TRANSCRIPT: The Republican Debate

I would imagine that in 1967, in the USS Forrestal, where we'd just had a horrendous fire and the ship was headed back to the United States, and a guy came onboard and said, "We need people to go over to another aircraft carrier and stay in combat," that was a very defining moment.

MCCAIN: I thought about that a lot in the intervening five and a half years in prison.

The other mistake was when I went to a meeting among some regulators concerning a guy who was a supporter of mine. It was a mistake and one I never should have made.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Brownback?

BROWNBACK: Probably not telling my wife and kids and parents I love them enough and just being more focused, too many times, on me instead of on them and on others is probably the biggest mistake I've made.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Thompson?

THOMPSON: My mother-in-law died of breast cancer, my mother. My wife has breast cancer. My young daughter has breast cancer. I don't think I was supportive enough, and that's why I'm vowing right now to end breast cancer by the year 2015 for all the women in America.


TANCREDO: I have no doubt of what the greatest mistake in my life has been. And that is that it took me probably 30 years before I realized that Jesus Christ is my personal savior.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman Tancredo, thank you all very much.

We have one more...


We have one more round. I also want to bring all of you in on this for about 30 seconds each.

And I'm going to introduce it by showing everyone something that President Bush said at the Iowa straw poll eight years ago. It was his fundamental promise as president.


BUSH: I know this: Should I be fortunate enough to become the president of the United States, that when I put my hand on the Bible, I will swear to not only uphold the laws of the land, I will swear to uphold the honor and the dignity of the office to which I have been elected, so help me God.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman Tancredo, that was the core promise of President Bush's campaign, to restore honor and dignity to the Oval Office.

What will you restore to the Oval Office?

TANCREDO: Hope -- hope in America itself, remembering that we have made a number of mistakes that have turned our friends against us, have encouraged our enemies.

I believe that -- with all my heart, that it is going to take a leader committed to the ideas of Western civilization, to the rhetorical -- to speaking out about the values of Western civilization.

We can no longer afford political correctness. We have to tell people that there is something good -- not just good, but great -- about who we are.

That will restore America's faith in itself and the world's faith in America.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Thompson?

THOMPSON: I would open up the East Wing. I would open it up to bring in the best minds -- Democrats, Republicans, independents across America -- that want to get something done with this great country.

Instead of tearing it down, start building, pro-America, and make sure that we're not so politically correct that we are sacrificing our values in America in this jihadist war.

And by bringing in the best minds, the best people, we can change the direction and really start building America a stronger and healthier and better tomorrow than ever before.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Brownback, what would you restore to the Oval Office?

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