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 As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    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.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.