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

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states 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.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid