Fox News moderated the first Republican debate, or perhaps “group interview,” on August 6, 2015. The session prior to this one was for those seven declared candidates who were not in the Top Ten of likely voters in five recent national polls. This event was reported in OCR’s “First Republican Debate: Some Who Missed the ‘First Cut’ are Actually a ‘Cut Above.’”
The second session is covered here. Because of time constraints that evening, all questions were not necessarily given to every candidate. For ease of reading, comments have been collected for each topic and combined for those instances where someone added a statement not in the sequence of the questions. At the end, and evaluation will be given for each candidate along with suggested Cabinet positions – or other occupations as the case may be!
Early Drama: Party Loyalty
The evening was off to a tense start when Bret Baier asked all ten whether they could promise not to run as a third party nominee if not picked by the Republican Party. Only current poll leader Donald Trump could not. This raised concerned eyebrows as Baier reminded him that a third party candidate would very likely give the Democrats the win next year.
Trump said he understood that but remained steadfast. Sen. Rand Paul (KY) interjected, with a small part of the audience encouraging him, “That’s what’s wrong. He buys and sells politicians of all stripes… He’s already hedging his bets on the Clintons, OK?” Trump countered with, “I’ve given him plenty of money.” After Trump affirmed that he would not make the pledge, Baier said, “We’re going to move on” amidst some partisan cheers and increasing boos.
[Follow-up: After some consideration in the succeeding weeks, Trump agreed to sign the party pledge stating, ““I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party and the conservative principles for which it stands” he said at a press conference in New York City. “And we will go out and we will fight hard and we will win.” He commented that the RNC “absolutely terrific” and “fair” since he announced his candidacy and added, “I see no circumstances under which I would tear up that pledge.”1]
Dr. Benjamin Carson (former director of Johns Hopkins Pediatric Neurosurgery): “America became a great nation, early on, not because it was flooded with politicians, but because it was flooded with people who understood the value of personal responsibility, hard work, creativity, innovation. And that’s what will get us on the right track now as well.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (Florida, since 2011): Chris Wallace asked him to respond to fellow Floridian Gov. Bush’s comment that governors face the tough decisions without the benefit of “blending into the legislative crowd, Rubio reminded him that he already has experience as the “Speaker of the third largest and most diverse state in the country.” He said that “while it’s important to be qualified,” he cautioned that this election must “not be a resume competition” or Hillary Clinton will win because she has been in government longer than the other candidates. “This election had better be about the future, not the past.”
Another Side Show
Megyn Kelly asked Donald Trump about his public comments disparaging women. He attempted to slant that this more of an issue of being politically correct rather than being appropriate. He also tried to pass much of it off as being “good fun” before challenging Kelly. Enough said.
Gov. Jeb Bush (Florida, 1999-2007): He promotes earned legal status because he believes that “the great majority people coming here illegally have no other option… But we need to control our border. It’s our responsibility to pick and choose who comes in… We need to eliminate the sanctuary cities in this country. It is ridiculous and tragic… And I think rather than talking about this as a wedge issue which Barack Obama has done now for six long years, the next president, and I hope to be that president, will fix this once and for all so that we turn this into a high driver for high sustained economic growth… not amnesty, earned legal status, which means you pay a fine and do many things over an extended period of time.”
Trump: Chris Wallace asked him to reveal previously withheld proof that the Mexican government was sending the criminal element over our border. Mr. Trump began with the interesting comment that without his bringing the subject up at his announcement, no one would be talking about immigration. “We need to build a wall and it has to be built quickly… We need to keep illegals out!… Border patrol, people that I deal with, that I talk to, they say this is what happening, because our leaders are stupid, our politicians are stupid, and the Mexican government is much smarter, much sharper, much more cunning, and they send the bad ones over because they don’t want to pay for them, they don’t want to take of them. Why should they when the stupid leaders of the United States will do it for them? And that’s what’s happening whether you like it or not!”
Kasich: Instead of offering his ideas, he concluded with: “Mr. Trump is touching a nerve because people want the wall to be built. They want to see an end to illegal immigration.”
Rubio: He made it clear that the current wave of immigrants is not from Mexico, but from Central American countries. “I also believe we need a fence. The problem is if El Chapo3 builds a tunnel under the fence, we have to deal with that, too. And that’s why you need an e-verify system and you need entry/exit tracking system.” Rubio received loud approval with:
“And let me tell you who never gets talked about in these debates – the people that call my office, who have been waiting fifteen years to come to the United States. And they paid their fees, and they hired a lawyer, and they can’t get in. And they’re wondering, ‘Should I come illegally?”
Gov. Scott Walker (WI since 2011): When asked to explain his change of position on immigration, he said it was in response to what heard from the American people. We need to “secure the border, enforce the law, no amnesty and go forth with a legal immigration system which gives priority to American working families and wages.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas since 2013): He not only supports “Kate Steinle’s Law,”4 but he authored the Senate version. He was thwarted when his party’s leader blocked a vote on it. Regarding previous comments questioning our leaders’ intelligence, Cruz said, “It’s not a question of stupidity. It’s that they don’t want to enforce the immigration laws. That there are far too many in the Washington cartel that support amnesty. President Obama talked about fundamentally transforming this country. There are seven billion across the face of this globe, many of whom want to come to this country. If they want to come legally, great, but if they come illegally and they get amnesty, that is how we fundamentally change this country.” He mentioned that he has opposed Sen. Shumer’s plan for amnesty.
Terrorism (Round #1: Paul vs. Christie)
Gov. Chris Christie (NJ since 2009): He was asked to justify his statement that people like Sen. Paul who oppose metadata collecting of citizens, like the NSA’s collection of phone records, “should be called before Congress to answer for it if we should be hit by another terrorist attack.” After citing what he had witnessed and did following the 9/11 attacks, he said that for seven years he was part of the effort which protected the U.S. while at the same time respecting civil liberties. “We have to give more tools to our folks to be able to do that, not fewer. And then trust those people and oversee them to do it the right way.”
Then, finally a real debate, along with some fireworks (and best efforts at transcription!)
Sen. Rand Paul (KY since 2011): “I want to collect more records from terrorists, but less records from innocent Americans. The Fourth Amendment was what we fought the Revolution over! John Adams said it was the spark that led to our war of independence! And I’m proud of standing for the Bill of Rights, and I will continue to stand for the Bill of Rights!
Gov. Christie: “You know, that’s a completely ridiculous answer. (with an affected voice) ‘I want to collect more records from terrorists, but less records from other people.’ How are you supposed to know, Megan?”
Sen. Paul: “Use the Fourth Amendment.”
Gov. Christie: “What are you supposed – how do you — ?”
Sen. Paul: “Use the Fourth Amendment, get a warrant.”
Gov. Christie: “No, I’ll tell you how you (amidst repeated “Get a warrant”). Let me tell you something, you know (Paul: “Get a judge to sign a warrant.”), when you, [Megan Kelly: “Governor Christie, make your point.”] Listen Senator, you know when you’re sitting in a subcommittee just blowing hot air about this, you can say things like that. When you’re responsible for protecting the lives of the American people, then what you need to do is make sure (Sen. Paul: “Here’s the problem.”)—you need to make sure you use the system the way (“Here’s the problem, Governor.”) it’s supposed to work!
Sen. Paul: “Here’s the problem, Governor, you fundamentally misunderstand the Bill of Rights. Every time you did a case, you got a warrant, from a judge. I’m talking about searches without warrants, (Gov. Christie: “There is no search.”) indiscriminately of all Americans records, and that’s what I fought to end. I don’t trust President Obama with our records. I know you gave him a big hug. And if you want to give him a big hug again, then go right ahead.”
Gov. Christie: “And you know, you know Sen. Paul, Sen. Paul, the hugs that I remember? Are the hugs I gave to the families who lost their people on September 11th. Those are the hugs I remember and those had nothing to do, those had nothing to do with politics, unlike what you’re doing by cutting speeches on the floor of the Senate that put them on the internet within half an hour to raise money for your campaign, and while still putting our country at risk.” [at this point, Megan Kelly asked to move on to the other candidates]
[But is Gov. Christie correct about using ever-increasing means to maintain national security?5]
Terrorism (from the less combative candidates)
Cruz: With the same thought expressed by Gov. Jindal in the earlier session, he began that our goal to defeat ISIS will always fail as long as we have a president who can’t say “radical Islamic terrorism.” He doesn’t believe the notion that changing the culture and economy of the Arab nations will thwart terrorism. Rather he said,” What we need is a commander-in-chief who makes clear, ‘If you join ISIS, if you wage jihad on America, then you are signing your death warrant.”
He agreed that the problem is ideological as well, which is why he introduced the Ex-Patriate Terrorist Act in the Senate. It states any American citizen who goes overseas to join ISIS forfeits his citizenship so that he is unable to return to the U.S. and wage jihad because his passport allows him entry.
Bush: Yes, he wouldn’t have invaded Iraq knowing what we know now, but the key to this is:
“Barack Obama became president and he abandoned Iraq. He left, and when he left, Al-Qaida was done for, ISIS was created because of the void that we left. And that void we left now exists as a caliphate the size of Indiana. To honor the people who die, we need to stop the Iran agreement for sure because the Iranian mullahs have their blood on their hands and we need to take out ISIS with every tool at our disposal.”
Walker: It’s not a matter of more Arab allies, but one of working with the ones we have. Meeting with some leaders, he was told that the problem is not the Iran deal, but that the U.S. is leading from behind. We have Persian Gulf allies, not just Israel.
Paul: His proposal starts with “not arming the allies of ISIS.” Also, “I’ve been fighting amidst a lot of opposition from both Hillary Clinton as well as some Republicans who wanted to send arms to the allies of ISIS. ISIS runs around with a billion dollars worth of Humvees… We didn’t create ISIS… one of the ways we will stop them is by not funding them and not arming them.”2
Carson: With regard to whether he would reinstate waterboarding, he explained, “What we do in order to get the information we need is our business. And I wouldn’t necessarily be broadcasting to everybody what we’re going to do. You know, we’ve gotten into this mindset of fighting politically correct wars. There is no such thing as a politically correct war. And, of course, the Left will say ‘Carson doesn’t believe in the Geneva Convention,’ Carson doesn’t believe in fighting stupid wars… And I’ve talked to a lot of the generals, a lot of our advance people, and believe me, if we gave them the mission, which is what the commander-in-chief does, they would be able to carry it out. And if we don’t tie their hands behind their back, they will do it extremely effectively.”
Obamacare and the Role of the Federal Government
Gov. John Kasich (OH since 2011): He was asked to justify his permission to have Medicaid expand in Ohio which has cost taxpayers $1.8 billion and is over budget in the first eighteen months. Kasich explained it was done in order to treat the mentally ill in jail and those with addictions, which represent 80% of those incarcerated. To date, the return rate to prison is only 10%. The program was also designed to help the poor so that they use the more expensive emergency rooms less…. Ohio’s Medicaid increase “is growing at one of the lowest rates in the country” and the state overall has gone from “$8 billion in the hole to $2 billion in the black” during his tenure also “cut $5 billion in taxes and grown 350,000 jobs.”
Trump: The question: Fifteen years ago he was for a Canadian-style single payer health care, so why does he call Obamacare a disaster? He countered that it does work in Canada and Scotland. It would work here if it were “a private system without the artificial lines around every state… The insurance companies are making a fortune because they control the politicians, of course with the exception of the politicians on this stage… And then we have to take care of the people who can’t take care of themselves. And I will do that through a different system.”
Gov. Mike Huckabee (AR from 1996-2007): [He was asked, Would you cut the size of the EPA, IRS and Dept. of Education? And is government just too big to shrink?’]
The problem is a “Wall Street to Washington axis of power.” The political class does whatever the donor class wants, which increases the size of the federal government. He said that the biggest hurdle for him and his fellow governors was not the opposing party or even the state legislature, but the federal government’s unfunded mandates.
“And the fact is, that there are a lot of things happening at the federal level that are absolutely beyond the jurisdiction of the Constitution… There is no role at the federal level for the department of education.”
[see OCR article “Common Core: Slingshot to Progress or Spiderweb, Part 5 of 5”]
He also supports eliminating the IRS with a tax on consumption, not income.
Carson: Going back to the Biblical concept of tithing, he supports a proportional system of taxation [note: a “flat tax”], eliminating deductions and loopholes.
Bush: While he supports Common Core, he doesn’t believe that the federal government should create standards or curriculum directly or indirectly for “it is clearly a state responsibility.” He added, “I’m for higher standards, measured in an intellectually honest way, with abundant school choice, ending social promotion.”
As governor, he created the first three statewide voucher programs in the country. All of these resulted in “rising student achievement across the board.” He added that “challenging the teachers’ union and beating them is the way to go. And Florida’s low-income kids had the greatest gains inside the country. Our graduation rate improved 50%. That’s what I’m for.”
[note: but that doesn’t sound like Common Core as it is prescribed!]
Rubio: Curriculum reform is very necessary and “it should happen at the state and local level.” The problem with Common Core is the Dept. of Education will eventually exert its control over education by tying it to federal funding.
Bush: “If states want to opt out of Common Core. Just make sure your standards are high.”
[With all due respect, despite its claim, Common Core is not necessarily about higher standards and there are many aspects of liberal social engineering spreading faster in it. He should read OCR’s five-part series on “Common Core: Slingshot to Progress or Spiderweb?”]
How Trump Works the Washington Machine
Trump: When asked why he seemingly donates to competing candidates, he commented that he was a businessman before he declared his candidacy. “I will tell you that our system is broken. I give to many people… I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And, you know what, when I need something from them, two years later, three years later, I call them and they are there for me. That’s a broken system.”
(Baier: “So what did you get from Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi?) “With Hillary Clinton, I said, ‘Be at my wedding.’ And she came to my wedding. And you know why? She had no choice because I gave. I gave to a foundation [author’s note: as did overseas leaders for their purposes, too?], that frankly, that foundation is supposed to do good. I didn’t know her money would be used on private jets going all over the world.”
If the Opponent is Hillary Clinton, How Should Republicans Promote Their Positions?
Kasich: She will approach things in a narrow way, Republicans must look at a bigger picture: pro-growth and balancing budgets. “Economic growth is the key to everything. But once you have economic growth, it is important that we reach out to people who live in the shadows. The people who don’t seem to think they ever get a fair deal.”
Carson: “The fact of the matter is, she is the epitome of the secular progressive movement. And she counts on the fact that people are uniformed, the Alinsky model,6,7 taking advantage of useful idiots. Well, I just happen to believe that people are not stupid. And the way I will come at it is to educate people; help people to actually understand that it is that progressive movement that is causing them the problems.”
“You know, you look at the national debt and how it’s being driven up. If I was trying to destroy this country, what I would do is find a way to drive wedges between all the people, drive the debt to an unsustainable level and then step off the stage as a world leader, and let our enemies increase while we decreased our capacity as a military person and that’s what she’s doing.”
Walker: Comment from another part of the session: “It’s sad to think right now, but probably the Russian and Chinese governments know more about Hillary Clinton’s email server than do the members of the United States Congress.”
Rubio: “If I’m our nominee, how is Hillary Clinton going to lecture me about living paycheck-to-paycheck? I was raised paycheck-to paycheck. How is she going to lecture me about student loans? I owed over a $100,000 just four years ago.”
Huckabee: From his closing remarks, “It seems like this election has been a lot about a person who’s very high in the polls, but doesn’t have a clue about how to govern. (oooh’s) A person who has been filled with scandals (ominous silence, as if “is he really going there about Trump?”) and who could not lead. Of course, I’m talking about Hillary Clinton.” (laughter)
The Economy and the Federal Government
Bush: Even though Chris Wallace reminded him that no president has reached his goal of 4% average growth during an administration, Bush stated that 4% has been achieved twenty-seven times since World War II.
“The new normal of 2% that the Left is saying ‘you can’t do anything about’ is so dangerous for our country… We’ve created rules and taxes on top of every aspiration of people and the net result is we’re not growing fast, income’s not growing. A 4% strategy means you fix a convoluted tax code. You get in and you change every aspect of regulations that are job killers. You get rid of Obamacare and replace it with something that doesn’t suppress wages… And frankly, fixing our immigration system and turning it into an economic driver is part of this as well.”
Walker: “People, not the government, creates jobs… Repeal Obamacare, rein in all of the out-of-control regulations, put in an all-of-the-above energy policy, give people the education and the skills they need to succeed and lower the tax rate, reform the tax code.”
Cruz: from earlier, “Our debt problem is also the fault of a Republican Congress which does not honor its commitments.”
Christie: Spending on entitlements and the debt represent 71% of federal expenditures. He proposes raising the normal retirement age two years over a 25-year period as well as a means test for those with at least a certain level of retirement income and total worth.
Earlier, he gave his resume on improving economies. Despite the apparently unflattering state of New Jersey’s current economy, Christie declared that in addition to inheriting a state economy which saw no net increase in jobs over the previous eight years: “We balanced an $11 billion deficit on a $29 billion budget by cutting over 800 programs in the state budget. We brought the budget into balance with no taxes increases. In fact, we vetoed five tax increases during my time as governor. We cut business taxes $2.3 billion and we cut regulation by one-third of what my predecessor put in place. And what’s happened since? 192,000 new private sector jobs in the five and one-half years I’ve been governor.”
Huckabee: One-third of the 60 million receiving Social Security depend on it for 90% of their income. Workers have had to pay into this program without choice. In addition, it was “robbed by $700 billion to pay for Obamacare.” We should start by modifying Congress’ own special retirement program. He believes we can save Social Security and Medicare by getting funds from those other than just wage-earners.
“Most of the income in this country made by people at the top who get dividends and capital gains. The “fair tax” transforms the process by which we fund Social Security and Medicare because the money paid by consumption is paid by everybody, including illegals, prostitutes, pimps, drug dealers, all of the people who are freeloading off the system now.”
Trump: Chris Wallace asked why should voters trust him when his corporations’ four bankruptcies in the last twenty-five years have cost lenders billions of dollars.
“Because I have used the laws of this country, just like the greatest people that you read about everyday in business have used the laws of this country, the chapter laws, to do a great job for my company, myself, for my employees, my family. I have never gone bankrupt, by the way, I have never. But out of hundreds of deals (Wallace: “That’s your line, but your companies have gone bankrupt.”) — Excuse me, excuse me. Out of hundred— What am I saying? Out of hundreds of deals I have done, hundreds, on four occasions I’ve taken advantage of the laws of this country, like other people! I’m not going to name their names because I’m not going to embarrass. But virtually every person that you read about on the front page of the business sections, they’ve used the law. The difference is when somebody else uses those laws, nobody writes about it. When I use it, they say ‘Oh, Trump, Trump, Trump.’ The fact is, I built a net worth of more than $10 billion. I have a great, great company. I employ thousands of people and I’m very proud of the job I did. And again, Chris, hundreds and hundreds of deals, four times I’ve taken advantage of the laws and, frankly, so has everybody else in my position.”
When Wallace reminded him that as a result of a Trump bankruptcy in 2009, lender lost over $1 billion and 1,100 people were laid off, Trump replied, “Let me just tell you about the lenders. First of all, these lenders aren’t babies, they’re total killers. These are not the nice, sweet little people that you think, OK? You know, you’re living in a world of the make-believe, Chris, [if] you want to know the truth.” He added, “And I had the good sense to leave Atlantic City, which by the way Caesar’s just went bankrupt. Every company, Chris (Gov. Christie) can tell you, every company virtually in Atlantic City went bankrupt.”
Rubio: Answering a video question about how to help small businesses and entrepreneurs, from a woman in Philadelphia, he said we start by evening out the tax code for small businesses and “lowering it to 25% just as we need to for all businesses.” We need limits on regulations, too. Also, we must repeal and replace Obamacare, plus improve education so that people have the necessary skills. Repealing of Dodd-Frank8 is also a must as “it is eviscerating small businesses and small banks.” Forty per cent of the small and mid-sized banks which lend to small businesses have gone under since the passage of this Act.
Earlier, he said, “ This country is facing an economy that had been radically transformed. You know the largest retailer in the country and the world today, Amazon, doesn’t even own a single store? And these changes have been disruptive. They have changed people’s lives. The jobs that once sustained our middle class, they either don’t pay enough or they are gone. And we need someone who understands that as our nominee.”
Paul: He claims to be the only one on that stage to have a 5-year budget, which is balanced and says specifically where he would cut spending, including foreign aid “because I think we ought to quit sending it to countries who hate us.”
Carson: In his closing remarks, he mentioned he was the only one who hadn’t listed the things he had done that no one else had accomplished. His third brought the house down, which was “The only one to take out half of a brain, and although you would think if you go to Washington that someone had beat me to it.”
Iran Deal, the Rest of the Middle East and Other Foreign Policy
Walker: If he were able to tear up this deal, he would follow by reinstating the sanctions authorized by Congress, go to Congress to put “more crippling sanctions in place,” and convince our allies to do likewise.
Later, how would he deal with a Putin attempt to destabilize NATO allies which were once part of the Soviet Union?
“Putin believes in the old Lenin adage that you probe with bayonets. When you find mush, you push. When you find steel, you stop. Under Obama and Clinton, we’ve found a lot of mush over the last few years. We need to have a national security that puts steel in front of our enemies.” He would send weapons to Ukraine and put forces on eastern Poland and Baltic nations. Also “reinstate the missile defense system we had in Poland and the Czech Republic.”
Paul: He will vote against the deal and the President “did not deal from a position of strength” and “gave away too much, too early.” We should never have released the sanctions until we had evidence that they would comply. As a Reagan conservative, he would not rule out negotiations, after all, Reagan negotiated with the Soviets. Paul’s continuing concern that even Secretary of State John Kerry did not believe the Iranians are trustworthy, so Paul asks how can we expect them to comply?
“Ronald Reagan, said ‘trust, but verify.’ President Obama is trust, but vilify. He trusts our enemies and vilifies everyone who disagrees with him. And the reason we disagree with him has nothing to do with party. It has to do with the incredibly dangerous place that this world is going to be as a result of a deal in which we got nothing. We didn’t even get four hostages out. We got nothing and Iran gets everything they want. We said we would have anywhere, anytime negotiations and inspections. We gave that up. We said that we would make sure that they didn’t have any nuclear capacity. We gave that up.”
“The President can’t tell us what we got, I’ll tell you what the world got. The world has a burgeoning nuclear power that didn’t, as the Soviets say ‘we might defend ourselves in a war,’ what the Iranians have said is ‘we will wipe Israel off the face of the map and we will bring death to America.’ When someone points a gun at your head and loads it, by God you ought to take them seriously! And we need to take that seriously.”
Trump: How would he respond to the Iranian general who is visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution confining him to Iran? He began with the President “doesn’t have a clue.” [actually, he does, see 9] Then, he reviewed the bad Iran deal and the infamous Bergdahl trade. Things have become so slanted in favor of Iran, he suggested that if Iran were a stock, people should buy it now.
Earlier, Trump said in July, 2004 he was against the war in Iraq because it would destabilize the region. He claimed he was “the only one on this stage who knew that and had the vision to say it.”
Cruz: [Have Russia and China committed acts of cyber war and what would you do about it?]
Yes, it is happening and the mess in the world can be attributed to the Obama/Clinton strategy of “leading from behind.” He contrasted the strong foreign policy of Reagan (the Iranian hostages were released the day he took office) with the recent understanding that the Soviet cyber attack on our Joint Chiefs came the day after that same Iranian General Suleimani returned from his meeting in Moscow. “We need a new commander-in-chief that will stand up to our enemies and have credibility.”
Later, he said he would move our U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Carson: Regarding Obama’s failure to respond to Syria after it “crossed the red line,” — Carson brought up how the reduced Air Force and Navy along with a recent claim that half of our forces are not battle ready as well as “our generals are retiring because they don’t want to be a part of this,” it affects our decisions negatively. Ukraine can’t trust us because we didn’t follow up on our promise to help them and “we turned our back on Israel,” etc. He would “shore up the military first, because if you don’t get the military right, then nothing else is going to work.”
Paul: “We shouldn’t borrow money from China to send it anywhere… Out of your surplus you can help our allies, and Israel is a great ally, this is no particular animus of Israel… We cannot give away money we don’t have. We do not project power from bankruptcy court. ”
Christie: He agrees with Dr. Carson. The governor has a proposal for increased minimums in soldier count in all branches along with more ships plus specific classes of submarines and plans to revitalize the Air Force. “Those are the kind of things that will send a clear message around the world.” He also agrees with Sen. Paul that “we shouldn’t be funding our enemies,” but he “absolutely believe(s) that Israel is a priority.”
Later, “We’ve got to stop worrying about being loved, and start worrying about being respected.”
Bush: Megan Kelly asked why, as of late 2014, was he director on the Bloomberg Foundation when a charity was giving tens of millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood? He joined because of its interest in education reform, budgets were discussed only in general terms. He defunded Planned Parenthood in Florida. They created parental notification laws and ended partial birth abortion. As governor, he created a pro-life environment which included end-of-life issues as well.
Rubio: He denied that he has ever advocated rape or incest exceptions regarding abortions.
He has advocated a law “which says that all human life at every stage of its development is worthy of protection. In fact, I think that law already exists. It’s called the Constitution of the United States. And let me go further, I believe that every human being in entitled to the protection of our laws, whether they can vote or not, whether they can speak or not, whether they can hire a lawyer or not, whether they have a birth certificate or not. And I think future generations will look back at this history of our country and call us barbarians for murdering millions of babies, who we never gave a chance to live.”
Trump: When it was pointed how he’s made some rather strong reversals on issues, he claimed a similarity to Ronald Reagan in that he has “evolved” on his thinking. He related a story which changed his mind on abortion. Some friends of his decided against having an abortion and the kid is now a “superstar.”
Coming from strongly Democratic New York, he saw things differently over the years. Also, he referred to the last few months of Jeb Bush’s brother’s administration as a “catastrophe” which led to Obama which “you can’t be happy about that.”
Kasich: While he stands for traditional marriage, “the Court has ruled and I said we’ll accept that… Because somebody doesn’t think the way I do, doesn’t mean I can’t care about them or love them.”
Paul: Regarding a sent-in question asking how can we ensure that Christians will not be prosecuted for their beliefs? “Look, I don’t want my marriage or my guns registered in Washington. And if people have an opinion that is a religious opinion that is heartily felt, obviously they should be allowed to practice that and no government should interfere with them…”
“When the government invades the church to force its opinion on marriage, that’s when it’s time to resist.”
Walker: [How to improve police/citizen relations?]
Continued training throughout a law enforcement person’s career and the support of the citizenry are the keys. Consequences are necessary for those police who act improperly “to show that we treat everyone the same in America.”
Earlier: Regarding his stance on no exceptions regarding the banning of abortion despite the claim that 83% of Americans are in favor of “for the life of the mother”:
“That is an unborn child that is in need of protection. And I’ve said many a time that that unborn child can be protected and that there many alternatives that will also protect the life of the mother. That’s been consistently proven. Unlike Hillary Clinton who has the radical position for support of Planned Parenthood, I defunded Planned Parenthood more than four years ago, long before these videos came out.”
Huckabee: How would he deal with transgenders serving openly in the military?
“The military is not a social experiment. The purpose of the military is kill people and break things. It’s not to transform the culture by trying out some ideas that people think would make us a different country and more diverse. The purpose is to protect America. I’m not sure how paying for transgender surgery for soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines makes our country safer. We’ve reduced the military by 25% under President Obama. The disaster is that we’ve forgotten why we have a military… And the fact is, most of them (B-52 bombers in service) are older than me. And that’s pretty scary.”
Earlier, instead of viewing simply defunding Planned Parenthood as a great step, he said the next president should invoke the 5th and 14th Amendments for due process and equal protection under the law because “now that we clearly know that that baby inside the mother’s womb is a person at the moment of conception” based on DNA evidence.
“It’s time to recognize that the Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being and we change the policy to be pro-life to protect children instead of rip up their body parts and sell them like they’re parts to a Buick.”
Carson: How would he improve race relations?
Response: Unfortunately, we have “purveyors of hatred” who attempt to make a race war out of every problem between people of different races. When asked by an NPR reporter why doesn’t talk about race more often, he replied,
“It’s because I’m a neurosurgeon. And she thought that was a strange response. You see, when I take someone to the operating room, I’m actually operating on the thing that makes them who they are. The skin doesn’t make the who they are, their hair doesn’t make them who they are and it’s for us to move beyond that because (loud applause) you know, our strength as a nation comes in our unity. We are the United States of America, not the divided states. And those who want to destroy us are trying to divide us and we shouldn’t let them do it.”
Cruz: One of his first priorities would be to instruct the DOJ to investigate Planned Parenthood and prosecute any criminal violations found and get the DOJ and the IRS to stop persecuting religious liberty.
The Trump Factor
Bush: He denied the story from an anonymous GOP supporter that he called Donald Trump some uncomplimentary terms. However, he did say that Trump’s “language is divisive… We’re not going to win by doing what Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton do each and every day: dividing the country.”
He then summarized the progress made in Florida during his term. Here’s a quote from earlier in the evening: “I cut taxes (in Florida) every year, totaling $19 billion… We balanced every budget. We were one of two states to go to AAA bond rating… They called me Veto Corleone because I vetoed twenty-five hundred separate line items in the budget… I governed as a conservative and I governed effectively… And the net effect was during my eight years, 1.3 million jobs were created.”
“If you do that and apply conservative principles the right way, you create an environment where everybody rises up. That’s how we’re going to win.”
Trump: While he appreciated the fact that Gov. Bush denied those comments, he disagreed about the nature of his rhetoric. Recounting all of the problems of the world ranging from the border problem to the violence and the horrors of the Middle East creating a “Medieval times,” he said “we don’t have time for tone.”
Facebook Question: “Has Any of Them Received a Word from God” About Priorities?
Cruz: He’s the son of a pastor and evangelist who receives the Word of God through Scripture daily. “And the Scripture tells us, ‘you shall know them by their fruits.’ We see lots of campaign conservatives, but if we’re going to win in 2016, we need a consistent conservative.”
Kasich: “The Lord’s not picking us. But because of how we respect human rights, because that we are a good force in the world, He wants America to be strong. He wants America to succeed and He wants America to lead.”
Walker: The governor said he’s an imperfect being who has been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ for his sins, but he has not received a list from God regarding priorities. “What God calls us to do is follow His will.” That includes not just what we do, but how we treat people in the process.
Rubio: (Megyn Kelly was prompted by a woman in the crowd, to ask what the candidates would do for veterans.)
“God has blessed us. He’s blessed the Republican Party with some very good candidates, and the Democrats can’t even find one.” (crowd laughter interrupting)
“And I believe God has blessed our country.” We have also been blessed with men and women willing to die for our safety, but our VA has not done enough for them. The law has been changed so that the VA director can fire people for not doing their jobs. (comment: amazing concept) Amazingly, only one person has been fired to date. He would bring more concern for the veterans than for the bureaucrats who work there.
Huckabee: In his closing remarks, “I think America is in trouble, but it’s not beyond repair. But it’s going to take leadership who sees the greatness of this country, and who believes, once again, we can be ‘one nation under God.’”
Evaluation (in alphabetical order)
Bush: Presidential material and not because of his lineage. Has proven executive achievement in a large state (Florida) which has also had to deal with a diverse citizenry, both ethnic and age. For those who abhor another Bush, have you considered another Clinton on the heels of an Alinsky on steroids?
