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  CNN Special Program  CNN  March 10, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am PST

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us with the smallest army since the end of world war ii and the smallest navy in a century and the smallest air force we've ever had. we're going to rebuild that military and that military will rebuild them. and if we capture them alive, they will go to guantanamo bay, cuba. and find out everything we know and do so legally. >> senator cruz, you talked about changing the rules of engagement of battle against isis. would that include targeting the families of suspected terrorists? >> no, of course not, we've never targeted innocent civilians and we're not going to start now. listen, jake, i understand. people are scared. for seven years we faced terrorist attacks, and president obama lectures americans on islamophobia. that is maddening. the answer is not to yell china bad, muslims bad. you have to understand the nature of the threats we're facing and how you deal with them.
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and yes, it is true there are millions of radical islamic terrorists who seek to kill us. we need a president commander in chief focused on fighting them. frankly one concern i have with donald is although his language is quite incendiary, when you look at his substantive policies on iran, he has said he would not rip up this iranian nuclear deal. i think that's a mistake. the ayatollah khamenei wants nuclear weapons to murder us. another example, dealing with islamic radical terrorism. on israel, donald has said he wants to be neutral between israel and the palestinians. as president i will not be neutral. and let me say this week, a texan, taylor force, he was an eagle scout, an army veteran, he was murdered by a palestinian terrorist this week in israel. and i don't think we need a commander in chief who is neutral between the palestinian terrorists and one of our strongest allies in the world, the nation of israel.
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>> senator cruz. mr. trump, we're going to come to you in a second. but i want to go to hugh hewitt who has questions on this subject. >> you said you would want to be, quote, sort of a neutral guy. he did mention taylor force, he was a west point graduate, a war hero, a vanderbilt graduate studio, killed in a palestinian terror attack near tel aviv, many others were killed. the israeli government says the palestinian authority is inciting this. do you still want to stay neutral when the palestinian authority is inciting these attacks. >> first of all, there's nobody on this stage that's more pro israel than i am. there's nobody. i am pro israel. i was the grand marshall, not so long ago, of the israeli day parade down 5th avenue. i've made massive contributions to israel. i have a lot of -- i have tremendous love for israel.
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i happen to have a son-in-law and a daughter that are jewish, okay, and two grandchildren that are jewish. but i will tell you, i think if we're going to ever negotiate a peace settlement, which every israeli wants, and i've spoken to the toughest and the sharpest, they all want peace, i think it would be much more helpful -- i'm a negotiator. if i go in, i'll say i'm pro israel. and i've told that to everybody and anybody that would listen. but i would like to at least have the other side think i'm somewhat neutral as to them so that we can maybe get a deal done. maybe we can get a deal. i think it's probably the toughest negotiation of all time. but maybe we can get a deal done. and, by the way, just so you understand, as far as iran, i would have never made that deal. i think it's maybe the world worst deal i've ever seen. i think it's the worst dealive ever seen negotiated. i will be so tough on them and ultimately that deal will be broken unless they behave better than they've ever behaved in their lives, which is probably unlikely. that deal will be broken. >> senator rubio.
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>> we need a president that understands the national security interests of this country. the reason we are friends and allies with israel is they are a liberal democratic country that share our values. they're our strongest ally in the region. we get billions and intelligence resources, billions in military resources. and the palestinian authority that donald along with hillary clinton and barack obama say they want to treat neutrally, the same as israel, the palestinian authority is in a unity government with hamas, a terrorist organization. they pay the families of these terrorists who murder people. this is exactly the morril relativism barack obama has. and the answer is not to scream all muslims bad. let me give you an example of a muslim we ought to be standing with, president al sisi of egypt. he is hunting them down and stopping them. our focus ought to be on keeping
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this country safe. >> you've seen the speeches of the palestinian authority president talking about how glorious this is that they're doing these sorts of things. let me go back for a moment. the policy donald has outlined, i don't know if he realizes is an anti-israeli policy. maybe that's not your intent but here's why it is an anti-israeli policy. there is no peace deal possible with the palestinians at this moment. there just isn't. because there's no one to negotiate with. the palestinian authority is not interested in a serious deal and they are now in union with hamas, an organization whose specific purpose is the destruction of the jewish state. every time that israel has turned over territory of any be it gaza or now judea in assume mayoria, it is used as a launching pad to attack israel. and that's what will happen again. these groups are not interested in a deal with israel. what they are interested in is ultimately removing the jewish state and occupying its entire territory. so maybe in 30 years the conditions will exist, but they do not exist now.
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and to have a president forcing the israelis to the table is harmful to israel and emboldens israel's enemies. >> thank you. >> if i become president of the united states, one of the things that will be an absolute priority is number one, protection of israel but also seeing if a deal can be made, the toughest deal, the toughest negotiation there probably is of any kind, no matter where you look, no matter how hard you look. but i would like to give it a shot. very, very pro israel. nobody more pro israel. but i would love to give it a shot. i have to tell you this year, i have friends, israeli, nonisraelis, people from new york city who happen to be jewish and love israel. every -- and some are very tough people. every single one of them, they know it's tough, but every single one of them wants to see if we could ever have peace in israel. some believe it possible. it may not be, in which case we'll find out but it would be a priority if i become president
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to see. >> do you agree that the palestinian authority is inciting this violence? >> no question. they were saying that the israelis intended to go to the dome of the rock. when you think about this, thank goodness we work with the israelis to give them the iron dome. you know, where they can protect themselves against all the missiles that were flying in. can you imagine living in miami here and having people shooting missiles in? secondly, there was just an tharl i know you're familiar with where the israelis are learning to train underground in combat because the palestinians now, hamas in particular, is digging these tunnels trying to get under israel. they're coming at them from above. they're trying to come at them underground. i have to tell you this. i don't believe there is any long-term permanent peace solution. think pursuing that is a wrong thing to do. i think every day that we can have stability in that region by supporting the israelis and making sure they have the
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weapons and the security they need with our 100% backing is the way to proceed in the middle east in regard to israel. >> thank you. senator cruz? i want to stay in the region. just this week there was a central command general lloyd austin essentially said it's going to take a lot more troops on the ground to fix -- to end the isis threat in syria and iraq. from the beginning of this campaign, you have said you will follow the judgment of military commanders and the pentagon. so here is a commander saying we need a lot more troops on the ground. will you follow that advice and inject americans again into what is in essence is metastasizing sunni/shia civil war? >> we need to do whatever we need to do to defeat isis. that needs to be driven not by politicians, but by military expertise and judgment. right now we're not using a fraction of the tools we have, we're not using our overwhelming air power. we're not arming the kurds. those need to be the first steps. we need to put whatever ground
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power is needed to carry it out. but, you know, a question that actually jake asked, and i'm glad to come back to it now is rules of engagement. we have right now our troops engaged in combat. but president obama has rules of engagement that are so strict that their arms are tied behind their back. they're not able to fight. they're not able to defend themselves. they're not able to kill the enemy. i got to tell you, hugh, i think that is wrong. it is immoral. i give my word to every soldier, sailor, airman and marine, every wife, husband, son and daughter, every mother and father that will end in january 2017. >> governor kasich, if it takes 20,000 or 30,000, if the pentagon says that's what needs to be done, will you follow their advice? >> hugh, i said all along and laid out my foreign policy, i'm going to remind everybody that 55% of the foreign policy experts in this country said i was the best to be commander in chief. i spent 18 years on the defense committee, armed services. and then i was in the pentagon with donald rumsfeld after 9/11,
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in and out for a couple of years. we absolutely have to win this with a coalition. arabs have to be with us, the europeans have to understand that this threat is closer to them than it is as close as it is to us. in addition to that, you have to be in the air and you have to be on the ground. and you bring all the force you need. it got to be shock and awe in the military speak. then once it gets done, and we will wipe them out, once it gets done, it settles down, we come home and let the regional powers redraw the map if that's what it takes. >> mr. trump, more troops? >> we really is no choice. we have to knock out isis. we have to knock the hell out of them, get rid of it and then come back and rebuild our country, which is falling apart. >> how many? >> i would listen to the generals. but i'm hearing 20,000 to 30,000. we have to knock them out fast. look, we're not allowed to fight. we can't fight. we're not knocking out the oil because they don't want to create environmental pollution up in the air. these are things that nobody even believes. they think we're kidding.
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they didn't want to knock out the oil because of what it going to do to the carbon footprint. we don't fight like we used to fight. we used to fight to win. now we fight for no reason whatsoever. we don't even know what we're doing. so the answer is we have to knock them out, we have to knock them out fast and get back home and we have to rebuild our country, which is falling apart. >> thank you, mr. trump. let's turn from current conflicts to those who have served in conflicts. senator rubio, according to a v.a. study, of the 22 veterans who commit suicide every day, 17 of them have no connection to the v.a. the v.a. believes this lack of connection is one of the reasons for this tragically high suicide rate. what specifically would you do as president to make sure that veterans in crisis are able to get the help they need? i first, let me say one out of four calls to our office is about a veteran here in florida that is struggling with the v.a.
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my brother is a veteran and he is struggling with the v.a. we heard a horrible story, a headline in the "usa today" and it says calls to the v.a. suicide hotline went to voice mail. about a few days ago we found out one of the veterans who left a voice mail committed suicide and they happened to call him back the day after he died. people need to be held accountable for this. one of the things i'm proudest of is in my time in the u.s. senate working with jeff miller here from florida in a bipartisan way, and i'll give him credit, bernie sanders was a part of this, we passed the v.a. accountability bill. what it does is it created now a law that gives the v.a. secretary, because of the law i passed, it gives the v.a. secretary the power to fire people that aren't doing a good job. senior executives should be held accountable if the v.a. outreach isn't working. the problem is no one is being held accountable. even though we passed that law, no one has been fired for no outreach, no one has been fired for calls going to the voice mail, no one has been disciplined, no one has been demoted. when i am president, if you work at the v.a. and you are not doing your job, you will be fired from the v.a. >> governor kasich?
