GOP Debate #9 – Feb 13


The 9th Republican Primary Debate, on February 13th, was hosted by CBS.  There were only six candidates in this debate, John Kasich, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, and Ben Carson.  The debate was moderated by John Dickerson, Major Garrett, and Kimberley Strassel.  The debate started with the announcement of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death at the age of 79. 

Dickerson began by saying that Trump wanted the replacement for Scalia to wait until after the next President is in office, so he asked Trump if he were President and in his last term, wouldn’t he want to nominate someone.  Trump said if I were President now, I would certainly want to try and nominate a Justice and I’m sure that frankly… I’m absolutely sure that President Obama will try and do it.  I hope that our Senate is going to be able, Mitch and the entire group, is going to be able to do something about it, in terms of delay.  We could have a Diane Sykes or you could have a Bill Prior.  We have some fantastic people, but this is a tremendous blow to conservativism.  It’s a tremendous blow, frankly to our country. 

Dickerson asked, so just to be clear, you’re okay with Obama nominating somebody?  Trump said, I think he’s going to do it whether I’m okay with it or not.  I think it’s up to Mitch McConnell and everybody else to stop it.  It’s called delay, delay, delay. 

Kasich said, if I were President we wouldn’t have the divisions in the country we have today and I do want to take a second as we reflected on Judge Scalia.  It’s amazing, it’s not even 2 minutes after the death of Judge Scalia, 9 children hear today their father didn’t wake up.  Uh, his wife, uh, you know, sad, but uh, you know, I just wish we hadn’t run so fast into politics.  Here’s my concern about this.  The country is so divided right now.  And now we’re going to see another partisan fight taking place.  Kasich just admitted that he has no conservative core beliefs.  If he did, he would be partisan.  Partisanship is a good thing.  Crossing the aisle is not.  I really wish the President would think about not nominating somebody.  If he were to nominate somebody, let’s have him pick somebody that is gonna have unanimous approval and such wide spread approval across the country that this could happen without a lot of recrimination.  I don’t think that’s going to happen.  And I would like the President to just for once here, put the country first.  We’re going to have an election for President very soon and the people will understand what is at stake in that election.  And so I believe the President should not move forward and I think we ought to let the next President of the United States decide who is going to run that Supreme Court with a vote by the people of the United States of America.

Dickerson said to Carson, you said the President should delay.  You’ve written a book on the Constitution recently.  What does the Constitution say about it?  Whose duty it is here to act in this kind of a situation?  Carson replied, well the Constitution actually doesn’t address that particular situation.  Yes it does.  Article 2, Section 2, Clauses 2 and 3.  But the fact of the matter is the Supreme Court obviously is a very important part of our governmental system.  And when our Constitution was put in place, the average age of death was under 50.  And therefore, the whole concept of lifetime appointments for Supreme Court judges and federal judges was not considered to be a big deal.  Obviously that has changed and it’s probably something that needs to be looked at pretty carefully at some point.  But we need to start thinking about the divisiveness that is going on in our country.  I looked at some of the remarks that people made after finding out that Justice Scalia had died.  And they were truly nasty remarks.  And that we have managed to get to that position in our country is truly a shame.  We should be thinking about how we could create some healing in this land.  But right now, we’re not going to get healing with President Obama.  That’s very clear.  So I fully agree that we should not allow a judge to be appointed during his time.

Rubio was asked his opinion and especially on the Senate’s idea to remove the filibuster from Supreme Court nominations, which Dickerson said he seemed open to.  Rubio said, well let me first just talk about Justice Scalia, his loss is tremendous and obviously our hearts and prayers go out to his family.  He will go down as one of the great Justices in the history of this Republic.  You talk about someone who defended consistently the original meaning of the Constitution, who understood that the Constitution was not there to be interpreted based on the fads of the moment, but it was there to be interpreted according to its original meaning.  Justice Scalia understood that better than anyone in the history of this Republic.  His dissent for example on the independent council case is a brilliant piece of jurist work and of course his dissent on Obergefell as well.  Number two, I do not believe the President should appoint someone and it’s not unprecedented, in fact it’s been over 80 years since a lame duck President has appointed a Supreme Court Justice. And it reminds us of this, how important this election is.  Someone on this stage will get to choose the balance of the Supreme Court and it will begin by filling this vacancy that is there now and we need to put people on the bench that understand that the Constitution is not a living and breathing document.  It is to be interpreted as originally meant.

