tv Anderson Cooper360 GOP Town Hall CNN February 17, 2016 9:00pm-11:31pm PST
xfinity lets you download your shows from anywhere. i used to like that song. and a good evening from the historic old cigar warehouse in greenville, south carolina. i'm anderson cooper. about 15 minutes from now, the first two of cnn republican town hall events. tonight, dr. ben carson, marco rubio and ted cruz. they'll answer your questions, addressing concerns they have as they get ready to make their choice here saturday. to say it's been a busy and bruising day does not begin to describe it. tonight's three candidates have been criss-crossing the state making nearly a dozen stops between them. senator rubio picked up a key
endorsement from nikki haley. and senator rubio slammed ted cruz for he says mischaracterizing his senate record. then cruz slammed rubio and trump slammed cruz and bush said it's time to treat trump like a bully and punch him back in the news. new numbers, fresh polling could be an outlier or the start of a trend. putting senator cruz narrowly in the lead. >> there's a new national front-runner on the republican side. according to nbc and "the wall street journal," nationally, we're in first place with 28%. in second place is donald trump with 26%. and then the next closest candidate is way down at 17%.
so the sound you're hearing is the sound of screams coming from washington, d.c. >> well, no screams tonight we hope. that is a national poll. just plenty of good questions from voters in this room and straight answers from the candidates. first sunlen serfaty on what's been a rough and tumble day on the campaign trail. >> reporter: donald trump and ted cruz's fight boiling over. their war of words now being dominated by legal press. >> one of the things i look forward to most of all is deposing donald trump. >> reporter: cruz outright daring donald trump today saying go ahead, sue me. >> so, donald, i would encourage you, if you want to file a lawsuit, challenging this ad claiming it is defamation, file the lawsuit. >> reporter: at issue, this ad from the cruz campaign which attempts to paint trump as being supportive of abortion rights using a tv interview of trump's
from 1999. >> i am pro-choice in every respect. >> we cannot trust donald trump with these serious decisions. >> reporter: donald trump has says he is opposed to abortion rights now. the trump campaign slapping cruz with this cease and desist order to stop him from running the ad. >> i have to say to mr. trump, you have been threatened frivolous lawsuits for your entire adult life. even in the annals of frivolous lawsuits, this takes the case. >> reporter: trump today not backing down, laying into cruz. >> i'm pro-life. he'll say i'm pro-choice. i got a call from a reporter. i hear you're pro-choice. who told you that? cruz. cruz? it's unbelievable. no. i'm pro-life. and i say to myself, how can a guy be so dishonest. >> reporter: marco rubio echoing
the accusations against cruz. >> what we've seen is very disturbing. >> also calling cruz a liar. >> ted has proven he's willing to do or say anything to get elected. >> marco rubio is behaving like donald trump. >> reporter: the infighting within the top tier comes as a new cnn/orc poll out today shows trump with a commanding lead in nevada. 26 points ahead of any other candidate. >> beyond belief, actually. maybe i don't even have to go there and campaign. >> reporter: meanwhile, jeb bush is still fighting for traction, feeling energized with his family's help, sharpening his attacks. >> with all due respect, senator rubio, your four years or five years or whatever it is as senator does not match up to my capabilities of understanding how the world works. >> reporter: but receiving a big blow today. >> ladies and gentlemen if we elect marco rubio, every day
will be a great day in america. >> reporter: losing out on the endorsement of south carolina governor nikki haley to marco rubio. >> she's a great person. i'm disappointed she didn't endorse me. >> sunlen serfaty joins us. how important is governor hailey's endorsement for rubio? >> it's very important and devastating for jeb bush who aggressively courted her this week. jeb bush called it the most meaningful endorsement. that was before he found out he did not get it. for marco rubio it's significant because nikki haley will be hitting the ground for him in these final days going into saturday's republican primary here. that pays off dividends potentially. you could sense that disappointment in jeb bush's tone this afternoon. he is in fourth place here in south carolina. he's barely registering a double digit. that's the momentum, energy the bush campaign is looking for as they try to turn things around.
>> sunlen serfaty, thank you. as we set the stage for tonight's town hall we're joined by gloria borger, katon dawson, john king and dana bash. katon, first of all, this cease and desist letter donald trump sent to ted cruz, have you ever seen anything like that? >> we say welcome to south carolina. it all starts here. we see how they can throw punch. never seen anything of this level of politics in my 40 years of doing it, starting it in 1979 with ronald reagan. the crowds issue different. you'll also see a tremendous amount of undecided voters. your exit polls that cnn had we checked after the 2012 race, 55% undecided. i think we're at that number. take our south carolina polls and chunk them out the window and start with trump, cruz, rubio. i think rubio just jumped cruz
today. >> because of the haley endorsement? >> i do. it's given him a solid look. and then certainly governor bush probably had a bad day today. >> it is a fascinating race. just today the counterpunches and punches are flying. >> i was at that press conference -- >> ted cruz's? >> ted cruz's. he could have just gotten a cease and desist letter and laughed about it. what he's thinking about are these evangelical voters. he's behind them 20 points in the state of south carolina. he can't believe he's losing to donald trump with those voters. what he did today was say, look at this. look at my ad, the press will pay attention to it. look at my ad. he was, quote, very pro-choice. and that's what this press conference was about was saying, evangelicals, take another look at this social issue which is really important to you. >> dana, you heard cruz essentially calling donald trump's bluff on the lawsuit
threat saying, look, go ahead. sue. this is a frivolous lawsuit and i'm looking forward to deposing you. does trump appear weak if he doesn't sue? >> you know, i'm not even sure we're going to get to that point because things are moving so fast. the idea of suing is kind of muscle memory for somebody like donald trump because that's how not just he but one does business in the kind of business that he's in. so that is -- that is kind of his first instinct to do that. but i think the other thing we need to keep in mind when talking about ted cruz is that he is really getting it hard from both sides. when i say both sides i mean donald trump and marco rubio. marco rubio is just relentlessly making sure that ted cruz is attacked as a liar. we've heard that a lot. but so is donald trump. so ted cruz is the one person here who needs to do well, who is really fighting a two-front war. >> john, cruz also today called
marco rubio donald trump with a smile, which he definitely didn't mean as a compliment. clearly cruz realizes he has to fend off trump and rubio. who is the bigger threat in south carolina? >> trump is the bigger threat because trump is ahead in the polls. if you are ted cruz you might think that rubio becomes more of a threat because you don't want to come in third if you are ted cruz. marco rubio, the whole premise of the rubio campaign, why they hope the nikki haley endorsement helps is to get them into second place so that he can look and say ted cruz placed behind me in this state with all these evangelical voters and ted cruz and the other establishment guys, bush and kasich. rubio wants that space. cruz needs momentum. this is the momentum phase, iowa, new hampshire, south carolina, nevada. march becomes the delegate phase. so south carolina is going to have a huge say in who has the most momentum going into the big basket of delegates in march.
>> katon, how important is a night tonight for a rubio, for a cruz because the news coverage is largely based on these attacks against each other. that's what people are going to go to cover. at an event like this you have an opportunity to talk about your ideas, what you want to do as president. >> it's important because your viewership in south carolina will be huge. you remember when newt gingrich broke out about the same time frame. south carolinians along with the world will be watching this tonight. what the excitement is you'll see how rubio and cruz took the news today. rubio has had a really good day. cruz has been talking about donald trump all day. and the thing they've done is donald trump for two days hadn't talked about illegal immigration. it's what's brought him to the party. >> you say any day he's not talking about illegal immigration is about trump. >> he's solid and got good voters. but tonight and tomorrow, a very important night because what surrounds us tomorrow is the news, what they say tonight will be covered in every blog and everything in south carolina.
>> a lot can change between -- >> overnight is a lifetime. >> and you have more than 50% undecided. and what tonight does is it gives these candidates a chance to tell their stories in a way that they haven't been telling their stories because they are mainly reactive to the other candidates. and so tonight marco rubio can tell you why he thinks he's experienced enough to be president of the united states. and ted cruz can tell you why he's the true conservative in this race. and we don't have that opportunity very often when they are throwing charges of liar, liar at each other. >> we hope it's an opportunity for them to show more personal side in an intimate setting like this. one of the rare opportunities they are able to do that on a national stage. katon dawson, john king, dana bash, gloria borger. three of the republican presidential candidates are about to take questions from voters here in greenville, south carolina. i'm going to head downstairs to moderate the republican town hall which begins after a quick break. stay with us.
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polls. if history is any guide, saturday's south carolina primary will help some campaigns and break others. tonight matters so much. for three candidates, one last chance for voters to ask the questions face-to-face to help them decide. >> tonight, a conversation with three leading republicans in south carolina. they are facing the voters and fighting for every last vote. >> if you ever want to fall in love with the american people, run for president. >> marco rubio, rising. ted cruz, talking tough. >> the time for games is over. >> ben carson, running behind, hoping to rise above the fray and the rest of the field. >> i think i can win south carolina. >> three contenders, men of faith in a state where faith runs deep and the faithful vote. but south carolina is the state that knows raw politics. >> he's now literally just making things up. >> marco rubio hitting cruz.
cruz hitting back. >> whenever anyone points out their record, they simply start screaming liar, liar, liar. >> three contenders in a state where manners matter but winning matters more. just days before the first southern primary at the end of a campaign like we and the voters have never seen before. this san anderson 360 cnn town hall. voters seeking answers. a chance to drive the debate before making a choice that could make history. [ applause ] good evening. welcome to the old cigar warehouse in greenville, south carolina. what a night ahead. we're here tonight with just three days to go until primary day. just three days left to decide,
yes a lot of voters in this state remain undecided. senators rubio, cruz and dr. carson are here with the voters and viewers for a conversation. tomorrow night i'll be with john kasich, jeb bush and donald trump. i want to welcome our viewers watching in the united states, watching here in south carolina and around the world on cnn international. also want to extend a warm welcome to all our service men and women watching on the american forces network and to those listening to the westwood one radio network and channel 116 on sirius xm. in the audience tonight in greenville, people who tell us they'll be participating in saturday's primary. some decided. some undecided. we asked audience members to come up with their own questions which we reviews to make sure they don't overlap. i'll ask some questions as well. we hope this is about south carolina voters getting to know the candidates. so let's get started. joining us first tonight is retired neurosurgeon dr. ben carson. welcome. [ applause ]
welcome. >> good to see you. >> take a seat. how is it going? >> very good. >> good. i want to start just -- you, obviously, a retired neurosurgeon. you've been out on the campaign trail for ten months. what's harder. brain surgery or politics? >> brain surgery is a lot harder. but, you know, the interesting thing that i've discovered about politics, good things and bad things, it's been wonderful having an opportunity to meet so many people across the country. and hear what their concerns are. it hadn't been that great, you know, dealing with the press. >> are you looking at me? >> well, that's what really tonight is about. you interacting with the voters. i'm going to ask a couple of questions and then we'll turn it over to the voters.
as you know, the government is trying to unlock the cell phone of one of the terrorists in san bernardino. they've been unable to do that. they've gotten a judge to ask apple, to try to order apple to create new operating software that would allow them essentially a back door to open up and get access. do you think apple should be forces to do that? apple says that's going to violate not only privacy rights but it's going to make everybody's cell phone vulnerable potentially to hackers. >> you know, the interesting thing is, i think that apple and probably a lot of other people don't necessarily trust the government these days. and there's probably very good reason for people not to trust the government. but we're going to have to get over that because right now we're faced with tremendous threats, and individuals, radical jihadists who want to destroy us. and we're going to have to weigh these things one against the other.
i believe that what we need is a public/private partnership when it comes to all of these technical things and cybersecurity because we're all at risk in a very significant way. so it's going to be a matter of people learning to trust each, which means apple needs to sit down with trustworthy members of the government. and that may have to wait until the next election. they need to sit down with people they can trust and hammer out a relationship. >> if you were president right now and you just had 11 months left in your term, would you nominate someone to fill justice scalia's seat? >> i probably would. i probably would take the opportunity to nominate someone. doesn't necessarily mean that that person is going to be acted on or confirmed. but why not do it? but here's the real problem. you know, the supreme court, a
very important part of our governing system was originally intended to consist of jurists who are people who love america, people who fully understood our constitution, and were there to make sure that america preserved its constitutional traditions. it was not supposed to be a partisan group. it has become very partisan. so as a result, everything that is done surrounding it, the picks, the confirmation hearings, deciding on whether to actually make the vote, all of it has become partisan and reaction to what has happened. does it mean that we're forever gone? no. i think it means that these are things that we're going to have to start looking at. we're going to have to start figuring out how in the world do we once again get back to a reasonable judicial system. we do not have that now. we have overreaching.
we have a congress that for some reason has become the peanut gallery and just watching what the executive branch and the judiciary do. and not really stepping up to correct some of the incorrect decisions that have been made by the supreme court. >> how would a president carson pick judges? would you have a litmus test as people often say? >> yes, the litmus test would be their life. you know, i would look back at what they have done throughout their lives, what kind of rulings they've had throughout their lives, what kind of associations they have had. you can tell a lot more about how a person has lived their life than you can with, you know, a series of interviews, which they have been prepped for, which they know exactly how to answer. we've been burned by those kinds of things before. >> so you wouldn't necessarily have a list of questions on abortion, on whatever other issues?
>> i think i could find out what their opinions are by looking back at their life. the bible says in matthew 7:20, by their fruit you will know them. >> i want to have you meet a voter. jessica fuller. she works in advertising. she's a voter in greenville. she's still undecided. you could pick up a vote here tonight. >> excellent. >> welcome, jessica. >> hi. welcome to greenville. >> thank you. >> dr. carson, how do you reconcile the differences between traditional christian values, specifically carrying for the least of these and gop stances on social issues such as welfare and subsidies for the poor? >> when you see current gop, i am part of the gop and let me tell you what my stance is. my stance is that we the people have the responsibility to take care of the indigent in our society. it's not the government's job. and if you can read the constitution all you want, it never says that it is the government's job. and i think that's where we've
gotten confused. in the old days of america when communities were separated by hundreds of miles, why were they able to thrive? because if it was harvest time and the farmer was up in the tree picking apples and fell and broke his leg, everybody pitched in and harvested his crops for him. somebody got killed by a bear, everybody took care of their family. so we have a history of taking care of each other. now for some strange reason, starting sort of in the '20s, the government started getting involved in everything. it kept growing, metastasizing. by the time we got to the '60s, lbj was saying, we, the government, are going to eliminate poverty. how did that work out? $19 trillion later, 10 times more people on food stamps, more poverty, more welfare, broken homes, out of wedlock births, crime, incarceration. everything is not only worse. it's much worse. and that's because it's not their job. it's our job.
i wish the government would read the constitution. i think that would probably help quite a bit. and maybe they did read it and got confused when they read the preamble which says one of the duties is to promote the general welfare. they probably thought that meant putting everybody on welfare. but i don't think it means that at all. and what we need to do is level the playing field. the government can play a very important role in facilitating what we the people do. let me give you one quick example. look at all the out of wedlock births that are going on, particularly in our inner cities. i have been speaking at a lot of the nonprofit organizations that support organizations that support these women so that they don't have an abortion, so that they have the baby. usually their education stops when they have that baby. now if you not only support them through that pregnancy, but now provide child care for them so they can go back to school and
get their ged or their associates degree or bachelors degree or masters degree, learn how to take care of themselves, teach their baby how to take care of themselves so that you break the cycle of the dependency. that's the only way we'll get through these programs. that is true compassion. having people become dependent on others is not compassion at all. [ applause ] >> dr. carson, i want you to meet katie busby. she works for the chamber of commerce. she says she is undecided. >> dr. carson, you would probably agree one of the biggest issues facing our country is national security threat. with groups like isis and middle east becoming more and more unstable, you are running as a candidate that's never governed before. are you qualified to be commander in chief, and are you qualified to deal with these national security threats? >> i, obviously, think so or i wouldn't be running for president. you know, it's the political
class that has tried to convince everybody that they are the only ones who can solve our problems. but the fact of the matter is our system was designed for citizen statesmen. it was designed for people who have had real life experiences and then can transfer that to government work. you know, i can guarantee you that i've had more 2:00 a.m. phone calls than anybody else, all the rest of them, had to make life and death decisions, had to derive information frequently from interns or residents who didn't know a lot but you manage to get the right information and make the right decisions, put together teams, complex teams to accomplish things that have never before been accomplished before. you know, i think what we really need are people who know how to solve problems, not people who know how to talk. we can all talk, but we can't all solve problems. and what i think you need to look at is the course of a person's life. go back and see, what kinds of
things have they had to face? what kinds of things have they had to overcome? and, you know, the people who say, well, you've never run anything. you don't know how to do anything. maybe none of the things they want to do. but it does take skill to take, you know, the division of pediatric neurosurgery when i became chief. it wasn't on the map. and to take it to number one in the country by 2008, that's not something that's done lightly. to start the carson scholars fund. these are things outside. and people say you can't start another scholarship program. there are tens of thousands of them. but we started it. it's in all 50 states. has won major national awards that are only given to one organization in the country. obviously, you have to know how to do things. i've spent 18 years on the board of kellogg's. 16 years on the board of costco. learned a tremendous amount about business, domestically and
international. and a lot of things that people who are politicians who are running have never done. so i think you have to really look at what a person accomplishes in their life and not whether they have a specific pedigree of the political class who thinks that they rule us when, in fact, this country is of, for and by the people. and it's we the people who need to assume once again the pinnacle position. [ applause ] >> dr. carson, this is alexander sexton. he works in the defense sector. he is also undecided but leaning in your favor. welcome. >> dr. carson, thank you for your time. like many americans, i've only recently felt the need to own a gun. and, you know, right now the world is in a dangerous place. so what is your plan to preserve my rights to own a gun and also to protect the american people?
>> sure. well, you know, the second amendment is there for a very good reason. it was so that the people could assist the government in case of an invasion. more importantly it was so that the people could protect themselves in case the government itself ever became tyrannical and tried to rule the people. so we've had guns for hundreds of years. and we've been free for hundreds of years. i think there may be a correlation there. and i think, you know, after the san bernardino attacks and the paris attacks, the current administration, their idea of solving the problem was to take guns away from the people. somehow that's going to solve your problem because there are terrorists trying to kill you. take your guns away. it makes absolutely no sense. what they should be doing is offering free classes in gun safety to all the citizens who want to take it so they can protect themselves.
it is the fundamental right that we have to be able to protect ourselves. but we also need to take safety into account. and as long as we do that, in a reasonable way, i think your right, my right, all of our rights should be preserved. [ applause ] >> i want to follow up. he was saying he got a gun for the first time in his life. do you own a gun? have you ever felt the need to own a gun? >> yes. i don't know that i felt the need to have a gun but i like having a gun. i have multiple marksmanship awards from rotc. and very much in favor of preserving those rights. >> i want you to meet vicki burns, a retired small business owner. she's leaning toward governor bush but has not yet made up her mind. >> hello, dr. carson.
my question for you is, if you are elected president, what would be your big idea? in the past we've had great presidents that have united our country with programs such as the space program, the wpc, and we are in much need of a big idea. >> well, i have multiple big ideas. but here's one of the things that i really want to get across to the country. we have only 330 million people. sounds like a lot of people. but china has 1.4 billion people. india has 1.1 billion people. we have to compete with them on the world stage, which means we can't afford to waste any of our people. so it doesn't make sense for us to have 20-plus percent of people who enter high school dropping out of high school in the technological age, in the information age. it makes no sense for us to have
5% of the world's population and 25% of the inmates. and we have to reorient ourselves in a way that we keep those things from happening because for every one of those young people, we can keep from going down that path of self-destruction. that's one more person that we don't have to be afraid of or protect our family from. one more person we don't have to pay for in the penal system or welfare system. one more taxpaying, productive member of society who may discover the cure for cancer or a new energy source. we can't afford to throw away any of our people. that's the big idea. [ applause ] >> this is richard leland, a family physician here in greenville. he also says he's undecided. welcome. >> dr. carson, in the event that you did not win the presidency but one of your fellow republicans did, if they were to
ask you to consider serving as the surgeon general or head of the department of health and human services with your passion and your ability, would you be willing at some point to consider this? >> i've got to tell you, i'm not looking for a job. you know, after -- >> well, there is one job you're looking for. >> after 15,000 operations and a very arduous career, i'm definitely not just looking for something to do. i feel that our country is on the precipice and it's about to go over the edge. and if we continue with politics as usual, democrats or republicans, we are going to go over that edge. and i think we have to reach down and recognize that we're -- we can't just tinker around the edges. we have to have some real ideas here. ideas are how we get that economic engine, which is the most dynamic and powerful economic engine the world has ever known rolling again. i've got good ideas about that.
bencarson.com. and i can explain them if anybody asks me that question. but you also, when we look at what's happening to our nation in terms of our vision for who we are, i think we're starting to lose sight of who we are. we are so busily give away our identity, our values and our principles for the sake of political corrections -- correctness that we don't know who we are. the bible says without a vision, the people perish. so i have a vision that i think i share with a lot of we the people. and that's the direction i want to go in. it would be very difficult for me to serve in an administration that didn't have that same philosophy. >> we're going to take a short break, dr. carson. we'll have more questions with dr. carson when we come back. you're watching a republican town hall from south carolina. ted cruz and marco rubio are
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[ applause ] welcome back to the cnn town hall here in greenville, south carolina. we're talking to dr. ben carson. our next question from katie abrams, a clemson student, and she is undecided. welcome. >> hi, dr. carson. my name is katie. when i was 18 and just graduated from high school, i lost one of my dearest friends to a senseless murder. it's one of the main reasons i'm passionate about impacting change in the criminal justice system. people that go to prison should have the opportunity to re-assimilate into society. if you are elected president, how would you work alongside policymakers to impact positive criminal justice reform? >> as i mentioned a little earlier, we have 5% of the population of the world and 25% of the inmates.
and that, obviously, means that's something is askew. and we're putting a lot of people in prison who don't need to be in prison. they aren't violent criminals, and all we do is send them to the university where they become violent criminals and then release them on society. that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. when we send people to prison we need to be thinking about whether they are going there for life or whether they'll be reintegrated into society. if they are going to be reintegrated into society, we need to be thinking about how are we going to make that a successful reintegration? in many cases that may mean we should be offer something practical training. there's no reason people can't learn how to become a welder or a plumber or a whole host of different things. plus, you know, there are high level courses where they can
learn mathematics and we ought to be thinking about how do we take these people and turn them away from a life that's going down the wrong pathway to one where they become part of the fabric of success in america. >> so does that mean for you relooking at mandatory minimum sentences for -- >> absolutely. >> -- low level, nonviolent offenders? >> absolutely it means that. it means we need to look at those who are mentally ill. there are a lot of mentally ill who are being housed in prisons. we have facilities all over the country that are sitting empty because we have decided that it's too expensive to take care of the mentally ill. so they end up on the street where frequently they become victimized by people and then wind up in the criminal justice system. and then we put them in amongst people who are violent criminals.
now you take somebody mentally unstable and now you are teaching them to be a violent criminal and then releasing them on our society. that doesn't make any sense. so i think it would be a lot cheaper if we begin to take care of these people the way they should be taken care of. there's going to be, quite frankly, plenty of money to take care of the people when we stop doing all the silly stuff we're doing with all of these things we are doing. the money will be drawn in that's sitting on the sidelines and we once again begin to create the can-do attitude as opposed to the what can you do for me attitude, and i think america will be on its way pretty quickly. >> katie, appreciate your question. this is will richter. he goes to clemson. he's deciding between you and senator rubio.
>> that should be an easy choice. >> hi, dr. carson. according to a 60 minutes investigation, the justice department says that china's corporate espionage is so vast that it constitutes a national security emergency costing american companies hundreds of billions of dollars and american citizens over 2 million jobs. if elected president, how would you go about protecting american intellectual property rights abroad while maintaining diplomatic relations? >> a very important question. i mean, we are being hit thousands of times a day. if you go to individual americans, millions of times every day by cyberattacks from china and other places. and that's why, you know, i have advocated for a comprehensive solution for cybersecurity. you can read about that on the website.
but again, public/private partnerships so that we can create the kind of common monitoring process so that if you get attacked or your company gets attacked, you know, we have a common place that we can report that and we can begin to see where the pieces fit together so that we understand where it's coming from. and, quite frankly, we have some pretty substantial offensive cyber capabilities. our administration is reluctant to use them. i would not be reluctant to use them. if somebody hit us from another country with a cyberattack, they would not do it a second time. believe me. and people think that i'm nice. and i am nice, but i also want to protect our people. and protect -- if you stand up to people who are doing these things, it makes them much less likely to continue. but again, by having a public/private partnership,
being able to tap into all of our resources, i think we have a much better opportunity to defend ourselves and to put up the kinds of defenses that can keep morphing so that's they will not be able to keep up with us. americans have always been incredibly innovative. if we can release that innovation and get rid of some of the things that dampen that's innovation, i think we'll stay far ahead of the competition. >> thank you for your question. appreciate it. i want you to meet billy, a stay-at-home mom. she is also still undecided. >> hello, dr. carson. i do appreciate your mild mannered nature and in this campaign. however, if you are the republican nominee, how do you plan to not -- how do you plan to get your message out over a boisterous democrat?
>> which boisterous democrat would that be? now quite simply, what i have discovered, as a pediatric neurosurgeon, and as someone who dealt with lots of children, i had a program at the hospital where i bring in 800 students at a time. frequently elementary students. and you would say, how are you going to be able to speak to 800 elementary students and keep them quiet? you know what? by speaking softly because then they would think, oh, what's he's saying and they would shut up. it actually worked extremely well. but, really, the key is not so much the volume with which you speak. but it's the content of what you say. that's what's going to make the difference. and i think the american people are smart enough to be able to understand bluster and rhetoric versus truth.
and when it comes to the general election, you know, people who are running around saying things like, free college for everyone, it will be very easy to counter that by simply educating people as to the actual financial condition of our nation. and that's not done. i think margaret thatcher probably said it best. she said socialism is great until you run out of other people's money. and that's exactly what would happen and we would explain that to people, and i think they would understand. so i look forward to such a challenge. >> of course, in just a -- [ applause ] it's not just, obviously, in a germ election. you've been on the stage with some boisterous folks the last few months. what are you thinking when you are on a stage in those debates? what's is going through your mind? >> honestly, what's was going
through my mind is will these guys in any way remember what happened in 2012 when they tried to tear each other apart, which was probably the only reason that president obama was able to win re-election with a record that no one could have won on. so we have to stop finding ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. >> do you have a candidate you'd prefer to run against in a general? bernie sanders or hillary clinton? >> i would relish running against either one of them. it would not be a problem. [ applause ] >> our next question comes from -- oh, i'm sorry. we're going for some of the personal questions. take a seat here. so was it hard for you to give up surgery? do you train for this for so long. you were an excellent surgeon by all accounts. >> some people say i was just an okay surgeon.
but, no, i miss very much what medicine used to be. i do not miss what it has become. and i think you will find if you talk to a lot of people in the medical profession that they're not very happy today. >> because they're not able to spend time with patients? >> there are so many new rules and regulations. and, yes, the ethics and all the various things you have. you don't even have a chance to look at the patient. there's a lot of information that you can gain from just looking at somebody when you are talking to them, which is an essential part of medical care that's being lost. so i -- that's the reason that i have denoted a different type of system that actually costs less than either the current so-called affordable care act or the system that we have before that that provides excellent care for everybody, including the indigent and doesn't have
any success class citizens. we have enough money to do it. we spend almost twice as much per capita on health care as many other nations that have much better access. and we have so much disruption and inefficiency in our system that can be easily corrected. >> president obama plays golf. former president george w. bush paints now. used to clear brush out in texas. what do you do to relax? >> play pool. i love to play pool. >> are you competitive when you play pool? >> i like to win. and i'll tell you, it relaxes me. when i would come home from a busy day of surgery, i would shoot pool. and my wife who didn't know how to play pool learned how to play pool and has become an excellent player. she's good competition. if i mess up, she will beat me. >> what sort of music do you listen to? >> i primarily like classical music.
particularly baroque music. >> did you listen to that when you did surgery? >> yes. all the residents knew they'd also learn classical music. i remember one resident, i'd always ask him questions. he'd always say that's the 1812 overture. he said, i know i'm going to be right one time. >> dr. carson, a pleasure. dr. ben carson, thank you. [ applause ] when we come back, senator marco rubio takes the stage and takes your questions. we'll be right back. ♪ they say that in life, we shouldn't sweat the small stuff. but when you're building a mercedes-benz, there really is no small stuff. every decision... every component... is an integral part of what makes the 2016 c-class one of our most sophisticated cars ever.
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[ applause ] welcome back. we're manage to you from the old cigar warehouse in greenville, south carolina. the first of two consecutive republican town halls on cnn. the next one is tomorrow night in columbia featuring john kasich, jeb bush and donald trump. right now, please welcome senator marco rubio of florida. [ applause ]
hey, senator. welcome. have a seat. >> thank you. >> so welcome, first of all. thanks for being here. >> it's a nice place. >> it's a beautiful building. how is it feeling on the campaign trail after a fifth place finish in new hampshire. counted you out. you had a good debate. major endorsement from south carolina governor nikki haley. are you feeling the marco-mentum? >> people are coming to our rallies, signing up. obviously, saturday we'll find out. people are going to vote. we're going to do our best. we've got a good message. i feel good. we'll see what that translates to. >> it's getting tough out there. accusations going back and forth. you called ted cruz a liar. he said your campaign is relying on fabrication. refuted claims. do you stand by the assertion he's lying? >> if you say something that
isn't true and you know that it isn't true, there's no other word for it. when it's about your record you have to clear it up. if you don't then people say it must be true. you don't dispute it. we saw what he did to dr. carson in iowa. we saw yesterday, trey gowdy, someone came up with a fake facebook post saying trey gowdy was no longer endorsing me. i'll address them. that's not the core of my campaign. i spend 99% of my time talking about america's future. if someone says something that's not true and i don't clear it up, then people may think it's not true. >> president obama said something i want to ask you about so you can respond to it. he said yesterday you have a candidate who sponsored a bill that i supported to finally solve the immigration problem and he's running away from it as fast as he can. >> president obama has no standing to talk about immigration. his party controlled the white house and house and senate for two years and did nothing. after barack obama put in place two unconstitutional executive
orders which has made it harder. i believe this issue has to be dealt with. if you are serious about dealing with immigration, you better secure the border first. nothing else is going to be able to happen. nothing else can happen until you secure the border first. people have been clear about that. that's the key that unlocks the door to dealing with the rest of the issue. we won't be able to make any progress. >> the president is saying, you sponsored a bill that he'd support it. >> it's been tried three times in the last decade. it's failed each time. now we have to understand that the only way forward is through a step-by-step approach that begins by finally securing our border. we're a sovereign country. every country has a right to control who comes here, when they come here, how they come here. we're the most generous nation in the world on immigration. >> do you think it could pass? >> i didn't think the senate version could pass. this bill is not strong enough.
i understood the democrats controlled the senate. that's the best we could produce in a senate controlled by democrats. we wanted to send it to the house. we'd hope the house republicans would make it better. they never took it up. there's no way forward. i can just tell you after that experience, for a fact, having been through that, no progress will be made on immigration in this country until we prove to the american people, not just pass a law but prove to them we've built the sufficient laws and fences on the border that's we have mandatory e-verify, an entry/exit tracking system to prevent visa overstays and hire additional border security to secure the border. >> i want to ask you about a few items making headlines today. it's a question i asked dr. carson. as you know, the government is trying to get apple to create new software to basically allow them to unlock the phone used by the san bernardino terrorist. apple is saying if we create this back door it's a whole new software thing and it's going to
endanger 99.9% of the good users. >> it's about encryption. there's encryption out. it's standard on the new apple. and what it does is it protects your privacy. if you lose your ipad or iphone, no one can hack in and get the information. if we passed a law that required them to create a back door, criminals could figure that out and use it against you. there's already encrypted software that exists and we'd not be able to stop that. there would still be encryption capabilities. they just wouldn't be american but people in this country could have it. that's why it's such a difficult issue. on the flip side, there might be valuable information on that phone from the san bernardino killers that's could lead us to preventing future crimes or future terrorist attacks. so i think we are going to have to figure out a way toward by
working with silicon valley and the tech industry. there has to be a way that continues to protect the privacy of americans but creates some process by which law enforcement and intelligence agencies could access encrypted information. i don't have a magic solution. it's complicated. it's a new issue that's emerged. but it will take a partnership between the technology industry and the government to confront and solve this. >> so it does concern you, basically apple's concerns, the idea this would create a back door -- >> if you create a back door there is the possibility a criminal gang could figure out what the back door is. that's possibility -- you create a back door, you are creating a vulnerability. you'll not change the fact that other companies around the world who are not subject to u.s. law, they can create encryption that we'll never be able to get access to. it's not as simple as people think. apple is under court order. they need to follow whatever the court order is ultimately but going forward we'll have to work with silicon valley, the tech
industry to figure out a way forward on encryption that allows us some capability to access information in an exigent circumstance where there may be information on there that could prevent a terrorist attack. >> another item in the news. we've just learned president obama plans to visit cuba some time, i think this month but i don't know the exact date. is that something as president you would ever do? >> not if it's not a free cuba. the problem with the cuban government. it's not just a communist dictatorship, it's an anti-american communist dictatorship. they helped north korea evades u.n. sanctions. the cuban government today harbors hundreds of fugitives of american justice. people that have stolen your money. they come to the u.s., steal money, meds care fraud, go back to cuba. the cuban government is protecting them. they are harboring a killer from new jersey who killed a state trooper in new jersey. she escaped jail, fled to cuba.
the cuban government is protecting her. beyond that, they are a repressive regime. there's no election in cuba. i want the relationship to change but it has to be reciprocal. look what we did with burma. today the former minority party is now the majority party in their legislative body because our change towards them was conditional on their change towards their people. he didn't ask that of the cuban people. a year and two months after the opening of cuba, the cuban government remains as oppressive. now they have access to millions if not billions in resources they didn't have access to. >> i'm told the president is going next month. >> probably not going to invite me. >> probably not. this is maggie. a senior at fuhrman university. she's leaning in your favor. >> good. let's finish it tonight. >> she likes dr. carson as well. >> i like dr. carson as well. >> welcome to greenville. i'm sure you're well aware that
college and student debt loans are on the rise. as someone who is planning to attend dental school this upcoming fall by only in-state option is about $100,000 a year setting me up for about $500,000 of debt before i have the chance to make a dime of it back. do you currently think that's there's a problem with the cost of education? >> yes. >> and if so, what's your plan to make it more affordable, specifically, how do you deal with cutting costs for students but still maintaining a high quality of education? >> i believe i'm the only republican candidate that talks about student loan debt. one reason why is three years ago, i still owed over $100,000 in student loan debt. i was only able to pay off because i wrote a book called "an american son" now available in paperback. people always laugh. i love that joke. it's not a joke. it is available in paperback. i have a bipartisan agenda on this issue. four main things. the first is alternative crediting.
today there are only six accrediting boards in the country. you can only award a four-year degree if you are accredited by one of these six institution. it's a monopoly. because today in the 21st century, we have the ability to learn multiple ways. you don't just have to sit in a classroom. there are so many ways to acquire information. and so what i push for is an alternative accrediting model that allows accredited learning. give people credit for what they've learned through life experience, work experience, military experience. if you have mastered a subject, you should not be forced to sit in a classroom and pay to take a course on something you already know. this alternative accrediting model would allow us to do this. you can't use financial aid and the private sector doesn't recognize it. i think we need to do that. that's important for nontraditional students. let's say there's a single mother. she makes 2 -- $11 an hour. the only way she'll make more
money is to go back to school. but she has to work full time during the day and raise her kids at night. if there was an alternative accrediting model that allowed her to earn credits through what she learned on her years on the job it would shorten that time if not allow her to complete that degree. alternative accrediting that allows you to get the maximum amount of credits without having to pay for it in an institution. and the student investment plan. this would allow you to go to a private investment group who would invest in you the way an investment group invests in a business. they would believe in you so much and in your success that they would pay for your college. if you become financially successful, they'll make their investment back with a profit. if you do not, they'll lose their money and made a bad investment. but all the risk is on them. the third is to make income-based repayment. i have that law right now that i'm working on with mark warner,
a democrat from virginia. why that is important is because i would rather collect $20 a month from a student than nothing. because if you are collecting $20, at least you are collecting $20 and they aren't defaulting on the debt. if you default that ruins your credit. you can't buy a house. it really hurts you. and right to know before you go which i'm working on with ron wyden, the democrat from oregon. before you take out a loan, schools have to tell you how much people make when they graduate from that school with a degree you're seeking. why is that important? it will probably teach you the market for roman philosophers has tightened. so you may not want to borrow $50,000 unless you're going to teach it or go on to grad school. it's going to allow you to compare schools and look at two different schools and say i want to major in history. a history major from this school makes 50 grand a year and it only cost $20,000. a history major from this school makes $50,000 a year but it cost $100,000.
now you have something to make a decision on other than the u.s. news and world report college ranking. this is the kinds of things i'm working on because this is deeply personal. when i graduated -- when i got married, my largest payment after the rent was our student loan debt. over $1,000 a month. i always joke that i never met her but i paid sallie mae a lot of money. and today higher education is a necessity. it's no longer a luxury. there are no good paying jobs without some skill and/or educational achievement in the 21st century. i do think it's a big issue and i want us to work on it. >> thank you for your question. [ applause ] i'm going to throw away my roman philosophy question. >> i didn't do well with roman philosophy. >> meet retired general mcmanus. he is still deciding between you and governor kasich. general? >> senator rubio, many would argue that's we're not only
electing a president this cycle but our commander in chief to lead america in dealing with some very demanding national security issues ahead. >> yes, sir. >> what has prepared you the most for this critical mission and what strengths of your foundation for the trust and confidence our soldiers, sailors and airmen and marines must have in you. >> first of all, thank you for your service. i want to thank all the veterans of south carolina and across the country for the service they provided to our country. it's not just electing a commander in chief. that's the most important job. the president doesn't run the economy. the private sector does. national security and commander in chief is the most important job of the president. i say this without any reservation. i haven't lived as long as some of the people running for president but no one running for president, especially on the republican side, has more experience on national security or foreign policy than i do. as both a member of the intelligence committee and foreign relations committee over the last five years i've been dealing with every single major
issue this country confronts. i understand these issues well. i have a record of good judgment on those issues. in 2011 when moammar gadhafi was facing his overflow i argued if that became a protracted conflict it would leave a vacuum. when bashar assad was being overthrown. i said they'd be killed or exiled n that vacuum would be filled by a radical jihadist group. and that's what happened with al nasra and isis. when isis emerged and crossed into iraq, i warned that they would become a major threat if not confronted and defeated immediately. the president called in the jv team. today they have affiliates in over a dozen teams and they -- we saw what they did in san bernardino, what's they inspired in paris as well. over the last five years i've been involved in foreign policy and national security i've proven that i have both the judgment and the experience to
make the right decisions and the right call on these issues. the hardest vote i've ever taken was a vote to authorize the use of force in syria. talked about this in the debate the other night. it's the most difficult vote you'll ever take in congress. when bashar al assad gassed his own people and poisoned them, president obama announced he'd not take military action unless we in congress authorized the use of that force. so i was angry when i saw the images. i'm sure you saw the same images. i looked at these pictures of little children, curled up, some dead already because their own leader used poisoned gas and biological agents against them. i was outraged and wanted us to exact revenge on them. then i looked at what the president was proposing. something john kerry call an attack that would be unbelievably limited. that attack the president wanted to carry out i concluded would be counterproductive. it actually would have empowered assad. all he was going to do was a symbolic strike. assad was going to emerge from
it saying i took on the u.s. and held on. it would have made him stronger, not weaker. i concluded i would not vote to authorize the use of force. it was a tough decision because what i had seen in those images that's outraged us all. i can look at that field of candidates running today and tell you without any hesitation that's no one running as a republican has shown better judgment or has more experience on national security or on foreign policy than i do. >> thank you. >> thank you, general. [ applause ] >> just want to follow up with that. quick follow-up. governor bush again continued his line of attack on you saying you're inexperienced. what do you say to republicans in south carolina who say do we really want another first term senator in the white house? >> sure. i would tell you that i believe barack obama is a failed president not because he was a one term senator. he has seven years of presidential experience. only two people in the world with more experience than he does, george w. bush and bill clinton.
today seven years, he is worse in the seventh year than in his first. clearly experience was not the issue. the reason he's failed as a president is because his ideas don't work. his philosophy, his ideology is a failed one. i also think it's unfair to say i have no experience. i have 15 years of experience of turning conservative ideas into conservative action. i served 8 1/2 years in the florida legislature. not as a back bencher but a leader. we've been talking about imminent domain. florida has some of the best eminent domain laws in the country. you know who passed that law? i did. i was speaker of the florida house. we brought career academies to our house. students and high schools in florida graduate not just with a high school diploma but certified to work as welders, plumbers, electricians, pipe fitters in vocational training because of what we've put in. we've reduced property taxes because i led the effort to do that. we brought the harlem's own children's model into florida.
we reformed our curriculum without common core, without the federal government. and in my time in the senate, the senate has not been the most active place in the last five years because i led the effort in a bipartisan way we imposed sanctions on hezbollah. got rid of the obamacare bail-out act. we leverage u.s. foreign aid to take on the scourge of human trafficking and modern day slavery around the world. we imposed sanctions on human rights violators in venezuela. my campaign is not about the past. it's about the future. about what we're going to do. i can say this without any, any hesitation whatsoever, i am as conservative as anyone running for president. but i am a 15-year conservative who has proven time and again the capability and willingness to take conservative ideas and turn them into conservative solutions. [ applause ] >> i want you to meet patty stoner.
she's lived in greenville for 40 years. she's deciding between you and senator cruz. >> i have a nephew currently serving and is deployed in the middle east as a person on an elite team. there's been a lot of discussion about women in combat. and my concern is if you put women on the front line, you would have to lessen standards. and that would put more troops at arm's length and endanger. also, do you feel like women can compete on the same level to be able to get a position on special forces? >> well, i do not believe that the military is a place where we should be lowering standards in order to meet some sort of other goal. i believe that i'm open to people in both genders serving so long as they can meet the minimum requirements. we can't weaken those to accommodate somebody into the job. lives are all the line. and national security is on the line. by the way, there are plenty of men who can't meet those standards either. we should not lower standards
for anyone. this is not a game. you are putting people into harm's way where they have to be able not simply to do the job in front of them but also to be able to protect the people working alongside them. and so for me, it's not about the gender. it's about the ability to do the job. as president and commander in chief, i will not lower standards in order, too chief some sort of societal aim. [ applause ] >> thank you for your question. this is joshua goodwin, the vice chair of the upstate young republicans. he says he's voting for you on sunday. >> good. let's not blow it. >> good evening, senator. welcome back to greenville. my question is regarding the charleston shooting. myself and many south carolinians were devastated by the hatred of racism. as a leader, i'd like to know, how would you simultaneously address the issue of racism, yet unify us as a country. >> yes, sir. that's an important question. let me begin by saying the
entire country was inspired by the way south carolina and in particular the people impacted at mother emmanuel church reacted to the shooting. the images of these family members saying on television we forgive the killer had an impact on the country that was profound. it says a lot about success. it also says a lot about the role that faith plays in this state. if you ask people about it, they'll tell you the church was at the center of not how south carolina responded not just to that shooting but a previous police shooting and to a flood that was a 1,000-year event. you talk about race relations. it's a difficult issue in this country. i can tell you and a lot of it is centered around law enforcement and police departments. i know for a fact that the overwhelming majority of the men and women who serve us in law enforcement are incredible people. who every single day put their lives potentially on the line for our safety and security. [ applause ] but i also know -- but i also
know that there are communities in this country where minority communities and the police department have a terrible relationship. i personally know someone who happens to be a police officer and a young african-american male who told me that he's been pulled over seven, eight times in the last few years and never gets a ticket. what is he supposed to think? he gets pulled over, never gets a ticket. no one has any explanation. what is he supposes to think? i also known in this country there's a significant number of young african-american males who feel as if they are treated differently than the rest of society. here's the bottom line. whether you agree with them or not, i happen to have seen this happen. whether you agree or not, if a significant percentage of the american family believes that they are being treated differently than everyone else, we have a problem. and we have to address it as a society and as a country. i do not believe we can fulfill our potential as a nation unless we address that. i'm not sure there's a political solution to that problem but there are things we can do. one reason you see educational
and academic underperformance not just in the african-american community but in the hispanic community is because a disproportionate number of our children are growing up in broken homes in dangerous neighborhoods leaving in substandard housing and forced by the government to attend a failing school. they're going to struggle to succeed unless something breaks that cycle. we've seen things that work. you get involved in the lives of children n address those strikes against them and you can see the same results you'd see anywhere else in the country. i do believe as a society we have to confront this because ultimately, if a significant percentage of the american family feels that they are locked out of the promise of america, we will never be able to fulfill our destiny as a great nation. [ applause ] >> a quick follow-up. on a personal basis, have you ever felt the sting of racism?
>> you know, let me tell you a couple of things. my parents were extraordinary people. they raised me to believe that it didn't matter that they came from cuba and he was a bartender, she was a made. there was nothing we couldn't do. i remember during the mario boat lift growing up in las vegas, that some of the neighborhood kids, older kids, one day were taunting my family saying, why don't you go back on your boat go back to your country. i didn't know what they were talking about? what boat? my mom doesn't even swim. afraid of water. and the mario boat lift is going on. people are upset and they are hearing this stuff. don't blame the kids. they must be hearing it from somebody. that disturbed me as a young child. for the most part in my life, i never saw that as a reflection on america but as a reflection on those kids. my parents never raised us to feel that we were victims. they always raised us to believe our destiny and future, we live in the one place on earth where if you worked hard and
persevered you could achieve. that doesn't mean i don't deny there are those who have had a different experience. and we have to recognize that. if you look back at the history of this country, we have some blemishes that even to this day we're fighting through. what's extraordinary about america is that we've fought through that. a nature of perpetual improvement. if you look at how far we've come since the 1960s. if you look at where south carolina is today compared to 30, 40 years ago. in my campaign for president i got the endorsement of a candidate of indian descent and tomorrow we'll be campaigning along an african-american member. that says a lot about south carolina. >> i want you to meet douglas parrot. he was leaning toward donald trump.
>> the united states economy seems to be chugging along at an anemic 2% gdp. household incomes are down. workplace participation is down. the stock market seems to be trending down. and the fed has been stimulating our economy for the past decade and this is what we have to show for it. could you prioritize three actions to turn this economic ship around? >> let me address the fed issue. that's not the fed's job to stimulate the economy. the fed is a central bank not an overlord of the economy. not some sort of special jedi council. the fed is a central bank. their job is to provide stable currency. i believe they should operate on a rules-based system where they have a very simple rule that determines when interest rate goes up and when they go down. today it's like a magic 8 ball. we don't know and it creates uncertainty in the marketplace.
your question goes to the core of something deeper. we are living through a massive and rapid economic transformation. this is not an economic downturn to. a massive economic transformation. we're having the industrial revolution every five years. you can be on the cutting edge of an industry today and in five years it's obvious let's. -- obsolete. the new jobs require skills many of our people may not have because they haven't been trained for it. we have to make ourselves a friendlier place. you look at south carolina. why is south carolina attracting manufacturing? i'll tell you what it's doing. it's lowering its taxes. reducing the regulatory burden. these things are important. as president, i want to be an active and vibrant advocate for setting an agenda that we're going to simplify our tax code. the highest combined corporate tax rate. i want to lower it to a flat rate of 25%. including small businesses,
organized as subchapter s. paying as high as 39.5%. i want businesses to invest every dollar into their business. i want to move to a territorial system of taxation. we're the last major industrial country that double taxes its companies from making money overseas. you have $2 trillion of american corporate cash sitting overseas. $2 trillion is equivalent to the gdp of russia. that's how much american corporate cash is not being invested here and is instead being invested overseas. regulatory reform is important. a regulatory budget that says we're going to put a hard cap on how much federal regulations can cost our economy. n that will force agencies to reduce regulations and it will say if you'll add a new regulation you'll have to cut an existing one because regulations are a burden. the third thing is the national debt. it is $19 trillion with close to $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities.
we'll have a debt crisis in america soon if we do not address it. in less than five years, 83% of the federal budget will be consumed by medicare, medicaid, social security and the interest on the debt. only 17% of our budget left for everything else, including the military. that's unacceptable. that's a debt crisis. i want us to save social security and medicare. we can do it without disrupting it for people that are on it now. my mother is on social security and medicare. i'm against any changes to those programs that's bad for my mother. but it won't look the same for me. instead of retiring at 67, i may have to retire at 68. if i was in the senate, i'd be one of the youngest people there. if i made a lot of money, my social security benefits may not grow as fast as they do for someone who made lots of money. medicare could be the option of using my money to buy a plan i like better. these are not unreasonable changes. they aren't too much to ask of
me who is 25 years away from retirement in exchange for balancing our budget, bringing our debt under control and leaving social security and medicare undisturbed for current beneficiaries. you deal with our debt, scale down our tax code and you'll see america lead the world in the 21st century economy. we fail to do that, we remain stagnant like we are now. >> senator rubio, we're going to take a quick break. we'll be back in a moment with more voter questions for senator marco rubio. [ applause ] i think it landed last tuesday. one second it's there. then, woosh, it's gone. i swear i saw it swallow seven people. seven. i just wish one of those people could have been mrs. johnson. [dog bark] trust me, we're dealing with a higher intelligence here.
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welcome back. we're here with senator marco rubio. before we get back to audience questions, just today, sandra justice day o'connor said there should be no delay in filling the vacancy left by justice scalia's death. she said we need somebody there to do the job. >> i would say a couple of things. there's an 80-year precedence on this.
in the last year, the senate doesn't usually move forward. you are appointing someone to a lifetime appointment theoretically to the supreme court. so the supreme court can function with eight justices. and then their term will end and a new one will begin. this will be an issue in the campaign. voters are going to ask of the presidential candidates, what kind of justice are you going to appoint. there's going to be an election and the new president will have an opportunity to nominate someone. that's the approach i support. >> you said there's been a precedent. president obama said there's nothing in the constitution that says you can't. if you were president, would you nominate someone? >> no, i would respect that precedent. there's nothing in the constitution that says he can't nominate someone. there's also not something that says the senate must immediately confirm there. there will be someone filling that vacancy, and i think the new president should be the one who fills that. it may not be a republican. i think it's going to be a republican. that's what i want it to be. i think it's going to be an
issue in this campaign and the voters will be able to weigh in on it. >> meet amber mcdonald. an elementary schoolteacher. she's undecided. >> good evening. how are you? >> good. >> as an educator for 14 years, i've seen a change in our children. i'm very passionate about what i do, and so it makes my job difficult when those children come in having other concerns. they are concerned about their parents who fought before they came. concerned they didn't have food to eat breakfast and all of that comes into what we do every single day. how can you help us to make that easier to where we can educate the parents to where those things are easier for them, then it helps our children to have an easier day, not as stressful. >> thank you for the question. i have three educators in my family, elementary school. i hear the same thing. our schools are inheriting whatever society sends them in the morning. if a child is being raised in a
broken home living in substandard house, no access to health care, and facing these other challenges, this child faces significant obstacles that need to be addressed. the question is what can government do about it? there's no law i can pass to make people better parents. no matters how hard you try and want to help, there's only so much you can do about that as well. we need to empower parents. it's one reason my tax plan increases the per child tax credit. i've been criticized for that by "the wall street journal" and others. they don't like the per child tax credit. where do we live in a country where big business invest money in a piece of equipment they get to write it off but if a working parent invests more money in their children they don't get to write that off their taxes. working parents should be allowed to keep more of their own money to have the resources it takes to raise their children. it's expensive to raise children in the 21st century. my tax plan recognizes that. i think your question goes to the core of something we need to remind ourselves. there's not a government
solution to every problem in our country. that does not mean our leaders shouldn't spend the time to tell people that what happens in our house, what happens in your house is often times much more important than what happens in the white house. the most important job i ever have will not be president of the united states but to be a father to my four children. i think that's important for us as a society continue to understand that you cannot have a strong country without strong people. you cannot have strong people without strong values and you cannot have strong values without strong families. no one is born with strong values. they have to be instilled in you in a strong home. government cannot make families stronger but it can do things to help families. and not having any laws, whether our safety net program or tax code that discourages marriage or undermines parenting. >> you are obviously very accomplished. did you always know you wanted to do public service?
>> no, i wanted to play in the nfl. and i would have, had it not been for my lack of speed, size and talent. but i always had an interest in public service. my grandfather, one of the jobs he had as a young man was a reader in the front of a cigar factory in cuba. they didn't have tv or radio. they did but not in the cigar factory. he'd read newspapers and novels to the workers. as a result became a very well-read person and instilled this interest in politics and world affairs. i think that was a seed that grew over time. no one can predict you'll be at a setting like i am today. i always had somewhat of an interest in it. i thought i'd be an nfl player and nfl coach before i got to this point. obviously fast forwarded past the nfl part. >> i want you to meet jason lee. he's a minister, father of four kids and he's still undecided. >> i had the same shortcoming in the nfl as well. >> i think almost everyone does.
>> most gop candidates point to ronald reagan as a model president. they look up to. so i want to ask in terms of looking at him as a model for immigration and refugee resettlement, he had the refugee resettlement annual cap as high as 200,000 in one of his terms. so my question is, looking at him and considering yourself to be a compassionate conservative, will you let more vetted, secured refugees into this country? and what will your plan be for this american tradition of refugee resettlement? >> i believe that america must always continue to be a place that allows people seeking refuge from political persecution and violence to come. here's the difference between reagan's world and the one we live in now. when ronald reagan was president of the united states, there did not exist the radical jihadist group that was attempting to use the immigration laws of other countries against those countries. and that's the threat we now
face. it's the reason why in america there was a time in many communities where nobody locked their doors. now everybody locks their doors. it's because we love the people inside of our home. and so today in the process by which you accept people into the united states is going to have to be different. we know for a fact that isis, for example, has captured key places in syria where passports are produced. you see open source reporting that isis has the capability of basically creating legitimate syrian passports, except the picture and name is not exactly who is says it is. this is a real threat for america. if we accepted 10,000 syrian refugees tomorrow and 9,999 of them were good people and one was an isis killer, we have a problem. we have to be 100% right given the threat we face. it's not about a religious test or discrimination. it's just that we have to be 100% right. that means our vetting process must be stricter. it's almost impossible to vet people now from that part of the
world. we don't have a database to rely on. you can't call up 1-800-syria and ask do you know who they are and why they are coming? it's harder to vet people from certain parts of the world. we'll always be open to refugees but in the 21st century if we don't know who you are and why you are coming 100% for sure, we'll not be able to allow you to come in because the threat is so significant and so real. [ applause ] >> thank you very much. senator rubio, this is jeff philips, an attorney. he likes you and donald trump. still has not made up his mind. >> dr. ben carson mentioned before you came out here that the gop may not have learned its lesson in 2012 regarding infighting, especially in the primary. this primary has been as contentious as any i've seen in the 45 years i've been watching politics. the question is this. there's going to be a lot of
healing that's going to have to be a lot of bridge building after this primary, no matter who wins it. and i would like to know what you would do and what you have done in the past to show that you have the ability not only to unify the republican party but unify the american people well enough to win the general election? >> that's a great question. >> we need to remember that in this country we're blessed that we have in this country, we solve through elections what's other countries solve through civil wars. the worst thing that happens to someone in the political process is you lose an election. they say nasty things about you and run a bad ad about you. in other countries if you lose an election, you go to jail or into exile. we're blessed to be living in a republic where we have strong disagreements about the future of our country but they are settled at the ballot box. not the tip of a gun or spear. we're going to have to come together. i believe i already provide
that. there's a reason why virtually every candidate in this field has attacked me. i run a campaign i believe appeals to the prod sector of the republican electorate. we basically campaign to every voter in the republican coalition. my promise to you if i'm the nominee, i'm not just going to unify the republican party. i'm going to grow it. we're going to take our message to people who haven't voted for republicans in a long time. they haven't voted for us because the left and democrats have said the republican party is the party of the rich people and the democrats are the party of the working people. that's one of the biggest lies. the democratic party is led by a devout avowed democratic socialist. has become a far left party. and they are the party of big government. big government hurts people that are trying to make it. because the bigger the government, the more the people that influence government win at the expense of everybody else. look at dodd/frank. the big banks are bigger than ever. the regional banks and community banks are getting wiped out.
we're going to take our message to people living paycheck to paycheck. you know why i can take that message to them? i grew up paycheck to paycheck. my wife and i have lived paycheck to paycheck. i know what that feels like. we'll take our message to young americans struggling under thousands of dollars of student loan debt. we're going to be the party that makes it easier for a single mom to go back to school and get a degree that allows her to find a better paying job. we'll take our message to parents raising children in the 21st century. we're raising four children right now and know how hard it is to instill the values they teach in our church instead of the values the culture tries to ram down our throats. that doesn't mean everyone is going to agree with me on everything. but i'm going to be a president for all americans. even those that don't vote for me, i'm going to cut their taxes, too.
an american president has to love the american people, even those that don't love you back, and that's what i intend to do. [ applause ] >> one of the things that ted cruz said earlier today, he called you, that you are behaving like donald trump with a smile. i want you to be able to respond. >> donald trump smiles. i've seen him smile. this back and forth is silly. if someone says something about me that isn't true, i'm going to correct the record. ultimately, it's not about me or ted or donald. it's about what is this country going to look like when my 15-year-old daughter graduates from college. what is it going to look like when he buys her first home or tries to start her first business. what about when my 8-year-old son does the same? 2016 is a turning point. i believe we only have two ways forward. we are either going to be the first americans that leave their children worst off than
themselves or we'll be the authors of a new american century, the greatest era in our history. that's a dramatic choice. i believe 2016 about that. when the stakes are that high, that's what i'm going to spend 9 9% of my time talking about. >> when did you know that your wife jeannette was the woman for you? >> well, i'd like to think she liked me first, but i liked her. >> how did you meet? >> i was playing sand volleyball at a park in west miami florida and saw this really cute girl sitting there. i asked questions about her. i didn't get to know her until my college roommate was dating her best friend and introduced us. it took her a little while to convince her i was the right person. we were dating for seven years. got married in 1998. one of the most blessed things that ever happened to me. i'm blessed to have not just a godly and wonderful wife and partner in life but blessed by four incredible children. i tell people all the tomb that's an extraordinary pleasing that i have so much peace about
no matter what happens. i'm running for president. i'd love to be your president but my kids are going to love me no matters what happens and so is my wife. i'm blessed by that. >> if you are elected president, would you still coach your son in football? >> i would like to. i'll have to talk to the secret service about it. the thing about sports. yes, would you love your children to be successful? yes, in whatever they do. sports has been an incredible teacher of life lessons. i was disappointed by what happened in new hampshire. and the lessons i applied to that disappointment came from sports. i used to play defensive back. i got beat from time to time on a pass play. you're going to if you are a corner back. you have to put that behind you because you have another play something up. i learned that lesson from athletics. for me, sports has been a way to instill life lessons in my children, particularly how to deal with failure, disappointment and how to work alongside other people to achieve a goal. >> with all we've learned about concussions, do you worry about your child?
>> well, we try to make it as safe as we possibly can. football has inherent danger. so does competitive stunt cheerleading. so does driving a car back and forth to work. i ultimately think football is an incredible sport. it teaches lessons, life lessons that i think are valuable. you can make the game safer. you can never make it entirely safe. and so you do spend a lot of time coaching kids how to properly tackle, not use your head. very different from when i was growing up and they taught you to use your head. and the democrats say that explains a lot about marco rubio. that's not true. my point is it's a sport that brings inherent danger, but so does life. >> you mentioned you're color blind which i hadn't realized. and you should have seen your clothes before your wife started picking them out. >> we're sticking with reds and blues and grays and blues. i have trouble distinguishing. >> it's a mess. >> did you always have that?
>> i didn't know until people started telling me, that's a nice green shirt. i'm like, the blue one i have on? it's green. >> you like edm. >> i do. >> electronic dance music. >> yes. maybe people thought it was something else. >> you ever been to a rave? >> no, i've never been to a rave. >> i don't know. this is the republican primary, anderson. >> you like edm. that's what they do. >> i listen to it. i think i'm a little too old to be going to a rave. >> maybe back in the day. >> i have the boots for it. i grew up listening to '90s hip hop stuff. in the last years what's happened with edm, you have these electronic -- these disc jockeys, deejays overlaying it with country music and all sorts of things. the lyrics are clean, the beats of music are fun. >> do your kids like it, too?
>> the words are clean. sometimes they have no words. it's perfect. they don't have to worry about the lyrics. >> senator rubio, thank you for your time. appreciate it. thank you, senator rubio for taking part. coming up next, iowa caucus winner republican senator ted cruz. we'll be right back. [ woman ] thanks. the dealership reviews on cars.com made it easy, but... [ man ] we thought it might be a little more tense. you miss the drama? yeah. [ technician ] ask him whatever you want. okay. ♪ do you think my sister's prettier than me? ♪ [ laughs ] [ male announcer ] research, price, find. only cars.com helps you get the right car without all the drama. carry the centimeter,
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it's no wonder more than a million people fall asleep each night on a sleep train mattress! ♪ sleep train [train horn] ♪ your ticket to a better night's sleep ♪ welcome back. we're here in south carolina. republican candidates taking questions from the voters with the prime areas three days away. please welcome iowa caucus winner senator ted cruz from texas. welcome. have a seat. so you obviously you won in iowa. you've had a good day today. there's a poll out saying in the
national race you are in the lead. how does it feel? >> it feels fantastic, we're seeing that old reagan coalition come together. it was interesting in iowa, everyone said we didn't have a prayer. every person on television was saying donald trump was going to win and then we saw record shattering turn out show up and you know what was so encouraging was the folks that came together, it was that old reagan coalition. we won among conservatives and advantage ha evangelicals and that's the coalition it's going to take to win the election and our campaign earned more votes than any campaign in the history of the iowa republican caucuses. it was a testament to the grassroots. >> you got a cease and desist letter today from donald trump. i don't think i've heard of that
happening in race, one of many fists that we've seen. what did you think when you got the letter? >> i'll confess, i laughed out loud. this has not been approximate a typical race by any sense and i don't think anyone is surprised that donald is threatening to sue people. he's done that most of his adult life, but this letter really was -- i've practiced law 20 years and this letter really pressed the bounds of the most frivolous and ridiculous letters i've ever seen. he was upset about an ad we're running on tv. it talks about the vacsy of the supreme court and we have issues such as life and marriage and the second amendment. >> it uses an old interview from the late '90s. >> it plays an interview where donald trump says he's pro-choice, he supports partial birth abortion and he says he's pro-choice in every, respect,
but most of the words are his own words and most of the ad was running his own words. >> he says you're misrepresenting his current position that he's evolved and he's pro-life. >> it is the most ridiculous theory that i've ever heard that telling the voters who donald trump's actual record is deceitf deceitful. i held a press conference where i read his letter and i invited mr. trump, i said please file this lawsuit. >> you want to depose him? >> that's part of it. in any deformation case truth is a complete defense. his lawyer said that saying he's pro-choice -- we don't say he's pro-choice, donald says he is pro-choice. >> he said he's evolved. do you accept he's pro-life? >> four days ago on the debate stage donald trump explained how many wonderful things he thought planned parenthood does.
that was four days ago. planned parenthood is the largest abortionist in this country. they are responsible for taking the lives of millions of unborn children. nobody who is pro-life could stand up on nation stage and sing the praises of planned parenthood as wonderful. i don't think they do anything wonderful and i don't think we need to send federal taxpayer funds to an organization that has been implicated in multiple federal felonies. >> i don't want to say like i'm arguing his case for him, but for accuracy sake he says he does not support abortion at all, but there are other things planned parenthood does. >> as i laid out -- so his claim is if you tell people his record, if you show donald trump on national television in his own words that he's going to file a lawsuit to prevent you from doing that, i pointed out we've got at least four pieces of evidence, his own words on
national television, number two, what he said on the debate stage four days ago singing the praises of planned parenthood and last year when talking about supreme court nominees, donald said his sister -- his sister is a court of appeals judge, she would make a phenomenal supreme court justice. it's great to support your sister, but if you're suggesting someone for the supreme court his sister is a radical pro-abortion judge. she struck down new jersey's ban on partial birth abortion as irrational. that's an extreme position. one of the things i laid out, donald for the last four decades has written checks to democrats orand over and over again from hillary clinton to harry reed and -- >> he has a lot of friends. >> in 2006 when the democrats
took over congress, donald and his son gave about three times as much to the democrats as they did to the republicans. they helped fund putting harry reed as speaker of the house and majority leader of the senate, they helped set the stage for obamacare and for anyone who cares about conservative judges there is no universe in which i could write a check to joe bidden or jimmy carter by de care about conservative justices because the people he supported fought tooth and nail to put liberals on the supreme court. i think the states are too high for that. >> i want to ask you about other issues, and the candidates, the issue with apple. a judge has ordered apple to basically develop a new software
to create sort of a back door that would allow law enforcement to unlock the door. should they do that? >> i think they should. i think you have to balance civil liberals and law enforcement both. we can protect ourselves from terrorism and also from civil rights. >> so apple says this is a back door that basically endangers all of our civil rights. >> listen, i think apple has a problem, if it creates a real security hazard, i think they have a right side, law enforcement has the better argument. this concerns the phone of one of the san bernardino hackers. and for law enforcement to get a judicial search order, that is consistent with the bill of rights, to say apple open this
phone, not anderson's phone, not anyone else's phone, open this phone. >> but apple says that the software would basically be available on everybody's phone. >> but they would not have to put it on everybody's phone. nobody has a right to defy a legal search warrant. and the way our process works -- look, banks all the time keep financial records. and you and i, if we were a terrorist, they can get your financial records. that is how our law enforcement system works. and the bill of rights prevents the government from seizing financial records without evidence. but we knew the islamic terrorists were radical terrorists. if the obama administration was not in this state of denial admitting it was radical terrorism, we should have done more to prevent that attack. but after that, we should do
everything we could to make sure there is not a broader cell, so of course we should unlock their phone and that is a basic matter of keeping their country safe. >> and president obama plans to visit cuba next month. but i wonder, as president, is that something you would do? >> it is not as long as the castros are in power. i was saddened to say, this was foreshadowed for a long time. president obama's policies have consistently abandoned our friends. there has never been an administration more antagonizing to a nation such as israel than the obama administration. he is perceived as weak, his policies concerning cuba and iran both have parallels where he is allowing billions of dollars to go to tyrants, who hate america, who are fighting against our nation.
i think the president ought to instead push for a free cuba 90 miles off the coast of cuba. when the cuban officials came to washington with the opening of the embassy a cuban dissident came to ask a question, and the john kerry administration said if she asked a question, she would be forcibly removed. i was shocked, she said that is what they do in cuba, but the obama administration was happy to silence her. listen, my dad was in prison and was tortured in cuba, he fought with castro and was imprisoned. and my aunt was in prison and tortured by castro. and so my family has seen first hand the evil and the oppression
in cuba, and we need to have a president that stands up to our enemies. if you look at cuba when the soviet union collapsed they lost their major patron and their source of money. but then what happened is venezuela stepped in and became a patron. and you saw the oil revenues where cuba had a bargain, they would send thugs to oppress the citizens there. and venezuela is in freefall, the castros were again on the ropes, and just like with iran the obama administration steps in with a lifeline. and i'll tell you one thing, anderson, i'm very concerned about. is that obama is emptying guantanamo. he is releasing terrorists that our soldiers bled and died to capture. and the next president is going to have to send soldiers out to capture them again or kill them
when they return to waging jihad. and i fear that by the end of this year president obama plans to give the guantanamo navy base back to cuba, which would be undermining u.s. national security profoundly, i hope he does not do that. but i think it is consistent with his administration in the past years. it is a risk. >> would he keep them there indefinitely? >> if they are terrorists who are waging jihad there, they should be contained in guantanamo. we could have military tribunals. but the bill of rights doesn't apply to fortunaeigners who are waging war against america, it applies to the citizens. there is really an alarming percentage of the people released from guantanamo, they return immediately to waging jihad and return immediately going back to trying to murder americans. and part of the consequence of
obama is that he engages in this politically correct denial, where he and bernie sanders and hillary clinton wouldn't even say the words radical islamists. we are so vulnerable because we don't have a commander-in-chief who is fighting the enemy and defeating the enemy. >> which side are you on? on clemson or south carolina? >> on this, i'm going to waffle and say i love them both. >> all right, good answer. i want you to meet donna, the president of unstate republic-- carolina. >> senator, realizing that a wife has earned a great deal of respect from her husband, and is
thus a trusted adviser and confidant except for special secret matters. in these issues, whether in america or abroad, what issues do you think your wife would be significantly interested in, and possibly support their cause? >> well, donna thank you for that question, and thank you very much for your leadership. you know, i have been blessed in many regards but in no way greater than marrying the love of my life, heidi cruz. she is an extraordinary woman, the daughter of christian missionaries. so heidi as a little girl lived in africa and kenya, and her brother is a missionary in haiti right now. i met heidi on january 2nd of 2000, we were both working on the george bush campaign. and we started to date three
days later. it was love at first side. i was smitten by her, she is beautiful, brilliant. an unbelievable businesswoman. but she is also the most loving mom and wife. we are best friends in a very real sense, on the phone two or three or four or five times a day. we call each other on everything. she is out on the trail. i cannot tell you how many people as i traveled around, when i got elected to senate said listen, ted, you're fine, but we love heidi so we're voting for you for heidi. i said well, i'm thrilled and i'll take it. she has a real heart for economic development. you know when you have seen as a little girl poverty, poverty in africa. when you have seen suffering, you know, heidi and i traveled down to nicaragua on a mission trip, and we drilled a well. you need policies, heidi has a
real heart here in america for helping people lift out of poverty, empowering people to achieve the american dream. you know, an important part of that is also educational options and school choice. i think school choice is the civil rights issue of the 21st century. i think every child in america deserves access to a quality education. so heidi and i in this campaign, we are in a full and total partnership. i'm on the campaign trail, my dad is, our little girl is sometimes on the campaign trail. but i think she will be involved in a lot of things if we win. but i think she has a real passion where she will focus a lot of economic, as economic power helping women and hispanics and helping people achieve the american dream by understanding the principles of business. starting a business, expanding and achieving greater
opportunity. >> i don't want to embarrass you at all but your wife mentioned to cnn a while back, but occasionally when you call her at home you sing musicals, is that true? >> well, embarrassingly enough, yes. i am a painfully horrible singer. >> is this punishment? >> i'm hoping it is sort of sincere and endearing. >> what is your favorite musical? >> i actually don't sing musicals. i will sing things like oh, my darling, oh, my darling, oh, my darling, heidi tine. which is really corny. she would put it on the speaker in her office and embarrass her. or i would call, and say i just called to say i care and i love you. i can't sing to save my life.
>> i want you to meet bobby cox, a former ranger, leaning towards governor bush but still undecided. >> thank you. i attended the citadel in north carolina, upon graduation i went into the army and deployed four times to iraq. and so during that time we were in iraq we really felt like we were putting the iraqi government on a stable ground. but fast forward a couple of years later when the actual cities that we had actually fought to protect with sweat and blood, were actually taken by isis. there was frustration where a lot of my men thought their time had been squandered overseas by really the u.s. lack of political will, so i would ask you as commander-in-chief, what
would you do to make sure the service members and their families and their time of sacrifice was not wasted. >> well, bobby, thank you for your sacrifice and thank you for defending this nation. and your question is incredibly important. you know, as i travel to south carolina i meet every day active duty military. i meet everyday veterans who are so unhappy with the direction we're going right now. for seven years we have had a commander-in-chief who doesn't believe in the mission of the military. who doesn't stand by them and has weakened and degraded the military, which has made it far less able to defend ourselves. yesterday here in south carolina i rolled out a comprehensive plan to rebuild the military, to restore the strength that we need to defend ourselves. and if you think about the last time our military was badly weakened, it was 1980. it was following the jimmy
carter administration, another weak, democratic president who undermined the military. and when reagan came in, what he did is start with tax reform and regulatory reform. he left lifted the burdens on f enterprise. it created economic growth that provided trillions in new revenue, reagan invested that and rebuilded the military and bankrupted the soviet union and ended the cold war. in 2017, we need a president who stops the radical islamists, starts the tax reform and unleashes the american economy and use the economic growth to rebuild the military. so for example as you know, president obama proposed reducing the regular army to 450,000, i think it's far below what is needed to keep the country safe.
i will increase it to more. we need a minimum of 6,000 planes so that we can project power and use our air power superiority. the navy, we have 272 ships. the least we have had since 1917, literally a century ago was the last time we had a navy with this few ships. we need at least 250 ships, and 1.4 million troops at a minimum. in addition to that we need to dramatically expand, missile defense, as we see missile threats and rogue nations we need to expand cyber defense. but we also need to focus our foreign policy and our military policy on identifying and defeating the real enemies. you know, i've got strong disagreements with the mistakes of the obama/clinton foreign
policy over the last several years. one perfect example is libya, libya, president obama and clinton led the world in toppling the government in libya, and sadly they were supported by more than a few establishment republicans including several who are running for president. that is a catastrophic mistake. we handed that government over to radical islamic terrorists. it is a war zone where isis and other terrorists pose an acute national security threat to this country. and it led directly to the failures, the obama/clinton foreign policies led directly to the radical issues in libya. i think the military needs to defend this country and protect our national security interests. what should we be doing? by the way, many of those same folks, obama, hillary clinton and the same republicans say we should do the same thing in
syria. topple assad. if we do that the same result will happen. if we topple assad, he is a bad man. if we topple assad isis will take over syria, that is worse for america. instead of getting in the middle of civil wars we ought to focus on the enemies of america and utterly destroy isis. we should use overwhelming air power and arm the kurds and use the materials to completely destroy them. i'll say a couple of things also. when it comes to the men and women of the military i don't think the military should be governed by political correctness. should be governed -- should be used for social experiments. so for example, if i am elected president we will not be drafting our daughters into combat on the front lines. i was astonished two debates ago when three different republicans for candidate for president
stood up to drafting women in combat. i don't think that makes sense, as i sat there and listened to it i kind of wondered if rod serling was going to come out and say you're dreaming. the idea that the government would forcibly put women in combat? i think one of the most shameful things, we are sending service men and women into combat that have rules of engagement, arms tied behind their back, making it impossible for them to support and defend. i give you my word as commander-in-chief that will end on january 20th, 2017. >> just a quick follow-up. donald trump has said that george w. bush did not keep this country safe because 9/11
happened on his watch. what did you think when you heard that? >> i thought it was ridiculous. listen, i like donald. i am not going to engage in personal attacks but i think his policy positions have not made any sense. when he stood up and defended impeaching george w. bush, that was his position. george w. bush should have been impeached. listen, i'm a constitutionalist. my entire adult life has been spent defending the constitution and bill of rights. the standard for impeachment is high crimes and misdemeanor. he had no argument that george bush committed high crimes. you don't impeach people for things you say are a mistake. at the time donald trump was promoting impeachment. look, those were the views of the michael moores, the extreme fever swamps of the left. and i hate to see on a
republican stage a candidate saying we should have impeached george w. bush. i think that really draws on the question and the judgment of that candidate to be commander-in-chief. >> i want you to meet pastor travis hayes, he is leaning in your favor, and likes some of your policies. >> good evening, senator. as we see more and more what appears to be more and more opposition to christian conservative values, what will you do to help to protect those values if elected president? >> well, pastor, thank you for your ministry and your service. we're seeing an assault, you're right. on religious liberty. and we need a president who will stand up unambiguously and protect those values. if you look at life, and religious and marriage, all three of those are linked.
every republican candidate says they support life, marriage, religious liberty. that is what you say when you're running for republican president for candidate. my suggestion is don't listen to what we say. follow the biblical test, you will know by their fruits. don't tell me what you are for. tell me what you have done to defend the right of life. i was the chief lawyer for the state of texas in front of the u.s. supreme court. we brought together a coalition of states before the u.s. supreme court defending the federal ban on partial birth abortion. we won 5-4. we brought together other coalition of states, we won unanimous. and in texas, when the state legislature passed a law banning taxpayer funding going to planned parenthood, a federal district court struck down that law. and i personalily argued the
appeal in the court of appeals, we won that law in de-funding and reinstating planned parenthood. so likewise, on marriage, in june of last year we saw a decision from the supreme court. nothing short of tragic. now several of the republican candidates, when that decision came down put out statements that essentially said it is the settled law of the land. we must accept it, surrender and move on. those are almost word for word the talking points of barack obama. i think there is something really wrong when republican candidates are echoing the talking points of barack obama. my view is very different. i think the decision was fundamentally illegitimate, and will not stand. and on religious liberty, it has been a lifelong passion. i have spent the last two decades of my life trying to
defend the religious liberty. we defended the monument stance, we went to the u.s. supreme court and we won 5-4 upholding the ten commandments. we defended the words, one nation under god. we went to the supreme court and won unanimously. and then in private practice, one of the cases i'm most proud of, i represented veterans for free, defending the mohave desert rule. the aclu sued, arguing that you could not display a cross on public land. they won in the district court and won in the court of appeals. the court ordered a giant sack to be placed over the veteran's memorial with a chain and padlock at the bottom. and i represented 3 million veterans before the u.s. supreme court defending the mohave
desert veteran's memorial. and we won 5-4. this, for me, is a life passion. and one of the things we've done. the media often belittles threats to religious liberty. they say they're not real. we hosted big religious rallies. where we brought in heroes, ordinary people, a florist, a baker, a t-shirt salesman, a fireman, to tell their stories how they stood for faith and we persecuted. you can go to our website, you can watch the stories, they will inspire you. how people made a decision, do i honor my faith or give in to the government? and they chose to honor their faith. when it comes to religious liberty, i intend first day for office to instruct the u.s.
department of justice and the irs and every other federal agency that the persecution of religious liberty ends today. >> i want you to meet dr. amir aga, he lives and works in south carolina, he is still undecided. >> good evening, senator. you know, the whole market is in a big mess. i would like to know your opinion on saudi arabia's relationship with the u.s. as the oil prices are going down and opec has done nothing to stabilize the prices. that has affected the economy. recently, russia, venezuela, qatar, and saudi arabia reached an agreement to freeze the oil production. so let's assume you are the president of the united states would you continue your alliance with saudi arabia? >> well, listen, our
relationship with saudi arabia as you know, is fraught with complications. they have been allies at times, but at times the kingdom has been funding radical terrorism. they have paid the wolves rather than devour the monarchy. i seek to show the friends they do not murder to help the jihads. i'll tell you when i have traveled abroad and met with heads of state and foreign ministers and defense ministers, over and again what they say right now, it's hard to be friends with america. they say where is america? america doesn't stand by their friends. that needs to change. with respect to saudi arabia, it's part of opec. it's a cartel. they're not seeking our interests, they're seeking monetary interests. we need to, number one, a
significant part of the reason that oil prices and commodity prices have fluctuated like crazy is the federal reserve. our dollar has changed from a strong dollar to a weak dollar. every time that happens it sends commodity prices soaring and plummeting, soaring and plummeting. we need to audit the federal reserve and move to a rules based monetary policy ideally tied to gold. we don't want a weak dollar, we want a strong dollar, a dollar is a unit of measurement. we want it to be the same today and the next day. that is what all the decisions are based upon. a significant part of the volatility is part of that. the american renaissance act is the most comprehensive legislation submitted for the u.s. senate.
it would unleash the american energy resources. this country is blessed with abundant natural resources. we ought to invest in wind and solar and everything. there should be no subsidies. there should be no favoritism. it should be a fair playing field for everybody. i intend to remove the barriers from washington which will allow energy to expand, to create high ha high-paying jobs and to jump start the economy. >> this is julie hershey, she is committed to voting for you. so don't blow it. >> i don't think he can. >> okay. >> senator cruz, thank you for taking my question. in order to prevent future controversy and possible
litigation, will you please justify constitutionally your legal right to be president of the united states as it relates to your natural born status. >> sure, i'm happy to do that, julie, thank you for the question. the law under the constitution and federal law has been very clear from the very first days of the republic. the child of a u.s. citizen born abroad is a natural born citizen. if you or i travel abroad and we have a child overseas that child is a u.s. citizen by virtue of birth. that is true, if you have service members who travel abroad defending this country. if bobby, who had a couple of deployments, had a child overseas, that child is a natural born citizen by virtue of the child's parents. likewise, if american missionaries are traveling overseas their children are
natural born citizen. that is why john mccain was a natural born citizen, even though he was born in panama. that is why mitt romney, even though he was born in mexico, his parents were mormon missionaries. the law is straightforward. indeed, the authors of the constitution wrote the very first laws on citizenship and they explicitly defined the child of a u.s. citizen born abroad as a natural born citi n citizen. now, my mother was born in delaware. she is a natural born citizen. i was born in canada as you have heard by now. >> i have heard that. >> but, i was a citizen by birth by virtue of my mother's citizenship. i have never been naturalized. it was the act of being born that made me a u.s. citizen. so under the law the question is clear, there will still be some who try to work political
mischief on it, but as a legal matter this is clear and straightforward. >> there are just to follow up, some legal scholars who say donald trump would have standing to bring a lawsuit, is that something you would look into? >> look, you can never discount donald trump filing a lawsuit. if he wants to file a lawsuit, he can file it and lose. but the legal merits of the matter are clear. >> we're going to take a short break, we'll have more questions for senator cruz when we come back. more questions for the voters. we'll be right back.