On President’s Day: A Summary of the South Carolina Presidential Candidate Debate

Republican presidential candidates (L-R) Ohio Governor John Kasich, Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Donald Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Carson, February 13, 2016 observe moment of silence for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in Greenville, South Carolina (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidates (L-R) Ohio Governor John Kasich, Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Donald Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Carson, February 13, 2016 observe a moment of silence for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in Greenville, South Carolina (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

 

Greenville, S.C.

Written by Juliana Simone

Appearing Saturday evening in a debate broadcast by CBS, were six candidates still seeking the Republican nomination to compete against the next Democrat nominee for the important role of becoming the next President of the United States. Participating on stage were: Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

It seemed at times more like theater than a debate. Exchanges between the men could be described as hitting below the belt whenever necessary. All alpha males, understandably, as the field narrows, verbal fisticuffs have to come out to mark the differences between policies and experience among these men still in the running with the highest polling numbers. Fortunately, more good notes came out than bad in terms of overall exchange of ideas.

It seemed five of the six candidates mostly abided by former President Ronald Reagan’s eleventh commandment, which was that no Republican shall speak ill of another Republican, unless they were directly attacked by the sixth candidate, Donald Trump, whose derogatory comments and accusations flowed freely throughout the entire debate. Perhaps the other men still seeking their Party’s nomination do not see Trump as a fellow Republican, so the eleventh commandment did not apply to him.

Trump has switched his party affiliation as a voter a few times in the state of New York and has been a registered Democrat for many years throughout his adult lifetime. However, his years as a registered Republican from voter registration records back in the mid to late eighties, exceed the amount of years he was a Democrat. He also was registered with the Independent Party for less than two years. Now a registered Republican once again, he explained soon after announcing his candidacy, he made this switch because he wanted to serve as President of the United States as a Republican.

In writing my articles, I make a point not to listen to or read other commentary until I’m finished so my own perspective isn’t tainted. Watching only the first few minutes after the South Carolina debate to get the gist of who the usual analysts would target for negative or any positive commentary, it seemed this debate their primary focus was on Jeb Bush.

Mainstream media talking points and post-debate analysis always follow the same page, so one of their items tonight was the negative view of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his using debate response time to defend his brother, father and mother.  Is there anyone else with family in the game? No. It is rare in this country when elected Presidents come from prior office-holding bloodlines, but this should not have to make the former Governor spend any of his time as a candidate taking insults about his father or brother who both served previous terms as Commander In Chief in the White House.  He had every right to say he was proud of his father and brother and how they served as Presidents of the United States. Bush said Trump had the gall to bring up his mother, Barbara Bush, and that she is the strongest woman he knows. Trump said, “She should be running.”

The media and social media commentators on Twitter and Facebook who clearly don’t like the Bush family, also found his defending his family amusing, weak and childish as some apparently wrote. The audience in South Carolina did not agree with the media pundits or the jeering tweeters, and they applauded and cheered loudly when Jeb stood up for his family. I agree. It would look odder to let some loud outspoken guy insult them and say nothing, in my view. Back in colonial times, Bush could have walked across the stage and slapped Trumps face with a glove, and called for pistols at dawn. But trashy remarks are the trend these days, and gentlemanly behavior is unknown or unembraced.

The mainstream media always prefers to use these Republican debates as venues where they can pit upstanding candidates against one another, and make them announce in a televised forum their rival’s weak points, rather than address their opposing party’s weaknesses.

There is no question that both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders don’t hold a candle to any of the original sixteen announced candidates for the Republican Party nomination, or to the last six standing, but the liberal media gives Barbara Walters style questions to the Democrats during their debates asking softball questions such as who someone’s favorite President is or coming up soon what is their favorite tree.

If the media doesn’t have the nerve to ask Democrat candidates these questions directly, why then are none of these informed and vocal Republican candidates asked serious questions about their Democrat opponents? Why were they never asked about former First Lady, New York U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s current email scandal that is under intense investigation by the FBI? Or about her inability to answer an Ambassadors plea for help in Benghazi which he sent thirteen times with no answer from our government who should have given an immediate response? Why were they not asked about Senator Bernie Sanders socialist agenda for America today if he is elected in November? The usual censorship of any negative portrayals of the Democrat candidates presided in this ninth debate now.

