Foreign policy, health care, border control, and education were hot topics for presidential-nomination hopeful Rudy Giuliani Wednesday night at Coe College.
"It's about the future that you decide," the former Republican mayor of New York City said. "What kind of country do you want to turn over to the next president?"
Giuliani spoke briefly about his vision for the future United States before taking questions from the audience.
When asked about immigration, he responded with his plans for an ID-card system, a southern border fence, and patrolling troops.
"We'd love to have [the immigrants]. They can work," Giuliani said. "If they work, they should pay taxes and then be placed on an immigration program.
"We need to stop this at the border, and I know we can do it."
He also spoke about national defense and terrorism and insisted that a strong offensive foreign policy is better than a weak one.
Strength is necessary in dealing with tyrants, dictators and terrorists, he said, contending that a weak foreign policy encourages terrorism.
Giuliani also expressed his desire to embrace the millions of people living in the Middle East who aren't threatening America.
"There's nothing to be afraid of; they're good people, and we need to understand them better," he said. "We've had violent groups in our country, too, and we shouldn't have this holier-than-thou attitude about it."
Giuliani said, vis-à-vis the No Child Left Behind Act, that the responsibility of students should be placed on the parents, not the bureaucrats in Washington.
"If you want to improve education, you have to start from the ground up," Giuliani said.
The former mayor also noted that America has the best higher-education system in the world, while its K-12 programs are struggling.
Giuliani spoke about his ideas to change tax codes and improve the health-care system by turning the responsibility to the people instead of the government.
By allocating $15,000 tax exemptions for people to choose their own health insurance, he said, it will lower the cost of existing policies.
"Consumer markets will drive down the cost of health care," he said. "If everyone is investing in private health care, the prices will lower. I've seen it work when I tackled the economy in New York."
Giuliani used Democratic candidate's health-care policies to reinforce his own.
"The Democrats want to take the options away from you and create a universal system," he said. "If that happens, my question is, where are all of the Canadians going to do for medical help?"
Samantha Wilson, a junior at the UI and a volunteer for the Giuliani campaign, said she believes the former mayor's appearance tonight will help him as the caucuses approach.
"I was really refreshed by his answers tonight," she said. "To have a Republican candidate to speak about embracing people in the Middle East is a nice change."
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