Jan. 28, 2016
Iowa Events Center, Des Moines, Iowa
Seventh Republican presidential primary debate, hosted by Fox News and Google
Participants: Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee and Jim Gilmore
Moderators: Fox News Anchors Martha MacCallum and Bill Hemmer
HEMMER: So, here we go. Ninety-seven hours before Iowa chooses, in fact the last two winners in this state are on this stage tonight. Governor Huckabee, in 2008, you won by nine points here, but this time your support seems to be going to Senator Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Why, Governor, is your message not working this time?
MIKE HUCKABEE, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't think it's that the message isn't working, I think it's the message isn't getting out because the message that I have this time, Bill, it's exactly what I said eight years ago. I talked about people who are standing on their feet on factory floors, people who lift heavy things, who sweat through their clothes, they're getting gut punched. They are not having a fair shake in this economy.
I talked about that eight years ago, and I'm talking about it now. I talked about the importance of preserving life, of not just saying we're going to defund Planned Parenthood, but let's do something bolder. Let's get rid of abortion once and for all by applying the Fifth, and Fourteenth amendment to every person from conception because that means that we recognize that no person can be deprived of life or liberty unless they have due process. And, that's not happening in our country.
And, I believe, and continue to practice that we need the Fair Tax to revive our economy. To make it so that people are able to be rewarded for their work rather than punished for it.
HEMMER: Governor, thank you.
Senator Santorum, four short years ago you won Iowa. You beat Mitt Romney, pretty much shocked the country. But, just the other day you talked about what is in the greater good for your campaign. Is Monday night your last stand?
RICK SANTORUM, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, listening to what your network was talking about prior to this race, this debate, reminded me of the coverage that many on this floor are getting. This race, this debate, was called the, "Undercard Debate". The undercard debate.
It wasn't advertised significantly. In fact, the entire hour lead up to this there was no conversation about any of the four people on this debate stage, and that is the chronic situation.
In fact, they listed -- they put a poll up from Wall Street Journal/NBC News, they listed the candidates, and they failed to mention I wasn't listed. I got zero, why? Because they -- NBC, Wall Street Journal poll never includes my name on the list.
This is what the media has been doing over the past year, and trying to segregate, and take Iowans out of the process. What Iowans deserve...
SANTORUM: ... Is to hear from every candidate on equal footing. Had they applied the same rules four years ago, I would have been in the undercard debate. The guy who won the Iowa Caucuses would have been in the undercard debate, not talked about.
SANTORUM: We would have been talking about, maybe, an entertainer that may have been trying to run. Ladies and gentlemen, you have a chance on Monday to put the record straight about who you want, not who will entertain you.
SANTORUM: But, who will fight for what you believe in, and I hope you do...
HEMMER: ... Senator, do you want to name...
HEMMER: ... Senator, do you want to name that entertainer your refering to?
SANTORUM: Well, look. The entire lead up to this debate was talking about whether Donald Trump is going to show up for the next debate.
The people of Iowa, who I know pretty darn well, care a lot about the issues. They care about who is going to be the leader of the free world. Who is going to be able to take on ISIS and take on Iran and make sure that we're safe. They're concerned about whether...
SANTORUM: Their agriculture programs so their renewable fuel standard is going to be retained.
HEMMER: But senator, since you mentioned...
SANTORUM: And we are not hearing any of those things. We are hearing about whether someone is going to show up for the next debate or not.
HEMMER: Senator, quickly then, after this debate, you mentioned Donald trump's name. Immediately, you're going to event across town here in Des Moines as a guest of Donald Trump.
SANTORUM: Yes, I am.
HEMMER: So are you laying the groundwork for maybe your future? Perhaps an endorsement of Mr. Trump?
SANTORUM: You know, this, again, more of the politics of trying to get people to throw stuff at each other. I'm not going to throw mud at anybody on this stage tonight. I'm not going to throw mud at anybody on the stage later.
SANTORUM: I'm not going to attack Donald Trump. What I'm -- Mike Huckabee and I were asked to come to an event where money was going to be raise to do help our veterans. You know, I thought about it.
SANTORUM: And I thought about. I said well, wait a minute, now, if there were no political considerations and I had some time because I'm not doing anything at 9:00 tonight.
And so if I had some time, would I go...
SANTORUM: ... if I could help raise money for veterans? And the answer was yes, I would. And so I'm going.
JIM GILMORE, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, Bill, can I first...
HEMMER: Thank you, senator. One moment. We'll get to you in a moment, Governor. We have a few coming up.
MACCALLUM: So it will come as no surprise that there is an idea out there that there is a civil war brewing within the GOP over the meaning of conservative and the question of who is electable.
There are some in the GOP who are so outraged by Trump and Cruz that they say they would actually rather have Hillary Clinton in the White House.
MACCALLUM: So, Carly Fiorina, I ask you this. Is your party in crisis?
CARLY FIORINA, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, when I started my campaign on May 4th of last year, I was 17 out of 16 candidates. Nobody polled my name. Nobody had ever heard of me. Less than 4 percent of you had ever heard of me.
The people in Iowa showed up and they are still showing up. Hundreds and hundreds of them at every event. I have done over 150 events in the state of Iowa and I have 15 more coming up.
FIORINA: Now, by the way, I start there because someone asked me about midway through my campaign, what's the biggest surprise to you on the campaign trail? And I will tell you what the biggest surprise is: the chasm, the yawning chasm, between what the national media talks about and what the people of Iowa and the people of this great nation talk about.
FIORINA: That's the biggest surprise. So guess what, Martha? Guess what, sorry. The people of Iowa never ask me about a crisis in the GOP, they never ask me about the polls. They never ask me about the other candidates.
What they ask me about is Carly, tell us why zero based budgeting is so important. Tell us why you are a leader who is going to produce results. Tell us how you are going to defeat ISIS. Tell us how we are going to replace Obamacare.
In other words, I'm going to put my faith every single time not in the pundits, not in the polls. Most definitely not in the national media. I'm going to put my faith in the common sense and the good judgment of the voters of Iowa.
And the last time I looked, you hadn't started voting yet. So, on Monday night, I hope you will stand with me, fight with me, caucus for me. Because...
FIORINA: ... citizens, this is why we have to take our government back. The establishment thinks it owns this country. The pundits thinks they own this country. The media thinks they owns this country. We were intended to be a citizen government, citizens. The game is rigged. You have the power. Take our country back.
HEMMER: Thank you.
HEMMER: Governor Gilmore. As of one week ago, you have not held a single campaign event here in the state of Iowa. As of one week ago, in fact, you were the only one in the Republican field who had not made a campaign visit to this state. You know how it works here. You know how it's worked over time. Why should anyone caucus for you on Monday night?
GILMORE: Well, first of all, Bill, let me say one thing, I have been in Iowa. But this is not the place where I'm choosing to begin my campaign. I am beginning my campaign in New Hampshire and I decided to do that based upon the process that is in place in Iowa and the primary that's in place in New Hampshire.
But never mind that, I want to return to something. I'm the only veteran, Bill and Martha in this race. And I'm not going to any Donald Trump event over across town on some sort of faux veteran sort of issue.
I'm going to speak to you tonight about the issue that really confronts veterans. I'm going to talk to you about the concerns that they have got with the veterans administration.
The lousy appeals process that they have got. The fact that sometimes they get good service at the V.A. and sometimes they don't and the fact that post traumatic stress syndrome is not properly recognized. That psychology positions are unavailable in the Veterans Administration.
And I will say this to you -- as the only veteran in -- in this race, when I become president of the United States, the veterans are going to be treated with respect and competently in success in the Veterans' Administration in this country.
HEMMER: Governor, thank you.
MACCALLUM: Governor Huckabee, word is that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is considering getting into this race. If he does, that would make four New Yorkers, including Sanders, Clinton, and Trump.
One candidate in this race has criticized so-called "New York values". So tell me, in your opinion, are New York values different than Iowa values?
HUCKABEE: You know, I -- I would leave that to other people. I'm not going to get into an argument with all the New Yorkers, because there's a lot of them.
This much I will tell you. I wish that some of those New Yorkers had funded as much of my campaign as they did the corporately funded candidates, but they didn't.
And to be honest with you, when I say I'm -- wish they had, I'm glad they didn't. I'm not a New York-funded campaign. I'm not bankrolled by the corporatists, I'm not bankrolled by Goldman Sachs and Citibank and AIG and all the big brokers -- brokerage houses and the billionaires.
I'm sponsored by people like Thomas, a part-time Uber driver in Pennsylvania who sent me $25 this week. He's between jobs. He's driving an Uber car. But he believed in what I'm talking about enough that, even on a limited, part-time income, he sent me $25 to help in my campaign.
I'll stand with the Thomases of the world any day. I'll leave all the discussion of the big financiers to other candidates. But there's only a few of us in the entire Republican process who are not corporately funded by the same group.
And let me just finish by saying, you want to know why things never change depending on whether Democrats or Republicans are in power, and why Republicans in Iowa and the rest of the country are so frustrated?
The reason is, is because if you follow the money, the same folks who finance the Democrats finance the Republicans, and no matter what the speeches and the ads, they get the same results.
If you want a different result, I'm available.
MACCALLUM: Thank you, Governor.
Senator Santorum, according to Google, the Paris terror attacks were the largest story that was searched in 2015, with nearly 1 billion searches of that story worldwide.
There have been at 18 terror attacks so far this year -- in just January alone, in 2016, and it will likely, as we all know, get worse. But what can an American president do to stop these terrifying killings?
SANTORUM: Thank you for the question, Martha.
We have to have an honest discussion with the American people about the nature of the threat that we confront. This president says that ISIS has nothing to do with Islam, and as a result has put together a strategy that doesn't take care of what the reality is, which is ISIS has established a caliphate.
A caliphate is like a kingdom ruled by -- a caliphate is ruled by a caliph, a kingdom is ruled by a king. Only the difference is a caliphate is also a religious title, and it is both a religious call to help this state, as well a -- to -- to make the state stronger.
The reality is that ISIS has established a caliphate, and is using that to attract people around the globe to follow them as the leaders of the Sunni world.
And you say, "well, how do we stop them from following them?" Well, to be a legitimate caliphate, you have to control land and operate a state under sharia law.
If you don't do that, you cannot call for that support. And so the answer is we must take their land and make them...
... illegitimate in the eyes of the Muslim world. So I would put troops on the ground and take the land back from Iraq and return to its rightful ownership in Iraq. That would delegitimize them.
MACCALLUM: Thank you, Senator.
HEMMER: Ms. Fiorina, same topic. The president says that many are exaggerating the threat from ISIS. To quote him, "this is not World War III, and they do not pose a threat to our national existence." Does he have a point? Does ISIS threaten our ability to survive as a nation?
FIORINA: Well let me tell you this: news flash, President Obama, news flash, Mrs. Clinton -- climate change is not our most pressing national security threat.
Actually -- actually, it is ISIS, followed closely by Iran. And those two things are linked, so that when our president cozies up to Iran, all of our allies in the Middle East, who are ready to help us defeat ISIS, wonder whose side we're on. And the truth is, under this president, we are on Iran's side, not our allies', who would help us defeat ISIS.
You know, one of the things we have to start with is understanding that we must stand up to adversaries. So Hillary Clinton famously asked, what difference does it make how four Americans died in Benghazi? This is the difference it makes, Mrs. Clinton.
When terrorists purposefully attack an American embassy and kill four Americans, including an ambassador, and the next morning you get up and you lie about a videotape that doesn't represent our values, instead of saying the United States of America was purposefully attacked by terrorists, and we will seek retribution, then you are saying to every adversary and every terrorist organization on the planet, it's open season.
That, Mrs. Clinton, is what difference it makes.
HEMMER: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: Governor Huckabee, you have said when it comes to ISIS, quote: "If Russia is willing to help us kill these savages, then on this they are with us and not against us."
But we have seen Putin's quote-unquote "help" in Crimea and in Ukraine. And this week the U.K. implicated him in the poisoning death of one of his rivals. So are you foolish to think that we can ever work with Vladimir Putin?
HUCKABEE: Well, I don't trust him. I've never said I trusted him. But if somebody is willing to take a shot at the people we are taking shots at, I'm more than willing to let them use their own bullets to do it.
But let's be very clear about how we take out ISIS. And I think Rick Santorum is exactly right. You take away their land.
But one of the things we have to do is a comprehensive strategy to get ISIS. First of all, take away their access to social media platforms. They are using the same social media platforms to recruit, and to train, and to direct people as I use to see pictures of my grandkids. That's ridiculous.
The second thing, go after them financially. Wage war with them. Make it so nobody can do commerce with ISIS. Not a nickel of transfer. Any company, any country, that even gets close to dealing with them, absolutely put sanctions on them. Make them pay.
And finally, you have got to go after them militarily. And that means we send the land, the sea, the air forces, the A-10 Warthogs dropping ordnances on every truck and every tank, and we obliterate them.
But we have to understand that they are a force that's getting bigger. And with any kind of cancer, you don't contain it, you eradicate it. And that's how we have to fight ISIS, comprehensively. That's what I would suggest we do.
MACCALLUM: Thank you.
HEMMER: Governor Gilmore, some time this spring 34 more detainees are cleared from release from Gitmo. If you were president, as you say, this president wants to close it. As president, if Gitmo were closed and an enemy combatant were found or captured in the field of battle, perhaps Syria or Iraq or Libya, and you don't have Gitmo, where would you put them?
GILMORE: First of all, Bill, I think that Gitmo ought to remain open. But I also want to point out to you that what you are saying is the exact right topic to all of these other candidates. And that's this international challenge that we are facing, the international war that America is in, even to this day.
And I'm the candidate who is best qualified to deal with this issue. A degree in foreign policy in Russian area studies. I'm the only United States Army veteran having gone to Europe during the Cold War as United States Army Intelligence agent, the governor during the 9/11 attack, the chairman of the National Commission on Homeland Security for the United States for five years.
And this is what I will do. If I become the president, I'm going to rebuild the United States military. We're going to take the sequester off the defense budget. Give the Navy the ships it needs. Refit the United States Army. Refit the United States Marine Corps.
And on this international guerrilla war, we need to recognize our Special Forces, our intelligence community, and the people that we need in order to really protect us.
And finally, this war of ideas, we must win this. We must say to the world that radical Islamism is the threat. It isn't just confined to ISIS. It is worldwide. And if we win the war of ideas, then we will win the international guerrilla war.
HEMMER: Governor, thank you for that.
MACCALLUM: Coming up, we're going to have more on the top issues in this campaign, and you can engage in tonight's conversation right from home. Go to google.com, search "FOX News debate." You can vote on which candidate you think is winning so far in tonight's debate. And you can check results after the debate is over.
We are back in a moment live from the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HEMMER: Welcome back to Des Moines on what will be a long night here. Let's get back to the questions. Let's get back to the questions with Martha.
MACCALLUM: Alright, Governor Huckabee, government grows and grows. In fact, neighborhoods in and around the Beltway get richer and richer all the time while our manufacturing towns are disappearing. Still Republicans from Reagan to Bush have bowed to shrink the size of government, but it never works.
Is this Presidency, and presidency, simply too small a David to slay the Goliath of government?
HUCKABEE: No, I don't think that it's impossible, but we're not going to do it by doing the same things we've been doing for all these many years. And, we've lost five million manufacturing jobs just since the year 2000.
The other day I was in Newton, Iowa. It used to be a vibrant place where Maytag washers and dryers were built. Went out of business in 2007, all those shops went to Mexico. All those people lost their jobs. There was a guy in my forum that day, he lost his job. He still has never found an employment that got anywhere near the job that he had.
Let me ask you, how many people do you think living around the Beltway know a guy like that? Care about a guy like that? Not many. And, that's because they're six of the ten richest counties in America that surround Washington D.C. People who live in the bubbles of the high finance world of New York, the government world of Washington, the entertainment world of Hollywood, don't have a clue about how hard people out here in Iowa are working every single day.
And, I believe one of the values of campaigning in Iowa, you can't win unless you go out and talk to farmers and housewives -- and welders, and unemployed truck drivers, and I hate...
HUCKABEE: ... That a president could become president who never met people who have to struggle to make a living and put food on the table.
MACCALLUM: Thank you. Thank you, Governor.
All right. Carly Fiorina, you said that you can get the tax code down to three short, simple pages. But when lobbyists whose have twisted the arms of members of Congress come sit with you in the Oval Office and say, "Madam President, sorry, I cannot be with you on this one," you may understand what previous presidents have gone through. No?
FIORINA: You know, we have a professional, political class of both parties. We have been talking about the same issues for election cycle after election cycle. Yeah, government is big and out of control, and the only way to get it under control is to control the money.
And the only way to control the money is to ask the federal government to budget the way you do, to examine every dollar, to cut any dollar to spend -- to move any dollar.
The fancy word for that is zero-base budgeting. I call it common sense. That three-page tax code I talk about all the time here in Iowa? It's been around for 20 years. But politicians don't want to talk about it, and you bet the lobbyists don't want to talk about it.
In fact, nobody wants to vote on a three-page tax code or zero-base budgeting, although they've both been around for a long time. You know why? Because if you get those two things done, you are goring everybody's ox.
You are taking the political establishment apart. You are actually challenging the status quo, which is what we need in the Oval Office. So you know who I'm going to count on? The citizens of this great nation, because you have extraordinary power.
But when you do not use it...
... you are losing it. So take out your smartphones, folks. The people of Iowa know what I'm talking about. You take out your smartphones. if you agree with me that three-page tax code needs to be passed, lobbyists aren't going to be in my office.
If you agree we gotta finally pass zero-base budgeting, take out your smartphones. Press one for yes, ladies and gentlemen. Press two for no. Citizens, we must take our country back.
HEMMER: Let me stay with you, Ms. Fiorina. You've said you will shrink the federal government by 30 percent over the next two years, and those jobs will not be filled, and you'll do it through retirement.
Your critics would argue that's exactly what you did at Hewlett Packard when 30,000 people lost their jobs. If it did not work at H.P., why would it work at the federal government?
FIORINA: Well, first of all, I haven't said that. What I have said is that in the process of examining every dollar, cutting any dollar and moving any dollar, we happen to know that in this vast federal bureaucracy we have about 260,000 federal government employees who are going to retire, and we shouldn't replace them.
Secondly, at Hewlett Packard, as you know -- the people of Iowa know this -- we went through a tough time. The worst technology recession in 25 years -- a great company called Gateway used to do be right here in Iowa. But they didn't make the tough calls necessary to save all those jobs, and so they lost every one of those jobs.
Yes, I've had to make some tough calls. We saved 80,000 jobs. We went on to grow to 160,000 jobs. And, frankly, I think the American people know we need a president who's going to make some tough calls.
So let me tell you where I'm going to start. The American people got a bill passed through Congress that said we could fire the top 400 senior executives at the V.A. for dereliction of duty.
When we know that 307,000 veterans have died waiting for health care and the V.A. handed out $142 million worth of bonuses for superb performance, I'm going to start by firing 400...
... senior executives at the V.A.
HEMMER: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: Senator Santorum, Bernie Sanders asked a woman in Iowa what it's like to live in poverty. She broke down in tears, saying that she lives on less than $10,000 a year and that she is ashamed every day.
She leans on her parents for help. She says she can't buy presents for her children. We are all sympathetic to this woman's plight. On the other hand, the G.O.P. is supposed to be the party of smaller government. So what would you look her in the eye and say?
SANTORUM: What I would say is that we have to create jobs that give people wages and benefits that can help them provide for themselves and their families. And that's why I announced from a factory floor in western Pennsylvania, I pledge to make America the number one manufacturing nation, again, in the world.
And we can do it. China is starting to reorient itself away from a manufacturing economy that's dumping products on the -- overseas to providing more services to their people.
