Cybersecurity » Republican Candidates Talk Cyber Issues in Debates

Republican Candidates Talk Cyber Issues in Debates

August 11, 2015

In what may foreshadow a great deal of discussion about cybersecurity in the 2016 presidential race, Republican nominee hopefuls last week touched on the topic several times in two separate debates. In the “Happy Hour” debate between nominees low in the polls, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina called out China and Russia for “using technology to attack us” by allegedly hacking the Office of Personnel Management and the Defense Department. In the main Republican debate, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said the two countries have committed “cyber war.” South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said removing “cyber walls” may be necessary to fight terrorism because the U.S. has “gutted” its ability to detect future attacks.

Discussion of the U.S. government’s own electronic surveillance programs led to barbs between Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Paul said he supports collecting “more records from terrorists, but less records from innocent Americans.” Christie countered, saying Paul’s idea of better targeting government monitoring without making the country more vulnerable to cyber attacks is a fallacy, and puts “our country at risk.”

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