CBS News/NJ debate transcript, part 1
Herman Cain: I agree that it was an enhanced interrogation technique.
Major Garrett: And then you would support it at present. You would return to that policy.
Herman Cain: Yes, I would return to that policy. I don't see it as torture. I see it as an enhanced interrogation technique.
Major Garrett: Congressman-- congresswoman Bachmann, your opinion on this question that our emailer asked.
Michele Bachmann: If I were president, I would be willing to use waterboarding. I think it was very effective. It gained information for our country. And I-- and I also would like to say that today, under Barack Obama, he is allowing the A.C.L.U. to run the C.I.A. You need to understand that today-- today we-- it-- when we-- when we interdict a terrorist on the battlefield, we have no jail for them.
We have nowhere to take them. We have no C.I.A. interrogations anymore. It is as though we have decided we want to lose in the War on Terror under President Obama. That's not my strategy. My strategy will be that the United States will be victorious in the War on Terror.
Major Garrett: Congressman Paul, my spidey sense tells me we have a debate about to get launched here. I know you have an opinion you'd like to weigh in.
Ron Paul: Yes. Tor-- torture is illegal. And-- by our laws. It's illegal by international laws.
Major Garrett: How do you-- how do you define torture, sir?
Ron Paul: Well, waterboarding is torture. And-- and many other-- it's ill-- it's illegal under international law and under our law. It's also immoral. The-- and it's also very impractical. There's no evidence that you really get reliable evidence. Why would you accept the position of torturing 100 people because you know one person might have information? And that's what you do when you accept the principal of a-- of-- of-- of torture. I think it's-- I think it's uncivilized and prac-- and has no practical advantages and is really un-American to accept on principal that we will torture people that we capture.
Major Garrett: And that's time, thank--
Michele Bachmann: Major-- Major, I have to bring it up. I have to say--
Scott Pelley: Give-- you know, let's-- let's allow--
Michele Bachmann: I-- I-- I have-- I have to say something on this, Major.
Scott Pelley: --let's-- I'm sorry, Congresswoman, just a moment if you would, please.
Michele Bachmann: I-- I-- I--
Scott Pelley: Let's give-- let's give-- Governor Huntsman an opportunity to take 30 seconds on that question.
Jon Huntsman: Thank you. Gets a little lonely over here in Siberia.
Rick Santorum: Tell me about it.
Jon Huntsman: First of all, let me thank the sailor on the ship. I have two boys in the United States Navy. And all they wanna do is go on to fight, protect, and defend the great freedoms that we share in this country. This country has values. We have a name brand in the world. I've lived overseas four times. I've been an ambassador for my country three times. I've lived overseas and done business.
We diminish our standing in the world and the values that we project which include liberty, democracy, human rights, and open markets when we torture. We should not torture. Waterboarding is torture. We dilute ourselves down like a whole lot of other countries. And we lose that ability to project values that a lot of people in corners of this world are still relying on the United States to stand up for them.
Scott Pelley: And that is time. Thank you, sir. Governor Romney. Governor Romney, recently President Obama ordered the death of an American citizen who was suspected of terrorist activity overseas. Is it appropriate for the American president on the president's say-so alone to order the death of an American citizen suspected of terrorism?
Mitt Romney: Absolutely. In this case, this is an individual who had aligned himself with a-- with a group that had declared war on the United States of America. And-- and if there's someone that's gonna-- join with a group like Al-Qaeda that declares war on America and we're in a-- in a-- a war with that entity, then of course anyone who was bearing arms for that entity is fair game for the United States of America. Let me go back-- let me go back and just-- and just talk for a moment about the issue that the issue that a number of people have spoken about which is their definition of how their foreign policy might be different than this president.
My foreign policy's pretty straightforward. I would be guided by an overwhelming conviction that this century must be an American century where America has the strongest values, the strongest economy, and the strongest military. An American century means the century where America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world.
We have a president right now who thinks America's just another nation. America is an exceptional nation. We have a president who thinks that the way to conduct foreign policy is through his personal affects on other people. I'm-- I believe the way to conduct foreign policy is with American strength. Everything I do will make America stronger. And I will stand and use whatever means necessary within the law to make sure that we protect America's citizens and Americans' rights.
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