First GOP Debate Held in Cleveland

Tonight the first GOP debate was held in Cleveland, Ohio, and this was for the top 10 Republican candidates in the polls. Chris Wallace, Megyn Kelly, and Bret Baier, which are all Fox News hosts, were moderators of the debate. The debate consisted of Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Dr. Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, and John Kasich. Throughout the debate, we heard a lot of interesting comments, both directed at President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and even fellow Republican candidates. Here are some of the best parts about the GOP debate and what we learned from the top 10 candidates tonight.


Donald Trump– The debate starts off by Trump raising his hand when the debaters asked whether someone on the stage would have a problem backing the nominee and whether anyone would be going Independent later on. Trump raised his hand saying he would not agree to back the nominee and that he could not guarantee that he wouldn’t run Independent if he did not get the nomination. This was met with boos from the crowd, since he is saying he is not willing to exclude an Independent run.

Trump said that Obamacare is a complete disaster repeal and replace. Trump has previously supported a single-payer healthcare system, and he continued to feel that a similar system would be beneficial for America. Donald said he gives to all sides politically because they then can do things for him, even Hillary Clinton. Trump said that he gave money to Clinton and in return he wanted her at a wedding, and indeed she went. Trump said he has employed thousands of people, has taken advantage of laws that allow him to declare bankruptcy through his companies, and then said it is something a lot of people do. Trump then said that Atlantic city companies are leaving left and right, so he did the right thing leaving the city as well, and he is proud of everything his company has done, such as employing people and investing money into the economy.

Megyn Kelly asked when did Trump really become a Republican because he has favored pro-choice in the past. Trump said that through his life he has seen a lot of things happen, which has made him become pro-life, he said he had always hated the idea of abortion. In terms of foreign policy, Trump said that no one in Washington knows what they are doing and the Iran deal was disgraceful. Kelly also went off on Trump asking him about his comments towards women, which Trump replied it was about Rosie O’Donnell mostly, although Kelly rebutted that. Trump said that we don’t have time to be politically correct, and the country does not have time to be politically correct. Trump said that quickness, strength, a brain, and energy are what matters for the country, and it is not about being politically correct.

Rand Paul– Paul starts off by saying that ISIS is being funded by allies, and these allies are getting weapons and money from America. Paul said that we need to stop funding the allies of ISIS, since that is how they are getting so much power and are able to get all of the weapons they are using to kill people. Paul said that we should not be funding our enemies period, whether that is through allies or directly.

Paul and Christie get into it over NSA and data collection. Christie said he would blame Paul if another attack happened. Christie fired back and tried to pull on heartstrings by talking about funerals of those who died on 9/11, although he is forgetting that there are laws in place to protect people who are not doing wrong. Paul said get a warrant and collect data from terrorists and not Americans, and Paul believes Christie knows nothing about how the laws are supposed to work regarding protecting the privacy of innocent Americans. Paul calls Christie out on hugging Obama. Paul said he did not want his marriage or guns registered in Washington, and if people have a religious opinion, then they should practice that without government interference. Paul said that you should resist when the government is trying to get you to do something that interferes with what you believe, such as trying to get their fingers into parts of your life that are not any of their business.

Dr. Ben Carson– Carson starts off by talking about how he has misunderstood things about American history and politics, but touts that the brain is the most important thing and he can learn how things are done. Carson said knowing what to do to get the country on the right track is what matters as opposed to knowing what person sits in what political position. Carson also thinks that tithes like a proportional tax system would be a good idea, which would get rid of loopholes and deductions.

Marco Rubio- Rubio is for curriculum reform at the State and local level said common core is wrong because it will end up a mandate. Rubio then talks about how common core will become forced in every school or else the government will start to take away money from the schools. Rubio said that the economy now is different, since smaller companies are struggling, and he wants to lower tax rate and eliminate tax regulations that hurt businesses. Rubio wants to repeal Dodd-Frank, and make America fair for small businesses so that they can continue to grow and live the American Dream. Rubio said he does not favor rape and incest abortions, he believes in life at conception, and believes people of any age should be protected under our laws and Constitution.

Jeb Bush- Bush said he knows people talk about not another Bush and is willing to work to get the respect of people and to show them he is not like his brother or father. He does stand by earned legal status. Bush believes that school curriculum should be a state issue not federal issue, but then said common core is good. Bush said that if states wants to opt out it should be okay to do so without worry or fear of retaliation. We need high expectations in school so that we can continue to compete in the marketplace with other countries. He said that too many rules and taxes are diminishing the ability of the people to make money, saying we need to be more positive about our country. Bush said that being divisive is not going to win the election in terms of Trump’s comments, and he said that it will give Clinton the nomination if comments like Trump made continue. Bush denied comments issued towards Trump, although he did say he said his tone and the way he talked was something he was not a fan of.

Ted Cruz– Cruz starts off by saying that career politicians who back down and just go with the status quo is not who he is, and if that is what you are looking for, then he is not your guy. He went on to talk about how leaders in the Republican party are not honoring their commitments, and if he is elected he would work for the people, and not for the other politicians in the House or Senate.

Chris Christie- Christie said 12 point plan on entitlement reform would work, and he would raise the retirement age 2 years over 25 years. Christie was trying to say social security should not be given to people who are rich, since they already have money. This is a huge issue because he does not talk about how that is their money to begin with, which means Christie believes in taking hard-earned money from Americans to give it to the less fortunate.

Scott Walker– Walker talks about how when he got into Wisconsin, there was 8 percent unemployment, which is now down to 4.6 percent, so he is making progress in his state. Walker believes in lowering the tax rate and reforming the tax code. When talking about the police, Walker said law enforcement needs training, especially when using force, but they should be treated with respect and there are consequences for people who harm the police.

