Full Transcript: ABC News Iowa Republican Debate


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Romney, you-- you chose to make your family and your faith-- the feature of your first ad here in Iowa this week. Why?

MITT ROMNEY: Well, actually-- the president, President Obama's PAC-- came out with an ad attacking me-- and said that I'm-- I'm not a person of core values, I'm not-- I don't have a core. And we said-- you know in my prior campaigns I've come out with ads that show who I am and why I've gotten in this race. And that relates to my family and my kids. I'm really concerned about America. I think the issue people have to concentrate on is-- is, "Who can lead America to a place where we-- we don't become a Greece or an Italy?"

Because, frankly, that's the path we're on. That's where we're going. Who can make sure that America's values, our merit-based society, continues to be the-- the hallmark of what allows our economy to create jobs? Who can make sure that it's good to be middle class in America again? Who can make sure that America is the job-creating engine it once w-- once was? Who can make sure that the kids going to school know that when they get outta school, they're gonna have a job waiting for them that meets the-- the-- the kinda skills that they've created?

I-- I believe I'm that person. And-- and part of my motivation for doing those things is I love this country, I love the values of this country, a-- and I wanna make sure that-- that my kids and my grandkids, and I have quite a few of them, 16, that they have an America that's as prosperous as the America that I've enjoyed and just as free.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: I wanna get-- Congressman-- Congresswoman Bachmann and then Speaker Gingrich, you wrap this up.

MICHELE BACHMANN: Well, the founders spoke about this. And the question was asked, "What is it that we need to have in the president?" And they wrote in the Federalist Papers. They didn't look at wealth. They didn't look at education. They didn't look at position. (COUGH) They looked at just one issue. And it was, "What's the measure of a man? Or, what's the measure of a woman, in our case, for being the next president of the United States. Will they keep their word? Will they be a man or woman of integrity?" That's what they cared about.

That was more important than anything else. And I think-- here in Iowa, that's what I've seen. That is also what people care about. Who are you, really? What is your center? What's your core? What's your world view? What drives you? And so people want to know, "What's your faith?" I'm-- I'm a Christian. I'm-- I'm unashamed and unapologetic about that. I have a strong faith. I made a proclamation of my faith in Christ when I was 16. And I don't mind if people ask me those questions or ask me about my husband or our family. I'm happy to talk about that, because after all, people (COUGH) need to take the measure of the man or the measure of the woman when they make that decision.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Speaker Gingrich, what do voters need to know about this issue from your perspective?

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