TRANSCRIPT: The Republican Debate

ROMNEY: We don't say those things. We keep our options quiet. We do not go out and say to a nation which is working with us, where we have collaborated and they are our friend and we're trying to support Musharraf and strengthen him and his nation, that instead that we intend to go in there and potentially bring out a unilateral attack.

Recognize to win the war on jihad, we have to not only have a strong military of our own -- and we need a stronger military -- we also need to have strong friends around the world and help moderate Muslims reject the extreme. Because ultimately the only people who can finally defeat these radical Islamic jihadists are the Muslims themselves.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So what I am hearing is from both you is...

(APPLAUSE)

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... what I'm hearing is you keep this option on the table, but it is foolish to talk about it in public.

Does anybody disagree with that?

HUNTER: Yes, I disagree with it.

(CROSSTALK)

HUNTER: George, let me tell you, Barack Obama didn't understand, there are now 100,000 Pakistani troops who have been moved to the border. They have moved two divisions to the border, in fact, one of them out of the high country on the Indian border. You right now have operations that are being taken in cooperation with American forces in Afghanistan.

The last thing you do when you are trying to convince your allies all over the world to work with you is when you have one country which has taken 100,000 military personnel and moved them into that place -- and we all know what the problem is. The problem is that you have the tribal chiefs in that strip in Pakistan accommodating the Taliban and Al Qaida.

When you have a country which is cooperating, you don't tell them you are going to unilaterally move against them, or you are somehow going to undertake this by yourself.

HUNTER: Those mountain ranges in Pakistan are 16,000 feet high. We need the Pakistani army to work that with American support. That's the right way.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to stay on this subject.

(APPLAUSE)

I want to stay on this subject but broaden out the conversation a little bit.

And the way I want to get into it is with a bit from President Bush's second inaugural address, where he made the spreading of democracy the core of his foreign policy. Here's what he said:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Huckabee, since then, since that speech, there have been free elections in Gaza; they elected Hamas. There have been free elections in Lebanon; they empowered Hezbollah. There have been free elections in Iran; they elected President Ahmadinejad.

Has President Bush's policy been a success? And would the spread of democracy be the core of your foreign policy?

HUCKABEE: Well, the problem is, George, sometimes when you get what you want, you don't want what you get. And this is a great case of that happening.

I don't think it's the job of the United States to export our form of government. It's the job of the United States to protect our citizens, to secure our own borders, which we have failed to do for over 20 years.

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