CNN Republican Presidential Debate CNNW December 15, 2015 10:04pm-12:25am PST
retired neurosurgeon, dr. ben carson. senator marco rubio of florida. former hewlett-packard ceo, carly fiorina. and ohio governor, john kasich. ladies and gentlemen, welcome the these republican candidates for president of the united states. this is the final republican debate before the election year begins. and we're taking a moment for
the photographs of the candidates together on this stage. now, everyone, please rise for the national anthem sung by ayla brown. ♪ o say, can you see by the dawn's early light ♪ ♪ what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? ♪ ♪ whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight ♪ ♪ o'er the ramparts we watched
>> candidates, please take your places while i explain the ground rules for tonight. i'll guide the discussion and i'll be joined in the questioning by hugh hewitt and dana bash. we also republicans and independents nationwide to share their questions for the candidates. we teamed up with facebook to send a campaign camper across the country over the past several weeks. thousands of people recorded their questions on video. millions more have weighed in on facebook. candidates, i'll try to make sure each of you gets your fair share of questions. you'll have 1:15 to answer, and thirty-seconds for follow ups
and rebuttals. we have times lights visible to the candidates to warn them when their time is up, and as the candidates requested, a bell will sound like this [ bell sounding ] >> we know you're eager to debate these important issues, so please wait until you're called on. these nine republicans are positioned on stage based on their ranking in the recent polls so let's begin right now. i'd like to invite each candidate to introduce himself or herself to our audience. you'll have one minute. first, to you, senator paul. >> the question is how do we keep america safe from terrorism? trump says we ought to close that internet thing. the question really is what does he mean by that? like they do in north korea? like they do in china. rubio says collect american's records all the time. the constitution says the
opposite. we defeat terrorism by showing them we don't fear them. if we ban religions or censor the internet, at this point the terrorists win. i think if we want to defeat terrorism, i think if we truly are sincere about defeating terrorism, we need to quit arming the allies of isis. if we want to defeat terrorism, the boots on the ground, the boots on the ground need to be arab boots on the ground. s a commander in chief, i will do whatever it takes to defend america, but in defending america, we cannot lose what america stands for. today is the bill of rights anniversary. i hope we'll remember that and cherish that on the fight in terrorism. >> thank you.
governor kasich. >> this last weekend a friend of one of my daughter's said do you like politics. my daughter said no, i don't. the reason i don't like it is because there's too much fighting, too much yelling. it's so loud, i don't like it. i turned to my friend and said, you know, she's really onto something, and when we think about our country and the big issues that we face in this country, creating jobs, making sure people can keep their jobs, the need for rising wages, whether our children, when they graduate from college can find a job, protecting the homeland, destroying isis, rebuilding defense, these are all the things that we need to focus on, but we'll never get there if we're divided. we'll never get there if republicans and democrats just fight with one another. frankly, we're republicans and they're democrats, but before all of that, we're americans. and i believe we need to unify
in so many ways to rebuild our country, to strengthen our country, to rebuild our defense, and for america to secure its place in the world for us, for our children, and for the next generation. thank you. >> america has been betrayed. think about just what's happened today. the second largest school district in america in los angeles, closed based on a threat. think about the effect that that's going to have on those children when they go back to school tomorrow wondering, filled with anxiety about whether they're really going to be safe. think about the mothers who will take those children tomorrow morning to the bus stop. wondering whether their children will arrive back on that bus
safe and sound. think about the fathers of los angeles who tomorrow will head off to work and wonder about the safety of their wives and their children. what is barack obama and hillary clinton done to this country that the most basic responsibility of an administration is to protect the safety and security of the american people. i will tell you this. i'm a former federal prosecutor or the. i've fought terrorists and won. when we get in the white house, we'll fight terrorists again and america will be safe. >> misfiorina. >> like all of you, i'm angry. i'm angry at what's happening to our nation. the citizens, it's time to take our country back. insults won't take it back. political rhetoric that promises a lot and delivers little won't take it back. all of our problems can be
solved, all of our wounds can be heeled by a tested leader what is willing to fight for the character of our nation. i have been tested. i have beaten breast cancer. i have buried a child. i started as a secretary. i fought my way to the top of corporate america while being called every b-word in the book. i fought my way into this election and onto this debate stage while all the political insiders said it couldn't be done. i've been told no all my life, and all my life i've refused to accept no as an answer. citizens, it is time to take our country back from the political class, from the media, it can be done. it must be done. join me, and we will get it done. >> governor bush. >> our freedom is under attack.
our economy is under water. the leading democrat is under investigation. and america is under the gun to lead the free world to protect our civilized way of life. serious times require strong leadership. that's what's at stake right now. regarding national security, we need to restore the defense cuts of barack obama, to destroy isis before it destroys us. regarding economic security, we need to make power and money away from washington d.c. and empower american families so that they can rise up again. look, america still is an exceptional country. we love to lead, and we love to win. and we do it when we take on any challenge and when we take on, we support our friends. as president, i will keep you and our country safe, secure, and free. thank you. >> senator rubio.
>> thank you, wolf. it's amazing to be back in las vegas. i spent six years as a child here growing up. i used to sit on our porch and listen to my grandfather tell stories. one of the things my grandfather instilled in me is that i was blessed because i was a citizen to the greatest country in the history of all mankind. but there have been people in american politics that wanted america to be more like the rest of the world. and in 20 0 8, one of them was elected as president. today is a disaster. today millions of americans struggle to live paycheck to paycheck and called bigots because they hold onto traditional values. this president destroyed our military. our allies no longer trust us, and our adversaries no longer -- that's why i'm going to ask you for your vote tonight. if you elect me president, we'll have a president that believes
america is the greatest country in the world and we'll have a president that acts like it. >> senator cruz. >> thank you, wolf. america is at war. our enemy is not violent extremism. it is not some unnamed force. it is radical islamic terrorists. we have a president who is unwilling to utter its name. the men and women on this stage, every one of us, is better prepared to keep this nation safe than is barack obama or hillary clinton. we need a president who understands the first obligation of the commander in chief is to keep america safe. if i am elected president, we will hunt down and kill the terrorists. we will destroy isis.
we will stop the terrorist attacks before they occur because we will not be prisoners to political correctness. rather, we'll speak the truth. border security is national security, and we will not be admitting jihadists as refugees. we will keep america safe. d >> dr. carson. >> please join me for a moment of silence for the san bernardino victims. thank you. you know, our country since its inception has been at war. every 15 or 20 years, but the war we're fighting now, against radical islamic jihadist is one we must win. our very existence is dependent
upon that. as a pediatric surgeon, i faced situations and had to come up with plans and execute plans frequently with other colleagues. right now the united states of america is the patient, and the patient is in critical condition and will not be purecured by political correctness or being timid. and i am asking the congress which keprepresents the people declare war on isis so we can excise the cancer and begin the healing process and bring peace, prosperity, and safety back to america. >> mr. trump. >> thank you. i began this journey six months ago. my total focus was on building up our military, building up our strength, building up our
borders, making sure that china, japan, mexico, both at the border and in trade, no longer takes advantage of our country. certainly would never have made that horrible, disgusting, absolutely incompetent deal with iran where they get money. they're a terrorist nation. i began it talking about other things, and those things are things i'm very good at and maybe that's why i'm center stage. people saw it. people liked it. people respected it. a month ago, things changed. radical, islamic, terrorism, came into effect, even more so than it has been in the past. people like what i say. people respect what i say, and we've opened up a very big discussion that needed to be opened up. thank you very much. >> thank you. since you last debated,
americans have witnessed terror attacks in paris and san bernardino. the fbi director says the country now faces the greatest terror threat since 9/11. you all have different approaches to keeping the country safe, and that will be the focus of tonight's debate. mr. trump, as you mentioned in your opening statement, part of your strategy is to focus in on america's borders. to keep the country safe, you say you want to temporarily ban nonamerican muslims from coming to the united states, ban refugees fleeing isis from coming here, deport 11 million people, and wall off america's southern border. is the best way to make america great again to isolate it from much of the rest of the world? >> we are not talking about isolation. we're talking about security. we're not talking about reasonable. we're talking about security. our country is out of control. people are pouring across the
southern border. i will build a wall. it'll be a great wall. people will not come in unless they come in legally. drugs will not pour through that wall. as far as other people, like in the migration where they're going, tens of thousands of people having cell phones with isis flags on them, i don't think so, wolf, they're not coming to this country, and if i'm president, and if obama has brought some to this country, they are leaving. they're going. they're gone. >> groench bush, you called trump unhinged when he proposed banning muslims from the united states. why is that unhinged? >> we have to destroy isis and the caliphate. that should be our issue. we need to have a no fly zone, safe zones there for refugees and to build a military force. we need to embed our forces, our
troops inside the iraqi military and arm directly the kurds, and all of that has to be done. how are we going to get muslims to become part of a coalition to destroy isis. this is not a serious proposal. in fact, it will push the muslim world, the arab world away from us at a time when we need to reengage with them to be able to create a strategy to destroy isis. donald is great at the one-liners, but he's a chaos candidate, and he'd be a chaos president. he would not be the commander in chief we need to keep our country safe. >> mr. trump? >> jeb doesn't really believe i'm unhinged. he said that very simply because he has failed in this campaign. it's been a total disaster.
nobody cares, and frankly, i'm the most solid person up here. i built a tremendous country. i want to make america great again. the policies that we've suffered under other presidents have been a disaster for our country. we want to make america great again, and jeb, in all fairness, he doesn't believe that. >> look, he mentioned me. i can talk. this is the problem. banning all muslims will make it harder for us to do exactly what we need to do, which is to destroy isis. we need a strategy. we need to get the lawyers off the back of the war fighterings. right now under president obama, we've created this standard that is so high that it's impossible to be successful in fighting isis. we need to engage with the arab world to make this happen. it is not a serious proposal to say that to the people that you're asking for their support, that they can't come to the country to engage in a dialogue with us? that's not a serious proposal. we need a serious leader to deal
with this, and i believe i'm that guy. >> senator rubio. you have said banning muslims is unconstitutional, but according to a poll, a majority of republicans support mr. trump's idea. why are they wrong? >> well, i understand why they feel that way. this president hasn't kept us safe. the problem is we had an attack in san bernardino and we were paying attention to the most important issue we've faced since 9/11 and then all the talk was about this proposal which isn't going to happen. this is what's important. we must deal with the threat of radical islamist, especially from isis. this is the most sophisticated terror group that's threatened the world or the united states. they're actively recruiting americans. the attacker in san bernardino was born and raised in this country. he was a health inspector. had a newborn child and left it behind to kill 14 people. this group is growing. it's not just a rock in syria.
they're a group in libya and beginning to pop up in afghanistan. they're increasingly involved in attacks in yemen. they need to be confronted with serious proposals. this is a significant threat, and the president has left us unsafe. he spoke to the other night to reassure us. i wish he wouldn't have spoken. he said we're going to keep doing what we're doing, and what we're doing now isn't working. >> hugh hewitt, you have a question. >> senator cruz, you've said you disagree with mr. trump's policy. i don't want a cage match. you've tweeted you don't. but republican my priprimary vo deserve to know how you disagree. >> listen, everyone understands why donald has suggested what he has. we're looking at a president who's engaged in double speak
where he doesn't call radical islamic terrorism by its name. he gives a speech after the san bernardino attack where his approach is to go after the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens rather than to keep us safe. and even worse, president obama and hillary clinton are proposing brings tens of thousands of syrian refugees to this country when the head of the fbi has told congress they cannot vet those refugees. i introduced legislation. and it would suspend all refugees for three years from countries where isis or al qaeda control substantial territory. >> so you're saying you disagree because he's too broad and you have a narrower to can kus? >> i'm reminded of what fdr's
grandfather said. he said all horse thieves are democrats, but not all democrats are thohorse thieves. in this instance, there are millions of peaceful muslims across the world. like in india, there are no problems we're see in nations with territory controlled by isis. we should direct the problem, focus on the problem, and defeat radical sauk terrorism. it's not a war on a faith. it's a war on a political a ideology that seeks to murder us. >> carly fiorina, this is the christmas dinner debate. this will be the debate that americans talk about at christmas. and thus far in the first ten minutes, we haven't heard a lot about ronald reagan sitting on a hill. we've heard about keeping americans safe and everyone else out. is this what you want the party to stand for? >> what i think we need to stand for are solutions. i offer myself as a leader to
the people of this country, because i think they're looking for solutions, not lawyers arguing over laws or entertainers throwing out sound bite s that draw media attention. we need to solve the problem. to do that, we need to do something at home and something over there, in their caliphate. we need to deny them territory. at home we need to do two things. one, we need to recognize that technology has moved on. the patriot act was signed in 2001, roughly. the iphone was invented in 2007. the ipad was invented in 2007. snap chat and twitter, all the rest of it, have been around just for several years. technology has moved on and the terrorists have moved on with it. soon after 9/11, i got a phone call from the nsa. they needed help. i gave them help. i stopped a truckload of equipment. i had it turned around. it was escorted by the nsa into head quarters.
we need the private sector's help, because government is not innova innovating. technology is leaping ahead by leaps and bounds. the private sector will help, but they must be engaged, and they must be asked. i'll ask them. i know them. >> governor christie. >> americans are clearly more afraid today than at any time since 9/11. as you mentioned in your opening statement, today in los angeles, 650 school children didn't go to -- 650,000 school children didn't go to school because of an e-mail threat. this after 14 people were killed in san bernardino. is this the new normal, and if so, what steps would you take as president of the united states so ensure that fear does not paralyze america? >> wolf, unfortunately it's the new normal under barack obama and hillary clinton. the fact is that if you listen
to hillary clinton the other day, what she said to the american people was as regards to isis, my strategy would be about the same as the president's. just about the same as the president's? we have people across this country who are scared to death, because i can tell you this, as a former federal prosecutor, if a center for the developmentally disabled in san bernardino, california is a target for terrorists, that means everywhere in america is a target for these terrorists. now, i spent seven years of my life doing this work after 9/11. working with the patriot act, working with our law enforcement to make sure we keep america safe. what we need to do is restore the tools taken away by the presidents and others. restore the tools to the nsa and to our law enforcement community. we need a president who understands what actionable intelligence looks like and act
on it. and we need a president and a cap n cabinet who understands the most important priority is to protect the safety of americans as someone who has done it, i will make sure it gets done again. >> thank you. governor kasich. >> one of the killers in san bernardino was an american who was not on anyone's watch list. how are you going to find that radicalized person and stop another such attack? >> well, first of all, wolf, i said last february that we needed to have people on the ground, troops on the ground, in a coalition similar to what we had in the first gulf war. i remember when the egyptian ambassador to the united states stood in the rose garden and pledged arab commitment to removing saddam hussein to kuwait. before we came out here tonight, i'm told the saudis have organized 34 countries who want to join in the battle against terrorism. first and foremost, we need to
go and destroy isis , and we ned to do this with our arab friends and our friends in europe. when they have a climate conference, they should have been talked about destroying stois. you destroy isis in a coalition. you get joint intelligence with our yoeuropean friends, and at home, there's a joint terrorism task force headed by the fbi and made up of local law enforcement including state police. they need the tools and the tools involved encryption where we can't hear what they're planning and when we see red flags, someone who says we have a problem here, then we have to give law enforcement the ability to listen so they can disrupt these terrorist attacks before they occur. we can do this, but we have to get moving. pay me now or pay me a lot more later. this is the direction we need to
go. >> thank you. dana bash, you have the next question. >> a crucial question is how to balance surveillance with privacy in keeping americans safe. senator cruz, you voted for a bill that president obama signed into law just this past june that made it harder for the government to access american's phone records. in light of the san bernardino attack, was your vote a mistake? >> well, dana, the premgs ise o your question is not accurate. i'm proud to have joined with conservatives in the senate and the house who reform how we target bad guys. the usa freedom act ended the federal government's collection of data. number two, it strengthened the tools of national security and law enforcement to go after terrorists. it gave us greater tools. we're seeing those tools right now in san bernardino. in particular what it did is the prior program only covered
relatively narrow slices of phone calls. when you had a terrorist, you could only search a narrow slice of numbers, primarily land lines. the usa freedom act expands it so we have cell phones and internet phones and the phones the terrorists are likely to use, and the focus of law enforcement is on targeting the bad guys. what the obama administration keeps getting wrong is whenever anything bad happens, they focus on the law-abiding citizens instead of the bad guys. we need to stop them before they carry out acts of terrorist. >> there was bipartisan support for that, but you voted against it. is senator cruz wrong? >> he is, and so are those that voted for it. some voted for it because they wanted to keep it alive and they were afraid the whole program would explore. this is a radical group that is sophisticated. and the ability to radicalize american citizens, in the ability to exploit loopholes in
the legal immigration system. in its ability to holder the toy in the middle east in multiple countries. this is not just the most capable. it's the most sophisticated terror threat we've faced. we need more tools, not less tool, and the metadata program was a valuable tool we no longer have at our disposable. >> senator cruz? >> i would note that marco knows what he's saying isn't true. there was a column last week that said that the attack ads the super pac is saying the same thing and they're false, and they're attacks like president obama, and the reason is simple. what he knows is the old program covered 20 to 30% of phone numbers to search for terrorists. the new program covers nearly 100%. that gives us greater ability to stop acts of terrorism. he knows that's the case. >> dana, may i interject. >> let me be careful.
i don't think national television is the place to discuss classified information. let me be clear. there's nothing we're allowed to do under this bill that we could not do before. this bill did take away a valuable tool that allowed intelligence agencies to quickly and rapidly access phone records and match them up with other phone records to see who terrorists had been calling. because i promise you the next time there's an attack on this country, the first thing people are going to want to know the is why didn't we know about it and why didn't we stop it. the answer better not be because we didn't have access to records or information that would have allowed us to identify the attackers. >> senator paul, i know this has been a very big issue for you. >> i think marco gets it completely wrong. we are not any safer through the
bulge collection of all american's records. in fact, i think we're less safe. we're so distracted by all the information. we're not spending enough time getting specific immigration or information on terrorists. the other thing is the one thing that might have stopped san bernardino that might have stopped 9/11 would have been stricter controls on those who came here, and marco has opposed at every point, increased border security for those who come to our country. in his gang of eight bill, he would have liberalized immigration. he didn't. last week i introduced another bill saying we need more security. we need more scrutiny. once again, he opposed it. marco can't have it both ways. he wants to be great and strong on national defense, but he's the weakest of all. he's the one for the open border and leaving us defenseless.
if we want to defend the country, we have to defend against those coming in. >> number one, what he's pointing to is a bill that only ten people voted for because it's not focussed on terrorists. someone from taiwan would not have been able to come here as a tourist. number two, the program is more strict than what a regular law enforcement agency has now. if a regular law enforcement agency wants your phone records, they have to issue a subpoena. now the intelligence agency is not able to quickly gather records and look at them to see who the terrorists are calling. and the terrorist in san bernardino was born and raised in this country, and i'll bet we wished we would have access to his records. -- >> governor christie --
>> dana. >> can i respond? >> go ahead. >> marco still misunderstands the immigration issue. what i put forward was an amendment that would have temporarily halted immigration from high risk countries. i want them to go through global entry. that has background checks. every terrorist attack we've had since 9/11 has been legal immigration. marco wants to expand that. i want more rules, more scrutiny, and to defend the country, you have to defend the border. >> senator, we're going to talk about immigration in a while. >> he mentioned me again. i get 30 seconds. >> you heard senator paul and cruz talk about how important it is to protect american's privacy, even in a time of grave danger. what's wrong with that? >> listen. i want to talk to the audience at home for a second. if your eyes are glazed over like mine, this is what it's like to be on the floor of the
united states senate. endless debates about how many angels on the head of the pin. the fact is for seven years i had to make these decisions after 9/11. make a decision about how to proceed forward with an investigation or how to pull back. whether to use certain intelligence or whether not to, and yet they continue to debate about this bill and the sub committee. nobody in america cares about that. they want to know if they're going to have a president who knows what they're doing to make these decisions. new jersey was threatened like no other region in this country and what we did was we took actions within the constitution to make sure that law enforcement had all the information they needed. we prosecuted to to the biggest terrorism cases in the world and stopped an attack from six american radicalized muslims. we worked with the community to get intelligence and used the patriot act to get other intelligence to make sure we did these cases. this is the difference between having been a federal prosecutor
and doing something and spending your life as one of 100 doing it. let's talk about doing it and not which bill they like for. people don't care about that. >> dr. carson. you're in favor of monitoring mofbs and schools where there's anti-american sentiment. what do you consider anti-american? >> fimrst of all. it's the first time i've spoken. now, as far as monitoring is concerned, what my point is, we need to make sure that any place, i don't care if it's a mosque, a school, a super market, you know, a theater, it doesn't matter. if there are a lot of people getting there, engaging and radicalizing activities, then we need to be suspicious of it. we have to get rid of all this
piecy stuff, and people are worried about somebody is going to say that i'm islamaphobic or what have you. this is craziness. because we are at war. that's why i asked congress, go ahead and declare the war. we need to be on a war footing and need to understand that our nation is in grave danger. what the muslim brotherhood said and the explanatory memorandum that was discovered during the holy land foundation trial is that they will take advantage of our pc attitude to get us. and we have to be better than that. we have to be smarter than they are. >> what was right in the debate between senator rubio and paul? >> i think you have to ask them about that. >> governor bush, six days after
9/11, your brother visited a mosque and said, quote, islam is peace. the conversation tonight is about banning muslims and surveillance of mosques. are president bush's words still relevant in today's republican party? >> they are relevant if we want to destroy isis. we can't disassociate ourselves from peace loving muslims. if we expect to do this on our own, we will fail. but if we do it in unison with people who are also threatened we'll be far more successful. the fbi has the tools necessary to monitor un-american activities in our country. it goes on. we shouldn't be talking about it, to be honest, out in the public. of course they have those capabiliti capabilities, and we should make sure we give our intelligence communities all the resources they need to keep us safe. but the main thing we should be focussed on is the strategy to
destroy isis. i laid out a plan at the reagan library before the tragedy of paris and san bernardino to do just that. it requires leadership. it's not filing an amendment. it's leading the world, funding it to make sure we have a military that's second to none, and doing the job. and making sure that we destroy isis there. that's how you keep america safe. >> carly fiorina, you're a ceo of silicon valley on 9/11. companies there say they won't have the fbi now crack encrypted communications from isis. should they be forced to? >> listening to this conversation, let me just say, we have a lot of argument about laws, but none of it solves the problem. let's examine what happened. why did we miss the tsarnaev brothers? why did we miss the san bernardino couple? it wasn't because we stopped collecting data. it was because, i think, as
someone who comes from the technology world, we were using the wrong algorithms. the government is whoafully behind the technology curve. secondly, the bureaucratic processes that have been in place since 9/11 are inadequate as well. what do we now know? dhs vets people by going into databases of known or suspected terrorists, and yet we also know that isis is recruiting people who are not in those databases. so, of course, we're going to miss them. and then we learn that dhs says we can't check their social media. every parent in america is checking social media, and every employer. our government can't do it? the bureaucratic procedures are behind. our government has become unresponsive, corrupt, and that lack of accountability is now dangerous. it is why we need a different kind of leadership in the white
house that understands how to get bureaucracies korch tent again. >> should they be forced to cooperate with the fbi? >> they don't need to be forced. they need to be asked to bring the webest and brightest, the mt recent the technology to the table. i was asked as a ceo. i come plied. and they will, but they have not been asked. that's why it costs billions of dollars to build an obama website that failed. because the private sector wasn't asked. >> mr. trump. you recently suggested closing that internet up, those were your words, as a way to stop isis from recruiting online. are you referring to closing down actual portions of the internet? some say that would put the u.s. in line with china and north korea. >> well, look, this is so easy
to answer. isis is recruiting through the internet. isis is using the internet better than we are using the internet. and it was our idea. what i wanted to do is i wanted to get our brilliant people from silicon valley and other places and figure out a way that isis cannot do what they're doing. you talked freedom of speech and freedom of anything you want. i don't want them using our internet to take our young, impressionable youth, and watching the media talking about how they're master minds. they shouldn't be using the word master minds. these are thugs and terrible people in isis. not master minds. we have to change it from every standpoint. but we should be using our brilliant people, our most brilliant minds to figure a way that isis cannot use the internet, and then on second, we should be able to penetrate the internet and find out exactly where isis is, and everything about isis. and we can do that if we use our
good people. >> let me follow up, mr. trump. so are you open to closing parts of the internet? >> i would certainly be open to closing areas where we are at war with somebody. i sure as held don't want to let people that want to kill us and kill our nation use our internet. yes, sir, i am. >> thank you. governor kasich, is shutting down any part of the internet a good idea in. >> i don't think it is. and i want to go back to two other issues. one is the metadata. we know we have to hold this data for a longer period of time. and a lot of ways chris is right. what a president has to do is take a position. we don't want to ere on the side of having less. we want to error on the side of having more. that's good for our families. in addition, there's a big problem. it's called encryption. and the people in san bernardino were communicating with people who the fbi had been watching,
but because their phone was encrypted, because the intelligence officials could not see who they were talking to, it was lost. we have to solve the encryption problem. it's not easy. the president of the united states has to bring people together, have a position. we need to be able to penetrate these people when they are involved in these plots and these plans, and we have to give the local authorities the ability to penetrate to disrupt. that's what we need to do. encryption is a major problem, and congress has to deal with this and so does the president to keep us safe. >> the fight against radical islamic terrorists has been called the war of our time. let's talk about how each of you as commander in chief would fight this war and win it. senator cruz, you've said you would, quote, carpet bomb isis into oblivion, testing whether, quote, sand with glow in the
dark. does that mean leveling places where there are hundreds and thousands of civilians? >> it means using air power to destroy isis and to put things in perspective. in the first persian gulf war, we launched nearly 11,000 bombs a say. saturation bombing after which our troops went in and mopped up what was left of the iraqi army. right now there's between 15 and 30 bombings a day. we need to use overwhelming air power and arm the kurds. we needs to be fighting and killing isis where they are. let me go back to the earlier discussion. it's not a lack of competence that is preventing the administration from stopping these attacks. it is political correctness. we didn't monitor the facebook posting of the female san bernardino terrorist because the obama dhs thought it would be
inappropriate. she made a public call to jihad, and they didn't target it. the tsarnaev brother, the older brother made a public call to jihad, and the administration didn't target it. and another made a direct call. the problem is because of political correctness, the obama administration like a lot of folks here, want to search everyone's cell phones and e-mails and not focus on the bad guys and political correctness is killing people. >> thank you. to be clear, senator cruz, would you carpet bomb raqqa, the isis capital where there are a lot of civilians? yes or no? >> you would carpet bomb where isis is. not a city, but the location of the troops. you have embedded special forces to direct the air power. the object isn't to level a city. the object is to kill the isis
terrorist. isis is gaining strength because the perception is that they're winning and president obama fuels that perception. that will change when militants across the globe see that when you join isis, that you are giving up your life. you are signing your death warrant, and we need a president who is focussed on defeating every single isis terrorist, and protecting the homeland which should be the first priority. >> thank you. senator rubio. you've been critical of cruz's strategy. you said his voting record doesn't match his rhetoric. >> let me say we have to understand who isis is. they're a radical group. they must be defeated by a ground force. that ground force must be made up after sunni arabs themselves. we will have to embed american special operators to help them
with training and conduct special missions and help improve the air strikes. the air strikes are important. we need to have an air force capable of it. because of the budget cuts in this country, we are going to be left in the oldest and the smallest air force we have ever had. we have to reverse the cuts. and beyond that, i would say we must win the information war against isis. every war we've been involved in has had a propaganda information aspect to us. isis is winning the propaganda war. they are recruiting people to join them. we have to show what life is really like in isis territory, and we have to show them why isis is not invincible by going out and carrying out attacks and publicizing to those they recruit. >> you said this. you said he, referring to senator cruz, voted against the defense authorization act every year that it came up, and i assume if he voted against it,
he would veto it as president. that's the bill that funds our troops. >> that's accurate. three times he voted against it. it's a bill that funds the troops and the iron dome. i would have to assume if you did in senate, you would as president. he supported a budget called the containment budget. it would reduce the amount of money we spend on our military. you can't carpet bomb isis if you don't money to do it. if we couldn't continntinue cut less safe. >> nasenator cruz? >> marco has continued the attacks and he knows they're not true. i did vote against the national defense nationalization act. when i campaigned in texas, i told them i would oppose the federal government having the authority to detain u.s. citizens with no due process.
i've sported an effort to take that, and i honored that commit. . more broadly, the notion marco is suggesting that somehow he also has tossed more than a few insults this direction, let's be absolutely clear. isis and radical islamic terrorism will face no more determined foe than i will be. we will destroy them by targeting the bad guys, and one of the problems with marco's foreign policy is he is far too often supported clinton clone and barack obama undermining governments in the middle east that have helped radical islamic terrorists. we need to focus on killing the bad guys, not getting stuck in middle eastern civil wars that don't keep america safe. >> if you're an american citizen and you zd to join with isis, we're not going to read your your rights. you're a member of an army
attacking this country. number two, we need our defense capabiliti capabilities. the cuts we're facing today and the cuts he would have supported would leave us with a smaller air force and navy than the one we'll be left with, and the final point is hillary clinton and barack obama's strategy is to lead from behind. it sounds like he's outlining not leading at all. we must lead. we are the most powerful in the nation. we need to begin to act like it again. >> we'll have much more on this, but i want to move back to mr. trump. >> this legislation. >> hold on. we have -- >> we have a lot to discuss. i want to move to mr. trump. we have a question on this war against isis and how you would fight and win this war. here's the question from facebook. listen to this. >> recently donald trump mentioned we must kill the families of isis members. this violates the principle of
distinct. how would killing innocent civilians set us apart from isis? >> we have to be much tougher. we have to be much stronger than we've been. we have people that know what's going on. taken a look at the attack in california, there were numerous people that knew what was going on. they saw a pipe bomb on the floor and ammunition all over the place.
they knew what was going on. when you had the world trade center go, people were put into planes that were friend, family, girlfriends, and they were put into planes and they were sent back for the most part to saudi arabia. they knew what was going on. they went home and wanted to watch their boyfriends on television. i would be very firm with families and frankly, that will make people think. because they may not care much about their lives, but they do care, believer it or not, about their family's lives.
>> this is another example of the lack of seriousness. look, this is troubling. we're at war. we need to have a serious strategy to destroy isis. the idea that that is a solution to this is just crazy. it makes to sense to suggest this. look, two months ago, donald trump said that isis was not our fight. just two months ago. he said that hillary clinton would be a great negotiator with iran. and he gets his foreign policy experience from the shows. >> come on. >> that is not a serious kind of candidate. we need someone who thinks this through, that can lead our country to safety and security. >> mr. trump. >> look, the problem is we need toughness. i think jeb is a nice person. he's a very nice person, but we need tough people and toughness. we need intelligence and we need tough. jeb said when they come across the southern border they come as an act of love. >> you said isis was not a --
>> am i talking or you. >> i'm talking right now. >> you can go back. you interrupted me. are you going to apologize? am i allowed to finish? >> one at a time. >> go ahead, mr. trump. >> so -- >> a little of your own medicine. >> you're trying to build up your energy, but it's not working, jeb. look, we need a toughness. we need strength. we're not respected as a nation anymore. we don't have that level of respect that we need. and if we don't get it back fast, we're just going to go weaker, weaker, and just disend grate. we can't allow that to happen. we need strength. when jeb comes out and talks about the border. i was witness to it and so was everyone else. i was standing there. they come across as an act of love. he's saying the same thing right now with radical islam. we can't that v that in your country. it won't. we need strength. >> governor bush. >> you're not going to be able
to insult your way to the presidency. that's not going to happen, and i do have the strength. leadership is not about attacking people. leadership is about creating a serious strategy to deal with the threat of our time. and i laid out that strategy before the attacks in paris and before the attacks in san bernardino, and it is the way forward. we need to increase our military spending and deal with a no-fly zone in syria. a safe zone. we need to focus on building military that is second to none so we can destroy islamic territory. >> with his attitude, we'll never be great again. >> dr. carson, you mentioned in your opening remarks that you're a pediatric neurosurgeon.
and people admire and respect and are inspired by your life story, your kindness, your support. we're talking about ruthless things tonight, carpet bombing, toughness, war, and people wonder could you do that? could you order air strikes that would kill children by the hundreds and thousands? could you wage war as a commander in chief? >> interestingly enough, you should see the eyes of some of those children when i say to them, we're going to have to open your head up and take out this tumor. they're not happy about it. believe me. and they don't like me very much at that point. but later on, they love me. sometimes you -- i sound like him. later they realize what's going on. and you have to be able to look at the big picture and
understand that it's actually merciful if you go ahead and finish the job rather than death by 1,000 trick tricks. >> you're okay with the death of thousands of innocent children and civilians? >> you got it. you got it. >> that is what war -- can you be as ruthless as churchill was? >> ruthless is not necessarily the word i would use, but tough, resolu resolute, understanding the problems and understanding that the job of the president of the united states is to protect the people of this country and to do what is necessary in order to get it done. >> do you think republicans have fuelled the rise of isis? >> i think that by arming the allies of isis, the islamic
rebels against asaad, that we created a safe space or made that space bigger for isis to grow. i think those who have wanted regime change made a mistake. when we toppled gaddafi, that was a mistake. i'd like to go back to another question which is is donald trump a serious candidate. the reason i ask this is if you're going to close the internet, realize, america, what that entails. that entails getting rid to the first amendment. it's no small feat. if you are going to kill the families of terrorists, realize that there's something called the geneva convention. it would defier norm that's america. so when you ask yourself, whoever you are, that think you're going to support donald trump, think, do you believe in the constitution? are you going to change the constitution?
>> so they can kill us, but we can't kill them. that's what you're seeing, and as far as the internet, i'm not talking about closing the internet. i'm talking about parts and iraq, where isis is, spotting it. what i like even better is getting our smartest and bests to infiltrate their internet. so we know exactly where they're going and exactly where they're going to be. i like that better. but we have to -- who would be -- i can't imagine somebody booing. these are people that want to kill us, folks, and you're objecting to us infiltrating their conversations? i don't think so. i don't think so. >> senator paul. i want to go back to my official question which is you saying that isis grew stronger because
of hawks in your party. do you think your party, the people who you're describing are responsible for the rise of isis? >> i think that if you believe in regime change, you're mistaken. in 2013, we put 600 tons of weapons, us, saudi arabia, and qatar into the war against asaad. by pushing asaad back, we created a safe space. we had people coming to our foreign relations committeeing and saying we need to arm the allies of al qaeda. it's a crazy notion. this is the biggest debate we should have is regime change a good idea? has it been a good idea. the majority of this stage, they want to topple asaad, and then there will be chaos, and i think isis will be in charge of syria. >> governor case irkasich, woul you like to respond? >> last february, i said we needed to have people on the ground in a coalition with europe and our allies.
this is not going to get done just by working with the sunnis, and it is not going to get done if we just embed a few people. we have to go massively like we did in the first gulf war where we destroyed the ability to take kuwait. we need to have a coalition that will stand for nothing less than the total destruction of isis and we have to be the leader. we can't wait for anybody else. i served on the armed services committee for 18 years, and we must lead or the job won't get done, unfortunately, for our country. >> thank you, governor. senator rubio, let's continue this conversation. this is an important issue. >> i hope at some point you'll ask me my plan for defeating isis. >> we have a lot of time. i want to get to rubio right now. you say the only way to defeat isis is with ground forces made up primarily of sunni arab
forces. those arab nations, though, as you well know, they've conducted less than 5% of the air strikes and none since august. what makes you think they are willing to fight on the ground if they're not even willing to fight from the air? >> well, they will have to be worked onto provide more than they are now. there's one major reason why they've not been willing to be a broader part of the coalition. they've lost complete trust in this president. this president cut a deal with the shia in iran, and this is why they no longer trust this president. they have as much invested in this as we do, in fact, more so. it's the king of saudi arabia they want to behead first, it's the king of jordan they want to dethrone. they want to go into egypt like libya. and another point, asaad is one of the main reasons why isis exists. asaad is a pickup truck of iran, and he has been brutal within syria that he created the space that led for the people
themselves to stand up and try to overthrow him. that led to the chaos which allowed isis to come in and take advantage of the situation and grow more powerful. the fact this president led from behind, meant there's no one on the ground to be empowered. leaving isis to be empowered. >> that's incorrect, actually. >> stand by. mrs. fiorina. the chances of getting sunni arab forces on ground to get the job done, his words, chances very remote. what's your strategy? >> first, i'll point out that talking tough is not the same as being strong. and to wage war, we need a commander in chief who has made tough calls in tough times and stood up to be accountable over and over. not first term senators who never made an executive decision in their life. one of the things i would immediately do in addition to defeating them here at home is bring back the warrior class.
petraeus, keene, flynn. every one of these generals i know. every one was retired early because they told president obama things that he didn't want to hear. we must have sunni arabs involved in this coalition. we must commit leadership, strength, support, and resolve. i'll just add that margaret thatcher once said if you want something talked about, ask a man. if you want something done, ask a woman. >> governor christy. >> so many people have had so much to do in this national debate. they talk like they were bystanders. we talk about our military being degraded. folks on this stage have been a part of congress who have participated in sequester and in the degrading of this military
over time. and that's why i think people get so frustrated with washington d.c. that's why they're to angry with everybody who's involved in washington d.c. if you listen to the folks up here, you would think they weren't even there, that they had nothing to do with this. this is the difference between being a governor and being in the legislator. when something doesn't work in new jersey, they look at me. you have to be responsible and accountable. on isis, the president needs to be a force that is trusted in the world, and on this i agree with marco. this president is not trusted. if you're the king of jordan, in the royal family in saudi arabia, and he's made this deal with iran which gives them $150 billion to wage a war and try to extend their empire across the middle east, why would you want to do it now. when i stand across from king hussein of jordan, i say you have a friend who will stand
with you to fight this fight. he'll change his mind. >> dr. carson, what's your strategy? >> first of all, i've been talking about this for over a year. we have to destroy their caliphate, because that gives them the legitimacy to go ahead with the global jihad. we have to take their energy, because they are -- isis is the richest terrorist organization there is. take their oil. shut down all the mechanisms whereby they can disburse money because they go after disaffected individuals from all over the place. and they're able to pay them. as far as the command senors in raqqa, cut those off. do the same thing we did with s sin jar, working with the kurds, shut off the supply route. soften them up. go in followed by the air force
to take them over. those are things that work. but also, you know, this whole concept of boots on the ground. we have a phobia about boots on the ground. if our military experts say we need boots on the ground, we should put boots on the ground and recognize there will be boots on the ground and they will be over here. >> thank you. everyone stand by. we're only just beginning. coming up, which candidates on this stage tonight want to move u.s. foreign policy in a dramatically new direction? we'll be right back.
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promote democracy. senator cruz, you said the world would be safer if hussein were still in power. would it be your policy to preserve dictatorships rather then a promoting democracy in the united states. >> i believe that far too often president obama and clinton, and more than a few republicans have gotten distracted from the central focus of keeping this country safe. let's go back to the beginning of the obama administration when clinthillary clinton led nato i toppling the government. a number of republicans supported them. the result of that, and we were told then there were these moderate rebels that would take over. well, the result is libya is now a terrorist war zone run by jeedists. move over to egypt. once again, the obama
administration encouraged by republicans, toppled a reliable ally of the united states, of israel, and in its place, the muslim brotherhood came in, a terrorist organization, and we need to learn from history. the same leaders, obama, clinton, and far too many republicans, want to topple asaad. asaad is a bad man. gaddafi was a bad man. they were assisting us, at least, gaddafi and mu baric and fighting radical islamic terrorists. if we topple asaad, isis will take over syria and it will worsen u.s. national security interests, and the approach, instead of being a woodrow wilson democracy promoter, we should hunt down isis. >> senator rubio. you supported the removal of
gaddafi in libya. now that country is in turmoil. senator cruz says you haven't learned your lesson. do you have any regrets for supporting the intervention in libya? >> gaddafi, the revolt was not sorted by the united states. it was started by the libyan people. i argued we needed to get involve second down because he was going to go one way or other. the longer that civil war took, the more militias formed and the more unstable the country is. as far as gaddafi, he killed americans in scotland and also the man that bombed a cafe in berlin, and you want to know why he started cooperating on his nuclear program? because we got rid of saddam hussein. he got scared he would be next. we'll have to work around the world with less than ideal governments.
the government in saudi arabia is not a democracy. we'll have to work with them. anti-american dictators like asaad who help hezbollah, if they go, i will not shed a tear. >> senator cruz? >> well, it's more than not shedding a tear. it's actively getting involved to topple a government, and we keep hearing from paul and hillary clinton and washington republicans that they're searching for these mythical, moderate rebels. it's like a purple unicorn. these moderate rebels end up being jihadists. prime minister netanyahu has said israel doesn't have a dog in that fight because asaad is a puppet of iran. at the same time, he doesn't want to see syria governed by isis, and we need to focus on american interests, not on
global -- >> everybody stand by for a moment. governor kasich. . >> beyond this thing about asaad. he has to go. he's aligned with iran and russia. the one thing we want to prevent is we want to prevent iran being able to extend across the middle east. asaad has to go. there are moderates. there are moderates in syria who we should be supporting. i do not support a civil war. i don't want to be policeman of the world, but we can't back off of this, and at the end, the saudis have agreed to put together a coalition to stabilize that country. he must go. it will be a glow to iran and to russia. >> we're going to talk about asaad in a moment. mr. trump, are americans safer with dictators running the world in the middle east? >> in my opinion -- in my opinion, we've spent $4 trillion trying to topple various people
that, frankly, if they were there, and if we could have spent that money to fix our roads and bridges and all of the other problems, our airports, and all of the other problems we have, we would have been a lot better off. i can tell you that right now. we have done a tremendous disservice, not only to the middle east but to humanity, the people that have been killed, and the people wiped away, and for what? it's not like we had victory. it's a mess. the middle east is totally destabilized. a total and complete mess. i wish we had the $4 trillion or $5 trillion. i wish it were spent right here in the united states on our schools, hospitals, roads, airports, and everything else that's falling apart. >> that is exactly what president obama said. >> go ahead. >> that's exactly what president obama has said. i'm amazed to hear that from a
hp presidential candidate. let's start with who got it wrong. hillary clinton has gotten every foreign policy challenge wrong. a button with vladimir putin, she called bashar al assad a positive reformer. and then she opened an embassy, and then later she said over and over and over again, bashar al assad must go. she wasn't willing to do anything about it. of course, when she lied about the terrorist attack in bengh i benghazi, she invited more terrorist attacks. >> thank you. mr. trump. >> there's nothing to respond to. people feel differently. benghazi was a disaster because of libya. everything fell into place. it could not have been worse. what do we have now? we have nothing. we've spent $3 trillion and probably much more. they have no idea what we've spent. thousand and thousands of lives. we have nothing. wounded warriors all over the
place who i love. we have nothing for it. and by the way, and ben said, and correctly, and i'm not s saying this as a knock. this is one of the finest men in. but i've been talking about oil for three years. i've been saying take the oil. take the oil. i didn't say just bomb it. i said take it, and use it, and distribute it. so that the wounded warriors and people -- but i've been saying this now for many years. now, all of a sudden everybody is saying take the oil. it wasn't so fashionable to take the oil six months ago. i've been saying it for years. >> we mismanaged going into iraq and out of iraq. >> dr. carson is the middle east better off with dictators? >> no one is ever better off with dictators, but there comes a time. when you're on an airplane, they always say in case of an emergency, oxygen masks will drop down. put yours on first and then administer help to your neighbor. we need oxygen now, and we need
to start thinking about the needs of the american people before we try to solve everybody else's problem. the middle east has been in turmoil for thousands of years. for us to think that we're going to go in there and fix that with a couple of little bombs and a few little declarations is relatively foolish. >> governor bush. >> i think we're focusing -- >> hold on, here's the question. you said getting rid of sumd hussein, if your words, was a pretty good deal. in light of what's happened in iraq, do you still feel that way? >> i do. we need a strategy to get in and get out. that means you create a stable situation. this president, and this is what the focus ought to be. it's not the differences between us. it's barack obama does not believe american's leadership in the world does not believe it's a force for good or a our strength is a place where security can take place. he creates an environment that
you we're creating the most unstable situation since world war ii era. hillary clinton wants to double down on a failed foreign policy and we need to be united to defeat that because we're going to be in a place that is far less secure than it is today. >> do you agree, senator paul? senator paul? >> was getting rid of saddam hussein a pretty good deal? >> fundamental questions of our time. whether regime change is a good or bad idea. i don't think because i think it was a bad idea it means that hussein was necessarily a good idea. there's often variations of evil on both sides of the war. what we have to decide is whether or not regime change is a good idea. it's what the knee owe conservatives have wanted and what the vast majority of those on the stage want. they still want regime change. they want it in syria and they want it in iraq and libya. it has not worked.
out of regime change you get chaos. then you've seen the rise of radical islam. we get a profession of wanting to do something about terrorism, and yet, they're the problem because they allow terrorism to arise out of that chaos. >> wolf, the question of weather. >> hold on. >> hold on. hold on. >> the question of whether we should be toppling dictatorships is the wrong question. >> senator, wait your turn. we have two hours. we'll have plenty of time. let hugh ask his time. senator, please. >> for example. a regime -- >> you'll have plenty of opportunity. go ahead, hugh. >> iran has declared war. >> mr. trump -- >> that are helping -- >> these are the rules all of you agreed to. hugh, go ahead with your
question. >> mr. trump, we're talking about the most important thing. you're okay with asaad being in power. you're also in favor of winning. if he stays in power, they're winning. they are winning everywhere. if they're winning, how can we be winning? >> i think asaad is a bad guy, very bad guy. lots of people killed. i think we're backing people we have no idea who they are, the rebels. we call them the rebels. the patriotic rebels. a lot of people think they're isis. we have to do one thing at a time. we can't be fighting isis and fighting asaad. he's fighting isis. russia is fighting isis and iran is fighting isis. we have to do one thing at the same time. i watched lindsey gram. he said i've been here for ten years fighting. he'll be there with that thinking for another 50 years. he won't be able to solve the problem. we have to get rid of isis first. after we do that, we'll start
thinking about it. we can't be fighting asaad. when you're fighting asaad, you're fighting russia and a lot of different groups. we can't be fighting everybody at one time. >> governor christie, is he right? >> i think we have to focus on what the priorities are. to me, what i've always said is the president has set up an awful situation with his deal with iran. what that's done is empowered them and enriched them. and that's the way isis has been created and formed. isis is created and formed because of the abuse that asaad and his iranian sponsors have reigned down on the sunnis in syria. and so when we empower iran, this is why this president, and when hillary clinton says her theory against isis will be about the same as the president, then get ready for more unrest and more murder and more violence in the middle east. we need to if focus our attention on iran. if you miss iran, you're not
going to get isis. the two are connected because one causes the other. >> senator paul, let me ask you. you heard governor kasich say asaad must go. do you agree. >> i think it's a huge change. i've been saying this for several years. when we first went in, i said you're going to give arms. you'll be back fighting against your own weapons. had asaad been bombed when he used chemical weapons two years ago, isis would be in charge of all of syria now. we have to have a more realistic policy and not one where we say we're going to spread freedom and democracy and everybody in the middle east is going to lover us. they're not. >> foreign policy, you have to know how to pick and choose. there's no way if saddam had not had weapons of mass destruction, i would have gone.
i don't believe that the u.s. should be involved directly in civil wars. i opposed to u.s. involvement in lebanon. we had to withdraw after our barracks were blown up. there's a difference between iraq where you have sunni and shia put together by the person powers. it doesn't work. it needs to break up into three parts. and finally, in regard to syria, understand that asaad is an ally of iran who wants to extend that shia radicalism all the way across the middle east. he has to go. and for the russians, frankly, it's time that we punched the russians in the nose. they've gotten away with too much in this world, and we need to stand up against them, not just there but also in eastern europe where they threaten some of our most precious allies. >> let's continue with russia. right now we have another question from facebook. will reason and watch. >> my name is ashley. in november, carly fiorina, you
said you would not talk to vladimir putin after you were elected because you'd be communicating from a position of we weakness. >> as you know, u.s. and russian war planes are flying all over syria right now with so many lives on the line. is this a good time for the united states not to talk to putin? >> i didn't say i would cut off all communications. i said the president, now is not the time to talk with him. there is a time and a place for everything. there is a time and a place for talk and a time and a place for action. i know vladimir putin. he respects strength. he lied to our president's face. he didn't bother to tell him about war planes and troops going into syria. we need to speak to him from a position of strength. so as commander in chief, i will not speak to him until we've set up the no-fly zone, until we've gathered our allies and begun to deny isis territory and i've
called the supreme leader of iran and said new deal. we the united states of america are going to cut off the money flow, which we can do, and i will not speak to him personally until we've rebuilt the sixth fleet, rebuilt the missile defense in poland and conducted a few military exercises in the battic states. and let us remember one other thing. hillary clinton and barack obama are responsible for the growth of isis because they withdrew from iraq in 2011 dperagainst t advice of every single general. it's not these people up here. it's hillary clinton. >> thank you. governor christie. if the u.s. impose a new fly zone over syria and a russian plane encroached it, would you be prepared to shoot down the russian plane and risk war? >> i would do it.
a no fly zone means a no fly zone. that's what it means. see, maybe because i'm from new jersey i have a plain language hangup. i wouldn't not talk to him. i would talk to vladimir putin a lot. i would say listen, mr. president, there's no a no fly zone in syria. you fly in, it applies to you, and we would shoot down the planes of russian pilots if they were stupid enough to think this president was the same feckless weakling that the president we have in the oval office is right now. >> senator paul. i want you to respond to what we just heard from governor kris ty. if there was a no fly zone you say that could lead to world war iii. >> i think if you have r in favor of world war iii, you have your candidate. here's the thing. what we want in a leader is someone with judgment, not
someone who is to reckless as to stand on the stage and say yes, i'm going to shoot down russian planes. russia flies in that air space. it may not be something we're in love with the fact they're there, they were invited by iraq and syria to fly in that air space, and so if we announce a no fly zone, hillary clinton is for it. it's a recipe for disaster. it's a recipe for world war iii. we need to confront russia from a position of strength. but we don't need to confront them from a point of recklessness that would lead to war. this type of judgment, it's having that kind of judgment. who you would appoint and how you're going to conduct affairs that's important. i mean, i think when we think about the judgment of someone who might want world war iii, we might think about someone who might shut down a bridge because they want to get a democrat, they don't like their friends.
i think we need to be careful about that. >> governor kris christie. >> reckless is calling asaad a reformer. reckless is inviting russia into syria to team with iran. that is reckless, and the reckless people are the folks in the white house right now, barack obama, and hillary clinton are the reckless people. if you think a no fly zone is a reckless policy, you're welcome to your opinion. how's it working? we have 250,000 people murdered and slaughters, millions running for their lives. it's not working. >> governor bush, you stid trump -- said trump is not qualified because he's not qualified to deal with mr. trump. why are you? >> i would seek out the best
advice that exists. i won't get any information from the shows. i don't know if that's saturday morning or sunday morning. i don't know which one. i will seek out the best advice, and i will create a strategy and i will persuade the american people what the role of america should be. i've laid out a policy of rebuilding our military. all of the talk that we're seeing here, most of which i agree on, requires a much stronger military. we now have a lack of readiness that is quite scary. we have planes that harry truman inaugurated. the navy has been gutted. the readiness of the marines is way down. if we're serious about america's leadership in the world, we need to make sure we have the back of the armed forces. the radio is here listening to us today. i hope they know if i'm president, i'll lead this country in a way that will create greater security and greater safety. >> mr. trump.
>> i think it's very sad that cnn leads jeb bush, governor bush, down a road by starting off virtually all of the questions, mr. trump this. i think it's very sad. and frankly, i think it's very sad. and frankly, i watch the first debate, and the first long number of questions were mr. trump said this. mr. trump. these poor guys, although i must tell you, santorum, huckabee, good nice. they were nice and i respect them, but i thought it was very unfair that virtually the entire early portion of the debate was trump this, trump that in order to get ratings i guess. >> mr. trump, i was on cnn last night -- i think it's unprofessional. i watched you last night. it's not cnn. it's not cnn.
it's america is watching you. >> fine. >> i was mentioned so i can bring up something, i think. the simple fact is if you think this is tough and you're not being treated fairly, imagine what it will be like dealing with putin, or dealing with the islamic terrorism that exists. this is a tough business to run for president. >> you're a tough guy, jeb, i know. >> and we need to have a leader -- you're never doing to be president of the united states by insulting your way to the presidency. >> i'm at 42 and you're at 23. so far i'mgoing doing better. you're moving over further and further. pretty soon you'll be off the edge. >> this doesn't do a thing to solve the problem. >> it sound more and more what my daughter said that i said in the beginning. all the fighting and arguing is not advancing us. >> it will not solve the problem. >> it's not the way we'll strengthen our country. we'll strengthen our country when we come together. you have rand paul, cruz, marco,
a lot of people on this stage that have studied these issues. you know what a leader does? they have the sound program, has a good policy, and then brings people together to solve problems. guess what? both in congress and in balances the budget and in ohio fixing the economy, and we talk about the fence, the first thing we'd better get going is strengthening our economy, because if we don't have a strong economy, we can't pay for all of this, and the world wants us to be able to function from strength. believe it or not, get our economy going, get these people together in a room. we can fix this, ladies and gentlemen. we don't have to fight all the time. it can be done, and we will be great when we join together. thank you. >> dr. carson, commander in chief question. you're on a lot of boards and have travelled the world. does that prepare you to command
troops from japan and afghanistan and to iraq to be in charge of the men and women watching tonight? >> quewell, there's a false narrative that only the political class has the wisdom and the ability to be commander in chief. but if you go back and you study the design of our country, it was really designed for the citizen statesman, and we need to be talking about where does your experience come from? and i've had a lot of experience building things. organizing things. you know, a national scholarship program. one of the things that you'll note is f you look through my life is that i don't do a lot of talking. i do a lot of doing. and really, it says more about a person than how much they talk. and some people say you're weak because you're not loud and you're not boisterous, and you're not rude.
but the fact of the matter is, look and see what i've done. and that speaks volumes about strength. >> thank you, dr. carson. we've been talking tonight about programs and policies proposals that you have to keep americans safe. and it's a big discussion on the campaign trail. also about border security and immigration. so let's talk about immigration. senator rubio. you co-authored a bill with democrats two years ago that allowed a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. do you still support that path to citizenships which means giving them the right to vote. >> it's not an issue i read about in a paper. i've lived around it. all of my neighbors are immigrants. my family is immigrants. i see the good, the bad, and the ugly. here's what we learned in 2013. the american people don't trust
the federal government to enforce the immigration laws and we'll not be able to do anything on immigration until we prove to the american people that illegal immigration is under control. we can do that. it takes at least 20,000 more additional border agents and completing the 700 miles of fencing and a mandatory e verify system and a tracking system to prevent visa overstays. after that, the second thing is reforming and modernizing the legal immigration system. after that, i think the american people are going to be very reasonable with what do you do with someone who's been in this country ten years and hasn't violated their laws. they'll have to undergo a background check, pay a fine, pay tacks, and they'll get a work permit. that's it for ten years. but you can't even get to the third step until you've done the two things. that was the lesson in 2013. there's no trust the federal government will enforce the law.
>> senator, you haven't answered the question. you just described a long path, but does that path end at citizenship? >> i answered that question. i am personally open. after ten years in that probation status with a work permit, i am open the to a howing people to apply for a green card. that might not be a majority position in any party. but that's down the road. you can't begin it until you prove to people, not just pass a law, you're going to have to prove to people that it's working. that was the lesson of 2013. after a migratory crisis that you're seeing start up again now and after all the executive orders, we need to prove to people that illegal immigration is under control. >> senator cruz.
rubio has said his immigration system isn't different than yours is that true? >> there was a time for choosing where there was a battle over amnesty. some chose to stand with barack obama and support a massive amnesty plan. others chose to stand with steve king and the american people and secure the border. this issue is directly connected to what we've been talking about because the front line with isis isn't just in iraq and syria. it's also in kennedy airport and the rio grand. border security is national security. and one of the most troubling aspects of the rubio schumer gang of eight bill was that it gave president obama blanket authority to admit refugees, including syrian refugees without mandating any background checks. we've seen what happened in san bernardino. when you're letting people in when the fbi can't vet them, it
puts american citizens at risk. if i'm elected president, we will secure the border. we will triple the border patrol and build a wall that works, and i'll get druronald trump to payr it. >> i'll build it. >> thank you. senator rubio. please. >> in 2013, we had never faced a crisis like the syrian refugee crisis now. as far as his record, irm puzzled by his attack. ted, you support legalizing people in this country illegally. he supported a 500% increase in the visas, the guest workers allowed into this country, and doubling the number of green cards. what's important for us to understand is there's a way forward that we can bring our country together. and i will do it. it will begin by bringing illegal immigration under control and proving it to the american people. >> senator cruz.
>> look,y understand that marco wants to raise confusion. it is not accurate what he said i supported legalization. i led the fight against his legalization and amnesty bill, and there was one commentator what said for marco to suggest our record is the same is like suggesting the fireman and the arsonist ha v the same record because they're both at the scene of the fire. he was granting not to secure the border. i was fighting to secure the boarder, and this also goes to trust. on campaign trails, candidates all the time, make promises marco said he learned into the american people didn't trust the federal government. he. >> ted -- does he support legalizing people in this country illegally. >> ladies and gentlemen, this is why the american people are fed up. -- >> can you answer that question. >> does ted cruz rule out ever legalizing people in this country now?
>> i have never supported legalization. >> do you rule it out. >> i don't intend to support legalization. and let me tell you how you do this -- >> this is why the nation is fed up with the political. we've -- >> wait your turn, we'll get you to. >> you haven't gotten to me. this is why they're fed up with the political class. >> what you do is enforce the law. i've layed out a detailed immigration plan on my website. ted cruz.org. it's 11 pages. existing federal law, and in particular, the question of what to do with people who are here now, you enforce the law. that means you stop the obama administration's policy of releasing criminal illegal aliens. do you know how many illegal aliens bill clinton deported? 12,000. bush, 10 million. we can enforce the laws. if we secure the border, that solves the problem. as president, i will solve this problem and secure the border.
>> mr. trump, you like to say you restarted this conversation. >> i think i did. >> who do you side with? >> i have a hard-lined position. we have a country or we don't. people who have come into our country have to go and come back through a legal process. i want a strong border. i do want a wall. they have to work. you just have to speak to the folks in israel. walls work if they're properly constructed. i know how to build, but i feel a very strong bind and really, i'm bound to this country. we either have a border or we don't. people can come into the country. we welcome people to come in, but they have to come in legally. >> thank you. governor bush, listening to this, do you think this is the tone, this immigration debate, that republicans need to take to win back hispanics into your party, especially states like where we are in nevada with a large hispanic community.
>> it isn't, but it's important to talk about. and i think people have good ideas on this. clearly we need to secure the border. coming here legally needs to be easier than coming here illegally. if you don't have that, you don't have the ruefle of law. there are problems because of ease of bringing heroin in. we have to secure the border. it's a skeers juns undertaking. we need more fencing and we need to use technology and more border control, and we need to have better cooperation with local law enforcement. there are 800,000 cops on the beat. they ought to be trained to be the eyes and ears for law enforcement for the threat against terror as well as for immigration. this is a serious challenge, and if we can get it right, we'll start winning votes again. the real problem isn't anybody on the stage. the real problem is barack obama has had six years to advocate a position to fix this, and he's
done nothing. the congress has funded programs of building more fencing and doing all this, and he doesn't done it. he wants to maintain it as a wedge issue, and so does hillary clinton. republicans need to fix it. >> thank you. dr. carson, you recently visited a refugee camp in jordan and said the people there didn't want to come to the united states. do you think these camps are a long-term solution to the problem of syrian refugees? >> well, it was very interesting having an opportunity to talk to the syrians themselves, and i asked them, what do you want? what is your supreme desire? their supreme desire was to be settled back in their own country. i said what can americans and other countries do. they said support the efforts of those who are trying to provide safety for us. including the jordanians. they had a brand new hospital unstaffed because there wasn't
enough money to do it. here's what's really neat. if you go into a province in north eastern syria, that's an area that's as big as lebanon, it's controlled by the kurds, the chris mans and the moderate sunnis, and there are airstrips and hotels. you could settle a lot of people there. all we would have to do is be willing to provide them with some weaponry, some defensive weaponry. we seem to be afraid to give the kurds weaponry. we like to send it through bag g dad, and then they only get a tejt of it. if we support them, we don't need to set this audiotape as we either take a bunch of refugees who will be infiltrated with terrorists, i guarantee you. for them not to be would be terrorist malpractice, and we need to choose the right choice, not false choices. >> senator paul, you oppose letting refugees from syria into
the united states. the u.s. has accepted 2,000 syrian refugees, including livering here in laug right now. would you spend them back? what would you do with these people? >> we need to set the record straight. i think marco misspoke about the bill. in the gang of eight bill, there was no provisionings for safety for refugees. at the time the bill came up, two iraqi refugees came to my hometown. their fingerprints were on a bomb from iraq. they were in the database, but we didn't pick them up. we put them in government housing, got them on food stamps. we didn't have adequate security. on the bill, there was a conservative consensus for an amendment i put forward called trust but verify that strengthened border security on refugee, students and those coming here and marco sided and was, i guess more sympathetic to
chuck schumer and the president than conserve tiative principle. this goes to national defense. he has to explain why he hasn't stepped up to support border security. >> as he's just admitted, the reason why the refugees were allowed in is because they messed up in using the database. it didn't work well. as far as the refugees, it's not that american doesn't want to accept refugees. it's that we may not be able to do. we have to be 100% right on it. if we allow thousands of refugees into the united states and all of them are good people, but one person is an isis killer, one person i don't thinthin think -- wrong, we have a serious problem. there's not one person who can guarantee we'll be 100% right. >> senator paul, you didn't answer the question about the 2,000 syrian refugees who are
already here in the united states. will you send them back or let them stay? >> my bill would be only for refugees going forward. i haven't taken a position on sending anyone home, but i have taken the position that we have a lot of problems in our country, and one of the things we do, charity is about giving your own money. that's not giving someone else's money. to put everyone on government housing and bring them in from around the world i think is a big mistake. i've given to my church. my church has helped people from bosn bosnia. that's a good thing. we shouldn't have a program that says we're going to take care of the world's refugees. nobody in the middle east is doing anything. saudi arabia, qatar, kuwait. all the gulf nations are going nothing. >> we have another question from facebook. let's listen. >> i am carla. i am from the university of texas at austin. my question is directed to all the candidates. if the bible clearly states that
we need to embrace these in need and not fear, how can we justify not accepting refugees. >> you say there should be a pause in allowing new refugees to come into the united states, including orphans under the age of five. what do you say to carla? >> i say the first job of the president of the united states is to protect your safety and your security, and the security and safety of your family. and this debate stops with me in the discussions with the fbi director. now, listen, i'm a former federal proesecutor. when jim comey gets up and says we cannot effectively vet people, that's the end of the conversation. we have to put america's security first. the american people, we need to open our ears. we need to open our ears. the american people are not whispering.
they' they're screaming. it's so dysfunctional and ineffective. it's so ineffectual that the american people say we don't trust them to do anything anymore. i'm not going to let syrian refugees in this country, and it was widows and orphans, and we now know from watching the san bernardino, that women can commit heinous acts against humanity just the same as men. i don't back away from that position for a minute. when the fbi director says he can vet the people, then we'll consider it and not a moment before because your safety and security is important to me. >> governor kasich. >> you know, obviously as president of the united states, we have to keep the people safe. it's the first and foremost. as governor of ohio, i have an obligation to keep the people in ohio safe. we've been effective with the joint terrorism task force, being able to make busts. we just made one against a person who was favorable to isis
living in akron. let me tell you what's interesting about the administration. we had central certain miners placed in ohio and we never knew a thing about it. we didn't know where they were, and we know now some of them, there's a case going on where some of them may have been human trafficked. when the administration says we have a great vetting process, the proof is in the pudding. they sent these miners to us. our schools were disrupted. now they tell me we ought to be able to admit these syrian refugees. people have accused me of having too big of a heart. that's okay. but i also have to keep the people of my state safe. >> there's much more coming up. we are only just beginning. coming up, what other global hot spots await the next president of the united states.
(elephant noise) (mic screech) there's a big difference between making noise... (mic tap) ...and making sense. (elephant noise) (donkey noise) when it
comes to social security, we need more than lip service. our next president needs a real plan to keep social security strong. (elephant noise) hey candidates! enough talk. give us a plan.
welcome back to the cnn facebook republican presidential debate. we're here at the venetian las vegas. we have been focusing on the middle east but let's turn to world threats you will potentially face as commander-in-chief. candidates here have called the north korean leader unstable. he now says he has a hydrogen bomb. what would you do about kim jong-un? >> he is a dangerous man. and republican and democrat administrations have been ineffective dealing with him. we need china as part of the
strategy. china is a rising adversary. we have to push back on china. they, too, recognize one thing, strength and their own economic interest. i know that in order to get china to cooperate with us we must first retaliate against their cyberattacks so they know we're serious. we have to push back on their desire to control the trade route through the south china sea. we cannot let them control the disputed islands and we must work with the ages, the south koreans, the japanese and the philippines to contain china and we must ask for their help and support with north korean. china is concerned about kim jong-un as we are. >> dr. carson? what would you do about kim jong-un? >> i do believe he is unstable
and china has more influence with him than we do. but we also recognize that north korea is in severe financial straits and they have decided to use their resources to build their military than to feed their people and take care of the humanitarian responsibilities that we have. we can capitalize on. that we can use that to keep putin contained. he is a one-horse show, energy. and we have an abundance of energy but we have archaic energy exportation rules. we need to get rid of those and make europe dependent on us for energy, put him back in his little box where he belongs. and we need to do a lot of other things with the resources that we have. so that economic power works just as well as military power, perhaps better. the military needs to be
upgraded. you look at the ohio glass submarines, the minuteman 3 missiles, the b-52 bombers, you know, if we don't get the military right nothing else matters. >> dana and hugh you have questions. >> if you said if china launches a cyberattack on the u.s. they will see cyberwarfare like they have never seen before. what would that look like? >> we have one of the great advantages of america being the open society that we are. we are not hiding things from the american people but china is conducting business in a way that hides things from their people. if they want to attack all the personnel records in the federal government which they have done and they have my social security number and fingerprints as well as other folks on this stage. they need to be fought back on.
and we need to go with the things they are most sensitive and embarrassing to them that they are hiding and get that information and put it out in public and let the chinese people digest how corrupt the government is and how they are enriching oligarchs all throughout china. and this president has seen personnel records of people who have sacrificed for the american and for the federal government stolen by the chinese and done nothing in return. this is why i said at the beginning that this administration, barack obama and hillary clinton have betrayed the american people. it has led to putin in the middle east and eastern europe and significant problems in the middle east as well. >> governor bush, what you just heard from governor christie, are you concerned that could escalate with china and they could retaliate and as the nsa has said, attack the u.s. and
maybe its power grid which is chinese have the capability to do? >> i agree with chris. hillary clinton's using a private server for where classified information goes by. this is a serious administration? the president receives an inspector general's report that the office of personnel management could be hacked into, 23 million files have -- are in the hands of the chinese, allegedly, including by the way, members of the press it turns out last week. so now you can have a feel for what it is like to see this type of attack. this is something we have to have the best defensive capabilities and coordinate our efforts with the private sector and offensively we need to have capabilities second to none. we need to create a situation where they know that there will be adverse impacts if they
continue to do what they're doing. they will respect a united states that is serious about protecting our infrastructure. if we don't do it we will continue to see what is happening. the russians and rogue actors, including isis, this is a serious part of the 21st century security challenge that we face. >> mr. trump -- dr. carson just referenced the single most important job of the president, the command and care and control of the military forces. the try yard, the missiles and submarines are aging out. it's an executive order. what is your priority? >> i think we need someone we can trust who is total responsibility who knows what he or she is doing that is so powerful and so important. and one of the things that i'm frankly most proud of is that in 2003, 2004, i was against going
into iraq because you are going to destabilize the middle east. i called it very strongly and it was very important. but we have to be extremely vigilant and careful when it comes to nuclear. nuclear changes the whole ball game. i would have said get out of syria. if we didn't have the power of weaponry today, the power is so massive that we can't just leave areas that 50 years ago we wouldn't care, it was hand to hand combat. the biggest problem this world has too is not president obama with global warming which is inconceivable, this is what he's saying. the biggest problem we have today is nuclear proliferation having some maniac, having some madman go out and get a nuclear weapon. in my opinion, that is the single biggest problem that our country faces right now. >> of the three legs of the triad do you have a -- >> it's important. >> maybe a lot of people have
not heard that terminology, it's the ability of the united states to conduct nuclear attacks using airplanes, from the ground and from our nuclear subs. all three are critical. it gives us the ability at deterrence. some are more critical than others. the ohio class submarine needs to be modernized. the b-52 as someone pointed out is an outdated model that was flown by the grandparents of the people flying it now. and we need an upgrade on the silo-launched missiles. >> some of you have questioned whether your opponents have the right temperament to be in control of the nuclear codes. dana you have a question on this. >> mr. trump, you said this
weekend that senator cruz is not qualified to be president because he does not have the right temperament and acted like a maniac. but last month you said you were open to naming senator cruz as your running mate. >> i did. >> i have gotten to know him over the last three or four days, he has a wonderful temperament. he's just fine. don't worry about it. >> senator cruz. you have not been willing to attack mr. trump in public. but you -- >> you better not attack. >> but you questioned his judgment in having control of mark's nuclear arsenal. why are you willing to say things in private and not in public. >> i said that the judgment that every voter is making of every one of us up here is who has the experience, who has the vision, who has the judgment to be
commander-in-chief. that is a standard i'm held to. and in the course of this discussion about our foreign policy threats it illustrates the need for clarity of focus. my daughters, caroline and katherine came tonight. they are 7 and 5. you think about the los angeles schools cancelling their schools today. and every parent is wondering how do we keep our kids safe? we need a commander-in-chief that did what reagan did. he set out a strategy to defeat communism. one of the things we've seen here is how easy it is for president obama and hillary clinton to be distracted from islamic terrorism. we need a president who stands up and says we will defeat isis and says the greatest national --
>> a lot of people have seen -- >> a lot of people have seen these comments you made in private. what you are saying is that you do believe that mr. trump has the judgment to be commander-in-chief? >> that is a judgment for every voter to make. but all nine of the people here would make an infinitely better commander-in-chief than barack obama or hillary clinton. >> thank you, senator. >> and there is a real danger, dana when people get distracted. >> thank you -- >> i'm answering the question. there is a danger when people are distracted by peripheral questions and military conflict. we need to focus on defeating jihadism, isis and iran have declared war on america and we need a commander-in-chief who will do everything necessary to keep our children safe and i will do everything --
>> we are a month and a half away from the first real test who will be the republican presidential nominee. hugh? >> my listeners are worried that hillary clinton is going to win because you will run as an independent. will you assure the people that you will run as a republican? >> i really am. >> dr. carson? >> can i just finish? >> please. >> i've gained great respect for the republican leadership. i've gained great respect for many -- in different forms for the people on the dias. i have great respect for the people i have met in this process. but i will tell you, i am totally committed to the republican party.
i feel very honored to be the front runner. and i think i'll do very well if i'm chosen if i'm so fortunate to be chosen. polls have come out recently that say i will beat hillary. >> dr. carson, mr. trump just committed to stay the distance regardless of the result. how about you? >> the statement that i would leave the party was contingent upon whether in fact the party acts like they have in the past with a lot of subterfuge. and i have been assured that the washington post writer had it all wrong and they will not be engaging in anything to thwart the will of the people. that's why i got into this race as a member of we the people to bring back honesty to the
in panama, which is a city of roughly 2 million people, we are having 5,000 new cars being sold every month. this is a very big problem for us with respect to fast and efficient transportation. it's kind of a losing proposition to keep going this way. we are trying to tackle the problem with several different modes. one of them is the brand new metro. we had a modest forecast: 110,000 passengers per day in the first line. we are already over 200,000. our collaboration with citi has been very important from the very beginning. citi was our biggest supporter and our only private bank. we are not only being efficient in the way we are moving people now, we are also more amicable to the environment. people have more time for the family and it's been one of the most rewarding experiences to hear people saying: "the metro has really changed my life."
national security is our debt. we borrow a million dollars a minute and whose fault is it in you have those on the right who say we won't spend anything on the military and the same on the left who say the same for domestic welfare. but there is an unholy alliance and we we spend more money on everything. we are not stronger if we go further into debt. we are not projecting power from bankruptcy court. there is no greater threat than our debt and i'm willing to hold the line on all spending. i hope you will consider me in the election. thank you very much. governor kasich? >> no republican has ever been elected president of the united states without winning ohio. let me give you a tip on how to win ohio, it's reform, it's
hope, it's growth, it's opportunity, and it's security. the people of ohio are the people of america. the people of america are reflected in ohio. our message has to be big. and bold, and positive and connect, not just with people's heads but also connect with their hearts. if we do it, we will beat hillary clinton and we will run the white house and we will fix america. governor christie? >> i was named chief federal prosecutor of new jersey and on september 11st 2001, i lost touch with my relatives and praying they were alive. they were sent home. many of our friends and others in our neighborhood lost their lives that day. terrorism, radical jihadist terrorism is not theoretical to me. it's real. for seven years i spent my life
protecting our country against another one of those attacks. you won't worry when i'm president whether it can be done. i have already done it. if you give me the chance and give me your vote i will protect america from the wars brought to our doorstep. >> miss fiorina? >> i, too, remember september 11th. i remember immediately putting into place security procedures all throughout our country that did business in 170 countries where we thought corporate interests would be attacked next. to take our country back, to keep our nation safe, we have to begin by beating hillary clinton. we need to unify our party. we need to be better than our government which 75% of the american people now think is