TRANSCRIPT: The Republican Debate

SEN. BARACK OBAMA, D-ILL.: It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an Al Qaida leadership meeting in 2005.

If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets, and President Musharraf will not act, we will.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Romney, you said you didn't agree with Obama's plan and you called it "ill-timed and ill-considered."

Mayor Giuliani, on "Charlie Rose" the other night, you said, "I would take that option." Why don't you guys take two minutes and debate this issue out?

GIULIANI: Well, I believe that is an option that should remain open. I believe the senator didn't express it the right way. I think the senator, if he could just say it over again, might want to say that we would encourage Musharraf to allow us to do it if we thought he couldn't accomplish it.

But the reality is, America cannot take...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But if he said no, you'd go in.

GIULIANI: I didn't say I would go in. I said I wouldn't take the option off the table.

STEPHANOPOULOS: No, well, you actually said, "I would take that option."

GIULIANI: I said I would keep that option open. In any event...

STEPHANOPOULOS: No, you said, "If we have a chance to catch bin Laden and we've got to do it ourselves because we're not sure if somebody is going to do it correctly, yeah, I think I would take that option."

GIULIANI: Well, I would take that action if I thought there was no other way to crush Al Qaida, no other way to crush the Taliban, and no other way to be able to capture bin Laden.

I think Pakistan has, unfortunately, not been making the efforts that they should be making. I think we should encourage them to do it, we should put the pressure on them to do it, and we should seek their permission of we ever had to take action there as we were able to get their permission -- Undersecretary or Deputy Secretary Armitage was very effective in getting Musharraf's permission for us to act in Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2001 and 2002.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Romney?

ROMNEY: Yes, I think Barack Obama is confused as to who are our friends and who are our enemies.

In his first year, he wants to meet with Castro and Chavez and Assad, Ahmadinejad. Those are our enemies. Those are the world's worst tyrants.

And then he says he wants to unilaterally go in and potentially bomb a nation which is our friend. We've trying to strengthen Musharraf. We're trying to strengthen the foundations of democracy and freedom in that country so that they will be able to reject the extremists.

We're working with them -- we're working with them...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But if your CIA director called them and said, "We had Osama bin Laden in our sights, Musharraf says no," what do you do?


ROMNEY: It's wrong for a person running for the president of the United States to get on TV and say, "We're going to go into your country unilaterally."

Of course, America always maintains our option to do whatever we think is in the best interests of America.

But we don't go out and say, "Ladies and gentlemen of Germany, if ever there was a problem in your country, we didn't think you were doing the right thing, we reserve the right to come in and get them out."

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...