Republican Presidential Contenders Debate Iran, Domestic Issues

U.S. Republican presidential candidates (L to R) U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich stand for the National Anthem before the start of the Republica
U.S. Republican presidential candidates (L to R) U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich stand for the National Anthem before the start of the Republica

The four remaining Republican presidential candidates took part in a televised debate late Wednesday in Arizona, one of two states holding Republican primary elections next Tuesday.  Most of the debate dealt with domestic issues but, Iran’s nuclear capability did spark a lively exchange among the contenders.

After nearly a month without a Republican debate, the four remaining contenders took to a stage in Mesa, Arizona, for a testy debate that covered a wide range of issues including taxes, government spending and illegal immigration.

But near the end the debate did delve into foreign policy and in particular how the United States should deal with Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Three of the four Republican contenders took a tough line on Iran and criticized the Obama administration for not doing enough to pressure Tehran on its nuclear program.

Among them was former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, who now leads the Republican field in national public opinion polls.

“When they are going up against a dangerous theocratic regime that wants to wipe out the state of Israel, that wants to dominate the radical Islamic world and take on the ‘Great Satan’, the United States, we do nothing.  That is a president who must go and you want a leader who will take them on.  I will do that,” he said.

Santorum’s main Republican rival is former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who faces a critical challenge in next week’s Michigan primary, the state where Romney grew up.

Romney also took a tough line on U.S. policy toward Iran.

“But nothing in my view is as serious a failure as his failure to deal with Iran appropriately.  This president should have put in place crippling sanctions against Iran.  He did not,” Romney said.

Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich has fallen behind in the polls but remains in the race.  Gingrich hopes to have a breakthrough on March 6th when his home state of Georgia and nine other states will vote in the so-called Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses.

Gingrich also advocated a tough line on Iran during the debate.

“If you think a madman is about to have nuclear weapons and you think that madman is going to use those nuclear weapons, then you have an absolute moral obligation to defend the lives of your people by eliminating the capacity to get nuclear weapons,” he said.

Only one of the four Republican candidates had a different view on Iran policy.  Texas Congressman Ron Paul opposed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and says he would not favor another U.S. military involvement in the Middle East.

“I disagree because we don’t know if they have a weapon.  Matter of fact there is no evidence they have it.  Israel claims they do not have it and our government doesn’t.  I don’t want them to have a weapon but I think what we are doing is encouraging them to have a weapon because they feel threatened.”

The debate was the last showdown for the candidates before next Tuesday’s primaries in Arizona and Michigan, and the 10 Super Tuesday contests on March 6th.

So far, three of the four contenders have won at least one primary or caucus vote but none of them have established any consistent political momentum or forged a large lead in the delegate count that will determine the Republican nominee at the party’s presidential nominating convention in Tampa, Florida, in late August.

Political experts say if the trend continues the Republican race could go on right up until the end of the primary season in early June.

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.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs