The GOP Debate

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The+GOP+Debate

Written by Sarah Bitter

Built around a previous Air Force One aircraft, the Ronald Reagan presidential Library offered an impressive stage for last week’s GOP Presidential Debate. Here’s a summary of the debate, including the 16 contestants and entertaining moments.

 

Jeb Bush

The brother of former president George W. Bush, Jeb Bush was the governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. At the debate, Jeb Bush defended his brother’s actions as president, stating that “he kept us safe.”

 

Ben Carson

A retired neurosurgeon, Carson entered the debate with less political experience than his competitors. Carson, however, has achieved the No. 2 spot in the polls, and applies his medical knowledge to various topics, including abortion and vaccines. Even with his high standing, Carson kept a more quiet demeanor, deciding to not participate in the many arguments that plagued the debate.

 

Chris Christie

Christie attempted to gain support by providing a reasonable response to the growing feuds between Trump and the other participants. Painting his competitors as childish and narcissistic, Christie empathized with the everyday American and called for a shift in focus to matters more important to the public. Christie also expressed strong views against Hillary Clinton and abortion.

 

Ted Cruz

At the debate, Cruz employed his political experience as the current Texas senator to respond solidly to questions. His limited participation beyond answering questions, however, made it so that he received less attention than the other participants.

 

Mike Huckabee

Even though Huckabee gave strong answers to the questions he received, he, like Cruz, faded into the background at the debate. By taking a less forceful stance on policies and refusing to truly challenge his competitors, Huckabee secured a less-than-memorable performance.

 

Carly Fiorina

Fiorina, as the only woman at the debate, increased her support with her performance. Armed with her experience as the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Fiorina expressed determined convictions. Taking on Planned Parenthood, she declared her beliefs against abortion and the practices of the organization. She was also the strongest voice against Donald Trump, another highly supported Republican candidate, which earned her further recognition.

 

John Kasich

Serving as the current governor of Ohio, Kasich brought experience to the stage, but delivered a lackluster performance.

 

Rand Paul

At the debate, Paul voiced his libertarian stance on subjects from marijuana legalization to criminal justice reform. He also focused on dethroning Donald Trump, taking every chance to criticize the presidential hopeful. By narrowing in on Trump’s weaknesses and not emphasizing his own strengths, Paul failed to achieve a strong impact on his audience.

 

Marco Rubio

Tying his personal experience into his political views, Rubio scored high with Republicans at the debate. The Florida senator promised to rebuild America into the most powerful nation and that his presidency would allow our government to achieve its full potential. Rubio also gained support through criticizing Fiorina, Bush, and Trump along with the American political system, condemning it as not aligning with the values of the American people.

 

Donald Trump

At the debate, Trump faced challenges from his competitors on his controversial statements and opinions. While Trump fired back occasionally with success, he limited his political discussion to tougher immigration reform.

 

Scott Walker

Unlike other candidates, Walker decided to not confront the controversial Trump. Instead, the Governor of Wisconsin concerned himself with his own beliefs, stating his disagreement with the minimum wage. Without any particularly memorable moments, however, Walker failed to make any significant gains in the race.

 

Memorable Moments

 

When asked if he trusted Trump with national security codes, Paul responded “absolutely not.”

 

“We don’t need an apprentice in the White House. We have one there right now,” said Walker in an jab directed at both Trump and President Obama.

 

In response to a question about Trump’s comments on her appearance, Fiorina stated, “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.”

 

“She (Hillary Clinton) believes in the systematic murder of children in the womb to preserve their body parts…in the way that maximizes their value for sale for profit,” according to Christie.
When challenged about never critiquing a candidate’s appearance other than Fiorina’s, Trump wasted no time in insulting Paul. Attempting to defend himself, he agreed that he never commented on Paul’s appearance, even though, in his words, “there’s plenty of subject matter right there.”