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. Katie from NC

    To all candidates – Pres. Obama has taken a hands off approach with some countries in Arab Spring and an intervention policy with others utilizing diplomacy or our resources. How would you determine when to intervene, with whom, and how if you were president?

    November 22, 2011 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  2. HedgeFund

    What plan do the candidates have on AK47 regulation within the U.S.?

    November 22, 2011 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  3. john

    Michel Bachmann is the only candidate who has clarity regarding illegal immigration. Most experts accept that there are at least 22 Million. Many believe the CAPS study which indicates that there are up to 35 million. A 2005 GAO report says that 9000 Americans are killed EVERY year by illegals.According to a Pew Hispanic, only 4% of illegals are in agriculture. The remaining 96% are either on welfare (54%) or take American jobs, in which Americans are already working.

    November 22, 2011 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  4. Darius (Alabama)

    Here in Alabama, we passed the most aggressive immigration law in the country. I agree with the intent, but I think that we did the right the the wrong way. What does the right thing the wrong way look like on a national scale?

    November 22, 2011 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  5. travis l

    Good question George Johnson ...!

    November 22, 2011 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  6. Fed Up With Republicans

    Mitt Romney is applying to be the President of the United States and he seems totally incapable of making a decision.
    He claims to be a leader but on all the difficult issues he is indecisive and non committal.
    I haven't made up my mind which is more annoying between him and Herman Cain.

    I think Newt Gingrich just made a play for the Hispanic and Independents vote on immigration as he clearly distinguished himself on a question about immigration.

    November 22, 2011 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  7. Davis

    The Mexican government is considered by many to be corrupted by the drug cartels. Do you feel we should intervine like we did in Colombia when we helped get Pablo Escobar there ?

    November 22, 2011 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  8. dave dobbins

    In his farewell address to the nation at the end of his second term as President, George Washington warned Americans about the growth of political parties and their potential to harm the American political system and American ideals. Today we see members of each political party unable to compromise in ways that would bring relief to our economy and offer hope for our country's future. Do you think George Washington was right in this view and is it time for the end of political parties and the emergence of individual political leaders who represent the interests of America as a whole nation?

    November 22, 2011 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  9. Alan Parrington

    Ronald Reagan once opined that nuclear weapons were, “totally irrational, totally inhumane, good for nothing but killing, possibly destructive of life on earth and civilization.” Do you share that view and if so what would you do to rid the world of them as Reagan suggested in his second inaugural address?

    November 22, 2011 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  10. anya

    I like Mary's question:

    What would you do to strengthen educaiton in the United States rather than import skilled labor from abroad?

    November 22, 2011 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  11. Sanjeev

    So Newt is saying Einstein came to America as an immigrant. Einstein was visiting the US when Hitler came to power and stayed when Nazis attacked his house.

    November 22, 2011 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  12. LV

    Question for all candidates: Why should any American trust any of you, that if elected President, you will work for the benefit and welfare of the American People and not for personal interest and power that the position brings, which is the perception of what past Presidents and Congressmen have done.

    November 22, 2011 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  13. The Cochrans

    I am from Pa and as I recall we fired Santorum from his job in the senate why would he run for a higher office?

    November 22, 2011 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  14. Texas Voter

    Question for candidates: Obama's social security number has failed the E-Verify test. What should be done about that?

    November 22, 2011 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  15. vic , nashville ,tn

    Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry have good plan when its come to immigration reform
    Romney’s worst debate performance today
    What we seen Alabama farms we need people to work in the farms give them visa only

    November 22, 2011 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  16. Garrett S.

    Question for the candidates: If sectarian violence broke out in Syria, would you support intervention of any kind to stabilize the country?

    November 22, 2011 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  17. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Cain doesn't understand that he is running for president and not governor of a state. If he was smart, then he would have identified what to do about getting these illegal immigrants either legal or out. States doing their own thing when it comes to immigration makes a mess of the whole situation.

    November 22, 2011 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  18. Charlie

    Our national borders are a major national security issue. Illegal immigration wears on our security and our economy which is also a national security issue.

    November 22, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  19. Kathy Heil

    Wouldn't Ron Pau"s foreign policy plan immediately cuts the budget by $2B a week.

    November 22, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  20. Mark

    A fundamental responsibility of a federal government is to collect taxes and hence to spend and distribute those taxes wisely to the benefit of those that contributed. How can you justify spending federal tax dollars on illegal immigrants when those that paid the taxes are suffering in this economic recession?

    November 22, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  21. w johnson

    please insist that the canidates answer the questions that you ask them they are all trying to play both sides of the fence

    November 22, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  22. Rob Beilby

    Arab Spring: Is turning into Arab winter for SYRIA, WHY!! What policy would any of the candidates adopt to blunt the Syrian catastrophy that is unfolding. What would you say to President Obama to level the playing field in Syria.

    November 22, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  23. Jay

    Immigration, Legal VS Not Legal it amazes me that afer many decades we are still spending valuable financial assets and time on this issue. This issue will never go away beacuse it benefits to many businesses that rely upon illegal immigrants that will work well below minimum wage, which in return nets these companies huge profits. Remember in the world today, at the END OF THE DAY it all comes down to the ALMIGHTY DOLLAR!! Which is a bad end state.

    November 22, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  24. Deborah Reppenhagen

    How can we be secure if our dollar is not? What would the candidates to secure and insure that our dollar is sound?

    November 22, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  25. Altay

    Arap spring is being supported by the US government assuming that the people in Middle East (mosly muslims) can be liberated. With a religion that does not align with the meaning of liberation, how do the US government support Arap spring movement? So the main question is whether Islam can be softened and moderated. My opinion is that Arap Spring will only lead to more Sharia based republics like Iran in the region.

    November 22, 2011 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
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