John Bolton

John Bolton

Friday, August 07, 2015

GOP Debate Winner? The American People!

First Debates Shows Enormous GOP Talent in 2016 Contest. The problem is that most of the candidates are so equally good that it will be difficult to choose who to back!

Republican presidential candidates from left, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Scott Walker, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and John Kasich take the stage for the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland.

Republican presidential candidates from left, Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina, and George Pataki take the stage for a pre-debate forum at the Quicken Loans Arena, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland. Seven of the candidates have not qualified for the primetime debate. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Debate Winner? The American People

The race to replace and repeal Obama is gaining steam with the conclusion of the first debates of GOP presidential aspirants. I know there's a temptation to pick winners and losers in these events but I didn't see it so much that way. In the first event with candidates who scored lower down in the polls Carly Fiorina was named the winner by media pundits and I agree she had a stellar performance. Her demonstrated intelligence and ability to communicate with precision and feeling means we may see her move up to the main event for the next debate at the Reagan Library in California on September 16. The other candidates presented themselves well. Even my state's senior senator Lindsey Graham came out strong in foreign policy and defense issues. However, I didn't get much of a burning desire to see more of former governors Jim Gilmore or George Pataki (who visited Mike's America 9 years ago). Unless some of these candidates in the lower tier catch fire soon I don't expect to see them stay in the race long.

Trump's Refusal to Pledge Support for Eventual Nominee a Deal Breaker?

It is equally hard to me to pick a winner in the main event. All the candidates had their moments  and there were few negative moments. I sensed a lack of enthusiasm when Governor Bush entered the stage and there were some boos for Donald Trump, particularly when he refused to say he would support the eventual nominee. Standing as he did in the same hall that will hold the GOP nominating convention less than a year from now that irritated many in the audience. Sen. Rand Paul broke in to say "this is what's wrong" [with Trump] suggesting that Trump is "Already hedging his bet on the Clintons, OK? So if he doesn't run as a Republican, maybe he supports Clinton, or maybe he runs as an independent...". Trump will have to answer for that in the weeks ahead.

A transcript of the prime time debate is here.
A transcript of the earlier debate is here.

Tania;s question was answered by
Marco Rubio. Story here.
Surprise Question from Blogger Friend Tania

Questions in video and text form were submitted in advance. Imagine my surprise when one of those chosen turned out to be Tania Ciolko (Facebook) from Philadelphia. Tania is a blogging friend and conservative activist  whom I have known for a number of years. She asked what the candidates would do to support small business:
TANIA: Please describe one action you would do to make the economic environment more favorable for small businesses and entrepreneurs and anyone dreaming of opening their own business.

RUBIO: ... 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.over 40 percent of small and mid-size banks that loan money to small businesses have been wiped out over the years 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.
Other Highlights:

Carson: "I'm the only one to take out half a brain, but if you went to Washington you would think someone had beat me to it."

Rubio, before a serious answer on the God question: "He has blessed the Republican Party with some very good candidates. The Democrats can't even find one."

Most importantly, most of the candidates made repeated promises to repeal Obama's unconstitutional Executive Orders and tear up his delusional agreement with Iran. All in all, not a bad start in the GOP selection process!

UPDATE: Candidates Time in Debate
By way of the New York Times here's how much time each candidate had during the prime time debate:

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