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)
  1. Jack Fallon

    Wolf Blitzer has to be the fairest, most objective, and competent newsman on television today.

    November 22, 2011 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  2. James

    Ron Paul the peoples front runner and "The Bringer of Truth". First off thank you CNN for not being bias and for those who don't support Ron Paul please go do more research on the internet and you-tube about each person. Ron Paul has no skeletons in the closet, everyone else does. He is honest and will enforce the will of the people, if we don't vote he wont enforce it his whole idea is being power back to the states and the people.

    November 22, 2011 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  3. bud

    Strengthen the Patriot Act? There goes my vote for Newt

    November 22, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  4. SS

    Give Newt at least some credit by realizing that taking this on a case by case basis regarding immigration is the reasonable and fair compromise. Still loses by supporting the Patriot Act, Ron Paul has the best idea and approach.

    November 22, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  5. gingis khan

    detente is the answer for iran, and with a show of reality. If they launch one, they will cease to exist as a habitable place on earth.

    November 22, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  6. scott

    Ron Paul will give America away, has no strength or backbone

    November 22, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  7. bmoresteuart

    The GOP wants WORLD GOV'T. don't believe me, go to youtube and type the words below. in order to get World Gov't, you must get rid of China and Russia. China and Russia have said they will not allow us to attack Iran. Attacking Iran = World War 3. We do not have the infrastructure to win WWIII. The aggressor always perishes. Wake up people, don't believe the Propoganda the GOP is feeding you. Iran is puny, it is not a threat.
    Who is Newt Gingrich? Must Watch Video For Supporters

    November 22, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  8. Sidney C.

    We need a president that values the bill of rights. The war on marijuana is disasterous public policy. Otherwise lawabiding Americans are imprisoned while drug cartels are enriched. US drug policy destablizes the world and does not achieve its goal of stopping drug addiction. Mexican drug cartels, South American drug cartels, FARC, Taliban, Columbian drug lords, street gangs all profit because the United States criminalizes CERTAIN kinds of drug use. Tobacco and Alcohol remain legal. Its madness.

    November 22, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  9. marty rogers

    these candidates just keep looking worse every time. completely out of touch with reality!

    November 22, 2011 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  10. Terri

    Did Gingrich require aliens to shower first before getting citizenship?

    November 22, 2011 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  11. Tee

    Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul won this debate hands down. Mitt should go home.

    November 22, 2011 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  12. bmoresteuart

    Who profits from war? It is the elite bankers. They bet on both sides of the war in WWI & II, watch Niall Furgeson's "Ascent of Money" on PBS (aval online). Who will survive WWIII... only the elite. It's coming if we don't mind our business. There are WWIII scenario videos on Youtube. You really think our Gov't can keep things from getting out of control? Care to risk your family's life on that?

    November 22, 2011 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  13. PorkNBeans

    I want to like Ron, what's holding me back.

    November 22, 2011 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  14. lxUn1c0

    One important fact about the "PATRIOT ACT" that was overlooked in tonight's debate: 62% of invocations of the act are implemented in the war on drugs, not the war on terror. So, while the candidates can talk all they want about the difference between criminal acts and acts of war, and how we need legislation to deal with people who attack this country, there is, in fact, no difference between the two in implementation. Unless, of course, you believe that the "War on Drugs" is a real war and the people targeted by it are waging war on the United States, which is ludicrous.

    The "PATRIOT ACT" is not being used to fight terror; it is being used to fight crime. These candidates' ignorance to this simple fact shows their lack of knowledge about the consequences of sacrificing liberty for security.

    November 22, 2011 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  15. Tom

    Ron Paul exposed Gingrich as a "Statist." Gingrich is for a strong central government telling people what they can and can't do at the expense of individual liberty. You are guilty until proven innocent. So Gingrich who gets to decide who is a terrorist before they commit the crime?

    November 22, 2011 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  16. bmoresteuart

    Obama and the GOP share a very similar foreign policy. Why do they destabilize the Middle East? If it's not stable it is much easier to control. Why do they want control.. yes, oil. They want war. Watch the online video "This is Why We Fight." Dwight Eisenhower warned us of the Military-Industrial Complex. It's all in the video, on google videos. Business makes money from war, people get rich. We are all screwed. Don't keep falling for it Conservatives.

    November 22, 2011 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  17. gingis khan

    fire up our nukes an start aimin them at them, be willin to back it up, then maybe they will find their humanity

    November 22, 2011 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  18. Terry

    Definately Michele Bachmann. she was the smartest one up there. She could run this country better than all of them put together. I think the tea party better take another look at her. she is the only one that has all of their values. I have no ideal why that Dana on CNN is acting like Newt was their pick. give me a break. he definately does NOT have any of the tea party values. If the tea party backs Newt or Mitt, then they have been hijacked by the Republican party, just like we thought would happen.

    November 22, 2011 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  19. bud

    Donna Brazille just said she "does agree with (a lot of what Ron Paul says)". The Earth will surely be destroyed now.

    November 22, 2011 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  20. Capt. Mark

    Ron Paul -10
    Jon Huntsman – 9
    Michele Bachman – 8
    Newt Gingrich – 7 Mitt Romney is a loser if he promotes war, we've had enough in our live's !!!

    November 22, 2011 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  21. Larry L

    Fear is an old friend of the Republican Party and they used it tonoght. I certainly don't agree with Ron Paul in every arena but he reminded us not to trade freedom for security, he hit a home run with me. It's easy for somebody like Michelle Bachman and Newt Gingrich to talk about how we should thigten-up the Patriot Act. Neither of them has done a thing to defend America – although each could have joined our military and done their duty. Both talk big and carry no stick what-so-ever. As a career Soldier I can say with clarity – it's better to lose American lives to terrorists in a free nation than to give away our freedom with the hope of preventing every act of violence. Cowards need too much breast-feeding...

    November 22, 2011 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  22. SS

    That may be the best outcome of the night: Wolf Blitzer's officially going to be known now as Blitz.

    November 22, 2011 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  23. bmoresteuart

    America is an Empire. All Empires, due to the very nature of their centrally-planned economy and over-expansion will collapse inward on themselves. All one needs to do is look at the Empires of days gone by to see this. There is nothing special about the U.S. that makes it immune to this collapsing. This may be our last chance to get this right.

    November 22, 2011 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  24. Amy

    Republicans suck. They found a scapegoat instead of solution to the immigration problem that we all know this country has. No new ideas , no surprise!

    November 22, 2011 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  25. Connie

    Governor Mitt Romney performed the best in the questions he had an opportunity to answer. However, it seemed as though he was intentionally left out of questions tonight. Too many questions were directed to candidates who cannot possibly be the nominee and the sooner they drop out, the better chance the likely Presidential candidates will have to be heard. CNN always manages a good debate, but I feel they were unfair to Mitt Romney tonight by leaving him out for long segments. I can't help but wonder if there was an intentional agenda to give him as few questions possible to hold him back in the polls? He was still the winner, even though he wasn't given a fair amount of questions as a front runner should be.

    November 22, 2011 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
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