Republican presidential candiates made their cases in front of a panel of state attorneys general during Mike Huckabee’s New York City forum Saturday.
Three attorneys general — Pam Bondi, of Florida, Ken Cuccinelli, of Virginia, and Scott Pruitt, of Oklahoma — posed questions to the six candidates.
Once again, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's bold plan to reform immigration law sparked much debate.
Bondi said Gingrich’s plan to create neighborhood boards charged with determining whether illegal immigrants should be given the right to stay in the United States “would undermine the rule of law.”
“That is what we do in a jury trial,” Gingrich responded. “That’s the whole point. That’s why the founding fathers who distrusted judges insisted on juries. Because ultimately, in a free society, the citizens have to bear responsibility for their own culture and their own society. And ultimately, they are — I believe they are — more trustworthy. If you ask me, ‘Would I trust a jury or a Washington bureaucrat?’ I would rather have my fate decided by a jury of my peers than have my fate decided by a Washington bureaucrat.”
The panel asked Mitt Romney about his support of the No Child Left Behind program initiated by President Bush, Fox News reported.
“President Bush recognized that the only way for us to determine which schools were succeeding and which were failing, which teachers were succeeding and which were failing, was to test our kids,” Romney responded. “And the only way that could happen was for the federal government to stand up to the huge federal teachers’ unions that have massive resources, huge number of members. He stood up to them. I look forward to the day when we don’t have to have that federal role because education should be held at the local level. It should be managed and controlled by states, by localities, by parents and families, and not by the federal government.”
At one point during the forum, Ron Paul defended his political views and said they “would not create anarchy in the United States.”
“Even on the Federal Reserve, everybody knows my position on the Federal Reserve — it is unconstitutional, but I don't advocate that you close down the Federal Reserve tomorrow,” Paul said. “I advocate competing currencies...so I have transition programs, and that makes a big difference.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who repeatedly has said he would issue an executive order to repeal Obamacare if elected, backpedaled when one of the panelists described his position as “untenable,” Fox News reported.
“I’m saying we can stop parts of it,” Perry said. “The other parts of it obviously would have to be done from the rules standpoint.”
Perry also touted his belief in the 10th Amendment and asked the forum to take a “second look” at him as a candidate.
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