Live Blog: CNN Republican National Security Debate
November 22nd, 2011
07:30 PM ET
11 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 #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

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

soundoff (948 Responses)

    Romney: Once more you FLIP FLOP to the Hispanic Voters related to imigration. How in the world can you separate a family that has legal childeren that have been born, raised and may even have been part of our Armed Forces and that have been in the US for 20 plus years with 1, 2 or 3 generations in the US. Once more we can see how misinformed and out of touch you are with the Hispanic community and with Hispanic Imigration or ilegal imigration however the GOP want to call it. I am a Hispanic Republican but after todays debate many Hispanics will not vote for you, I will not, I will not vote for Gingrich, he does know what he is talking about related to Hispanic imigration or ilegal imigration, lets make sure we don't lose the human aspect of all of the ilegal imigration issue. Related to Bachmann, she just don't know where she is even standing...she should just give Hispanic will vote for her.

    November 22, 2011 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  2. KC

    Ron Paul wants to put blame on the US for 9/11. Ron Paul wants the US to not have an international presence at ALL placing all Americans abroad at risk. Ron Paul thinks you can be friends with Iran. Ron Paul does not understand that our enemies do not respect weakness. Candidate Obama said the same thing. Then he got the National Security briefings. Even he has given up on most of that.

    November 22, 2011 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  3. Fed Up With Republicans

    Up until tonight I had not seen John Huntsman clearly differentiate himself from the Bachmans, Santorums,Cains, and Perry's but tonight he is shining and clearly is demonstrating that he can stand on the world stage.

    November 22, 2011 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  4. travis l

    Ron Paul won this Debate. Thanks CNN for being fair with time.... hint...hint 89 seconds... much more balanced

    November 22, 2011 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  5. Ryan

    Very good answer from Ron Paul regarding meddling in other countries affairs. Do to other countries what we would like done to us.That is a good policy in general for all things foreign and domestic. Listen to this man. He is the only intelligent man up there besides John Huntsman.

    November 22, 2011 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  6. JhonR

    How can anyone speak of importing professionals from other countries when we have a large amount of professionals, who worked hard and studied hard to achieve their professional goals, and are now out of work.

    November 22, 2011 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  7. M. Aboulmouna

    On the immigration issue, here's how we deal with the ~12 million people illegal immigrants: issue yearly temporary permit (ID card), track their place of employment by mandating their employer to report their status, and mandate that they'll pay taxes and health care. If we stop the temporary workers we'll in effect raise the cost of producing internal products and goods dramatically.

    November 22, 2011 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  8. Marcus

    These candidates are going to have to start trying to sound like they think like Ron Paul does as all these other talking heads will try to become his VP. Hope Gary Johnson is the VP. Romney made no sense there.

    November 22, 2011 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  9. Kathy Heil

    Other than Ron Paul has any of them ever considered minding their own business!

    November 22, 2011 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  10. Perry from Wenatchee

    Romney is sounding like an Imperialist.

    November 22, 2011 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  11. N O'Mahony

    If they had to choose, who would the presidential candidates choose as running mates among the candidates themselves and why?
    Also,...... ............Wolf, Have you ever thought of running for president yourself?

    November 22, 2011 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  12. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    @Mountain Fighting - he's not going to win which is a problem. The other problem is that Paul is an idealist in a non-ideal world. There is nothing that he can really say that makes sense because there are people who don't follow the rules.

    November 22, 2011 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  13. Matt H.

    Question for those here:
    should the USA be modern day crusaders on behalf of Israel?

    November 22, 2011 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  14. john kuykendall

    That does it...I'm divorsing my self from Texas...i'm writing my self in for President....i as ill prepared to be Prident as these clowns...yea me

    November 22, 2011 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  15. InCoHoots

    Hey Blitz, I know you love to provoke and encourage the nation's fear factor. I remember hearing/watching you hide under the table in Daharan when the first Scud missles struck! You and the candidates are doing a pretty good job tonight.

    Mitt and Newt, if the election were tomorrow, Ron Paul would win (if the Party is still a Conservative Party).

    November 22, 2011 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  16. Carlos Blanco

    I would like to hear a new strategy for improving our US economics other than the historical republican economic strategy of starting a new war. We have seen how well that has worked in the past.

    November 22, 2011 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  17. rslip

    Education is the most important weapon in our arsenal. Why are Republicans so against any kind of investment in educating our college students. They graduate from college now with enormous debt that their mothers and dads did not have. What would you do to change this awfuol trend???

    November 22, 2011 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  18. Fed Up With Republicans

    Rick Santorum deserves his poll numbers he is clearly not a serious candidate.

    November 22, 2011 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  19. Marcus

    Bachmann... for real? Steve Jobs is dead and sending jobs to China because we don't have enough engineers here... good riddance SJ is gone and by by Apple.

    November 22, 2011 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  20. Fed Up With Republicans

    Solid performance for Ron Paul

    November 22, 2011 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  21. Blitz

    Strike three and your out Dr Paul

    November 22, 2011 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  22. steve

    This Q is for all of them. "If elected president would you declare English as the Official Language of the USA? Please remind them it's a close ended Q, which only reqires a "yes" or "no"!!
    I'm amused when they say, " protect the usa and it's citizens within its border's..... and then immediately go into yangertheir "war on terror" diatribe to protect us from another 9-11. Whats wrong with starting right here in the good ol' USA? Such as the Mexican and Canadian borders. I really think our great forefathers meant US borders, First.

    Ron Paul is the only guy up there with the yangers and uncommon sense to do the things this country needs done.

    November 22, 2011 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  23. Tom H

    When I hear one candidate talk about who is "evil" and another talking about the "shining city" and another who contradicts himself in the same answer [read: Romeny, Santorum, and Cain, respectivley] I can't see how the Republicans can take themselves seriously.

    I have to say though that Ron Paul and Newt seem to be the only ones who stick to their guns without resorting to cliches.

    November 22, 2011 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  24. Connie

    Ron Paul makes sooooo much sense.....

    November 22, 2011 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  25. marty

    Question was about how to stop terrorist groups from taking hold in Somalia-
    Not one person answer the questions. Are they a sleep on stage

    November 22, 2011 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
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