The Latest: Pataki says GOP must unite around ideas in 2016

AP News
Posted: Aug 03, 2015 9:09 PM
The Latest: Pataki says GOP must unite around ideas in 2016

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — The Republican Party's jam-packed presidential class faced off Monday night in New Hampshire, where more than a dozen White House hopefuls aim to warm up for the first full-fledged debate of the primary season.

Here's The Latest from the forum at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.


8:55 p.m.

Monday night's forum for the Republican candidates for president in New Hampshire has wrapped up.

One of the last candidates to speak was former New York Gov. George Pataki, who says his three terms leading the typically Democratic state show he can unite people.

He says to win the White House, Republicans need to join together behind intelligent ideas rather than attempting to polarize the electorate.

Pataki has spoken out against GOP attacks on same-sex marriage, and said Monday that "America has never been more divided than today."

Pataki is a longshot for the GOP nomination and will not be on the stage Thursday at the first official debate of the Republican presidential race.


8:50 p.m.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is offering up a list of reasons why voters should election him president at Monday night's GOP presidential forum.

They include his work to try to balance the federal budget while serving in Congress, his track record of job creation as governor of Ohio and his belief in lifting people "out of the shadows."

Kasich was one of the last entrants into the crowded GOP field and he might not end up with the poll numbers needed to earn a place onstage at Thursday's night's first official debate — hosted in his home state.

Kasich says he entered the race late because he wanted to make sure he was ready and felt like he could win. He says, "if I didn't think I could win I wouldn't do it."


8:45 p.m.

Carly Fiorina argues her experience in business and time spent on the international stage make her well qualified to be president.

The former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard says she has met more world leaders than any of her Republican opponents through her time in business and on the boards of international organizations.

She says America needs a president "who understands the economy, the world, how it works (and) who's in it."

She might also end up on the $20 bill if former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is elected to the White House.

Asked who he'd put on a new version of the bill, Santorum tells the crowd at Monday's night GOP presidential forum in New Hampshire that "Carly's a pretty good choice. Put Carly on the bill."


8:35 p.m.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson is making the case that he's the best positioned to solve America's problems because he is not part of the political class.

Aside from former technology executive Carly Fiorina, Carson is the only candidate in the large GOP field who has never held elected office.

He says at a forum for the GOP's 2016 White House hopefuls on Monday that the problems facing America are not Republican or Democratic issues, be they racial tensions, the "war on women" or income inequality.

Carson says, "There was never any intention that people who are our representatives have to be of the political class."

He says bringing people together from all walks of life and experience will "make us a great nation once again."


8:25 p.m.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is blasting the deal with Iran that aims to halt the country's ability to create a nuclear weapon in exchange for rolling back economic sanctions on the Islamic nation.

At Monday night's forum for GOP presidential candidates in New Hampshire, Cruz says removing the sanctions will funnel billions of dollars into Iran that it can use to support terrorism.

He says the blame will rest squarely with President Barack Obama's administration if "those billions go to jihadists who use that money to murder Americans," as well as Israelis and Europeans.

Cruz says the deal will also accelerate Iran's ability to develop a nuclear weapon.

All the Republican candidates for president are harshly critical of the deal, and Cruz and his fellow senators who are running for president say they plan to vote against it when it comes to Congress for approval.


8:20 p.m.

The candidates at Monday night's GOP presidential candidate forum in New Hampshire are each being given 30 seconds to speak directly to voters.

During his opportunity, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said he's working to broaden the base of the Republican Party by reaching out in urban areas and to minority voters who traditionally vote for Democrats.

Paul says: "I'm a different kind of Republican. I think we need a new GOP. ... We haven't been winning, and if we try the same thing over again, we're not going to win."


8:15 p.m.

Marco Rubio says the government must prove illegal immigration is under control before providing a path to legal status for the millions of people now living in the country illegally.

The Florida senator, speaking at a forum for Republican presidential candidates, says "that is the key that unlocks the ability to make progress on anything else." He spoke Monday.

Rubio says such an effort starts with securing the border and making sure people who entry the country legally do not overstay their visas.

Rubio says the next step is reforming the country's legal immigration system. That system should grant entry to the country based on merit more than whether someone has family already living in the U.S., he says.

But Rubio adds he also believes there should ultimately be a path to legal status for those living in the country illegally, so long as they pass a background check, pay a fine, pay taxes and learn English.