Who won? Opinions always vary on this, but in trying to remain objective, Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio had a good night as did his fellow state colleague, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Rubio did a good job at illustrating how conservative he is, to counter those who feel he’s a closet moderate and establishment choice; Bush did a polished job of showing his knowledge about many of the issues covered in these two hours, even while being engaged constantly by Trump’s negative comments; Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz also performed well, making it very clear he was the strongest Constitutionalist on the stage who would stand by this document as President and also was the true conservative.

Dr. Ben Carson still had a few unique perspectives he’s delivered throughout this run, as well as getting out some endorsements he’s achieved since his campaign began from respectable sources. Ohio Governor, John Kasich, who given some new life with a second place finish in the previous New Hampshire primary, also did well if the message a voter is looking for is safe and congenial. Kasich seems the most even-toned in delivery. Frontrunner businessman Donald Trump, did not have his best showing, by being too belligerent while reciting some common liberal talking points as someone running for the Republican nomination.

One of the most significant things that occurred during this debate, was the moment of silence dedicated to Supreme Court Justice Scalia who passed away suddenly at the age of 79. Appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 he was the longest serving Justice for thirty years. A fine conservative, who was pro-life on abortion arguments, upholding of the Constitution and what the Founders intended, and admired for his intelligence, he is considered irreplaceable.

Some highlights from the forum: (for those who missed this debate, a full transcript can be found on-line as well as the entire video on CBS)

When the Candidates were asked if President Barack Obama in his final year of holding office as a lame duck President should have the right to appoint his replacement, Rubio and all other candidates on stage agreed that no, it should be up to the next President of the United States to make this important decision.

Donald Trump said Scalia’s passing was a tremendous blow to conservatives, and that Obama will try to appoint someone to replace Justice Scalia whether he was okay with it or not, but he hopes the Republican Majority Leaders in the House and the Senate will stop it, even if it’s just delay, delay, delay.

Kasich said if he were President we wouldn’t have the divisions we do in our country today.  He wished it wasn’t partisan, and wished that President Obama would put the country first for once, but since he didn’t believe this would be case, then yes, the next President elect should appoint the new Supreme Court Justice.

Dr. Carson pointed out the constitution doesn’t address this particular situation and reminded viewers that when the constitution was written the average age of men at the time of their death was fifty, so he feels this needs to be looked at again. He added he saw people making nasty remarks and felt it was a shame. He fully agreed a new judge should not be appointed at this time under Barack Obama.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (FL-R) said, “Scalia understood the Constitution better than anyone.” He said it has been over eighty years since a lame duck President appointed a Supreme Court Justice.  (cheers from the audience) He continued (Senate Minority Leader) Reid and Obama would ram down our throat a liberal Justice as they have already.

Former Gov. Bush said we will nominate someone with a proven record. He regretted too many Judges are appointed without established records and thought more time had to put into who was nominated. He said he is a lover of liberty and limited government and he will fight for that nomination.

“I’m an Article II guy in terms of the Constitution,” he declared. In his view, Obama will not have a consensus pick when he nominates someone.

Texas Senator Cruz said, “Justice Scalia was a legal giant.  He was somebody I knew for twenty years. He was a brilliant man. He was faithful to the Constitution. He changed the arc of American legal history.” His concerns were that we are now one Justice away from rulings on abortion, reversing the Heller decision on the second amendment, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_of_Columbia_v._Heller and religious liberties of millions of Americans. He told the South Carolina people they needed to decide who to nominate and confirm as the most principled Constitutionalist to the court as the next President of the United States.

 

Moving on to National security, the panel started with front runner in the polls, businessman Donald Trump. He was reminded he said if elected he’d get up to speed very quickly on foreign policy, so what three questions would he ask of his appointed leaders.

Trump answers, “What we want to do; when we want to do it; and how hard do we want to hit.” He replied we’re going to have to work very hard to knock out ISIS and learn who our real allies are. He said we are spending billions of dollars in Syria and maybe that should be moved to Russia. The Iran deal was the worst deal he’d even seen. (Applause) He reminds viewers and the audience he was always against attacking Iraq and was for keeping the oil.

Rubio replied his three questions would be, number one, what are we doing in the Asian-Pacific region, where both North Korea and China pose threats to the national security of the United States. Number two is what are we doing in the Middle East and the growing threat of ISIS, and the third is rebuilding NATO in Central and Eastern Europe in regards to Russian President Putin, who is now threatening the territory of multiple countries.

Rubio is asked by the panel what the hardest thing he has had to decide that shows he’s been tested in a crisis and can respond as President.

Rubio reflects, “One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever make in Congress is when you are asked by the president to authorize the use of force in a conflict. You’re now putting your name behind a military action where Americans in uniform could lose their life.

In 2014, Obama said he would not take military action against Assad unless it was authorized by the Senate beginning on the Committee of Foreign Relations, where I am one of its members. it was hard, because you looked at the pictures. As the father of children, I saw the images of these little children– gassed and poisoned by their own leaders.

We were angry. There was the sense that we needed to seek retribution. I looked at Obama’s plan. Barack Obama’s plan, which John Kerry later described as “unbelievably small,” – I concluded that that attack would not only not help the situation, it would make it actually worse.

It would allow Assad to stand up to the United States of America, survive a strike, stay in power, and actually strengthen its grip. And so it was a difficult decision to make. When we only had a few days to look at it, I voted against Obama’s plan to use force; it was the right decision.”

To Ben Carson, the panel asks the retired neurosurgeon about his belief he’s had to answer more 2AM emergency calls than anyone else, so to explain how we would respond to a crisis as someone who’s done amazing political work but has no political foundations.

Dr. Carson asks to go back to the issue of appointing a Supreme Court Justice nominee. He observes that there’s some left-wing media they will try to make hay on that and then jests, “thank you for including me – two questions already.” (cheers) He then says that we are in a situation we’ve never been in before in terms of danger and that’s where judgement comes in.

Kasich said we need to arm the people in Ukraine who are fighting for their freedom and that any attack against NATO countries were against us. In an idealistic view, he observes “I think we have an opportunity as America to put something really great together again. The Egyptians, the Saudis, the Jordanians, the Gulf States, it’s– they all know they’re at risk.” Saying we need to look into the attacks being made in Europe, France, Belgium, Germany and Britain they’re all being threatened by radical Islam. “The world is desperate for leadership.”

Bush says we need to destroy ISIS and dispose of Assad and create a stable Syria so four million refugees aren’t a breeding ground for Islamic jihadists. He differs with Trump, saying Trump believes Putin is helping take out ISIS, but Putin is attacking the team we’ve been training and supporting. He says as President he would restore the military and not allow Iran to move towards a nuclear weapon.

“You’ll get along with Putin” he says to Donald Trump.

Trump states how wrong Jeb Bush is and says, “You have to fight ISIS first…they’re chopping off heads…these are animals…you have to knock them out.” Trump notes the boos coming from the audience when he speaks are coming from Bush lobbyists. He continues, “We’ve been in the Middle East for fifteen years and haven’t won anything.” He mentions former competitor for the 2016 Republican nomination for President, Senator Lindsey Graham, in prior debates used to always talk about going back in and spending more. He scoffs and says he had a zero in the polls. Rebuild our country, he sums up.

Short barbs continued to pepper the debate dialogue between Trump and Bush with Bush remarking, “This is a man who thinks Hillary Clinton was a great negotiator in Iran; we’re living in dangerous times.” Trump answers, “New Hampshire” and “thirty-four million”…

Senator Cruz explains the three greatest threats to our security is a Nuclear Iran, so he would shred the Iranian nuclear deal on day one; as CIC he’d utterly defeat ISIS through air power and arming the Kurds who can be boots on the ground, and not allowing politicians to decide what needs to be done but military expert judgement who will carry out the objectives of the CIC.

The panel notes to Cruz that the Kurds can only do so much with their territory and it’s small and if they make it to big it starts war with the Arabs. Cruz responds we have Kurds in both Iraq and Syria fighting ISIS now and winning. ISIS is using American weapons they seized in Iraq, and Obama refuses to arm the Kurds. We need to arm them. Cruz points out in the first Persian Gulf War we would be doing 1,100 air attacks a day and now we’re only doing 15-30 a day because the Commander in Chief isn’t focused on beating the enemy.

Trump is reminded former President George W. Bush will be helping his brother Jeb Bush campaign in South Carolina this week. You’ve often said you were opposed to the Iraq War and in an interview in 2008 you told Wolf Blitzer you didn’t know why Nancy Pelosi didn’t impeach him, which you thought would have been a wonderful thing, because he lied, and lied to get us into the war.

Trump responds saying he is a businessman and self-funded, and that all he has tonight in the audience is his wife and son. (Cheers) He says he gets along with everyone, but the war in Iraq was a big fat mistake. He complains when Jeb Bush announced his candidacy for President, he was asked if the war in Iraq should have been fought, and that it took him five days to respond and say it was mistake, it wasn’t a mistake, finally deciding it was a mistake. Trump says the war in Iraq cost two trillion dollars, thousands of lives and we don’t even have it. Iran is taking over Iraq with the second largest oil reserves. So George Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes, “but that one was a beauty.” We should have been in Iraq.  We have destabilized the Middle East.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush tries to get in saying it’s his turn. Trump gets in one last liberal mantra and belief despite evidence to the contrary, and says, “They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. And they knew they were none.” (Booing)

The moderator agrees when a member of the debate’s brother is named he can rebut – Bush says he should be able to five or six times then.

Jeb Bush says, “Here’s the deal. I’m sick and tired of Barack Obama blaming my brother for all the problems that he’s had.” (Applause and cheering) He says he doesn’t care about what Trump says about him, its blood sport to him and he’s happy he enjoys it. “But I am sick and tired of him going after my family. My Dad is the greatest man alive in my mind. (Cheering and Applause) While Donald Trump was building a reality TV Show, my brother was building a security apparatus to keep us safe. I’m proud of what he did. (Cheering and applause)

Trump interjects the World Trade Center came down…more bantering between the two with the audience booing Trump and Jeb concluding this isn’t about my family or his family but who South Carolina families that need a Commander In Chief who can lead.

Kasich joins in and says in regards to the in-fighting on stage, “This is just crazy. This is just nuts.” He continues with his thoughts on foreign policy and states that Colin Powell, who is one of our most distinguished Generals in modern times thought there were weapons of mass destruction there. (Applause) Kasich says he doesn’t believe the U.S. should involve itself in civil wars and reminds viewers he served on the defense committee for 18 years and was called to the Pentagon by defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on 9/11 to deal with serious problems we were facing. He summed up saying we should not be the policeman of the world, but when we go, we mean business, do our job, and tell our soldiers once they’ve done their job to come home.

Marco Rubio with another great statement this debate states, “I thank God on behalf of my family, George W. Bush was President of the United States on 9/11 and not Al Gore.” (Cheering and applause)  He said President Bush kept us safe, and not only did he keep us safe, no matter what you want to say about weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein was in violation of the U.N. resolutions, in open violation, and the world wouldn’t do anything about it. George W. Bush enforced what the international community refused to do, and again he kept us safe. I am forever grateful for this.

Trump continues with blaming Bush in another burst. “How did he keep us safe with the World Trade Center? (Cheers and applause) I lost hundreds of friends. The World Trade Center came down under his reign. He kept us safe? That’s not safe.”

Rubio rebuts and says, “The World Trade Center came down because (President) Bill Clinton didn’t kill Osama Bin Laden when he had the chance.” (Cheers)

Jeb Bush rescinds his invitation to Donald Trump to be a guest at the rally Monday. Trump doesn’t care and says he doesn’t want to go.

Dr. Carson is asked if he’s too nice to be tough on terrorists and about his calling on the loosening the rules of engagement for the military which could lead to more civilian casualties.

Carson says he wasn’t particularly in favor of Iraq because he’s studied the Middle East and their countries are run by dictators and have been for thousands of years. And when you go in and remove one of them, you’re going to have chaos. “We were able to stabilize the situation. It’s the current administration that turned tail and ran and destabilized the situation.” (Cheers and applause)

Carson says in terms of the rules of engagement, “Obama’s said we shouldn’t bomb tanks because there may be people in there or the environment might be hurt. That’s just asinine thinking.” He suggests we have to be able to assess what is acceptable and what is not.

Before cutting to commercials, a quick and heated exchange followed but all were good points:

Donald Trump: “The Iran deal, it’s one of the worst deals I’ve ever seen negotiated in my entire life. It’s a disgrace.” Senator Marco Rubio adds, “The constitution is not a living and breathing document. It is to be interpreted as originally meant.” Governor Jeb Bush: “We need to destroy ISIS and dispose of Assad.” 

Governor Kasich and Jeb Bush then get into a banter about their policies on Medicaid and large government.  Bush refers to the Cato Institute, the libertarian public policy research organization, who makes lists that show the standings of candidates on their voting records and/or policies and place them by rank who in their view does the best or worst, and brings up Cato has Kasich on the bottom of the list on these issues and he is on the top.

Kasich responds by first noting Medicaid grew twice as fast under former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s first term as his, and that President Ronald Reagan also expanded Medicaid five times to give people an opportunity to get a job.

Bush states under his tenure as Governor of Florida he was responsible for nineteen billion dollars in tax cuts. (to read analysis of this statement: http://www.forbes.com/sites/taxanalysts/2015/04/07/how-much-did-jeb-bush-cut-taxes-in-florida/#51f1b02813fc )

Jeb Bush is asked about his proposed tax on hedge fund managers. It’s noted The Americans for Tax Reform, a conservative tax group you’re probably aware of, has said, “No Republican should be for higher taxes on capital gains.” many conservatives wonder if this proposal of yours would undermine that philosophy but undercut your projection of 4% economic growth annually under your presidency.

Bush replies: It won’t have an impact on hedge fund managers paying ordinary income.  It’s not just hedge fund people but people that are doing the business of investing other people’s money. Getting capital gains treatment is not appropriate. They should be paying ordinary income. That’s their business. They’re grateful to be able to make a lot of money. We lower the rates. It’s not the end of the world that private equity people and hedge fund folks are getting capital gains treatment for the income they earn pay ordinary income like everybody else in this room. That’s not a problem at all.

What we need to do is to reform the tax code to simplify the rates to shift power away from Washington, D.C. and that’s what I did as governor of the state of Florida. $19 billion of tax cuts. Seven out of the eight years Florida led the nation in job growth.

Moderator Major Garrett: Very good. (Cheers)

Dr. Carson says in regards to the Cato Institute, Cato said he had the most pro-growth tax plan as did WSJ and it’s based on real fairness for everyone. He specifies it starts at the 150% poverty level, but even the people below that have to pay something. Everyone has to have skin in the game. (applause) He adds his plan deals with the corporate tax rate and it makes it the same for everyone else. But in terms of Medicare and Medicaid, his main goal is to get rid of Obamacare.

On immigration, Donald Trump is asked for a humane solution for those who “remain in the shadows.” Trump says, “We have no borders. People are flooding across. Five don’t have borders. We don’t have a country.”

Senator Rubio says you have to go back to 1986, after legalizing three million people and saying that was it and now they would secure the border, it didn’t happen. People lost trust in the government. They want to see the wall built, additional border agents, E-verify, and entry-exit tracking…Americans are reasonable people, but want to see who passes background checks, who pays a fine and taxes if they want a work permit. This can’t be done until illegal immigration is under control once and for all.

The panel asks Senator Ted Cruz if he would deport people. Cruz sites, “Everyone’s against illegal immigration in a Republican primary, but they don’t walk the walk. He reminds the audience of his record and says he stood with Senator Sessions and was against the Rubio/Schumer plan. Addressing Rubio’s record, Cruz says Marco supports citizenship for twelve million people here illegally, he was for in-state tuition, and on Univision, the Spanish speaking network television station, he said he would not rescind Barack Obama’s amnesty plan. (Cheering and Boos)

Rubio and Cruz got into a spat, where Rubio chided Cruz, saying I don’t know how he even knows what I said on Univision because he doesn’t even speak Spanish… Cruz replies to Rubio brazenly in Spanish to counter. Regardless, everyone knows Rubio said this on Univision because it was reported and translated after the fact. Cruz gets back on point and says without him and Jeff Sessions the bill would have passed.

Bush says somewhat amused, he has to find his inner (Governor) Christie, listening to two U.S. Senators argue over two bills that don’t pass.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said in prior debates as a fellow candidate that U.S. Senators did nothing but talk all of the time and got little done, unlike Governors who have to lead and make decisions every day.

Bush said, in regards to illegal immigrants, the reason people come here is because they’re unhappy about their countries and where they come from. They’re not all rapists like you know who said…
Trump rebuts Bush and says he never agrees with Rubio or Cruz but here he does. “Bush is so weak on illegal immigration and everyone knows it.” Bush makes a return remark. Trump tells him to go spend more money on commercials. Bush says to Trump, “It’s weak to disparage women and minorities…”

Kasich steps in and says this is the ninth debate and some of these attacks are personal. He suggests they just talk about what we’re here for. He says, in terms of his position of illegal immigration, he’s for sealing the borders, a guest-worker program, make them pay a fine for staying. It’s too hard to track eleven and a half million and get them out of their homes.

Carson adds, “Please read my immigration policy on my website because it makes sense.” He feels too many government agencies consider how much they cost. Two trillion. Twenty-four thousand per family – same money as poverty level of a family of four.

Senator Cruz asks, who’s been hurt the most? He says under Obama it’s been our most vulnerable and that we have the lowest amount of workers since 1977. Young people, Hispanics, African-Americans and single moms. Two-thirds of jobs come from small businesses. Lift the burdens on small business so you have jobs, and we need welfare reform to get people off of welfare and back to work.

Donald Trump is asked to comment on taxes in South Carolina. He responds that he does not like the idea of using Executive Orders, China bought the Chicago Stock Exchange, refers to the air conditioning business Carrier is moving to Mexico, and concludes, “We’re killing ourselves with trade pacts.”

Trump is again addressed by the panel, and is told Presidents have to be firm but flexible, and that he has been flexible on issues like Hillary Clinton and abortion, but his response is Ronald Reagan changed his mind, too. He’s asked why when he changes his mind he’s like Ronald Reagan and when Senator Cruz changes his mind on immigration, he has a huge character flaw? (laughter)

Trump agrees you have to be flexible in life, even when fighting a war because plans change. He says Ronald Reagan was a “somewhat liberal Democrat” who became a “somewhat pretty strong conservative.” He said older and wiser now, he feels he’s a “common sense conservative” because he doesn’t agree with all conservative views. He thinks people agree with him based on the response he’s getting.

Trump is asked which conservative idea does he not agree with.

Donald Trump replies these people hit me on Eminent Domain. He said he doesn’t love it but it’s strongly needed. He makes an example of Jeb Bush saying he was using eminent domain to build a parking lot, but it was going to be a small office tower that would have employed people. This was private eminent domain. He says they used private eminent domain to build a stadium in Texas.

The moderator says to Bush, he must mean your brother. Bush, says, yes, and this is something I don’t agree on with my brother. I don’t think eminent domain should be used for stadiums of parking lots for limos. Short spat between Trump and Bush again. Bush continues that he thinks eminent domain is okay for transmission line, pipelines, highways and bridges – to Trump: not to try and steal an old ladies home for a parking lot for high rollers at a failed casino. (Cheers)

Senator Cruz says flexibility is a good thing but not on core principles. He says, he likes Donald Trump, he is a good entertainer, but his policies for most of his life have been very very liberal. Cruz says most of his life he was pro-choice, supported partial-birth abortion and even now said he would keep funding for Planned Parenthood.

Trump yells at Cruz and calls him a liar, worse than Jeb Bush. He lied about taking votes from Ben Carson in Iowa, (Cheers) and today we got robo calls saying I’m not going to run in South Carolina, so to vote for Ted Cruz. He’ll say anything. He’s a nasty guy. “Now I know why he doesn’t have one endorsement from any of his colleagues.”

Cruz is asked to respond to Trump’s remarks. He says he’s surprised to see Trump defending Carson now after he called him pathological and compared him to a child molester, both of which were wrong. Trump says, he just quoted from his (Carson’s) book. The two then argue over where and when Trump said he was going to continue Planned Parenthood. Cruz says he can watch it on the video on his website. Cruz says if Donald Trump is the President of the United States he’ll support liberal’s to the Supreme Court.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush says, “Reagan didn’t tear down people like Trump, he tore down the Berlin Wall.”

Ted Cruz remarks nobody who cares about judges will vote for Donald Trump who supported Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and Jimmy Carter.

Senator Marco Rubio smartly changes topic and speaks about ending poverty and believes Governor Niki Haley would do a better job. Back to immigration, he says people want to see the wall, e-verify and enforce the law – then we’ll talk about what to do. He finished his time saying “anyone here on stage is better than what’s on the other side. We should not tear each other down.”

Dr. Carson is asked to please tell people something not politically correct. He talks about the economic collapse and how our country is nineteen trillion dollars in debt, the Feds have to keep rates low, and Sanders and Clinton think taking the rich’s money will solve everything.

To John Kasich: You’re the Democrat’s favorite Republican. Why?

Kasich says because he can grow the economy and believes in a trained workforce. Blue-collar Democrats have been left by the liberal Democrats – they see hope in me.

Donald Trump is asked who is someone why can tell him he is wrong? Donald says, “My wife.” He adds he does listen to people – experts. I’ve spent three million dollars on my campaign and Bush has spent forty-two million – special interest money.

The moderator tells Donald they wish he wouldn’t use profanity as often as he does. Donald says sometimes I use profanity…you all said I said something the other week. I did not. I’m trying not to.

Of note here, as someone who lived in Manhattan for nine years, that is just how people talk there. Maybe not as much now as the city’s been cleaned up a great deal and is only affordable to those with very high incomes for the most part – but pre-2000, every sentence spoken has a profanity in it. Just like the southerners have their expressions and lyrical twang, in New York City and its surrounding Burroughs, just about everyone swears. Everyone is so used to it, no one notices. I had to retrain myself how to speak without using profanity when I moved away.

Jeb Bush interjects for another heated interaction between the two and announces that we need a proven leader, someone who doesn’t cut and run, who’s been bankrupt four times!

Trump rebuts I have never been bankrupt four times. I never went bankrupt. Never. Let’s talk about Florida. He puts so much debt on Florida, it crashed as soon as he left as Governor. It’s my second home. He was not a good Governor.

Bush argues back while he was Governor Florida was one of only two states with a triple bond rating, that personal income was up by four percent, and they had one of the best economies.

Rubio takes a turn and gives another excellent statement in this debate, and says, “The President of the United States I grew up under was Ronald Reagan. This is the worst President of the United State we’ve had in thirty-five years. Before that, it would have been Jimmy Carter. Reagan was able to turn our country around. I hope our next President of the United States is even half of what Ronald Reagan was.”

In closing remarks, where all six candidates tried to use this last camera time and opportunity to specifically address South Carolina voters, Ohio Governor John Kasich was called on first.

Kasich gave a positive speech saying he was going to send a lot of power and influence to every town. “I believe we’re all part of the big mosaic.”

Dr. Ben Carson tells viewers “This is the first generation not expected to do better than our parents.” He talked about spiritualism and politics and how to tear down the United States based on Stalin-like policies. He reminded voters “don’t let the media pick your candidates.”

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush asked, “Who do you want sitting behind the big desk?” He promised he would unite this country around current purposes, and would not focus on polls but keeping you safe.

Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio gave a very conservative and sincere closing statement. Domestically, he warned our culture is in trouble and he believes that life begins at conception and marriage is between a man and a woman.  Internationally, he observed our allies don’t trust us, and our adversary’s don’t fears us.

Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz asked if voters wanted another business as usual legislator. He proclaimed he would repeal Obamacare, abolish the IRS, establish a flat tax and secure our borders.

Businessman Donald Trump closed with his final remarks that politicians are all talk and no action. He reminded the audience that we’re nineteen trillion dollars in debt – and that they all voted for it. He surmised how as a country we don’t win with health care, ISIS, anything.  Using his campaign slogan, he promised we will make America great again. He reminded South Carolinians he has no lobbyists or special interest groups contributing to his campaign. “I’m working for you, not anyone else.”

 

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