Tag Archives: Ohio Governor John Kasich

Donald Trump after Indiana: Two Hundred to Go; Cruz Suspends Campaign

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Bernie Sanders Wins Indiana over Clinton

Written by Juliana Simone

With tonight’s primary win in Indiana over challenger’s Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich, Trump is the projected winner with 52.9% to Ted Cruz at 36.7% with 60% reporting. Kasich is coming in with around 7.8%.  This win with 57 delegates, will bring the delegate count for Trump to 1,041, ­less than two hundred from the 1,237 total needed to get the Republican Party nomination at the Ohio convention in July on the first ballot.

Kasich is saying he is going to stay in despite winning one state, Ohio, and with nothing else to bring to the table except maybe his moderate position. In a statement released tonight, Kasich’s campaign said their goal is to win the nomination in an open convention. Cruz always maintains he will stay in the race.

Tonight in Indiana, numbers are tight between the Vermont Sanders who has a large following of his own, and Mrs. Clinton. Reporters on the mainstream media are saying they have to keep refreshing the pages showing results to find out who is ahead by mere numbers. With Sanders appearing to be the winner at just after 8PM, with Sanders at 53.1% to Clinton’s 46.9%, with 55% reporting, he is appearing to be the projected winner.

But with any frontrunner of a political party, when the numbers separating two candidates aren’t far enough apart, changes can be made to switch the results, whether its “missing” ballot boxes found, or late reporting large districts, or last hour votes from who knows who, the end result isn’t called until its called. Regardless, this Indiana win is important for Bernie Sanders, and continues to illustrate many democrats are not finding Mrs. Clinton too likable.

Earlier on the democrat front, MSNBC this evening had an interview with Jeff Weaver, Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sander’s campaign manager, as results still stream in. He was asked about the drop off in contributions between March and April, citing Sanders donations dropped 20 million from previous months. Weaver replied their average has been 17 million a month but numbers like this are not sustainable.

It’s worthwhile to point out small grassroots donations, as Sanders has achieved in much larger numbers than presumed nominee Hillary Clinton, hold a lot of weight on Election Day. Others would argue it’s more important to get the large donations from lobbyists and PAC’s, as former First Lady and SOS Clinton does regularly. Liberal Hollywood, who has never understood where they fit on an economic map in terms of individual earnings and capitalism, and the vitriol agenda they promote as if they were have-nots, also holds incredibly high ticketed fundraising dinners for Clinton. Recently, actor George Clooney and his new wife had to pay 353K to Hillary for her to appear at their event.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/hillary-clinton-george-clooney-fundraiser-221207

 

Any voter who thinks this woman, is in touch with their lives or needs, or even cares if she does know, better take another look. This is a woman who has lived off of taxpayer money  and flown only on private jets for decades, has lived a life of a bon vivant, which was something in olden days that only attractive and entertaining people could pull off. Would she even know how to board a commercial jet? Does she even know how to drive?

Mrs. Clinton told the mainstream media in interviews looking for sympathy, she went from being so poor when moving out of the White House, she and the former President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton, didn’t know how they would prevail, to an amazing achievement of an accrued nest egg of thirty-one million dollars. Her husband, in name only, as the two have not lived together, for…? Fifteen years? Is worth eighty-million. Perhaps they can afford to return the White House furniture they took with them when leaving for the chosen exit strategy location of New York, for Mrs. Clinton to run for the U.S. Senate, if she actually gets elected.

With Sanders a presumed winner, Clinton pundits are quickly noting how unimportant this win is for Sanders, and how it means nothing in terms of Hillary’s outcome with upcoming primaries and the ultimate nominee. The narrative is always so blatant. Of more concern to Sanders supporters, the fix was in a long time ago, and no matter how well he continues to perform, Clinton will get the nomination both due to super-delegates pledged even before the first primary, and the large funding behind her whatever the source.

Going forward, all Americans can hope for a more positive arena that talks about the important issues today. The below the belt comments made by Senator Cruz in regards to Trump, and the abstract comments made by Trump today in regard to Cruz’s father really need to stop. These exchanges would make fine former President Ronald Reagan not only cringe, but be truly dispirited.

Cruz, in his comments after his loss tonight in Indiana, referred to Reagan and spoke at length about what the former beloved Republican President believed. To do so, after completely ignoring Ronald Reagan’s well-observed eleventh commandment, “though shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican” which he did not follow today or in days earlier. His pronounced would-be running mate, former businesswoman Carly Fiorina, followed suit, and spent much of her stump speeches insulting the frontrunner.

Trump, has not abided by this Reagan commandment either. Perhaps he gets a bit more of a pass in that one, he’s from New York, where New Yorkers speak frankly and loudly, and two, he has not always proclaimed to be a conservative and has not always been a registered Republican. For the record, he has been registered as a Republican for more years than a Democrat.

Still, the mudslinging needs to stop. Perhaps Senator Cruz realized this, too, as he just announced he was suspending his campaign.

Texas U.S. Senator suspends campaign for President in Indiana May 3, 2016
Texas U.S. Senator suspends campaign for President in Indiana May 3, 2016

An admirable man, his run and patriotism should be admired. More amazing to many, is Kasich’s staying in, who has won only one state compared to Cruz. There is a method to every campaign. Perhaps Kasich feels he can enough anti-Trump votes at the convention to somehow someway become the nominee.

As for Clinton and Sanders, to the Democrat leadership, they once again have to face another evening that shows them the man they considered no challenge at all, is still beating the anointed woman they believe will aside from all scandal and lack of achievement regardless of title, become the first female President of the United States.

On to Nebraska and West Virginia.

Analysis: Five State Primary Day Sweep for Trump; Four States for Clinton

Cruz Announces VP Pick Businesswoman Carly Fiorina and Looks West for Wins

Written by Juliana Simone

Donald Trump, Republican Candidate for President of the United States in CT 2016
Donald Trump, Republican Candidate for President of the United States in CT 2016

Winning projections for both frontrunners, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton were validated on Tuesday, April 26th, with Trump winning all five states up for grabs, and Clinton winning four out of five states with final totals reported over their opponents.

It was clear before 1AM the numbers for Rhode Island still seemed too close to call. News the next day showed with the final count, Vermont U.S. Senator Sanders beat the 2008 democrat presidential candidate Clinton in Rhode Island, 55% to 43.3%. As a result, the former Arkansas and U.S. First Lady did not have the same five state sweep Republican opponent Trump achieved, nor were her numbers as good as the ones Trump won overall.

Too early to project except for the temptation of the sensational news headline, the media reported Tuesday evening Hillary had a huge night and easily won all five states in this late April primary in the northeast. Mrs. Clinton, naturally, quick to embrace the moment in a campaign that has surprised supporters how difficult it has been for her to compete with U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, happily chose this moment in the sun to pan to voters and the cameras that she is a popular candidate, despite the unexpected success of her challenger.

In terms of the Rhode Island results, a difference of 12% is considerable, and it should make voters wary of what the agenda driven mainstream media reports. Numbers like that are way too large to call for any election. Messaging must have prioritized the iffy statistics that those who chose to call Rhode Island for the former Secretary of State, believed would go their way, and rushed to embellish Clinton’s win as equal to those of Trump’s.

What’s clear to those who have followed this race from the beginning, is she is not a popular candidate, and polls continue to show she has a high percentage rate as someone who is not likable. According to polls, for whatever they’re worth, Republican opponent Trump has the same. The difference is in the numbers.

Holding true to the pattern that began early on with the beginning of state primaries, the turnout for Trump and the Republican Party far exceeds the turnout for Clinton and the Democrat Party.

The Republican Party is seeing a record high turnout on primary days and in terms of people registering to the party to be able to vote for their preferred candidate in these primaries. Most of the unaffiliated and moderate democrats are making this switch to vote for Trump in states whose election laws do not allow open voting where any registered party member can vote for whomever they choose on the ballot.

The Democrat Party has seen its voters very unenthusiastic about getting to vote for either of their two candidates. Records show four million less democrats have cared to cast a ballot this election year in their primaries. The only candidate motivating any new group in droves who often don’t care to vote, is Sanders with the millennial group made up of young adults between twenty and thirty.

Statistics and analysis show the Trump campaign even outperformed the estimates polls provided going into this latest Super Tuesday.  What the mainstream media chose not to emphasize was that Donald Trump, not only won all five states in the Tuesday primary, but he won every county of all five states. Neither of his Republican opponents were able to win one county in this primary. Clinton could not say she also won every country of the four states she was declared the winner.

How the five candidates performed on the 26th:

Connecticut: Trump @ 57.86% (votes cast: 123,367) to Kasich @ 28.37% (votes cast: 60,481) and Cruz @ 11.71% (votes cast: 24,969); Clinton @ 51.8% (votes cast: 170,075) to Sanders @ 46.42% (votes cast: 152,410). Trump took all 28 delegates; Clinton took 28 delegates to Sanders 27.

Delaware: Trump @ 60.8% (votes cast: 42,472) to Kasich @ 20.4% (votes cast: 14, 225) and Cruz @ 15.9% (votes cast: 11,110); Clinton @ 59.8% (votes cast: 55,950) to Sanders @ 39.2% (votes cast: 36,659). Trump took all 16 delegates; Clinton took 12 delegates to Sanders 9.

Maryland: Trump @ 54.4% (votes cast: 236, 623) to Kasich @ 23.0% (votes cast: 100, 089) and Cruz @ 18.9% (votes cast: 82,038); Clinton @ 63.0% (votes cast: 533,247) to Sanders @ 33.2% (votes cast: 281,275). Trump took all 38 delegates; Clinton took 61 delegates to Sanders 33.

Pennsylvania: Trump @ 56.7% (votes cast: 892,702) to Cruz @ 21.6% (votes cast: 340,20) and Kasich @ 19.4% (votes cast: 304,793); Clinton @ 55.6% (votes cast: 918, 689) to Sanders @ 43.6% (votes cast: 719, 955). Trump won all 17 delegates; Clinton took 105 delegates to Sanders 83.

Rhode Island – Trump @ 63.8% (votes cast: 39,059) to Kasich @ 24.4% (votes cast: 14, 929) and Cruz @10.4% (votes cast: 6,393); Sanders @ 55% (votes cast: 66, 720) to Clinton @ 43.3% (votes cast: 52, 493). Trump took 12 delegates, Kasich 5 and Cruz 2; Sanders took 13 delegates to Clinton’s 11.

Connecticut was the state most analysts and polls believed could go to Sanders. He was well in the lead through much of the day, then a slim lead through the evening, but final tallies pushed Clinton over the edge to win. Connecticut has a history of funny math on ballot mishaps on Election Days, so it’s tough to say if Sanders didn’t actually win this state.

Sanders, who wanted to speak at UCONN, on one of his campaign speeches, couldn’t meet their terms and had to go the New Haven green and Hartford the next morning. It is of note that UCONN presented an award to former President Bill Clinton for human rights in October, and the UCONN Foundation paid Hillary Clinton $251,250. As a resident, I see Sanders lawn signs and bumper stickers on cars a lot and have yet to see anything for Clinton.

Trumps biggest wins were in Rhode Island and Delaware in the low sixties percentage wise. The other three states he still performed well in, with two in the high fifty percentiles and Maryland, his lowest at still just under 55%. Clinton has one state that gave her a return in the low sixties – Maryland. Delaware had her second best returns at almost sixty percent, and her two wins put her in the low to mid-fifties. Rhode Island, which she lost put her in the low forties.

Sanders highest percentage was his winning state, Rhode Island, of course, at 55%. Kasich’s highest return was in Connecticut, known for its large group of moderate Republicans, at 28%, and Cruz’s best state was Delaware at just under 16%.

Of all the candidates the winner of who won their home state by the largest percentage goes to Bernie Sanders, where the Vermont U.S. Senator won by a whopping 86.1%, faring much better than fellow colleagues in the Senate, Cruz and Marco Rubio, who failed to win over challenger Donald Trump, who considers Florida to be his second home. Trump won his home state of New York with a respectable 60.4%, Cruz won Texas with 43.8%, and Kasich won Ohio as sitting Governor, with 46.8%.

It’s tough to say what Hillary Clinton’s home state is and she claims a few to hold that distinction. Born and raised in Illinois, she attended Wellesley College in Massachusetts and Yale Law School in Connecticut. She met her future husband on this Ivy League campus, the 42nd President of the United States, William J. Clinton, who proposed marriage, but a staff opportunity in Washington D.C. that made her future there a bright one, was her preference at this given time.

But failing to pass the District of Columbia bar exam to become an attorney there, she took the bar in Arkansas where her boyfriend Bill Clinton was returning. Passing that exam, she agreed to marry Clinton, where they lived and worked for almost twenty years.

Winning the White House in 1992, put Mrs. Clinton in Washington, D.C. for eight years. When her husband’s two terms ended, she did not want her spot in the political limelight to end, so she cherry picked New York as her choice to run for the U.S. Senate. Plunking down money on a 1.7 million dollar home in Chappaqua, to qualify her for the run as a resident, she eventually won over the New Yorker’s who recognized her as a carpetbagger, with the general consensus that maybe more state money would come to them with someone as powerful as a former First Lady as their U.S. Senator.

