June 5th, 2007
10:08 PM ET
7 years ago

Audience cheers Tancredo and Romney on immigration

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colorado, said the consequences of the current immigration reform bill are "unbelievable" and "disastrous."

Tancredo received audience applause when he said that America's willingness to hold onto the English language is being tested and he is, "willing to do whatever is necessary to stop this piece of legislation."

The Republican lawmaker emphasized he would, "go after any Republican that votes for it because the Republicans can stop this."

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney also received audience cheers tonight after he fielded an immigration question.

The question referenced Sen. John McCain's criticism of Romney's past positions on immigration for what the Arizona senator was pandering for votes while not offering solutions on the issue.

Romney criticized the Kennedy-McCain immigration reform bill, arguing, "Almost everyone, under this bill gets to stay here. That's not fair to the millions and millions of people around the world that would love to come here, join with family members, bring skills and education we need."

The former Massachusetts governor believes the bill gives preferential treatment to illegal immigrants, "it is simply not fair to say those people get put ahead in the line of all the people who have been waiting legally to come to this country."

McCain said the U.S. needs to secure its borders and stop illegal immigration. He noted that Spanish was spoken in his home state of Arizona long before English was prevalent.

McCain stressed that many former and current members of the Armed Forces are Hispanic. The Arizona senator pointed out that many troops serving in harm's way in Iraq and Afghanistan are not yet American citizens, but they, "love this country so much that they're willing to risk their lives in its service in order to accelerate their path to citizenship."

–CNN Associate Producer Natalie Apsell

Filed under: John McCain • Mitt Romney • Race to '08 • Tom Tancredo
June 5th, 2007
09:58 PM ET
7 years ago

Thompson: Washington changed us

WASHINGTON (CNN) - "We didn't come up with new ideas," said former Gov. Tommy Thompson, when he was asked to name President Bush's biggest mistake over the past several years.

Thompson, who served as secretary of Health and Human Services during President Bush's first term, said, "We went to Washington to change Washington. Washington changed us."

He made his comments at CNN's Republican presidential debate in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Tuesday.

The former Wisconsin governor also criticized his party's spending habits saying, "If we're going to spend money foolishly, and as stupidly as the Democrats, the voters are going to vote for the professional spenders, the Democrats. Not the amateur spenders, the Republicans."

- CNN Political Researcher Xuan Thai

Filed under: Race to '08 • Tommy Thompson
June 5th, 2007
09:58 PM ET
7 years ago

Schneider: McCain 'bold' to defend immigration

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - Sen. John McCain is being very bold in defending the immigration bill during the debate. He doesn't back down, despite attacks from the other candidates on the stage.

- CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider

Filed under: John McCain • Race to '08
June 5th, 2007
09:57 PM ET
7 years ago

Murphy: McCain charges ahead

WASHINGTON (CNN) - For just a few moments, the CNN Pipeline commentators were stunned into silence as Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, delivered "the best moment of his campaign," according to Republican strategist and one-time McCain advisor Mike Murphy.

In response to a question from the sister of a fallen soldier, McCain stood up, offered his condolences and elaborated on his vision for the future of Iraq.

"It was an extremely strong answer, he charged ahead right there," said Murphy.

Pipeline analyst and Democrat Arianna Huffington was left nearly speechless – "wow, simply wow."

– CNN Contributor Josh Lipsky

Filed under: John McCain
June 5th, 2007
09:56 PM ET
7 years ago

Giuliani: Iraq war 'absolutely the right thing to do'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - At the start of the Republican presidential debate, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was unwavering in his support for the United States' original decision to go to war with Iraq.

"Absolutely the right thing to do," Giuliani said. "It's unthinkable to leave Saddam Hussein in charge of Iraq and be able to fight the war on terror. And the problem is that we see Iraq in a vacuum. Iraq should not be seen in a vacuum. It is part of terrorist war against the United States."

Giuliani also took a jab at Democrats, saying they need to take the threat of Iran more seriously.

"The danger to us is a state like Iran handing nuclear weapons over to terrorists," he said. "So it has to be seen in that light and we have to be successful in Iraq."

