(Reuters) - Republican candidates vying for the
chance to take on U.S. President Barack Obama in 2012 faced off
in South Carolina in a debate Saturday.
Here are some of their main quotes.
MITT ROMNEY, FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR
On Iranian nuclear ambitions:
"If we re-elect Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon. If
we elect Mitt Romney, if we elect me as the next president,
they will not have a nuclear weapon."
On U.S. trade with China:
"We can't just sit back and let China run all over us.
People say, well, you'll start a trade war. There's one going
on right now, folks. They're stealing our jobs and we're going
to stand up to China."
On U.S. exceptionalism:
"We have a president right now who thinks America is just
another nation. America is an exceptional nation. ... I believe
the way to conduct foreign policy is with American strength."
HERMAN CAIN, FORMER PIZZA EXECUTIVE
On U.S. military action against Iran:
"Not at this time. I would not entertain military
How he would receive advice from military advisers:
"Because I'll have a multiple group of people offering
different recommendations, this gives me the best opportunity
to select the one that makes the most amount of sense. But
ultimately it's up to the commander-in-chief to make that
Defending the practice of waterboarding, a type of
"I agree that it was enhanced interrogation technique. ...
Yes, I would return to that policy. I don't see it as torture.
I see it as enhanced interrogation technique."
RICK PERRY, TEXAS GOVERNOR
Declaring a "starting at zero" foreign aid policy:
"The foreign aid budget in my administration for every
country is going to start at zero dollars. Zero dollars. ...
Then we'll have a conversation in this country about whether or
not a penny of our taxpayer dollars needs to go into those
Interrupting the moderator's question about Perry's
proposal to eliminate the Department of Energy:
"I'm glad you remembered it."
Responding to a question on U.S. cybersecurity and China:
"I happen to think that the communist Chinese government
will end up on the ash heap of history if they do not change
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF
On Perry's foreign aid policy:
"You ought to start off with zero and say, 'Explain to me
why I should give you a penny.' ... The Pakistanis hid bin
Laden for at least six years in a military city within a mile
of their national defense university. And then they got mad at
the people who turned him over to us."
On aid and policy towards post-revolutionary Egypt:
"It would certainly be completely rethought. ... The degree
to which the Arab spring may become an anti-Christian spring is
something which bothers me a great deal. I would certainly have
the State Department intervening on behalf of the Christians
who are being persecuted under the new system having their
churches burned, having people killed.
MICHELE BACHMANN, U.S. CONGRESSWOMAN FROM MINNESOTA
On the use of waterboarding:
"If I were president, I would be willing to use
waterboarding. I think it was very effective. It gained
information for our country."
Criticizing Obama's treatment of Israel:
"It seems that the table is being set for worldwide nuclear
war against Israel. And if there's anything that we know,
President Obama has been more than willing to stand with Occupy
Wall Street, but he hasn't been willing to stand with Israel."
RON PAUL, U.S. CONGRESSMAN FROM TEXAS
On the use of torture:
"Why would you accept the position of torturing a hundred
people because you know one person might have information? And
that's what you do when you accept the principle of torture. I
think it's -- I think it's uncivilized and -- and have no
practical advantages and it's really un-American to accept, on
principle, that we will torture people that we capture."
RICK SANTORUM, FORMER U.S. SENATOR FROM PENNSYLVANIA
On the threat of a nuclear Iran:
"We should be working with Israel right now to do what they
did in Syria, what they did in Iraq, which is take out that
nuclear capability before the next explosion we hear in Iran is
a nuclear one and then the world changes."
JON HUNTSMAN, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO CHINA
Why U.S. troops should come home from Afghanistan:
"I say this nation's future is not Afghanistan. This
nation's future is not Iraq. This nation's future is how
prepared we are to meet the 21st century challenges, that's
economic and that's education."
(Compiled by Lily Kuo; Editing by Will Dunham)
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