Live Blog: CNN Republican National Security Debate
November 22nd, 2011
07:30 PM ET
2 years ago

Live Blog: CNN Republican National Security Debate

Washington, D.C. (CNN) - The CNN Political Ticker is live blogging the CNN Republican National Security Debate in Washington, D.C. Check here for live updates throughout the event and be sure to follow @PoliticalTicker, @CNNPolitics and use #CNNDebate.

10:05p.m. ETpiersmorgan: Good night for Gingrich & Huntsman. Romney flat, Perry better, Paul lively, Cain & Bachmann irrelevant, taxi for Santorum. #cnndebate

10:05 p.m. ET@AWMooneyCNN: Can't get enough of ambiguous letter grades after these debates #cnndebate

10:00 p.m. ET - @rolandsmartin: Media will say @newtgingrich won this debate. NOT TRUE. 1st half: Huntsman. Overall: Ron Paul #cnndebate

9:59p.m. ET Wolf Blitzer closed the debate and says good night.

9:57 p.m. ET – Cain said one of the greatest threats to U.S. is cyber attack. Gingrich agreed with that. Bachmann said threat of terrorism has come home, she raised prosecution in her home state of those convicted of supporting Al Qaeda inspired group in Somalia.

9:55 p.m. ET – @PeterHambyCNN: the Republican Party is officially all over the place when it comes to foreign policy

9:54 p.m. – Paul said Taliban is only concerned with killing Americans in Afghanistan because the U.S. military is present in Afghanistan. Romney agreed with Santorum on importance of Latin America to the U.S. He said Hezbollah is active in Latin America and U.S. must keep an eye on that.

9:53 p.m. ET – Perry said if we are serious about protecting Israel we need to pay attention to Syria.

9:51 p.m. ET – Romney said Obama "apologizes" for America and does not embrace American military exceptionalism. He said he does not support no-fly zone in Syria. Romney said Syria is getting pressure from many different countries and actors. Now is not the time for a no-fly zone he said.

9:49 p.m. ET Paul said U.S. should practice policy of "good will" to other countries. Paul asked why U.S. should spend more money to nation build. 'Why don't we mind our own business?" he asks.

9:49 p.m. ET – Q about how to stop terrorist groups from taking hold in Somalia

9:47 p.m. ET – Huntsman said sanctions against Syria and Iran won't work because of Chinese and Russian opposition. Huntsman said mullahs in Iran have already decided they want to build a nuclear bomb.

9:47 p.m. ET – Q from Twitter about current situation in Egypt

9:45 p.m. ET – Perry said no-fly zone would give Syrian dissidents and military chance to defect. Perry said Syria is a partner with Iran in "exporting terrorism," and if we are serious about Iran, then must be serious about Syria.

9:45 p.m. ET – Cain said he would not support a U.S. led no-fly zone in Syria.

9:44 p.m. ET – Q from audience about Syria, and whether you support a no-fly zone like Perry proposed

9:43 p.m. ET@HowardKurtz: Gingrich is standing his ground on not deporting longtime illegal immigrants, despite Romney criticism. Newt knows not a popular GOP stance.

9:37p.m. ET – Perry said there is a need to stop magnets for illegal immigrants, but first order of business is to secure the border. Perry said he has been dealing with it for 10 years as Texas governor. Must put boots on the ground and aerial assets in the air to watch the border.

9:34 p.m. ET – Romney said "amnesty is a magnet." Said we need system that welcomes those who want to come to the U.S. legally. Said we need to stop in-state tuition for children of illegal immigrants and crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants.

9:33 p.m. ET@CNNPolitics: Gingrich supports "Red Card" process where immigrants could become "legal" but could not get "a path to citizenship." #CNNDebate

9:30 p.m. ET – Gingrich said U.S. should have a visa attached to every math and science degree to assure foreign graduates stay. Said he believes you need to find a system like a World War II selective board that reviews those already here as a possible path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

9:29 p.m. ET – Santorum said he would champion regulatory reform to help money trickle down to blue collar workers and make the U.S. a more welcoming place for legal immigrants.

