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. Tim V.

    Gov. Huntsman is the only one on stage who knows what he's talking about on foreign policy. I wish he got more attention.

    November 22, 2011 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  2. April

    Gingrich wants to expand the patriot act?? So listening to our phone conversations, reading our emails, and countless other invasions of privacy aren't enough? And he's the new frontrunner?! What has happened to our country?

    November 22, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  3. Jack Fallon

    Ahmedinejad never said any of the things that Bachmann just quoted him as saying. He has never threatened Israel or the United States.

    November 22, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  4. Jay

    What is preventing US from entering pakistan and iran and taking out their nuclear capabilities. Easier logistics – the troups are already there?

    November 22, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  5. Michael Crow

    Rick Perry can not even keep the Texas Govenors home safe it got burned down on his watch and our borders are a joke

    November 22, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  6. Ken Beck

    How do we become serious about border security in preventing international terrorists, organized criminals, and other threats entering our country across borders and coastlines?

    November 22, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  7. Natalie

    Get real! You can't even take a tax cut to help our own...speech maker without substance

    November 22, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  8. Angela

    When Russia fought in Afghanistan in the 80's they lost and left. Plus went bankrupt, what makes these politicians think WE the USA think we are going to win, we are falling into the trap losing our troop, losing our money and seeing No End to this War.

    November 22, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  9. Pat Parris

    Hmmm. Shining city on a hill. Do I smell a Huntsman Santorum ticket?

    November 22, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  10. Michael McGarry

    Terrorism is definitively a tactic. It can be used by any person, group, organization, political party and government including our own. The best thing about this tactic is, it is extremely hard, if not impossible to identify, prevent, and rid. In fact terrorism can never be defeated as long as a democracy exist and opinions abound. Pertaining to its use as a tactic of war, it is the beginning process. It's used by the enemy to bring about confusion, fear, and to undermine the political and financial system of the targeted nation. It focuses the attacked nations attention away form the those who seek to do harm sending them into political distress as well as financial duress open them to an attack which cannot be defended. what are the candidates thoughts.

    November 22, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  11. TeeBee

    Is it me or did Rick Santorum just call Africa a country?

    November 22, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  12. Richard

    lol Rick Santorum, if we stop paying everyone they will attack us...... What a joke if that is what is keeping the world from attacking us we have some major problems.

    November 22, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  13. Darius (Alabama)

    What is an uintended consequences of the U.S. having an optimum relationship with Pakistan?

    November 22, 2011 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  14. John M.

    For Huntsman, Romney and Gingrich: How do you plan to prevent the seemingly inevitable Israel-Palestine War, and how will you support Israel if this war does come to pass?

    November 22, 2011 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  15. Frederick

    Many Republicans rail against " socialism " within the USA Borders. Why don't they practice Capitalism when it comes to maintaining military bases around the world. Foreign aid should end as we know it. Santorum what are you talking about? What Friends? The Citizens of the USA want our money to stay here.

    November 22, 2011 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  16. Eric Kussman

    In his book, Mitt Romney reccomended doing what Harry Truman did with our military with our soft power... Section it out and put individuals whom can be held accountable as to how those funds are spent in different regions of the world. Could you expand on how this could benefit the United States of America?

    November 22, 2011 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  17. Natalie

    Lets look at the whole problem... should we change our recipe for dough to line our pockets or no?

    November 22, 2011 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  18. Chira

    I'd like to know why all of these candidates except for Paul and Huntsman feel that we need to pursue an aggressive, possibly hostile course of action with Iran. The IAEA concluded that they do not, in fact, have a nuclear weapon, though they have the capability to manufacture one. Pursuing that course of action can be compared to convicting someone for first degree murder because they own a firearm and have been trained to use it. They haven't killed anyone, but they could! They have the technical and physical capability to do so!

    November 22, 2011 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  19. Christine MacKenzie

    Do you actually believe that the USA is still one of the world super powers?

    November 22, 2011 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  20. Max Maurer

    Do you support Obama increasing relations with Cuba?

    November 22, 2011 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  21. vstfleur

    Cain has not answered any questions. how was he ever leading the poll?

    November 22, 2011 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  22. James S.

    To All: Do you believe that NAFTA corridor is a security threat?

    November 22, 2011 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  23. Jorge Marrero

    I totally agree with Ron Paul and his plan to get the troops out of Afghanistan. I also agree with his comments about Israel. It has been proven throughout history that economic power is actually what makes a superpower. China is sitting back watching and enjoying the show, spreading their ECONOMIC influence around the world, while we waste our time in countries that have a perpetual hate for us and are only taking economic advantage of our naive and reckless foreign policy over the last 3 decades. Is there anyone else as brave as Ron Paul to actually say

    November 22, 2011 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  24. jacobs peksan

    To all candidates:
    What is your opinion, may the palestine government be a part of the united nations ?

    November 22, 2011 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  25. Sabeshon

    Can you please ask everyone on the stage this simple question; Is water boarding torture?

    November 22, 2011 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
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