Original Political Warble Translated by Truth Monk
|Original transcript in Political Warble @ CNN|
Cooper: All right, enough of the singing, enough of the snowmen. Let’s begin the debate. From one tough-talking New Yorker, a question to another tough- talking New Yorker.
Ernie Nardi: This is Ernie Nardi from Dyker Heights in Brooklyn, New York,
with a question for the ex-Mayor Giuliani. Under your administration, as well as others, New York City was operated as a sanctuary city [cities that turn a blind eye to federal immigration laws], aiding and abetting illegal aliens.
I would like to know, if you become president of the United States, will you continue to aid and abet the flight of illegal aliens into this country?
Giuliani: First I’m not going to answer what I’ll do as president. Let me avoid the question by saying New York City wasn’t a “sanctuary city.” Period. Everything we did was for humanitarian reasons: 1) allowed the children of illegal immigrants to go to school, otherwise they be on the street committing crimes, 2) emergency care in the hospital, and 3) allowing them to report crimes. I ordered the reporting of thousands and thousands and thousands of names of illegal immigrants who committed crimes to the immigration service.
Romney: Absolutely. It called itself a “sanctuary city.” And as a matter of fact , the mayor actually brought a suit to maintain its “sanctuary city” status when PRWORA and IIRIRA was signed into law by President Clinton.
Giuliani: Rather than face the issue that I’m a big fat liar, I’ll divert attention by attacking him with spun-up ideas. There were six sanctuary cities in Massachusetts. And he employed a whole bunch of illegal immigrants at his home.
Romney: How dare you Mayor! I have never hired illegal immigrants. The Community Lawn Service with a Heart may have hired illegal immigrants, but that not my responsibility.
Michael Weitz: Good evening. There are thousands of people in Canada and Mexico waiting to come to America legally. They want to become American citizens. They want to be part of the American dream. Yet, there are those in the Senate that want to grant amnesty for those that come here illegally.
Will you pledge tonight, if elected president, to veto any immigration bill that involves amnesty for those that have come here illegally?
Thompson: Yes, I pledge as president, to veto any immigration bill that involves amnesty for those that have come here illegally. I just want to add that Mayor Giuliani did have a sanctuary city in 1996.
Giuliani: Did not.
Cooper: Senator McCain, let me bring you back to the question that was asked by the YouTube user.
Would you willing to veto any immigration bill that involved amnesty for those who have come here illegally?
McCain: Yes, of course I would be willing to veto any immigration bill that involved amnesty for those who have come here illegally. However that’s not saying I would actually veto it. After all we need them as laborers.
Cooper: Michael, do you feel you got an answer?
Weitz: One yes, one no and one sort of.
Jack Brooks: Hammered by competition with imports, our family- owned business struggles each year to find seasonal workers. We’ve been working with a seasonal guest-worker program, the H2B program, bringing in and sending home workers every year. But with Congress failing to enact a comprehensive immigration and guest worker bill, I want to know whether I’ll have a job next year.
What are you going to do to keep these guest workers coming to the U.S. to save our business?
Tancredo: Well, I’ll tell you, I’m not going to aid any more immigration into this country. I’m going to stop the seasonal guest-worker program, the H2B program.
Hunter: I built that border fence in San Diego and it does work. I am going to stop all immigration into this country.
Ashley: Governor Huckabee, while governor of Arkansas, you gave a illegal aliens a discount for college in Arkansas by allow them to pay lower in-state tuition rates. However, we have thousands of military members currently serving our country in Iraq with children at home. If these children chose to move to Arkansas to attend college, they would have to pay three times the tuition rate that illegal aliens pay.
Would you support a federal law which would require any state that gives these tuition rates to illegal aliens to give the same rates to the children of our military members?
Huckabee: I never passed a bill that gave special privileges to the children of illegals to go to college. We did try to get passed a meritorious scholarship called the Academic Challenge Scholarship that that any student could apply for.
Cooper: Governor, you called Governor Huckabee a liberal on immigration.
Romney: He said that he fought for giving scholarships to illegal aliens. That’s makes him a liberal. Illegals should not get taxpayer-funded breaks that are better than our own citizens.
Huckabee: Well, but they didn’t get something better. They had to earn it. In all due respect, we are a better country than to punish children for what their parents did. We’re a better country than that.
Romney: Kids here illegally are not going to get a special deal, or a better deal than American kids, Nor do they get benefits by virtue of coming here illegally. We are not punishing children for what their parents did but for what they are – illegal immigrants.
Huckabee: Because they’re earning it. That was the difference.
YouTube question: Good evening, candidates. This is (inaudible) from Arlington, Texas,
and this question is for Ron Paul. I’ve met a lot of your supporters online, but I’ve noticed that a good number of them seem to buy into this conspiracy theory regarding the Council of Foreign Relations, and some plan to make a North American union by merging the United States with Canada and Mexico. These supporters of yours seem to think that you also believe in this theory. So my question to you is:
Do you really believe in all this, or are people just putting words in your mouth?
Paul: Yes, I believe the Council of Foreign Relations has a plan to make a North American union by merging the United States with Canada and Mexico.
Sarah Lederach: My name is Sarah Lederach. I’m 18 years old. I’m from Scarsdale, Pennsylvania. And I’m a student at Penn State University.
Often, I’ve heard both politicians and voters express their concern with providing a better future for their children. A concern of my generation is the trillions of dollars of national debt and what kind of responsibility we will have for that in the future.
My question for you all is, if elected, what measures will you take to tackle the national debt and control spending?
McCain: As president of the United States, I’d take an old veto pen that Ronald Reagan gave me, and I’d veto every single pork barrel bill that comes across my death. I’d make the authors famous.
Romney: Every bill that comes forward that’s got pork in it and earmarks that are unnecessary, we’ve got to veto them and send them back. And we are going to cap all nonmilitary spending at less than one percent.
Giuliani: I think you have to across-the-board spending cuts the way Ronald Reagan did, a 5, 10 percent per civilian agency should be done right now, actually. President Bush should do it to strengthen the dollar. We should commit not to rehire half of the civilian employees that will retire in the next 10 years. That is 42 percent of the federal workforce that will retire in the next 10 years. Don’t rehire half of them. Use technology, one person doing the job of two or three.
Every business has done it. The government has to do it. And we should look at those programs. There are about 3 percent of programs that OMB finds every year are failing. They should be zeroed out. Twenty-two percent are found to be not able to be evaluated. They should be looked at. We need that kind of approach.
Emily: Hi, I am Emily and I am from Los Angeles.
The Republican Party once stood for limited government, which meant reduce federal spending because it cost less and we spent less. However, over the past decade, real discretionary federal spending has in fact increased 40 percent, more than half of which has been non-defense related. So my question is:
What are the names of the top three federal programs you would reduce in size in order to decrease…
Thompson: There is — the OMB has come out with a list of over 100 programs. I would take all 100 of them, the ones that are full of waste, fraud and duplication.
|See complete list of 222 programs.|
Paul: Yes, the Department of Education, Department of Energy, and the Department of Homeland Security.
Huckabee: The three programs are Internal Revenue Service, Homeland Security, and I can’t think of another.
Ronald Lanham: My name is Ronald Lanham from Mobile, Alabama.
And I want you to tell me, do you support the elimination of the federal income tax in favor of a national retail sales tax, also known as the fair tax?
McCain: I do not, but we need a fairer tax code.
Now I want to take an off topic dig at Congressman Paul. He wants to bring the troops home because the war has failed. That kind of isolationism is what allowed Hitler to come to power and caused World War II.
And let me wear my “I love the troops more than you” button and tell you at my specially staged “Thanksgiving dinner with the troops” event, they told me, “Let us win. Let us win.”
Paul: He doesn’t even understand the difference between non- intervention and isolationism. But I don’t want to send troops overseas using force to tell people how to live.
Governor Norquist: President Bush made a commitment when he ran for president in 2000 and 2004 that he would oppose and veto any tax increase that Congress sent him. My question to each of the candidates is:
Would you promise to the people watching this right now, that you will oppose and veto any efforts to raise taxes as long as you’re president?
Tancredo: Yes I could take Governor Norquist pledge. But I will not promise the American people that I would oppose or veto any efforts to raise taxes as president.
Huckabee: I would and have signed a pledge. But I will not promise the American people that I would oppose or veto any efforts to raise taxes as president.
Romney: I have signed Grover’s pledge. But I will not promise the American people that I would oppose or veto any efforts to raise taxes as president.
Giuliani: I knew I forgot do something. Lets me spin it and say I would. But I will not promise the American people that I would oppose or veto any efforts to raise taxes as president.
Thompson: I will not promise the American people that I would oppose or veto any efforts to raise taxes as president.
McCain: I will not promise the American people that I would oppose or veto any efforts to raise taxes as president.
Paul: I will not promise the American people that I would oppose or veto any efforts to raise taxes as president.
Hunter: I will absolutely not promise the American people that I would oppose or veto any efforts to raise taxes as president.
Ted Faturos: Hi, I’m Ted Faturos from Manhattan Beach, California.
Mmmmmm, nothing says delicious like cheap corn subsidized by the American taxpayer. For a lot of Americans, however, a bitter taste is left in their mouth when they learned about how the U.S. taxpayer bankrolls billions of dollars in farm subsidies that mostly go to large item business interests.
I’m curious which candidate could label themselves fiscally responsible, will endorse the elimination of farm subsidies if they are elected president in 2008.
Romney: I will not eliminate farm subsidies if I’m elected president.
Giuliani: I will not eliminate farm subsidies if I’m elected president.
Cooper: Since we’re on fiscal matters, I would be remiss if I didn’t ask this question, since it did just break a couple hours ago. This is to Mayor Giuliani. Politico broke a story a few hours ago questioning your accounting of taxpayer dollars as mayor.
They say that as mayor, the report says you took trips to the Hamptons and expensed the cost of your police detail to obscure city offices.
One, is that true? And, if so, was it appropriate?
Giuliani: It’s not true. And I know nothin’ about their records.
LeeAnn Anderson: My name is LeeAnn Anderson and I am from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
and these are my kids Evan and May. Maya is from China and we adopted him to give her a better life. We never dreamed that she would that she’d be exposed to lead after leaving China, and now we find trains like this that are covered with lead in our home. My question for the candidates are,
what are you going to do to make sure that these kind of toys don’t make their way into our homes and that we have safe toys that are made in America again and we keep jobs in America?
Tancredo: I have no idea. Maybe change some trade arrangements?
Hunter: I have no idea. But lets buy American. Yea, lets buy America that’ll work.
(Begin Senator Fred Thompson videotape)
Romney: I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years, that we should sustain and support it.
Huckabee: Others have suggested a surcharge on the income tax. That’s acceptable. I’m fine with that. Others have suggested, perhaps, a sales tax. That’s fine.
Romney: I was once pro-choice and change to pro-life as governor. I made a mistake, so I’m going to flip flop.
Huckabee: I’m not going to respond.
Jay Fox: I’m Jay Fox, lifetime member of the NRA.
Now, I am from a small town and as in any small time, we like our big guns. My question to you is:
What is your opinion of gun control? And don’t worry, you can answer however you like.
Hunter: That’s a trick question isn’t it? I’m not going to tell you how I feel about gun control.
Andrew Fink: Hello. My name is Andrew Fink, and I have a question for Rudy Giuliani.
Mr. Giuliani, at a recent NRA convention, you stated that it’s every American’s right to be secure. Yet, on March 21 of the year 2000, The Boston Globe quoted you as saying, "Anyone wanting to own a gun should have to pass a written exam."
Considering the Constitution grants us the right to bear arms as a means of protection, why do you believe that citizens should be required to pass an exam in order to exercise their right to protect themselves and their families?
Giuliani: I believe that having potential gun owners to show a knowledge about guns is a reasonable regulation.
Thompson: Well, the mayor has supported a wide array of gun control laws. I’m not sure there’s ever one that didn’t come up for consideration in terms of legislation that he didn’t support — signing ceremonies with people from President Clinton’s Cabinet and that sort of thing when they came up.
The Second Amendment is not a choice thing. I mean, it’s in the Constitution of the United States — that’s the protection that the people have against. The case that the mayor refers to is the Washington D.C. case, and they were taking the same position, basically, the mayor took, as far as the city of New York is concerned. They said, "You know, it will make a safer city if we outlaw law- abiding citizens having the right to posses a firearm." It didn’t make them a safer city.
