TRANSCRIPT: ABC News/Facebook/WMUR Republicans Debate

Six Republican contenders meet in New Hampshire.

Jan. 5, 2008— -- The following is a full transcript of the Republican presidential debate sponsored by ABC News, Facebook, and ABC affiliate WMUR. The debate took place on January 5, 2008, at St. Anslem College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

GIBSON: Good evening. I am Charlie Gibson from ABC News. Andalong with our partners in tonight's debate, our station here in NewHampshire, WMUR, and the popular Facebook Web site, I welcome you towhat is a unique occasion. This is going to be a chance to hear fromall the leading presidential candidates in both parties in one night.

We have two debates -- the Republican debate, then the Democraticdebate -- coming within moments of one another. And tonight we haveone mission. That is to give voters a better idea of the candidates,their principles, their characters, their positions on the issues.

Now, we set some criteria for these debates which we felt werehighly inclusive. The top four finishers in Iowa, plus any candidatewith 5 percent support in an established New Hampshire or nationalpoll. They only had to have 5 percent support in any one of eightpolls.

Now, that resulted in invitations being issued yesterday to sixRepublicans -- Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Ron Paul,Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson -- as well as four Democrats -- HillaryClinton, John Edwards, Barack Obama and Bill Richardson -- all of whomwill join us tonight.

GIBSON: Now, the candidates have debated often, and they havetaken an awful lot of questions. So we have tried to fashion a formatin which they will talk more to one another.

We're going to take the first 45 minutes of each debate, and for15 minutes each, I will put three topics on the table and then, to theextent possible, sort of stay out of the way.

There are no lights that will limit the length the candidates canspeak for that portion of the debate, but I will keep them move on,interrupting, I hope not impolitely.

It is my hope -- and I've expressed this to the candidates' camps-- that their discussion will be lively, informative, will point outthe differences they have on the issues being discussed, and that theywill talk to one another.

For the second half of each debate, I'll be joined by ScottSpradling. He's political director of WMUR, and we will havequestions in a more traditional format.

GIBSON: We have an audience here at St. Anselm of about 500people. And I've asked them to refrain from applause to keep thediscussions going without interruption.

So with that, we will spend a few minutes getting ready for thefirst debate.

And I will turn things over, for the moment, to my colleaguesDiane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos.

SAWYER: And good evening to you, Charlie.

It is so exciting just to see the high stakes arena where thecandidates are about to appear. They're waiting off-stage. They'llbe getting their microphones checked.

And George Stephanopoulos and I were talking about the humanendurance that it takes to come to this pivotal moment.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Diane, these guys must be running on fumes rightnow. They have been going for 10, 15 days straight, on three, fourhours of sleep a night.

Yet, because this debate is so important, only three days beforeNew Hampshire, they have to be at the top of their game tonight.

SAWYER: And most of them had nine, 10 appearances already today.

But we have some news for you tonight. Some real caucus votes --more caucus votes -- coming in from Wyoming.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's right.

On the Republican side, Mitt Romney has had a big win today.There was a caucus on Wyoming. He won more than 70 percent of thevotes, almost all of the delegate stake; a good moral victory for himafter that loss in Iowa.

SAWYER: And we also have a brand new poll out tonight from ourNew Hampshire affiliate, WMUR, cosponsors of tonight's debate. Sohere's how it looks for these candidates as they poll tonight, as theygather.

For the Democrats, Senator Clinton and Senator Obama are in adead heat, tied at 33 percent each; John Edwards gaining a bit with 20percent; and Bill Richardson in fourth with 4 percent.

Senator Obama, of course, gained some ground, moved up about 3percent at this point in the story.

STEPHANOPOULOS: He did.

And on the Republican side, John McCain is moving up as well.He's now at 33 percent, leading by 6 points over Mitt Romney at 27percent. Rudy Giuliani holding onto third place at 14 percent, aheadof Mike Huckabee at 11 percent, who, of course, won those caucuses inIowa just this Thursday night.

SAWYER: And we want everybody out there to know that throughoutthe night we'll be checking in with our pros at ABC News standing byin the spin room, so named because the candidates' teams flood theroom, trying to shape tomorrow's headlines.

And we also have the instant views of all Americans on Facebook,the popular Web site with more than 60 million active users. AndCharlie's going to be using questions from the site tonight as well.

ABC's Bianna Golodryga at our Facebook command center.

Bianna?

GOLODRYGA: Good evening, Diane.

Already, more than 1 million people have activated the U.S.politics application on Facebook right now. We already know thatthere are hundreds of thousands of people taking part in debates.They're answering questions that we've thrown at them, real-timequestions for them to answer.

And it's so easy. We invite all of you to participate throughoutthe evening as well.

Here's what you do. You go to abcnews.com, and you click onpolitics. Then click on the Facebook button, and you join the debate.

And while the presidential candidates debate on television,Americans can join the debate online and get real-time, behind-the-scenes updates from our reporters who are tracking all of thecandidates live.

Diane, we will be updating this throughout the night, checking inwith all of our debaters and getting back to you.

SAWYER: All right. A giant conversation taking place tonight.

And you should know, by the way, that we will not be usingFacebook to declare winners or losers tonight. You and the voters ofNew Hampshire are going to do that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We did want to get a sense of what the voters ofNew Hampshire are thinking, so went out in the streets and the snowyhills and got a sense of it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(UNKNOWN): National security is the issue that I'm mostconcerned about. That's going to affect my family and my children.Yes, I mean, security is everything to me.

(UNKNOWN): The rising cost of health care. I want to make surethat everyone is covered, but I want to come up with a good plan thatworks for everyone.

(UNKNOWN): I have no problem with the legal immigrants, but theillegals, I would just like to see the candidates expand more on itand be firm on it.

(UNKNOWN): Being a fisherman, I think that the fuel prices for alot of working people is one of the major things that I'm concernedabout.

(UNKNOWN): My son is in the military. He's done almost his fouryears in the Marines. I'd like to have somebody say a good plan onhow to get us out of there, instead of just promises on what theycould 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 aboutpolicy, but the real lives of Americans.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STEPHANOPOULOS: Won big. He beat George Bush big here eightyears 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 fieldfor him. Not a lot of social conservatives, evangelicals here, sohe's just got to make no mistakes.

Rudy Giuliani has to get back in the game. He tried in NewHampshire but he fell back in November. He's got to do something bigto 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 toCharlie 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 leadingRepublican 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 meintroduce them from left to right: Senator John McCain from the stateof Arizona, former Senator Fred Thompson from Tennessee, CongressmanRon Paul from Texas, former Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts,former Governor Mike Huckabee from Arkansas, and former Mayor RudyGiuliani from the city of New York.

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

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

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

(LAUGHTER)

I thank you all for being here and I genuinely look forward tothis, 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 myname may come up a lot." So let's bring it up.

I want to start with foreign policy. Just to set some context,we've got a little background here from ABC's Jonathan Karl.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JONATHAN KARL, ABC CORRESPONDENT: When he was on the debatestage eight years ago...

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH, R-TX: If we're an arrogant nation, they'llresent us. If we're a humble nation...

KARL: ... candidate George Bush promised a humble foreignpolicy.

After September 11, a new Bush doctrine: the United States wouldhit its enemies before they hit us.

KARL: Hence, the Iraq war.

On terrorism, President Bush told the world you're either with usor you're against us. With the second term, an even bolder vision.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: With the ultimate goal of endingtyranny in our world.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KARL: Sounding like Woodrow Wilson, the president vowed to pushfor democracy everywhere.

There are exceptions. Support for Musharraf in Pakistan, forexample, and the nuclear deal offered to North Korea.

From the axis of evil to nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan,the Bush policy has been bold but not exactly humble.

Charlie?

GIBSON: So, let me start with a general question: If you arethe nominee, will you run on the Bush foreign policy record, or willyou run away from it?

And, Governor Huckabee, let me start with you, because it was youwho wrote that the Bush foreign policy reflects an arrogant bunkermentality.

HUCKABEE: And when I made those statements, I was speaking tothe fact that there were times when we gave the world the impressionthat we were going to ignore what they thought or what they felt, andwe were going to do whatever it is we wanted to do.

And the fact is, we're going to do what is best for the Americanpeople. And as president, I will always act in the best interest ofour country.

But I'll always try to make sure that we're the strongest nationon Earth, the most powerful, the most prepared, but also the one thatuses that strength in a very, very understanding way of making surethat when we use the strength we use it with full understanding of theimplications of it.

Let me just finish the thought, Charlie, if I may.

There were times when the arrogance was reflected, for example,in the former defense secretary who, despite getting advice from theDefense Department that we would need 400,000 troops to be able tosuccessfully bring stability to Iraq, insisted that we would only use180,000 troops and we would go in with a light footprint.

HUCKABEE: And there was one particular statement that he madethat I found especially troubling. He said, "We don't go to war withthe army that we want; we go to war with the army that we have."

I felt that the proper way for us to approach this is we don't goto war with the army we have, we go to war with the army that we need,and we make sure that we have what we need before we go to war,including a clear definition of what we're going to do, irresistibleforce when we do it, and once we do it, we don't let the politiciansinterfere or interrupt the battlefield decisions of the commanderswith blood on their boots and medals on their chest.

GIBSON: Senator Thompson?

THOMPSON: Well, I think that maybe the governor has rethoughthis comments that he made about an arrogant foreign policy, because itseems now what he's saying is that we were arrogant because we didn'tgo in with enough troops.

THOMPSON: I think that's kind of a different impression than theone that he originally sought to leave.

I don't think our foreign policy has been arrogant. Presidentsare not perfect; policies are not perfect.

But the bottom line is, we are in a global war with radicalIslam. They declared on us -- war on us a long, long time ago. Wetook note, really, for the first time on September 11 of 2001.

We must do whatever is necessary to protect ourselves.

We weren't considered to be arrogant in Afghanistan when we wentin there and won that conflict.

I agree that we made a mistake in terms of going into Iraq as faras the number of troops are concerned. And I think a flawed strategyalso. I think that's been rectified now. And I think we're on the --on the way to prevailing there.

And because we are prevailing there, I think it's going to be fora safer United States of America.

GIBSON: Mayor Giuliani, would you run on the president's foreignpolicy record or away from it?

GIULIANI: I think you run on your foreign policy ideas, theoriesand policies, which I've laid out in articles.

And I think the president got the big decision of his presidencyright: the big decision that he made on September 20th, 2001, when heput us on offense against Islamic terrorism. And I give him greatcredit for that. Because we had been dealing with Islamic terrorismincorrectly up until then. We had been on defense. We had beenresponding.

The president set a whole different mindset. It was: Let'santicipate, let's see if we can prevent another attack.

That led to Afghanistan, it led to Iraq, it's led to the PatriotAct, it's led to electronic surveillance, it's led to changing ourintelligence services. All that is very, very good.

Mistakes have also been made. Mistakes were made particularly inthe period of time after the capture of Saddam Hussein and, now, ayear ago, when we got to the surge policy.

GIBSON: Well, let me bring up...

GIULIANI: And...

GIBSON: I'm sorry. Go ahead.

GIULIANI: ... if I may add, I think one of the things that wouldhelp answer some of the issues that have come up is, we shouldincrease the size of our military.

Bill Clinton cut the military drastically. It was called thepeace dividend, one of those nice-sounding phrases: very devastating.It was a 25, 30 percent cut in the military.

President Bush has never made up for that. Our Army had been at725,000; it's down to 500,000. We need at least 10 more combatbrigades. We need our Marines at 200,000. We need a 300-ship Navy.

This president should do it now. If I'm president, I'll do itimmediately.

GIBSON: Let me just ratchet up the question slightly and ask youif you believe in the Bush doctrine.

Because in September 2002 -- up for years, our foreign policy hasbeen based on the idea that we form alliances, internationalconsensus. We attack -- retaliate if we're attacked.

But in 2002, the president said we have a right to a pre-emptiveattack, that we can attack if this country feels threatened.

