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GOP2012: Republican debate, October 11th, 2011
The Reality
Fact Check

Don’t Take Our Word For it: Republicans On Republicans

September 23, 2011 at 9:59 A.M.

Last night’s GOP presidential debate showed us what we already know: instead of offering a plan to improve the lives of middle-class Americans, the Republican candidates would rather figure out which of them has changed their position the most since the hard-cover copies of their books came out. They and their conservative colleagues attacked each other in an endless race to the right to impress their Tea Party base. With accusations flying - flip-flopper! Soft on Immigrants! – none of them managed to offered a single new idea.



  • Romney Said Perry Believed “The Federal Government Shouldn't Be In The Pension Business, That It Is Unconstitutional… And It Should Be Returned To The States.” “It is different than what the governor put in his book six months and what you said on interviews following the book. There's a Rick Perry out there that is saying that almost quote it says, that the federal government shouldn't be in the pension business. That it is unconstitutional. Unconstitutional and it should be returned to the states. You better find that Rick Perry and get him to stop saying that.” [Romney, Fox/Google Debate, 9/22/11]
  • Romney To Perry: “I Actually Wrote My Book.” [Romney, Fox/Google Debate, 9/22/11]
  • Romney Said To Perry That It Was “Fine For To You Retreat From Your Own Words In Your Own Book.” “Fine for to you retreat from your own words in your own book but don't try to make me retreat from the words I wrote in my book. I stand for what I wrote. Believe the people in this country can read my book and see exactly what it is, thank you.” [Romney, Fox/Google Debate, 9/22/11]
  • Romney Was Asked About Perry’s Argument For Giving In State Tuition To Illegal Immigrants: “It Is An Argument I Can't Follow.” The Fox News moderators asked, “What about Governor Perry’s argument that it is better to get these kids an education and get them jobs than to consign them just to be a burden on the state?” Romney replied, “It is an argument I can't follow. I gotta be honest with you.” [Romney, Fox/Google Debate, 9/22/11]
  • Romney Attacked Perry For Giving Illegal Immigrants $22,000 A Year Discount To Attend Texas Schools: “If You Are A United States Citizen From Any One Of The Other 49 States You Have To Pay $100,000 More.” “I don't see how it is that a state like Texas to go to the university of Texas, if you are an illegal alien you get an in-state tuition discount. That's $22,000 a year. Four years of college, almost $100,000 discount if you are an illegal alien go to the University of Texas. If you are a United States citizen from any one of the other 49 states you have to pay $100,000 more. That doesn't make sense to me. That kind of madness… that kind of magnet draws people into this country to get that education to get the $100,000 break. It makes no sense.” [Romney, Fox/Google Debate, 9/22/11]
  • Romney To Perry: “You Wrote A Book Six Months Ago” And “You Are Already Retreating From The Positions In That Book.” [Romney, Fox/Google Debate, 9/22/11]
  • Romney Claimed Perry Said “Social Security Was Forced Upon The American People” And “Social Security Should Be Returned To The States.” “In that book it says Social Security was forced upon the American people. It says by any measure Social Security is a failure not to 75 million. You said Social Security should be returned to the states. Those are the positions of your book.” [Romney, Fox/Google Debate, 9/22/11]



  • Perry Defended His Position On Social Security, Said This Isn’t The First Time Romney Has Been Wrong On Some Issues. "Let me say first, for those that are on social security today, for those people that are approaching social security, they don’t have anything in world to worry about. We have made a solemn oath to the people of this country that the social security program in place today will be there for them. Now, it is not the first time that Mitt has been wrong on some issues before.” [Perry, Fox/Google Debate, 9/22/11]
  • Perry Criticized Romney On Health Care Reform, Said Romney Deleted A Reference To RomneyCare In The Paperback Version Of His Book. “Speaking of books and talking about being able to have things in your books, back and forth. Your economic adviser talked about RomneyCare and how that was an absolute bust and it was exactly what ObamaCare was all about. As a matter of fact, between books your hard copy book you said it was exactly what the American people needed to have, that RomneyCare given to them as you had in Massachusetts. Then in your paper book, -- in your paperback, you took that line out. Speaking of not getting it straight in your book sir….” [Perry, Fox/Google Debate, 9/22/11]
  • Perry Said Romney Supports President Obama’s Race To The Top, Called His Support “Not Conservative.” “One person on this stage that is for Obama’s Race to the Top that is Governor Romney, he said so this last week. I think is an important difference between the rest of the people on this stage and one person that wants to run for the presidency. Being in favor of the Obama Race to the Top and that is not conservative.” [Perry, Fox/Google Debate, 9/22/11]
  • Perry Attacked Romney For Flip-Flopping On Multiple Positions. “I think Americans don’t know which Mitt Romney they are dealing with. Mitt Romney against the second amendment before he was for the second amendment? Before he was before the social programs from the standpoint of he was for wade before he was against roe vs. wade. He was for race to the top. He’s for ObamaCare and now he’s against it. I mean, we will wait until tomorrow and see which Mitt Romney we are really talking tonight.” [Perry, Fox/Google Debate, 9/22/11]



  • Bachmann Criticized Perry For Taking Sovereignty Away From Parents With HPV Executive Order And For Accepting Campaign Contributions From Merck. “Here's the real issue, Governor Perry mandated a health care decision on all 12-year-old little girls in the state of Texas. And by that mandate, those girls had to have a shot for a sexually transmitted disease. That is not appropriate to be a decision that a Governor makes. It is appropriate that parents make that decision in consultation with their doctor. Here the even more important point, because Governor Perry made a decision where he gave parental rights to a big drug company. That big drug company gave him campaign contributions and hired his former chief of staff to lobby him to benefit the big drug company. That's what was wrong with that picture.” [Bachmann, Fox/Google Debate, 9/22/11]



  • Huntsman Criticized His Republican Opponents For Having No Foreign Policy Experience. “Just one issue I want to respond to my friend Rick Santorum here. -- We have a difference of opinion in terms of overall foreign policy. I think the only one on stage with any hands on foreign policy experience having lived overseas four times.” [Huntsman, Fox/Google Debate, 9/22/11]
  • Huntsman Criticized The Affordable Care Act, Which Was Modeled After RomneyCare. “[W]e are fundamentally approaching health care reform the wrong way. This one trillion dollar bomb that ObamaCare means to this country over 10 years is creating such uncertainty in the marketplace that businesses aren't willing to hire, to deploy capital into the marketplace everyone it has gummed up our system. I say we go out to the states and let the states experiment and find breakthroughs in how we address health care reform. Health care reform is a three trillion dollar industry the size of the GDP of France.” [Romney, Fox/Google Debate, 9/22/11]
  • Disagreeing With Santorum, Huntsman Said Americans Want To “Bring Our Troops Home From Afghanistan.” “I believe that after 10 years of fighting the war on terror, people are ready to bring our troops home from Afghanistan, Rick.” [Romney, Fox/Google Debate, 9/22/11]
  • Huntsman Predicted That Romney And Perry Were “Going To Bludgeon Each Other To Death” And Eventually “Disappear” Like Giuliani And Thompson Did In 2008. “I'm tempted to say when all is said and done the two standing in the middle, Romney and Perry aren't going to be around because they are going to bludgeon each other to death. I'm also reminded four years ago we had two front runners in similar situations one by the name of Giuliani and the other Thompson. They seemed to disappear altogether. I can’t remember where they went.” [Huntsman, Fox/Google Debate, 9/22/11]



  • Cain Said Romney’s Tax Plan Is A Dog That Won’t Hunt. “Unlike Governor Romney's plan my plan throws out the old one he's still hooked to the current tax code. That dog won't hunt.” [Cain, Fox/Google Debate, 9/22/11]



  • Santorum Called Perry “Soft On Illegal Immigration.” “No one is suggesting that the students that are illegal in this country shouldn't be able to go to a college or university. I think you are making this leap unless we subsidize this, the taxpayers subsidize it they won't be able to go. Most folks who want go to the state of Texas or any other state have to pay. The point is why are we subsidizing? They go, they just have to borrow, find other sources to be able to go. Why should they be given preferential treatment, as an illegal in this country? That's what we're saying. …yes, I would say that he is soft on illegal immigration. I think the fact that he doesn't want to build a finances.” [Santorum, Fox/Google Debate, 9/22/11]
  • Santorum Suggested That Perry Was More Liberal Than President Obama On Immigration. “He gave a speech in 2001 where he talked about -- buy national health insurance between Mexico and Texas. I don't even think Barack Obama would be for buy national health insurance. I think he's very weak on this issue of American sovereignty and protecting our borders and not being a magnet for illegal immigration, yes.” [Santorum, Fox/Google Debate, 9/22/11]
  • Santorum Criticized His Opponents On Iraq.“We need to have any -- I'm hearing numbers of 20-30,000 troops potentially to remain in Iraq, not indefinitely. But to continue to make sure this is a stable transition. This is the difference between Congressman Paul, Governor Huntsman, Governor Perry and myself when it comes to issue. I say when we engage in Iraq and Afghanistan, we engage because we want to be successful. We want victory. We want to have accomplished a national security objective for this country. To make sure that we are safer. We are not on a political agenda to withdraw troops. First thing to make sure we secure success.” [Santorum, Fox/Google Debate, 9/22/11]
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