GOP Candidates Debate Women in the Military, Veterans

The Republican presidential candidates discuss if women should be required to register for the selective service.
10:00 | 02/06/16

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Transcript for GOP Candidates Debate Women in the Military, Veterans
Move onto the military. Senator rubio all restrictions on women in combat. Have been lifted as long as they qualified positions including special operations forces like Navy SEALs. Just this week the military leaders of the army and Marine Corps said that they believed young women. Just as young men are required to do should sign up for selective service in case the draft is reinstated. Many of you have young daughters senator rubio should young women be required to sign up for selective service in case of the national of. With people of either gender serving in combat so long as the minimum requirements necessary to do the job not compromise. But I support that and obviously if not now that that is the case I do believe that selective service should be opened up for both men and women in case a draft as ever instituted. I think the more fundamental challenge we're now facing is what's happening to the US military. I said this many times are ready and I think it's important start paying attention to this. Our air force is about to be the smallest it's been an a hundred years of Sar in our history. Our army is a set to be small and it's been since the Second World War and our navy is about to be the smallest and it's been in a hundred years. I think we need to begin to refocus on rebuilding our military because every time we have cut our military in the history of this country we have had to come back later and rebuild that and it costs more and it's a lot more chaotic and dangerous when I'm president we are rebuilding the US military. Again do you believe young women should sign up for selective service be required I do I do and I think that we should not impose any kind of club political agenda on the military there should be. If women can can. Re meet the requirements the minimum requirements for combat service they ought to have the right to do it for sure. Don't be focused on the morale as well we ought to make sure that we have readiness much higher than we do today we need to eliminate the sequester which is devastating our military. We can't be. Focusing on the political side of this we need to realize that our military forces how we. Project our word in the world when we're weak militarily it doesn't matter what we say we can talk about red lines and ice is being the JV team in reset buttons and all this if we don't have a strong military the no one fears us and they take actions that are against our national interest. Kelly what you'd say to American people out there. We're sitting at home who have daughters who might worry about those answers and might worry that the draft as a reinstitute it well. The draft stock can be reinstitute the wife if if women are are accessing away with. No I didn't say that you see you you have to question about the draft you asked about registering. And if women are gonna ready supported a draft. It but if you don't have a draft I'm not suggesting we have a draft. What I'm suggesting is that we ought to have readiness being the first priority of our military and secondly that we make sure that the morale aside in right now neither one of those are acceptable because we've been gutting the military budget. We also need to reform our procurement process we need to make sure that they're more. Men and women in uniform than people than civilians and our Defense Department there's a lot of things that we needed to reform. To bring our defense capabilities into the 21 century and I'm the guy they could do that that's why I have the support. Of generals of admirals of twelve. Medal of honor recipients and many. No that I would be a steady commander in chief and rebuild arm. The and I had a group where this is I am a father to daughters one here tonight on what my wife drive taller corporate from beginning. That their sense of self worth their sense of value their sense of what they want to with their life comes not from the outside but comes from within. And for young woman in this country wants to go and fight to defend their country should be permitted to do so. Department also needs to be a part of a greater effort in this country and so there's no reason why one young women should be discriminated against from registering for the selective service. The fact is we need to be a party and a people. Sure there are women in this country understand. Anything they can dream anything that they want to aspire to they can do. That's when rates are orders and that's what we should sparks whose president for all the women in our country thank you. The draft so it's very quickly Eric correctly. The note 14%. Decrease in the number of people applying for voluntary military service. And I think part of it is because of the way that we treat our veterans. You know we wouldn't be a free country if it wasn't for them and we have 22 veterans heard day. Committing suicide so I think what we should do to have an external support system for people once they volunteered. And that should follow them throughout their career. They should follow them through three years or five years afterwards a year before they get out should be working on integrating them back into society. So that they quit on Friday and then start your new job they should have health empowerment accounts. That are subsidized so they can go to any medical facility and be taken care they go to. Want to but if we start taking care of our veterans the right way we won't have to ever worry about the draft again. Carson of our veterans in for another question about our veterans we go back to Josh with Calvin from WMU large Josh. Thank you Martha. None of you on stage united ever worn a uniform as a member of the armed surface. As the reality of it but as commander in chief you'll also be charged with the care of 23 million active duty service members and veterans in this country. Some of suggested privatizing the VA is way to enhance care and increase quality of the care. And access that others say that to veterans should carry. I. Are careful. I totally agree that we need to give veterans more choices the veterans park to be able to go to a private provider. Will enhance the quality of the service inside the Department of Veterans Affairs. We need per civil service reform. Only three people were fired after a waiting list were dropped were veterans did get care and people died. It is outrageous and Hillary Clinton says that that's acceptable because she is. Captive of the public service unions prayer civil service reform would allow the next president to fire people that are sure did you showing sheer incompetence at a town hall meeting today. Someone came told the story of their father who's looked like he was 85. He had he got a bill eight years later from an operation he had eight years it took. They couldn't resolve the dispute and then he was told. That he died literally the veterans administration sent a death certificates of this guy. And it took some nine months to clarify the guy I'd medic he's voting for being and he is. Okay. This is outrageous. It is completely outrageous so giving veterans more choices print centers of excellence focusing on the true problems that exist. Doctor Carson is completely right we need to start focusing on this earlier before they become veterans so that there's a customized plan so people don't fall through the cracks we can do this but it's gonna require someone who has proven leadership skills to make it happen Johnson got out. Gosh I mean clearly when a veteran comes home they should get health care anywhere they want ago. In our state which is what we should do in the country. You know if they drive a truck. From Kabul to Kandahar in Afghanistan. We say you can drop drive a truck from Columbus to Cleveland and we don't have to go get a license we're gonna hand you one. It you got expertise in the military we're gonna give you college creditor community. College credit for this things that you did for our country. And in addition to that latte one of the biggest things I think has to be done and I would do it is president. The Pentagon has got to work with the returning soldier sailor. And along with the family and we get there the most valuable employees in the country I called them Goldman employees. Everybody wants a higher a veteran but there is a disconnect between the job openings and the veteran when the veteran comes back to veteran is a leader. The veteran is strong the veteran is drug free there should be no unemployment among veterans in at the Pentagon will work with the veterans services agencies all across this country Josh. We can get people jobs and we can get them jobs quickly. Or health care get on their college education. Let's lift them they're the greatest people defending the United States of America and we need to take care of them and we will we are well. My brother is a veteran we're very proud of them and our fan when he served as a green beret in the seventh special forces from 1968 through 1971. In his part of his training he jumped out of an airplane and he lost his two front teeth and for years he's had to go to get these dental claims. And every time he goes to get one of these data plans though the VA asked him how do we know you lost your teeth in the arm and he says what's the only time I ever jumped out of a plane. But he's had to fight through this process I've watched that first hand that's why I'm proud that I worked in a bipartisan way we passed the VA accountability bill that for the first time. Allows us to fire allows the VA secretary to fire someone who's not doing a good job was a senior executive. And the governor's right that only fired at three people up to now more people will be fired about president but the portability part of it is incredibly important. Veterans should be able to take their VA benefits to any hospital or any doctor they want to go to. When I am president of the United States veterans will be able to take their benefits to any hospital or any doctor that they choose.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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