He says such people could then apply for a work permit, and a conversation about citizenship could happen in the future.


8 p.m.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is poking fun at the Obama's administration plans to cut down on carbon emissions from power plants, saying what's known as the "Clean Power Plan" really ought to be called the "costly power plan."

President Barack Obama unveiled Monday the final version of his plan to dramatically cut carbon emissions from U.S. power plants.

He called it a moral obligation and warned that climate change will threaten future generations if left unchecked.

But Walker says at a forum for Republican candidates for president in New Hampshire that the plan would "devastate" the economies in Wisconsin and many other states.

Walker sidestepped a question about whether he believes humans are contributing to climate change.

Rather than answering directly, Walker said he believes the next president needs to strike a balance between protecting the economy and keeping the environment clean.

"This proposal today is a buzz saw to the nation's economy and we need a leader in the White House who's going to recognize that balance," he said.


7:50 p.m.

Jeb Bush says he would take the advice of the nation's military leaders "very seriously" if they called for deploying U.S. ground troops to fight Islamic State militants, but is stopping short of saying he would do so.

The former Florida governor says he believes it's necessary to better train fighters in Syria who are combatting the group, but says, "the idea of boots on the ground, I'm not sure if that's necessary."

The U.S. started airstrikes in Iraq targeting the Islamic State last August and in Syria in September. To date, the coalition has launched more than 5,800 airstrikes in both countries.

But American intelligence agencies recently concluded the Islamic State group is fundamentally no weaker than it was when the U.S.-led bombing campaign began.

Asked what compelled him to run after nearly a decade out of office, Bush says he believes he has the skills to speed up the country's economic growth, fix its tax code and reform its immigration system.


7:35 p.m.

Chris Christie says the next president needs to acknowledge that drug addiction is a disease and do more to get nonviolent offenders into treatment and recovery programs.

The two-term New Jersey governor says, "This is a disease and the war on drugs has been a failure — well-intentioned, but a failure."

Christie says nonviolent drug offenders deserve help, not jail time. He says that's a policy he used for first-time offenders in his home state, where he also served as U.S. attorney.

During Christie's brief time on stage at Monday night's forum for GOP presidential candidates, he was also asked about whether the U.S. should ever negotiate with terrorists.

He says the United States should "absolutely not" make payments to terrorists to secure the release of detainees.

In June, the Obama administration said it would start telling families of Americans held by terror groups that they can communicate with captors and even pay ransom without fear of prosecution.

White House officials said then that more than 30 Americans are currently being held hostage abroad.


7:25 p.m.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is the first candidate of Monday night's GOP candidate forum to bring up Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Graham says he's worked with the Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, for more than 20 years. He says he's "fluent in Clinton speak."

He adds, "When Bill says, 'I didn't have sex with that woman,' he did" — a reference to Bill Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Graham went on, saying that if Hillary Clinton says she's turned over all the emails from her private home-brew server to the State Department, "we haven't even scratched the surface."

Clinton has come under fire from Republicans for using a private email account and server while serving as secretary of state.

Graham says the ability to campaign against Clinton ought to be a primary consideration for GOP voters: "If we can't beat them, it doesn't matter."


7:05 p.m.

An early focus of Monday night's GOP candidate forum is illegal immigration.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry led off the event by offering a common refrain among the Republican candidates for president, saying any effort to overhaul the nation's immigration laws has to start with improving security along the nation's borders.

Perry compared the borders to a "serious wound" that must be healed. Perry says, "If you elect me president of the United States ... the will to secure the border will reside in the Oval Office."

Asked about people who arrived legally but have since overstayed their visas, Perry says, "You go find 'em, you pick 'em up and you send 'em back where they're from."

A report from the Pew Hispanic Center issued in 2006 found that up to half the number of people living in the U.S. illegally have overstayed their visas.


6:50 p.m.

Almost all the GOP's 2016 presidential candidates are at Monday night's forum in New Hampshire, but not all.

Among those who elected not to take part are billionaire businessman Donald Trump and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore didn't get into the race on time to make the forum.

And some of the candidates aren't in Manchester for the event, but rather at C-SPAN studios in Washington.

Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida plan to take part via satellite.

They were unable to make the trip due to a vote in the Senate on a GOP effort to end federal funds for Planned Parenthood.

Monday's mostly party-line vote in the Senate was 53-46, seven short of the 60 votes the Republicans needed to halt Democratic delays aimed at derailing the bill.