9:28 pm. ET - @AWMooneyCNN: Cain is good at making lists #cnndebate

9:27 p.m.ET – Cain said we know terrorists have entered U.S. from Mexico. Said we must secure border "for real." Said U.S. needs to reform path to citizenship and empower states to do what federal government is not doing with illegal immigrants.

9:25 p.m. ET – Paul said U.S. war on drugs is "total failure" and contributes to problems at border. Paul said prescription drugs are bigger killer than illegal drugs.

9:24 p.m. ET – Perry said strong border security is important not just because of cartels, but because of Hamas and Iran involvement in Latin America.

9:23 p.m. ET – Q about possible U.S. military involvement fighting Mexican drug cartels

9:22 p.m. ET - @psteinhauserCNN: for those of you scoring at home.. the DNC just sent out it's second Romney "flip flop" email #CNNdebate

9:15 p.m. ET Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann look at ways to lower the deficit and handle entitlement reform in the U.S.

9:13 p.m. ET – Gingrich said model in Chile is a good example of a program that could work in the U.S. when it comes to entitlement reform.

9:12 p.m. ET – Q about entitlement reform.

9:11 p.m. ET – Santorum said there should be some compromise from both sides on Capitol Hill. Said Obama has "poisoned the well" in Congress and created atmosphere where compromise not possible.

9:11 p.m. ET@teapartynation: Best idea of the night. Make Congress part time. #cnndebate #teapartynation #tcot #gop

9:10 p.m ET@donnabrazile: Good news: Perry didn't forget anything on his mind, but most of it was misleading. President Obama did lay out a debt plan in September.

9:09 p.m. ET@CNNPolitics: Perry calls Super Committee a "Super Failure" #CNNDebate

9:09 p.m. ET – Perry said Defense Secretary Panetta should resign over potential defense cuts after Super Committee failure to reach agreement.

9:07 p.m. ET@BuddyRoemer: Everything ought to be on the table – oil subsidies, ethanol, entitlements, the military. We have to be strong, but military on the table

9:06p.m. ET – Huntsman said foreign policy must be driven by economics in era of a rising China.

9:04 p.m. ET Gingrich said he would bomb Iran's nuclear capability only as a last recourse and only to make sure current regime is finished.

9:02 p.m. ET – Romney said his first trip abroad as president would be to Israel.

9:01 p.m ET @EWErickson: Ron Paul actually gets a great comeback at Mitt Romney and actually shows he knows more about the budget than Romney on this point. Wow.

9:00 p.m. ET – Paul said budget cutting on Capitol is a "road to disaster". Said members of Congress are just "nibbling". Romney said Congress is cutting programs that are cutting America's ability to defend itself.

8:59 p.m. ET – Cain said there must first be clarity of goals before deploying aid to countries. Paul said U.S. aid must stop in order to deal with U.S. financial condition and deficits.

8:57 p.m. ET – Santorum said development assistance is important. Criticized candidates who support zeroing out aid.

8:56 p.m. ET – Candidates were asked if they would step up Iran sanctions or change tactics.

8:56 p.m. ET Q about development assistance under Bush administration

8:55 p.m. ET – Bachmann took question back to Israel and Iran's statement that it would eradicate Israel from face of the earth. Said Obama has failed the American people and has given Iran "the luxury of time" to build a weapon.

8:53 p.m. ET – Gingrich said solution is increasing U.S. production of energy to create a surplus which would negate need for Iranian oil on the world market. He said he does support sanctioning the Iranian central bank.

8:52 p.m. ET – Perry said U.S. should use every sanction possible against Iran, including sanctioning Iran's central bank. Says Obama shows lack of leadership for not doing so.

8:51 p.m. ET – Q from audience on sanctions about Iran that could stop Iran nuclear weapon.

8:51 p.m. ET – Cain said if we pull out of Afghanistan too soon, Iran will fill power vacuum there.

8:50 p.m. ET – @donnabrazile: Cain is so out of his league. Please let him take a break to study.

8:49 p.m. ET – Paul said he would not support such attack. Said U.S. needs to get out of Israel's way. Said it is their own business who they attack. He says Israel can take care of themselves since they have nuclear weapons.

8:48 p.m. ET – Cain said if Israel had credible plan he would support, and U.S. would join if clear victory plan existed.

8:47 p.m. ET – Q about possibility of Israel attacking Iran, would you support or assist?

8:45 p.m. ET @HowardKurtz: Newt had good applause line on being "furious" with Pakistan re Osama, but never quite said what he'd so about that country – or Afghanistan

8:43 p.m. ET@natlsecuritycnn: Huntsman: we haven't done a good job defing the end point in #Afghanistan

8:42 p.m. ET – Santorum said Obama is playing politics with decisions in Afghanistan.

8:42 p.m. ET - @PeterHambyCNN: Newt "happy to play by the rules" tonight. News!

8:40 p.m. ET – Gingrich said U.S. should be furious bin Laden was found in Pakistan. Says we should tell Pakistan "help us or get out of the way."

8:39 p.m. ET – Huntsman said commander in chief is the one who makes final decision and should take input from wide variety of voices.

8:37 p.m. ET – Romney pushed Huntsman on his position. Romney said commanders on the ground have said this is not time to cut and run, and Romney said he agrees with them.

8:36 p.m. ET – Huntsman disagreed with Romney. Said we have achieved important goals like death of Osama bin Laden. But says we should reduce footprint to Special Forces, and said U.S. is getting tired of long term presence there.

8:35 p.m. ET – Romney said there should be gradual transition to Afghan control. Said we should just not "pull up stakes" and get out of town.

8:34 p.m. ET – Q about amount of spending in Afghanistan

8:33 p.m. ET – Perry responded saying we should remain engaged in that part of the world, justshould not write "blank checks."

8:33 p.m. ET - @CNNPolitics: Cain got personal with @WolfBlitzerCNN: "No Blitz...I'm sorry Blitz, I meant Wolf." Wolf responds: "Thank you Cain." #CNNDebate

8:33 p.m. ET – Bachmann called Perry approach "highly naive" due to Pakistan status as a nuclear weapon state.

8:32 p.m. ET – Perry repeated pledge of not spending a "dime" to Pakistan in foreign aid. Said we should not write check to countries that dont represent U.S. interests.

8:30 p.m. ET - @natlsecuritycnn: Perry: Obama failed "when it comes to expending" intel dollars. Intel budget has increased each year http://bit.ly/v6SXTA #CNNDebate

8:30 p.m. ET – Bachmann said it is important to remain engaged in Pakistan to not lose influence to China. Said she would continue aid to Pakistan, but says Obama policy of "keeping your fingers crossed" is not working and calls the approach "too nuclear to fail.

8:30 p.m ET@donnabrazile: Huntsman: #CNNdebate. Pakistan is a concern that should keep us up at night. A nation-state that is a candidate for failure.

8:30 p.m. ET - @natlsecuritycnn: Perry: Obama failed "when it comes to expending" intel dollars. Intel budget has increased each year

8:29 p.m. ET@THEHermanCain: Team HC: The terrorists have one objective: to kill all of us! We must use every means possible to identify them first! #cnndebate

8:28 p.m. ET – Huntsman said Washington is in a state of dysfunction and must be ready to deal with this threat. Huntsman said it is time to bring troops out of Afghanistan.

8:27 p.m. ET – Q on extended drone campaigns in Pakistan and whether it would help defeat Al Qaeda

8:26 p.m. ET – Former Godfather's CEO Herman Cain said it may be appropriate to update the Patriot Act but we "should not throw baby out with the bathwater." On profiling, Cain said let's ask the professionals what will work.

8:24 p.m. ET – Paul disagreed with Santorum. Asks what if terrorist looked like Timothy McVeigh. Says it would be a "sacrifice" if Patriot Act goes on.

8:22 p.m. ET -
GOP candidates debate the merits of profiling in order to protect our country from terrorist attacks.