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>> the veterans affairs department is one of the biggest line items in the domestic budget as a part of its attempts to cut costs, the republican controlled house of representatives voted to try to reduce spending in the post-9/11 gi bill. should veteran benefits be part of the attempts to reduce the deficit? >> i haven't seen the provisions of that bill, jake. my initial instincts are no. let me say about the v.a. when a veteran comes homing, they ought to have access to health care wherever they want to go at any time. number one. number two, the veteran's administration needs to be restructured. downsized and spread out. it needs to be so responsive to the need of the veterans. secondly, the pentagon need to share the information of returning veterans, with the operations in the states and with the job people in the states so is that when a veteran
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comes home, they can be linked with a job. and when that happens, that means that every veteran will get work because they're our golden employees. no veteran out to be without health care, no veteran ought to be homeless, and no veteran ought to be unemployed in the united states of america. >> thank you, governor kasich. let's turn to another issue of real importance here in florida. just over a week from now president obama will visit cuba, the first time in 88 years a sitting u.s. president will set foot in cuba. two of you on this stage have parents that were born in cuba and moved to the united states. let's go back to my colleague dana bash. >> senator rubio, donald trump agrees with president obama in his decision to reengage diplomatically in cuba. the majority of americans seem to agree with that as well. so why are president obama, donald trump, and the majority of americans wrong? >> i would love a relationship between cuba and the united states to change. but it would require cuba to change, at least its government. today it has not. the fact of the matter is after these changes were made, there are now millions and hundreds of millions of dollars that will flow to the castro regime.
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it will now allow them to become set permanent and in stone. they will now be able to carry out a transition where the military continues to run the country there. they'll put up a puppet figure forward to run as president, and nothing changes for the cuban people. there has not been a single democratic opening, not a single change on the island in human rights. in fact, things are worse before this hoping. the only thing that has changed as a result of this opening is now the cuban government has more sources of money from which to build out their repressive apparatus and maintain themselves there permanently. and we ask nothing in return. compare that to the changes that were required in burma. and by no means is burma is perfect country. but at least when there was a democratic opening to burma, they were required to make dip openings. when there was a diplomatic opening, it required a democratic opening. it's harboring fugitives of american justice, including
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people stealing our medicare money and moving back to cuba, all in exchange for nothing. >> mr. trump, you said the concept of opening cuba is fine. you said the concept of opening cuba is fine. why do you agree with president obama and disagree with what senator rubio just said? >> i don't agree with president obama. i think i'm somewhere in the middle. what i want is a much deal to be made. right now cuba is making -- as usual with our country, we don't have people making good deals, we don't have our right people negotiating. we have people that don't have a clue. i heard recently that the threat was made that they want reparations for years of abuse by the united states. and nobody's talking about it and they'll end up signing a deal and then we'll get sued for $400 billion or $1 trillion. all of that stuff has to be agreed to now. we don't want to get sued after the deal is made. i don't agree with president obama. i do agree something should take place.
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after 50 years, it enough time, folks. but we have to make a good deal and get rid of all the litigation that's going to happen. this was just a little story but it was a big story to me because i said here we go, we make a deal and then get sued for a tremendous amount of money for reparations. so i want to do something, but it's got to be done intelligently. we have to make a good deal. >> senator, i know you want to get in. just to be clear, senator rub w you want to make a good deal? mr. trump, are you saying you would continue diplomatic relations or reverse them? >> i would want to make a good deal, a strong, solid, good deal. right now everything is in cuba's favor. every single aspect of this deal is in cuba's favor. it the same as the iran deal. all we do is keep giving. we give and give and give. >> mr. trump, there is an embassy that you have to decide whether it would be open or whether you would close it. which would it be in havana? >> i would probably have the embassy closed until a really good deal was made and struck by
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the united states. >> first of all, the embassy, is the former consulate. it's the same building. so it can go back to being called the consulate. we don't have to close it that way. secondly, i don't know where cuba is going to sue us. but if they sue us in a court in miami, they're going to lose. third, on the issue of a good deal, i know what the good deal. i'll tell you what the good deal is already codified. here is a good deal. cuba has free elections, cuba stops putting people in jail for speaking out. cuba has freedom of the press. cuba kicks out stops helping north korea evade u.n. sanctions. cuba takes all the fugitives of american justice including that cop killer from new jersey and send her back to the united states and jail where she belongs. you know what? then we can have a relationship with cuba. that's a good deal. >> thank you, senator rubio.
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>> senator cruz, if you become president, would you reverse course and once again break diplomatic relations with cuba? >> yes, i would. you know, i think this engines exchange actually highlights a real choice for republican primary voters. when it comes to foreign policy, do you want to continue on the same basic trajectory as the last seven years as the obama foreign policy? when it comes to these deals, cuba and iran, they were negotiated by hillary clinton and john kerry. there's a real difference between us. donald supported hillary clinton and john kerry. and what he said right now is that he agrees in principle with what they're doing. the only thing he thinks is at that they should negotiate a little bit better deals, they should be more effective. i have a fundamental disagreement and i think most republicans and most americans do, that we shouldn't be allowing billions of dollars to go to nations that hate us to go to cuba, to go to iran and to let them use those billions of
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dollars to try to murder us. >> thank you, senator cruz. mr. trump? >> well, if ted was listening, he would have heard me say something very similar. i said we would not do the deal unless it was going to be a very good deal for us. and i think i said it loud, and i think i said it very clear. i think after 50 years, i have many friends, i own many properties in miami, many, many. and i have many people that know and they feel exactly the way i do, make a deal but it's got to be a great deal for the united states, not a bad deal for the united states. as far as iran is concerned, i would have never made that deal. that is one of the worst deals ever, ever made by this country. it is a disaster. so for ted to say i agree with that deal, it's a staple in my speeches that may be the worst single deal i've ever seen negotiated. so don't try to put it on me like i love it. >> senator cruz, a response? >> i'll point out first of all
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it is a matter of public record that donald supported john kerry in 2004 over george w. bush. and he supported hillary clinton, gave her two checks in her presidential campaign in 2008. and indeed, once she was secretary of state, he described her as one of the greatest secretary of states in history. the point on the iran deal, his answer to everyone is if only someone smarter were in government, things would be better. no. we don't just need smarter people in government. we need leaders that are protecting american interests. and when it comes to iran, donald has said he would leave the agreement in place and try to renegotiate it, giving the ayatollah khamenei over $100 million. that reflects you do not understand the radical islamic terrorists that it is the ayatollah that wants to murder us. we need a commander in chief that understands our enemies and doesn't give them billions of dollars to threaten our safety and security. >> i was against the giving of the money at all cost.
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i said don't negotiate at all until you get the prisoners back. if the prisoners don't come back early three years ago, one of the longest negotiations i've ever seen, by the way, if they don't come back early, i was saying don't negotiate. they come back early. what you do is you take it back and you say either give us the prisoners or we doubling up the sanctions. what we should have done is doubled up the sanctions and made a much better deal. that deal is a disaster. ted, the money is largely gone because of incompetent and very, very poor negotiators, but that money, the $150 billion, is largely gone and already spent everywhere but the united states. >> thank you, mr. trump. let's refocus this back on cuba. governor kasich, a pair of entrepreneurs from alabama and north carolina have received approval to build the first u.s. factory in cuba making tractor for small farms. this is a direct result of president obama's policy in cuba. that we've been talking about. if you were elected would you encourage more u.s. companies
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like that to do business in cuba? >> no, i wouldn't. listen, i think the problem with the administration, if you talk to our friends around the world, our friends around the world, they say what is america doing? you don't support us, we can't figure out where you are, you won't arm the freedom fighters in ukraine, we let the russians trump up some excuse in the business of russian-speaking people. you had a red line in syria. you walked away from it. you refused to fund the syrian rebels, you undercut egypt and we ended up with the muslim brotherhood for while and we turn our back on netanyahu when he comes to congress to talk about his concerns of the iranian deal. look, i know in human nature sometimes there is a sense that you make better with your enemies than you do with your friends. you know what happens when you do that? you make a terrible mistake. you need to support your friends. you need to hold your enemies out here, and you need to negotiate tough deals. the fact is they need to understand who we are. the chinese understand. they don't own the south china sea. they have to stop hacking
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everything we have in this country or we'll take out their systems. we will arm the ukrainians so they have lethal defensive said. we will destroy isis and mr. putin, you better understand you're either with us or against us. we're not rattling a sword, you're not our enemy but we're not going to put up with this nonsense any longer. and a strong america is what the entire world is begging for. where has america gone is what many of our allies say around the world. when i'm president, they'll know exactly where we are because we're coming back. >> thank you, governor. while we're discussing issues of importance to floridians, i reached out to the republican mayor of miami, to find out what he wanted to hear from this morning. he told me, quote, climate change means rising ocean levels, which in south florida means flooding downtown and our neighborhoods. it's an everyday reality in our neighborhoods.
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will you as president acknowledge the scientific con senn us about climate change, and as president will, you pledge to do something about it? unquote. senator rubio, the miami mayor has endorsed you. will you honor his request for a pledge and acknowledge the scientific consensus of climate change and pledge to do something about it? >> sure the climate is changing and one of the reasons is because the climate has always been changing. there has never been a time when the climate has not changed. i think the fundamental question for a policy making is is the climate changing because of certainly we are doing and if so, is there a law you can pass to fix it? so on the issue of flooding in miami, it's caused by to things. number one, south florida is largely built on land that was once a swamp. and number two, because there is higher sea levels or whatever may be happening, we do need to deal with that through mitigation. i have long supported mitigation efforts. but as far as a law that we can pass in washington to change the weather, there's no such thing. on the contrary, there is laws they want us to pass, there are laws they want to us pass that would be devastating for our economy or these programs like the president put in with the clean power act or all these
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things he's forcing down our throat on the war on coal. let me tell you who is going to pay the price of that. americans are going to pay the price of that. the cost of doing that is going to be rammed down the throat of the american consumer, the single parent, the working family who are going to see increases in the cost of living, the businesses that are going to leave america. but it's nor expensive to do business here than anywhere else. you know what impact it would have on the environment? zero. because china and india will still be polluting at historic levels. so i am favor of a clean environment. my children live in south florida. my family is being raised here. i want to be a safe and clean place but these laws they're asking to pass will do nothing for the environment and will hurt and devastate our economy. >> so just to clarify, senator rubio, mayor rigolato, when he talks about scientific consensus of change, he is saying the
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scientific consensus is that man does contribute to climate change. when you talk to him because he's the mayor of miami and he endorsed you, you say he's wrong? >> i would say there's no law we could pass that would have an impact on that. if you took the gift list of all of these groups that are asking us to pass these laws and did every single one of them, there would be no change in our environment. sea level would still rise. all these things that are happening would continue to go on. for a lot of different reasons. one, because america is not a planet. it's a country. and number two, these other countries like india and china are more than making up in carbon emission for whatever we could possibly cut. the mayor is a great friend. but here is what he will immediately start hearing from. he will immediately start hearing from families in south florida who are barely making it by, and now their electric bill went up $20 or $30 a month because we just made it more expensive to generate power. >> thank you, senator. >> that cost will be passed on to working families. i am not going to destroy the u.s. economy for a law that will do nothing for our economy. >> governor kasich, what would
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you say to the mayor of miami? >> i do believe we contribute to climate change. but i don't think it has to be either you're for some environmental stringent rules or, you know, you're not going to have any jobs. the fact is you can have both. in our state, we reduced emissions by 30%. let me tell you also what we're trying to do. we want all the source of energy. we want to dig coal but clean it when we burn it. we believe in natural gas. we believe in nuclear power. you know what else i believe? i happen to be in solar energy, wind energy, efficiency. renewables matter. now, it doesn't mean because you pursue a policy of being sensitive to the environment because we don't know how much humans actually contribute, but it important we develop renewables, a battery technology can unleash an entirely different world. the fact is you can have a strong environmental policy at the same time that you have strong economic growth. they are not inconsistent with one another.
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>> senator cruz, i want to talk a little bit right now about how you gentlemen see the world. senator cruz, colin powell this week said the nasty tone of this presidential election is hurting image of the u.s. abroad, he said foreigners of the world looking at this are distressed. does it matter to you what the rest of the world thinks of the united states? >> of course it does. and we've seen for seven years a president that has made the presidency and has made sadly his administration a laughing stock in the world. this administration started with president obama sending back the bust of winston churchill to the united kingdom within the opening weeks. then he proceeded to go on a worldwide apology tour, apologizing for the united states of america. our friends and allies quickly learned america could not be counted on. i tell you, when i travel abroad and meet with heads of states and defense ministers and foreign ministers, they say over
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and over again, it is hard to be friends with america. we can't count on america. america doesn't stand with us. and that is a disgrace. but the good news is we've seen this before. we have seen a weak democrat being president undermine the military, weaken our readiness, weaken our respect in the world with jimmy carter. and in january 1981, ronald reagan came into office, and that can change overnight. it worth remembering. iran released our hostages the day ronald reagan was sworn into office. and america needs a president who stands with our friends and allies as i will do and who stands up and demonstrates strength to our enemies. that's why on day one i will rip to shreds this catastrophic iranian nuclear deal, because the ayatollah khamenei must never be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons.
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>> you have said positive things about putin as a leader and about china's massacre of pro-democracy protesters at tiananmen square. you said, quote, when the students poured into tiananmen square, the chinese government almost blew it. then they were vicious. they were horrible. but they put it down with strength that shows you the power of strength. >> that doesn't mean i was endorsing it. i said it was a strong, powerful government that put it down with strength. they kept down the riot. >> was a horrible thing. it doesn't mean at all i was endorsing it. as far as putin is concerned, i think putin has been a strong leader for russia. he's been a lot stronger than our leader, that i can tell you. for russia. that doesn't mean i'm endorsing putin. >> but the word "strong" obviously is a compliment. and many people would look at what the chinese leaders have done and what putin is doing as atrocities. >> i used to think merkel was a good leader and what she's doing is an atrocity.
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germany is a disaster right now. i used to think that strong doesn't mean good, absolutely. i can name many strong leaders, i could name many weak leaders. but he is a strong leader. i don't say that as a good way or bad way. i say it as a fact. >> governor kasich, when you were a member of congress, you were outspoken about the tiananmen square massacre. what do you think? >> i think that the chinese government butchered those kids and when that guy stood in front of -- that young man stood in front of that tank, we ought to build a statue of him over here when he faced down the chinese government. now, i will tell you i don't believe that we need to make china an enemy. they're a competitor. but i want to go back to three things they should do. we should have the heat on them to work in north korea to get rid of that guy and the things that he's doing, number one. number two, they need to realize they don't own the south china sea. i will compliment the administration for sending a -- carrier battle group into the
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south china sea. and, thirdly, when it comes to the issue of cyber attacks, we're going to have to beef up the cyber command. they need to understand if you attack us, we will defend our ourselves, everything, including our grid. but if you do it, we have the capability to take out your systems. the president has not given the cyber command that authority and i will. when it comes to trade, they can't manipulate their currency. that will not be anything that i would allow them to get away with. if i saw them doing it, i would take immediate action and make sure the american worker is protected. >> thank you, governor kasich. we're going to take another quick break. when we come back, we'll have more from the republican presidential debate from miami, florida. right after this. stay with us.
