Full Transcript: ABC News Iowa Republican Debate



RICK PERRY: I'm-- I'm-- (THROAT CLEARING) I'm listenin' to you, Mitt, and I'm hearin' you say all the right things. But I read your first book and it said in there that your mandate in Massachusetts which should be the model for the country. And I know it came out of-- of the-- the reprint of the book. But, you know, I'm just sayin', you were for individual mandates, my friend.

MITT ROMNEY: You know what? You've raised that before, Rick. And-- you're simply wrong.

RICK PERRY: It-- it-- it was true then. (CHUCKLE) It's true now.

MITT ROMNEY: That-- now, this-- Rick, I'll-- I'll tell you what. (CHUCKLE) 10,000 bucks-- (APPLAUSE) $10,000 bet?

RICK PERRY: I'm not in the bettin' business, but...

MITT ROMNEY: Oh, okay, I-- I'll--

RICK PERRY: I'll show you the-- I'll-- I'll-- I'll show you the book.

MITT ROMNEY: I wrote-- I've got the book. And--

RICK PERRY: And we'll show-- (LAUGH)

MITT ROMNEY: And I-- and I-- and I wrote the book. And I haven't-- and chapter seven is a section called The Massachusetts Model. And I say as close as I can quote, I say, "In my view, each state should be able to-- to fashion their own program for the specific needs of their distinct citizens." And then I go on to talk about the states being the laboratories of democracy. And we could learn from one another. I have not said, in that book, first edition or the latest edition, anything about our plan being a national mo-- model imposed on the nation.

The right course for America, and I said this durin' the debates the last time around, I'll say it now and time again, is to let individual states-- this is a remarkable nation. This idea of federalism is so extraordinary. Let states craft their own solutions. Don't have ObamaCare put on us by the federal government.

MICHELE BACHMANN: George and Diane--


MICHELE BACHMANN: George and Diane, can I just say something? This is such an important issue. We have one shot to get rid of ObamaCare, that's it. It is 2012. Do we honestly believe that two men who've just stood on this stage and defended RomneyCare when it was put in place in Massachusetts and the individual mandate when he proposed it in 1993, are they honestly going to get rid of it in 2012?


MICHELE BACHMANN: This is going to be a very-- (LAUGH) but, I don't think so. (CHEERING) It's gonna be a very heavy lift.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: I gotta get Senator Santorum in here.

MICHELE BACHMANN: It's gonna be a very heavy lift.


RICK SANTORUM: This is not about what you say at a debate or what you say in a campaign when you're talking to audiences that you wanna get-- that you-- that you know what you wanna hear. Back in 1994 when they would-- I was running for the United States Senate and I did not support an individual mandate and I was a conservative, I supported something called Medical Savings Accounts that I drafted with John Kasich when I was in the House because I believe in bottom-up solving the problems in America, not top-down government solutions.

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