Republican Candidates Participate in Second GOP Debate for Open Senate Seat

All eight Republican candidates participated in this second of seven debates.
All eight Republican candidates participated in this second of seven debates.
Credit Aleck Ragsdale / WABE

All eight Georgia Republicans trying to get the party’s U.S. Senate nomination share the same view on the Affordable Care Act: they want it repealed. But on foreign policy, the candidates have different views. Those differences were on display for the 600 people who attended a debate in Kennesaw this weekend.  Aleck Ragsdale reports.

When asked about U.S. involvement in Middle Eastern conflicts, Congressman Phil Gingrey said America can’t sit on the sidelines.

“We are the strongest nation on the face of the Earth. We have an obligation not just to protect our own people, but every independent, liberty loving individual across this globe”.  

But Atlanta attorney Art Gardner wants a more moderate approach.

“Not every war is one that should be fought. And having the wisdom of knowing which is one to fight and which is one to avoid calls for careful thought”.

Whatever conflict the nation gets involved in both Congressman Paul Broun and former Secretary of State Karen Handel said we need an exit strategy.

Broun: “If we ever get involved in a conflict, we need to have that strategy where we can go, we can win that war, and come home immediately”.

Handel:  “Any time we are going to engage around the world, we need to have a clear strategy of what is the end game. That’s why when President Obama was articulating his so-called strategy to go in with military intervention to Syria, I spoke out and said absolutely not”.

But for former Dollar General CEO David Perdue says the issue starts with America’s economic policy.

“If you want a strong foreign policy, you better have a strong military. If you want a strong military, you better stop borrowing 35 cents of every dollar you spend, and you better have the strongest economy in the world. We bankrupted the Soviet Union in the 1980s with the strength of our economy and the power of our ideas, and now we’re doing the same thing to ourselves through our own foolishness”.

Another businessman, Eugene Yu used an analogy of giving out money in your community when you can’t even pay your own mortgage.

“We are in trouble. We don’t have money and can’t spend like we used to. So therefore let’s take care of us first then we’ll worry about our neighborhood”.

If the US is involved in Middle Eastern conflict Congressman Jack Kingston wants US forces to be as strong as possible.

“I don’t want our soldiers, sailors or airmen to ever have to fight a fair fight. I want them to be the best trained and best equipped military that there is and I want every conflict that we go into for the outcome to be certain”.

Minister Derrick Grayson, used the question to lash out against domestic surveillance and at Congressmen Kingston, Gingrey, and Broun.

“Our foreign policy won’t be much different from our domestic policy if we allow them to continue violating our Fourth and Second Amendment rights which have been under attack forever and a day”.

The next debate will be on Feb. 22 in Gainesville. The state primary election is May 20.

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