Cain, Bachmann back waterboarding at Republican debate


Republican presidential candidates (L-R) former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), businessman Herman Cain, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA), Texas Governor Rick Perry, and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) get ready prior to a presidential debate at Wofford College November 12, 2011 in Spartanburg, South Carolina.


Alex Wong

Republican presidential candidates Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann said at a debate Saturday that they would renew the use of waterboarding, the controversial practice banned by President Barack Obama after he took office. 

"I don't see that as torture. I see it as an enhanced interrogation technique," Cain said, according to CNN.

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Bachmann, meanwhile, called the practice "very effective" and said Obama "is allowing the ACLU to run the CIA."

CBS News reports that Cain said he would rely on the "judgment of our military leaders to determine what is torture and what is not torture."

According to CBS, while Cain and Bachmann voiced the strongest support of waterboarding, only Congressman Ron Paul and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman said outright that they oppose the practice. 

"Waterboarding is torture," Paul said. "It's really un-American to accept, on principle, that we will torture people that we capture."

Texas Governor Rick Perry denounced torture, but said he supports any techniques  "save young American lives."

After the debate, Romney aides told CNN that he does not believe waterboarding is torture, but that he "is not going to spell out what he would employ."