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

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora