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Ben Carson

Quick Facts
Personal Details

Caucuses/Former Committees

Appointed by President George W. Bush, Member, President’s Council on Bioethics, 2004


  • Graduated, University of Michigan School of Medicine
  • Graduated, Yale University

Professional Experience

  • Graduated, University of Michigan School of Medicine
  • Graduated, Yale University
  • Emeritus Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, present
  • Former Bank Teller
  • Former X-Ray Technician
  • Former School Bus Driver
  • Former Supervisor, Highway Cleanup Crews
  • Former Crane Operator, Steel Factory
  • Pediatric Neurosurgery Director, Johns Hopkins Children's Center, 2013
  • Co-Founder, Carson Scholars Fund, 1994

Political Experience

  • Graduated, University of Michigan School of Medicine
  • Graduated, Yale University
  • Emeritus Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, present
  • Former Bank Teller
  • Former X-Ray Technician
  • Former School Bus Driver
  • Former Supervisor, Highway Cleanup Crews
  • Former Crane Operator, Steel Factory
  • Pediatric Neurosurgery Director, Johns Hopkins Children's Center, 2013
  • Co-Founder, Carson Scholars Fund, 1994
  • Secretary, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2017-present
  • Candidate, President of the United States, 2016
  • Nominated by President-elect Donald Trump, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, United States of America, December 5, 2016

Former Committees/Caucuses

Appointed by President George W. Bush, Member, President’s Council on Bioethics, 2004

Religious, Civic, and other Memberships

  • Graduated, University of Michigan School of Medicine
  • Graduated, Yale University
  • Emeritus Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, present
  • Former Bank Teller
  • Former X-Ray Technician
  • Former School Bus Driver
  • Former Supervisor, Highway Cleanup Crews
  • Former Crane Operator, Steel Factory
  • Pediatric Neurosurgery Director, Johns Hopkins Children's Center, 2013
  • Co-Founder, Carson Scholars Fund, 1994
  • Secretary, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2017-present
  • Candidate, President of the United States, 2016
  • Nominated by President-elect Donald Trump, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, United States of America, December 5, 2016
  • Member, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, present
  • Member, Horatio Alger Society of Distinguished Americans, present
  • Member, Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Science, present
  • Emeritus Fellow, Yale Corporation, present
  • Former Board of Directors Member, Academy of Achievement
  • Former Board of Directors Member, Costco Wholesale Corporation
  • Former Board of Directors Member, Kellogg Company
  • Speaker, National Prayer Breakfast, 1997, 2013

Other Info

— Awards:

  • In 2001, Dr. Carson was named by CNN and TIME Magazine as one of the nation's 20 foremost physicians and scientists. That same year, he was selected by the Library of Congress as one of 89 "Living Legends."

    He is also the recipient of the 2006 Spingarn Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the NAACP. In June, 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the highest civilian honor in the land.

Date of Wedding Anniversary:

July 6, 1975

  • Sonya Carson

— Publications:

  • Gifted Hands;
  • America the Beautiful, Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great;
  • One Nation, What We All Can Do to Save America's Future;
  • You Have a Brain: A Teen's Guide to THINK BIG;
  • The Big Picture;
  • Take the Risk: Learning to Identify, Choose and Live with Acceptable Risk;
  • One Vote: Make Your Voice Heard

Spouse's Occupation:


Policy Positions



Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
- Pro-life


In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
- No


Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders?
- Unknown Position


1. Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
- No

2. Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?
- Yes


Do you support requiring states to implement education reforms in order to be eligible for competitive federal grants?
- No


1. Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline?
- Unknown Position

2. Do you support funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)?
- Unknown Position


Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
- No


Do you generally support gun-control legislation?
- No

Health Care

Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
- Yes


Do you support requiring illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
- Yes


Do you support same-sex marriage?
- No

National Security

Do you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict?
- Yes

Social Security

Do you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts?
- Unknown Position


Transcript of the Republican Presidential Debate

February 13, 2016

DICKERSON: Good evening. I'm John Dickerson. This holiday weekend, as America honors our first president, we're about to hear from six men who hope to be the 45th. The candidates for the Republican nomination are here in South Carolina for their ninth debate, one week before this state holds the first-in-the-South primary.

George Washington wrote that the truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains taken to bring it to light. We hope to shed some light on the candidates' positions tonight to help voters make up their minds.

So gentlemen, please join us on stage.


With us tonight -- with us tonight are retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson of Florida, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.


Businessman Donald Trump of New York.


Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.


Former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida.


And Governor John Kasich of Ohio.


Now, as most of you have heard by now, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died today at the age of 79. He was the longest-serving member of the court, appointed by President Reagan in 1986. Justice Scalia was the court's leading conservative, and even those who disagreed with his opinions regarded him as a brilliant legal scholar. Please join us and the candidates on our stage in a moment of silence for Justice Antonin Scalia. Thank you.

Continue reading the main story

Fact Checks of the 2016 Election
We will talk to the candidates about Justice Scalia and the road ahead when the debate begins in a moment.


DICKERSON: Before we get started, candidates, here are the rules. When we ask you a question, you will have one minute to answer, and 30 seconds more if we ask a follow-up. If you're attacked by another candidate, you get 30 seconds to respond.

And here's how we keep time. After we ask a question, you'll get a green light. The yellow light means you have 30 seconds left to finish your answer, and when time is up, the light turns red. That means please stop talking. If you keep talking, you'll hear this.


You don't want to hear that. Joining me in the questioning tonight, my CBS News colleague, chief White House correspondent Major Garrett, and Kimberley Strassel, who is on the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal.

And you can participate in the debate through our partnership with Twitter. Tweet us your questions and comments using the hashtag "#GOPDebate."

So, let's begin.

First, the death of Justice Scalia, and the vacancy that leaves on the Supreme Court. Mr. Trump, I want to start with you. You've said that the president shouldn't nominate anyone in the rest of his term to replace Justice Scalia. If you were president and had a chance, with 11 months left to go in your term, wouldn't it be an abdication, to conservatives in particular, not to name a conservative justice with the rest of your term?

TRUMP: Well, I can say this. If the president, and if I were president now, I would certainly want to try and nominate a justice. I'm sure that, frankly, I'm absolutely sure that President Obama will try and do it. I hope that our Senate is going to be able -- Mitch, and the entire group, is going to be able to do something about it.

In times of delay, we could have a Diane Sykes, or you could have a Bill Pryor -- we have some fantastic people. But this is a tremendous blow to conservatism. It's a tremendous blow, frankly, to our country.

DICKERSON: So, just to be clear on this, Mr. Trump, you're O.K. with the president nominating somebody ...

TRUMP: ... I think he's going to do it whether or I'm O.K. with it or not. I think it's up to Mitch McConnell and everybody else to stop it. It's called delay, delay, delay.


DICKERSON: Governor Kasich, I want to get your thoughts on this. Justice Scalia was a real believer, obviously, in the strict word of the Constitution. Now, Harry Reid says that a failure to fill his vacancy would be, quote, "shameful abdication of one of the Senate's most essential constitutional responsibilities."

Where do you come down on this?

KASICH: Well, John, first of all, if I were president, we wouldn't have the divisions in the country we have today. I do want to take a second as we reflected on Judge Scalia, it's amazing -- it's not even two minutes after the death of Judge Scalia, nine children here today, their father didn't wake up. His wife, sad, but I just wish we hadn't run so fast into politics.

Here's my concern about this. The country is so divided right now, and now we're going to see another partisan fight take place. I really wish the president would think about not nominating somebody. If you were to nominate somebody, let's have him pick somebody that's going to have unanimous approval, and such widespread approval across the country that this could happen without a lot of recrimination. I don't think that's going to happen, and I would like the president just to, for once here, put the country first. We're going to have an election for president very soon, and the people will understand what is at stake in that election.

And so I believe the president should not move forward, and I think that we ought to let the next president of the United States decide who is going to run that Supreme Court with a vote by the people of the United...


KASICH: ... States of America.


DICKERSON: Dr. Carson. Dr. Carson, you, like others, put out a statement after the death was announced, and you said the president should delay.

You've written a book on the Constitution recently. What does the Constitution say about whose duty it is here to act in this kind of a situation?

CARSON: Well, the current Constitution actually doesn't address that particular situation, but the fact of the matter is the Supreme Court, obviously, is a very important part of our governmental system. And when our Constitution was put in place, the average age of death was under 50, and therefore the whole concept of lifetime appointments for Supreme Court judges and federal judges was not considered to be a big deal.

Obviously, that has changed, and it's something that probably needs to be looked at pretty carefully at some point. But, we need to start thinking about the divisiveness that is going on in our country. I looked at some of the remarks that people made after finding out that Justice Scalia had died, and they were truly nasty remarks. And that we have managed to get to that position in our country is truly a shame. And we should be thinking about how we could create some healing in this land.

But, right now, we're not going to get healing with President Obama. That's very United Nations clear. So, I...


CARSON: ... fully agree that we should not allow a judge to be appointed during his time.

DICKERSON: Senator Rubio, you're a...


DICKERSON: Senator Rubio, you're a lawyer. Quickly, can you address the issue of whether the Constitution tells us who has the power to appoint Supreme Court justices?

And then, also, the Senate Republicans last year floated an idea of removing the filibuster for Senate -- excuse me, for Supreme Court nominations. You seemed open to that. What's your feeling on that now?

RUBIO: Well, let me first talk about Justice Scalia. His loss is tremendous, and obviously our hearts and prayers go out to his family. He will go down as one of the great justices in the history of this republic.

You talk about someone who defended consistently the original meaning of the Constitution, who understood that the Constitution was not there to be interpreted based on the fads of the moment, but it was there to be interpreted according to its original meaning.

Justice Scalia understood that better than anyone in the history of this republic. His dissent, for example, on the independent counsel case is a brilliant piece of jurist work. And, of course, his dissent on Obergefell as well.

No. 2, I do not believe the president should appoint someone. And it's not unprecedented. In fact, it has been over 80 years since a lame duck president has appointed a Supreme Court justice.

And it remind us of this, how important this election is. Someone on this stage will get to choose the balance of the Supreme Court, and it will begin by filling this vacancy that's there now.

And we need to put people on the bench that understand that the Constitution is not a living and breathing document. It is to be interpreted as originally meant.

DICKERSON: Quickly, though, on this question...


DICKERSON: Very quickly, Senator, on this specific question, though. You were once in favor of dropping the threshold...


RUBIO: That's not accurate.

DICKERSON: ... majority -- you were never in favor of that?

RUBIO: No, I've never -- there has been, for example, today, according to the changes Harry Reid made, appellate judges can now be appointed by a simple majority, but not Supreme Court justices.

And I think today you see the wisdom of why we don't want that to change. Because if that were the case and we were not in charge of the Senate, Harry Reid and Barack Obama would ram down our throat a liberal justice, like the ones Barack Obama has imposed on us already.

DICKERSON: O.K. Thank you, Senator.

Governor Bush, I would like to ask you, conservatives for a long time have felt like that their Republican presidents have picked justices that didn't turn out to be real conservatives.

BUSH: Right.

DICKERSON: Bernie Sanders has said he would have a litmus test. He would make sure that he appointed a justice who was going to overturn Citizens United. If they can have a litmus test for a nominee, what about you? Would you have a litmus test for a nominee? And what would it be?

BUSH: Not on specific issues, not at all. I think the next president -- if I'm president, I will appoint people -- I'll nominate people that have a proven record in the judiciary.

The problem in the past has been we have appointed people thinking you can get it through the Senate because they didn't have a record. And the problem is that sometimes we're surprised.

The simple fact is the next president needs to appoint someone with a proven conservative record, similar to Justice Scalia, that is a lover of liberty, that believes in limited government, that consistently applied that kind of philosophy, that didn't try to legislator from the bench, that was respectful of the Constitution.

And then fight and fight, and fight for that nomination to make sure that that nomination passes.

Of course, the president, by the way, has every right to nominate Supreme Court justices. I'm an Article II guy in the Constitution. We're running for the president of the United States. We want a strong executive for sure. But in return for that, there should be a consensus orientation on that nomination, and there's no doubt in my mind that Barack Obama will not have a consensus pick when he submits that person to the Senate.

DICKERSON: Right, so, Senator Cruz, the Constitution...


DICKERSON: So, Senator Cruz, the Constitution says the president "shall appoint with advice and consent from the Senate," just to clear that up. So he has the constitutional power. But you don't think he should.

Where do you set that date if you're president? Does it begin in election year, in December, November, September? And once you set the date, when you're president, will you abide by that date?

CRUZ: Well, we have 80 years of precedent of not confirming Supreme Court justices in an election year. And let me say, Justice Scalia...

DICKERSON: Just can I -- I'm sorry to interrupt, were any appointed in an election year, or is that just there were 80 years...


CRUZ: Eighty years of not confirming. For example, L.B.J. nominated Abe Fortas. Fortas did not get confirmed. He was defeated.

DICKERSON: But Kennedy was confirmed in '88.

CRUZ: No, Kennedy was confirmed in '87...

DICKERSON: He was appointed in '87.

CRUZ: He was appointed in...

DICKERSON: ... confirmed in '88. That's the question, is it appointing or confirming, what's the difference?

CRUZ: In this case it's both. But if I could answer the question...

DICKERSON: Sorry, I just want to get the facts straight for the audience. But I apologize.



CRUZ: Justice Scalia was a legal giant. He was somebody that I knew for 20 years. He was a brilliant man. He was faithful to the Constitution. He changed the arc of American legal history. And I'll tell you, his passing tonight, our prayers are with his family, with his wife, Maureen, who he adored, his nine children, his 36 grandkids. But it underscores the stakes of this election. We are one justice away from a Supreme Court that will strike down every restriction on abortion adopted by the states. We are one justice away from a Supreme Court that will reverse the Heller decision, one of Justice Scalia's seminal decisions, that upheld the Second Amendment right to keep and to bear arms.

We are one justice away from a Supreme Court that would undermine the religious liberty of millions of Americans -- and the stakes of this election, for this year, for the Senate, the Senate needs to stand strong and say, "We're not going to give up the U.S. Supreme Court for a generation by allowing Barack Obama to make one more liberal appointee."

And then for the state of South Carolina, one of the most important judgments for the men and women of South Carolina to make is who on this stage has the background, the principle, the character, the judgment and the strength of resolve to nominate and confirm principled constitutionalists to the court? That will be what I will do if I'm elected president.

DICKERSON: All right.


Thank you, Senator Cruz. All right, we're going to move on to national security here, and we are going to -- I want to read a quote from Secretary Robert Gates, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who served for eight year -- under eight presidents.

And this is what he said about Republican candidates, quote, "Part of the concern that I have with the campaign is that the solutions being offered are so simplistic and so at odds with the way the world really works."

So, in that spirit, we're going to work tonight to be more specific.

Mr. Trump, I want to start with you. You have said as president, you'll get up to speed very quickly. You'll know more quickly as president than any of the experts.

So, you've been elected president. It's your first day in the Situation Room. What three questions do you ask your national security experts about the world?

TRUMP: What we want to do, when we want to do it, and how hard do we want to hit? Because we are going to have to hit very, very hard to knock out ISIS.

We're going to also have to learn who our allies are. We have allies, so-called allies, we're spending billions and billions of dollars supporting people -- we have no idea who they are in Syria. Do we want to stay that route, or do we want to go and make something with Russia?

I hate to say Iran, but with Russia, because we -- and the Iran deal is one of the worst deals I have ever seen negotiated in my entire life. It's a disgrace that this country negotiated that deal. But very important...


Not only a disgrace, it's a disgrace and an embarrassment. But very important, who are we fighting with? Who are we fighting for? What are we doing? We have to rebuild our country. But we have to -- I'm the only one on this stage that said: "Do not go into Iraq. Do not attack Iraq." Nobody else on this stage said that. And I said it loud and strong. And I was in the private sector. I wasn't a politician, fortunately.

But I said it, and I said it loud and clear, "You'll destabilize the Middle East." That's exactly what happened.

I also said, by the way, four years ago, three years ago, attack the oil, take the wealth away, attack the oil and keep the oil. They didn't listen. They just started that a few months ago.


DICKERSON: Senator Rubio -- just 30 seconds on this question, Senator Rubio. Are those the questions you would ask?

RUBIO: No. I think there are three major threats that you want to immediately get on top of. No. 1 is, what are we doing in the Asia-Pacific region, where both North Korea and China pose threats to the national security of the United States.

No. 2 is, what are we doing in the Middle East with the combination of the Sunni-Shia conflict driven by the Shia arc that Iran is now trying to establish in the Middle East, also the growing threat of ISIS.

And the third is rebuilding and reinvigorating NATO in the European theater, particularly in Central Europe and in Eastern Europe, where Vladimir Putin is now threatening the territory of multiple countries, already controls 20 percent of Georgia and a significant percentage of Ukraine.

DICKERSON: Let me ask you a follow-up, a full, proper question, then.


Violent extremists are operating or active in 40 countries. Some 80 countries are in different degrees of instability. And so, that's just the crises overseas. Barack Obama walked into an economic collapse when he came into office. We face international health crises, from Ebola to Zika.

So, there is a lot of opportunity for crisis, as you have talked about. What would you point to in your past to show voters that you've been in a crisis and that you've been tested when that inevitable crisis comes when you're president?

RUBIO: Well, let me tell you what has happened a couple of years ago. One of the hardest decisions you'll ever make in Congress is when you are asked by the president to authorize the use of force in a conflict, because you are now putting your name, on behalf of the people of your state, behind a military action, where Americans in uniform could lose their life.

So, in 2014, Barack Obama said he would not take military action against Assad unless it was authorized by the Senate, beginning on the Committee of Foreign Relations, where I am one of its members. And it was hard because you looked at the pictures. I saw the same images people saw. I'm the father of children. I saw the images of these little children -- been gassed and poisoned by their own leaders, and we were angry. Something had to happen, and there was the sense that we needed to seek retribution.

And then I looked at Barack Obama's plan. Barack Obama's plan, which John Kerry later described as unbelievably small, and I concluded that that attack would not only not help the situation, it would make it actually worse. It would allow Assad to stand up to the United States of America, survive a strike, stay in power and actually strengthen his grip.

So it was a difficult decision to make, and when we only had a few days to look at and make a decision on it, and I voted against Barack Obama's plan to use force, and it was the right decision.

DICKERSON: Dr. Carson, I want to ask you a question...


Dr. Carson, you said you've had more 2 a.m. -- 2 a.m. phone calls than anybody up on this stage. But when those 2 a.m. phone calls came, you operated on a foundation of all of that amazing medical work that you did, all of that learning. So if you were to be president, though, you wouldn't have the political foundation that hones those instincts when the 2 a.m. phone call comes. So isn't that a liability?

CARSON: No, it isn't. First of all, let me go back to your first question for me. It wasn't phrased as who gets to nominate Supreme Court appointees. Of course that's the president. So I know that there are some left-wing media who would try to make hay on that.

Secondly, thank you for including me in the debate. Two questions already. This is great. Now, as far...



As far as those 2 a.m. phone calls are concerned, judgment is what is required. And the kinds of things that you come up with are sometimes very, very difficult and very unique. One of the things that I was known for is doing things that have not been done before. So no amount of experience really prepares you to do something that has never been done before. That's where judgment comes in.

And that, I think, is a situation that we're in right now, a situation that we have never been in before with the kinds of threats that pose real danger to our nation, and it comes in very handy in those situations.

DICKERSON: Governor Kasich, Russia is being credited...


Russia is being credited with bombing U.S.-backed rebels on behalf of Assad in Aleppo and Syria. They've also moved into the Crimea, eastern Ukraine. You've said you want to punch them in the nose. What does that mean? What are you going to do?

KASICH: First of all -- yes. First of all, look, we have to make it clear to Russia what we expect. We don't have to declare an enemy, rattle a sword or threaten, but we need to make it clear what we expect. No. 1 is we will arm the folks in Ukraine who are fighting for their freedom. They deserve it. There will be no ifs, ands or buts about it.

Secondly, an attack on NATO, trumped up on any excuse of Russian-speaking people, either in the NATO countries or in Finland or Sweden, is going to be an attack on us. And look, I think we have an opportunity as America to put something really great together again.

The Egyptians, the Saudis, the Jordanians, the Gulf states, they all know they're at risk. We need to look into Europe, we look at France, we look at Germany and the migrants. We look at Belgium, we look at Britain. Everybody now is being threatened by radical Islam. We have an opportunity to lead.

You know, the fact of the matter is the world is desperate for our leadership. Sometimes they may -- they may make a remark here or there that we don't like, but frankly, the world needs us. And we have an opportunity now to assemble a coalition of the civilized people, those who respect civilization, the rights of women, the rights to protest, to be able to reassert our leadership all across this globe again and make sure this century is going to be the best we've ever seen.

DICKERSON: Governor...


Governor Bush.

BUSH: Yes.

DICKERSON: You said defeating ISIS requires defeating Assad. But wouldn't that also put us into conflict with Russia, a country that supports Assad? So doesn't that mean, effectively, Assad's there to stay?

BUSH: No, it doesn't, and that's the problem. The lack of leadership in this country by Barack Obama, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, thinking that this is a policy that works, this policy of containment with ISIS. It's a complete, unmitigated disaster. And to allow Russia now to have influence in Syria makes it harder, but we need to destroy ISIS and dispose of Assad to create a stable Syria so that the four million refugees aren't a breeding ground for Islamic jihadists.

This is the problem. Donald Trump brought up the fact that he would -- he'd want to accommodate Russia. Russia is not taking out ISIS. They're -- they're attacking our -- our -- our team, the team that we've been training and the team that we've been supporting. It is absolutely ludicrous to suggest that Russia could be a positive partner in this. They are on the run. They are making -- every time we step back, they're on the run. The question that you asked was a really good one about what you would do -- what three things would you do.

I would restore the military, the sequester needs to be reversed. I would have a strategy to destroy ISIS, and I would immediately create a policy of containment as it relates to Iran's ambitions, and to make it make clear that we are not going to allow for Iran to do what it's doing, which is to move towards a nuclear weapon.

Those three things would be the first and foremost things that we need to do...


BUSH: ... in 2017.

DICKERSON: Mr. Trump, you're...


DICKERSON: Mr. Trump, you were mentioned here. You did say that you could get along very well with Vladimir Putin. You did at one point say let Russia take care of ISIS...

TRUMP: ... (INAUDIBLE) called me a genius, I like him so far, I have to tell you. Let me just tell you this.

Jeb is so wrong. Jeb is absolutely self -- just so you understand, you know what that is? That's Jeb's special interest and lobbyist talking.

Look, let me just tell you something, Jeb -- Jeb is so wrong. You got to fight ISIS first. You fight ISIS first. Right now you have Russia, you have Iran, you have them with Assad, and you have them with Syria. You have to knock out ISIS. They're chopping off heads. These are animals. You have to knock 'em out. You have to knock them off strong. You decide what to do after, you can't fight two wars at one time.

If you listen to him, and you listen to some of the folks that I've been listening to, that's why we've been in the Middle East for 15 years, and we haven't won anything. We've spent $5 trillion dollars in the Middle East with thinking like that. We've spent $5...


TRUMP: Lindsey Graham, who backs him, had zero on his polls. Let me just say something -- we've spent -- we've spent.

I only tell the truth, lobbyists.

We've spent $5 trillion dollars all over the -- we have to rebuild our country. We have to rebuild our infrastructure. You listen to that, you're going to be there for another 15...

DICKERSON: ... All right...

TRUMP: ... You'll end up with World War III...

DICKERSON: ... All right, Governor Bush, please respond.

BUSH: The very basic fact is that Vladimir Putin is not going to be an ally of the United States. The whole world knows this. It's a simple, basic fact.


BUSH: They're not taking out -- they're not even attempting to take out ISIS. They're attacking the troops that we're supporting. We need to create a coalition, Sunni-led coalition on the ground with our special operators to destroy ISIS and bring about stability. And you can't do that with Assad in power. He has...

TRUMP: ... We're supporting troops...

BUSH: ... Let me finish...

TRUMP: ... that we don't even know who they are.

DICKERSON: ... O.K., settle...

BUSH: ... This is ridiculous...

TRUMP: ... We're supporting troops that we don't even know who they are...

DICKERSON: ... All right, Mr. Trump, all right...

TRUMP: We have no idea who they are.

DICKERSON: Gentleman, I think we're going to leave that there. I've got a question for Senator...

BUSH: ... This is coming from a guy who gets his foreign policy from the shows.

TRUMP: ... Oh, yeah, yeah...

BUSH: ... This is a guy who thinks that Hillary Clinton is a great negotiator in Iran...

TRUMP: ... Let 44 million in New Hampshire, it was practically (INAUDIBLE)...

BUSH: ... This is a man who insults his way to the nomination...

TRUMP: ... 44 million -- give me a break.


DICKERSON: ... All right, all right, gentlemen, gentlemen, let's leave it there so I can ask a question of Senator Cruz, who's also running for president.


DICKERSON: Senator Cruz, you talked about the first Gulf War as being a kind of model for your focused and determined effort to go after ISIS. But there were 700,000 ground troops as a part of that, and you don't have a ground component to your plan. Why?

CRUZ: Well, we need to focus on what the objective is, you know? Your question about the first three questions you would ask in this Situation Room. I think it is a problem if the president, commander in chief, we've elected does not have the experience and background to understand the threats facing this country coming in on Day 1.

If you look at the threats facing this country, the single gravest threat, national security threat, is the threat of a nuclear Iran. That's why I've pledged on Day 1 to rip to shreds this Iranian nuclear deal, and anyone that thinks you can negotiate Khamenei does not understand the nature of Khamenei.

When it comes to ISIS, we've got to have a focused objective. One of the problems of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton's foreign policy, and, sadly, too many establishment Republicans in Washington, is they focus on issues unrelated to protecting this country. They focus on nation building, they focus on toppling governments to promote democracy, and it ends up undermining our national security.

Now, with regard to ISIS, we need a commander in chief that sets the objective we will utterly defeat them because they have declared war. They've declared a jihad on us.

Now, what do we need...


CRUZ: ... to carry that out. We need overwhelming air power, we need to arm the Kurds, who can be our boots on the ground, and if ground troops are necessary, then we should employ them, but it shouldn't be politicians demonstrating political toughness. It should be military expert judgment carrying out the objectives set out by the commander in chief.


DICKERSON: Very quickly, 30-second follow-up. You've said that, essentially, the Kurds would be the American ground forces in there. The criticism that experts have on that is that the Kurds only can work within their territory.

If they take larger amounts of territory, you have an ethnic war with the Arabs. So the Kurds can't really do as much as you seem to be putting on their backs.

CRUZ: We have Kurds in both Iraq and Syria. They are fighting ISIS right now. They are winning victories right now. ISIS is using American military equipment they've seized in Iraq. And the Obama administration refuses to arm the Kurds, the pesh merga, the fighting forces who have been longtime allies.

We ought to be arming them and letting them fight. Now, if we need to embed Special Forces to direct our overwhelming air power, if it is required to use ground troops to defeat ISIS, we should use them, but we ought to start with using our incredible air power advantage.

The first Persian Gulf War, we launched 1,100 air attacks a day. Today, we're launching between 15 and 30. We're not using the tools we have, and it's because the commander in chief is not focused on defeating the enemy.

DICKERSON: All right. Mr. Trump...


DICKERSON: ... On Monday, George W. Bush will campaign in South Carolina for his brother. As you've said tonight, and you've often said, the Iraq war and your opposition to it was a sign of your good judgment.

In 2008, in an interview with Wolf Blitzer, talking about President George W. Bush's conduct of the war, you said you were surprised that Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi didn't try to impeach him.

You said, quote: "Which, personally, I think would have been a wonderful thing." When you were asked what you meant by that and you said: "For the war, for the war, he lied, he got us into the war with lies." Do you still believe President Bush should have been impeached?

TRUMP: First of all, I have to say, as a businessman, I get along with everybody. I have business all over the world.


TRUMP: I know so many of the people in the audience. And by the way, I'm a self-funder. I don't have -- I have my wife and I have my son. That's all I have. I don't have this.


TRUMP: So let me just tell you, I get along with everybody, which is my obligation to my company, to myself, et cetera.

Obviously, the war in Iraq was a big, fat mistake. All right? Now, you can take it any way you want, and it took -- it took Jeb Bush, if you remember at the beginning of his announcement, when he announced for president, it took him five days.

He went back, it was a mistake, it wasn't a mistake. It took him five days before his people told him what to say, and he ultimately said, "It was a mistake." The war in Iraq, we spent $2 trillion, thousands of lives, we don't even have it. Iran has taken over Iraq, with the second-largest oil reserves in the world.

Obviously, it was a mistake.


TRUMP: George Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes. But that one was a beauty. We should have never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East.

DICKERSON: But so I'm going to -- so you still think he should be impeached?

BUSH: I think it's my turn, isn't it?

TRUMP: You do whatever you want. You call it whatever you want. I want to tell you. They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction, there were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction.


DICKERSON: All right. O.K. All right.

Governor Bush -- when a member on the stage's brother gets attacked...

BUSH: I've got about five or six...

DICKERSON: ... the brother gets to respond.

BUSH: Do I get to do it five or six times or just once, responding to that?

TRUMP: I'm being nice.

BUSH: So here's the deal. I'm sick and tired of Barack Obama blaming my brother for all of the problems that he has had.


BUSH: And, frankly, I could care less about the insults that Donald Trump gives to me. It's blood sport for him. He enjoys it. And I'm glad he's happy about it. But I am sick and tired...

TRUMP: He spent $22 million in...


BUSH: I am sick and tired of him going after my family. My dad is the greatest man alive in my mind.


BUSH: And while Donald Trump was building a reality TV show, my brother was building a security apparatus to keep us safe. And I'm proud of what he did.


BUSH: And he has had the gall to go after my brother.

TRUMP: The World Trade Center came down during your brother's reign, remember that.


BUSH: He has had the gall to go after my mother.

Hold on. Let me finish. He has had the gall to go after my mother.

TRUMP: That's not keeping us safe.

BUSH: Look, I won the lottery when I was born 63 years ago, looked up, and I saw my mom. My mom is the strongest woman I know.

TRUMP: She should be running.

BUSH: This is not about my family or his family. This is about the South Carolina families that need someone to be a commander in chief that can lead. I'm that person.

DICKERSON: Governor Kasich, would you weigh in on...


DICKERSON: Governor Kasich, please weigh in.

KASICH: I've got to tell you, this is just crazy, huh?


KASICH: This is just nuts, O.K.? Jeez, oh, man. I'm sorry, John.

DICKERSON: Why is it nuts? Talk about it. Give us your sense of...

KASICH: Oh, well, listen, I think being in Iraq, look, we thought there were weapons of mass destruction. Colin Powell, who is one of the most distinguished generals in modern time, said there were weapons there.


KASICH: But, but, the fact is we got ourselves in the middle of a civil war. The Sunni, the Shia and the Kurds, never gotten along. In fact, that country was drawn -- the borders of that country were drawn after World War I by Westerners that didn't understand what was happening there. The tragedy of it is that we're still embroiled. And, frankly, if there weren't weapons of mass destruction, we should never have gone. I don't believe the United States should involve itself in civil wars. Civil wars are not in our direct interest, and if you -- and look, I served on a defense committee for 18 years and was called into the Pentagon after 9/11 by Secretary Rumsfeld to deal with some of the most serious problems that we faced.

The fact is, is that we should go to war when it is our direct interest. We should not be policemen of the world, but when we go, we mean business. We'll do our job. We'll tell our soldiers, our people in the service, take care of your job and then come home once we've accomplished our goals.

That's what we need to do.

DICKERSON: Thirty seconds, Senator Rubio.

RUBIO: I just want to say, at least on behalf of me and my family, I thank God all the time it was George W. Bush in the White House on 9/11 and not Al Gore.


And you can -- I think you can look back in hindsight and say a couple of things, but he kept us safe. And not only did he keep us safe, but no matter what you want to say about weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein was in violation of U.N. resolutions, in open violation, and the world wouldn't do anything about it, and George W. Bush enforced what the international community refused to do.

And again, he kept us safe, and I am forever grateful to what he did for this country.


TRUMP: How did he keep us safe when the World Trade Center -- the World -- excuse me. I lost hundreds of friends. The World Trade Center came down during the reign of George Bush. He kept us safe? That is not safe. That is not safe, Marco. That is not safe.

RUBIO: The World Trade Center came down because Bill Clinton didn't kill Osama bin Laden when he had the chance to kill him.


TRUMP: And George Bush -- by the way, George Bush had the chance, also, and he didn't listen to the advice of his C.I.A.

DICKERSON: All right, Dr. Carson, we have a cleansing...

BUSH: Can I just...

DICKERSON: We have a cleansing...

BUSH: I'm not going to invite Donald Trump to the rally in Charleston on Monday afternoon when my brother is coming to speak.

TRUMP: I don't want to go.


BUSH: I'm rescinding the invitation. I thought you might want to come, but I guess not.

DICKERSON: All right. Well, Dr. Carson, I have got a question now for you.

A moment of pause here. You have said, Dr. Carson, that -- referring to yourself, that people bought into the idea that, quote, "A nice person can't be tough on terrorists."

You have called for loosening the rules of engagement for the military, which could lead to more civilian casualties.

So, explain why those casualties would be acceptable in the fight against ISIS?

CARSON: Well, first of all, let me just address the Iraq question.

You know, I was not particularly in favor of us going to war in Iraq, primarily because I have studied, you know, the Middle East, recognizing that those are nations that are ruled by dictators and have been for thousands of years. And when you go in and you remove one of those dictators, unless you have an appropriate plan for replacing them, you're going to have chaos.

Now, fortunately, we were able to stabilize the situation, and it was the current administration that turned tail and ran and destabilized the situation.


Now, having said that, in terms of the rules of engagement, I was talking about, you know, Obama has said, you know, we shouldn't bomb tankers, you know, coming out of refineries because there may be people in there, or because the environment may be hurt.

You know, that's just asinine thinking. And the fact of the matter is...


You know, we -- obviously, you're not going to accomplish all of your goals without some collateral damage. You have to be able to assess what is acceptable and what is not.

DICKERSON: All right, thank you, Dr. Carson.

We're going to have to take a commercial break here. Thank you to all the candidates. We'll be right back with CBS News's 2016 debate in Greenville, South Carolina.



DICKERSON: We're back with the Republicans who could be president. The topic now is money and how the candidates would spend it. We'll turn the questioning over to Kimberley Strassel of The Wall Street Journal and Major Garrett of CBS News. Kim?

STRASSEL: Mr. Trump.


STRASSEL: You have made a lot of promises and you have also -- you're the only candidate who has said he would not touch entitlements. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has estimated that your ideas would cost an additional $12 trillion to $15 trillion over the next 10 years and that we would have to have annual economic growth of anywhere from 7.7 percent to 9 percent annually to pay for them. Are you proposing more than you can actually deliver, at least not without big deficits?

TRUMP: First of all, the -- when you say I'm the only candidate, if you listen to the Democrats, they want to do many things to Social Security, and I want to do them on its own merit. You listen to them, what they want to do to Social Security, none of these folks are getting elected, O.K., whether they can do it or not. I'm going to save Social Security. I'm going to bring jobs back from China. I'm going to bring jobs back from Mexico and from Japan, where they're all -- every country throughout the world -- now Vietnam, that's the new one.

They are taking our jobs. They are taking our wealth. They are taking our base. And you and I have had this discussion. We're going to make our economy strong again. I'm lowering taxes. We have $2.5 trillion offshore. We have 2.5 trillion that I think is actually five trillion because the government has no idea when they say 2.5, they have no idea what they're doing or saying, as they've proven very well.

We're going to bring that money back. You take a look at what happened just this week. China bought the Chicago Stock Exchange, China, a Chinese company. Carrier is moving to Mexico, air conditioning company. Not only the ones I talk about all the time, Nabisco and Ford and -- they're all moving out.

We have an economy that last quarter, G.D.P. didn't grow. It was flat. We have to make our economy grow again. We're dying. This country is dying. And our workers are losing their jobs, and you're going...

STRASSEL: But in terms of...

TRUMP: I'm the only one who is going to save Social Security, believe me.

STRASSEL: O.K. But how would you actually do that? Can I ask you? Because right now, Social Security and Medicare...

TRUMP: Because you have tremendous waste. I'll tell you...

STRASSEL: They take up two-thirds of the federal budget, and they're growing.

TRUMP: You have tremendous waste, fraud and abuse. That we're taking care of. That we're taking care of. It's tremendous. We have in Social Security right now thousands and thousands of people that are over 106 years old. Now, you know they don't exist. They don't exist. There's tremendous waste, fraud and abuse, and we're going to get it. But we're not going to hurt the people who have been paying into Social Security their whole life and then all of a sudden they're supposed to get less. We're bringing our jobs back. We're going to make our economy great again.

GARRETT: Senator Cruz.


John mentioned this is about dollars and incentives. We also want to talk about economic growth engagements. You have proposed a consumption tax, you called it the "back tax." Some analysts compare it more to an attributed "value-added tax."

From the perspective from economic growth in building wages, how does that work, and how would you address those longstanding conservative concerns that something approaching the "value-added tax" would be used to constantly increase those rates to pay for future government spending and become an escalator of taxation, not of growth?

CRUZ: Well, let me say it at the outset that everyone here understands -- everyone understands that how -- that the middle class has been left behind in the last seven years of the Obama economy, and we've got to bring jobs back. We've got to get people back to work. We've got to get wages going up again. We've got to get people moving from part-time work to full-time work.

We all agree on that, but it's not going to be solved with magic pixie dust. It's just going to be solved by declaring into the air, "Let there be jobs." We actually have to understand the principles that made America great in the first place.

Now, where do you get economic growth? If you look at cause and effect over our nation's history, every time we lessen the burden of Washington on small-business owners, on job creators, we see incredible economic growth. You do that through tax reform and regulatory reform.

My tax plan -- typical family of four, first $36,000 you earn, you pay nothing in taxes -- no income taxes, no payroll taxes, no nothing. Above 10 percent, everyone pays the same simple, flat 10 percent income rate. It's flat and fair. You can fill out your taxes on a postcard, and we abolish the I.R.S. If you want to see the postcard, I've got it on my website.

GARRETT: Now, the question -- conservatives have sort of this idea conceptually for a long time, but especially on this consumption value-added tax system. In Europe, where it exists, it has become an escalator of taxation to feed government spending, and that's why conservatives have long resisted it. Why and what would you do as president to make sure that doesn't happen?

CRUZ: Now, Major, the business flat tax that is in my tax plan is not a VAT. A VAT in Europe is a sales tax. The business flat tax is not a sales tax, it is a tax of 16 percent opposed fairly and evenly across the board on all business.

One of the things that's critical is we're doing that in conjunction with abolishing the corporate income tax, with abolishing the Obamacare taxes, with abolishing the payroll taxes, which are the biggest taxes paid by most working Americans, and with abolishing the death tax, which is cruel and unfair. And you asked about economic growth -- the nonpartisan Tax Foundation estimated a simple flat tax that would produce 4.9 million new jobs, it would increase capital investment by 44 percent and would lift everyone's income by double digits.

That's how you turn the country around, not just hoping and praying for it, but implementing policies that work.

STRASSEL: O.K., I have a question, a related tax question.

Senator Rubio, you have the highest tax rate of anyone up on the stage in terms of the top tax rates, 35 percent. Some economists say, "It would limit its potential to boost economic growth." You do that so that you will have more revenue to pay for a tripling of the Child Tax Credit.

Normally, it's liberals who like to use the tax code to insert social policy. Why should conservatives who want to tax adopt the other side's approach?

RUBIO: Well, because I'm influencing social policy -- this is their money. This is the money of parents. You don't earn the tax credit unless you're working. That's your money, it doesn't belong to government.

Here's what I don't understand. If a business takes their money and they invest in the piece of the equipment, they get to write off their taxes. But if a parent takes money that they have earned to work and invests in their children, they don't? This makes no sense.

Parenting is the most important job any of us will ever have. Family formation is the most important thing in society. So what my tax plan does, is it does create, especially for working families, an additional Child Tax Credit. So that parents who are working get to keep more of their own money, not the government's money, to invest in their children to go to school, to go to a private school, to buy a new backpack.

Let me tell you, if you're a parent that's struggling, then you know that $50 a month is the difference between a new pair of shoes this month or not getting a new pair of shoes for your kids. I'm going to have a tax plan that is pro-family, because the family is the most important institution in society. You cannot have a strong country without strong families.


STRASSEL: Governor Kasich, this on is on size of government. In 2013, you pushed through a Medicaid reform in your state over the rejections of many of the Republicans in your state. Total enrollment and overall cost of program have gone well beyond what anyone had expected, including yourself. How can you argue that this overall growth fits in with conservative ambition to significantly cut back on the size of federal welfare programs?

KASICH: Yeah. Well, first of all, those numbers, incorrect. We are -- our Medicaid programs are coming in below cost estimates, and our Medicaid program in the second year grew at 2.5 percent.

And Kimberley, let me tell you, when we expand Medicaid and we treat the mentally ill, then they don't live under a bridge or live in a prison, where they cost $22,500 a year.

When we take the drug addicted and we treat them in the prisons, we stop the revolving door of people in and out of prisons, and we save $22,500 a year.

Guess what else? They get their lives back. And the working poor, they're now getting health care. And you know that about a third of the people who are now getting that health care are people who are suffering very serious illnesses, particularly cancer.

So, what I would tell you is, we've gone from an $8 billion hole to a $2 billion surplus. We've cut taxes by more than any governor in America by $5 billion. We have grown the number of jobs by 400,000 private-sector jobs since I've been governor.

Our credit is strong. Our pensions are strong. And frankly, we leave no one behind. Economic growth is not an end unto itself. We want everyone to rise, and we will make them personally responsible for the help that they get.

And that is exactly the program we're driving in Ohio. And, boy, people ought to look at Ohio, because it has got a good formula.


GARRETT: Governor Bush, a question for you -- but if you want to jump in, please.

BUSH: I'd like -- can I -- can I...

GARRETT: Jump in, and then I've got a question for you.

BUSH: Look, I admire the fact that Governor Kasich is supporting spending more money on drug treatment and mental health. I think that's a high priority all across this country, but expanding Obamacare is what we're talking about, and Obamacare's expansion, even though the federal government is paying for the great majority of it, is creating further debt on the backs of our children and grandchildren. We should be fighting Obamacare, repealing Obamacare, replacing it with something totally different.


When I was -- as a private citizen, Florida was confronted with the choice. The governor was supportive of doing what John did. So was the Florida Senate. A committed speaker of the House asked me to go as a private citizen to make the case against the expansion.

I did, and it wasn't expanded there, just as it wasn't expanded in South Carolina under Governor Haley.


GARRETT: Real quickly, jump in, because I have got a question for Governor Bush, but jump in.

KASICH: Yeah, let me say a couple of things.

First of all, when Jeb was governor, his first four years as governor, he expand -- his Medicaid program grew twice as fast as mine. O.K.? It's just a fact.

Now, with Obamacare, I've not only sued the administration, I did not set up an exchange. And he knows that I'm not for Obamacare, never have been. But here's what's interesting about Medicaid.

You know who expanded Medicaid five times to try to help the folks and give them opportunity so that you could rise and get a job? President Ronald Reagan.

Now, the fact of the matter is, we expanded to get people on their feet, and once they're on their feet, we are giving them the training and the efforts that they need to be able to get work and pull out of that situation.

GARRETT: Understood, Governor Kasich.

KASICH: That's what we're doing in our state.

BUSH: South Carolina -- South Carolinians need to know this, because the Cato Institute, which grades governors based on their spending, rank him right at the bottom.

GARRETT: Yeah, Governor Bush, fine.

BUSH: And Governor Haley is ranked at the top.


GARRETT: Let me get in a question from...

BUSH: No. He mentioned my name.

GARRETT: I understand, I understand.

BUSH: Let me finish, though. No, no, no -- hey, wait, wait, wait. Just hold, Major, hold, Major. Hold on, Major.


BUSH: South Carolinians want to make that, they elect the most conservative governor or candidate that can win.

KASICH: Let me -- let's tell you...

GARRETT: I have a question on economic growth, Governor Bush.


KASICH: Major -- Major, we can't -- we've got to -- look, I have got to correct the record. And the fact of the matter is, we went from an $8 billion hole to a $2 billion surplus. We're up 400,000 jobs. Our credit is rock solid.

And I don't know...


KASICH: Look, the bottom line is the people of this -- of this country and this state want to see everybody rise, and they want to see unity, and I don't want to get into all this fighting tonight, because people are frankly sick of the negative campaigning.

GARRETT: I know, understood. Governor Bush.

KASICH: And I'm going to stay positive about what I want to do from the...


GARRETT: Governor Bush, from the perspective, economic growth -- viewed from this perspective of economic growth, you have proposed a tax on hedge fund managers.

The Americans for Tax Reform, a conservative tax group you're probably aware of, has said no Republican should be for higher taxes on capital gains. And many conservatives wonder if this proposal of yours would undermine not only that philosophy, but undercut your projection of 4 percent economic growth annually under your presidency?

BUSH: Of course not. It won't have an impact on hedge funds managers paying ordinary income. In fact, it's not just hedge fund people, but people that are doing -- they're in the business of investing other people's money, getting capital gains treatment is not appropriate.

They should be paying ordinary income. That's their business. They're grateful to be able to make a lot of money, I'm sure. And what we do is lower the rates. It's not the end of the world that private equity people and hedge fund folks that are, right now, getting capital gains treatment for the income they earn, pay ordinary income like everybody else in this room. That's not a problem at all. What we need to do is reform the tax code to simplify the rates, to shift power away from Washington, D.C. That's what I did as governor of the state of Florida, $19 billion dollars of tax cuts, and it stimulated seven out of the eight years. Florida led the nation in job growth.


DICKERSON: Dr. Carson, before we go to break, could you give us your sense of this conversation about either Medicaid or economic growth through taxation?

CARSON: Well, first of all, let me just mention on the tax issue., go read about it, because my tax plan has been praised by Cato, by Wall Street Journal. Forbes said it is the best, the most pro-growth tax plan, and it's based on real fairness for everybody. Starts at the 150 percent poverty level, but even the people below that have to pay something, because everybody has to have skin in the game, and the millions of people can't, you know, talk about what other people have to pay and have no skin in the game.

And it deals with corporate tax rate, and makes it the same as everybody else...


CARSON: ... Everybody pays exactly the same.

DICKERSON: Doctor...

CARSON: ... And, as far as Medicare and Medicaid, my main goal is to get rid of Obamacare and put the care back in the hands of (INAUDIBLE)...

GARRETT: ... Dr. Carson...

DICKERSON: ... Dr. Carson, I'm sorry, we have to go to a commercial. The free market wants what it wants.

Back soon with the 2016 Republican debate in Greenville, South Carolina.


DICKERSON: Welcome back. We'll begin the second half of the debate with one of the hottest issues in the Republican campaign, immigration. But before I turn it back to Major Garrett and Kim Strassel, I have one question for Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump, in the Republican National Committee's Spanish-language response to the State of the Union, Congressman Diaz-Balart said, quote, "It's essential that we find a legislative solution," talking about immigration, "to offer a permanent and humane solution to those who live in the shadows. What does that mean to you, "a humane solution to those who live in the shadows"?

TRUMP: I want everybody taken care of, but we have to take care of our people in this country. We're not taking care of our people. We have no border. We have no control. People are flooding across. We can't have it. We either have a border, and I'm very strongly -- I'm not proposing. I will build a wall. I will build a wall.

Remember this, the wall will be paid for by Mexico. We are not being treated right.


We are not being treated properly. If we don't have borders, if we don't have strength, we don't have a country. People are flowing across. We have to take care of our people. Believe me.

GARRETT: Senator Rubio...


For the purposes of the lines -- lines you would draw legislatively as a president on immigration reform, define amnesty.

RUBIO: Well, first of all, I think amnesty is the forgiveness of a wrongdoing without consequence and that -- I've never supported that. I do not support that. I think there has to be consequences for violating our immigration laws. What I think is clear about this issue to begin with is we're not going to be able to make progress on illegal immigration until first, illegal immigration is brought under control.

You go back to 1986, when they legalized three million people and they promised to secure the border. It didn't happen, and as a result, people have lost trust in the federal government. It is now clear that the only way to make progress on immigration is not just to pass a law that enforces the law, but actually prove to people that it's working.

They want to see the wall built. They want to see the additional border agents. They want to see E-Verify. They want to see an entry-exit tracking system. Forty percent of the people in this country illegally are entering legally and overstaying visas. And only after all of that is in place, then we'll see what the American people are willing to support on this issue.

I think the American people will be very reasonable, but responsible, about how you handle someone who has been here a long time, who can pass a background check, who pays a fine and starts paying taxes and all they want is a work permit. But you can't do any of that until you prove to people that illegal immigration is under control once and for all.


STRASSEL: Senator Cruz. Senator Cruz, you have promised to deport illegal aliens. You have also promised to reverse President Obama's executive action that gives temporary amnesty to illegals brought here by their parent as children. As president, you would have the names and addresses of the some 800,000 of those that have registered under that action. Now, you have said that in this country, we shouldn't go door to door, look for illegals, but in this case you would have a list. Would you use it?

CRUZ: Well, you know, your question highlights a sharp difference on immigration on this stage. You know, in a Republican primary, everyone talks tough on immigration. Everyone is against illegal immigration in a Republican primary. But as voters, we've been burned over and over again by people that give us a great campaign speech and they don't walk the walk.

There are sharp differences on amnesty. If you look at the folks on this stage, when Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer and establishment Republicans were leading the fight to pass a massive amnesty plan, I stood with Jeff Sessions and Steve King and the American people and led the fight to defeat that amnesty plan.


STRASSEL: So would you -- would you use the addresses?

CRUZ: Now, that moment...

STRASSEL: Would you pick them up?

CRUZ: That moment was what Reagan would call "a time for choosing." When it comes to deciding which side of the line you're on, the Rubio-Schumer amnesty plan...


CRUZ: ... apparently supported by the donor class, which is why Washington supported it. The Rubio-Schumer amnesty plan passed the Senate, and it was on the verge of passing the House.

House leadership intended to take it up and pass it with the Democrats overruling most of the Republicans. And the question for anyone on illegal immigration is, where were you in that fight? Where did you stand?

You are right. There is a difference between Senator Rubio and me on this question.


STRASSEL: Senator Rubio, your reply.

RUBIO: We're going to have to do this again, O.K.? When that issue was being debated, Ted Cruz, at a committee hearing, very passionately said, I want immigration reform to pass, I want people to be able to come out of the shadows. And he proposed an amendment that would legalized people here.

Not only that, he proposed doubling the number of green cards. He proposed a 500 percent increase on guest workers. Now his position is different. Now he is a passionate opponent of all those things.

So he either wasn't telling the truth then or he isn't telling the truth now, but to argue he is a purist on immigration is just not true.


CRUZ: Major, I get a response to that.

GARRETT: Very quickly, Senator Cruz.

STRASSEL: All right. Senator Cruz. Your response, Senator Cruz.

CRUZ: You know, the lines are very, very clear. Marco right now supports citizenship for 12 million people here illegally. I oppose citizenship. Marco stood on the debate stage and said that.

But I would note not only that -- Marco has a long record when it comes to amnesty. In the state of Florida, as speaker of the house, he supported in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. In addition to that, Marco went on Univision in Spanish and said he would not rescind President Obama's illegal executive amnesty on his first day in office.

I have promised to rescind every single illegal executive action, including that one.


CRUZ: And on the question...


RUBIO: Well, first of all, I don't know how he knows what I said on Univision, because he doesn't speak Spanish. And second of all, the other point that I would make...


RUBIO: Look, this is a disturbing pattern now, because for a number of weeks now, Ted Cruz has just been telling lies. He lied about Ben Carson in Iowa.


RUBIO: He lies about Planned Parenthood. He lies about marriage. He's lying about all sorts of things. And now he makes things up. The bottom line is this is a campaign and people are watching it. And they see the truth behind all these issues.

And here is the truth, Ted Cruz supported legalizing people that were in this country...

CRUZ: That is simply...


RUBIO: ... and only now does he say...


CRUZ: That is absolutely false. What he said is knowingly false. And I would note, if you want to assess -- if you want to assess...

RUBIO: Well, we'll put on our website, We're going to...


CRUZ: ... who is telling the truth...


CRUZ: If you want to assess who is telling the truth...


CRUZ: ... then you should look to Jeff Sessions, who said, without Ted Cruz the Rubio-Schumer amnesty bill would have passed, and Ted was responsible. You should look to Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, that said...


GARRETT: Governor Bush, I want to bring this out to a little wider philosophical aspect, if you will.

BUSH: Thank you.

GARRETT: You have said illegal immigrants, quote, "broke the law, but it's not a felony," still quoting you, "it's an act of love, it's an act of commitment to your family."

Mr. Trump has, as you are well aware, denounced that statement over and over. Do you still believe it? What does that mean to you? And how does that inform your approach to immigration reform?

BUSH: Great question. I feel like I have to get into my inner Chris Christie, and point out that the reason why I should be president is listening to two senators talk about arcane amendments to bills that didn't pass.


BUSH: This is -- this is the problem. We need a leader to fix this problem. And I have a detailed plan to do just that, including controlling the border, dealing with the visa over-stayers, making sure that we have a path to legal status, not to citizenship, for those that come out from the shadows and pay a fine, learn English, don't commit crimes, work and pay taxes.

That is the better approach.

GARRETT: Fundamentally, do you believe this rhetoric is insufficiently compassionate to this issue?

BUSH: The great majority of people that come to this country come because they have no other choice. They want to come to provide for their families. That doesn't mean it's right. That doesn't mean it's right.

We should pick who comes to our country. We should control our border. Coming here legally should be a lot easier than coming here illegally. But the motivation, they're not all rapists, as you-know-who said. They're not that.

These are people that are coming to provide for their families. And we should show a little more respect for the fact that they're struggling. It doesn't mean we shouldn't be controlling the border. That's exactly what we should be doing.

GARRETT: Mr. Trump...

TRUMP: Look...


TRUMP: ... When I announced that I was running for president on June 16th, illegal immigration wasn't even a subject. If I didn't bring it up, we wouldn't even be talking. Now, I don't often agree with Marco, and I don't often agree with Ted, but I can in this case. The weakest person on this stage by far on illegal immigration is Jeb Bush. They come out of an act of love, whether you like it or not. He is so weak on illegal immigration it's laughable, and everybody knows it.

BUSH: ... So, you know...


BUSH: ... This is the standard operating procedure, to disparage me. That's fine...

TRUMP: ... Spend a little more money on the commercials...

BUSH: ... But, if you want to talk about weakness, you want to talk about weakness? It's weak to disparage women.


TRUMP: (INAUDIBLE). I don't know what you're talking about.

BUSH: It's weak to denigrate the disabled. And,it's really weak to call John McCain a loser because he was a...

TRUMP: ... I never called him -- I don't call him..

BUSH: ... That is outrageous. The guy's an American hero.


TRUMP: He also said about language...

BUSH: ... The simple fact is I've also laid out my plans on (INAUDIBLE) immigration...

TRUMP: ... Language. Two days ago he said he would take his pants off and moon everybody, and that's fine. Nobody reports that. He gets up and says that, and then he tells me, oh, my language was a little bit rough...

STRASSEL: ... O.K....

TRUMP: ... My language. Give me a break...

GARRETT: ... Governor Kasich, here in South Carolina earlier this week, you said the idea, the concept of deporting 11 million undocumented workers...

BUSH: (INAUDIBLE) Just, for the record (INAUDIBLE) make sure my mother's listening, if she's watching the debate. I didn't say that I was going to moon somebody...

TRUMP: ... You did say it, you did say it. Been reported in 10 different news...

GARRETT: ... We will leave the moon metaphors to be adjudicated later, I assure you. Governor Kasich, you said earlier this week in South Carolina, the concept, the idea of deporting 11 million undocumented workers in this country is nuts. Why is it you are so opposed to that idea? Senator Cruz has said it's a simple application of existing law. The application of that is not inhumane, it is just. Why do you disagree?

KASICH: Before I get to that, this is the ninth or 10th debate. What I've been watching here, this back and forth, and these attacks, some of them are personal. I think we're fixing to lose the election to Hillary Clinton if we don't stop this.


KASICH: I mean, the fact is -- you know what? I would suggest, why don't we take off all the negative ads and all the negative comments down from television and let us just talk about what we're for, and let's sell that, and the Republican Party will be stronger as a result...

GARRETT: ... What are you for on immigration?

KASICH: ... (OFF MIKE) (INAUDIBLE) First of all, I'm for sealing the border, O.K.? And then I'm for a guest worker program. People can come in, work and go back home. We haven't closed the border because special interests, I believe, blocked it. Then, we have 11 and a half million people here. If they have not committed a crime since they've been here, make them pay a fine and some back taxes, and give them a path to legalization, never to citizenship.

It is not going to happen that we're going to run around and try to drag 11 and a half million people out of their homes.

I'll tell you this. Within the first hundred days, I will send a plan like this to the Congress of the United States, and if I'm president, I'll bet you dollar to doughnuts right now, it will pass.


That is a reasonable proposal that the people of this country, in my judgment, will support, and so will the bulk of the Congress of the United States.


STRASSEL: Moving subjects. Dr. Carson, this week Morgan Stanley agreed to pay a $3.2 billion fine to state and federal authorities for contributing to the mortgage crisis. You have a lot of Democrats out saying that we should be jailing more executives, so two questions.

Should financial executives be held legally responsible for financial crisis, and do you think fines like these are an effective way to deter companies from future behavior like that?

CARSON: Well, first of all, please go to my website,, and read my immigration policy, O.K.? Because it actually makes sense.

Now, the -- as far as these fines are concerned, you know? Here's the big problem. We've got all these government regulators, and all they're doing is running around looking for people to fine. And we've got 645 different federal agencies and sub-agencies. Way, way too many, and they don't have anything else to do.

I think what we really need to do is start trimming the regulatory agencies rather than going after the people who are trying to increase the viability, economic viability of our society. Now, that doesn't mean there aren't some people out there who are doing bad things. But I'm not sure that the way to solve that problem is by increasing all the regulatory burden. You know, when you consider how much regulations cost us each year, you know? $2 trillion dollars per family, $24,000 per family, that happens to be the same level as the poverty level...


CARSON: ... for a family of four. If you want to get rid of poverty, get rid of all the regulations.

DICKERSON: Senator Cruz, I have a question for you. Speaker Paul Ryan has made a big commitment to trying to lift the 50 million poor out of poverty. Arthur Brooks, who is the president of the American Enterprise Institute, says, quote, "If we are not warriors for the poor every day, free enterprise has no matter." How you have been, in your campaign, a warrior for the poor?

CRUZ: I think it is a very important question because the people who have been hurt the most in the Obama economy had been the most vulnerable. It's been young people. It's been Hispanics. It's been African-Americans. It's been single moms. We have the lowest percentage of Americans working today in any year since 1977.

And the sad reality is big government, massive taxes, massive regulation, doesn't work. What we need to do instead is bring back booming economic growth, let -- small businesses are the heart of the economy. Two-thirds of all new jobs come from small businesses. If we want to lift people out of poverty -- you know, I think of these issues from the perspective of my dad.

My dad fled Cuba in 1957. He was just 18. He couldn't speak English. He had nothing. He had $100 in his underwear. And he washed dishes making 50 cents an hour and paid his way through school. Today, my dad is a pastor. He travels the country preaching the gospel.

Now, I think about all of these issues. How would it impact my dad when he was washing dishes? If we had Obamacare in place right now, the odds are very high my father would have been laid off, because it's teenaged kids like my dad who have gotten laid off. If he didn't get laid off, the odds are high he would have had his hours forcibly reduced to 28, 29 hours a week.

We need to lift the burdens on small businesses so you have jobs, and we need welfare reform that gets people off of welfare and back to work.

GARRETT: Mr. Trump -- Mr. Trump.


I was with you in Pendleton, South Carolina, earlier this week at the Rodeo Arena. It was a bit chilly there. You promised the crowd, and they rose to their feet, that if Ford or a company like were to move a factory to Mexico, you would try to stop it or threaten them with a 35 percent tax or tariff on every car sold.

TRUMP: Or a tax.

GARRETT: Right. So my question is, based on your understanding of the presidency, where do you derive that power? Would you need the consent of Congress to go along? And do you see the presidency as a perch from which you can cajole and/or threaten private industry to do something you think is better for the U.S. economy?

TRUMP: I would build consensus with Congress, and Congress would agree with me. I'll give you an example, because I don't like the idea of using executive orders like our president. It is a disaster what he's doing. I would build consensus, but consensus means you have to work hard. You have to cajole. You have to get them into the Oval Office and get them all together, and you have to make deals.

Let me just tell you, I mentioned before, China -- big Chinese company bought the Chicago Exchange. Kerry is moving -- and if you saw the people, because they have a video of the announcement that Carrier is moving to Mexico, O.K.?

Well, I'll tell you what. I would go right now to Carrier and I would say I am going to work awfully hard. You're going to make air conditioners now in Mexico. You're going to get all of these 1,400 people that are being laid off -- they're laid off. They were crying. They were -- it was a very sad situation. You're going to go to Mexico. You're going to make air conditioners in Mexico, you're going to put them across our border with no tax.

I'm going to tell them right now, I am going to get consensus from Congress and we're going to tax you when those air conditioners come. So stay where you are or build in the United States, because we are killing ourselves with trade pacts that are no good for us and no good for our workers.


DICKERSON: All right. Mr. Trump, thank you so much. We're going to take a break for a moment. We'll be back in a moment with the CBS News Republican debate.


DICKERSON: We're back now from Greenville, South Carolina, with the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination.

Mr. Trump, I have a question for you. Presidents have to, on the one hand, be firm, but also be flexible.

You have been flexible and changed your opinion on a number of things, from abortion to Hillary Clinton. But you have said, rightly, that it's just like Ronald Reagan, who changed his mind on things.

But at the same time, you're criticizing Senator Cruz for what you say is a change on immigration. He disputes that, of course.

So, why is your change of opinion make you like Reagan, and when he changes his opinion, it's a huge character flaw?


TRUMP: John, in life you have flexibility. You do have flexibility. When you're fighting wars, you're going one way, you have a plan. It's a beautiful plan. It can't lose. The enemy makes a change, and all of a sudden you have to change.

You have to have flexibility. In Ronald Reagan, though, in terms of what we're talking about, was the great example. He was a somewhat liberal Democrat who became a somewhat, pretty strong conservative. He became -- most importantly, he became a great president. He made many of the changes that I've made -- I mean, I've seen as I grew up, I've seen, and as I get older and wiser, and I feel that I am a conservative.

Now, I also feel I'm a common-sense conservative, because some of the views I don't agree with. And I think a lot of people agree with me, obviously, based on what's happening.

DICKERSON: Which conservative idea don't you agree with?

TRUMP: Well, I think these people always hit me with eminent domain, and frankly, I'm not in love with eminent domain. But eminent domain is something you need very strongly.

When Jeb had said, "You used eminent domain privately for a parking lot." It wasn't for a parking lot. The state of New Jersey -- too bad Chris Christie is not here, he could tell you -- the state of New Jersey went to build a very large tower that was going to employ thousands of people.

I mean, it was going to really do a big job in terms of economic development. Now, just so you understand, I got hit very hard. It's private, it's private eminent domain. You understand that they took over a stadium in Texas, and they used private eminent domain, but he just found that out after he made the charge.

DICKERSON: All right. Governor Bush, I think by "they," he is referring to your brother, these on the hook for your brother.

TRUMP: Yeah. Well, Jeb wouldn't have known about it.

BUSH: So, there -- so, there is all sorts of intrigue about where I disagree with my brother, there would be one right there. You should not use eminent domain for private purposes.

A baseball stadium or a parking lot for a limo...


TRUMP: You shouldn't have used it then, Jeb.

DICKERSON: But that was his brother.

BUSH: It's very different. Transmission lines, pipe lines, bridges and highways. All of that is proper use of imminent domain. Not to take an elderly woman's home to build a parking lot so that high-rollers can come from New York City to build casinos in Atlantic City.

STRASSEL: Senator Cruz, you were mentioned in the mix here, your response?

CRUZ: You know, flexibility is a good thing, but it shouldn't -- you shouldn't be flexible on core principles. I like Donald, he is an amazing entertainer, but his policies for most of his life...

TRUMP: Thank you very much, I appreciate it.

CRUZ: For most of his life, his policies have been very, very liberal. For most of his life, he has described himself as very pro- choice and as a supporter of partial birth abortion. Right now, today, as a candidate, he supports federal taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. I disagree with him on that.

That's a matter of principle, and I'll tell you...

TRUMP: You probably are worse than Jeb Bush. You are single biggest liar. This guy's lied -- let me just tell you, this guy lied about Ben Carson when he took votes away from Ben Carson in Iowa, and he just continues. Today, we had robo-calls saying, "Donald Trump is not going to run in South Carolina," where I'm leading by a lot.

I'm not going to vote for Ted Cruz. This is the same thing he did to Ben Carson. This guy will say anything, nasty guy. Now I know why he doesn't have one endorsement from any of his colleagues.

CRUZ: Don, I need to go on...

TRUMP: He's a nasty guy.

CRUZ: I will say, it is fairly remarkable to see Donald defending Ben after he called, "pathological," and compared him to a child molester. Both of which were offensive and wrong.

But let me say this -- you notice Donald didn't disagree with the substance that he supports taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. And Donald has this weird pattern, when you point to his own record, he screams, "Liar, liar, liar." You want to go...

TRUMP: Where did I support it? Where did I...

CRUZ: You want to go...


TRUMP: Again, where did I support it?

CRUZ: If you want to watch the video, go to our website at

TRUMP: Hey Ted, where I support it?

CRUZ: You can see it out of Donald's own mouth.

TRUMP: Where did I support?

CRUZ: You supported it when we were battling over defunding Planned Parenthood. You went on...

TRUMP: That's a lot of lies.

CRUZ: You said, "Planned Parenthood does wonderful things and we should not defund it."

TRUMP: It does do wonderful things, but not as it relates to abortion.

CRUZ: So I'll tell you what...

TRUMP: Excuse me. Excuse me, there are wonderful things having to do with women's health.

CRUZ: You see, you and I...

TRUMP: But not when it comes to abortion.

CRUZ: Don, the reasoned principle matters. The reasoned principle matters, sadly was illustrated by the first questions today. The next president is going to appoint one, two, three, four Supreme Court justices.

If Donald Trump is president, he will appoint liberals. If Donald Trump is president, your Second Amendment will gone...


TRUMP: Hold on...

CRUZL You know how I know that?

DICKERSON: Hold on, gentleman, I'm going to turn this car around.

TRUMP: Ted Cruz told your brother that he wanted John Roberts to be on the United States Supreme Court. They both pushed him, he twice approved Obamacare.

DICKERSON: All right, gentlemen.

BUSH: My name was mentioned twice.

DICKERSON: Well, hold on. We're going to -- gentlemen, we're in danger of driving this into the dirt.

DICKERSON: Senator Rubio, I'd like you to jump in here...

BUSH: He called me a liar.

DICKERSON: I understand, you're on deck, governor.

BUSH: Also, he talked about one of my heroes, Ronald Reagan.

Ronald Reagan was a liberal maybe in the 1950s. He was a conservative reformed governor for eight years before he became president, and no one should suggest he made an evolution for political purposes. He was a conservative, and he didn't tear down people like Donald Trump is. He tore down the Berlin Wall.

TRUMP: O.K., governor.

BUSH: He was a great guy.


DICKERSON: Senator Cruz, 30 seconds on this one.

CRUZ: I did not nominate John Roberts. I would not have nominated John Roberts.

TRUMP: You pushed him. You pushed him.

CRUZ: I supported...

TRUMP: You worked with him and you pushed him. Why do you lie?

CRUZ: You need to learn to not interrupt people.

TRUMP: Why do you lie?

CRUZ: Donald, adults learn...

TRUMP: You pushed him.

CRUZ: Adults learn not to interrupt people.

TRUMP: Yeah, yeah, I know, you're an adult.

CRUZ: I did not nominate him. I would not have nominated him. I would've nominated my former boss Liberman, who was Justice Scalia's first law clerk. And you know how I know that Donald's Supreme Court justices will be liberals? Because his entire life, he support liberals from Jimmy Carter, to Hillary Clinton, to John Kerry.

In 2004, he contributed to John Kerry. Nobody who cares about judges would contribute to John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid.

DICKERSON: We're going to switch...

CRUZ: That's what Donald Trump does.

DICKERSON: We're going to switch here to Senator Marco Rubio.

Senator Marco Rubio, please weigh in.

RUBIO: On anything I want?

DICKERSON: I thought you had a point?

RUBIO: Well, let me talk about poverty.

DICKERSON: I thought you had a point you wanted to make.

RUBIO: I do.

BUSH: That was me.

RUBIO: I had something important.

DICKERSON: You're on deck, sir.

RUBIO: The issue of poverty is critical, because for me, poverty is the -- is -- is free enterprise not reaching people. Today, we have antipoverty programs that don't cure poverty. We don't cure poverty in America. Our antipoverty programs have become, in some instances, a way of life, a lifestyle.

Now, we do need antipoverty programs, you can't have free enterprise programs without them, but not as a way of life. And so I have a very specific proposal on this and I don't -- in 60 seconds, I can't describe it all, but it basically turns the program over to states. It allows states to design innovative programs that cure poverty, because I think Nikki Haley will do a better job curing poverty than Barack Obama.


DICKERSON: Senator, I wanted to ask you, just going back to immigration, in the last debate, you listed your series of accomplishments in the Senate. One thing you left off was -- was immigration reform. Is it the case that in your list of accomplishments you can't mention that?

RUBIO: Well, no. It's not the case. It didn't pass, and we haven't solved immigration in this country. It's still a problem. It is worse today than it was three years ago, which is worse than it was five years ago. And it has to be confronted and solved.

But the only way forward on this issue -- you asked a question about flexibility. Let me tell you about that. One of the things that you need in leadership is the ability to understand that to get things done, you must figure out the way to get it done. You will not pass comprehensive immigration reform. People do not trust the federal government.

They want to see the law being enforced. They want to see illegal immigration come under control. They want to see that wall. They want to see E-Verify. They want to see all of these things working, and then they will have a conversation with you about what do you do with people that have been here a long time that are otherwise, you know, not criminals. But they're not going to do it until you first enforce the law.

DICKERSON: Dr. Carson, I have...


Dr. Carson, I have a question for you. Candidates are...

CARSON: Before you ask the question, can I respond to the -- you know, they mentioned my name a couple of times.

DICKERSON: All right. You have 30 seconds, Doctor.

CARSON: All right. Well, first of all, you know, so many people have said to me, "You need to scream and jump and down -- jump up and down like everybody else." Is that really what you want? What we just saw? I don't think so.

And you know, I -- when I got into this race, I decided to look under the hood of the engine of what runs Washington, D.C., and my first inclination was to run away, but I didn't do it because I'm thinking about our children and the fact that we are the United States of America. And anybody up here is going to be much better than what's going to come on the other side. And what happened tonight with -- with Justice Scalia tells you that we cannot afford to lose this election, and we cannot be tearing each other down.


DICKERSON: Dr. Carson, I -- let me ask you a different question. When you were -- you were the first one, really, to talk about political correctness. Everybody now talks about it, but that was really what sparked your -- your rise. Politicians are often accused of glossing over any hard choices people have to make, just always selling happy, nice things. So in the -- in the spirit of saying something that might be politically incorrect, tell the voters something that they need to hear but that might be politically incorrect?

CARSON: Well, first of all, I'm not a politician, so I'm never going to become a politician. But here's what -- here's what people need to know. People need to know that free college is not -- it's a non-starter. You know, you have to look at our economic situation. We're on the verge of economic collapse and, you know, we're -- it's not just the $19 trillion, but it's also the $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

What we need to think about is, what does that do to the average person? When we have a debt of that nature, it causes the Fed to change their policy, it causes the central bank to keep the -- the rates low, and who does does that affect? Mr. Average, who used to go to the bank every Friday and put part of his check in the bank and watch it grow over three decades and be able to retire with a nice nest egg, that's gone. That part of the American dream is gone.

All of these things are disappearing, and Bernie Sanders and people like Hillary Clinton blame it on the rich. They say those evil rich people, if we take their money we can solve the problem. It's not the evil rich people. It's the irresponsible, evil government.


DICKERSON: Governor Kasich. Governor Kasich, you've been described as the Democrats' favorite Republican. You talked about in New Hampshire, Democrats would come up to you and say, "I hope you win." Why will that help you win a Republican nomination?

KASICH: You know, John, I think all people are the same. Look, I did 106 town halls, and I've been doing them left and right here in South Carolina. The first thing we have to do is grow the economy, and I know the formula because I was chairman in Washington when we balanced the budget and created so many jobs, and the same that we've been able to do in Ohio. You need common-sense regulations so small business can flourish, you need lower taxes both on business and individuals, and you need a fiscal plan to be able to get ourselves in a situation where people can predict a little bit about the future when it comes to the fiscal issues.

And when you have that formula, combined with work force that's trained, you can explode the economy and create many jobs. I have done it twice, and I want to go back to Washington and do it again.

John, the thing is, is I think that there are people now, these blue-collar Democrats -- my dad was a blue-collar Democrat -- the Democratic Party has left them. When they're arguing about being socialists, they've left -- they have lost those blue-collar Democrats.

And you know what I think they get out of me -- is my sense of what they get out of me, and it's embarrassment about campaigns, you brag about yourself.

But I think I'm a uniter, I think people sense it. I think they know I have the experience, and that I'm a man that can give people hope and a sense that they have the opportunity rise. And I'll tell you, I love these blue-collar Democrats, because they're going to vote for us come next fall, promise you that.


DICKERSON: Mr. Trump, let me ask you a question. Presidents in both parties say that the one thing you need in your administration is somebody who can tell you you're wrong.

You don't necessarily seem like somebody who has somebody who tells you you're wrong a lot. Can you tell us of an instance where somebody has said, "Donald Trump, you're wrong," and you listened to them?

TRUMP: Well, I would say my wife tells me I'm wrong all the time. And I listen.


DICKERSON: About what?

TRUMP: Oh, let me just say -- look, I am very open -- I hired top people. I've had great success. I built a great, great company. I don't need to do this. I'm self-funding. I'm spending a lot of money. I've spent -- like in New Hampshire, I spent $3 million. Jeb bush spent $44 million. He came in five, and I came in No. 1.

That's what the country needs, folks. I spent 3, he spends 42 of their money, of special interest money. And it's just -- this is not going to make -- excuse me. This is not going to make our country great again.

This is not what we need in our country. We need people that know what the hell they're doing. And politicians, they're all talk, they're no action. And that's why people are supporting me.

I do listen to people. I hire experts. I hire top, top people. And I do listen. And you know what? Sometimes they're wrong. You have to know what to do, when to do it. But sometimes they're wrong.

DICKERSON: Let me -- something, in talking to voters that they wish somebody would tell you to cut it out is the profanity. What's your reaction to that?


TRUMP: Well, I'll tell you -- over the years, I've made many speeches. People have asked me, big companies have asked me to make speeches, and friends of mine that run big companies on success.

And occasion, in order to sort of really highlight something, I'll use a profanity. One of the profanities that I got credited with using, that I didn't use, was a very bad word, two weeks ago, that I never used.

I said, "You." And everybody said "Oh, he didn't say anything wrong." But you bleeped it, so everyone thinks I said the -- I didn't say anything. I never said the word.

It is very unfair, that criticism. Now, I will say this, with all of that being said, I have said I will not do it at all, because if I say a word that's a little bit off color, a little bit, it ends up being a headline.

I will not do it again. I was a very good student at a great school not using -- by the way -- not using profanity is very easy.

DICKERSON: All right. O.K. Governor Bush, I'd like to ask you...

BUSH: Yeah, well, I have got to respond to this.

DICKERSON: Well, can I -- how about you respond, and then you can answer the question I'm about to ask you.

BUSH: Sounds like a good plan.

DICKERSON: It'll be...

BUSH: Or you could ask me two questions, so I could get two minutes instead of one.

DICKERSON: If we adjudicate this, the night will be over.

Governor, in 2012, you said that your father and Ronald Reagan would have a hard time in today's Republican Party, based on their records of trying to find accommodation and finding some degree of common ground.

Do you still feel that way?

BUSH: I think the dysfunction in Washington is really dangerous, that's what I think. And we need a proven leader that has a record of solving problems, someone who doesn't cut and run; someone who could be a commander in chief to unite our country around common purposes; someone who doesn't disparage people.

Someone that doesn't brag, for example, that he has been bankrupt four times and it was great, because he could use the legal system.


TRUMP: That's not -- let me respond. That's another lie. I never went bankrupt!


DICKERSON: Hold on, Mr. Trump.


TRUMP: No, but it's another lie.

DICKERSON: Hold on, Mr. Trump.

TRUMP: No, but it's another lie. This guy doesn't know what he's talking about. Just a lie.

BUSH: We need someone with a proven record to be able to forge consensus to solve problems.

And right now, both Republicans and Democrats in Washington don't get it. People are struggling -- 63 percent of Americans can't make a $500 car payment. Most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. And we need someone has a proven record of growing the economy, reforming the things that are broken.

And I'm that person.

DICKERSON: O.K., Mr. Trump, your response.


TRUMP: Let me just tell you. Jeb goes around saying, just like the biggest business leaders in this country, I've used the laws of the land to chapter -- I bought a company, I threw it immediately into a chapter, I made a great deal. I uses the laws to my benefit, because I run a company.

BUSH: Yeah...

TRUMP: Excuse me, Jeb!

BUSH: Yeah.

TRUMP: I never went bankrupt, never.

Now -- but you don't want to say that. Now, let me just say, I've used it, just like the biggest leaders in the country. Let me tell you something -- Florida. Florida, he put so much debt on Florida. You know, we keep saying he's a wonderful governor, wonderful governor. He put so much debt on Florida, and he increased spending so much that as soon as he got out of office, Florida crashed.

I happened to be there. It's my second home. Florida crashed. He didn't do a good job as governor.

BUSH: Here we go.

TRUMP: And you haven't -- excuse me, you haven't heard that. You listen to the good record in Florida. You take a look at what happened, as soon as that year ended he got out, Florida crashed. Too much debt.

He loaded it up with debt, and his spending went through the roof.


TRUMP: By the way...

DICKERSON: The bells are ringing, sir.

TRUMP: ... he was not a good governor.

BUSH: Here's the record. Here's the record. We led the nation in job growth seven out of eight years. When I left there was $9 billion of reserves, 35 percent of general revenue. No state came close to that.

TRUMP: Take a look at your numbers.

BUSH: When I -- during my time, we were one of the two states to go to AAA bond rating. We didn't go bankrupt like Trump did and call it success when people are laid off, when vendors don't get paid. That's not success.

What we did was create an environment where people had a chance to have income. Personal income during my time went up by 4.4 percent.

TRUMP: Florida went down the tubes right after he got out of office.

BUSH: The government grew by...

TRUMP: Went right down because of what he did to it.

BUSH: ... half of that.

DICKERSON: All right. Thank you.

Senator Rubio, I want to ask you a 30-second question, no president can...

RUBIO: Thirty seconds.

DICKERSON: No -- well, I'll ask the question, you do what you want.

RUBIO: I speak fast.


DICKERSON: No president can know everything, right? So a smart leader knows how to ask questions. So if you could talk to any previous president, what's the smart question you would ask about that job that you would want to know?

RUBIO: Well, I think one of the presidents -- well, the president I grew up under was Ronald Reagan. And Reagan had a vision for America's future. And if you think about what Ronald Reagan inherited, it's not unlike what the next president is going to inherit.

This is the worst president we've had in 35 years, 35 years back would have made it Jimmy Carter. That's what Ronald Reagan inherited. And I think the question you would ask is, how did you inspire again the American people to believe in the future?

How did you -- what did it take to ensure that the American people, despite all of the difficulties of the time -- you know, you look back at that time, the American military was in decline. Our standing in the world was in decline. We had hostages being held in Iran. Our economy was in bad shape.

The American people were scared about the future. They were scared about what kind of country their children were going to live in and inherit. And yet somehow Ronald Reagan was able to instill in our nation and in our people a sense of optimism.

And he turned America around because of that vision and ultimately because of that leadership. I wish Ronald Reagan was still around. This country needs someone just like that.

And if our next president is even half the president Ronald Reagan was, America is going to be greater than it has ever been.


DICKERSON: All right. That's going to have to be it there, Senator Rubio. We have got to go to a break. We will be right back with the CBS News Republican debate in Greenville, South Carolina.


DICKERSON: Time now for closing statements. You will each have one minute, and we'll begin with Governor Kasich.

KASICH: Well, I want to thank the people of South Carolina. You've been fantastic. And look, what I want you to know is I'm going to send a lot of power, money and influence back to where we all live. But as I've traveled around South Carolina, I've noticed something. You know, it's that people have a sense that you're not going to wait on a president. You know, when I was a kid, we didn't wait on presidents to come to that little blue-collar town and fix things.

You know, the Lord made all of us special. The Lord wants us to be connected. I believe we're part of a very big mosaic. And I'll send the power back. And whoever gets elected president here, hopefully will take care of the issue of jobs and wages and Social Security and the border.

But the spirit of the America rests in all of us. It's in our guts. It's taking care of our children. It's taking care of the lady next door who just lost her husband. It's fixing the schools where we live and telling kids to stay off drugs. You see, I think what the Lord wants is for to us engage, and in America, the spirit of America doesn't come from the top down. The spirit of America rests in us. And I want to call on everyone in America to double down and realize that you were made special to heal this country and lift it for everyone.

Thank you all very much. And I hope I can have your vote in South Carolina.


DICKERSON: Dr. Carson -- Dr. Carson, you're next.

CARSON: This is the first generation not expected to do better than their parents. Some people say it's the new normal, but there's nothing normal about it in an exceptional American. I, like you, am a member of we, the people, and we know that our country is heading off the cliff.

Joseph Stalin said if you want to bring America down you, have to undermine three things: our spiritual life, our patriotism and our morality. We, the people, can stop that decline, starting right here in South Carolina. If all the people who say, "I love Ben Carson and his policies, but he can't win," vote for me, not only can we win, but we can turn this thing around.

You know, we have this manipulation by the political class and by the media telling us who we're supposed to pick and how we're supposed to live. We, the people, are the only people who will determine that. And if you elect me as your next president, I promise you that you will get somebody who is accountable to everybody and beholden to no one. Thank you.


DICKERSON: Governor -- Governor Bush.

BUSH: Thank you all very much. The next president is going to be confronted with an unforeseen challenge. That's almost certain. It could be a pandemic, a major natural disaster or an attack on our country. The question for South Carolinians and Americans is who do you want to have sitting behind the big desk in the Oval Office? Because that's the question. It's not the things we're talking about today. It's the great challenge that may happen. I believe I will have a steady hand as commander in chief and president of the United States. I will unite this country around common purposes because I did it as governor of the state of Florida.

When I was governor, we had eight hurricanes and four tropical storms in 16 months. Our state was on its back. We recovered far faster than what people thought because we led.

We want to challenge rather than cutting and running. That's what we need in Washington, D.C. We need someone with a servant's heart that has a backbone, that isn't going to focus on polls and focus groups. The focus will be on the American people to keep them safe and secure.

I ask for your vote next Saturday.


GARRETT: Thank you, governor.

STRASSEL: And now, Marco Rubio.

RUBIO: Thank you, and thank you for watching tonight.

This is a difficult time in our country. Our economy's flat, it's not creating the jobs it once did, and people struggle living paycheck to paycheck. Our culture's in trouble. Wrong is considered right and right is considered wrong.

All the things that once held our families together are now under constant assault. And around the world, America's reputation is in decline. Our allies don't trust us, our adversaries don't fear us, Iran captures our sailors and parades them before the world on video.

These are difficult times, but 2016 can be a turning point. That's why I'm running for president, and that's why I'm here today to ask you for your vote. If you elect me president, we are going to re-embrace free enterprise so that everyone can go as far as their talent and their work will take them.

We are going to be a country that says that "life begins at conception and life is worthy of the protection of our laws." We're going to be a country that says "that marriage is between one man and one woman." We are going to be a country that says, "The constitution and the rights that it talks about do not come from our president, they come from our creator." We are going to be loyal to our allies like Israel, not enemies like Iran. And we will rebuild the U.S. military so no one will there test it.

Vote for me. I will unify this party. I will grow it. We will win this election, and we will make the 21st century a new American century.


DICKERSON: Senator Cruz? Senator Cruz, your closing statement?

CRUZ: South Carolina, you have a critical choice to make. Our country literally hangs in the balance.

Do you want another Washington deal maker who will do business as usual, cut deals with the Democrats, grow government, grow debt and give up our fundamental liberties? Or do you want a conservative, a proven conservative that will stand and fight with you each and every day?

Listen, repealing Obamacare is not going to be easy. Passing a simple flat tax that abolishes the I.R.S. is not going to be easy, but if we stand with the American people, we can do it.

And today, we saw just how great the stakes are. Two branches of government hang in the balance. Not just the presidency but the Supreme Court. If we get this wrong, if we nominate the wrong candidates, the Second Amendment, life, marriage, religious liberty -- every one of those hangs in the balance.

My little girls are here. I don't want to look my daughters in the eyes and say, "We lost their liberties." Who do you know will defend the Constitution and Bill of Rights? And as a commander in chief, who do you know will stand up to our enemies as the clam, steady, deliberate, strength to defeat our enemies, to secure our borders and to keep America safe.

DICKERSON: Mr. Trump, your closing statements?

TRUMP: Thank you.

Politicians are all talk, no action. You've seen where they've take you to. We are 19 trillion dollars right now. It's going to be increased with that horrible budget from a month ago that was just approved by politicians.

We need a change. We need a very big change. We're going to make our country great again.

I say this every night, every day, every afternoon, and it's so true -- we don't win anymore. We don't win with health care, we don't win with ISIS and the military, we don't take care of our vets, we don't care of our borders, we don't win. We are going to start winning again. We are not going to be controlled by people that are special interests and lobbyists that everybody here has contributed to. And you know what, they do exactly what those folks want them to do.

We are going to make our country great, and we're going to do the right thing. I'm working for you. I'm not working for anybody else.

Thank you very much.

STRASSEL: We'll be back with a few final thoughts in a moment.


DICKERSON: So that's nine Republican debates knocked down and at least three to go.


Transcript of the New Hampshire GOP Debate, Annotated

February 6, 2016

MUIR: So let's get started. We welcome you all to the debate stage here tonight. We're going to tackle the issues Americans are most concerned about, the economy, ISIS, Homeland Security. And here in New Hampshire, some of the most heated rhetoric yet over who is best suited to step in on day one, who has the experience, who has the temperament to be commander-in-chief.

Mr. Trump, Senator Cruz has said about you right here in New Hampshire this week, quote, "I don't know anyone who would be comfortable with someone who behaves this way, having his finger on the button. We're liable to wake up one morning, and if he were president, he would nuke Denmark." Saying, quote, "That's temperament of a leader to keep this country safe."

I wanted to give you the opportunity to respond to this and to tell the American people tonight why you do have the temperament to be commander-in-chief.

TRUMP: I actually think I have the best temperament. I built a massive corporation. I employ thousands and thousands of people. I've gotten along with people for years and years, have tremendous relationships with many people, including politicians on both sides. And no matter how you cut it, when I -- when I came out, I hit immigration, I hit it very hard. Everybody said, "Oh, the temperament," because I talked about illegal immigration.

TRUMP: Now, everybody's coming to me, they're all trying to say, well, he's right, we have to come to him. I hit other things. I talked about Muslims. We have a problem. Nobody else wanted to mention the problem, I brought it up. I took a lot of heat. We have to have a temporary something, because there's something going on that's not good. And remember this, I'm the only one up here, when the war of Iraq -- in Iraq, I was the one that said, "Don't go, don't do it, you're going to destabilize the Middle East." So, I'm not one with a trigger. I'm not one with a trigger. Other people up here, believe me, would be a lot faster.

But I'll build the mill arbitrary stronger, bigger, better than anybody up here, and nobody is going to mess with us. That, I can tell you.


MUIR: Mr. Trump, thank you. I want to bring this to Senator Cruz, then.

Because Senator, you did said of Trump's behavior this week, that's not the temperament of a leader to keep this country safe.

Why not?

CRUZ: Well, you know, David, the assessment the voters are making here in New Hampshire and across the country is they are evaluating each and every one of us. They are looking to our experience. They are looking to our knowledge. They are looking to our temperament and judgment. They are looking to our clarity of vision and our strength of resolve.

The world is getting much more dangerous. We've had seven years with Barack Obama in the oval office, a commander-in-chief that is unwilling even to acknowledge the enemy we're facing. This is a president who, in the wake of Paris, in the wake of San Bernardino, will not even use the words radical Islamic terrorism, much less focus on defeating the enemy.

I am convinced every individual standing on this stage, would make a much better commander-in-chief than Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.


And the primary voters are making the assessment for each of us, who is best prepared to keep this country safe, to rebuild the military, to rebuild our Navy, our Air Force, our Army, our Marines, and to ensure that we keep America safe.

MUIR: Senator Cruz, I did ask about Mr. Trump. You said he doesn't have the temperament to be commander-in-chief. Do you stand by those words?

CRUZ: I think that is an assessment the voters are going to make. And they are going to make it of each and everyone of us. They are going to assess who is level-headed, who has clear vision, who has judgment, who can confront our enemies, who can confront the threats we face in this country, and who can have the judgment when to engage and when not to engage -- both are incredibly important for a commander-in-chief, knowing how to go after our enemies.

In the case of Iran, for example, who has the clarity of vision to understand that the Ayatollah Khamenei, when he chants, "Death to America," he means it. We need a president with the judgment and resolve to keep this country safe from radical Islamic terrorists.

MUIR: Senator Cruz, thank you. We're going to continue on this notion of readiness and experience. I'm going to come back.

TRUMP: Am I allowed to respond? I have to respond.

MUIR: If you would like to respond, Mr. Trump.

TRUMP: First of all, I respect what Ted just said, but if you noticed, he didn't answer your question. And that's what's going to happen -- OK.


That's what's going to happen with our enemies and the people we compete against. We're going to win with Trump. We're going to win. We don't win anymore. Our country doesn't win anymore. We're going to win with Trump. And people back down with Trump. And that's what I like and that's what the country is going to like.


MUIR: Mr. Trump, thank you. And we're going to continue on this notion of readiness and on experience, but I want to ask about a headline that was back in the papers again this morning.

Dr. Carson, on the day of the Iowa caucuses, the Cruz campaign sent out messages and voicemails saying, quote, "Breaking news. Dr. Ben Carson will be planning to suspend his campaign following tonight's caucuses. Please inform any Carson caucus-goers of this news."

But as we can all see, you are still standing here tonight. Late this week, your campaign sent this e-mail, quote, "This kind of deceitful behavior is why the American people don't trust politicians. If Senator Cruz does not act, then he clearly represents D.C. values."

What kind of action do you think Senator Cruz should take?

CARSON: Well, you know, when I wasn't introduced No. 2, as was the plan, I thought maybe he thought I already had dropped out. But...


But you know, today is the 105th anniversary, or -- 105th birthday of Ronald Reagan. His 11 Commandment was not to speak ill of another Republican. So, I'm not going to use this opportunity to savage the reputation of Senator Cruz.


But I will say -- I will say -- I will say that I was very disappointed that members of his team thought so little of me that they thought that after having hundreds, if not thousands of volunteers and college students who sacrificed their time and were dedicated to the cause -- one even died -- to think that I would just walk away ten minutes before the caucus and say, "Forget about you guys."

CARSON: I mean, who would do something like that? Now, I don't think anyone on this stage would do something like that. And to assume that someone would, what does that tell you? So, unfortunately, it did happen.

It gives us a very good example of certain types of Washington ethics. Washington ethics. Washington ethics basically says, if it's legal, you do what you need to do in order to win. That's not my ethics. My ethics is, you do what's right.

MUIR: Senator Cruz.


MUIR: Dr. Carson, thank you.

Senator Cruz, you have said that Dr. Carson and his wife have become friends of yours. I'm curious as why you didn't call ahead of time to either the doctor or his wife or have your campaign check in with the other campaign before sending out those messages.

CRUZ: Ben is a good and honorable man and Ben and Candy have become friends. He has an amazing life story that has inspired millions, including me. When this transpired, I apologized to him then and I do so now. Ben, I'm sorry.

Let me tell you the facts of what occurred for those who are interested in knowing. On Monday night, about 6:30 p.m., CNN reported that Ben was not going from Iowa to New Hampshire or South Carolina. Rather, he was, quote, "Taking a break from campaigning."

They reported that on television, CNN's political anchors, Jake Tapper and Dana Bash and Wolf Blitzer, said it was highly unusual and highly significant. My political team saw CNN's report breaking news and they forwarded that news to our volunteers, it was being covered on live television.

Now, at the time, I was at the caucuses, I was getting ready to speak at the caucuses just like Ben was, just like everyone else was. I knew nothing about this. A couple hours later, I found out about it. I was told that Ben was unhappy. I called him that evening because I respect him very, very highly. I didn't reach him that evening.

(BELL RINGS) I reached him the next day and apologized. He asked me then, he said, Ted, would you make this apologize in public? I said, yes, I will. And I did so. I regret that subsequently, CNN reported on that -- they didn't correct that story until 9:15 that night. So from 6:30 p.m. to 9:15, that's what CNN was reporting.

Subsequent to that initial report, Ben's campaign put out a statement saying that he was not suspending his campaign. I wish that our campaign staff had forwarded that statement. They were unaware of it, I wish that they had, that's why I apologized.

MUIR: Senator Cruz, thank you.

We're going to move on here. Back to the issues...

CARSON: Since I was mentioned...

MUIR: Dr. Carson, please.

CARSON: This is great you guys. I want you all to mention me when you say something.


In fact, the time line indicates that initial tweet from CNN was followed by another one within one minute that clarified that I was not dropping out. So, what happened to that one, it is unclear. But the bottom line is, we can see what happened, everybody can see what happened and you can make your own judgment.

MUIR: Dr. Carson, thank you. Thank you, doctor.

Senator Rubio. I want to stay on the issue of readiness to be president and experience and questions about you being a first-term senator.

Governor Christie warning voters here in New Hampshire against voting for another first-term senator as America did with Barack Obama in 2008. Arguing that you are, quote, " not ready to be president of the United States."

And Senator Santorum, who we all know, dropped out of the race and endorsed you, had a hard time when asked on national television, listing your accomplishments as senator. Tonight, what are your accomplishments in the Senate that demonstrate you are ready to be president of the United States?

RUBIO: Well, let me say, from protecting the people of Florida from imminent domain abuse, to bringing accountability to the V.A., to the Girls Count Act, to sanctioning groups, I'm proud of my service in the United States Senate and before that, in the Florida legislature.

I will say, if politics becomes and the presidency becomes about electing people who have been Congress or in the Senate the longest, we should all rally around Joe Biden. He's been around 1,000 years. He's passed hundreds of bills and I don't think any of us believe Joe Biden should be president of the United States.

And let's dispel once and for all with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing. Barack Obama is undertaking a systematic effort to change this country, to make America more like the rest of the world.

That's why he passed Obamacare and the stimulus and Dodd-Frank and the deal with Iran. It is a systematic effort to change America. When I'm president of the United States, we are going to re-embrace all the things that made America the greatest nation in the world and we are going to leave our children with what they deserve: the single greatest nation in the history of the world.

MUIR: Senator Rubio, thank you.


MUIR: I do want to ask Governor Christie, Governor Christie, you said fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me when it comes to electing a first-term senator. You heard Senator Rubio make the case that he does have the experience. Your response?

CHRISTIE: Sure. First, let's remember something. Every morning when a United States senator wakes up, they think about what kind of speech can I give or what kind of bill can I drop? Every morning, when I wake up, I think about what kind of problem do I need to solve for the people who actually elected me?

It's a different experience, it's a much different experience. And the fact is, Marco, you shouldn't compare yourself to Joe Biden and you shouldn't say that that's what we're doing. Here is exactly what we're doing.

You have not be involved in a consequential decision where you had to be held accountable. You just simply haven't.


And the fact is -- the fact when you talk about the Hezbollah Sanctions Act that you list as one of your accomplishments you just did, you weren't even there to vote for it. That's not leadership, that's truancy.


And the fact is that what we need to do -- what we need to have in this country is not to make the same mistake we made eight years ago. The fact is it does matter when you have to make decisions and be held accountable for them. It does matter when the challenges don't come on a list of a piece of paper of what to vote yes or no every day, but when the problems come in from the people that you serve.

I like Marco Rubio, and he's a smart person and a good guy, but he simply does not have the experience to be president of the United States and make these decisions. We've watched it happen, everybody. For the last seven years, the people of New Hampshire are smart. Do not make the same mistake again.

RUBIO: If I may respond to that.


MUIR: Governor, thank you. Senator Rubio?

RUBIO: Well, I think the experience is not just what you did, but how it worked out. Under Chris Christie's governorship of New Jersey, they've been downgraded nine times in their credit rating. This country already has a debt problem, we don't need to add to it by electing someone who has experience at running up and destroying the credit rating of his state.

But I would add this. Let's dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing. He is trying to change this country. He wants America to become more like the rest of the world. We don't want to be like the rest of the world, we want to be the United States of America. And when I'm elected president, this will become once again, the single greatest nation in the history of the world, not the disaster Barack Obama has imposed upon us.

MUIR: Senator Rubio, thank you. I want to bring in governor bush on this, because you...

CHRISTIE: Hold on one second.

MUIR: ... have made this...

CHRISTIE: Excuse me...

MUIR: If you'd like to respond to economic...

CHRISTIE: I think he mentioned me and my record in there, so I think I get a chance to respond. You see, everybody, I want the people at home to think about this. That's what Washington, D.C. Does. The drive-by shot at the beginning with incorrect and incomplete information and then the memorized 25-second speech that is exactly what his advisers gave him.


See Marco -- Marco, the thing is this. When you're president of the United States, when you're a governor of a state, the memorized 30-second speech where you talk about how great America is at the end of it doesn't solve one problem for one person. They expect you to plow the snow. They expect you to get the schools open. And when the worst natural disaster in your state's history hits you, they expect you to rebuild their state, which is what I've done.

None of that stuff happens on the floor of the United States Senate. It's a fine job, I'm glad you ran for it, but it does not prepare you for president of the United States.


MUIR: Senator Rubio?

RUBIO: Chris -- Chris, your state got hit by a massive snowstorm two weeks ago. You didn't even want to go back. They had to shame you into going back. And then you stayed there for 36 hours and then he left and came back to campaign. Those are the facts.

Here's the bottom line. This notion that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing is just not true. He knows exactly what he's doing.

CHRISTIE: There it is. There it is. The memorized 25-second speech. There it is, everybody.

RUBIO: Well, that's the -- that's the reason why this campaign is so important. Because I think this notion -- I think this is an important point. We have to understand what we're going through here. We are not facing a president that doesn't know what he's doing. He knows what he is doing. That's why he's done the things he's done.

That's why we have a president that passed Obamacare and the stimulus. All this damage that he's done to America is deliberate. This is a president that's trying to redefine this country. That's why this election is truly a referendum on our identity as a nation, as a people. Our future is at stake.

This election is not about the past. It is about what kind of country this is going to be in the 21st century, and if we elect someone like Barack Obama, a Hillary Clinton, a Bernie Sanders or anyone like that, our children are going to be the first Americans to inherit a diminishes country. That will not happen if I'm elected.

MUIR: Governor Christie, we will -- we will...

BUSH: Chris, why don't you mention my name so I can get into this.

CHRISTIE: You know what the shame is -- you know what the shame is, Marco? The shame is that you would actually criticize somebody for showing up to work, plowing the streets, getting the trains running back on time when you've never been responsible for that in your entire life.

RUBIO: Chris, you didn't want to go back. You didn't want to go back.


CHRISTIE: And the fact is, I went back, it got done and here's...

RUBIO: You didn't want to go back, Chris.

CHRISTIE: Oh, so -- wait a second. Is that one of the skills you get as a United States senator ESP also? Because I don't think it is.

RUBIO: Chris, everybody -- you said you weren't going to go back. He told everyone he wasn't going to go back. They had to shame him into going back. And when he decided to go back, he criticized the young lady, saying, what am I supposed to do, go back with a mop and clean up the flooding?

CHRISTIE: It gets very unruly when he gets off his talking points.

MUIR: Governor Christie -- thank you, Governor. I will mention -- listen...

RUBIO: ... It's your record, it's not a talking point...

MUIR: ... Listen, people...


MUIR: Governor Bush, I'll mention your name so that you can come in on this...

BUSH: ... I appreciate that, I really do, thank you.

MUIR: I want to bring you in on this because you've made this central to your campaign right here in New Hampshire in the last couple of days. Four Years ago you said of Senator Rubio, he was ready to be Vice President. You spoke of his experience as well. You said he has the fortitude to be a good President, but just this week you said Senator Rubio accomplished, quote, "nothing" in the Senate. How do you square the two?

BUSH: Well, first of all he said the exact same thing about me, that I would make a great Vice Presidential nominee when Mitt Romney was considering. I said the same thing about Marco. I think we were both right at the time, and Mitt picked somebody else. So, let's move on to the 2016 race. Who has the leadership skills...


BUSH: ... Who has the leadership skills to lead? And, I'm proud of the fact that I have 12 Medal of Honor recipients, over 30 admirals and generals that believe that I would be a steady hand as Commander in Chief. That I serve as Governor of the state of Florida where we cut taxes and reduced government. I took on very powerful interests, forged consensus, fought for my beliefs, implemented them and the state was better off.

We had eight hurricanes and four tropical storms in 16 months. The whole state was turned upside down. It required a steady hand. Leadership. You learn this, you learn it by doing it. It's not something that you just go up, and on the job do it.


BUSH: It's not the same. Look, let's be clear. Marco Rubio is a gifted, gifted politician, and he may have the skills to be a President of the United States, but we've tried it the old way with Barack Obama, with soaring eloquence and we got -- we didn't get a leader we got someone who wants to divide the country up. The next President...


BUSH: ... going to have to forge consensus to bring about a set of common purposes so that we can move forward again in this country...

MUIR: ... We're going to continue with leadership now. Martha?

RADDATZ: Senator Cruz, you are a first term Senator as well. Your opponents say you, like Senator Rubio, are not prepared to be Commander in Chief. You have talked tough about threats we face in the Mid-East. It was reported just moments ago that the North Koreans test launched an intercontinental ballistic missile. North Korea has nuclear weapons, and conducted another nuclear test just last month.

The missile that was launched is the kind the North Koreans hope could someday carry a nuclear weapon capable of reaching the United States. How would you respond if Commander in Chief to that launch?

CRUZ: Well, I would note, initially the fact that we're seeing the launch, and we're seeing the launch from a nuclear North Korea is the direct result of the failures of the first Clinton administration. The Clinton administration led the world in relaxing sanctions against North Korea. Billions of dollars flowed into North Korea in exchange for promises not to build nuclear weapons. They took those billions and built nuclear weapons.

And, I would note also the lead negotiator in that failed North Korea sanctions deal was a woman named Wendy Sherman who Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton promptly recruited to come back to be the lead negotiator with Iran. So, what we are seeing with North Korea is foreshadowing of where we will be with Iran.

With respect to North Korea and what we should do now, one of the first things we should do is expand our missile defense capacity. We ought to put missile defense interceptors in South Korea. South Korea wants them. One of the real risks of this launch, North Korea wants to launch a satellite, and one of the greatest risks of the satellite is they would place a nuclear device in the satellite. As it would orbit around the Earth, and as it got over the United States they would detonate that nuclear weapon and set of what's called an EMP, and electromagnetic pulse which could take down the entire electrical grid on the Eastern seaboard, potentially killing millions.

We need to harden the grid to defend ourselves, and we need missile defense to protect ourselves against North Korea.

RADDATZ: Well, let me ask you this, if you were Commander in Chief tonight would you have order the U.S. military to destroy that missile preemptively on the launchpad to prevent North Korea from becoming an even graver threat? CRUZ: You know, at this point I'm not going to speculate on that without the intelligence briefing that any Commander in Chief would have, knowing what exactly is there.


CRUZ: One of the real problems...

RADDATZ: ... Senator Cruz, let me tell you this, you have talked tough about the Mid-East, you haven't gotten those intelligence briefings about that. Why not tell us whether you would preemptively strike a missile on a launchpad that threatens the U.S...

CRUZ: ... Actually, with respect, I have gotten the intelligence briefings on the Mid-East. Those have been going on for many years. I haven't gotten the intelligence briefing tonight on what North Korea's doing because I'm here in new Hampshire. When you're responding to an immediate incident, you need to know the intelligence of what's occurring.

CRUZ: But what I was saying -- look, it is qualitatively different dealing with a country once they have nuclear weapons. It's why you prevent them from getting nuclear weapons in the first place -- because your hands are somewhat tied once they have nukes.

It's why this Iranian nuclear deal is so catastrophic, and it's why I've pledged, on the very first day in office, to rip to shreds this Iranian nuclear deal so we're not sitting here in five years, wondering what to do about an Iranian missile launch when they have nuclear weapons. The stakes are too high for that.

RADDATZ: Okay. Senator Cruz, I will say that missile has been sitting there for quite some time, and they have had eyes on it.

RUBIO: But Martha, just -- Martha, just to clarify on that point, because he's right, and one more thing to point -- it is standard procedure of the United States to shoot down those missiles once launched if they pose a threat to civilians, land and ships (ph).

RADDATZ: Senator Rubio, I'm talking about a preemptive strike on the launch pad.

RUBIO: Well -- no, I understand. And not -- but -- but I think it's important to note that it is -- and Senator Cruz, I think, was alluding to this, as well -- it is the standard procedure of the United States, if those missiles pose a threat to land, civilians, our allies or any of our assets, to shoot down that missile in mid-flight.

I understand your question was about a preemptive strike, but my point is that there is in place now contingencies to avoid any sort of that strike (ph) from going errant and destroying any -- any assets of the United States, or implicating or hurting any of our allies or any of our assets in the region.

RADDATZ: OK. Thank you, Senator Rubio.

Governor Kasich, how would you respond to tonight's launch?

KASICH: Well, we've got to to step up the pressure. And by the way, I've gotta say, after being here, every one of my 100 town hall meetings in New Hampshire were a lot more fun than what I saw here today, were so much more positive.

Look, in terms of North Korea, Martha, we have to make sure that we intercept both the ships and their aircraft, because what they're trying to do is to proliferate this very dangerous material, along with the -- with the technology, the instruments that can be used for mass destruction.

That's what I worry about the most, frankly, is non-state actors, people who don't have a uniform, people don't have a country, who can spread this, who are not subject to the -- to the mutual assured defense. In other words, you strike us, we strike you.

Some of these radicals, they don't care about that. That's what I worry about, for my children, and for their children, going forward. So, we have to be very tough.

And we should tell the Chinese, look, if you're not going to do this ballistic missile defense to the Koreans, ballistic missile defense to Japan -- and by the way, we should impose the same kind of sanctions on North Korea that we imposed on Iran, because they're able to shift money. They're able to send money and receive money.


KASICH: We've gotta to be very tough on this. And frankly, I think we could have -- I think we could have let the Japanese know that if you want to take action on that -- on that missile that's rising, you want to take action -- you will have our support, if that's what you think is the best thing to do. We cannot continue to be weak in the face of the North Koreans, or, frankly, in the entire rest of the world.

Martha, this is -- this is the -- relates...

RADDATZ: Thank you, Governor Kasich. Thank you -- thank you...

BUSH: ... this relates to strategic patience.


RADDATZ: ... Governor Bush, I'll get to you in a moment.

BUSH: This relates to the strategic patience of the Obama administration. They come up with these great marketing terms, and what they do is they pull back, and voids are filled, and they're now filled by asymmetric threats of terror, as well as nation-states on the run.

The next president of the United States is gonna have to get the United States back in the game, and if a preemptive strike is necessary to keep us safe, then we should do it.


RADDATZ: Thank you, Governor Bush.

Mr. Trump, do you have a red line with North Korea? Would you consider military action? And how far would you let them go?

TRUMP: Well, let me say a couple of things. First of all, Marco said earlier on that President Obama knows exactly what he's doing, like we have this president that really knows. I disagree, respectfully, with Marco.

I think we have a president who, as a president, is totally incompetent, and he doesn't know what he's doing.


I think he has no idea what he's doing. And our country is going to hell. So, I just want to say, we disagree on that. Is that okay?

RUBIO: Yeah. I have a -- I got mentioned, can I respond?

TRUMP: Good.

RADDATZ: And I'd like him to finish the question, please.

TRUMP: As to North Korea?

RADDATZ: Specific -- as to North Korea.

TRUMP: We have -- tremendous -- has been just sucked out of our country by China. China says they don't have that good of control over North Korea. They have tremendous control. I deal with the Chinese all of the time. I do tremendous -- the largest bank in the world is in one of my buildings in Manhattan.

I deal with them. They tell me. They have total, absolute control, practically, of North Korea. They are sucking trillions of dollars out of our country -- they're rebuilding China with the money they take out of our country. I would get on with China, let China solve that problem.


They can do it quickly and surgically. That's what we should do with North Korea.

RADDATZ: Senator Rubio, you were mentioned.


RUBIO: Here's the broader point, as well, and then I think it touches on what Donald just mentioned. Barack Obama views America as this arrogant global power that needed to be cut down to size. OK?

RUBIO: This is a president that views this country as a country that's been too powerful in the world and we create problems around the world.

For example, it's one of the reasons why he had betrayed Israel, because he believes that if we create separation from Israel, it will help our relations in the Islamic world. The same is happening in the Asia-Pacific region with accommodations to North Korea. North Korean should be back on that list of terrorist nations, as an example.

And Donald's absolutely right. China does have a lot of influence over North Korea and he should be leveraging our relationship with the Chinese to ensure that North Korea no longer has access to the resources that have allowed them -- a country that has no economy to develop long range missiles already capable of reaching the west coast of the United States potentially.

RADDATZ: Thank you very much, Senator Rubio.

Governor Bush, another problem facing the commander-in-chief right now is that North Korea is currently detaining an American college student. What would you do to get that college student back home?

BUSH: Well, first of all, it's interesting that that happened literally days when this hostage release took place in Iran. A day or two days afterwards, North Korea took a -- held an American student hostage. I think it's when we send a signal of weakness, when we are negotiating to release people that committed crimes in our country for people that didn't commit crimes that are held hostage in Iran.

We saw the shameful treatment of our sailors, that this creates weakness -- sends a signal of weakness around the world. The next president of the United States is going to have to get back in the game. Where the United States' word matters. Where we back up our allies, where we don't send signals of weakness. We need to use every -- every influence possible to get this student back.

And I think John is right about this, there are crippling sanctions that are available, as it relates to the two or three banks that North Korea uses to -- to -- use it -- illicit trade. We ought to re-establish sanctions, not just because of the student, but because of their actions that they're taking right now, as it relates to building this missile capability.

RADDATZ: Governor Christie, I want to go to you on the same question.


CHRISTIE: Let's get something...

RADDATZ: Would you negotiate with North Korea to...

CHRISTIE: No. Let's make something very clear. I learned seven years as a federal prosecutor in dealing with types of situations like we're talking about in North Korea, where criminals take people hostage. You never pay ransom to the criminals. Ever. You never pay ransom to the criminals. Everyone out at home watching tonight understands that principle.

And so, what you need to do is to engage in a much different way with these folks. They do not understand anything but toughness and strength, and we need to engage the Chinese to deal with the North Koreans, but we also need to make sure that they understand there's a commander-in-chief who will not pay ransom for any hostage.

This president and his former secretary of State are for paying ransom for hostages. When do that, you endanger even more Americans around the world to be the subject of this type of hostage taking and illegal detention. You need a strong commander-in-chief who will look these folks in the eye and say, we will not put up with this and we will take whatever actions we need to take, not only to get our people home safely, but to swiftly and surely punish those who believe they can violate the law and violate American's sovereign rights to travel the world freely and safely.

This is unacceptable. And this is why this president is so weak and why the secretary of State, who is embracing a third Barack Obama term, would be even weaker.

RADDATZ: Thank you very much, Governor Christie.



MUIR: Martha, we're going to turn to immigration now. And I want to bring in Governor Kasich because you told us in an ABC interview, Governor, quote, "It is completely ridiculous to think we are going to go into neighborhoods, grab people out of their homes and ship people back to Mexico." Adding, quote, "That's not where the party is. The party is not for departing 11.5 million people."

But Mr. Trump and Senator Cruz, who have made deportation central to their campaigns, top the national polls. So, my question for you, are you not where the voters are?

KASICH: Well, you know, David, I -- I've just spent a lot of time here in this state, as I mentioned earlier, and we have to have practical solutions, just like we were just talking about a few minutes ago on North Korea. Look, the situation is, we need to finish the border. It has to be completed. Just like we lock our doors at night, the country has to be able to lock its doors. And we can have a guest worker program, where people can come in and out in an orderly way.

And then for the 11.5 million that are here, if they have not committed a crime since they've been here, I believe they ought to pay some back taxes, pay a fine, never get on the path to citizenship, but get legalization. It is not -- I couldn't even imagine how we would even begin to think about taking a mom or a dad out of a house when they have not committed a crime since they've been here, leaving their children in the house. I mean, that is not, in my opinion, the kind of values that we believe in.

KASICH: And secondly, I think at the end of the day, that Americans would support a plan like this. I think Congress would pass a plan to finish the border, guest worker, pay a fine, a path to legalization, and not citizenship. And we've got to get this done. And I will tell you this, within the first 100 days that I am president, I will put that proposal to the Congress. And I will tell you, as a former Congressman, and an executive, in Ohio, I can promise you that I believe you'll get the votes to pass that, and we can move on with that issue and protect our border. That's what I think.

MUIR: Governor Kasich, thank you.


I want to bring this next to Senator Cruz. You heard what the governor said. He said, "We need practical solutions." And you've said, "I don't intend to send jack boots to knock on doors. That's not how we enforce the law for any crime."

So, what is your plan? How will you deport 11.5 million undocumented people? And be specific. How would you do it?

CRUZ: So, in terms of a practical solution, I've laid out the most detailed plan for solving illegal immigration. It's 11 pages, single-spaced, chapter and verse. It's on our website,

In short, we're going to do, we're going to build a wall. We're going to triple the border patrol. We're going to increase -- and actually, since Donald enjoyed that, I will simply say, I've got somebody in mind to build it.

We're going to increase four-fold, the fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, so that you have technology monitoring an attempted incursion to direct the boots on the ground where they're occurring. We're going to put in place a strong e-verify system in the workplace, so you can't get a job without proving you are here legally.

We'll put in place a biometric exit-entry system on visas, because 40 percent of illegal immigration comes not over the border illegally, but people coming on visas and overstaying.

We will end sanctuary cities by cutting off taxpayer dollars to any jurisdiction that defies federal immigration law.

(APPLAUSE) And we will end welfare benefits for those here illegally.


MUIR: Let me just ask you this, though, because Governor Kasich was talking about the families and what you do with the families that you would have to send home.

Can you tell the American people tonight how you would do that?

CRUZ: What you do is, you enforce the law. You know, under the Constitution, the president has an obligation to, quote, "Take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Federal immigration law provides, if someone is here illegally and is apprehended, they are to be deported.

We saw just this past week the head of the border patrol union testify before Congress that President Obama had given the order to the border patrol to stand down, not to enforce the law. That is wrong. I will enforce the law, and for everyone who says, you can't possibly do that, I would note that in eight years, Bill Clinton deported 12 million people.

In eight years, George W. Bush deported 10 million people. Enforcing the law -- we can do it. What is missing is the political will. And when they were deporting the people, the border wasn't secure, so they'd come right back. Once you secure the border, enforcing the law will solve this problem and that will benefit American workers.

MUIR: Senator Cruz, thank you. I want to bring in Senator Rubio.

This question is about immigration, it is also about leadership. You're aware of the criticism from many candidates on this stage tonight that you co-authored the so-called Gang of Eight bill that would have created a path to citizenship for people here illegally.

Governor Christie has said of you, as soon as you felt the heat, you turned tail and run. Governor Bush has said, "I don't think we need people cutting and running anymore."

Did you fight for your own legislation, Senator, or did you run from it?

RUBIO: Here's the bottom line. We can't get that legislation passed. The American people will not support doing anything about people that are in this country illegally until the law is enforced first, and you prove it to them.

This has been abundantly clear. Every effort over the last ten years to do those comprehensively has failed. And it has failed because the American people have zero trust that the federal government will enforce our laws.

And that's why since then, I have said repeatedly, if you are serious about immigration reform, then the key that unlocks the door to being able to do that is not just to pass a law that says it is going to enforce the law, but to actually do it. To hire the 20,000 new border agents, to finish the fencing and walls, to put in place mandatory e-verify, to put in place an entry-exit tracking system to prevent visa overstays.

And once that is in place and that's working, I believe the American people will support a very reasonable, but responsible approach to people that have been here a long time, who are not dangerous criminals, who pay taxes and pay fines for what they did.

But until then, none of that is going to be possible.

MUIR: But I'm asking, did you fight for the legislation at the time or did you run from it as you're...

RUBIO: Well, the legislation passed, but it has no support. In essence, it couldn't pass in the House, it will never pass in the United States until we secure the border, and it is not the way we're going to do when I'm president.

When I'm president, we are going to enforce the law first, prove to people that illegal immigration is under control. And then we'll see what the American people are willing to support when it comes to people that are not criminals, who have been in the this country for a long time and who otherwise would like to stay.

MUIR: Governor Christie?

CHRISTIE: Yeah, David, I would just like you to listen, again, everybody.

This is the difference between being a governor who actually has to be responsible for problems and not answering a question. The question was, "Did he fight for his legislation?"


It's abundantly clear that he didn't. It's abundantly clear that he didn't fight for the legislation.

CHRISTIE: When the teachers unions attacked me with $20 million of ads because I wanted to reform teacher tenure, I fought them and fought them and fought them and I won.

When they didn't want -- when people wanted to raise taxes in my state at Democratic legislature and threatened to close down the government, I told them, fine. Close down the government. I'll get in my cars, head to the governor's mansion, order a pizza, open a beer and watch the Mets. You can call me when the government reopens.

And guess what they didn't do? They didn't pass a tax increase, because I vetoed it and they never closed the government because they knew I would fight for what I believed in. The fact of the matter is, a leader must fight for what they believe in. Not handicap it and say, well maybe since I can't win this one, I'll run. That's not what leadership is.


That's what Congress is.


MUIR: Governor thank you.

Senator Rubio?

RUBIO: Leadership is ultimately about solving the problem. And the approach that was tried and has been tried now repeatedly over ten years to do this comprehensively, all at once in a massive piece of legislation has no chance of passage.

It is not leadership to continue to try something that has no chance of happening. I want to make progress on this issue. It has been discussed now for 30 years and nothing ever happens.

And I am telling you that the only way forward on this issue that has any chance of happening, meaning gaining the support of the American people, you cannot do this without the support of the American people, is an approach that begins by proving that once and for all, illegal immigration is under control.

MUIR: Senator Rubio, thank you. We want to turn to health care in this country, and for that, author and commentator, Mary Katherine Ham tonight.

HAM: Thanks, David.

Good evening, guys.

TRUMP: Good evening.

RUBIO: Good evening.

CHRISTIE: Good evening.

KASICH: Good evening.

CARSON: Good evening.

CRUZ: Good evening.

BUSH: Good evening.

HAM: Mr. Trump.


HAM: In the Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton has criticized Bernie Sanders' plan for single payer government health care, noting it would require big, across the board tax increases for Americans. In doing so, she's doubling down on Obamacare, despite its persistent unpopularity.

Mr. Trump, you have said you want to appeal Obamacare. You have also said, quote, "Everybody's got to be covered," adding, quote, "The government's going to pay for it." Are you closer to Bernie Sanders' vision for health care than Hillary Clinton's?

TRUMP: I don't think I am. I think I'm closer to common sense. We are going to repeal Obamacare.


TRUMP: We're going to repeal Obamacare. We are going to replace Obamacare with something so much better. And there are so many examples of it. And I will tell you, part of the reason we have some people laughing, because you have insurance people that take care of everybody up here.

I am self-funded. The only one they're not taking care of is me. We have our lines around each state. The insurance companies are getting rich on Obamacare. The insurance companies are getting rich on health care and health services and everything having to do with health. We are going to end that.

We're going to take out the artificial boundaries, the artificial lines. We're going to get a plan where people compete, free enterprise. They compete. So much better.


TRUMP: In addition to that, you have the health care savings plans, which are excellent. What I do say is, there will be a certain number of people that will be on the street dying and as a Republican, I don't want that to happen. We're going to take care of people that are dying on the street because there will be a group of people that are not going to be able to even think in terms of private or anything else and we're going to take care of those people.

And I think everybody on this stage would have to agree...


... you're not going to let people die, sitting in the middle of a street in any city in this country.


RADDATZ: Senator Cruz, to that point, Mr. Trump has said that your position on health care means that maybe you've got, quote, "no heart". There is a question here, though, about uncovered folks. You suggested repealing and replacing Obamacare. As we learned with President Obama's broken promise that everyone could keep their plan, any major plan -- change in health care policy carries with it the risk that some people will lose their insurance coverage or have to change it.

How do you reassure that those people that repealing and replacing Obamacare is still in their best interest?

CRUZ: Well, let me take two different parts of that. Let me start with socialized medicine. Socialized medicine is a disaster. It does not work. If you look at the countries that have imposed socialized medicine, that have put the government in charge of providing medicine, what inevitably happens is rationing.

You have a scarcity of doctors. You have rationing. And that means the elderly are told, we're going to ration a hip replacement, we're going to ration a knee replacement. We're going to ration end- of-life care.

We're right now heading into a medical system with about a 90,000-doctor shortage in America and socialized medicine; whether proposed by the Democrats or proposed by a Republican would hurt the people of this country.

What should we do on health care? If I'm elected president, we will repeal every word of Obamacare.


CRUZ: And once we do that, we will adopt common sense reforms, number one, we'll allow people to purchase health insurance across state lines that will drive down prices and expand the availability of low cost catastrophic insurance.

CRUZ: We'll expand health savings accounts; and we will de-link health insurance from employment so that you don't lose your health insurance when you lose your job, and that way health insurance can be personal, portable and affordable and we keep government from getting in between us and our doctors.


HAM: Dr. Carson, you have some experience with this matter. In the past, you have said that Obamacare should be replaced before it's repealed. How and why?

CARSON: Well, thank you. You know, I was hoping to get a chance to talk about North Korea. I was the only one who didn't get to do that, and I've got stuff to say about it, let me tell you.

But at any rate, you have to replace it with something that makes sense. It doesn't make sense. And the reason that I dislike Obamacare is because the government comes in and tells the people -- which the nation is supposed to be centered on -- that we don't care what you think, this is what we're doing. And if you don't like it, too bad. That's a problem. And we can't afford to do that because that will fundamentally change America.

I have proposed a health empowerment account system. Everybody gets a health empowerment account the day they are born, they keep it until they die. They can pass it on. We pay for it with the same dollars that we pay for traditional health care with, recognizing that we spend twice as much as many countries per capita and health care and don't have as such access.

We give people the ability to shift money within their health empowerment account so that each family basically becomes its own insurance company without a middleman; that saves you a awful lot of money. And that will lower the cost of your catastrophic insurance tremendously, because the only thing coming out of that is catastrophic health care.

And then in terms of taking care of the indigent, we have another whole system, and I can go ahead and explain it, but I don't have the time, but I'd be happy to if you give me some more time. But go to my website, read about it. You can read about everything that's been discussed here in great detail.


HAM: Thank you, Dr. Carson. David, Martha, back to you.

MUIR: Mary Katherine, thank you. We want to turn now to the issue of eminent domain, which is being debated right here in New Hampshire. And Josh McElveen is the political director and the anchor of WMUR TV. Josh?

MCELVEEN: Thank you, David. And good evening, candidates. Mr. Trump, you have said, quote, "I love eminent domain" which is the seizure of private property for the sake of the greater good theoretically. You tried to use the measure in business endeavors, you've said you'd support its use for the Keystone Pipeline project.

Here in New Hampshire, a project, though, known as the Northern pass would bring hydro-electric power from Canada into the Northeastern grid. Do you see eminent domain as an appropriate tool to get that done?

TRUMP: Well, let me just tell you about eminent domain because almost all of these people actually criticize it, but so many people have hit me with commercials and other things about eminent domain.

Eminent domain is an absolute necessity for a country, for our country. Without it, you wouldn't have roads, you wouldn't have hospitals, you wouldn't have anything. You wouldn't have schools, you wouldn't have bridges. You need eminent domain. And a lot of the big conservatives that tell me how conservative they are -- I think I'm more than they are -- they tell me, oh -- well, they all want the Keystone Pipeline. The Keystone Pipeline, without eminent domain, it wouldn't go 10 feet, OK? You need eminent domain. And eminent domain is a good thing, not a bad thing.

And what a lot of people don't know because they were all saying, oh, you're going to take their property. When somebody -- when eminent domain is used on somebody's property, that person gets a fortune. They get at least fair market value, and if they are smart, they'll get two or three times the value of their property. But without eminent domain, you don't have roads, highways, schools, bridges or anything.

So eminent domain -- it's not that I love it, but eminent domain is absolutely -- it's a necessity for a country. And certainly it's a necessity for our country.

MCELVEEN: So would that be yes on the Northern Pass project?



BUSH: The difference -- the difference between eminent domain for public purpose -- as Donald said, roads and infrastructure, pipelines and all that -- that's for public purpose. But what Donald Trump did was use eminent domain to try to take the property of an elderly woman on the strip in Atlantic City. That is not public purpose, that is down right wrong.


And here's the problem with that. The problem was, it was to tear down -- it was to tear down -- it was to tear down the house...

TRUMP: Jeb wants to be -- he wants to be a tough guy tonight. I didn't take the property.

BUSH: And the net result was -- you tried.

TRUMP: I didn't take the property.

BUSH: And you lost in the court.

TRUMP: The woman ultimately didn't want to do that. I walked away.

BUSH: That is not true. And the simple fact is to turn this into a limousine parking lot for his casinos is a not public use.


And in Florida, based on what we did, we made that impossible. It is part of our Constitution. That's the better approach. That is the conservative approach.

MCELVEEN: Mr. Trump, take 30 seconds.

TRUMP: Well, let me just -- you know, he wants to be a tough guy. A lot of times, you'll have -- you'll have -- and it didn't work very well.

BUSH: How tough it is to take away property from an elderly woman?

TRUMP: A lot of time -- let me talk. Quiet. A lot of times -- a lot of times...

BUSH: How tough it is to take away a property from an elderly woman?

TRUMP: ... you -- let me talk. Let me talk. Quiet. A lot of times...


... that's all of his donors and special interests out there.


So -- it's what it is. That's what -- and by the way, let me just tell you, we needed tickets. You can't get them. You know who has the tickets for the -- I'm talking about, to the television audience? Donors, special interests, the people that are putting up the money.


That's who it is. The RNC told us. We have all donors in the audience. And the reason they're not loving me...


... the reason they're not -- excuse me. The reason they're not loving me is, I don't want their money. I'm going to do the right thing for the American public. I don't want their money. I don't need their money. And I'm the only one up here that can say that.

Eminent domain, the Keystone pipeline -- do you consider that a private job? Do you -- do you consider that...

BUSH: I consider it a public use.

TRUMP: No -- no, let me ask you, Jeb.


Do you consider the Keystone pipeline private?

BUSH: It's a public use. It's a public use.

TRUMP: Is it public or private?

BUSH: It's a public use. TRUMP: Real -- a public use?

BUSH: Yeah.

TRUMP: No, it's a private job.

BUSH: It's a public use.

TRUMP: It's a private job.

BUSH: Established by the courts -- federal, state courts.

TRUMP: You wouldn't have the Keystone pipeline that you want so badly without eminent domain.

MCELVEEN: All right, gentlemen...

TRUMP: You wouldn't have massive -- excuse me, Josh -- you wouldn't have massive factories without eminent domain.


MCELVEEN: Gentlemen, we do have to move forward. Dave, Martha, back to you.

MUIR: Josh, thank you.

When we come back here tonight, jobs, ISIS, and what it means to be a conservative.


MUIR: The Republican debate continues right here from New Hampshire on ABC. We'll be right back.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Candidates taking a quick break. I'm here with Jon Karl right now, and boy, Jon. Marco Rubio came into this debate with a head of steam, ran right into Chris Christie.

KARL: I have never seen Christie tougher in this race. I have never seen Marco Rubio more rattled. He repeated himself three times, precisely when Chris Christie's criticism was you always repeat yourself with the same canned speech. This was a tough moment for Marco Rubio.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Donald Trump started out more subdued than in the past for most of the debate, right up until the end of that first section when the issue of eminent domain came up, and Jeb Bush was ready.

KARL: It almost makes you wonder where would we be in this race right now if Jeb Bush had been that energetic, and that forceful in going after Donald Trump from the start in the previous debates.

STEPHANOPOULOS: He has been hitting Donald Trump, but this...

KARL: ... But not effectively...

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... He did seem to draw some blood, and he seemed to have the crowd on his side, at least for part of that answer tonight. OK, we'll be right back. The candidates on the stage in just a minute.


(UNKNOWN): Live from Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, here again are David Muir, and Martha Raddatz.

MUIR: And, we welcome you back to the Republican debate from New Hampshire tonight here on ABC. We're going to turn now to what it means to be a conservative, and I want to turn to Governor Kasich.

Governor, while campaigning here in New Hampshire, you were already asked about groans from some conservatives after your endorsements from the New York Times, and the Boston Globe. You said, quote, "What conservatives have to know is they have to say, look isn't it nice to have a conservative like me liked? And, maybe the ought to think about it because if I get elected president, the Republican party and the definition of conservatism is going to change."

How would you change conservatism?

KASICH: Well, first of all, look. As the New York Times said, he's certainly not a moderate, but he can bring people together to solve problems. The fact of the matter is I've cut taxes more than anybody in the country this year. I have balanced budgets, the federal budget, the state of Ohio budget, we're running a $2 billion dollar surplus, we're up 400,000 jobs, and in Washington we were able to have significant job growth whenever we balanced the budget of which I was the architect.

But, here's the beauty of it, it's not just balancing a budget, it's about jobs. You know, when I was kid growing up in a neighborhood where Dad went home at night and said, "I lost my job today", it just killed the family.

It just was a devastating effect. We have to have economic growth, but once we have economic growth I believe we have to reach out to people who live in the shadows. I believe we need to help the mentally ill, the drug addicted, the working poor. We need to help the developmentally disabled to rise, and we need to help our friends in the minority community develop entrepreneurship. In other words, in American, conservatism should mean not only that some rise with conservative principles, but everybody has a chance to rise regardless of who they are so they can live their God given purpose. That's what conservatism should be.


MUIR: Governor Kasich, thank you.

Mr. Trump, you've heard the argument from many of the candidates on this stage that you're not a true conservative. Tell the voters watching tonight why you are.

TRUMP: Well, I think I am, and to me, I view the word conservative as a derivative I -- of -- of the word conserve. We want to converse our money. We want to conserve our wealth. We want to conserve. We want to be smart. We want to be smart where we go, where we spend, how we spend. We want to conserve our country. We want to save our country. And we have people that have no idea how to do that and they are not doing it, and it's a very important word and it's something I believe in very, very strongly.

MUIR: Mr. Trump, thank you.


Senator Rubio, you have said yourself that you don't think Donald Trump is running as a conservative. Did he convince you?

RUBIO: Well, I think conservatism is about three things and Donald touched on one of them, but it's about three things. The first is conservatism is about limited government, especially at the federal level. The federal government is a limited government, limited by the Constitution, which delineates its powers. If it's not in the Constitution, it does not belong to the federal government. It belongs to states, local communities and the private sector.

It's about free enterprise, which is an economic model that allows everyone to rise without pulling anyone down. The reason why free enterprise is the greatest economic model in the history of the world is because it's the only economic model where you can make poor people richer without making rich people poor.

And it's about a strong national defense. It's about believing, unlike Barack Obama, that the world is a safer and a better place when America is the strongest military and the strongest nation on this planet. That's conservatism.


MUIR: Senator Rubio, thank you. I want to turn this discussion to the economy now.

And Mr. Trump, Governor Christie has said, "I tell everybody who goes to a Donald Trump event, if you get to ask a question, just ask him how." Christie said, "I don't care which of the things he talks about, just ask him how." You have said that you'd be the greatest jobs president God ever created. Tell Americans watching tonight how many jobs you would create in the first term and how. TRUMP: Well, before I go there, I will tell you, I will bring jobs back from China. I will bring jobs back from Japan. I will bring jobs back from Mexico, where New Hampshire, by the way, has been virtually wiped out. They've lost so many businesses going to Mexico because of horrible trade deals. And now we're about to sign another trade deal, TPP, which is going to be a disaster for this country because they don't talk about monetary manipulation. It is going to be a disaster.

I'm going to bring jobs back and I'll start bringing them back very fast. Under my tax plan -- right now, we're the highest taxed country in the world. Under my plan, we cut not only taxes for the middle class, but we cut taxes for corporations. We will bring back trillions of dollars that's offshore. Right now, they have $2.5 trillion, and in my opinion, it's much more than that. That's what the government says. All of that money is going to come back.

And we're not going to lose Pfizer, which is now leaving, and other great companies, which is now leaving. And they're all leaving. We have many, many companies that are leaving this country. We're not going to lose them anymore because we're going to have a tax structure that is going to keep them in our country.

MUIR: Mr. Trump, thank you.

There are a lot of governors on this stage tonight and Governor Christie, Governor Kasich said of you, quote, "In Ohio, we balanced a budget. They don't have one over in New Jersey. Our credit has been strengthened. Their credit has been downgraded. We've got more jobs."

How important are those metrics in choosing the next president? And is his job -- is his record on jobs, I should say, actually stronger than yours?

CHRISTIE: Well, he deserves credit for his record on jobs. He's done a very good job as governor of Ohio. Never said that John hasn't. He's done a very good job.


But -- but unfortunately, John's been so busy doing over stuff, he's using old statistics. That's OK. New Jersey had its best year of job growth in the last 15 years under five different governors this year in New Jersey. New Jersey cut spending over $2.3 billion and we have 10,000 fewer employees than we had when I walked in the door. John has a bigger government now and more employees than he had when he walked in the door.

But all that doesn't matter. What really matters is this, that executive experience really matters. You heard this on the stage tonight. We've heard it said on the stage that President Obama knows exactly what he's doing.

I'd like to ask all the veterans listening out there tonight, who are waiting in line for healthcare, who are literally dying because the Veterans Administration doesn't work, do you think Barack Obama knows what he's doing? I don't. And I'll tell you something. Anybody who evaluates him is knowing what he's doing and managing the government doesn't know how to manage a government themselves.

And one last thing, David, which I think is really important. I listened to Senator Rubio's answer on his bill. He said his bill couldn't pass on the gang of eight. He acted as if he was somehow disembodied from the bill. It was his bill. He said this idea doesn't work. It was his idea.

See, when you're a governor, you have to take responsibility for these things. You can't just act as if it happened out of nowhere. We have to take responsibility as executives. I take responsibility for my record in New Jersey. We've rebuilt the economy and rebuilt after the second-worst natural disaster in American history. I'm proud of my record. And by the way, I like Kasich's record, too. He's a good governor.


KASICH: David?

MUIR: Thank you, Governor.

Governor Kasich?

KASICH: Look, I'm -- I'm not here -- I like Chris.

MUIR: He didn't say your record was better than his.

KASICH: Let -- but let me -- let me just tell you. First of all, we have the lowest number of state employees in 30 years.

Secondly, we have grown government at the rate of inflation. And I went from an $8 billion hole to a $2 billion surplus. And we've grown jobs by 400,000 -- that's one of the fastest growing states in the country. Our pensions are secure and our credit is rock solid.

Now, I've learned that, what makes things work, what gets the economy going, not just in Ohio, but in Washington -- and it's three things. Common sense regulations, which we have, lower taxes, which we have, the lowest taxes, tax cuts in the country. And thirdly, a fiscal plan to balance the budget.

When you go from $8 billion in the hole to $2 billion in the black, when you cut taxes by $5 billion and you grow over 400,000 jobs, that is a record that I can take to Washington, using the same formula that I used in Washington when I was part of the effort to balance the budget to give us a surplus and to create jobs.

MUIR: Governor Kasich, thank you.

KASICH: That's what I did and I'll do it again in the first 100 days.

KASICH: Governor Kasich, thank you. I do want to turn from jobs to taxes.

RUBIO: Now, see, I was mentioned by Governor...

MUIR: If you would like to respond to the governor, you can.

RUBIO: Yeah.

MUIR: I'm coming to you next with a question, anyway. You can respond to that question.

RUBIO: OK, good, then I'll get to it (inaudible). Here's the...

MUIR: We're going from jobs to taxes, and here's the...

RUBIO: Well, no, sorry. Let me respond to that question.

MUIR: To the Gang of Eight bill first?

RUBIO: Well, here's the response. I think anyone who believes that Barack Obama isn't doing what he's doing on purpose doesn't understand what we're dealing with here, OK? This is a president -- this is a president who is trying to change this country. When he talked about change, he wasn't talking about dealing with our problems.

Obamacare was not an accident. The undermining of the Second Amendment is not an accident. The gutting of our military is not an accident. The undermining of America on the global stage is not an accident. Barack Obama is, indeed, trying to redefine this country. We better understand what we're dealing with here, because that's what Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders want to double down on if they are elected.

MUIR: The governor wasn't talking about the president, he was talking about the Gang of Eight bill.


RUBIO: No. He talked about Barack Obama.

MUIR: So, let me ask you about taxes, Senator Rubio.

RUBIO: Yeah.

MUIR: A recent poll, 68 percent of Americans favor raising taxes on people making more than $1 million a year. Are they wrong?

RUBIO: I don't know of any problem in America that's going to be fixed with a tax increase. We have an economy today, an economy today that is not creating jobs that pay enough.

And one of the reasons why is because we have one of the most expensive business tax rates on the planet. Our combined business rate puts us among the highest in the industrialized world. And then on top of that, we are the only one that has a worldwide system of taxation, where an American company who makes money abroad has to pay taxes where they made the money and then taxes a second time when they bring it back.

The combination of these two things has stranded over $2 trillion, the equivalent of the size of the Russian economy, $2 trillion of American corporate money stranded overseas, combined with all of these inversions of companies leaving us.

The solution to the problems we have today are not a tax increase. It is to lower our taxes on both people and on companies, so we can make America globally competitive again.


MUIR: Senator Rubio, thank you.

I want to bring in Governor Bush. And Governor, I just want to repeat that number for you -- 68 percent of Americans favor raising taxes on people making more than a million.

What do you say to the people who believe that tonight?

BUSH: I would like to see more millionaires. I think we need to grow more millionaires, we need create a prosperity society where people can rise up.


This notion that somehow we're undertaxed as a nation is just fool hearty, when we have entitlements growing far faster than our ability to pay for it. A conservative, because that's the point of this, believes in limited government, believes in a entrepreneurial capitalism and a strong national defense.

But it also has to be, we need to reform things. In my town hall meetings, I went to a place where a woman described her neighbor, who has a better economic deal by not working than her struggling to make ends meet. We need to be on the side of working people. And you know, the problem with the left is, another tax, another regulation, another mandate makes it harder for them to rise up.

Everything that we should do should be focused on high, sustained economic growth, where the middle class gets a raise for the first time, and where people are rewarded for work, rather than non-work. And I know how to do this. And if people are interested in the specifics of this, they ought to go to


MUIR: Knew that was coming. Governor, thank you.

CHRISTIE: David? Hey, David? David? Hey, David? I actually have experience with raising taxes on millionaires in my state. It was done. It was done by my predecessor.

And I want everybody in the public who is in that 68 percent, I want to tell you the truth. You're wrong. And here is why you're wrong. After New Jersey raised taxes on millionaires, we lost, in the next four years, $70 billion in wealth left our state.

It left our state to go where it would be treated more kindly. If the United States raised taxes any further, that money will leave the United States, as well. We won't have better jobs.

Let New Jersey be the canary in the coal mine. It is a failed idea and a failed policy, it's class warfare. It happened in my state. I've stopped it from happening again. But we cannot do it.

The 68 percent of the people are wrong about that, it will hurt the American economy. We tried it in New Jersey. Come take a look -- it did not work.


MUIR: Governor Christie, thank you.

(APPLAUSE) Martha?

RADDATZ: Senator Cruz, you advocate what you call carpet bombing, or saturation bombing, to defeat ISIS, citing the more than 1,100 air attacks that the U.S. carried out during the first Gulf War in 1991.

Explain how a strategy to defeat a standing army would work against an unconventional terrorist group that is now hiding amongst the population.

CRUZ: Well, sure. It starts with a commander-in-chief that sets the objective. And the objective has to be utterly and completely destroying ISIS. Obama hasn't started with that objective and everything else flows from there.

Once you set that objective, we have the tools to carry that out. The first tool is overwhelming air power. It is one of the blessings of the United States of America, having the greatest military on the face of the earth, is we have the ability to use that air power.

As you know, in the first Persian Gulf War, it was 1,100 air attacks a day. Obama is launching between 15 and 30. Now, when I say saturation carpet bombing, that is not indiscriminate.

That is targeted at oil facilities. It's targeted at the oil tankers. It's targeted at command and control locations. It's targeted at infrastructure. It's targeted at communications. It's targeted at bombing all of the roads and bridges going in and out of Raqqa. It's using overwhelming air power.

You know, couple of weeks ago, it was reported that a facility is open called Jihadist University. Now, the question I wonder, why is that building still standing? It should be rubble. And if you had a president...



CRUZ: ... all though I will say this. I would be willing to wait until freshman orientation before launching those bombs. RADDATZ: Senator Cruz, would you like to expand or loosen the rules of engagement? I was just over in a command center in Erbil and they said they thought the rules of engagement worked. Because you have so many civilians in those populated areas, they don't want to hit civilians.

CRUZ: Martha, I will tell you, I have visited with active duty military, with veterans over and over and over again in town halls all over the state of New Hampshire. What we are doing to our sons and daughters, it is immoral. We are sending them into fight with their arms tied behind their back. They cannot defend themselves. And it is wrong.


CRUZ: And I will tell you this. Look. America has always been reluctant to use military force. It's the last step we take. But if and when we use it when it comes to defeating ISIS, we should use it. We should use overwhelming force, kill the enemy and then get the heck out. Don't engage in nation-building but instead, allow our soldiers to do their jobs instead of risking their lives with politicians making it impossible to accomplish the objective.


RADDATZ: So, loosen the rules of engagement?

CRUZ: Absolutely, yes.

RADDATZ: Senator Rubio, you said in the last debate that ISIS is the most dangerous, jihadist group in the history of mankind And that will it take overwhelming U.S. force to defeat them. Can you specifically tell us what you mean by overwhelming force?

RUBIO: Well, first, we need to understand who they are. ISIS is not just a jihadist group, they're an apocalyptic group. They want to trigger a showdown in a city named Tibet between the west and themselves which they believe will trigger the arrival of their messianic figure.

And I'm not saying that's what's going to happen. The reason why it's important to understand that is because these are not groups that are just going to go away on their own. They are going to have to be defeated. And I believe they need to be defeated on the ground, by a ground force, made up primarily of Sunni Arabs.

It will take Sunni Arabs to reject them ideologically and defeat them militarily. That will require a coalition of Iraqis and Syrians, that are also Sunnis, but it will also require the cooperation of Jordanians, Egyptians. We should ask more of the Saudis.

That will need to be backed up with more U.S. special operation forces alongside them. And it will have to be backed up with increased air strikes. And we are going to have to strike them, not just in Iraq and in Syria, but in every other part of the world where they have now created hubs of operation. They have affiliates in over a dozen countries across this planet. They have a sophisticated network of radicalizing people here in the homeland and around the world.


But it all begins by taking away their their safe operating spaces with a ground force that a U.S.-led coalition takes on.


RADDATZ: Again, Senator Rubio, you've already said ISIS is the most dangerous jihadist group in the history of mankind. So, that would make it more dangerous than Al Qaida, the insurgents we fought in Iraq. We committed hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops to fight those groups. So if ISIS is the most dangerous group in history, why not commit a large U.S. ground force?

RUBIO: Because they currently occupy Sunni cities and villages. Sunni cities and villages can only truly be liberated and held by Sunnis themselves. If they are held by Shias it will trigger sectarian violence. The Kurds are incredible fighters and they will liberate the Kurdish areas, but Kurds can not and do not want to liberate and hold Sunni villages and towns.

RUBIO: It will take Sunni fighters themselves in that region to take those villages and cities, and then to hold them and avoid the sort of sectarian violence that follows in the past.

And why that is important is because if Sunnis are not able to govern themselves in these areas, you are going to have a successor group to ISIS. ISIS is a successor group of Al Qaida. In fact, they broke away...


... from Al Qaida, because as horrible as Al Qaida is, ISIS thought Al Qaida was not radical enough. This is who we're dealing with, and they have more money than Al Qaida ever had.

BUSH (?): Martha -- Martha, if I...

RADDATZ: Well, what would you do -- what would you do differently to try to get those Sunni forces? They have not been coming forward.

RUBIO: Well, the problem with the Sunni forces in the region is they don't trust this administration. This administration cut a deal with their mortal enemies, the Shia, in Iran. It poisoned the well with these countries. It makes it very difficult to cooperate with them as a result.

They also, by the way, understand what real U.S. air power looks like. They saw the Iraq war. They saw, up close, also Afghanistan. They know what air power looks like when the United States is committed to the cause. And they see the airstrikes that are being conducted now, and they say to themselves, that's not real (ph) commitment. We know what real commitment looks like.

The -- the Jordanian king was in Washington three weeks ago. He told everyone who would listen that they have begged for permission from the coalition to target caravans. And the coalition -- meaning U.S. leadership on the ground...


... would not allow them to proceed with those airstrikes.

RADDATZ: Mr. Trump -- thank you very much, Senator Rubio. Mr. Trump.


You have said you will vigorously bomb ISIS. You've said, "we've got to get rid of ISIS, quickly, quickly." How would you get rid of them so quickly? And please give us specifics.

TRUMP: Well, four years ago, I said, bomb the oil and take the oil. And if we did that, they wouldn't have the wealth they have right now. Now, I still say the same thing, because we're doing little pinpricks. We're not even bombing -- if somebody's driving a truck, they give notice to the person driving the truck, "we're going to bomb." If they don't get out of the truck, the truck sails away with the oil.

We actually have a case where we don't want to bomb the oil, because we don't want to hurt -- pollute the atmosphere. Can you imagine General Douglas MacArthur or General Patton saying we can't bomb because we're gonna hurt the atmosphere?

You have to knock the hell out of the oil. You have to take the oil. And you have also back channels of banking. You have people that you think are our great allies, our friends, in the Middle East, that are paying tremendous numbers of -- tremendous amounts of money to ISIS.

So we have to stop those circuits. Nobody knows banking better than I do. They have back circuits, back channels. Tremendous amounts of money is coming in through the banking system. So between the oil and the banking, you will dry them up. But it should have been done four years ago, not now.

RADDATZ: And -- and what would you do in those cities, where there are people who we are trying to help, who ISIS is essentially holding hostage?

TRUMP: You have to go in -- first of all, when you take away their money, when you take away their wealth, that'll very much weaken -- and it will happen fairly fast.

They'll last for about a year, based on all of the wealth they've accumulated. But when you stop the banking channels and when you stop the oil and take the oil -- not just bomb it, take it -- when you do that, it's going to dry up very quickly. They're going to become a very weakened power, quickly. Thank you.

RADDATZ: Thank you very much, Mr. Trump.


Let's turn to Libya. Governor Bush, it is a country in chaos. There is no government. This week, defense officials said there are now 5,000 ISIS fighters there, roughly doubling previous estimates. We know you and others have been critical of the administration's handling of Libya after the initial air strikes that you supported.

But this is a problem you would stand to inherit if you're the next president. Reports this week said the administration is considering new air strikes, possible special operations raids. Would you support renewed air strikes or any U.S. involvement on the ground?

BUSH: I would. And I would do it in concert, again, with our Arab allies and with Europe, most particularly in this case. This is the lesson learned: in history, if you bomb something and not do anything as it relates to deal with the aftermath of this, if you don't have a stable government, you get what we have in Libya.

And this is not -- leading from behind is not an effective policy. We have to lead. Without the United States, nothing seems to work. Europe doesn't have the ability to -- to -- to lead -- forward lean (ph) in this regard.

And so dealing with the caliphate is important, because it now has spawned other areas. There have been 70-plus attacks in 17 countries, either inspired by ISIS or organized by ISIS, Libya being the most important one now.

We have to deal with the caliphate, with building a Sunni army there, but we also have to deal with it in Libya. And I think the United States, ultimately, is going to play -- play a significant role in this.

The problem with the Obama administration is that they see this incrementally. They're reluctant. They don't lead. No one knows whether we're serious, and when we do it, we do it in increments you can barely see.


The United States has to lead in a much more aggressive way than we're doing right now.


RADDATZ: Thank you very much, Governor Bush. Dr. Carson?

CARSON: I want to say something about this, because I'm not here just to add beauty to the stage.


You know, I've been talking about Libya for quite a long time. I think I was the first one to start talking about it because I say we have to have a proactive foreign policy strategy. And of course, the next place that ISIS is going to attack to is Libya.

If you want to expand your caliphate and increase your influence, then you're going to go to a place that's strategically located. You go north, across the Mediterranean. You're into southern Europe. You go south, you're into Chad and Sudan and Niger. Not to mention the fact that you have much more oil than you do in Iraq. That's the kind of place that they're going to go to, therefore, we need to be thinking about how do we prevent them from tacking over there. They're already sending their fighters there, we need to be consulting with our military experts and asking them what do they need in order to prevent ISIS from being able to take over Libya. That's going to have enormous concede for us.

RADDATZ: And would you support renewed airstrikes?

CARSON: I would support the possibility of renewed airstrikes if in conjunction with our Joint Chiefs and our military people they felt that was an appropriate strategy.

The fact of the matter is none of us up here is a military expert, and we sometimes act like we are, but we're not. And if we actually sit down and talk with them and get them to understand our plan and their impression of what needs to be done, I think we're going to make a lot more progress.

BUSH: Martha and David, I just...

RADDATZ: We're going to move on.

BUSH: Martha and David...

MUIR: Martha, thank you. We're just going to -- we're going to stay on ISIS here and the war on terror, because as you know, there's been a debate in this country about how to deal with the enemy and about enhanced interrogation techniques ever since 9/11.

So Senator Cruz, you have said, quote, "torture is wrong, unambiguously, period. Civilized nations do not engage in torture." Some of the other candidates say they don't think waterboarding is torture. Mr. Trump has said, I would bring it back. Senator Cruz, is waterboarding torture?

CRUZ: Well, under the definition of torture, no, it's not. Under the law, torture is excruciating pain that is equivalent to losing organs and systems, so under the definition of torture, it is not. It is enhanced interrogation, it is vigorous interrogation, but it does not meet the generally recognized definition of torture.

MUIR: If elected president, would you bring it back?

CRUZ: I would not bring it back in any sort of widespread use. And indeed, I joined with Senator McCain in legislation that would prohibit line officers from employing it because I think bad things happen when enhanced interrogation is employed at lower levels.

But when it comes to keeping this country safe, the commander in chief has inherent constitutional authority to keep this country safe. And so, if it were necessary to, say, prevent a city from facing an imminent terrorist attack, you can rest assured that as commander in chief, I would use whatever enhanced interrogation methods we could to keep this country safe.

MUIR: Senator Cruz, thank you. Mr. Trump, you said not only does it work, but that you'd bring it back.

TRUMP: Well, I'll tell you what. In the Middle East, we have people chopping the heads off Christians, we have people chopping the heads off many other people. We have things that we have never seen before -- as a group, we have never seen before, what's happening right now.

The medieval times -- I mean, we studied medieval times -- not since medieval times have people seen what's going on. I would bring back waterboarding and I'd bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.


MUIR: Mr. Trump, thank you. Governor Bush, you have said that you won't rule waterboarding out. Congress has passed laws banning the use of waterboarding by the military and the CIA, as you know. Would you want Congress to change that if you're elected president?

BUSH: No, no, I wouldn't. No, I wouldn't. And it was used sparingly, Congress has changed the laws and I -- and I think where we stand is the appropriate place. But what we need to do is to make sure that we expand our intelligence capabilities.

The idea that we're going to solve this fight with predator drones, killing people somehow is a -- is more acceptable than capturing them, securing the information. This is why closing Guantanamo is a complete disaster. What we need to do is make sure that we are kept safe...


... by having intelligence capabilities, both human and technological intelligence capabilities far superior than what we have today. That's how you get a more safe place is by making sure that we're fully engaged. And right now, this administration doesn't do that.

BUSH: Governor Bush, thank you.


Senator Rubio, I do want to ask you, you have said that you do not want to telegraph to the enemy what you would do as commander in chief. But for the American people watching tonight who want to know where the next president will stand, do you believe waterboarding is torture?

RUBIO: Well, when people talk about interrogating terrorists, they're acting like this is some sort of law enforcement function. Law enforcement is about gathering evidence to take someone to trial, and convict them. Anti-terrorism is about finding out information to prevent a future attack so the same tactics do not apply.

And, it is true, we should not be discussing in a wide spread way the exact tactics that we're going to use because that allows terrorist to know to practice how to evade us.

But, here's the bigger problem with all this, we're not interrogating anybody right now. Guantanamo's being emptied by this president. We should be putting people into Guantanamo, not emptying it out, and we shouldn't be releasing these killers who are rejoining the battlefield against the United States.


MUIR: Senator Rubio, thank you.

We want to turn now to the topic of executive orders, and for that, we're going to turn back to Mary Katharine Ham. Mary Katharine?

HAM: Thanks, David. Senator Cruz, on the campaign trail you've promised voters a lot, in fact if you're elected president you'd say you end Common Core immediately, abolish the IRS, and do away with sanctuary cities. You've also been a persistent critic of President Obama's executive overreach, going it alone, not working with Congress. How do you intend to implement this aggressive agenda within your Constitutional authority, especially given that it would require working with Congress and Washington players with whom you're happy to say you have a strained relationship?

CRUZ: Well, thank you for that question. You know, there are three avenues of presidential authority to change the direction of this country. The first is executive power, the second is foreign policy, and the third is legislation. Executive power, as we all know, has been the preferred vehicle of President Obama, abusing his authority, abusing his constitutional authority.

Now, the silver lining of that is everything done with executive power can be undone with executive power, so I have pledged on day one I will rescind every single illegal and unconstitutional executive action Barack Obama has done. That means on day one his efforts to restrict the Second Amendment go away with the strike of a pen. That means on day one his illegal executive amnesty goes away with the strike of a pen.

The reason I can end Common Core at the federal level is because Obama is abusing executive power using Race to the Top funds in the Department of Education to force it on the states. That's one avenue.

The second avenue of change is foreign policy, and foreign policy can change the fastest. It's worth remembering that Iran released our hostages the day Reagan...


CRUZ: ... Was sworn in. And, the third is legislation, and that can only be done with the people behind you, which is why the two big legislative initiatives I'm campaigning on are repealing Obamacare, and adopting a simple flat tax to abolish the IRS.


HAM: Mr. Trump, Senator Cruz is known for opposing deals, you literally wrote the book on making them. Senator Cruz has mentioned that on the trail. What would you say to those conservatives that are concerned that a deal maker will just perpetuate the same deals in Washington and the way that things run now (INAUDIBLE)...

TRUMP: ... No, a good deal maker will make great deals, but we'll do it the way our founders thought it should be done. People get together, they make deals. Ronald Reagan did it with Tip O'Neil very successfully, you didn't hear so much about executive orders, if you heard about it at all. You have to be able to get a consensus.

Now, the real person like it was mentioned about the deal with Iran, how bad a deal is that? It doesn't get any more amateurish than that. A good deal maker would never make a deal like that. With Congress, you have to get everybody in a room, and you have to get them to agree. But, you have to get them to agree what you want, and that's part of being a deal maker. You can't leave the White House, go to Hawaii and play golf for three weeks and be a real deal maker. It doesn't work that way. You have to get people in, grab them, hug them, kiss them, and get the deal done. But, it's got to be the deal that you want.


HAM: Governor Kasich, is the problem with Washington that there are too many deals, or too few?

KASICH: Well, right now the deals -- there's no leadership. I mean, a lot of the things that we're talking about here tonight, on the border, and so many of the things. What we should be doing on foreign policy, you know what the problem is, Mary Katharine? There's not a leader that gets somebody to rise.

You have to have a leader that can inspire, and actually some of what Donald was saying is true. Look, do you know how hard it was...

TRUMP: Some? KASICH: ... to get the balance the federal budget balanced? You have to plead with people. To do what we've done in Ohio, you have to plead with people, then you go back down to Washington and do the same thing.

See, we have to remind people we're Americans before we're Republicans and Democrats, and when we wait, and when we delay what we end up doing, Mary Katharine, is we make the United States weaker. In fact, it's a foreign policy issue because people look at America not solving problems and they say what are they doing over there? The point is you have to work with people.

TRUMP: The problem with executive authority for the president, it's really bad news for this reason. Since he's given up on working with Congress, he thinks he can impose anything he wants. He's not a king. He's a president. An executive order should be used frankly in consolidation and with consulting with the leadership in the -- in the Congress.

I've done it in Ohio. I consult. I could use executive orders, but I don't trump the legislature, because if you do, you aggravate them, you anger them and then the long-term prospects get bleak. We have to solve problems in America by coming together, Republicans and Democrats, Americans first, party and ideology second -- in the second back seat of this country. That's what we need to do.


And we can do it. And we can do it.

BUSH: This is a -- this is an important subject. I agree with everything that's been said here about repealing unconstitutional rules and rules that are creating real burdens for investing that creating jobs.

But we also ought to get back to being a Tenth Amendment country, as well, a country that respects the states to be able to make more decisions. And in the Bush administration, we would shift transportation dollars back to the states. I trust Kasich and Christie to build the roads and the infrastructure of their states than Washington, D.C.

EPA delegated authority, back to the states. Education dollars, back to the states. I would like to see reform take place all across the country, where there's more vouchers, more freedom.


If we did that, we would shrink government's power in Washington, D.C. and we would have a much more effective government, where people would begin to trust our government again, because now, no one believes it works.

KASICH: Mary Katherine, let me just say this to you.


You must have an agenda that you are ready to move on in the first 100 days. Jeb is right. If you delay and you wait, the Washington operators will take you down. I can tell you this, in the first 100 days, I will have legislation to freeze federal regulations, have them reviewed by the vice president, reduce state taxes on individuals, reduce taxes on corporations, have a fiscal plan to balance the budget, get the border protected and begin to fix Social Security in the first 100 days.

So, anybody who is here tonight, if I get elected president, head out tomorrow and buy a seat belt, because there's going to be so much happening in the first 100 days, it's going to make your head spin. We're going to move America forward. I promise you. We're going to move us forward.


BUSH: You mentioned me. He mentioned me. One other thing that I think we ought to do, along with repealing Obamacare, we need to shift all of this power of healthcare, which is the most egregious form of federal power that is suppressing wages and incomes, and allow governors to have the Medicaid plans so that they can create 21st century Medicaid insurance for people that are stuck in poverty. There's so much that can be done, but I don't trust Washington to do it. I trust the state capitals to be the place -- to be the source of innovation and reform in this country.


HAM: Thank you, governors. Martha and David, back to you.

MUIR: Mary Katherine, thank you.

We want to turn to something the governor of New Hampshire said...


KASICH: Jeb mentioned me. Time for me to go again.

BUSH: I didn't mention him the second time.

KASICH: He says he didn't mention me the second time. I thought I heard it, Jeb. No. I'm just kidding. Thank you all very much for listening and being patient with all of us tonight. Thank you.

MUIR: A connection here on the stage. We're going to move on to what the governor of New Hampshire said just this week, and that is that heroin overdose is not the second-leading cause of death in this state. You don't need me to tell you that. But there's another number, 48 percent of the people here in this state knows someone who has abused heroin.

Josh, who covers this for WMUR, has the next question.

MCELVEEN: You're all aware, candidates, this is a major problem here in New Hampshire. It's a very deadly problem as well. Last month, New Hampshire senators Kelly Ayotte, Republican, and Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat, they went down to Washington, along with the police chief of the state's largest city to testify before the Judiciary Committee in D.C.

Senator Cruz, you're a member of that committee. Your campaign schedule didn't allow you to attend this. Even so, the police chief called your absence outrageous, given the severity of the problem. Last week, though, you told a personal story of a close family member's struggle with addiction. What can you say to law enforcement right now to convince them that you understand the severity of this problem and you're not just saying what people want to hear days before the primary?

CRUZ: Well, Josh, as you noted, this is a problem that, for me, I understand first-hand. My older sister, Myriam, who was my half- sister, struggled her whole life with drug and alcohol addiction. My father and her mom divorced when she was a little girl and she was angry her whole life, and she ended up marrying a man who had been in and out of jail. She then became a single mom and she herself went to jail several times and she ended up spending some time in a crack house.

CRUZ: I still remember my father and me driving up to get Myriam out of that crack house to try to convince her she needed to be a mom to -- to my nephew Joey.

She wasn't willing to listen. She was not willing to change the path she was on. She was angry. I was -- had just gotten my first job coming out of law school. I took a $20,000 loan on a credit card to put my nephew, Joey, in Valley Forge Military Academy -- he was in sixth grade at the time, to pay his way through that.

And about five, six years ago, Miriam died of an overdose. It was -- the coroner ruled it accidental. We don't know. She went to one night, had taken too many pills, and Joey walked in and found her dead.

This is an absolute epidemic. We need leadership to solve it. Solving it has to occur at the state and local level with programs like A.A., and counseling, and churches and charities. But it also has to be securing the borders, because you have got Mexican cartels that are smuggling vast amounts of heroin into this country.

We know how to secure the borders. What is missing is the political will to do it.

And as president, I will secure the border, we will end this deluge of drugs that is flowing over our southern border and that is killing Americans across this country.

MCELVEEN: And Governor Christie, you have talked a lot about this issue here in New Hampshire.


MCELVEEN: State reforms, criminal justice reforms, access to treatment.

To Senator Cruz's point, let's take it a step further. Would you be willing to engage in cross-border enforcement into Mexico, a place where law enforcement in New Hampshire has traced at lot of this supply back to. Would you engage in cross-border enforcement without the cooperation without the Mexican government?

CHRISTIE: Of course I would. As a former United States attorney who spent seven years of my life fighting this on the streets of my state, I would do that. But we need to do more. And let me tell you what we've done in New Jersey, Josh. We are working with the folks in New Hampshire in their legislature right now to show them how we're helping to solve this problem in New Jersey.

Not just for this campaign -- three years ago, I proposed a law that we signed into effect, which said that anyone who was a non- violent, non-dealing, first-time drug offender no longer goes to prison in New Jersey. They go to mandatory, in-patient drug treatment.

What has happened is, crime has gone down 20 percent in those years. The prison population has gone down 10 percent. We've now closed the state prison -- closed a state prison, and we're turning it into a drug rehabilitation facility, so people can get the tools they need.

Listen, everyone out there knows this in New Hampshire. This is a disease. It's not a moral failing, it's a disease. And we need to get people the treatment they need. And let me tell you why. Because I'm pro-life.

And I'm pro life not just for the nine months in the womb, I'm pro-life for when they get out and it's a lot more complicated.


Sixteen-year-old, heroin-addicted drug girl on the floor of the county lockup, I'm pro-life for her life. The 42-year-old lawyer who is taking Oxycontin and can't get out of bed and support his family -- I'm pro-life for his life. Everyone of those lives is an individual gift from God.

And the last thing is this. These efforts we've taken over the last three years, 2015 in New Jersey, for the first time in four years, drug overdose deaths have gone down, not up.

I'll bring the same solutions to the country.


MCELVEEN: Governor Christie, thank you very much.

David, Martha, back to you.

RADDATZ: Thank you, Governor Christie. Thank you, Josh.

Our partner in this debate, the Independent Journal Review, has collected questions from some prominent conservatives around the country.

Here's a videotaped question from radio host Larry O'Connor.


O'CONNOR: In 2008, we saw how motivated an electorate can be when they think their vote is making history. Let's face it: if Hillary Clinton is the nominee for the Democrats, you'll be running against the prospect of the first woman president.

How will you change that narrative and motivate the electorate behind your candidacy?


TRUMP: Well...

RADDATZ: Mr. Trump, I'm going to give that question to you. You took it -- you took it away anyway.

TRUMP: Yes. OK, good. It looked like he was looking right at me, right there.

I think that -- I look at what's going on, I look at all of the polls, I do very, very well against Hillary Clinton. I can tell you, I'm the last person that she wants to run against.

And I think you can see what we've done in terms of galvanizing. I've been all over the country. We're -- last night, I was in South Carolina, we had 12,000 people. It set up in about four days. We have galvanized and we've created a movement. A lot of it has to do with -- as an example, Josh's question on drugs.

I'm the first person that said, "Build a wall." But I mean, a real wall, not a toy wall like they have right now. A real wall. And you'll solve lots of problems.

But we will galvanize the people of this country, and we will beat Hillary Clinton. Because -- assuming that she runs, by the way, how she gets away with the e-mail stuff is hard to believe. So, I don't know that she's going to be running. But on the assumption she runs...


I mean, look. And speaking of that, if she runs, she's running for one reason. She's going to be able to run for one reason, and that's because the Democrats are protecting her. Because so many people have done so much less than her, and they were absolutely -- their lives have been destroyed.

TRUMP: But on the assumption they do protect her, I will win the election and we will win it by a lot. We will win it handily. We cannot have another four years of essentially Barack Obama.


RADDATZ: Thank you, Mr. Trump.

I'm going to go to Senator Rubio on this. How would you change that narrative?

RUBIO: I think it's already happening. Look at the turnout in Iowa. A historic number of people came out and voted in those caucuses. There are saying the same thing is going to happen here in New Hampshire. Look at the rallies that every single person on this stage is having. Much higher numbers than you used to see in the past and here is why.

Because people are starting to understand, very clearly, that this election is going to be a turning point. That 2016 is not just a choice between Republican or Democrat. It is a referendum on our identity as a nation and as a people.

So here is what Hillary Clinton needs to understand. We're going to have our primary, we're going to have our debates -- which by the way, are twice as many as the Democrats have been willing to have themselves. But we're going to bring this party together and we are going to defeat Hillary Clinton, because she is unqualified to be the president of the United States of America.

She put classified information on her computer because she thinks she's above the law and anyone who lies to the families of people who have lost their loved ones in the service of our country like she did in Benghazi, can never be the commander-in-chief of the United States of America.


RADDATZ: Thank you, Senator Rubio. Dr. Carson, I want to go to you on Larry O' Connor's question. Would you change the narrative?

CARSON: It's the same question?


CARSON: Yes. Well, first of all, I think it would be a pretty easy contrast, quite frankly, between myself and Hillary Clinton. In one case, you have someone who is known as a deceitful individual. An individual who at Benghazi, which I will never let go, quite frankly, because I think of those two men who went up there on the top of that compound with machine guns, firing away, allowing their colleagues to escape.

And I'm sure, in the back of their mind, they were just saying, if we can just hold on, help is on the way. But help was not on the way. When did we in the United States not send people to help our own people? You know, this is not who we are.


CARSON: And -- I would simply make it a referendum on honesty and integrity versus deceit and the Washington way.

MUIR: Martha?

RADDATZ: Thank you very much Dr. Carson. I'm going to go back to David.

MUIR: Governor, well come to you in the next segment.

When we come back, questions about race, about our veterans and social issues what younger conservative voters are now saying as we continue with New Hampshire with the Republican debate, right here on ABC.


ANNOUNCER: Live from St. Anselm College in New Hampshire, here again are David Muir and Martha Raddatz.

MUIR: Welcome back to New Hampshire, ABC News coverage of the Republican debate, and it's great to have you back at the podiums, and we want to turn to race in America.

And Mr. Trump, there are many who argue cell phones and smartphones are just now exposing what's been happening in this country for years. Cases of excessive force against minorities.

As you know, Mr. Trump, on the other side, the FBI director recently said there's a chill wind blowing through law enforcement because of increased scrutiny. You have said police are the most mistreated people in America. As president, how do you bridge the divide?

TRUMP: Well, there is a divide, but I have to say that the police are absolutely mistreated and misunderstood, and if there is an incident, whether it's an incident done purposely -- which is a horror, and you should really take very strong action -- or if it is a mistake, it's on your news casts all night, all week, all month, and it never ends.

The police in this country have done an unbelievable job of keeping law and order, and they're afraid for their jobs, they're afraid of the mistreatment they get, and I'm telling you that not only, me speaking, minorities all over the country, they respect the police of this country and we have to give them more respect.

They can't act. They can't act. They're afraid for losing their pension, their job. They don't know what to do. And I deal with them all the time. We have to give great respect, far greater than we are right now, to our really fantastic police.


MUIR: Great. Mr. Trump, I did ask about bridging the divide though as president. So what would you say to the American families who say we have lived through this, we have seen excessive force? What would you say to those people?

TRUMP: Well, they do. And, you know, they sue. Everybody sues, right? They see excessive -- I mean, they go out, they sue. We have so much litigation -- I see the courts, I see what they're doing. They sue, and you know what? We don't want excessive force. But at what point -- you know, either you're going to have a police force that can do its job...

I was just up in Manchester, I met with the police officers yesterday. Tremendous people. They love the area, they love the people, they love all the people. They want to do their job. And you're going to have abuse and you're going to have problems, and you've got to solve the problems and you have to weed out the problems. But the police in this country are absolutely amazing people.

KASICH: David, David...

MUIR: I do want to ask -- Governor Kasich?

KASICH: I wanted -- I wanted to say, look, this -- there can be a win-win here. I have formed a collaborative between police and community leaders because people have to respect law enforcement. A family doesn't want dad or mom going home in a box. And for our community leaders, many of them think the system not only works -- not only doesn't work for them, but it works against them.

And I created a big collaborative in Ohio made up of law enforcement, community leaders, the head of my public safety and a former Democrat, liberal Senate senator Nina Turner, run it. They got together, they made recommendations on recruiting, on hiring, on the use of deadly force and what we're about to do is to bring community and police together so we can have a win-win.

We need more win-wins in America and we don't have to pick one over another divide. We love the police, but we've got to be responsible to the people in the community. We have to do all of that.


MUIR: Governor, thank you. Senator Rubio, I want to ask you next, President Obama visited a mosque this week in America for the first time in his presidency. President George W. Bush visited a mosque after September 11th. You said of President Obama, quote, "he's always pitting people against each other." So I'm curious, how are the two visits different, and would you visit a mosque as president?

RUBIO: I would. But that's not -- the issue -- my problem with what he did is he continues to put out this fiction that there's widespread systematic discrimination against Muslim Americans.

First of all, let's recognize this. If you go to a national cemetery in this country, you will see stars of Davids and crosses, but you see crescent moons. There are brave men and women who happen to be Muslim Americans who are serving this country in uniform and who have died in the service of this country. And we recognize that and we honor that. But by the same token, we face a very significant threat of home grown violent extremism.

We need to have strong, positive relationships in the Islamic communities in this country so they will identify and report this activity, especially mosques, for example, that are participating not just in hate speech, but inciting violence and taking acts against us.

And I do believe it is important also to recognize, you want to talk about religious discrimination in America. Well, I don't think Barack Obama is being sued by any Islamic groups, but he is being sued by the Little Sisters of the Poor. We are facing in this country Christian groups and groups that hold traditional values who feel and in fact are being discriminated against by the laws of this country that try to force them to vie to violate their conscience.


MUIR: Senator Rubio, thank you. Martha?

RADDATZ: Governor Christie, earlier this week, the World Health Organization declared the Zika virus a global emergency. The same kind of mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus in Latin America are found here in the United States, and the virus has been linked to severe birth defects.

Governor Christie, at the peak of the Ebola outbreak in west Africa, you ordered an American nurse who landed at Newark Airport be detained and quarantined. As fear spreads now of the Zika virus and with the Rio Olympics just months away, is there a scenario where you would quarantine people traveling back from Brazil to prevent the spread in the United States?

CHRISTIE: You bet I would. And the fact is that because I took strong action to make sure that anyone who was showing symptoms -- remember what happened with that nurse. She was showing symptoms and coming back from a place that had the ebola virus active and she had been treating patients. This was not just some -- like, we picked up her just for the heck of it, alright?

We did it because she was showing symptoms, and the fact is that's the way we should make these decision. You make these decisions based upon the symptoms, the medicine, and the law. We quarantined her, she turned out to test negative ultimately after 48 hours, and we released her back to the State of Maine.

But, I want to add something on the issue of mosques. Now, I'm the only one up here who's had a law enforcement background as a U.S. Attorney after September 11th. I went to mosques throughout my state to build bridges. To build bridges between our community in law enforcement so we can get intelligence and information from these folks.

I've had the experience of working with them as Governor of New Jersey as well. We cannot nix (ph) the radical Islamic jihadist with everyday Muslim-Americans. New Jersey is the second largest Muslim- American population in America, of any state. These are good, law abiding, hard working people. What they need is our cooperation, and our understanding. They do not just need broadsides against them because of the religious faith they practice.

RADDATZ: Governor Christie, thank you.


RADDATZ: I'm going to move to Dr. Carson, and go back to the Zika virus, is that going too far, quarantining? You're a doctor, what would you do?

CARSON: Well, you know, it's not a simple issue, and now, you know, we've gotten evidence that there can been active viruses in other bodily fluids like saliva and urine. So, this is going to be, obviously, a big deal.

Do we quarantine people? If we have evidence that they are infected, and that there is evidence that that infection can spread by something that they're doing, yes. But, just willy-nilly going out and quarantining a bunch of people because they've been to Brazil, I don't believe that that's going to work. What we really need to be thinking about is how do we get this disease under control?

And this is where we need rapid response. We need a rapid response for ebola, we need rapid response for Zika, there will be other things that will come up. These are the kinds of things that the NIH, the CDC, can be very effective in. We need to give the the appropriate support for those kind of things.

RADDATZ: Thanks very much, Dr. Carson.

I want to move on to the military. Senator Rubio, all restrictions on women in combat as long as they qualify. Positions including special operations forces, like Navy Seals. Just this week military leaders of the Army and Marine Corps said that they believed young women, just as young men are required to do, should sign up for Selective Service in case the Draft is reinstated.

Many of you have young daughters. Senator Rubio, should young women be required to sign up for Selective Service in case of a national emergency?

RUBIO: First, let me say there are already women today serving in roles that are like combat. That, in fact, whose lives are in very serious danger, and so I have no problem whatsoever with people of either gender serving in combat so long as the minimum requirements necessary to do the job are not compromised. But, I support that, and obviously now that that is the case I do believe that Selective Service should be opened up for both men and women in case a Draft is ever instituted.

I think the more fundamental challenge we're now facing is what's happening to the U.S. military -- I've said this many times, and I think it's important to start paying attention to this. Our Air Force is about to be the smallest it's been in 100 years. I'm sorry, in our history. Our Army is set to be smaller than it's been since the second World War, and our Navy is about to be the smallest than it's been in 100 years.

I think we need to begin to refocus on rebuilding our military because every time we have cut our military in the history of this country we have had to come back later and rebuild it, and it costs more, and it's a lot more chaotic and dangerous. When I'm president, we are rebuilding the U.S. military.


RADDATZ: Thank you, Senator Rubio. Governor Bush, do you believe that young women...

BUSH: ... Say it again?

RADDATZ: Do you believe young women should sign up for Selective Service, be required to sign up...

BUSH: ... I do, and I do think that we should not impose any kind of political agenda on the military. There should be -- if women can meet the requirements, the minimum requirements for combat service they ought to have the right to do it. For sure. It ought to be focused on the morale as well. We got to make sure that we have readiness much higher than we do today. We need to eliminate the sequester which is devastating our military.

We can't be focusing on the political side of this, we need to realize that our military force is how we project our word in the world. When we're weak militarily it doesn't matter what we say. We can talk about red lines, and ISIS being the J.V. team, and reset buttons and all this. If we don't have a strong military than no one fears us, and they take actions that are against our national interest.

RADDATZ: Tell me what you'd say to American people out there...


RADDATZ: ... Who are sitting at home, who have daughters, who might worry about those answers, and might worry...

BUSH: ... Why would they worry about it...

RADDATZ: ... if the Draft is reinstituted?

BUSH: ... Well, the Draft's not going to be reinstituted, but why -- if women are accessing...

RADDATZ: ... Are you saying you'd do away with it?

BUSH: No. I didn't say that. You -- you asked a question not about the draft, you asked about registering. And if women are going to be...

RADDATZ: You register for the draft.

BUSH: If -- but...

RADDATZ: If it's reinstituted.

BUSH: ... we don't have a draft. I'm not suggesting we have a draft. What I'm suggesting is that we ought to have readiness being the first priority of our military, and secondly, that we make sure that the morale is high. And right now, neither one of those are acceptable because we've been gutting the military budget.

We also need to reform our procurement process. We need to make sure there are more men and women in uniform than people -- than civilians in our Defense Department. There's a lot of things that we need to reform to bring our defense capabilities into the 21st century and I'm the guy that could do that. That's why I have the support of generals, of admirals, of 12 Medal of Honor recipients and many other people that know that I would be a steady commander-in-chief and rebuild our military.



RADDATZ: Thank you very much.

CHRISTIE: Can I -- can I be really -- can I be really clear on this, because I am the father of two daughters. One of them is here tonight. What my wife and I have taught our daughters right from the beginning, that their sense of self-worth, their sense of value, their sense of what they want to do with their life comes not from the outside, but comes from within. And if a young woman in this country wants to go and fight to defend their country, she should be permitted to do so.

Part of that also needs to be part of a greater effort in this country, and so there's no reason why one -- young women should be discriminated against from registering for the selective service. The fact is, we need to be a party and a people that makes sure that our women in this country understand anything they can dream, anything that they want to aspire to, they can do. That's the way we raised our daughters and that's what we should aspire to as president for all of the women in our country.


RADDATZ: Thank you very much, Governor Christie.

CARSON: Can I say something...

RADDATZ: We just covered -- wait one second, Dr. Carson.

CARSON: Something about the draft. Very quickly.

RADDATZ: Very quickly.

CARSON: You know, 14 percent decrease in the number of people applying for voluntary military service, and I think part of it is because of the way that we treat our veterans. You know, we wouldn't be a free country if it wasn't for them, and we have 22 veterans per day committing suicide.

So, I think what we should do is have an external support system for people once they volunteer and it should follow them throughout their career, should follow them for three years, five years afterwards, a year before they get out, should be working on integrating them back into society, so that they quit on Friday and they start their new job. They should have health empowerment accounts that are subsidized so they can go to any medical facility and be taken care of. They can go to a V.A. if they want to.

But if we start taking care of our veterans the right way, we won't have to ever worry about a draft again.


RADDATZ: Thank you very much for bringing up that subject, Dr. Carson, of our veterans.

And for another question about our veterans, we go back to Josh McElveen from WMUR. Josh?

MCELVEEN: Thank you, Martha. None of you on stage tonight have ever worn a uniform as a member of the armed services. That's the reality of it. But as commander-in-chief, you'll also be charged with the care of 23 million active duty service members and veterans in this country.

Some have suggested privatizing the V.A. as a way to enhance care and increase the quality of the care and access. Others say that veterans should carry I.D. cards that allow them access to any hospital or health care provider. Governor Bush, what specifically would you do to ensure that those who have sacrificed for us are cared for?

BUSH: I totally agree that we need to give veterans more choices. A veterans card to be able to go to a private provider will enhance the quality of the service inside the Department of Veterans Affairs. We need career civil service reform. Only three people were fired after waiting lists were dropped where veterans didn't get care and people died. It is outrageous. And Hillary Clinton says that that's acceptable? Because she is captive of the public service uniforms.

Career civil service reform would allow the next president to fire people that are -- that are showing sheer incompetence. At a town hall meeting today, someone came -- told a story of their father who looked like he was 85. He had -- he got a bill eight years later from an operation he had, eight years it took. They couldn't resolve the dispute and then he was told that he died. Literally, the Veterans Administration sent a death certificate to this guy and it took nine months to clarify the guy -- I met him. He's voting for me. And he is -- likely to be alive.



This is -- this is outrageous. It is completely outrageous. So, giving veterans more choices, creating centers of excellence, focusing on the true problems that exist. Dr. Carson is completely right. We need to start focusing on this earlier, before they become veterans so that there's a customized plan so people don't fall through the cracks. We can do this, but it's going to require someone who has proven leadership skills to make it happen.



MCELVEEN: Governor Kasich, do you have a favored approach?

KASICH: Josh, I mean, clearly, when a veteran comes home, they should get health care anywhere they want to go. In our state, which is what we should do in the country, you know, if they drive a truck from Kabul to Kandahar in Afghanistan, we say, you can drive a truck from Columbus to Cleveland, and you don't have to go get a license. We're going to hand you one.

And if you've got expertise in the military, we're going to give you college credit or community college credit for the things that you did for our country. And in addition to that, I'll tell you, one of the biggest things I think has to be done -- and I would do it as president -- the Pentagon has got to work with the returning soldier, sailor, along with the family, and we -- they're the most valuable employees in the country. I call them golden employees.

Everybody wants to hire a veteran. But there is a disconnect between the job openings and the veteran when the veteran comes back. The veteran is a leader. The veteran is strong. The veteran is drug free. There should be no unemployment among veterans.

And if the Pentagon will work with the veterans' services agencies all across this country, Josh, we can get people jobs and we can get them jobs quickly, get them their health care...


... get them their college education. Let's lift them. They're the greatest people defending the United States of America and we need to take care of them, and we will. We will.


MCELVEEN: Senator Rubio, go ahead?

RUBIO: Well, my brother's a veteran. We're very proud of him in our family. He served as a green beret in the 7th Special Forces from 1968 through 1971. And as part of his training, he jumped out of an airplane and he lost his two front teeth.

And for years, he's had to go to get these dental claims. And every times he goes to get one of these dental claims filled, the V.A. asks him, "well, how do we know you lost your teeth in the Army?" And he says, "well, it's the only time I ever jumped out of a plane."

(LAUGHTER) But he's had to fight through this process, and I've watched it firsthand. That's why I'm proud that I worked in a bipartisan way. We passed the V.A. Accountability bill that, for the first time, allows us to fire -- allows the V.A. secretary to fire someone who's not doing a good job, who's a senior executive.

And the governor's right. They've only fired three people up to now. More people will be fired if I'm president. But the portability part of it is incredibly important.

Veterans should be able to take their V.A. benefits to any hospital or any doctor they want to go to. When I am president of the United States, veterans will be able to take their benefits to any hospital or doctor that they choose.


MCELVEEN: Senator Rubio, thanks very much. Going to move forward now. David, Martha, back to you.

MUIR: Josh, thank you. I want to turn to a family that New Hampshire voters know quite well, and Senator Cruz, the issue of hostages has been a very real and painful one here in this state.

As we all know, James Foley was killed. His mother, Diane, said our government should be willing to negotiate, arguing that families should also be allowed to raise money for ransom. What would you say to Diane Foley tonight? Should families be allowed to raise money for ransom for their loved ones?

CRUZ: Well, look, I recognize it is an agonizing experience when anyone is facing a loved -- loved member who's been kidnapped. But at the same time, putting in place legal regimes that encourage the payment of ransom has the effect of putting a bounty on other Americans. There is a reason it has been longstanding U.S. policy that we don't negotiate with terrorists, we don't pay ransoms.

If you look at what President Obama has done over and over again, whether it was the James Bergdahl deal, which was absolutely shameful, releasing five senior Taliban terrorists to bring Bergdahl back, or whether it was this recent deal with Iran, where, again, up to 21 terrorists or potential terrorists were -- were released or not prosecuted in order to bring back four Americans, what that does -- does is it effectively puts a bounty on American servicemen and women serving abroad, on American tourists traveling abroad.

And the proper approach...


... is a president and commander in chief that defends this country and that goes after -- goes after the terrorists, rather than showing them weakness and encouraging them to target more Americans.

MUIR: Senator Cruz, thank you. Mr. Trump, what would you say to Diane Foley? Should families be allowed to raise money for ransom? TRUMP: Well, I -- I know Diane Foley very well. Her husband and -- these are tremendous people. I spoke for them, I raised a lot of money for the foundation. I fully understand, James, one of -- that was really the first that we saw, really visually saw -- it was so horrible.

And I will tell you, though, with all of that being said, you can not negotiate this way with terrorists. If you do, you are going to have many, many more James Foleys.

James Foley was a great young man. His parents are incredible people. They've done such a good job, since his -- since his death. But you just cannot negotiate that way with terrorists, or you're gonna have so many other James Foleys.

And one thing on the vets -- during the last debate, I raised $6 million for the vets, and I will tell you something...


TRUMP: ... I will tell you that I think nobody here, nobody on this stage, gets along with the veterans groups in New Hampshire better than I do without ball (ph) to sarel (ph) and all of the people that I deal with and these are great people.

The one thing that we're not mentioning, there's tremendous fraud, waste and abuse in the Veterans Administration and if I'm running things, that's going to disappear...


... and it's going to disappear quickly.


MUIR: Mr. Trump, thank you.

We want to turn now to social issues and young voters and for the question, from Mary Katherine.

HAM: Thank you David.

Senator Rubio. One of the lazier pieces of political conventional wisdom is that so-called social issues are hurting Republicans with young people. But on the two most prominent social issues, polling with millennials actually moves in different directions.

On one hand, it is clear, young people across the political spectrum increasingly favor same sex marriage. However young voters have not moved to the left on abortion. In fact, large numbers of them favor at least some modest restrictions that conservatives have supported. How do you speak to millennials on both these issues, while Democrats will inevitable charge intolerance and extremism?

RUBIO: Well, first of all, I don't believe that believing in traditional marriage the way I do makes you a bigot or a hater. It means that you believe that this institution that's been around for millenial is an important cornerstone of society. I respect people that believe differently. But I believe deeply, that marriage should be between one man and one woman.

(APPLAUSE) RUBIO: On the issue of life, to me, the issue of life is not a political issue. It's a human rights issue and it's a difficult issue, because it puts in conflict two competing rights. On the one hand is the right of a woman to choose what to do with her body which is a real right.

And on the other hand is the right of an unborn human child to live. And they're in conflict. And as a policy maker, I must choose which one of these two sides takes precedence. And I have chosen to err on the side of life.

Here's what I find outrageous. There has been five Democratic debates. The media has not asked them a single question on abortion and on abortion, the Democrats are extremists. Why doesn't the media ask Hillary Clinton why she believes that all abortion should be legal, even on the due date of that unborn child.

Why don't they ask Hillary Clinton why she believe that partial- birth abortion, which is a gruesome procedure that has been outlawed in this country, she thinks that's a fundamental right. They are the extremists...


... when it comes to the issue of abortion and I can't wait to expose them in a general election.


HAM: Governor Bush? I want to come to you. Your allies have recently attacked Senator Rubio for being too pro-life to be elected in November. You made a similar charge stating it in an interview. This is a pro-life party. Do you stand behind that criticism?

BUSH: Look, I'm pro-life. In fact, on this stage, I'm the most pro-life person because I've acted on it for eight years as governor of the state of Florida.


BUSH: Where we abolished partial-birth abortion, where parents have the right to be notified when their teenage child is having an abortion. We were the first state to do a choose life license plate to raise money for adoption. We were the first state to have state monies go to crisis pregnancy centers, which recently was just increased to $4 million a year.

We created greater regulation on abortion clinics, where there were horrific procedures. So I'm pro life, but I believe there should be exceptions: rape, incest and when the life of the mother is in danger. And so, that belief, and my consistency on this, makes me, I think, poised to be in the right place, the sweet spot for a Republican nominee. And others may have a different view and I respect it.

(APPLAUSE) BUSH: But I think we have to be cognizant of the fact there's a lot of people that are concerned about having a pro-life position without any exceptions.


RUBIO: I do support protection for the life of the mother because I'm pro-life. I just believe deeply that all human life is worthy of protection of our laws. If I'm president and there's a bill that's passed that saves lives but it has exceptions, I'll sign it.

But I do believe deeply that all human life is worthy of the protection of laws. I've already said, for me, the issue of life is not a political issue and I want to be frank. I would rather lose an election than be wrong on the issue of life.


HAM: Governor Christie. You too, have talked about Senator Rubio's position on the life issue. Some conservative activists have called this line of attack harmful to the pro-life cause.

CHRISTIE: Well, I've been pretty helpful to the pro-life cause in one of the most pro-choice states in the union. I've stood up for the first time and now for the last six years we've de-funded Planned Parenthood, not talked about it like they do in Washington D.C.

But for six years as governor, Planned Parenthood does not receive that funding from the state budget anymore; over $50 million worth of money that's been saved now, that is not going to do exactly what Hillary Clinton wants to have done and has advocated for.

She believes that organization, which engages in the systematic murder of children in the womb, in order to maximize the value of their body parts for sale on the open market, is an acceptable position.

Let me tell you something, I don't care if you are a millennial or whether you are in your 90s, no one is for that type of activity, unless you are the most radical type of extremist on this issue, like Senator Clinton and her party is on this issue.

CHRISTIE: I'll say one other thing. The fact is, that I believe that if a woman has been raped, that is a birth and a pregnancy that she should be able to terminate. If she is the victim of incest -- this is not a woman's choice. This is a woman being violated.

And the fact is that we have always has believed, as has Ronald Reagan, that we have self-defense for women who have been raped and impregnated because of it, or the subject of incest and been impregnated for it.

That woman should not have to deliver that child if they believe that violation is now an act of self-defense by terminating that pregnancy.

HAM: Thank you, all. Back to you, David and Martha.


MUIR: Mary Katherine, thank you.

We're going to have closing statements here in just a moment, but before we go, quick lightning round. Come November, two battle-ground states, but they face off tomorrow in the Super Bowl.

Governor Kasich, who wins?


KASICH: Carolina's going to win that one. I hate to say it. But they're going to win that one.

MUIR: Governor Bush?

BUSH: Peyton Manning is supporting me. And I'm for Denver.


MUIR: Senator Rubio?

RUBIO: Well, I was going for Peyton Manning, but now I'm rooting for Carolina.


MUIR: (inaudible) Mr. Trump?

TRUMP: Carolina.

CRUZ: With an eye to February 20th, Carolina.

MUIR: All right, Dr. Carson?

CARSON: With 100 percent certainly, I will predict the winner -- it will either be Denver or Carolina.

MUIR: Yeah. Governor Christie, the last word?


MUIR: Denver. Thank you so much, gentlemen.

Closing statements in just a moment, right here, as the ABC News Republican debate continues from New Hampshire, right after this.


MUIR: We welcome you back. The New Hampshire primary, of course, is Tuesday, but time now for closing statements. And we begin tonight with Governor Kasich.

KASICH: Well, folks, I've done now over 100 town hall meetings and I've loved every second of it. It has been the greatest thing in the world. And I want you to know that you've changed me, because I've listened to your stories and I've had your hugs and I've seen your tears, and I've seen you walk away and say, I now have hope.

You know, I've had a conservative message, but a positive message -- not just a conservative message, but a positive message about how we can bring people together, how we can restore America's strength, lift everyone. New Hampshire, please give me a chance to carry this message forward to the United States of America. And then, I will come back. Thank you, loved it. And God bless you.


RADDATZ: Governor Christie.

CHRISTIE: Thank you. I've spent the last 13 years of my life focused on one thing: serving the people who have given me the opportunity to serve them. Not about politics, not about partisanship, but putting the people of my state and our country first.

CHRISTIE: I'm proud to have rebuild my state after Hurricane Sandy, and I'm incredibly proud to be on this stage tonight with these men asking for your vote.

New Hampshire, I spent 70 days here with you. You've gotten to know my heart. My heart is to help you solve the problems of your state...


CHRISTIE: ... and the problems of our nation. If you give me your vote on Tuesday I will do just that.


MUIR: Governor Bush.

BUSH: I want to thank the people of New Hampshire, and I want to celebrate the birthday of a great president, Ronald Reagan would have been 105 today.


BUSH: President Reagan believed in the future of our country, believed in its greatness, had a hopeful, optimistic message. Drew people towards our cause. We need someone who has a proven record to take our case to the American people because our philosophy is by far the best one. Limited government, entrepreneurial capitalism, of peace through strength. I believe I have the skills to take our party to victory in November.

I ask for your support on Tuesday to keep America, and make America a safer, stronger, and freer. Thank you all very much.


RADDATZ: Dr. Carson.

CARSON: For many months, the political class, pundits, the media, have tried to ignore or bury me. They say that politics is too complex, and too sleazy. You can't survive. Well, guess what? I'm still here, and I'm not going any place either.

And, I believe there is still a place in our country for faith, integrity, and common sense. Hundreds of thousands of you drafted me to run for president... (BELL RINGING)

CARSON: ... And, I am going to with the help of God, and you, once again place the American people at the pinnacle with the government there to serve it.


MUIR: Thank you, Dr. Carson. Senator Rubio.

RUBIO: Thank you. You know, this week I had the great pleasure of having my kids join me on the campaign trail. I hadn't' seen them in a while, and it was great to have them alongside me, but the most important part of it is that it once again reminded me of what's at stake.

Here in New Hampshire in less than 72 hours, we are literally deciding what kind of country we will be like when they are my age. What kind of country they will be able to raise their families in. And, that's why I'm asking you for your vote. You vote for me, and we will unite this party, we will grow the conservative movement, we will defeat Hillary Clinton, and we will leave our children what our parents left us. The single greatest nation in the history of all mankind.

Thank you.


RADDATZ: Senator Cruz.

CRUZ: You know, every candidate running for president says they will stand up to Washington. The natural follow up question is when have you ever stood up to Washington.

Last week we saw a powerful illustration of that. I campaigned in the state of Iowa four-square (ph) against the ethanol mandate, something everyone said was political suicide. My two leading competitors both attacked me for it. The governor of the state said vote for anyone but Cruz, and lobbyists spent millions of dollars in attack ads, but I stood and said we should have no mandates, a level playing field, and the people of Iowa put country and our children above the cronyism and corporate welfare...


CRUZ: ... We can turn this country around if we get back to the Constitution. And, I will always stand with the American people against the bipartisan corruption of Washington.


MUIR: Thank you. Mr. Trump.

TRUMP: That's because he got Ben Carson's votes, by the way, but we won't (inaudible). Our country that we love so much doesn't win anymore. We don't win with the military, we don't' win on the border. You look at New Hampshire with the tremendous problem we have with heroin. Number one thing I hear from the people of New Hampshire, who I love, and developed such relationships, we don't win with healthcare. We don't win with trade.

You look at what other countries are doing to us. China. Everyone, they're killing us on trade. If I'm elected president, we will win, and we will win, and we will win. Thank you, thank you very much.


MUIR: Mr. Trump, thank you. Thanks to all the candidates on the stage here tonight. We thank the people of Manchester, New Hampshire for having this debate, and to everyone at home. The New Hampshire primary is Tuesday.

Transcript of the Main Republican Presidential Debate

January 28, 2016

MEGYN KELLY: Seven candidates are on that stage tonight, their position on the stage determined by their standing in the latest national polls, as well as polls in Iowa and New Hampshire. And here they are.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz.


Florida Senator Marco Rubio.


WALLACE: Neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson.


Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.


New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.


BAIER: Ohio Governor John Kasich.

(APPLAUSE) And Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.


WALLACE: Apparently Iowa's near Kentucky.

BAIER: Tonight's rules are simple. Up to 60 seconds for each answer, 30 seconds for each follow-up response. And if a candidate goes over the allotted time, you will hear this.




BAIER: I think the double is the one we want. Very pleasing.


We have a crowd of about 1,600 here, and while they have agreed to respect the candidates and listen intently, we can tell you they are very excited to be here. Am I right?


KELLY: So let's get started.

Senator Cruz, before we get to the issues, let's address the elephant not in the room tonight.


Donald Trump has chosen not to attend this evening's presidential debate. What message do you think that sends to the voters of Iowa?

CRUZ: Well, Megyn, let me say at the outset to the men and women of Iowa, thank you for the incredible hospitality over this past year.

By Monday, you will have welcomed me into all 99 counties in Iowa. You will have welcomed my dad to preach at your churches. You will have welcomed Heidi and our girls, Caroline and Catherine, into your homes. And I'm so grateful for the diligence, for the seriousness with which the men and women of Iowa approach this process.

If I am elected president, keep an eye on the tarmac, because I'll be back, because Iowa in 2017 will not be fly-over country. It will be fly-to country.

Continue reading the main story


Now, secondly, let me say I'm a maniac and everyone on this stage is stupid, fat, and ugly. And Ben, you're a terrible surgeon.

(LAUGHTER) Now that we've gotten the Donald Trump portion out of the way...



I want to thank everyone here for showing the men and women of Iowa the respect to show up and make the case to the people of this state and the people of the country why each of us believe we would make the best commander in chief.


KELLY: The divide between you and Mr. Trump has turned into one of the biggest stories in the country. And for six months that -- your campaign, during this campaign, you praised Mr. Trump as somebody who you thought was an effective voice against the Washington cartel. You said you were glad that he was running as a Republican.

But when he started to criticize you, your message changed, and you suddenly started to portray him as the voice of the Washington cartel, and suggested he would do the Democrats' bidding. Which is it?

CRUZ: Well, let me be clear, if Donald engages in insults or anybody else, I don't intend to reciprocate. I have not insulted Donald personally and I don't intend to.

I am glad Donald is running. I'm glad he has produced enormous enthusiasm, and, every Donald Trump voter or potential voter, I hope to earn your support. I know everyone else on this stage hopes to earn your support.

Now, there is a difference between personal insults and attacks -- between going into the mud with ad hominems and focusing on issues and substance. CRUZ: I think issues and substance, policy and vision and record should be the meat of politics. That's fair game but that's where I'm going to focus. That's how I focused from the beginning of the campaign and it is how I intend to continue going forward.


WALLACE: Senator Rubio, I want to explore this sort of larger issue. The campaign has in a sense turned into a battle for the soul of the Republican party: establishment versus grassroots, pragmatic versus principle. You say that you can unite all of the factions inside the GOP. How?

RUBIO: Chris, let's begin by being clear what this campaign is about. It's not about Donald Trump. He's an entertaining guy. He's the greatest show on earth. This campaign is about the greatest country in the world and a president who has systematically destroyed many of the things that made America special.

You see, we usually elect presidents in America that want to change the things that are wrong in America. Barack Obama wants to change America. Barack Obama wants America to be more like the rest of the world. We don't want to be like the rest of the world. We want to be the United States of America.


RUBIO: That is why Hillary Clinton cannot win this election. Hillary Clinton this week said Barack Obama would make a great Supreme Court justice. The guy who systematically and habitually violates the constitution on the Supreme Court? I don't think so. If I'm our nominee, I will unite this party and we'll defeat Hillary Clinton and we will turn this country around once and for all, after seven years of the disaster that is Barack Obama.

Continue reading the main story


BAIER: Governor Bush, it's hard for anyone of your pedigree to avoid being called establishment. But isn't that part of the problem in this race, that three others on this stage are splitting the main stream Republican vote and there by possibly handing this nomination over to an anti-establishment candidate?

BUSH: Bret, we're just starting. The first vote hasn't been counted. Why don't we let the process work. I trust Iowans, Granite staters (ph), people in South Carolina, people in Nevada, to start this process out. I kind of miss Donald Trump. He was a little teddy bear to me.


We always had such a loving relationship in these debates and in between and the tweets. I kind of miss him. I wish he was here. Everybody else was in the witness protection program when I went after him on behalf of what the Republican cause should be: conservative principles, believing in limited government, believing in accountability. Leading by fixing the things that are broken.

Look, I am in the establishment because my dad, the greatest man alive was president of the United States and my brother, who I adore as well as fantastic brother was president. Fine, I'll take it. I guess I'm part of the establishment Barbara Bush is my mom. I'll take that, too.


BUSH: But this election is not about our pedigree, this is an election about people that are really hurting. We need a leader that will fix things and have a proven record to do it. And we need someone who will take on Hillary Clinton in November. Someone who has a proven record, who has been tested, who is totally transparent. I released 34 years of tax returns...


... and 300,000 e-mails in my government record. To get the information from Hillary Clinton, you need to get a subpoena from the FBI.


BAIER: Thank you governor.

KELLY: Senator Christie, you began this campaign touting your record as a Republican from a blue state who knows how to get things done and reach across the aisle. However, many Republicans feel that reaching across the aisle and getting things done isn't great if you get the wrong things done. And they prefer to stand on principle rather than compromise. Why are they wrong and you're right?

CHRISTIE: They're not wrong. But what's wrong is your premise in the question. You can do both. There is no reason why you can't stand for principles, go and fight for them and be able also, to have to get things done in government.

You know, what people are frustrated about in Washington, D.C.., and I know the folks out there tonight are incredibly frustrated because what they see is a government that doesn't work for them. You know, for the 45-year-old construction worker out there, who is having a hard time making things meet.

He's lost $4,000 in the last seven years in his income because of this administration. He doesn't want to hear the talk about politics Megyn and who is establishment and who is grassroots. And who's compromised and who is principled. What he wants is something to get done.

Continue reading the main story

And that's the difference between being a governor and having done that for the last six years in New Jersey and being someone who has never had to be responsible for any of those decisions. Barack Obama was never responsible for those decisions.

Hillary Clinton has never been responsible for those kind of decisions where they were held accountable. I've been held accountable for six years as the governor of New Jersey and with a Democratic legislature, I've gotten conservative things done. That's exactly what I'll do as president of the United States.(APPLAUSE)

BAIER: Senator Paul, you are definitely not in the establishment category. But at the beginning of this campaign, you said you were your own man when asked about your father, former Texas Congressman and three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Senator Cruz's campaign is out with a video saying that Cruz is the intellectual and political heir to your father's 2012 campaign and the liberty movement. And your father now says it's realistic that Donald Trump will be your party's nominee.

So did you make a mistake by not fully -- more fully embracing your father politically at the beginning of this campaign?

PAUL: You know, I've always had a great deal of respect. There's probably no person I respect more in the country or in recent history than my father. I think he was probably the most honest man in politics that we've ever seen in a generation.

And so in no way have I ever said that I don't embrace my father or love my father or appreciate everything that he has done for the country. I think what's interesting about where that liberty vote goes that my father brought to the Republican Party is, I don't think they're necessarily going to go for Ted.

You know, Ted didn't show up. We had an audit-the-Fed vote, which was the biggest thing my dad had been advocating for, for 30 years, Ted didn't have time to show up. He was the only Republican that didn't show up for it.

And so I think really that vote is going to stay in the Paul household. I think more of it is coming and it's going to grow.

The NSA is another big issue. Ted said he was for NSA reform, but then he told Marco Rubio, no, no, no, I voted for the bill because I'm for the government collecting 100 percent of your cell phone records.

I don't think Ted can have it both ways. They want to say they're getting some of the liberty vote. But we don't see it happening at all. We think we're going to do very well in Iowa with the liberty vote.


BAIER: Senator Cruz, your response to that?

CRUZ: Well, I agree with Rand that I very much respect Ron Paul and that I think anyone who is able to win in the Republican Party has to be able to bring together the disparate elements of the Reagan coalition. You've got to be able to bring together conservatives and evangelicals and libertarians, and stitch together a winning majority.

When it comes to the audit the Fed bill, as Rand knows well, I was an original sponsor of the bill, I'm strongly supportive of it. It didn't have the votes to pass. And I had commitments to be at a town hall in New Hampshire.

Continue reading the main story

But I look forward to signing that bill into law as president and auditing the Fed and providing needed accountability at the Federal Reserve.


BAIER: Senator Rubio?

RUBIO: I think, you know, Rand and I have some significant issues on policy, but I respect Rand. He believes everything he stands for.


I do respect Rand.

But I want to be frank about what I stand for. I believe the world is a safer and a better place when America is the strongest power in the world. And I believe only with a strong America will we defeat this radical group, this apocalyptic group called ISIS.

That's why when I'm president we are going to rebuild our intelligence capabilities. And they're going to tell us where the terrorists are. And a rebuilt U.S. military is going to destroy these terrorists.

And if we capture any of these ISIS killers alive, they are going to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and we're going to find out everything they know, because when I'm president, unlike Barack Obama, we will keep this country safe.


BAIER: Thank you, Senator.

PAUL: May I respond?


BAIER: We'll come back to...

PAUL: Well, I mean, I was talked about in the question.

BAIER: OK. Go ahead, go ahead. PAUL: Just very quickly, I would like to respond.

The bulk collection of your phone data, the invasion of your privacy did not stop one terrorist attack. I don't think you have to give up your liberty for a false sense of security.

When we look at this bulk collection, the court has looked at this. Even the court declared it to be illegal. If we want to collect the records of terrorists, let's do it the old fashioned way. Let's use the Fourth Amendment. Let's put a name on a warrant, let's ask a judge for it. Let's respect the history of our country.

John Adams said that we fought a War for Independence because we wanted to fight against generalized warrants. Let's don't forget that.


WALLACE: Governor Kasich, I want to get back to this question of where conservatives are this year. You call yourself a, quote, "inside-outside guy, a reformer who knows how to get things done," but you reject the establishment label.

First question is why do you reject it? And secondly, what do you say to Republican voters this year who view practical government experience as a liability and not an asset?

KASICH: Well, first of all, I had a national reporter say, you know, there's three lanes. There's the establishment lane, the anti- establishment lane, and then there's the Kasich lane.

And the reason is, is that I've been a reformer all of my career, fighting to reform welfare, fighting to reform the Pentagon, also being in a position to balance the budget, because that is very, very hard to do.

And then in Ohio, of course, I had to bring about big reform, again, because we were so far in the hole and now we just found out we are up over 400,000 jobs since I took over as governor.KASICH: You know, the situation is this. We cannot fix things in this country -- the Social Security, the border, balancing the budget, getting wages to grow faster -- unless we lead as conservatives, but we also invite people in from the other party. We have to come together as a country. And we have to stop all the divisions.

Continue reading the main story

And, you know, that's been my message in New Hampshire. And having been in New Hampshire and here in Iowa, but in New Hampshire, I just received the support of seven out of eight of the newspapers in that state because they see positive, they see unity, they see coming together, and they see a record of change and a record of accomplishment.

And it isn't because I'm all that great. It's because I've been assembling a team of people who want to be involved in something that's a little bigger than themselves. I'll keep -- I'll keep heading in that direction, believe me.


WALLACE: Dr. Carson, I want to pick up on that with you. Governor Kasich likes to say he knows how to land the plane. You've landed a lot of planes in the O.R. But what about the idea of running for president with no experience in government at all?

CARSON: Well, I will gladly confess that I'm the only one on this stage with no political title. You're not going to hear a lot of polished political speech from me, but you will hear the truth. And I don't think you have to be a politician to tell the truth. In fact, sometimes it's not that way...


... and I've had more two a.m. phone calls than everybody here put together, making life and death decisions, put together very complex teams to accomplish things that have never been done before. And we are in a situation right now in our country that we have never been in before. We need people who think out of the box and can solve problems; can utilize the resources around them; very smart people, to focus on the problem and solve the problem.

The American people are terrified. That's why we have this abnormal situation going on right now. We don't need more of the same solutions. We need different solutions to solve the problems and to save our nation. (APPLAUSE)

WALLACE: Gentlemen, we're now going to start to drill down into specific issues that are on voters' minds. I'm going to start with one of the biggest ones, which is foreign terror.

According to Google, ISIS was by far the most searched foreign policy topic over the last year. Senator Cruz, you talk tough about fighting terrorism. You talk about carpet bombing into oblivion. You talk about seeing if the sand will glow at night. But critics say that your record does not match up to that. You opposed giving President Obama authority to enforce his red line in Syria. Three years in a row now, you have voted against the Defense Authorization Act.

How do you square your rhetoric with your record, sir?

CRUZ: Well, Chris, I will apologize to nobody for the vigorousness with which I will fight terrorism, go after ISIS, hunt them down wherever they are, and utterly and completely destroy ISIS.


You know, you claim it is tough talk to discuss carpet bombing. It is not tough talk. It is a different, fundamental military strategy than what we've seen from Barack Obama. Barack Obama right now, number one, over seven years, has dramatically degraded our military. You know, just two weeks ago was the 25th anniversary of the first Persian Gulf war. When that war began, we had 8,000 planes. Today, we have about 4,000. When that war began, we had 529 ships. Today, we have 272.

Continue reading the main story

You want to know what carpet bombing is? It's what we did in the first Persian Gulf war; 1,100 air attacks a day, saturation bombing that utterly destroyed the enemy. Right now, Barack Obama is launching between 15 and 30 air attacks a day. He's not arming the Kurds. We need to define the enemy. We need to rebuild the military to defeat the enemy. And we need to be focused and lift the rules of engagement so we're not sending our fighting men and women into combat with their arms tied behind their backs.


WALLACE: Senator Rubio, does Senator Cruz's record match his rhetoric?

RUBIO: Well, again, I mean, obviously, as already has been pointed out, the only budget that Ted has ever voted for is a budget that Rand Paul sponsored that brags about cutting defense spending. And I think that's a bad idea for the following reason.

ISIS is the most dangerous jihadist group in the history of mankind. ISIS is now found in affiliates in over a dozen countries. ISIS is a group that burns people alive in cages; that sells off little girls as brides. ISIS is a group that wants to trigger an apocalyptic showdown in the city of Dabiq -- not the city of Dubuque; I mis-said -- mis-said that wrong once (inaudible) time -- the city of Dabiq in Syria. They want to trigger an apocalyptic Armageddon showdown.RUBIO: This group needs to be confronted and defeated. They are not going to go away on their own. They're not going to turn into stockbrokers overnight or open up a chain of car washes. They need to be defeated militarily, and that will take overwhelming U.S. force.

Today, we are on pace to have the smallest Army since the end of World War II, the smallest Navy in 100 years, the smallest Air Force in our history. You cannot destroy ISIS with a military that's being diminished. When I'm president, we are rebuilding the U.S. military because the world is a safer and a better place when America is the strongest military in the world.


WALLACE: Senator Cruz, you've got 30 seconds. You were mentioned.


CRUZ: Chris, in 1981, when Ronald Reagan came to the Oval Office, he encountered a military that had been debilitated just as the current military has, just like Jimmy Carter weakened our readiness, undermined our ability to defend this country, so too has Barack Obama. Just as morale in the military has plummeted in the last seven, so it had then.

What Reagan did is he began with tax reform and regulatory reform, unleashing the engine of the American free enterprise system. It brought booming economic growth and that growth fueled rebuilding the military. I intend to do the exact same thing to defeat radical Islamic terrorism --

WALLACE: Gentlemen.

CRUZ: ... and to devote the resources from the booming economy to rebuilding our Navy, rebuilding our Air Force, rebuilding our Army and ensuring we have the capacity to keep this country safe.

PAUL: My budget was mentioned. My budget was mentioned.

WALLACE: May I -- may I just say, we are going to continue the questions about foreign terror, gentlemen, right after this break.

Continue reading the main story

KELLY: But first, you can join tonight's conversation right from home. Go to or open your Google search app and search Fox News debate to vote on which candidate you think has the best plan to defeat ISIS. We'll be right back.(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BAIER: Welcome back. Let's get right back to the questions. Chris.

WALLACE: Thank you. Governor Christie, you have compared both Senators Cruz and Rubio to Barack Obama, saying that we cannot afford another inexperienced President. You've also said that Senator Cruz's vote to curtail the NSA surveillance program made America less safe. Is either of them ready to be Commander in Chief?

CHRISTIE: Well, let me say that I do believe that the vote on NSA made the country less safe. Well, let me tell you what the country should really be worried about. I watched that town hall meeting with the Democrats the other night, and I heard Hillary Clinton asked a direct question by an Iowan, and that's what Iowans like to do. They like to ask direct questions.

And, they asked about her email situation. And, here's what she said to the American people. She did it for convenience. For her convenience. She put America's secrets at risk for her convenience. She put American intelligence officers at risk for her convenience. She put American strategy at risk for her convenience.

Let me tell you who's not qualified to be President of the United States, Chris. Hillary Rodham Clinton did that to our country. She is not qualified to be President of the United States.


The fact is what we need is someone on that stage who has been tested, who has been through it, who has made decisions, who has sit (ph) in the chair of consequence and can prosecute the case against Hillary Clinton on...


CHRISTIE: ... that stage, and that is exactly what I am ready to do.


WALLACE: Governor Bush...

CRUZ: Chris? Chris I was mentioned in that question.

BUSH: No, you weren't. Your name wasn't mentioned, Ted.

CRUZ: ... Actually, I was...

BUSH: ... Chris, keep it coming...

WALLACE: ... I don't think that your name was mentioned...

CRUZ: ... Chris, your questions that you...

WALLACE: ... Sir, I think -- I think the question was...

CRUZ: ... What was your question...

WALLACE: ... It's not my question that you get a chance to respond to, it's his answer.


WALLACE: You don't get 30 seconds to respond to me...

CRUZ: ... Your question was you have disagreed...


WALLACE: ... You don't get 30 seconds to respond to me...

CRUZ: ... (inaudible) opening statement.

WALLACE: ... If I could go on. Sir, I know you like to argue about the rules, but we're going to conduct a debate...

BUSH: ... Thank you Chris...

WALLACE: ... Governor Bush...

CRUZ: ... This entire question was an attack, but that's (inaudible)

WALLACE: Governor Bush, here's the question -- I'm going to ask Governor Bush the question.

You criticized several candidates in this field on this stage for what you call unrealistic ideas about how to fight terrorists, including Rubio, and Cruz on the issue of their refusing to give the President authority to enforce the redline in Syria.

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But, given the fact that your brother got us into two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that have still not ended.

That have still not ended, what lessons have you learned from his mistakes, sir?

BUSH: Well, first, I was critical of the Senators not giving the authorization for the use of military force. They should have made it more open ended for the next president. We shouldn't have the war fighters have their arms tied behind their back as President Obama wanted to do, but they had a chance to show support and it wasn't popular at the time. It became popular after the attack in Paris, and San Bernardino. Now we hear the tough talk.

Prior to that, in the Reagan Library, I gave a detailed plan. Exactly what to do as it relates to ISIS. And it is from the lessons from history that we do this because if we allow this to fester, we're going to have Islamic terrorism, multi-generations of it all across this country. The caliphate of ISIS has to be destroyed, which means we need to arm directly to Kurds, imbed our troops with the Iraqi military, re engage with the Sunni tribal leaders. Get the lawyers off the damn backs of the military once and for all.


BUSH: Have a no fly zone in Syria and create safe zones to deal with the refugees. But, more importantly, to train a Sunni-led force in Syria to take out ISIS with our support...


BUSH: ... ground and air. That's what we need to to, and I laid that out prior to the crisis with the advice of a lot of people, including 12 Medal of Honor recipients that I'm proud that they're supporting my campaign.


WALLACE: Senator Cruz, now you get a chance to respond.

CRUZ: Chris, I would note that that the last four questions have been, "Rand, please attack Ted. Marco, please attack Ted. Chris, please attack Ted. Jeb, please attack Ted..."


CRUZ: Let me just say this...

WALLACE: ... It is a debate, sir.

CRUZ: ... Well, no, no. A debate actually is a policy issue, but I will say this. Gosh, if you guys ask one more mean question I may have to leave the stage.


CRUZ: Chris, the most important determination any voter is going to make in this election is who's best prepared to be Commander in Chief. Who has the experience, who has the knowledge, who has the judgement, who has the clarity, and vision and strength of resolve to keep this country safe. That is what this debate is all about, and I would suggest let's stay focused on those issues -- rather than just attacks directed at each other.

