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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora