TRANSCRIPT: The Republican Debate

We are winning. We must win. And we will not set a date for surrender, as the Democrats want us to do.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Mayor Giuliani, is there any difference...

(APPLAUSE)

Is there any difference between you and Senator McCain on this issue? Would you also continue to...

GIULIANI: I just noticed the question before, Senator McCain said something -- in four Democratic debates, not a single Democratic candidate said the word "Islamic terrorism." Now, that is taking political correctness to extremes.

GIULIANI: It really is.

(APPLAUSE)

The reality is that you do not achieve peace through weakness and appeasement. Weakness and appeasement should not be a policy of the American government. We should seek a victory in Iraq and in Baghdad, and we should define the victory.

And I thought the piece by O'Hanlon and Pollack last week in the New York Times, which, I have to frankly tell you, when I read it in the morning, I read it twice, and I checked -- New York Times? But it was the New York Times. It was.

(LAUGHTER)

And it said, "We just might win in Iraq."

Now, why we would want to retreat in the face of at least some empirical evidence that General Petraeus and...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But that's military -- that's military progress. No political progress.

You'd continue to support the surge even if there's no political progress.

GIULIANI: The reality is that if we can bring stability to Iraq, and we can give them a chance to develop stability, that's what we should be trying to accomplish.

This is part of an overall terrorist war against the United States. And that's why I noted Senator McCain's statement about Islamic extreme terrorism. This is part of an overall war against us by the terrorists. It's a battle in that war.

America should win that battle. And winning that battle is to have an Iraq that helps us against the Islamic terrorists.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Romney, are you, Mayor Giuliani and Senator McCain all in the same place right now on Iraq?

ROMNEY: I think we're pretty much in the same place. It is critical for us to win this conflict. It is essential, and that's why we're going to continue to pursue this effort. And we're going to get a report from General Petraeus on the success. And I agree the Brookings Institution report over the weekend was a very encouraging indication that we're making progress. That's great news.

At the same time, you look at that Democratic debate, I had to laugh at what I saw Barack Obama do. I mean, in one week he went from saying he's going to sit down, you know, for tea, with our enemies, but then he's going to bomb our allies.

I mean, he's gone from Jane Fonda to Dr. Strangelove in one week.

(LAUGHTER)

STEPHANOPOULOS: We're going to get to that. We're going to get to that in a little bit.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: Let me continue. Hold on. I had more time, let me continue.

I want to make one other point.

ROMNEY: And that is, while we are waking up here in the United States and thinking about our barbecue in the afternoon and what's on TV, what baseball game is on, there are lot of families in this country, hundreds of thousands of people, who are waking up wondering whether their loved one is still alive.

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