Mike Huckabee- Huckabee says EPA, DOE and other government agencies should be moved back to the states because it does not work at the federal level. Huckabee believes in reforming government programs, such as the entitlement programs. Huckabee said the fault of social security issues is the government not the people, saying people who are poor need the money, and the government is stealing the money from the people. He believes that Congress should not get the retirement money and that should be given back to the American people. Huckabee also does not believe that the government should be paying for people in the military to get genital reassignment surgery, which is what the government is doing in the case of Bradley Manning, who is turning into Chelsea Manning. Huckabee said that paying for the people to become the opposite sex is not what we should be spending our money on.

When it comes to abortion and gay marriage, Huckabee is no doubt very extreme to the right, and he believes in invoking the 5th and 14th Amendments to protect unborn children. Huckabee said that the Constitution should be changed to a pro-life stance, which means that even women who were raped could not get an abortion. Huckabee believes that you need to protect the life of the unborn child, since life begins at conception, and the Constitution should be protecting these people regardless of how old they are in the womb.

John Kasich- The Medicaid expansion in Ohio is over budget, and Kasich invoked “God” when talking about why this was a good thing. Kasich stood behind his statement saying that the biggest thing is helping the poor people in the state, meaning that people who did not have access to health care or addiction programs and medications is what the program expansion is all about. He said that getting people medications they need for mental health issues is important, because it will keep these people out of the jail system. Kasich also said that getting people help in terms of if they are suffering from addition is very important, which is why there are programs now in the jails to help people get off of drugs and help them have a flourishing life away from drugs and outside of the jails. Kasich said he believes in traditional marriage, but he said he accepts what the court ruled, and he said he will love his child whether they are gay or not. Kasich said that whether someone is gay or not does not mean you cannot care for them or love them, and he said everyone should be treated with respect no matter what they are or what they do. Kasich also touted that Ohio is now $2 billion in surplus, and when he got into office it was $8 billion in the hole.

Overall Analysis

The first issue is that Christie should really be ashamed of himself, especially when it comes to trying to invoke emotion about 9/11 in terms of saying that is why we need to invade the privacy of innocent Americans without a warrant. Not only is this tactic disgraceful, it is also very scary and dangerous to use emotion and the memories of 9/11 victims to advance a political agenda. The Christie and Paul argument was the best part about the debate, because it shows just how lawless Christie is and would be as president. You cannot simply step on the privacy of Americans and also ignore the Constitution just because of a “potential” situation or attack. We have a Constitution that talks about illegal search and seizure for a reason, which is to protect Americans from the government, and to show the government it cannot do whatever it wants. There is a saying that goes “It’s better to let 1,000 guilty men go free, than punish 1 innocent man.” This really is important to remember because my privacy as an American is more important than your safety. We should not give up our rights as a people just because an attack could happen, and an attack is going to happen regardless of what the government tries to do to stop it. So in this regard, Christie really went overboard with using the memories of the terrorist attacks to advance his own agenda. Paul was right, if you want to look at the records of any American, you need to get a warrant, there is a reason why warrants are required, and that has been set in the Constitution for a reason.

Huckabee is also another problem candidate in this election, especially with his super extremely conservative views on abortion and gay marriage. The scariest part of Huckabee was him saying he would change the Constitution, specifically the 14th Amendment, in terms of protecting unborn babies. The issue with this is that you are not given a social security card until you are born, and this is because this is when the government decides you are a person. If you are a person at the time of conception, then why does the government not issue you a social security card at that point? The government says you are a person when you are born, so making a change to the Amendment to protect the unborn baby does not make sense, as the government does not have any say in the baby until it comes out of the womb. Another issue with this is that you cannot undo abortion being legal, no matter what, and to say you are going to try is simply a waste of time and resources. The Supreme Court would never let that happen and would never overturn abortion. It is a box that has been opened and you cannot unopen that box, and Huckabee just is simply wrong at trying to.

The other candidates were basically saying what was expected they would say, with Paul standing for the Constitution and Bill of Rights, Christie being more liberal, Cruz and Walker taking conservative positions on economic and financial issues. Bush trying to point out he is not like the other people in his family and making points about what he did in Florida to help the people, and Kasich trying to make a point of how he has turned Ohio around in the time he has been there. Carson was pretty quiet throughout the debate, but he did have a great closing statement, which talked about him separating Siamese twins and how freedom is not free and we need to fight for it every day. Carson also said he does not talk about race because he is a neurosurgeon, and he was pretty good at injecting humor into what he was saying.

Was There a Winner?

Quite honestly, there was not a clear winner in this debate, although Kasich and Trump were the two that seemed to the best tonight. Kasich went into detail about the things he has done to improve Ohio’s economy, and how he would transfer that into the government scale. Trump also was very good, even giving Kelly a hard time, and had also made a negative comment about the audience. The issue with Trump was that he stood there and talked back to the candidates and moderators that wanted to give him a hard time, and he does get close to the line of going overboard. The biggest issue with Trump was him raising his hand to say he would not stand behind the nominee and would not rule out a third-party run, which got boos from the audience. This might be a turn off for voters down the road, as it can be seen as a way to divide the voters between him and the Republican nominee. Trump was aggressive and also thoughtful in his responses concerning the economy and foreign policy, but he did skirt around some of the questions which made it seem like he didn’t have all of the specifics like he said he did. Trump not raising his hand at the beginning is going to be a hard thing for him to overcome, as it is already something voters are saying has turned them off to him.