Hume is going through the introductions… Ron Paul still looks a lot like Magneto. Huckabee needs to straighten his tie.
Chris Wallace asks McCain why Americans should fight and die while the Iraqis fail to meet political benchmarks. If we leave Iraq, the country will become a base for al-Qaeda, chaos, and genocide. We have a good strategy. Only four of the five brigades are in place. It’s long, it’s hard, it’s tough, it’s difficult. But our national interest is at stake. The Maliki government has to step up.
Hmm. We’re getting some reverb from Chris Wallace’s microphone.
Thompson: US gov has been there for four years. 3400 dead so far. Time for the Maliki government to decide whether they want us for a fifth year. Split the oil revenues – one third to government, one third to territories, one third to every man woman and child in Iraq.
Romney: I’m certainly not going to project failure. Critical to us to recognize broader middle east. Global jihadist effort. They want to bring down the west, and parituclarly us. What we do in Iraq has enormous impact on this broader war against the jihadists. He mentions the potential destablization of the Turkish border, which gets him beaucoup points from me.
Brownback: We’ve got to pull together here to win over there. Too many divisions in the government over here. Can’t win with one party for the war and one against it. I condemn Harry Reid’s statement that we lost. That’s his declaration. I’ve been pushing three state, one country solution.
Hmm. He seems better than last time.
Giuliani: Democrats passed a timetable of retreat. Irresponsible to offer the enemy a schedule of your retreat. Senator McCain is correct – these people want to come here, and they have followed us here. Fort Dix – weren’t instructed by al-Qaeda, but said they were inspired by al-Qaeda. Worst thing to do in the face of that is to show his weakness.
Again, Giuliani seems better, more solid than last time, less rushed in his answer.
Tancredo: Does not believe our force should be “a constabulatory force.” Responsibility of Congress is not to micromanage the war, it is to support the troops who are in harm’s way.
Ron Paul: You have to realize the base of the Republican party shrunk last year because of the Iraq war. Cites poll numbers. Offered bill to declare war. If we want to go to war, the Congress should declare war. Cites Reagan and Marines in Lebanon.
Congressman, if I were you, I would not positively cite an incident that Osama bin Laden cites as a key sign that America is beatable.
Duncan Hunter: Need to train the Iraqi army. Rotate them into the battlefield, rotate us out. Son has done two terms in Iraq. Other guys ought to lay out their credentials to be commander in chief.
Huckabee is asked if he would be open to generals if they said they needed to 300,000 troops. He says we listened to the diplomats and the civilians. Had better get best advice you can get [from generals]. Cites saying, “it takes a lot of more money to do it over than it takes to do it right.”
Gilmore: I think there is no choice but to join up with around the world to put serious sanctions on Iran. Give them the notion have to give up this plan. Need an honest discussion with American people. What happens when Saudi Arabia wants a nuclear weapon to deter Iran’s nuclear weapon? Tough decision has to be made.