WALLACE: I think the questions were about issues. Senator Rubio, what would you like to respond sir...



PAUL: ... Senator Cruz, I'd like to respond...

RUBIO: ... First of all -- Let me go first, and then you can please recognize Rand after.


RUBIO: First of all...

PAUL: ... and I'd like to respond.

RUBIO: ... do I go -- let me go first, and then you can please recognize Rand after. But...


... first of all...

WALLACE: Thank you.

PAUL: Thank you, Marco.

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RUBIO: ... first of all, I'm -- don't worry, I'm not leaving the stage no matter what you ask me.


RUBIO: And second of all...


... and I think -- you know, Governor -- Jeb, you -- the attack that -- the authorization that Barack Obama asked for was not against ISIS. It was against Assad. And John Kerry described it as attacks that would be unbelievably small.

I don't think the United States should be engaged in symbolic military activity. So it was not against ISIS, it was against -- it was against Assad.

I think the United States military is operating under rules of engagement that are too strict...


...and that do not allow us to pursue victory. When I'm president, that will change.


WALLACE: Senator Paul, go ahead. PAUL: Thank you.

The issue in Syria's a very important one, and it's one we need to get right. The question is, should we be bombing both sides of the war? Some want (ph) to topple Assad. In fact, they want to bomb ISIS and Assad simultaneously.

I think that's a really, really bad idea. In fact, I've said for several years that arming the allies of ISIS will make the situation worse, That what we really need to do is defeat ISIS.

But if you defeat Assad, what you will wind up with is a larger and more powerful ISIS that occupies that space. You might -- you may well see an ISIS that takes over all of Syria.


KASICH: Chris...


... there was a question about foreign policy, by the way, and experience. And I -- I thought, if I didn't jump in, I might not be able to tell everybody this. I think they'd want to hear it.

Look, I served on...

WALLACE: Well...


WALLACE: ... we'll be talking about foreign policy a little bit later. We're going to talk...

KELLY: We have a lot -- we have a lot to cover. But we want to -- we want to turn the page to domestic...


KASICH: ... but wait a minute...

KELLY: No, no. No.

KASICH: ...the only reason is -- look...

KELLY: No no no, because we want to turn the page to domestic terror, and let me tell you why: we're partnering with Google on this debate, and they're telling us...


KELLY: ... that their search results have gone through the roof on -- on people...

KASICH: I've always listened to you, Megyn. Go ahead.

KELLY: ... you're a good man, Governor Kasich.

KASICH: Yes -- thank you.

KELLY: People -- the search results -- the searches for terror issues, for safety issues in America have gone through the roof, increased over 400 percent since 2008.

People are worried. They're worried about what's happening in the country and about a domestic terror attack, as all of you know. Now, when combating this threat, Senator Rubio, you've advocated closing down mosques -- we'll get back to you.

Well, you have advocated closing down -- closing down mosques, diners, any place where radicalization is occurring. You told me that. But the Supreme Court has made clear that hateful speech is generally protected by the First Amendment.

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In other words, radical Muslims have the right to be radical Muslims, unless they turn to terror. Doesn't your position run afoul of the First Amendment?

RUBIO: Megyn, that's the problem. Radical Muslims and radical Islam is not just hate talk. It's hate action. They blow people up. Look what they did in San Bernardino.
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Look at the attack they inspired in Philadelphia, that the White House still refuses to link to terror, where a guy basically shot a police officer three times.

He told the police, "I did it because I was inspired by ISIS," and to this day, the White House still refuses to acknowledge it had anything to do with terror.

Look, the threat we face from ISIS is unprecedented. There has never been a jihadist group like this. They have affiliates in over a dozen countries now.

They are the best funded radical jihadist group in the history of the world, and they have shown a sophisticated understanding of the laws of other countries on how to insert fighters into places, and they are actively plotting to attack us here at home and around the world.

We must keep America safe from this threat. And yes, when I am president of the United States, if there is some place in this country where radical jihadists are planning to attack the United States, we will go after them wherever they are, and if we capture them alive, they are going to Guantanamo.


PAUL: (inaudible).

KELLY: Senator Paul, do you agree with that? We're gonna close down mosques, we're gonna close down diners where we think radical thinking's (ph) occurring? (CROSSTALK)

PAUL: Yeah (ph), no, I think that's a -- that's a huge mistake, to be closing down mosques. But I would say that if you want to defend the country, it begins with border security. And this is where I've had my disagreement with Senator Rubio.

When he brought forward the "Gang of Eight" bill to give citizenship to those who came here illegally, I put forward an amendment that says we should have more scrutiny on those who are coming as students, those who are coming as immigrants, those who are coming as refugees, because we had two refugees come to my town in Bowling Green and try to attack us.

Marco opposed this because they made a deal. He made a deal with Chuck Schumer that he would oppose any conservative amendments. And I think that's a mistake, and I just don't think Marco can have it both ways. You can't be in favor of defend us...


... against Islam -- radical Islam -- if you're not for border security.

RUBIO: Might I respond?


The first thing -- I don't know of anyone who's not in favor of fully vetting people that are trying to come into this country, other than perhaps Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I think we all support that. Rand's amendment was not the right way to do it.

I do believe that people who are trying to come to the United States -- this country has a right to know who they are and why they are coming. And that's why I've been clear, when I am the president of the United States of America, we don't know who you are, and we don't know why you're trying to come to the United States, you are not going to get in, because the radical threat that we now face from ISIS is extraordinary and unprecedented...

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... and when I'm president, we are keeping ISIS out of America.

KELLY: Governor Christie, let's talk about profiling.


In December...

CHRISTIE: Talk about what? I...

KELLY: ... profiling. Profiling. In December, two radical Muslims killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California. Neighbors of the terrorists said that they did not report the couple to law enforcement prior to the crime, because they were afraid that they would be accused of profiling.

Now, you have said that we should not profile. How do you square that with the San Bernardino case?

CHRISTIE: Well, because you can do it without profiling, Megyn, when you do it on the facts. What those facts knew was that these folks had weapons. They knew that they were talking about trying to take our country and attack it.

That's not profiling, that's law enforcement. And that's the difference between somebody who knows how to do this and somebody who's never done it before.

KELLY: They didn't know they were going to attack the country.

CHRISTIE: They knew they were talking about the issues of attacking people, Megyn. They knew that.


KELLY: That's not true. The neighbors said they saw men going in and out of the garage. They saw packages being delivered. They saw Muslims, and they did not think that was enough to call the cops. Do you?

CHRISTIE: Listen, I think that what people should do is use their common sense. And the fact is, let law enforcement make those decisions. I've told people that from the time I was U.S. attorney 13 years ago.

It's not for them to make those decisions about whether or not something is legal or illegal, or profiling or not. You see something that's suspicious, you call law enforcement and let law enforcement make those decisions.

That's what should be done. That can be done. That can be done without profiling people. What that is, is just common sense. They thought something was wrong.

And here's the problem in this country right now. The problem is that Barack Obama has made law enforcement the enemy, Hillary Clinton has made law enforcement the enemy.

They're not supporting our law enforcement officers, it's making everybody nervous to get out of their cars, if you're a law enforcement officer. It's making... (BELL RINGS)

CHRISTIE: ... everybody nervous to get out of their cars if you're a law enforcement officer.


It's making people in neighborhoods nervous to go to law enforcement. As president, I will support law enforcement and we'll stop radical terrorist attacks in this country by supporting our intelligence community and law enforcement community.


KELLY: Dr. Carson, this week a female Muslim who served in the U.S. Air Force asked Hillary Clinton the question, she asked whether the United States is still the best place in which to raise her three Muslim children. Given what she perceives as a rise in Islamaphobia in this country. Do you think the GOP messaging on Muslims has stoked the flames of bias on this as the Democrats suggest, and how would you answer this veteran?

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CARSON: Well, I don't know about the GOP messaging, but I can tell you about my messaging. You know, need to stop allowing political correctness to dictate our policies, because it's going to kill us if we don't.


CARSON: And in the Holy Land Foundation trial in 2006 in Texas, they had a memorandum, an explanatory memorandum that talked about the fact that Americans would be easy to overcome and to commit civilization jihad because they were going to be trying to protect the rights of the very people who were trying to subvert them.

But I believe in the Teddy Roosevelt philosophy. Teddy Roosevelt said, we are a nation of immigrants. As such, everybody is welcome from any race, any country, any religion, if they want to be Americans. If they want to accept our values and our laws. If not, they can stay where they are.


KELLY: Governor Kasich, stand back. You appear to back in another debate, a so-called back door to encrypted cell phone technology, which protects most smartphones that we all have from hacking. And it includes our phones and it also protects the cell phones of the terrorist.

Now the tech companies and a group of MIT scientists, smart guys, right, warn that if they create a way for the FBI to have a back door into our encrypted communications, then the bad guys will exploit it too. And they say that this is going to cause more security problems than it would solve for everyday Americans. Are they wrong?

KASICH: Well, look the Joint Terrorism Task Force needs resources and tools. And those are made up of the FBI, state and local law enforcement. And Megyn, it's best not to talk anymore about back doors and encryption, it will get solved, but it needs to be solved in the situation of the White House with the technology folks.

MEGYN: But this is public testimony.

KASICH: But I just have to tell you that it's best with some of these things not be said. Now I want to go back something. See, I was there when Reagan rebuilt the military. I was there in '89 when the wall came tumbling down because we were strong.

And I was there when we went into the Gulf War. We didn't win that war just from the air, we won that war by assembling a group of Arab leaders who stood in the Rose Garden and stood with America. We want to destroy ISIS, it has to be in the air and on the ground. It has to be with our friends in the Arab world and our friends in Europe, the coalition that we had when we went to the first Gulf War.

And then when we win that, and we will win that against ISIS as it settles down, and we should leave. Because we shouldn't be policemen of the world. But what we need to do is turn it over to the regional powers to be able to handle that.KASICH: But we have a unique time in America to connect with people all around the world that understand that there's an existential threat against all of them, the Arabs, the Jordanians, the Saudis, the Egyptians, our friends in Europe, including the Turks. So we have a unique opportunity to bring everybody together.

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I saw Reagan do it, I've seen other presidents do it. And frankly, if you want to be commander in chief, you have to have the experience. At the same time we're doing all that, the Pentagon must be reformed so we get what we need for our men and women in uniform. All of that together, we're going to be just fine and America is going to continue to lead the world.

KELLY: Governor, thank you.


BAIER: Governor Bush, just today, a wounded warrior organization designed to help wounded veterans and their families is coming under fire for raising tens of millions of dollars, but spending almost half of that on travel and hotels and dinners and luxury, lavish conferences. So taking care of veterans is obviously a huge issue in the country that has asked so many to serve and sacrifice so much.

If you were president. would you police these charity organizations that say they're helping vets?

BUSH: Of course. And there's all sorts of ways that can be done at the state, local and federal level to do that. But the first duty of the next president of the United States is to fix the mess at the Department of Veterans Affairs. That's his first responsibility.


Look, we have waiting lists for veterans that are -- that are leaving because of the sequester where we're gutting the military. More and more military personnel are leaving becoming veterans, and the waiting list grows. They've given out $140 million of bonuses to Veterans Department employees, including reducing the waiting lists, without giving veterans care. People died, and only three people have been fired.

I will make sure that we fire the sheer incompetence inside the Department of Veterans Affairs and then we'll give veterans a choice card so that they don't have to travel hours and hours to get care if they want to go to their private provider. You want to make the Veterans Administration do a better job, give them -- give veterans choices and you'll get a much better result. And as it relates to all the other organizations, let me give you a good example.

In Houston, Texas, there's an organization in place because someone acted on their heart, wanted to make sure that there's no homeless veterans in Houston. And they've come pretty close to that without federal government assistance. We need to mobilize the entire country to treat our veterans and treat them with much more respect than they get today.

BAIER: Governor Bush, thank you.


Speaking of veterans, we have a question from a veteran who is one of the top Youtube creators. Over the course of the evening, gentlemen, we will hear from some of Youtube's most followed stars. And here's one of them.

QUESTION: I'm Mark Watson. I'm known for my (inaudible) views on Youtube, but I'm also a veteran who served in the Army for eight years.

As an African-American living near Ferguson, I've seen the strain between police officers and the communities they serve firsthand. Now, there are great tools like body cameras that -- to protect both officers and citizens, but we all currently have better cameras in our pockets than in our precincts. Why aren't we using the technology available to better protect our communities?

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BAIER: Senator Paul, that question to you.

PAUL: You know, I've supported legislation to allow body cameras. I've been to Ferguson, I've been trying to look for solutions to our criminal justice problem.

One thing I discovered in Ferguson was that a third of the budget for the city of Ferguson was being reaped by civil fines. People were just being fined to death. Now you and I and many of the people in this audience, if we get a $100 fine, we can survive it. If you're living on the edge of poverty and you get a $100 fine or your car towed, a lot of times you lose your job.

I also think the war on drugs has disproportionately affected our African-American community, and what we need to do is make sure that the war on drugs is equal protection under the law and that we don't unfairly incarcerate another generation of young African-American males.

In Ferguson, for every 100 African-American women, there are only 60 African-American men. Drug use is about equal between white and black, but our prisons -- three out of four people in prison are black or brown. I think something has to change. I think it's a big thing that our party needs to be part of, and I've been a leader in Congress on trying to bring about criminal justice reform.


BAIER: Senator Paul, thank you.

WALLACE: This debate is just getting started. Coming up, the role of the federal government. But first, join tonight's conversation right from your home. Go to or open your Google search app and search Fox News Debate to vote on which issue is most important to you in this election. More from the Iowa Events Center and the Republican presidential debate in a moment. (APPLAUSE)


KELLY: Welcome back, everybody. We are live in Des Moines, Iowa. And let's get right back to the questions -- Bret.

BAIER: Thank you, Megyn.

Gentlemen, I'll ask you some questions about federal spending and the role of the federal government. Everybody always said they want to cut federal spending and usually they start by saying they'll cut waste, fraud, and abuse, but that really doesn't ever materialize. We all know that.

Governor Christie, you talk a lot about entitlement reform and you say that that's where the federal government can get savings needed to balance the budget. But can you name even one thing that the federal government does now that it should not do at all?

CHRISTIE: Yes. You want one?


BAIER: I want one. Yes.


CHRISTIE: How about one that I've done in New Jersey for the last six years. That's get rid of Planned Parenthood funding from the United States of America.


BAIER: Anything bigger than that?

CHRISTIE: Bigger than that? Let me tell you something, when you see thousands upon thousands upon thousands of children being murdered in the womb, I can't think of anything better than that.


BAIER: And, Governor, I realize everyone on this stage opposes Obamacare and you're not alone. Google Data shows that in the last month when people searched "policy repeals," that there were a lot of them. Obamacare took the top two spots. But today there are millions of people who gained health insurance from Obamacare and they now rely on it.

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So the question, Senator Cruz, if you repeal Obamacare, as you say you will, will you be fine if millions of those people don't have health insurance? And what is your specific plan for covering the uninsured?

CRUZ: Sure. Well, let's take it one at a time. First of all, we have seen now in six years of Obamacare that it has been a disaster. It is the biggest job-killer in this country. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, have been forced into part-time work, have lost their health insurance, have lost their doctors, have seen their premiums skyrocket.

If I'm elected president, we will repeal every word of Obamacare. (APPLAUSE)

CRUZ: Now, once that is done, everyone agrees we need healthcare reform. It should follow the principles of expanding competition, empowering patients, and keeping government from getting in between us and our doctors.

Three specific reforms that reflect those principles. Number one, we should allow people to purchase health insurance across state lines. That will create a true 50-state national marketplace which will drive down the cost of low-cost, catastrophic health insurance.

Number two, we should expand health savings accounts so people can save in a tax-advantaged way for more routine healthcare needs. And number three, we should work to de-link health insurance from employment so if you lose your job, your health insurance goes with you and it is personal, portable and affordable.

And I'll tell you, Bret, I think that's a much more attractive vision for healthcare than the Washington-drive, top-down Obamacare that is causing so many millions of people to hurt.


BAIER: Senator Cruz, thank you.

Governor Bush, you've advocated for statehood for Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rican economy is collapsing under unsustainable debt burden. Only about 1 million of its 4 million residents are currently employed. So should American citizens who you say are already overtaxed, bail out Puerto Rico as well?

BUSH: No, they shouldn't. And I believe that Puerto Rico ought to have the right of self-determination. If I was a Puerto Rican, I'd vote for statehood so that they have full citizenship. They serve in the military. They would have to pay federal taxes. They would -- they would accept the responsibilities of full U.S. citizenship. But they should have the right of determine -- self-determination.

Before you get to that, though, Puerto Rico is going to have to deal with the structural problems they face. You know, it's -- it's a fact that if you can pay for a $79 one-way ticket to Orlando, and you can escape the challenges of a declining economy and high crime rates, you move to Orlando.

And a lot of people are doing that. And the spiraling out-of- control requires Puerto Rico to make structural reforms. The federal government can play a role in allowing them to do that, but they should not -- the process of statehood or the status of Puerto Rico won't be solved until we get to the bigger issue of how you deal with the structural economic problems they're facing right now.

BAIER: Governor Kasich, you're one of two remaining sitting governors still in the race. Your colleague, Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan is under fire -- he and his administration -- for the Flint, Michigan water crisis and the botched response to it. How would you have handled that?

KASICH: Well, you've got to be on top of it right away. And, you know, I don't know all the details of what Rick Snyder has done. I know there have been people who have been fired; people who are being held accountable. But the fact is, every single engine of government has to move when you see a crisis like that.

And I've had many situations in the state of Ohio where we've had to move, whether it's storms, whether it was a horrible school shooting. There are many crises that come -- a water crisis in Toledo. You've got to be on top of it. You've got to go the extra mile. You've got to work with local communities and you've got to work with the federal government.

Because you realize that people depending on you. And so, you go the extra mile. But people have to be alert. They have to be alert to problems. And when you see a problem, you must act quickly to get on top of it. And people at home are saying they've got a problem, listen to them. Because most of the time, they're absolutely correct.

So the fact is that we work for the people. The people don't work for us. And we have to have an attitude when we're in government of serving-hood. That's what really matters. We serve you. You don't serve us. We listen to you and -- and then we act.


BAIER: Senator Rubio, on the issue of climate change, in 2008, you wanted Florida to get ahead of other states and establish a cap- and-trade system, a program for carbon emissions, which many Republicans thought at the time would hurt the Florida economy. Now, you're a skeptic of climate change science. And in fact, you warn that federal efforts to fight climate change will cost U.S. jobs and hurt the U.S. economy.

So why the change?

RUBIO: Well, Bret, first that's not entirely the story. At the time, the liberal governor of Florida, who claimed he was a Republican -- his name was Charlie Crist -- he wanted to impose cap-and-trade on Florida. And I opposed it. I was the first person out of the box that opposed him on it.

And then we saw that the leading candidates for president at the time, both the Republican and the Democrats, all supported it. And what we said is, if they're going to impose this on us, we better prepare to protect the state from it. But I have never supported cap- and-trade and I never thought it was a good idea. And I was clear about that at the time.

And I do not believe it's a good idea now. I do not believe that we have to destroy our economy in order to protect our environment. And especially what these programs are asking us to pass that will do nothing to help the environment, but will be devastating for our economy.

When I am president of the United States of America, there will never be any cap-and-trade in the United States.


BAIER: Thanks, Senator.

KELLY: All right. We're going to move on. Because coming up, immigration, and something you've never seen before.

Stay tuned, right after this break.(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Welcome back everyone. Live, in Des Moines, Iowa. Now, we move onto the topic of immigration. Senator Rubio, we'll start with you. When you ran for Senate in 2010, you made clear that you opposed legalization and citizenship for illegal immigrants. You promised repeatedly that you would oppose it as a U.S. Senator as well. Here are just a few examples. Watch.


RUBIO: Never support. Never have and never will support any effort to grant blanket legalization amnesty to folks who have entered, or stayed in this country illegally.



RUBIO: First of all, earned path to citizenship is basically code for amnesty. It's what they call it. And, the reality of it is this, it is unfair to the people that have legally entered this country to create an alternative for individuals who entered illegally, and knowingly did so.



RUBIO: You cannot grant amnesty. If the American people see us granting amnesty they will never again believe in legal immigration. They will never again support it, and that's wrong for our country, bad for our future.


KELLY: Within two years of getting elected you were co-sponsoring legislation to create a path to citizenship, in your words, amnesty. Haven't you already proven that you cannot be trusted on this issue?

RUBIO: No, because if you look at the quote, and it's very specific. And, it says blanket amnesty, I do not support blanket amnesty...

KELLY: ... But, you went on from there...

RUBIO: ... I do not support amnesty...

KELLY: ... You said more than that, Senator...

RUBIO: ... No, I said I do not support blanket amnesty...

KELLY: ... You said earned path to citizenship is basically code for amnesty. You...

RUBIO: ... It was...

KELLY: ... supported earned path to citizenship...

RUBIO: ... It absolutely has been, and at the time in the context of that was in 2009, and 2010, where the last effort for legalization was an effort done in the Senate. It was an effort led by several people that provided almost an instant path with very little obstacles moving forward.

What I've always said is that this issue does need to be solved. They've been talking about this issue for 30 years, and nothing ever happens. And, I'm going to tell you exactly how we're going to deal with it when I am president.

Number one, we're going to keep ISIS out of America. If we don't know who you are, or why you're coming, you will not get into the United States.RUBIO: Number two, we're going to enforce our immigration laws. I am the son and grandson of immigrants. And I know that securing our borders is not anti-immigrant and we will do it.

We'll hire 20,000 new border agents instead of 20,000 new IRS agents. We will finish the 700 miles of fencing and walls our nation needs. We'll have mandatory E-verify, a mandatory entry/exit tracking system and until all of that is in place and all of that is working and we can prove to the people of this country that illegal immigration is under control, nothing else is going to happen.

We are not going to round up and deport 12 million people, but we're not going to hand out citizenship cards, either. There will be a process. We will see what the American people are willing to support. But it will not be unconstitutional executive orders like the ones Barack Obama has forced on us.

KELLY: Governor Bush, do you agree Senator Rubio has not reversed himself on his immigration promise?

BUSH: Well, I'm kind of confused because he was the sponsor of the Gang of Eight bill that did require a bunch of thresholds but ultimately allowed for citizenship over an extended period of time. I mean, that's a fact. And he asked me to support that. And I -- I supported him because I think people, when you're elected, you need to do things.

And he led the charge to finally fix this immigration problem that has existed now for, as Marco says, for 30 years. And then he cut and run because it wasn't popular amongst conservatives, I guess.

Here's what I believe. And I wrote a book about this called Immigration Wars. You can get it at $2.99 on Amazon. It's not a bestseller. I can promise you.


There won't be any -- you can get it. It's affordable for everybody. We should have a path to legal status for the 12 million people that are here illegally. It means, come out from the shadows, pay a fine, earn legal status by working, by paying taxes, learning English. Not committing crimes and earn legal status where you're not cutting in front of the line for people that are patiently waiting outside.

(APPLAUSE) I think that is the -- I think that's the conservative consensus pragmatic approach to how to solve this problem.

RUBIO: May I respond?

KELLY: Go ahead, senator.

RUBIO: It's interesting that Jeb mentions the book. That's the book where you changed your position on immigration because you used to support a path to citizenship.

BUSH: So did you.


RUBIO: Well, but you changed the -- in the book...

BUSH: Yeah. So did you, Marco.


RUBIO: You wrote a book where you changed your position from a path of citizenship to a path of legalization. And the bottom line is this, we are not going to be able to do anything on this issue until we first bring illegal immigration under control. The American people have been told for 30 years they're going to enforce the border, they're going to build a wall and it never gets built and it never happens.

It is very clear there will be no progress on this issue in any way, shape or form, until you prove to the people of this country that illegal immigration is under control. And when I'm president, we are going to bring it under control once and for all after 30 years of talking about it.

BUSH: Marco, Marco -- he brought up my name. I have supported a consensus approach to solving this problem wherever it came up. and in 2007 it almost passed when my brother was president of the United States. A bipartisan approach got close. Barack Obama actually had the poison pill to stop it then.

And when you led the charge with the Gang of Eight, I supported it because you asked me to. I think it's important for people in elected office to try to forge consensus to solve problems. There's never going do be perfect bill.


KELLY: All right.

BUSH: But when you didn't do that and you ask people to support, you shouldn't cut and run.

RUBIO: But Megyn...

BUSH: You should stick with it and that's exactly what happened. He cut and run. And that's a tragedy because now...


... it's harder and harder to actually solve this problem.

KELLY: All right. This will be the last one.

RUBIO: There's not going to be consensus on this issue until we enforce our immigration laws. That is abundantly clear. You're not going to be able to ram down the throat of the American people your approach. The only way we're are going to be able to move forward after two migratory crises with minor, after two unconstitutional executive orders, the only way forward on this issue is to first bring illegal immigration under control. And until that happens there's not going to be consensus on this issue.

KELLY: OK. Let's move on. Senator Cruz, when Senator Rubio proposed that bill creating a path to citizenship, you proposed an amendment. It would have allowed for legalization but not citizenship. Yes, it would.

Pressed last month on why you supported legalization, you claimed that you didn't. Right? Like you just did. Saw that.


You argued that this was just a poison pill amendment, basically it's something designed to kill the bill and not actually get it through. But that is not, however, how it sounded at the time. Watch.


CRUZ: I want this bill to be voted down. I don't want immigration reform to fail. I want immigration reform to pass. I believe if this amendment were to pass, the chances of this bill passing into law would increase dramatically.

I believe if the amendments I introduced were adopted, that the bill would pass. And my effort in introducing them was to find a solution that reflected common ground and that fixed the problem.CRUZ: If the proponents of this bill actually demonstrate a commitment not to politics, not to campaigning all the time, but to actually fixing this problem, to finding a middle ground. That would fix the problem, and also allow, for those 11 million people who are here illegally, a legal status, with citizenship off the table.

KELLY: Was that all an act? It was pretty convincing.

CRUZ: You know, the amendment you're talking about is one sentence -- it's 38 words. Anyone can go online at and read exactly what it said. In those 38 words, it said anyone here illegally is permanently ineligible for citizenship. It didn't say a word about legalization. I introduced...

KELLY: But the bill allowed both. The bill you were amending allowed citizenship and legalization.

CRUZ: But -- but Megyn, the bill was 1,000 pages. I introduced a series of amendments, each designed to fix problems in the bill. The fact that each amendment didn't fix every problem didn't mean that I supported the rest of the bill.

And I'll tell you who supported my amendment -- Jeff Sessions, the strongest opponent of amnesty in the United States Congress. And he did so because taking citizenship off the table was important, and it revealed the hypocrisy of the proponents of this bill, who were looking for votes.

Listen, we can solve immigration. We just heard an argument back and forth that we can't solve immigration. I have a detailed immigration plan that is on my website, It was designed with Iowa's own Congressman Steve King and Jeff Sessions, and...


... we have the tools in federal law to do this now. We can build the fence. We can triple the border patrol. We can end sanctuary cities by cutting off...


... funding to them. We can end welfare for those here illegally. And what is missing is the political will, because too many Democrats and, sadly, too many Republicans don't want to solve this problem. If I am elected president...


... we will secure the border...

KELLY: OK, sir.

CRUZ: ... and we will end the illegal immigration.

KELLY: Senator Paul.


You know how Washington works. Do you buy that?

PAUL: I was there and I saw the debate. I saw Ted Cruz say, "we'll take citizenship off the table, and then the bill will pass, and I'm for the bill."

The bill would involve legalization. He can't have it both ways. But what is particularly insulting, though, is that he is the king of saying, "you're for amnesty." Everybody's for amnesty except for Ted Cruz.

But it's a falseness, and that's an authenticity problem -- that everybody he knows is not as perfect as him because we're all for amnesty. I was for legalization. I think, frankly, if you have border security, you can have legalization. So was Ted, but now he says it wasn't so. That's not true.

KELLY: Go ahead, sir.


CRUZ: You know, John Adams famously said, "facts are are stubborn things." The facts are are very, very simple. When that battle was waged, my friend Senator Rubio chose to stand with Barack Obama and Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer and support amnesty.

And I stood alongside Jeff Sessions and Steve King, and we led the fight against amnesty. And if you want to know who's telling the truth, you should look and ask people like Jeff Sessions and Steve King and Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, all of whom say, as Jeff Sessions said, responding to these false attacks just recently in Alabama -- he said, "if it wasn't for Ted Cruz, the Gang of Eight Rubio/Schumer bill would have passed. But because Ted stood up and helped lead the effort, millions rose up to kill it.



KELLY: Senator Rubio, even Chuck Schumer, your co-sponsor of that bill...

RUBIO: Yeah, but let me respond...

KELLY: ... agrees with Ted Cruz on this. RUBIO: ... no, I understand, but let me respond. I (ph) was mentioned on this -- in this answer, and so I'm going to respond this way.

This is the lie that Ted's campaign is built on, and Rand touched upon it -- that he's the most conservative guy, and everyone else is a -- you know, everyone else is a rhino.

The truth is, Ted, throughout this campaign, you've been willing to say or do anything in order to get votes. Ted, you worked for George W. Bush's campaign...


You -- you -- you helped design George W. Bush's -- you helped design George W. Bush's immigration policy. And then, when you got to the Senate, you did an interview with CBS News -- I (ph) wasn't even part of the video -- where you said, on the issue of people that are here illegally, "we can reach a compromise."

And then in the committee, you said, "I want to bring people out of the shadows."


Now you want to trump Trump on immigration. But you can't -- we're not gonna beat Hillary Clinton with someone who's willing to say or do anything to win an election.

KELLY: Go ahead, Senator Cruz.


CRUZ: You know, I like Marco. He's very charming. He's very smooth. But the facts are simple. When he ran for election in the state of Florida, he told the people of Florida, "if you elect me, I will lead the fight against amnesty."

When I ran in Texas, I told the people of Texas, "if you elect me, I will lead the fight against amnesty." We both made the identical promises. But when we came to Washington, we made a different choice.

Marco made the choice to go the direction of the major donors -- to support amnesty because he thought it was politically advantageous.


I honored my commitments, and as president, I will honor every commitment that I make to the men and women of this country.


KELLY: All right.

CHRISTIE: Megyn? KELLY: Go ahead, Governor Christie.

CHRISTIE: I want to ask the people of the audience. Like, I'm standing here, I -- I watched the video of Senator Cruz. I watched the video of Senator Rubio. I heard what they said. And this is why you need to send someone from outside of Washington to Washington. (APPLAUSE)

CHRISTIE: I feel like...


... I feel like I need -- I feel like I need a Washington to English dictionary converter, right?


I mean, I heard what they both said, I saw it on the video. And the fact is this is what makes a difference when you're a governor. You can change your mind. Ted can change his mind. Marco can change his mind. It's perfectly legal in this country to change your mind. But when you're a governor, you have to admit it. You can't hide behind parliamentary tricks. That's the difference, and that's the kind of leader we need in the White House. Stop the Washington bull and let's get things done.


KELLY: Let's go to a Youtube question. Let's get to a Youtube question. This is a question from a Youtube creator with over 2 million subscribers. Watch.

QUESTION: I'm Dulce Candy, a Youtube creator who immigrated to the United States from Mexico when I was a little girl. Since then, I am proud to say I served in the armed forces in Iraq, became a citizen and I am now an entrepreneur.
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There are many immigrants who contribute positively to the American economy, but some of the comments in the campaign make us question our place in this country. If America does not seem like a welcoming place for immigrant entrepreneurs, will the American economy suffer?

KELLY: Dr. Carson, that's one -- that one's for you.

CARSON: Oh, great.


As I said before, we are a land of immigrants, but we have to be intelligent about the way that we form our immigration policies, and that's one of the reasons that I have called on us to declare war on the Islamic State because we need to reorient our immigration policies and our visa policies for people who are coming into this country because there are many people out there who want to destroy us.

Now, I recognize that the vast majority of people coming in here probably are not those kinds of people, but that's not good enough. If you've got 10 people coming to your house and you know one of them is a terrorist, you're probably going to keep them all out.

You know, we probably have to figure out a way to make sure that we keep America safe.


BUSH: Can I -- can I -- I just...

KELLY: Go ahead.

BUSH: That beautiful young woman who's an entrepreneur who served in the military, first of all, is deserving of our respect for service in the military and the fact that she's an entrepreneur.


And we should be a welcoming nation. Our identity is not based on race or ethnicity, it's based on a set of shared values. That's American citizenship. And Dulce Candy -- a pretty cool name, actually -- that is now an entrepreneur over Youtube is part of that American spirit, and we should celebrate it as conservatives. That's what we believe in.

You can -- you can deal with the threat of terror and also recognize that this country should be aspirational across the board.

RUBIO: And I think that's the false choice...


... that's the -- that's the false choice in this whole debate about immigration. Of course, we're going to be a nation of immigrants. By the way, no nation on earth is more generous than America is. Every single year close to a million people emigrate to the United States legally. There's no nation on earth that comes close to that number.

I think the only argument is are we a sovereign country, are we not allowed to choose who comes in, when they come in and how they come in? And that's not what's happening now.


KELLY: All right.

RUBIO: I think the other problem is we have a legal immigration system that's outdated, it's primarily based on whether you have family members living here. In the 21st century, it has to be more of a merit-based system, and that is why our legal immigration system is in need of modernization. And we will always celebrate legal immigration like Dulce's great story.

KELLY: All right. We're moving on.


WALLACE: Gentlemen, we're going to turn now to what we call electability, issues that you're either facing in the primaries or issues that you're certainly going to face in a general election. So you may not be altogether unhappy if you're not included in this round.


Senator Cruz, you pride yourself on standing up to the D.C. cartel, but as we've seen to a certain degree tonight, there's a price for standing up to the D.C. cartel. Thirteen Republican senators have endorsed other candidates, none have endorsed you.

You -- twice last year, you asked for a colleague to second a motion, a routine courtesy on the Senate floor, and no senator would do it. Top GOP officials worry that if you're at the top of the ticket -- some officials -- that not only will you lose the White House, but it will tank the ticket all the way down the line.

The question is does your style sometimes get in the way of your ability to get things done, sir?

CURZ: Well, Chris, you are exactly right that I am not the candidate of career politicians in Washington. (APPLAUSE)

CRUZ: And I'll tell you the endorsements that I am proud of are the over 200,000 volunteers across this country who have signed up to volunteer for our campaign. The endorsements that I am proud of are leading conservatives like Iowa's own Congressman Steve King, who is a national co-chairman of my campaign. The endorsements that I'm proud of are conservative leaders like Dr. James Dobson, and over 700,000 contributions nationwide, people going to our Web site,

This is a grassroots campaign and, you know, when I ran for senate in Texas, I told the people of Texas that I'm not going there to go along to get along. Washington is broken.

And the people I have been accountable to every single day in the Senate are the 27 million Texans who I represent and I made a promise to them that I make to you today, which is, if I am elected, every single day I will do two things: tell the truth, and do what I said I would do.


BAIER: Thank you.

KELLY: Governor bush, poll after poll shows you running among the worst in your party against Hillary Clinton. Even Mitt Romney said that a Bush v. Clinton head-to-head would be too easy for the Democrats.

Yet still you and the super PACs supporting you continue to blanket the airwaves with cutting ads, not against Mrs. Clinton, but against your fellow Republicans, especially Senator Rubio.

Do these attacks do more harm than good by targeting those candidates who appear to have the best chance of defeating Mrs. Clinton?

BUSH: Well, first of all, I've seen polls where I'm beating Hillary Clinton pretty regularly.

And I believe I can, because I have a proven record, a record of accomplishment, a record of cutting taxes, of shrinking the government, of reforming education, of challenging the status quo, eliminating career civil service protections, shrinking the government workforce by 11 percent, but leading the nation in job growth. That's the record of accomplishment that should be taken to Hillary Clinton, who has no record of accomplishment. So I'm confident if I win this nomination, I will aggressively go against her and beat her.

As it relates to the super PACs, I have no control over that. And this is beanbag compared to what the Clinton hit machine is going to do to the Republican nominee. The simple fact is, we all have a record. It all will be scrutinized. There's give and take. It's called the politics. And that's the way it is.

I'm running hard and I believe I'll be the Republican nominee and I'll be the one best suited to beat Hillary Clinton, who should not be president of the United States.


BAIER: Senator Rubio, first before I ask you a question, any response to Governor Bush?

RUBIO: Well, I believe, and I know that if Iowa helps make me the Republican nominee, I will defeat Hillary Clinton. Hillary doesn't want to run against me, but I cannot wait to run against her. And I cannot wait to earn the opportunity to do it because she cannot be the president of the United States.

She wants to put Barack Obama on the Supreme Court of the United States of America. She said that here in Iowa just two days ago. That would be a disaster for this country.

So I hope and pray and cannot wait until this state and others give me an opportunity to serve this party as its nominee because I will defeat Hillary Clinton.


BAIER: Now let's talk about electability, Senator. TIME magazine once called you "the Republican savior." Rush Limbaugh and others said you likely will be president some day.

But if you look at the recent average of polls in your home state of Florida, you're in third trailing Donald trump by 24 points. If the people who know you best have you there, why should the rest of the country elect you?

RUBIO: Well, let me be clear about one thing, there's only one savior and it's not me. It's Jesus Christ who came down to earth and died for our sins.


RUBIO: And so -- and I've always made that clear about that cover story.

As far as the polls are concerned, Iowa, on Monday night you're going to go to a caucus site and you'll be the first Americans that vote in this election. You will be the first Americans that get to answer the fundamental question, what comes next for this country after seven disastrous years of Barack Obama?

And let me tell you what the answer better not be. It better not be Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders is a socialist. I think Bernie Sanders is good candidate for president of Sweden.


We don't want to be Sweden. We want to be the United States of America.


And Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton is disqualified from being the commander-in-chief of the United States. In fact, one of her first acts as president may very well be to pardon herself because Hillary Clinton...


Hillary Clinton stored classified information on her private server. And Hillary Clinton lied to the families of those four brave Americans who lost their life in Benghazi. And anyone who lies to the families of Americans who have died in the service of this country can never be commander-in-chief of the United States.


BAIER: Thank you, Senator.

WALLACE: Governor Christie, two of your former top aides go on trial in May for fraud and conspiracy in the "Bridge-gate" case, the politically motivated closure of lanes to the George Washington Bridge.

Another former aide who has already pleaded guilty and will likely testify for the government, as you know, says that you knew about this whole deal. Can the GOP take the chance of nominating you with this scandal still out there, sir?

CHRISTIE: Sure, because there has been three different investigations and proven that I knew nothing. And the fact is that what I did do, what I did do from the beginning, Chris, as soon as I found out about it, I fired the people who were responsible. And that's what you expect from a leader.CHRISTIE: And, I'll tell you something else. I inherited a state in New Jersey that was downtrodden, and beaten by liberal democratic policies, high taxation, high regulation. And, this year, in 2015, New Jersey's had the best year of job growth that our state has ever had in the last 15 years. That's because we've put conservative policies in place.

And, I'll tell you one other thing, you know why the Republican party will want to take a chance on me? Because they know that Hillary Clinton will never be prosecuted by this justice department, and they're going to want to put a former federal prosecutor on the stage to prosecute her next September. And, there is no one on this stage better prepared to prosecute the case against Hillary Clinton than I am.

I will be ready. I will take her on, and when I take her on I guarantee you one thing, she will never get within 10 miles of the White House. The days for the Clintons in public housing are over.


BAIER: Much more to come, including where the candidates stand on foreign policy. And, once again, you can go to, or open your Google search app and search, "Fox News Debate" to vote on which candidate you think is winning the debate tonight. We'll be right back.


KELLY: Welcome back, everybody. Let's get back to the questions. Chris?

WALLACE: Gentlemen, almost 60% of Republican caucus-goers identify themselves as Evangelicals, so I'd like to spend a few minutes exploring social issues.

Governor Kasich, you talk a good deal about your faith. In fact, you say it played a role in your decision to expand Medicaid, and you say that when you meet Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates, he's going to ask what you did for the poor, not what you did to keep government small.

Senator Cruz is on the opposite side of this issue from you, so does that mean that you're getting in and he isn't?(LAUGHTER)

KASICH: No. You know, Chris, here's what happened with Medicaid in my state. We took the growth of Medicaid from over 10 percent in my second budget to 2.5 percent, without cutting off one person or cutting one benefit, because we -- we innovated the government.

And now mom and dad can stay in their own home, rather than being forced into a nursing home. And then we decided we could bring $14 billion of our money -- I mean, Washington doesn't have any money. It was our money, and we brought them back to tend to the mentally ill. Because I don't think they ought to live in prison or live under a bridge; to treat the drug-addicted so they're not in an in-and-out-of- the-door policy out of the prisons; and to help the working poor so they don't live in emergency rooms.

How has it worked? Well, we have treated the drug-addicted in our prisons and we released them in to the community, and our recidivism rate is less than 20 percent. That's basically bordering on a miracle because of our great prison director. The mentally ill? They've been stepped on for too long in this society, and we are beginning to treat them.

In terms of my faith, look, all I say is that when I study scripture, I know that people who live in the shadows need to have a chance. But I'm not deciding that anybody's got to make these decisions the way that I do, on the basis of what I do. But what -- I will tell you this. The time has come to stop ignoring the mentally ill in this country and begin to treat them and get them on their feet, along with, of course, with treating the drug-addicted.


Because we don't want them in and out -- we don't want them in and out of the prisons. Give people a chance. We talked about criminal justice reform. We've enacted it in our state. Look, the conservative message is economic growth and along with economic growth goes opportunity for everybody in America. Everybody ought to have a chance to be able to rise to their God-given purpose.

And that is what we have done in Ohio. We're running surpluses. We're up 400,000 jobs. And guess what? The formula is working. I'd suggest people take a look at it.

Thank you.


WALLACE: Gentlemen, we had a case study on religious liberty just this last summer. A county clerk in Kentucky named Kim Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the Supreme Court ruling, saying that it violated her religious beliefs.

Governor Christie, you said that she must follow the law or be moved to another job that would be in keeping with her conscience. But some conservatives say that that violates her religious liberty.

CHRISTIE: No, what I said, Chris, was that the law needs to be followed. And that someone in that office has to do their job. So if Ms. Davis wanted to step aside and get rid of her ability to be able to do that, there should be someone else in that office who it didn't violate their conscience so they could follow the law of the state of Kentucky.

I never said that Ms. Davis should either lose her job or that she had to do it. But what I did say was that the person who came in for the license needed to get it. And so if there's someone in that organization, and it turns out there was, who was willing to be able to do that, that's what we should do.

But just as importantly, and I agree with what John said. You know, we all have our own individual interpretations of our faith. And here's the problem with what's going on around the world. The radical Islamic jihadists, what they want to do is impose their faith upon each and every one of us -- every one of us. And the reason why this war against them is so important is that very basis of religious liberty.

They want everyone in this country to follow their religious beliefs the way they do. They do not want us to exercise religious liberty. That's why as commander in chief, I will take on ISIS, not only because it keeps us safe, but because it allows us to absolutely conduct our religious affairs the way we find in our heart and in our souls. As a Catholic, that's what I want to do. And no matter what your faith is, that's what I want you to be able to do.


WALLACE: Thank you, sir.

Senator Rubio, during the last debate, you said Governor Christie had changed his position and his mind on gun control, on common core, and backing President Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. He said you're wrong on the facts and you can't, quote, "slime your way to the White House." I assume in the last two weeks, you've done some fact-checking. Do you want to take anything back?

RUBIO: Yeah, I would encourage people to go on my website,, and we'll put all the facts up there so people can see it for themselves. But you've just asked a very fundamental question about the role of faith in our country. And I think this is an important question. I think if you do not understand that our Judeo-Christian values are one of the reasons why America is such a special country, you don't understand our history. You see, why are we one of the most generous people in the world -- no, the most generous people in the world? Why do Americans contribute millions of dollars to charity?

It is not because of the tax writeoff. It is because in this nation, we are influenced by Judeo-Christian values that teach us to care for the less fortunate, to reach out to the needy, to love our neighbor. This is what's made our nation so special.

And you should hope that our next president is someone that is influence by their faith. Because if your faith causes you to care for the less fortunate, it is something you want to see in your public figures. And when I'm president, I can tell you this, my faith will not just influence the way I'll govern as president, it will influence the way I live my life.RUBIO: Because in the end, my goal is not simply to live on this earth for 80 years, but to live an eternity with my creator. And I will always allow my faith to influence everything I do.


WALLACE: Thank you, senator.

Senator Paul, in May on the campaign trail you, said you didn't get into politics to fight about abortion. You said you were more concerned about the national debt. Your answer is to turn abortion back to the states the way it was before Roe v. Wade.

Does that mean that if a liberal state, let's say, wants to make abortion legal, that you're okay with that and what do you say to conservative voters who believe deeply that abortion is murder?

PAUL: You know, I think abortion is always wrong. I've supported a variety of solutions, both state as well as federal. In fact, just last week, I introduced the Life at Conception act, which would say that the 14th amendment would defend an individual even in the womb.

But I think on the broader question of religion and politics, you know, I think liberty, itself requires a virtue -- requires a virtuous people. In fact, Washington said that democracy requires a virtuous people.

Oz Guinness, the theologian, said that liberty requires restraint but the only restraint consistent with liberty is self-restraint. There's a lot packed into that statement. But the bottom line is we must have virtue, we must have a religious bearing as a nation. The government is not always going to save us and it's not always going to come from government.

But if we don't know right and wrong, I think we have lost our way. I think we become unmoored and I think without the religious foundation that guides us all, I think we have a great risk of going horribly in the wrong direction.

WALLLACE: Sir, just 30 seconds to answer my specific...


WALLACE: Just 30 seconds to answer my specific question. Do you favor the idea that abortion should be a states' rights issue and if a liberal state wants to make it legal, that that's their choice? Yes or no?

PAUL: Both. No, both the federal and a state approach. I have said that we could leave it to the states but I've also introduced a federal solution as well. So the federal solution would be the Life at Conception act which is an act that would federalize the issue.

But I've also said for the most part, these issues would be left back to the states. So there might be an occasion if we did overturn Roe v. Wade -- Roe v. Wade nationalized the issue. If you had the court reverse Roe v. Wade, it would become a state issue once again.

I think it would be better the more -- the less abortions we have, so the more states that we have that made abortion illegal, the better, as far as trying to save and preserve lives.

WALLACE: Thank you, sir.


BAIER: Gentlemen.


BAIER: I'd like to ask you a few questions about foreign policy broadly.

Dr. Carson, many experts believe Russian leader Vladimir Putin has greater ideas, bigger designs for the region beyond Russia's actions inside Ukraine. Fast forward to February 2017 and it is President Carson, and Russian uniformed commandos cross the Estonian border and they occupy a city in Estonia. Estonia, a member of NATO, essentially invokes Article IV, an attack on one is an attack on all. What do you do?

CARSON: Look, first of all, I recognize that Vladimir Putin is an opportunist and he's a bully, and we have to face him down. And I would -- first of all, face him down in that whole region, the whole Baltic region. I think we need to put in some armored brigades there. We only have one or two. We need much more than that. We need to be doing military exercises if not only Estonia but Latvia and Lithuania. They're terrified by the saber rattling. I think we ought to put in our missile defense system.

I think we ought to give Ukraine offensive weapons and I think we ought to fight them on the economic basis because Putin is a one- horse country: oil and energy. And we ought to fight them on that level.

We ought to be helping in terms of the technology for fracking, keeping the price low, quite frankly, because that's what's keeping him contained. So, yes, I'd absolutely would go in if he attacked. I think on Article IV of NATO, we would definitely protect all of our allies.


BAIER: Gentlemen, you've all said that the Iran nuclear deal is a bad one.

Senator Rubio, you were among the candidates who've said you would tear it up on day one. But as you know, Iran has already received tens of millions of dollars -- tens of billions of dollars in this deal and has quickly reestablished ties economically with Europe.

The major concessions, in other words, are up front in this deal. So should you win by the time you take office, the remaining parts of the deal would be the constraints on Iran. So why blow up those constraints on day one, letting Iran off the hook?

RUBIO: Well, let me first describe Iran because they're not just a normal nation state. And we have no quarrel with the Iranian people. But the Iranian leader, their supreme leader is a radical Shia cleric who has an apocalyptic vision of the future. RUBIO: He views himself not simply as the leader of Iran, but as the leader of all Muslims -- all Shia Muslims on the planet. And they have a desire not simply to conquer the Middle East and to become the dominant power in that region, but ultimately to be able to hold America hostage.

That is why they're building an -- right now, developing long- range missiles capable of reaching the United States, and that is why there's going -- they're going to use those $100 billion to expand their conventional capabilities and to one day buy or build a nuclear weapon.

We will -- when I am president of the United States, on my first day in office, we are canceling the deal with Iran, and nations will have to make a choice. They can do business with Iran, or they can do business with America, and I am very confident they're going to choose America before they choose the Iranian economy.

BAIER: Governor Kasich, you've said that Marco Rubio is wrong...


... that Senator Rubio is wrong with tearing it up on day one.

KASICH: Look, we don't know what's going to happen in ten months. And if I were president of the United States right now, I'd be lining up our allies to say that, if one crossed T or one dotted I does not occur, they are -- violate the agreement, we slap back on sanctions.

We can slap on sanctions alone, on day one, but it's not gonna be anywhere near as effective. But the president needs to be laying the groundwork right now for the ability to slap those sanctions back on worldwide.

And I'll tell you what I'm worried about -- I'm worried about money. You read about all the companies now that are doing business -- about to do business in Iran, and if we don't get this settled now, with other countries in the world, about sanctions, then Iran could violate that agreement, and we're the only ones putting the sanctions on.

We need to move aggressively now. But I would say this to you, Bret. Number one, if they violate it, we need to move against them. And number two, if we find out they're developing a nuclear weapon and we know how to get to it, we're gonna go take it out. That is what we have to do. We cannot let things get farther down the road, like we did with North Korea.

BAIER: But Governor Kasich, you know that the most powerful sanctions are the multilateral ones.

KASICH: That's right. Yes.

BAIER: And these European countries are already reestablishing these ties.

KASICH: I know, Bret.

BAIER: They don't want...

KASICH: But Bret, here's the problem. You take a look at the -- at Belgium. I talked to a diplomat from Belgium. I said, "how's it going?" He said, "we have the military in the streets right now. We never dreamt we'd ever see it."

See, I think there is an opportunity to bring the world together. The Turks are being threatened. We know about the French. We know about the Belgians. We know about the Brits. Everybody is under fire and under attack, and we have to stand together as an alliance.

So actually, the opportunity is there, because of the threat to all of these countries, to bring all of us together...


... and say there is something more important than money. It is the future of the world and the future of our children and grandchildren. That's the kind of leadership this country needs. It has not been in effect during the administration of Barack Obama.

And that's only the beginning of the failures that they have committed, not only in the Middle East, but all over the world, including Russia and China.

BAIER: Governor, thank you. Governor Christie...


... Libya is the newest base for ISIS. Just today, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said ISIS is consolidating their footprint there and also setting up training facilities.

So if you were president, would you deploy U.S. troops to Libya to take out ISIS there?

CHRISTIE: Bret, let me tell you, this is another one of those places where Hillary Clinton has so much to answer for, and why she is completely unqualified to be commander in chief.

In a previous Democratic debate, Martha Raddatz, three times, asked Hillary Clinton about the failure in Libya, a policy that she took credit for, and said, "what is your measure of responsibility, Madam Secretary, for the failure in Libya?" Three times, she refused to answer the question, because she refuses to be held accountable for anything that goes wrong. If it had gone right, believe me, she would have been running around to be able to take credit for it.

Here's what I'd do. This is about the bigger, broader war against ISIS. We need to bring together our European and our Sunni Arab allies, and we need to develop a strategy together to take on ISIS every place that it is around the world, so that together, all of us can take ISIS out, destroy it, and then move on to come back to our country, protect our homeland security and make sure that the American people are safe.

As president of the United States, that is exactly what I will do.

BAIER: Thank you, Governor.


WALLACE: We're not finished yet. More to come from the presidential debate, live from Des Moines, Iowa, next. And remember, to see how the campaigns are responding to the debate in real time, go or open your Google search app and search Fox News debate, and please stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


BAIER: Welcome back to Des Moines. Let's resume the debate. Megyn?

KELLY: Senator Paul, you have suggested that former President Bill Clinton's history with women is fair game in this campaign. How do you answer those who say you don't hold the sins of the husband against the wife?

PAUL: You know, I've never really brought this up unless asked the question, but I have responded to the question. I don't blame Hillary Clinton at all for this. I don't think she's responsible for his behavior. But I do think that her position as promoting women's rights and fairness to women in the workplace, that if what Bill Clinton did any CEO in our country did with an intern, with a 22-year- old, 21-year-old intern in their office, they would be fired. They would never be hired again.


Fired, never hired again and probably shunned in their community. And the thing is, she can't be a champion of women's rights at the same time she's got this that is always lurking out there, this type of behavior. So it is difficult.

KELLY: Of her husband's?

PAUL: Yeah. But I combine this also with the millions upon millions of dollars they've taken from regimes in the Middle East who treat women like cattle.


WALLACE: We have another question from one of Youtube's top creators. Here it is.

QUESTION: I'm Nabela Noor. I'm a Muslim American born and raised in the U.S. who creates beauty and lifestyle videos on Youtube.

In 2015, the number of hate crimes against Muslims in the U.S. has tripled, and on social media, where I spend a lot of time, I've seen many attacks directed towards fellow Muslims. This culture of hatred is only driving ISIS to radicalize, recruit and incite violence.

As president, what would you do to address this toxic climate and promote increased tolerance in the United States?

WALLACE: Governor Bush, how do you answer Nabela?

BUSH: Well first of all, I think it's important that when we're running for the highest office in the land that we recognize that we're living in dangerous times and we have to be serious about it, that our words have consequences.

Donald Trump, for example -- I'm glad -- I mentioned his name again just if anybody was missing him... (LAUGHTER)

BUSH: ... Mr. Trump believed that in reaction to people's fears that we should ban all Muslims. Well, that creates an environment that's toxic in our own country. Nobela (ph) is a rising entrepreneur. She wants to pursue the American dream. She's an American citizen. She should not feel uncomfortable about her citizenship. She's not the threat. The threat is Islamic terrorism.

We need to focus our energies there, not these broad, blanket, kind of statements that will make it harder for us to deal with ISIS. We need to deal with ISIS in the caliphate. We need a strategy to destroy ISIS there. You can't do that without the cooperation of the Muslim world because they're as threatened as we are.

So, I think it's important for us to be careful about the language we use, which is why I've been critical of Donald Trump. Disparaging women, disparaging hispanics, that's not a sign of strength. Making fun of disabled people...


BUSH: ... We're never going to win elections if we don't have a more broader unifying message.


WALLACE: Governor, thank you. Senator Cruz, change of subject. You called for an end to the renewable fuel standards which mandate that refineries blend biofuels, including ethanol into gasoline. As you well know, ethanol's a big industry in this state, $10 billion dollars a year.

Last week, Terry Branstad, the popular Governor of Iowa...


WALLACE: ... Who is in the hall tonight, said that you're bankrolled by big oil, and that Iowa voters would be making a mistake supporting you. Why should those voters side with you over the six- term governor of the state, sir?

CRUZ: Well, Chris, I'm glad to discuss my views on ethanol and energy. I think God has blessed this country with enormous natural resources, and we should pursue all of the above. We should be developing oil, and gas, and coal, and nuclear, and wind, and solar, and ethanol, and biofuels. But, I don't believe that Washington should be picking winners and losers. And, I think there should be no mandates, and no subsidies whatsoever.


CRUZ: And, indeed, my tax plan that I've introduced, it's available on our website. It's a simple flat tax for everyone. It'll produce enormous economic growth, and it eliminates every mandate, every subsidy, so there's no subsidies for oil and gas, no subsidies for anyone.

Now, it is true that there are a bunch of lobbyists, and a bunch of Democrats in this state spending millions of dollars trying to convince the people of Iowa that I somehow oppose ethanol. It's not true. I have introduced legislation that would phase out the ethanol mandate over five years, but that is in the context of having no mandates whatsoever for anyone.

And, I would not that there's a much more important government regulation to ethanol, and that's the EPA's blend wall that makes it illegal to sell mid-level blends of ethanol in gasoline. I will...


CRUZ: ... Tear down the EPA's blend wall which will enable ethanol to expand its market share by up to 60%, all without mandates. All without any government mandates whatsoever through the marketplace. And, I'll note finally, Chris, there is a reason that Iowa's Congressman Steve King, perhaps the fiercest defender of farmers in this state, is sharing my campaign. Because he understands that I'm committed to a fair, and level playing field for every energy source without lobbyists, and without Washington picking winners and losers.


WALLACE: Dr. Carson, I'd like to ask you about exactly that issue. Where are you on the mandatory ethanol standard, and precisely this question. Should government be in the business of picking winners and losers, or should it be left to the market place?

CARSON: Well, as anyone knows who's been listening to me, you know? I'm very much against the government being involved in every aspect of our lives, you know? We last year there was an additional 81,000 pages of government regulations. If you stack that up it would be a three-story building. This is absolutely absurd. And, they've insinuated themselves into everything.

Now, as far as the renewable fuel standard is concerned, certain promises were made, certain government contracts were issued which extend all the way into the year 2022, and I believe that it's probably unfair to withdraw the rug because people have invested money. People have invested a lot of energy into that.

But, you know, we are blessed with tremendous energy in this nation, and we need to be talking for new sources of energy. Seventy percent of our population lives by costly (ph). What about hydroelectric power? We can develop that, you know? We have so much natural gas now, and we can liquify it, and we can transfer it across the sea so we can make Europe dependent on us instead of Putin -- put him back in his little box where he belongs.CARSON: Those are the kinds of things that we ought to be doing. And, you know, take advantage of the tremendous opportunities in energy that God has given us, not get involved in these little petty arguments.

And we can get a lot of them out if we get the government out of our lives.


WALLACE: Doctor, thank you.

BAIER: Coming up, closing statements from the candidates as our debate continues, live, from Des Moines, Iowa.


KELLY: Welcome back, everybody. And now, it is time for closing statements. The candidates each get 30 seconds.

And we begin with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

PAUL: Well, thanks for having me. It's great to be back.


I'm an eye surgeon from Bowling Green, Kentucky, I miss doing eye surgery, still get to do a little bit. Did a couple of cataract surgeries over Christmas holidays. Got to go to Haiti last year. I've gotten to do some incredible things. Got to be on the floor of the Senate. And it has been amazing to me.

But the thing that is most important to me and caused me to run for office is I'm worried about the country and how much debt we're adding. And I am the one true fiscal conservative who will look at all spending. And that's the only way we'll ever balance our budget.

Thank you.


KELLY: Ohio Governor Kasich.

KASICH: You know, one of our biggest national security issues is the world looks at us some time, and we look at each other and say, why can't we solve problems? Well, I've got news for you, we can. We can in fact create jobs and provide job security. We can create a situation where wages begin to rise. We can create a situation for our children to be able to get a decent job to pay down their college debt. We can re-assume our role in the world.

But all of this has to come together when we have a positive attitude, an optimistic approach, an ability for us to set the tune as conservatives, to invite other people in to be part of that orchestra. KASICH: You see, ladies and gentlemen, at the end of the day, I'm an optimist


Because I've seen so many things get accomplished in my lifetime. And we can do it again together, all of us, to strengthen this country, work together. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE) BAIER: New Jersey governor, Chris Christie.

CHRISTIE: On September 11, my wife was two blocks from the World Trade Center. When those buildings came down, she was trapped in her building and I didn't hear from her over six hours.

We have three children, eight, five and one. And I had to confront the possibility of being a single parent. Terrorism in this country scares everyone. And the fact is that we need a commander-in- chief who not only understands how to protect us, but feels in here what it means to face the possibility of loss.

I've faced it. I've prosecuted terrorists. I have made the decisions that need to be made as a governor to protect us and as president of the United States, no one will keep this country safer than I will.

BAIER: Thank you governor.


KELLY: Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Governor.

BUSH: We desperately need a conservative leader as president of the United States. I have a proven record as governor of the state of Florida, as a conservative leader. And I also have detailed plans to fix the mess in Washington, D.C.

As president I will restore and rebuild our military, restore the alliances and keep us safe. And as our party's nominee, I will defeat Hillary Clinton in November. I ask for your support on the caucuses come Monday night and I will make you proud as our party's nominee. Thank you very much.


CARSON: I want to thank the people of Iowa for being so welcoming to me. Please think of our founding fathers as you listen. We the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the benefits of liberty to ourselves and our prosperity, do ordain and establish this constitution of the United States of America. Folks, it's not too late. Enough said.


BAIER: Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

RUBIO: The bible commands us to let our light shine on the world. For over 200 years, America's light has been shining on the world and the world has never been the same again. But now, that light is dimming a little, after seven years of Barack Obama. And that's why Monday night, what will happen here in Iowa is so important.

I'm asking you for your vote. Caucus for me on Monday night because if I am your nominee, I will unite this party and I will defeat Hillary Clinton and when I'm president, America's light will shine again and the 21 century will be a new American century.


BAIER: Thank you senator.

KELLY: Texas Senator, Ted Cruz. Senator.

CRUZ: Ninety-three hours. The media noise will soon be over and it's now for the men and women of Iowa to decide. Our country is in crisis. We're worried the future of our children and we've have been burned over and over again.

The central question in this race is trust. Who do you know will kill the terrorists, defend the constitution and repeal Obamacare? Who do you know will stop amnesty and secure the borders? Who do you know will defend life, marriage and religious liberty? Examine our records, pray on it and I will be honored if you and your family will come caucus for us on Monday night.


KELLY: Gentlemen, thank you all so much for being here tonight. We appreciate it greatly. And that does it for the seventh Republican primary debate of the 2016 presidential race. But we're not done. The Kelly file starts in a moment and guess who is going to be there? Senator Ted Cruz.

WALLACE: And don't forget, after all the talk, the first voting of the 2016 campaign happens in just four days. The first Americans to vote, the Iowa caucuses are Monday and Fox News will have complete coverage.

BAIER: And we have you covered from Iowa, all the way to the conventions and on to the general election. Thanks again for joining us. For all of us here in Des Moines, have a great evening.



The Boston Globe - A Prescription for Health Reform

Dec. 15, 2015

By Ben Carson I have spent nearly my entire adult life within the American health care system as a physician, a neurosurgeon, and the chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. I have learned that the needs of each patient are unique. Any broad government mandate, however well-intended, can cause a cascade of effects that reduce the quality of care patients receive. Obamacare has proven to be no exception to this rule. Since the implementation of Obamacare, Americans have seen health care premiums skyrocket, choices diminish, and quality of care reduced. Medicare and Medicaid enrollees have been relegated to a two-tiered health system in which doctors are harder to find and waiting periods grow longer each year. This is not a health care system worthy of the greatest nation on earth. We must repeal and replace Obamacare with a system that empowers the American people with control over their own health care. My health care plan will establish Health Empowerment Accounts, or HEAs -- a new and expanded version of Health Savings Accounts -- that will be available to anyone with a valid Social Security number. These accounts will be owned specifically by the individual and not by the government or large corporations. The accounts will also remain with the owner through job changes or state-to-state relocation. HEAs will be created for every child at birth and are freely transferable from one family member to another. This system will enable Americans to build their own health accounts and grow them through a lifetime. Combined with high-deductible major medical coverage, HEAs will ensure that all American citizens have the ability to make health care choices that meet their individual needs, while also protecting them from the potential costs of major health problems and hospitalizations. Additionally, instituting HEAs within Medicare and Medicaid will greatly reduce the financial burdens that currently threaten the long-term solvency of these services. Already, Obamacare has placed a tremendous strain on both Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare patients have seen a major reduction in the choice of doctors. For example, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has reported that almost 10,000 doctors opted out of Medicare in 2012 alone -- a figure that is triple the number in 2009. Meanwhile, Medicare has grown in an unsustainable manner, with expenditures now topping $613 billion. These costs will only continue to grow in the years ahead as people live longer and as newer, more expensive medical advances emerge. If we are to keep our promise to current and future Medicare beneficiaries, we must modernize, not eliminate, the system. Medicare must reflect the medical advances that have increased American lifespans, while empowering beneficiaries to choose which health options are best suited to their individual needs. My plan will ensure a defined, fixed contribution to the private health plan of a Medicare enrollee's choosing. If the plan's premiums are less than the fixed contribution from Medicare, the entire difference will be paid directly into the individual's HEA. Conversely, if the beneficiary chooses a private plan whose premiums are higher than Medicare's fixed contribution, the individual will be allowed to use funds from his or her HEA, tax-free. Furthermore, to keep pace with the extended average American lifespan, the age of Medicare eligibility will be increased by two months each year until it eventually reaches age 70, at which time it would be indexed to keep pace with life expectancy. These reforms will ensure that the current and future generations of seniors have a health care system that works for their needs, not the government's. Medicaid enrollees have not been spared from Obamacare's doctor shortages either. The percentage of doctors who closed their practices to Medicare or Medicaid patients increased almost 50 percent between 2008 and 2012. Instead of Obamacare's parallel, two-tiered system that channels low-income persons into substandard traditional Medicaid, my plan creates a bridge that will enable enrollees to obtain the same private health insurance that other Americans enjoy, with the same choice of doctors and hospitals. Medicaid will provide fixed-dollar support to the states, which must use the funds for insurance premium payments and to seed HEAs for the enrollees. By expanding HEAs and high-deductible major medical coverage, my plan returns money and decision-making where it belongs -- to the hands of American patients and their doctors. Consumers will have more choices, lower costs, and a higher quality of care. At the same time, Medicare and Medicaid enrollees will have equal access to the same doctors and hospitals as the rest of the population. My plan puts faith in the American people, not a massive, faceless bureaucracy.

Samoa News - Op-Ed: Restoring Equality and Fairness to Our Fellow Americans in the Territories and Commonwealths

Dec. 5, 2015

By Dr. Ben Carson Many Americans do not appreciate the patriotism exhibited by our brothers and sisters in the Territories of American Samoa, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and in the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands. Year after year, you send more of your sons and daughters per capita into the U.S. Armed Services than any of the 50 states. I stand in awe of this commitment and thank you for your service to our country. All of the Territories and Commonwealths, especially those in the Pacific, are vitally important to our national security due to your positions as our first defense against potential encroachment by foreign powers. We often lose sight of the fact that the U.S. government treats you as second-class citizens, despite your service and status as American citizens. Whether intentionally or accidentally, we have not stood by you as much as you have stood by us. The government has negotiated trade agreements without your input, enacted labor policies that are crushing your economies, debated immigration protocol without considering how it would affect your communities, and yet we as a nation continue to demand more of you. I am saddened to hear that every day, more and more of you in the Territories and Commonwealths are leaving your families and homes because the healthcare and educational systems are inadequate. It is unfortunate that your economic opportunities continue to be decimated by policies imposed by politicians far away in Washington. Medical care in the American Territories and Commonwealths has historically lagged far behind the continental states, and Obamacare has only made the situation worse. Good health is an essential part of a thriving society and economy, and citizens of the Territories and Commonwealths deserve policies that work. More must be done to fix the broken healthcare systems. I pledge to you that if I am honored to earn your vote during the presidential primary process and am elected to serve, I will restore equality and fairness to the citizens of the Territories and Commonwealths. I will work to implement the following initiatives: I will appoint a Territory and Commonwealth Advisory Committee (TCAC) consisting of representatives from American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The TCAC will be integrated into my Presidential Transition Team, and be tasked with performing a holistic review of all federal regulations affecting the Territories and Commonwealths. Once sworn into office, I will appoint a Special Assistant to the President responsible for day-to-day interaction with the Territories and Commonwealths. I am confident that the TCAC will develop a comprehensive plan outlining actions to be immediately taken through the Executive branch, as well as a blueprint for legislation that my administration will actively pursue through Congress. I would also work hand in hand with Congresswoman Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen to enact the following measures immediately: I would strongly support relief from Cabotage restrictions. While the original intent of the Jones Act and Cabotage was to protect American companies, today the law keeps families separated and hampers already weakened economies. I find it appalling that one airline connects Hawaii to Pago Pago only twice a week and costs around $1,400 round trip. Meanwhile six airlines service a similarly distant route--Hawaii from Las Vegas--for around $600. Concrete connections between the Territories and the Commonwealths are impossible under these federally imposed conditions. While I am generally a strong proponent of free and open trade, I am concerned about the negative effect the Trans Pacific Partnership would have on American Samoa's economy, specifically the fisheries industry. The Obama administration, supported by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, negotiated the agreement that would phase out duties on canned tuna imports to the United States. The net result would be an increase in foreign competition to one of American Samoa's most important industries. As American Samoa is its own Customs Territory and is not party to trade agreements signed by Washington, it will end up incurring the cost of Washington's trade concessions without benefiting from reciprocity accorded to the Mainland by other TPP members. This is just the latest of a long list of examples of Washington politicians passing laws and regulations with little thought as to how it affects the Territories and Commonwealths. It is imperative that you have a voice in all major policies advanced by Washington. I fully understand that decades of unfairness cannot be undone overnight, but I am confident that by working with our brothers and sisters in our Territories and Commonwealths, we can restore equality and revive the economies and spirit of these beautiful islands.

Time - Ben Carson: The U.S. Must Not Accept Any Syrian Refugees

Nov. 17, 2015

By Dr. Ben Carson The carnage in Paris last Friday reminded us all of the evil of Islamic extremism. President Barack Obama has promised to "bring these terrorists to justice." Yet his administration appears altogether oblivious to the threat posed by an influx of refugees from war-torn Syria into the U.S. homeland. Furthermore, in the war against Islamic extremism, the President cannot even bring himself to confront the enemy by its name. This Monday, I sent letters to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan urging Congress to terminate all public funding for ongoing federal programs that seek to resettle refugees from Syria into the U.S. I also call on the American people to stop viewing Islamic extremism through the lens of political correctness. We now know that several teams of ISIS terrorist attacked six different locations in Paris, killing at least 132 people and wounding hundreds more. We have also learned that one of the terrorists responsible for this grotesque attack may have left Syria posing as a migrant and was able to gain safe entry to France, Belgium and perhaps other central European countries. Given the tragedy in Paris last Friday, the U.S. simply cannot, should not and must not accept any Syrian refugees. Unfortunately, the Obama administration has pledged that the U.S. would accept an additional 45,000 new refugees, mostly from Syria, from 2016 to 2017. This must not happen. Instead of half talk and feel-good promises, the U.S. must defend itself with sound security measures. Paris offers a bloody reminder that we must not be afraid to confront those who harbor the jihadist views that have spread violence and hatred around the world. Although President Obama and presidential candidates from the Democratic Party prefer to describe radical Islam as just a form of extremism, the rest of us should remember that jihadists who have spilled blood on our soil before and must never be allowed to do so again. If we thought Islamic extremism is a phenomenon reserved for foreign lands, terrorists have made sure to expose our naiveté. From London to Paris, Sydney to Madrid, Fort Hood to Chattanooga, radical Islamists and their lone wolf followers have inflicted their savagery across the civilized world. Paris now offers the latest gruesome reminder of radical Islam's barbarism. Given this troubling reality, and given the bloodbaths that have been perpetrated in the name of Islam in the modern era, I announced a few months ago that I personally would not support having a Muslim president in the White House if he or she had not renounced Islamic extremism, Sharia law or the tenets and practices of Islam that are in conflict with the Constitution. Certainly, not every Muslim subscribes to jihadist ideology. Throughout my career, I have worked with superb Muslim Americans. Many more have served America honorably by joining the U.S. military, fighting for America overseas, working with federal and local law enforcement to combat radicalization in their own communities and publicly denouncing the violent or misogynist teachings of radical Islamists. For their decency and courage, we should be grateful. Unfortunately, their own communities have often viciously vilified them as heretics and infidels. The reality is that the threat of radical Islam and the corrosive influence of Sharia law here in the U.S. is not just a figment of our imagination. The U.S. must defend itself by preventing the infiltration of terrorists who pose as refugees to enter our land. To do anything less is foolish.