Last night I watched the Republican Presidential Candidate Debate on Fox News. For those who missed this highly entertaining piece of television, I will remind you of the gentlemen (no women candidates) who were present for the debate: Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, John Kaisch. Did I leave someone out?
Some of the highlights for me where as follows:
Donald Trump took full credit for bringing illegal immigration to the forefront. He did not provide any proof that the Mexican government is sending criminals to the U.S. However, Trump did state that the Mexican leaders are smarter than our U.S. leaders. Then, Trump called the U.S. leaders stupid repeatedly. He may have something there, but it felt highly disrespectful. The Dixie Chicks lost their entire career for saying much less.
Scott Walker was called on his change in opinion about illegal immigration—he no longer supports a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Why? Because he listened to the American people. Hum, why wasn’t he listening before?
Marco Rubio seemed the most knowledgeable on immigration stating that most immigrants today are coming from Central American. He was calm, rationale and articulate throughout most of the debate. Someone that articulate and knowledgeable doesn’t have a chance in this race with big mouths.
Ted Cruz called the current leaders in Washington the “Washington Cartel.” Wow! I have no words for that one.
Civil Liberties vs. Protection from Terrorists
Chris Christie and Rand Paul debated the merits of “spying” on American citizens to oust terrorists. Civil liberties vs. hunting for jihad? I am all for the protection of civil liberties, but Rand made a fool out of himself when he said he only wanted to spy on the bad guys. Duh!
Ben Carson did not come out and say he would bring back waterboarding if he were president. Rather, he said, “What we do in order to get the information we need, is our business, and I would not tell people what we’re going to do.” Human rights? Maybe, maybe not. It seemed optional to him.
Problems in the Middle East
Jeb Bush, rather uncomfortably, stated that knowing what he knows now, he would not have invaded Iraq. I’ve been waiting for a Bush to say this for a long time.
Trump minced no words saying he was the only one who had the foresight not to enter Iraq because it would destabilize the Middle East. I’m pretty sure he was not the only one who thought that since there were lots of protesters against the war, but I have to admit he was right about the result.
General Winning Comments:
Mike Huckabee wants to get rid of the Department of Education. Even as an educator, I am neutral on this. As long as politicians keep talking about “standards,” I am doubtful they would ever get rid of the Department of Education. After all, who will come up THE standards?
Jeb Bush promotes higher standards in education. Duh? Who would say they promote lower standards in education? He wanted less federal input in educational issues unlike his brother who passed the “No Child Left Behind” Act. I think it was hard to be the brother of President George W. Bush that night (and many nights to come.)
Ben Carson wants to move to a tithing system for collection of taxes. Not a bad idea. I’d have to hear more.
Marcus Rubio went on the offense against Hilary Clinton saying she could never lecture him on living from paycheck to paycheck because that was how he was raised. I’m not sure what point he was making there.
Trump told the audience that Hilary Clinton came to his wedding because he told her to because he made a donation to her campaign. Such arrogance. Is he saying that he had a slew of politicians in his pocket? Are we to applaud him for that? Is he, then, really an outsider?
Trump called the George W. Bush presidency “a catastrophe.” True or not, it was bold and disrespectful.
Ms. Kelly, one of the moderators, called Trump on his past comments on women calling them “fat pigs” and “slobs.” He tried to slide under the issues by saying he only called Rosie O’Donnell that, but Kelly did not let him off the hook. Instead, he railed against political correctness. Trump refuses to be held accountable for the inflammatory remarks he has made in the past. It also is quite telling what he thinks of women.
Rand Paul told Governor Chris Christie to go hug President Obama again—referring to when Christie did so after Hurricane Sandy. That felt like a schoolyard jab, and frankly an example of the polarization of the political system today.
Mr. Kasich defended his position on no gay marriage, but was quick to point out he went to a gay wedding . “Because someone doesn’t think the way I do doesn’t mean that I can’t care about them or can’t love them.” That was the kindest remark I heard all night. Kudos to Kasich.
My Thoughts (If Anyone Cares)
- There were too many candidates on the stage. Many of the more quiet and possibly reflective candidates were shut out by loud mouths like Trump.
- Donald Trump absolutely ruled the stage and was stingy letting others have time. As a Washington outsider (although I am not sure he can really say that since he admitted donating to everyone’s campaign, Republicans and Democrats alike, at one time or another), he calls the politicians on the status quo of Washington, which I think is a very good thing.
- There were a lot of egos on the stage, which I guess you need to run for president. The senators and the governors—all the professional politicians—kept spouting what they have done and what they once said, even if these actions are not praise-worthy.
- The non-professional politicians—Trump and Carson—were not immune from bragging. Trump is a master of it stating he is so proud of the building his billion dollar enterprise. Carson bragged less, but was more smug.
- Right now, the squeaky wheel (a.k.a., Donald Trump) is getting all the media oil. This may backfire on him at some point, but he doesn’t care because if he does not get the Republican nomination, he will run as an Independent.
One thing for sure, this Presidential Election season is already off to an entertaining start. Feel free to post your own comments on the debate. I welcome them.