News / USA

Republican Presidential Contenders Hold First Major Debate

Republican presidential hopefuls at the beginning of the first New Hampshire debate of the 2012 campaign in Manchester, New Hampshire June 13, 2011
Republican presidential hopefuls at the beginning of the first New Hampshire debate of the 2012 campaign in Manchester, New Hampshire June 13, 2011

Seven Republicans who would like the chance to defeat President Barack Obama in next year’s presidential election held their first major debate Monday in the early contest state of New Hampshire.

Coming into this first major debate of the 2012 campaign season, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is seen by many as the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination and he continues to lead in public opinion polls.

Romney wasted little time in going after President Obama’s economic record.

“He didn’t create the recession, but he made it worse and longer," said Romney. "This president has failed and he has failed at a time when the American people counted on him to create jobs and get the economy going.”

One of Romney’s leading rivals is former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty who criticized President Obama as what he called an economic “declinist”.

“If China can have five percent growth and Brazil can have five percent growth, then the United States of America can have five percent growth and I don’t accept this notion that we are going to be average or anemic,” said Pawlenty.

Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich also hammered away at President Obama’s handling of the economy.

“The Obama administration is anti-jobs, anti-business, anti-American energy.  They [Congress] ought to start creating jobs right now for those 14 million Americans [out of work]," said Gingrich. "This is a depression now.”

Gingrich has vowed to remain in the campaign despite a mass walkout by his senior campaign staff last week.

Monday’s debate also featured an announcement from Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann that she is now an official candidate for president.

Bachmann vowed to repeal President Obama’s health care reform law, as did many of the other contenders, and urged Republicans to unite behind a nominee next year.

“We need everybody to come together because we are going to win, make no mistake about it," said Bachmann. "And, President Obama is a one term president!”

Although much of the debate focused on the domestic economy, foreign policy issues were discussed, including U.S. support for NATO efforts in Libya, which several of the candidates oppose.

“He has turned his back on American allies and he has embraced our enemies,” said former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum.

Georgia businessman Herman Cain also took part in the debate, as did Texas Congressman Ron Paul, the only Republican contender who favors the pullout of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

The candidates also discussed immigration, abortion and energy issues.

Throughout the evening, the seven Republicans kept up their attacks on President Obama’s economic record, especially the high unemployment rate that now stands at 9.1 percent.

Obama is well aware that improving the jobs picture is central to his re-election hopes next year and he made that clear again Monday during an economic speech in North Carolina.

“I will not be satisfied until everyone who wants a good job that offers some security has a good job that offers security,” he said.

Among those Republicans who were not at Monday’s debate but who could still join the presidential field are former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and Texas Governor Rick Perry.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid