rights but make everybody's cell phone vulnerable to hackers. >> sure. the interesting thing is, i think that apple and probably a lot of other people don't necessarily trust the government these days. and there's probably very good reason for people not to trust the government. but we're going to have to get over that, because right now we're faced with tremendous threats, and individuals, radical jihadists who want to destroy us. and we're going to have to weigh these things one against the other. i believe that what we need is a public/private partnership when it comes to all of these technical things and cyber security, because we're all at risk in a very significant way.
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so it will be a matter of people learning to trust each other, which means apple needs to sit down with trustworthy members of the government. and that may have to wait until the next election, i don't know. but we'll see. they need to sit down with people they can trust and hammer out a relationship. >> if you were president right now, and you just had 11 months left in your term, would you nominate someone to fill justice scalia's seat? >> i probably would. i probably would take the opportunity to nominate someone. it doesn't necessarily mean that that person is going to be acted on or confirmed. but why not do it? but here's the real problem. you know, the supreme court, a very important part of our governing system, was originally intended to consist of jurists who were people who loved america, people who fully understood our constitution, and
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were there to make sure that america preserved its constitutional traditions. it was not supposed to be a partisan group. it has become very partisan. so as a result, everything that is done surrounding it, the picks, the confirmation hearings, deciding on whether to actually make the vote, all of it has become partisan and reaction to what has happened. does it mean that we're forever gone? no. i think it means that these are things that we're going to have to start looking at and start figuring out how in the world do we once again get back to a reasonable judicial system? we do not have that now. we have overreaching. we have a congress that, for some reason, has become the peanut gallery, and just watching what the executive branch and the judiciary do. and not really stepping up to
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correct some of the incorrect decisions that have been made by the supreme court. >> how would a president carson pick judges? would you have a litmus test as people often say? >> yes. the litmus test would be their life. i would look back at what they have done throughout their lives, what kind of rulings they have had throughout their lives. what kind of associations they've had. you can tell a lot more about how a person has lived their life than you can with, you know, a series of interviews, which they have been prepped for, which they know exactly how to answer. we've been burned by those kinds of things before. >> so you wouldn't necessarily have a list of questions on abortion, on whatever other issues. >> i think i could find out what their opinions are by looking back at their life. the bible says in matthew 7:20, by their fruit you will know them. >> i want to have you meet a voter. her name is jessica fuller. she works in advertising and she
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says she's still undecided. so you could pick up a vote right here tonight. >> excellent. >> welcome, jessica. >> welcome to greenville. >> thank you. >> dr. carson, how do you reconcile the differences between christian values and gop stances on subsidies for the poor? >> when you say current gop, i'm part of the gop and let me tell you what my stance is. my stance is that we, the people have the responsibility to take care of the indigent in our society. it's not the government. if you can read the constitution all you want, it never says it's the government's job. i think that's where we have gotten confused. in the old days of america, when communities were separated by hundreds of miles, why were they able to thrive? because if it was harvest time and the farmer was up in the tree picking apples and fell out
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and broke his leg, everybody pitched in and harvested his crops. if everybody got killed by a bear, everybody took care of their family. so we have a history of taking care of each other. but for some strange reason starting in the '20s, the government kept getting involved in everything. by the time we got to the '60s, lbj was saying we the government are going to eliminate poverty. how did that work out? $19 trillion later, ten times more people on food stamps, more poverty, more welfare, broken homes, out of wedlock births, crime, incarceration. everything is not only worse, it's much worse. and that's because it's not their job, it's our job. i wish the government would read the constitution. i think that would help quite a bit and maybe they did read it and got confused when they read the preamble, which says one of the duties is to promote the general welfare. they probably thought that meant
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putting everybody on welfare. [ laughter ] but i don't think it means that at all. and what we need to do is level the playing field. but the government can play a very important role in facilitating in what we the people do. one quick example. look at all of the out of wedlock births going on, particularly in the inner cities. i've been speaking at a lot of the nonprofit organizations that support organizations that support these women so that they don't have an abortion and have the baby. but usually their education starts when they have that baby. now, if you not only support them through that pregnancy but now provide child care for them so they can go back to school and get their g.e.d. or their associates or bachelor or master degree, take care of themselves, teach their baby how to take care of themselves, so you break the cycle of dependency.
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that is true compassion. having people become dependent on others is not compassion at all. [ applause ] >> dr. carson, i want you to meet -- this is katie busby. she works for the chamber of commerce here in greenville. >> i know you probably agree one of the biggest issues facing our country is national security, so with groups like isis, you're running as a candidate that's never governed before. are you qualified to be commander in chief and are you qualified to deal with these national security threats? >> i obviously think so or i wouldn't be running for president. you know, it's the political class that has tried to convince everybody that they're the only ones who can solve our problems. but the fact of the matter is, our system was designed for citizen statesman and people who have had real-life experiences
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and then can transfer that to government work. you know, i can guaranty i've had more 2:00 a.m. phone calls than all the rest of them put together, had to make life and death decisions, had to derive information frequently from interns and residents who didn't know a lot but you still have to manage to get the right information and make the right decisions, put together teams, complex teams to accomplish things that have never before been accomplished. i think what we really need are people who know how to solve problems, not people who know how to talk. we can all talk, but we can't all solve problems. and what i think you need to look at is the course of a person's life. go back and see what kinds of things have they had to face, what kind of things have they had to overcome? you know, the people who say, well, you've never run anything, you don't know how to do anything. maybe none of the things that they want to do.
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but i tell you, it does take skill to take, you know, the division of pediatric neurosurgery. when i became chief, it wasn't even on the map and to take it to number one in the country by 2008, that's not something done lightly. you know, to start the carson scholars fund. people said, you can't start another scholarship program. there's tens of thousands of them. but we started it and it's all 50 states and has won major national awards. obviously, you have to know how to do things. you know, i spent 18 years on the board of kellogg's, 16 years on the board of costco, learned a tremendous amount about business, domestically and internationally. and a lot of things that people who are -- politicians who are running have never done. so i think you have to really look at what a person accomplishes in their life and not whether they have a specific
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pedigree of the political class who thinks that they rule us when, in fact, this country is of, for, and by the people. and it's we, the people who need to assume once again the pinnacle position. [ applause ] >> dr. carson, this is alexander sexton, he works in the defense industry. he says he's also undecided but leaning in your favor. welcome. >> dr. carson, thank you for your time. light many americans, i've only recently felt the need to own a gun, and you know, right now, the world is in a dangerous place. so what is your plan to preserve my rights to own a gun and also to protect the american people? >> sure. well, you know, the second amendment is there for a very good reason. it was so the people could assist the government in case of an invasion. more importantly, it was so that
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the people could protect themselves in case the government itself ever became tyrannical and tried to rule the people. so we've had guns for hundreds of years and we've been free for hundreds of years. i think there may be a correlation there. and, you know, i think after the san bernardino attacks and the paris attacks, you know, the current administration, their ideal of solving the problem was to take guns away from the people. somehow that's going to solve your problem, because there are terrorists trying to kill you, take your guns away. it makes no sense. what they should be doing is offering free classes in gun safety to all the citizens who want to take it so they can protect themselves. it is a fundamental right to protect ourselves, but we also need to take safety into account. and as long as we do that in a reasonable way, i think you're
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right, my right, all of our rights should be preserved. [ applause ] >> i just want to follow up on that question. he was saying he's gotten a gun for the first time in your life. do you own a gun? have you ever felt the need to own a gun? >> yes. i don't know that i felt the need for a gun, but i like having a gun. i have multiple marksmanship awards from rotc, and i'm very much in favor of preserving those rights. >> i want you to meet vickie burns, a retired small business owners. she said she's leaning towards governor bush but hasn't made up her mind. >> my question for you is, if you are elected president, what would be your big idea? in the past, we've had great presidents that have united our country with programs such as the space program, the wpc, and
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we are in much need of a big idea. >> well, i have multiple big ideas, but here's one of the things that i really want to get across to the country. we have only 330 million people. sounds like a lot of people, but china has 1.4 million people. india has 1.1 billion people. we have to compete with them on the world stage, which means we can't afford to waste any of our people. so it doesn't make sense for us to have 20 plus percent of the people who enter high school dropping out of high school in the technological aid, in the information age. it makes no sense for us to have 5% of the world's population and 25% of the inmates. and we have to reorient ourselves in a way that we keep those things from happening, because for every one of those young people we can keep from going down that path of
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self-destruction, that's one more person that we don't have to be afraid of or protect our family from. one more person we don't have to pay for in the penal or welfare system. one more tax paying, productive member of society who may discover the cure for cancer or a new energy source. we can't afford to throw away any of our people. that's the big idea. [ applause ] >> this is richard leyland, a family physician here in greenville. >> thank you. dr. carson, in the event that you did not win the presidency but one of your fellow republicans did, if they were to ask you to consider serving as the surgeon general or head of the department of health and human services, with your passion and ability, would you be willing at some point to consider this? >> well, i've got to tell you, i'm not looking for a job.
