TRANSCRIPT: ABC News/Facebook/WMUR Republicans Debate

(UNKNOWN): My son is in the military. He's done almost his four years in the Marines. I'd like to have somebody say a good plan on how to get us out of there, instead of just promises on what they could do or they should do.

(UNKNOWN): What are you going to do?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAWYER: And a reminder that tonight's debates are not just about policy, but the real lives of Americans.

So coming into the debates, what about Iowa? Let's review what happened there.

Former Governor Mike Huckabee ruled the day with 34 percent; a decisive win over Mitt Romney, who took 25 percent. Fred Thompson, John McCain tied for third with 13 percent each. And that was it for the Republicans.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And that shows, I mean, it gives us a good sense of what they have on the line tonight -- what the candidates have on the line tonight, Diane.

And I think because Mitt Romney came in second in Iowa, he's got the most on the line tonight. His whole strategy was predicated on winning in Iowa, winning here in New Hampshire.

And he's got one job to do tonight. That is, to stop John McCain, who has the momentum right now. He's going to try to paint McCain as a creature of Washington.

For McCain, he's got to remind people what they loved about him eight years ago. Remember...

SAWYER: He was the maverick, won big: 19 percentage points?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Won big. He beat George Bush big here eight years ago. Lost his mojo last year but it's coming back right now. He's going to emphasize national security.

For the winner in Iowa, Mike Huckabee, this is not a home field for him. Not a lot of social conservatives, evangelicals here, so he's just got to make no mistakes.

Rudy Giuliani has to get back in the game. He tried in New Hampshire but he fell back in November. He's got to do something big to make sure that Mike Huckabee doesn't pass him.

SAWYER: All right, George, thanks to you.

Well, it is time for the great debate to begin. Let's go to Charlie Gibson at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Charlie?

GIBSON: Thanks very much, Diane.

And we have been joined on the stage by the six leading Republican candidates for the Republican nomination for president. And I want to introduce them to you from left to right.

The positions in which they sit were drawn by lot, and so let me introduce them from left to right: Senator John McCain from the state of Arizona, former Senator Fred Thompson from Tennessee, Congressman Ron Paul from Texas, former Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, former Governor Mike Huckabee from Arkansas, and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani from the city of New York.

And, gentlemen, just at the risk of being repetitive, I hope you will take the questions posed in these first 45 minutes and I hope, to the extent we can, discuss them among yourselves.

GIBSON: This is not about me asking questions, as I told the national audience a few moments ago, but about you talking to one another, pointing up the differences between yourselves.

I hope you will think of this as sort of a semi-circular dining room table. We were a little chintzy on the food, but I hope you will look at it that way.

(LAUGHTER)

I thank you all for being here and I genuinely look forward to this, so let us begin. And I'll start the stop-watch.

President Bush said in his end-of-the-year news conference, "During the primaries and during the general election I suspect my name may come up a lot." So let's bring it up.

Page
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
Lovable Panda Triplets Get Named
ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images
PHOTO: Sabrina Allen is shown in this photo provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
PHOTO: Adam Sandler arrives at the premiere of Men, Women & Children at The Directors Guild of America, Sept. 30, 2014, in Los Angeles.
Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP Photo
PHOTO: Video recorded Sept. 21, 2014 in Okanogan County, Wash. shows a black bear scratching its back against a tree.
Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife