(CNN) – Several Republican presidential candidates distanced themselves from President Bush’s foreign policy doctrine, and questioned the role of Vice President Cheney, during Sunday morning’s nationally-televised debate.
The foreign policy comments came in response to a question during on President Bush’s second term goal of spreading democracy and ending tyranny, during the debate from Des Moines, Iowa, broadcast on ABC’s “This Week.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney said. “I’m not a carbon copy of President Bush. And there are things I would do that would be done differently.”
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said he would not follow the policy, saying “sometimes when you get what you want, you don’t get want what you get.” He said, “this is a great case of that happening. I don’t think it’s the job of the United States to export our form of government…I don’t think we can force people to accept our way of life, our way of government.”
Texas Congressman Ron Paul told the audience, “There’s nothing wrong with spreading our values around the world, but it is wrong to spread him by force.”
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN)–Republican Duncan Hunter's presidential campaign announced Saturday that former McCain staffer Patrick Anderson has signed on as Hunter's Iowa director.
"It wasn't a hard decision at all," Anderson told CNN. "It's interesting because about four hours after I committed to McCain, [the Hunter people] called and said they wanted me. I would have gone with Hunter in the first place, but the McCain people had been on and off before Hunter made the decision."
Anderson was coalition director of field operations for John McCain's presidential campaign, but was one of a handful of staffers laid off in early July. Before working for the Arizona senator, he was also the Iowa director for Chicago businessman John Cox, a Republican presidential candidate whose campaign, according to Anderson, has "sort of failed to take off nationally."
Duncan Hunter, a California congressman, currently has three other staffers working under Anderson in Iowa.
– CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch
WASHINGTON (CNN)–Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff defended his agency’s progress on border security this morning against attacks from Republican presidential candidate Duncan Hunter. On CNN’s Late Edition, Chertoff said, “fencing has a symbolic value, and it has usefulness in some parts of the border. And we're going to use it where it is effective. But the idea that you are going to solve the problem simply by building a fence is undercut by the fact that yesterday we discovered a tunnel. So the idea that fencing alone is a solution I think is overly simplistic.”
In an appearance two weeks ago on Late Edition, Congressman Hunter (R – California) took on Chertoff, saying, “If you're going to have more border enforcement, why do you cut the border fence in half and leave New Mexico and Texas wide open for people to come in?” Hunter added, “Mr. Chertoff is charged with securing the border. And the one thing he's not doing - he's appearing on lots of talk shows, he is not securing the border.”
– CNN Associate Producer Jennifer Burch
Hunter disagrees with President Bush on immigration
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Presidential Candidate Duncan Hunter thinks the President’s new plan to provide additional border security funds to the immigration bill is “terrible”. Speaking on CNN’s Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, Hunter said, “I think it's a terrible trade for the president of the United States or the Senate, which really has this amendment, to trade border security for amnesty.”
The president Thursday proposed adding an amendment to the immigration bill that would immediately provide $4.4 million to beef up border security. “Border security is the obligation of the American government,” Hunter said. “That's like saying we'll send enough bullets to our troops in the field in Iraq or Afghanistan if you do something else, if you in Congress will make the right move. That should be a given.”
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The most powerful moment of the Tuesday's presidential debate, according to CNN's Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, was Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California, responding to a question by a New Hampshire audience member named Erin, whose brother died in Iraq. The question focused on how the candidates would bring the conflict in the Middle East to a point where U.S. troops can safely return home.
Hunter thanked the audience member for her brother's service and spoke about his own son's service. "My son, Duncan, the day after 9/11, joined the Marine Corps, quit his job and did two tours in Iraq. He's in Afghanistan right now. First of all, I want you to know it's worth it. What he did was worth it," Hunter said.
The audience member's brother, First Lieutenant Michael Joseph Clearly, was killed in Iraq eight days before he was to return home in December, 2005.
Sen. John McCain also thanked the audience member for her brother's service and spoke to her directly about the Bush administration's handling of the war in Iraq. "I'm going to give you a little straight talk. This war was very badly mismanaged for a long time. And Americans have made great sacrifices. Some of which were unnecessary because of this mismanagement."
McCain also said he believes the U.S. has a strategy for Iraq will succeed so that "the sacrifice of your brother would not be in vain."
Fmr. New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was the third candidate of the night to thank the audience member for her brother's service and said that her brother's sacrifice is "is one of the reasons we're safe now in the United States."
–CNN Associate Producer Natalie Apsell
WASHINGTON (CNN) - California Rep. Duncan Hunter said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, his home state's popular governor, is not a good model for the Republican Party.
"I think the guy who's got the most influence right here with these three gentlemen is Ted Kennedy," Hunter said in reference to fellow candidates Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain. Hunter concluded, "I think we need to move away from the Kennedy wing of the Republican Party."
Schwarzenegger won support by bringing both sides of the aisle together on certain issues. But Hunter criticized his Republican rivals who have partnered with Democrats on issues like gun control, health care and immigration.
–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - Tommy Thompson's getting energized.
The former Wisconsin governor and Bush cabinet secretary is talking to about five reporters right now. Thompson's quite animated as he talks about what he calls a drug problem with teens in America. Thompson was also energized as he discussed the immigration reform plan now in Congress.
Duncan Hunter's sounding off right now about the fate of the Republican Party. The longtime congressman from California wants to see the GOP return to its roots. And he's slamming Mitt Romney right now. He just told a scrum of reporters that Romney stood side-by-side with President Clinton when it came to gun control.
A similar attack on a frontrunner from another man back in the pack: Rep. Ron Paul just told journalists that Arizona Sen. John McCain can't be trusted. The congressman and Libertarian from Texas says that McCain is a maverick who bucked the party during the 2000 campaign.
All and all, it's a typical night in the spin room. The front-runners leave the spinning to their surrogates while the rest of the pack try to grab as much media attention as possible.
–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) - California Rep. Duncan Hunter didn't particularly like the question posed by the Manchester Union Leader's Tom Fahey. Fahey asked who is going to fill the jobs left open if illegal immigrants had to leave the country.
He said he didn't agree with the premise that illegal immigrants are filling all the jobs, citing a sweep at Swift plants in Iowa as evidence.
Hunter said border enforcement is the issue at hand. That's why he's in favor of the fence mandated in the bill he sponsored, and signed by President Bush in October.
That bill mandated a 854-mile, double-border fence, not the "scraggly little fence you show on CNN all the time," he said.
"If they get across my fence we sign them up for the Olympics immediately. We've got a big fence," he said.
Six months later, Hunter said that fence is just 11 miles long.
"This administration has a case of the slows," he said.
– CNN.com Writer Kristi Keck
MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - Duncan Hunter just took a shot at the current Republican White House.
The congressman from California was answering a question about immigration reform when he accused the current administration of having "a case of the slows" when it comes to constructing a security fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Hunter didn't mentioned President George W. Bush outright, but it was obvious who he was talking about.
MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) Asked if he thinks President Bush made the right decision opening a direct dialogue with Iran, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California said yes, but with "two caveats".
Hunter said "number one, they (the Iranians) are moving deadly equipment across the border that is killing Americans in Iraq. We have license to use anything we want to use, special operations, intelligence, whatever it takes to stop that deadly equipment from moving across the border."
"Secondly," he said, "they have about 1,000 centrifuges...enriching the material that can make, at some point, a nuclear device.... We may have to pre-empt that nuclear weapons program. We cannot allow them to have a nuclear device."
"With those two caveats, talk to your enemies," Hunter said.