Transcript and video of Republican Debate June 13, 2011 New Hampshire (Part 8)

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., answers a question during the first New Hampshire Republican presidential debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., Monday, June 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Republican Presidential Debate In New Hampshire pt.8

CAIN: I don’t believe so. But let’s — let’s look at solving the real problem, OK? Immigration is full of problems, not one. This is why we keep kicking the can down the road. Secure the borders. Get serious about securing our borders.

Number two, enforce the laws that are already there.

Number three, promote the path to citizenship, like this lady did, by getting — cleaning up the bureaucracy.

And here’s how we deal with the illegals that are already here. Empower the states to do what the federal government hasn’t done, won’t do, and can’t do. Then we won’t be getting into the problem that was raised.

We are a compassionate nation. Of course they’re going to get care. But let’s fix the problem.

KING: Well, to empower the states, Mr. Cain says, Governor Pawlenty, do you support, then — Arizona has its version, parts of it — parts of it, employee enforcement law, have been upheld. The big SB 1070 making its way to the Supreme Court. Alabama just has a new bill. Would you want to be president of the United States in which each state can decide what it does? Or would you make the point, look, this is a federal purview, period?

PAWLENTY: I’m a strong supporter of state rights, but if the federal government won’t do its job — in this case, protecting and securing our border — then let the states do it. And they will. And…


… when President Bush asked governors to volunteer their National Guard to go to the border to help reinforce, through Operation Jump Start, our border, I was one of the few governors who did it. I sent Minnesota National Guard there to reinforce the border, and it works. And that’s what we need to do.

And, by the way, this issue of birthright citizenship again brings up the importance of appointing conservative justices. That result is because a U.S. Supreme Court determined that that right exists, notwithstanding language in the Constitution. I’m the only one up here — I believe I’m the only one up here — who’s appointed solidly, reliably conservative appointees to the — to the court.

KING: I want to do one more on this issue. President Bush and Senator McCain spent a lot of time on this, Mr. Speaker. I want your view. There are an estimated maybe 20 million illegal immigrants in this country. People have different numbers. If you were going to round them all up — Congressman Tom Tancredo on this stage four years ago would have said round them up and kick them up, they broke the law, they shouldn’t be here. I don’t know where the money would come from in this environment.

So I want you sense. Do you — is that what the states should be doing, the federal government should be spending money and resources on? Or — or like President Bush and like Senator McCain, at least in the McCain-Kennedy days, should we have some path to status for those who are willing to step up and admit where they are and come out of the shadows?

GINGRICH: One of the reasons this country is in so much trouble is that we are determined among our political elites to draw up catastrophic alternatives. You either have to ship 20 people out of America or legalize all of them.

That’s nonsense. There’s not — we’re never going to pass a comprehensive bill. Obama proved that in the last two years. He couldn’t get a comprehensive bill through with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, and he didn’t even try, because he knew he couldn’t do it.

You break this down. Herman Cain’s essentially right, you break it down. First of all, you control the border. We can ask the National Guard to go to Iraq. We ask the National Guard to go to Kuwait. We ask the National Guard to go to Afghanistan. Somehow we would have done more for American security if we had had the National Guard on the border.

But if you don’t want to use the National Guard, I’m…


Just one last example. If you don’t want to use the National Guard, take — take half of the current Department of Homeland Security bureaucracy in Washington, transplant it to Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. You’ll have more than enough people to control the border.


KING: All right. Let’s…

GINGRICH: No, but let me say this, John. No serious citizen who’s concerned about solving this problem should get trapped into a yes/no answer in which you’re either for totally selling out protecting America or you’re for totally kicking out 20 million people in a heartless way. There are — there are humane, practical steps to solve this problem, if we can get the politicians and the news media to just deal with it honestly.

KING: All right.

John Distaso down on the floor has a question.

DISTASO: Thank you, John.

Congressman Paul, this is for you. John, if you don’t mind, I’d also like to hear from Governor Romney and a couple of the candidates, because it relates to a specific New Hampshire issue with a national question.

Here in New Hampshire, there is a popular bill that is being considered by our state legislature that would restrict the state’s power to seize private land to build a power plant or a transmission facility. Should governments at any level be able to use eminent domain for major projects that will reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil?

PAUL: No. We — we shouldn’t have that power given to the government where they can take private land and transfer it to a private industry. The eminent domain laws are going to vary in different states, but we have the national eminent domain laws. It was never meant to take it from some people, private owners, and then take it and give it to a corporation because it’s going to help that locality.

And this goes back to the basic understanding of property rights. Property and free society should be owned by the people, and it shouldn’t be regulated to death by the governments, whether it’s Washington, D.C., or local governments.

Right now, we really don’t own our land. We just pay rent on our land and we listen to all these regulations. So I would say that courts should get out of the way, too. They should not have this right to take land from individuals to provide privileges for another group.


DISTASO: Governor Romney, you’re a property owner in New Hampshire. You are a New Hampshire property owner, but you also are for reducing our dependence on foreign oil. There are a lot of people in the state who are concerned about this project, but they also want to have energy independence. How do you feel about that?

ROMNEY: Well, I don’t believe that land should be taken — the power of government to give to a private corporation. And so the right of eminent domain is a right which is used to foster a public purpose and public ownership for a road, highways, and so forth. And so my view is, if land is going to be taken for purposes of a private enterprise, that’s the wrong way to go.

Now, the right answer for us to have energy independence is to start developing our own energy in this country, and we’re not doing that. We — we have a huge find with natural gas; 100 years of new natural gas has been found. More drilling for oil, natural gas, clean coal. We have coal in great abundance, nuclear power ultimately, and all the renewables. But it’s time for us to have a president who really cares about finally getting America on track for energy security.

KING: And so let’s stay on this issue, because it is a very important issue. Josh McElveen down on the floor.

MCELVEEN: Thanks very much, John. Timely issue. Question for Senator Santorum. The Senate tomorrow is going to be voting on possibly abolishing the ethanol tax, effective July 1st (inaudible) major impact on our friends in another early voting state in Iowa. They grow corn. This is a move that would basically remove tax credits worth $6 billion. Question to you is, do you support abolishing?

SANTORUM: Yeah, I actually had proposed that we can phase out the ethanol subsidy, which is the blender’s credit, over a five-year period of time. I also proposed, as part of helping him in that transition — one other thing. I also phase out the tariff on ethanol coming into this country over that five-year period of time.

One of the issues for the ethanol industry is distribution networks. So I would take half of that credit every year, 4.5 cents, and use it to help expand distribution for E-85 in other areas of the country. And that all would be shut down in five years.

And I say that because I think the ethanol industry — I voted against ethanol subsidies my entire time in Congress. But I will tell you, the ethanol industry has matured greatly, and I think they are actually capable of surviving and doing quite well going forward under that — under that plan.

KING: All right. I want to — got to work in one more break before we go. We’ve got a lot more ground to cover. Believe it or not, our candidates — we’re running out of time here.

Into and out of every break we’re having a little experiment called “This or That.” “Spicy” from Governor Romney was the last one.

Governor Pawlenty, to you, Coke or Pepsi?


KING: Coke it is, a good, swift answer there.

We’ve got to work in one more break. Before we go to break, though, I just want to show you. We’re asking you on Twitter to show us what you think. What are the candidates’ opinions on whether or not to withdraw troops from Afghanistan? That and a number of foreign policy questions when we return here to the campus of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, seven Republicans who want to be your next president debating. Stay right here.



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