TRANSCRIPT: The Republican Debate

It's the job of our government to make us free and us safe, and to create an enviable kind of government and system that everybody else will want, much in the same way I think we ended up seeing the fall of the Soviet Union. And as far as how do we get there...

STEPHANOPOULOS: So it wouldn't be the core of your foreign policy?

HUCKABEE: Absolutely not, because I don't think we can force people to accept our way of life, our way of government.

What we can to is to create the strongest America: change our tax system, make it so that people are healthier, create the enviable education system on this planet, make sure that jobs come back to this country rather than disappear from this country.

HUCKABEE: And if we do that kind of approach, we'll have the sort of freedom internally, secure borders, a safer nation.

That makes a whole lot more sense to me than spending billions and billions and billion of dollars to try to prop up some government we don't even like when we get it.

And people in this country are losing their jobs, losing their health insurance, and their kids are sitting with their heads on their desks, sound asleep in school.

(APPLAUSE)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman Paul?

PAUL: Our responsibility is to spread democracy here, make sure that we have it.

This is a philosophic and foreign policy problem, because what the president was saying was just a continuation of Woodrow Wilson's "making the world safe for democracy."

There's nothing wrong with spreading our values around the world, but it is wrong to spread it by force. We should spread it by setting an example and going and doing a good job here.

Threatening Pakistan and threatening Iran makes no sense whatsoever.

We went in -- and I supported going after the Al Qaida into Afghanistan -- but, lo and behold, the neocons took over. They forgot about Osama bin Laden. And what they did, they went into nation- building, not only in Afghanistan, they went unjustifiably over into Iraq. And that's why we're in this mess today.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Mayor Giuliani, both Governor Huckabee...

(APPLAUSE)

... both Governor Huckabee and Congressman Paul said they would not continue President Bush's policy. Would you?

GIULIANI: George, I think the way you're defining it is incorrect. Democracy is not necessarily immediately going to elections. Democracy is...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, that was the way President Bush defined it...

GIULIANI: Well, OK...

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... not me, but go ahead.

GIULIANI: The way I look at it, democracy also requires the rule of law. It requires stability. It requires people not being afraid they're going to be killed every day when they go out on the street.

Democracy's only a theory if you're living in an unstable situation.

So sometimes, democracy is the long-term goal, but in order to get there, you have to first build a rule of law, you have to first build respect for human rights, you have to first build...

STEPHANOPOULOS: So did we push for elections too quickly in Gaza?

GIULIANI: In some cases, maybe going to elections so quickly is a mistake. Maybe the thing to do is to first make sure that you've developed the bedrock -- bedrock for democracy.

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