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Republican debate: Notable quotes from the candidates, Dec. 15, 2015

See notable quotes from the Republican presidential candidates who debated in prime time at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and real estate mogul Donald Trump participated. The debate was hosted by CNN, Facebook and Salem Media. CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer moderated, with chief political correspondent Dana Bash and Salem Radio Network host Hugh Hewitt asking questions.

Jeb Bush

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Justin Sullivan

QUOTE 1: "Serious times require strong leadership. That's what's at stake right now."

QUOTE 2: On rival Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States: "Donald is great at the one-liners, but he's a chaos candidate, and he'd be a chaos president. He would not be the commander-in-chief we need to keep the country safe."

QUOTE 3: "Banning all Muslims will make it harder for us to do exactly what we need to do, which is to destroy ISIS."

QUOTE 4: On Trump's criticism of his candidacy: "Donald, you're not going to be able to insult your way to the presidency. That's not going to happen. And I do have the strength. Leadership -- leadership is not about attacking people and disparaging people. Leadership is about creating a serious strategy to deal with the threat of our time.

QUOTE 5: On why he'd be more qualified than Trump to deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin: "I know what I don't know. I would seek out, as I have, the best advice that exists. I won't get my information from the shows. I don't know if that's Saturday morning or Sunday morning."

Ted Cruz

QUOTE 1: During his introduction:
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Robyn Beck

QUOTE 1: During his introduction: "America is at war. Our enemy is not violent extremism. It is not some unnamed malevolent force. It is radical Islamic terrorism. We have a president who is unwilling to utter its name."

QUOTE 2: On the Syrian conflict and Syrian President Bashar Assad: "If we topple Assad, the result will be ISIS will take over Syria, and it will worsen U.S. national security interests."

QUOTE 3: On border security: "We will build a wall that works, and I'll get Donald Trump to pay for it."

Donald Trump

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Justin Sullivan

QUOTE 1: "Our country is out of control. People are pouring across the southern border. I will build a wall. It will be a great wall."

QUOTE 2: "ISIS is recruiting through the Internet. ISIS is using the Internet better than we are using the Internet, and it was our idea."

QUOTE 3: Asked whether he would be open to closing parts of the Internet: "I would certainly be open to closing areas where we are at war with somebody."

QUOTE 4: Referring to ISIS while responding to rival Rand Paul's statement that closing the Internet would go against the First Amendment: "So they can kill us, but we can't kill them? That's what you're saying?"

QUOTE 5: On rival Jeb Bush's candidacy: "Honestly, I think Jeb is a very nice person. He's a very nice person. But we need tough people. We need toughness."

QUOTE 6: After a sharp exchange with Bush: "I know you're trying to build up your energy, Jeb, but it's not working very well."

QUOTE 7: "The Middle East is totally destabilized, a total and complete mess. I wish we had the 4 trillion dollars or 5 trillion dollars. I wish it were spent right here in the United States, on our schools, hospitals, roads, airports, and everything else that are all falling apart."

QUOTE 8: On rival Ted Cruz's temperament: "He has a wonderful temperament. He's just fine. Don't worry about it."

Chris Christie

QUOTE 1: After rivals Ted Cruz and Marco
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Robyn Beck

QUOTE 1: After rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio's heated exchange on U.S. foreign policy, including airstrikes against ISIS: "If your eyes are glazing over like mine, this is what it's like to be on the floor of the United States Senate."

QUOTE 2: Explaining why he would shoot down a Russian plane if it flew into a no-fly zone in Syria: "A no-fly zone means a no-fly zone, Wolf. That's what it means. Maybe because I'm from New Jersey, I have this plain language hang-up."

QUOTE 3: On why there should be a pause in allowing new refugees to enter the United States: "I'm not going to allow any Syrian refugees in this country. And it was widows and orphans, by the way."

Carly Fiorina

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Robyn Beck

QUOTE 1: "Citizens, it's time to take our country back. Bombastic insults won't take it back. Political rhetoric that promises a lot and delivers little won't take it back."

QUOTE 2: On whether Silicon Valley companies should help the FBI obtain encrypted communications to spot terror threats, citing examples such as the Tsarnaev brothers in the Boston Marathon bombings and a husband and wife behind the San Bernardino, California, fatal shootings: "We have a lot of argument about laws but none of it solves the problem. Let's examine what happened, why did we miss the Tsarnaev brothers? Why did we miss the San Bernardino couple? It wasn't because we had stopped collecting metadata -- it was because, I think, as someone who comes from the technology world, we were using the wrong algorithms."

QUOTE 3: "To take our country back, to keep our nation safe, we have to begin by beating Hillary Clinton."

QUOTE 4: Responding to rival Donald Trump's statement that he wished a huge amount of money spent in the Middle East had been spent in the United States: "That is exactly what President Obama has said. I'm amazed to hear that from a Republican presidential candidate."

Marco Rubio

QUOTE 1: On President Barack Obama's Oval Office
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Robyn Beck

QUOTE 1: On President Barack Obama's Oval Office address on the Islamic State group and the San Bernardino, California, terror attacks: "He spoke the other night to the American people to reassure us. I wish he hadn't spoken at all. He made things worse."

QUOTE 2: Speaking to moderator Wolf Blitzer of CNN on Syrian refugees: "It's not that America doesn't want to accept refugees, Wolf. It's that we may not be able to, because this is an issue we have to be 100 percent right on."

QUOTE 3: During his closing statement: "For over 200 years this has been a special country. A unique place where anyone from anywhere can achieve anything. But now millions of Americans feel like they're being left behind. Insecure in their future and unsafe in the face of terrorism."

Ben Carson

QUOTE 1: Alluding to in-flight announcements asking passengers
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Robyn Beck

QUOTE 1: Alluding to in-flight announcements asking passengers to secure their own oxygen masks before helping others in an emergency: "We need oxygen right now, and we need to start thinking about the needs of the American people before we go and solve everybody else's problems."

QUOTE 2: On Kim Jong-un: "I definitely believe that he is unstable, and I do, in fact, believe that China has a lot more influence with him than we do."

QUOTE 3: During his closing statement: "My mother told me if I work hard and I really believed in American principles and I believe in God, anything is possible. I believe that is true, and that's why I'm not anxious to give away American values and principles for the sake of political correctness."

John Kasich

QUOTE 1: On world leaders' recent climate change
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Robyn Beck

QUOTE 1: On world leaders' recent climate change talks a few weeks after the Nov. 13 Paris terrorist attacks: "First and foremost, we need to go and destroy ISIS. And we need to do this with our Arab friends and our friends in Europe. And when I see they have a climate conference over in Paris, they should have been talking about destroying ISIS, because they are involved in virtually every country across this world."

QUOTE 2: On the Syrian conflict and Syrian President Bashar Assad: "I do not support a civil war, I don't want to be policeman of the world, but we can't back off of this." Kasich said Assad "must go. It will be a blow to Iran and Russia."

QUOTE 3: On Russia's foreign policy, including disputes with U.S. allies in Eastern Europe: "Frankly, it's time we punched the Russians in the nose."

QUOTE 4: After rivals Jeb Bush and Donald Trump attacked each other during the debate, Kasich said "all the fighting and arguing is not advancing us." He added, "It is not the way we're going to strengthen our country. We will strengthen our country when we come together."

Rand Paul

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Robyn Beck

QUOTE 1: "As commander-in-chief, I will do whatever it takes to defend America. But in defending America we cannot lose what America stands for."

QUOTE 2: "To me there is no greater threat than our debt. I'm the only fiscal conservative on the stage because I'm willing to hold the line on all spending."

QUOTE 3: On whether ousting Saddam Hussein was a good idea: "There is often variations of evil on both sides of the war. What we have to decide is whether or not regime change is a good idea. ... Out of regime change, you get chaos. From the chaos, you have seen repeatedly the rise of radical Islam. So we get this profession of, oh, my goodness, they want to do something about terrorism and yet they're the problem because they allow terrorism to arise out of that chaos."


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