Though New York is actually listed as her home residence, she has spent little time in that home since its purchase in 1999. Its former President Bill Clinton who has lived in the house since the Clinton’s bought into the Empire State. Once Hillary won her Senate seat through New Yorker’s votes, the Clinton’s purchased a home for 2.85 million in what is known as the upscale area of northwest Washington as “Observatory Circle.” The brick colonial is located on a dead end street.

Whichever home she designates at the moment, in Illinois she won with 50.5% of the vote, just slightly over opponent Sanders who came in with 48.7%. In Arkansas, the home of her husband who was the Governor there and a former President, she faired the best at 66.3%. In New York, the blue state she’s spent a fraction of the time, she won with 58%. In Massachusetts, where she attended college, she just beat Sanders 50.1% to 48.7%.

In caucuses, Cruz won in Wyoming with his highest percentage achieved at 66.3% with 644 votes cast, while Trump in this state caucus gave Trump his lowest figure to date at 7.2%. Idaho went to Cruz with 45.4% to Trump’s 28.1%. Trump did not visit Idaho unlike Cruz. Idaho also chose Sanders over Clinton by a large margin: 78% Sanders to 21.2% Clinton. In Alaska, both Cruz and Sanders one. Cruz, by almost three points, but Sanders ran away with it beating Hillary 81.6% to 18.4%.

On a larger scale in terms of the numbers, as noted in an earlier post, Trump has already received 2.1 million more votes before this five state primary, than Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012. This is an amazing figure.

On the Democrat Party side, the party has seen four million less people care to cast a vote in the primary process. Whether Democrats don’t care for either choice enough to go vote, or will just pull the lever for whoever becomes the nominee, remains to be seen. People can only wonder what the turnout would be with Clinton on this second try versus any other opponent than Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, in challenging her.

The candidate who has ignited the Democrat Party, as Trump has lit up not only Republican Party supporters, but democrats and unaffiliated, is Sanders. Sanders is the politician who has brought out masses of followers to his rallies, has won ten states over the media’s anointed Clinton the Party did not believe perceivable, as well as  nearly tying her in states like Missouri.

He’s received more private grassroots donations, has kept Clinton’s winning margins in many primaries and caucuses far from solid leads, and could arguably be the frontrunner if not for the Democrat Party’s super-delegate system. Professionals and voters have speculated over whether or not Sanders knew Clinton had all these super-delegates in the bag, before he even began his campaign. Did he know he would never have the opportunity to become the party nominee, no matter how popular his campaign became? Certainly his voters did not.

An interesting local news highlight here in New England, reported on Tuesday’s five state primary, which illustrated how popular Sanders is among his party’s voters and devotees, on a small but impressive note for those of who know the area, ” Democrat turnout was so high on Block Island that a ferry had to ship extra Democratic ballots to the remote community Tuesday evening.”

For those not familiar with this region, Block Island is part of Rhode Island – an island off of the shore of Rhode Island which is a local tourist attraction for both sailors and visitors who take the ferry there and stay in hotels as a summer getaway destination.

Despite his large following, mostly with the youth vote, as pointed out earlier, this is not his sole demographic. A pronounced Socialist, Sanders appeals to disenfranchised Americans, big government fans and most likely Democrats who don’t care for Hillary, or maybe even both Clinton’s.

Still, with the northeast four state sweep on Tuesday, Sanders said Wednesday with last night’s returns, he would now be laying off hundreds of staff employees around the country and focus on California, which he considers to be a state he can win. He explained in regards to the campaign layoffs, that in states whose primaries already have passed, he did not need staff their anymore and needed to focus on the remaining 14 states whose delegates and voters were still important going forward.  The Vermont U.S. Senator also said he will remain in the race until the convention.

Trump, has his own possible battle awaiting him in Ohio at the Republican National Convention with many party candidates, leadership and advisers not hiding the fact they are doing everything they can to keep him from becoming the nominee. Whether it’s Cruz and Kasich with their news announcement this week on teaming up to not campaign or advertise in states that favored either over the other, to keep more delegates from Trump acquiring the 1,237 needed to not go to a second ballot at the convention, when bound delegates can then vote for whomever they choose, or if its reputable long-serving Republican’s whether elected into office or not, saying they’ll vote for Hillary before Donald, Trump and his millions of supporters have to prepare themselves for a showdown on in July.

If Trump continues to win the remaining primaries, and falls just short of the total delegates needed only to have the national convention delegates award the nomination to someone else, leaves supporters wondering if Trump should run as an independent. On the democrat side, Sanders is wondering this, too, with his large following and earned primary and caucus wins, why should he bow out because the party already had given the nomination to Hillary through their super-delegates despite his hard work and positive response?

Trump, a businessman who’s made billions of dollars in real estate investments and other ventures, is the only self-funded candidate out of the remaining five, and also out of the original seventeen Republicans. This is something conservatives in the Republican Party usually laud, as it means the candidate won’t be prone to backroom deals and secret handshakes with lobbyists, special interest groups and politicians across the aisle, since no money had to exchange hands between them in the form or campaign contributions or PAC money.

This advantage Trump has and also gives voters, now is hardly ever mentioned in the media and the Republican Party seems mute on this positive. The argument stands that this is because the insiders in D.C. want everyone to have the same strings tied to them as are tied to everyone else there. A man with no strings is free and clear and does not need to respond on demand. Clearly a dangerous concept to the establishment.

Carly Fiorina with Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz as she becomes Cruz's running mate as VP if he gets the nomination
Carly Fiorina with Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz as she becomes Cruz’s running mate as VP if he gets the nomination

An interesting turning point that followed Tuesday’s results, was Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, exiting the northeast and leaving his losses behind to announce he had picked his running mate for Vice President, if he can somehow achieve the nomination at this time. He chose the only female Republican who sought the nomination for President of the United States in 2016, former business executive Carly Fiorina.

A good choice in that it brings a female on to his ticket for those voting for Hillary simply on gender alone. She is not a party insider, as Cruz wrestles with the constant argument between those who claim he himself is one as an elected Senator, and those who maintain he is anything but, as someone who’s always bucked the system and stood alone on some important issues his colleagues would not join him on.

She also must have appealed to Cruz as she was born in Texas to a father who was an attorney, law professor, deputy U.S. attorney general and judge on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In the debates, one prime time and the others in the pre-prime time broadcasts for lower polling candidates, she made it clear she was very sharp on policy and could run circles around Hillary if they’d ever have the opportunity to debate. This, of course, is the reason the media never gave her much airtime. Yes, they want a woman to become President, but, no, not a Republican one.

