Transcript and video of Republican Debate June 13, 2011 New Hampshire (Part 10)

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney answers a question as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, left, and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, listen 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.10

KING: We’re in the closing moments of our Republican presidential debate here on the St. Anselm College campus, Manchester, New Hampshire. Time flies when you’re having fun. One last segment with the candidates.

Let’s kick off by going down on to the floor, WMUR’s Jennifer Vaughn.

VAUGHN: Hi, Mr. Cain. This one is for you. Public opinion polls consistently result in low approval ratings for Congress as a whole. And early polls show a lack of enthusiasm for this field of candidates. Most of you will say that you don’t watch polls, but shouldn’t you pay attention to public sentiment? And aren’t these polls a direct reflection of what voters are and are not looking for?

CAIN: Yes. I happen to believe that the polls do represent a barometer, because it’s way too early. Secondly, probably a lot of the people don’t know us yet, because it’s still real early in the process.

So as people get to know us more and more, I think they’re going to find that this really is a good field of candidates, at least in my opinion. But the people that know the most about everybody up here, they don’t see this as a weak field, and neither do I.

KING: All right. It is likely that the Republican nominee for president is standing on the stage tonight. If you win the nomination, you’ll have to make the choice that a nominee makes, and that is picking a running mate.

Governor Pawlenty to you, look back on 2008 and the process. President Obama made a pick. Senator McCain made a pick. Who made the best choice?

PAWLENTY: Senator Biden has been wrong about every major strategic decision in the modern history of the international conflict and military. Look at his judgment about partitioning Iraq, for example. Now we have Iraq being probably one of the shining example of success in the Middle East.

If Vice President Biden would have had his way, we would have had a partitioned Iraq and probably more mayhem in the Middle East. I think Governor Palin is a remarkable leader. I think she’s qualified to be president of the United States.

I think she’s equally as qualified or more qualified, and would have been as strong of a president as Joe Biden. He’s wrong on everything.

KING: Go ahead, Governor.

ROMNEY: John, any one of the people on this stage would be a better president than President Obama. He has failed in job one, which was to get this economy going again. He failed in job two, which was to restrain the growth of the government. And he failed in job three, which is to have a coherent, consistent foreign policy.

We’ve had presidents in the past that had bad foreign policies. This is the first time we’ve had a president that doesn’t have a foreign policy. And this hit or miss approach has meant a couple of successes, like getting Osama bin Laden — congratulations — but a lot of misses, like throwing our friends under the bus. And that’s why any of these people who gets better known by the American people will serve as president with distinction over the future.

KING: If that is you, if there is a President Bachmann, and you’re only allowed to hire one of the candidates on the stage, which one would it be and why?

ROMNEY: Don’t choose the old guys.

BACHMANN: Well, maybe we’ll have to have an “American Idol” contest and go from there. We’ll let the audience decide.

KING: Let the audience decide. Congressman Paul, if you were the president of the United States and you could pick one, but just one of these gentlemen and the lady, to join your administration, who would it be and why?

PAUL: Join the administration?

KING: Yes.

PAUL: I would think everybody would qualify.

KING: You only get to pick one. It’s about choices.

PAUL: I have to pick one? Hum? Let me look — let me look them over. I would have to do a bit more quizzing. I would have to — they haven’t even told me how they feel about the Federal Reserve yet. They haven’t told me about the foreign policy. So I have to do some more quizzing.

KING: We’re down to our last minute. I want to try to get to everybody. I want to start with you, Senator Santorum. What have you learned in the last two hours.

SANTORUM: I think what Hermann said. We have a great field of candidates. I was very impressed by what I heard. I hope everybody else was. These are folks that answered the questions that were asked of them.

KING: Congresswoman?

BACHMANN: In the last two hours, I’ve learned more about the goodness of the American people — from the question from John, his three sons that are serving in the Navy, his wonderful service. Everyone who asked a question has talked to me about —

KING: Don’t mean to interrupt you.

GINGRICH: I think once again, New Hampshire is proving why it’s first in the nation as the primary, because the questions are so good.

KING: Governor?

ROMNEY: And New Hampshire is proving that the issue people care most about is getting this economy growing again, so that we can have rising housing prices again. People can have the kind of incomes they deserve. They don’t have to wonder whether the future is brighter than the past. People in New Hampshire love the future.

PAUL: I’ve learned with the group here that disagrees on some issues, we can talk about it and be civil to each other.

KING: Governor?

PAWLENTY: I learned that if you trust the people, our future is bright and I learned that the Boston Bruins have more heart than the Vancouver Canucks.

KING: Mr. Cain?

CAIN: What I’ve learned is that all of these candidates up here share one thing in common. And that is, it’s not about us. It’s about the children and the grandchildren. We’re not that far apart on all of the big issues.

KING: I want to thank all seven of our candidates tonight. I want to thank “The Union Leader,” WMUR and St. Anselm College for having us. We have a feisty campaign to come. Please pay attention at home.

I want to thank everybody here. I’m John King. I’ll see you tomorrow on “JOHN KING USA.” Anderson Cooper continues our coverage. Post-debate analysis right now.

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