Republican candidates debated each other tonight on the topics of National Security and Foreign Policy. If the chat box starts moving too fast with all the chatting during the debate, feel free to start or respond to a topic at our forum. As soon as the entire debate is available, we will post the video below.
Full debate below followed by a compilation of just Mitt’s answers from the debate!
UPDATE 2 by Jayde – Mitt Romney’s Special Adviser on Foreign Policy and former Reagan Administration official, Ambassador Rich Williamson, and S. Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis issued statements following tonight’s debate in Spartanburg, South Carolina:
“Mitt Romney left tonight’s debate showing that he is the candidate best equipped to secure a more peaceful and prosperous world for the United States and our allies. Mitt Romney deeply understands that the only way to meet the challenges we face abroad is to rest our foreign policy on a strong military, a strong economy, and the strength of our values. For three years, President Obama’s feckless policies have weakened our country’s standing and influence across the globe. Mitt Romney is the candidate who will restore our standing and ensure that America leads the world.”
SC Treasurer Curtis Loftis:
“Mitt Romney won tonight’s debate by articulating a strategy to ensure that the 21st century is an American century. Unlike President Obama, Mitt Romney will conduct a foreign policy that acknowledges America’s exceptional role in the world, and he will do so with clarity and resolve. In a Romney administration, our friends will never question where we stand – and neither will our adversaries.”
Originally known as Armistice Day, Veterans Day came into being at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 when fighting ended between the Allies and Germany in World War I. In May 1938, Congress designated the 11th of November a legal federal holiday. In 1954, the name was changed to ‘Veterans Day’ and it has evolved to be a day of tribute – not just for those who fought in wars – but to all who have served in the United States military.
One scarcely knows where to begin when attempting to express appreciation for all that veterans have laid upon the altar of freedom – for us. Listen to the stories of three who answered America’s call…
★ World War II Army Nurse Bernardine Plasters, better known as ‘Brownie’, speaks of her wartime service while deployed in England and her healing role during the Battle of the Bulge and the liberation of some 129,000 prisoners from Mauthausen Concentration Camp in Austria. Mauthausen was part of the largest concentration camp complexes in German-controlled Europe:
★ After growing up on an Indian reservation in Colville, WA, Thomas Watt found himself serving in Vietnam in 1967. After eight months of living through a couple of battles, his infantry division, the historic Big Red One, was ordered to guard General William Westmoreland’s headquarters in Saigon. He suddenly found himself in the middle of The Tet Offensive. Watt’s story of fighting for survival lasted beyond the battlefield. It would be the plight of Vietnam vets that would force our nation to recognize post traumatic stress disorder as a disability. To hear Watt’s story, click here.
★ In May 2010, Marine Cpl Tyler Southern was very nearly killed when he stepped on a Taliban-planted IED while serving in Afghanistan. He survived – barely. He lost both legs and one arm; the one he was left with was severely injured:
Throughout our history, men and women of valor have suffered untold deprivation and sacrificed life and limbs to protect American interests at home and abroad. So many are unsung heroes; we don’t know their names and faces, but we are the recipients of their mostly anonymous patriotism and devotion. For their love of country and dedication in preserving liberty, we offer sincere, profound thanks.
To freedom’s heroes, our vets,
Happy Veterans Day!
From all of us at Mitt Romney Central
Veterans Day statement from Governor Romney:
Today, Veterans Day, we pause to remember – and to take solemn pride in – America’s heroes. We owe the men and women who have served in our armed forces our respect, our admiration, and our eternal gratitude.
Note: Today, Romney is holding a roundtable for veterans at Mutt’s BBQ in Mauldin, South Carolina at 12:45 PM ET.
Over growing fears regarding Iran’s nuclear program as reported by the IAEA on Tuesday (Nov 8th), and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s ties to the plot to assassinate the ambassador of Saudi Arabia, Governor Mitt Romney has written an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal today.
Romney underscores President Obama’s “extraordinary record of failure” in dealing with Iran’s quest to obtain nuclear weapons:
Barack Obama is leading us toward a cascade of proliferation in the Middle East.
The International Atomic Energy Agency’s latest report this week makes clear what I and others have been warning about for too long: Iran is making rapid headway toward its goal of obtaining nuclear weapons.
Successive American presidents, including Barack Obama, have declared such an outcome to be unacceptable. But under the Obama administration, rhetoric and policy have been sharply at odds, and we’re hurtling toward a major crisis involving nuclear weapons in one of the most politically volatile and economically significant regions of the world.
Things did not have to be this way. To understand how best to proceed from here, we need to review the administration’s extraordinary record of failure.
As a candidate for the presidency in 2007, Barack Obama put forward “engagement” with Tehran as a way to solve the nuclear problem, declaring he would meet with Iran’s leaders “without preconditions.” Whether this approach was rooted in naïveté or in realistic expectations can be debated; I believe it was the former. But whatever calculation lay behind the proposed diplomatic opening, it was predictably rebuffed by the Iranian regime.
After that repudiation, a serious U.S. strategy to block Iran’s nuclear ambitions became an urgent necessity. But that is precisely what the administration never provided. Instead, we’ve been offered a case study in botched diplomacy and its potentially horrific costs.
In his “reset” of relations with Russia, President Obama caved in to Moscow’s demands by reneging on a missile-defense agreement with Eastern European allies and agreeing to a New Start Treaty to reduce strategic nuclear weapons while getting virtually nothing in return. If there ever was a possibility of gaining the Kremlin’s support for tougher action against Tehran, that unilateral giveaway was the moment. President Obama foreclosed it.
Another key juncture came with the emergence of Iran’s Green Revolution after the stolen election of 2009. Here—more than a year before the eruption of the Arab Spring—was a spontaneous popular revolt against a regime that has been destabilizing the region, supporting terrorism around the world, killing American soldiers in Iraq, and attacking the U.S. for three decades. Yet President Obama, evidently fearful of jeopardizing any further hope of engagement, proclaimed his intention not to “meddle” as the ayatollahs unleashed a wave of terror against their own society. A proper American policy might or might not have altered the outcome; we will never know. But thanks to this shameful abdication of moral authority, any hope of toppling a vicious regime was lost, perhaps for generations.
Iranian nuclear reactor buildings
In 2010, the administration did finally impose another round of sanctions, which President Obama hailed as a strike “at the heart” of Iran’s ability to fund its nuclear programs. But here again we can see a gulf between words and deeds. As the IAEA report makes plain, the heart that we supposedly struck is still pumping just fine. Sanctions clearly failed in their purpose. Iran is on the threshold of becoming a nuclear power.
Recent events have brought White House fecklessness to another low. When Iran was discovered plotting to kill Saudi Arabia’s ambassador by setting off a bomb in downtown Washington, the administration responded with nothing more than tough talk and an indictment against two low-level Iranian operatives, as if this were merely a common criminal offense rather than an act of international aggression. Demonstrating further irresolution, the administration then floated the idea of sanctioning Iran’s central bank, only to quietly withdraw that proposal.
Barack Obama has shredded his own credibility on Iran, conveyed an image of American weakness, and increased the prospect of a cascade of nuclear proliferation in the unstable Middle East.
Former NH Governor and Senator Judd Gregg has written an op-ed today outlining why he's proud to support Mitt Romney for President. November 4, 2011.
Did you notice who helped introduce Mitt Romney yesterday at his town hall meeting in New Hampshire? The one where he delivered a fantastic fiscal policy speech?
The two doing the introductory honors were NH State Senator Russell Prescott (who endorsed Mitt yesterday) and former NH Governor and Senator Judd Gregg (endorsed Mitt on October 10th). Today, Judd Gregg has penned a strong, must-read op-ed voicing his reasons for supporting Romney (posted on Romney’s website, published by Union Leader).
“I Am Proud To Support Mitt Romney For President”
By Judd Gregg
November 4, 2011
The United States is facing a looming disaster, or really two looming disasters. One is called runaway spending. The other is called runaway debt. Together they portend real hardship for our country, and we urgently need to get both under control.
I was proud to recently endorse Mitt Romney’s presidential candidacy. The former governor of Massachusetts has what it takes to deal with the twin crises in which we are gripped.
Romney has had a distinguished career in public service. But the more important fact is that he’s spent almost all of his life in the private sector. He’s helped to start new companies and turn around failing ones. There’s absolutely no magic in what Romney has done. Rather, there is deep understanding of the marketplace, excellent execution and genuine leadership of people.
That’s a rare confluence of qualities in a public figure. The country is fortunate that Romney is in the race. As sometimes happens in history, the economic crisis has brought to the fore exactly the kind of leader that we need.
Romney knows the importance of cutting costs and making organizations highly efficient. But the truth is that a lot of people know how to talk the talk. What Romney also knows is how to go about putting his understanding into practice. He can actually walk the walk. The evidence is in the mega-job-creating enterprises like Staples and Sports Authority and Domino’s Pizza that Romney’s company played a significant hand in growing.
But it is also in his extraordinary track record as governor.
When Romney assumed office, the Massachusetts economy was just emerging from a recession. The state government, long under the control of a Democratic legislature, was spending more than it was taking in. We can all draw some lessons from what Romney did to reverse the fiscal recklessness. He cut taxes on 19 different occasions. And he cut state spending. By the end of his term, the state had a $2 billion rainy day fund, and Massachusetts employers had resumed hiring.
This was not a Massachusetts miracle, for there are no miracles in economics. Rather, it was the work of a highly skilled leader. Particularly notable is that he was able to reach across the aisle and persuade Democrats to go along with measures that they had long resisted.
Romney is the leader we need to break our national pattern of out-of-control spending and borrowing. …
Mitt Romney had a sit-down with the Portsmouth Herald editorial board in New Hampshire today. He covered a wide variety of topics including social issues, health care, capital punishment, energy policy, and more:
Romney presents presidential plans at Portsmouth meeting SeaCoastOnline
By Deborah Mcdermott
November 3, 2011
PORTSMOUTH — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said if he had the opportunity to appoint a Supreme Court justice he or she would be in the mold of Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts.
“Their approach is the approach I would encourage,” he said. “I would try to find those who would follow the Constitution.”
The U.S. Supreme Court should not create law through its rulings, but should confine itself to interpreting the Constitution, Romney told the Portsmouth Herald editorial board Thursday.
“There are two very different approaches to the Supreme Court. There are those who feel the Constitution is a starting point, with justices saying, ‘We should go here with that thinking.’ You see this in the activist courts,” he said. “Others say the Constitution is not a launching point, but a beginning and ending point. I follow the second camp.”
Romney said justices should not make their own determination about what is wrong with a law or with the Constitution. That should be left to lawmakers or to a Constitutional amendment.
Governor Romney was asked why he wanted to be President:
“On a personal basis, I wouldn’t,” he said, adding that at the end of the 2008 Primary election when he lost to Sen. John McCain, “my wife and I decided I would not run again.”
But after seeing what he said is “an exceptional nation headed in a direction that imperils our future,” his wife had a change of heart — “even before I did.”
“She said, ‘Mitt, you have to get in and do it again.’ And because I love this country, and I’m concerned about my kids and my grandkids, I said, OK,” he said.
For a synopsis of Romney’s take on federal debt, capital punishment, Social Security reform, health care, energy policy, social issues, and education, continue reading here.
Romney shares his views with the editorial board on Supreme Court justices:
ABC posted this next video portion of Romney’s interview. He references his book ‘No Apology’, defends his consistency on the issues, e.g., same-sex marriage and global warming. He knows it’s political season and that those playing the ‘gotcha’ game are looking for any little variance in the words he uses to explain policy:
The penchant of some who seek to take Romney’s words out of context, mis-quote him, and mischaracterize him is a great disservice to voters. We’re happy to help keep the record straight on Romney, along with the pro-Romney sites found on the right-hand side of this page.
Wealthy self-made Orange Co. California businessman and philanthropist, Donald Bren, has endorsed Mitt Romney. October 30, 2011
Donald Bren, a former marine who started a home building company in 1958 with a $10,000 loan and is now worth $12 billion, has endorsed Mitt Romney. Bren, who is chairman of the Irvine Co., hails from southern California and is widely known for his philanthropy.
Orange County billionaire developer Donald Bren thinks Mitt Romney should be the next president.
Irvine Co. Chairman Bren, in a wide-ranging interview about the stats of the economy, said he thought the former Massachusetts governor would best handle both a difficult economy as well as broader national and global issues.
“He’s the most qualified,” Bren says.
Bren — a longtime Republican supporter listed by Forbes as America’s wealthiest real estate mogul with a $12 billion fortune — donated $2,500 to Romney’s campaign in September, according to federal donation records. …
Bren says he admires Romney’s “business acumen, good judgment and temperament” and his business success with the Bain Co. investment house.
Now, that’s a real Golden State endorsement!
Over the span of three decades, Mr. Bren has donated over 50,000 acres of oak-covered canyons and brushlands in southern CA to be used for public parks, greenspace, and recreational wilderness preserves. His most recent gift of land was completed last summer:
A rugged, 20,000-acre parcel of the original Irvine Ranch — a pristine landscape of steep canyons, native grassland and sycamore woodland that is home to golden eagles, mountain lions and dozens of rare and endangered species of plants and animals — became public property Tuesday in a historic deal with the developer who has sculpted the look of modern suburbia in Southern California.
The open-space land, a gift from Donald Bren and the Irvine Co., was unanimously accepted by the Orange County Board of Supervisors, which also approved a long-term plan to manage the natural habitat, designated a National Natural Landmark four years ago. In one swoop, the size of parkland owned by the county grew by more than half.
(emphasis added )
Of the 50,000 acres permanently preserved in So. California’s Irvine Ranch (which includes Fremont Canyon, pictured above) nearly 40,000 have been designated as the first-ever CA Natural Landmark (CNL). “This designation validates the conservation efforts that will keep this land special for generations to come.” – Donald Bren, Chairman, Irvine Co.
The latest news from The Sunshine State is making the sun shine a little brighter here at MRC as the work week comes to a close…
Boston, MA – Mitt Romney today announced the support of Florida Congressman Jeff Miller.
“I am proud to have Congressman Miller’s support,” said Mitt Romney. “He is a committed public servant both to the state of Florida and our country’s veterans and I will work with leaders like him to revitalize the state.”
“After three years, it is clear to Florida voters that President Obama’s liberal policies are not working,” said Congressman Jeff Miller. “The differences between President Obama and Mitt Romney are stark. At home, President Obama had no experience in the real world and has failed to improve the economy; Mitt Romney is a conservative businessman who has a lifetime of experience turning around troubled enterprises. Abroad, President Obama has weakened relations with allies; Mitt Romney has laid out a foreign policy that strengthens America’s relationships with our allies while providing for our military men and women overseas and at home. I am proud to support Mitt, and look forward to working with him to help create jobs in Florida and provide the care that our servicemen and veterans deserve.”
Background On Congressman Jeff Miller:
Jeff Miller Has Represented Florida’s 1st Congressional District In The U.S. House Of Representatives Since 2001. He is the Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs as well as a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Prior to entering Congress, Miller served in the Florida House of Representatives and as a deputy sheriff. He was also a real estate broker.
Romney is receiving attention from the Obama administration… In response, Romney for President has released a new web video, “Nervous?” The video highlights that President Obama is more worried about his campaign than fixing the country’s economy:
In case you missed this yesterday…
FNC’s Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry was chosen for the first question at yesterday’s joint news conference between President Obama and Lee Myung-Bak, President of South Korea. Using a quote about Obama from Mitt Romney, in which Romney criticized Obama’s leadership, Henry asked the president about the alleged Iranian terror plot.
Obama responded with, “I didn’t know you were the spokesman for Mitt Romney.”
Later, in an interview with Megyn Kelly, Henry explained, “I was trying to put it in the broader context of not just Mitt Romney, but there are a lot of Republicans out there who would charge that this president leads from behind.”
“He decided not to engage with Mitt Romney,” said Henry.
What’s most interesting […] is that Romney has yet to run a TV ad in the primary or caucus states in support of his 2012 presidential bid, according to the Weigel Blog on Slate.
The primary and caucus elections are some of the first steps in the Presidential election process, so they are the likely first targets for political ads. Weigel points out that many of the Republican candidates have been gun-shy about running TV ads.
It’s possible the candidates are waiting to amass more funds to pay for more-expensive airtime. Or, they could be engaged in an informal standoff for who will try to rule the airwaves.
On the other hand, web ads are a smart move. They are relatively cheaper to make and broadcast and naturally appeal to younger, web-savvy voters — traditionally a weak spot for Republicans.
Does Romney have a shot? Is his web strategy a hit or a mistake?
Radio commentator Laura Ingraham was right when she said: “Without a doubt, the most forceful commentary about China cheating on trade, the effects on the U.S. economy, and holding China accountable have come from Governor Romney.”
Romney continues to speak out on USA trade inequities with China. Here’s part of his op-ed published yesterday in the Washington Post:
China must respect the free-trade system
The feckless economic policies of the Obama administration have resulted in a 10 percent decline in our median income, persistent unemployment above 8 percent and collapsing home and asset values.
Understandably, some ask whether we should abandon the economic principles behind our historic prosperity. Should government redistribute wealth? Is free enterprise a flawed system? Should we abandon free trade? No, no and no. Redistribution is what once impoverished China and the Soviet Union. Free enterprise is the only permanent cure for poverty. Free trade has the demonstrated ability to make the people of both trading nations more prosperous.
But for free enterprise and free trade to work their magic, laws and rules that guide the participants are essential to prevent distortions and abuses. If the rules are modern and dynamic, enterprise can thrive. If they are burdensome and antiquated, enterprise will stall. For rules to be effective, of course, all players must abide by them. The incentive to cheat can be enormous. So is the harm that cheating can cause.
China is a case in point. Having embraced free enterprise to some degree, the Chinese government and Chinese companies have quickly divined the benefits of ignoring the rules followed by others. China seeks advantage through systematic exploitation of other economies. It misappropriates intellectual property by coercing “technology transfers” as a condition of market access; enables theft of intellectual property, including patents, designs and know-how; hacks into foreign commercial and government computers; favors and subsidizes domestic producers over foreign competitors; and manipulates its currency to artificially reduce the price of its goods and services abroad.
The result is that China sells high-quality products to the United States at low prices. But too often the source of that high quality is American innovations stolen by Chinese companies. And the source of those low prices is too often subsidies from the Chinese government or manipulation of the Chinese currency.
Some argue that access to quality goods at low prices is good for our consumers. But like the predatory pricing prohibited under our antitrust laws, China’s underpriced products lead to an undesirable and inefficient elimination of competing businesses, with serious long-term consequences. And in this case, the businesses killed are often our own. Meanwhile, American companies do not even get the supposed benefit of the free-trade bargain: When they try to do business in the Chinese market, they find policies designed to shut them out.
Candidate Obama talked tough about China’s trade policies; President Obama has whispered about them.China smiles, diverts attention by criticizing the United States and merrily continues to eat our economic lunch. Who can blame the Chinese for ignoring our timid complaints when the status quo has served them so well?
Actually doing something about China’s cheating makes some people nervous. Not doing something makes me nervous. We are warned that we might precipitate a trade war. Really? China is selling us $273 billion per year more than America is selling China — why would it possibly want a trade war?
And what is the alternative to confronting China? It is allowing the Chinese to take by trade surrender what we fear to lose in trade war.
Romney for President: It’s estimated about 750,000 U.S. jobs are lost every year due to counterfeiting. The trade deficit with China is at $273 billion, the largest in history. President Obama is currently doing nothing to address this issue. Mitt Romney will work aggressively to open new markets for our goods and services by forging relationships with other nations committed to the principles of free trade.
'In this photo taken Thursday, July 21, 2011, customers browse products at a shop masquerading as a bona fide Apple store in downtown Kunming in southwest China's Yunnan province. China, long known for producing counterfeit consumer gadgets, software and brand name clothing, has reached a new piracy milestone, fake Apple stores.' (AP Photo)
Romney for President has released a new web video, “Obama Isn’t Working: Trade.” The video highlights China’s stealing of intellectual property and President Obama’s failure to confront China. With the recent passing away of Apple CEO Steve Jobs (10/5/11), the specific mention of China’s counterfeiting of Apple products is especially poignant:
“People in China identified Apple products being sold in certain stores. And following the investigation, it turned out these entire stores were counterfeit. Apple went in and investigated and the prevalence of the stores just show how epidemic this has become that a company like Apple who is focused on solving this problem still finds these surprises in the marketplace.”
“My name is Camilla Herron. I investigate people that manufacture, distribute and sell counterfeit products globally and I work with federal and state law enforcement. The experts say that almost 70% or more of the value of any company is in their intellectual property. It’s not in their buildings, or their office space. It’s in their intellectual property.”
Video text: “China: The Intellectual-Property Battleground”
• “China: The Intellectual-Property Battleground” (James Dyson, “China: The Intellectual-Property Battleground,” Bloomberg Businessweek,2/16/11)
“And once you put that at risk and it’s gone, you don’t get it back. And if you look at what China is doing they are subverting us on every level.”
Video text: “750k Jobs Lost Due To Counterfeiting”
• “Counterfeiting Costs U.S. Businesses As Much As $250 Billion Every Year And Results In The Loss Of 750,000 Jobs, According To FBI Estimates.” (U.S. Chamber Of Commerce, “U.S. Chamber Urges Congressional Action on Counterfeiting,” Press Release, 3/17/05)
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates between 750,000 to a million U.S. jobs are lost a year due to the counterfeiting. Even huge companies that are globally visible, for example Google, who is a very large employer here in the Bay Area, has challenges in China.”
Video text: “Trade Deficit With China: $273 Billion – Largest In History”
• The 2010 Trade Deficit With China Was $273 Billion. (“U.S. Trade With China,” U.S. Census, 10/12/11)
• “The U.S Trade Deficit With China Hit A Record $273 Billion In 2010.” (Steve Bennish, “Industrial Power Use Plummets,” DaytonDaily News, 9/25/11)
“Anything that will generate revenue is being counterfeited and the vast majority of it is coming out of China. Currently, I don’t see President Obama doing anything to address this issue.”
Video text: “Industries Are Being Robbed On The Floors Of Chinese Factories”
• “America’s Most Innovative Industries Are Being Robbed Every Day On The Floors Of Chinese Factories.” (Ted C. Fishman, “How To Stop Intellectual Property Theft In China,” Inc. Magazine, 6/1/06)
“I don’t recall him ever calling the Chinese out on any of these issues. The public is not being made aware of the job losses. 750,000 a year to a million job losses. That’s a huge issue in this country. Innovation leads to new products, new products lead to manufacturing, manufacturing leads to jobs in distribution. Even retail clerks stocking shelves. Everything. If we don’t stop the hemorrhage of intellectual property in the next three to five years we will have reached a point of no return.”
Yesterday, one day after the Dartmouth presidential debate, Governor Romney was interviewed by Laura Ingraham. China was the first topic discussed (along with tax loopholes/banks and Rick Perry/Baptist pastor Jefress):
Ingraham: “Without a doubt, the most forceful commentary about China cheating on trade, the effects on the U.S. economy, and holding China accountable have come from Governor Romney.”