This is an opportunity for America. It's an opportunity for us to get those jobs back. And by the way, do you want to solve global climate change? Take 2 million jobs from China in manufacturing and moving them back here to the United States, where we produce one-fifth the CO2 when we make things.
We can help -- we can do every -- we can do it all. We can take care of the environment. We can create more jobs here. Seventy-four percent of Americans don't have a college degree.
And unfortunately most folks who, in the Republican Party, don't talk about what we're going to do to create jobs for people who feel like neither political party cares about them.
When you elect me, we'll create opportunities for working men and women in this country -- all over this country.
MACCALLUM: Thank you, Senator.
HEMMER: Governor Huckabee, Nikki Haley, Republican governor from South Carolina, recently said...
GILMORE: Hey, did you miss me? Did you skip me?
HEMMER: I did not. But we have...
GILMORE: I'm going to have something to say about this, but you just keep going.
HEMMER: We have plenty for you -- you bet, Governor. We have a couple more in the hopper for you in a moment here.
GILMORE: Yes, I'll be there.
HEMMER: First, Governor -- Governor Huckabee, Nikki Haley warned about listening to "the siren call of the angriest voices," to which Donald Trump said he is "very, very angry." Who is right, Governor?
HUCKABEE: A lot of Americans are angry. And I think it's important to understand why they are mad. They are mad because they see a government that continues to do fine. They see people at the top. They are doing fine.
But that person you asked Rick about a moment ago, that lady that's making 10,000 bucks a year, do you know what our poverty programs do to people? They keep them in poverty.
They keep them in poverty because we have these arbitrary thresholds...
HUCKABEE: ... that mean that if you go to work, you lose all the benefits for your kids, Medicaid, WIC, Section 8 housing, food stamps, and then your kids go hungry. I know a little about poverty. My sister is here tonight. Now both of us could tell you we did not grow up rich.
My mother grew up in a house, oldest of seven kids. She had lived in a house that didn't have floors. Just dirt. No electricity. No running water. I resent it when people say, oh, people are poor because they want to be. No, they are not.
Nobody wants to be poor. And that's a stupid, foolish thing, mean thing to say. People are poor because they don't know how to get out of the hole. And government shouldn't push them back in the hole which is what our policies do when they punish people who want to go to work and don't let them out.
HUCKABEE: We can fix that, but it takes some leadership to get it done.
HEMMER: Thank you, Governor.
MACCULLUM: Governor Gilmore, thanks to the Iranian nuclear deal, President Rouhani is currently on a tour of Europe meeting with our closest allies in France and Italy. In fact, he has already landed some 50 to 85 billion are the estimates in deals with those countries, with our allies. More on the way.
You and others say that you would rip up that deal. But, really, by the time the next president is in office, won't that horse be well out of the barn?
GILMORE: You know, Martha, it may be out of the barn in that the Iranians may be moving towards a nuclear program, because this nuclear deal actually gives them a time frame up the road when they are going to be able to do that kind of program.
And that's very dangerous because it means people in the Middle East have to begin to react to that right now. The United States, I think, has to continue to exercise its influence in the Middle East, stay active, and not do this pull-back type of program that we are seeing all over the place with President Obama, which is creating this kind of danger.
The world is a more dangerous place now than when I was an intelligence agent. We have not only this international guerrilla war but also these challenges from these other countries as well.
But, Martha, I want to say one more thing to you and Bill. I disagree with Carly Fiorina when she says that it's just a political class in Washington. The truth is that the country has changed. And there are powerful forces at this point that are really controlling our lives. And that's why people are so angry.
One of those is government, which is regulating everything through the Environmental Protection Agency, through other places. But the biggest one is the organized establishment media.
And I just noticed just now you gave Carly Fiorina two one-minute answers in a row. This media across the country is manipulating and shaping and framing this campaign and has been for at least a year now in order to get the kind of choices that people are going to have an opportunity to see.
This is wrong. It has to change. And when I'm president, it's going to change.
MACCULLUM: We have another question for you, Governor Gilmore, back to back, here we go. According to Google...
GILMORE: I'll take it.
MACCULLUM: You got it. According to Google, gun control is the most searched issue last month, making up nearly 80 percent of all the U.S. searches. People are looking for information on guns.
When it comes to the tragic mass killings that we have seen in this country, Donald Trump says that what we need to do is build quote "more institutions for people who are sickos."
Charles Krauthammer also says that in some cases involuntary commitment would help. And you have agreed with that. Given that institutions would be extraordinarily expensive to begin building, how much is too much to ask on this from the American taxpayer?
GILMORE: Martha, I just visited a community mental health clinic in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, just three days ago, as a matter of fact. And when I was governor of Virginia, I tried to move more of those resources into the community, which will give us the facilities and the abilities to begin to identify people who actually might be dangerous and who abuse Second Amendment rights.
But I do believe this is one of the really principle issues in this campaign. The president and Hillary Clinton are working very hard to change the culture of this country in order to put us in a position where we can't exercise Second Amendment rights.
That's wrong. I am a board member of the National Rifle Association. The reason I'm a board member is because I believe that individuals in this country can be trusted to exercise their rights under the Second Amendment and under the Bill of Rights. To take away people's Second Amendment rights is to redefine the individual in the society, and I'm not going to put up with it. As President of the United States, when Jim Gilmore's President of the United States, I can tell you this. Gun control is not going to be an issue.
If gun control...
GILMORE: ... comes to the President's desk when I'm president, I'll veto it as fast as it takes Hillary Clinton to eliminate her emails.
MACCALLUM: Thank you, Governor Gilmore.
HEMMER: Governor Huckabee, you've mentioned the economy several times tonight. Let's go back to that for a moment because in America today 50% (ph) of the American workers are making less than $30,000 dollars a year. Let's talk about what you could do for them.
The Conservative Club for Growth has had an issue with your policy on taxes for years. In fact, it called you, "Tax Hike Mike". And, the record shows state spending in Arkansas increased 54% when you were in charge, 94% if you include federal dollars during that same period. When it comes to helping people at the margins, $30,000, $32,000 dollars a year, what's better? A tax and spend approach, or shrinking government?
HUCKABEE: Well, I didn't have a tax and spend approach. You got to understand where the Club for Growth comes from, a bunch of rich guys sitting around writing checks to go after people they don't like. And, they don't like me sometimes because I was fighting for the guys at the bottom, not just the guys at the top. I cut 94 taxes in a state that had never had a general major tax decrease in its history.
I also was able to see per capita income growth in my state go up by 50%. I think that's a pretty darn good record. Look at the overall record and it was fine.
But, it's not about stats from when I was governor. Look, one of the reasons I support the Fairtax is because it's the one thing, Bill, that would truly empower people at the bottom of the economy by no longer punishing them for their work.
If a guy works an hourly job, and he works eight hours, gets paid for it, terrific. But, if he works 16 hours, he doesn't get a double paycheck because he's going to be bumped up into a new tax bracket, and the government will get more of his second shift than he will. So, we've actually punished him for being industrious, hardworking, and that is a foolish economic policy...
HUCKABEE: ... That's hurting Americans about as much as anything.
HEMMER: Governor Huckabee, thank you. Same issue, Senator Santorum. The President says criticism of his economic policy is political hot air. You consistently talk about manufacturing jobs leaving America. You support a flat tax of 20%. How would a flat tax bring back two million jobs to America?
SANTORUM: Well, in fact, the plan that I put forward is scored by the Tax Foundation as bringing three and a half million jobs into this country, and we have provisions in the flat tax for the corporate side that actually has a phase in of manufacturing. Manufacturers initially don't pay any income tax. Ten percent the next year, and 20.
We're going to also have a repatriation provision which says that if you have money overseas, and you're Apple, and you got a couple hundred billion dollars there, bring it back. The most you'll be taxed 10%, invest it here in America. Create jobs here in America with all that money that's sitting overseas.
We also -- it's not just taxes. It's regulation. I've pledged to cut every single Obamacare -- I mean, excuse me, Obama regulation, including Obamacare, and remove those regulations that cost more than a hundred million dollars in the economy. That will liberate -- and that includes waters of the U.S., and the ozone regulations, they -- the mercury regulations. All of these just crush our manufactures and don't create an opportunity for us to survive.
And, remember, China produces five times as much CO2 and other pollutants per dollar of GDP as we do.
SANTORUM: You want to help the environment? Bring jobs back to America.
HEMMER: Senator, thank you.
MACCALLUM: Still more to come from the Republican Presidential debate tonight. And, see how the campaigns are responding to the debate in realtime, go to Google.com and open your google search app. Type in, "Fox News Debate".
We'll see you, just a moment -- back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK )
MACCALLUM: We are back live at the Iowa events center and this question goes to Carly Fiorina. In the last debate you said as part of your introduction, quote, " And unlike the other woman candidate in this case I actually love spending time with my husband."
FIORINA: He is right there. He is right there.
MACCALLUM: But back in September in an interview you said that you would stick only to the record, your record versus Hillary Clinton's record. And never resort to personal attacks. So what changed?
FIORINA: It wasn't a personal attack. I was pointing out the fact that Hillary Clinton will do anything to gain and hang on to power, anything. Listen, if my husband did what Bill Clinton did, I would have left him long ago.
FIORINA: So, here's the deal. Hillary Clinton has been climbing the ladder to try and get power and here now she is trying for the White House. She is probably more qualified for the big house, honestly.
She has escaped prosecution more times than El Chapo, perhaps Sean Penn should interview her.
The woman should be prosecuted.
FIORINA: And while Mrs. Clinton has flown hundreds of thousands of world around the global, I have too. And I know flying is an activity not an accomplishment. While I know that she has held many positions and many titles she has not accomplished much of anything in her life. She has gotten every single foreign policy challenge wrong.
She continues to lie to the American people. It's called the Clinton way. Both Bill and Hillary practice it, the Clinton way. Say whatever you have to say, do whatever you have to say. Lie as long as you can get away with it. Hillary Clinton cannot be the president of these United States.
MACCALLUM: All right. Carly, I want to stay with you on this next question as well.
You waded into the Planned Parenthood early on. You took some heat for it. Now the people who shot that undercover video are the ones who got indicted and Planned Parenthood is untouched. Hillary Clinton has been crowing about this. Any regrets about this?
FIORINA: Well, you know, Hillary Clinton hasn't been indicted either. So that tells us a lot about our justice system in this country. But, look, the facts of Planned Parenthood have not changed, folks, and I will not be rendered silent on this issue or any other issue.
And it doesn't matter what stage I'm on. Here are the facts. Planned Parenthood engages in partial birth abortion, in late-term abortion. They alter those abortion techniques to harvest and sell body parts. They have admitted that they are not going to accept compensation for this anymore.
The reality is, most Americans find this practice horrific. Most Americans find horrific that Hillary Clinton's position on this is it's not a life until it's born. Most Americans find horrific Hillary Clinton's position or the Democrat party's position, that a young woman does not need her mother's permission to get an abortion.
But if you are 13 years old, you can get an abortion, but you can't go to a tanning salon without your mother's permission. A president Fiorina -- in a president Fiorina budget, there will not be one dime for Planned Parenthood, although there would be a lot of money for women's health and we will finally pass the pain capable unborn child protection act.
I will always stand for life and religious liberty...
... because this is about the character of our nation.
MACCALLUM: Thank you Carly Fiorina. Let me just ask a quick question here to Senator Santorum.
Carly Fiorina was the only one of the GOP candidates to attend the March for Life in Washington last week. Where were you.
SANTORUM: Well, I've been to the March for Life for about 25 years and I thought -- I think that's a pretty good record.
SANTORUM: Spoken at it a few times and I have shepherded every single piece of pro-life piece of legislation that's passed over the last 20 years. I've either authored it or shepherded it through the United States Congress and I'm pretty proud of that record too.
SANTORUM: But we have an election going on and there was some snow coming. So I decided that maybe it would be better for me to get out and do some campaigning and not be stuck as my wife and kids were for a week, piling out of two and a half feet of snow.
So, here's what I would say. If you want someone that is going to talk a good game, there are a lot of folks on this stage that have talked a good game on the issue of life.
Not only have I talked a good game on life and I've done some things. But I've also lived it. You know, one of the things Saint Francis said was, you know, if you preach the gospel, then if you have to, speak.
The bottom line is, that twice in my life, we were counseled to have an abortion, one with our son Gabriel and one with our little girl Bella. And neither time did Karen and I for a moment think about it because we know that life begins at conception.
We know the dignity of every human life and we know the potential of every child, no matter how long that life lives. And that is a message that can come across to all Americans and without having to say a word and defend the institution of life and the dignity of life in this country.
FIORINA: Martha, can I just say we've been talking tonight about a lot of issues and we've also been talking about the fact that the game is rigged and frankly, the media has a lot to do with that.
It is outrageous frankly, that Fox News, and you, would question the pro-life credentials of Rick Santorum.
FIORINA: That is outrageous.
HEMMER: Thank you Ms. Fiorina.
Governor Gilmore. Who are the moderate Muslims do you seek advice and counsel from on how to deal with the threat from radical Islamic terrorism?
GILMORE: You know Bill, that raises, I think, the question of the future of the Republican party. The question is -- first of all, I stand second to no one in standing up to radical Islamism. I understand that ISIS is a piece of that but it is a world-wide phenomena that has manifested itself in Paris, in 9/11, in San Bernardino, in Boston.
I recognize all that. But I also recognize this. This is a strain of Islamism that cannot be supported and cannot be stood for. And what we need is for people in the Muslim community in the United States to stand up and be counted and to say that this is not right.
And yes, I have met with some people. And I'm not going to identify who they are. I met with them last week. And they told me some terrible stories about how they have been harassed and their children have seen them be harassed.
And I said to them. You have got to stand up and condemn this radical Islamism because it's the war of ideas that we are going to have to win to go along with our military conflicts that are coming forward.
But the point is Bill...
... we cannot have a Republican party that scapegoats anyone, Hispanics, Muslims, any women, African Americans, anyone. If that becomes the future of the Republican party, I don't want to be a part of that.
HEMMER: Thank you governor.
HEMMER: Governor Huckabee. Here in Iowa 43 percent of Democratic caucus goers describe themselves as socialist. That's a higher number than those who say they are capitalist. I guess you could say, they're feeling the burn.
HEMMER: This is a country rooted in capitalism, the United States of America. How did we get here?
HUCKABEE: I honestly don't understand how anybody with IQ above plant life would honestly think...
HUCKABEE: ... that we would be better off if we let the government have all of the private property and that the government would dole out what they thought we should have.
I'm not "feeling the Bern," Bill. I'm not feeling it.
HUCKABEE: And when Bernie Sanders promises these kids free college, I'm telling them, because I get asked, what about free college? I said, look, if we give you free college when you are 20, pal, you are going to be paying for it when you are 30, when you are 40, and when you are 50.
HUCKABEE: There is no such thing as the government giving you anything. They will definitely make a mess of it.
And I just think there are a lot of people who have never understood the basic understanding of economics, that you do not make people rich by tearing down those who are you providing jobs, and you don't help poor people by taking away.
You give them jobs. Let them work. Let them earn. And then you let them keep the money that they earned. That's how we build a great economy.
HEMMER: Thank you, Governor.
Senator Santorum, the president says politics in America have become meaner over the past several years with him in the White House. Two weeks ago at the State of the Union he said the following. "A president with the gifts of Lincoln or Roosevelt might have better bridged the divide."
Lincoln and Roosevelt, that's pretty good company. If he is right, do Republicans share some of the blame?
SANTORUM: The president of the United States has been the most divisive president in -- certainly in my lifetime. This is a man who constantly...
SANTORUM: He is not trustworthy. You can't sit down and negotiate with him. He won't keep a deal. We have heard that over and over again. And here is what he does that really, really creates the friction in Washington.
He personally attacks people. He ascribes motives to them that aren't true and then he tears them down. How are you going to work with someone if you don't treat them decently, honestly, and respectfully?
I was a tough fighter when I was in Washington. I had very sharp elbows. I fought. I went there and joined a game named Jim Nussle here from Iowa with the "gang of seven." And we, in four years' time, took a Congress that had been controlled by Democrats for 40 years, and brought in the first Republican majority because we fought and we fought tough.
But you know what? I was able to then work with those same people that we fought with and able to pass welfare reform. Unborn Victims of Violence Act. Pro-life bills. Health savings accounts.
A whole laundry list of things not because I was mean, but because I was able to be respectful in the disagreements. And that's what we need in Washington, someone who can be respectful and still unite this country.
HEMMER: Thank you, Senator.
MACCALLUM: All right. Coming up, we will have the closing statements from our candidatestonight as we continue live from the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. We'll be right back.
HEMMER: In the closing few moments, the candidates have an opportunity to make a closing statement, 30 seconds for each. And, we want to start tonight with the former Virginia Governor, Jim Gilmore.
GILMORE: Well, thank you very much, Bill. And, thank you, and Fox and Google for including me in this debate tonight. I think it's been a wonderful opportunity.
I'm the son of a meat cutter. My father worked for Safeway stores for 45 years. My mother was a secretary, she ended her career as the Secretary for the Methodist Bishop. I didn't have a father that could give me a million dollar loan to start my business. But, my father did talk character, and he provided for his family, and he was a wonderful example.
And, I'm not about to go across town tonight to carry the coat for some billionaire. Instead, I intend to run for President of the United States, speak to the issue of this international war, and challenge that we're in. This issue of veterans rights, and the issue of Second Amendment rights, and I ask for your support...
HEMMER: ... Thank you, Governor.
MACCALLUM: Alright, let's go now to Senator Rick Santorum.
SANTORUM: I just want to thank the people of Iowa. Over the last five years I've done 700 speeches and town hall meetings all throughout the state of Iowa, and it has been an incredible right. Thank you.
I want to thank all the wonderful folks like Pastor Carey (ph) Gordon (ph) who gave me a smooth stone and said you go slay Goliaths. Someone like Jim and Janet Cook who over this past Christmas gave up Christmas presents for their kids, and they have more than I do, just they can help me and my campaign.
That's the kind of people...
SANTORUM: ... in Iowa. And, here's what I'm asking you to do. You're good people. You know good leaders. Lead. Pick the right person, not what the polls say. Not who the money give people to. Pick the leader you know is best for this country. Thank you.
HEMMER: Governor Huckabee.
HUCKABEE: Well, this week there was a little dust up about a video we put together with the music of Adele, so I thought it'd be appropriate for me to begin tonight by saying, "Hello, Iowa. It's me."
HUCKABEE: And, you know me. You gave me the largest number of votes in the history of the Iowa caucus eight years ago, and I think you did it because you trusted me, you believed that I had your best interest at heart.
When I was governor I had a little plaque in my office in the Governor's office, and it simply said this. Come, let us reason together.
HUCKABEE: I believe the next President needs to put that plaque in the oval office, and needs to lead this country by saying, "Come, let us reason together."
God bless you, and thank you for your support.
HEMMER: Thank you, Governor.
MACCALLUM: Carly Fiorina.
FIORINA: In over 150 events I have come to know and love the people of Iowa. And the people of Iowa know what the rest of Americans have figured out, this ain't working anymore. The government no longer works for those who pay for it. The professional political class says and does whatever they need to do to win, and then does whatever they please.
We need to return to a citizen government. That is why I am running for President. The media, the establishment, they all want to tell you this elections over, they know who's going to win it, except that you haven't...
FIORINA: ... cast a single vote yet. So, the people of Iowa, stand with me, fight with me. Caucus for me. It is time to take our country back.
MACCALLUM: Thank you, Carly.
HEMMER: That concludes our debate tonight, but the night has just begun.
MACCALLUM: In one hour, seven more candidates take the stage for a debate hosted by Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly, and Chris Wallace. But, up next, the O'Reilly Factor.
Good night everybody.