After Dickerson followed up, Rubio said that it was not accurate that he was in favor of lifting the filibuster for judicial appointments.  He said, for example today, according to the changes Harry Reid made, appellate judges can be appointed by simple majority, but not Supreme Court Justices.  And I think today, you see the wisdom of why we don’t want that to change.  Because if that were the case and we were not in charge of the Senate, Harry Reid and Barack Obama would ram down our throat, a liberal Justice like the ones that Barack Obama has imposed on us already. 

Dickerson said to Bush, Conservatives for a long time have felt like their Republican Presidents have picked Justices that didn’t turn out to be real conservatives.  Bernie Sanders has said he would have a litmus test.  He would make sure that he appointed a Justice who’s going to overturn Citizens United.  If they could have a litmus test, what about you?  Do you have a litmus test for a nominee and what would it be?   Bush said, not on specific issues, not at all.  I think the next President, if I’m President I’ll appoint people, I’ll nominate people that have a proven record in the judiciary.  The problem in the past has been, we have appointed people, thinking you could get it through the Senate, because they didn’t have a record.  The problem is that sometimes we’re surprised.  The simple fact is, the next President needs to appoint someone with a proven conservative record similar to Justice Scalia that is a lover of liberty, that believes in limited government, that consistently applied that kind of philosophy, that didn’t try to legislate from the bench, that was respectful of the Constitution.  And then fight and fight and fight for that nomination to make sure that nomination passes.  Of course the President by the way, has every right to nominate Supreme Court Justices.  I’m an Article 2 guy in the Constitution.  We’re running for the President of the United States.  We want a strong executive for sure.  But in return for that there should be a consensus orientation on that nomination and there’s no doubt in my mind that Barack Obama will not have a consensus pick when he submits that person to the Senate. 

Dickerson said, so Senator Cruz, the Constitution says the President shall appoint with advice and consent from the Senate just to clear that up.  So he has the constitutional power, but you don’t think he should.  Where do you set that date if you’re President?  Does it begin in election year, December, November, September?  Once you set the date, when you’re President will you abide by that date?  Cruz said, well we have 80 years of precedent of not confirming Supreme Court Justices in an election year.  And let me just say, Justice Scalia…  Dickerson broke in saying, sorry to interrupt, were any nominated… appointed in an election year?  Or is that just there were 80 years where it happened to be?

Cruz replied, 80 years of not confirming… for example, LBJ nominated Abe Fortas.  Fortas did not get confirmed, he was defeated.  Dickerson replied, but Kennedy was confirmed in 88.  Cruz said, no Kennedy was confirmed in 87.  Dickerson said, he was appointed in… that’s the point, is it appointing or confirming that…  Cruz said, in this case it’s both.  But if I could answer a question… Dickerson said, trying to get the facts straight for the audience.  I apologize.  Someone in the audience yelled “Shut up!  Others yelled and then they all started booing Dickerson.

Cruz said, Justice Scalia was a legal giant.  He was somebody that I knew for 20 years.  He was a brilliant man.  He was faithful to the Constitution.  He changed the ark of American legal history.  And I tell you, his passing tonight, our prayers are with his family, with his wife Maureen, who he adored, his 9 children, his 36 grand kids.  But it underscores the stakes of this election.  We are one Justice away from a Supreme Court that will strike down every restriction on abortion adopted by the states.  We are one Justice away from a Supreme Court that will reverse the Heller decision, one of Justice Scalia’s seminal decisions that upheld the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms.  We are one Justice away from a Supreme Court that would undermine the religious liberty of millions of Americans.  And the stakes of this election, for this year, for the Senate, the Senate needs to stand strong and say, we’re not going to give up the U.S. Supreme Court for a generation by allowing Barack Obama to make one more liberal appointee.  And then, for the State of South Carolina, one of the most important judgements for the men and women of South Carolina to make, is who on this stage has the background, the principle, the character, the judgement and the strength of resolve to nominate and confirm a principled constitutionalist to the court.  That will be what I will do if I am elected President.

On National Security, Dickerson asked Trump what three questions he would ask his national security experts about the world should he be elected.  Trump said, what we want to do, when we want to do it, and how hard do we want to hit.  We are going to have to hit very, very hard to knock out ISIS.  We also have to know who our allies are.  We’re spending billions and billions of dollars supporting people we have no idea who they are in Syria.  Do we want to stay that route or do we want to go and make something with Russian?  I hate to say with Iran, but with Russia, because we made… and the Iran deal is one of the worst deals I have ever seen negotiated in my entire life.  It’s a disgrace that this country negotiated that deal.  This country didn’t.  Obama did unilaterally, and unconstitutionally.  The Iran Deal isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.  Not only a disgrace, it’s a disgrace and an embarrassment.  I’m the only one on this stage who said, do not go into Iraq.  Do not attack Iraq.  I also said, attack the oil.  Take the wealth away.  Attack the oil and keep the oil.  They didn’t listen.  They just started that a few months ago. 

Dickerson said to Carson that he has said he has answered more 2AM phone calls than anyone on the stage, but he had the foundation and training to respond, but as President he doesn’t have the political foundation that hones those instincts,  so isn’t that a liability?  Carson said, No it isn’t.  First let me go back to your first question.  It wasn’t phrased as who gets to nominate Supreme Court appointees?  Of course that’s the President.  I know that there are some left wing media who would try to make hay on that.  Secondly, thank you for including me in the debate.  Two questions already, this is great!  As far as those 2AM phone calls are concerned, judgement is what is required.  One of the things that I was known for is doing things that have not been done before.  No amount of experience really prepares you to do something that has never been done before.  That’s where judgement comes in. 

Kasich was asked about Russia bombing U.S. backed rebels in Syria and moving into Crimea and  Eastern Ukraine.  Dickerson said, you said you want to punch them in the nose.  What does that mean?  Kasich said we have to make it clear to Russia what we expect.  We don’t have to declare and enemy, rattle a sword, or threaten, but we need to make it clear what we expect.  Number one is we will arm the folks in Ukraine who are fighting for their freedom.  95% of the people of Crimea got the freedom they wanted.  They seceded from Ukraine and the self described NAZI party, Svoboda, who overthrew Ukraine in a coup two years ago.  Why doesn’t anyone remember that Ukraine was in fact, overthrown.  Not by Russia.  The people in Ukraine who are Russian, see their only escape is to leave Ukraine.  Russia isn’t trying to conquer them.  They are begging Russia for help against those who overthrew the country already.

With regard to the War in the Middle East, Bush and Trump got into an argument.  Bush wants to fight Assad and ISIS and Trump said he was wrong, we need to stick with attacking ISIS first.  Bush was complaining that Russia is attacking anyone, including those we arm.  Trump said we don’t even know who we are arming.  The audience was booing Trump and he pointed out that they were all Bush lobbyists. 

Cruz was asked why he doesn’t have a ground troop component to his plane.  Cruz said, you need to be focused on what the objective is.  Your question earlier about the first three questions you would ask in the situation room… I think it is a problem if the President does not have the experience and background to understand the threats facing this country coming in on day one.  The single greatest threat is the threat of a nuclear Iran.  That’s why I pledged on day one, to rip to shreds this Iranian nuclear deal.  Anyone who thinks you can negotiate with Khomeini does not understand the nature of Khomeini.  When it comes to ISIS, we’ve got to have a focused objective.  One of the problems of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy and sadly too many establishment Republicans in Washington is they focus on issues unrelated to protecting this country.  They focus on nation building, they focus on toppling governments to promote democracy and it ends up undermining our national security.  Now when it comes to ISIS, we need a Commander in Chief that sets the objective we will utterly defeat them, because they ahve declared war, they’ve declared jihad on us.  Now what do we need to carry that out?  We need overwhelming air power, we need to arm the Kurds who can be our boots on the ground and if ground troops are necessary then we should employ them, but it shouldn’t be politicians demonstrating political toughness.  It should be military expert judgment carrying out the objective set out by the Commander in Chief. 

Dickerson addressed Trump and said, you said you were surprised that Nancy Pelosi didn’t try to impeach Bush.  You said, “which personally I think would have been a wonderful thing.”  When asked what you meant by that, you said for the war.  For the war, he lied, got us into the war with lies.  Do you still believe President Bush should have been impeached?  Trump said, as a business man I get along with everybody.  I have business all over the world.  The audience booed him.  Trump said, I know so many people in the audience and by the way, I’m a self funder.  I don’t have… He pointed into the audience.  I have my wife and I have my son.  That’s all I have.  I don’t have this.  Obviously the war in Iraq was a big fat mistake.  You could take it any way you want.  It took Jeb Bush, if you remember at the beginning of his announcement, it took him 5 days.  He went back, it was a mistake, it wasn’t a mistake…  Took him five days before his people told him what to say and he ultimately said it was a mistake.  George Bush made a mistake.  We can make mistakes, but that one was a beauty.  Dickerson asked, so you still think he should have been impeached?  Trump said, you do whatever you want, you call it whatever you want, they lied.  They said there were weapons of mass destruction, there weren’t none, they knew there were none.  There were no weapons of mass destruction. 

Bush responded, saying, I’m sick and tired of Barack Obama blaming my brother for all of the problems that he’s had.  And frankly, I could care less about the insults Donald Trump gives to me.  It’s blood sport for him, he enjoys it and I’m glad he’s happy about it.  I am sick and tired of him going after my family.  While Donald Trump was building a reality TV show, my brother was building a security apparatus to keep America safe.  I’m proud of what he did. 

Trump said, the World Trade Center came down during your brother’s reign.  Remember that.

Bush continued, he’s had the gall to go after my mother.  My mom is the strongest woman I know.  Trump said, she should be running.  Bush said, this is not about my family or his family.  This is about the South Carolina families that need someone to be a Commander in Chief that can lead. 

Kasich said that everyone believed there were weapons of mass destruction.  Rubio said that he was glad that it was George W. Bush in the White House on 9/11 and not Al Gore.  He said that George Bush kept us safe.  Trump asked, how did he keep us safe when the World Trade Center came down?  I lost 100s of friends when the World Trade Center came down.  That is not safe!  Rubio said, the World Trade Center came down, because Bill Clinton did not kill Osama Bin Laden when he had the chance to kill him. 

Carson was asked about his desire to loosen the rules of engagement which could lead to more civilian casualties and why that would be acceptable in the fight against ISIS?  He answered by addressing the Iraq issue first, saying that he wasn’t in favor of going, but that Iraq was stabilized and it was the current administration who turned tail and ran and caused the destabilization.  He said, in terms of the rules of engagement he was talking about bombing tankers, which Obama won’t because there might be people in there.  That’s just asinine thinking.  Obviously you aren’t going to accomplish all your goals without some collateral damage. 

Kimberley Strassel addressed Trump and said, you are the only candidate who said you would not touch entitlements. Your ideas will cost an additional 12 to 15 trillion dollars over the next 10 years.  We would have to have annual economic growth of anywhere from 7.7% to 7.9% annually to pay for them.  Are you promising more than you can actually deliver without big deficits?  Reminder: Every federal entitlement is unconstitutional.  Every one.  Trump said, I’m going to save Social Security.  I’m going to bring jobs back from China, Mexico and Japan.  Now Viet Nam, that’s the new one.  They are taking our jobs, they’re taking our wealth, taking our base and you and I have had this discussion.  We’re going to make our economy strong again by lowering taxes.  We have two and a half trillion dollars off shore that I think is actually 5 trillion. 

Major Garrett said to Cruz, you have proposed a consumption tax.  You call it a flat tax, some economists compare it more to a value added tax.  How does that work and how do you address the long standing conservative concern that something approaching a value added tax will be used to constantly increase those rates to pay for future government spending and become an escalator of taxation not of growth?  Cruz said that getting people back to work won’t be solved by magic pixie dust or declaring into the air, let there be jobs.  He said, we actually have to understand the principles that made America great in the first place.  Every time we lessen the burden of Washington on small business owners, on job creators, we see incredible economic growth.  You do that through tax reform and regulatory reform.  My tax plan, typical family of four, the first $36,000 you earn, you pay nothing in taxes.  No income taxes, no payroll taxes, no nothing.  Above everyone pays the same simple flat 10% income rate.  It’s flat and fair.  You can fill out your taxes on a post card and we abolish the IRS.  If you want to see the post card, I’ve got it on my web site.  The VAT in Europe is a sales tax.  The business flat tax is not a sales tax.  It is a tax of 16% imposed fairly and evenly across the board on all businesses.   We’re doing that in conjunction with abolishing the corporate income tax, the Obamacare taxes, the payroll taxes, which are the biggest taxes paid by most working Americans and with abolishing the death tax which is cruel and unfair. 

Kasich and Bush argued for a while over which of them raised medicare entitlements the most.  Carson said that his tax plan makes everyone pay something, because everyone has to have skin in the game.

Dickerson said regarding immigration that in the Spanish language response to the State of the Union, Congressman Diaz Balart said “it’s essential that we find a legislative solution to offer a permanent and humane solution to those who live in the shadows.”  Addressing Trump he asked, what does that mean to you?  Trump said, I want everybody taken care of, but we have to take care of our people in this country.  We’re not taking care of our people.  We have no border.  We have no control.  People are flooding across.  We can’t have it.  We either have a border, and I am very strongly, I’m not proposing… I will build a wall.  I will build a wall.  Remember this.  The wall will be paid for by Mexico.  We are not being treated right. 