Pundits saw both negatives and positives in his decision. Negatives cited were her inability to win a primary or caucus and poll numbers that kept her off the prime time debate stage except for once.  Positives were her college and business connections to California and again, the fact she is a female.

Personally, for those who listened to the debates, one has to wonder if her accepting the invitation to be Cruz’s running mate was because as she stressed in every opening or closing statement, she’d been told no her whole life, and she found a way to get what she wanted anyway. Perhaps this is her drive in that she’s turned a public and party no into a yes.

Additionally, it gives her more on-camera time to say negative things about Donald Trump. The two had their moments on national television during the debates, and it’s clear there is no love between the two of them. If her coming back into the spotlight means she’ll be spending her time criticizing Trump with snarky remarks, (she’s already said “Trump will be a disaster for this nation” if elected) instead of being at her best and highlighting Clinton’s many weaknesses and troubles, then perhaps she should have passed on a possible run with Cruz.

The etiquette of Reagan’s eleventh commandment is perhaps now off the table as her own election is at hand along with Senator Cruz. So for now, the campaign speech will be its Trump who is the projected disaster, not Clinton. For his part on Cruz teaming up with Fiorina, Trump has said the Cruz-Fiorina announcement was a waste of time.

Polls in Indiana, which is holding its primary this Tuesday, May 3rd, show an uptick for the Texas Senator since announcing Fiorina as his VP choice. With what little polling has been done, there, however, polls currently show Trump still leads by around 5%.

Total delegate counts going into this Tuesday stand with Trump at just under one thousand at 996; Cruz with 565 and Kasich with 153. Florida U.S. Senator, Marco Rubio, who suspended his campaign after his loss in Florida to Trump, with 164 still holds more delegates than Kasich, but with Kasich staying in until the end, despite only winning his state of Ohio, should pick up enough by the end of the primaries to exceed Rubio. Unbound delegates for Rubio, most after the first ballot will be up for grabs.

With the primaries coming to a close, ten remaining states for the Republican candidates, including California, will have the final say if Donald Trump can go to the Ohio convention with the needed delegate count to become the nominee with no second, or possibly more, ballots, and the potential to become the 45th President of the United States.

Five State Primary Today: What Will the Results Reveal Voters vs. Establishment?

 

 

(l-r) Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Businessman Donald Trump {photo: dispatch.com}
(l-r) Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Businessman Donald Trump {photo: dispatch.com}

Written by Juliana Simone

April 26, 2016

With the recent news story that highlighted a new pact between Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich, where they will work together in the forthcoming weeks to alter the outcomes of delegate votes for frontrunner New York businessman Donald Trump, it appears that the Republican Party’s establishment, still hopes to stop Trump from becoming the 2016 nominee for President of the United States under any circumstances.

Five states are holding presidential primaries today: Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania. There are still 733 delegates up for grab out of the 1,237 total needed at the national convention by a candidate to secure the nomination and not have the vote go to a second ballot. For those who have read my previous posts, as I’ve mentioned before, many tricky things happen once it goes to a second ballot, or more if necessary.

Trump is showing high polling numbers in all of the five states voting today and is expected to win them. In our state of Connecticut, polls have Trump winning at 40% with Cruz just over 20% and Kasich in the high teens. With that in mind, Cruz and Kasich apparently have decided to move forward to upcoming primary states like Indiana, who along with Tennessee, have their primary on May 3rd.

The pact between Senator Cruz and Governor Kasich has the two contenders agreeing to not challenge each other in a state where one clearly has higher expected returns. Strategically, this means they each will be more likely to win the state, or at least many of the state’s delegates over Trump.

Kasich, still the candidate who has only won one state, his own, and is perceived by many as someone who should have suspended his campaign months ago, continues to enjoy his time in the spotlight, and remains ambitious in his campaigning. Proof of this was his remarks yesterday that he still hoped to win Indiana, even though he’d just agreed with Cruz he would not campaign in this state to give the edge to Cruz and thus help to eliminate Trump. Cruz, in turn, would not campaign heavily in New Mexico and Oregon to give an edge to Kasich.

But, Kasich, quickly showed the true nature of politics, when hours later from the announcement of their agreement, he said at an appearance in Philadelphia Monday, “Indiana voters should vote for me.” Yes, he did withdraw his public appearances to stay true to the pact with Cruz, but he still plans on meeting with Indiana Republicans, including their Governor, and attending a fundraising event there.  In return, Cruz’s campaign said they would never tell any voter who to vote for and told supporters they did not endorse tactical voting.

Upon hearing this news, frontrunner Trump addressed this pact from an appearance in Warwick, Rhode Island, calling it conclusion, and saying in business or the stock market, if you collude, you’d be put in jail, but in politics, because it’s a rigged system, a corrupt enterprise, in politics you’re allowed to collude. He said he was happy with this news, in that it showed how weak and pathetic the two were, as they are just getting killed…it shows complete weakness…two long time establishment guys now had to get together to try and beat the guy that speaks what the people want.

Of note, heading into this late April five state primary, Donald Trump now has had 2.1 million more votes cast for him than Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012. As the projected winner over Ted Cruz and John Kasich by sizeable percentages, Trump’s count will continue to grow this evening when final tallies are posted.

Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz has acknowledged Trump will win the five states today, but believes once the primaries head back towards the western states, results will change and not favor Trump. After May 3rd, the states of Nebraska and West Virginia have primaries on May 10th; Kentucky, Oregon and Washington hold their primaries on May 17th; big-prize state California, along with Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota primary on June 7th, and lastly Washington D.C. (democrat party only) on June 14th.

The discussion that remains as the main talking point, is whether or not Donald Trump can achieve the total of 1,237 delegates needed at the national convention in Ohio to become the nominee without heading into the second ballot. At this time, he is the only Republican candidate remaining of the three that has the potential to achieve this feat. Whether or not the Republican establishment hopes to derail this effort remains to be seen.

Why Wisconsin Counts

Businessman and Republican Presidential candidate 2016 Donald Trump
Businessman and Republican Presidential candidate 2016 Donald Trump
Texas U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate 2016 Ted Cruz
Texas U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate 2016 Ted Cruz

Written by Juliana Simone­­­­­

The reason one state counts this far into the game comes down to two words: Second ballot.

Most readers probably thought they would see the words ‘contested convention.’ Also important in that one leads to the other.

But for those in the know, where things get tricky at a state or national convention, is when a candidate well into the lead and has been told by numerous delegates they were the sure winner by a healthy percentage, suddenly find themselves short enough to have to go into a second ballot.*

Wisconsin’s numbers tonight award the winner 18 delegates. Three delegates for each of the eight congressional districts within the state are then distributed. With polls showing Texas U.S. Senator well in the lead over businessman Donald Trump on the Republican side, strategists show no matter how it’s cut up, Trump won’t come out with enough to call it a win heading into the national convention after tonight.

RNCconventionlogo2016

This is good news for Cruz supporters, or the ‘I’ll-vote-for-Hillary’ group before Trump, despite their patriotic stance presented to the public. Anyone who has served on the municipal level, no matter how small a town, can tell you how every vote matters. Town board seats and State House seats have been won by one vote. One vote. Something sadly much of America, whose citizens have the privilege to vote, does not recognize each Election Day.

The Kasich camp, still believes somehow somewhere the Ohio Governor can become the nominee, even with only winning one state to date, his own, out of thirty-two primaries/caucuses held to date. Many people believe he should have left the stage some time ago. Arguably, if there was a third man (or woman) still standing, the list is long in terms of exceptional candidates who were presented to us originally back in late 2015.

Both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz voiced their opinions pre-Wisconsin vote that Kasich should drop out with only one state under his belt. But the long-serving Republican Party candidate says he is staying in until the convention. He has noted in public comments that no one outside of Ohio even knew who he was before running for President of the United States, so perhaps this achievement accompanies his view of what America would be under his leadership.

“Up until now, no one knew who I was. They thought my name was ‘Governor of Ohio.’ Finally I’m getting some attention! People can hear my message!” This may be true in some circles, but most people didn’t even know he was the Governor of Ohio. Other Governor’s had more national media attention going into this competition. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and former Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Understandably, this is a shining moment for John Kasich, the current Ohio Governor. Considered a moderate who has made statements of note during his campaign, including the idea he would perhaps pick a democrat to be his Vice President on the ticket.

Also, like Republican Party nominee veteran John McCain, (who lost to Illinois U.S. Senator Barack Hussein Obama in 2008), Kasich says he will work with both sides of the aisle, and is described as a big government legislator.  For these reasons, Kasich is not popular with conservatives, libertarians, right-sided Republicans and some of the blue-collar demographic who support Trump.

New York businessman Donald Trump has connected with voters from a vast amount of demographics and appears to be the only Republican who currently can assure cross-over votes. Kasich’s camp would disagree with this assessment and argue because of his moderate stance, he will appeal to these groups, as well. But this is old strategy from the current GOP establishment which continues to believe, if we’re more like them they’ll vote for us. Election results have not proven this to be case in terms of who wins the highest office politically. (McCain 08; Romney 12.)

Federal offices hold Republican majorities in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Congress with a mix, depending on the state, but notably with the addition of new conservative faces. Texas Senator Ted Cruz is one of those. Endorsed by former Alaska Governor and 2008 Vice President Candidate Sarah Palin, he won his U.S. Senate seat in 2012. Governor Palin now has endorsed Donald Trump for the party nomination for president, but either way, she clearly stands by candidates who are anti-establishment.

Cruz has made this reputation by his actions as a constitutionalist in Washington D.C., who stands firmly on the Founder’s principles and his, while Trump presents this status as a businessman who has never held public office but has made major achievements over his lifetime. Both men have Ivy League degrees (Cruz: Princeton/Harvard; Trump: Wharton Schol of Business, University of Pennsylvania) and are happily married with children.

They each have their critics, too.

Cruz, has people who staunchly insist he is not qualified to run for the office of President of the United States since he was born in Canada. His mother, an American, married a Cuban native. He also is said to have few allies among his colleagues in the U.S. Senate for his strong approach in fighting the insiders and business as usual.

Trump, the media has pulled out all stops to try and bury every day, as both the never-perceived front-runner, and due to personal vendettas apparently from some of the media’s upper tier. A blunt man, who speaks plainly with no apology, receives constant criticism from the commentators and politically correct crowd who does not believe any lets-cut-to-the-chase speak, should ever be allowed (regardless of how they talk amongst themselves privately with no cameras rolling.)

But both of these aforementioned things the two men bring to the table, who presumably will be the nominee coming out of the national convention in July, are what brings them their devout fans.

Interestingly, the location of the convention is in the home state of Governor Kasich, where the third man hoping to somehow grab a seat in this game of musical chairs, still hopes for some miracle that can happen with the arm-twisting and madness of the super-delegates.

On the democrat front, things are even bleaker for Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders who has won the last states over presumed former First Lady/NY Senator/SOS Hillary Clinton despite her serious woes with the FBI in re her email server scandal. For this party, primaries have just been an expense for taxpayers, as Clinton already had sewn up all her caucus’s super-delegates before even starting the process. It must be a concern to those who immediately ushered her in to this front-line position and ignored her pockmarked veneer that the massive youth turnout for Sanders would not take kindly to learning their vote never mattered due to these party logistics.

Sanders who has out-performed her in many states throughout the county, has left the democrat party in a dilemma. With large wins in Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, and one really close win in Michigan, he has outperformed what any pundit conceived after his announcement. His supporters maybe at best can hope for a FBI arrest for Clinton, which is far more deserved than what General Patraeus was found guilty of – but even he made recent comments Clinton under the Obama administration and the current Department of Justice will sweep under the rug to keep their liberal agenda for the country going.

On the Republican front, somehow this group needs to form an alliance whoever the nominee is after the convention. The country continues to diminish as Democrats are elected or re-elected due to stubborn Republican voter divide.

 

*{Ask former Congressman and retired U.S. Army Colonel Rob Simmons, (CT-2), who was assured he would beat the democrat nominee, Connecticut’s long-serving Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, once becoming the official nominee in 2010, but a second ballot flipped the vote for newcomer WWE co-owner Linda McMahon.}

Update:The Big Five: Final Contest or Validation?

The Big Five: Final Contest or Validation?

Written by Juliana Simone

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GOP candidates for President 2016 (l-r) U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (FL-R), Businessman Donald Trump, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (TX-R) and Ohio Governor John Kasich {photo: ABC/AP}

FINAL Update II:

Missouri’s update today, March 17th, has the delegate counts with 99% reporting for Trump at 25, and Cruz at 5.  A newer post by CNN within the hour, has just changed this total, that the numbers now from pledged delegates give Trump 25 to Cruz’s 15, out of 52 delegate’s total.

Missouri, the fifth and last state to report the Republican winner with numbers between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz just about even, announced Donald Trump as the winner with 40.9% of the total votes, and Ted Cruz right behind him at 40.7%. The amount of votes that gave Trump the win was 1,726. At this time, Trump earned Missouri’s 15 delegates, as well, and Cruz none. 

