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. ithink122

    Question for all the candidates: Please list one thing that you think President Obama has done right.

    November 22, 2011 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  2. Bobby I

    I can't wait until one of you is debating Obama on any issue. Punch lines won't work then.

    November 22, 2011 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  3. BachmanIsAnIdiot

    North Korea built a nuke under bush and Iran worked on getting a nuke on Bush's watch. . 911 happened under Bush. Iran is an ongoing problem and Obama did as much as possible without going to war which is not yet needed though yes the defense companies would like that. Bush did the same with Iran

    November 22, 2011 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  4. Roxntreez

    Obama put the trillions from two wars into the debt hence the giant jump

    November 22, 2011 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  5. Rob C

    GOV Perry just commented that he was the "commander and chief" of the Texas Guard – how can that be? He only reached the rank of CPT – O3. What he should have said that he "only reached O3" but since he's elected as the governor of Texas – by "default" he becomes the Commander and Chief. Lets not forget he's also got a degree in "Animal Science" with a bland 2.5 GPA. Do we really need another Texas "dope" in office? Isn't one enough?

    November 22, 2011 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  6. Jimmy Long

    I am done with politics….what a joke this debate shows of the pool of republican Candidates.
    Mike, Rudy, Jeb…..it’s not too late…..PLEASE.

    November 22, 2011 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  7. Vicki

    Oh sorry, I can't watch this anymore, this is WAY too boring, thot it would be the most interesting one, and ends up being the worst so far...later

    November 22, 2011 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  8. Pat Parris

    Michelle Bachman We are sending our power to China! Great point!

    November 22, 2011 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  9. bud

    I'd like to hear Obama answer some of these questions. Perhaps he will take Newt up on the challenge of a 3 hour debate. LOL, we know that ain't gonna happen...LOL

    November 22, 2011 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  10. ithink122

    Just so you know Bachmann, $2.4 billion is not a blank check. That is a number. Blank check means no predetermined number. Please use the correct terms instead of buzz words.

    November 22, 2011 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  11. J K TH

    I am extremely disapointed that Gary Johnson was not invited to speak at this debate. All of these republicans are out of touch. Gary Johnson has a message America needs to here, and CNN is blocking that message. I am tired of the same old republicans it is time for the party to change. Gary Johnson represents that change. His ideas on the war on drugs, would benefit national security with our border with Mexico. Everyone should give this guy a look. Shame on you CNN for excluding such a great candidate.

    November 22, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  12. gingis khan

    As a Texan, I know Rick Perry would do a great job even though he is doing poorly speaking. Paul is too extreme, a pure ideologist, also Bachman only ideologist. Newt is a great thinker, but lacks what a common person thinks about. He appeals to the intellectuals an does belong somewhere in our decision making, but maybe more like Kissinger. Huntsman is a man who is well balanced on his intellectual and people skills, I could accept him as prez without a knot in my stomach. Santorum is good, but feel like the world will push him around too much. Romney, i actually think he could do it. He's good at his core, he's intelligent, he understands the issues. I'm certain he would be backed by people who could help him through it. Changin my mind tonight, thinkin Romney could be a good president. Only prob is, all of them will lose against Obama.

    November 22, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  13. cleaNsweep

    Has Bauchman made one statement without saying Obama or this President!!!

    November 22, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  14. Bill B

    How do you plan to balance the budget, maintain national security and cut taxes at the same time.

    November 22, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  15. rslip

    Most people can name all eight of Santas reindeer correctly and probably could not name all eight in this field. By the way many people usually call Donder, DONNER . Easy way to remember Donner was a party,,,,Donder was the reindeer. These people are just as confusing.

    November 22, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  16. bobby

    You people are all flippin loco Yeh obama isnt great but seriously ... you think these clowns are gonna help anything ? for real? maybe RON PAUL and thats a big fat MAYBE but seriously to act like one of these 8 people are so much better at running the country than Obama .. gimme a break .. go fly a kite.

    November 22, 2011 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  17. Cinder

    To all candidates- What military experience do you have that would make you the best choice to lead our armed forces?

    CNN- let me remind you that this has been a huge issue in past elections. Perhaps my question isn't liked, since Ron Paul is the only veteran on stage.

    November 22, 2011 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  18. Matt H.

    +1 for @Bill 9:13
    What items will have to be cut or raised to fund current and future wars?

    November 22, 2011 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  19. Miles

    Question for the candidates: How would your policy towards North Korea differ from that of Obama?

    November 22, 2011 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  20. Pat Parris

    Why not a Grover Norquist question? How about... How has Norquist influenced the outcome of the super committee?

    November 22, 2011 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  21. Sandy

    My question: Has Barack Obama done anything right in foreign policy? Has he done anything with which you could agree?

    November 22, 2011 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  22. rslip

    Romney losing this debate big time

    November 22, 2011 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  23. Jeff B.

    Just think if all U.S. spending had to be paid for with silver and gold? How would that change the argument on any spending? ... the growth of the federal government?

    November 22, 2011 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  24. Walt

    Bachman had not directly answered any single question asked of her. What is wrong with her hearing? I can't vote fora deaf candidate. I don't have a clue what shes talking about. She's an idiot.

    November 22, 2011 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  25. Louis Ahn

    To Ron Paul. What would you reform the financial system? What is wrong with it? Is it corrupted by the elite? would you really take the median pay o 32, 000 salary as President of the United States?

    November 22, 2011 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
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