GIBSON: And on that basis, WMD, we went into Iraq. We've citedthe threat of a nuclear Iran to leave the military option on thetable.

Do you agree with the doctrine, Senator McCain, if you werepresident, or would you change it?

MCCAIN: I agree with the doctrine.

And I'd also like to give President Bush a little credit, as wehave this discussion.

Right after 9/11, every expert in the world said there would beanother attack on the United States of America. There hasn't been.

Now, maybe that's all by accident. But if there had been, Ithink it's very clear where the responsibility would have been placed.So I think we ought to give him credit for that.

We went through the greatest reorganization of government sincethe creation of the Defense Department and the creation of the Defense-- Department of Homeland Security.

And America is safer. America is not safe; America is safer.

MCCAIN: I'd like to give the president some credit for that.

Now, I strongly disagreed with the strategy employed by SecretaryRumsfeld.

And by the way, I'm the only one here that disagreed at the time,and I'm the only one at the time that said we've got to employ a newstrategy and outlined what it was, which is the Petraeus strategy.

I said at the time I had no confidence in the then-secretary ofdefense.

But we are succeeding now in Iraq. And the fact is as we blamethe president for the failed strategy, we should give him credit forchanging the strategy and changing the leadership so that we now haveI think one of the finest military leaders in American history inDavid Petraeus.

So, look, I think we've got enormous challenges ahead of us. Ithink the transcendent challenge of the 21st century is radicalIslamic extremists.

And the way, I'd like to give my friend the mayor for the greatjob that he did after 9/11 and the way that he and the presidentrallied this nation.

MCCAIN: But I know how to lead, I've been involved in theseissues, and I know how to solve them.

GIBSON: Congressman Paul, let me ask you, do you agree with theBush doctrine, or would you change it?

PAUL: Well, I certainly agreed with his foreign policy that heran on and that we, as Republicans, won in year 2000. You know, thehumble foreign policy, no nation building, don't be the policeman ofthe world.

And we were strongly critical of the policy of the Clintonadministration that did the opposite and we fell short. Of course,the excuse is that 9/11 changed everything.

But the Bush doctrine of preemptive war is not a minor change;this is huge. This is the first time we, as a nation, accept as ourpolicy that we start the wars. I don't understand this.

And that all options are on the table to go after Iran?

This is not necessary. These are Third World nations. They'renot capable.

But I think it's the misunderstanding or the disagreements thatwe've had in this debate along the campaign trail is the nature of thethreat.

PAUL: I'm as concerned about the nature of the threat ofterrorism as anybody, if not more so. But they don't attack usbecause we're free and prosperous.

And there all radicals in all elements, in all religions thatwill resort to violence. But if we don't understand that the reactionis, is because we invade their countries and occupy their countries,we have bases in their country -- and we haven't done it just since9/11, but we have done that a long time.

I mean, it was the Air Force base in Saudi Arabia before 9/11that was given as the excuse.

If we don't understand that, we can't win this war againstterrorism.

GIBSON: You can break in here, Governor Romney.

ROMNEY: Well, unfortunately, Ron, you need a thoroughunderstanding of what radical jihad is, what the movement is, what itsintent is, where it flows from. And the fact is that it's trying tobring down not just us, but it's trying to bring down all moderateIslamic governments, Western governments around the world, as we justsaw 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 outof his desire to keep America safe.

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

(CROSSTALK)

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

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

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

It's something that former Prime Minister Aznar of Spain spokeabout. The new mission for NATO and for other nations is to helpprovide the rule of law, education that's not through madrassas,agricultural and economic policies that can be instilled in variousIslamic countries, so the Muslims are able to reject the extreme andthe 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 addto our military by at least 100,000 troops. But the answer is to movenow to a second phase, a phase of helping Muslims become so strongthey can reject the extreme.

THOMPSON: Charlie, is this subject still open?

GIBSON: Sure.

THOMPSON: Can we comment on that?

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

The question had to do with preemption.

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

THOMPSON: We must be prepared for the different kind of weaponrythat we're facing. We could be attacked with a biological weapon andnot even know it for a long period of time. This is a differentworld.

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

GIBSON: So you would keep the Bush policy?

THOMPSON: Things that happen on the other side of the worldsometimes 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.

Ron's analysis is really seriously flawed. The idea that theattack took place because of American foreign policy is precisely thereason I handed back a $10 million check to a Saudi prince who gave methe money at ground zero for the twin towers fund and then put out apress release saying America should change its foreign policy.

GIULIANI: It seems to me, if you don't face this squarely --there's an Islamic, terrorism threat against us. It's an existentialthreat. It has nothing to do with our foreign policy. It has to dowith their ideas, their theories, the things that they have done andthe way they've perverted their religion into a hatred of us.

And what's at stake are the things that are best about us: ourfreedom of religion, our freedom for women, our right to vote, ourfree economic system.

Our foreign policy is irrelevant -- totally irrelevant. If youread what they write, if you bother to listen to what they say, thiscomes out of their own perverted thinking.

PAUL: Charlie?

GIBSON: Go ahead.

PAUL: Let me try to explain so you can understand this better.

Try to visualize how we would react if they did that to us, if acountry, say China, came that great distance across the ocean, andthey say, "We want you to live like us. We want you to have oureconomic system. We want bases on your land. We want to protect ouroil."

Even if we do that with good intentions -- even if the Chinesedid that with good intentions, we would all be together and we'd befurious.

(CROSSTALK)

ROMNEY: Ron, you're reading their propaganda. You're readingtheir propaganda.

PAUL: What would you do if the Chinese...

(CROSSTALK)

ROMNEY: I'd read their writings.

PAUL: What would you do?

ROMNEY: I'd read what they write to one another. And that's whywhen someone like Sayyid Qutb lays out the philosophy of radicaljihadism and says, "We want to kill..."

PAUL: And what you're saying...

ROMNEY: Let me complete.

Wants to kill Anwar Sadat, when there's the assassination ofAnwar Sadat, it has nothing to do with us.

The reason -- why did they kill Madam Bhutto? It has nothing todo with us. This has to do with a battle that is going on within theworld of Islam, of radical, violent jihadists trying to bring down allmoderate Islamic people and nations and replace them with a religiouscaliphate.

(CROSSTALK)

ROMNEY: And we are doing our very best to help support thevoices of moderation.

They tried it in the Philippines.

THOMPSON: Who have we invaded before 9/11?

PAUL: We were occupying...

THOMPSON: Occupying?

PAUL: We had an air base in Saudi Arabia.

THOMPSON: A base? (CROSSTALK)

PAUL: We have propped up -- how many governments have we proppedup?

GIBSON: Just before we -- before we stop, Governor, I owe you afew seconds. Because you -- somebody said, no, Senator Thompson saidwe're not arrogant, we're not bunker mentality.

(CROSSTALK)

HUCKABEE: Well, and those words -- first of all, GovernorRomney, you, yourself on "60 Minutes" said that we had left Iraq in amess. You've also said that you weren't going to have this "my way orno way" philosophy.

And I've been attacked for using the words: a policy that had anarrogance and bunker mentality. I didn't say the president was. Isupported the president in the war before you did. I supported thesurge when you didn't.

I'm not a person who is out there taking cheap shots at thepresident. I worked really hard to get him elected.

But I'm not running for George Bush's third term. I want to bepresident of the United States on my own terms.

And I think it's important for us to recognize...

ROMNEY: Charlie, I get to respond to that.

HUCKABEE: Let me finish this. When Congressman...

(CROSSTALK)

PAUL: ... I get a chance to respond.

(CROSSTALK)

HUCKABEE: The fact is when there is a serious threat to thiscountry, it is not a threat because we happen to be peace-lovingpeople. It's a threat because in the heart of the radical Islamicfaith -- not all Islam, and that's what's very important.

This isn't an Islamic problem. This is a jihadist problem. Thisis an Islamo-fascism problem.

And if you read the writings of those who most influenced -- andGovernor Romney mentioned Sayyid Qutb, executed in Egypt in 1966. Heis one of the major philosophers behind this.

And the fact is, there is nothing about our attacking them thatprompts this. They are prompted by the fact they believe that theymust establish a worldwide caliphate that has nothing to do with usother than we live and breathe and their intention is to destroy us.

GIBSON: Very quickly. You after Governor Romney.

ROMNEY: A number of things.

I disagree with the governor writing in Foreign Affairs magazinethat the president's administration suffers from an arrogant bunkermentality.

HUCKABEE: Did you read the article before you commented on it?

ROMNEY: I did read the article, the whole article. I read theentire article and I thought it was -- well, I won't make any furthercomments. It was not...

(CROSSTALK)

HUCKABEE: Before you commented on it?

ROMNEY: Before -- I got a copy of the article and read thearticle. And in the headline of the article, it said, "The Bush..."

MCCAIN: Did you read mine?

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

ROMNEY: No, no, hold on.

John, no, I didn't. Sorry. But I read his.

(LAUGHTER)

ROMNEY: And number two...

(UNKNOWN): What about mine?

ROMNEY: Number two -- number two, I did support the surge. Itwas Senator McCain, of all of us, who was out fighting for the surge.He right on that.

On the same day the president announced the surge, I also, havingspoken that day with Fred Kagan, who's one of the brilliant theoristsin this regard, I laid out my plan that I thought made sense --actually even before the president's speech -- calling for additionaltroops. I called for a different number.

So I also supported the surge from the very beginning.

ROMNEY: But, look, you know, Governor, don't try andcharacterize my position. Of course, this war...

HUCKABEE: Which one?

(LAUGHTER)

ROMNEY: You know, we're wise to talk about policies and not tomake personal attacks.

HUCKABEE: Well, it's not a personal attack, Mitt, because youalso supported a timed withdrawal. And Senator Pryor from my state...

ROMNEY: No, that's...

HUCKABEE: ... was praising you for that, and...

ROMNEY: I do not support and have never supported a timedwithdrawal, so that's wrong, Governor.

You know, it's really helpful if you talk about your policies andthe things you believe, and let me talk about my policies.

And my policy is, I've never talked about a timed withdrawal witha date certain for us to leave. That's not the case. Simply wrong.

I've also supported the troop surge, Governor, and I supported iton the same day the president brought it forward.

And the critical thing here is for us to stand together and tosay, "I think we do agree with the troop surge. We believe that thetroops surge is going to make an enormous difference for the world andprotect us from the establishment of safe havens from which Al Qaidacould launch attacks against us."

GIBSON: Very quickly.

PAUL: There's always a radical element in almost all religions.They have to have an incentive. We give them that incentive.

The question that you don't -- aren't willing to ask is, why isit that they attack America? I mean, they don't attack the Canadians.They don't attack the Swiss. If it were merely because they wanted togo into Europe, why do they...

(CROSSTALK) ROMNEY: Is it such a puzzle?

ROMNEY: Is it such a mystery as to why they attack America?

PAUL: It is...

ROMNEY: They're not going after Luxembourg.

(LAUGHTER)

PAUL: It is because we've gone six...

GIULIANI: Ron, Ron...

ROMNEY: We're the strongest nation in the world.

PAUL: We have...

GIULIANI: Ron, it's simply not true.

Islamic terrorists killed over 500 Americans before September 11,2001, going back to the late 1960s. They have also killed peoplerecently in Bali, in London. They have launched attacks in Germany.

(UNKNOWN): Madrid.

GIULIANI: Where did the attack on the Munich Olympics takeplace: in the United States, or did it take place in Germany?

GIBSON: All right. Let me stop this...

GIULIANI: I could go on and on. The attack on Leon Klinghoffer.

Islamic terrorists have attacked us...

PAUL: You paint all Islamics...

GIULIANI: ... and our allies all over the world...

PAUL: ... the same way, and this is a dangerous thing...

(CROSSTALK)

ROMNEY: No, of course not.

GIBSON: Gentlemen...

PAUL: What you're doing is damaging our relationship bydestroying our relationship with all Muslims. That's what you'redoing.

GIULIANI: I do not.

