Special to the Las Vegas Tribune
There were 11 people on the main stage and four people in the warm-up debate of the Grand Old Party last night. Any of them will make an outstanding president. They are all good people, with excellent backgrounds and good intentions.
It’s clear why the American public is fed up with professional politicians. It’s even clearer that Donald Trump is going to be the nominee. He’s the only candidate with a background of building successful businesses. The American people know that this country needs a leader with a business background to turn the economic ship around. Trump is the only person who can.
Trump pointed out other countries than Iran, like North Korea, that already have nuclear weapons but are being ignored. Good point. This concern was completely ignored by everyone.
Trump was the candidate first asked about the immigration issue, which was a lightning rod unleashed when he announced his candidacy. He’s right to point out that the immigration issue would not even have been a central discussion unless he had the courage to raise it on day one.
Deporting all the illegal aliens is being questioned by a lot of people. He criticized Jeb Bush for addressing groups in Spanish on the campaign trail. I agree, politicians should speak English in the United States, but anyone can speak any language they choose.
However, not speaking English is not a good example for politicians to make. Trump adamantly supported ending birthright citizenship. Responding to questions about his inexperience with foreign relations, Trump correctly stated that he’s not as up to date as he could be because he is not a national politician. He said he would assemble a team of experts, just as he does for every business deal in which he is involved.
Trump stated that he was the only person on the stage that had lobbied against initially going into Iraq, although Senator Rand Paul disputed that and said that he has built his career opposing virtually every military intervention. Dr. Ben Carson also stated that he counseled George W. Bush not to enter Iraq.
Governor Jeb Bush comes across as weak, apologetic and it strikes me as if he’s begging for attention. He appears to want to say what everyone wants to hear, not what his personal policies are. He defended his Mexican born wife by asking Trump to apologize to her for saying that Jeb is sympathetic to illegal aliens because of his wife.
He said he would seek advice from people who had been in his brother and his father’s administration. He stated that George W. Bush did keep us safe, which is true. I repeatedly say that George W. Bush will viewed by history very favorably, and Jeb rightfully invoked his brother’s legacy after the 9/11 attacks.
Dr. Ben Carson is great. He is extremely intelligent. But his energy is low. He addressed the immigration issue by agreeing that a double fence at the border works on the Arizona border. He proposes a 6-month
moratorium after sealing the borders, allowing illegal aliens to become guest workers, primarily in the agricultural area. Under his plan, guest workers cannot vote and will not be American citizens.
Senator Marco Rubio did explain what Russia is doing around the world in a clear manner. But when asked about voting against authorizing the use of force in Syria several years ago, he said he felt he had zero responsibility for the current Syrian civil war crisis. He advocates securing the border with an entry/exit tracking system.
In response to a question about gun rights, Senator Rubio did emphasize that the basis of strong country is a strong family.
Carly Fiorina had a great response to the question about Russia’s actions and what our response should be to it. She had specific policy proposals to stop Russia, and stating that she wouldn’t talk to Putin “because we’ve talked too much”. Amen. Forget talking, it’s time to take some action. She has a specific action plan for rebuilding the military, on the Iranian issue, the Planned Parenthood issue, and she is energetic and forceful. She’s obviously a very intelligent woman and a polished debater. She asked why the Democrats didn’t solve the immigration issue when they controlled both houses of the legislature and the White House, and stated it is because they want it to remain an issue. She correctly stated that this issue has been around for 25 years, but she didn’t have specific proposals to solve it.
Carly correctly identified that leaders have to be able to define clear objectives, motivate people to take action, challenge the status quo, and persevere. She did get a chance to attack Hillary Clinton, which she is every effective at this.
Senator Ted Cruz promised to shred that Iran nuclear deal if he is elected. He also had a strong legal argument about President Obama’s limitation to action regarding actions he can take in Syria. Senator Cruz is committed to defunding Planned Parenthood, to the extent of partially shutting down the federal government. He’s right; Republicans need to stop surrendering every time there’s a threat by the president to veto legislation. Saying that he’s willing to stand up for his principles to whatever extent it leads shows that he is a man of principle. He’s not agreeing to any system of amnesty.
Senator Cruz and Governor Bush both discussed how they would select Supreme Court Justices. Naturally they pledged to appoint conservative, constitutional jurists.
The final issues discussed were legalizing marijuana, gun rights, social security for the rich, and climate change. What woman’s portrait should be on the money? Their wife and mother were the excellent answers. Carly had the best answer, “don’t change it”, woman are not a protected special interest group. Asked to pick a secret service code name, Jeb picked Ever ready, looking at Trump. But Trump came back with Humble. Both good off the cuff answers.
The lower level candidates should drop out. They don’t have a realistic chance of winning the nomination. The party needs to focus on the viable candidates and get behind the presumptive nominee. There are too many candidates and the debate gets bogged down on every question with 5 candidates answering each question and arguing between themselves.
Many are of the impression that Trump is so popular because he’s ENERGETIC. The other candidates are trying to emulate his enthusiasm, but they just can’t match him. It’s from the heart. He will not accept any donations from anybody, which makes people feel good. He has mentioned appointing Carl Ichan as his treasury secretary, which would be a huge accomplishment. He is the only candidate who uses the Ronald Reagan strategy of lauding the Americans who go to work every day as the real heroes. America is the greatest place on earth and offers the most opportunity and we can become rich again. Voters know that we need a successful businessperson to do it.