CBS Republican Debate Transcript- Part 2

CBS News Republican Presidential Debate Transcript

Rushed Partial Transcript: Part Two

FEBRUARY 13, 2016

JOHN DICKERSON:
09:18:22:00 Senator Rubio, (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) just– 30 seconds on this question, Senator Rubio. Are those the questions you would ask?
SEN. MARCO RUBIO:
09:18:31:00 No. I think there are three major threats that you want to immediately get on top of. Number one is, what are we doing in the Asia Pacific region, where both North Korea and China pose threats to the national security of the United States. Number two is, what are we doing in the Middle East with the combination of the Sunni/Shia conflict driven by the Shia Arc, that Iran is now trying to establish in the Middle East and also the growing threat of ISIS.

09:18:52:00 And the third is rebuilding and reinvigorating NATO in the European theater, particularly in Central Europe and in Eastern Europe, where Vladimir Putin is now territor– the territory of multiple countries, already controls 20% of Georgia, and a significant percentage of Ukraine.
JOHN DICKERSON:
09:19:06:00 Let me ask you– a follow-up– a full, proper question then. (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) Vi– Violent extremists are operating, are active in 40 countries, some 80 countries are in– a different dis– degrees of instability. And so that’s just the crises overseas. Barack Obama walked into an economic collapse when he came into office, we face international health crises from Ebola to– to Zika. So there’s a lot of opportunity for crisis, as you’ve talked about. What would you point to in your past to show voters that you’ve been in a crisis and that you’ve been tested, when that inevitable crisis comes in your presidency–
SEN. MARCO RUBIO:
09:19:44:00 Well, let me just tell you what happened a couple years ago. One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever make in Congress is when you are asked by the president to authorize the use of force in a conflict. Because you are now putting your name on behalf of the people of your state, behind a military action where Americans in uniform could lose their life.

09:20:00:00 So in 2014, Barack Obama said he would not take military action against Assad unless it was authorized by the Senate beginning on the Committee of Foreign Relations, where I am one of its members. And it was hard, because you looked at the pictures. I saw the same images people– so I’m the father of children. I saw the images of these little children– been gassed and poisoned by their own leaders.

09:20:21:00 And we were angry. Something had to happen. And there was the sense that we needed to seek retribution. And then I looked at Barack Obama’s plan. Barack Obama’s plan, which John Kerry later described as “unbelievably small,” and I concluded that that attack would not only not help the situation, it would make it actually worse.

09:20:37:00 It would allow Assad to stand up to the United States of America, survive a strike, stay in power, and actually strengthen its grip. And so it was a difficult decision to make. And when we only had a few days to look at it, make a decision on, and I voted against Barack Obama’s plan to use force, and it was the right decision.
JOHN DICKERSON:
09:20:53:00 Dr. Carson, I want to ask you a question. (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) Dr Carson, you’ve said you had more 2:00 a.m. ph– 2:00 a.m. phone calls than anybody up on this stage. But when those 2:00 a.m. phone calls came, you operated on a foundation of all that amazing medical work that you did. All of that learning. So if you were to be president, though, you wouldn’t have the political foundation that hones those instincts when the 2:00 a.m. phone call comes. So (UNINTEL) a liability?
DR. BEN CARSON:
09:21:24:00 No, it isn’t. First of all, let me– go back to your– first question for me. It wasn’t phrased as who gets to– nominate the Supreme Court– appointees. Of course that’s the president. So I know that there’s some left-wing media who will try to make hay on that. Secondly– thank you for including me in the debate. Two questions already, this is great. (LAUGHTER) (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE)

09:21:48:00 Now, if– as far as those 2:00 a.m. phone calls are concerned– judgment is what is required. And– the kinds of things that you come up with are sometimes very, very difficult and very unique. One of the things that I was known for is doing things that have not been done before. So no amount of experience really prepares you to do something that has never been done before.

09:22:16:00 That’s where judgment comes in. And– that, I think, is a situation that we’re in right now, a situation that we have never been in before, with the kinds of threats that– pose a real danger to our nation. And it comes in very handy in those situations.
JOHN DICKERSON:
09:22:31:00 Governor Kasich, Russia is being credited– (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) Russia is being credited with bombing U.S.-backed rebels on behalf of Assad in Aleppo and Syria. They’ve also– moved into the Crimea, between Ukraine. You’ve said you want to punch them in the nose. What does that mean? What are you gonna do–
GOV. JOHN KASICH:
09:22:50:00 John, first of all– yes, first of all, look, we have to make it clear to Russia what we expect. We don’t have to declare an enemy or rattle a sword or threaten. But we need to make it clear what we expect. Number one, is we will arm– the folks in Ukraine who are fighting for their freedom. They deserve it. There’ll be no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

09:23:07:00 Secondly, an attack on NATO, trumped up on any excuse of Russian-speaking people, either in the NATO countries or in Finland or Sweden, is gonna be an attack on us. And look, I think we have an opportunity as America to put something really great together again. The Egyptians, the Saudis, the Jordanians, the Gulf states, it’s– they all know they’re at risk.

09:23:29:00 We didn’t– we need to look into Europe, we look at France, we look at Germany and the migrants, we look at Belgium, we look at Britain. Everybody now is being threatened by radical Islam. We have an opportunity to lead. You know, the fact of the matter is, the world is desperate for leadership.

09:23:44:00 Sometimes they may– they may make a remark here, there, that we don’t like. But frankly, the world needs us. And we have an opportunity now to assemble a coalition of the civilized people, those who respect civilization, the rights of women, the rights to protest, be able to reassert our leadership all across this globe absolutely, and make sure (BELL) this century is going to be the best we’ve ever seen.
JOHN DICKERSON:
09:24:06:00 Governor– (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) Governor Bush–
GOV. JEB BUSH:
09:24:09:00 Yeah?
JOHN DICKERSON:
09:24:10:00 –you’ve said, “Defeating ISIS requires defeating Assad.” But wouldn’t that also put us into conflict with Russia, a country that supports Assad? So doesn’t that mean effectively Assad is there to stay?
GOV. JEB BUSH:
09:24:21:00 No, it doesn’t. And that’s the problem. The lack of leadership in this country, by Barack Obama, j– John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, thinking that– this is a policy that works, this policy of containment with ISIS, it’s a complete, unmitigated disaster. And to allow Russia now to have influence in Syria makes it harder.

09:24:38:00 But we need to destroy ISIS and dispose of Assad, to create a stable Syria so that the four million refugees aren’t a breeding ground for Islamic jihadists. This is the problem. Donald Trump brought up the fact that he would– he’d want to accommodate Russia. Russia is not taking out– ISIS. They’re– they’re attacking our– our t– our team, the team that we’ve been training and the team that we’ve been supporting.

09:25:01:00 It is absolutely ludicrous to suggest that Russia could be a positive partner in this. They are on the run. They are making– every time we step back, they’re on the run. The question that you asked was a really good one about what you would do, what three things would you do. I would restore– military.

09:25:17:00 The sequester needs to be re– reversed. I would have a strategy to destroy ISIS. And I would immediately create a policy of containment– as it relates to Iran’s ambitions and to make it– make clear that we are not going to allow for Iran to do what it’s doing, which is to move towards a nuclear weapon. Those three things would be the first and foremost things that we need to do in this– (BELL) in 2017.
JOHN DICKERSON:
09:25:39:00 Mr. Trump, you’re– (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) Mr. Trump, you were– you were mentioned here. You did you say could get along very well with Vladimir Putin, you did at one point–
09:25:50:00 (OVERTALK)
JOHN DICKERSON:
09:25:50:00 –take care of ISIS–
MR. DONALD TRUMP:
09:25:51:00 Call me a genius, I like him so far. I have to tell you. Let me just tell you this. Jeb is so wrong. Jeb is absolutely so– (BOOING) that’s– just so you understand, you know what that is? That’s Jeb’s special interests and lobbyists talking. Look– (AUDIENCE REACTION) let me just tell you something. Jeb– Jeb is so wrong.

09:26:12:00 You’ve gotta fight ISIS first. You fight ISIS first. Right now you have Russia, you have Iran, you have them with Assad and you have them with Syria. You have to knock out ISIS. They’re chopping off heads. These are animals. You have to knock ’em out, you have to knock ’em off strong.

09:26:27:00 You decide what to do after. You can’t fight two wars at one time. If you listen to him, and you listen to some of the folks that I’ve been listening to, that’s why we’ve been in the Middle East for 15 years. And we haven’t won anything. We’ve spent $5 trillion in the Middle East (CHEERING) because of thinking like that. (APPLAUSE) We’ve spent five– (BELL)
JOHN DICKERSON:
09:26:45:00 All right.
MR. DONALD TRUMP:
09:26:46:00 –with Lindsey Graham, Lindsey Graham, who backed him, who had zero on his polls. Let me just tell you something, we’ve said– (AUDIENCE REACTION) we’ve spent– we’ve spent– I only tell the truth, lobbyists. We’ve spent $5 trillion all over the m– we have to rebuild our country, we have to rebuild our infrastructure. You listen to that, you’re gonna be–
JOHN DICKERSON:
09:27:07:00 All right–
MR. DONALD TRUMP:
09:27:08:00 –there for another 15–
09:27:08:00 (OVERTALK)
JOHN DICKERSON:
09:27:09:00 All right, Governor Bush–
09:27:10:00 (OVERTALK)
JOHN DICKERSON:
09:27:10:00 –please respond.
GOV. JEB BUSH:
09:27:11:00 So the very basic fact is that Vladimir Putin’s not gonna be an ally of the United States. The whole world knows this. It’s a simple, basic fact. (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) They’re not taking out– they’re not– they’re not even attempting to take out ISIS. They’re– they’re attacking the troops that we’re supporting. we need to create a coalition, Sunni-led coalition on the ground, with our special operators to destroy ISIS and bring about stability. And you can’t do that with Assad in power.
09:27:35:00 (OVERTALK)
MR. DONALD TRUMP:
09:27:35:00 Where’s the 40 troops that we don’t even know who they are–
09:27:36:00 (OVERTALK)
MR. DONALD TRUMP:
09:27:37:00 Where’s the 40 troops–
GOV. JEB BUSH:
09:27:38:00 That’s ridiculous.
MR. DONALD TRUMP:
09:27:39:00 –that we don’t even know who they are?
JOHN DICKERSON:
09:27:41:00 Mr. Trump– (AUDIENCE REACTION) all right.
MR. DONALD TRUMP:
09:27:42:00 We have no idea who they are.
JOHN DICKERSON:
09:27:43:00 Gentlemen, I think we’re gonna– we’re gonna leave that there, I’ve got questions for senator–
GOV. JEB BUSH:
09:27:46:00 This from a guy who gets his foreign policy from the shows.
MR. DONALD TRUMP:
09:27:48:00 Oh yeah, yeah.
GOV. JEB BUSH:
09:27:49:00 This is a guy who thinks that Hillary Clinton was a great negotiator in Iran.
09:27:53:00 (OVERTALK)
GOV. JEB BUSH:
09:27:54:00 We’re living in dangerous times.
MR. DONALD TRUMP:
09:27:55:00 –New Hampshire.
GOV. JEB BUSH:
09:27:56:00 This is a man who insults his way to the nomination.
MR. DONALD TRUMP:
09:27:58:00 –thirty-four million.
JOHN DICKERSON:
09:27:59:00 All right, all right–
MR. DONALD TRUMP:
09:28:00:00 Give me a break.
JOHN DICKERSON:
09:28:01:00 Gentlemen, gentlemen, let’s leave it there so I can ask a question to Senator Cruz, who’s also running for president. (LAUGHTER) Senator Cruz, (CHEERING) you talked about the first– the First Gulf War as being a kind of model for your focused and determined effort to go after– after ISIS. But there were 700,000 ground troops as a part of that. So– and you don’t have a ground component to your plan. Why?
SEN. TED CRUZ:
09:28:23:00 Well, we need to focus on what the objective is. You know, your question about the first three questions you would ask in– in the situation room, I think it is a problem if the president, commander in chief we’ve– we’ve elected does not have the experience and background to understand the threats facing this country coming in on day one.

09:28:42:00 If you look at the threats facing this country, the single-greatest threat, national security threat is the threat of a nuclear Iran. That’s why I pledged on day one to rip to shreds this Iranian nuclear deal. And anyone that thinks you can negotiate with Khomeini (APPLAUSE) does not understand the nature of Khomeini.

09:29:00:00 When it comes to ISIS, we’ve gotta have a focused objective. One of the problems of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy, and sadly, too many establishment Republicans in Washington, is they focused on issues unrelated to protecting this country. They focused on nation building. They focused on toppling governments to promote democracy, and it ends up undermining our natural security.

09:29:22:00 Now with regard to ISIS, we need a commander in chief that sets the objective we will utterly defeat them, because they have declared war, they’ve declared jihad on us. Now what do we need to carry (BELL) that out? We need overwhelming air power, we need to arm the Kurds, who can be our boots on the ground, and if ground troops are necessary, then we should employ ’em. But it shouldn’t be politicians demonstrating political toughness, it should be military expert judgment carrying out the objectives set up by the commander in chief. (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE)

***

Transcript Courtesy CBS News

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