GOP Contenders: Extend Anti-terror Patriot Act

By: Philip Elliott, Associated Press
By: Philip Elliott, Associated Press

GOP Contenders Square Off on Immigration

Washington, D.C. (AP) - The Republican presidential hopefuls are
debating how to deal with the nation's illegal immigrants,
differing on how to deal with millions of people already in the
United States.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Tuesday that he wouldn't
"expel" those who have come illegally but have made lives in the
U.S. He says that the GOP cannot call itself a party for family
when it separates parents from their children born in the U.S.

Rep. Michele Bachmann says that allowing illegal immigrants to
stay is a form of amnesty. She and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt
Romney say benefits for illegal immigrants attract others.

But Romney adds he wants to encourage immigration, especially
among those educated at U.S. colleges.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry says the priority should be securing the


Republicans Take Issue with Cuts to Defense Budget

Washington, D.C. (AP) - Republican presidential hopefuls are assailing plans to cut the defense budget.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney says the cuts are
undermining troop capacity, delaying the building of aircraft carriers and cutting the capacity of the U.S. to defend itself.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry says that even Defense Secretary Leon
Panetta opposes the cuts. He says if Panetta is "an honorable
man," he should resign in protest.

The Pentagon is already facing $450 billion in cuts to projected
spending over the next 10 years, an amount that could more than
double beginning in 2013 under automatic cuts established by the
failure of the deficit-reduction supercommittee.

Two others at Tuesday night's GOP candidate debate, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, refused to say defense spending would be off
limits to budget cuts.


Gingrich: Cutting Off Gasoline Would Contain Iran

Washington, D.C. (AP) - Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich says the United States could "break Iran within a year" if allies worked together on a strategy instead of focusing on specific

Gingrich says that ending gasoline sales to Iran and sabotaging
its refineries would lead to regime change and end its nuclear
ambitions. The former House speaker says the world must change
regimes in Tehran before Iran acquires a nuclear weapon.

Other Republican presidential candidates debating in Washington
Tuesday night had different views of how to deal with Iran's
aggressive nuclear program.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he favors sanction on Iran's central

Businessman Herman Cain says he would support an Israeli
military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities only if he were
convinced it would work.


Romney, Huntsman Spar Over Afghanistan Policy

Washington, D.C. (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman says the United States has achieved important goals in Afghanistan and that it's time to bring home most of the military forces to focus on rebuilding the American economy.

During the foreign policy debate Tuesday night among GOP
candidates for president, Huntsman said he would leave behind as
many as 15,000 forces to help Afghans maintain their security.

Huntsman's view is at odds with rival Mitt Romney. The former
Massachusetts governor says the United States has a role to help
Afghanistan so terrorists don't take control.

Romney also says that the U.S. has a responsibility to finish
what it started in Afghanistan.


Bachmann, Perry Clash Over Pakistan Aid

Washington, D.C. (AP) - Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Texas Gov. Rick Perry are clashing over whether the United States should continue to provide more than $1 billion in aid to Pakistan.

Perry says that Pakistan has shown "time after time" that it
cannot be trusted and that he would not send the country "one
penny -- period."

Bachmann says Perry's approach is "naive," arguing that the
U.S. needs to have a presence in the region to protect its national
security. She called Pakistan a "violent, unstable nation" with
more than a dozen nuclear sites that could be penetrated.

The Obama administration has said the U.S. relationship with
Islamabad is vital to the nation's national security and has urged
Pakistan to crack down on the Taliban-linked Haqqani network.


GOP Contenders: Extend Anti-terror Patriot Act

Washington, D.C. (AP) - Republican presidential hopefuls supported the anti-terror Patriot Act in campaign debate Tuesday night, saying it should be extended or perhaps strengthened to help identify and capture those who would attack the United States.

Only Rep. Ron Paul of Texas among eight presidential hopefuls dissented, warning that the law is "unpatriotic because it undermines our liberties."

In a debate on national security issues, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said President Barack Obama has "essentially handed over our investigation of terrorists to the" American Civil Liberties Union. "Our CIA has no ability to investigate," she said. Bachmann did not cite any examples to buttress either of her claims.

The debate unfolded six weeks to the day before the Iowa caucuses inaugurate the competition for delegates to the Republican National Convention. The venerable DAR Constitution Hall was the site - a few blocks from the White House and as close as most if not all of the GOP hopefuls are likely to get.

The Patriot Act is one of the nation's principal tools in ferreting out terrorist threats but has often provoked dissents from both liberals and conservatives who argue that in the name of national security it erodes constitutional protections.

Paul made that point, and said other investigative techniques captured Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

Gingrich jumped at that. "That's the whole point. Timothy McVeigh killed a lot of Americans," the former House speaker said. "I don't want a law that says after we lose an entire American city we're going to find you."

Neither Gingrich nor any other Republican mentioned that Obama, like President George W. Bush before him, signed legislation extending the Patriot Act. He did so while traveling in Europe last May, putting him name on a four-year extension of the law that gives the government sweeping powers to search records and conduct wiretaps in pursuit of terrorists.

There was more disagreement when it came to the war in Afghanistan.

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman said it was time for the United States to withdraw nearly all its troops.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said top generals disagreed with that and asked Huntsman if he was talking about a withdrawal beginning immediately.

"Did you hear what I said?" Huntsman asked across the debate stage, noting that under the Constitution the president is commander in chief. A few moments later, referring to Vietnam, he said a president had listened to the generals in 1967, and the outcome was not in the interests of the United States.

Also on the debate stage were businessman Herman Cain and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

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  • by Gerry Location: Tallahassee on Nov 23, 2011 at 02:55 PM
    Where in the US Constitution is the government's right to protect its citizenry from foreign acts of violence expressed or implied? Congress has the power to declare war, but hasn't done so. The President takes an oath to defend the Constitution, not to protect the US.
  • by Patriot on Nov 23, 2011 at 01:26 PM
    Rethuglicons alwasy puff up when the "D" word is raised. But they are actually weak on defense. They prefer to grab all that taxpayer money through corrupt contracting and backdoor deals while piously claiming to be against wasteful government spending (remember Halliburtan? and the Koch brothers trading secretly with Iran?). And it is Obama who caught Osama and worked with our allies to depose Qadaffi. Bush was just a little boy with a real life video game to imagine himself a hero at the espense of American blood and treasure.
  • by John on Nov 23, 2011 at 06:34 AM
    All you Liberals must not know that Bummer extended it from Bush. it’s in effect as we speak!
  • by Jane on Nov 23, 2011 at 05:55 AM
    So let me get this straight, the republicans who want less governmet intrusion in our lives are openly advocating for greater restrictions on our freedoms and liberty. And the people cheer these efforts? Americans are dumber than I thought.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 23, 2011 at 08:09 AM in reply to Jane
      We want less government in our lives, however the government has a constitutional right to protect its citizenry from foreign acts of violence.
  • by Georgia Boy Location: Cairo on Nov 23, 2011 at 03:09 AM
    So you had rather wait until we DO lose an Amercian city, or have long term contamination from a dirty bomb, or more innocent men, women, and children are killed? I assure you, those who lost a loved one among the 168 in Oklahoma City and the 3,200 that died on 9/11 suffered a devastating loss. And, Gerry, I'll bet you would be screaming for gun control if some strung out thug shot you or a member of your family. What about the right guaranteed by the Constitution to have and bear arms? Does it have less significance than other rights?
    • reply
      by Gerry on Nov 23, 2011 at 05:19 AM in reply to Georgia Boy
      Can you prove the Patriot Act has prevented the loss of an American city? Can you prove the Patriot Act has resulted in the prevention of a single terrorism episode that would not have been prevented in the absence of the Patriot Act? There has never been the loss of any city anywhere to terrorists. America has lost 3 and a fraction buildings, not cities. There has never been a terrorist attack in Georgia or Florida. Why is it that the US is the only country which tries terrorists in special military tribunals instead of civilian courts? The US population needs to be intimidated and frightened so it will obey.
      • reply
        by God Bless America on Nov 23, 2011 at 05:50 AM in reply to Gerry
        yes are still alive.
      • reply
        by GV on Nov 23, 2011 at 06:55 AM in reply to Gerry
        Can you prove that they haven't?
        • reply
          by No Sir on Nov 23, 2011 at 01:20 PM in reply to GV
          GV, you can't prove a negative. Did you forget that red herring, WMD, that started a wasteful war, costing hundreds of billions and strengthening Iran in the process?
      • reply
        by lee on Nov 23, 2011 at 08:07 AM in reply to Gerry
        Can you prove it has not prevented another attack? You sound like a corruptocrat.
      • reply
        by Gerry on Nov 23, 2011 at 12:40 PM in reply to Gerry
        The fact that the names of the terrorist(s), foiled by the Patriot Act and only by the Patriot Act, are not on everybody's lips is the proof. The FBI pats itself on the back when it foils a terrorist plot it has created and then entrapped some simpleton to participate in. Do you think the gubmint wouldn't publicize the successes attributable to the Patriot Act alone, and the fact they are attributable to the Patriot Act alone? I can't figure out which characterizes Americans more, their stupidity or their sheepleness.
        • reply
          by What??? on Nov 23, 2011 at 04:16 PM in reply to Gerry
          Hey Gerry if the FBI knocks on your door is your excuse going to be I am a simpleton & entrapped by Americans???
  • by Gerry Location: Tallahassee on Nov 22, 2011 at 08:32 PM
    Some thing like 3,000 people died on 9/11. 168 were killed in Oklahoma City. We haven't lost an entire American city or anywhere near it. We've had 2 bad days in the last 20 years. We strip away rights from 300,000,000 American sheep because of 2 terrorist attacks and 3,200 dead. We read the 300 million's e-mail and listen to their phone calls. Who says Osama bin Laden lost the GWOT?
    • reply
      by Bubba on Nov 23, 2011 at 03:07 AM in reply to Gerry
      Exactly, so why is it that conservatives are so hell bent on eliminating the few civil rights we have left vis-a-vis an expanded patriot act? Fear. Fear is their weapon of choice - it is all they know - it is what they want.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Nov 23, 2011 at 05:39 AM in reply to Bubba
        Blah, blah, blah....
        • reply
          by Bubba on Nov 23, 2011 at 11:00 AM in reply to
          Can't stomach the truth, eh?
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Nov 23, 2011 at 11:36 AM in reply to Bubba
        I know the truth. All us Americans are lazy like your leader said. How many conservatives are on the public dole?
        • reply
          by Bubba on Nov 23, 2011 at 05:45 PM in reply to
          By the time I am done counting all businesses taking money from the government including, agriculture, big pharma, energy and more, I am well beyond any number you are willing to admit to - liar!
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