8:23 p.m. ET – Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said he does support profiling at airport. Santorum said radical Muslims are committing crimes.

8:21 p.m. ET – Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he would privatize the T.S.A. Said we must strengthen the Patriot Act. Says we have failed in ability to collect intelligence around the world.

8:20 p.m. ET – Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said we can do better system than patdowns, but said we must go after those who attack America.

8:20 p.m. ET Q from CNN Politics TSA patdowns – violation of liberty?

8:19 p.m. ET – Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman said we must find balance between security and liberty. Says local, state and national governments must cooperate.

8:18 p.m. ET@HowardKurz: Wolf dodges bullet: Newt can't attack moderator because 1st question came from Reagan's attorney general, Ed Meese

8:17 p.m. ET – Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said new technology has changed the way we investigate terrorism. Says President Obama has turned terrorism prosecution to ACLU. Said we should not give Miranada warnings to suspects.

8:16 p.m. ET – Gingrich disagreed with Paul. Says he wants a law that says if you attack U.S. we will come after you.

8:15 p.m. E.T. – Texas Rep. Ron Paul said Patriot Act is "unpatriotic". Said we have given up our liberty to provide for security.

8:14p.m. ET – Newt Gingrich said "all of us will be in danger" for the rest of our lives and says he would not change the Patriot Act. Says he would strengthen it as president.

8:13 p.m. ET – First Q from Ed Meese about the Patriot Act.

8:10 p.m. ET - Gingrich and Paul debate the merits of extending the Patriot Act

8:09 p.m. ET – Candidates introduced themselves to the audience.

8:07 p.m. ET – Cast member from the Broadway show 'Jersey Boys' sang the National Anthem.

8:04 p.m. ET – The candidates were introduced and took the stage.

7:50 p.m. ET – From CNN's Security Clearance blog, here is a look at some distinctive positions the candidates take on national security and foreign policy.

7:48 p.m. ET@wolfblitzercnn: Heading to the Constitution Hall stage to moderate Republican presidential #CNNDebate now. Watch!

7:47 p.m. ET – CNN Election Center: Much to gain and lose for Gingrich, rivals in CNN national security debate

7:37 p.m. ET @PeterHambyCNN inside the debate prep nerve center at Constitution Hall, and @wolfblitzercnn is feeling strong.

7:16 p.m. ET @LisaDCNN: CAIN ADVISOR: Tells me they've prepped for nat. security/foreign policy for last week and "he's ready for every question"

7:15 p.m. ET @Jon2012girls: The girls ready for the debate pic.twitter.com/FGT1riox

7:00 p.m. ET@MittRomney: Tune in at 8:00 P.M. EST for the #CNNDebate

soundoff (948 Responses)
  1. Kathy Valleau

    You talk about the troops being in Iraq and afganastan, and other place and talk about our security. Then why don't you bring our troops home and let them take car of our country, and let the other countries take care of there own security.

    November 22, 2011 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  2. Marcus

    Gingrich is in this for an endless war. Stop cutting off Ron Paul and allow the man to speak!

    November 22, 2011 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  3. Steve Rottler

    Not. All Muslims are terrorists. what would you do to embolden peace loving Muslims into assets for the US?

    November 22, 2011 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  4. Rex

    WHat are you planning to do help secure the saftey and fair treatment of animals in this country? How a country treats their animals defines who they are.

    November 22, 2011 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  5. Joseph Nicholls

    Gingrich is the only strategic thinker on stage.

    November 22, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  6. Richard

    Perry and NEWT are way wrong shut down Iran's bank??????? That will just hurt their average person not the terrorist. The terrorist make most there money from illegal activity's so shutting down the banks will do nothing but cause the average person to hate us more and join the terrorist agisnt us.

    November 22, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  7. Bruce

    Obviously, public unrest in the USA

    November 22, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  8. Chase M.

    To all candidates, does an isolationist mentality create a more secure state?

    November 22, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  9. Captain Joe Collins

    What are the positive and negative consequences of enacting Ron Paul's foreign policy agenda? What are the economic impacts? Would our economy improve? Lastly, what is the strength of this "Iranian nuclear missile?" It took the US many years to develop a significant nuclear blast after they became "Nuclear Capable." How many more years will it take Iran to create a deploy-able bomb that is anything close to a megaton? If the answer is "a long time" why are we even talking about this?

    November 22, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  10. Erik Mattsson

    What´s your thoughts about Iran and the middle east situation?

    November 22, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  11. BigBill

    I would like to hear Ron Paul respond to this question: information has been received that a nuclear device has been placed in a major American city and is set to go off within six hours. A suspect has been identified. Does Ron Paul want the suspect read his Miranda rights or does he want our intelligence personnel us any means possible, including torture to get information regarding the device. What is more important to him... the lives of a million American citizens or the rights of one person?

    November 22, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  12. Marcus

    How much time has Ron Paul been able to speak?

    November 22, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  13. citizen

    Mr/Ms Candidate, What is your view on almost no stand from US government regarding cyberattacks and hacking efforts from certain countries with whom we have significant business relations?

    November 22, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    How ironic that we as the only nation in the world who has actually USED a nuclear weapon against another country, now have the gall to decide who can and who can't have one. Can we truly blame Iran for wanting a nuclear weapon? Russia to its North has one, Pakistan to its West has one and the US is on its North east and West in Iraq and Afghanistan and Israel is constantly threatening with its nukes....What would we do in their place???

    November 22, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  15. John

    Asking US Generals when to pull out in Afghanistan is like asking a compulsive gambler behind a slot machine when he should quit. They will both tell you they just need a little more time and a little more money.

    November 22, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  16. Terry

    Why do we so closely ask the military leaders "What would you like; what do you need?" and then work to meet those needs. Yet when our children's education is in question we say "This is all you get and this what we'll take away!" Where is the surge so badly needed in people, support and funds for our education, our police and our firefighters at home here in America?

    November 22, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  17. Vishnu Jayaraman

    What is your strategy to protect our national interests abroad, and to effectively engage with our allies to work out a strong national security scenario?

    November 22, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  18. Vlad

    It is well-known that a computer virus has infected the US military drone aircraft systems. How would you protect the US civilian and military systems from cyber-attacks by individuals and foreign governments?

    November 22, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  19. Bobby Dodson

    Speaker Gingrich, what would you do if Aliens landed outside of Jerusalem and said they were bringing peace and
    prosperity to all of the nations of the world?

    November 22, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  20. ithink122

    Has Bachmann answered a question yet without bashing President Obama? Ma'am, we want to hear what you would do, not who you would blame. If all you would do IS blame, please drop out now.

    November 22, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  21. Mari

    who are they giving these polls to? I don't believe the polls are true to who the republican voters truely support.

    November 22, 2011 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  22. Edith Kerre

    Al Shabab is not only a threat to East Africa and African region but also poses a threat to the United States and the world at large. Given that Americans of Somali origin have been returning to Somalia to fight alongside the Al Shabab and some may even be finding their way back to the United States. Is this not a concern to the United States of America? And if so why is little or no attention given to this threat to national security compared to Afghanstan and Pakistan?

    November 22, 2011 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  23. Ken Beck

    How does the United States become serious with border security to prevent international terrorism, organized crime, and other threats entering our country across our borders or coasts?

    November 22, 2011 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  24. Frank Peters

    I remain dismayed that so many people have chosen to forget the numerous attacks on this country in recent years. Of course we have to be diligent in protecting America – whatever it takes. Look at how many radical extremists came in to this country and lived, ate, worked and plotted death to the people of this country. How many more are here – still here? If they could have killed millons more they would have... And, what do we do? Apologize, open our doors and then send checks to repair what they have destroyed. Our President is weak and our enemies know it.

    November 22, 2011 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  25. Vicki

    Oh please Bauchman, Bush gave Iran a full 8 years of "time" as you state it!! Not a supporter of Obama, but lets be honest here, Iran has been building towards a nuke for many more years than Obama has been in office!!

    November 22, 2011 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
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