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What the GOP Debaters Said on the Economy What the GOP Debaters Said on the Economy

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Campaign 2012

What the GOP Debaters Said on the Economy

The issue dominating headlines, the economy, had a starring role at the start of Thursday's GOP debate in Ames, Iowa.

(RELATED: Obama, Perry Are Real Winners of Debate)


Here's a look at how the candidates argued on the economy:

Michele Bachmann: The congresswoman from Minnesota used her time to highlight her opposition to raising the debt ceiling. "We should not have increased the debt ceiling," she said. She also said that recovery would be possible in three months "if we put in place what we know to be true." She did not elaborate.

Herman Cain: Cain argued that the "business sector is the economic engine" and that the current tax rates should be made "permanent."  Make the tax rates permanent. "We must have a maximum tax rate for businesses and individuals of 25 percent," Cain said.


Newt Gingrich: Gingrich focused on working with divided government under Reagan and while he was House speaker and argued that cutting taxes was possible with divided government.

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Jon Huntsman: Huntsman said the key to repairing the economy is doing "exactly what I did as governor of the state of Utah. It's called leadership. Creating a competitive environment that speaks to growth."

Ron Paul: To a question about what specifically he would do to spur growth, Paul indicted the monetary system. "When you are bankrupt you can't keep spending. ... You have to restore sound money. You have to understand why you have a business cycle," he said.


Tim Pawlenty: Pawlenty said he had the most specific, comprehensive plan on the economy and questioned where Obama's plan was. He drew laughs when he offered to "come to your house and cook you dinner" if anyone could find Obama's plan. "Or if you like, I'll mow your lawn," Pawlenty said. But in Romney's case, "I'm limited to one acre," he said.

Mitt Romney: Romney said that what president Obama has done is the exact opposite of what the economy needs. He ticked off seven points that he argued would stimulate the economy, including making corporate tax rates competitive. He also said he favored the so-called cut, cap, and balance approach. "I understand how the economy works. Herman Cain and I are the two on the stage here who actually worked in the real economy," Romney said.

Rick Santorum: Talked about growing up in a steel town — he's from Western Pennslyvania — and the flight of jobs overseas to China. He has a four-point plan, including cutting the corporate tax rate to zero, which will bring jobs back, he argues.

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