Kasich came in with 9.9%. Despite Ohio being the only state Kasich has won so far, he maintains he is staying in the race until the national convention where the RNC delegates will choose who the nominee is going to be. 

Delegate totals with this finish leave three out of the four participating candidates Tuesday night with these numbers:

Trump:  661 Cruz:  406 Kasich:  142.  

Trump’s four-state win Tuesday night broadened the amount of delegate votes between the businessman and second-place candidate Texas Senator Cruz. Going into Tuesday, Trump led Cruz by 99 votes. Now his lead over Cruz is 255.

However, there are still 1,079 delegate votes to be gained for the needed 1,237 to secure the nomination assuming the convention remains uncontested. If contested, the rules committee, super-delegates and delegates can make changes that allow them to deliver a different outcome of who the Republican nominee will be, regardless of how many states and votes a candidate won from the people as their choice. 

In the Democrat primary, the race between former N.Y. U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton and Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, which was also too close to call and nearly a tie, gave Clinton the win when all votes were counted by a very small margin, as with Trump and Cruz. Clinton received 49.6% to Sander’s 49.4%. Clinton came out on top with only 1,531 votes more than Sanders. They each picked up the same number of Missouri delegates with 32 each. Still, Clinton’s win of all five states is a poor sign for Sanders, but he plans to remain in the race as the democrat candidate strongly popular with the under-thirty voters.

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Update: With Missouri still undeclared at 99%, and Trump winning by a hair, here are the delegate totals as of tonight:

Trump: 619 Cruz: 394 Rubio: 167 Kasich: 136

Update: Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz takes the stage tonight in Houston, still waiting for a close race in Missouri to give him a win tonight. It is too close to call now. Former fellow Republican Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, gave opening remarks as a campaign endorser.

Ted Cruz said if elected, he will take away welfare benefits from those here illegally, improve the economy and get rid of the cronyism in Washington surmising “less government is more freedom.” Cruz also said he would uphold the Second Amendment and gun owner rights, uphold the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, and stand by the nation of Israel. Unlike Trump, he pointed out he won’t try to negotiate the nuclear deal Obama made with Iran, but will “rip it to shreds.”

He added as President he will pass a flat tax, get rid of amnesty, and abolish the IRS. Cruz told supporters “enough with the Washington corruption,” and projected, “Together, we can turn things around.” He encouraged viewers to remember the Constitutional liberties that turned America around, and asked voters to come together and stand as one.

Cruz told supporters “enough with the Washington corruption,” and suggested, “Together, we can turn things around.” He told viewers to remember the Constitutional liberties that turned America around, and asked voters to come together and stand as one.

On the Democrat side, former First Lady Hillary Clinton, appears to have won all five states over her competitor Bernie Sanders, who has a lock on the under-thirty vote. Numbers were close between the two, in Illinois and Missouri. At this time, Sanders has a slight lead over Clinton in Missouri.

Regardless, as noted in this blog before, how many states or votes the Vermont U.S. Senator acquires, he will never get his party’s nomination. With Democrat super-delegates in a large majority, if not total, casting their votes for the previous Secretary of State in their national convention, they will assure her of the nomination she could not achieve when she competed with Barack Obama in 2008.

Update: Trump is the easily projected winner of Illinois and maintains a lead in North Carolina over Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.

Kasich wins Ohio, the state he governs, with 47% currently to Trump’s 35.9%, 95% reporting. An important win for the former Lehman Brothers’ investment banker (2001-2008), who has not won a state yet in all of the preceding primaries.

Update: Marco Rubio loses Florida to Trump

Marco Rubio loses Florida to Donald Trump except for Rubio’s own Miami-Dade county  at 62%. Trump, with latest numbers showing his returns at 45% to Rubio’s 27%, won considerably in this important contest. Florida, Trump’s second home when not in New York, has created many jobs and businesses in Florida compared to the U.S. Senator who like all members of the Legislative Branch and their staff, are compensated through taxpayer money. Whether this was a factor or not, Rubio did make some notable comments before suspending his campaign tonight.

With opening remarks, he congratulated Trump for his win this evening. An audience participant yelled repeatedly at Rubio, and the Senator told him {Ed. Paraphrasing at this time} it was okay, he wouldn’t call the police and he didn’t have to worry about any violence here. His voters gave a strong chorus of support after this, chanting, “Marco! Marco! Marco!”

Reminding his audience of his upbringing, where his two parents fled communist Cuba to find freedom in Florida, and worked as a bartender and maid to give him the opportunity to one day, as an American born son, the opportunity to run for the office of President of the United States, he was proud his eighty-five year old mother could cast a ballot for him today for America’s highest office.

He commented on the economic state of the country, that since 2007, 2008, there has been a horrible downturn that has left many voters upset. He said he knew what it was like to live paycheck to paycheck, and grew up that way, where if the air conditioner broke, money had to be found somehow to fix it.

Rubio also noted that people are tired of hearing if they’re anti-illegal immigration, they’re bigots, and are tired of hearing from the self-called establishment elites who tell them what they should think.

Observing former esteemed President Ronald Reagan’s eleventh commandment that premised no republican should speak ill of any other republican, Rubio maintained this rule by not mentioning Trump directly, but by using sentences that started with the words “what we don’t need” and then referring to things that Trump has said throughout his  campaign.

On policy, Rubio told the crowd that America needs a vibrant conservative movement, a strong military, and to keep its Judeo-Christian values that founded our country. He reflected that we were a country formed by descendants, from settlers, to pioneers who ventured west, and to slaves, and we should not lose this, or America won’t be special anymore. He observed, “When America doesn’t lead, it leaves a vacuum.” This vacuum, leads to chaos.

The results that will come in tonight from five big states will either determine the current front-runner in the Republican race, who is to become the party’s nominee by the people, which at this time is businessman Donald Trump, or the second place winner, Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, who is still not far behind in popularity. It will also validate why Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio and Ohio Governor John Kasich, should not suspend their campaigns, in their view, if they each manage to win their own states.

Both Florida and Ohio are delegate-take-all states, so a win for any candidate here would be a hefty boost, whether you’re in the upper numbers among delegate counts, like Trump and Cruz, or in the lower numbers, like Rubio or Kasich. The remaining three states, Missouri, North Carolina and Illinois have divided delegates, so portions of those counts can be distributed among any of the four candidates.

Going into today’s vote, Trump has the most delegates with 469; Ted Cruz about a hundred behind Trump has 370; Marco Rubio holds 163; and John Kasich comes in last with 63.

Of the five states up for grabs tonight, Florida has the most delegates at 99. North Carolina, which hasn’t had as much attention from the press, comes in second with 72. Illinois has 69, Ohio has 66 and Missouri has 52.

For the candidates who aren’t in first place, and two who need to win their states to maintain respectability among their constituents, Rubio said today on the stump, “We’re going to get the 99 delegates that we need…,”and remained positive that he will win his home state. Cruz said, “If Trump wins, it’s a disaster.” Cruz, who did not receive as much attention this cycle, due to two legislators needs to win their home states, still hopes to do well.

Kasich also said he believed he would win his state of Ohio, and in his view, would then go on to win many states and ultimately the party nomination. Even with a gain of 66 delegates, and the only state won so far under his belt, he would still be in last place.

Kasich also received some help going into this primary, from Republican Party nominee for President in 2012, Mitt Romney, who paid for two advertisements that were anti-Trump. He also made appearances on behalf of the Ohio Governor, in hopes to secure the win for anyone-but-Trump, and in this instance, John Kasich. As commentators have noted, myself included, if perhaps Mitt Romney had put this much energy into beating incumbent President Obama, America would be in a much better place today without four more years under the Obama administration and its failed policies.

Trump noted today at an event speech that as the nominee, we would win states no one ever thought would be possible to win. Traditional states that run blue, or Democrat, have shown a trend of cross-over party votes for Trump, which any Republican candidate will need to win the White House in 2016. However, he has not been performing well in the Midwest, which may give an edge to his competitors. This may or may not reflect on Trump solely as a candidate, as the bulk of the U.S. has never truly embraced a candidate from the Northeast.

What’s different this election, is Trump himself and his “Make America Great Again” message that is resonating with voters beyond party lines. This theme crosses state lines and appeals to many Americans today.

Four State Wins for Candidates Tightens the Knot: March 8th, 2016

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March 8th Republican primary candidates (l-r) Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio {photo: Fox News}

Written by Juliana Simone

March 9th, 2016

With three states in the United States holding primaries March 8th, and a fourth, Hawaii, holding a caucus, more delegates were up for grabs among the remaining four Republican candidates for President: Businessman Donald J. Trump, Texas U.S. Senator Rafael Edward (Ted) Cruz, Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio and Ohio Governor John Kasich. The state of Michigan had the largest delegate count at 59; Mississippi came in second at 40 delegates; Idaho, had 32 delegates. Hawaii, holding a caucus this evening, had 19 delegates for the Republican winner.

The Idaho primary was only for the Republican Party today. Democrat’s primary in Idaho will be held later. Statistically, less than one in ten voters are Democrat’s in the very red state of Idaho. Rubio visited Idaho three times, Cruz and Kasich twice. Trump did not visit Idaho to talk to their constituents.

After the results came in, Trump once again was the big winner. Michigan, the largest prize in terms of delegate counts for the candidates, voted strongly with 37.5% for Trump. A close second place went to Cruz who came away with 24.9%, while Kasich was edged out and placed third with 24.3% of the vote. Rubio placed fourth and last with 8.5%. Kasich had hoped to win his neighboring state of Michigan, for a much needed boost in a campaign that’s produced little results.

On the Democrat side, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton soundly, earning 50% to Clinton’s 17%, giving him his one win for the night. Michigan made it clear, regardless of party affiliation, they prefer the anti-establishment candidates to be the nominees.

Mississippi also preferred entrepreneur Donald Trump, with the highest total return of any Republican candidate in all four states, by achieving almost half the voters nod with 47.3%. Ted Cruz, again placed second, with a respectable 36.3%, almost the amount that won Michigan for Trump. Rubio finished at 5% and Kasich with 9%.

Idaho was the one state won by Senator Cruz, who got the second largest return after Trump’s win in Mississippi, at 45.4%. Trump, though second, had his lowest return at 28.1%. Still, even so, that’s a favorable outcome for the one candidate who did not make a campaign stop in this state. Senator Rubio, who visited Idaho three times, still came in well behind at third, with 15.9% of the vote, which was his only double digit return in the three primaries. Kasich, who made two trips here, as did Cruz, came in with 7%.

Why Trump didn’t visit Idaho, could be for a couple of reasons. One, either his campaign believed with Idaho being such a red state, they would vote for Trump as the frontrunner whether he visited or not, or two, intel told his campaign Idaho was so strongly for Cruz, it wasn’t worth a campaign stop on this tour.

The Hawaii caucus was the third win for Trump Tuesday evening out of the four voting states with delegates up for grab. Trump, with a big percentage of caucus members choosing him to be their choice for President, got 42.4%, the third highest return for any Republican seeking the nomination. Cruz, repeating the pattern of the evening, placed second with a respectable 32.9%. Rubio, came in third with 13.1%, the second time he was able to get above ten percent. Kasich received 11%.

Still, despite the popularity of Donald Trump with the voters, he did not sweep the delegate counts as easily. As a result, the delegate rewards were split more evenly, which brought Senator Cruz closer to Trump in terms of total delegate counts to date.

Michigan, the most sought after reward for the evening that went to Trump, had split results among the delegates, giving the winner twenty-five delegate votes, but then seventeen votes also went to both Cruz and Kasich, with none for Rubio.

Mississippi, with the largest percentage for Trump out of the four states participating, delegates divided their results between Trump and Cruz. Twenty-five went to Trump; fifteen went to Cruz. Kasich and Rubio did not receive any.

Idaho, Cruz’s big win, received the majority of delegate votes at twenty, but twelve still went to Trump. Again, despite the campaign stops both Kasich and Rubio made here, they both failed to earn one delegate.

Hawaii delegates – Trump – 10; Cruz- 6; Rubio and Kasich – 0.

Going into yesterday’s primaries, Trump had the most delegates at a total of 384. Ted Cruz, who did well on Super Tuesday, was now is a closer second, at 300 delegates. Marco Rubio had a count of 151 and John Kasich held 37.

Last night’s returns leave the four Republican candidates with these current totals:

Trump: 458; Cruz: 359; Rubio: 151; and Kasich: 54. Cruz, now is 99 delegates behind Trump. Before Tuesdays four state returns, Cruz was 84 votes behind Trump. The numbers remain close between the New York businessman and the Texas Senator.

Today, former businesswoman, Carly Fiorina, who was one of the original seventeen Republicans seeking the party nomination, endorsed U.S. Senator Cruz. No surprise she would choose Cruz over Trump, after the ill feelings that grew between Trump and Fiorina in the early debates.

Speaking of ill feelings, former candidate Jeb Bush, who went into this race from the beginning with the largest amount of money raised and an important family behind him, with his loss in South Carolina, New Hampshire and Iowa in February 2016, and low polling numbers for months, Bush suspended his campaign. It was announced yesterday, that now Jeb’s brother Neil, will be raising money for Ted Cruz, to help Cruz beat Trump.

There are 1,435 delegates left for the four candidates to win in their column, assuming all four candidates stay in the race, and Rubio and/or Kasich don’t suspend their campaigns. 1,237 are needed to win the national convention that is being held in Ohio.

Daily news reveals more facts that the Republican establishment continues to discuss how they can unseat Trump as the probable party nominee, and speak outwardly to the press against him. Former Massachusetts Governor and previous Republican Presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, who lauded the endorsement he received from Donald Trump when he was running against Democrat incumbent Barack Obama in 2012, came out last week in a press conference saying Trump was a fraud, a phony, and the worst choice for the 2016 nominee as a man he did not perceive to be a true conservative.

He also recorded a taped message for robo calls to be sent to voter’s phones in all four states Tuesday, which encouraged them to vote for any of the other three candidates than Trump, particularly Rubio. With the heavy losses Senator Rubio saw last night, Romney’s message didn’t show much influence. Romney keeps swinging though on his public campaign against Trump. He appeared on the night time talk show with host Jimmy Kimmel, to read some of the insulting tweets Trump had made about the former presidential candidate over Twitter. Though Romney kept his appearance light and took the remarks with a sense of humor and some fair rebuttal, it’s clear the democrats and competing Republican candidates, can count on Romney to keep hitting the frontrunner for them in any venue, given the opportunity.

Apparently, secret meetings are being held, as well, among Republican leadership where they discuss, one, how it can have happened that Trump is so popular and be the preferred nominee, and two, what can they do to take a perceived endorsement away from him. Some of these Republicans have said they will vote for former First Lady, N.Y. Senator and SOS Hillary Clinton before voting for Trump. (It should be noted Clinton was never a New York resident until she chose to run for the U.S. Senate after leaving the White House as First Lady…with quite a bit of furniture, and other White House antiques the Clinton’s felt fine with taking on their exit.)

Fox News Anchor, Megyn Kelly, still wore her personal distaste for Trump on her sleeve, (if she wore one) repeating comments Trump made in his press conference after the results from Mississippi and Michigan came in, with a sneer and a laugh.

Anyone over forty recognizes objective journalism is a thing of the past. Anchors have interjected themselves into a whole new persona, where in their minds, their remarks are more important than the people covered in their lead stories. Despite trying to lead the narrative for at least two decades, and sway the opinion of Americans who don’t follow politics 24/7, it must be frustrating to them to see they haven’t been able to dispose of successful businessman Donald Trump this far into the process.

From Florida, taking the podium to address his supporters last night, in a lengthy appearance, Trump took a higher road and said kinder comments about those who have said derogatory things about him over the past few weeks, including Romney and Kelly.

Plainly answering Mitt Romney’s attacks in his press conference the other day, he rebutted the negatives about some of his brand name spin-offs, such as Trump steaks, Trump water, Trump magazine and Trump University. {In re the latter, he explained in detail that Trump University was still in a lawsuit and explained he had been taught that when one was in a lawsuit, one never settled, because if one did, everyone then could sue.} He assured once the lawsuit was settled, Trump University would start up again and go on to be a success. He cited numbers from participants at TU, that were high up in the ninety percentile, that there was no reason to settle when that many people said it was a good experience.

He also mentioned in regards to his product, Trump Vodka, for the press to please check the records on how well it was doing. He added he owns two thousand acres in Virginia, close to the Jefferson estate, that produces the finest wines.

On the positive, Trump said statistics were showing people who had never voted before for a Republican, voted tonight for the first time. He then thanked the lobbyists for their influence on getting out the vote from this group. He also noted turnout was tremendous – 102% over a year ago.

He thanked golfer Jack Nicholas for his support and Ohio native former Yankee player Paul O’Neill, who endorsed Trump and was in the crowd. Trump is popular with other famous athletes, as well. New England Patriot Quarterback Tom Brady is a Trump supporter, as well as Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz. Brady even wears Trump’s baseball cap with the Trump slogan “Make America Great Again.”

He said he would like to congratulate all of the candidates – “it’s not easy stuff.” Trump said he hoped all of the House Representatives and Senators are re-elected despite whether they supported him or not. He thanked House Speaker Paul Ryan, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for his endorsement, as well as Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio. Arpaio is another advocate for stopping the influx of illegal immigrants into the United States. Former Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer, has also endorsed Trump.

Arizona, a southwestern state, greatly affected by illegal immigration that bears the weight of this invasion every day, in terms of jobs, state assistance, education, crime, incarceration and drug cartels, would naturally support a candidate tough on securing America’s borders.

Donald Trump told the crowd and reporters that tonight’s primary results show, “advertising is not as important as competence.” In talking about U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, he said “he’s a nasty guy.” “Hostility works for some people; not for everybody” he noted when asked about Rubio and others who have recently attacked him. Looking back at his campaign, the billionaire remarked that every person who has attacked him is gone, and that out of seventeen candidates, we’re now down to four.

The victor also noted there’s never been more money spent than what is being spent now to take him down.

With big wins in Mississippi and Michigan, Trump said even Kelly and Charles Krauthammer said I did well tonight; he’s been waiting a long time to hear Charles say this. With Florida voting next, it’s an important last breath for Florida’s Senator Rubio to win, but with Florida being Donald Trump’s second home, and as a businessman whose provided many jobs there, it will be a tough challenge.

As for the second place winner, the Cruz campaign released the fact they only spent one thousand one hundred in advertising dollars in Michigan to come in second, while Rubio and Kasich spent the most. Rubio’s Conservative Solutions Super PAC spent 1.2 million to walk away with zero delegates. Kasich’s PAC spent $770,000. For the record, Trump spent far less at $184,000. for the win.

Cruz also has his sights on Florida, opening ten campaign offices there to get out the vote hoping to come in second over Senate colleague Rubio. The Florida primary will take place on March 15th and has 99 delegate votes. Rubio trailing Trump in the polls in his home state, could get a boost from former competitor for the nomination for President, and former Florida Governor, Jeb Bush, with his endorsement, but it is not expected for Bush to endorse his former colleague Rubio at this time.

Other states voting on March 15th, will be Kasich’s Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina and Missouri. The five states together have 358 delegates for the four candidates to earn. After this primary, it would be surprising to still see four candidates in the Republican race.

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.”

 

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.”