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. Brian

    I just want CNN to fire that worthless analyst Brazile. She's just another black voter still living the Obama dream.

    November 22, 2011 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  2. PorkNBeans

    Romney said his first mission would be to travel to that little strip of land along the Eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and let them know we support them.
    What? I'm pretty certain they're aware that the country does, although most of our citizens don't.

    November 22, 2011 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  3. Eric

    Regarding the Patriot Act:
    Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add “within the limits of the law,” because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual. -Thomas Jefferson

    November 22, 2011 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  4. Tom

    Bachmann is not paranoid about Pakistan's nuclear weapons, she has current intelligence information about them and realizes that they need to be secured.

    November 22, 2011 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  5. bmoresteuart

    It came out through an NSA doc that the Gulf of Tonkin that helped escalate Vietnam was a false flag operation by the US, and then we killed a million of their people. We then started engaging in commerce with them in the late 70s! Ideas matter – people die as a result of these ideas. What if these ideas are made by corporations and Gov’t as a means to enrich themselves and gain more power? Google “pictures of dead babies from war.”

    November 22, 2011 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  6. Mark

    The media has discussed already that Newt is one of the easiest candidates for Obama to defeat. Already, CNN and MSNBC has Newt winning. Don’t get me wrong I think he would be a better leader but you have dismissed other candidates such as Cain or Bachmann. Let the people decide not YOU!

    November 22, 2011 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  7. Independent Voter

    Thank you president Obama for american safe. These republican candidates sound like clowns on the stage,
    Newt sound like a evil man and Bachman look confuse on the stage.
    Please 2012 election hurry up so we can elect president Obama 4 more years.
    Republicans got to go 2012

    November 22, 2011 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  8. Tom

    So if I get this right.....we have a cyber threat, Taliban, Pakistan, Somali, China, Mexico, Venezuela, Iran nuke, Iran, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Aids, Terrorist, Muslim extremeist, and the list goes on and on.......forever if they want it to! WAKE UP! We will be in endless wars and fighting ghost enemies while borrowing money from foreigners to lend to dictators that do out bidding while our country sinks further and further into debt (very Roman Empire-like decline, I am sure they thought they were exceptional too). OH YES, we love torture too (wonder what Jesus thinks about that?)

    God Bless Ron Paul, a true patriot and one grounded in principles that do not waver with the political climate.

    November 22, 2011 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  9. Richard Cornell

    Thank you John King and Gloria Borger for helping me to throw my support to Newt Gingrich. I made a donation to his campaign after watching the debate and the dishonest coverage by CNN trying to distort and twist his comments on immigration. Between CNN's bias and Newt's stellar performance, I've finally made my choice.

    November 22, 2011 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |

    Ron Paul is the ONLY voice of reason in the entire room and as usual, NEVER gets equal time to answer questions.

    November 22, 2011 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  11. Debra

    Newt Gingrich offered real answers to tough problems.

    November 22, 2011 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  12. Daniel A P

    This was the best debate yet! Though with regards to the response online (internet) and the talking heads on CNN (which I am still watching) I think CNN's polls are not reflecting the obvious winners. Ron Paul, Huntsman did well too, with the exception of Newt Gingrich who had some strong points. I think it is rigged.. The media should start reporting the truth and listen to the people and stop manipulating the results because the people are starting to see right through it.

    November 22, 2011 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  13. Beto from NM

    Mr. Gingrich, you preformed up to my expectations. I found your argument, regarding immigration, very interesting, CNN has come a long way in trying to be objective yet, after the debate they we using your perspective(regarding immigration) to fracture the GOP. You laid out a realistic approach to immigration reform; I do feel that it would be important to discuss the money and additional bureaucracy needed to deport all illegal aliens. Mr. Perry was correct that we do need to secure the boarders, additional resources should be focused on this endeavor not on a futile goal, others on the stage should be called out to reply to this reality. I would love to see you debate President Obama; substance is his weakness and your strength.