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[ laughter ] >> there is one job you're looking for. >> after 15,000 operations and a very arduous career, i'm definitely not just looking for something to do. i feel that our country is on the precipice, and it's about to go over the edge. and if we continue with politics as usual, democrats or republicans, we are going to go over that edge. and i think we have to reach down and recognize that we can't just tinker around the edges. we're going to have to have some real ideas here. ideas of how we get that domestic engine, which is the most dynamic and powerful economic engine the world has ever known rolling again. i've got good ideas about that. bencarson.com and i can explain them if anybody asks me that question. but also, when we look at what's happening to our nation, in
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terms of our vision for who we are, i think we're starting to lose sight of who we are. we are so busily giving away our identity, our values, and our principles for the sake of political correctness, that we don't know who we are. the bible says, without a vision, the people perish. so i have a vision that i think i share with a lot of we, the people. and that's the direction i want to go in. it would be very difficult for me to serve in an administration that didn't have that same philosophy. >> we're going to take a short break. we'll have more questions from the audience when we come back. you're watching a cnn republican town hall from greenville, south carolina. senator marco rubio and ted cruz are also coming up.
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[ applause ] welcome back to the cnn town hall here in greenville, south carolina. we're talking to dr. ben carson. our next question from katie abrams, a clemson student, and she is undecided. welcome. >> hi, dr. carson. my name is katie. when i was 18 and just graduated from high school, i lost one of my dearest friends to a senseless murder. it's one of the main reasons i'm passionate about impacting positive change in the current criminal justice system. people that go to prison should have the opportunity to re-assimilate into society. and serve the community that they negatively impacted. if you are elected president, how would you work alongside policymakers to impact positive criminal justice reform? >> as i mentioned a little earlier, we have 5% of the population of the world and 25% of the inmates.
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and that, obviously, means that something is askew. and we're putting a lot of people in prison who don't need to be in prison. they aren't violent criminals, and all we do is send them to the university where they become violent criminals and then release them on society. that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. when we send people to prison we need to be thinking about whether they are going there for life or whether they'll be reintegrated into society. if they are going to be reintegrated into society, we need to be thinking about how are we going to make that a successful reintegration? in many cases that may mean we should be offer something practical training. there's no reason people can't learn how to become a welder or a plumber or a whole host of different things. plus, you know, there are high level courses where they can learn mathematics and we ought
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to be thinking about how do we take these people and turn them away from a life that's going down the wrong pathway to one where they become part of the fabric of success in america. >> so does that mean for you relooking at mandatory minimum sentences for -- >> absolutely. >> -- low level, nonviolent offenders? >> absolutely it means that. it means we need to look at those who are mentally ill. there are a lot of mentally ill who are being housed in prisons. we have facilities all over the country that are sitting empty because we have decided that it's too expensive to take care of the mentally ill. so they end up on the street where frequently they become victimized by people and then wind up in the criminal justice system. and then we put them in amongst people who are violent criminals. now you take somebody mentally
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unstable and now you are teaching them to be a violent criminal and then releasing them on our society. that doesn't make any sense. so i think it would be a lot cheaper if we begin to take care of these people the way they should be taken care of. there's going to be, quite frankly, plenty of money to take care of the people when we stop doing all the silly stuff we're doing with all of these things we are doing. the money will be drawn in that's sitting on the sidelines and we once again begin to create the can-do attitude as opposed to the what can you do for me attitude, and i think america will be on its way pretty quickly. >> katie, appreciate your question. this is will richter. he goes to clemson. he's deciding between you and senator rubio. >> that should be an easy choice.
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[ laughter ] >> hi, dr. carson. according to a 60 minutes investigation, the justice department says that china's corporate espionage is so vast that it constitutes a national security emergency costing american companies hundreds of billions of dollars and american citizens over 2 million jobs. if elected president, how would you go about protecting american intellectual property rights abroad while maintaining diplomatic relations? >> a very important question. i mean, we are being hit thousands of times a day. if you go to individual americans, millions of times every day by cyberattacks from china and other places. and that's why, you know, i have advocated for a comprehensive solution for cybersecurity. you can read about that on the website. but again, public/private
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partnerships so that we can create the kind of common monitoring process so that if you get attacked or your company gets attacked, you know, we have a common place that we can report that and we can begin to see where the pieces fit together so that we understand where it's coming from. and, quite frankly, we have some pretty substantial offensive cyber capabilities. our administration is reluctant to use them. i would not be reluctant to use them. if somebody hit us from another country with a cyberattack, they would not do it a second time. believe me. and people think that i'm nice. and i am nice, but i also want to protect our people. and protect -- if you stand up to people who are doing these things, it makes them much less likely to continue. but again, by having a public/private partnership, being able to tap into all of our resources, i think we have a
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much better opportunity to defend ourselves and to put up the kinds of defenses that can keep morphing so that's they will not be able to keep up with us. americans have always been incredibly innovative. if we can release that innovation and get rid of some of the things that dampen that innovation, i think we'll stay far ahead of the competition. >> thank you for your question. appreciate it. i want you to meet billy, a stay-at-home mom. she is also still undecided. >> hello, dr. carson. i do appreciate your mild mannered nature in this campaign. however, if you are the republican nominee, how do you plan to not -- how do you plan to get your message out over a boisterous democrat? >> which boisterous democrat
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would that be? [ laughter ] now quite simply, what i have discovered, as a pediatric neurosurgeon, and as someone who dealt with lots of children, i had a program at the hospital where i bring in 800 students at a time. frequently elementary students. and you would say, how are you going to be able to speak to 800 elementary students and keep them quiet? you know what? by speaking softly because then they would think, oh, what's he saying and they would shut up. it actually worked extremely well. but, really, the key is not so much the volume with which you speak. but it's the content of what you say. that's what's going to make the difference. and i think the american people are smart enough to be able to understand bluster and rhetoric versus truth.
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and when it comes to the general election, you know, people who are running around saying things like, free college for everyone, it will be very easy to counter that by simply educating people as to the actual financial condition of our nation. and that's not done. i think margaret thatcher probably said it best. she said socialism is great until you run out of other people's money. and that's exactly what would happen and we would explain that to people, and i think they would understand. so i look forward to such a challenge. >> of course, in just a -- [ applause ] it's not just, obviously, in a general election. you've been on the stage with some boisterous folks the last few months. i'm not going to name any names. what are you thinking when you are on a stage in those debates? what is going through your mind?
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>> honestly, what was going through my mind is will these guys in any way remember what happened in 2012 when they tried to tear each other apart, which was probably the only reason that president obama was able to win re-election with a record that no one could have won on. so we have to stop finding ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. >> do you have a candidate you'd prefer to run against in a general? bernie sanders or hillary clinton? >> i would relish running against either one of them. it would not be a problem. [ applause ] >> our next question comes from -- oh, i'm sorry. we're going for some of the personal questions. take a seat here. so was it hard for you to give up surgery? you trained for this for so long. you were an excellent surgeon by all accounts. >> some people say i was just an okay surgeon.
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but, no, i miss very much what medicine used to be. i do not miss what it has become. and i think you will find if you talk to a lot of people in the medical profession that they're not very happy today. >> because they're not able to spend time with patients? >> there are so many new rules and regulations. and, yes, the ethics and all the various things you have. you don't even have a chance to look at the patient. there's a lot of information that you can gain from just looking at somebody when you are talking to them, which is an essential part of medical care that's being lost. so i -- that's the reason that i have denoted a different type of system that actually costs less than either the current so-called affordable care act or the system that we had before that that provides excellent care for everybody, including the indigent and doesn't have any success class citizens.
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we have enough money to do it. we spend almost twice as much per capita on health care as many other nations that have much better access. and we have so much disruption and inefficiency in our system that can be easily corrected. >> president obama plays golf. former president george w. bush paints now. used to clear brush out in texas. what do you do to relax? >> play pool. i love to play pool. >> are you competitive when you play pool? >> i like to win. [ laughter ] and i'll tell you, it relaxes me. when i would come home from a busy day of surgery, i would shoot pool. and my wife who didn't know how to play pool learned how to play pool and has become an excellent player. she's good competition. if i mess up, she will beat me. >> what sort of music do you listen to? >> i primarily like classical music. particularly baroque music. >> did you listen to that when
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you did surgery? >> absolutely. all the residents knew they'd also learn classical music. i remember one resident, i'd always ask him questions. he'd always say that's the 1812 overture. he said, i know i'm going to be right one time. >> dr. carson, a pleasure. dr. ben carson, thank you. [ applause ] when we come back, senator marco rubio takes the stage and takes your questions. we'll be right back. i think we should've taken a tarzan know where tarzan go! tarzan does not know where tarzan go. hey, excuse me, do you know where the waterfall is? waterfall? no, me tarzan, king of jungle. why don't you want to just ask somebody? if you're a couple,
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our mission is to build homes, community and hope. our homeowners are low-income families, so the ability for them to have lower energy cost is wonderful. we have been able to provide about 600 families with solar on their homes. that's over nine and a half million dollars of investment by pg&e, and that allows us to provide clean energy for everyone here. it's been a great partnership. together, we're building a better california. [ applause ] welcome back. we're manage to you from the old cigar warehouse in greenville, south carolina. the first of two consecutive republican town halls on cnn. the next one is tomorrow night in columbia featuring john kasich, jeb bush and donald trump. right now, please welcome senator marco rubio of florida. [ applause ]
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hey, senator. welcome. have a seat. >> thank you. >> so welcome, first of all. thanks for being here. >> it's a nice place. >> it's a beautiful building. how is it feeling on the campaign trail after a fifth place finish in new hampshire. some counted you out. you had a good debate. major endorsement from south carolina governor nikki haley. are you feeling the marco-mentum? >> i love that term. i do. i feel great about it. poem are coming to our rallies. obviously, saturday we'll find out. people are going to vote. we're going to do our best. we've got a good message. i feel good. we'll see what that translates to. >> it's getting tough out there. accusations going back and forth. you called ted cruz a liar. he said your campaign is relying on fabrication. refuted claims. do you stand by the assertion he's lying? >> if you say something that isn't true and you know that it isn't true, there's no other
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word for it. when it's about your record you have to clear it up. if you don't then people say it must be true. he's done that a number of times. we saw what he did to dr. carson in iowa. we saw yesterday, trey gowdy, someone came up with a fake facebook post saying trey gowdy was no longer endorsing me. a very popular congressman here in south carolina. these things are disturbing and they need to be addressed and i'll address them. that's not the core of my campaign. i spend 99% of my time talking about america's future. if someone says something that's not true and i don't clear it up, then people may think it's true. >> president obama said something i want to ask you about so you can respond to it. he said yesterday you have a candidate who sponsored a bill that i supported to finally solve the immigration problem and he's running away from it as fast as he can. >> president obama has no standing to talk about immigration. his party controlled the white house and house and senate for two years and did nothing. after barack obama put in place two unconstitutional executive orders which has made it harder
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to move forward on immigration. i believe this issue has to be dealt with. if you are serious about dealing with immigration, you better secure the border first. nothing else is going to be able to happen. nothing else can happen until you secure the border first. people have been clear about that. that's the key that unlocks the door to dealing with the rest of the issue. until you do that, we won't be able to make any progress. >> the president is saying, you sponsored a bill that he'd support it. >> it can't pass. it doesn't have the votes. it's been tried three times in the last decade. it's failed each time. now we have to understand that the only way forward is through a step-by-step approach that begins by finally securing our border. we're a sovereign country. every country has a right to control who comes here, when they come here, how they come here. we're the most generous nation in the world on immigration. >> did you think it could pass when you sponsored it? >> i didn't think the senate version could pass. i repeatedly said that. this bill is not strong enough. i understood the democrats controlled the senate.
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that's the best we could produce in a senate controlled by democrats. we wanted to send it to the house. we hoped the house republicans would make it better. they never took it up. there's no way forward. i can just tell you after that experience, for a fact, having been through that, no progress will be made on immigration in this country until we prove to the american people, not just pass a law but prove to them we've built the sufficient walls and fences on the border that's we have mandatory e-verify, an entry/exit tracking system to prevent visa overstays and hire additional border security to secure the border. >> i want to ask you about a few items making headlines today. it's a question i asked dr. carson. as you know, the government is trying to get apple to create new software to basically allow them to unlock the phone used by the san bernardino terrorist. apple is saying if we create this back door it's a whole new software thing and it's going to endanger 99.9% of the good
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users. >> it's a very complicated issue, and i'll tell you why. it's about encryption. there's encryption out. it's standard on the new apple. and what it does is it protects your privacy. if you lose your ipad or iphone, no one can hack in and get the information. that's why it's there. here's the thing, though. if we passed a law that required them to create a back door, criminals could figure that out and use it against you. there's already encrypted software that exists and we'd not be able to stop that. there would still be encryption capabilities. they just wouldn't be american encryption capabilities but people in this country could have it. that's why it's such a difficult issue. on the flip side, there might be valuable information on that phone from the san bernardino killers that's could lead us to preventing future crimes or future terrorist attacks. so i think we are going to have to figure out a way toward by working with silicon valley and the tech industry. there has to be a way that
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continues to protect the privacy of americans but creates some process by which law enforcement and intelligence agencies could access encrypted information. i don't have a magic solution. it's complicated. it's a new issue that's emerged. but it will take a partnership between the technology industry and the government to confront and solve this. >> so it does concern you, basically apple's concerns, the idea this would create a back door -- >> if you create a back door there is the possibility a criminal gang could figure out what the back door is. you create a back door, you are creating a vulnerability. you'll not change the fact that other companies around the world who are not subject to u.s. law, they can create encryption that we'll never be able to get access to. it's not as simple as people think. apple is under court order. i'm sure they're going to appeal it. they need to follow whatever the court order is ultimately but going forward we'll have to work with silicon valley, the tech industry to figure out a way forward on encryption that
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allows us some capability to access information in an exigent circumstance where there may be information on there that could prevent a terrorist attack. >> another item in the news. we've just learned president obama plans to visit cuba some time, i think this month but i don't know the exact date. is that something as president you would ever do? >> not if it's not a free cuba. the problem with the cuban government. it's not just a communist dictatorship, it's an anti-american communist dictatorship. three years ago, they helped north korea evade u.n. sanctions. the cuban government today harbors hundreds of fugitives of american justice. medicare fraudsters, people that have stolen your money. they come to the u.s., steal money, medicare fraud, go back to cuba. the cuban government is protecting them. they are harboring a killer from new jersey who killed a state trooper in new jersey. she escaped jail, fled to cuba. the cuban government is protecting her.
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beyond that, they are a repressive regime. there's no election in cuba. there's no choice in cuba. i want the relationship to change but it has to be reciprocal. look what we did with burma. the u.s. opened up to them, but they made political changes. today the former minority party is now the majority party in their legislative body because our change towards them was conditional on their change towards their people. he didn't ask that of the cuban government. a year and two months after the opening of cuba, the cuban government remains as repressive as ever, but now now they have access to millions if not billions in resources they didn't have access to. >> i'm told the president is going next month. >> probably not going to invite me. >> probably not. this is maggie. a senior at fuhrman university. she's leaning in your favor. >> good. let's finish it tonight. >> she likes dr. carson as well. >> i like dr. carson as well. >> welcome to greenville. i'm sure you're well aware that college and student debt loans are on the rise.