(CROSSTALK)

THOMPSON: Charlie, you started it.

(LAUGHTER)

GIBSON: I did start it. Yes, I did.

GIULIANI: Charlie, you wanted a free-for-all.

It is important to make this point. Just the opposite, Ron. Ihave great respect for the Islamic religion. I have great respect forthe Arab world, for the Middle East.

I think we should be closer to them. I think we should trademore with them. I think we should have cultural exchanges with them.

The overwhelming majority of the Islamic world...

PAUL: Why do we support their dictators, then? Why do we propup all their dictators?

GIBSON: (inaudible)

GIULIANI: ... and on the evening of September 11, 2001, the daymy city was attacked, I got on television, and I said to the people ofmy city, "We're not going to engage in group blame. This is a smallgroup of people. This does not typify a great religion and a greatpeople."

GIULIANI: I do not accept that criticism.

(CROSSTALK)

GIBSON: I'm going to move on to domestic policy. And I'm goingto violate a promise that I made to all of your campaigns.

I promised that we wouldn't do any questions on video tape,questions from somebody outside this room. But I'm going to violateit with a question from the president of the United States, who poseda question that I think is important about all of you, posed aquestion at his last news conference about what he thought candidatesought to be as they ran.

GIBSON: Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: You can't be the president unless you have a firm set ofprinciples to guide you as you sort through all the problems the worldfaces.

And I would be very hesitant to support somebody who relied uponopinion polls and focus groups to define a way forward for apresident.

It is -- and so, my question, if I were asking questions topeople running for office, what are the principles that you will standon, in good times and bad times? What would be the underpinning ofyour decisions?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GIBSON: What are the principles, and are they constant?

GIBSON: You all have been questioning, as I've watched youcampaign, you've all been questioning your opponents.

And I'm going to ask, Senator McCain, you and Governor Romney,because you two have been going at each other, in interviews and inads about this, of the constancy of your principles or whether or notyou look to opinion polls and focus groups to make up your minds.

So let me have the two of you dialogue with each other about thisand answer the president's questions, and then I'll bring the otherfour in and give them equal time.

MCCAIN: The principles and philosophy that I hold, I have heldsince I raised my hand at age 17 as a midshipman at the United StatesNaval Academy to uphold this nation's honor; to serve it; callAmericans to sacrifice and serve for their nation and defend thegreatest nation in the history of the world.

Now we need to restore trust and confidence in government. Nowwe are in a titanic, transcendent struggle of the 21st century, whichwe have been discussing earlier.

MCCAIN: I believe that for the last 20 years, I've been engagedin every major national security issue that has affected this nation.And I have been involved in many of the decisions as to how those arehandled.

And I again say that I'm glad to know that now everybodysupported the surge.

I said at the time that General Petraeus and his strategy must beemployed, and I was criticized by Republicans at that time. And thatwas a low point, but I stuck to it. I didn't change. I didn't say weneeded a secret plan for withdrawal.

I said that we can prevail, and as General Petraeus has said,this is the central front in the battle against radical Islamicextremists. We are succeeding.

And I will believe that if we had done what the Democrats hadwanted to do, Al Qaida would be trumpeting to the world that theydefeated the United States of America.

So my principles and my philosophy are those embodied in thosewords that we believe that all of us are created equal and endowed byour creator with certain inalienable rights.

MCCAIN: I will defend those. I believe in them. And I believeAmerica's best days are ahead of us.

ROMNEY: Charlie, when I sat down with my family and had thediscussion about whether or not to get into this race, we went aroundthe room and each one of my five sons and five daughters-in-lawexpressed their views. And it's because of them and because of myconcern about the future of America that I'm in this race.

I'm convinced that America is the greatest nation on Earth, thatwe are a good nation and a strong nation. And we are safe andprosperous in part because of our greatness and our strength.

I'm concerned, though, right now, we face challenges of such anunprecedented nature that unless we deal with them honestly andeffectively, America will become less of a nation than it needs to beto preserve the peace here and the peace around the world.

ROMNEY: And I believe it's essential for America to stand forprinciples of an eternal nature.

I think at the heart of our strength is the family. I don'tthink there's anything more important to the future of America thanthe work that's going on within the four walls of the American home.

I think we have to strengthen America's families. I think wehave to have good schools and good health care for them, moms and dadstending to the needs of kids, that we have to have better schools andbetter health care.

I believe, also, that this nation has to have a strong andvibrant economy. I don't think we can lead the world unless we havethe leading economy. And finally a strong military to keep us safe.

So, my overriding principle is keeping America the strongestnation on earth. And there'll be a lot of choices and pulls and tugsin different directions, but keeping America strong through all thoseelements, through our families and our values, through our economy andits vibrancy, and through our military, is what is essential to me forthe future of this land.

GIBSON: All right. Let me turn to Mayor Giuliani.

I must say, you don't sound like two guys who've been sniping atone another over and over in your ads and interviews.

(LAUGHTER)

You sound different.

Mayor Giuliani?

GIULIANI: I think what the president had in mind is that at thecore of leadership is knowing what you believe, standing forsomething.

Ronald Reagan was my hero in that respect. I wrote about it inmy book, "Leadership." And I think one of the things President Bushwas getting at is that too many people in politics today put theirfinger up and go with the poll.

You know, you can see it in some of our Democratic colleagues,changing their position...

GIBSON: But let me interrupt you for...

GIULIANI: What do I stand for?

I laid out 12 commitments to the American people. I wrote themout. The first one is the most important: keeping this country onoffense in the Islamic terrorist war against us.

The rest of them lay out what I believe this country has to doover the next four years. That would be my guidepost. If I'm electedpresident, I'll put that card on my desk. And every day I will try toaccomplish it.

End illegal immigration. Solve health care through privateoptions. Reduce taxes. Reduce the size of government on the civilianside.

GIULIANI: Expand the military. Appoint strict constructionistjudges.

These'll be the beliefs that I have, the way Ronald Reagan gotelected to increase the size of the military, to reduce taxes.

GIBSON: Let me interrupt you for just a sec, because, with alldue respect, many of your fellows here on this stage have said you'dhad to moderate an awful lot of your views to get within themainstream of the Republican Party, and that you don't believe nowwhat you believed when you were a mayor.

Governor Huckabee, you've been accused of having been a tax-and-spend governor when you were in Arkansas and changing your beliefsnow.

Governor Romney, I don't have to go into how many times they'vetold -- called you a flip-flopper in terms of issues and what youbelieved as governor of Massachusetts.

Congressman Paul, with respect to you, I don't know that you'vechanged much, except your party...

(LAUGHTER)

... because you were a Libertarian when you first ran forpresident.

Senator Thompson has been accused of running on a moreconservative record for president than when he was in the Senate.

And, Senator McCain, you've been accused of moderating your viewson the Bush tax policies in order to get into the mainstream of theparty and on immigration, to moderate your views.

GIULIANI: Charlie, that's the reason why you lay out the thingsthat you believe in.

GIULIANI: There are beliefs that you have that you're not goingto vary from, no matter what the winds of change bring about. Thereare some that you are going to change.

Look at Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan had three prime goals: toincrease the size of the military to win the Cold War, to reduce taxesand to reduce the deficit. He accomplished two of the three. Thethird one he wasn't able to accomplish, probably because the firsttwo, in his view, were more important.

So of course you can't accomplish every single thing that youwant. Over a period of time, your views on things are going tochange. But if your essential philosophy stays the same, the way itdid with Ronald Reagan, the way it did with our great presidents,that's what leadership is about.

GIBSON: Governor Huckabee?

HUCKABEE: Well, Charlie, I think the question the president wasasking was not as much about our policies, because those can changewith each generation, with each year, with each circumstances, but theprinciples -- what is it that's deep inside of us, that guide us, thatdirect us, that show the framework of what we're going to do?

And I think the simple answer for me is all the way back to thedocument that gave us birth.

HUCKABEE: And it goes like this: That we hold these truths tobe self-evident, that we are endowed by our creator with certaininalienable rights, these being life, liberty, and the pursuit ofhappiness, that we are created equal.

In that sense of equality, the greatest principle is that everyhuman being and every American is equal to each other. One person isnot more equal because of his net worth or because of his I.Q. orbecause of his ancestry or last name.

That was a radical idea when those 56 signers put their names onthat document, knowing that if their experiment in government didn'twork, they were going to die for it.

Those are principles. Those are things that you'll live for,you'll die for. That sense that all of us have an essence of equalityand that the primary purpose of a government is to recognize thatthose rights did not come from government, they came from God, theyare to be protected, and then defined as the right to a life, theright to liberty -- our freedom -- to live our lives like we want tolive them without government telling us how to do it. And ultimately,not to be happy, but to have the pursuit of happiness. That's ourprinciples.

GIBSON: And I take your statement. It is an interestingstatement of the basis that we all believe in this country.

GIBSON: But you started by saying: But we can change ourpolicies -- -- how often did you say?

HUCKABEE: Our policies often reflect what's going on at thetime. For example, if the primary thing we are facing is war, thenwe're going to be talking about military size and military might. Ifwe have a problem with illegal immigration, the number one issue rightnow might be securing the borders.

I'm not saying we change our positions, but we change thepolicies in terms of the priority, but those principles don't change.The principles are still to make sure that we recognize the equalityof each other and that we recognize where those rights come from andwhat those rights are.

GIBSON: Senator Thompson?

THOMPSON: Everyone has kind of a wish list. I think it's mostimportant, though, that a president of the United States understandthat our principles, our first principles are based on theConstitution of the United States -- understanding the nature of ourgovernment, the checks and the balances, the separation of powers thatour founding fathers set up a long time ago.

THOMPSON: There's a reason for that. They knew about humannature. They learned from the wisdom of the ages.

They set the government up according to that. They set thepowers out in the Constitution of the federal government, and theybasically said if the powers aren't delineated in this document theydon't exist.

And then we got the 10th Amendment that says if they're notdelineated they belong to the people and to the states.

That's fundamental to everything else.

And then we grew from that, principles such as a dollar belongsin the pocket of the person that earned it, unless the government canmake a case that it can spend it better. You don't spend money thatyou don't have, and you certainly don't spend your grandchildren'smoney with debt that they're not at the table when the decision hasbeen made to spend it.

GIBSON: I'm going to run out of time on this, but I want to comeback to that point.

Go ahead.

PAUL: The president asks a very important question. And weshould all come together and we shouldn't have that manydisagreements, because we should be bound -- bound by theConstitution.

But the people in this country think we live in an age ofrelative ethics, is what they have come to the conclusion of.

Sure, profess to believe in the Constitution, but why have wegone to war since World War II without a declaration of war? Why dowe have a monetary system that is not designed by the Constitution?Why do we have a welfare state running out of control, not designed bythe Constitution?

You can't pay lip service to the Constitution without obeying it.

And we should have peace and prosperity. That should be ourgoal.

We, in foreign policy, ought to have a golden rule. We ought totreat others as we would want others to treat us. And we don't treatothers so fairly. We treat them like we're the bully, that we're thepoliceman of the world, and we're going to tell them to behave.

PAUL: If we don't -- if they don't listen to us, we bomb them.If they listen to us, we give them more money. And it's bankruptingthis country because we don't live up to our principles, theprinciples that are embedded in our Constitution.

(APPLAUSE)

GIBSON: Let me turn for the next few moments to health care.

The Democrats have talked a lot about this, and they have spelledout some pretty specific health care plans.

But what you propose, what you have talked about in terms ofhealth care, in many ways represents a more basic change in the wayhealth insurance would be obtained.

A little background on that, ABC's medical editor, Dr. TimJohnson.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. TIM JOHNSON, ABC MEDICAL EDITOR: In general, Republicanshave criticized Democratic proposals for health care reform as radicalexpansions of the federal government's role.

But many health care experts say that it is actually theRepublicans' emphasis on individuals buying their own policies versusgetting their insurance through employers that is a more radicalchange.

JOHNSON: And it raises concerns. Individual policies can bemore expensive for the same coverage because of administrativeoverhead and sales costs.

Group policies like those provided by employers can bargain withproviders for lower costs and do a better job of monitoring quality.

Medical professionals caution that individual insurance may soundgood on paper but it usually turns out to be very difficult forpeople, on their own, to find quality policies at the right cost.

Charlie?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GIBSON: All right. Dr. Tim Johnson, thanks very much.

We're the only industrialized nation in the world that doesn'tinsure all of our citizens. If we can afford a trillion-dollar war inIraq, why can't we afford medical insurance for everybody?

Governor -- Mayor -- Mr. Mayor?

GIULIANI: The reality is that, with all of its infirmities anddifficulties, we have the best health care system in the world. Andit may be because we have a system that still is, if not wholly, atleast in large part still private.

To go in the direction that the Democrats want to go, much moregovernment care, much more government medicine, socialized medicine,is going to mean a deteriorated state of medicine in this country.

GIULIANI: I mean, I said, jokingly, in one debate, if we go inthe direction of socialized medicine, where will Canadians come forhealth care?

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

GIBSON: But do you all agree that we have the best health caresystem in the world?

MCCAIN: Now, tell me when people get sick where they come to toget health care.

(CROSSTALK)

THOMPSON: We certainly have the best health care in the world.

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: Charlie, that doesn't mean it shouldn't be improved.And I think that the notion of people buying their own private healthinsurance is a very good one, so long as a lot of them do it.

Only 17 million Americans right now buy their own healthinsurance. If 50 million Americans were buying their own healthinsurance, because it would be just as tax advantageous to do it thatway, and we had a health savings account, people -- economists believethere'd be a 30 percent to 50 percent reduction in the cost of healthinsurance, and quality would come up.

The only thing that reduces cost and increases quality is asignificant, dramatic, large consumer market, not government control.

GIBSON: You all have proposed free market, consumer-purchasedinsurance. And you all talk about giving tax deductions for buyinginsurance.

Let me do a little math. The average family employer-providedinsurance, when the company's buying, it's $13,000 a family.

Now, you talked about a $15,000 to $20,000 deduction -- right? --for people buying their own insurance. If you take a median-incomefamily of $62,000 in this country, you've just saved them $3,000 ontheir taxes. That doesn't come close to buying an insurance policy.

MCCAIN: Sure. And next year, if you continue 10 percentinflation associated with it, it'll be even further away. And thenext year after that.

Because the problem with health care in America, it's not thequality. It is the inflation.

And in all due respect to your expert that we just saw, he'stalking about the wrong aspect of this issue. The right aspect ofthis issue is inflation, if we could get it under control and get itreduced so that health care costs are reasonable in America, thenthose people will be able to afford it.

GIBSON: And to get health care costs...

MCCAIN: And they can -- and they will be able to go out andchoose their insurer, anywhere in America, and they will be able tothen to get affordable health care in America.

But we have to make the recipient of the health care moreresponsible. We have to have outcome-based results for health care.We have to emphasize wellness and fitness.

One of the most disturbing things in America is the increase indiabetes, obesity and high blood pressure amongst younger Americans.So we have to award wellness and fitness.

HUCKABEE (?): Charlie, I'm...

MCCAIN: And that way, we'll have a healthier nation and we willhave less health care costs.

But, again, you made a statement about European nations, they allget health care. Well, some people here in New Hampshire have been toCanada. I don't think they want that system.

ROMNEY: A lot of people have ideas about health care andimproving health care. We took the ideas and actually made them workin our state, as people in New Hampshire know. We put in place a planthat gets every citizen in our state health insurance, and it didn'tcost us new money. And it didn't require us to raise taxes.

What we found was, it was less expensive or no more expensive tohelp individuals who had been uninsured by their own private policythan it had been for us to give out free care at the hospital.

And since we put our plan in place last April, we've now had300,000 people who were uninsured sign up for this insurance, privateinsurance.

And where the doctor -- good doctor was wrong is that it's truethe insurance companies don't want to sell policies to one person at atime. It's expensive.

We established what we called a connector, a place whereindividuals could go to buy policies from any company, and thatconnector would in turn send their premiums on to those companies.

So the economics of scale existed. And as a result of what wedid, the premiums for health insurance for an individual buyinginsurance went from $350 a month to $180 a month, with lowerdeductibles and now with prescription drugs.

ROMNEY: The answer...

GIBSON: Anybody...

ROMNEY: Let me just -- I just -- I want to underline this.

We don't have to have government take over health care to geteverybody insured. That's what the Democrats keep on hanging outthere.

The truth is, we can get everybody insured in a free market way.We don't need Hillary-care or socialized medicine.

PAUL: Charlie, you really answered the question -- you answeredit in your question, because you said, "How can we afford a trillion-dollar war and we can't afford health care?"

Well, that's the reason.

The resources are going overseas. We're fighting a trillion-dollar war and we shouldn't be doing it. Those resources should bespent back here at home.

There is an inflationary factor. We can't afford it. We do havegood medical care, but the costs are so high now that our people inthis country are actually going to India and getting their heartsurgery done.

PAUL: They pay the plane ticket, the hospital and the hotel andthey get it for half-price.

So it's inflation, but if you don't understand how inflationcomes, we can't solve this problem. It comes from deficit financingwith this war-mongering foreign policy we have. We run up thedeficits. We tax. We borrow. We borrow from the Chinese. We can'tborrow enough.

Then what do we do? We print the money, and then you wonderwhere the inflation comes. The value of the dollar is down and theprices go up, where the government gets involved in certain thingslike housing or medical care or education, prices are skyrocketing.

So you have to deal with the monetary issue to solve the problemof the medical issue.

GIBSON: Senator Thompson?

THOMPSON: Ahem.

(LAUGHTER)

PAUL: Don't print anymore money. We don't need anymore money.

THOMPSON: So if we would stop printing so much money, we couldget out of the war and provide health care to everybody.

PAUL: Get out of the war, and we wouldn't have to print themoney.

THOMPSON: OK. I just wanted to...

(CROSSTALK)

THOMPSON: I wanted to make sure I had this right.

(LAUGHTER)

THOMPSON: Let me break it down a little bit so I can understandit a little bit better.

PAUL (?): Keep trying.

THOMPSON: We've got the best health care in the world. It costsmore than it should.

We can either go one of two ways.

We can let the government take it over, and that'll lower costs,like they do in other countries. We will also sacrifice care, whichnobody wants to do -- we're not going to do, in this country.

Or we can make the markets work more efficiently. There are alot of components to that. Part of that is not just giving a taxbreak to the individual. That's part of it. But it's also puttingthem in a position to get the best prices for the care they'regetting.

We do that in every other aspect of our life. That's what keepsprices as low as they are.

THOMPSON: I mean, if the consumer had no concept of what theproduct was costing and did no shopping for it, when you could get anMRI here for one price or over here for half the price, you don't evenknow that to make the choice. It wouldn't work at all.

So you can do that. You can open up these markets so a personcan buy their insurance from all over the country. We've got variousstate regulations now, that, as a practical matter, prohibit that.Make the markets work.

But we're never -- let's be honest with the people. We'reprobably never -- if you lower costs, more people who want insurancewill be able to afford it. We're probably never going to achievetotal coverage.

A good number of the people who are uninsured can afford it andchoose not to do so. A good number of people who are eligible forgovernment assistance, and choose -- can manage and choose not to.

GIBSON: But Government Romney's system has mandates inMassachusetts, although you backed away from mandates on a nationalbasis.

ROMNEY: No, no, I like mandates. The mandates work.

THOMPSON: I beg your pardon? I didn't know you were going toadmit that. You like mandates.

ROMNEY: Let me -- let me -- oh, absolutely. Let me tell youwhat kind of mandates I like, Fred, which is this. If it weren't...

THOMPSON: The ones you come up with.

(LAUGHTER)

ROMNEY: Here's my view: If somebody -- if somebody can affordinsurance and decides not to buy it, and then they get sick, theyought to pay their own way, as opposed to expect the government to paytheir way.

ROMNEY: And that's an American principle. That's a principle ofpersonal responsibility.

So, I said this: If you can afford to buy insurance, then buyit. You don't have to, if you don't want to buy it, but then you gotto put enough money aside that you can pay your own way, because whatwe're not going to do is say, as we saw more and more people...

GIBSON: Governor, (inaudible) you imposed tax penalties inMassachusetts (inaudible).

ROMNEY: Yes, we said, look, if people can afford to buy it,either buy the insurance or pay your own way; don't be free-riders andpass on the cost to your health care to everybody else, because rightnow...

THOMPSON: The government is going to make you buy insurance...

ROMNEY: No, the government is going to stop...

THOMPSON: ,.. and make you pay -- I mean, the state -- yourstate plan, which is, of course, different from your national plan,did require people to make that choice, though. The state requiredthem to do that.

What was the penalty if they refused?

ROMNEY: They refused to pay your -- let's go back, Fred. What'syour view? If somebody...

THOMPSON: Well, I asked the question first.

(LAUGHTER)

ROMNEY: OK. Well, I'll answer your question, you answer mine.

ROMNEY: If somebody is making, let's say $100,000 a year, anddoesn't have health insurance, and they show up at the hospital, andthey need a $1,000 repair of some kind for something that's gonewrong. And they say, "Look, I'm not insured, I'm not going to pay."Do you think they should pay or not?

THOMPSON: Did your plan cut people off at $100,000? Was thatthe level?

ROMNEY: No, actually...

THOMPSON: Did it only apply to people with $100,000 income andover?

ROMNEY: It actually applies to people at three-times federalpoverty. They pay for their own policy. At less than three-timesfederal poverty, we help them buy a policy, so everybody is insured,and everybody is able to buy a policy that is affordable for them.

The question is this, again, if someone could afford a policy andthey choose not to buy it, should they be responsible for paying fortheir own care?

Or should they be able to go to the hospital and say, "You knowwhat? I'm not insured. You ought to pay for it."

What we found was, one-quarter of the uninsured in my state weremaking $75,000 a year or more. And my view is they should either buyinsurance or they should pay their own way with a health savingsaccount or some other savings account.

GIBSON: We have an expression in television: We get in theweeds. We're in the weeds now on this.

(CROSSTALK)

GIBSON: Let me just -- one point. Yes or no, in your nationalplan, would you mandate people to get insurance?

ROMNEY: I think my plan is a good plan that should be adopted byother states. I wouldn't tell every state...

GIBSON: In your plan, would you mandate...

ROMNEY: I would not mandate at the federal level that everystate do what we do. But what I would say at the federal level is,"We'll keep giving you these special payments we make if you adoptplans that get everybody insured." I want to get everybody insured.

GIBSON: OK.

ROMNEY: In Governor Schwarzenegger's state, he's got a differentplan to get people insured. I wouldn't tell him he has to do it myway.

But I'd say each state needs to get busy on the job of gettingall our citizens insured. It does not cost more money.

GIBSON: I want to give Governor Huckabee a little time. Thenwe've got to go.

HUCKABEE: OK.

I think it's important to realize that the issue is not justinsurance. The issue is that the whole model of our health-caresystem is upside down.

We really don't have a health-care system. We have a disease-care system. And the insurance model that we use, we act like that ifwe insured everybody, we've fixed it.

We haven't. Because the real problem is that our model, both inthe insurance model and the health-care model, waits until people arecatastrophically ill before it intervenes.

HUCKABEE: And we really have to change the concept to apreventive focus rather than an intervention focus.

And that means the entire system starts working on health andwellness, because 80 percent of the $2 trillion that we spend onhealth care goes to chronic disease.

We could prevent it or we could cure it, but we don't. So it'snot an issue of there's not enough money to cover people.

But if a real health care system exists, it has three components:It has affordability, it has quality, and it has accessibility.

And if it doesn't have those elements, it's not a system; it's amaze. And what we have in America is a health care maze. It's builton the idea that we wait until people are so desperately ill that thecost to try to fix them is catastrophic and out of control.

And no wonder we have a system that needs major, major attention.