Alternative positions: Vice-President, although he might be thrilled at the idea at first, he could step into leadership a lot faster than a Quayle, Biden or Gore would have. Head of the OMB (Office of Management and Budget) – proven track record, Secretary of State (appreciates what it takes to work with different cultures), hesitate to suggest Dept. of Education (not sure he has really minimized his love for Common Core)
Carson: Definitely presidential. Would command the respect needed to tackle the thorny problems Progressives don’t seem to mind having for perpetuity. He can truly identify with the impoverished and discriminated classes, more so than the current occupant of the White House. He would not be intimidated by spurious charges of “intolerance,” “Uncle Tom” and worse. Intelligent, a man of integrity and knowledgeable, but knows that a good leader is not supposed to know it all. Would be collaborative and could delegate judiciously.
Alternative positions: VP, Secretary of Education because that is what made his youthful poverty “temporary,” Secretary of Defense because he “doesn’t believe in fighting stupid wars, and any of the integrity-deficient departments like the NSA and perhaps CIA and FBI, and the obvious, Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Christie: Has seemingly improved the situation of a very “blue” state. Could be our leader, but to be elected would still have to shake the Obama-friend image and reputation of trying to appeal to too many left-of-center voters.
Alternative positions: Secretary of Defense (has a plan to re-staff the military), Head of OMB (fiscal success in NJ), head Social Security (realizes we can’t cry over the money that is gone, but would take steps to salvage it with minimal pain), Secretary of HUD (likes helping people), but not Homeland Security
Cruz: Has the resolve and conviction needed to be President. (With Gov. Rick Perry’s withdrawal on Sept. 11, he becomes the only candidate from Texas.) For those who feel he is too forward in his views, perhaps it’s because, like Gov. Perry, he has seen firsthand what happens when our border is used for a personal and vote acquiring agenda. Like President Reagan, he would not put up with hostage-taking and the like from any enemy.
Alternative positions: Head of Homeland Security for the aforementioned reason, lead the Citizen and Immigration Service (USCIS) because he would uphold the law and push for change if the Obama Administration messes things up further, head of BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosive)—if this has to be explained, you don’t know his passion the Second Amendment.
Huckabee: In a just world, he could win and has the tools be successful. Has a practical view of the micro (the states) and the macro (the world). But in our current secularized society, can he win enough votes in a citizenry where many prize paganism and a hedonistic lifestyle?
Alternative positions: Secretary of State (no leading from behind or lousy negotiations), Secretary of Defense (understands the importance of a sufficient military and that it is not a place for social experiments), Attorney General (law background and integrity), head of Social Security but not the IRS (this author is not a fan of “flat tax”), Secretary of Education because he understands this dept. is unconstitutional so he would work to get decision-making back to the local level via elimination of Common Core
Kasich: At the risk of offending some fellow Ohioans, not convinced that he can resist the “get along” mentality to defend the key conservative values necessary for a truly revitalized U.S. Took a chance with expanded Medicare, albeit with great motives, but will it draw Ohio into the federal web? His answer on immigration essentially avoided the issue. Also, seems resigned to the Court decision on redefinition of marriage despite its absurdity. Will not win many votes in left-of-center or possibly the center with “But once you have economic growth, it is important that we reach out to people who live in the shadows.” Those “in the shadows” need to be part of the recovery strategy.
Alternative positions: Secretary of Commerce or Director of OMB (see Ohio’s budget recovery), head of EPA (appreciates danger of ridiculous regulations, but would not be confirmed by a Democratically-controlled Congress due to issues with fracking)
Paul: Has the will to do what he feels is right, appreciate what it takes to be a force good, respects budgeting, but some may want him to have a little more polishing. Would not be vulnerable to vanity or poll-watching.
Alternatives: Supreme Court justice (respect for and knowledge of the Constitution, something which five current justices seem to lack), Secretary of State (no “Melvins” on the job as we have had with John Kerry vs. the Iranians), Secretary of the Treasury (would stop or at least pull in the reins on the currency printing presses), Secretary of Agriculture (he wasn’t raised in Texas or represent Kentucky without absorbing something of this) , Secretary of State (would be likely to make foreign aid cuts more palatable when explaining we can’t go in the hole for them or we both lose)
Rubio: Like Dr. Carson, Democrats couldn’t pin the usual empty-headed 1960’s stereotypes on him which they like to apply to Republicans. Has experience with the volatile problem of immigration, can truly empathize with both sides of the issue. Justified sense of moral conviction because of his respect for the dignity of all human life. Is not intimidated by more senior peers.
Alternative positions: And, just like Walker, a term or two as VP might be necessary to convince enough voters of his readiness to lead (even though he certainly has a greater track record of achievement than the “community organizer” masking as a senator who ascended to the presidency mysteriously in 2009). Secretary of Homeland Security and could also head the USCIS (concern for fairness and ability to relate to those in need), same reasons he could head the VA, would return common sense to the Department of Education as its head, also integrity to the IRS
Trump: He brings the “fire in the belly” needed to challenge those who have been duped by the Democratic philosophy that “we can rig elections forever with a few more illegals and grateful receivers of handouts.” While borrowing the arrogance of Obama, Clinton and Co. may seem smart because they’ve gotten away with it, it’s not sufficient for the generally more educated and civilized Republican plus Independent voters needed to win in 2016. That along with his Animal House approach to women actually plays into the hands of the Left.
Alternatives: How about the leader of a “super PAC”? After all, he knows how to “use the laws of this country, just like the greatest people that you read about everyday in business have used the laws of this country,…” Or perhaps, put him in charge of building the border wall, just keep an eye on his entrepreneurial plans for the wall!
Walker: Has certainly proven himself through accomplishment in the face of having to weather political storms. But, just like Gov. Huckabee, this talented, and honest leader might be thwarted by the “me over God” part of our population.
Alternative positions: Since his youth may bother some, a stint as VP might give him more opportunity to convince his detractors, Secretary of Labor (normally, someone of his philosophy would be too explosive here, but he’s pulled off changes in this area before), Secretary of State (would not be oblivious to the Lenin adage as Obama and H.Clinton try to be), Secretary of Agriculture (hey, he’s from Wisconsin, he should be capable)
Oscar A. (Tony) Rubio is a writer who merges the lessons of history with current events to suggest a better path. This Cincinnati native resides in Clermont county and believes that our national mood would be improved if we listened to more Big Band and Jazz. He is certain that we must take action on the local and state levels now if we are to realize our hope that the White House will be occupied by the party which respects human life, the Constitution and Natural Law beginning on January 20, 2017. Tony blogs at www.cartaremi.wordpress.com and www.sportuoso.wordpress.com.
All opinions expressed belong solely to their authors and may not be construed as the opinions of other writers or of OCR staff.
1 – “Donald Trump Pledges to Forgo Third-Party Run,” by Carre Dann, http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/donald-trump-pledges-forgo-third-party-run-n421001, 9/3/2015
2 – “During his interview with NBC News’s Meet the Press, Paul accused the US government of funding ISIS’s allies and supporting the terrorist group in Syria.
Speaking to NBC, he said: ‘one of the reasons they’re stronger is that we have been allied with them in Syria; we’ve been funding Islamic rebels to fight against Iranian proxies in Syria, but now, on the other side of the world, we’d be siding with the Iranian Guard.’” From “Rand Paul Uncover US Role in Funding ISIS Terrorists,” by REALITIES WATCH, http://realitieswatch.com/rand-paul-uncover-us-role-funding-isis-terrorists/, 8/3/2014
3—“Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera …is a Mexican drug lord who heads the Sinaloa Cartel, a criminal organization named after the Mexican Pacific coast state of Sinaloa where it was formed. Known as “El Chapo Guzmán” (“The Shorty Guzmán”,pronounced: [el ˈtʃapo ɡuzˈman]) for his 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in) stature, he became Mexico’s top drug kingpin in 2003 after the arrest of his rival Osiel Cárdenas of the Gulf Cartel, and is considered the “most powerful drug trafficker in the world” by the United States Department of the Treasury.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joaqu%C3%ADn_Guzm%C3%A1n
4 – “U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced “Kate’s Law,” the Establishing Mandatory Minimums for Illegal Reentry Act of 2015 as a companion to legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.). The bill would amend federal law to impose a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for any illegal reentry offense. The bill is named for Kate Steinle, the 32-year-old woman who tragically died in the arms of her father on a San Francisco pier after being shot by an illegal alien who had several felony convictions and had been deported from the United States five times.” From “Sen. Cruz and Rep. Salmon Introduce ‘Kate’s Law,’ the Establishing Mandatory Minimums for Illegal Reentry Act,” http://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=2395, 7/21/2015
5 – for an historical analysis of these two views, see “Gov. Christie Should Listen to Benjamin Franklin, Sen. Paul “Gets It” – Privacy Matters, https://cartaremi.wordpress.com/2015/08/08/gov-christie-should-listen-to-benjamin-franklin-sen-paul-gets-it-privacy-matters/, 8/8/2015
6 – Saul Alinsky’s 12 Rules for Radicals: 1) “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” 2) “Never go outside the expertise of your people.” 3) “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” 4) “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” 5) “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” 6) “A good tactic is one your own people enjoy.” 7) “A tactic that drags too long becomes a drag.” 8) “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” 9) “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” 10) “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive,” 11) “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.” 12) “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” – which includes “Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.” For more detail, see http://www.bestofbeck.com/wp/activism/saul-alinskys-12-rules-for-radicals
7 – “Alinsky’s dedication of “Rules for Radicals” to Lucifer is easily understood; as a champion of amorality and the abandonment of ethics as nothing more than props that sustain the status quo Lucifer is the perfect model of the destroyer for the activist Alinsky. The fact that our top political leadership has embraced this amoral set of tactics for political gain should cause all Americans concern… ACORN uses Alinsky’s aggressive model of “Community organizing.” It is no surprise that they have been deeply involved in voter fraud and other nefarious practices.” From “Saul Alinsky and the Rise of Amorality in American Politics” by D.L. Adams, January, 2010http://www.newenglishreview.org/DL_Adams/Saul_Alinsky_and_the_Rise_of_Amorality_in_American_Politics/
8 – The five best aspects of this Act according to “consumer and reform advocates” and the five worst aspects in the opinion of “financial firms and their allies” are described in “The 5 Best and 5 Worst Regulations in Dodd-Frank,” by Katherine Reynolds Lewis, The Fiscal Times, 7/19/2011, http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2011/07/19/The-5-Best-and-5-Worst-Regulations-in-Dodd-Frank. Five best: 1) Mortgage market reform 2) Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 3) Oversight of derivatives 4) Power to address systemic threats 5) Investor protections. Five worst: 1) New capital standards and derivative rules 2) Interchange fees 3) The Volcker rule 4) Overlapping rules of the road 5) No housing reform.
9 – He’s just bringing to fruition what Dinesh D’Souza warned us in “Dinesh D’Souza on Obama’s Views of Israel, http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/952722593001/dinesh-dsouza-on-obamas-views-of-israel/?#sp=show-clips, 5/20/2011, that Obama’s mission is to bring the United States down a few notches because we have more than we deserve.