THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to Saint Anselm College in Manchester , New Hampshire , and the first Republican presidential debate in this first-in-the-nation primary state. Behind me on this stage, the Republican candidates for president appearing together on the same stage for the first time tonight.
And tonight’s debate will be different than any presidential debate you’ve ever seen. Over the course of the next two hours, in addition to questions from myself and journalists from our partners, WMUR and the New Hampshire Union Leader, the candidates will take questions directly from voters right here in Manchester , as well as from voters at town meetings taking place tonight all across New Hampshire .
So let’s get right to it and meet the candidates. Now, we’ve asked for no opening statements. However, we will continue a tradition from our past New Hampshire debates, to ask each candidate in one short sentence
— hopefully, five, maybe six or seven seconds — to introduce themselves to the voters of New Hampshire and the United States of America .
Let me begin with an example. I’m John King with CNN. I am honored to be your moderator tonight, and I am thrilled to be back in Red Sox nation.
Now, let’s start at the edge of the stage with Senator Rick Santorum.
FORMER SEN. RICK SANTORUM (R), PENNSYLVANIA : Hello, New Hampshire . I’m Rick Santorum. I served 12 years representing Pennsylvania in the United States Senate, but I also have substantial executive experience making the tough decisions and balancing budgets and cutting spending.
Karen and I are the parents of seven children.
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA : Hi, my name is Michelle Bachmann. I’m a former federal tax litigation attorney. I’m a businesswoman. We started our own successful company. I’m also a member of the United States Congress. I’m a wife of 33 years. I’ve had five children, and we are the proud foster parents of 23 great children. And it’s a thrill to be here tonight in the “Live Free or Die” state. Thank you.
KING: Mr. Speaker?
FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER NEWT GINGRICH: I’m Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the House. And when 14 million Americans are out of work, we need a new president to end the Obama depression.
FORMER GOV. MITT ROMNEY (R), MASSACHUSETTS : I’m Mitt Romney, and it’s an honor to be back at Saint Anselm. Hopefully I’ll get it right this year. And appreciate the chance to be with you and to welcome my wife.
And I have five sons, as you know, five daughters-in law, 16 grandkids.
The most important thing in my life is to make sure their future is bright and that America is always known as the hope of the Earth. Thank you.
REP. RON PAUL (R), TEXAS : I am Congressman Ron Paul. I’ve been elected to the Congress 12 times from Texas . Before I went into the Congress, I delivered babies for a living and delivered 4,000 babies. Now I would like to be known and defend the title that I am the champion of liberty and I defend the Constitution. Thank you.
FORMER GOV. TIM PAWLENTY (R), MINNESOTA : Good evening, I’m Tim Pawlenty. I’m a husband. My wife, Mary, and I have been married for 23 years. I’m the father of two beautiful daughters, Anna and Mara. I’m a neighbor. And I’m running for president of the United States because I love America , but like you, I’m concerned about its future. I’ve got the experience and the leadership and the results to lead it to a better place.
KING: Mr. Cain?
HERMAN CAIN, GODFATHER PIZZA CEO: Hello, I’m Herman Cain. I am not a politician. I am a problem-solver with over 40 years of business and executive experience, father of two, grandfather of three, and I’m here tonight because it’s not about us. It’s about those grandkids. Happy to be here in New Hampshire .
KING: All right.
Our thanks to the candidates. You’ll get to know them better as the night goes on. Our rules are pretty straightforward. Each candidate will be given one minute to answer our leadoff questions. At my discretion, I may ask other candidates to weigh in on each topic. Now, candidates would get about 30 seconds to answer those follow-up questions. I say about 30 seconds, because we’re on the honor system tonight, no bells, no whistles. You won’t see any flashing lights up here.
If they’re running over time, I’ll try to gently remind them it’s time to move on. And we’re hoping some of the answers will be as short — maybe a sentence, maybe even just one word. We can hope, right?
We’ve also asked the candidates to answer the questions that they’re asked, rather than the question they might have wished to be asked.
That’s enough — uh-huh — that’s enough for me tonight. Let’s get straight to the people of New Hampshire . Now, our first question comes from a voter up in Plymouth . Also there is the New Hampshire Union Leader’s Tom Fahey. Tom?
JOHN FAHEY, NEW HAMPSHIRE UNION LEADER: Thank you, John.
I’m here with Mr. Marquez-Sterling. He is a retired professor from Plymouth State University , and he’s got a question about jobs.
QUESTION: Yes. Mr. Gingrich said that 14 million people are unemployed. My question is this. The Democrats say that the Republicans don’t have any plans to create jobs, and jobs — and jobs in the private sector, not in the government jobs. I’d like to know, what are those plans?
KING: Mr. Cain, let me start with you tonight. And be as specific as you can. I hope I don’t have to repeat this throughout the night. How would you — what would you do as president of the United States to create jobs?
CAIN: The thing we need to do is to get this economy boosted. This economy is stalled. It’s like a train on the tracks with no engine.
And the administration has simply been putting all of this money in the caboose.
We need an engine called the private sector. That means lower taxes, lower the capital gains tax rate to zero, suspend taxes on repatriated profits, then make them permanent. Uncertainty is killing this economy. This is the only way we’re going to get this economy moving, and that’s to put the right fuel in the engine, which is the private sector.
KING: All right, let me come down to this. And, Senator Santorum, you mentioned — you said you have executive experience, as well as your Senate experience. Governor Pawlenty laid out an economic plan. A lot of tax cuts in that plan. Some economists said he had some unrealistic expectations, and he said you could grow the economy 5 percent a year, then 5 percent a year, then 5 percent a year. Do you believe that is a possible? Or is that too optimistic to the American people, who want help but don’t want to be misled?
SANTORUM: Yeah, I think we need a president who’s optimistic, who has a pro-growth agenda. I’m not going to comment on 5 percent or 4 percent.
What we need is a — is an economy that’s unshackled.
And what’s happened in this administration is that they have passed oppressive policy and oppressive regulation after — Obamacare being first and foremost. The oppressiveness of that bill on businesses — anybody that wants to invest to get any kind of return, when you see the regulations that are going to be put on business, when you see the taxation.
Throw on top of that what this president’s done on energy. The reason we’re seeing this second dip is because of energy prices, and this president has put a stop sign again — against oil drilling, against any kind of exploration offshore or in Alaska , and that is depressing. We need to drill. We need to create energy jobs, just like we’re doing, by the way, in Pennsylvania , where we’re drilling 3,000 wells this year for gas, and gas prices are down — natural gas prices are down as a result.
KING: OK, I’m going to try to ask all of you to keep the follow-ups to 30 seconds as we — so we can get more in.
Governor Pawlenty, answer the critics — and as you do so — who say 5 percent every year is just unrealistic. And as you do so, where’s the proof — where’s the proof that just cutting taxes will create jobs? If that were true, why during the Bush years, after the big tax cut, where were the jobs?
PAWLENTY: Well, John, my plan involves a whole plan, not just cutting taxes. We’re proposing to cut taxes, reduce regulation, speed up this pace of government, and to make sure that we have a pro-growth agenda.
This president is a declinist. He views America as one of equals around the world. We’re not the same as Portugal ; we’re not the same as Argentina . And this idea that we can’t have 5 percent growth in America is hogwash. It’s a defeatist attitude. If China can have 5 percent growth and Brazil can have 5 percent growth, then the United States of America can have 5 percent growth.
And I don’t accept this notion that we’re going to be average or anemic. So my proposal has a 5 percent growth target. It cuts taxes, but it also dramatically cuts spending. We need to fix regulation. We need to have a pro-American energy policy. We need to fix health care policy. And if you do those things, as I’ve proposed, including cut spending, you’ll get this economy moving and growing the private economy by shrinking government.
KING: I don’t want to do much of this, but I’m going to have to interrupt if people go a little bit long so we can get more done.
Governor Romney, I want you to come in on that point. Is 5 percent overly optimistic? And is it fair to compare the United States ‘
economy, a fully developed economy, to the Chinese economy, which is still in many ways developing?
ROMNEY: Look, Tim has the right instincts, which is he recognizes that what this president has done has slowed the economy. He didn’t create the recession, but he made it worse and longer. And now we have more chronic long-term employment than this country has ever seen before, 20 million people out of work, stopped looking for work, or in part-time jobs that need full-time jobs. We’ve got housing prices continuing to decline, and we have foreclosures at record levels.
This president has failed. And he’s failed at a time when the American people counted on him to create jobs and get the economy growing. And instead of doing that, he delegated the stimulus to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, and then he did what he wanted to do: card-check, cap-and-trade, Obamacare, reregulation.
I spent my life in the private sector, 25 years.
KING: All right.
ROMNEY: And as I went around the world — this is an important topic — I went around the world…
KING: We’ll have a lot of time on the topic. We just — we won’t get through this…
ROMNEY: You can tell how — how to get jobs going in this country, and President Obama has done it wrong. And the ideas Tim described, those are in the right wheelhouse.
KING: Mr. Speaker, if you look at a poll in the Boston Globe just the other day, 54 percent of Republican voters in this state say they’re willing to have higher taxes on the wealthy to help bring down the deficit. Are they wrong?
GINGRICH: Well, the question is, would it, in fact, increase jobs or kill jobs? The Reagan recovery, which I participated in passing, in seven years created for this current economy the equivalent of 25 million new jobs, raised federal revenue by $800 billion a year in terms of the current economy, and clearly it worked. It’s a historic fact.
The Obama administration is an anti-jobs, anti-business, anti-American energy destructive force. And we shouldn’t talk about what we do in 2013. The Congress this year, this next week ought to repeal the Dodd-Frank bill, they ought to repeal the Sarbanes-Oxley bill, they ought to start creating jobs right now, because for those 14 million Americans, this is a depression now.
KING: The speaker just said, Congresswoman, repeal Dodd-Frank. Answer the American out there who says maybe I don’t like all of the details, but after what happened in 2007 and 2008, I don’t want Wall Street to not have somebody looking at them, watching what they’re doing.
BACHMANN: Well, I’m looking forward to answering that question, because I introduced the repeal bill to repeal Dodd-Frank, because it’s an over-the-top bill that will actually lead to more job loss, rather than job creation.
But before I fully answer that, I just want to make an announcement here for you, John, on CNN tonight. I filed today my paperwork to seek the office of the presidency of the United States today. And I’ll very soon be making my formal announcement.
So I wanted you to be the first to know.
KING: I appreciate that. Well, welcome. If you’re out there and you don’t get the distinction coming into the night, Congresswoman Bachmann was exploring. She hadn’t taken that last step. The other candidates had taken it. I’m sure they welcome you to the fray.
Let’s continue the conversation. I want to come to Congressman Paul.
You’re all here saying the president of the United States is making the economy worse. Has he done one thing — has he done one thing right when it comes to the economy in this country?
PAUL: Boy, that’s a tough question.
No, no, I can’t think of anything, but may I answer the question that you alluded to before about whether or not 5 percent is too optimistic?
No, there’s nothing wrong without — without setting a goal of 5 percent or 10 percent or 15 percent, if you have a free-market economy.
We’re trying to unwind a Keynesian bubble that’s been going on for 70 years, and you’re not going to touch this problem until you liquidate the bad debt and the mal-investment, go back to work. But you have to have sound money, and you have to recognize how we got in the trouble.
We got in the trouble because we had a financial bubble, and it’s caused by the Federal Reserve. If you don’t look at monetary policy, we will continue the trend of the last decade. We haven’t even — we haven’t developed any new jobs in the last decade. Matter of fact, we’ve had 30 million new people and no new jobs, and it’s because they don’t — the people don’t understand monetary policy and central economic planning things.
Free markets will give you 10 percent or 15 percent growth or whatever
(ph) and you will not have to turn it off because you think it’s going to cause inflation. It doesn’t work that way.
KING: All right, I’m going to jump — I’m going to jump in here. I’m going to ask one more time politely. We want to get as many voters as we can involved, so please try to shorten the follow-up answers just a bit if you can.
Let’s go back to Tom in Plymouth . He has another voter with a question.
FAHEY: Yes, thank you, John. I’m here with Sylvia Smith. She’s from Littleton . And she is a freelance journalist who’s written about the health care industry. She has a question about health care.
QUESTION: Yes. As a journalist who’s written frequently about health care and medicine for both newspapers and for corporate publications, I’m very concerned about the overreach of the massive health care legislation that was passed last year. My question is, what would each candidate do? What three steps would they take to de-fund Obamacare and repeal it as soon as possible? Thank you.
KING: Congresswoman Bachmann, let’s start with you on that.
BACHMANN: Thank you, John. Sylvia, thank you for that great question.
I was the very first member of Congress to introduce the full-scale repeal of Obamacare. And I want to make a promise to everyone watching
tonight: As president of the United States , I will not rest until I repeal Obamacare. It’s a promise. Take it to the bank, cash the check. I’ll make sure that that happens.
This is the symbol and the signature issue of President Obama during his entire tenure. And this is a job-killer, Sylvia. The CBO, the Congressional Budget Office has said that Obamacare will kill 800,000 jobs. What could the president be thinking by passing a bill like this, knowing full well it will kill 800,000 jobs?
Senior citizens get this more than any other segment of our population, because they know in Obamacare, the president of the United States took away $500 billion, a half-trillion dollars out of Medicare, shifted it to Obamacare to pay for younger people, and it’s senior citizens who have the most to lose in Obamacare.
KING: Governor Romney, just yesterday, Governor Pawlenty, who is to your left on the stage tonight, called your Massachusetts plan, which you know has become a focal point of the criticism in this campaign from your friends here, Obamneycare, Obamneycare. Is that a fair comparison?
ROMNEY: You know, let me say a couple things. First, if I’m elected president, I will repeal Obamacare, just as Michelle indicated. And also, on my first day in office, if I’m lucky enough to have that office, I will grant a waiver to all 50 states from Obamacare.
Now, there’s some similarities and there are some big differences.
Obamacare spends a trillion dollars. If it were perfect — and it’s not perfect, it’s terrible — we can’t afford more federal spending.
Secondly, it raises $500 billion in taxes. We didn’t raise taxes in Massachusetts .
Third, Obamacare takes $500 billion out of Medicare and funds Obamacare. We, of course, didn’t do that.
And, finally, ours was a state plan, a state solution, and if people don’t like it in our state, they can change it. That’s the nature of why states are the right place for this type of responsibility. And that’s why I introduced a plan to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a state-centric program.
KING: Governor, you just heard the governor rebut your characterization, Obamneycare. Why?
PAWLENTY: Well, let me first say to Sylvia, she has put her finger on one of the most important issues facing the country, which is President Obama stood before the nation in 2008 and said he promised to do health care reform focused on cost containment, along with Republicans, he’d do it on a bipartisan basis…
KING: The question — the question, Governor, was, why Obamneycare?
PAWLENTY: That’s right. Well, I’m going to get to that, John.
KING: You have 30 seconds, Governor.
PAWLENTY: Yeah, so we — this is another example of him breaking his promise, and he has to be held accountable. And in order to prosecute the case against President Obama, you have to be able to show that you’ve got a better plan and a different plan. We took a different approach in Minnesota . We didn’t use top-down government mandates and individual requirements from government. We created market alternatives and empowered consumers. I think that’s the way to fix health care in the United States of America .
KING: And you don’t want to address why you called Governor Romney’s Obamneycare?
PAWLENTY: Well, the issue that was raised in a question from a reporter was, what are the similarities between the two? And I just cited President Obama’s own words that he looked to Massachusetts as a blueprint or a guide when he designed Obamacare.
KING: But you chose — you say you were asked a question, which is fair enough, but you chose those words. And so one of my questions is, why would you chose those — choose those words maybe in the comfort of a Sunday show studio? Your rival is standing right there. If it was Obamneycare on “Fox News Sunday,” why isn’t it not Obamneycare standing here with the governor right there?
PAWLENTY: It — President Obama is — is the person who I quoted in saying he looked to Massachusetts for designing his program. He’s the one who said it’s a blueprint and that he merged the two programs. And so using the term “Obamneycare” was a reflection of the president’s comments that he designed Obamacare on the Massachusetts health care plan.
KING: All right.
Governor, you want to respond to that at all?
ROMNEY: No, just — just to say this, which is my guess is the president is going to eat those words and wish he hasn’t — hadn’t put them out there. And I can’t wait to debate him and say, Mr. President, if, in fact, you did look at what we did in Massachusetts , why didn’t you give me a call and ask what worked and what didn’t? And I would have told you, Mr. President, that what you’re doing will not work.
It’s a huge power grab by the federal government. It’s going to be massively expensive, raising taxes, cutting Medicare. It’s wrong for America . And that’s why there’s an outpouring across the nation to say no to Obamacare. And I’m delighted to be able to debate him on that.
KING: OK. Mr. Speaker…
KING: … you have a — I’ll let you — Mr. Speaker, you have at times said, you know, maybe you do have a consider a mandate. You’ve been very open to the individual mandate. It has become, it seems, at least at the moment, a litmus test in this Republican primary. Should it be?
GINGRICH: Yes, it should be. If you — if you explore the mandate, which even the Heritage Foundation at one time looked at, the fact is, when you get into an mandate, it ultimately ends up with unconstitutional powers. It allows the government to define virtually everything. And if you can do it for health care, you can do it for everything in your life, and, therefore, we should not have a mandate.
But I want to answer Sylvia at a different level. This campaign cannot be only about the presidency. We need to pick up at least 12 seats in the U.S. Senate and 30 or 40 more seats in the House, because if you are serious about repealing Obamacare, you have to be serious about building a big enough majority in the legislative branch that you could actually in the first 90 days pass the legislation.
So I just think it’s very important to understand, it’s not about what one person in America does. It’s about what the American people do.
And that requires a senatorial majority, as well as a presidency.
KING: All right. We’ll have more time to discuss the health care issue. Let’s get down to the floor.
Jennifer Vaughn from WMUR has a question from a voter.
VAUGHN: Hi, John. Thank you very much. I’d like you to meet Terry Pfaff tonight. Tell me I said that last name correctly, Terry. Granite Stater born and bred?
TERRY PFAFF, FORMER NEW HAMPSHIRE STATE SENATE CANDIDATE: Yes, ma’am.
VAUGHN: Thank you for being here. And what’s your question for the candidates tonight?
PFAFF: Well, my question is that I am a New Hampshire native and I’ve been an active Republican for years from a town committee chairman, Republican chairman, Merrimack County , vice chairman, all the way up to
2004 delegate for President Bush.
My question is, how will you convince myself? I’m not a libertarian Republican, I’m not a Tea Party Republican. I’m just a mainstream Republican. And we need both — the independents and mainstream Republicans to win in November.
How can you convince me and assure me that you’ll bring a balance and you won’t be torn to one side or the other for many factions within the party? You have to have a balanced approach to governing to solve our serious problems.
KING: Senator Santorum, let me go to you first on that one.
SANTORUM: Well, if you look at my record, I’m someone who’s actually accomplished a lot on big issues. Take for example welfare reform. I was in the United States Senate and actually at the direction of Newt Gingrich I was on the Ways and Means Committee and I drafted the Contract with America Welfare Reform Bill.
It was considered this extreme measure. Well, that extreme measure we ended up winning an election and getting those seats. And that was now the starting point. And I managed that bill in the United States Senate because I cared about the dignity of every person.
I didn’t believe that poverty was the ultimate disability. I believed that people could work and they could succeed. And we brought people together. I got 70 votes to end a federal entitlement — to end a federal entitlement which was what Paul Ryan’s proposed for Medicaid, he’s proposed for food stamps, he’s proposed for other welfare programs.
We did it. We set the template, and I led and got bipartisan support to do it.
KING: Can I ask you quickly now? That wasn’t — addressed part of the question. But are you concerned at all about the influence of the Tea Party?
SANTORUM: Not at all. I think the Tea Party is a great backstop for America . I love it when people hold up this Constitution and say we have to live by what our founders laid out for this country. It is absolutely essential that we have that backbone to the Republican Party going into this election.
KING: I know you agree, Congresswoman. So help the gentleman. Address his concerns that the Tea Party somehow — the influence of the Tea Party somehow pushes him out?
BACHMANN: Terry, what I’ve seen in the Tea Party — I’m the chairman of the Tea Party Caucus in the House of Representatives. And what I’ve seen is unlike how the media has tried to wrongly and grossly portray the Tea Party, the Tea Party is really made up of disaffected Democrats, independents, people who’ve never been political a day in their life.
People who are libertarians, Republicans. It’s a wide swath of America coming together. I think that’s why the left fears it so much. Because they’re people who simply want to take the country back. They want the country to work again.
And I think there’s no question, Terry, this election will be about economics. It will be about how will we create jobs, how will we turn the economy around, how will we have a pro-growth economy.
That’s a great story for Republicans to tell. President Obama can’t tell that story. His report card right now has a big failing grade on it, but Republicans have an awesome story to tell.
We need every one of us in a three-legged stool. We need the peace through strength of Republicans, we need the fiscal conservatives, we need the social conservatives. We need everybody to come together because we’re going to win. Just make no mistake about it.
I want to announce tonight. President Obama is a one-term president.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
BACHMANN: You’ll win.
KING: I’m being polite so far. But I want to remind everybody about the time.
Mr. Cain, as somebody who has no elective no experience.
KING: To this gentleman’s question. If you were to become the nominee of this party.
KING: And you associate yourself with the Tea Party, politics is about math. It’s about coalition building. And a candidate who loses a mainstream Republican as he describes himself might not win this state in November. Might not win a big state like Senator Santorum’s Pennsylvania in November.
Address the concern of the gentleman who seems to think that at least some people in the Tea Party maybe in their dissatisfaction, their anger of the president are too negative, too critical.
CAIN: They’re not too negative and they’re not too critical. As a businessman, one of the first things that you do, which has allowed me to be successful throughout my career is make sure you’re working on the right problem.
If we make sure we’re working on the right problem, I will surround myself with the right people and then we will put together the right plans that I’m going to take it to the people. I will be a president to do what’s right, not what’s politically right.
And so if the other party disagrees but the American people embrace those common sense solutions, that’s how we get things done. So those experiences in the business world, managing large organizations with a very diverse constituency are the same skills that can help get the people involved and not exclude the people like this administration has done.
KING: I want to remind the candidates, though, this as I remind people in the audience. CNN is hosting a Tea Party debate September 12th. So watch how this plays out. The Tea Party was a vocal in 2010. We’ll see how much the influence is in 2012.
Let’s continue our conversation here with the voters of New Hampshire .
Jean Mackin of WMUR is in Hancock with a voter and a question — Jean.
JEAN MACKIN, WMUR: Thanks very much, John. And welcome to the Hancock Inn. I’m standing here with Mike Patinsky. He is a small business owner from Harris Field, New Hampshire.
And Mike, what question do you have tonight?
MIKE PATINSKY, DIRECTOR OF TRANSPORTATION, FRANKLIN PIERCE COLLEGE:
Well, for the candidates I’d like to know how they plan on returning manufacturing jobs to the United States .
KING: Congressman Paul, why don’t you start with that one?
PAUL: Pretty important because everything we’ve done in the last 20 or 30 years we’ve exported our jobs. And when you have a reserve currency of the world and you abuse it, you export money. That becomes the main export so it goes with the money.
You have to invite capital. The way you get capital into a country, you have to have a strong currency, not a weak currency. Today it’s a deliberate job of the Federal Reserve to weaken the currency. We should invite capital back.
