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9th Debate

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MODERATOR: The next question is for Governor Romney. The same thing: Why has the Hispanic support for Republicans declined?


ROMNEY: You know, I think Republicans went to Washington with the expectations of the whole world that we would change Washington.


And in many respects, as has been said by many people, Washington changed Republicans. And when Republicans act like Democrats, America




Republicans spent too much money, and we let down our ethical standards. And so, Hispanics, along with other people in this


country, want to see change. I (inaudible) the Republican Party can connect with Hispanic


voters, like other Americans, because there are some peculiar connections between our party and the Hispanic people.


One, Hispanic Americans serve in the military and care about our military. We salute them for their service right now. And we'll


strengthen the military. If I'm president, I'm going to add at least 100,000 troops to our military.


Secondly, Hispanic Americans are entrepreneurs and business people. And I know how to build our economy. I'm going to keep our


taxes down and make sure that our economy grows and thrives.


ROMNEY: And, third, Hispanic Americans are family-oriented and people of faith. I'm going to strengthen America's families. And so


my platform, this Republican platform, connects with Spanish -- Hispanic Americans from across the country.




MODERATOR: Governor Romney, (inaudible) to be here and (inaudible). Do you think that you're taking a risk to come here to


lose support from the more conservative base in your party?


ROMNEY: I don't think so at all. I think Americans across the country of all ethnicities recognize that we are a great, pluralistic society. That statue you have on the screen behind us, that light that shine out for the entire world said, "This is an unusual land. This is a land that welcomes people of all backgrounds, of all ethnicities, of all nations; welcomes them here to this great land."




And she said that God gave to the individual certain inalienable rights. And that changed the relationship between the state and the citizen.


It said that the citizen was the sovereign and the state was not. And that changed the entire world. People came here for opportunity.


And our party is a party of opportunity. We stand for strength in our home. We stand for strength in our economy. We stand for strength in our military, so we defend our values, and so of course Republicans are going to come and speak to Hispanic Americans in the language they understand best, so we can get their votes and they can understand that we are the party of strength and the party of freedom.


ROMNEY: Thank you.




MODERATOR: Governor Romney, the question is: Why not legalize some undocumented aliens if they comply with the requirements, if they meet certain requirements?


ROMNEY: You know, I have the occasion to talk to people who have loved ones that are hoping to come to this country, to be reunited with family members. And they're staying in their home countries applying legally. I believe that those people ought to be the first


ones to get to come to this country. Those who have come illegally,


in my view, should be given the opportunity to get in line with


everybody else, but there should be no special pathway for those that


have come here illegally to jump ahead of the line or to be come


permanent residents or citizens. They should be treated like


everybody else who wants to come to this country.


ROMNEY: I think we ought to secure our border, we ought to have


an employment verification system to know who's here legally and


illegally, and recognize that legal immigration is an extraordinary


source of great capability and vitality for our country. We welcome


the cultures that come here, the education, the work ethic, the family


values. We're going to protect legal immigration. At the same time,


we're going to enforce the law, show that we're a nation of laws, and


welcome the people who have been standing in line first.


Thank you.





Governor Romney, some days ago you fired a company that used to


take care of your landscaping because supposedly they were hiring


undocumented workers.


The question is this, did you report, officially, that the people


or the company to immigration authorities? And do you think that


should others report undocumented aliens, the people that you suspect


are undocumented?


ROMNEY: You know, we're a very compassionate people. We're also


a people who follow the law. And the landscaper at my home is an old


friend, and when he made a mistake the first time, I told him in no


uncertain terms, you have to make sure that anybody that works on my


property and walks on my property is a legal individual.


And he did his best, but he made a mistake. And apparently, two


people he had there were not legal. And I told him that's it, and we


terminated that relationship. And I think everybody in the country


understands who those folks are. It became a big news story.


But let's underscore something here, which is that employers like


this landscape company, and he's Hispanic American, he doesn't have a


way to determine whether the people he's hiring are legal or illegal.


Isn't it amazing in this country, with the fact that American Express


or Visa or Mastercard can tell you that fast whether the card is


authorized or not.


We don't know who's here legally or not. That's why we need an


employment verification system to identify the fact that legal aliens


that come here are legal, are entitled to work. And that's something


I'm going to get done so our employers know who's here legally and we


welcome people who want to come work in this country.


Thank you.






MODERATOR: Governor Romney, we would like to know -- see what


your opinion -- what's going to happen to the children who are being


separated from their families?


ROMNEY: We're going to finally have a system that welcomes


people here legally, and that says that those that have come here


illegally are invited to get in line with everybody else.


And the Constitution, as Senator Thompson has indicated,


indicates that those that are born here do become United States


citizens by virtue of being born here.


But if they're born here from parents who come across the border


illegally and bring them here illegally, in my view, we should not


adopt, then, these chain migration policies that say, you've got a


child here that's a U.S. citizen, and the whole family can come in.


ROMNEY: That, in my opinion, is a mistake.


We are a nation of laws. And you're correctly going through each


part of immigration policy here. But let's underscore this one more


time: We are, in this audience, almost every person here, an


individual who came to this country because it's a land of opportunity


and liberty.


We also, because we have laws, can have opportunity and liberty.


We're going to enforce the laws. Welcoming people here -- we're not


going to cut off immigration; we're going to keep immigration alive


and thriving.


But we're going to end the practice of illegal immigration. It's


not inhumane. It's humanitarian. It's compassionate. We're going to


end illegal immigration to protect legal immigration.


MODERATOR: Thank you.


ROMNEY: Thank you.





MODERATOR: Governor Romney, what would you do differently that


has not been done so far?


ROMNEY: Well, first of all, you've got to think about who Castro


is, and who Raul Castro is as well.


ROMNEY: We call them strongmen -- dictators, authorative


totalitarian leaders. And yet these are individuals who are not


strong. Look at what they have done? Brothers to the rescue. They


shoot a small aircraft out of the sky. People wearing a wristband


that says "change," are arrested -- 25 of them just for wearing a


wristband; a Catholic church is edited and people are terrified


because a priest is just speaking his sermon.


These people, these Castro brothers are cowards, and we have to


recognize they are cowards.




And for that reason, the course for America is to continue our


isolation of Cuba. It is not to say, as Barack Obama on the


Democratic side said, that he would dignify the Castros with a


personal visit to Cuba. That's not the way to go. Instead, it's to


bring our friends together to isolate Cuba, to put together a strategy


that helps all of Latin America, weakens Hugo Chavez who is propping


up Castro.


ROMNEY: We need a Latin American policy that frees Cuba and that


eliminates a threat of people like Hugo Chavez.





MODERATOR: Governor Romney, for how long would we need to leave


our troops in Iraq?


ROMNEY: Let's talk about our mission there. This is not just


about strategy and allies. It's not about oil. It's not about just


the economy. It's not just about standing up for the fact that we've


been there for a long time.


It's about human lives.


ROMNEY: What we're doing in Iraq relates to protecting the lives


of American citizens, here, around the world. It relates to lives


throughout the world. It relates to dignity and freedom.


We're in Iraq because we want to make sure that Iraq does not


become what Afghanistan was. What Afghanistan was under the Taliban


was a place that they could recruit and train and launch attacks


against us on 9/11, and other attacks throughout the world.


The Khobar Towers, our embassies in Africa, the USS Cole -- they


were launching attacks. The last thing America could stand for, the


last thing we could do with the human lives that are so precious,


would be to have Iraq become an Afghanistan. Fortunately, the surge


is working. It's going to keep that from happening. We're going to


have stability and security there and American lives will be saved by


virtue of the extraordinary sacrifice of American servicemen.





MODERATOR: Governor Romney, what should we do with all the


millions of people who are not insured?


ROMNEY: Well, I think I'm probably the only person on the stage


and the only governor that actually stopped talking about getting


health care for everybody and actually got the job done.


Working with people across the aisle, we said: Enough is enough.




You know, we're up here talking about all sort of ideas about tax


credits and deductions, and my program has a deduction as well. We


talk about prevention and people being health.


But, look, the best kind of prevention you can have in health


care is to have a doctor. And if someone doesn't have a doctor,


doesn't have a clinic they can go to, doesn't have health insurance to


be able to provide the prescription drugs they need, you can't be


healthy. And you need to have health insurance for all of our




And I found a way to do that without requiring raising taxes,


without a government mandate, without a government takeover. Instead,


I didn't want to have a -- when I said government mandate, I meant


employer mandate. Instead, we have personal responsibility. We


allowed individuals to buy their own policies.


ROMNEY: Those that couldn't afford them, we helped them buy


their policies. And you know what? It cost us no more money to help


people buy insurance policies that they could afford than it was


costing us before, handing out free care.


We Republicans can get everybody insured. Let's get it done.






Governor Romney, how can we improve education -- public education


in this country?


ROMNEY: Well, we've got a pretty good model. If you look at my


state, even before I got there, other governors and legislatures


worked real hard to improve education. And they did a number of


things that made a big difference.


One is, they started testing our kids to see who was succeeding,


making sure that failing schools were identified and then turning them


around. They fought for school choice. When I became governor, I had


to protect school choice because the legislature tried to stop it.


And then we also fought for English immersion. We wanted our


kids coming to school to learn English from the very beginning. And


then we did something that was really extraordinary. We said to every


kid that does well on these exams that we put in place before you can


graduate from high school, we're going to give you a John and Abigail


Adams scholarship, four years tuition-free to our state university or


state colleges for all the kids that graduate in the top quarter of


their class.


We care about the quality of education. I want to pay better


teachers more money. Teachers are underpaid, but I want to evaluate


our teachers and see which ones are the best and which ones are not.




ROMNEY: And let me tell how our kids are doing. Every two


years, we test the kids across the country, the NAPE exam. Our kids


-- my kids came out number one in English in fourth and eighth grade,


number one in math. In all four tests, our kids came out number one


in the nation.


These principles of choice, parental involvement, encouraging


high standards, scholarships for our best kids -- these turn our


schools into the kind of magnets that they can be for the entire




MODERATOR: Thank you, Governor.




We're going to continue talking about education. One our of


three Hispanic students don't finish high school.


Senator McCain, your vision of Hispanics in the future.


ROMNEY: America needs all Americans. We're in a time of real


need. We're the strongest nation on Earth; we're the hope of the


Earth. But we face some extraordinary challenges -- global jihadists,


violent jihadists, who want to bring down our nations and other




We face, as well, tough new competition coming from places like


China and India, unlike anything we've known before.


We spend way too much money in Washington, particularly on


entitlements that are growing more and more weighty on us.


ROMNEY: We have extraordinary challenges culturally as people


are deciding to have kids without being married. There are all sorts


of challenges in our country. And right now, we need to do what


Ronald Reagan did, which is call on America's strength.


As he faced the difficulties of the last century, he said, let's


have a strong military and a strong economy that can outcompete the


Russians. And let's make sure we have strong values and confidence in




The Hispanic community, like all other communities in this great


nation, need to come together and strengthen America. Because this is


the land of the brave and the home of the free. And Hispanics are


brave and they are free, as are all of the people of this great




Thank you.



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