GOP debate: Romney, Huntsman trade jabs over Afghan drawdown

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman’s desire to draw down the troops from Afghanistan quicker than the current timetable led to a sharp exchange with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.


After Huntsman said that the U.S. didn’t need 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, Romney said that he stood with commanders in the field who have laid out a timetable to withdraw 30,000 troops in 2012 and eventually hand over control to Afghans in 2014.

“This is not time for America to cut and run,” Romney said. “We’ve been in for 10 years.”

Huntsman shot back that he would listen to the generals, but “at the end of the day the president of the United States is commander is chief,” he said.

Romney responded that the commander in chief makes decisions based on input from people on the ground. After mentioning both he and Huntsman have visited the country, Romney said the people he has spoken with in Afghanistan say there's now a chance to secure the country. 

"We could well see that nation, and Pakistan as well, get pulled into terror," Romney said.