First thing is, we have trillions of dollars, at least over a trillion dollars of U.S. money made overseas, but it stays over there because if you bring it home, they get taxed. If you want to, we need to get the Fed to quit printing the money and if you want capital, you have to entice those individuals to repatriate their money and take the taxes office, set up a financial system, deregulate and de-tax to invite people to go back to work again.
But as long as we run a program of deliberately weakening our currency, our jobs will go overseas, and that is what’s happened for a good many years, especially in the last decade.
KING: Governor Pawlenty, does the congressman have it right?
PAWLENTY: There’s a number of things we need to do. Restore manufacturing in this country. And I grew up if in a meat packing town. I grew up in a manufacturing town. I was in a union for six or seven years.
I understand what it’s like to see the blue-collar communities and the struggles that they’ve had when manufacturing leaves. So I’ve seen that firsthand. But number one, we’ve got to have fair trade, and what’s going on right now is not fair.
I’m for a fair and open trade but I’m not for being stupid and I’m not for being a chump. And we have individuals and organizations and countries around this world who are not following the rules when it comes to fair trade. We need a stronger president and somebody who’s going to take on those issues.
Number two, we need to make the costs and burdens of manufacturing in this country lower. We’re asking them to climb the mountain with a big backsack full of rocks on their back. We have to take the rocks out.
One of them is Obamacare. I mean somebody in Arizona the other day.
He’s moving his whole company out of the country just because of Obamacare. The taxes are too high. The regulations are too heavy, the permitting is too slow, and the message everywhere around this country, from business leaders large and small, including manufacturing, is get the government off my back. As president I will.
KING: How about to help workers, Congressman, get ready for the new jobs in manufacturing? Should the United States government, the federal government we say help in community colleges with their vocational training programs and things like that?
BACHMANN: Well, the United States federal government and the states have done numerous job training programs over the year with mixed results. This is what we need to do to turn job creation around and bring manufacturing back to the United States .
What we need to do is today the United States has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world. I’m a former federal tax lawyer. I’ve seen the devastation. We’ve got to bring that tax rate down substantially so that we’re among the lowest in the industrialized world.
Here’s the other thing. Every time the liberals get into office, they pass an omnibus bill of big spending projects. What we need to do is pass the mother of all repeal bills, but it’s the repeal bill that will get a job killing regulations. And I would begin with the EPA, because there is no other agency like the EPA. It should really be renamed the job-killing organization of America .
KING: OK. OK. I’ll get to you in one second. I just want to show people. We’re asking people watching at home also to tell us on Facebook, in Twitter what concerns them.
If you watch up here and take a look. Just look what’s happened. Three most important issues this election season regardless of party, jobs, the jobless, and whether you want a job.
Senator Santorum, your state of Pennsylvania , a big industrial state that has struggled in recent years.
SANTORUM: I always am from Pennsylvania . We still make things there, and I represented the Steel Valley of Pittsburgh when I was in the Congress. And what I learned from growing up in Butler, Pennsylvania, steel town is that the broad middle of America was a broad middle of America when we had lots of manufacturing here because that’s how the wealth from those who create the jobs get down.
And we’ve been outsourcing those jobs. So what we need to do is a lot of what was said here. I would add another thing that I’m specifically proposing. We need to cut the capital gains tax in half which others have proposed but for manufacturers we need to give a five-year window where we cut it to zero.
We want to encourage people to set up jobs here in America . Take that R&D credit, make it permanent, take that innovation and then invest that money here to create that broad middle of America and have that wealth really trickle down.
KING: Let’s stay on jobs and the economy. We’ll get to everybody.
Just want to bring in Josh McElveen from WMUR who’s down there on the floor. He has a question related to this.
JOSH MCELVEEN, WMUR POLITICAL REPORTER: Thank you, John. Good evening, candidates.
Governor Pawlenty, the possibility exists that New Hampshire could soon become the 23rd state to pass right to work legislation. Unions don’t like it because they feel it making membership volunteer. We can organize labor, you know, you’ve seen the protest in your home state of Minnesota .
My question is, where do you fall on right to work and would you support a federal right-to-work law?