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welcome back to the cnn republican presidential debate
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in miami, florida. mr. trump, i want to start with you in in block. earlier today a man was arrested and charged with assault after sucker punching a protester at your rally in fayetteville, north carolina. this is hardly the first incident of violence breaking out at one of your rallies. today hillary clinton, your potential general election opponent clearly indicated see sees this as an issue for the campaign. she said "this kind of behavior is repugnant, we set the tones for our campaigns, we should encourage respect, not violence." do you believe you've done to create a tone where this kind of violence is encouraged? >> i hope not. i hope not. i will say this. we have 25,000, 30,000 people, you've seen it yourself. they come with tremendous love and passion for the country. you're mentioning one case, i haven't seen, i heard about it, which i don't like. when they see what's going on in this country, they have anger that's unbelievable.
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they have anger. they love this country. they don't like seeing bad trade deals, higher taxes, they don't like seeing a loss of their jobs where our jobs have just been devastated. and i know -- i mean, i see it. there is some anger. there's also great love for the country. it's a beautiful thing in many respects. but i certainly do not condone that at all, jake. >> some of your critics point to quotes you've made at these rallies, including february 23rd, i'd like to punch him in the face, referring to a protester. february 27th, in the good ol' days, they'd have knocked him out of seat so fast. >> knock the crap out of them. knock the hell. i promise you i will pay for the legal fees, i promise, i promise. >> we have some protesters who are bad dudes, they have done bad things. they are swinging, they are really dangerous and they get in there and start hitting people. we had a couple big, strong, powerful guys doing serious damage.
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not only the loudness. the loudness i don't mind. but doing serious damage. if they're going to be taken out, to be honest, we have to run something. and it's not me. it's usually the municipal government, the police because i don't have guards all over these stadiums. we fill up stadiums. it's usually the police and, by the way, speaking of the police, we should pay our respects to the police because they are taking tremendous abuse in this country and they do a phenomenal job. so we should truly give our police, they're incredible people, we should give them a great deal more respect than they receive. >> senator cruz, are you concerned at all that these kind of scenes potentially hurt the republican party for the general election? >> listen, i think for every one of us, we need to show respect to the people. we need to remember who it is we're working for. you know, we've seen for seven years a president who believes he's above the law, who behaves
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like an emperor, who it is all about him, and he forgot that he's working for the american people. let me ask. turn the camera around here. how many of y'all feel disrespected by washington? [ cheering and applause ] washington isn't listening to the people. that's the frustration that is boiling over. and we need to nominate and elect a president who remembers he works for the people. you know, at donald's rallies recently, he's taken to asking people in the crowd to raise their hand and pledge their support to him. i got to say to me i think that's exactly backwards. this is a job interview. we are here pledging our support to you, not the other way around. [ cheers and applause ] the only hand raising i'm interested in doing is on
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january 20, 2017 raising my hand with the left hand on the bible, pledging to the american people to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states. >> mr. trump, if you'd like to respond. >> it shows the total dishonesty of the press. we were having on a few occasions massive crowds. i'm saying who is going to vote on tuesday? the place goes crazy. then i say, hey, do me a favor. raise your right hand. do you swear you're going to vote for donald trump. everyone's laughing, we're all having a good time. that's why i have much bigger crowds than ted, because we have a good time at mine. but we're all having a good time and the next day on the "today" show and a couple of other places, not too many, because when you look at it, everyone is smiling, laughing, their arms are raised like this. they had still pictures of people and they tried to equate it to nazi germany.
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it is a disgrace. it was a total disgrace. and i've had reporters, people that you know, come up to me and said that -- what they did on the "today" show was a disgrace. >> governor kasich, do you worry about the scenes of violence at some of these rallies affecting the republican party's chances in november? >> i worry about rally violence period. elections are important but the unity of this country really matters. jake, here's what i think is happening. there are people out there who are worried about their jobs. they're worried somebody is going to come in and tell this many they're out of work and they're 54 years old and they don't know where they're going to get another job, a man and a woman. maybe they're worried about a trade deal, worried that their wages haven't gone up. they're worried that their kids went to college, and the promise was you went a college, you'll get a job and things will be great. they went to college, rang up debt and are still living in their parents' basement.
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seniors are worried about losing their social security. you can either prey on that and be negative about it or you tell people that these things can be fixed. if we're americans rather than republicans and democrats, we get together, we can solve all of these problems. we can provide financial security, we can drive wages up, get kids jobs with a more robust economy. and you know what? they want to help solve these probably less right where they live and i'll give them the power to do it. >> senator rubio? i know you want the say something. >> i do. a couple of points. the first is i'm concerned about violence in general in this society. the first people facing that violence are our law enforcement officers and they deserve our respect and our thanks for everything they do for us. on the issue of anger, yes, people are angry. of course they're angry. every institution in america has been failing us for the better part of 20 or 30 years. leadership is about using the anger. leadership is about using the anger to motive us, not to define us, but to motive us to take action. being here in miami is special. my grandfather lived with us most of his life.
