Duly Noted: First Republican Prime Time Presidential Debate

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 06: Republican presidential candidates (L-R) New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Carson, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and John Kasich take the stage for the first prime-time presidential debate hosted by FOX News and Facebook at the Quicken Loans Arena August 6, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. The top-ten GOP candidates were selected to participate in the debate based on their rank in an average of the five most recent national political polls. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH – AUGUST 06: Republican presidential candidates (L-R) New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Carson, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and John Kasich take the stage for the first prime-time presidential debate hosted by FOX News and Facebook at the Quicken Loans Arena August 6, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. The top-ten GOP candidates were selected to participate in the debate based on their rank in an average of the five most recent national political polls. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

August 6, 2015

Cleveland, Ohio

Written by Juliana Simone

Moving on to the prime time debate that showed the ten highest polling republican candidates based on averages from five well-known polls, media representatives Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier and Chris Wallace, continued the attitude of the prior debate panel. Their agenda asked questions which already had an answer, or in the wording, painted the candidate in a deliberate way in hopes to make viewers see this person in the image they wanted them to be perceived. They could be better described as snipers than debate moderators.

Starting with Dr. Ben Carson, he is instantly painted weak on policy with the wording used for his first question. This address in comparison to an earlier candidate for President of the United States, Barack Obama, despite his voting record as a freshman Senator in his only term to merely say “present” 129 times, shows an immediate bias towards Dr. Carson. The soft pedal on this from Fox News, is Obama’s responses were about 3% of four thousand collective votes as a U.S. Senator from Illinois.  This is a standard move common for newly elected or disinterested legislators when they need to duck a difficult issue, but that is better than Carson who has never served, in terms of his first question on a national stage according to these moderators.

Part of Carson’s response was this: “I’m looking very much forward to demonstrating that, in fact, the thing that is probably most important is having a brain, and to be able to figure things out and learn things very rapidly.”

Moving next to U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) he was asked why as someone who has never held Executive Office, is better prepared to be President than Jeb Bush is, a man he has stated did great as Governor for eight years.

Largest fundraiser on the panel, and frontrunner at the time, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, is then instantly addressed with opinion twisting words, saying opponents get huge applause when they say “the last thing the country needs is another Bush in office,” so do you understand the real concern in this country about dynastic politics?

Bush replied: “I’ve got a record in Florida. I’m proud of my dad, and I’m certainly proud of my brother. In Florida, they called me Jeb, because I earned it. I cut taxes every year, totaling $19 billion. We were — we had — we balanced every budget. We went from $1 billion of reserves to $9 billion of reserves. We were one of two states that went to AAA bond rating. They called me Veto Corleone. Because I vetoed 2,500 separate line-items in the budget.” (crowd laughs and applauds.)

A never seen before question in any prior televised or campus college debate, from Megyn Kelly to the number one candidate for President in 2016 in current polling, real estate magnate Donald Trump, actually “asked” him after first softening him up with admiring words that one of the things people love about him is he speaks his mind, then says: “you’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.” Laughter. “Only Rosie O’Donnell,” (former day time television host, comedian and actress) Trump replies not blinking an eye.

She continues: “Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women’s looks. You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president, and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who was likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?”

The clear objective in her question was to instantly take away the women’s vote from him whether in a primary or ultimately on Election Day. Never mind O’Donnell is on record for saying many personally insulting things about other public figures herself on television when she had a show, and in published interviews, which eventually led to her contract not being renewed.

The usual mantra applies with the mainstream media – if you’re one of them, it’s okay to say any of these inflammatory things. If you’re not with them, and a Republican, Libertarian, or Unaffiliated who on average votes Republican, (yes, they have these records) then it’s not okay…and they will spend days if not weeks lambasting this person, to hopefully either make them resign from their current job, leave a run for office or even better, bankrupt them.

Are those remarks harsh? Yes. Are they Presidential? Depends. To think no other candidate for President or sitting President every had a foul mouth would be a bit naïve. Thankfully, the majority did not, and were true gentleman in terms of their speech, at least. Actions, well that’s another story.

Here is what would be comparable in terms of an opening televised question in an upcoming democrat debate with their candidates. For now, let’s say this is Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. Or, this can also be viewed in a past tense perspective when former President Bill Clinton was running for a second term. Either way, opening question to Hillary or Bill from Kelly: “Bill Clinton a known and proven adulterer, internationally known for the sex he had in the Oval Office with young intern Monica Lewinsky while a married man, and President who then lied on a national broadcast that he did not have sex with this woman, allegedly a rapist by more than one account, who continues to live a married life that at best can be described as an open marriage, do you feel you deserve the woman’s vote, or any votes, as someone who holds the best character and image for our country’s most important elected office, the President of the United States?”

This is not a question America’s public would have ever heard when President Clinton was running for four more years in the White House, nor will you hear this question asked of his wife, the former First Lady, subsequent New York Senator after buying a house in Chappaqua to be able to run for the Senate here when they moved out of Washington, and later Secretary of State under President Obama’s administration which was basically an appointment under pressure for her conceding to drop out of the race and not primary the nominee. The Clinton’s, partners in crime, are both guilty of participating in a war against women. Bill for his actions, Hillary, in her driven and public approach to smear the accusers and destroy their lives.

Next in the line of fire, was passionate junior Texas Senator, Ted Cruz, known for his conservative values and ardent fight to run government as the forefathers intended since elected to office, and not witness it continue as business as usual, with little done or partisan blocking. His question painted him out as problem, not a team player, and an anti-establishment anti-leadership caucus member who grandstanded just to throw red meat to his followers.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who before a blown up mainstream media story over two of three lanes being closed during one morning’s commuting hours on the George Washington bridge, that was inflated because Christie’s polling numbers were trouncing their next anointed President, democrat Hillary Clinton, had his weaknesses described by the Fox News panel moderator Baier:  “Under your watch, New Jersey has undergone nine credit rating downgrades. The state’s 44th in private sector growth. You face an employee pension crisis and the Garden State has the third highest foreclosure rate in the country. So why should voters believe that your management of the country’s finances would be any different?”

Christie, always quick on his feet, learned, and bold, responded like lightning and replied, “if you think it’s bad now, you should have seen it when I got it.” He explained taxes had been raised 45 times at that point, (zero net) (balanced an {11? – writing} bill), cut 180 programs, brought the budget into balance with no tax increase, and created 190,000 new jobs. “I’m darn proud of how we brought our state back,” he said in his closing time.

Social Issues

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, favored as the nominee by a decent portion of his party, was next put on the chopping block social issue of abortion and his declaration of being pro-life. Walker responds, “I’ve always been pro-life.” He adds (unlike Hillary Clinton, I defunded Planned Parenthood, four years ago. Long before those videos came out.)

Moving next to former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who was a colleague on Fox News Network hosting his political program for six years before retiring recently to run once again since 2008 for President, but is a well-reputed conservative who garners much of the evangelical vote, he was asked about his views as anti-gay marriage and abortion, and (would he be willing to change the constitution to make that into law)

Huckabee replies he disagrees with the idea: “Chris, I disagree with the idea that the real issue is a constitutional amendment. That’s a long and difficult process. I’ve actually taken the position that’s bolder than that.

A lot of people are talking about defunding Planned Parenthood, as if that’s a huge game changer. I think it’s time to do something even more bold. I think the next president ought to invoke the Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the constitution now that we clearly know that that baby inside the mother’s womb is a person at the moment of conception.

The reason we know that it is is because of the DNA schedule that we now have clear scientific evidence on. And, this notion that we just continue to ignore the personhood of the individual is a violation of that unborn child’s Fifth and 14th Amendment rights for due process and equal protection under the law.

It’s time that we recognize the Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being, and we change the policy to be pro-life and protect children instead of rip up their body parts and sell them like they’re parts to a Buick.

The moderators move on to freshman Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, son of tenured Congressman Ron Paul, who both are known for their passion and love of the constitution. Like with Senator Cruz, the question implies he does not play well with others, and is (thought of as being anti-Republican and against his colleagues in the White House, so why should he be the nominee?) and is asked about recent blaming   the rise of ISIS on Republican hawks and then later saying, you could have said it better. But, the statement went on, and you said, “Everything they’ve talked about in foreign policy, they’ve been wrong for the last 20 years.”

Why are you so quick to blame your own party?

 –Paul says only ISIS is responsible for the terrorism and depravity and that he is the leading voice for not arming the armies of ISIS. “ISIS rides around in a billion dollars of Humvees… and one of the ways we stop them is by not funding them, and not arming them.”

Switching to health care, Kelly turns to Ohio Governor John Kasich, who is taking the podium in his own home state convention center, and is asked about a statement he made to his constituents in defense of Medicaid funding.

He reminds the panel and informs viewers that President Reagan expanded Medicaid three to four times, and that given the opportunity he could have received federal funding for his state to treat the mentally ill by keeping them in state prisons, which costs taxpayers 22,500. Per year which reaches into the tens of thousands. Kasich says he’d rather spend less money on drug addict rehab. He proudly states he has reduced the influx of uninsured into the emergency rooms that cost taxpayers money, and that his states Medicaid population is one of the lowest rates in the nation.

Using his last remaining time for a positive plug as Governor, he attests under his leadership the state has gone from eight million in the hole to two billion in the black, and in addition, his general assembly under his leadership has cut five billion dollars in taxes, and they’ve grown 350K in jobs.

(St. Peter when he meets them at the gates of Heaven) wouldn’t be interested in smaller government. (what does he mean by this)

 

Immigration

Turning to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and switching gears to the vital topic of immigration that is on most people’s minds currently, at whatever level, state, nation, worldwide – Wallace asks Bush about a new plan he’s released that would show voters he’s not as soft on this issue as portrayed. He asks Bush if his statement a year ago still stands, which has received many sound bites since then, “They broke the law, but it’s not a felony, it’s an act of love. It’s an act of commitment to your family.”

BUSH: “I do. I believe that the great majority of people coming here illegally have no other option. They want to provide for their family.

But we need to control our border. It’s not — it’s our responsibility to pick and choose who comes in.” He says he’s written a book on this subject that details with E-Verifying, the people that come in with visas and overstay, border enforcement and security, and the elimination of sanctuary cities. He hopes unlike Obama, whose dealt with this for six years as a wedge issue, that he can fix this and turn the problem into a path for learned legal status for those that are here – not amnesty, where people would pay a fine.

Moving next to entrepreneur Donald Trump, who as of this date, September 16th, 2015, still remains top in the polls, though Dr. Ben Carson has come the closest to his numbers and gained the most points since the initial debate, is asked about border control, as well. The moderator continuing the attack dog delivery, reminded Trump of his recent comments about Mexico sending us their criminals – rapists and drug dealers – and that Governor Bush, standing right next to him now on stage, said your comments were “extraordinarily ugly.” Please tell him directly how you respond to that and what proof you have the Mexican Government is doing this.

Trump replies, if it weren’t for him, you wouldn’t even be talking about illegal immigration. He said political reporters, because “they’re a very dishonest lot, generally speaking, in the world of politics” did not cover his statement the way he said it at his announcement. He added that since then many killings, murders, crimes, drugs are pouring across the border, with money going out and drugs coming in. He said we need to build a wall and build it quickly and said he didn’t mind having a “big beautiful door” in that wall so people can come into this country legally, and to Bush, he says, “But we need, Jeb, to build a wall, we need to keep illegals out.” Donald Trumps comments brought applause and cheers throughout his answer.

Trump was pressed by the moderator for what specific evidence he had that the Mexican government was sending criminals here. Trump replies he was just on the border last week with the Border Patrol, and the people he talks to tell him this is happening because our politicians are stupid, and Mexico’s are smarter, so they send us their bad ones so they don’t have to pay for them, and the United States will. The moderator says they’ll discuss immigration when they return, and Fox cuts to three video clips from Facebook where members ask candidates how will they make immigration easier for those who want to do it legally, what will they do about ISIS, and what will do to make Americans feel safe in their homes again.

Returning to the debate, Kasich is asked if Trump’s comments are an adequate response to the question of illegal immigration.

Ohio Governor Kasich surmises about his colleague, “Here is the thing about Donald Trump. Donald Trump is hitting a nerve in this country. He is. He’s hitting a nerve. People are frustrated. They’re fed up. They don’t think the government is working for them. And for people who want to just tune him out, they’re making a mistake.” Kasich went on to tell the people some of his accomplishments since serving as an elected official, including while in Washington he was one of the chief architects in balancing the Federal Budget which hasn’t been done since, was a military reformer and in his own state, has brought his budget from a 8 billion dollar hole to a 2 million dollar surplus while adding 350,000 jobs.

He is asked if he can talk about illegal immigration. Kasich says all of the candidates have different solutions. Trumps is to build a wall, and everyone wants to see a stop to illegal immigration, but we all have different ways of getting there.

Moving to Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, he is asked: “All right, well, Senator Rubio, let me see if I can do better with you. Is it as simple as our leaders are stupid, their leaders are smart, and all of these illegals coming over are criminals?”

