News

Republican US Presidential Contenders More Aggressive in Debate

After months of relatively gentle debate, the 10 Republicans running for president are getting more aggressive with each other in the 2008 campaign for the White House.  VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

In the latest debate held in South Carolina and televised by the Fox News Channel, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani may have helped himself with a statement on the 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S.

Giuliani responded to a comment from Texas Congressman Ron Paul about the roots of the 9/11 attacks.  Paul is the only Republican candidate who opposes the war in Iraq.

PAUL:  "They attack us because we have been over there.  We have been bombing Iraq for 10 years.  We have been in the Middle East.  I think [former President Ronald] Reagan was right.  We do not understand the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics."

GIULIANI:  "That is an extraordinary statement.  As someone who lived through the attack of September 11th, [to say that] we invited the attack, because we were attacking Iraq, I do not think I have ever heard that before.  And I have heard some pretty absurd explanations for September 11th."

There were other examples of a more aggressive tone among the Republican contenders.  Arizona Senator John McCain was asked about his opposition to torture in the questioning of terrorism suspects and his vow to close the terrorist detention camp at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"The use of torture, as much as we would gain from torture, we would lose in world opinion," said Senator McCain.  "We do not torture people."

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney also opposed the use of torture to obtain information about an impending terrorist attack.  But Romney said he would favor keeping the Guantanamo Bay prison open and doubling the number of terrorist suspects held there.

Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore said some of the frontrunners in the Republican field are trying to portray themselves as more conservative than they actually are.

Gilmore cited Giuliani's support for abortion rights and the fact that Romney was once a supporter of abortion, but now opposes it.  Gilmore also noted that McCain initially opposed President Bush's tax cut program.

Gilmore also repeated concerns about Iran that several of the Republican contenders expressed in their earlier debate in California.

"There is no choice at this point other than to join up with people across the world in order to put on serious, mandatory sanctions against Iran," he said.

Another of the lesser known Republican contenders, Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo, accused Giuliani, McCain and Romney of being weak on the issue of stopping illegal immigration into the U.S.

University of Virginia political analyst Larry Sabato said the second Republican debate demonstrated a new willingness on the part of several candidates to challenge each other.

"They have not been attacking one another until tonight, and this time they decided to unsheathe the short knives," he said.  "They went after each other, at least a bit and they drew some blood.  I think McCain was bleeding a bit, I think Romney was bleeding a bit.  Some of the minor candidates [as well], but they do not matter."

Public-opinion polls show Giuliani in the lead for the Republican nomination, followed by McCain and Romney, with the seven other active candidates trailing far behind.

But the polls also show support for two Republicans who are considering a White House run, but who have not declared their candidacies, former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia.

Craig Crawford of Congressional Quarterly magazine says none of the Republican candidates has yet captured the imagination of the party's social conservative wing, a crucial constituency in the nominating process.

"I think one of the biggest reasons the Republican race is wide open is that no one has a claim on the conservative chair, the social conservative chair in the Republican Party," he explained.

Thompson is expected to decide whether to enter the race in the next few weeks while Gingrich says he will make a decision by September.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs