CBS/National Journal Debate in South Carolina: Rick Perry, Herman Cain (Video)
GOP Debate Only Has 1 Europe Question
While Saturday night’s debate mainly stuck to its foreign policy pledge, the candidates left out one major issue: Europe’s mushrooming debt crisis. While focused mainly on Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and Iran, the very last question dealt with the eurozone crisis, which could threaten the U.S. economy. Only Jon Huntsman was able to answer the question about Europe, while Rick Perry was cut off in the middle of his answer by “the tyranny of the clock.”
Most Candidates Come Out for Torture
In the case of torture, the majority of the Republican candidates said they would support it—with the notable exceptions of Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman. Paul said, “What are we doing here?” when describing torture, while calling it “immoral” earlier. Huntsman asserted that waterboarding is torture, despite the opinion of many Republicans to the contrary. Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain both said they supported “enhanced interrogation techniques,” and Rick Perry took on Paul’s comments by saying, “I am for the techniques—not torture—that will save young American lives, and I will be for it until I die.”
Perry Jokes About Stumble
Rick Perry tried to stay light Saturday night about his fumble during the last Republican debate. When asked about his calls to eliminate the Department of Energy, he responded by saying, “You remembered,” to laughter, to which moderator Scott Pelley responded, “I’ve had time to think about it,” and Perry laughed and said, “So have I.” Meanwhile, Perry often tried to go back to the previous topics whenever a new question came to him, despite attempts by the moderators to stay on the question.
Afghanistan, Iran Policy Slammed
The CBS News/National Journal debate Saturday night kicked off by sticking to the Republican candidates' pledge of talking about foreign policy as they slammed President Obama’s policies on Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Texas Gov. Rick Perry said “we need to do foreign aid differently,” and stated that “my foreign-policy budget for countries would be zero dollars”—including for Israel—until they proved themselves otherwise. On Iran, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney called Obama’s Iran policy “his greatest failing as a foreign-policy president” and said he supported “crippling sanctions,” while former House speaker Newt Gingrich called for “every possible aspect short of war in breaking down the regime" —with both suggesting they would go to war with Iran to prevent nuclear weapons. Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman took the opportunity to stand apart from the other candidates by saying he supported a full withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.