It shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone to hear that last night’s GOP debate was a bit…ridiculous. The Republican politicians spent most of their time speaking over each other, avoiding answering direct questions and bashing the Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton in particular.
The first opening statement was made by John Kasich, who stated that he wants to cut taxes. He went on to boast that be believes he is the only candidate with an adequate plan for creating jobs, cutting taxes and balancing budgets. If I’m being one hundred percent honest, that was the only statement of any substance that I heard the Ohio governor make. In an attempt to win the crowd’s favor, he closed the debate by exclaiming, “God bless America!”
Next, Mike Huckabee. He didn’t interest me much until—in a response to a question about Donald Trump’s morals—he said, “I love Donald Trump, he’s a good man. I’m wearing a Trump tie tonight…Donald Trump would be a better president every day of the week and twice on Sunday [than Hillary Clinton].” From there on out, his inner preacher surfaced and didn’t leave until the end of the debate, when he closed with, “We aren’t here for ourselves, we are here, honest to God, to get our country back on track.”
Jeb Bush was not granted much airtime, but the time he had was spent emphasizing his personal “record of success”.
Marco Rubio—who received the loudest ovations from the crowd—is one of the few candidates who actually laid out and discussed his specific policies. Though a liberal mind like myself may disagree with some of them, his organization and respect towards his fellow candidates and the debate moderators was admirable.
And now, everyone’s favorite candidate, Donald Trump. He was quickly addressed about his highly controversial plan to build a wall between the United States and Mexico, and make Mexico pay for it. He argued that a politician could never convince Mexico to pay for this project, but a business man like himself was capable of it. He was defensive and impatient throughout the whole debate, but less so than normal. For the most part, he bit his tongue and didn’t directly call out any of his fellow GOP candidates, but that is likely because he would not win a one-on-one debate (unless it was a screaming match, of course).
Like his counterparts from the private sector, Ben Carson is light on policies that should be specific. He was called out by the moderators on incorrect calculations within his tax plan. Carson also claimed to believe that the constitution protects everyone regardless of sexuality and that marriage should be between a man and a woman within the same breath. He went on to refer to the LGBTQIA+ community as the “gay community,” excluding many intersections.
Carly Fiorina is also a candidate from the private sector—along with Ben Carson and Donald Trump—and like her counterparts, she is not specific enough in her policies. She remained calm and collected throughout the whole debate, but ended with the threat, “I am Hillary Clinton’s worst nightmare.”
Ted Cruz was the Donald Trump of this debate. He spent half of his airtime bashing Obama and the other half disrespecting the debate’s moderators and his fellow candidates and avoiding questions directed at him. He avoided answering questions about the gender specific wage gap and proclaimed, “When millions of Americans stood against Planned Parenthood, I was proud to lead that fight.” Needless to say, I’m not a fan of his.
Chris Christie—who is one of the most liberal Republicans in the running—opened by calling out the three remaining Democrat candidates to be a socialist, an isolationist, and a pessimist. Out of all the candidates, he took the most blows at Hillary Clinton, but he did admit to believing in a woman’s right to choose about her reproductive decisions, unlike his fellow candidates. He’s pro-science, believing that global warming is the fault of man, and it needs to be immediately addressed.
Rand Paul is against any government regulation, and repeatedly expressed his belief that any government is too much government. He also believes that the government should not take on any more debt.
Most of the candidates closing statements wrapped up or summarized their policies, but one specifically stood out. Donald Trump used his closing statement to point out the fact that Ben Carson and himself threatened to not participate in the debate if the time slot was not shortened from three hours to two and a half. This is likely because they are leading and the polls, and they also happen to be two of the least experienced candidates in the running. They are relatively new to politics, and the longer the debate lasted, the more time they had to risk losing their leads.
Ultimately, the debate was repetitive. All candidates want to increase the income of the rich at the expense of the middle class. By now, I’m sure that every media outlet is having their say on who ‘won the debate,’ and while I am not sure who I think won, I know that the middle and lower classes without a doubt lost.