On Tuesday 16th December 2015, the republican debate aired at 7:30 PM with 14 candidates in contention. With so many candidates, there were groups of fours or fives speaking at a time. The main theme for both the undercard debate and main debate were 2 key issues; military and security. All the candidates were united in their criticism of Obama’s international policy and Clinton’s policies in the case of candidate Fiorina. Many of them believed deploying more troops and setting up more security; including increased internet security and tighter immigration controls.
The first group to speak was the group consisting of the undercards; Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Lindsey Graham and George Pataki.
Beginning on a forceful note, Lindsey Graham said he would be the best candidate for president because he was ready to fight. “Make me president; I will keep you and your family safe… The next president will be a wartime president. Events have proven me right and isolationism wrong.” Graham said. “In the first debate I called for troops on the ground, now I’m right. I’ll keep us safe. The next president is going to be a wartime president whether they like it or not. I am ready for that job.”
The main debate consisted of Donald Trump (CEO, Trump Organization), Ben Carson (Former Neurosurgeon, John Hopkins Hospital), Marco Rubio (Senator for Florida), Ted Cruz (Senator for Texas), Jeb Bush (Former Governor of Florida), John Kasich (Governor of Ohio), Chris Christie ( Governor of New Jersey), Carly Fiorina (Former CEO, Hewlett-Packard), and Rand Paul (Senator of Kentucky).
The candidates were given a chance to draw out how they would protect America from the threat of terrorism and “make America great again.” Many candidates were asked about their policies in the hot topic areas of foreign policy, security in America and immigration.
Carson said he believed in state monitoring of all major public areas. The idea being that this would better help find terrorists and protect America. “We need to make sure that anyplace, a mosque, a school, a supermarket, it doesn’t matter. If there are a lot of people there engaging in radicalizing we need to monitor them…” Carson said. “We need to understand that our nation is in grave danger.”
When it came to foreign policy, there was a divide between radical measures and minimal measures. “We need to use overwhelming air force to utterly destroy ISIS. We need to be arming the Kurds, we need to be killing ISIS. It’s not a lack of competence, its political correctness.” Cruz said. “We didn’t monitor the Facebook of the San Bernadino shooter, because it would be insensitive.”
On the topic of immigration, all the candidates agreed that legal immigration is something to be welcomed in the United States. However there is a pressing need to reduce all forms of illegal immigration. Trump has already stated he would build a wall on the border of the United States and Mexico..
Trump has gained a lot of attention for his politics and his attention grabbing policies. When asked about his stance on Muslims living in America, Trump seemed to dance around the subject without a definite answer. “My total focus was building up our military, our strength, our borders…certainly would never had made that horrible, disgusting, absolutely incompetent deal with Iran.” Trump said. “A month ago things changed. Radical Islamic terrorism has come into effect more so than it has in the past.”
Some of the candidates like Cruz supported Trump, but believed there was more to defeating ISIS. “Everyone understands why Donald has suggested what he has.” Cruz said. “We’re looking at a president who addresses things with doublespeak. I introduced legislation in the Senate which I believe is armed more narrowly at the threat.”
Throughout the presidential campaign, Donald Trump has proven to be a polarizing figure. His statements are controversial and people either hate him or love him, as witnessed in memes created about him.
Trump has begun to realize the GOP and the candidates treat him differently. Throughout the debate, candidates addressed him as Mr. Trump, and Trump stated he does not like how he is treated in the GOP. Bush jumped on every attack he could on Trump the entire night. Eventually telling Trump he would not be able to insult his way to presidency, a poignant statement and one that will have caused every republican to have food for thought.
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