And by the way, just out of due respect, you said $1,000 for arepair.

HUCKABEE: It's about $1,000 for a Kleenex at a hospital anymore.

(LAUGHTER)

And that's why we need to have a totally different system thatkeeps you from going to the hospital in the first place.

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: Charlie, a health savings account actually helps toaccomplish what the governor is talking about.

If somebody can put aside -- and the plans that we've beentalking about include a health savings account. You'd have anexemption up to $15,000. If you could find a policy for $11,000, youcan have a $4,000 health savings account.

You would be able to buy some of your health care and yourprevention yourself. It gives you an incentive over a lifetime todeal with wellness.

GIBSON: And I've got to go.

But Senator McCain has talked a lot about controlling costs, andyou bring up the issue in controlling costs. And all the experts sayto me, Look, if you're going to control costs, you got to do threethings. You're going to limit access to technology, you're going tolimit, in some way, change the reimbursement system for doctors andhospitals, or you're going to have to limit the amount of treatments.That's the only way we can bring costs down.

And that's the third rail of health care. Which of you is goingto touch any of that?

HUCKABEE: Charlie, that's not at all the way it is. The factis, if you had...

(CROSSTALK)

GIBSON: Yes, it was directed to you.

(LAUGHTER)

MCCAIN: I think that there's additional choice here: a choiceof having outcome-based treatment.

MCCAIN: There are five major diseases that consume 75 percent ofhealth care costs in America. If someone has diabetes, we should givethe health care provider a certain amount of money and say, "Care forthat patient. And if, at the end of that period of time, and thatpatient is well, we'll give you a reward." Rather than every test,every procedure, every MRI.

And we need walk-in clinics, and we need community health care,and we need incentives for home health care as opposed to long-termcare.

In my state of Arizona, we adopted a proposal which incentivizeshealth care providers to keep people in home health care settings --dramatically less expensive than long-term care.

In Arizona, we have one-half the number, per capita, of people inlong-term care facilities as the state of Pennsylvania.

Incentives to keep costs down, Charlie. There are no incentivesin the system today.

Could I just mention one other thing? Both the attorney generalof South Carolina -- I don't know why I mention South Carolina...

GIBSON: Because there's a primary there.

(LAUGHTER)

MCCAIN: ... and the attorney general of Iowa -- and I don't --well, anyway...

GIBSON: That's too late.

MCCAIN: ... have sued the pharmaceutical companies because ofovercharging of millions of dollars of Medicaid costs to theirpatients.

MCCAIN: How could that happen? How could pharmaceuticalcompanies be able to cover up the cost to the point where nobodyknows? Why shouldn't we be able to reimport drugs from Canada?

It's because of the power of the pharmaceutical companies. Weshould have pharmaceutical companies competing to take care of ourMedicare and Medicaid patients.

ROMNEY: OK, don't leave me. Don't send the pharmaceuticalcompanies into the big bad guys.

MCCAIN: Well, they are.

ROMNEY: No, actually they're trying to create products to makeus well and make us better, and they're doing the work of the freemarket.

And are there excesses? I'm sure there are, and we should goafter excesses. But they're an important industry to this country.

But let me note something else, and that is the market will work.And the reason health care isn't working like a market right now isyou have 47 million people that are saying, "I'm not going to play.I'm just going to get free care paid for by everybody else." Thatdoesn't work.

Number two, the buyer doesn't have information about what thecost or quality is, or different choices they could have. If you takethe government out of it to a much greater extent, you'd get it towork like a market and it will rein in cost.

GIBSON: I've got to call a halt. We're going to take acommercial break. We'll come back. I'm going to be joined by ScottSpradling from WMUR, and we're going to go to some more directquestions.

Stay with us: The Republican debate continues from Manchester.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GIBSON: For the second 45 minutes of this debate, I'm going tobe joined by Scott Spradling, who is political director of ourstation, WMUR, here in Manchester, New Hampshire.

And I would say, during that three-minute break, that all of thecandidates headed for the wings, and I thought it might just be thetwo of us here for the last 45 minutes.

(LAUGHTER)

And I'm so relieved...

(LAUGHTER)

... to say that they all came back: Senator McCain, SenatorThompson, Congressman Paul, Governor Romney, Governor Huckabee, MayorGiuliani, it's good to have all of you with us.

We're going to do some more direct questions. We've got tallylights this time. We're going to limit you in the length of youranswers. And if you want to respond, in these first questions, you'recertainly welcome to do so.

Why don't you start, Scott?

SPRADLING: Senator McCain, good evening.

MCCAIN: Good evening, Scott.

SPRADLING: I'm struck by the fact that we're on the St. Anselmcampus. And a few months, you took some hits in a debate that you hadhere with your fellow Republicans on the issue of illegal immigrationand your views.

Since that debate...

MCCAIN: I shouldn't have come back.

(LAUGHTER)

SPRADLING: Since that debate, sir, you've told voters, "I hearyou." You've acknowledged some of these complaints.

And there's more talk, I know, from you, about stronger borders.That's a big focus in this debate.

But fundamentally, I'm wondering, don't you still have the sameplan for a path to citizenship that you fundamentally held months ago?

MCCAIN: Sure. But the fact is that the American people havelost trust and confidence in government, and we have to secure theborders first.

MCCAIN: I come from a border state. I've very aware of thechallenges we face and the impact of illegal immigration. So, we willsecure the borders first. As president, I will have the border stategovernors certify that those borders are secure.

And, of course, in the course of our debates and discussions and-- with Secretary Chertoff, he said that there's 2 million people whoare in this country illegally who have committed crimes. Those peoplehave to be deported immediately.

And I do believe we need a temporary worker program. One with anemployee -- employment -- electronic employment verification systemand tamper-proof biometric documents, so that the only document andthat system (inaudible) can an employer legally hire somebody, and anyemployer who employs someone in any other way will be prosecuted tothe fullest extent of the law.

MCCAIN: Now, I want to say again, this is a national securityissue. We have to secure our borders.

But I want to say again, these are God's children. We have toaddress it in as humane and compassionate an issue as possible. Butwe have to respect our nation's security requirements.

So I think that it's time Republican and Democrat sat downtogether and resolved this issue. Because if you've got brokenborders, and if you have 12 million people here illegally, then,obviously, you have de facto amnesty.

It is a federal responsibility. The federal government must act.I will act as president.

GIBSON: We got the tally lights this time.

Governor?

MCCAIN: Oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Charlie.

GIBSON: That's all right.

ROMNEY: I disagree fundamentally with the idea that the 12million people who've come here illegally should all be allowed toremain in the United States permanently, potentially some of themapplying for citizenship and becoming citizens, others just stayingpermanently.

I think that is a form of amnesty, and that it's not appropriate.We're a nation of laws.

(CROSSTALK)

ROMNEY: Our liberty is based upon being a nation of laws. Iwould welcome those people to get in line with everybody else whowants to come here permanently.

ROMNEY: But there should be no special pathway to permanentresidency or citizenship for those that have come here illegally.

I welcome legal immigration. Of course we need to secure theborder. We need to have an employment verification system with a cardto identify who's here legally and not legally. We need to haveemployer sanctions that hire people that then don't have the legalcard.

But with regards to those already here, it is simply not rightand unfair to say they're going to all get to stay, where there arepeople around the world who've been waiting in line to come to thiscountry. They should have the first chance.

(CROSSTALK)

MCCAIN: Scott, can I respond to that?

SPRADLING: I have a question for both you and the mayor, and I'dlike to give it to the mayor first.

Mayor Giuliani, a point of specificity here. Do you believe thatthe illegals that have been identified in the U.S. need to leave theUnited States and reapply for citizenship to come back into thecountry? And if so, for how long?

GIULIANI: What I believe should happen is we should stop illegalimmigration at the border, and we should begin doing it now.

GIULIANI: We should erect a fence. We should erect atechnological fence. We should expand the Border Patrol. We shouldhave a BorderStat system. We should have a rule that you cannot comeinto the United States without identifying yourself, which, after all,is the rule in every other country just about.

And then we should operate that for two, three, four years,change behavior. And then we should take that system, with a tamper-proof I.D. card, which would be used for people coming into thiscountry, and what we should do with the people that are here.

First of all, right now, our priorities should be -- since youcan't throw out all 12 million people, whether Governor Romney wouldlike to do that or not or anybody else would, you just can't do it.It's not physically possible to do.

I would focus on the illegal immigrants that are here who havecommitted crimes. They should be given priority. That's a number wecan deal with. That's a number we can throw out.

GIULIANI: Then what I would do with the people that are here,when you had a good system in place -- and I believe my plan is thebest plan for doing that, and these are the kinds of things I achievedin the other jobs that I've had in my life, as mayor and associateattorney general -- I think what you would do then is, you would sayto the 12 million people that are here, come forward, get a tamper-proof I.D. card, get fingerprinted, get photographed.

If they don't come forward, then you throw them out of thecountry. The ones who do come forward would have to pay taxes.They'd have to pay fines.

If you pay fines, it is not amnesty. They would not get ahead ofanybody else. They'd be at the back of the line. But then they couldeventually become citizens, so long as they could read English, writeEnglish and speak English.

SPRADLING: Thank you.

MCCAIN: Let me just say, I've never supported amnesty.

A few nights ago, Joe Lieberman and I had a town hall meetingtogether. It was a rather unusual event. The issue came up. JoeLieberman said, John McCain has never supported amnesty, and anybodysays that he does is a liar, is lying.

Now, no better authority than Governor Romney believed that it'snot amnesty because two years ago, he was asked, and he said that myplan was, quote, "reasonable, and was not amnesty."

It's a matter of record.

SPRADLING: Governor, you want to explain your ad?

ROMNEY: Yes, absolutely, which is what he describes istechnically true, which is his plan does not provide amnesty becausehe charges people $5,000 to be able to stay.

MORE7

ROMNEY: And that, technically...

MCCAIN: That's not true. That's not complete response to it.

And, Governor Romney, it was explained to you and you said it wasreasonable and not amnesty. You can look it up.

(CROSSTALK)

ROMNEY: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Let me have achance.

(CROSSTALK)

ROMNEY: Rudy, let me have a chance to finish, OK? Then you'llget your chance.

I saw your plan, along with Senator Cornyn's plan and the Bushplan; I said they were all reasonable. And I said I would study themand decide which one to endorse, and I endorsed none of them, as youknow, Senator.

Number two, your plan, I said, is not technically amnesty becauseit provides for a penalty for people to be able to stay...

MCCAIN: It provides for more than a penalty.

ROMNEY: OK. Would you describe what else it has, besides apenalty?

MCCAIN: Sure. Fine, learn English, back of the line behindeverybody else -- pretty much what Rudy just described.

ROMNEY: OK, great. So it has a...

MCCAIN: So that we can address the issue.

ROMNEY: Fine. Unless you pay $5,000...

MCCAIN: It's not amnesty. And for you to describe it as you doin the attack ads, my friend, you can spend your whole fortune onthese attack ads, but it will won't be true.

(UNKNOWN): May I...

ROMNEY: No, no, no, no. I get a chance to respond to this.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

GIBSON: (inaudible)

ROMNEY: I don't describe your plan as amnesty in my ad. I don'tcall it amnesty.

What I say is -- and you just described what most people wouldsay is a form of amnesty. Yes, they pay $5,000, their background ischecked, they have to learn English.

But your view is everybody who's come here illegally today, otherthan criminals, would be allowed -- when they speak English and get$5,000 payment and they get a background check, they're allowed tostay forever.

MCCAIN: Look, I don't...

ROMNEY: That's your plan, and that plan, in my view, is notappropriate.

Those people should be invited to get in line outside the countrywith everybody else who wants to come here, but they should not begiven a special right to stay here...

MCCAIN: There is no special right associated with my plan.

ROMNEY: ... for the rest of their lives.

MCCAIN: I said should they should not be in any way rewarded forillegal behavior.

ROMNEY: Are they sent home?

MCCAIN: They have to get in line behind everybody else.

ROMNEY: Are they sent home? Are they sent home?

MCCAIN: Some of them are, some of them are not depending ontheir situation.

ROMNEY: The last bill you put forward...

MCCAIN: If a woman who has been here for eight years...

ROMNEY: I'm sorry -- the last bill...

MCCAIN: ... and has a son fighting in Iraq...

ROMNEY: Senator, the last bill you put forward...

MCCAIN: ... I'm not interesting in calling her up, calling upher son and telling I'm deporting his grandmother.

This has to be...

(CROSSTALK)

THOMPSON: Didn't you say Republicans were making a terriblemistake if they were separating themselves with President Bush on theillegal immigration issue?

ROMNEY: No, that was quoted in A.P. It happened to be wrong.

Let me -- let me -- let me...

(LAUGHTER)

MCCAIN: You're always misquoted.

ROMNEY: It was -- that does happen from time to time. But letme -- it does actually.

MCCAIN: When you change issues -- positions on issues from timeto time, you will get misquoted.

(LAUGHTER)

ROMNEY: Senator, is there a way to have this about issues andnot about personal attacks? I hope so, because I think we have somedifferences in issues.

MCCAIN: I do, too. I do, too.

ROMNEY: And let me tell you, the issue that's at stake here is,do the people who come here illegally, the 12 million -- are theyallowed to stay in this country the rest of their life?

And the final bill you put forward in the United States Senatewas...

MCCAIN: The answer is...

(CROSSTALK)

ROMNEY: Can I complete?

MCCAIN: The answer is, we were still negotiating, we weredebating, we were saying that some people have to go back to thecountry that they came from before they came here...

ROMNEY: I'm sorry, there was a Z visa. The Z visa was given toeverybody...

(CROSSTALK)

MCCAIN: ... that some people have to go back.

First, as Rudy said, we have to round up the 2 million who havecommitted crimes and deport them immediately.

ROMNEY: Let's not divert.

MCCAIN: And that is not amnesty for anyone.

GIBSON: Well, I don't want to divert. Let me come back to yourplan.

(CROSSTALK)

GIBSON: Is it practical to take 12 million people and send themout of the country? Is it practical?

ROMNEY: The answer is no. The answer is no.

So, here's how my plan works.

One, it says to those 12 million people, they do not have theright, as they would under the final Senate plan, to receive a Z visa,which was renewable indefinitely. That meant these people could stayin the country forever. That was what the plan did, and that's whytalk radio and the American people went nuts.

MCCAIN: (inaudible) that's not the plan.

ROMNEY: Senator, you look up your Z visa, it is renewableindefinitely. Every legal -- every illegal alien got to stay in thecountry forever, other than those that committed crimes.

GIBSON: Go ahead.

GIULIANI: Charlie, if Ronald Reagan were here, who we allinvoke, who would grab the microphone, say, "It's my microphone, Ipaid for it."

GIULIANI: And Ronald Reagan did amnesty. He actually didamnesty. I think he'd be in one of Mitt's negative commercials.

(LAUGHTER)

And he is the hero of our party.

None of us, none of us has a perfect record on immigrationbecause this is a very complicated problem. The thing that we have todo is we have to decide who has the best plan among all of us forfixing illegal immigration.

You got to stop it at the border. You got to stop it cold at theborder. And then you have to have a rational system.

It is not amnesty. If you charge -- I did this more in my lifethan I did politics, meaning law enforcement -- if you charge fines,if you have impositions of conditions, it is not amnesty.

Ronald Reagan gave amnesty, saying they have to pay a fine, haveto get on the back of the line, have a whole bunch of conditions...

(CROSSTALK)

ROMNEY: I thought you said that wasn't amnesty.

GIULIANI: That is not amnesty. That is not amnesty.

If you have a fine, if you have conditions, if you have a wholebunch of steps that people have to go through, it is not amnesty.

Ronald Reagan gave amnesty, straight-out amnesty.

THOMPSON: The question is, are you rewarded for your illegalbehavior in any way?

If the answer is yes, it's amnesty.

GIULIANI: But if you have to pay a penalty for it, it is not.For example...

THOMPSON: Do you get allowed to -- but you can still stay in thecountry?

GIULIANI: Pay money, have to follow...

THOMPSON: But you can still stay in the country?

GIULIANI: Well, but you have to pay penalties.

THOMPSON: But you can still stay in the country?

GIULIANI: There are all different kinds of penalties.

GIBSON: What would you do, Senator?

GIULIANI: Someone gets amnesty from a crime...

THOMPSON: You can have -- you can have -- you can haveenforcement by attrition if you obey the law and you enforce the lawthat's on the books today.

If we started securing the border, as we are supposed to do --and we're all in agreement that it must be done now.

THOMPSON: I mean, we arrest thousands, over the years, of peoplefrom countries that are state sponsors of terrorism. I mean, it'sessentially a national security issue, as well as an issue offairness, as well as a social issue with regard to what states andcommunities have to face nowadays, and workers who are in competitionwith this.

If we enforced the borders so people couldn't go back and forth,if we assisted employers with a system that we now have on the booksthat 20,000, 30,000 employers now are using, a verification system soyou could essentially punch a button, the Homeland Security folks willtell you whether or not this person is illegal on the front end, andif we stop sanctuary cities where we're telling local people that youcan't cooperate with federal authorities, and stop inducing people tocome here with employment and protection under sanctuary cities, asMayor Giuliani did when he was mayor of New York, then we would have-- we would have attrition of these numbers and start reversing...

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: I have to answer...

(CROSSTALK)

GIBSON: Our process of limiting these answers is going just toHades.

GIULIANI: I have to answer that -- I have to answer thatquestion. New York City was not a sanctuary city. New York Cityturned in the names of every single person who committed a crime orwas suspected of a crime.

THOMPSON: What about just being illegal?

GIULIANI: Well, New York City turned in the names of all peoplethat were illegal, with only three exceptions. One exception was forchildren that were going to school. We had 70,000 children ofillegals. I was not going to leave them on the street. I am proudthat I continued that policy. It would have been inhumane to doanything else.

THOMPSON: We passed a bill in 1996...

GIULIANI: Let me finish. Let me finish.

Second, we said, "If you come into a hospital and you needtreatment for an emergency, you'll be treated." It would have beeninhumane to do anything else.

And we said, "If you report crimes, we will take those reports."And we wanted those reports of crimes because they helped us to reducecrime...

(CROSSTALK)

THOMPSON: All right. Go back and look at the record. In 1996,Congress -- the United States Congress, when I was there, when I wasin the Senate, we passed a bill outlawing illegal amnesty.

THOMPSON: I'm serious. Rudy went to court and sued to overturnwhat we'd passed in legislation. We weren't trying to throw childrenout on the street either. I think if you...

GIULIANI: Those are the three narrow categories that I wasobjecting to. They all had to do with humane conditions. It was apolicy that was...

THOMPSON: We were (inaudible) inhumane conditions.

(CROSSTALK)

GIBSON: Governor Huckabee is sitting here with a quiet smile,just thinking, "OK, let them fight; I'm going to stay out of this."

So I want to bring you in quickly, and then Congressman Paul,then we will move on.

HUCKABEE: As Abraham Lincoln said, "If it weren't for the honorof it, I'd just as soon pass," when he was run out of town on a rail.But let me join in on this.

(LAUGHTER)

The fact is, Americans are upset about this issue because theyfeel like we've violated the rule of law. Every one of us I thinkagree that you have to secure the border and until that's done,nothing makes sense.

That ought to be done. It ought to be done with Americanworkers, with American products, and it ought to be done immediately.Eighteen months ought to be the outside length of time.

If the Empire State Building can be built in 14 months, if someof the great works of this country can be built in a record period oftime, I'm convinced we can secure our borders.

And I agree with Senator Thompson, it's an issue of nationalsecurity, more than it is anything else. But it's a matter of sealingthe borders of our nation in a responsible way.

HUCKABEE: I think we ought to have a period of time in whichpeople then return to their home country and get in the back of theline.

Now, the reason I've come to that conclusion is for a variety offocus, but here's part of it: When people live in the United States,they ought to have their head up. They ought to not live in fear.Every time they see a police car, they shouldn't run and hide. Nobodyought to live like that in this country.

And the only way we're going to fix that is that people do itright. And in order to do it right, they're going to have to go backand get in the back of the line.

It's not an inhumane way; I think it's the only way that makessense.

And I want to make final point that I think ought to happen:When we say, "Well, we can't round these people up and take themhome," we don't have to, Charlie.

You give them the option: If you don't do it the right way andthen we catch you, you would be subject to deportation. But if you doit the right way, then you're going to be able to live with your headup and live free in this country, properly. And it won't be that wehave this huge problem and the resentment that goes with it.

HUCKABEE: And the final reason that's important -- I know youwant me to finish, and I'm doing it.

The reason that we've got to do that is that when people say wecan't get a -- we don't have to, for this simple principle: Thegovernment didn't escort them over the border in the first place, sothe government doesn't have to take them back. They got here on theirown. And people can go back and start the process legally, for theirbenefit and for everyone else's benefit.

GIBSON: Congressman Paul?

PAUL: I think there is two points I'd like to make.

One, I get a little bit worried when we talk about the tamper-proof I.D. for illegals or immigrants, because how do you do that?Anybody that is an immigrant or looks like an immigrant would have tohave an I.D. And then, you can't discriminate, so everybody's goingto have the I.D.

I think it's opening the door for the national I.D., and weshould be very, careful about that.

But one thing that we haven't talked about here is about theeconomics of illegal immigration. You can't solve this problem aslong as you have the runaway welfare state and excessive spending andthe wiping out of the middle class through inflation, because that'swhat directs the hostility, is people are hurting.

And then, when we have all these mandates on the hospitals and onour schools. And, no wonder. The incentives are there. There's anincentive for a lot of our people not to work, because they can getwelfare. And then there's a lot of incentive because they knowthey're going to get amnesty. We gave it to the illegals in the '80s.

And then, we put mandates on the states to compel them to havemedical care. And you say, well, that's compassionate. But whathappens if the hospital closes and then the people here in thiscountry don't get medical care?

So you can't divorce it from the economics. You've got to getrid of the incentives. No amnesty. And no forced benefits. Because,obviously, they'll bring their families.

And it just won't work if you try to see this in a vacuum. Andyou have to deal with it as a whole, as an economic issue as well.

ROMNEY: Charlie, can we just underscore, we're talking aboutillegal immigration?

GIBSON: Yes.

ROMNEY: And I think every person on this stage wants thecommunity to understand that legal immigration, we value. It's greatfor the country. We welcome legal immigration, every single one ofus. No difference on that.

We get twisted on this outside.

GIBSON: So noted. So noted. So noted.

ROMNEY: We are very much in favor of legal immigration. It's agreat source of vitality for our country.

SPRADLING: Governor Romney, I'm going to stay with you. InCharlie's health care dialogue in the first half, you mentionedHillary-care. This group has aimed a lot of partisan firepower atHillary Clinton. But I'd like, if you don't mind, to adjust theoutcome for a minute and walk down this road with me.

Let's say that Barack Obama is the nominee. He won the Iowacaucus. We have a WMUR poll out just tonight that shows it's tiedhere in New Hampshire, 33-33. And I'd like to know from you why,against you as the nominee down the line, why not vote for BarackObama, and not just because he's a Democrat. You're not allowed tosay that.

(LAUGHTER)

I'd like to hear some specifics on why not him.

ROMNEY: Well, we have very different views on a whole series ofissues.

ROMNEY: And I could take you through one by one.

One would be health care, for instance. He wants the governmentto take over health care, spend hundreds of billions of dollars of newmoney for health insurance for everyone. That'll be -- that'll breakthe bank.

If you think -- as the comedian said, P.J. O'Rourke, if you thinkhealth care is expensive now, just wait until it's free. All right.So that's not the right direction.

So we can talk about issues. But the biggest difference I think-- and it's going to be true for me and others who talk about it -- isthat this is a time when America wants change. Washington is broken.That was the message coming out of Iowa. I've heard it across thecountry. Washington is broken, not just the White House, not justCongress. Washington can't get the job done on immigration, onlowering taxes, on fixing schools, on getting health care, onovercoming radical jihad. They want change.

Barack Obama looked at several senators steeped in long historyin the Senate and completely blew them away in the Iowa caucus.

ROMNEY: It's a message of change.

And when we sit down and talk about change -- Barack Obama andmyself at that final debate, as you are positing -- I can say, "Notonly can I talk change with you, I've lived it. In the private sectorfor 25 years, I brought change to company after company. In theOlympics, it was in trouble. I brought change. In Massachusetts, Ibrought change. I have done it. I have changed things, and thatexperience is what America is looking for."

You look at that debate with Barack Obama. I'm looking forwardto head-to-head.

GIBSON: I'm going to keep us on time. Go ahead.

SPRADLING: Senator Thompson, I'd like to get your take on that:you vs. Senator Barack Obama. Why not him?

THOMPSON: Well, Senator Obama has adopted the position of everyliberal interest group in this country as best I can tell; all themajor ones, the NEA and everyone who's stepped forth with a positionpaper on these issues. His positions are very liberal positions.

THOMPSON: His first alternative to all problems, as best I cansee, is not only the government, but the federal government.

He's talking in generalities right now. As the time goes on, theprocess goes on, I think he'll have to be more definitive. But it'sclear from what he's said so far that he's taking that position.

And as far as change is concerned, the change we need is to go toconstitutional principles, the first principles this country wasfounded upon, respect for the rule of law, market economies, freepeople doing free things, and a country that doesn't tax and spendit's people to death, that's doesn't regulate the life blood out ofthem, doesn't spend money that it doesn't have.

And that's not the direction they want to go in. They want totake us down the road of the welfare state, essentially, and a roadthat I think would lead us to a weaker position in terms of nationalsecurity.

SPRADLING: We'll move off-topic in a moment, but, Senator, youserved with Mr. Obama.

MCCAIN: I just wanted to say to Governor Romney, we disagree ona lot of issues, but I agree you are the candidate of change.

(LAUGHTER)

But the difference I would have with Senator Obama has got to dowith national security.

I know Senator Obama and I've worked with him many times and Irespect him, as I respect Senator Clinton.

Senator Obama does not have the national security experience andbackground to lead this nation.

We are facing the transcendent challenge of the 21st century.And that is radical Islamic extremism.

In his recent statements on various foreign -- national securityissues, I have strongly disagreed.

But I am -- can make it perfectly clear that it requires a lot ofknowledge and a lot of experience and a lot of background to have thejudgment to address the challenges that our nation faces in the 21stcentury.

ROMNEY: May I make a comment?

One -- one, it's -- the continued personal barbs are interestingbut unnecessary.

ROMNEY: But number three -- number two, Hillary Clinton and BillRichardson and Senator Dodd and Senator Biden all made that sameargument in Iowa. And Barack Obama blew them away.

And if you think making that argument as a Republican, that youhave more experience and you've been around longer in the Senate, thatthat's somehow going to -- and that you know the cloakroom, the Senatecloakroom, better than he does, that's not going to work.

THOMPSON: It was an Iowa Democratic primary (inaudible).

ROMNEY: You're going to have to have -- you're going to have tohave a person...

(LAUGHTER)

MCCAIN: This is an Iowa Democrat primary we're talking about.

ROMNEY: America wants change.

THOMPSON: A lot of independents.

GIBSON: Mr. Mayor?

GIULIANI: I think the problem Barack Obama would have is, firstof all, he's never run a city, never run a state, never run abusiness. I don't think at a time when America's at war, with themajor problems that we face, we're going to want someone to get on-the-job experience as the chief executive, never having had that kindof experience.

I do think he's embraced change, but change is a concept. Is itchange for good or change for bad?

GIULIANI: Changing, and having higher taxes, in my view, wouldbe very bad for our economy. Changing, and moving toward socializedmedicine would be very bad for our health care system.

Changing, by a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq, withoutconsidering the consequences -- he voted for giving the enemy atimetable of our retreat in Iraq. Unheard of in a time of war.

So I would say that virtually the same issues that exist betweenme and, let's say, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, theyare really issues between Republicans and Democrats.

And in the case of Senator Obama, he really doesn't have theexperience, either from the national security point of view or evenfrom just the executive point of view.

GIBSON: Governor Huckabee?

HUCKABEE: Well, I think there would be substantial differenceson the Second Amendment, on the sanctity of life, on the role ofgovernment, on the idea of local versus federal government. I'm stilla 10th Amendment guy and believe that most of these decisions ought tobe left to the states.

HUCKABEE: I think there will also be fundamental differences ontaxes, whether they ought to go up or down. I think there would bedifferences on national defense. I think we ought to have thestrongest possible military that nobody else on Earth wants to evereven think about engaging in battle.

There would be a number of issues that would be fundamentallydifferent. Probably on same-sex marriage, there would be a differenceof opinion between Senator Obama and me.

I mean, I could go through a whole litany of things that would bedramatically different. I think, in fact, it would be fair to saythat any one of us would have a very different litany of issues.

But in fairness, since I still have just a little bit of yellowlight left, I think we also ought to recognize that what Senator Obamahas done is to touch at the core of something Americans want.

They are so tired of everything being horizontal -- left, right,liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican. They're looking forvertical leadership that leads up, not down.

HUCKABEE: He has excited a lot of voters in this country. Let'spay respect for that. He is a likable person who has excited peopleabout wanting to vote who have not voted in the past.

And we'd better be careful as a party, because if we don't givepeople something to be for, and only something to be against, we'regoing to lose that next election, and there are some fundamentalissues that we lose with it.

GIBSON: Congressman Paul?

PAUL: You know, it's interesting that you asked this question,because we have a lot of similarities, matter of fact, Barack Obamaand myself, because our campaign is made up of young people. Andfrequently we will have young people joining us that came from BarackObama's campaign and we're very pleased.

But Barack spoke out against the war before it started, and herespects civil liberties, and I respect him for that.

But the question is, is why, why would it be? I assume it'sbecause of the similarity in the age of us two candidates that youngpeople are attracted to us.

(LAUGHTER)

PAUL: But it is. It's the youthfulness of the ideas that bringthe young people to us.

But there is a difference between what Barack Obama is talkingabout, because he does give hope to young people, and that whathappens in our campaign.

But I talk a lot more about different kind of economic policies.I talk about personal liberty and the right to people's personal lifeand getting -- stopping these wars and coming home and having asensible monetary policy. And young people like this.

But Barack Obama is not going to talk about the goal of gettingrid of the income tax and dealing with monetary policy. I mean, he istoo much into the welfare state issue, not quite understanding howfree market economics is the truly compassionate system.

If we care about the poor and want to help the poor, you have tohave free markets. You can't have a welfare state in order to try totake care of people.

GIBSON: Let me move on.

People in this state, and everywhere, are worried about gasprices.

GIBSON: When 2007 began, oil was $61 a barrel. It was $100 lastweek. We haven't even begun to see the demand that India and China isgoing to put on the world's oil markets.

Don't you have to, in the end, level with people that gas pricesare at this level to stay and, if anything, they're going to gohigher?

And isn't not to do so intellectual dishonesty?

Anybody?

PAUL: I'll be glad to answer that question, because it'ssomething I talk about all the time and it's a very importantquestion.

The Wall Street Journal yesterday had a very good chart thatexplains this. If you look at the price of oil in the last 10 years,if you look at it in terms of dollars, it went up 350 percent.

If you look at it in euros, it went up about 200 percent.

If you look at it in the price of gold, it stayed flat.

It's the inflation, it's the printing of money, it's thedestruction of the value of the dollar. Added on to this, the notionthat we go to protect our oil.

PAUL: Oil was $27 when we went over there to get the oil andprotect the oil and take the oil from Iraq. There's less -- there'sless than about half the production now in Iraq right now. And we'rethreatening Iran. And that pushes prices up. It pushes up theconcept of supply and demand.

But you can't deal with the price of oil without dealing with thesupply and demand of dollars. When you devalue the dollar -- and thedollar is going down every day. And the further the dollar goes down,the higher the prices of oil are going up. We have to understandthat.

GIBSON: Senator?

MCCAIN: At that price of oil, we're going to send $400 billion ayear overseas to oil-producing countries. Some of that money will endup in the hands of terrorist organizations. It will certainly end upin the hands of dictators who do not have our interests or our values,and sometimes want to harm America.

We have to reduce the dependence on foreign oil, and we have toeliminate -- we have to address the issue of greenhouse gas emissions.

MCCAIN: I think it's a nexus of two critical issues facing thiscountry: alternate energy -- nuclear power, wind, solar, tide,hybrids. We have to unleash the technology of America -- and we mustreduce and eventually eliminate this dependency on foreign oil,because it has become a national-security issue, and we have to reducegreenhouse gas emissions, because I believe there's enough evidencethat we are going to damage this planet beyond repair unless we beginto address that issue.

SPRADLING: Senator Thompson, Americans are also watching theprofits of companies here in America that are making a lot of money asthese prices per barrel are skyrocketing. They're bothered by it.People in New Hampshire are bothered by this. Aren't you?

THOMPSON: Bothered by the high profits, you say?

SPRADLING: By the profits, yes.

THOMPSON: Yeah.

SPRADLING: Should something not be done?

THOMPSON: Well, I take note of those profits, and I take note ofthe losses when they've had them.

SPRADLING: But you wouldn't step in to do anything to changethe...

THOMPSON: Such as what?

SPRADLING: Excess profits tax?

THOMPSON: Windfall profits tax? No. No.

You know, the oil price basically is a function or a result ofsupply and demand.

THOMPSON: Now, we can throw rocks at each other, and we candemagogue the issue and all that. And, of course, there's plenty ofit.

But getting back to your original question, Charlie, I mean,nobody knows what the price of oil is going to be in the future. ButI think you make a good case that it's going to be -- it's going to bevery high. Because it's not just us. The Chinese are demanding moreoil, going around the world and making all kinds of deals withdictators and causing all kinds of other problems because of it.India. There are a lot of growing economies out there.

And that's the world we live in for the immediate future. We'renot going to be energy independent in a few years.

Now, we have to be more diversified. We're getting too much oilfrom trouble spots in the world. Everybody knows about the MiddleEast. Everybody knows about Chavez and Venezuela. And we're just toodependent on the wrong kinds of people.

THOMPSON: And we need to do all the things that John mentioned-- as I recall, the things he mentioned -- plus cleaner coaltechnology, plus using the oil reserves that we have here in thiscountry and nuclear -- more nuclear.

But, you know, we are not -- you know, we're not a nation thatregulates the profits or the losses of our economy. We want peoplerefining that oil and we want people -- and there hasn't been arefinery built here in a long time in this country.

And we want the oil to flow. We need for it to flow right nowwhile we work our way into a more diversified situation.

GIBSON: Any of you, by the...

GIULIANI: Charlie, we really have to take the idea of energyindependence and turn it into a program for energy independence.We've been talking about it since Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter -- neverdone it. And it has to be done on the scale of putting a man on themoon.

All of the things that they've all talked about, we've talkedabout it a long time; we just haven't done it.

GIULIANI: We've got to expand nuclear. We've got to do cleancoal. We've got to expand the use of hybrid vehicles, wind, solar,hydroelectric, liquid natural gas, natural gas, domestic oil, morerefineries.

Senator Thompson is absolutely right: We haven't built arefinery, I think, if 30 years. We haven't licensed a nuclear powerplant in 30 years.

France is 80 percent nuclear. We're 20 percent nuclear. Chinais building 40 nuclear power plants. We're having trouble getting onelicensed for the last 30 years.

If we don't make this a major program, led by the president ofthe United States, the way Eisenhower started the program to put a manon the moon and then Kennedy followed and then Johnson followed andNixon got it done -- two Republicans, two Democrats -- it should be anAmerican achievement.

