There were nine top tier candidates in this CNN GOP debate as opposed to the top eight last time. We’re moving backwards. Why is Christie back? We’re supposed to be weeding out the RINOs, not bringing them back. On the stage from left to right were John Kasich, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Rand Paul.
The debate began with opening statements beginning with Rand Paul attacking Trump for wanting to “close that internet thing.” Like they do in North Korea? Like they do in China? Then he said that Rubio wants government to collect all Americans’ records all of the time. The Constitution says otherwise. The way to defeat terrorism is by showing them that we do not fear them. If we ban certain religions and censor the internet the terrorists will have won. He said that regime change hasn’t won and that the boots on the ground need to be Arab boots on the ground. Rand should do some research on Islam.
Kasich told a story about his daughter not liking politics, because there is too much fighting and yelling. Then he gave a list of things we need to focus on (creating jobs, making sure people can keep their jobs, the need for rising wages, whether our children when they graduate from college can find a job, protecting the homeland, destroying ISIS, and rebuilding defense) and said that we’ll never get there if we’re divided. He said that we’re republicans and they’re democrats, but before all that, we’re Americans and he believes we need to unify. No John, you’re a democrat. You’re already unified with them. Mission accomplished.
Christy started by saying that America has been betrayed by the leadership of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Is this news? He brought up the school closings in L.A. due to a terror threat and asked us to think about what that will do to the children when they go back to school tomorrow. Think about the mothers. Think about the fathers. What has Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton done to this country, that the most basic responsibility of an administration, is to protect the safety and security of the American People. Actually, Chris, that isn’t in the job description for President in Article 2 of the Constitution. Not in a domestic capacity. We have a 2nd Amendment for our safety and security.
Carly Fiorina is angry at what’s happening to our nation. She said that bombast, insults and political rhetoric won’t take our country back. All of our problems can be solved and our wounds can be healed by a tested leader who is willing to fight for the character of our nation. She said she has been tested by beating breast cancer and burying a child. Is that automatic presidential material? She started as a secretary and fought her way to the top while being called ever B word in the book. Boring? All her life she has refused to accept no as an answer. She asked us to join her to take our country back from the political elites and the media.
Jeb said that our freedom is under attack and our economy under water. The leading democrat is under investigation and America is under the gun to lead the free world to protect our civilized way of life. We need leadership and to restore the defense cuts of Barack Obama, to rebuild our military, and to destroy ISIS before it destroys us. Regarding economic security, we need to take money and power away from Washington D.C. and empower families, so they can rise up again. Look, America still is an exceptional country, we love to lead and we love to win. And we do it when we take on any challenge and when we take on…when we support our friends. He was stuttering a lot and looked more nervous than usual. As President, I will keep our country, safe, secure, and free. The problem with that is the security part sure tends to take away a lot of the freedom part. How free does a TSA pat down make you feel?
Rubio wanted to let us know that it’s amazing to be back in Las Vegas, because he spent 6 years there as a child. His grandfather smoked three cigars a day on the porch and told Rubio stories. His grandfather instilled in him that he was really blessed, because he was a citizen of the greatest country in the history of all mankind. But there were always people in American politics that wanted America to be like the rest of the world. In 2008 one of them was elected President. Today you have millions of Americans who feel left out and out of place in their own country, (Could that be because of all the illegals Rubio and his Gang of 8 wanted to give amnesty to?), struggling paycheck to paycheck and called bigots because they hold onto traditional values. Around the world America’s influence has declined, while this President has destroyed our military and our allies no longer trust us. That’s why I’m running for President.
Ted Cruz began by reminding us that America is at war. Our enemy is not violent extremism, not some unnamed malevolent force. It is radical Islamic terrorism. We have a president who is unwilling to utter its name. Every one of us on this stage is better prepared to keep this nation safe than is Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. We need a president who understands the first obligation as Commander and Chief is to keep America safe. If I am elected President, we will hunt down and kill the terrorists. We will utterly destroy ISIS. Border security is national security and we will not be admitting jihadists as refugees. We will keep America safe.
Dr. Carson asked everyone to join him in a moment of silence in memory of the San Bernardino victims. Then he said that our country has always been at war every 15 to 20 years, but the war we are in now against radical islamic jihadists is one that we must win. As a pediatric neurosurgeon he often faced life and death situations and had to come up with the right diagnosis and the right plan. Right now, the United States of America is the patient. The patient is in critical condition and will not be cured by political correctness or timidity. He asks Congress to declare war on ISIS.
Trump said he began this journey 6 months ago focused on building up our military, our strength, our borders and making sure that Japan, Mexico and China no longer take advantage of our country. I certainly would never have made that horrible, disgusting, absolutely incompetent deal with Iran where they get 150 billion dollars, they’re a terrorist nation. A month ago things changed and radical islamic terrorism came into effect even more so than it has been in the past. People like what I say, people respect what I say, and we’ve opened up a very big discussion that needed to be opened up. Thank you very much.
Wolf Blitzer started the questioning by addressing Trump saying that he wants to ban muslims and refugees from ISIS from coming to the U.S., deport 11 million people and wall off America’s southern border. Is the best way to make America great again, to isolate it from much of the rest of the world? Ok, so CNN starts off with false premises that securing our borders against illegals and terrorists equals isolation.
Trump said we are not talking about isolation, we’re talking about security. We’re not talking about religion, we’re talking about security. Our country is out of control. People are pouring across the southern border. I will build a wall, it’ll be a great wall. People will not come in unless they come in legally. Drugs will not pour through that wall. As for the 10’s of thousands of people in the migration with cell phones and ISIS flags, I don’t think so Wolf. They’re not coming to this country and if I’m President and if Obama has brought some to this country, they are leaving. They’re going. They’re gone.
Wolf Blitzer said that Gov. Bush called Trump unhinged when he proposed banning non-American muslims. Why is that unhinged? Bush said that first of all we need to destroy ISIS in the caliphate. I don’t think Bush knows what caliphate means. He thinks it’s a place. That should be our objective. The refugee issue should be resolved if we destroy ISIS there, which means we need to have a no fly zone, safe zones for refugees, and to build a military force. We need to embed our troops in the Iraqi military and arm the Kurds. When will liberals learn that arming muslims never ends well? If we are going to ban all muslims how will we get them to be part of a coalition to destroy ISIS? Muslims are ISIS, Jeb. The Kurds are the greatest fighting force and our strongest allies. Wait, what? They’re muslim! Donald is great at the one liners, but he’s a chaos candidate. And he’d be a chaos President.
Back to Trump. Jeb doesn’t really believe I’m unhinged, he’s said that very simply, because he has failed in this campaign. It’s been a total disaster, nobody cares, and frankly I’m the most solid person up here. I built a tremendous company and all I want to do is make America great again. Jeb jumped in again claiming that since Trump mentioned him, he could talk again. He must have forgot that Trump was responding to his Jeb already. Jeb merely repeated his previous talking points.
Blitzer took it to Rubio saying that he has said that banning muslims is unconstitutional (no it isn’t), but according to a new poll a majority of republicans support Mr. Trump’s idea. Why are they wrong? Rubio said that he understands why they feel that way, because this President hasn’t kept us safe. ISIS is the most sophisticated terror group that has ever threatened us. They are actively recruiting Americans. The attacker in San Bernardino was an American citizen. Not both of them, Marco. He said we must also understand that this is a group that is growing in territory. They are not just in Syria, they’re in Iraq and Lybia. Kind of making Trump’s case for him, Marco. They’re beginning to pop up in Afghanistan. Yemen and Jordan are in their sights. This group needs to be confronted with serious proposals. Rubio never really said why the American people are wrong about wanting to ban muslims. He made me want to ban them more.
Hugh Hewitt said that Cruz disagreed with Trump’s policy, so asked how he disagrees with Trump. Cruz said that everyone understands why Donald has suggested what he has. We’re looking at a President who has engaged in double speak where he doesn’t call radical islamic terrorism by its name and gives a speech after the San Bernardino attack where his approach is to go after the Constitutional rights of law abiding citizens rather than to keep us safe. And even worse, Obama and Hillary propose bringing 10’s of thousands of Syrian refugees to this country when the FBI has told Congress they can’t vet them. I understand why Donald made that proposal and I introduced legislation in the Senate that I believe is more narrowly focused on the actual threat, radical islamic terrorism. Suspend all refugees for three years from countries where ISIS controls substantial territory. He said it’s not a war on a faith, it’s a war on a political and theocratic ideology that wants to murder us. (Islam is that political and theocratic ideology. It has been for 1400 years and has never changed.)
Carly Fiorina & Christie were asked questions back to back where they supported the NSA and the Patriot Act, completely unconstitutional. Kasich waved his stiff fingered hands around like Bernie Sanders and rambled on and on about destroying ISIS with a coalition and giving the FBI tools to listen in on us.
Dana Bash said that Cruz got a bill passed that made it harder for the government to tap our phones, so in light of the San Bernardino attack, was his vote on this a mistake? Cruz said that the premise of her question was not accurate. He said that the USA Freedom Act ended the Federal Government’s bulk collection of phone meta data of millions of law abiding citizens, but strengthened tools for law enforcement to go after terrorists. What the Obama administration keeps getting wrong, is whenever anything bad happens they focus on law abiding citizens instead of focusing on the bad guys. We need to focus on radical islamic terrorism and stop them before they carry out acts of terror.
Rubio said that Cruz is wrong, because radical islam radicalizes American citizens. Ah, so because a few Americans were radicalized, we need to throw out the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments to the Constitution. He said that the meta data program we lost was a valuable tool we no longer have at our disposal. Kind of like if the Ghestapo were told they could no longer ask for your papers.
Cruz said that Marco knows what he is saying isn’t true. Mark Levin wrote an article last week that said the attack ads his Super Pac is running are saying the same thing and are knowingly false and Alinsky like attacks like Barack Obama. The old program covered 20-30% of phone numbers and the new program covers nearly 100%. Rubio said that television isn’t the place to discuss classified information. So if it’s classified, it’s ok for government to violate our rights?
Rand Paul said that Marco gets it all wrong, we are not any safer through the bulk collection of all records, we’re less safe. We’re so distracted by all of the information, we’re not spending enough time getting specific information on terrorists. What could have stopped San Bernardino and 9/11 is stricter controls on who came here. Marco has opposed at every point, increased security, border security, for those who come to our country. On his Gang of 8 bill, he would have liberalized immigration, but he did not and steadfastly opposed any new border security requirements for refugees or students. He’s the weakest of all the candidates on immigration. He’s the one for an open border that is leaving us defenseless. Marco has more of an allegiance to Chuck Shumer and the liberals than he does to conservative policy. The crowd roared!
Dana Bash said to Christie that he has heard Cruz and Paul say that it’s important to protect Americans’ privacy even in a time of grave danger, what’s wrong with that? Christie did his “I want to talk to the audience at home for a second” routine that he’s used in every debate now and looked into the camera. He said that if our eyes are glazed over like his, this is what it’s like to be on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Debate about how many angels on a pin but never having to make an executive decision. He said that in New Jersey they took actions within the Constitution to make sure law enforcement had all the information they needed. We stopped an attack on Fort Dix by working with muslims in a local mosque and used the Patriot Act to prosecute those cases. You can’t claim that using the Patriot Act is within the Constitution, Chris.
Blitzer said to Carson that he’s in favor of monitoring mosques and schools where there is anti-American sentiment. What do you consider anti-American? Carson said that in any place where a lot of people are engaging in radicalizing activity, we need to be suspicious of it. We have to get rid of all this PC stuff and worried about someone saying I’m islamophobic. This is craziness. We are at war. The Muslim Brotherhood said that they will take advantage of our PC attitude to get us. We have to be better than this, we have to be smarter than they are.
Blitzer asked Jeb if his brother’s words when he visited a mosque six days after 9/11 and said “Islam is peace” are still relevant. Jeb said they are if we want to destroy ISIS and radical islamic terrorism. Ok, I need my Excedrin now. We can’t disassociate ourselves from peace loving muslims. If we expect to do this on our own, we will fail. Then he said we need to give the FBI and NSA all the resources they need to keep us safe. (He meant spy on us.)
Carly Fiorina was asked if companies should be forced to help the Federal Government crack encrypted data. Her entire answer went on about how the government is woefully behind the technology curve and only the private sector could help. The DHS said that they can’t check social media, so she said that every parent in America can check social media, but the government can’t do it? Carly, Parents are in control of their children. Government is not in control of the people. Wolf said that she didn’t specifically answer, so she said they don’t need to be forced, they need to be asked. I was asked as a CEO. I complied happily. There is no difference between the government asking you and forcing you, Carly.
Blitzer asked Trump about his comment about closing that internet up regarding ISIS recruiting and if he meant to actually close portions of the internet making us like China and North Korea. Trump said ISIS is using the internet better than we are using the internet. What I wanted to do is get our brilliant people and figure out a way that ISIS can not do what they’re doing. You talk freedom of speech, you talk freedom of anything you want. I don’t want them using our internet to take our young, impressionable youth and watching the media talking about how they’re masterminds. They shouldn’t be using the word mastermind. These are thugs, these are terrible people in ISIS, not masterminds. Second we should be able to penetrate the internet and find out exactly where ISIS is and everything about ISIS. Wolf asked, “so are you open to closing parts of the internet?” Trump said that he would be open to closing areas where we are at war with somebody, yes sir, I am.
He asked Kasich if shutting down any part of the internet a good idea. Kasich said no, I don’t think it is and I want to go back to two other issues. He started waving his hands around and saying that Chris Christie was right about meta data. Then he started rambling on about how our intelligence officials could not get through phone encryption to stop the San Bernardino killings. We have to solve the encryption problem. He went on and on. He really hates encryption!
Blitzer asked Cruz about saying he would carpet bomb ISIS into oblivion testing whether sand can glow in the dark, does that mean leveling the ISIS capital of Rocca in Syria where there are 100’s of thousands of civilians? Cruz said that it means using overwhelming air power to utterly and completely destroy ISIS. In the first Persian Gulf War, we launched 1100 air attacks per day, we carpet bombed them for 37 days, saturation bombing after which our troops went in and ina day and a hlaf mopped up what was left of the Iraqi army. Right now Obama is launching 15-30 air attacks a day. It is photo op foreign policy. It is not a lack of competence stopping Obama from preventing these attacks, it is political correctness. In Cruz fashion, he rattled off a long list of terror attacks and information they made public ahead of time calling for jihad, that Obama ignored and could have been used to stop them if not for political correctness. He said that ISIS can recruit so easily, because they seem like they are winning and Obama helps make it seem that way and we need a president who makes it known that joining ISIS is signing your death warrant.
Blitzer asked Rubio about Cruz’s voting against the Defense Authorization Act, to which Rubio said that Cruz voted against it three times and it is the bill that funds the troops and the Iron Dome and he has to assume that if he voted against it in the Senate he would veto it as President. He said that Cruz also supported a containment budget that would radically reduce military spending. Cruz rebutted by saying that Marco continues these attacks he knows is not true. Yes he voted against the National Defense Authorization Act, because when I campaigned in Texas, I told voters in Texas that I would oppose the Federal Government having the authority to detain U.S. citizens permanently with no due process. I have repeatedly supported an effort to take that out of that bill and I honored that campaign commitment. Let’s be clear, ISIS and radical islamic terrorism will face no more determined foe than I will be. We will destroy them by targeting the bad guys. One of the problems with Marco’s fraught foreign policy is he has far too often supported Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama undermining governments in the Middle East, that have helped radical islamic terrorists. We need to focus on killing the bad guys, not getting stuck in Middle Eastern civil wars that don’t keep America safe.
Rubio said that if you’re an American citizen and you join up with ISIS, we’re not going to read you your Miranda rights, you will be treated as an enemy combatant. Highly unconstitutional, Marco. The cuts we are facing today and the cuts Senator Cruz supported (not voting for a bill, because of unconstitutional components doesn’t mean he doesn’t support the rest of the bill, Marco) would leave us with a smaller Air Force and a smaller Navy than the one we are going to be left with. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s strategy is to lead from behind. It sounds like what he’s outlining is to not lead at all. So falsely accusing Cruz of not wanting to lead at all is reason to join Obama in leading from behind?
A Facebook question from a college student named Josh Jacob said that recently Donald Trump said that we must kill the families of ISIS members. However this violates the principles of distinction between civilians and combatants in international law, so my question is, how would intentionally killing innocent civilians set us apart from ISIS? An obvious brain washee. Trump said, we have to be much tougher, much stronger than we’ve been. We have people that know what’s going on, look at the attack the other day in San Bernardino, we had people including the mother who knew what was going on. They saw pipe bombs sitting all over the floor. They saw ammunition all over the place. They knew exactly what was going on. When you had the World Trade Center go, people were put into planes that were friends, family, girlfriends, and they were sent back for the most part to Saudi Arabia. They knew what was going on. They went home and they wanted to watch their boyfriends on television. I would be very, very firm with families and frankly, that will make people think, because they may not care much about their lives, but they do care, believe it or not about their family’s lives.
Bush chimed in saying that this is another example of a lack of seriousness. What? Trump looked amazed and shook his head. Bush went on saying this is troubling, because we’re at war. It doesn’t sound like you really know that, Jeb. They’ve declared war on us. And we need to have a serious strategy to destroy ISIS. He keeps saying this. What strategy? Look, 2 months ago, Donald Trump said that ISIS was not our fight. Trump shook his head and said that he never said that. Bush continued, saying that Trump said Hillary Clinton would be a great negotiator with Iran.
Trump came back and said, we need toughness. Honestly, I think Jeb is a very nice person, but we need tough people. We need intelligence and we need tough. Jeb said when they come across the southern border, they come as an act of love. Jeb broke in and said, “You said on September 30th that ISIS…” Trump interrupted back and asked, “Are you talking or am I talking, Jeb?” Jeb said, “I’m talking right now, I’m talking.” Trump spoke over him, “You can go back, you’re not talking, you interrupted me Jeb. Have you apologized, Jeb? No. Am I allowed to finish?” Blitzer allowed Trump to go on, but Jeb interrupted him again. Trump said, “I know you’re trying to build up your energy Jeb, but it’s not working.” Trump went on explaining that we need toughness. When Jeb said that coming across the southern border was an act of love, he’s saying the same thing now about radical islam and we just can’t have that. It won’t work. We need strength.
Bush told Trump that he is not going to be able to insult his way to the presidency. He got a cheer from the CNN audience, then said, “and I do have the strength.” Leadership is not about attacking and disparaging people, leadership is about creating a serious strategy. Jeb sure says strategy a lot. The bell rang and Trump said, “With Jeb’s attitude, we will never be great again.”
Hugh Hewitt asked Carson if he could bomb thousands of innocent children, as a pediatric neurosurgeon, in order to fight a war. Carson said that you shoudl see the eyes of some of those children when I say to them, we’re going to have to open your head up and take out this tumor. They’re not happy about. He explained that it’s actually merciful if you finish the job rather than death by a thousand pricks. Hewitt said, “So you are ok with the deaths of 100s of innocent children and civilians, it’s like…” The crowd booed Hewitt. Carson said to the audience, “You got it! You got it!”
Dana Bash referred to Paul saying that he said the ISIS grew stronger, because of the hawks in his party and asked if he really thinks the Republicans have fueled the rise of ISIS? Paul said that by arming the allies of ISIS, we created a safe space. Regime change is a mistake. When we toppled Khadafy, that was a mistake. ISIS grew stronger. I’d like to go back to another questions, which is, is Donald Trump a serious candidate? If you’re going to close the internet, realize America what that entails. That entails getting rid of the first amendment. If you’re going to kill the families of terrorists, realize that there is something called the Geneva Convention we’ll have to pull out of. Good! What good does the Geneva Convention ever do us? It would defy every norm that is America. I thought you were a constitutionalist, Rand, not an institutionalist. Then Rand said, whoever you are who is going to support Donald Trump, think, do you believe in the Constitution? Are you going to support the Constitution? The Geneva Convention isn’t in the Constitution, Rand.
Trump said, so they can kill us, but we can’t kill them. That’s what you’re saying. And, as far as the internet is concerned, I’m not talking about closing the internet. I’m talking about parts of Syria, parts of Iraq, where ISIS is. What I like even better than that, is getting our smartest to infiltrate their internet. So we know exactly where they’re going. I like that better! Some in the crowd booed. Trump said that he just can’t imagine somebody booing. These are people that want to kill us, folks, and you’re objecting to us wanting to infiltrate their conversations? I don’t think so.
On to Cruz, Blitzer asked him if he would promote dictators rather than pursue democracy in the middle east? Cruz said that if he believes in an America first policy, whereas Obama and others have gotten distracted from keeping this country safe, such as when Hillary and Obama lead NATO in toppling the government in Lybia and they did it, because they wanted to promote democracy. We were told then that there were these moderate rebels that would take over. The result is now that Lybia is a terrorist war zone run by jihadists. Move over to Egypt. Once again, the Obama administration toppled Mubarak, who had been a reliable ally of the United States, of Israel, and in its place Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood came in. A terrorist organization. We need to learn from history. Obama, Clinton, and far too many republicans, want to topple Assad. Assad is a bad man. Khadafy was a bad man. Mubarak had a terrible human rights record. If we topple Assad, the result will be ISIS taking over Syria and it will worsen U.S. national security interest. Instead of being a Woodrow Wilson democracy promoter, we ought to hunt down our enemies and kill ISIS rather than creating opportunities for ISIS to take control.
Blitzer said to Rubio that he supported the removal of Khadafy in Lybia and now that country is in turmoil as ISIS is clearly growing there. Cruz says you haven’t learned your lesson. Do you have any regrets for supporting President Obama’s intervention in Lybia? Rubio said that the U.S. didn’t start the revolt that removed Khadafy, the Lybian people did. He was going to go one way or the other and the longer that civil war took the more militias would be formed and the more unstable the country would be after the fact. There is nothing stable about it at all. Moammar Khadafy is the man who killed Americans over Lockerbie, Scotland, and bombed that cafe in Berlin and killed those marines. Anti-American dictators like Assad, who helped Hezbolah, who helped get those IEDs into Iraq, if they go, I will not shed a tear.
Cruz said, it’s more than not shedding a tear, it’s actively getting involved to topple a government. We keep hearing from Obama, Hillary Clinton and some republicans that they’re searching for these mythical moderate rebels. It’s like a purple unicorn. They never exist. These moderate rebels end up being jihadists. And I’ll tell you whose view on Assad is the same as mine and it’s Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Kasich got involved and said that he doesn’t understand this thing about Assad, he has to go. And there are moderates there! There are moderates in Syria who we should be supporting! This is a case of willful ignorance, folks.
Wolf asked Trump if Americans are safer with dictators running the Middle East? Trump said in his opinion… He got interrupted by a heckler from the audience who couldn’t be understood. He continued saying in his opinion we’ve spent 4 trillion dollars trying to topple various people and frankly if they were there and we could have spent that 4 trillion dollars in the United States we would have been a lot better off. We have done a tremendous disservice not only to the middle east, but to humanity. The people who have been killed, wiped away, and for what? It’s not like we had victory. It’s a mess. We should have spent the 4 trillion here on roads, bridges, airports, etc.
Carly broke in to say that he sounded like Obama, then went on a rant about Hillary. Trump was given a chance to respond and said there was nothing to respond to. He said Ben Carson was right when he said we should take the oil and he’s been saying this for years, not just bomb them, but take the oil. Take it! I’ve been saying this for years. Now everybody’s saying take the oil. It wasn’t so fashionable to take the oil 6 months ago.
Blitzer brought the same question to Carson, if the Middle East is better off with dictators? Carson said that no one is ever better off with dictators, but there comes a time, on airplanes they say, when oxygen masks drop down, put yours on first, then help your neighbor. We need oxygen right now. We need to start thinking about the needs of the American people before we go and try to solve everybody else’s problems. The fact of the matter is, the Middle East has been in turmoil for thousands of years. For us to think that we’re going to go in there and fix that, with a couple of little bombs and a a few little declarations is relatively foolish.
Bush was asked the same, but regarding Saddam Hussein. He said we need to have a strategy to get in and a strategy to get out. It’s all just talking points with Bush, you’ve heard them all.
Paul was asked if getting rid of Saddam Hussein was a pretty good deal? He said that just because he thinks regime change is a bad idea doesn’t mean he thinks Hussein was a good idea. There’s often variations of evil on both sides of the war. Out of regime change you get chaos. Out of the chaos you’ve seen repeatedly the rise of radical islam.
Hewitt told Trump that he is in favor of Assad staying in power, but you are also in favor of winning. If he stays in power, Iran is winning, Hezbolah is winning, they are winning everywhere. If they’re winning, how can we be winning? Trump said that he thinks Assad is a bad guy, very bad guy. We’re backing people, we have no idea who they are. We call them the rebels. The patriotic rebels. We have no idea. A lot of people think they’re ISIS. We have to do one thing at a time. We can’t be fighting ISIS and fighting Assad. Assad is fighting ISIS, Russia is fighting ISIS, and Iran is fighting ISIS. We have to get rid of ISIS first.
Christie was asked if Trump is right? Christie said that we have to focus on what the priorities are. He said that Obama has empowered and enriched Iran and that is the way ISIS has been created and formed here. ISIS was created and formed because of the abuse Assad and his Iranian sponsors have reigned down on the Sunnis in Syria. We need to focus on Iran, because if you miss Iran, you won’t get ISIS.
Paul responded to the question of removing Assad saying it’s a huge mistake and he’s been saying it for several years. He said that he warned us before that we’d be back fighting against our own weapons.
On to Kasich, he performed a lot of karate chopping hand gestures and said with foreign policy you have to know how to pick and choose. He listed things he opposed, such as U.S. involvement in Lebanon. There’s a difference when you have Sunnis, Shias, and Jurds put together in Iraq after the first world war. It doesn’t work. He rambled on, karate chopping the whole time. He said that we have to punch Russia in the nose.
Christie was asked if he would be prepared to shoot down a Russian plane in a no fly zone over Syria. Christie said he would not only be prepared, he would shoot it down. He would tell Putin that. If they were stupid enough to think that this President was the same feckless weakling that the President we have in the Oval Office is right now. That earned him a cheer from the audience.
Paul was asked to respond to what Christie said, because Paul had previously said that a no fly zone could potentially lead to World War III. Paul said, if you’re in favor of World War III, you have your candidate and he pointed at Christie. What we want in a leader is someone with judgement, not someone who is so reckless as to stand on the stage and say, “Yes, I’m jumping up and down, I’m going to shoot down Russian planes!” He said that if we think about the judgement of someone who might want World War III, we might think about someone who might shut down a bridge, because they don’t like their friends.
Christie responded and said what reckless is is called Assad a reformer. What reckless is is allowing Russia to come into Crimea and Ukraine. Russia was already in Crimea. 85% of Crimeans are Russian. Crimea voted to secede when Ukraine was overthrown in a coup by the Svoboda party, a NAZI political party. The news never reports this. Crimea was autonomous and their planned secession at some point was part of their Constitution. Russia isn’t in Ukraine. If Russia wanted to take over Ukraine, they would have by now. What reckless is is inviting Russian into Syria to team with Iran. I wasn’t aware that they were invited. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are the reckless people.
Hewitt to Bush, you said that Trump is not qualified to be President, because he’s not qualified to deal with Vladamir Putin. Why are you better qualified to deal with Vladimir Putin? Bush said, because first of all, I know what I don’t know. I know what I don’t know. I would seek out the best advice. So he isn’t better qualified, he admits he needs to get help.
Trump responded by saying he thinks it’s very sad that CNN leads Jeb Bush down a road by starting off virtually all of the questions, Mr. Trump this, Mr… I think it’s very sad and frankly I think it’s very sad. And frankly, I watched the first debate and the first long number of questions were, Mr. Trump said this, Mr. Trump said that, Mr. Trump… These poor guys, although I must tell you, Santorum, good guy, Governor Huckabee, good guy. They were very nice and I respect them greatly. But I thought it was very unfair that virtually the entire early portion of the debate was Trump this, Trump that. In order to get ratings I guess. Hewitt started interrupting. Trump said, Excuse me! I think it’s very unprofessional! Hewitt was saying that it’s not CNN and Trump repeated that it’s very unprofessional.
Jeb wanted to reply and he said that if Trump thinks this is tough, this is a tough business. Trump said, yeah, yeah, you’re a tough guy Jeb, I know. You’re real tough. Jeb said, you’re never going to be president. Trump countered with, let’s see, I’m at 42 and you’re at 3, so so far I’m doing better. You know, you started off over here, Jeb, you’re moving over further and further. Pretty soon you’re going to be off the end.
Kasich said, with his hands waving, that it sounds just like what his daughter said about all the fighting and arguing.
Hewitt asked Carson if his medical career prepares him to be Commander in Chief? His answer was that there is a false narrative that only the political class has the wisdom and the ability to be Commander and Chief. If you go back and study the design of our country, it was really designed for the citizen statesman. We need to talk about where does your experience come from. I’ve had a lot of experience building things, organizing things, a national scholarship program. One of the things you’ll notice about my life is that I don’t do a lot of talking, I do a lot of doing.
Dana Bash said to Rubio that he coauthored a bill allowing a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Do you still support that path to citizenship, which means giving them rights like the right to vote? He said that immigration is an issue he’s lived around his whole life. My family were immigrants, my wife’s family were immigrants. So let’s just bring everyone in! All of my neighbors are immigrants. He went into his spiel about needing to hire 20,000 border agents and proving we have immigration under control. He listed other things like fencing and eVerify. Then modernizing legal immigration. And after we have done those two things, I think the American people are going to be very reasonable. Then we can give out amnesty to 60 million illegals! Bash said he didn’t answer the question, but described a very long path. Does that path end at citizenship? In a long winded response he said yes.
Bash said to Cruz that Rubio had said that his immigration plan isn’t that different from his. Is that true. Cruz laughed. He said that some chose like Rubio to stand with Barack Obama and support a massive amnesty plan. Others chose to stand with Jeff Sessions, Stephen King and the American people and secure the border. The front line with ISIS isn’t just in Iraq and Syria. It’s also at Kennedy Airport and the Rio Grand. Border security is national security. One of the problems with the Rubio Gang of 8 bill was that it gave Obama blanket authority to admit refugees including Syrian refugees without mandating any background checks whatsoever. If Elected president we will triple border security and we will build a wall that works and we’ll get Donald Trump to pay for it. Trump said, “I’ll build it!” and gave Cruz a jab.
Rubio claimed that Cruz supported amnesty for illegals, a 500% increase in the number of H1B visas, and doubling the number of green cards. Cruz kept shaking his head no.
Cruz said that he understands that Marco wants to raise confusion. It is not accurate, what he just said that I supported legalization, indeed I lead the fight against his legalization amnesty bill and there was one commentator that put it this way. For Marco to suggest that our records are the same are like suggesting the fireman and the arsonist have the same record, because they’re both at the scene of the fire. He was fighting to grant amnesty and not to secure the border. I was fighting to secure the border.
Rubio asked Cruz if he will rule out legalization. Cruz said I have never supported legalization and I never intend to support legalization. Let me tell you how you do this. What you do is you enforce the laws. I’ve laid out a very detailed immigration plan on my web site, TedCruz.org. Do you know how many illegal aliens Bill Clinton deported? 12 million. George W. Bush? 10 Million.
Dana Bash said that Mr. Trump likes to say that he restarted this conversation. Trump said, “I did.” Bash asked, so who do you side with in this? Trump said that he has a very hard line position on this. We either have a country or we don’t have a country. People who have come into our country illegally, they have to go, they have to come back in through a legal process. I want a strong border, I do want a wall, walls work, you just have to speak to the folks in Israel, walls work. If properly constructed. I know how to build, believe me, I know how to build.
Bash to Bush, listening to this, do you think this is the tone you have to take to win hispanics back into your party? No it isn’t, but it’s an important subject to talk about. We need to secure the border. Coming here legally has to be a lot easier than coming illegally.
Paul was asked if he would send back the 2000 Syrian refugees Obama has already brought into America. Paul said, that in Marco’s Gang of 8 bill, there was no provisions for extra scrutiny or safety for refugees. At the time the bill came up, two Iraqi refugees came to my home town, their finger prints were on a bomb in Iraq, they were in the database, but we didn’t pick them up. We relocated them here, put them in government housing, got them on food stamps and began providing for them, but we didn’t have adequate security. On Rubio’s bill there was a conservative amendment that was offered called Trust but Verify that would have strengthened border security on refugee students and those coming here and Marco sided and was more sympathetic to Chuck Shumer and to the President than he was to conservative principles, but this goes directly to national defense. If he wants to run as a national defense conservative, he has to explain why he hasn’t stepped up for better border security.
Rubio said that it’s not that America doesn’t want to accept refugees. Yes it is, Marco. We absolutely do not want them. It’s that we may not be able to. If we allow 999,999 into the United States and all of them are good people and we allow just one in who is an ISIS killer, we got a serious problem. There’s not a single person that can guarantee we can get this 100% right. Yes there is. Anyone who agrees that we keep 100% of them out, will be 100% right.
Blitzer went back to Paul, because he never answered if he would send the 2000 refugees back or let them stay. Paul said that his bill was for future refugees, so he hasn’t taken a position on sending anyone home, but charity is about giving your own money, not giving someone else’s money. Bringing people from all over the world and setting them up in housing and giving them food stamps is a mistake. We shouldn’t have a program where we’re going to just take care of the world’s refugees.
A Facebook question from Carla Hernandez came in. She asked, “If the Bible clearly states that we need to embrace those in need and not fear, how can we justify not accepting refugees.” Are you accepting them in your house, Carla? What does the Bible say about hypocrisy? How about Matthew 7:5, “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
Christie said to Carla that the first job of the President is to protect her safety. When the FBI director says we can’t effectively vet these people, for me as President, that’s the end of the conversation.
Kasich said (hands waving, fingers straight) as President of the United States we’ve got to keep the people safe, that’s first and foremost. He told a story about busting a terrorist in Ohio. Then he told a story about Central American miners who were placed in Ohio and they never knew about it. Our schools were disrupted, we didn’t know where they were. And now they tell me that we outta be able to admit these Syrian refugees.
CNN didn’t get the sparing match between Cruz and Trump that they wanted, so they tried to instigate it.
Dana Bash brought up Trump’s comment this week that Cruz is not qualified to be President because he doesn’t have the right temperament and acted like a maniac when he arrived in the Senate, but last month you said you were open to naming Senator Cruz as your running mate. Trump broke in and asked, “I did?” He then said that he’s gotten to know Cruz over the last few days and he has a wonderful temperament. He’s just fine, don’t worry about him. Bash, said “ok?”
Bash turned to Cruz and said he had not been willing to attack Mr. Trump in public. Trump interrupted and said, “You’d better not attack me!” Lots of laughs. Bash continued. But you did question his judgement in having control of America’s nuclear arsenal during a private meeting with supporters. Why are you willing to say things about him in private and not in public? Cruz answered by saying that what he said in private is exactly what he will say here, that the judgement that every voter is making of every one of us up here is who has the experience, who has the vision, who has the judgement to be Commander in Chief? That is the most important decision for the voters to make. That’s a standard I’m held to, and it’s a standard everyone else is held to. And I will note, in the whole course of this discussion, about our foreign policy threats, it actually illustrates the need for clarity of focus. My daughters Caroline and Catherine came tonight, they’re 7 and 5 and you think about the Las Angeles schools canceling school today, and every parent is wondering, how do we keep our kids safe? We need a Commander in Chief who does what Ronald Reagan did with communism, which is he set out a global strategy to defeat Soviet communism and he directed all of his forces to defeating communism. One of the things we’ve seen here is how easy it is for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to get distracted from dealing with radical islamic terrorism. They won’t even call it by its name. We need a President who stands up number one and says we will defeat ISIS and number two says the greatest national security threat facing America is a nuclear Iran and we need to be focused on defeating radical islamic terrorism.
Dana asked, so what you’re saying is that you do believe that Mr. Trump has the judgement to be Commander in Chief? Cruz said that what he is saying is that is a judgement for every voter to make. What I can tell you is that all nine of the people here would make an infinitely better Commander in Chief than Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. There is a real danger Dana when people get distracted by peripheral issues.
Hewitt said that his listeners are worried that Hillary will win if Trump runs as an independent and is he ready to reassure Republicans tonight that he will run as a republican and abide by the decision of the Republicans. Trump said, “I am, I really am. I’ll be honest, I really am.”
Carson was asked the same question. He said that his statement that he would leave the party was contingent on whether the party acts like they have in the past with a lot of subterfuge and dishonesty or like they’re going to act now, because I spoke to Reince Priebus and he assured me that the Washington Post writer had it all wrong and they’re not going to be engaging in anything to thwart the will of the people.
Closing statements began with Rand Paul. He said that the greatest threat to our national security is our debt. We borrow a million dollars a minute. He said the right wants to spend more on military and the left on domestic welfare, but there is an unholy alliance and secret handshake, so we spend more money on everything. He says he is the only fiscal conservative on the stage, because he will hold the line on all spending.
John Kasich said that no Republican has ever been elected president without winning Ohio. Let me give you a little tip on how you win Ohio. It’s reform, it’s hope, (didn’t we get enough hopey changey already?) it’s growth, it’s opportunity, and it’s security. (bullet points and talking points) Our message has to be big and bold and positive and connect, not just with peoples’ heads, but also connect with their hearts. If we do it, we will beat Hillary Clinton and we will run the White House and we will strengthen and fix America. I promise you. Does anyone actually get anything substantive out of this?
Chris Christie reminded us that on September 10th, 2001 he was named Chief Federal Prosecutor in New Jersey and his wife and brother in law went to the World Trade center on 9/11/2001 and he lost touch with them for 6 hours that day. For 7 years he spent his life protecting our country from more of these attacks.
Carly Fiorina also remembered September 11th. I remember immediately putting into place security procedures all throughout our company that did business in 170 countries when we thought corporate interest would be attacked next. To take our country back and keep our nation safe, we have to begin by beating Hillary Clinton. We need to unify our party, we need a real conservative in the White House and we need to beat Hillary Clinton to take our country back and keep our nation safe. I can. I am. And together if you join me we will take our country back.
Jeb Bush said to ask yourself, which candidate will keep you and our country safer, stronger and freer? Hillary Clinton has aligned herself with Barack Obama on ISIS, Iran and the economy. It’s an alliance doomed to fail. My proven record suggests and my detailed plans will fortify our national and economic security. (He was a little stuttery) And my proven record as governor makes will give you a sense that I don’t make false promises. I deliver real results. For America to be safe and sound I ask for your support. Thank you all very much.
Marco Rubio said that as we near the end of this year we enter one of the most important elections in a generation. For what’s at stake in this election is not simply what party is going to be in charge, but our very identity as a people and as a nation. For over 200 years this has been a special country. A unique place where anyone from anywhere can achieve anything. (even illegals and terrorists) But now millions of Americans feel like they’re being left behind. Insecure in their future and unsafe in the face of terrorism. (Could it be Illegals and terrorists?) This election is about electing a president who will restore our economic vibrancy, so the American Dream can expand to reach more people (illegals and terrorists) and change more lives than ever before. And rebuild our military and our intelligence programs, so that we can remain the strongest nation on Earth. Tonight I ask you for your vote. If you do this, we will rebuild this country. And together we will usher in a new American century, the greatest era in the history of this great land.
Ted Cruz: Judgement, strength, clarity and trust. Barack Obama said he doesn’t believe in American leadership or America winning. He is wrong. America can win again and we will win again. Ronald Reagan reignited the American economy, rebuilt the American military, bankrupted the Soviet Union and defeated Soviet communism. I will do the same thing, cutting taxes, cutting regulation, unleashing small businesses and rebuilding the military to defeat radical islamic terrorism. Our strategy is simple, we win, they lose. We’ve done it before and we can do it again.
Ben Carson: I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to 58 different countries and I thank God every day that I was born in this country. The most exceptional country the World has ever known and I want to make sure that we preserve that exceptionalism for the next generation. My mother told me if I work hard and I believed in American principles and I believed in God, anything is possible. I believe that is true and that’s why I am not anxious to give away American values and principles for the sake of political correctness.
Donald Trump: Our country doesn’t win anymore. We don’t win on trade. We don’t win on the military. We can’t defeat ISIS. We’re not taking care of our great people, the veterans, we’re not taking care of them. We have to change our whole way. Our healthcare system is a disaster. It’s going to implode in 2017. Just like you sitting there, it doesn’t work. Nothing works in our country. If I’m elected President, we will win again. We will win a lot. we’re going to have a great, great country, greater than ever before. Thank you.
Well, that was quite a long one and I omitted as much as possible of what wasn’t important. I am sorry that I haven’t had time to proofread, so if you notice any errors, don’t scream at me, but please let me know. CNN is probably irate about not getting a slug fest between Cruz and Trump. I knew that wouldn’t happen.
I really want to see the bottom RINO candidates off of the next stage. It’s ridiculous to keep carrying them on, and bringing them back when they have already been left behind. While I’m not promoting any particular candidate, I have no problem saying that I am thoroughly fed up with Kasich and Jeb more than all the rest. Christie is right behind them. They have no business calling themselves Republicans. That’s just my opinion and it’s about as much as I have publicly shared so far about my overall opinions of the candidates. I try to stay impartial, but those three make it hard.
AMP (Anna Maria Perez)
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