TRANSCRIPT: ABC News/Facebook/WMUR Republicans Debate

ROMNEY: Well, unfortunately, Ron, you need a thorough understanding of what radical jihad is, what the movement is, what its intent is, where it flows from. And the fact is that it's trying to bring down not just us, but it's trying to bring down all moderate Islamic governments, Western governments around the world, as we just saw in Pakistan.

ROMNEY: But let's step back with regards to the president.

The president is not arrogant. The president does not subject -- or is not subject to a bunker mentality. The president has acted out of his desire to keep America safe.

And we owe him a debt of gratitude for keeping this country safe over the last six years.


ROMNEY: Let me continue with my own thoughts on the issue of do we follow his policy or create a new one.

He did the right thing in responding and reacting to the fact that we got attacked. And people now recognize: You attack America and there is a response.

But we're going to have to move our strategy from simply being a respond to military threat with military action to an effort that says we're going to use our military and nonmilitary resources -- nonmilitary resources -- combined with other nations who are our friends to help move the world of Islam toward modernity and moderation.

It's something that former Prime Minister Aznar of Spain spoke about. The new mission for NATO and for other nations is to help provide the rule of law, education that's not through madrassas, agricultural and economic policies that can be instilled in various Islamic countries, so the Muslims are able to reject the extreme and the terrorists.

ROMNEY: We can help them. Our military's going to be needed.

We do need -- I agree with what the mayor said -- we need to add to our military by at least 100,000 troops. But the answer is to move now to a second phase, a phase of helping Muslims become so strong they can reject the extreme.

THOMPSON: Charlie, is this subject still open?


THOMPSON: Can we comment on that?

I served on the Intelligence Committee in the Senate. I was the floor manager for the Republicans on the homeland security bill, so I have a bit of a different vantage point than some of my colleagues on this.

The question had to do with preemption.

Preemption didn't just appear one day as a good idea. After the Cold War, we had one big enemy and one big weapon against us. When we, kind of, took a holiday from history in the 1990s and let our military slide and our intelligence capability slide, the world was changing. We now have multiple enemies. We now have terrorists and terrorist groups, Al Qaida, rogue nations in different stages of developing nuclear weapons.

THOMPSON: We must be prepared for the different kind of weaponry that we're facing. We could be attacked with a biological weapon and not even know it for a long period of time. This is a different world.

So, instead of mutual assured destruction, which we lived under for a long time, it's now a world where preemption has got to be an option under the right circumstances.

GIBSON: So you would keep the Bush policy?

THOMPSON: Things that happen on the other side of the world sometimes can affect us, such as perhaps Pakistan.

We should only go in where we should and where we're able to.

GIBSON: Let me...

GIULIANI: Charlie?

GIBSON: Yeah, go ahead.

GIULIANI: Just make one point.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...