TRANSCRIPT: The Republican Debate

We have families who made a huge surge of sacrifice to support this surge. And it's time, in my view, for the people of America to show a surge of support, including our leaders in Washington, for these families and for the troops. Let's get behind them and give them everything we have: our prayers, our encouragement, our funds, anything to make sure this surge is successful because it counts for America.



STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm looking at you right now. Do you differ at all from Mayor Giuliani, Governor Romney or Senator McCain? Then Senator Thompson and Ron Paul get the last word on this round.

Go ahead, Congressman Tancredo.

TANCREDO: There are a number of things, of course, with regard to Iraq that I think we have found some common ground on, but the reality is this: that it is absolutely true I think that we are in a war with radical Islam. That is the war. A battle is being fought in Iraq.

Now, can we win the military battle on the ground? Yes, we can. Our guys are the best in the world, and the people that are serving there cannot be faulted in any way.

One of the things, however, that I must say I am concerned about are the rules of engagement, that apparently are restricting the ability of our people to do their job and to protect themselves. No one should ever go into harm's way, no president should ever send anyone in this military into harm's way and keep one arm tied behind them. These rules of engagement have got to be reviewed, and no president should ever pursue them in this wan, or let people go into battle and be actually at risk.

TANCREDO: I unveiled a statue for a guy by the name of Danny Dietz in my district, a Navy SEAL. Danny Dietz is dead because the rules of engagement did not allow them to do what they needed to do over there. That is unacceptable.

In the broader picture, of course, you are absolutely right. We have to do something about the fact that there is no political or economic solution being developed by the Iraqis. And you have to push them into it.

America cannot be the police force in Iraq. It cannot remove itself entirely from Iraq, but Iraq has got to take control of Iraq.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Thompson, and then Congressman Paul, you get the last word.


THOMPSON: Thank you very much.

I've laid out a whole plan to really win the peace in Iraq. I've laid out a plan that we have to defend and give all our resources and every single tool possible to our fighting men and women.

I have been with them, like a lot of the people up here have, and they're the finest young men and women we'll ever have in our military.

But beyond that, it is not fair to America and to Americans to shoulder all of the burden. To pay for a war that's costing us $10 billion a month -- and we're not funding, we're just passing on to our children and grandchildren -- not requiring the Iraqi government to stand up and vote, that's a failure of Congress and the president of the United States. Because they do need to demand that that government makes a political statement, and help pay for that war, and help fight to win that war.

Secondly, I differ with Senator Brownback. They can't even decide in parliament in Iraq whether or not they're going to be able to take a month or six weeks off for summer.

THOMPSON: How will they ever decide three particular divisions?

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