CNN/Salem GOP Debate: on Homeland Security


Ben Carson: Rebuild B52's, submarines, missiles: all three need upgrades

Ben CARSON [to Trump & Rubio]: Our Military needs to be upgraded. You know, you look at things like our Ohio Class submarines: they're 25 years old. Our Minuteman-3 missiles: they are 34 years old. Our B-52 bombers: 50 years old. If we don't get the military right nothing else matters.

Q [to Trump and Rubio]: Of the three legs of the triad that Dr. Carson mentioned, which is your priority?

TRUMP: For me, nuclear is just the power, the devastation is very important to me.

RUBIO: at deterrence. Now, some have become more critical than others; for example, the submarines. And that's the Ohio Class submarine that needs to be modernized. The air component also needs to be modernized.

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

Donald Trump: Benghazi was a disaster; Gadhafi couldn't have been worse

Q: Are Americans safer with dictators running the world in the Middle East?

TRUMP: In my opinion, we've spent $4 trillion trying to topple various people that frankly, if they were there and if we could've spent that $4 trillion to fix our roads, our bridges, and all of the other problems, we would've been a lot better off. We have done a tremendous disservice, not only to Middle East, we've done a tremendous disservice to humanity. It's not like we had victory. It's a mess. The Middle East is totally destabilized.

Carly FIORINA: That is exactly what President Obama said. But let's just start with, who got it wrong? Recall that Hillary Clinton was all for toppling Gadhafi then didn't listen to her own people on the ground. And then when she lied about the terrorist attack in Benghazi, she invited more terrorist attacks.

TRUMP: Well, people feel differently. I mean, the fact is Benghazi was a disaster because of Libya, everything just fell into place. It could not have been worse.

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

George Pataki: 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

George Pataki: 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

George Pataki: 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

George Pataki: 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

Jeb Bush: The Kurds are our best ally; and they're Muslim; arm them!

Q: You called Mr. Trump "unhinged" when he proposed banning non-American Muslims from the US. Why is that unhinged?

BUSH: Well, first of all, we need to destroy ISIS and the caliphate. We need to arm directly the Kurds. They're Muslim. And all of that has to be done in concert with the Arab nations. And if we're going to ban all Muslims, how are we going to get them to be part of a coalition to destroy ISIS?

TRUMP: Jeb doesn't really believe I'm unhinged. He said that because he has failed in this campaign. I don't want our country to be taken away from us, and that's what's happening. We want to make America great again. And Jeb, in all fairness, he doesn't believe that.

BUSH: Banning all Muslims will make it harder for us to do exactly what we need to do, which is to destroy ISIS. We need a strategy. We need to get the lawyers off the back of the warfighters. Right now under President Obama, we've created this standard that is so high that it's impossible to be successful in fighting ISIS.

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

Lindsey Graham: American Muslims are the solution, not the problem

There are at least 3,500 American Muslims serving in the armed forces. You are not the enemy. Your religion is not the enemy. I was at the second presidential election in Afghanistan. The guy guarding me was an American Muslim sergeant in the Army who grew up in Kabul, left when he graduated high school, joined the U.S. Army. He is not the problem. Leave the faith alone. Go after the radicals that kill us all.
Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

Marco Rubio: Modernize all three legs of the nuclear triad

Q: Of the three legs of the nuclear triad, which is your priority?

TRUMP: For me, nuclear is just the power, the devastation is very important to me.

RUBIO: First, let's explain to people at home what the triad is. The triad is our ability to conduct nuclear attacks using airplanes, using missiles launched from silos, and also from our nuclear subs. All three of them are critical. It gives us the ability at deterrence. Now, some have become more critical than others; for example, the submarines. And that's the Ohio Class submarine that needs to be modernized. The air component also needs to be modernized. The B-52 is an outdated model that was flown by the grandparents of people that are flying it now. And we need a serious modernization program as well on our silo-launched missiles. All three are critical for the defense of the country.

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

Mike Huckabee: Americans are scared and don't trust government

Americans are scared when they go to a party and get shot at by somebody who had lunch with them an hour earlier. They're scared when they realize that our government can't even catch somebody after a third background check, who had posted things on social media clearly indicating she wanted to kill Americans. When Americans lose confidence in government, we're in a dangerous place. We're in danger because we have an enemy that is out to kill us, and we have a government that we don't trust.
Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

Mike Huckabee: FBI listening to sermons at mosques is constitutional

You can go to any church in America, it's a public place. If it's a public place, and people are invited to come, how does it violate anybody's First Amendment rights that somebody shows up because they might want to just listen in and see is there something that is a little nefarious? If there is, then you get a search warrant. That's all protected under the constitution.
Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

Mike Huckabee: 25% defense cuts have left us most unprepared since WWII

I think what we say is, we're gonna do whatever it takes. We never tell our enemy what our limitations are. The biggest mistake we've made militarily is letting Barack Obama cut our defense forces by 25 percent and leaving us at the least prepared position we've been in since before World War II. We have to get our Military rebuilt from the ground up.
Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

Rick Santorum: Political correctness hinders us from fighting terrorism

Q [to Huckabee]: You said, "not one terrorist plot has been foiled by the NSA's collection of American's phone records." Should we taking away that tool?

HUCKABEE: No. I'm not taking it away, I just want to make sure that everything we use is going to be effective. Let's use every tool, but let's also check out the Facebook posts, let's look at Twitter accounts. My gosh, we were told we couldn't do it because it might invade somebody's privacy.

SANTORUM: I agree with Gov. Huckabee, that we should in fact be looking at people's social media posts. That's just common sense. But we've defunded and tied the hands behind the backs of our intelligence agencies because of political correctness. We're not allowed to ask any questions or really pursue, whether there's any mosque that they're attending that could be spreading Jihadism. But we're not allowed to ask those questions, we're not allowed to pursue to those things because we have a president who denies the reality of the enemy we confront.

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

Rick Santorum: Iranian nuclear deal was worst treaty in US history

SANTORUM: 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

Rick Santorum: Reverse policy on women in military combat roles

Q: The Pentagon recently opened all US military combat positions to women. Would you change the Pentagon's new policy?

SANTORUM: I would use the studies that were done that were ignored by this military that there were certain positions that frankly were not suitable. And they pushed a political agenda above what is in the best interest of the safety, security, and effectiveness of our fighting units.

Q: So, you're saying, yes, you would change the policy back?

SANTORUM: I would change the policy to reflect what is the best interest of the people that we're asking.

Gov. George PATAKI: I completely disagree with Rick. I don't care if you're a man or a woman. I care if you're good and capable of doing the job.

SANTORUM: You agree with me. Because that's exactly what I said.

PATAKI: It's not. You said you would reverse the policy.

SANTORUM: If they can in fact do the job that any other person can do, I will allow them to do so. But if they cannot, I would reverse the policy.

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

Rick Santorum: Make terror watchlist transparent so we know how to get off

I don't think we should be able to deny someone's constitutional rights based on a list kept by the government that nobody knows how they get on it, or how they get off of it. If you're going to make that list public, if you're going to put criteria out there as to how you're going to get on it, if you're going to deny someone's constitutional right, than I think there has to be more transparency.
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.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Homeland Security.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
  • Click here for more quotes by Donald Trump on Homeland Security.
  • Click here for more quotes by Marco Rubio on Homeland Security.
2016 Presidential contenders on Homeland Security:
  Republicans:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Democrats:
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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Page last updated: Sep 05, 2016