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October 30, 2015 5:25 am

In Finance-Focused GOP Debate, Candidates Don’t Forget Middle East

avatar by Alina Dain Sharon /

The first-tier candidate GOP debate on CNBC. Photo: Screenshot from YouTube.

The first-tier candidate GOP debate on CNBC. Photo: Screenshot from YouTube. – On Wednesday, Republican presidential primary candidates debated for the third time in consecutive second-tier and first-tier debates on the CNBC network. Both debates focused primarily on the economy. In the midst of addressing this issue from different angles, and while throwing heavy criticism at the debate moderators for what they deemed to be some contentious and unfair questions, some candidates managed to squeeze in some comments on foreign policy in the Middle East.

In the second-tier debate, former New York governor George Pataki praised for Israel in comments about how the US government should respond to cyber-attacks.

“No, I don’t think we need a military response, but we need a coordinated response…what I would do is put in place a policy where if we know a company, say, a Chinese company, is hacking into American companies, stealing trade secrets, as we know they do every day, we will retaliate against that company…I would also look at what we’re doing at the federal level and put in place what Israel has done: a — one federal agency dealing with cyber-security and charged with working across silos to make sure we have the best technology,” he said.

“We have no doubt that that was hacked, and that state secrets are out there to the Iranians, the Russians, the Chinese, and others,” added Pataki.

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In the first-tier debate, Donald Trump stated that “unlike our country where we’re totally predictable and the enemy, whether it’s ISIS or anybody else, they know exactly what we’re doing because we have the wrong leadership.”

“Our country doesn’t win anymore. We used to win, we don’t win anymore. We lose on trade. We lose with ISIS. We lose with one of the worst deals I’ve ever seen negotiated of any kind, that’s our recent catastrophe with Iran. We don’t win,” Trump said.

In response to a moderator’s question on getting the government involved in fantasy football, a visibly annoyed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie sarcastically responded, “We have — wait a second, we have $19 trillion in debt. We have people out of work. We have ISIS and Al-Qaeda attacking us. And we’re talking about fantasy football? Can we stop?”

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