GOP debate: Crowd gets rowdy when candidates talk foreign policy

The crowd at the GOP debate in military-heavy South Carolina got rowdy during a discussion of foreign policy, booing Ron Paul heartily and whooping and cheering when the other candidates took a hard line on foreign involvement.

Scattered boos and jeers drowned out Paul's call for a "golden rule" in American foreign policy.

"My point is, that if another country does to us what we do to others, we aren't going to like it very much. So I would say maybe we ought to consider a golden rule in foreign policy," Paul said as the crowd laughed and jeered. "We endlessly bomb these other countries and then we wonder why they get upset with us?"

Paul was heavily criticized by his Republican opponents, who argued his foreign policy would put the country at harm. Newt Gingrich said that equating terrorist leaders to Chinese dissidents that might come to America  - as Paul did to illustrate his point - was a false analogy.

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"Bin Laden plotted deliberately bombing American embassies, bombing the U.S.S. cole, and killing 3,100 people on September 11th. He's not a Chinese dissident, the analogy Congressman Paul used was utterly irrational," Gingrich said.

The former Speaker - and history Ph.D - then played to the South Carolina crowd, earning him a standing ovation.

"South Carolina in the Revolutionary War had a young 13-year old named Andrew Jackson who was sabered by a British officer and wore a scar his whole life. Andrew Jackson had a pretty clear cut about America's enemies: kill them," Gingrich said.

The crowd broke into strong applause, with some members on their feet.

Mitt Romney echoed Gingrich's rhetoric, to strong applause.

"The right thing for Osama bin Laden was the bullet in the head that he received," Romney said.

The GOP frontrunner was booed later in the evening for saying he would support language in the latest defense authorization bill that would allow the president to indefinitely detain enemy combatants - including American citizens - captured on American soil, drawing criticism from civil libertarians in the office.

"Yes, I would have [signed the bill], and I do believe that it's appropriate to have in our nation the capacity to detain people who are threats to this country and who are members of al-Qaeda," Romney said over boos from the crowd.

Perry, meanwhile, took a strong tone on Turkey, calling it a "country that is being ruled by what many would perceive to be Islamic terrorists" and saying that the U.S. should zero out foreign policy to one of the United States' most significant allies in the region for moving away from the U.S. in recent years. He then lumped Turkey with Iran and Syria, saying "we need to send a powerful message to countries" like them.

The line did not get a warm response, but Perry excited the crowd when he slammed President Obama for his administration's response to American soldiers urinating on dead Taliban, saying Obama had overreacted.

Paul was able to win back part of the crowd by calling for an end to foreign wars, earning a smattering of applause.

"This idea that we can't debate foreign policy and that all we have to do is start another war, I mean.. it's war mongering," Paul said. "This country doesn't need another war, we need to quit the ones we're in, we need to save the money and bring our troops home."

South Carolina has a large number of military bases, and active duty soldiers and veterans are a key voting bloc in the state.

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