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as someone who is planning to attend dental school this upcoming fall, my only in-state option is about $100,000 a year setting me up for about $500,000 of debt before i have the chance to make a dime of it back. do you currently think that there's a problem with the cost of education? >> yes. >> and if so, what's your plan to make it more affordable, specifically, how do you deal with cutting costs for students but still maintaining a high quality of education? >> i believe i'm the only republican candidate that talks about student loan debt. one reason why is three years ago, i still owed over $100,000 in student loan debt. i was only able to pay off because i wrote a book called "an american son" now available in paperback. people always laugh. i love that joke. it's not a joke. it is available in paperback. [ laughter ] i have a bipartisan agenda on this issue. four main things. the first is alternative crediting. today there are only six accrediting boards in the country.
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you can only award a four-year degree if you are accredited by one of these six institutions. it's a monopoly. because today in the 21st century, we have the ability to learn multiple ways. you don't just have to sit in a classroom. there are so many ways to acquire information. and so what i push for is an alternative accrediting model that allows accredited learning outside of the traditional school setting. give people credit for what they've learned through life experience, work experience, military experience. if you have mastered a subject, you should not be forced to sit in a classroom and pay to take a course on something you already know if you prove you've already mastered it. this alternative accrediting model would allow us to do this. you can't use financial aid and the private sector doesn't recognize it. i think we need to do that. that's important for nontraditional students. let's say there's a single mother. she's a receptionist and makes $11 an hour. the only way she'll make more money is to go back to school.
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but she can't because she has to work full time during the day and raise her kids at night. if there was an alternative accrediting model that allowed her to earn credits through what she learned on her years on the job it would shorten that time if not allow her to complete that degree. alternative accrediting that allows you to get the maximum amount of credits without having to pay for it in an institution. the second is an alternative to student loans called a student investment plan. this would allow you to go to a private investment group who would invest in you the way an investment group invests in a business. they would believe in you so much and in your success that they would pay for your college. if you become financially successful, they'll make their investment back with a profit. if you do not, they'll lose their money and made a bad investment. but all the risk is on them. the third is to make income-based repayment. i have that law right now that i'm working on with mark warner, a democrat from virginia.
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why that is important is because i would rather collect $20 a month from a student than nothing. because if you are collecting $20, at least you are collecting $20 and they aren't defaulting on the debt. if you default that ruins your credit. you can't buy a house. it really hurts you. the fourth is called right to know before you go. which i'm working on with ron wyden, the democrat from oregon. before you take out a loan, schools have to tell you how much people make when they graduate from that school with a degree you're seeking. why is that important? it will probably teach you the market for roman philosophers has tightened. so you may not want to borrow $50,000 to be a roman philosopher unless you're going to teach it or go on to grad school. it's going to allow you to compare schools and look at two different schools and say i want to major in history. a history major from this school makes 50 grand a year and it only cost $20,000. a history major from this school makes $50,000 a year but it cost $100,000. now you have something to make a decision on other than the u.s.
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news and world report college ranking. this is the kinds of things i'm working on because this is deeply personal. when i graduated -- when i got married, my largest payment after the rent was our student loan debt. over $1,000 a month. i always joke that i never met her but i paid sallie mae a lot of money over the years. and today higher education is a necessity. it's no longer a luxury. there are no good paying jobs without some skill and/or educational achievement in the 21st century. i do think it's a big issue and i want us to work on it. >> thank you for your question. [ applause ] i'm going to throw away my roman philosophy question. >> i didn't do well with roman philosophy. >> meet retired general mcmanus. he served 34 years in the u.s. army. he is still deciding between you and governor kasich. general? >> senator rubio, many would argue that's we're not only electing a president this cycle
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but our commander in chief to lead america in dealing with some very demanding national security issues ahead. >> yes, sir. >> what has prepared you the most for this critical mission and what strengths of your foundation for the trust and confidence our soldiers, sailors and airmen and marines must have in you as their commander in chief? >> first of all, thank you for your service. i want to thank all the veterans of south carolina and across the country for the service they provided to our country. it's not just electing a commander in chief. that's the most important job. the president doesn't run the economy. the private sector does. the president can be an advocate for legislative action to help the economy grow. national security and commander in chief is the most important job of the president. i say this without any reservation. i haven't lived as long as some of the people running for president but no one running for president, especially on the republican side, has more experience on national security or foreign policy than i do. as both a member of the intelligence committee and foreign relations committee over the last five years i've been dealing with every single major issue this country confronts. i understand these issues well.
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i have a record of good judgment on those issues. in 2011 when moammar gadhafi was facing his overthrow in libya, i argued if that became a protracted conflict it would leave a vacuum filled by jihadists and that's what has happened. when bashar assad was being overthrown in syria, i warned if we didn't empower them in syria i said they'd be killed or exiled n that vacuum would be filled by a radical jihadist group. and that's what happened with al nasra and isis. when isis emerged and crossed into iraq, i warned that they would become a major threat if not confronted and defeated immediately. the president called them the jv team. today they have affiliates in over a dozen countries and we saw what they did in san bernardino and what they inspired in paris, as well. over the last five years i've been involved in foreign policy and national security i've proven that i have both the judgment and the experience to make the right decisions and the right call on these issues.
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the hardest vote i've ever taken was a vote to authorize the use of force in syria. talked about this in the debate the other night. it's the most difficult vote you'll ever take in congress. when bashar al assad gassed his own people and poisoned them, president obama announced he'd not take military action unless we in congress authorized the use of that force. so i was angry when i saw the images. i'm sure you saw the same images. i looked at these pictures of little children, curled up, some dead already because their own leader used poisoned gas and biological agents against them. i was outraged and wanted us to exact revenge on them. then i looked at what the president was proposing. something john kerry called an attack that would be unbelievably limited. that attack the president wanted to carry out i concluded would be counterproductive. it actually would have empowered assad. all he was going to do was a symbolic strike. assad was going to emerge from it saying i took on the u.s. and held on.
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it would have made him stronger, not weaker. i concluded i would not vote to authorize the use of force. it was a tough decision because what i had seen in those images outraged us all. i can look at that field of candidates running today and tell you without any hesitation that no one running as a republican has shown better judgment or has more experience on national security or on foreign policy than i do. >> thank you. >> thank you, general. [ applause ] >> just want to follow up with that. quick follow-up. governor bush again continued his line of attack on you saying you're inexperienced. what do you say to republicans in south carolina who say do we really want another first term senator in the white house? >> sure. i would tell you that i believe barack obama is a failed president not because he was a one term senator. he has seven years of presidential experience. only two people in the world with more experience than he does being president, george w. bush and bill clinton.
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today, seven years later, he is worse in the seventh year than his first. clearly experience was not the issue. the reason he's failed as a president is because his ideas don't work. his philosophy, his ideology is a failed one. i also think it's unfair to say i have no experience. i have 15 years of experience of turning conservative ideas into conservative action. i served 8 1/2 years in the florida legislature. not as a back bencher but a leader. we've been talking about imminent domain. florida has some of the best eminent domain laws in the country. you know who passed that law? i did. i was speaker of the florida house. we brought career academies to our schools. that means today that students and high schools in florida graduate not just with a high school diploma but certified to work as welders, plumbers, electricians, pipe fitters in vocational training because of what we've put in. we've reduced property taxes because i led the effort to do that. we brought the harlem's own children's model into florida. we reformed our curriculum without common core, without the
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federal government. and in my time in the senate, despite the fact that the senate has not been the most active place in the last five years because i led the effort in a bipartisan way we imposed sanctions on hezbollah. got rid of the obamacare bailout fund. we leverage u.s. foreign aid to take on the scourge of human trafficking and modern day slavery around the world. i led the effort and we imposed sanctions on human rights violators in venezuela. i'm proud of what i have achieved. my campaign is not about the past. it's about the future. about what we're going to do. i can say this without any, any hesitation whatsoever, i am as conservative as anyone running for president. but i am a 15-year conservative who has proven time and again the capability and willingness to take conservative ideas and turn them into conservative solutions. [ applause ] >> i want you to meet patty stoner. she's lived in greenville for 40
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years. she's deciding between you and senator cruz. >> i have a nephew currently serving and is deployed in the middle east as a person on an elite team. there's been a lot of discussion about women in combat. and my concern is if you put women on the front line, you would have to lessen standards. and that would put more troops at arm's length and in danger. also, do you feel like women can compete on the same level to be able to get a position on special forces? >> well, i do not believe that the military is a place where we should be lowering standards in order to meet some sort of other goal. i believe that i'm open to people in both genders serving in combat as long as they can meet the minimum requirements necessary for the job. we can't weaken those to accommodate somebody into the job. lives are all the line. and national security is on the line. by the way, there are plenty of men who can't meet those standards either. we should not lower standards for anyone. this is not a game.
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you are putting people into harm's way where they have to be able not simply to do the job in front of them but also to be able to protect the people working alongside them. and so for me, it's not about the gender. it's about the ability to do the job. as president and commander in chief, i will not lower standards in order, too chief some sort of societal aim. [ applause ] >> thank you for your question. this is joshua goodwin, the vice chair of the upstate young republicans. he says he's voting for you on sunday. >> good. let's not blow it. >> good evening, senator. welcome back to greenville. my question is regarding the charleston shooting. myself and many south carolinians were devastated by the hatred of racism. as a leader, i'd like to know, how would you simultaneously address the issue of racism, yet unify us as a country. >> yes, sir. that's an important question. let me begin by saying the entire country was inspired by the way south carolina and in
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particular the people impacted at mother emmanuel church reacted to the shooting. the images of these family members saying on television we forgive the killer had an impact on the country that was profound. it says a lot about south carolina. it also says a lot about the role that faith plays in this state. if you ask people about it, they'll tell you the church was at the center of not how south carolina responded not just to that shooting but a previous police shooting and to a flood that was a 1,000-year event. you talk about race relations. it's a difficult issue in this country. i can tell you and a lot of it is centered around law enforcement and police departments. i know for a fact that the overwhelming majority of the men and women who serve us in law enforcement are incredible people. who every single day put their lives potentially on the line for our safety and security. [ applause ] but i also know -- but i also
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know that there are communities in this country where minority communities and the police department have a terrible relationship. i personally know someone who happens to be a police officer and a young african-american male who told me that he's been pulled over seven, eight times in the last few years and never gets a ticket. what is he supposed to think? he gets pulled over, never gets a ticket. no one has any explanation. what is he supposed to think? i also known in this country there's a significant number of young african-american males who feel as if they are treated differently than the rest of society. here's the bottom line. whether you agree with them or not, i happen to have seen this happen. whether you agree or not, if a significant percentage of the american family believes that they are being treated differently than everyone else, we have a problem. and we have to address it as a society and as a country. i do not believe we can fulfill our potential as a nation unless we address that. i'm not sure there's a political solution to that problem but there are things we can do. one reason you see educational and academic underperformance
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not just in the african-american community but in the hispanic community is because a disproportionate number of our children are growing up in broken homes in dangerous neighborhoods, living in substandard housing and forced by the government to attend a failing school. a child that's born with four strikes against them is going to struggle to succeed unless something breaks that cycle. we've seen things that work. you get involved in the lives of children and you begin to address those strikes against them and you can see the same results you'd get anywhere else in the country. i do believe as a society we have to confront this because ultimately, if a significant percentage of the american family feels that they are locked out of the promise of america, we will never be able to fulfill our destiny as a great nation. [ applause ] >> a quick follow-up. on a personal basis, have you
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ever felt the sting of racism? >> you know, let me tell you a couple of things. my parents were extraordinary people. they raised me to believe that it didn't matter that they came from cuba and he was a bar tender, she was a maid. there was nothing we couldn't do. i remember during the mario boat lift growing up in las vegas, that some of the neighborhood kids, older kids, one day were taunting my family saying, why don't you go back on your boat go back to your country. i didn't know what they were talking about? i was 7 years old? what boat? my mom doesn't even swim. afraid of water. my parents had to sit me down and explain. and the mario boat lift is going on. people are upset and they are hearing this stuff. don't blame the kids. they must be hearing it from somebody. that disturbed me as a young child. for the most part in my life, i never saw that as a reflection on america but as a reflection on those kids. what i give my parents credit for is they never raised us to believe that we are victims. they always raised us to believe our destiny and future, we live in the one place on earth where
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if you worked hard and persevered you could achieve no matter what. that doesn't mean i don't deny there are those who have had a different experience. and we have to recognize that. if you look back at the history of this country, we have some blemishes that even to this day we're fighting through. what's extraordinary about america is that we've fought through that. we are a nation of perpetual improvement. if you look at how far we've come since the 1960s. if you look at where south carolina has come where it is today compared to 30, 40 years ago. in my campaign for president i got the endorsement of a governor of indian descent who endorsed a presidential candidate of cuban descent, who will be campaigning alongside an african-american, all here in soerlt. -- south carolina. that says a lot about south carolina. >> i want you to meet douglas parrot. he was leaning toward donald trump. >> the united states economy
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seems to be chugging along at an anemic 2% gdp. household incomes are down. workplace participation is down. the stock market seems to be trending down. and the fed has been stimulating our economy for the past decade and this is what we have to show for it. could you prioritize three actions to turn this economic ship around? >> let me address the fed issue. that's not the fed's job to stimulate the economy. the fed is a central bank not an overlord of the economy. not some sort of special jedi council that can decide the best things for us. the fed is a central bank. their job is to provide stable currency. i believe they should operate on a rules-based system where they have a very simple rule that determines when interest rates goes up and when they go down. today it's like a magic 8 ball. we don't know and it creates uncertainty in the marketplace. your question goes to the core of something deeper.
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we are living through a massive and rapid economic transformation. this is not an economic downturn but this is a massive economic transformation. we're having the industrial revolution every five years. you can be on the cutting edge of an industry today and in five year it's obsolete. the new jobs require skills many of our people may not have because they haven't been trained for it. we have to make ourselves a friendlier place. you look at south carolina. why is south carolina attracting manufacturing? i'll tell you what it's doing. it's lowering its taxes. reducing the regulatory burden. these things are important. as president, i want to be an active and vibrant advocate for setting an agenda that we're going to simplify our tax code. we have the highest combined corporate tax rate in the world. i want to lower it to a flat rate of 25%. including small businesses, organized as subchapter s.
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i want businesses to invest every dollar into their business. i want to move to a territorial system of taxation. we're the last major industrial country that double taxes its companies from making money overseas. you have $2 trillion of american corporate cash sitting overseas. $2 trillion is equivalent to the gdp of russia. that's how much american corporate cash is not being invested here and is instead being invested overseas. regulatory reform is important. a regulatory budget that says we're going to put a hard cap on how much federal regulations can cost our economy. that will force agencies to reduce regulations and it will say if you'll add a new regulation you'll have to cut an existing one because regulations are a burden. the third thing is the national debt. it is $19 trillion with close to $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities. we'll have a debt crisis in
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america soon if we do not address it. in less than five years, 83% of the federal budget will be consumed by medicare, medicaid, social security and the interest on the debt. only 17% of our budget left for everything else, including the military. that's unacceptable. that's a debt crisis. i want us to save social security and medicare. we can do it without disrupting it for people that are on it now. my mother is on social security and medicare. i'm against any changes to those programs that's bad for my mother. but it won't look the same for me. instead of retiring at 67, i may have to retire at 68. if i was in the senate, i'd be one of the youngest people there. if i made a lot of money, my social security benefits may not grow as fast as they do for someone who made lots of money. medicare could be the option of using my money to buy a plan i like better. these are not unreasonable changes. they aren't too much to ask of me who is 25 years away from
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retirement in exchange for balancing our budget, bringing our debt under control and leaving social security and medicare undisturbed for current beneficiaries. you deal with our debt, scale down our tax code and you'll see america lead the world in the 21st century economy. we fail to do that, we remain stagnant like we are now. >> senator rubio, we're going to take a quick break. we'll be back in a moment with more voter questions for senator marco rubio. (engine noises winding up)
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[ applause ] welcome back. we're here with senator marco rubio. before we get back to audience questions, just today, sandra justice day o'connor said there should be no delay in filling
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the vacancy left by justice scalia's death. she said we need somebody there now to do the job. let's get on with it. >> i would say a couple of things. there's an 80-year precedence on this. in the last year of a president's term, the senate doesn't usually move forward. you are appointing someone to a lifetime appointment theoretically to the supreme court. so the supreme court can function with eight justices. and then their term will end and a new one will begin. this will be an issue in the campaign. voters are going to ask of the presidential candidates, what kind of justice are you going to appoint. there's going to be an election and the new president will have an opportunity to nominate someone. that's the approach i support. >> you said there's been a precedent. president obama said there's nothing in the constitution that says you can't. if you were president, would you nominate someone? >> no, i would respect that precedent. there's nothing in the constitution that says he can't nominate someone. there's also not something that says the senate must immediately
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confirm them. there will be someone filling that vacancy, and i think the new president should be the one who fills that. it may not be a republican. i think it's going to be a republican. that's what i want it to be. i think it's going to be an issue in this campaign and the voters will be able to weigh in on it. >> meet amber mcdonald. an elementary schoolteacher. she's undecided. >> good evening. how are you? >> good. >> as an educator for 14 years, i've seen a change in our children. i'm very passionate about what i do, and so it makes my job difficult when those children come in having other concerns. they are concerned about their parents who fought before they came. concerned they didn't have food to eat breakfast and all of that comes into what we do every single day. how can you help us to make that easier to where we can educate the parents to where those things are easier for them, then it helps our children to have an easier day, not as stressful. >> thank you for the question. i have three educators in my
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family, elementary school. i hear the same thing. our schools are inheriting whatever society sends them in the morning. if a child is being raised in a broken home living in substandard housing, no access to health care and facing these other challenges, this child faces significant obstacles that need to be addressed. the question is what can government do about it? there's no law i can pass to make people better parents. no matters how hard you try and want to help, there's only so much you can do about that as well. we need to empower parents. it's one reason my tax plan increases the per child tax credit. i've been criticized for that by "the wall street journal" and others. they don't like the per child tax credit. why do we live in a country where if a business invests money in a piece of equipment they get to write it off on taxes but if a working parent invests more money in
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their children they don't get to write that off their taxes. working parents should be allowed to keep more of their own money to have the resources it takes to raise their children. it's expensive to raise children in the 21st century. my tax plan recognizes that. i think your question goes to the core of something we need to remind ourselves. there's not a government solution to every problem in our country. that does not mean our leaders shouldn't spend the time to tell people that what happens in our house, what happens in your house is often times much more important than what happens in the white house. the most important job i ever have will not be president of the united states but to be a father to my four children. i think that's important for us as a society to continue to understand that you cannot have a strong country without strong people. you cannot have strong people without strong values and you cannot have strong values without strong families. no one is born with strong values. they have to be instilled in you in a strong home. government cannot make families stronger but it can do things to help families. like allowing them to keep more
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of their hard earned money. and not having any laws, whether our safety net program or tax code that discourages marriage or undermines parenting. [ applause ] >> you are obviously very accomplished. did you always know you wanted to do public service? >> no, i wanted to play in the nfl. and i would have, had it not been for my lack of speed, size and talent. but i always had an interest in public service. my grandfather, one of the jobs he had as a young man was a reader in the front of a cigar factory in cuba. they didn't have tv or radio. they did but not in the cigar factory. he'd read newspapers and novels to the workers. as a result became a very well-read person and instilled this interest in politics and world affairs. i think that was a seed that grew over time. no one can predict you'll be at a setting like i am today. i always had somewhat of an interest in it. i thought i'd be an nfl player and nfl coach before i got to this point.
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obviously fast forwarded past the nfl part. >> i want you to meet jason lee. he's a minister, father of four kids and he's still undecided. >> i had the same shortcoming in the nfl as well. >> i think almost everyone does. >> most gop candidates point to ronald reagan as a model president. so i want to ask in terms of looking at him as a model for immigration and refugee resettlement, he had the refugee resettlement annual cap as high as 200,000 in one of his terms. so my question is, looking at him and considering yourself to be a compassionate conservative, will you let more vetted, secured refugees into this country? and what will your plan be for this american tradition of refugee resettlement? >> i believe that america must always continue to be a place that allows people seeking refuge from political persecution and violence to come.
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here's the difference between reagan's world and the one we live in now. policies have to reflect the times in which you live. when ronald reagan was president of the united states, there did not exist the radical jihadist group that was attempting to use the immigration laws of other countries against those countries. and that's the threat we now face. it's the reason why in america there was a time in many communities where nobody locked their doors. now everybody locks their doors. it's because we love the people inside of our home. not because we hate the people outside of our home. and so today in the process by which you accept people into the united states is going to have to be different. we know for a fact that isis, for example, has captured key places in syria where passports are produced. you see open source reporting that isis has the capability of basically creating legitimate syrian passports, except the picture and name is not exactly who is says it is. this is a real threat for america. if we accepted 10,000 syrian refugees tomorrow and 9,999 of them were good people and one was an isis killer, we have a problem. we have to be 100% right given the threat we face.
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it's not about a religious test or discrimination. it's just that we have to be 100% right. that means our vetting process must be stricter. it's almost impossible to vet people now from that part of the world. we don't have a database to rely on. you can't call up 1-800-syria and ask do you know who they are and why they are coming? it's harder to vet people from certain parts of the world. we'll always be open to refugees but in the 21st century if we don't know who you are and why you are coming 100% for sure, we'll not be able to allow you to come in because the threat is so significant and so real. [ applause ] >> thank you very much. senator rubio, this is jeff philips, an attorney. he likes you and donald trump. still has not made up his mind. >> dr. ben carson mentioned before you came out here that the gop may not have learned its lesson in 2012 regarding infighting, especially in the primary.
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this primary has been as contentious as any i've seen in the 45 years i've been watching politics. the question is this. there's going to be a lot of healing that's going to have to be a lot of bridge building after this primary, no matter who wins it. and i would like to know what you would do and what you have done in the past to show that you have the ability not only to unify the republican party but unify the american people well enough to win the general election? >> that's a great question. we need to remember that in this country we're blessed that we have in this country, we solve through elections what's other countries solve through civil wars. the worst thing that happens to someone in the political process is you lose an election. they say nasty things about you and run a bad ad about you. in other countries if you lose an election, you go to jail or into exile. we're blessed to be living in a republic where we have strong disagreements about the future
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of our country but they are settled at the ballot box. not the tip of a gun or spear. but you're right. if we want to win an election, we're going to have to come together. i believe i already provide that. there's a reason why virtually every candidate in this field has attacked me. i run a campaign i believe appeals to the prod sector of the republican electorate. they don't all agree with me on every issue. we basically campaign to every voter in the republican coalition. my promise to you if i'm the nominee, i'm not just going to unify the republican party. i'm going to grow it. we're going to take our message to people who haven't voted for republicans in a long time. they haven't voted for us because the left and democrats have said the republican party is the party of the rich people and the democrats are the party of the working people. that's one of the biggest lies in american politics. the democratic party is led by a devout avowed democratic socialist. has become a far left party. and they are the party of big government. big government hurts people that are trying to make it. because the bigger the
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government, the more the people that influence government win at the expense of everybody else. look at dodd/frank. the big banks are bigger than ever. the regional banks and community banks are getting wiped out. we're going to take our message to people living paycheck to paycheck. you know why i can take that message to them? i grew up paycheck to paycheck. my wife and i have lived paycheck to paycheck. i've written a check on wednesday knowing the money doesn't get there until friday, so i date it on saturday. i know what that feels like. we'll take our message to young americans struggling under thousands of dollars of student loan debt. we're going to be the party that makes it easier for a single mom to go back to school and get a degree that allows her to find a better paying job. we'll take our message to parents raising children in the 21st century. we're raising four children right now and know how hard it is to instill the values they teach in our church instead of the values the culture tries to ram down our throats.
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my goal is not just to unify the party but to grow it. that doesn't mean everyone is going to agree with me on everything. but i'm going to be a president for all americans. even those that don't vote for me, i'm going to cut their taxes, too. i'm going to be a president for all americans. an american president has to love the american people, even those that don't love you back, and that's what i intend to do. [ applause ] >> one of the things that ted cruz said earlier today, he called you, that you are behaving like donald trump with a smile. i want you to be able to respond. >> donald trump smiles. i've seen him smile. i don't know. this back and forth is silly. if someone says something about me that isn't true, i'm going to correct the record. ultimately, it's not about me or ted or donald. it's about what is this country going to look like when my 15-year-old daughter graduates from college. what is it going to look like when he buys her first home or tries to start her first business.
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what about when my 8-year-old son does the same? 2016 is a turning point. i believe we only have two ways forward. we are either going to be the first americans that leave their children worse off than themselves or we'll be the authors of a new american century, the greatest era in our history. that's a dramatic choice. i believe 2016 is about that. when the stakes are that high, that's what i'm going to spend 99% of my time talking about. >> when did you know that your wife jeannette was the woman for you? >> well, i'd like to think she liked me first, but i liked her. >> how did you meet? >> i was playing sand volleyball at a park in west miami florida and saw this really cute girl sitting there. i asked questions about her. i didn't get to know her until my college roommate was dating her best friend and introduced us. it took her a little while to convince her i was the right person. we were dating for seven years. got married in 1998. one of the most blessed things that ever happened to me.
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i'm blessed to have not just a godly and wonderful wife and partner in life but blessed by four incredible children. i tell people all the time that's an extraordinary blessing. that i have so much peace about no matter what happens. i'm running for president. i'd love to be your president but my kids are going to love me no matters what happens and so is my wife. i'm blessed by that. >> if you are elected president, would you still coach your son in football? >> i would like to. i'll have to talk to the secret service about it. the thing about sports. yes, would you love your children to be successful? yes, in whatever they do. sports has been an incredible teacher of life lessons. i was disappointed by what happened in new hampshire. and the lessons i applied to that disappointment came from sports. i used to play defensive back. i got beat from time to time on a pass play. you're going to if you are a corner back. you have to put that behind you because you have another play something up. you have to make up for it on the next play. i learned that lesson from athletics. for me, sports has been a way to
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instill life lessons in my children, particularly how to deal with failure, disappointment and how to work alongside other people to achieve a goal. >> with all we've learned about concussions, do you worry about your child? >> well, we try to make it as safe as we possibly can. football has inherent danger. so does competitive stunt cheerleading. my daughter used to do that. so does driving a car back and forth to work. so there's inherent risk in a lot of activity. i ultimately think football is an incredible sport. it teaches lessons, life lessons that i think are valuable. you can make the game safer. you can never make it entirely safe. and so you do spend a lot of time coaching kids how to properly tackle, not use your head. very different from when i was growing up and they taught you to use your head. and the democrats say that explains a lot about marco rubio. that's not true. my point is it's a sport that brings inherent danger, but so does life. we try to make it as safe as possible. >> you mentioned you're color blind which i hadn't realized. and you should have seen your
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clothes before your wife started picking them out. >> we're sticking with reds and blues and grays and blues. i have trouble distinguishing between black and purple, it's a mess. >> did you always have that? >> i didn't know until people started telling me, that's a nice green shirt. i'm like, the blue one i have on? it's green. >> the other thing is you like edm. >> i do. >> electronic dance music. >> yes. maybe people thought it was something else. >> you ever been to a rave? >> no, i've never been to a rave. >> i don't know. >> this is the republican primary, anderson. >> you like edm. that's what they do. >> i listen to it. i think i'm a little too old to be going to a rave. >> maybe back in the day. >> i have the boots for it. i don't know if you saw that on tv. i grew up listening to '90s hip hop music, especially the west coast stuff. in the last years what's happened with edm, you have
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these electronic -- these disc jockeys, deejays overlaying it with country music and all sorts of things. the lyrics are clean, the beats of music are fun. it's a lot of fun. >> do your kids like it, too? >> the words are clean. sometimes they have no words. it's perfect. they don't have to worry about the lyrics. >> senator rubio, thank you for your time. appreciate it. thank you, senator rubio for taking part. coming up next, iowa caucus winner republican senator ted cruz. we'll be right back.
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[ applause ] we're here at the old historic cigar warehouse in greenville, south carolina. republican candidates taking questions from voters. right now, please welcome iowa caucus winner senator ted cruz of texas. [ applause ]
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have a seat. so you obviously won in iowa. you've had a very good day today. there's a new poll saying you're in the lead on a national race. how does it feel? >> it feels fantastic. what we're really seeing, we're seeing that old reagan coalition come together. it was interesting, anderson, in iowa, all the pundits in iowa said we didn't have a prayer. every person on television was saying, donald trump was going to win, donald trump was going to win. then we saw record shattering turnouts. what was so encouraging is the folks that came together, it was that old reagan coalition, so we won among conservatives and evangelicals. we won among reagan democrats and young people. that's the coalition that it's going to take i think to win the nomination but also the general election. we ended up, our campaign earned more votes than any campaign in
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the history of the iowa republican caucuses. it was a testment to the grassroots. >> you got a cease and desist letter today from donald trump. i don't think i've ever heard of that actually happening in a race. one of many firsts that we've seen. what did you think when you got the letter? >> i laughed out loud. this letter really was -- look, i practiced law 20 years and this letter really pressed the bounds of the most frivolous and ridiculous letters i've ever seen. he was upset about an ad we're running on tv that talks about the vacancy on supreme court and we have issues that are in the balance. >> it uses an old interview from tim russert. >> it plays donald trump doing
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an interview where he says he's very, very pro choice, he supports partial birth abortion and he's pro choice in every respect. but most of the words in the ad are his own words on national television and his argument in the letter is, running his own words was defamation. >> he says you're misrepresenting his current position, that he's evolved. >> it is the most ridiculous theory i've ever heard, that telling the voters what donald trump's record is, is deceitful and lying. i invited mr. trump, i said please, donald, file this lawsuit. >> you want to depose him if >> that's part of it, in any defamation case, truth is a complete defense. so his lawyer said, saying he's pro-choice, which we don't say he's pro choice, donald says he's pro-choice in every respect. >> that's back in the late '90s.
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do you accept he's pro life? >> four days ago, donald trump explained how many wonderful things he thought planned parenthood does, four days ago. planned parenthood is the largest abortionist in this country. they are responsible for taking the lives of millions of unborn children. nobody who is actually pro life could stand up on national stage and sing the praises of planned parenthood as wonderful. i don't think they do anything wonderful, and i don't think we need to be sending federal taxpayer funds to an organization that, on video, has been implicated in what appears to be multiple federal felonies. [ applause ] >> donald trump, for accuracy sake, says he does not support abortion at all. but there are other things at planned parenthood. >> as i laid out -- so his claim is, if you actually show donald
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trump on national television in his own words, that he's going to file a lawsuit to prevent you from doing that. i pointed out, listen, we have four pieces of evidence. number one, his own words on national television. number two, what he said on the debate stage four days ago singing the praises of planned parenthood. number three, last year, not very long ago, when talking about supreme court nominees, donald said his sister -- his cyster is a court of appeals judge, who was put on the court by bill clinton. he said his sister would make a phenomenal supreme court justice. it's great to support your sister, but if you are suggesting someone for the supreme court, she is a radical pro-abortion judge. she struck down new jersey's ban on partial birth abortion as irrational. that's an extreme position and who he suggested as a supreme court justice last year. one of the things i laid out, listen, donald for the last four decades, has written checks to democrats over and over and over again, from jimmy carter to
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hillary clinton, to john kerry, chuck schumer, harry reid. >> he has a lot of friends, he says. >> so in 2006, for example, when the democrats took over congress, donald and his son gave about three times as much to the democrats as they did to the republicans. they helped fund, putting nancy pelosi and harry reid as speaker of the house and majority leader of the senate. they helped set the stage for obamacare and for anyone that cares about conservative judges, anderson, there is no universe in which i could write a check to chuck schumer or harry reid or hillary clinton or joe biden or jimmy carter and anyone who has done that, by definition, does not care about conservative justices because the people he supported fought tooth and nail to put liberals on the court.
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>> i want to ask you about other issues, and the candidates, the issue with apple. a judge has ordered apple to basically develop a new software to create sort of a back door that would allow law enforcement to unlock the phone of one of the san bernardino terrorists. should apple have to do that? >> i think they should. i think you have to balance civil liberals and law enforcement both. we can protect ourselves from terrorism and also protect our civil rights. >> so apple says this is a back door that basically endangers all of our cell phones. >> listen, i think apple has a serious argument. apple has the right side on the global, don't make us do this to every iphone on the market. but law enforcement has the better argument. this concerns the phone of one
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of the san bernardino hackers. and for law enforcement to get a judicial search order, that is consistent with the fourth amendment, to say apple open this phone, not anderson's phone, not everyone's here, open this phone. >> but apple says that the software would basically be available on everybody's phone. >> but they would not have to put it on everybody's phone. nobody has a right to defy a legal search warrant. and the way our process works -- look, banks all the time keep financial records. if you or i or a terrorist, a drug dealer, they can get your financial records. that is how our law enforcement system works. and the bill of rights prevents the government from seizing our information without evidence. but when you have a criminal or a terrorist -- we know the san bernardino terrorists were radical islamic terrorists. if the obama administration was not in this state of denial
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ignores it is radical terrorism, we should have done more to prevent that attack. but after that, we should do everything we could to make sure there is not a broader cell, so of course we should unlock their phone and find out who they're talking to, and that's a basic matter of keep thing country safe. >> we just learned president obama plans to visit cuba next month. but i wonder, as president, is that something you would do? >> it is not as long as the castros are in power. i was saddened to hear, i wasn't surprised. this was foreshadowed for a long time. president obama's foreign policy has consistently alienated and abandoned our friends. there has never been an administration more hostile to israel than the obama administration. his policy concerning cuba and
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iran, he's allowing billions to go to tie rants who hate america, who are state sponsors of terrorism, fighting against our nation. i think the president ought to instead be pushing for a free cuba. it's 90 miles off the coast of america and to go there and essentially act as an apologist. it was striking when the cuban officials came to washington, and he came to the press conference and wanted to ask the question and the john kerry state department said if she asked a question she would be forcibly removed. i remember being astonished. she said look, i expected that in cuba. that's what they do to free speech here. but the obama state department was happy to silence a dissent to protect the cubans from even asking questions. listen, my bad was imprisoned and tortured in cuba.
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and my aunt was imprisoned and tortured by castro. so my family has seen firsthand the evil and the oppression in cuba. we need to have a president that stands up to our enemies, that -- if you look at cuba when the soviet union collapsed, they lost a major source of money. but then venezuela stepped in and cuba had a corrupt bargain where they would send soldiers to venezuela that they would use to oppress the citizens there and in exchange venezuela would send money. but now oil prices are tanking and cuba was again on the ropes. the castros were again on the rope and just like with iran, the obama administration steps in with a lifeline. one of the things, anderson, i'm very concerned about is that obama is emptying guantanamo.
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he's releasing terrorists that our soldiers bled and died to capture. and the next president is going to have to send soldiers out to capture them again or kill them when they return to waging jihad. and i fear that by the end of this year president obama plans to give the guantanamo navy base back to cuba, which would be undermining u.s. national security profoundly, i hope he does not do that. but it is consistent with his pattern over the past seven years. it is a risk. >> would he keep them there indefinitely? >> if they are terrorists who are waging jihad there, they should be detained in guantanamo. we could have military tribunals. but the bill of rights doesn't apply to foreigners who are waging war against america, it plies to americans. the people in guantanamo at this point, it's down to the worst of the worst. a really alarming percentage of
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the people released from guantanamo return immediately to waging jihad and rush immediately to going back to trying to murder americans. and part of the consequence of obama is that he engages in this politically correct denial, where he and bernie sanders and hillary clinton wouldn't even say the words radical islamists. they don't acknowledge what they're fighting. it's part of the reason why we are so vulnerable because we don't have a commander-in-chief who is fighting the enemy and defeating the enemy. >> probably the toughest question of the night for you, which side are you on, clemson or south carolina? >> on this, i'm going to waffle and say i love them both. >> all right, good answer. [ applause ] i want you to meet donna, the president of upstate republican women and is still undecided. >> as our governor would say, it's a great day in south carolina. >> absolutely.
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>> senator, realizing that a close husband and wife relationship, a wife has earned a great deal of respect from her husband, and is thus a trusted adviser and confidant except for special secret matters. in these issues, whether in america or abroad, what issues do you think your wife would be significantly interested in, and possibly support their cause? >> well, donna thank you for that question, and thank you very much for your leadership. you know, i have been blessed in many regards but in no way greater than marrying the love of my life, heidi cruz. she is an extraordinary woman, the daughter of christian missionaries. so heidi as a little girl lived in africa and kenya, and her brother is a missionary in haiti right now. i met heidi on january 2nd of
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2000, we were both working on the george bush campaign. and we started to date three days later. it was love at first side. i was smitten by her, she is beautiful, brilliant. an unbelievable businesswoman. but she is also the most loving mom and wife. we are best friends in a very real sense, on the phone two or three or four or five times a day. we call each other on everything. we cooperate on everything. she is out on the trail. i cannot tell you how many people as i traveled around, when i got elected to senate said listen, ted, you're fine, but we love heidi so we're voting for you for heidi. i said well, i'm thrilled and i'll take it. she has a real heart for economic development. you know when you have seen as a little girl poverty, poverty in africa. when you have seen suffering, you know, heidi and i traveled down to nicaragua on a mission
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trip to drill a water well in an impoverished village. when you see people hurting, you need policies to help people. heidi has a real heart here in america for helping people lift out of poverty, empowering people to achieve the american dream. you know, an important part of that is also educational options and school choice. i think school choice is the civil rights issue of the 21st century. i think every child in america deserves access to a quality education. so heidi and i in this campaign, we are in a full and total partnership. she's on the campaign trail, i'm on the campaign trail, my dad is, our little girl is sometimes on the campaign trail. but i think she will be involved in a lot of things if we win. but i think she has a real passion where she will focus a lot of energy is economic empowerment, especially women,
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especially hispanics and african-americans, helping them achieve the american dream by understanding the principles of business. starting a business, expanding and achieving greater opportunity. [ applause ] >> i don't want to embarrass you at all but your wife mentioned to cnn a while back, but occasionally when you call her at home you sing musicals, is that true? >> well, embarrassingly enough, yes. i am a painfully horrible singer. >> is this punishment? >> i'm hoping it is sort of sincere and endearing. >> what is your favorite musical? >> i actually don't sing musicals. i will sing things like oh, my darling, oh, my darling, oh, my darling, heidi tine. which is really corny. i used to do it and put it on
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speakerphone in her office and embarrass her. or ♪ i just called to say i love you, i just called to say i care ♪ i can't sing to save my life. >> i want you to meet bobby cox, a former ranger, leaning towards governor bush but still undecided. >> thank you. i attended the citadel in south carolina. and during my senior year, the actual 9/11 attacks occurred. upon graduation, i went into the army and deployed four times to iraq. and so during that time we were in iraq we really felt like we were putting the iraqi government on a stable ground. but fast forward a couple of years later when the actual cities that we had actually fought to protect with so much effort and blood were actually taken by isis. there was frustration where a lot of my men thought their time
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had been squandered overseas by really the u.s. lack of political will to see victory. as commander-in-chief, what would you do to make sure the service members and their families and their time of sacrifice are not wasted? >> well, bobby, thank you for your sacrifice and thank you for defending this nation. [ applause ] and your question is incredibly important. you know, as i travel to south carolina i meet every day active duty military. i meet everyday veterans who are so unhappy with the direction we're going right now. for seven years we have had a commander-in-chief who doesn't believe in the mission of the military. who doesn't stand by them and has weakened and degraded the military in a way that it's undermined readiness and far less able to defend ourselves. yesterday here in south carolina i rolled out a comprehensive plan to rebuild the military, to
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restore the strength that we need to defend ourselves. and if you think about the last time our military was badly weakened, it was 1980. it was following the jimmy carter administration, another weak, democratic president who undermined the military. and when reagan came in, what he did is he started with tax reform and regulatory reform. he lifted the burdens on small business. it produced increddic economic growth. that provided trillions in new federal revenue. he invested that in rebuilding the military. and by doing so, he bankrupted the soviet union and ended the cold war. in 2017, we need a president who does the exact same thing with regard to radical terrorism. that is what i plan to do. starts the tax reform and unleashes the american economy and use the economic growth to rebuild the military. so for example as you know, president obama proposed reducing the regular army to
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450,000, i think it's far below what is needed to keep the country safe. i intend to increase it to a minimum of 520,000 soldiers. the air force has been reduced down to about 4,000 planes. we need to increase that to a minimum of 6,000 planes so that we can project power and use our air power superiority. the navy, we have 272 ships. the least we have had since 1917, literally a century ago was the last time we had a navy with this few ships. we need at least 350 ships. and an overall force level of 1.4 million troops at a minimum. in addition to that we need to dramatically expand, missile defense, as we see missile threats and rogue nations we ed