CNN/Salem GOP Debate: on War & Peace


Ben Carson: Support Syrian refugees in Jordan; place more with Kurds

Q: You recently visited a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan and you deemed it "really quite nice." Are these camps are a long-term solution?

CARSON: I asked the Syrians themselves: What do you want? Their supreme desire was to be settled back in their own country. I said, "What can America do?" They said, "Support the efforts of those who are trying to provide safety for us, including the Jordanians." They had a brand new hospital, for instance, that was unstaffed because there wasn't enough money to do it. But if you go into Hasakah province, that's an area that's as big as Lebanon. It's controlled by the Kurds, the Christians and the moderate Sunnis. You could settle a lot of people there.

Sen. Lindsey GRAHAM: I've been to the refugee camps in Turkey, and Jordan. We've got to stop this war. Do you realize that there are more Syrian refugees in Lebanon going to school than Lebanese children? Do you realize if this war goes for another year the King of Jordan could fall? Let's have a no-fly zone

Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican debate on Syrian Refugees Dec 15, 2015

Chris Christie: Declare no-fly zone in Syria and enforce against Russians

Q: If the U.S. imposed a no-fly zone over Syria and a Russian plane encroached on that no-fly zone, would you be prepared to shoot down that Russian plane and risk war with Russia?

CHRISTIE: Not only would I be prepared to do it, I would do it. A no-fly zone means a no-fly zone. That's what it means. See, maybe because I'm from New Jersey, I just have this kind of plain language hangup. But I would make very clear--I'd say to Vladimir Putin, "Listen, there's a no-fly zone in Syria; you fly in, it applies to you." And yes, we would shoot down the planes of Russian pilots if in fact they were stupid enough to think that this president was the same feckless weakling that the president we have in the Oval Office is right now.

PAUL: Well, I think if you're in favor of World War III, you have your candidate. Russia already flies in that airspace. If we announce we're going to have a no-fly zone, it is a recipe for disaster. It's a recipe for World War III.

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

George Pataki: 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

George Pataki: 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

John Kasich: Find moderate rebels in Syria; work with them against Assad

Q: Should the US work with moderate Syrian rebels?

CRUZ: We keep hearing from President Obama and Hillary Clinton and Washington Republicans that they're searching for these mythical moderate rebels. It's like a purple unicorn. They never exist. These moderate rebels end up being jihadists.

KASICH: I don't understand this thing about Assad. He has to go. Assad is aligned with Iran and Russia. The one thing we want to prevent is we want to prevent Iran being able to extend a Shia crescent all across the Middle East. Assad has got to go. And there are moderates there. There are moderates in Syria who we should be supporting. I do not support a civil war. I don't want to be policeman of the world. But we can't back off of this. And let me tell you, at the end, the Saudis have agreed to put together a coalition inside of Syria to stabilize that country. Assad must go. It will be a blow to Iran and Russia.

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

Lindsey Graham: If Syrian war goes on another year, Jordan's king might fall

Q [to Carson]: You recently visited a Syrian refugee camp. Do you think these camps are a long-term solution?

Dr. Ben CARSON: I asked the Syrians themselves: What do you want? Their supreme desire was to be settled back in their own country. I said, "What can America do?" They said, "Support the efforts of those who are trying to provide safety for us, including the Jordanians." They had a brand new hospital, for instance, that was unstaffed because there wasn't enough money to do it. But if you go into Hasakah province, that's an area that's as big as Lebanon. It's controlled by the Kurds, the Christians and the moderate Sunnis. You could settle a lot of people there.

GRAHAM: I've been to the refugee camps in Turkey, and Jordan. We've got to stop this war. Do you realize that there are more Syrian refugees in Lebanon going to school than Lebanese children? Do you realize if this war goes for another year the King of Jordan could fall? Let's have a no-fly zone.

Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican debate on Syrian Refugees Dec 15, 2015

Lindsey Graham: There's nobody left in Syria to train; bring in other Arabs

Sen. Rick SANTORUM: ISIS is a caliphate. Under Islamic law, good Muslims who see them as a legitimate caliphate are required to follow them. How do we defeat their caliphate? Well, it's very clear in Islamic law how you do so. You take their land--in the Islamic world that delegitimizes the caliphate. We need to use Sunni, not Shiite Iraqis, but Sunni Muslims in Iraq and the Kurds, the Peshmerga, and take back Iraqi land.

GRAHAM: You're not going to win that way, Rick. There's nobody left in Syria to train. Between the Russians and Assad, they have killed all the people we trained. I would get the Arabs who are threatened by ISIL just as much as we are, along with Turkey. We would use their armies. They have modern armies. 90% them, 10% us, and we go in and destroy the caliphate.

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

Lindsey Graham: Form army--90% them, 10% us--to destroy Caliphate

Q: How would you fight ISIL?

GRAHAM: I would get the Arabs who are threatened by ISIL just as much as we are, along with Turkey. We would use their armies. They have modern armies. 90% them--but some of us have to go, folks. You're not going to keep the war from here if some of us don't go over there. 90% them, 10% us, and we go in and destroy the caliphate. There must be American boots on the ground in Syria to win. If you don't understand that, you're not ready to be Commander in Chief.

Q: You called for U.S. ground troops in both Iraq and Syria...

GRAHAM: Two years ago. If we had 10,000 troops left in Iraq, there would be no ISIL and I hate what Obama did. He gave away everything we fought for.

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

Lindsey Graham: 10,000 US troops in Iraq; 10,000 in Syria; plus 90,000 Arabs

Q: I just want to remind our viewers, you want 10,000 U.S. ground troops in Iraq, and 10,000 in Syria?

GRAHAM: Yeah. I just don't make this up; I talk to people who are combat trained who have won in Iraq who I trust. Here's what I want to tell the Arab world and Turkey. We're not going to send 100,000 troops. You're going to do the fighting this time and we're gonna help you. We paid for the last two wars, you're gonna pay for this one. They get it because ISIL wants to cut their heads off, too. [The Turks and Arabs] have modern armies: 90% them, 10% us, and we go in and destroy the caliphate. The point I'm trying to make is, there needs to be a ground component. We need to be smart, and we need to fight the war over there. And to the people in my party who believe you can withdraw from the battlefield like Senator Cruz and Paul and we be safe, you really don't understand this war.

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

Lindsey Graham: Don't collaborate with Russia & Iran to keep Assad in power

GRAHAM [to Cruz]: I would partner with the Arabs and Turkey [to fight ISIS in Syria]. But, the reason they don't partner with Obama is they just don't trust him. To my good friend Ted Cruz, please ask him the following question, you say you would keep Assad in power, I will tell you that is the worst possible thing that could come out of an American leaders mouth. It would be disastrous. Ted, getting in bed with Iran & Russia to save Assad is inconceivable.

Sen. CRUZ: We need to learn from history. Obama, Clinton, and far too many Republicans--want to topple Assad. Assad is a bad man. But if we topple Assad, the result will be that ISIS will take over Syria. And I'll tell you whose view on Assad is the same as mine. It's Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Netanyahu doesn't want to see Syria governed by ISIS. And we need to focus on American interests, not on global aspirations...

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

Lindsey Graham: To destroy ISIL in Libya, take the Caliphate's headquarters

Q: Are you ready to commit U.S. ground troops to Libya?

GRAHAM: I want to talk to General Keane first. I want to find out, what do we need militarily to keep them contained and eventually destroy them in Libya? They're in nine countries. You want to deal with Libya, go to Iraq and Syria. You want to prevent another 9/11, take the caliphate headquarters away from ISIL. There is no other way to do it without a ground force going into Syria.

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

Lindsey Graham: Declaring war on Islam only helps ISIL

Sen. Rick SANTORUM [to Graham]: This is an important time in our country's history. We have entered World War III. World War III has begun and we have a leader who refuses to identify it and be truthful to the American people to the stakes that are involved, in part, because his policies have led us here. His policies in the Middle East with Iraq create ISIS.

GRAHAM: This is a religious war between radical Islam and the rest of the world. And there's only one way you're going to win. Help people in Islam who reject radical Islam to fight over there and destroy this ideology. Donald Trump has done the one single thing you cannot do. Declare war on Islam itself. ISIL would be dancing in the streets. Declaring war on the religion only helps ISIL.

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

Lindsey Graham: Winning in Iraq is more important than safety

I just returned from Iraq. It was my 36th trip to Iraq and Afghanistan in the last decade. Toward the end, I met a very impressive Special Forces sergeant. As I departed, I told this young man, "Stay safe." He replied, "Sir, I will do my best to stay safe, but I came here to win." As commander-in-chief, I will do everything in my power to make sure that he can win. As president, we will win.
Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

Lindsey Graham: We are at war and it's a religious war

We're at war. There's four things to understand about this war, it's a religious war, them against the world, if you don't fight them over there, they're coming here. If you don't hit them first, they're going to hit us. If you're not determined to fight it as a war, you're going to lose. So if you're worried about somebody having your phone, don't be. The only thing you need to worry about is if you're talking to terrorist and a judge gives an order to listen to what you're saying.
Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

Mike Huckabee: When terrorists sign up abroad, they sign U.S. death warrant

Q [to Gov. Huckabee]: How would you defeat ISIS ideologically?

HUCKABEE: If their intent is to kill us, [then] our intent to use every means possible to get to them before they get to us. The rules of engagement have got to be loosened, because we have to make sure that we are not just going over and setting off some fireworks. We have to kill every one of them, to make it very clear that [if you] threaten action against the United States, and you've just signed your death warrant. We're coming to get you. And you won't be coming to our shores. You're going to be going to your funeral.

CRUZ: ISIS is gaining strength because the perception is that they're winning. And President Obama fuels that perception. That will change when militants across the globe see that when you join ISIS that you are giving up your life, you are signing your death warrant, and we need a president who is focused on defeating every single ISIS terrorist and protecting the homeland, which should be the first priority.

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

Rand Paul: No-fly zone in Syria means WWIII against Russians

Q: Gov. Christie, if the US imposed a no-fly zone over Syria and a Russian plane invaded that no-fly zone, would you be prepared to shoot down that Russian plane and risk war with Russia?

CHRISTIE: Not only would I be prepared to do it, I would do it. Yes, we would shoot down the planes of Russian pilots.

PAUL: Well, I think if you're in favor of World War III, you have your candidate. My goodness, what we want in a leader is someone with judgment, not someone who is so reckless as to stand on the stage and say, "Yes, I'm going to shoot down Russian planes." Russia already flies in that airspace. It may not be something we're in love with the fact that they're there, but they were invited by Iraq and by Syria to fly in that airspace. And so if we announce we're going to have a no-fly zone, it is a recipe for disaster. It's a recipe for World War III. We need to confront Russia from a position of strength, but we don't need to confront Russia from a point of recklessness that would lead to war.

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

Rick Santorum: We must take land from ISIS Caliphate, under their own law

Q: You've called for more US troops in Iraq, but you say that sending US troops into Syria would be a mistake?

SANTORUM: ISIS is a caliphate, the first Sunni caliphate since 1924, when Ataturk disbanded the Ottoman Empire. Under Islamic law, good Muslims who see them as a legitimate caliphate are required to follow them. How do we defeat their caliphate? Well, it's very clear in Islamic law how you do so. You take their land. You have to take land back from the caliphate and in the Islamic world that delegitimizes the caliphate. It makes the caliphate unsuccessful. Therefore not blessed by Allah. Therefore, you should not follow it. We need to take back the land in Iraq and we need to use Sunni, not Shiites, not Iranian troops, not Shiite Iraqis, but Sunni Muslims in Iraq and the Kurds, the Peshmerga, and take back Iraqi land. I believe if we did that, you would see ISIS begin to collapse.

GRAHAM: You're not going to win that way, Rick. There's nobody left in Syria to train.

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

Rick Santorum: World War III has begun; let's identify it

This is an important time in our country's history. We have entered World War III. World War III has begun and we have a leader who refuses to identify it and be truthful to the American people to the stakes that are involved, in part, because his policies have led us here. His policies in the Middle East with Iraq create ISIS.
Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

Ted Cruz: Assad is bad, but toppling him gives Syria to ISIS

Sen. Lindsey GRAHAM: To my good friend Ted Cruz, please ask him the following question, you say you would keep Assad in power, I will tell you that is the worst possible thing that could come out of an American leaders mouth. It would be disastrous. Ted, getting in bed with Iran and Russia to save Assad is inconceivable.

CRUZ: We need to learn from history. Obama, Clinton, and far too many Republicans--want to topple Assad. Assad is a bad man. But if we topple Assad, the result will be that ISIS will take over Syria, and it will worsen U.S. national security interests. And I'll tell you whose view on Assad is the same as mine. It's Prime Minister Netanyahu. Prime Minister Netanyahu has said Israel doesn't have a dog in that fight because Assad is a puppet of Iran, a Shia radical Islamic terrorist, but at the same time, Prime Minister Netanyahu doesn't want to see Syria governed by ISIS. And we need to focus on American interests, not on global aspirations...

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

Ted Cruz: When terrorists join ISIS, they sign U.S. death warrant

Q [to Gov. Huckabee]: How would you defeat ISIS ideologically?

HUCKABEE: If their intent is to kill us, [then] our intent to use every means possible to get to them before they get to us. The rules of engagement have got to be loosened, because we have to make sure that we are not just going over and setting off some fireworks. We have to kill every one of them, to make it very clear that [if you] threaten action against the United States, and you've just signed your death warrant. We're coming to get you. And you won't be coming to our shores. You're going to be going to your funeral.

CRUZ: ISIS is gaining strength because the perception is that they're winning. And President Obama fuels that perception. That will change when militants across the globe see that when you join ISIS that you are giving up your life, you are signing your death warrant, and we need a president who is focused on defeating every single ISIS terrorist and protecting the homeland, which should be the first priority.

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

Ted Cruz: FactCheck: No, ISIS and Iran haven't declared war on America

Cruz said, "ISIS and Iran have declared war on America." Is that literally true? We checked, and no, there have been no formal declarations of war by any country (yet):Cruz's assertion should be understood metaphorically: that our enemies are behaving like war, and that we should declare war on them.
Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on 2015 CNN/Salem Republican 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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2016 Presidential contenders on War & Peace:
  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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