    November 22, 2011 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  14. Eric

    Regarding the Patriot Act:
    I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. -Thomas Jefferson

    November 22, 2011 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  15. Daniel A P

    Ron Paul is a champion of freedom and in touch with reality when it comes to proper measurse to balance our budget and reduce our debt. He is the only one who has exhibited the proper steps to do so. We should really mind our own business and let other countries stand on our own and focus on our own problems. If the GOP wants to make the right decision to win against Obama they would pick this guy it would be a slam dunk but if they pick someone else they are gambling. These are some of the reasons why: Everyone else seems to continue bickering and blaming Obama on a number of issues.

    November 22, 2011 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  16. Daniel A P

    Mitt Romney is Mr. Flip Flop and can't stay decided on any issue. Rick Perry is too aggressive and when he's done speaking you can almost hear a pin drop or a cricket chirp. I think if you upset him you would end up with cement shoes. Herman Cain has no original ideas and wants to delegate his authority to everyone. Newt Gingrich has more skeletons in his closet than Captain Hook and when these issues are in the spot light OOoo Watch out! He'll go in the way of Herman Cain. He also would continue the overreaching of the federal government and wiretap citizens. He is too quick to make laws for everything.

    November 22, 2011 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  17. Joe Here in Colorado

    Ron Paul is going to win this election. Please, for the love of god people, don't vote for any of these other clowns.

    November 22, 2011 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  18. Tjprop

    Ron Paul..Very Wise Man....Just give peace a chance...What are we gonna do bomb them to make them obey..

    November 22, 2011 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  19. bmoresteuart

    Who is our government teaching us to hate, to fear? Which groups, countries, religions, economic systems. Who do they pit against each other, and how do they use these groups to gain more power for themselves? (In America and abroad) the same groups may be ‘used’ in different ways depending on where they reside. There are many similarities between America 2011 with its soft, creeping fascism, and Germany in the early 1930s. Be alert or we shall all perish. We don't have much longer to get this right.

    November 22, 2011 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  20. Dan

    Speaking as a strong states-rights conservative I find a majority of Ron Paul's positions dangerous. In essence the idea of pulling up all our interests in the world and letting them bomb each other out is wrong; morally and politically. It lacks human interests as well as American interests. Yes, that is basically what he is saying. It's plays for large applause from a small % and is a true clear philosophy for a Libertarian Party doctrine. If he was their candidate I'd have no problem if he were invited to the fall election debates between Obama and the Rep. party candidate.

    November 22, 2011 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  21. Tom

    Before you dismiss Ron Paul just imagine if he had been president for 8 years what we would have avoided. He argued against the Iraq war because he said not knowing if someone has nukes is not a good reason to attack. He is strongly committed to balancing the budget. He wants to stop the intrusion of government into the private lives of the citizens.

    November 22, 2011 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  22. Leroy

    Most pressing security issue facing the U.S. that was not discussed: The fear that one of these ignorant GOP clowns will be elected President!

    November 22, 2011 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  23. Gaurav

    all these politicians speaks trash...cmon folks forget whats happening outside US border....It time for you all to build your own back yard before planning to build a porch in someone elses house..

    November 22, 2011 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  24. Tom

    How can the GOP call themselves conservative? The government for them is the perfect solution to solve all the world's problems and provide welfare to the world ! Can someone take my party back from these imposters.

    November 22, 2011 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  25. peter

    None of these candidates have any ideas, let alone good ideas. They will say anything they have to say to get elected. Cain is trying to convince us that his lack of knowledge is a good thing. Pffff. Yeah, right. He says one stupid thing after another and then wants us to believe they were jokes or that he meant something else. At the very least, he's a terrible communicator. Let's see a show of hands for how many people want a guy who can't communicate with his finger on the button. Romney's flip flopping is legendary and his ideas make absolutely no sense. Gingrich isn't far behind. He is on record saying that it's a good idea to require all Americans to have mandatory healthcare. Bachmann makes up "facts" and outright lies through her teeth as if we're all so dumb that we won't see it. Pffff. Perry believes that he is on a mission from God. Mmm hmmm. OK. Need I go on? What a pathetic bunch.

    November 22, 2011 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
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