Rubio points out that the majority of people coming across the border are not from Mexico, but Guatemala, El Salvador, and Hondurus. He also believes we need a fence, but that if El Chapo builds a tunnel under the fence, we’ll have to deal with that, too, so his solutions would be a e-verify system, an entry-exit tracking system as well as other things to prevent illegal immigration. He agrees with Kasich that people are frustrated and we are the most generous country in the world when it comes to immigration, and we allow a million people a year to legally immigrate to the United States, but despite our generosity, people feel they’re being taken advantage of. He said the people who never get talked about in these debates, are the people who call his office (in Washington), and have waited 15 years to become citizens as well as paid lawyer fees, and still can’t get in legally – they wonder if they should come in illegally. The audience applauds. Rubio finishes his answer by summing up it’s an important issue and if it isn’t addressed, we’ll be talking about it for the next 30 years, as we have over the last 30 years.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is asked next why he reversed his position from supporting comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship, but now over the last two years you say you’ve changed your mind.

Walker says because he listened to the American people, and he thinks people across America want a leader who is going to listen to them. He explains he visited border-state Governor’s, other elected officials, and looked at how this President has messed up the immigration system especially since last November. He says he believes we need to secure the border, that there are international criminal organizations penetrating our southern based borders and something has to be done about it.  “Secure the border, enforce the law, no amnesty, and go forward with the legal immigration system that gives priority to American working families and wages.” This final remark also received applause.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is informed that 1,400 people submitted questions from Facebook to Fox on this issue, and many of them were about the murder of Kate Steinle in San Francisco, allegedly shot down by an illegal. Will you support Kate Steinle’s law and impose a five-year mandatory prison term for those who were deported and then return to the country?

Cruz, says he’ll absolutely support it. (applause) Continuing, he says he authored Kate’s Law in the United State Senate and filed that legislation. “I tried to get the Senate to vote to pass Kate’s law on the floor of the Senate just one week ago, and the leader of our own party blocked a vote on Kate’s law.” He notes that it’s not that our leaders are stupid, it’s that way too many of them are in the Washington cartel that supports amnesty.

“President Obama has talked about fundamentally transforming this country. There’s 7 billion people across the face of the globe, many of whom want to come to this country. If they come legally, great. But if they come illegally and they get amnesty, that is how we fundamentally change this country, and it really is striking,” Cruz cautioned. He wrapped up his comment pointing out he has never supported amnesty, and led the fight against Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) ‘gang of eight’ amnesty legislation in the Senate.

The topic changes to terror and national security, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is asked about his comments about Sen. Rand Paul’s opposition to the NSA’s collection of phone records and how this has made our country weaker and more vulnerable, and he (Paul) should be called before Congress if we are hit by another terrorist attack. Does Christie really believe he can blame Paul for opposing the bulk collection of phone records if we’re attacked again?

Christie says he does and why: “because I’m the only person on this stage who’s actually filed applications under the Patriot Act, who has gone before the federal — the Foreign Intelligence Service court, who has prosecuted and investigated and jailed terrorists in this country after September 11th. I was appointed U.S. attorney by President Bush on September 10th, 2001, and the world changed enormously the next day, and that happened in my state. This is not theoretical to me. I went to the funerals. We lost friends of ours in the Trade Center that day. My own wife was two blocks from the Trade Center that day, at her office, having gone through it that morning. When you actually have to be responsible for doing this, you can do it, and we did it, for seven years in my office, respecting civil liberties and protecting the homeland. And I will make no apologies, ever, for protecting the lives and the safety of the American people. 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. As president, that is exactly what I’ll do.”

 

Sen. Paul asks if he can respond to this. He says, “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 for independence, and I’m proud of standing for the Bill of Rights, and I will continue to stand for the Bill of Rights.”

Christie says that is a completely ridiculous answer. “I want to collect more records from terrorists but less records from other people.” He asks how they are supposed to know. Paul and Christie get into a short lively exchange where Christie is never able to finish a question or comment to Rand, who keeps yelling “Fourth Amendment” or “get a warrant” whenever Christie tries to interject. The moderator asks him to make his point. Christie tells Rand, “Listen, senator, you know, when you’re sitting in a subcommittee, just blowing hot air about this, you can say things like that.” Applause. “When you’re responsible for protecting the lives of the American people, then what you need to do is to make sure that you use the system the way it’s supposed to work.”

Rand tells Christie he fundamentally misunderstands the Bill of Rights, and explains each case gets a warrant from a judge, and he was fighting about searches without warrants, indiscriminately of all American’s records. “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, go right ahead.” The crowd applauds to this last remark.

Christie responds emotionally to Paul, “Senator Paul, you know, the hugs that I remember are the hugs that I gave to the families who lost their people on September 11th.

Those are the hugs I remember, and those had nothing to do — and those had nothing to do with politics, unlike what you’re doing by cutting speeches on the floor of the Senate, then putting them on the Internet within half an hour to raise money for your campaign, and while still putting our country at risk.”

The debate moves on to another video clip which asks candidates what they’ll do to stop the treacherous acts of ISIS and ISIL’s growing influence in the U.S.

Choosing Sen. Cruz because of his question to the chairman of the joints chief how would he get rid of ISIS in 90 days, how would he do this?

Cruz said, “We need a commander in chief that speaks the truth. We will not defeat radical Islamic terrorism so long as we have a president unwilling to utter the words, “radical Islamic terrorism”. Crowd applause. “When I asked General Dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs, what would be required militarily to destroy ISIS, he said there is no military solution. We need to change the conditions on the ground so that young men are not in poverty and susceptible to radicalization. That, with all due respect, is nonsense.

It’s the same answer the State Department gave that we need to give them jobs. What we need is a commander in chief that makes — clear, if you join ISIS, if you wage jihad on America, then you are signing your death warrant.”

He’s asked if he doesn’t see this as an ideological problem to which he responds, “of course it’s an ideological problem, that’s one of the reasons I introduce the Expatriate Terrorist Act in the Senate that said if any American travels to the Middle East and joining ISIS, that he or she forfeits their citizenship so they don’t use a passport to come back and wage jihad on Americans. Yes, it is ideological, and let me contrast President Obama, who at the prayer breakfast, essentially acted as an apologist. He said, “Well, gosh, the crusades, the inquisitions–”

We need a president that shows the courage that Egypt’s President el-Sisi, a Muslim, when he called out the radical Islamic terrorists who are threatening the world.”

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was asked about his comments saying his brother’s (President George W. Bush) war was a mistake. Bush answers when we invaded it was mistake, and as Governor he had to call every one of them (parents of soldiers) and tell them he prayed for them and it was very hard to do, and every one of them said their child, wife or husband did not die in vain.

“Here’s the lesson that we should take from this, which relates to this whole subject, 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 now exists as a caliphate the size of Indiana.

To honor the people that died, we need to — 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.” The crowd applauds.

Governor Walker is asked his comment that we needed to gain more partners in the Arab world and which one already not with the U.S. would potentially be our best partner?

Walker says we need to focus on the ones we have and names Egypt, Israel, our best, and the Saudi’s who he visited with earlier this year. “Set aside the Iran deal. They said it’s the disengagement of America. We are leading from behind under the Obama-Clinton doctrine — America’s a great country. We need to stand up and start leading again, and we need to have allies, not just in Israel, but throughout the Persian Gulf.”

Calling on Dr. Ben Carson, he gives his thanks and muses he wasn’t sure he wasn’t going to get to talk again. Crowd laughs and applauds. Responding to the question that noted one of the first acts as CIC, President Obama signed an executive order banning enhanced interrogation techniques in fighting terror; would he bring back water-boarding?

He observes, “You know, what we do in order to get the information that we need is our business, and I wouldn’t necessarily be broadcasting what we’re going to do. Applause. We’ve gotten into this — this mindset of fighting politically correct wars. There is no such thing as a politically correct war. More applause. The left, of course, will say Carson doesn’t believe in the Geneva Convention, Carson doesn’t believe in fighting stupid wars. And — and what we have to remember is we want to utilize the tremendous intellect that we have in the military to win wars.

And I’ve talked to a lot of the generals, a lot of our advanced 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.”

The next topic is Obamacare and calling on Trump first, he agrees with the moderator that he has called Obamacare a complete disaster. He’s asked basically a flip-flop pointing question, why in the past he said he was a liberal on health care and a single-payer Canadian-style system, so why was he for it then but not now?

Trump interjects he’d like to go back one, and states in July 2004, he came out strongly against the war in Iraq because it would destabilize the Middle East, and he’s the only one on the stage that knew that and had the vision to say it, and that’s exactly what happened.

He’s asked to return to Obamacare. He says single-payer works in Canada and Scotland. He’d like to see a private system here without the lines around the states and the insurance companies are making a fortune because they have control of the politicians. If you can offer great plans people can take care of themselves and then we can take care of the people who can’t take care of themselves.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) shouts out of turn to Donald Trump, “News flash! The Republican Party’s been fighting against a single-payer system for a decade. So, I think you’re on the wrong side of this if you’re still arguing for a single-payer system.” Trump rebuts he is not and that he did not hear him and he thinks Paul is having a hard time tonight.

To fuel the fire, the moderator interjects that it’s not just past support for single-payer health care, but other liberal policies, and adds he’s donated to several Democrat candidates including Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton, which Trump has explained away as in return for business favors and that when you give they do whatever you want them to. Trump agrees, and says he’s given to most of the people on this stage. A couple yell out, “not me!” Stage banter about Trump donating to them and his saying over the years as a businessman he’s given to everyone.

Governor Walker says a lot of time has been spent pitting us back and forth, and talking about Hillary Clinton, and that what they should be saying about Hillary Clinton is how everythings she’s touched is more messed up today than before…

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is then given another Facebook question that asks if he would abolish or cut the size of the EPA, the IRS and the Department of Education? Applause. The moderator says Republicans are always promising to shrink the size of Government, but is it possible?

The former Fox News Channel week-end television host replied easily, and answered, “It’s not too big to shrink. But the problem is we have a Wall Street-to-Washington access of power that has controlled the political climate. The donor class feeds the political class who does the dance that the donor class wants. And the result is federal government keeps getting bigger.

Every person on this stage who has been a governor will tell that you the biggest fight they had was not the other party. Wasn’t even the legislature. It was the federal government, who continually put mandates on the states that we had to suck up and pay for.

And the fact is there are a lot of things happening at the federal level that are absolutely beyond the jurisdiction of the Constitution. This is power that should be shifted back to the states, whether it’s the EPA, there is no role at the federal level for the Department of Education.” Cheers and applause.

“And I’m still one who says that we can get rid of the Internal Revenue Service if we would pass the fair tax, which is a tax on consumption rather than a tax on people’s income, and move power back where the founders believed it should have been all along.”

Dr. Carson is asked if he agrees: “What I agree with is that we need a significantly changed taxation system. And the one that I’ve advocated is based on tithing, because I think God is a pretty fair guy.

And he said, you know, if you give me a tithe, it doesn’t matter how much you make. If you’ve had a bumper crop, you don’t owe me triple tithes. And if you’ve had no crops at all, you don’t owe me no tithes. So there must be something inherently fair about that.

And that’s why I’ve advocated a proportional tax system. You make $10 billion, you pay a billion. You make $10, you pay one. And everybody gets treated the same way. And you get rid of the deductions, you get rid of all the loopholes, and…” Time runs out.

Governor Bush is then asked about his support for Common Core education standards in reading and math, while most of his colleagues up on stage vigorously oppose federal involvement in education which should be left to the states. President Obama says those opposed to Common Core are a “fringe group of critics” – do you agree?

Bush says he doesn’t believe in federal government involvement in standards but in higher standards. Applause. Bush adds as the Governor of Florida he created the first, second and third statewide school voucher program in the country, and Florida’s graduation rate improved by 50%.

Senator Rubio (R-FL) is asked why is Bush wrong about Common Core. Rubio responds he, too, believes in curriculum reform and it’s critically important in the 21st century. “Here’s the problem with Common Core. The Department of Education, like every federal agency, will never be satisfied. They will not stop with it being a suggestion. They will turn it into a mandate.

In fact, what they will begin to say to local communities is, you will not get federal money unless do you things the way we want you to do it. And they will use Common Core or any other requirements that exists nationally to force it down the throats of our people in our states.”

Back to Bush – “do you agree with your old friend?”

Bush says he is definitely my friend. He adds the states ought to create the standards, and if they opt for Common Core to make sure those standards are high. In America today, only 30% of our kids are college or career ready even though we spend more per student than any other country. To compete in the world today, we can’t keep lowering expectations and dumbing down everything….children and families will suffer if their kids can’t get jobs in the 21st century. Applause.

A series of video clips of questions are shown asking about the economy, student loans and what makes them the best candidate.

Returning from commercial break, Governor Kasich is asked how he would take on Hillary Clinton who will say Republican’s support the rich while they support the middle class, that they support women and minorities and they are moving forward while you want to take the country back to the past.  Kasich says his father was a mailman, so he understands the concerns of the people trying to make ends meet. He also lists some of his accomplishments while in Washington and as the Ohio Governor, including being the Chairman of the Budget Committee where they cut taxes, spending and had economic growth. He says America needs to lift itself up and build a strong United States of America again, which will and can be done.

Carson is asked the same thing in regards to Clinton and how would he deal with line of attack.

Carson says, “If Hillary is the candidate, which I doubt, that would be a dream come true.” Laughter.

But you know, the fact of the matter is, she is the epitome of the progressive — the secular progressive movement. And she counts on the fact that people are uninformed, the Alinsky Model, taking advantage of useful idiots.

Well, I just happen to believe that people are not stupid.

(APPLAUSE)

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 — 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.”

The next topic is the economy, jobs, money and the government. Bush is asked about promising a four percent economic growth and nineteen million new jobs if he serves two terms. How will he do this?

Bush replies, “We’ve done it 27 times since WWII.” “There’s 6 million people living in poverty today, more than when Barack Obama got elected. 6.5 million people are working part-time, most of whom want to work full-time. We’ve created rules and taxes on top of every aspiration of people, and the net result is we’re not growing fast, income is not growing. A four percent growth 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 kill jobs.” He adds we need to embrace the energy revolution and Hillary Clinton does not support the (Keystone) XL pipeline. He also says fixing immigration is also part of this.

Turning to Governor Walker, they remind him when he ran for Governor in 2010 he said he would create 250,000 new jobs, and he’s only done barely half that and Wisconsin is 35th in job growth in the country. Why should people believe your economic plan for the country will work then?

Walker replied, “The voters in Wisconsin elected me last year for the third time because they wanted someone who aimed high, not aimed low.

Before I came in, the unemployment rate was over eight percent. It’s now down to 4.6 percent. We’ve more than made up for the jobs that were lost during the recession. And the rate in which people are working is almost five points higher than it is nationally.” He also not growing Washington, repealing Obamacare, reining in all of the out of control regulations, educating our people with skills needed to succeed, and lowering the tax rate and reforming the tax code is what he would do as President.

Putting former Governor Huckabee and Governor Christie in a small debate, they were asked about entitlement reform which both are featuring in their campaigns. They observe Christie wants to raise retirement age and cut Social Security and Medicare benefits and that he believes some of the candidates up on stage are lying. Governor Huckabee says he can save Social Security and Medicare without doing any of that – is he lying?

Christie says, no, he’s not lying, he’s just wrong. He says he’s the only guy on stage whose put together a detailed twelve point plan on entitlement reform, and the reason why is because 71% of federal spending right now is for entitlements and debt service. He said Social Security would be phased out over 25 years and not give Social Security checks to those who make over 200K in retirement income and 4 to 5 million dolllars in liquid assets saved. They don’t need Social Security checks.

“Social Security is meant to be — to make sure that no one who’s worked hard, and played by the rules, and paid into the system grows old in poverty in America.

If we don’t deal with this problem, it will bankrupt our country, or lead to massive tax increases, neither one that we want in this country.” Applause.

Mike Huckabee is asked to explain to Governor Christie how he would save these programs without those kind of reforms but with a fair tax which is a broad consumption tax. Huckabee reminds viewers and the audience that sixty million people in America are on Social Security and a third of those people depend on 90% of their income from Social Security.

“Nobody in this country is on Social Security because they made the decision when they were starting work at 14 that they wanted to trust some of their money with the government.

The government took it out of their check whether they wanted them to or not. And, if person goes to 65, they’re going to spend 51 years with the government reaching into their pocket at every paycheck.” He suggests Congress can start with by changing their retirement program and not have one.

Christie agrees with getting rid of Congress’s retirement program as he does not get one as a Governor but that alone won’t fix the problem, and it needs to be fixed.

Huckabee says the reason Social Security is in so much trouble is because it only comes from people who make a wage, and the people that make a wage are declining dramatically. He said the fair tax works because everyone including drug dealers, illegals and others freeloading off the system.

They ask Trump about his corporations, casinos and hotels and how he’s declared four bankruptcy’s. Though he’s said he’s used the laws of the country to his advantage, financial experts say lenders to your companies lost billions. Why should he be trusted to run our country?

Trump says he’s used the laws of this country to do what was best for his companies, employees and family, and he has never gone bankrupt. He says everyone in business does it, but only when he does it does everyone talk about it. He adds he has a great company and employs thousands of people. He is proud of the job he’s done.

The moderator brings up the most recent example, Trump Entertainment Resorts, which went bankrupt in 2009, and in that case alone, lenders lost up to a billion dollars and 1,100 people were laid off.  Is that the way you’d run our country?

Trump rebuts, “Let me just tell you about the lenders. First of all, these lenders aren’t babies. These are total killers. These are not the nice, sweet little people that you think, OK?” The audience laughs. He says he had the good sense to leave Atlantic City, where Caesar’s just went bankrupt, and virtually every company in Atlantic City went bankrupt. He said he made a lot of money there and he’s proud of it, and by the way, this country right now owes 19 trillion. They need someone like me to straighten out that mess. Crowd applauds.

Senator Rubio gets thrown the only softball question of the evening’s grilling, and was given a Facebook question on video that asked how he would help small business.

Rubio remarks the economy today is different than it was five years ago and we’re in global competition with dozens of other countries around the world. Big companies that have connections in Washington can affect policies but not small ones that are struggling.

“The first thing we need to do is we need to even out the tax code for small businesses so that we lower their tax rate to 25 percent, just as we need to lower it for all businesses.

We need to have a regulatory budget in America that limits the amount of regulations on our economy. We need to repeal and replace Obamacare and we need to improve higher education so that people can have access to the skills they need for 21st century jobs.

And last but not least, we need to repeal Dodd-Frank. It is eviscerating small businesses and small banks.

20 — over 40 percent of small and mid-size banks that loan money to small businesses have been wiped out over the — since Dodd-Frank has passed. We need to repeal and replace Dodd-Frank. We need to make America fair again for all businesses, but especially those being run by small business owners.” Applause.

The topic turns to Iran and the Iran Deal Obama is negotiating despite those legislators trying to block it he calls “knee-jerk paritsans.” Obama also said the hardliners in Iran who chant “Death to America” are making common cause with the Republican caucus.

Governor Walker, Senator Paul, and Mike Huckabee all agreed they would opposed the Iranian Deal.

Walker: “I still remember, as a kid, tying a yellow ribbon around a tree in front of my house during the 444 days that Iran held 52 Americans hostage. Iran is not a place we should be doing business with.

To me, you terminate the deal on day one, you reinstate the sanctions authorized by Congress, you go to Congress and put in place even more crippling sanctions in place, and then you convince our allies to do the same.

This is not just bad with Iran, this is bad with ISIS. It is tied together…”

Paul: “I oppose the Iranian deal, and will vote against it. I don’t think that the president negotiated from a position of strength, but I don’t immediately discount negotiations.

I’m a Reagan conservative. Reagan did negotiate with the Soviets. But you have to negotiate from a position of strength, and I think President Obama gave away too much, too early.

If there’s going to be a negotiation, you’re going to have to believe somehow that the Iranians are going to comply. I asked this question to John Kerry, I said “do you believe they’re trustworthy?” and he said “No.”

And I said, “well, how are we gonna get them to comply?” I would have never released the sanctions before there was consistent evidence of compliance.”

Huckabee: “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 gonna 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 you 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.”

The very controversial subject of Planned Parenthood came up next, since videos of full grown aborted fetus’s being dismembered for their organs to be sold had been released to the public. They were asked on various statements or records they’ve made over abortion.

Former Governor Bush emphasized this: “As governor of the state of Florida, I defunded Planned Parenthood. I created a culture of life in our state. We were the only state to appropriate money for crisis pregnancy centers. We expand dramatically the number adoptions out of our foster care system. We did parental notification laws. We ended partial-birth abortion. We did all of this and we were the first state to do a “choose life” license plate. Now 29 states have done it, and tens of millions of dollars have gone to create a culture where more people, more babies are adopted. My record is clear. My record as a pro-life governor is not in dispute. I am completely pro-life, and I believe that we should have a culture of life. It’s informed by my faith from beginning to end.…I did it at the end of life issues as well. This is something that goes way beyond politics. And I hope one day we get to the point where we respect life in its fullest form across the board.” Applause.

Rubio is asked about his he favors a rape and incest exception to abortion bans. Rubio says that is not a correct assessment of his record. “What I have advocated is that we pass law in this country that says all human life at every stage of its development is worthy of protection. In fact, I think that law already exists. It is called the Constitution of the United States…. 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 them a chance to live.” Applause.

Trump is told he said in 1999 he was ‘very pro-choice’ even supporting partial birth abortions and a ban on assault weapons. Critics say he sounds more like a democrat than a Republican…when did he become a Republican?

Trump says, “I’ve evolved on many issues over the years. And you know who else has? Is Ronald Reagan evolved on many issues. And I am pro-life. And if you look at the question, I was in business. They asked me a question as to pro-life or choice. And I said if you let it run, that I hate the concept of abortion. I hate the concept of abortion. And then since then, I’ve very much evolved.

And what happened is friends of mine years ago were going to have a child, and it was going to be aborted. And it wasn’t aborted. And that child today is a total superstar, a great, great child. And I saw that. And I saw other instances. And I am very, very proud to say that I am pro-life.”

As for his Party affiliation, he fairly sums up, “As far as being a Republican is concerned, I come from a place, New York City, which is virtually, I mean, it is almost exclusively Democrat. And I have really started to see some of the negatives — as an example, and I have a lot of liking for this man, but the last number of months of his brother’s administration were a catastrophe. And unfortunately, those few months gave us President Obama. And you can’t be happy about that…”

On another social issue, gay marriage, Governor Kasich is asked if he supports it. Kasich says, he is old-fashioned and believes in traditional marriage, but he’s also said the court has ruled and he’ll accept it. He said if one of his daughters happened to be that he would still love them because that’s what we’re taught when we have strong faith.

Senator Paul is given a Facebook question asking what he will do to ensure Christians are not prosecuted for not speaking out against gay marriage and will they be forced to conduct business that conflicts with their religious beliefs.

Paul: “I don’t want my marriage or my guns registered in Washington. And if people have an opinion, it’s a religious opinion that is heartly felt, obviously they should be allowed to practice that and no government should interfere with them. One of the things, one of the things that really got to me was the thing in Houston where you had the government, the mayor actually, trying to get the sermons of ministers. When the government tries to invade the church to enforce its own opinion on marriage, that’s when it’s time to resist.”

Governor Walker is asked about the Black Lives Matter movement that believes aggressive police officers target African Americans and if he thinks this is true.

Walker answers, “…it’s about training. It’s about making sure that law enforcement professionals, not only in the way in to their positions but all the way through their time, have the proper training, particularly when it comes to the use of force. And that we protect and stand up and support those men and women who are doing their jobs in law enforcement. And for the very few that don’t, that there are consequences to show that we treat everyone the same here in America.”

Foreign policy. Trump is asked about a top Iraqi General traveling recently to meet with Russian President Putin, violating U.N. Security Council resolutions that confine him to Iran.

Trump:  “We have a president who doesn’t have a clue. I would say he’s incompetent, but I don’t want to do that because that’s not nice…You look at Sergeant Bergdahl, we get Bergdahl, a traitor, and they get five of the big, great killers leaders that they want. We have people in Washington that don’t know what they’re doing.”

“Now, with Iran, we’re making a deal… you would say, we want out our prisoners. We want all these things, and we don’t get anything. We’re giving them $150 billion dollars… what’s happening in Iran, is a disgrace, and it’s going to lead to destruction in large portions of the world.”

Senator Ted Cruz, given very little time while on stage, perhaps because of his reputation as being a debate champion at Harvard who democrat civil rights attorney and professor, Alan Dershowitz, describes as being among the smartest students he’s ever taught, “a lightning-rod” and “off the charts brilliant” the moderators decided it was best to mute him and keep him off camera, was asked if Russia and China were committing cyber war, and if so, what would he do about it?

Cruz: “Of course they have, and over the last six and a half years we’ve seen the consequences of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy. Leading from behind is a disaster. We have abandoned and alienated our friends and allies, and our enemies are stronger. Radical Islam is on the rise, Iran’s on the verge of acquiring a nuclear weapon, China is waging cyber warfare against America, Russia — General Soleimani, you just mentioned, the Iranian general is the head of the al Quds forces.

He’s directly responsible for the murder of over 500 American servicemen in Iraq, and part of this Iranian deal was lifting the international sanctions on General Soleimani. The day General Soleimani flew back from Moscow to Iran was the day we believed that Russia used cyber warfare against the joint chiefs. We need a new commander in chief that will stand up to our enemies, and that will have credibility…” Applause.

Dr. Ben Carson on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad using chemical weapons before and after President Obama said there would be enormous consequences if he used them again, and then failed to use military force after the Assad regime.

Carson: “We have weakened ourselves militarily to such an extent that if affects all of our military policies. Our Navy is at its smallest size since 1917; our Air Force, since 1940. In recent testimony, the commandant of the Marine Corps said half of the non-deployed units were not ready and you know, the sequester is cutting the heart out of our personnel. Our generals are retiring because they don’t want to be part of this, and at the same time, our enemies are increasing.

Our — our friends can’t trust us anymore. You know, Ukraine was a nuclear-armed state. They gave away their nuclear arms with the understanding that we would protect them. We won’t even give them offensive weapons.

You know, we turned our back on Israel, our ally. You know, and a situation like that, of course Obama’s not going to be able to do anything. I would shore up our military first, because if you don’t get the military right, nothing else is going to work.”

Governor Walker is asked what he would do if Putin campaigned to destabilize our NATO allies near Russia?

Walker remarks, “First off, for the cyber-attack with Russia the other day, it’s sad to think right now, but probably the Russian and Chinese government know more about Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server than do the members of the United States Congress…” Crowd laughs. “…and that has put our national security at risk.”

“Putin believes in the old Lenin adage: you probe with bayonets. When you find mush, you push. When you find steel, you stop. Under Obama and Clinton, we found a lot of mush over the last two years. We need to have a national security that puts steel in front of our enemies. I would send weapons to Ukraine. I would work with NATO to put forces on the eastern border of Poland and the Baltic nations, and I would reinstate, put in place back in the missile defense system that we had in Poland and in the Czech Republic.”

Former Governor Huckabee is asked about the changing culture of America’s military, with women in combat and having to prepare for the moment a transgender wants to serve – how would he handle this?

Huckabee answers, “The military is not a social experiment. The purpose of the military is kill people and break things.” Applause. “It’s not to transform the culture by trying out some ideas that some 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 percent…(more applause)…under President Obama. The disaster is that we’ve forgotten why we have a military. The purpose of it is to make sure that we protect every American, wherever that American is, and if an American is calling out for help, whether it’s in Benghazi or at the border, then we ought to be able to answer it.

We’ve not done that because we’ve decimated our military. We’re flying B-52s. The most recent one that was put in service was November of 1962. A lot of the B-52s we’re flying, we’ve only got 44 that are in service combat ready, and the fact is, most of them are older than me. And that’s pretty scary.” (laughs)

Senator Rand Paul is asked about the first budget he proposed cut all financial aid to Israel, but now he’s changed his mind so why did he do this.

Paul: Let’s be clear, I’m the only one on the stage who actually has a five-year budget that balances. I’ve put pencil to paper…and I’ve said I would cut spending, and I’ve said exactly where. Each one of my budgets has taken a meat axe to foreign aid, because I think we ought to quit sending it to countries that hate us. Applause.

I think we ought to quit sending it to countries that burn our flag. Israel is not one of those. But even Benjamin Netanyahu said that ultimately, they will be stronger when they’re independent. My position is exactly the same.

We shouldn’t borrow money from China to send it anywhere, but why don’t we start with eliminating aid to our enemies.

He’s asked again about still cutting aid to Israel.

“I still say exactly what my original opinion is. Do you borrow money from China to send it to anyone? Out of your surplus, you can help your allies, and Israel is a great ally. And this is no particular animus of Israel, but what I will say, and I will say over and over again, we cannot give away money we don’t have.

We do not project power from bankruptcy court. We’re borrowing a million dollars a minute. It’s got to stop somewhere.” Applause.

Governor Christie is asked what he thinks of Senator Paul’s answer.

“I agree with what Dr. Carson said earlier. The first thing we need to do to make America stronger is to strengthen our military, and I put out a really specific plan: no less than 500,000 active duty soldiers in the Army. No less than 185,000 active duty marines in the Marine Corps. Bring us to a 350 ship Navy again, and modernize the Ohio class of submarines, and bring our Air Force back to 2,600 aircraft that are ready to go.

Those are the kind of things that are going to send a clear message around the world. Those are the things that we need to start working on immediately to make our country stronger and make it better. Those are the things that we need to be able to be doing. And as we move towards dealing with foreign aid, I don’t disagree with Senator Paul’s position that we shouldn’t be funding our enemies. But I absolutely believe that Israel is a priority to be able to fund and keep them strong and safe after eight years of this administration.”

Before all the candidates are given time to make closing remarks, the moderators ask one more Facebook question that asks if any of them have received a word from God on what they should do and take care of first.

Senator Cruz is asked if he has had any word from God.

Cruz: “I am blessed to receive a word from God every day in receiving the scriptures and reading the scriptures. And God speaks through the Bible. I’m the son of a pastor and evangelist and I’ve described many times how my father, when I was a child, was an alcoholic. He was not a Christian. And my father left my mother and left me when I was just three years old. And someone invited him to Clay Road Baptist Church. And he gave his heart to Jesus and it turned him around. And he got on a plane and he flew back to my mother and me.” Crowd applause.

“I would also note that the scripture tells us, “You shall know them by their fruit.” We see lots of “campaign conservatives.” But if we’re going to win in 2016, we need a consistent conservative, someone who has been a fiscal conservative, a social conservative, a national security conservative.

There are real differences among the candidates on issues like amnesty, like Obamacare, like religious liberty, like life and marriage. And I have been proud to fight and stand for religious liberty, to stand against Planned Parenthood, to defend life for my entire career. And I will be proud to continue to do so as President of the United States.”

Governor Kasich is next and says his father, a mailman, and his father a coal miner and his mother who could barely speak English, and their son now standing on stage not only as Governor but as a candidate for President, he does believe in miracles. “Today the country is divided. You asked a question about the police and the difficulty in communities. We’ve got to unite our country again, because we’re stronger when we are united and we are weaker when we are divided.

And we’ve got to listen to other people’s voices, respect them, but keep in mind, and I believe in terms of the things that I’ve read in my lifetime, the lord is 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.”

Governor Walker: “I’m certainly an imperfect man. And it’s only by the blood of Jesus Christ that I’ve been redeemed from my sins. So I know that God doesn’t call me to do a specific thing, God hasn’t given me a list, a Ten Commandments, if you will, of things to act on the first day.

What God calls us to do is follow his will. And ultimately that’s what I’m going to try to do. And I hope people see it in my state, even in the big challenges I took on when I had over 100,000 protesters in and around our capital, trying to do what I thought was the right thing.

It wasn’t just how I took on those political battles. It was ultimately how I acted. Not responding in kind. Not lashing out. But just being decent going forward and living my life in a way that would be a testimony to him and our faith.”

Senator Rubio is asked next but the moderator also says someone in the audience just came up and asked about the veterans, too.

Rubio, with one of the best lines of the debate:

First, let me say I think God has blessed us. He has blessed the Republican Party with some very good candidates. The Democrats can’t even find one.” The crowd laughs, cheers and applauds.

“And I believe God has blessed our country. This country has been extraordinarily blessed. And we have honored that blessing. And that’s why God has continued to bless us.

And he has blessed us with young men and women willing to risk their lives and sometimes die in uniform for the safety and security of our people. Unfortunately today we have a VA that does not do enough for them. I am proud that last year we helped change the law. We changed the law to give the power to the VA secretary the ability to fire any executive that isn’t doing their job. And it is outrageous they’ve only fired one person to date. When I’m president of the United States, we’re going to have a VA that cares more about our veterans than about the bureaucrats who work at the VA.

Dr. Ben Carson is chosen next, but also asked to include his thoughts on racial tensions in our country and how this divide can be healed.

Carson: I think the bully pulpit is a wonderful place to start healing that divide. You know, we have the purveyors of hatred who take every single incident between people of two races and try to make a race war out of it, and drive wedges into people. And this does not need to be done. What we need to think about instead — you know, I was asked by an NPR reporter once, why don’t I talk about race that often. I said it’s because I’m a neurosurgeon. And she thought that was a strange response. And you say — I said, 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 them who they are. The hair doesn’t make them who they are. And it’s time for us to move beyond that. Applause.

Because 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 divide us are trying to divide us, and we shouldn’t let them do it.”

Candidates are then asked to give their closing statements. Here are their remarks as to why they should be the nominee of the Republican Party for the President of the United States 2016. Dr. Ben Carson’s statement was the one who many commentators, observers and voters agreed was a shining moment while Mike Huckabee had the biggest cliffhanger as he showed his usual humor he puts in his remarks.

Ohio Governor Kasich is asked to go first.

Kasich: “You know, tonight we hear about what people want to do. I want to tell you what I’ve done. I was a member of the Armed Services Committee for 18 years. I spent a big chunk of my life studying national security issues and our role in the world.  No. 2, I was the chairman of the House Budget Committee and one of the chief architects the last time we balanced a budget, and it was the first time we had done it since man walked on the moon. We had a $5 trillion surplus and we cut taxes.

I spent ten years in the private sector, actually learning how business works. And now I’m the governor of Ohio, and I inherited a state that was on the brink of dying. And we turned it all around with jobs and balanced budgets and rising credit and tax cuts, and the state is unified, and people have hope again in Ohio.”

Christie: “I was born into a middle class family in New Jersey. My dad came home from serving in the Army after having lost his father, worked in the Breyers ice cream plant in Newark, New Jersey. Was the first person to graduate from college. I put myself through college at night. My mom was a secretary.

I was appointed United States attorney on September 10, 2001. And I spent the next seven years of my career fighting terrorism and putting terrorists in jail.

I’m a conservative, pro-life governor in a state where it is really tough to be both. A state like New Jersey, with lots of Democrats, but still we cut taxes, we balanced budgets. We fought the teacher’s union. This president has had weak leadership, which has led to bad choices. We have got to stop worrying about being loved and start worrying about being respected. And that’s exactly how I’ll lead our country.”

Paul: “I’m a different kind of Republican. I’ve introduced a five-year balanced budget. I’ve introduced the largest tax cut in our history. I stood for ten and a half hours on the Senate floor to defend your right to be left alone. But I’ve also gone to Chicago. I’ve gone to Detroit. I’ve been to Ferguson, I’ve been to Baltimore, because I want our party to be bigger, better and bolder, and I’m the only one that leads Hillary Clinton in five states that were won by President Obama. I’m a different kind of Republican.”

Rubio: Thank you. You know, both of my parents were born into poor families on the island of Cuba. They came to America because it was the only place where people like them could have a chance. Here in this country, they never made it big, but the very purpose of their life was to give us the chance to do all the things they never could.

My father was a bartender. And the journey from the back of that bar to this stage tonight, to me, that is the essence of the American dream. It is what makes our nation different. And I’m running for president because I want that to still be possible for the people trying to do that now. I run for president because I believe that we can’t just save the American dream; we can expand it to reach more people and change more lives than ever before. And that’s why I’m asking for your vote. So we can make America greater than it has ever been. And make this century a new American century.”

Cruz: “If I’m elected president, let me tell you about my first day in office. The first thing I intend to do is to rescind every illegal and unconstitutional executive action taken by Barack Obama. Applause. The next thing I intend to do is instruct the Department of Justice to open an investigation into these videos and to prosecute Planned Parenthood for any criminal violations. Applause. The next thing I intend to do is instruct the Department of Justice and the IRS to start (sic) persecuting religious liberty, and then intend to cancel the Iran deal, and finally move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. I will keep my word. My father fled Cuba, and I will fight to defend liberty because my family knows what it’s like to lose it.”

Dr. Ben Carson: “Well, I haven’t said anything about me being the only one to do anything, so let me try that…” Audience laughs. “I’m the only one to separate Siamese twins”…laughter… “The only one to operate on babies while they were still in mother’s womb, the only one to take out half of a brain, although you would think, if you go to Washington, that someone had beat me to it.” Laughter.

But I — but I’m very hopeful that I’m not the only one who’s willing to pick up the baton of freedom, because freedom is not free, and we must fight for it every day. Every one of us must fight for it, because we’re fighting for our children and the next generation.”

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee with the best cliffhanging tongue-in-cheek line of the debate:

“It seems like this election has been a whole lot about a person who’s very high in the polls, that doesn’t have a clue about how to govern. A person who has been filled with scandals, and who could not lead, and, of course, I’m talking about Hillary Clinton.”

“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 that once again we can be one nation, under God.”

Walker: “One article called me “aggressively normal.” I ran for governor because I was worried about my kids’ future. Then, I took on the big government union bosses, and we won. They tried to recall me, and we won. They target us again, and we won. We balanced the budget, cut taxes, and turned our state around with big, bold reforms. It wasn’t too late for Wisconsin, and it’s not too late for America.”

Bush: “I believe we’re at the verge of the greatest time to be alive in this world.

But Washington is holding us back. How we tax, how we regulate. We’re not embracing the energy revolution in our midst, a broken immigration system that has been politicized rather than turning it into an economic driver.

We’re not protecting and preserving our entitlement system or reforming for the next generation. All these things languish while we have politicians in Washington using these as wedge issues.”

Trump: “Our country is in serious trouble. We don’t win anymore. We don’t beat China in trade. We don’t beat Japan, with their millions and millions of cars coming into this country, in trade. We can’t beat Mexico, at the border or in trade.

We can’t do anything right. Our military has to be strengthened. Our vets have to be taken care of. We have to end Obamacare, and we have to make our country great again.”

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