Republican Candidates Define 'Conservatism' at ABC News GOP Debate

Kasich, Trump and Rubio reflect on the meaning of the word and how it applies to them.
3:21 | 02/07/16

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Transcript for Republican Candidates Define 'Conservatism' at ABC News GOP Debate
And we welcome you back to the Republican debate from New Hampshire tonight here on ABC in order to turn now to what it means to be a conservative and I want to turn to governor case. Governor while campaigning here in New Hampshire you were already asked by ABC about groans from some conservatives after your endorsements from the New York Times in the Boston Globe. He said quote what conservatives have to know is they have to say look isn't it nice to have a conservative like me liked. And maybe they ought to think about because if I get elected president the Republican Party and the definition of conservatism. Is going to change. Public and change conservatism. Well first of all look as New York Times said he certainly not a moderate that he can bring people together to solve problems. And they're the fact of the matter is I've cut taxes more than anybody in the country. It this year I AM I have balance. Budgets of federal budget the state of Ohio budget were running a two billion dollar surplus were up 400000 jobs and in Washington. We are able to have significant job growth. Went up whenever we balanced the budget of which I was the architect but here's the beauty of its launch is balancing a budget it's about jobs. You know when I was a kid growing up in a neighborhood where dad went home at night and said I lost my job today. It just killed the family it's is it Turk it just was a devastating effect. We have to have economic growth. But once we have economic growth I believe we have to reach out the people who live in the shadows I believe we need to help them Natalie yielded drug addicted to working poor. We need to help the developmentally disabled to rise and we need to help our friends in the minority community. Develop entrepreneurship. In other words in America conservatism should mean not only that some rice with conservative principles. But everybody has a chance to work rides regardless of they are so they can live their god given. You've heard the argument from many candidates on this stage that you're not a true conservative tell the voters watching tonight why you walk. Well I think I am and to be I've used the word conservative as derivative iron of the we want to conserve our money we want to conserve are wealth we want to conserve we wanna be Smart we wanna be Smart where we go where we spend how we spend. We want to conserve our country we want to save our country and we have people that have no idea had to do that. And they're not doing it and it's a very important word and it's something I believe in very very strong. Mr. trump thank you senator have you you have said yourself that you don't think Donald Trump is running as a conservative he convince you. Well I think conservatism is about three things and Donald touched on one of them but it's about three things the first is conservatism. Is about limited government. Especially at the federal level. The federal government is a limited government limited by the constitution which delineate since powers. It it's not in the constitution does not belong to the federal government. It belongs to states local communities and the private sector it's about free enterprise which is an economic model that allows everyone to rise without calling anyone down. The reason why free enterprise is the greatest economic model in the history of the world. Is because this the only economic model where you can make poor people richer without making rich people poor. And it's about a strong national defense it's about believing unlike Barack Obama that the world as a safer and a better place when America's the strongest military and the strongest nation on this planet. That's conservatives. And.

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

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