Western Republican Debate Talks Immigration, Occupy Wall Street
During Tuesday night's Western Republican Presidential debate, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry clashed over illegal immigration and their allotted time to speak.
Romney defended himself after being accused of hiring illegal immigrants by Perry.
"[Illegal immigrants] are coming here because there's a magnet, and that magnet is jobs," Perry said. "Those people that hire illegals ought to be penalized. And Mitt, you lose all of your standing, from my perspective, because you hired illegals in your home and you knew about it for a year. And the idea that you stand here before us and talk about you're strong about immigration, is on its face the heighth of hypocrisy."
Romney laughed and said he had never hired an illegal immigrant and looked forward to seeing Perry's evidence. At that point, the two began speaking over one another loudly. Romney argued for time to respond and Perry spoke on illegal immigration.
The candidates were asked if they would create a fence on the border of the U.S. and Mexico. Herman Cain was pointed out as saying he would have an electrified fence, then backed slowly away from it as to not offend anyone.
"Yes, I believe we should secure the border for real," Cain said.
Rick Perry was asked if it was possible to build a fence. Perry said to stop illegal activity, "put boots on the ground."
When Michele Bachmann was asked about illegal immigration, she said President Obama is the one who has the problem with it because his aunt and uncle are in the country illegally. Bachmann said she would build a fence along the entire border to Mexico and enforce English as the national language.
"I think every single person here loves legal immigration," Romney said. "The reason why we want that to happen is the four and a half million people who want to come here legally and we want to make that happen."
Romney referred to using an e-verify system.
Perry responded by saying the federal system had faltered and Romney was right that there were people who would hire illegal immigrants. When Perry said Romney was one of them, audience members booed.
The candidates were asked what they thought of children of illegal immigrants being born in the U.S. and immediately given citizenship. Bachmann said there is a problem with the use of these children she called "anchor babies."
An audience member asked if the candidates support opening the nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.
Romney said Ron Paul was right, that Nevada should have the final say if they wanted the repository rather than having the government choose it for them.
The debate turned to the Nevada real estate bubble and real estate concerns across the country.
"Every day I'm out somewhere in the United States of America and most of the time I'm talking to moms across this country,” Bachmann said. “When you talk about housing, foreclosures, you're talking about women who are at the end of their rope because they're losing their nest for their children and family. I’m a mom, I just want to talk to the moms. President Obama has failed you on this issue of housing and foreclosures. I will not fail you. Hold on moms, it's not too late."
Moderator Anderson Cooper brought up the recent Occupy Wall Street movement. Cain was quoted two weeks ago saying that the jobless can blame themselves. Cain stood by his statement.
They might be frustrated with Wall Street and their bankers, but they're blaming the wrong people, Cain said.
"They ought to be out in front of the White House taking out their frustration,” Cain said.
Reach assistant news editor Agnus-Dei Farrant here.
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