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. Leroy

    Winner of tonight's debate: President Obama, by default!

    November 22, 2011 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  2. American Citizen

    Anyone that pointed his finger at me like Mr. Gingich would be told the following:
    "You are rude. Pointing your finger at someone when in the middle of a conversation is a control tool. The finger removes the words from the mouth of the speaker and onto the threat of physical force."

    It is an assault.

    November 22, 2011 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  3. Arthur

    Have to agree with earlier post of Scott's regarding the "recruiting" of intellectual immigrants. Wonder how that plays to the future engineers currently on our college campuses already struggling with rising costs of tuition and less than robust job market waiting for them upon graduation.

    November 22, 2011 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  4. Jersey3038

    I don't get how anyone doesn't think Ron Paul is the answer. We never learn from our mistakes. Ron paul is common sense. The guy is talking about things we would do in our own homes.

    November 22, 2011 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  5. Daniel A P

    I believe the much of the media and those who own the outlets are counting you (the people) to give into the programming and think that some people can't win the election when everything says otherwise. Like others have said above me all the other candidates beside Ron Paul have skeletons in their closets but nothing BAD can be said about Paul. Look about 90% of the people on this blog have expressed support for Ron Paul but the media is saying otherwise. We as a nation cannot possible continue these wars and that is the truth and resonates with almost everyone in this country. Anyone who thinks the answer is to beat others into submission have dangerous thinking that will lead to more destruction and it will only be a matter of time going that way for our nation to be completely run down.

    November 22, 2011 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  6. Jason S

    Ron Paul Wins!!!

    November 22, 2011 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  7. Mike

    War is fought to benefit the mega-rich. Read your history books people. Do some critical thinking!

    November 22, 2011 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  8. Strange NWO

    JON HUNSTMAN.... Yeap, he's got more voters.

    November 22, 2011 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  9. Alientech

    None of these clowns or the clown in chief can stop the implosion from within. And that's a good thing. Enough of wars and planning for wars. The empire needs to shrink to nothing.

    November 22, 2011 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  10. Sidney C.

    Newt is in trouble for calling out the "party of the family" on immigration. What a joke calling the republicans a party of the family, when they fight tooth and nail to keep gay people from making a family through marriage and adoption.

    November 22, 2011 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  11. ArizonaYankee

    I would love to see where Romney, Paul, and Gingrich stand on the Federal Reserve. Could we have an open dialogue between these three candidates that is fair and equally timed?
    Their opinions are well known. All three say bye, bye to that agency. Problem is you listen to mainstream media like CNN and since they don't report meaningful news, you don't know jack schitt about what is going on....Serves you right....

    November 22, 2011 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  12. Daniel A P

    Scott above who made the comment about America would be given away. With all due respect Sir I disagree with you and would propose to you that His policies are the only solution to our economy would strengthen our nation and give us the position to negotiate with other nations with respect rather than trying to act in aggression which has only hurt us in the past. The current administration and the one before that has failed in that department but everyone with an intelligent mind or even eyes to see can see that Ron Paul would do the exact opposite. I encourage you to reconsider your thinking there.

    November 22, 2011 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  13. J.J.J. Schmidt

    We can term this the ascendancy of the mediocre presidential candidate. If this clutch of morons is all that the Republican party has to offer, it makes us wonder who is really running America. When we think in these terms we begin to see clearly the necessity of a jughead executive as we had under Dubya when Cheney actually ran the government or with a compliant, obsequious coward who currently occupies Pennsylvania Avenue.

    November 22, 2011 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  14. JACMP

    I understand that some do not “like” profiling even feel that it goes against what the US stands for, but if a city has a group of tall, bald, white men committing a certain crime. They are not going to look for, short black women with long hair. You have to take a common sense approach to how you utilize the limited law enforcement capabilities that we have.

    November 22, 2011 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  15. Peppley

    In the end Romney agreed with Gingrich that an alien with 25 years of faithful living should not be deported

    November 22, 2011 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  16. Bob

    Boycott black friday. No more debt!

    November 22, 2011 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  17. Daniel A P

    Leroy you said Obama has won by default and I think that is a biased comment. I can thank Obama for one thing and that is guaranteeing that the next President of the United States of America will be more conservative than Ronald Reagan ever was and though it will be a tough road we have real hope and real change with Ron Paul.

    November 22, 2011 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  18. M. Aboulmouna

    Most importantly, the law that automatically grants citizenship to illegals' children just because they happened to be born in the US, should be changed. That is a real magnet for them to come here.

    November 22, 2011 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  19. JRS

    We need an intelligent President like Obama who has the necesary capabilites to tackle the complex problems that face our country. He certainly has been and continues to be a key spokesman for the poor and middle class. There isn't anyone of the GOP candidates who has the comparable capabilites and judgement.

    November 22, 2011 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  20. Jersey3038

    Ron Paul is the only one who doesn't talk like a trust fund baby.

    November 22, 2011 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  21. Derrick from Phoenix, AZ

    RON PAUL really does care about the direction this country has been taken and wants to get US back on track. He understands most of the issues that have plagued us for so long, and wishes to bring peace and prosperity back to our society...and the world! If anyone else except RON PAUL is elected...GOD help us all!

    November 22, 2011 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  22. Mark

    BREAKING NEWS!!!! All are advised to stay home during the Vote. The Media is penciled in to do the voting!!

    November 22, 2011 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  23. Strange NWO

    Jon huntsman = Optimism, Mormonism,etc... MITT ROMNEY is distant cousin or distant brother to JON HUNTSMAN.
    His great great great great great great grandfather was PARLEY P. PRATT

    It's called Illuminati.

    November 22, 2011 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  24. w ghanem

    CNN More coverage on Ron Paul Please.

    November 22, 2011 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  25. Daniel A P

    Dan above who made the comment about states men who are you referring to? What sense are you making? What world interest can we possibly have at this juncture in history than our own because without resolving and tending to our domestic issues that is the true definition of being wrong and immoral because without that our doom is sealed. We know that is avoidable and unless we elect Paul or someone who would adopt his every policy that is what will inevitably happen. Yes Newt and Huntsman performed well but the clear victor again is Ron Paul because He is honest and original.

    November 22, 2011 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
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