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while i was growing up. and he would sit on the porch of our home and tell me all kinds of things and stories about history. my grandfather was born in 1899 before there were airplanes in the sky. one night in the summer of 1969, he watched a man set foot on the moon. you know what he said when he saw that? he said "americans can do anything." americans can do anything. there is no problem we cannot solve, and we can solve it if we come together in a serious way in this generation and embrace all of the principles that made us great. >> thank you, senator. the math suggests that it possible that not one of you will reach the magic number of 1,237 delegates before the republican convention, which would mean a contested convention. let's go back to hugh hewitt. >> thank you, jake. governor kasich, the math on the maps say you can only become the nominee if in fact there is a contested convention. if we arrive on the shores of lake erie, donald trump has the most delegates, why shouldn't the person with the most delegates, even if it's not a
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majority of delegates be the nominee? >> math doesn't tell the whole story in politics. the great thing about politics, the reason why we watch it is because what's true today is not necessarily true tomorrow so let's not get ahead of ourselves. secondly, look, when you went to school up there in salem, ohio, okay, if you got an 86, you got a b. because everybody else had an 84 didn't mean you got an a. so you just have to win enough delegates to be the nominee. and, frankly, i don't know if we're going to get a convention like that but if we do, i was at one in 1976 as a wee lad and supported ronald reagan and actually worked directly with him. he tried valiantly. he lost. gerald ford one. the party was united. gerald ford served the country great by pardoning richard nixon. he lost the election probably because of that, but he put america first, and we were healed as a party. so, look, you have to earn the delegates to be to be picked.
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we don't know what's going to happen. we still have about half the delegates to be selected. that's what's going to be a very interesting thing to see how it all turns out as we move forward over the next couple weeks. >> thank you, governor. mr. trump, if you arrive in cleveland with a plurality and the most but not a majority, is it legitimate from someone else to emerge from that convention the nominee, and if so would you support that person? >> i think what should happen, maybe getting back a little to your first question. first of all, i think i'm going to have the delegates, okay? i think. let's see what happens. let's see what happens. but if somebody doesn't have the delegates, and i guess there's two of us up here that can and there are two of us that cannot at this moment -- no, that's just -- by the way, that is not meant to be a criticism, that's just a mathematical fact, okay? if two of us get up there, i would say this -- if marco, if the governor, if ted had more votes than me in the form of delegates, i think whoever gets
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to that top position as opposed to solving that artificial number that was set by somebody, which is a very random number, i think that whoever gets the most delegates should win. that's what i think. >> senator cruz, if you overtake donald trump at the convention, what would you do to take his passionate supporters and keep them from bolting the convention and sabotaging the fall election? >> well, look, there are some folks in washington -- >> make me president. >> donald, you are welcome to be president of the smithsonian. you know, there are some in washington who are having fevered dreams of a broken convention. they're unhappy with how the people are voting and they want to parachute in their favorite washington candidate to be the nominee. i think that would be an absolute disaster. we need to respect the will of the voters. it's one of the reasons why in the course of this election -- listen, everyone up here has worked very, very hard but donald is right.
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there are only two of us that have a path to winning the nomination, donald and myself. at this point i have roughly 360 delegates, he has about 100 more than i have. we have at this point beaten donald in eight separate states all over the country, alaska, from kansas to texas, all over this country we have beaten him. and so for the people at home, if you're one of the 65, 70% of republicans who recognizes that if we nominate donald trump, hillary wins. that's why the media wants him to be the nominee so much. if you recognize that, then i want to invite you, if you've supported other candidates are come and join us. we are seeing candidates coming together and uniting. it's why carly fiorina endorsed me yesterday, why mike lee endorsed me today. i ask everyone to come together and stand together and beat hillary clinton in november.
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>> all right, thank you, senator. mr. trump, then to senator rubio. >> i listen and i watch ted on television when he speaks. he's always saying i'm the only one that beat donald in six contests. and i beat him. but i beat him in 13 contests. he never mentions that. let me just tell you another fact. and another little minor fact. i have about 1,600,000 votes during this primary season, more votes than ted. the other thing is i beat hillary and i will give you the list, i beat hillary in many of the polls that have been taken and each week i get better and better. and believe me, i haven't even started on her yet. >> senator rubio. >> let me tell you what this election is about for me and i get all the delegate math and debate. let me tell you what it's about or the me. on tuesday night i didn't do as well obviously as i wanted to and i was a little bit disappointed when i got home. and my wife told me a story that night, which is the reason why i can get up the next day and keep fighting. there's a gentleman here in south florida who just got out
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of surgery. his doctors told him he needs to be home resting. every day he sits outside of a polling centers and holds a sign that says "marco rubio." because for him, i symbolize all the sacrifices that his generation made so their children can have a better life than themselves. that gentleman has not given up on me, and i am not going give up on him. i am going to work tirelessly every single day, because this election is too important. what is at stake is the future of this country. and i believe, i believe that at the end of this process this nation will make the right choice. i've always believed that god has blessed america, that god's hand is upon this country and that its greatest days are yet to come. >> thank you, senator. let's turn back to stephen dinan of "the washington post." steven? >> mr. trump, one of your biggest selling points is you are largely self-funding your campaign. >> yes. >> and your opponents are controlled by their special interest donors. will you maintain your pledge not to take outside