Major Garrett asked Rubio to define amnesty.  Rubio said, I think amnesty is the forgiveness of a wrong doing without consequence.  I’ve never supported that.  I do not support that.  I think there has to be consequences for violating our immigration laws.  We’re not going to be able to make progress until illegal immigration is brought under control.  He said that after all the things are in place to control illegal immigration, the people will be very reasonable about how to handle someone who has been here a long time, who can pass a background check, who pays a fine and starts paying taxes.  No, Marco, we want them deported. That’s it.  That is reasonable.  Background check?  How does an international criminal pass a background check?  All they want is a work permit.  Too bad Marco.  We have Americans who want the jobs that work permit would give to some illegal.

Strassel said to Cruz, you’ve promised to deport illegal aliens, reverse Obama’s executive action that gives temporary amnesty.  As President, you would have the names and addresses of 800,000 of those that have registered under that action.  You have said that in this country we shouldn’t go door to door looking for illegals, but in this case you’d have a list.  Would you use it?  Cruz said, In a Republican primary everyone talks tough against immigration.  Everyone is against illegal immigration.  But as voters we’ve been burned over and over again by people who give us a great campaign speech and they don’t walk the walk.  There are sharp differences on amnesty.  If you look at the folks on this stage.  When Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer and establishment Republicans were leading the fight to pass a massive amnesty plan, I stood with Jeff Sessions and Steve King and the American people and lead the fight to defeat that amnesty plan.  When it comes to deciding which side of the line you’re on, the Rubio/Schumer amnesty plan (the crowd started booing), apparently supported by the donor class, which is why, Washington supported it.  The Rubio/Schumer amnesty plan passed the Senate and it was on the verge of passing the House.  The question for anyone on illegal immigration is where were you in that fight?  You are right.  There is a difference between Senator Rubio and me on this question. 

Rubio accused Cruz of saying he wanted immigration reform to pass and wanted people to come out of the shadows.  He proposed an amendment that would have legalized people here.  So either he wasn’t telling the truth then or he isn’t telling the truth now. 

Cruz said, the lines are very clear.  Marco right now supports citizenship for 12 million people who are here illegally.  I opposed citizenship.  Marco has a long record when it comes to amnesty.  In the State of Florida, as Speaker of the House he supported in state tuition for illegal immigrants.  In addition to that, Marco went on Univision in Spanish and said he would not rescind President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty on his first day in office.  I have promised to rescind every single illegal executive action including that one.

Marco said, I don’t know how he knows what I said on Univision, because he doesn’t speak Spanish. 

Cruz responded by rattling off something in Spanish, sounding like he was challenging Marco to debate him in Spanish.  He then said if you want to know who’s telling the truth, then you should look to Jeff Sessions who said without Ted Cruz, the Rubio/Schumer Amnesty bill would have passed.  Look to Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin.

Trump said that Bush was the weakest one on the stage with regard to illegal immigration, because he claimed they came as an act of love.  Major Garrett pointed out that Kasich said that the concept of deporting 11 million illegal immigrants is nuts.  Why are you so opposed?  Senator Cruz has said it’s a simple application of existing law.  He said he would seal the border and then went on about how he would give everyone here amnesty in the form of work permits but no citizenship.

Strassel asked Carson if he agreed with Democrats that Wall Street executives should go to jail instead of being fined.  He said that there are some people who do bad things, but the answer isn’t 645 regulatory agencies spending 2 trillion dollars regulating everything and we should get rid of regulations.

Cruz was asked how he has been a warrior for the poor.  He said that we have the lowest percentage of people working since 1977.  He said he thinks of his dad when he came to American at 18 and was a dishwasher.  If we had Obamacare then his hours would have been reduced to 28 hours a week.  We need to lift the burdens on small business to have jobs and have welfare reform that gets people off of welfare and back to work.

Garrett said to Trump that he has said if Ford were to move to Mexico he’d threaten them with a 35% tax or tariff on every car sold.  He asked, based on your understanding of the presidency, where do you derive that power?  Would you need the consent of Congress to go along?  Do you see the presidency as a perch from which you can cajole or threaten private industry to do something you think is better for the U.S. economy?  Trump said, I would build consensus with Congress and Congress would agree with me.  I don’t like the idea of using executive orders like our President.  It is a disaster what he is doing.  Consensus means you have to work hard.  You have to cajole.  You have to get them into the Oval Office and get them all together and you have to make deals.  Carrier Air Conditioning is moving to Mexico.  I would go to Carrier right now and say, I am going to work awfully hard, you’re going to make air conditioners now in Mexico.  You’re going to get all these 1400 people that are being laid off, they were laid off, they were crying.  It was a very sad situation.  I’m going to tell them, I am going to get consensus from Congress and we’re going to tax you when those air conditioners come.  So stay where you are or build in the United States. 

Dickerson said to Trump, Presidents have to be firm and flexible.  You’ve been flexible on a number of things, from abortion to Hillary Clinton.  You’ve said it’s just like Ronald Reagan who changed his mind on things.  At the same time you criticize Senator Cruz on what you say is a change on immigration and he disputes that of course.  So why does your change of opinion make you like Reagan and when he changes his opinion it’s a huge character flaw?  Trump said, in life you have flexibility.  When you fight wars, you have a plan, it’s a beautiful plan, you can’t lose, the enemy makes a change and all of a sudden you have to change.  Who is the enemy that made it necessary to change his mind on abortion and loving Hillary Clinton?  You have to have flexibility.  Ronald Reagan was a somewhat liberal Democrat who became a somewhat, pretty strong conservative, but most importantly he became a great President.  He made many of the changes that I made.  I’ve seen, as I grew up, as I got older, wiser, and I feel that I am a conservative.  Now, I also feel that I am a common sense conservative, because some of the views I don’t agree with.  And I think a lot of people agree with me based on what’s happening.

Dickerson asked Trump, what conservative idea don’t you agree with?  Trump said, well, I think these people always hit me with eminent domain.  And frankly, I’m not in love with eminent domain, but eminent domain is something that you need very strongly.  When Jeb had said, you used eminent domain privately for a parking lot, it wasn’t for a parking lot.  The State of New Jersey, too bad Chris Christie is not here, he could tell you.  The State of New Jersey went to build a very large tower that was going to employ thousands of people.  They took over a stadium in Texas and they used eminent domain.  But he just found that out after he made the charge. 

Jeb said that this is where he disagrees with his brother.  Building roads, bridges, pipelines, those are proper uses of eminent domain.  Not to take an elderly woman’s home to build a parking lot so that high rollers can come from New York city to failed casinos in Atlantic City.

Cruz said, you know, flexibility is a good thing, but you shouldn’t be flexible on core principles.  I like Donald.  He is an amazing entertainer.  But his policies for most of his life have been very, very liberal.  For most of his life, he has described himself as very pro choice, and as a supporter of partial birth abortion.  Right now today as a candidate he supports federal tax payer funding for Planned Parenthood.  I disagree with him on that. 

Trump said, you are the single biggest liar, you are probably worse than Jeb Bush.  This guy lied about Ben Carson when he took votes away from Ben Carson in Iowa.  And he just continues.  And today we had robo calls saying Donald Trump is not going to run in South Carolina where I’m leading by a lot.  I’m not going to run.  Vote for Ted Cruz.  This is the same thing he did to Ben Carson.  This guy will say anything.  Nasty guy.  Now I know why he doesn’t have one endorsement from any of his colleagues.

Cruz responded, I will say it is fairly remarkable to see Donald defending Ben after he called him pathological and compared him to a child molester.  Both of which were offensive and wrong.  You notice Donald didn’t disagree with the substance that he supports tax payer funding for Planned Parenthood.  And Donald has this weird pattern.  When you point to his own record he screams liar, liar, liar.  If you want to go and watch the video, go to TedCruz.OrgYou can see it out of Donald’s own mouth.  You said Planned Parenthood does wonderful things and we should not defund them. 

Donald said, it does do wonderful things, but not as it relates to abortion.  Cruz asked, what are the wonderful things?  Trump said, there are wonderful things having to do with women’s health! Cruz said, you see, you and I disagree on that.  The reason principle matters was illustrated by the first question today.  The next President is going to appoint one, two, three four Supreme Court Justices.  If Donald Trump is President, he will appoint liberals. If Donald Trump is President, your 2nd Amendment will go away. 

Trump accused Cruz of nominating John Roberts to the Supreme Court who upheld Obamacare twice.

Bush got angry that Trump denigrated Ronald Reagan.  He said, he didn’t tear down people like Donald Trump does, he tore down the Berlin Wall.

Cruz said, I did not nominate John Roberts, I would not nominate John Roberts.  Trump said, you pushed him.  Why do you lie?  Cruz said, Donald, adults learn not to interrupt people.  I would not have nominated him, I would have nominated my former boss Mike Luttig, Justice Scalia’s first law clerk.  You know how I know that Donald’s Supreme Court Justices will be liberals?  Because his entire life he supported liberals from Jimmy Carter to Hillary Clinton to John Kerry.  In 2004 he contributed to John Kerry.  Nobody who cares about judges would contribute to John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, and Harry Reid. 

Carson said, so many people say to me that you need to scream and jump up and down.  Is that really want you want?  What you just saw?  I don’t think so.  When I got into this race, I decided to look under the hood of the engine of what runs Washington D.C. and my first inclination was to run away, but I didn’t do it, because I’m thinking about our children and the fact that we are the United States of America.  And anybody up here is going to be much better than what’s going to come on the other side.  What happened tonight with Justice Scalia tells you that we cannot afford to lose this election and we cannot be tearing each other down. 

Dickerson said to Carson, you were the first one to talk about political correctness.  Int he spirit of saying something that might be politically incorrect, tell the voters something that they need to hear, but that might be politically incorrect.  Carson said, well first of all, I’m not a politician and I’m never going to become a politician.  People need to know that free college is a non-starter.  You know, you have to look at our economic situation.  We’re on the verge of economic collapse.  It’s not just the 19 trillion dollars.  It’s also the 200 trillion in unfunded liabilities.  What we need to think about is what does that do to the average person?  When we have a debt of that nature, it causes the Fed to change their policy.  It causes the central bank to keep their rates low.  And who does that affect?  Mr. Average who used to go to the bank every Friday and put part of his check in the bank and watch it grow over three decades and be able to retire with a nice nest egg.  That’s gone.  That part of the American dream is gone.  All of these things are disappearing.  Bernie Sanders and people like Hillary Clinton blame it on the rich.  They say those evil rich people, if we take their money we can solve the problem.  It’s not the evil rich people, it’s the irresponsible evil government. 

Trump was asked about any situation where he had anyone tell him he was wrong and he listened.  He explained that he has hired a lot of great advisers.  He then said that he spent 3 million of his own money to run in New Hampshire and Jeb bush spent 44 million dollars of their money (pointing at the audience, which is clear is made up of special interest donors)He came in 5 and I came in number 1.  That’s what the country needs, folks.  Politicians are all talk and no action.  And that’s why people are supporting me.  I do listen to people.  I hire experts.  I hire top, top people.  And I do listen.  And sometimes they’re wrong.  You have to know what to do, when to do it.

After a little arguing that has little consequence to the debate, they came to closing statements.

John Kasich: Well, I want to thank the people of South Carolina, you’ve been fantastic.  What I want you to know is I’m going to send a lot of power, money, and influence back to where we all live.  But as I’ve traveled around South Carolina, I’ve noticed something.  You know, it’s that people have a sense that you’re not going to wait on a President.  You know, when I was a kid, we didn’t wait on Presidents to come to that little blue collar town and fix things.  You know, the Lord made all of us special.  The Lord wants us to be connected.  I believe we’re part of a very big mosaic.  And I’ll send the power back.  And whoever gets elected President here, hopefully he’ll take care of the issue of jobs and wages and Social Security and the border, but the spirit of America rests in all of us.  It’s in our guts.  It’s taking care of our children.  It’s taking care of the lady next door who just lost her husband.  It’s fixing the schools where we live and telling the kids to stay off drugs.  You see what I think the Lord wants is for us to engage and in America the spirit of America doesn’t come from the top down, the spirit of America rests in us.  And I want to call on everyone in America to double down and realize that you were made special to heal this country and lift it for everyone.  Thank you all very much and I hope I can have your vote in South Carolina.  That was the most I have ever seen said that said absolutely nothing.  What in the heck did that mean?  Be connected and double down. Ok.

Ben Carson: This is the first generation not expected to do better than their parents.  Some people say it’s the new normal, but there’s nothing normal about it in an exceptional American.  I like you am a member of We the People.  And we know that our country is heading off the cliff.  Joseph Stalin said, if you want to bring America down you have to undermine three things.  Our spiritual life, our patriotism, and our morality.  We the people can stop that decline, starting right here in South Carolina.  If all the people who say, I love Ben Carson and his policies, but he can’t win, vote for me, not only can we win, but we can turn this thing around.  You know, we have this manipulation by the political class and by the media telling us who we’re supposed to pick and how we’re supposed to live.  We the people are the only people who determine that.  And if you elect me as your next President, I promise you that you will get somebody who is accountable to everybody and beholden to no one.  Thank you.

Jeb Bush: Thank you very much.  The next President is going to be confronted with an unforeseen challenge.  That’s almost certain.  It could be a pandemic, a major natural disaster, or an attack on our country.  The question for South Carolinians and Americans is who do you want to have sitting behind the big desk in the Oval Office.  Because that’s the question.  It’s not the things we’re talking about today.  It’s the great challenge that may happen.  I believe I will have a steady hand as Commander in Chief and President of the United States.  I will unite this country around common purposes.  Because I did it as Governor of the State of Florida.  When I was Governor, we had 8 hurricanes and four tropical storms in 16 months.  Our state was on its back.  We recovered far faster than what people thought, because we lead.  We ran to the challenge rather than cutting and running.  That’s what we need in Washington D.C.  We need someone with a servant’s heart that has a backbone, that isn’t going to focus on polls and focus groups, that’s going to focus on the American people and keep them safe and secure.  I ask for your vote next Saturday.

Marco Rubio: Thank you.  Thank you for watching tonight.  This is a difficult time in our country.  Our economy is flat.  It’s not creating the jobs it once did.  People struggle living paycheck to paycheck.  Our culture is in trouble.  Wrong is considered right and right is considered wrong.  All the things that held our families together are now under constant assault.  Around the world, America’s reputation is in decline.  Our allies don’t trust us, our adversaries don’t fear us.  Iran captures our sailors and parades them around the world on video.  These are difficult times, but 2016 can be a turning point.  That’s why I’m running for President.  That’s why I am here today to ask you for your vote.  If you elect me President we are going to re-embrace free enterprise, so that everyone can go as far as their talent and work will take them.  We are going to be a country that says that life begins at conception and life is worthy of protection of our laws.  We’re going to be a country that says that marriage is between one man and one woman.  And we are going to be a country that says the Constitution and the rights that it talks about do not come from our President, they come from our Creator.  And we are going to be loyal to our allies like Israel.  Not enemies like Iran.  Adn we will rebuild the U.S. military so no one will dare test it.  Vote for me.  I will unify this party.  I will grow it.  We will win this election and we will make the 21st century a new American century.

Ted Cruz: South Carolina, you have a critical choice to make.  Our country literally hangs in the balance.  Do you want another Washington deal maker who will do business as usual, cut deals with the Democrats, grow government, grow debt, and give up our fundamental liberties?  Or do you want a conservative?  A proven conservative who will stand and fight with you each and every day.  Listen, repealing Obamacare is not going to be easy.  PAssing a simple flat tax and abolishing the IRS is not going to be easy.  But if we stand with the American people we can do it.  And today we saw just how grave the stakes are.  Two branches of government hang in the balance, not just the Presidency, but the Supreme Court.  If we get this wrong, if we nominate the wrong candidate, the 2nd Amendment, life, marriage, religious liberty, every one of those, hangs in the balance.  My little girls are here.  I don’t want to look my daughters in the eyes and say we lost their liberties.  Who do you know will defend the Constitution and Bill of Rights and as a Commander in Chief, who do you know will stand up to our enemies and has the calm, steady, deliberate strength to defeat our enemies, to secure the borders and to keep America safe?

Donald Trump: Politicians are all talk, no action.  You’ve seen where they’ve taken you to.  We owe 19 trillion dollars right now.  It’s going to be increased with that horrible budget from a month ago that was just approved by politicians.  We need a change.  We need a very big change.  We’re going to make our country great again.  I say this every night, every day, every afternoon.  And it’s so true.  We don’t win anymore.  We don’t win with healthcare.  We don’t win with ISIS and the military.  We don’t take care of our vets.  We don’t take care of our borders.  We don’t win.  We’re going to start winning again.  We are not going to be controlled by people that are special interests and lobbyists that everybody here has contributed to.  And you know what?  They do exactly what those folks want them to do.  Pointing at the audience.  We’re going to make our country great and we’re going to do the right thing.  I’m working for you.  I’m not working for anybody else.  Thank you very much. 

That wraps it up!  It’s up to you who the winners and losers are.  Was anyone a punching bag?  Was anyone clueless?  Did anyone hit a home run?  You decide. 

AMP (Anna Maria Perez)

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  1. I don’t think Trump is stupid, but rather he is adept at manipulating voters, particularly the low-information ones who live for sound bites and strong talk without much substance. He likes to say that he is a businessman who can make deals and is funding his own campaign. I translate those statements to mean he is a good salesman who can convince people to see things his way, whether or not it is the best way, and he can potentially buy the election without the support of ordinary voters. Neither of those are qualities I want to see in a President.

    I still support Dr. Ben Carson, who lost votes in Iowa due to dirty politicking by the Cruz Campaign, and has consistently been given less speaking time in the debates than any other candidate. He is an outsider who once called lobbyists the fourth branch of government for their unjust influence on policy. His campaign is not supported by special interest groups, but rather by regular people, who are the ones he will answer to.

    Liked by 1 person

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