–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Race to '08 • Rudy Giuliani
June 5th, 2007
09:55 PM ET
7 years ago

Gilmore runs with 'Rudy McRomney'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - After the term "Rudy McRomney" was coined to lump together the three Republican presidential front-runners, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore ran with it in Tuesday's debate.

But what if former Sen. Fred Thompson joins the race? Is "Rudy McRomneyson" next?

Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Mitt Romney have been leading in most political polls among the 10 major GOP candidates.

"Well, we've gotten a little mileage out of 'Rudy McRomney,' " Gilmore said. "I know the mayor [Giuliani] once said it would make a good ticket and it would. But it isn't a conservative ticket. And we don't know what Fred Thompson is, either."

–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Uncategorized
June 5th, 2007
09:53 PM ET
7 years ago

Romney defends his Massachusetts health care plan

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - Former Massachussets Gov. Mitt Romney responded to conservative critics of the health care plan he introduced for the state.

Romney says the Massachussets plan works because it relies upon "personal responsibility" and not federal programs.

Romney pointed out that he's the one candidate who had actually "tackled the (health care) issue." He said he got all Massachusetts citizens insured through private health insurance.

"We have to stand up and say the market works, personal responsibility works," Romney said. "We're going to have insurance for all our citizens they can afford, it's theirs, and it's portable. They never have to worry about losing it. That's the answer."

Filed under: Mitt Romney • Race to '08
June 5th, 2007
09:51 PM ET
7 years ago

Brownback on creationism

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, one of three Republican candidates to say he does not believe in scientific evolution, explained his views on the alternate theory of creationism.

"I believe that we are created in the image of God for a particular purpose," he said at Tuesday's Republican presidential debate. "And I believe that with all my heart. And I'm somebody, I've had cancer in the past, I've had a season to really look at this and study it and think about the end of life. And I am fully convinced there's a God of the universe that loves us very much and was involved in the process."

Two other GOP candidates, Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee have also said they do not believe in evolution.

In a New York Times editorial last week, the conservative Brownback wrote that his views are not as simple as stating he does or does not believe in evolution. He said although he believes God created the universe, that science still plays a role.

"One of the problems we have with our society today is that we've put faith and science at odds with each other," Brownback said. "They aren't at odds with each other. If they are, check your faith or check your science, and we should have a discussion."

–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Race to '08 • Sam Brownback • Tom Tancredo
June 5th, 2007
09:47 PM ET
7 years ago

Paul: Homosexuality is not the issue

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) - Should gays and lesbians be allowed to serve openly in the U.S. military? The audience applauded Texas Rep. Ron Paul's answer.

"We don't get our rights because we're gays or women or minorities. We get our rights from our creator as individuals. So every individual should be treated the same way," Paul said.

"If there is homosexual behavior in the military that is disruptive, it should be dealt with. But if there's heterosexual sexual behavior that is disruptive, it should be dealt with.

"So it isn't the issue of homosexuality. It's the concept and the understanding of individual rights," he said.

Paul called the current "don't ask,don't tell" policy, implemented during the Clinton adminstration, "a decent policy."

What do you think?

–CNN.com writer Kristi Keck

Filed under: Race to '08 • Ron Paul • Uncategorized
June 5th, 2007
09:42 PM ET
7 years ago

Spinning out of control

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - The debate's over, but the real fun is just underway. All the action right now is in the Spin Room. Never heard of such a place? Well, it's where the candidates go to tell journalists and bloggers what they just said – and meant – in the debate.

And it's where 'surrogates' go to brag about how well their candidates performed, which is basically SPIN.

Right now the room is packed. Reporters are doing live shots at the corners of the room and journalists and camera operators are crowding around surrogates speaking from ten different stations, one for each campaign. It's quite a zoo but very entertaining. The biggest star in the room right now is Senator Sam Brownback. He's the only candidate in the room but more will follow.

And guess what: Someone was just escorted out of the spin room by security. No details yet. But this also happened in the spin room during the Democratic debate on Sunday when blogger Eric Alterman was arrested.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser

Filed under: New Hampshire
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