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contributions throughout the general election? >> i have not made that decision yet. i will make a decision on that. but i have not made that decision yet. my decision is i would go through the entire primary season and i have turned down probably $275 million worth. i have many, many friends that come up all day long, $5 million, $10 million, i'm turning down money. i feel sort of foolish, to be honest with you. i don't know if i get any credit for it but i'm self-funding my campaign. other than very small donations where people are sending in $200, $15, $20, and we have some of that. but it's not a large amount. i'm self-funding my campaign. and the reason is that i've been in this business a long time. and i was on the other side until eight months ago. i was on the other side. i made massive contributions to politicians, both democrats and republicans. i was liked by everybody, which is an important thing. i will say this -- people control special interests, lobbyists, donors, they make
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large contributions to politicians and they have total control over those politicians. i don't want anybody to control me but the people right out there. and i'm going to do the right thing. >> senator cruz, the vast majority of republicans and voters agree with mr. trump. the candidates are beholden to people and groups who donate to their campaigns. do you deny those big donors do have influence? >> absolutely. and one of the things we're so frustrated about is the corruption. what i've called the washington cartel. it's career politicians in both parties that get in bed with the lobbyists and special interests. and listen, donald told you. for 40 years he has been sitting at that table, using his money to buy influence, supporting liberal democrats like hillary clinton and john kerry, but also supporting the republican establishment and funding their effort to crush the tea party. and now his argument is after four decades of being part of that influence buying, that
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after hillary clinton spending decades being part of that influence selling, that suddenly he will change. but the interesting point is tonight he hasn't pointed to a single special interest he's willing to take on. he didn't take on wall street when he supported the t.a.r.p. bailout in wall street. and my campaign was funded by $1.1 million contributions all over the country. $62 to that's who you have to be accountable to, the people. >> ted was giving to pacs. these superpacs are a disaster, folks, by the way. very corrupt. it's going to lead to lots of disasters. ted has super pacs and you have to look at the people giving to those super pacs. number one. it's very important to do that. there is total control of the candidates. i know it better than anybody that probably ever lived. i will tell you this, i know the system far better than anybody else and i know the system is broken. and i'm the one because i know it so well because i was on both sides of it, i was on the other
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side all my life and made large contributions. frankly, i know the system better than anyone else and i'm the only one up here that's going to be able to fix that system because that system is wrong. >> thank you. senator rubio, i want to come to you with a question at the last debate, you mocked mr. trump for being flexible. with so much gridlock in washington, how can you expect to lead the country and get things done if you aren't willing to show flexibility? >> you can be flexibility about ideas but you shouldn't be flexible about your principles. when it comes to ideas and working with people, i have a record of having done that. listen, on the issue of higher education, i'm the only one that continually talks about student loan debt, because i owed over $100,000 of student lone debt. i know this is a major issue. all my issues are bipartisan. the v.a. accountability i passed. the sanctions on hezbollah, i did it on a bipartisan basic.
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the girls count act that deals with human trafficking, we did that on a bipartisan basic. there are issues. when it comes to repealing and replaces obama care, that's not going to be bipartisan. when it comes to reducing the tax burdens on americans? that's not going to be bipartisan. when it comes to shrinking the size of the federal bureaucracy, that's probably not going to be bipartisan. there are issues we can work together on and we should, but there are fundamental issues about the proper role of government and on those issues, i will fight anyone who wants to expand government, raise taxes or weaken our military. >> mr. trump, i want to give you a chance to respond but specifically you talk about flexibility and one of the examples you gave is the height of the border fence. what are the other issues on which you're willing to show flexibility? >> it depends on what come up. you everyone in -- never know. it depends on what comes up. we have a great president, ronald reagan. we have tip o'neill, a great speaker. two very, very different men. they got along, had
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relationships and they got things done. nobody is complaining about the deals that ronald reagan made, and he made wit tip o'neill. we need to have people get together and work good deals out from our standpoint. and i'll tell you this, it can be done. we don't want to continue to watch people signing executive orders because that's not what the constitution and brilliant designers of this incredible document had in mind. we need people that can make deals and can work. right now in washington there's total, absolute gridlock. >> i want to go to governor kasich on this issues of flexibility, sir. >> my record speaks for itself. when i talk about tonight is not theory. these are things that i've done. i was there when we reformed the pentagon on a bipartisan basis to give control to the commanders in the field and force the services to work together. i was the chief architect along with senator domenici the last time we balanced the budget and first time we walked on the
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moon. i was there for welfare reform in warm and eliminated entitlement on welfare, i worked ohio and took ohio from a basket case, working on a bipartisan basis to reform many things, including the cleveland public schools, working with a democratic mayor. my problem isn't that people don't know this. they say, well, what does that mean? does that mean you're too easy? well, let me tell you. when we did the balanced budget, we cut the capital gains tax, we provided a family tax credit. we shrunk the government. in my state, the state of ohio has the smallest government in the state of ohio in 30 years. conservative principles will work. but show respect to the other side. one final thing. in regards to social security, we will not get that done alone. we will have to have some responsible democrats who will come in to fix the problem with social security. i know how to do it because i've done it and i'll do it again. >> thank you, governor. we have time for one last break. we'll be right back after this.
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