GIBSON: Nuclear is a very interesting issue here in the state ofNew Hampshire.

Governor Huckabee?

HUCKABEE: Well, I think it is possible to get energyindependent, and do it within a decade. We're the same country thatbuilt an atomic...

GIBSON: In 10 years?

HUCKABEE: I believe we can -- if we want to; if we untax thepossibilities of the innovations in technologies; if we also look atthe fact that -- put an incentive out there that's just trulysomething dramatic: a billion-dollar bonus for the first person whocan produce a car that can get 100 miles per gallon.

HUCKABEE: In addition to that, look at the alternative forms ofenergy that we can use. And everybody talked about...

(CROSSTALK)

THOMPSON: There'd be no windfall profit tax on that.

HUCKABEE: There wouldn't be, no.

THOMPSON: I agree.

HUCKABEE: And I don't believe there should, Fred, because Ithink we ought to un-tax innovation, un-tax income.

Anything -- any time you penalize productivity, it'scounterintuitive to an economy. And one of the reasons that we'redependent is because we have allowed the oil companies to dictate notjust prices, but policy.

And it's time to say that we're not going to allow dictators,whether it's the Middle East or from Venezuela, to continue to inessence enslave the American people, which is exactly what we've done.

Senator McCain is right. We have an issue now where we're payingfor both sides of the war on terror. We pay for it with our taxdollars to fund the military, but every time we swipe our credit cardin the gas pump, we might as well be sending a check over to themadrassas that are training the terrorists that eventually are goingto come back to us. And that's why it's got to be an urgent matter ofutmost priority.

GIBSON: We are just about out of time, but, Governor Romney,you're going to have the final word.

ROMNEY: We're going to have to deal with this in an honest waywith the American people, and that is this is not something that'sgoing to get solved in 10 years. We can't become energy independentin 10 years, but we can get ourselves on a track to do that, with allthe ways that Senator McCain and Mayor Giuliani and Fred Thompson havedescribed. We can get there.

ROMNEY: It's going to require a far more substantial investmentby our nation in energy technology. Right now, we spend about $4billion a year on new sources of energy and energy efficiency. We'regoing to have to increase that dramatically.

And American corporations, last year they spent more moneydefending tort lawsuits than they spent on research and development.We're upside-down. The future of a great nation like ours depends onleading the world in technology and innovation, in energy inparticular.

This has to be our highest domestic economic priority, getourselves on a track to become energy secure and energy dependent --independent. We can do that. It's within our grasp. But it's goingto take reality rather than just the political rhetoric we've seenover the last 25 years.

GIBSON: And with that, gentlemen, we conclude the Republicandebate, and I thank you. And I think you are due a round of applause.

(APPLAUSE)

I just want to take a moment -- and I want the audience to stayin place. We tend in these debates -- and I thank all of them forbeing here -- to focus on differences.

But I think everyone agrees that what unites us as Americans isgreater than what divides us.

And so, since tonight is unique, and since we have candidates ofboth parties here, I want to ask all of them to share the stage for amoment, just greet one another, as evidence that in one year, we willall come together to support our new president, someone who will be onthis stage.

So just for a moment, I'd like to ask Senators Clinton andEdwards, Obama, Governor Richardson to join us on stage.

(APPLAUSE)

We are going to pause. We are going to pause for a commercialbreak. We will set for the Democratic debate, which will begin injust a few moments. We hope you'll all stay with us.

We're going to take a commercial break, and when we come back,Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos will join us again.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAWYER: And I'm here with George Stephanopoulos. And justmoments ago, the Republican debate inside St. Anselm College inManchester, New Hampshire, came to a close.

And that signature sight on stage there, George, the Democratsand Republicans not just rubbing elbows. Some embraces here?

STEPHANOPOULOS: And half embraces. Barack Obama striding rightout in the middle of the stage, confident and first. You know, alittle bit of the tension from these greetings was, who's going tokiss Hillary?

It looked like Mike Huckabee tried for it at one moment. I don'tknow if we see it there. I think that John McCain and HillaryClinton, old friends, might have hugged.

SAWYER: It was fairly brief. And then they just passed rightacross and exited the other side of the stage.

And we'll tell you a little bit about what's happening right now.The audience is actually moving out, and the audience that is inclinedto vote Democratic is coming in. The candidates, the Democraticcandidates are now getting their mikes checked and going through thatentire process.

But George, take a look back now at the Republican debate. Whatwere your key thoughts?

STEPHANOPOULOS: I think the predicate was set early on that MittRomney was going to be the center of this debate and on the defensive.And here's one of the moments that mattered very early on. MittRomney was talking about his position on the war, and Mike Huckabeeinterjected.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: Don't try and characterize my position. Of course, thiswar has...

HUCKABEE: Which one?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Clean shot. A very clean shot by Mike Huckabee. And Diane, I counted up. These guys on the stage do not likeMitt Romney. He was attacked by Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, JohnMcCain, Mike Huckabee. He was the center of the debate even thoughhe's not the leader anymore.

SAWYER: But in the politics of it all, can being the center ofthe debate in itself be a kind of advantage? And he had a chance toaddress things such as what he did on health care in Massachusetts.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I think that's going to be the question forviewers coming out of this, but he was on the defensive all nightlong. I think it was a tough night for him.

John McCain stayed out of a lot of the debate, but he was put onthe defensive on the issue that's been his Achilles heel, immigration,and whether or not his plan was amnesty. He and Mitt Romney weregoing at it on that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCAIN: ... not amnesty. And for you to describe it as you doin the attack ads, my friend, you can spend your whole -- your wholefortune one these attack ads, but it still won't be true.

GIULIANI: May I make a...

ROMNEY: No, no, no, no. I get a chance to respond to this. I'msorry. I'm sorry.

(CROSSTALK)

ROMNEY: I don't describe your plan as amnesty in my ad. I don'tcall it amnesty. What I say is -- and you just described what mostpeople would say is a form of amnesty.

(CROSSTALK)

MCCAIN: There is no special right associated with my plan. Isaid they should not be in any way rewarded for illegal behavior.

ROMNEY: Are they sent home? Are they sent home?

MCCAIN: They have to get in line behind everybody...

ROMNEY: Are they sent home?

MCCAIN: Some of them are. Some of them are not.

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Every second spent talking about immigration forJohn McCain is a bad second. This is the issue that made his campaigncollapse last year, and he doesn't want to be talking about it.

I do think, Diane, that Fred Thompson had a terrific night. Imean, this is the Fred Thompson we used to see as an actor ontelevision. He was confident. He was funny. He was well informed.The question is, is it too late to matter?

SAWYER: We were talking earlier about the fact that he's notreally campaigning in New Hampshire, so he got to spend a couple ofdays maybe catching his breath...

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's exactly right.

SAWYER: ... when the others didn't.

OK, let's go right now, because in a few minutes George willhandicap the Democratic debate about to begin. But we want to go toour political pros in the spin room, as we said, the room whereeveryone comes afterwards to try to change the headline in themorning.

And let's begin with senior political correspondent Jake Tapper.He's covering the Huckabee campaign.

Jake?

JAKE TAPPER, ABC NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Diane.

Well, the Huckabee campaign is pretty pleased with the fact thatthey feel their candidate had the best communication skills of theevening, and here's one important point. He was the one who embracedObama's message of change; differentiated from him on the issues, butembracing the message of change. And also he was one that talkedabout uniting America, which many Republicans and Democrats feel is animportant message for the general election.

SAWYER: OK, let's turn to John Berman.

What about, John Berman, what are you hearing from the Romneycampaign?

JOHN BERMAN, ABC NEWS: Well, they saw the same attacks that youboth saw, and they say if they're ignoring you, they're not worriedabout you. They say the attacks by Mike Huckabee and John McCain onMitt Romney seemed rehearsed.

Remember, this is their spin, and what they're hoping everyonesays tomorrow morning is that Mitt Romney engaged in discussions abouthealth care and immigration and tried to stay above the fray, butthere was a lot of fray to go around, Diane.

SAWYER: OK, and weekend anchor Kate Snow is next to you there,John.

The Giuliani campaign -- what's the word?

KATE SNOW, ABC ANCHOR: Well, one thing they're saying is theythink Romney had a really bad night.

They also think that Giuliani came out strong. They think thathe's strong on the issues. He's prepared to tackle big issues. Youheard him mention 9/11 several times over. His strength is terrorism,anti-terrorism. He will talk about that as much as he possibly can.

They also think that the more that Romney and McCain go aftereach other and go negative, the better off Rudy Giuliani is. Hisstrategy is really not one that centers on New Hampshire. He's goingfor the high-delegate-count states, the states like Florida andCalifornia, New York, that vote much later in this process.

So he thinks, if he can, sort of, stay out of the fray right now,he's got a good shot at all those states.

SAWYER: OK. We want to turn to Ron Clayburn (ph).

Ron, I want to remind everybody the latest WMUR poll has McCain,the candidate you're going to talk about, in front, with 33 percent,and Romney in second with 27 percent.

So what are the McCain forces saying?

CLAYBURN (?): Well, a McCain adviser is telling me that thedebate showed that John McCain was the adult in the room. He got totalk about health care. He talked about immigration.

Now, he's been attacked by Mitt Romney in a series of ads, overhis immigration plans. Their version is that he was able to clean upthe controversy over immigration and, in the process, he got in thatzinger that you just showed a little while ago, where he said, "Youcan spend your entire fortune, your whole fortune on attack ads, andit still won't be true."

And John McCain also got in another couple of zingers where healluded to Mitt Romney changing his positions.

CLAIBORNE: They're saying it was a good night for John McCain.

SAWYER: All right, each of the campaigns taking their best shotsthere.

Thanks to you all.

Stand by for the Democrats.

But, of course, the evening isn't just about what the candidatesand their forces say, it's also about what you feel at this pivotalmoment is history.

And for some instant reaction from those watching and taking parton Facebook, we go back again to Bianna Golodryga.

What are you hearing, Bianna?

GOLODRYGA: We're hearing a lot, Diane. Actually, thousands ofpeople are debating the debate. And we've picked a few key issuesright now we want to talk to you about.

Charlie brought up foreign policy, and so we asked people, arethey more informed about the candidates' foreign policy? Sixty-sevenpercent say yes; 33 percent say no.

Another interesting issue: Is tonight's debate giving you abetter sense of who you will vote for? Some people must be saying theright and the wrong answers, because 75 percent of the people answeredyes; 25 percent answered no.

And, lastly, this could be the most interesting out of what wefound thus far: Which issue do you wish the Republican candidatesspent more time on?

Overwhelmingly, the economy came up as first. Forty-five percentsaid the economy; 13 percent said health care; 10 percent said the warin Iraq.

Now, the economy is a big issue right now. Of course, we got aweaker than expected jobs report, the worst unemployment level in twoyears.

Recession was not even brought up during this debate. We'll haveto see what the Democrats say as far as the boards lighting up totheir response on the economy. Also, really quick, we want to give you some real-time soundbites from our sound board right now. People are typing in theirthoughts, real time. Health care is a big issue.

Cathy (ph) is a mother. She's saying, "As a mother, I'm mostconcerned about health care. My family has health care, but I'mdistressed for those who don't. We do need a change."

Another issue people brought up was McCain. McCain said he isnot taking a bigger part in the debate right now.

So, Diane, that's what we have for you.

SAWYER: So, saying that McCain didn't weigh in enough in thedebate.

I've got a question for you. Can I put it on there? BecauseI've got a spontaneous answer. (inaudible)

Biggest surprise? Anybody surprised in a big way about anythingthat happened in the debate? Love to hear the answer to that comingup.

GOLODRYGA: And we will get that.

SAWYER: All right.

And our thanks to you, Bianna.

And when we take a break, we will come back with GeorgeStephanopoulos, who's going to examine the Democrats and what's aheadfor them in the next debate, as they get ready to join forces, sitdown.

And Charlie Gibson moderates.

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