"Face the Nation" transcript: October 23, 2011

Below is a rush transcript of "Face the Nation" on October 23, 2011, hosted by CBS News chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer. The guests are Republican  Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, CBS News political analyst John Dickerson and GOP strategist Kevin Madden.

You can watch the full show by clicking on the video player above.

For transcripts from previous 2011 broadcasts click here.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Today on FACE THE NATION, the war winds down. The campaign heats up.

PRESIDENT BARRACK OBAMA: As promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year.

BOB SCHIEFFER: According to the polls that's exactly what a majority of Americans wanted to hear, but the leading Republican candidates went ballistic.

HERMAN CAIN: I think it's going to leave a big vacuum in Iraq.

MITT ROMNEY: We were going to have a presence in Iraq going forward. That was part of our objective and this President has failed to deliver.

GOVERNOR RICK PERRY: The last thing that you want to do is put those men and women's lives in peril. And I think that's what the President's done.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Was the President just playing politics or did he even have a choice? We'll hear from two of the Republicans--Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum. We'll get their thoughts and the other campaign news.

And speaking of Iraq, we got a peek at Newsweek's exclusive report on former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's new book. We'll discuss that with our round table of CBS News political analyst John Dickerson, and Mitt Romney's advisor Kevin Madden. Then I'll have a final thought about Robert Pierpont, the long-time CBS correspondent who died yesterday.

It's all ahead on FACE THE NATION.

ANNOUNCER: From CBS News in Washington, FACE THE NATION with Bob Schieffer.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And good morning again. We begin this morning with Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. She's in Des Moines. Miss Bachmann, you and the other Republican candidates had withering criticism when the President announced he was bringing the troops home from Iraq. But Secretary of State Clinton says this morning Republicans should have made those complaints to former President Bush when he struck that deal during his administration to bring them home at the end of this year. What's your response to that?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN (Republican Presidential Candidate/R-Minnesota): Well, President Obama has been in office now for two and a half years, three and a half years. And he's had plenty of time to be able to deal with this situation. And, of course, events change on the ground. This decision seems to me that it-- it was more politically based than military based. If you look at every time we've deposed a dictator, the United States has always left troops behind to be able to enforce the fragile peace. In this case, once we're finished in Iraq, we'll have more troops in Honduras than we'll be leaving behind in Iraq. And, of course, the problem is there will be an Iran waiting in the wings until the United States is gone. And then Iran will exert its dominance and influence in this region. That's not good for anyone. And here the United States has expended forty-four hundred lives over eight hundred billion dollars in toil and blood and treasure. And while we're on the way out, we're being kicked out by the very people that we liberated.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well that's just the point here. If-- if they don't want us there and the conditions they laid down suggest they don't want us there, how can you really help people who don't want your help?

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