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

Analysis: China Raises Hong Kong Rhetoric to Tiananmen Level

A front-page commentary in The People’s Daily called the current demonstrations 'chaos,' the same word Party officials used 25 years ago to describe the Tiananmen Square protests More

US Airstrikes Anger Syrian Civilians Fleeing Their Homes

Pentagon officials say they have seen no credible evidence of civilian deaths caused by US airstrikes against Islamic State militants More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid