GOP Debate #8, Feb 6 – Synopsis

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Republican Debate number 8!  Is it just me, or is this way overboard?  This debate included the following top tier candidates for the Republican nomination: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and John Kasich.  The ABC Debate moderators were David Muir and Martha Raddatz.  Both Republican and Democratic debates are moderated by overt liberals.  When will the Democratic debate be hosted by conservatives?

The debate began with Muir addressing Donald Trump.  He said, Senator Cruz said about you, “I don’t know anyone who would be comfortable with someone who behaves this way having his finger on the button.  We’re liable to wake up one morning and if he were President, he would nuke Denmark.  That’s not the temperament of a leader to keep this country safe.”  Tell the American people tonight why you do think you have the temperament to be Commander in Chief.  Trump said, I actually do think I have the best temperament.  I built a massive corporation and I employ thousands and thousands of people.  I’ve gotten along with people for years and years.  I have tremendous relationships with many people including politicians on both sides.  And no matter how you cut it, when I came out, I hit immigration.  I hit it very hard.  Everybody said, oh, the temperament, because I talked about illegal immigration.  Now everybody’s coming to me.  They’re all trying to say, oh well he’s right, we have to come to him.  I hit other things, I talked about muslims.  We have a problem.  Nobody else wanted to mention the problem.  I brought it up.  I took a lot of heat.  We have to have a temporary something, because there’s something going on that’s not good.  And remember this, I’m the only one up here, when the war in Iraq, I was the one that said, don’t go, don’t do it, you’re going to destabilize the Middle East.  So I’m not one with the trigger.  I’m not one with the trigger.  Other people up here, believe me, would be a lot faster.  But I’ll build the military stronger, bigger, better than anybody up here and nobody is going to mess with us.  That I can tell you. 

Muir brought the question to Cruz, asking why Trump isn’t the leader to keep this country safe.  Cruz said, the assessment the voters are making here in New Hampshire and across the country is they’re evaluating each and every one of us.  They are looking to our experience.  They’re looking to our knowledge.  They’re looking to our temperament and judgment.  They’re looking to our clarity of vision and our strength and resolve.  The world is  getting much more dangerous.  We’ve had 7 years with Barack Obama in the Oval Office, a Commander in Chief that is unwilling even to acknowledge the enemy we’re facing.  This is a President who in the wake of Paris and the wake of San Bernardino, will not even use the words, radical islamic terrorism, much less focus on defeating the enemy.  I am convinced every individual standing on this stage would make a much better Commander in Chief than Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.  And the primary voters are making the assessment for each of us, who is best prepared to keep this country safe, to rebuild the military, to rebuild our Navy, our Air Force, our Army, our Marines and to ensure that we keep America safe.

Muir said, Senator Cruz, I did ask about Mr. Trump, you said he doesn’t have the temperament to be Commander in Chief.  Do you stand by those words?  Cruz replied, I think that is an assessment the voters are going to make and their going to make it of each and every one of us.  They are going to assess who is level headed, who has clear vision, who has judgment, who can confront our enemies, who can confront the threats we face in this country.  And who can have the judgement when to engage and when not to engage.  Both are incredibly important for a Commander in Chief.  Knowing how to go after our enemies.  In the case of Iran for example, who has the clarity of vision to understand that the Ayatollah Khomeini, when he chants death to America, he means it.  We need a President with the judgment and resolve to keep this country safe from radical islamic terrorism. 

Trump jumped in and said, first of all I respect what Ted just said.  But if you noticed, he didn’t answer your question.  And that’s what’s going to happen with our enemies and the people we compete against.  We’re going to win with Trump.  We’re going to win.  We don’t win anymore, our country doesn’t win anymore.  We’re going to win with Trump.  And people back down with Trump.  And that’s what I like and that’s what the country is going to like. 

Muir addressed Carson and said, on the day of the Iowa caucuses, the Cruz campaign sent out messages and voice mails saying, “Breaking News.  Dr. Ben Carson Carson will be planning to suspend his campaign following tonight’s caucuses.  Please inform any Carson caucus goers of this news.”  But as we can all see, you’re still standing here tonight.  Late this week your campaign sent this e-mail, “This kind of deceitful behavior is why the American people don’t trust politicians.  If Senator Cruz does not act, then he clearly represents D.C. values.”  What kind of action do you think Senator Cruz should take?  Carson said, well, you know when I wasn’t introduced as number two as I planned, I thought maybe you had already thought I had dropped out.  Today is the 105th anniversary, or 105th birthday of Ronald Reagan.  His 11th Commandment was not to speak ill of another Republican.  So I’m not going to use this opportunity to savage the reputation of Senator Cruz, but I will say that I was very disappointed that members of his team thought so little of me.  That they thought that after having 100s if not 1000s of volunteers and college students who sacrificed their time and were dedicated to the cause, one even died.  To think that I would just walk away 10 minutes before the caucus and say forget about you guys.  I mean, who would do something like that?  I don’t think anyone on this stage would do something like that and to assume that someone would, what does that tell you?  So, unfortunately it did happen.  It gives us a very good example of certain types of Washington ethics.  Washington ethics basically says, if it’s legal, you do what you need to do in order to win.  That’s no my ethics.  My ethics is, you do what’s right. 

Muir asked Cruz why he didn’t call Carson or his wife ahead of time before sending out this message.  Cruz said, Ben is a good and honorable man and Ben and Candy have become friends.  He has an amazing life story that has inspired millions, including me.  When this transpired I apologized to him then and I do so now.  Ben, I’m sorry.  Let me tell you the facts of what occurred for those who are interested in knowing.  On Monday night at about 6:30 PM, CNN reported that Ben was not going from Iowa to New Hampshire and South Carolina, rather he was quote, taking a break from campaigning.  They reported that on television.  CNN’s political anchors, Jake Tapper and Dana Bash and Wolf Blitzer, said it was highly unusual and highly significant.  My political team saw CNN’s report breaking news and they forwarded that news to our volunteers.  It was being covered on live television.  Now at the time, I was at the caucuses.  I was getting ready to speak at the caucuses, just like Ben was, just like everyone else was.  I knew nothing about this.  Couple hours later, I found out about it.  I was told that Ben was unhappy.  I called him that evening, because I respect him very, very highly.  I didn’t reach him that evening.  I reached him the next day and apologized.  He asked me then, he said, Ted, would you make this apology in public?  I said, yes, I will.  And I did so.  I regret… that subsequently CNN reported on that, they didn’t correct that story until 9:15 that night.  So from 6:30 PM to 9:15 that’s what CNN was reporting.  Subsequent to that initial report, Ben’s campaign put out a statement saying that he was not suspending his campaign.  I wish that our campaign staff would have forwarded that statement.  They were unaware of it.  I wish that they had, that’s why I apologized.

Muir let Carson reply, since he was mentioned.  Carson said, This is great.  You guys, I want you to all mention me when you say something.  The crowd applauded.  He continued, in fact the timeline indicates that initial tweet from CNN was followed by another one within one minute that clarified that I was not dropping out.  So what happened to that one, it is unclear.  The bottom line is we can see what happened, everybody can see what happened and you can make your own judgment. 

David Muir said to Rubio, Governor Christie warned against Americans electing another first term Senator as America did with Barack Obama, arguing that you are not ready to be President of the United States.  Senator Santorum dropped out of the race this week and endorsed you and had a hard time when asked on national television, listing your accomplishments as Senator.  What are your accomplishments in the Senate that demonstrate you’re ready to be President of the United States?  Rubio said, from protecting the people of Florida from eminent domain abuse, to bringing accountability to the VA, to Girls Count Act, to sanctioning terrorists groups, I’m proud of my service in the United States Senate and before that in the Florida legislature.  If the presidency becomes about electing the people who have been in Congress or the Senate the longest, we should all rally around Joe Biden.  He’s been around a thousand years.  Let’s dispel once and for all this fiction  that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing.  He knows exactly what he’s doing.  Barack Obama is undertaking a systematic effort to change this country.  To make America more like the rest of the world.  That’s why he passed Obamacare and the stimulus and Dodd/Frank and the deal with Iran.  When I am President of the United States we are going to re-embrace all the things that made America the greatest nation in the world and we are going to leave our children what they deserve. 

Muir said, Governor Christie, you said fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me, when it comes to electing a first term Senator.  You heard Senator Rubio make the case that he does have the experience.  Your response?  Christie said, Sure.  Every morning when a United States Senator wakes up he thinks about what kind of speech can I give or what kind of bill can I drop?  Every morning when I wake up, I think about what kind of problem do I actually have to solve for the people who elected me?  It’s a different experience.  The fact is, Marco, you shouldn’t compare yourself to Joe Biden and you shouldn’t say that’s what we’re doing.  Here’s exactly what we’re doing.  You have not been involved in a consequential decision where you had to be held accountable.  You just simply haven’t.  The crowd applauded.  The fact is when you talk about Hezbollah Sanctions Act, that you list as one of your accomplishments, you weren’t even there to vote for it.  That’s not leadership, that’s truancy. 

Rubio responded by saying, I think the experience is not just what you did, but how it worked out.  Under Chris Christie’s governorship of New Jersey, they’ve been down graded 9 times in their credit rating.  This country already has a debt problem.  We don’t need to add to it by electing someone who has experience at running up and destroying the credit rating of his state.  Let’s dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing.  He knows exactly what he’s doing!  He’s trying to change this country! 

Christie demanded a chance to respond and looked into the camera and said, you see everybody, I want the people at home to think about this.  (Pointing at Rubio)  That’s what Washington DC Does.  The drive by shot at the beginning with incomplete and incorrect information and the memorized 25 second speech.  The crowd applauded again.  See Marco, when you’re President of the United States of Governor of a state, the memorized 30 second speech where you talk about how great America is at the end of it doesn’t solve one problem for one person.  They expect you to plow the snow, get the schools open, and when the worst natural disaster in your state’s history hits you, they expect you to rebuild your state.  None of that stuff happens on the floor of the Senate.

Rubio shot back saying, Chris, your state got hit by a massive snow storm two weeks ago.  You didn’t even want to go back.  They had to shame you into going back.  And then you stayed there for 36 hours.  And then he left and came back to campaign.  The crowd loudly booed Rubio.  This notion that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing is just not true…  Christie said, there it is.  There it is.  The memorized 25 second speech.   There it is everybody.  Rubio kept going. 

Muir moved on to Bush and said 4 years ago you said about Senator Rubio, he was ready to be Vice President.  You said he had the fortitude to be a good President.  This week you said Rubio accomplished nothing in the Senate.  How do you square the two?  Jeb said, first of all, he said the exact same thing about me, that I would make a great Vice Presidential nominee when Mitt Romney was considering.  I think we were both right at the time and he picked somebody else.  So let’s move on to the 2016 race.  Who has the leadership skills to lead?  I’m proud of the fact that I have 12 Medal of Honor recipients, over 30 admirals and generals that believe that I would be a steady hand as Commander in Chief.

Martha Raddatz said, Senator Cruz, you are a first term Senator as well.  Your opponents say you, like Rubio, are not prepared to be Commander in Chief.  You have talked tough about threats we face in the Mid East.  It was reported just moments ago that the North Koreans test launched an intercontinental ballistic missile.  North Korea has nuclear weapons and conducted another nuclear test just last month.  The missile just launched is one the North Koreans hope one day can carry a nuclear weapon, reaching the United States.  How would you respond as Commander in Chief, to that launch?

Ted Cruz replied, I would not that the fact that we are seeing the launch from a nuclear North Korea, is the direct result of the failures of the first Clinton administration.  The Clinton administration lead the world in relaxing sanctions against North Korea.  Billions of dollars flowed into North Korea in exchange for promises not to build nuclear weapons.  They took those billions and built nuclear weapons.  The lead negotiator in that failed North Korea sanctions deal was a woman named Wendy Sherman who Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton promptly recruited to come back to be the lead negotiator with Iran, so what we are seeing with North Korea is foreshadowing of where we will be with Iran.  With respect to North Korea, what we should do now, one of the first things we should do is expand our missile defense capacity.  We ought to put missile defense interceptors in South Korea.  South Korea wants them.  One of the real risks of this launch, North Korea wants to launch a satellite.  One of the greatest risks of the satellite is they would place a nuclear device in the satellite.  As it would orbit around the Earth and as it got over the United States they would detonate that nuclear weapon and set off what’s called an EMP, an electromagnetic pulse, which could take down the entire electrical grid on the Eastern Seaboard, potentially killing millions.  We need to harden the grid to defend ourselves and we need missile defense to protect ourselves against North Korea. 

Raddatz asked Cruz, if you were President tonight, would you have ordered the U.S. military to destroy that missile preemptively on the launch pad to prevent North Korea from becoming an even graver threat?  Cruz said, at this point I am not going to speculate on that without the intelligence briefing that any Commander in Chief would have, knowing what exactly is there.  One of the real problems.  Raddatzs said, you have talked tough about the Middle East and you haven’t gotten intelligence briefings about that.  Why not tell us whether or not you would preemptively strike a missile on a launch pad?  Cruz said, with respect, I have gotten the intelligence briefings on the Mid East.  Those have been going on for many years.  I haven’t gotten the intelligence briefing tonight on what North Korea is doing, because I am here in New Hampshire.  When you’re responding to an immediate incident, you need to know the intelligence of what’s occurring.  It is qualitatively different dealing with a country once they have nuclear weapons.  It’s why you prevent them from getting nuclear weapons in the first place.  Because your hands are somewhat tied once they have nukes.  It’s why this Iranian nuclear deal is so catastrophic.  And it’s why I’ve pledged on the very first day in office, to rip to shreds this Iranian nuclear deal, so we’re not sitting here in 5 years wondering what to do about an Iranian missile launch when they have nuclear weapons.  The stakes are too high for that. 

Kasich said that we have to intercept North Korean ships and aircraft, because they are trying to proliferate this material.  That’s what I worry about most.  None state actors, people without a uniform, people who don’t have a country who can spread this and are not subject to the mutual assured defense.  In other words, you strike us, we strike you.  We should tell the Chinese, look if you are not going to do this, ballistic missile defense to Koreans, to Japan.  And by the way, we should impose the same kind of sanctions on North Korea that we imposed on Iran.  We should have let the Japanese know, if you want to take action on that missile, you will have our support.  We cannot continue to be weak in the face of the North Koreans or frankly in the entire rest of the world. 

Raddatz said, Mr. Trump, do you have a red line with North Korea?  Would you consider military action and how far would you let them go?  Trump said, Marco said earlier on that President Obama knows exactly what he’s doing.  Like we have this President that really knows.  I disagree respectfully with Marco.  I think we have a President, who as a President, is totally incompetent and he doesn’t know what he’s doing.  I think he has no idea what he’s doing.  I just want to say we disagree on that.  (Trump turned to Rubio)  Is that ok?  Rubio wanted to respond, but Raddatz wanted Trump to finish, so he said, respecting North Korea, we have tremendous… has been just sucked out of our country by China.  China says they don’t have that good of control over North Korea.  They have tremendous control.  I deal with the Chinese all of the time.  I do tremendous business, largest bank in the world is in one of my buildings in Manhattan.  I deal with them.  They tell me.  They have total, absolute control, practically, of North Korea.  They are sucking trillions of dollars out of our country.  They’re rebuilding China with the money they take out of our country.  I would get on with China.  Let China solve that problem.  They can do it quickly and surgically.  That’s what we should do with North Korea. 

Rubio replied, Barack Obama views America as this arrogant global power that needed to be cut down to size.  It’s one of the reasons he betrayed Israel, because he believes if we create separation from Israel, it will help our relations in the islamic world.  The same is happening in the Asian Pacific region with accommodations to North Korea.  North Korea should be back on the list of terrorist nations.  And Donald is right, China has a lot of influence over North Korea and he should be leveraging our relationship with the Chinese to ensure that North Korea no longer has access to the resources that allowed them to develop long range missiles.

The subject changed to immigration with Muir reading a quote from John Kasich saying, “It is completely ridiculous to think that we’re going to go into neighborhoods, grab people out of their homes and ship people back to Mexico.  That’s not where the party is.  The party is not for deporting 11.5 million people.”  Yes we areBut Mr. Trump and Senator Cruz, who have made deportation central to their campaigns, top the national polls.  My question for you is, are you not where the voters are?  Kasich  waved his stiff fingers in the air and said, I have spent a lot of time here in this state as I mentioned earlier and we have to have practical solutions.  Look, the situation is we need to finish the border.  It has to be completed just like we lock our doors at night.  We don’t lock burglars in with usThe country has to be able to lock its doors.  And we can have a guest worker program where people can come in and out.  And then for the 11 and a half million that are here, if they have not committed a crime since they’ve been here (illegal immigration is a crime) I believe they should have to pay some back taxes, pay a fine, and never get on the path to citizenship, but get legalization.  It is not… I couldn’t even imagine how we would even begin to think about taking a mom or a dad out of a house when they have not committed a crime since they’ve been here, leaving their children in the house?  I mean, that is not in my opinion the kind of values we believe in.  Your opinion is wrong.  No one says to leave the kids.  Deport them too.  Deport them first.  Make the parents chase after them over the border, exactly the opposite of what Obama did bringing 10’s of thousands of illegal children here and then bringing their parents after.  I outline an easy plan HERE.  Americans would support a plan like this.  No we wouldn’t.  Our voices are loud and clear, which is exactly what drove Trump to the top of the polls.  This issue.

Muir asked Cruz, what is your plan, how will you deport 11.5 million undocumented people and be specific, how would you do it?  Cruz said, I’ve laid out the most detailed plan for solving illegal immigration.  It’s eleven pages, single spaced, chapter and verse.  It’s on our web site, TedCruz.orgIn short, what we’re going to do is build a wall, triple the border patrol, and since Donald enjoyed that I will simply say (pointing at Trump) I’ve got somebody in mind to build it.  We’re going to increase four fold the fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft.  So you have technology monitoring and attempted incursion to direct the boots on the ground to where they’re occurring.  We’re going to put in place a strong E-Verify System in the workplace, so you can’t get a job without proving you’re here legally.  We’ll put in place a biometric exit/entry system on visas, because 40% of illegal immigration comes not over the border illegally, but people coming on visas and over staying.  We will end sanctuary cities by cutting off taxpayer dollars to any jurisdiction that defies federal immigration law.  And we will end welfare benefits for those here illegally. 

Muir asked Cruz what he would do with the families he would have to send home.  Cruz replied, what you do is you enforce the law.  Under the Constitution, the President has an obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.  Federal immigration law provides, if someone is here illegally and is apprehended, they are to be deported.  We saw just this past week, the head of the Border Patrol Union testify before Congress that President Obama has given the order to the border patrol to stand down, not to enforce the law.  That is wrong.  I will enforce the law.  And for everyone who says, you can’t possibly do that, I would note that in 8 years Bill Clinton deported 12 million people.  In 8 years George W. Bush deported 10 million people.  Enforcing the law, we can do it.  What is missing is the political will and when they were deporting the people, the border wasn’t secure, so they’d come right back.  Once you secure the border, enforcing the law will solve this problem and that will benefit American workers.

Muir reminded Rubio of the criticism against him for coauthoring the Gang of 8 Bill that would have created a path to citizenship to people who are here illegally.  Christie said of you, as soon as you felt the heat, you turned tail to run.  Bush said I don’t think we need people cutting and running anymore.  Did you fight for your own legislation Senator, or did you run from it?  Rubio said, Here’s the bottom line, we can’t get that legislation passed.  The American people will not support doing anything about people that are in this country illegally until the law is enforced first and you prove it to them.  Every effort over the last 10 years to do those comprehensively has failed.  And it has failed, because the American people have zero trust that the federal government will enforce our laws.  No, Marco, it’s much simpler than that.  We don’t want amnesty.  Period. Regardless of anything else you are or are not trusted on.  We don’t want it ever and no excuse of yours will change thatHe went on to say that the American people will support amnesty once we build a wall and enforce current law.  No we won’t, MarcoMuir asked, did you fight for the legislation at the time or did you run from it.  Rubio said, well the legislation passed, but it has no support.  In essence it couldn’t pass in the House.  It will never pass in the United States until we secure the border.  The key word that tells you Marco is still for amnesty in that last sentence is “until.”

Christie said, the question was, did he fight for his legislation.  It’s abundantly clear that he didn’t.  When the people wanted to raise taxes in my state, the democratic legislature and threatened to close down the government, I told them fine, close down the government I’ll get in my car, head to the Governor’s mansion, order a pizza, open a beer and watch the Mets.  You can call me when the government reopens.  And guess what they didn’t do?  They didn’t pass a tax increase, because I vetoed it and they never closed the government, because they knew I would fight for what I believed in.

A question was asked by author and commentator Mary Catherine Ham asked a question of Donald Trump.  Hillary Clinton has criticized Bernie Sanders’ plan for single payer government healthcare noting it would require big, across the board, tax increases for Americans.  In doing so, she is doubling down on Obamacare in spite of its persistent unpopularity.  Mr. Trump, you have said you want to repeal Obamacare.  You’ve also said, “Everybody’s got to be covered.  The government’s going to pay for it.”  Are you closer to Bernie Sanders’ vision for healthcare than Hillary Clinton is?  Trump responded, I don’t think I am, I think I’m closer to common sense.  We are going to repeal Obamacare.  We are going to replace Obamacare with something so much better.  There are so many examples of it.  And I will tell you, part of the reason you have some people laughing, you have insurance people that take care of everybody up here, I’m a self funder.  The only one they’re not taking care of is me.  We have our lines around each state.  The insurance companies are getting rich on Obamacare.  The insurance companies are getting rich on health care and health services and everything having to do with health.  We’re going to end that.  We’re going to take out the artificial boundaries.  We’re going to get a plan where people compete, free enterprise.  So much better.  In addition to that you have the health care savings plans, which are excellent.  What I do say, is there will be a certain number of people that will be on the street dying and as a Republican, I don’t want that to happen.  We’re going to take care of people that are dying on the street.  Because there will be a group of people that will not be able to think in terms of private or anything else.  And we’re going to take care of those people.  FREE!  FREE!  FREE!  And I think everybody on this stage would have to agree, you’re not going to let people die, sitting in the middle of the street in any city in this country.  Fine, leave that to the cities and states to take care of.  This isn’t a federal role.

Ham said to Cruz, Mr. Trump has said that your position on health care means that maybe you’ve got no heart.  There is a question here though about uncovered folks.  You suggested repealing and replacing Obamacare.  As we learned with President Obama’s broken promise that everyone could keep their plan, any major change in healthcare policy carries with it the risk that some people will lose their insurance overage or have to change it.  How do you reassure those people that repealing and replacing Obamacare is still in their best interest.  Cruz said, let me start with Socialized medicine.  Socialized medicine is a disaster.  It does not work.  What inevitably happens is rationing.  That means the elderly are told, we’re going to ration a hip replacement, a knee replacement, end of life care.  We’re heading into a medical situation with a 90,000 doctor shortage in America and socialized medicine, whether proposed by the Democrats or proposed by a Republican, would hurt the people of this country.  What should we do on health care?  If I am elected President we will repeal every word of Obamacare.  Once we do that, we will adopt common sense reforms, number one, we will allow people to purchase insurance across state lines that will drive down prices and expand the availability of low cost catastrophic insurance.  We’ll expand health savings accounts.  And we will de-link health insurance from employers, so that you don’t lose your health insurance when you lose your job.  That way health insurance can be personal. portable, and affordable.  We keep government from getting in between us and our doctors. 

Ham said to Carson, you have some experience with this matter.  In the past you ahve said that Obamacare should be replaced before it is repealed.  How and why?  Carson responded, well, I was hoping to get to talk about North Korea, I was the only one who didn’t get to do that and I’ve got some stuff to say about it.  At any rate, you have to replace it with something that makes sense.  The reason I dislike Obamacare is because the government comes in and tells the people, which the nation is supposed to be centered on, we don’t care what you think, this is what we’re doing and if you don’t like it, too bad.  That’s a problem.  We can’t afford to do that, because that will fundamentally change America.  I have proposed a health empowerment account system.  Everybody gets a health empowerment account the day they are born, they keep it until they die, they can pass it on.  We pay for it with the same dollars that we pay for traditional health care with.  We allow people to shift money within their accounts, so that each family becomes it’s own insurance company without a middle man.  In terms of taking care of the indigent, we have another whole system.  Sounds like more FREE, unconstitutional, federal handouts.  I’d be happy to explain it if you give me some more time.  Go to my web site, BenCarson.com, read about it. 

On eminent domain, Josh McKelvin of WMUR TV said to Donald Trump, you have said, “I love eminent domain.”  Which is the seizure of private property for the sake of the greater good, theoretically.  You’ve tried to use it in business endeavors, you support it in the Keystone Pipeline project.  Here in New Hampshire a project known as the Northern Pass would bring hydroelectric power from Canada into the north eastern grid.  Do you see eminent domain as an appropriate tool to get that project done?  Trump said, Let me just tell you about eminent domain, because almost all these people, well Chris hasn’t, have hit me with commercials and other things about eminent domain.  Eminent domain is an absolute necessity for a country, for our country.  Without it, you wouldn’t have roads, you wouldn’t have hospitals, you wouldn’t have anything.  You wouldn’t have schools.  You wouldn’t have bridges.  You need eminent domain.  The Keystone Pipeline without eminent domain wouldn’t go 10 feet.  Eminent domain is a good thing, not a bad thing.  What a lot of people don’t know, because they’re saying, oh, you’re going to take their property.  When somebody… when eminent domain is used on somebody’s property, that person gets a fortune.  They get at least fair market value and then if they’re smart, they’ll get 2 or 3 times the value of their property. 

McKelvin asked, so would that be a yes on the Northern Pass?  Trump said, Yes, yes.

Bush said, the difference between eminent domain for public purpose, as Donald said, for roads, bridges, pipelines and all that, that’s for public purpose.  But what Donald Trump did was use eminent domain to try to take the property of an elderly woman on the strip in Atlantic City.  Huge applause from the audienceThat is not public purpose.  That is downright wrong.  Trump interrupted and said, he wants to be a tough guy tonight.  I didn’t take the property.  Bush said, you tried.  Trump continued, the woman ultimately didn’t want to do that, I walked away.

Bush said, that is not true.  You lost in court.  The fact is, to turn this into a limousine parking lot for his casinos is not a public use.  More huge applause.  In Florida, we made that impossible, it is part of our Constitution.  That’s the better approach, that is the conservative approach.  

Trump said, he wants to be a tough guy.  A lot of times, you’ll have, you’ll have, and it doesn’t work very well…  Bush interjected, how tough is it to take the property from an elderly woman?  Trump said, let me talk, let me talk.  Trump put his finger to his lips, looking at Bush and said, “Quiet!”  The audience booed Trump.  Then Trump pointed at the audience and said, that’s all his donors and special interest out there.  That triggered more booing.  Trump said it’s all donors in the audience and he doesn’t want their money and doesn’t need their money.  I am the only one up here who can say that. 

The topic turned to “what it means to be a conservative.”  Muir said, Governor Kasich, you were asked by ABC about groans from some conservatives after your endorsements from the New York Times and the Boston Globe.  You said, “What conservatives have to know, isn’t it nice to have a conservative like me, liked?  If I get elected President, the Republican Party and the definition of conservatism is going to change.”  How would you change conservatism?  Easy.  Instead of conserving the Constitution, conserve socialismKasich said, the New York times said, he’s certainly not a moderate, but he can bring people together to solve problems.  The fact of the matter is, I cut taxes more than anybody in the country.  I have balanced budgets, the federal budget, the State of Ohio budget.  It’s about jobs.  You know, when I was a kid growing up in a neighborhood and dad went home at night and said, I lost my job, it just killed the family, it was a devastating effect.  We have to have economic growth. Then I believe we have to reach out to people who live in the shadows.  We need to help the mentally ill, the drug addicted, the working poor.  We need to help the developmentally disabled to rise and our friends in the minority community develop entrepreneurship.  So, separate people into groups and give them benefits accordingly.  Sounds racist and socialist In other words in America, conservatism should mean not only that some rise with conservative principles, but everybody has a chance to rise regardless of who they are, so they can live their God given purpose.  “Conservatism should be…”  In other words, conservatism is not what Kasich is unless he changes the definition.  Instead of equal opportunity, Kasich is after equal outcomes.  Sounds very Bernie Sandersesque.

Muir said, Mr. Trump, you’ve heard the argument from many of the candidates on this stage that you’re not a true conservative.  Tell the voters watching tonight why you are.  Trump said, well, I think I am and I view the word conservative as a derivative of the word conserve.  We want to conserve our money, we want to conserve our wealth, we want to conserve, we want to be smart.  We want to be smart where we go, what we spend, how we spend.  We want to conserve our country, we want to save our country.  No mention of the Constitution, which is what conservatism is actually about.

Rubio said that conservatism is about 3 things.  First it’s about limited government.  Especially at the federal level.  The federal government is a limited government, limited by the Constitution.  If it’s not in the Constitution it does not belong to the federal government.  It belongs to states, local communities and the private sector.  It’s about free enterprise, which is an economic model allowing everyone to rise without pulling anyone down.  And it’s about a strong national defense.  Wow! Rubio actually did a great job of nailing what conservatism is.

Muir turned to Trump and said, Governor Christie has said, I tell everybody who goes to a Donald Trump event, if you get to ask a question, just ask him how?  Christie said, I don’t care which things he talks about, just ask him how?  You have said you would be the greatest jobs President God ever created.  How many jobs would you create in the first term and how?  Trump replied, I will tell you, I will bring jobs back from China, Japan, Mexico where New Hampshire by the way has been virtually wiped out, they’ve lost so many businesses going to Mexico because of horrible trade deals.  Now we’re about to sign another trade deal, TPP, which is going to be a disaster for this country, because they don’t talk about monetary manipulation.  I’m going to bring jobs back and I’m going to start bringing them back very fast.  Right now we are the highest taxed country in the world.  Under my tax plan we cut not only taxes for the middle class, but we cut taxes for corporations.  We will bring back trillions of dollars that’s off shore right now.  We’re not going to lose Pfizer, which is leaving.  We have many, many companies that are leaving.  We’re not going to lose them anymore.

Raddatz said to Cruz, you advocate carpet bombing to defeat ISIS, citing the 1100 air attacks a day the U.S. carried out in the first Gulf War in 1991.  Explain how a strategy to defeat a standing army would work against a terrorist group that is hiding among the population?  Cruz said, it starts with a Commander in Chief who sets the objective and the objective has to be completely and utterly destroying ISIS.  Obama hasn’t started from that objective and everything else flows from there.  Once you set that objective, we have the tools to carry that out.  The first tool is overwhelming air power.  As you know in the first Gulf war it was 1100 air attacks a day.  Obama is launching between 15 and 30.  When I say saturation carpet bombing, that’s not indiscriminate.  That is targeted at oil facilities, oil tankers, command and control locations, infrastructure, communications, bombing all the roads and bridges going in and out of Raqqa.  A couple weeks ago it was reported that a facility was open called Jihadist University.  The question I wonder is why is that building still standing?  It should be rubble. 

Raddats asked Cruz, would you like to expand or loosen the rules of engagement?  Cruz said, Martha, I will tell you, I have visited with active duty, with veterans over and over again in town halls all over the State of New Hampshire.  What we are doing to our sons and daughters, it is immoral.  We are sending them in to fight with their arms tied behind their back.  They cannot defend themselves.  And it is wrong.  We should use overwhelming force to kill the enemy and then get the heck out.  Don’t engage in nation building.  But instead, allow our soldiers to do their jobs instead of risking their lives with politicians making it impossible for them to accomplish the objective.  Martha asked, so loosen the rules of engagement?  Cruz said, absolutely yes.

Rubio was asked what he means by overwhelming force when he said it will take overwhelming force to defeat ISIS.  He said, ISIS is not just a jihadist group, they’re an apocalyptic group.  These are not groups that are just going to go away on their own.  I believe they have to be defeated primarily by a ground force made up of Sunni Arabs.  That will require a coalition of Iraqis and Syrians that are Sunnis.  It will also require the cooperation of Jordanians, Egyptians, we should ask more of the Saudis.  That will need to be backed up with more U.S. special forces beside them along with increased air strikes. 

Raddatz turned to Trump, you have said we have to vigorously bomb ISIS and get rid of ISIS quickly, quickly.  How would you get rid of them so quickly?  Trump said, four years ago I said bomb the oil and take the oil.  If we did that, they wouldn’t have the wealth they have right now.  Now I still say the same thing.  We actually have a case where we don’t want to bomb the oil, because we don’t want to pollute the atmosphere.  Can you imagine General Douglas, MacArthur, or Patton saying we can’t bomb, because we’re going to hurt the atmosphere?  You also have back channels of banking, people you think are our great allies, our friends in the Middle East that are paying tremendous amounts of money to ISIS.  We have to stop those circuits.  Nobody knows banking better than I do. 

Ben Carson said, I want to say something about this, because I am not here just to add beauty to the stage.  I’ve been talking about Lybia for quite a long time.  We have to have a proactive strategy and the next place that ISIS is going to tack to is Lybia.  If you want to expand your caliphate and increase your influence, then you’re going to go to a place that’s strategically located.  You go north across the Mediterranean, you’re into southern Europe.  You go south, you’re into Chad and Sudan and Niger.  Not to mention the fact that you have much more oil than you do in Iraq.  That’s the kind of place they’re going to go to, therefore we need to be thinking about how do we prevent them from tacking over there.  They’re already sending their fighters there.  Raddatz asked if he would support increased air strikes.  Carson said, I would support the possibility of renewed air strikes if in conjunction with our joint chiefs and our military people, they felt that that was an appropriate strategy.  The fact of the matter is, none of us up here is a military expert.  We sometimes act like we are, but we’re not.

David Muir said, Senator Cruz, you have said torture is wrong, unambiguously, period.  Civilized nations do not engage in torture.  Some of the other candidates have said they don’t think waterboarding is torture.  Mr. Trump has said, I would bring it back.  Senator Cruz, is waterboarding torture?  Cruz said, well under the definition of torture, no it’s not.  Under the law torture is excruciating pain that is equivalent to losing organs and systems, so under the definition of torture it is not.  It is enhanced interrogation.  It is vigorous interrogation, but it does not meet the generally recognized definition of torture.  I would not bring it back in any sort of wide spread use.  I joined with Senator McCain in legislation that would prohibit line officers from employing it, because I think bad things happen when enhanced interrogation is employed at lower levels.  But when it comes to keeping this country safe, the Commander in Chief has inherent Constitutional authority to keep this country safe, so if it were necessary to say, prevent a city from facing an imminent terrorist attack, you could rest assured that as Commander in Chief, I would use whatever enhanced interrogation we could to keep this country safe. 

Muir said, Mr. Trump, you said not only does it work, but you would bring it back.  Trump said, well, I’ll tell you what.  In the Middle East we have people chopping the heads off Christians.  We have people chopping the heads off many other people.  We have things that we have never seen before as a group, we have never seen before.  Not since medieval times have people seen what’s going on.  I would bring back waterboarding.  And I’d bring back a he** of a lot worse than water boarding. 

Bush’s answer was simply that he wouldn’t bring water boarding back.  Congress has changed the laws and where we stand is the appropriate place.

Rubio said that when people talk about interrogating terrorists, they’re acting like this is some sort of law enforcement function.  Law enforcement is about gathering evidence to take someone to trial and convict them.  Anti terrorism is about finding out information to prevent a future attack.  So the same tactics do not apply.  We should not be discussing the exact tactics that are going to be used, because it allows terrorists and others to practice how to evade us.  Here’s the bigger problem.  We’re not interrogating anybody right now.  Guantanamo is being emptied by this President.  We should be putting people into Guantanamo. 

Back to Mary Catherine Ham, she said to Cruz, on the campaign trail you’ve promised a lot and fast.  You said you would end Common Core immediately, abolish the IRS and do away with sanctuary cities.  You’ve also been a persistent critic of President Obama’s executive overreach, going it alone, not working with Congress.  How do you intend to implement this aggressive agenda within your Constitutional authority especially given that it would require working with Congress and Washington players with whom you’re happy to say you have a strained relationship.  Cruz answered by saying, there are three avenues of presidential authority the President can use to change the direction of this country.  The first is executive power, the second is foreign policy, and the third is legislation.  Executive power as we all know has been the preferred vehicle of President Obama, abusing his authority, abusing his Constitutional authority.  Now the silver lining of that is everything done with executive power can be undone with executive power.  So I have pledged, on day one, I will rescind every single illegal and unconstitutional executive action Barack Obama has done.  That means on day one, his efforts to restrict the 2nd Amendment go away with the strike of a pen.  That means on day one his illegal executive amnesty goes away with the strike of a pen.  The reason I can end Common Core at the federal level is because Obama is abusing executive power using Race to the Top funds in the Department of Education to force it on the states.  That’s one avenue.  The second avenue of change is foreign policy.  And foreign policy can change the fastest.  It’s worth remembering that Iran released our hostages the day Reagan was sworn in.  The third is legislation and that can only be done with the people behind you, which is why the two big legislative initiatives I’m campaigning on are repealing Obamacare and adopting a simple flat tax to abolish the IRS. 

Ham said, Mr. Trump, Senator Cruz is known for opposing opposing deals.  You literally wrote the book on making them.  What do you say to those who say a deal maker will just perpetuate the same deals in Washington and the way that things run now?  Trump said, a good deal maker will make great deals, but will do it the way our founders thought it should be done.  People get together.  They make deals.  Ronald Reagan did it with Tip O’Neill.  Very successfully.  You didn’t hear so much about executive orders if you heard it at all.  The deal with Iran.  How bad a deal is that?  It doesn’t get any more amateurish than that.  A good deal maker would never make a deal like that.  With Congress, you have to get everybody in a room and you have to get them to agree.  You have to get them to agree what you want.  And that’s part of being a deal maker.  You can’t leave the White House, go to Hawaii and play golf for three weeks and be a real deal maker.  It doesn’t work that way.  You have to get people in.  Grab them, hug them, kiss them and get the deal done.  But its got to be the deal that you want. 

Ham asked Kasich if the problem with Washington is too many deals or too few?  Kasich said there’s no leadership.  A lot of the things we’re talking about tonight, the border, so many of the things, what we should be doing on foreign policy… You know what the problem is Mary Catherine?  There’s not a leader that can get somebody to rise up.  You ahve to have a leader that can inspire.  Some of what Donald was saying is true.  You know how hard it was to get the federal budget balanced?  You have to plead with people.  We have to remind people we’re Americans before we’re Republicans and Democrats.  The problem with executive authority for the President, it’s really bad news for this reason.  Since he’s given up on working with Congress, he thinks he can impose anything he wants.  He’s not a king.  He’s a president.  An executive order should be used, frankly, in consolidation and consulting with the leadership in the Congress.  I’ve done it in Ohio.  I consult, I can use executive orders, but I don’t trump the legislature, because if you do, you aggravate them, you anger them and then the long term prospects get bleak.  The words executive order are not in the Constitution.  They are not a constitutional power.  The words only came about as a title for the orders that a President gives to his own chain of command and can affect no one outside of his direct chain of command.  They aren’t legally binding on citizens regardless of who is consulted.

Muir said that 48% of the people of New Hampshire know someone who has abused heroin.  

Josh McKelvin said that heroin is a major and deadly problem in New Hampshire.  He said that last month the New Hampshire senators and the police chief of the state’s largest city went to Washington to testify in front of the Judiciary Committee.  Senator Cruz, you’re a member of that committee and your campaign schedule didn’t allow you to attend.  The police chief called your absence outrageous given the severity of the problem.  Last week though, you told a personal story of a close family member struggling with addiction.  What can you say to law enforcement right now to convince them that you will understand the severity of this problem and you’re not just saying what people want to hear days before the primary. 

Cruz said, well, Josh, as you noted, this is a problem that for me I understand first hand.  My older sister Marian, who is my half sister, struggled her whole life with drug and alcohol addiction.  My father and her mom divorced when she was a little girl and she was angry her whole life.  About 5 or 6 years ago Marian died of an overdose.  The coroner ruled it accidental, we don’t know.  She went to sleep one night had taken too many pills and my nephew Joey walked in and found her dead.  This is an absolute epidemic.  We need leadership to solve it.  Solving it has to occur at the state and local level with programs like AA and counseling and churches and charities.  But it also has to occur securing the borders, because you’ve got Mexican cartels that are smuggling vast amounts of heroin into this country.  We know how to secure the borders, what is missing is the political will to do it.  As President, I will secure the border.  We will end this deluge of drugs that is flowing over our southern border and that is killing Americans across this country. 

McKelvin asked Christie if he would be willing to engage in cross border enforcement into Mexico, a place where law enforcement in New Hampshire has traced a lot of the supply back to?  Would you engage in cross border enforcement without the cooperation of the Mexican government?  Christie said, of course I would.  As a former United States attorney who spent 7 years of my life fighting this on the streets of my state I would do that.  But we need to do more and let me tell you what I’ve done in New Jersey.  We’re working with the folks of New Hampshire in their legislature right now to show them how we’re helping to solve this problem in New Jersey.  For the last three years, anybody who is a non-violent first time drug user no longer goes to prison, they go to mandatory in patient drug treatment.  Crime has gone down 20% in those three years.  The prison population has gone down 10% and we’ve closed a state prison and we’re turning it into a drug rehabilitation facility. I’m pro life.  And I’m not just pro life for the 9 months in the womb.  I am pro life for when they get out and it’s a lot more complicated.  

Martha Raddatz said, our partner in this debate the Independent Journal Review has collected questions from some prominent conservatives around the country.  Here’s a video taped question from radio host Larry O’Connor.  

O’Connor said, in 2008 we saw how motivated an electorate can be when they think their vote is making history.  Let’s face it, if Hillary Clinton is the nominee for the Democrats, you’ll be running against the prospect of the first woman President.  How will you change that narrative and motivate the electorate behind your candidacy?

Trump said, I think that, I look at what’s going on, I look at all of the polls, I do very, very well against Hillary Clinton.  I can tell you, I’m the last person that she wants to run against.  I think you can see what we’ve done in terms of galvanizing.  I’ve been all over the country.  Last night I was in South Carolina, we had 12,000 people.  I’m the first one that said, build a wall.  A real wall, not a toy wall.  We will galvanize the people of this country and we will beat Hillary Clinton.  Assuming that she runs, by the way.  How she gets away with the e-mail stuff is hard to believe.  So, I don’t know that she’s going to be running.  On the assumption she runs.  If she runs she is going to be able to run for one reason and that’s because the Democrats are protecting her.  Because so many people have done so much less than her and they were absolutely, their lives have been destroyed.  But on the assumption they do protect her, I will win the election and we will win it by a lot.  We will win it handily.  We can not have another four years of essentially, Barack Obama. 

Rubio said, I think it’s already happening.  Look at the turnout in Iowa.  A historic number of people came out and voted in those caucuses.  They’re saying the same thing’s going to happen here in New Hampshire.  Look at the rallies that every single person on this stage is having.  We’re going to have our primary and have our debates, but we’re going to bring this party together and we are going to defeat Hillary Clinton, because she is unqualified to be President of the United States of America.  She put classified information on her computer, because she thinks she’s above the law.  And anyone who lies to the families of anyone who lost their lives in the service of our country like she did in Benghazi, can never be the Commander in Chief of the United States of America.

Ben Carson got to reply and said, I think it would be a pretty easy contrast quite frankly between myself and Hillary Clinton.  In one case you have someone who is known as a deceitful individual.  And individual, who at Benghazi, which I will never let go quite frankly, because I think of those two men who went up there on the top of that compound with machine guns, firing away, allowing their colleagues to escape.  And I’m sure in the back of their mind they were saying, if we can just hold on, help is on the way.  But help was not on the way.  When did we in the United States not send people to help our own people?  You know, this is not who we are.  Huge applauseI would simply make it a referendum on honesty and integrity versus deceit and the Washington way.

Muir turned the subject to race and said to Trump there are many who argue that cell phones are just now exposing what’s been happening in this country for years.  Cases of  excessive force against minorities.  On the other side, the FBI director said there is a chill wind blowing through law enforcement, because of increased scrutiny.  You hvae said police are the most mistreated people in America.  As President, how do you bridge the divide.  You don’t.  This isn’t a federal issue.  Federal involvement is one of the things causing the chill windTrump said, the police are absolutely mistreated and misunderstood and if there is an incident, whether it’s a done purposely, which is a horror and you should really take very strong action, or if it’s a mistake it’s on your news casts all night, all week all month and it never ends.  The police in this country have done an unbelievable job of keeping law and order.  And they’re afraid for their jobs.  They’re afraid of the mistreatment they get.  And I’m telling you that not only me speaking, minorities all over the country, they respect the police of this country and we have to give them more respect.  Muir asked what Trump would say to the families who say they see excessive force.  Trump said, sue.  They sue.  Everybody sues.  

Kasich went on to brag about how he has a liberal running a collaboration between the community leaders and police and how wonderful that works.  I don’t think he knows which party he is running for the nomination of. 

Rubio was asked if he believes selective service, registering for the draft, should be required for women now that they are serving in combat roles and he said, I do believe that selective service should be opened up for both men and women in case a draft is ever instituted.  I think Rubio may have just dug a hole he doesn’t want to be in and dove right into it.

Bush and Christie both agreed that women should have to sign up for the draft.  Wow! Just wow!

Carson said if we start figuring out how to take care of our veterans the right way, we won’t have to worry about a draft again.

The subject of the Veteran’s Administration came up and Bush, Kasich and Rubio were asked about it.  All three agreed that veterans should be able to get care in any hospital with a VA card. 

Muri brought up the issue of hostages with Cruz saying, James Foley was killed and his mother Diane said our government should be willing to negotiate.  Our families should be allowed to raise money for ransom.  What would you say to Diane Foley tonight?  Should families be allowed to raise money for ransom for their loved ones?  Cruz said, I recognize it is an agonizing experience.  But at the same time, putting in place legal regimes that encourage the payment of ransom has the effect of putting a bounty on other Americans.  There is a reason it’s been long standing U.S. policy that we don’t negotiate with terrorists, we don’t pay ransoms.  If you look at what President Obama has done, over and over again, whether it was the James Bergdahl deal, which was absolutely shameful, releasing five senior Taliban terrorists to bring Bergdahl back.  Or whether it was this recent deal with Iran where up to 21 terrorists were released or not prosecuted in order to bring back four Americans.  What that does is it effectively puts a bounty on American service men and women serving abroad, American tourists traveling abroad, and the proper approach is a President and Commander in Chief that defends this country and goes after the terrorists rather than showing them weakness and encouraging them to target more Americans.

Trump was given the same question and he said, I know Diane Foley very well.  Her husband and… these are tremendous people.  I’ve spoke for them.  I’ve raised a lot of money for the foundation.  With all that being said, you cannot negotiate this way with terrorists.  If you do, you are going to have many, many more James Foleys.  And another thing about the vets, during the last debate I raised 6 million dollars for the vets and I will tell you, I think nobody here, nobody on this stage gets along with the veterans groups in New Hampshire better than I do. 

Mary Catherine Ham addressed Rubio.  She said that young people are staying more conservative on abortion, but increasingly in favor of gay marriage.  How do you speak to millennials on both issues while Democrats will inevitably charge intolerance and extremism?  Rubio said, I don’t believe that believing in traditional marriage as I do makes you a bigot or a hater.  It means that you believe that this institution that’s been around for millennia is an important cornerstone of our society.  I respect people that believe differently.  But I believe deeply that marriage should be between one man and one woman.  On the issue of life, to me the issue of life is not a political issue, it’s a human rights issue and it’s a difficult issue.  Because it puts in conflict two competing rights.  On the one hand is the right of a woman to choose what to do with her body, which is a real right.  On the other hand is the right of an unborn human child to live.  They’re in conflict and as a policy maker I have to choose which one of these two sides takes precedence and I have chosen to err on the side of life.  Here is what I find outrageous.  There has been five Democratic debates.  The media has not asked them a single question on abortion.  And on abortion, the Democrats are extremists.  Why doesn’t the media ask Hillary Clinton why she believes that all abortions should be legal?  Even on the due date of that unborn child.  Why don’t they ask Hillary Clinton why she believes that partial birth abortion, which is a gruesome procedure that has been outlawed in this country, she thinks that’s a fundamental right.  They are the extremists when it comes to the issue of abortion and I can’t wait to expose them in the general election.

Ham asked Bush if he stands behind the criticism he made of Rubio for being too pro life.  Bush said, I’m pro life, in fact on this stage, I am the most pro life person, because I’ve acted on it for 8 years as Governor of the State of Florida.  We abolished partial birth abortion and parents have the right to be notified when their teen age child is having an abortion.  We were the first state to do a Choose Life license plate to raise money for adoption.  I’m pro life, but I believe there should be exceptions, rape, incest, where the life of the mother is in danger.  That belief and my consistency on this make me poised to be the sweet spot for a Republican nominee. 

Ham said to Christie, you too have attacked Rubio over this issue and some conservatives say this line of attack is harmful to the pro life cause.  Christie said, well, I’ve been pretty helpful to the pro life cause in one of the most pro choice states in the union.  For the last 6 years, we’ve defunded Planned Parenthood, not talked about it like they do in Washington D.C.  Hillary Clinton believes that that organization, which engages in the systematic murder of children in the womb in order to maximize the value of their body parts for sale on the open market, is an acceptable position.  No one is for that type of activity unless you are the most radical type of extremist on this issue like Senator  Clinton and her party is.  I believe that if a woman has been raped, that is a birth and a pregnancy that she should be able to terminate.  If she is a victim of incest, this is not a woman’s choice, this is a woman being violated.

This marked the end of the questions and they went on to closing statements.

John Kasich: Well folks now I’ve done over 100 town hall meetings and I’ve loved every second of it.  It’s been the greatest thing in the world.  And I want you to know that you’ve changed me.  Because I’ve listened to your stories and I’ve had your hugs and I’ve seen your tears.  And I’ve seen you walk away and say I now have hope.  You know, I’ve had a conservative message, (which is that he wants to redefine what conservatism means) but a positive message, not just a conservative message, but a positive message about how we can bring people together.  Sounds like he considers conservative and positive as two different things.  How we can restore America’s strength.  Lift everyone.  New Hampshire, please give me a chance to carry this message forward to the United States of America.  And then, I will come back.  Thank you.  Loved it!  And God bless you.

Chris Christie: Thank you, I’ve spent the last 13 years focused on one thing.  Serving the people who have given me the opportunity to serve them.  Not about politics, not about partisanship, but about putting the people of our country and our state first.  I’m proud to have stood on the front lines of fighting the war on terrorism after September 11th.  I’m proud to have rebuilt my state after Hurricane Sandy.  I’m incredibly proud to be on this stage tonight with these men, asking for your vote.  New Hampshire, I spent 70 days here with you.  You’ve gotten to know my heart.  My heart is to help you solve the problems of your state and the problems of our nation.  If you give me your vote on Tuesday, I will do just that. 

Jeb Bush: I want to thank the people of New Hampshire and I want to celebrate the birthday of a great President, Ronald Reagan, would have been 105 today.  And President Reagan believed in the future of our country, believed in its greatness and a hopeful optimistic message.  Drew people towards our cause.  We need someone who has a proven record to take our case to the American people.  Because our philosophy is by far the best one.  Of limited government.  Of entrepreneurial capitalism.  Of peace through strength.  I believe I have the skills to take our party to victory in November.  I ask for your support on Tuesday to keep America and make America safer, stronger and freer.  Thank you all very much. 

Ben Carson:  For many months, the political class, pundits, the media, have tried to ignore or bury me.  They say that politics is too complex and too sleazy, you can’t survive.  Well guess what?  I’m still here.  And I’m not going any place either.  And I believe there is still a place in our country for faith, integrity and common sense.  Hundreds of thousands of you drafted me to run for President and I am going to, with the help of God and you, once again place the American people at the pinnacle with the government there to serve it. 

Marco Rubio: You know, this week I had the great pleasure of having my kids join me on the campaign trail.  I hadn’t seen them in a while.  And it was great to have them along side me, but the most important part of it is that it once again reminded me of what’s at stake.  Here in New Hampshire in less than 72 hours we are literally deciding what kind of country we will be like when they are my age.  What kind of country they will be able to raise their families in.  That’s why I’m asking you for your vote.  You vote for me and we will unite this party.  We will grow the conservative movement.  We will defeat Hillary Clinton and we will leave our children what our parents left us.  The single greatest nation in the history of all mankind.  Thank you.

Ted Cruz: You know every candidate running for President says they will stand up to Washington.  The natural follow up question is, when have you ever stood up to Washington?  Last week we saw a powerful illustration of that.  I campaigned in the state of Iowa four square against the ethanol mandate, something everyone said was political suicide.  My two leading competitors both attacked me for it.  The Governor of the state said vote for anyone but Cruz.  And lobbyists spent millions of dollars in attack ads, but I stood and said we should have no mandates.  A level playing field.  And the people of Iowa put country and our children above the cronyism and corporate welfare.  We can turn this country around.  If we get back to the Constitution.  And I will always stand with the American people against the bipartisan corruption of Washington. 

Donald Trump:  That’s because you got Ben Carson’s votes, by the way, but we won’t say anything. Huge boos came from the audience.  Our country that we love so much, doesn’t win anymore.  We don’t win with the military.  We don’t win on the border.  You look at New Hampshire with the tremendous problem we have with heroin.  Number one thing I hear from the people of New Hampshire who I love, and developed such relationships, we don’t win with health care.  We don’t win with trade.  You look at what other countries are doing to us.  China.  Everyone.  Killing us on trade.  If I’m elected President, we will win and we will win and we will win.  Thank you, thank you very much. 

This debate must have been the longest yet, but with hardly anything new to be said.  It was clear that this audience wasn’t tolerating the candidates insulting one another.  Trump’s closing statements might as well be cut and pasted from previous debates.  Kasich, Jeb, and Christie still seem to think they are in the Democratic debate.  About the only really new tidbit learned is that Rubio, Bush, and Christie want women to sign up for the draft.  That position, if reported at all by the main stream media, could put a nail in each of their campaign coffins. 

As this was extraordinarily long and I don’t have the time or energy to proofread it, please let me know if you spot any typos, so I can correct them.

AMP (Anna Maria Perez)

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6 comments

  1. You covered all the bases, as usual, but I have to admit, I’m a little surprised about your position on Selective Service for women. Given your military background, I would have thought you would be pushing for total equality in the services – especially the elite units. Seems to me that would include equality in the draft if it ever happens. BTW, there was a typo in your last sentence. “extraordinary” should read “extraordinarily”.

    Like

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