Gingrich-Huntsman debate live blog (VIDEO)
By Aaron Blake,
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Debate over (5:27 p.m.)
The debate has concluded.
We got through five of 10 planned topics in 90 minutes.
And the time-keeper closed with a zing for Mitt Romney, who is not there to defend himself.
Of Gingrich’s plan to challenge President Obama to similar Lincoln-Douglas style debates, the time-keeper, Pat Griffin, said: “I’ll bet you $10,000 he doesn’t show up.”
Huntsman digs at Trump (5:26 p.m)
“I can’t wait to compare and contrast this format with the Donald Trump debate,” Huntsman said.
Huntsman has passed on participating in the Trump-moderated debate, but Gingrich is taking part.
Gingrich says Chinese relationship most important (5:16 p.m.)
Gingrich said the Chinese will be the United States’ most important relationship for decades to come.
“The most important relationship of the next 50 years is the American people and the Chinese people,” Gingrich said, differentiating that from the relationship between the governments.
“If you don’t fundamentally rethink what we’re doing here, you cannot compete with China,” Gingrich added. “If we do the right thing here, China can’t compete with us.”
Huntsman says U.S. has interest in Syria, not Libya (4:52 p.m.)
Huntsman said he disagrees with the intervention in Libya because there was no national security interest there.
As for Syria, he suggested more should have been done.
“I couldn’t see a definable national security interest” in Libya, he said. “With Syria, I see it a little differently, because it is a conduit, a pipeline for Iran.”
Huntsman calls Iran the “transcendant threat” (4:44 p.m)
Huntsman says Iran poses a bigger problem than any other country right now, calling it the “transcendant threat” and saying all options are on the table in dealing with the regime there.
Huntsman said a nuclear Iran would lead Turkey and other nations to build nuclear programs.
“I think all options are on the table, and I do believe we’re going to have a conversation with Israel” when Iran goes nuclear, Huntsman said.
He also said the Obama Administration missed an opportunity to get a foothold in the region with the Arab Spring.
“We missed a huge opportunity with the Arab Spring,” Huntsman said. “Huge missed opportunity.”
Gingrich largely agreed on Iran. He has previously said the United States needs to be ready to join Israel against Iran and called Iran the “biggest national security threat of the next 10 years.”
Gingrich says United States not safer than 10 years ago (4:29 p.m.)
Gingrich said the United States might not be any safer than it was in 2001 when the war in Afghanistan began and before the war in Iraq began.
“It’s hard for me to argue that we’re any safer than we were 10 years ago,” Gingrich said, pointing to potential nuclear capabilities in Iran and Pakistan.
Huntsman says bring Afghanistan troops home (4:22 p.m.)
Huntsman said the United States has had success in Afghanistan, and that it should bring the troops home.
“I think we’ve done the best that we could do, but I think we’ve done all we could do,” he said, repeating his past statements on the topic, which differ from his GOP opponents. Huntsman said the time has passed for nation-building and counter-insurgency, and that the new mission should be focused on counter-terrorism.
Huntsman went on to say that the United States’ relationship with Pakistan is too “transactional.”
“Pakistan, sadly, is nothing more than a transactional relationship with the United States,” Huntsman said. “For all the money we put into Pakistan, are we in a better situation? The answer is no.”
Original post (3:44 p.m.)
Starting at 4 p.m. eastern time, The Fix will be doing a modified live blog of the one-on-one, Lincoln-Douglas style debate in New Hampshire between Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman.
Check back on this post for regular updates on the key moments from the debate and everything you need to know about what’s said.
For now, see our piece previewing the debate.