News / USA

Republican US Presidential Hopefuls Spar on Jobs, Economy

Republican presidential candidates (L-R): Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, and Jon Huntsman stand on stage before the start of the Reagan Centennial GOP presidential primary debate at the Rona
Republican presidential candidates (L-R): Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, and Jon Huntsman stand on stage before the start of the Reagan Centennial GOP presidential primary debate at the Rona

Contenders for the Republican party's presidential nomination faced off in California, Wednesday evening, covering issues ranging from health care to border security.  The debaters included the front-runners in the party's selection process for the 2012 election, Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. 

Amid gloomy economic figures and polling data that shows Americans are losing confidence, Mitt Romney zeroed in on the key issue of the campaign.

“People are worried about whether they can make [pay] their bills at the end of the month.  A lot of folks have stopped looking for work.  People who have jobs are worried they might lose their jobs," he said. "Look, we have a crisis in confidence, in part, because we have an absence of leadership."

The eight candidates took to the stage at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, as former first lady Nancy Reagan looked on from the audience.   Governor Perry pointed to his record creating jobs in Texas, and Romney and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman also highlighted their job-creating record, each claiming that his experience combining politics and business qualified him for the job of president.

The candidates also tried to differentiate their positions on issues that divide conservatives and moderates within the Republican party, including the Social Security public pension system and climate change.  Mitt Romney is a moderate on both issues.  He says Social Security is troubled and needs to become solvent, but insists that it is important to older Americans.

Governor Perry is a skeptic on climate change and has called Social Security a ponzi scheme, that is, a fraudulent scheme that fleeces investors.  He admits that his language is provocative.

“Maybe it's time to have some provocative language in this country and say things like, 'Let's get America working again and do whatever it takes to make that happen',” Perry stated.

Michele Bachmann, a conservative member of Congress from Minnesota and the only woman on the stage, targeted President Barack Obama's health care plan, which would expand medical coverage and require Americans to purchase health insurance.  Republicans have assailed the plan as expensive, a job-killer and an infringement on personal liberties.

“This is the issue of 2012, together with jobs.  This is our window of opportunity," she said. "If we fail to repeal Obamacare in 2012, it will be with us forever and it will be socialized medicine.”

Mitt Romney said his business experience would help in trade relations with China.  Jon Huntsman, who served as ambassador to China under President Obama, said he would focus on improving the U.S. economy.

“What will fix the U.S.-China relationship realistically is fixing our core, right here at home, because our core is weak and it is broken," Huntsman noted. "And, we have no leverage at the negotiating table.”

Former congressman and speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich chided reporters for highlighting the differences among Republicans.

“I for one and I hope all of my friends up here are going repudiate every effort of the news media to get Republicans to fight each other to protect Barack Obama, who deserves to be defeated, and all of us are committed as a team, whoever the nominee is, we are all for defeating Barack Obama,” Gingrich stated.

And, Gingrich reiterated that the issue leading to election victory is jobs.

The debate was sponsored by NBC Television and the website Politico, and was broadcast live on a national cable television network.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid