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GOP2012: Republican debate, January 19th, 2012
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Don’t Take Our Word For It: Republicans on Republicans

September 12, 2011 at 11:27 P.M.

Tonight’s CNN/Tea Party Express debate confirmed that the Republican candidates are more interested in saying what the ideological Tea Party wants to hear than in doing what the American people are demanding: creating jobs and restoring the economic security of the middle-class. At center stage tonight: a fight over whether Social Security, a mainstay of middle class economic security, is a “fraud” or a “Ponzi scheme.” But don’t take it from us -- read what they said about it and about each other.



Romney Said Using The Term “Ponzi Scheme…Was Over The Top And Unnecessary And Frightful To Many People.” Romney spoke about Perry’s views on Social Security. “No, what I'm saying is that what he just said, I think most people agree with, although the term Ponzi scheme I think is over the top and unnecessary and frightful to many people.” [Romney, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]

Romney Attacked Perry For “His View That Social Security In Unconstitutional” And For Calling It “A Failure, This Is After 70 Years Of Tens Of Millions Of People Relying On Social Security.” Romney attacked Perry’s views on Social Security. “But the real issue is in writing his book, Governor Perry pointed out that in his view that Social Security is unconstitutional, that this is not something the federal government ought to be involved in, that instead it should be given back to the states. And that view and the view that somehow social security has been forced on us over the past seven years. That by any measure, Social Security has been a failure, this is after 70 years of tens of millions of people relying on social security, that's a very different matter.” [Romney, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]

Romney Asked If Perry “Continue[s] To Believe That Social Security Should Not Be A Federal Program… Or Is He Going To Retreat From That View.” Romney spoke about Perry’s views on Social Security. “But the real question is does Governor Perry continue to believe that Social Security should not be a federal program, that it's unconstitutional and it should be returned to the states, or is he going to retreat from that view?” [Romney, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]

Romney Asked If Perry Still “Believe[d] That Social Security Should Be Ended As A Federal Program As You Did Six Month Ago.” Romney spoke about Perry’s views on Social Security. “But the question is: do you still believe that Social Security should be ended as a federal program, as you did six months ago when your book came out, and returned to the states?” [Romney, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]

Romney Attacked Perry For Suggesting The Nation Have A Conversation On The Future Of Social Security: “We're Having That Right Now, Governor. We're Running For President.” [Romney, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]

Romney Said Perry’s Use Of The “Term Ponzi Scheme” And For “Suggesting That Social Security Should No Longer Be A Federal Program” Was “Frightening” To Seniors. Romney attacked Perry’s views on Social Security during the debate. “Governor, the term Ponzi scheme is what scared seniors, number one. And number two, suggesting that Social Security should no longer be a federal program and returned to the states is unconstitutional and is likewise frightening. There are a lot of bright people who actually agree with you. That's your view. I think that Social Security is a fundamental program.” [Romney, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]

Romney Said Perry Was Dealt “Four Aces” In Texas That Helped Lead To Texas Job Growth; “Zero Income Tax, Low Regulation, Right To Work State, Oil In The Ground And Republican Legislature.” Romney responded to a question if Perry deserved credit for Texas job growth. “Terrific state, no question about that. Some wonderful things that Texas has going for it that the nation could learn from: Zero income tax. That's a pretty good thing. Right to work state. Republican legislature, Republican state court. By the way, a lot of oil as well… Well, look, I think Governor Perry would agree with me that if you're dealt four aces that doesn't make you necessarily a great poker player. And four aces and the four aces that are terrific aces are the ones the nation should learn from, the ones I described, zero income tax, low regulation, right to work state, oil in the ground and republican legislature. Those things are terrific.” [Romney, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]

Romney Pointed To Job Growth In Texas Before Perry Entered Office And Suggested Perry Would Be A Good President If The Country Was “Like Texas Going Swimmingly.” Romney responded to a question if Perry deserved credit for Texas job growth. “There has been great growth in Texas. Under Ann Richardson growth was under 2% a year, George Bush 3% a year. Those are all good numbers. Texas is a great state. If you think that the country is like Texas going swimmingly well, then somebody who has done that is just terrific. But if the country needs a turnaround, that's what I do.” [Romney, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]

Romney Attacked Perry’s Immigration Statement And Policies: “Of Course We Build A Fence And Of Course We Do Not Give Instate Tuition Credits To People Who Come Here Illegally.” “With regards to immigration, of course we build a fence and of course we do not give instate tuition credits to people who come here illegally. That only attracts people to come here and take advantage of America’s great benefits. It’s a patina of legal credibility…This is the party that believes in supporting the law. We're going to enforce the law. We're the party of opportunity, we're also the party of legal law abiding citizens.” [Romney, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]



Perry Accused Romney Of Trying To Scare Seniors Over Social Security. “The question is, are there ways to move the states into Social Security for state employees or for retirees? We did in the state of Texas back in the 1980s. I think those types of thoughtful conversations with America, rather than trying to scare seniors like you're doing and other people, it's time to have a legitimate conversation in this country about how to fix that program where it's not bankrupt and our children actually know that there's going to be a retirement program there for them.” [Perry, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]

Perry Said Romney Called Social Security Criminal In His Book. “You called it criminal -- you said if people did it in the private sector…that it would be called criminal. That's in your book.” [Perry, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]

Perry Said Romney’s Health Care Plan Was The Model For Obamacare, Doesn’t Think It Was Right For Massachusetts. “But the fact of the matter is that was the plan that President Obama has said himself was the model for Obamacare. I think any of us who know that that piece of legislation will draw a line between the doctor-patient relationship, that will cost untold billions of dollars is not right for this country and, frankly, I don't think it was right for Massachusetts when you look at what it's costing the people of Massachusetts today. But at the end of the day, that was their call. So from a just purely states get to decide what they want to do, I agree with that in the state of Texas, we don't think that's the way we want to go.” [Perry, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]



Bachmann: “To Have Innocent Little Twelve Year Old Girls Be Forced To Have A Government Injection Through An Executive Order Is Just Flat Out Wrong.” “I'm a mom of three children. To have innocent little 12-year-old girls be forced to have a government injection through an executive order is just flat out wrong. That should never be done. It's a violation of a liberty interest. That's -- little girls who have a negative reaction to this potentially dangerous drug don't get a mulligan. They don't get a do-over. The parents don't get a do-over. That's why I fought so hard in , against President Obama and Obamacare. President Obama in a stunning, shocking level of power now just recently told all private insurance companies, you must offer the morning-after abortion pill because I said so and it must be free of charge. That same level coming through executive orders and through government dictates is wrong. That's why again we have to have someone who is absolutely committed to the repeal of Obama care and I am.” [Bachmann, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]

Bachmann Attacked Perry For Contributions From Merck And For Former Chief Of Staff Being A Merck Lobbyist At Time Of HPV Vaccine Decision. “I just wanted to add that we cannot forget that in the midst of this executive order there was a big drug company that made millions of dollars because of this mandate. We can't deny that… What I'm saying is that it's wrong for a drug company, because the governor's former chief of staff was the chief lobbyist for this drug company, the drug company gave thousands of dollars in political donations to the governor, and this is just flat-out wrong. The question is, is it about life or was it about millions of dollars and potentially billions for a drug company?... I'm offended for all the little girls and the parents that didn't have a choice. That's what I'm offended for.” [Bachmann, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]

Bachmann Said Romney’s Support Of Massachusetts Health Care Mandate Proved He Was “Not Committed” To Repealing President Obama’s Health Care Reform. “This is why I'm running for the Presidency of the United States -- because 2012 is it. This is the election that's going to decide if we have socialized medicine in this country or not. This is it. Why? I just have to say this. It's because President Obama embedded 105 billion, 464 million dollars in Obamacare in postdated checks to implement this bill. We are never going to get rid of it unless we have a president committed to getting rid of it. If you believe that states can have it and that it's constitutional, you're not committed. If you implement this in your state, you're not committed. I'm committed to repealing Obamacare.” [Bachmann, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]

Bachmann Attacked Perry For HPV Vaccine Order: “This Is A Liberty Interest That Violates The Most Deepest Personal Part Of A Little Child.” When asked if Perry’s decision to mandate HPV vaccinations for young girls was against conservative principles, Bachmann said “Yes, of course, it violates liberty. When you have innocent little 12-year-old girls that are forced to have a government injection into their body. This is a liberty interest that violates the most deepest personal part of a little child. And it violates the parental rights. This was an executive order that mandated that every little 12-year-old girl had to have this vaccination, and then you'd have to opt out. Parents don’t necessarily have the backing, the information to know to opt out. This should be an opt in. This is an overreach for government. The governor admitted this was a big mistake. The problem, the little girl doesn't get a do over, once they have that vaccination in their body, once it causes its damage, that little girl doesn't have the chance to go back. You don't get a mulligan, you don't get a do over, you have to get it right the first time, I have a core sense of conviction […] issues and I never would have done that to 12-year-old girls. … Because it's not enough to say I'm sorry, I got it wrong. We have to have a president who understands from the get go with a core sense of conviction what policies will work for the United States and what won't.” [Bachmann, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]



Huntsman Said Romney And Perry Are “Frightening The American People.” “You have Governor Romney who called it a fraud in his book. I don't know if that was written by Kurt Cobain or not. Then you have Governor Perry calling this a Ponzi scheme. All I know is we're frightening the American people who just want solutions. This party isn't going to win in 2012 unless we get our act together and fix the problem.” [Huntsman, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]

Huntsman Called Perry “Treasonous” For Saying The Borders Couldn’t Be Sealed. “Well, first of all, let me say for Rick to say that you can't secure the border I think is pretty much a treasonous comment. … Rick, we can secure the border, we can secure the border through means of fences, through technology, through the deployment of our National Guard troops, we can get it done.” [Huntsman, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]

Huntsman Criticized Romney For Taking Multiple Positions On Issues. “We can take all night talking about where Mitt's been on the issues.” [Huntsman, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]



Paul Said That Perry Doubled Taxes And Tripled Debt In Texas. When Wolf Blitzer asked Rep. Ron Paul whether Governor Rick Perry deserved credit for increasing the number of jobs in Texas, Paul said, “Not quite. I'm a taxpayer there. My taxes have gone up. Our taxes have doubled since he took office. Our debt has gone up nearly triple. So no, and 170,000 of the jobs were government jobs. So I would put a little damper on this, but I don't want to offend the governor because he might raise my taxes or something.” [Paul, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]

Paul Criticized Perry For Using An Executive Order To Mandate That Teenage Girls Be Inoculated For HPV. “I think we need to hear what Governor Perry’s saying. He's saying that his policy was right. He believes that what he did was right. He thinks he’s went about it the wrong way. I believe your policy is wrong. Why? Ladies and gentlemen, why do we inoculate people with vaccines in public schools? Because we're afraid of those diseases being communicable between people at school. And therefore, to protect the rest of the people at school, we have vaccinations to protect those children. Unless Texas has a very progressive way of communicating diseases in their school by way of their curriculum, then there is no government purpose served for having little girls inoculated at the force and compulsion of the government. This is big government run amok. It is bad policy, and it should not have been done.” [Paul, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]



Santorum Criticized Perry For Requiring Girls To Be Inoculated Against The Sexually Transmitted Disease, HPV. “Then give the parents the opt-in. Teach them, let them opt in, but do not force them to have this inoculation.” [Santorum, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]

Santorum Criticized Perry For Opposing The Border Fence. “Unlike Governor Perry, I believe we need to build more fence, we need to secure the border using technology and more personnel.” [Santorum, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]

Santorum Said That Perry Provided In-State Tuition Rates To Illegal Immigrants To Court The Latino Vote. “What Governor Perry’s done is provided instate tuition for illegal immigrants. Maybe that was an attempt to attract the illegal -- the Latino voters.” [Santorum, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]

Santorum Called Paul “Irresponsible” For Saying It Was “Our Actions That Brought About The Actions Of 9/11.” “On your website on 9/11 you had a blog post that basically blamed the United States for 9/11, on your website, yesterday. You said that it was our actions that brought about the actions of 9/11. Now, Congressman Paul, that is irresponsible. The President of the United States -- someone who is running for the President of the United States and the Republican Party should not be parroting what Osama bin Laden said on 9/11.” [Santorum, CNN/Tea Party Express Debate, 9/12/11]

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