The D.C. Court of Appeals held that it was a violation of their Second Amendment rights and, hopefully, the Supreme Court will uphold the D.C. court.
Giuliani: Let me talk about anything other than my past record on gun control.
Eric Bentson: Hi there. I’m Eric Bentson from Phoenix, Arizona.
Got a quick question for all you candidates.
Any of you all want to tell us about your gun collection, roughly how many you own, what your favorite make, model and caliber is, if any of them require a tax stamp?
Thompson: I don’t have any guns.
McCain: I know how to use guns. I don’t own one now.
Hunter: I have an old 20-gauge L.C. Smith
Romney: I have no guns but I know someone who does.
Giuliani: I have no guns.
YouTube question: Hi, this is me and my son Prentiss. We’re from Atlanta.
I want to ask you guys a question (inaudible) every year.
But what about the war going on in our country, black on black crime?
Two hundred to 400 black men die yearly in one city alone. What are you going to do about that war?
It feels like the (inaudible) is right outside.
Romney: Better education in our schools and more police.
Giuliani: Romney had a mixed record, while I had a great record.
Romney: The Mayor did a wonderful job. It’s not my fault I have a mixed record. I didn’t have a police commissioner. But I did increade the size of our DNA laboratory.
Journey: Hi. My name is Journey. I’m from Texas. And this question is for all (inaudible) pro-life candidates.
In the event that abortion becomes illegal and a woman obtains an abortion anyway, what should she be charged with, and what should her punishment be?
What about the doctor who performs the abortion?
Paul: You can’t make me answer.
Thompson: Just take the current laws and make them apply to earlier abortions.
Questioner: Hello, my name is AJ. I’m from Millstone, New Jersey.
I would all of the candidates to give an answer on this.
If hypothetically, Roe v. Wade was overturned, and the Congress passed a federal ban on all abortions and it came to your desk, would you sign it?
Yes or no?
Giuliani: I would not sign it.However I would ban partial birth abortion or late-term abortion .I think you should have parental consent.
Romney: I would be delighted to sign the bill.
Tyler Overman: Hi. This is Tyler Overman from Memphis, Tennessee.
And I have a quick question for those of you who would call yourselves Christian conservatives.
The death penalty, what would Jesus do?
Huckabee: Who is Jesus?
Tancredo: Personally I never read him.
Joseph: I am Joseph. I am from Dallas, Texas,
and how you answer this question will tell us everything we need to know about you.
Do you believe every word of this book? Specifically, this book that I am holding in my hand, do you believe this book?
Giuliani: I don’t believe every word in the Bible.
Romney: I’m not going to answer that question.
Huckabee: I don’t believe every word in the Bible.
Yasmin: Good evening, gentlemen. My name is Yasmin and I hail from Huntsville, Alabama.
My question has to do with the current crisis in Iraq, as well as the U.S. efforts in Afghanistan. After living abroad, personally, in the Middle East for a year, I realized just how much damage the Iraq war and the perception of invasion has done to the image of America.
What would you do as president to repair the image of America in the eyes of the Muslim world?
Giuliani: I would do nothing to improve our image in the eyes of the Muslim world. We don’t need to. The Muslims who are smart know we are attacking them for their own good.
McCain: I would continue the buildup. Then I would setup a puppet government under Maliki.
Hunter: I would do nothing. Period.
Andrew Jones: Hello, gentlemen. I’m Andrew, and I’m a college student from Seattle, Washington.
Recently, Senator McCain has come out strongly against using waterboarding as an instrument of interrogation.My question for the rest of you is,
considering that Mr. McCain is the only one with any firsthand knowledge on the subject, how can those of you sharing the stage with him disagree with his position?
Romney: I know more than Senator McCain and waterboarding isn’t torture. Besides what’s wrong with torture?
McCain: Governor Romney, you are dumb as shit!
Romney: Senator McCain, I appreciate your strong response, but in all due respect you are bias on the matter.
McCain: Well you know so little about the law or interrogation techniques you should just keep your mouth shut. I have a higher view of what America is about.
Buzz Brockway: Hello. My name is Buzz Brockway from Lawrenceville, Georgia.
All the talk about the war in Iraq centers around how quickly we can get out. I think that’s the wrong question. We need to make a permanent or long-term military commitment to the region.By staying in Iraq, we provide long-term stability to the region, we provide support for our allies, and we act as a deterrent to the trouble-makers in the region.
Which presidential candidate will make a permanent of long-term military commitment to the people of Iraq?
Thompson: I won’t, besides I see Iraq through these rose-colored glasses.
Paul: I won’t. I believe we should be leave quickly as possible and let the Iraqis settle their differences themselves.
McCain: We should never leave.
Paul: I’m not going to say.
Tancredo: I’m not going to answer.
Sam Garcia: Hi. My name is Sam Garcia. I’m from Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The following question is for Rudy Giuliani. Mr. Giuliani, a while back, a friend and I were having a discussion about you and some of the other Republican candidates.He blatantly made this statement somewhere along the line: Rudy Giuliani is using September 11, 2001, to propel himself into the White House. My question to you is:
How do you respond to this accusation and other accusations similar to it?
Giuliani: I done all these great things: put a Coast Guard cutter in the waters outside Port-au-Prince, I prosecuted thousands of organized crimes figures. I prosecuted Sicilian Mafia members, and I turned around New York City.
Nick Anderson as Dick Cheney cartoon character: Yes. Will you grant your vice president as much power and influence as I’ve had?
And remember, before you answer, I’m watching you.
Thompson: I don’t know.
McCain: I’m not going to answer.
Brigadier Gen. Keith Kerr (Ret.): My name’s Keith Kerr, from Santa Rosa, California.
I’m a retired brigadier general with 43 years of service. And I’m a graduate of the Special Forces Officer Course, the Commanding General Staff Course and the Army War College. And I’m an openly gay man. I want to know why you think that American men and women in uniform are not professional enough to serve with gays and lesbians.
Hunter: Our military is composed of stupid homophobic racist red-neck country hicks. It is beyond them to get along with homosexuals.
Huckabee: I fully agree with Duncan Hunter.
Cooper: Governor Romney, you said in 1994 that you looked forward to the day when gays and lesbians could serve, and I quote, "openly and honestly in our nation’s military."
Do you stand by that?
Romney: I’m going weasel out of this question and just give you a lot of bull.
Cooper: All right. General Kerr is — as I said — is here. Please stand up, General. Thank you very much for being with us.
Did you feel you got an answer to your question?
Kerr: With all due respect, I did not get an answer from the candidates.
Cooper: What do you feel you did not…
Kerr: American men and women in the military are professional enough to serve with gays and lesbians.
For 42 years, I wore the army uniform on active duty, in the Reserve, and also for the state of California. I revealed I was a gay man after I retired.
Today, "don’t ask/don’t tell" is destructive to our military policy.
Every day, the Department of Defense discharges two people, not for misconduct, not for the unit cohesion…
Cooper: Wait, the mike is — you’ve lost me. Is the microphone not working? Please, just finish your — what is your question?
Kerr: Not for the unit cohesion that Congressman Hunter is talking about, but simply because they happen to be gay.
Cooper: OK. Senator McCain …
Kerr: And we’re talking about doctors, nurses, pilots, and the surgeon who sews somebody up when they’re taken from the battlefield.
McCain: Let me avoid this question.
David Cercone: Hi, my name is David Cercone.
I’d like to ask all the candidates if they accept the support of the Log Cabin Republicans, and why should the Log Cabin Republicans support their candidacy?
Huckabee: Sure I’ll take their money. It’s green isn’t it?
Adam Florzak: This is Adam Florzak of Illinois.
The national debt is now growing so quickly it will have increased by over half-million dollars in just the time it takes to ask this question. Over the years, politicians have borrowed just under $2 trillion from the Social Security trust fund to cover these massive budget deficits, and now the retirements of our generation are at risk.
What will you do as president to help repay this money and restore the trust?
Thompson: I have no idea.
McCain: I have no idea.
Steve Nielson: My name is Steve Nielson. And this question comes to you from Denver, Colorado.
JFK’s vision put a man on the moon from a nonexistent space program in about seven years. The new vision for space exploration has provided about 15 years for that same feat. Meanwhile, Congress is pulling funding for human-to-Mars research altogether.
Is there a candidate amongst you willing to take a pledge on behalf of the Mars Society of sending an American to the surface of Mars by 2020?
If not, what is your vision for human space exploration?
Huckabee: I don’t know, whether we need to send somebody to Mars.
David McMillan: Hi, my name is David McMillan, and I’m from Los Angeles, California.
On a variety of specific issues — gay marriage, taxes, the death penalty, immigration, faith-based initiatives, school vouchers, school prayer — many African Americans hold fairly conservative views. And yet, we overwhelmingly vote Democrat in most elections.
So my question to any of the Republican candidates here is, why don’t we vote for you?
Giuliani: Everyone wants good education. We have pushed expensive private schools, parochial schools, and charter schools. And for who can make it on one income – home-schooling for their children. For those who can’t afford it we tell them that their child has to go to an inadequate school.
We have move people off welfare as fast as we can.
Huckabee: Well, according to your network’s exit polls, some 48 percent of the African-Americans in my state did, in fact, vote for me, which is unusually high for African-Americans voting for a Republican. Here’s the reason why: because I asked for their vote, and I didn’t wait until October of the election year to do it.
And, while I was governor, I tried to make sure that we included people not only in appointments and employment, but also in the programs that would truly make a difference, like putting disproportionate amounts of help for health problems specifically targeted to African-Americans like hypertension and AIDS and diabetes. So there’s a reason.
Leroy Brooks: Hello, my name is Leroy Brooks. I am from Houston, Texas.
And my question is for all the candidates.
Whether this flag right here represents the symbol of racism, a symbol of political ideology, a symbol of Southern heritage — or, is it something completely different?
Romney: I’m not going to get involved with a flag like that. It’s divisive. Now on an off topic. Everything is the Democrats fault. They want to divide us. We’re succeeding in Iraq.
Thompson: I know that everybody who hangs the flag up in their room like that is not racist. I also know that for a great many Americans it’s a symbol of racism.
So, therefore, as a public place — he’s free to do whatever he wants to in his home. As far as a public place is concerned, I am glad that people have made the decision not to display it as a prominent flag, symbolic of something, at a state capitol. As a part of a group of flags or something of that nature, you know, honoring various service people at different times in different parts of the country, I think that’s different.
But, as a nation, we don’t need to go out of our way to be bringing up things that to certain people in our country that’s bad for them.
Dr. Hank Campbell: Good evening. My name is Dr. Hank Campbell. I’m in Lake Worth, Florida.
My question is our infrastructure. It’s been estimated that to fix the bridges, the tunnels, the power grids, the water delivery systems in this country will be in excess of $2 trillion — that is "t" for "trillion" — and it is plural.
Who among the candidates here is willing to step forward and begin to articulate the very difficult sacrifices which we need to make in order to start repairing America?
Count me out.
Paul: I have no idea.
McCain: I would use the line-item veto and veto every pork-barrel project.
Giuliani: The line-item veto is unconstitutional.
McCain: The line-item veto is to constitutional.
Giuliani: The line-item veto is unconstitutional determined not by John McCain, but by the Supreme Court.
And the Supreme Court found that the line-item veto is unconstitutional.
Mark Strauss: Mark Strauss, Davenport, Iowa.
This question is for Ron Paul. Mr. Paul, I think we both know that the Republican party is never going to give you the nomination. But I’m hoping that you’re crazy like a fox like that and you’re using this exposure to propel yourself into an independent run.
My question is for Ron Paul: Mr. Paul, are you going to let America down by not running as an independent?
Chris Krul: Giuliani, can you explain why you being a lifelong Yankees fan, that this year, after the Yankees lost everything, you rooted for the Red Sox in the postseason? Can you explain that position for me?
Giuliani: Give me a second to weasel out of this question…
Romney: I enjoy the Red Sox.
Cooper: I want to thank you all for participating tonight. I want to thank all those viewers who submitted the questions, 5,000 questions. I want to thank everyone in the audience, the Republican Party of Florida for hosting us. Thank you very much.