On Social Security, immigration and mandates, candidates attack Texas guv in CNN/Tea Party Express Debate.
Blitzer asks candidates to side with Perry or Romney on Soc Sec.
Ex-MA and Texas guvs go back-and-forth. Perry says “we’re gonna fix it.” Romney asks Texan to clarify “Ponzi scheme” language.
Bachmann comes out swinging at Obama, says President “stole $500 million out of Medicare.”
Cain sides with Perry on Soc Sec, says “I don’t care what you call it, it’s broken.” Also calls for optional personal retirement accounts.
Romney touts economic plan, argues “right answer for America” to stop government expansion.
Romney says easy to create jobs in Texas, hits Perry. “If you’re dealt four aces, that doesn’t, necessarily, make you a great poker player.”
Perry rules out all tax cuts, claims “people tired of spending money we don’t have on programs we don’t want.”
Huntsman says country needs to ween itself from “heroin-like addiction to foreign oil.”
Paul targets Perry, says “taxes doubled” under his leadership.
On HPV, Perry responds: “I’m always going to air on the side of life and that’s really what it’s all about.”
Bachmann takes shot at Perry over HPV mandate, ties him to drug company lobbyist.
Bachmann: “Was it about millions of dollars or potentially billion dollars for a drug company?”
Perry: “If you’re saying I can be bought for $5,000, I’m offended.”
Paul blames high health costs on “dumping it on the government.” Adds America has “given up on this whole concept we might take care of ourselves.”
MN congresswoman vows to “eradicate Obamacare.” Conveys importance of 2012.
Bachmann: “2012 is it. This is the election that’s going to decide if we have socialized medicine in this country or not.”
Candidates team up on Perry over immmigration. Says Texas needs “6,000 boots on the ground” to secure border, defends giving in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. Bachmann responds, says “not American way.” Romney accuses Perry’s policies of encouraging lawlessness. Huntsman calls Texan’s answer “almost treasonous.”