News / USA

Republican Candidates Square off in Iowa Debate

Republican presidential candidates former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney listens to Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., during the Iowa GOP/Fox News Debate at the CY Stephens Auditorium in Ames, Iowa, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011
Republican presidential candidates former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney listens to Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., during the Iowa GOP/Fox News Debate at the CY Stephens Auditorium in Ames, Iowa, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011

Republican presidential hopefuls have descended on the central U.S. state of Iowa to prepare for the first test of their popularity with voters.  The Iowa Straw Poll on August 13 could give the winning candidate momentum heading into the 2012 presidential campaign.  A televised debate ahead of the poll gave the eight participating candidates an opportunity to give voters insight into how they would lead the country.

Months of political debate over raising the U.S. debt ceiling, followed by a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating by Standard &  Poor's, and capped by a volatile week on Wall Street, all led to a theme throughout the Republican Presidential debate in Ames Iowa - how to fix the U.S. economy.

The debate was broadcast Thursday on the Fox News Channel.  Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, considered the front-runner for the Republican nomination, blamed President Barack Obama for the country's economic crisis.

“The most important thing we are talking about tonight is making sure that President Obama is replaced by someone who knows how to get this economy going again.  That’s what this debate is really about and that is what Americans want to understand,” he said.

Romney shared the stage with Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, businessman Herman Cain, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

“We just heard from Standard & Poor's.  When they dropped our credit rating what they said is we don’t have the ability to repay our debt.  That’s what the final word was from them.  I was proved right in my position.  We should have not raised the debt ceiling,” said Bachmann.

Some of the other topics discussed throughout the two-hour debate included the candidates' attitudes towards health care legislation, and the execution of the war on terrorism.

Questions about Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon led to a heated exchange between Santorum and Congressman Paul.

“Iran does not have an air force that can come here," said Paul.  They can’t even make enough gasoline for themselves, and here we are building up this case like - just like we did in Iraq!  Build up the war propaganda.  There was no al-Qaida in Iraq, and they had nuclear weapons and we had to go in, and I’m sure that you supported that war as well!  It’s time we quit this.  It’s trillions of dollars we are spending on these wars!"

About halfway through the debate, candidates were asked about someone not present, but widely expected to join the race in the coming days.

Texas Governor Rick Perry could be a formidable candidate who can potentially appeal to social and economic conservatives.  He also has a strong record growing jobs while governor.  Surveys found most Republican primary voters plan to support Romney, with Perry next in line.

Regardless of who emerges as the front-runner, retiree Bruce Woods from Urbandale Iowa wants a nominee who can bridge the current divide between the two political parties.

“I think what we’re going to have to do is somehow figure out a way to compromise on both sides and get things back in order,” he said.

Des Moines attorney and former candidate for Iowa state treasurer Joan Bolin agrees.  She supported John McCain in the 2008 presidential election, but has not decided who she will support in 2012.

“I think that one of the problem’s that we have is that we’ve basically lost middle ground.  We’ve lost too many of the moderates.  I’m a moderate, can you tell?  We have lost them and they actually were glue,” she said.

Politics runs in Bolin’s family.  Her grandfather, Ben Jensen, served as a congressman from Iowa for 26 years.

“And although he was a Republican and I was a Democrat as a young person, basically he worked very hard to keep people working together.  And that I think is something we ought to look for in anyone we elect,” said Jensen.

While many likely Republican voters are dissatisfied with the current list of candidates for president, Governor Rick Perry’s entrance into the race, and a potential second run at the White House by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, could give those dissatisfied voters other options heading into the primary election season.

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid