George Pataki in CNN/Salem GOP Debate


On Homeland Security: Women in any military role as long as they can do the job

Sen. SANTORUM [to Pataki]: [In allowing women in combat, Obama] pushed a political agenda above the safety, security, and effectiveness of our fighting units. I would change the policy.

PATAKI: I completely disagree with Rick. This is America. And we've made enormous progress. And I don't care if you're a man or a woman. I care if you're good and capable of doing the job. If you can do the job--don't lower standards, don't lower the criteria--but if a woman is capable of doing these jobs, there is no reason why we should deny a patriot who wants to serve and help defend our country that right.

SANTORUM: That's exactly what I said.

PATAKI: You said you would reverse the policy.

SANTORUM: If they can do the job, I will allow them to do so. But if they cannot, I would reverse the policy.

PATAKI: In Iraq, the Peshmerga, the Kurds-many of their top fighters are women. This is the 21st century. We want to give women the opportunity to do whatever they are capable of achieving in this country

Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

On Homeland Security: We must unite to keep America safe from radical Islam

Radical Islam poses a threat to our safety not just overseas, but in every community in America. Our party needs to nominate a strong leader who will unite us as Republicans, but more importantly, unite us as Americans, committed to destroying and defeating radical Islam, restoring our confidence in our safety here, and our belief in freedom, and that the best of America is ahead of us.
Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

On Homeland Security: Inciting terrorism is not constitutional free speech

I think it's important that we do everything in our power to prevent radicalization of Americans here. I'm a great believer in the First Amendment, of Freedom of Speech. I wish we had more of it on campuses, but you can't shout fire in a crowded theater. Calling on Americans to engage in violence against their fellow Americans in the name of jihad is crying fire in a crowded theater. It is not constitutionally protected speech.
Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

On Homeland Security: We entered Iraq as liberators & became occupiers by staying

I don't want to see us occupy a country. I've been to Iraq and Afghanistan. The first time, I had an uneasy feeling that when we went there we were liberators. But as we stayed, we became occupiers. I saw American troops move into some of Saddam's old palaces. I thought that was exactly the wrong message. We do not have to occupy. We do not have to nation build and try to create a democracy where one hasn't existed. We have to destroy ISIS, protect our safety and our freedom here, and get out.
Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

On Technology: Bulk metadata collection for overseas terrorists

Q [to Huckabee]: You said, "not one terrorist plot has been foiled by the NSA's collection of American's phone records." But the director of the CIA said that not having these programs makes finding terrorists "much more challenging." Are you taking away tool to fight terrorists?

HUCKABEE: No. I'm not taking it away, I just want to make sure that everything we use is going to be effective. We're spending billions of dollars, let's make sure it's effective.

PATAKI: Getting to that metadata question, one of those terrorists, the day before the attacks, had sent 109 message to a known terrorist overseas. We could not read those messages, we can not read those today.

Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

On Technology: Need back door access to cell phones when lives are at risk

Companies are entitled to encrypt and protect their knowledge and their intelligence. But what we need is a back door for law enforcement to be able, when they can establish that that communication poses a risk to our safety and engages in terrorism, to get a court order and go in and access those communications.
Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

On War & Peace: Iranians have already broken nuclear deal; so abrogate it

Sen. Rick SANTORUM [to Pataki]: The fact that we have a nuclear treaty with the Shiites in Iran, that we have now partnered with the Russians and appearing to allow Assad to stay, this looks to ISIS like we are now lining up with the Shiite world against the Sunni world. Well, the Shiite world is 15% of the Muslim world. The Sunni world is 85%. We're picking the wrong horse here. Not only is the Iranian deal the greatest betrayal of this country in the history of our country by signing that deal, but secondly, we have now lined up to empower ISIS by partnering with the Shiites.

Gov. George PATAKI: Iran is our enemy. They are the number one sponsor of state terror. The Iranian Deal is a disaster. And by the way, I don't think the next president has to abrogate it. It was never ratified by the Iranians. They have tested long-range ballistic missiles in violation of U.N. resolutions. They have broken the agreement. It is void. They can never have a nuclear weapon and should not get relief.

Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

On War & Peace: Give Kurds & Peshmerga more aid to fight ISIS, despite Iraq

What we have to do is have a commitment from our government, not just for troops on the ground but to do whatever we can to help our allies. The Kurds, the Peshmurga are fighting. If we don't give them the equipment, the training, and the support they need because our government insists that it all go through Baghdad. Baghdad doesn't want a strong independent Kurdish army.
Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

The above quotations are from CNN/Salem Republican Debate
at The Venetian in Las Vegas
Moderated by Wolf Blitzer.
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Page last updated: Sep 05, 2016