Eight of the Republican candidates for President met in Ames, Iowa on February 12, 2011 for a Fox News debate that set the stage for the Ames Straw Poll, an event that spelled victory for Michele Bachmann and led Tim Pawlenty to drop out of the race.
Bachmann and Pawlenty were joined on stage by Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. The candidates sounded off on a number of key issues, including energy policy.
Knowing what the GOP presidential candidates chose not to talk about may be as important to the energy debate as they issues they did choose to focus upon.
Number of times each of the following energy related terms were used during the first Iowa Republican Presidential Debate of the 2012 election cycle.
Cap and trade: 4
Coal, natural gas: 0
Solar, wind: 0
Climate change, global warming: 0
Now, here's a deeper look at what they had to say.
Michele Bachmann on cap and trade, light bulbs
I would say governor (Tim Pawlenty), when you were governor in Minnesota you implemented cap and trade in our state and you praised the unconstitutional individual mandates and called for requiring all people in our state to purchase health insurance that the government would mandate.
The policies that the governor (Tim Pawlenty) advocated for were cap and trade. He praised and wanted to require Minnesotans to purchase the unconstitutional individual mandate in health care. And he said the era of small government is over. I have a very consistent record of fighting very hard against Barack Obama and his unconstitutional measures in congress. I’m very proud of that record. That is what qualifies me, as a fighter and representative of the people, to go to Washington, D.C. and to the White House.
People are looking for a champion. They want someone who has been fighting. When it came to health care, I brought tens of thousands of Americans to Washington to fight the unconstitutional individual mandates. I didn’t praise it. When it came to cap and trade, I fought it with everything that was in me, including I introduced the Lightbulb Freedom of Choice Act so people could all purchase the lightbulb of their choice.
I also believe in big government is hurting the United States. We need to have small government.
Herman Cain on energy independence, Iran and nuclear weapons
I believe that our energy strategy is directly related to national security, as well as stopping Iran in their efforts. The head of Iran, Ahmadinejad, has said that he wants to wipe Israel off of the face of the Earth. I take that seriously. He has also said — he has also said that he’s not going to listen to the United States, Britain, or anybody else in their attempts to do what they want to do.
That being said, there’s more to foreign policy than bombs and bullets. There’s bombs and bullets and economics.
If we go serious about maximizing all of our energy resources in this country, we can become a player on the world market. As the price of oil goes down, it puts an economic squeeze on Iran. This is why I believe we should have a serious energy-independent strategy in order to be able to be a player on the world market. That’s what I meant by using our energy resources, not just oil, but all of our resources to become energy independent.
Mitt Romney on what needs to be done to fix the economy
What needs to be done — there are really seven things that come to mind. One is to make sure our corporate tax rates are competitive with other nations. Number two is to make sure that our regulations and bureaucracy works not just for the bureaucrats in Washington, but for the businesses that are trying to grow. Number three is to have trade policies that work for us, not just for our opponents. Number four is to have an energy policy that gets us energy secure. Number five is to have the rule of law. Six, great institutions that build human capital, because capitalism is also about people, not just capital and physical goods. And number seven is to have a government that doesn’t spend more money than it takes in. And I’ll do it.
Rick Santorum on energy, jobs and manufacturing
When I grew up in Butler, Pennsylvania, a little steel town, 21 percent of the people of this country worked in manufacturing. It is now nine. If you want to know where the middle of America went, it went to China, it went to Malaysia, it went to Indonesia. We need to bring it back.
I put together a four-point plan to do it, including energy — producing more energy, because of course manufacturers use more energy than just about everybody else in the business world. But the big thing I proposed is to take the corporate rate which makes us uncompetitive, particularly in exporting goods, take the corporate rate and cut it to zero for manufacturers.
You want to create opportunity for businesses in manufacturing to grow, cut that tax to zero. Our jobs will come back.
We need to get the economy growing. That doesn’t mean taking more money out of it, that means — making — that means creating energy jobs, creating manufacturing jobs. And my plan will do that.
A complete transcript of the 2011 Iowa Republican Presidential Debate is available on FoxNewsInsider.com