Romney: Don’t take options off the table. We’re seeing same thing around the world. People are testing the United States of America. We have resolve and strength to protect our interests. Help moderate Muslims. Work with allies to combine efforts to move Islam toward modernity. (some applause)
Wolf explains crackling noises are lightning.
Tancredo finally gets a question on immigration. Incredible consequences for country, and disastrous. Tried to impress upon American public the importance of this issue. Will we survive as a nation? We are becoming a bilingual nation, and that is not good. Yes, I have said dramatic things, and I will go after any Republican because Republicans can stop this. Gets applause. A lot of applause tonight.
Rudy: Immigration bill has no unifying purpose. Typical Washington mess. Too much compromise. Need tamper-proof ID card and a database, make sure they’re not coming here for bad purpose. We can do that. Credit card companies take care of data greater than that.
Romney: McCain is my friend, he campaigned for me twice. We should enforce immigration bills. THe Z-visa allows people illegally to stay here for the rest of their lives, even if not as citizens. That’s not fair to millions people around the world. Simply not fair those people get put ahead of line of everyone waiting patiently. (applause)
McCain: Judd Gregg is a great senator… Rudy, you just described our legislation. It does have verification system. Look, this is a national security issue. Ever since 9/11. We need to act, my friends. I’d love to hear better idea. This isn’t the bill I would have written, but it meets our national security challenges…
McCain talks a long while, Rudy and Romney eager to jump in.
Rudy: I’ve read the legislation. Four or five methods of ID. No info on who leaves the United States. Finally doens’ provide for a uniform database. Many countries have this, we don’t.
Romney: Enforce the law as it exists. (gets applause). Secure the border, put in place employment verification system. Take the Z-visa, make it temporary.
Hunter: I disagree premise – Americans will do those jobs. Cites meatpacking plant in Iowa. Paid $18 an hour to legal citizens. Need a double fence, not that scraggy fence you show on CNN all the time, Wolf. If they get over my fence, we sign ‘em up for the Olympics immediately. This administration slowed the fence down. The Bush-McCain-Kennedy bill is a bad bill.
Brownback: Don’t create new paths to citizenship. We’re at 12 to 20 million now. If you do border enforcement, aggressive interior enforcement…
Tommy T: Enforce the border.
Ron Paul: Border security is important. If you subsidize something, you get more of it. We subsidize illegal immigration by paying for health care and education. We do need workers, but we need truly free-market economy. Illegal immigrants have become the scapegoat.
Wolf asks if English should not be official language.
McCain says it’s not a big point of opposition, but notes Native Americans have treaties in their own language. Notes support of both President and Jeb Bush. If we don’t address this issue, something bad is going to happen…
Rudy McRomneyson? Gilmore says Rudy McRomney would be a fine ticket, but it wouldn’t be a conservative one. Thompson is a fine man, but let’s see exactly where his views are.
Tommy Thompson: I think anyone with the Thompson name should get involved.
If you’re talking about conservatism, I have the most vetoes, no one has reduced taxes as much as I have. This one is the conservative Thompson.
Rudy is hit with a hard question on a bishop’s statement comparing his view on abortion to Pontius Pilate’s view on crucifying Christ.
Lightning interrupts Rudy’s answer. They’re gonna leave me alone here! For someone who went to parochial schools all his life, this is a frightening thing. Religion is important to me. I’ve got to make the decisions in country. Abortion is wrong, but government should not be forcing this decision on a woman.
Probably the best answer he could give on this.
Having said that, it sounded like he was moments away from divinely-inspired electrocution.
Romney: Roe v. Wade has gone too far.
Huckabee: I’m not planning on writing an eighth grade science textbook. Question is simplistic. I believe there is a God, who was active in the creation process.
Wolf: Do you believe it was done in six days?
Huckabee: I don’t know, I wasn’t there.
Brownback: St. Ansen had a philosophy of faith seeking reason.
McCain: On teaching creationism, leave it to the school districts… there’s no doubt that the hand of God was involved in what we do today.
Romney, asked about ten percent of voter : Kennedy said he wasn’t a Catholic running for President, he was an American running for President. I’m a proud member of my faith. But it’s a fair question. I believe in Jesus Christ as my savior, recites other beliefs.
Ron Paul: Write a lot less law. Make decisions at local level.
Rudy asked about climate change: We need equivalent of putting man on the moon.
We lost Rudy’s mike there for a moment.
Romney: Rudy is right to want an Apollo project for energy. Big oil is making money right now, I’d like them to invest that into refineries. Cites expert, our refineries are rust with paint holding them up. Money isn’t just in Exxon and Shell and major oil companies, it’s in countries like Russia. We have to pursue energy independence, offers lengthy recitation of alternative energy sources.
McCain: Oil companies ought to reinvest. Ought to be involved in nuclear power. No greenhouse gases.
Paul: Profits aren’t the issue. What I object to are subsidies. Don’t give them R&D money. Why are we dependent on the Middle East? Cites Iran in 1953. We succumb to temptation to protect oil interests.
Gilmore: Put more money into additional drilling and exploration.
Paul: On gays in the military, remove disruptive behavior, whether it is homosexual or heterosexual.
Huckabee: It’s covered by uniform code of military conduct. Can we get back to immigration? You punish people if their behavior is detrimental to military conduct.
Rudy is asked about dismissed linguists.
Rudy: This is not the time to deal with disruptive issues like this. Colin Powell came to view this as a good policy. At a time when we’re trying to deal with new kind of warfare, I don’t think this is the right time to raise these issues. Trust the commanders.
Romney: No, when I first heard of don’t ask, don’t tell, I thought it would be silly and ineffective. But I was wrong, it seems to be working. I wouldn’t change it. We have bigger issues to worry about.
Rudy: We have best-trained most efficient military in this country, and I’m proud of every one of ‘em. There aren’t enough of ‘em. I trust the military leadership. Terrific mistake to reopen the issue.
No candidate would change the policy.
Gov. Thompson: I would not send President George W. Bush to the United Nations. I would send him on a lecture series to young people.
Wow, this is just a Rosetta stone of bad answers. Jab the president for being undiplomatic, then praise his speaking skills.
Brownback: Use him similar role to his father if there is a tragedy overseas. That’s the right-role for an ex-president. PResident CLinton has injected himself into many policy issues. One president at a time.
Tancredo: I’m disappointed in President. I would tell him he will not darken the door of my White House.
Huckabee: The GOP lost credibility. We didn’t do the job we were sent to do. The Republican party as a whole deserved defeat. We bungled Katrina. Not a proper handling of Iraq war. Indifference to people pouring over our borders.
Hunter: Pardon border patrol agents. And we need to bring back the Reagan Democrats back, and for that we need a good trade bill.
No one says they would pardon Libby; Rudy calls the sentence excessive. I would wait for appeal, and see if it fits the criteria. When Wolf says he wants a yes or no, Rudy points out, “this is an important issue. A man’s life is at stake.” I kind of liked that.
Romney hits the prosecutor, says it’s a political vendetta. Keep that option open.
Brownback: Basic crime didn’t happen!
Tancredo: Compares to Clinton committing perjury, and says he would wait until after appeal.