Fourteen GOP presidential candidates face high stakes when they debate in Colorado tonight. The last time CNBC held a GOP primary debate, Rick Perry had his infamous “oops” moment, and tonight’s debate may potentially separate the real contenders from the pretenders as candidates like former Florida Governor Jeb Bush who have been languishing in the polls are running out of time to make up ground on frontrunners Donald Trump and Ben Carson.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Carly Florina also need to regain momentum that they have lost. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Ohio Governor John Kasich may be relegated to the undercard debate if they do not improve their standing in the polls before Fox Business’s November debate. It will be interesting to see how viciously Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bush spar as they battle to emerge as the establishment’s anti-Trump alternative. Though Trump arguably started to lose some ground in the polls after he referred to renowned neurosurgeon Carson as just an “okay doctor,” he may go on the attack tonight against Carson, who has taken the lead in multiple Iowa polls and even a national poll.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, former Senator Rick Santorum, former New York Governor George Pataki, and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) will participate in an undercard debate that will thankfully only be an hour before the two-hour main event at 8 PM ET.
Stay with Breitbart News for live updates throughout the evening.
On CNN, Jeb Bush is asked whether his attack on Rubio, which Jeb and his team had telegraphed for days, backfired on him and gave Rubio a moment. Bush tells Dana Bash that Rubio has the worst attendance record in the United States Senate. Bush is asked to respond to Rubio and again says that his record of attendance was low prior to his campaign and one has to have a “servant’s heart” when serving in the Senate. He again says that Rubio should resign to run for another office or have a reduction in pay. Bush says that he will break out by campaigning hard in New Hampshire and South Carolina and will win the nomination “the old-fashioned way.” When asked to respond to Bush loyalist Ana Navarro’s remark that she felt “glum” because of his and Rubio’s debate performance, Jeb says he is “not a performer” and “he is not their guy” if someone is looking for an “Entertainer-in-Chief.” Bush claims that he is not frustrated and Bash gives him a forum to say what he could not say in the debate on CNN and Bush uses the time to cite his record in Florida and repeat parts of his stump speech.
Bush, when asked if he is frustrated by today’s media and Twitter environment, says, “I don’t follow Twitter. I don’t worry about it. I’m going to control the part I can control. I tried to interject as much as I could.” Bush seems frustrated that he was asked just three questions and they weren’t on some of the topics he wanted to discuss. When asked what he would say to Navarro, Bush says, “Ana, hang in there girl… it’s a long haul.”
When interviewing Bush, Bash seems like a WWE wrestling reporter who is working to get the rassler “over” with the audience and build him up.
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell praises Ted Cruz’s debate performance: “I think Ted Cruz Had a Helluva Night”
Trump: Hillary Debate ‘All Softballs’… ‘Our Debate Was Much Tougher’
In a post-debate interview, Trump, when told that he brings everybody out, asks, “how many people are here if [I’m not in the debate]?” Trump says he is topping the polls because he is bringing up issues like immigration and trade that people want to hear about.
Trump says the Hillary debate was “all softballs” and “our debate was much tougher.”
“It was certainly a lot different than what Hillary got,” he says.
He says “there’s no fade” when asked if he believes anyone will say that he faded tonight.
Kasich, in post-debate interview, claims that he has “never been a part of the establishment” and been “a reformer all my life.”
Huckabee: He’s good at what you can call “set pieces”–opening and closing statements. Arguably the best at them. He says that to a lot of people in the media this is just a big game and we’re the players. He says sometimes they are held up in contempt by people who write columns but there is something in every one of them that causes them to give up their livelihoods and step out on this stage and fight for the people of America. He says he does not want to walk his five grandkids through the charred remains of the once-great country called America that is now $20 trillion in debt. Huckabee says that they are not here for themselves and are honestly here to get the country back on track.
Kasich: He talks about needing to rebuild families and says America is great from the bottom-up and not from the top-down. The candidate who would be a frontrunner to win the so-called “Morning Joe” primary of also name-checks the show in referencing a town hall in which he participated.
Jeb: He says America is at a crossroads and D.C. politicians are making it worse. Jeb says he would change the culture in Washington like he did in Tallahassee. He says he would be a unifier and not a divider.
Rubio: He repeats the same closing statement he has used about having a debt to America because it literally changed the history of his family. He says he is running for president to expand the American dream.
Trump: He says America doesn’t win anymore–he cites ISIS, the Iran Deal, and trade deals. He takes credit–and praises Carson for supporting him–for getting the debate down to two hours in two minutes so everybody could “get the hell out of here.” He says it is an example of his negotiating skills. When Harwood says the debate was always going to be two hours, Trump calls him out and says he knows that is not true. “That is not right,” he says. “You know that.” Again, he shows strength that resonates with voters.
Carson: He thanks everyone for being civl and the audience for being attentive and noticing the biased questions. He says people are “waking up” in America we should never give away the value that made America great for political correctness.
Fiorina: She says there is a lot of talk, plans, and good intentions during every election. She says she is a proven leader who has produced results and that is how she went from secretary to CEO. She says she may not be your dream candidate just yet but she would be Hillary Clinton’s worst nightmare.
Cruz: Cruz says he has a record of standing up to Washington and the GOP establishment. Cites Obamacare, amnesty, Planned Parenthood fights.
Christie: He asks Americans who are fed up with the debt and Washington and are serious about the election to vote for him because he is “deadly serious” about changing Washington. He says “hell no” to do those who say we can’t do it.
Paul: He says liberty thrives when government is small and he wants a government so small that he can barely see it. He says he will filibuster an agreement to raise the debt ceiling without a limit because it is “extraordinary” and “extraordinarily wrong.”
10:11: Florina says politicians always talk about Medicare and Social Security and says we need to go to zero-based budgeting instead of only talking about how much more money politicians will spend year after year. She ways “we need to tackle the basics” to cut the government down to size.
10:08: Ben Carson says, regarding his plan to give Americans the option to opt-out of Medicare in favor of individual accounts, say there are a lot of private sector things that Americans can do with $12,500 that will get them a lot more than they get from Medicare. He says Americans should utilize our intellect to help us live healthier lives instead of relying on the government. Christie says that Carson is right to say that we can’t send Washington more money to fix Medicare and Social Security. Christie says we need to increase the retirement age and says these kinds of ideas were not batted around when Democrats debated. Instead, Christie says Democrats just wanted to give everybody everything for free and warns Americans to keep their hands on their wallet when Democrats offer to give Americans free things.
9:59: Rand Paul says the private marketplace always does a better job than the government of better distributing goods. He says the main problem with Medicare is that the average person pays $100,000 in taxes and takes out over $300,000 and there is a tremendous mismatch.
9:57: Christie, when asked about Climate Change, says we shouldn’t fight climate change with more taxes like Hillary and the Democrats do. He says we should invest in all types of energy. Christie, on Harwood’s many interruptions, says “even in New Jersey what you’re doing is called rude” and asks him if he wants to answer the question or if he wants Christie to answer the question.
9:56: Christie goes off about getting government involved in fantasy football when there is $19 trillion in debt, people out of work, and ISIS and Al-Qaeda attacking us. “Enough on fantasy people,” he says. “Let people play. Who cares.”
9:55: Bush is asked about daily fantasy sports. He is asked whether that is gambling, and Bush says he is 7-0 in his fantasy football league. “But we’re not gambling,” he says. But he calls it day-trading without any regulation if the daily fantasy leagues cannot regulate themselves. He said his instinct is to say “hell no” to any federal government regulation.
9:53: Fiorina says the federal government should not play a larger role in setting up retirement accounts for those in the freelance economy because it messes things up and sends the country further down Hillary Cinton’s road to Socialism.
9:51: Christie blasts Obama for not having the backs of police officers.
9:50: Huckabeee, when asked if Trump has the moral authority to unite the country, says he’s wearing a Trump tie and the last thing he needs to do is give Trump, who said it is “such a nasty question,” more airtime. Huckabee says Trump would be a better president than Hillary and mentions again that he is the only guy who has “consistently fought the Clinton machine” in every election over the last 26 years. He says he fought, won, and has lived to talk about it.
9: 48: Trump says he would feel more comfortable if people brought guns to work and gun-free zones are “target practice for the sickos and the mentally ill.” He says gun-free zones are a “catastrophe” and would change some policies at some of his properties to allow guns on site.
9:46: Trump, when asked about H-1B visas, says he is in favor of people coming into the country legally. Trump says he is the only one who has created tens of thousands of jobs. Trump continues to say that people need to come in legally but misses an opportunity to talk about the abuses in the H-1B programs that hurt average Americans who are making up his base. Opportunity missed and an area he needs to work on.
9:43: Kasich is asked about legalizing marijuana. He says “sending mixed signals to kids about drugs is a disaster.”
9:38: Huckabee, on income inequality, cites the blimp that got cut loose and was all over the news cycle today and says it is a perfect example of government. He said the government made a bag of gas, which got cut loose, destroyed everything in its past leaving thousands of people powerless, but we couldn’t get rid of it because we had too much money invested in it. So we had to keep it. “That is out government today,” he says. “We saw it in the blimp.”
He says corporations ought to exercise some responsibility and somebody is “taking it in the teeth.” He also says that we need to be focused on curing diseases like cancer and diabetes to change the lives of hurting Americans instead of focusing on cutting benefits for seniors.
9:34: Paul blasts Bernanke and says the Federal Reserve needs to be audited and says the Fed should not audit Congress and examine how the Fed has been causing income inequality, the housing boom and the crisis.
“I think the Fed has been a great problem in our society,” he says.
9:32: Cruz rails against “loose money” and says we need “sound money.”
Breitbart’s Dr. Susan Berry:
Dr. Ben Carson responded to a question about why he was on Costco’s board of directors when Costco is considered to be “gay-friendly.” The moderator asked whether Carson’s position puts him at odds with his views on homosexuality. Carson replied the moderator didn’t understand his views on homosexuality. He said he believes the Constitution already safeguards the rights of all people, regardless of sexual orientation, and that supporting the rights of all Americans as provided in the Constitution is not the same thing as supporting same-sex marriage. Carson said he believes marriage is between one man and one woman. He stressed that it is possible to want all people to enjoy their constitutional rights and still be opposed to same-sex marriage.
9:28: Trump says he has never been critical of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and seems to be in favor of more high-skilled visas. But he has been critical of Rubio and Zuckerberg. Trump, IN HIS OWN IMMIGRATION PLAN that has fueled his rise, has called Rubio Zuckerberg’s personal Senator and criticized the increases in H-1B visas that they both favor.
9:26: John Harwood asks Marco Rubio about Rubio’s support for “dramatic increases” in H-1b visas. He notes that Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has proven that the tech industry uses the program to undercut wages for highly-qualified Americans. Rubio, whose “Gang of Eight” amnesty bill, would have given all sorts of goodies to the tech industry, says companies should not be able to receive H-1B visas if they have been caught abusing it (plenty of companies have been caught abusing the system and are never penalized). Rubio says Americans should be trained to do the work so companies do not need to train foreigners but never mentions that Americans often train their replacements.
Carson and Trump answer questions like real people, and that is why they are resonating and confusing the political elite who only want to hear from candidates who can blurt out the most gobbledygook.
9:20PM: Carson is asked about his having been on Costco’s board. Carl Quintanilla tries to frame Carson as a hypocrite for serving on Costco gay-friendly board while believing that marriage is between a man and a woman. Carson also calls out Quintanilla for trying to associated Carson with a nutrition company that claimed that they could cure autism and cancer. Carson said he just did a few speeches for them and takes the product but it is “absolutely absurd” to say he had ties to the company. Carson says the company used his image without his permission and the crowd boos when Quintanilla wonders if that reflects negatively on Carson’s vetting process.
“Obviously, you don’t understand my views on homosexuality,” Carson says. He says he believes that marriage is between one man and one woman and people should not assume that people are homophobes because someone believes that marriage is between one man and one woman. He blasts the PC culture for trying to shut people up.
9:18PM: Fiorina says it is the “height of hypocrisy” for Hillary Clinton to talk about being the first woman president “when every single president she espouses and every single policy of President Obama has been demonstrably bad for women.”
9: 16: PM: Cruz points out that his sisters, aunts, and even his mom had been single moms. He says that under Obama, over three million women have entered poverty while the median wage for women has dropped $370. He says under Obama, the people who are being “hammered” are women and Hispanics.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) jokingly offered pot brownies to CNBC moderator Carl Quintanilla in the midst of a heated exchange at Wednesday night’s GOP debate in Boulder, Colorado.
Cruz and Quintanilla had clashed moments before, when the Tea Party favorite responded to an aggressive question about the new budget deal: “Does your opposition to it show you’re not the kind of problem-solver Americans want?”
Cruz answered by accusing the moderators of anti-Republican bias. The crowd roared its approval.
Quintanilla then refused to allow Cruz to answer the substance of his question, saying his time had expired.
Later, a visibly irritated Quintanilla came back to Cruz to give him a chance to complete his answer, adding: “We’re clearly not having that beer you mentioned.”
Cruz answered with a smile: “I’ll buy you a tequila–or even some famous Colorado brownies.”
The crowd laughed.
Cruz then answered that the budget deal was “an example of how Washington is broken.”
9: 14PM: Harwood asks Kasich about the Export-Import bank and Kasich says corporate welfare must be reformed for wealthy people just like welfare has to be reformed for poor people. Kasich uses the rest of his time to blast the current budget deal and cites his work on balancing the budget during the Clinton administration. He again cites his support for a Balanced Budget Amendment.
9: 12PM: Quick cites Rubio’s past financial problems and asks whether Rubio has the “maturity” and the wisdom to lead a $17-trillion economy.
Rubio tries to brush of Quick’s examples as discredited attacks from Democrats and says he didn’t inherit any money because his dad was a bartender. He says he is worried about the finances of everyday Americans more than his own. He says the debate needs to be about the men and women who are struggling today (his amnesty plan would hurt them by lowering their wages, according to the Congressional Budget Office analysis). Quick says Rubio has had windfalls (like his book deal) that average Americans have not received.
9: 10 PM: Fiorina blasts government for creating problems and then stepping in to solve the problem. She says that is how socialism starts and that is why we need to take back the government. She says the “big and powerful” use the government to their advantage and that is why Walgreens bought Rite-Aid and why banks consolidate. She says that is why we have to reduce the size and power of government and simplify.
9: 07 PM: Bush cites his fiscal record in Florida when asked whether he would still accept the a budget that would cut spending $10 for $1 increase in taxes. He says he would give any Democrat who would agree to cut $10 in spending a “warm kiss” but punts on his “put me in coach” comment four years ago.
9:05 PM: Christie says GM executives responsible for the ignition switch defects and the cover up should go to jail if he were still a prosecutor. He blasts Obama’s “political Justice Department” who likes picking winners and losers. Christie says they give General Motors a pass while targeting David Patraeus.
9: 03: Carson is asked if the government should be involved in price increases of prescription drugs, Carson says that leaders must think about what they can do for the average American. He notes that the country has a tough job market because regulations cost companies with fewer than 50 workers $34,000 per worker.
9: 01 PM: Trump says that that all big businessmen have used bankruptcy laws to their advantage, repeating what he has said in response to the bankruptcy law question tons of times. He repeats that he has never filed for bankruptcy and he has used the bankruptcy laws three our four times. He says his use of the bankruptcy laws is proof that he can solve the country’s fiscal problems and admits that he used the laws of the country to his advantage. Trump is basically saying that if he is elected president, he’ll game the system on behalf of the American people–and not the insiders–like he gamed it for himself.
8: 55: Regarding Social Security, Huckabee says it is a matter of morality to keep its promises to seniors. Christie says that the only way to keep promises to seniors is to tell them the truth and stop trying to give them a “fantasy that is never going come true.” Christie says seniors need to know that the politicians stole money in their Social Security trust fund and spent it on other things.
8: 52: Rand Paul says there is just going to be more of the same with Paul Ryan as Speaker and does not anticipate that much change.
8: 50: Ted Cruz: “This Is Not a Cage Match”
Cruz, trying to have a Newt Gingrich (I’ve always said that Cruz is a much more disciplined version of Gingrich) moment, says the questions that have been asked in this debate is why the American people don’t trust the media.
“This is not a cage match,” he says. “How about talking about the substantive issues people care about.”
He says the contrast with the Democratic debate where every fawning question was “which of you is more handsome and wise.” He says everybody on stage has more substantive ideas than the Democrats.
He says the Democratic debate was between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks and notes that nobody will ever even think that the moderators would ever even consider voting in a Republican primary.
8: 47: Quick grills Florina on her management of Hewlett-Packard. She asks why Americans should hire Florina when the market was not kind to her–she says that someone who invested a dollar the day she took over HP lost half of that dollar when she left (while Florina received her lavish golden parachute).
Fiorina said she was recruited to save HP and says that it took the Nasdaq 15 years to recover. She robotically says she cut HP’s bureaucracy and admits that it was a difficult time and saved 80,000 jobs while making some touch calls. She says she was fired over disagreements in the board room and says that the man who led her firing (Tom Perkins) is now supporting her for president. Quick mentions that Perkins has said that wealthy people should get more votes than others and asks if this is the person that she wants defending her. Fiorina says she will run on her record “all day long” and Americans need a leader who will make tough calls. Though Florina has her pre-planned answers to this question, it will be easy for Democrats to frame her as the female Mitt Romney.
8:45: Bush backtracks on his comment over the weekend that he has “cooler” things to do than running for president. Harwood, again carrying the anti-conservative establishment’s water, asks Bush if he is having difficulty because, like Ben Bernanke, the GOP has given into know-nothingism. Bush smartly doesn’t take the bait and says most Americans believe in a hopeful future and are frustrated that there seems to be a lid on their futures right now. He says the “left just wants more of the same” and Republicans have to offer a hopeful alternative.
8:43: Fireworks between Rubio and Bush as they battle to emerge as the anti-Trump alternative. Rubio says Bush never complained about Sen. John McCain missing Senate votes and the only reason why Bush is attacking Rubio is because they are running for the same position and someone convinced Bush that he would get an advantage by attacking Rubio.
8:41: Jeb Bush says he is Rubio’s constituent and he expected that he would show up to work and do constituent service.
Marco, when you signed up for this, this was a six-year term. And you should be showing up for work,” Bush said.
He says Rubio should “just resign” and let someone else take the job if Rubio cannot even bother to show up for what Bush referred to as a three-day “French work week.”
8: 39: Rubio is described as a “young man in a hurry” who supported an amnesty bill that even he doesn’t now support. Rubio says that is what the establishment says. When asked about a Florida newspaper that said Rubio should resign for missing so many votes, Rubio cites “media bias” (they didn’t call out Bob Graham when he missed 30% of the votes and ran for president, he says) and the mainstream media darling tries to act like his is a victim.
8: 36: Fiorina wants to bring the 70,000-page tax code to three pages because “only if it is about three pages are you leveling the playing field between the big, the powerful, the wealthy, and the well-connected who can hire the armies of lawyers and accountants and, yes, lobbyists to help them navigate through 73,000 pages.” She says three pages is about the maximum that an average person can understand without having to hire someone to help them.
8: 34: Cruz talks about his tax plan that he says will raise wages over 12% and it costs less than a trillion dollars. Cruz talks about things like “dynamic scoring” that many people are clueless about and is sounding like a Senator.
8: 31: Trump blasts Kasich for being a managing general partner at Lehman Brothers when it almost brought economy–including Trump and Carson–down. Trump mocks Kasich for vowing to run a positive campaign without attacking anybody until his poll numbers started tanking. Trump notes Kasich is at the end of the stage because of his poor poll numbers.
8: 29: Moderator John Harwood, again doing the bidding of the political and media establishment that gushes over liberal Republicans like Kasich, asks him to repeat his rant against conservatives/other candidates and is trying to give Kasich and his flailing campaign a moment. He asks Kasich to name-check candidates that he referred to as “crazy.” Kasich, in a poor man’s Tim Pawlenty moment, refers to Messrs. Carson and Trump but does not mention them by name.
8: 27: Carson says his flat-tax rate would be closer to 15%. Carson talks about cutting the size of the federal government and stimulating the economy and says Becky Quick is wrong in saying his plan would not add up.
8: 24: Establishment denizen John Harwood asks Trump if his is a “comic book version” of a presidential and he mentions that Larry Kudlow has praised his tax plan. Trump says “it’s not a very nice way” of asking the question.
“We’re going to build a wall. We’re going to create a border. We’re going to let people in, but they are going to come in legally,” Trump says of his plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
He says “Mexico is going to pay for the wall.” He adds that a politician won’t make Mexico pay for the wall but he will.
Harwood uses the opportunity try to undermine Trump’s tax plan and do the bidding of the establishment with minutiae that regular voters don’t care about. Trump says that Larry Kudlow says he loves the plan. Moderators already losing control of the debate, and it’s frustrating for the viewer.
Candidates are asked what there biggest weakness is and what they are doing to address it:
Kasich: The debate gets off to a bad start as Kasich doesn’t even answer the question and tries his “Bulworth” routine.
Huckabee: He says if he has a weakness, he tries to live by the rules no matter what they are. He says a weakness of this country is a lot of people are sick and tired because Washington doesn’t play by the same rules the American people have to play by.
Bush: He says he is patient and can’t fake anger. He is frustrated that people are rewarded for tearing down the country.
Rubio: He says he is not sure it is a weakness but he shares a sense of optimism for the country. Canned parts from stump speech.
Trump: He says maybe his greatest weakness is he trusts people too much and when they let him down he has a tough time forgiving people who deceive him. First real, genuine answer so far.
Carson: He says his weakness is not being able to see himself as president until hundreds of thousands of people said he could.
Fiorina: Mentions that she was told she didn’t smile enough during the last debate. Goes into stump speech about being a leader to take the government back.
Cruz: He jokes that he is too easy-going and agreeable. He says his biggest weakness is his passion and fight. He says he may not be the guy if you want to vote for someone to have a beer with but he will be the guy who will drive you home. Cruz seems like he is trying to frame himself as someone GOP primary voters will marry after their spring flings with Trump or Carson.
Christie: Says there is not much weakness on this stage but sees an isolationist, socialist and a pessimist on the Democratic side and he can’t tell which one is which. He says Hillary is the pessimist and will not get within 10 miles of the White House if Christie is nominated.
Paul: He says he left his medical office because he was concerned about the debt. Says he will filibuster the budget. Doesn’t answer the question.
8:10 PM: The candidates are entering the main stage and lining up for the primetime debate.
In what is passing for post-debate analysis, the GOP establishment’s Fagen says that Lindsey Graham would be in the main event in a normal election cycle. She seems saddened that Graham, for whom conservatives have no tolerance, is not doing well in the polls. How shocking.
The Main Event will start in an hour. Sometimes, it seems like the only reason there is an undercard debate is to give the political professionals a couple more months of work to do. The better undercard debate may be the “last five” from the upcoming Main Event.
Jindal: He tells conservatives that “this is our hour” thanks to the incompetence of Democrats.
As Christians, we believe that the tomb is empty. As Americans we believe that our best days are always ahead of us,” he says.
Jindal says we cannot let Hillary Clinton take us further down the path of socialism and he can “save the idea of America before it’s too late.”
Santorum: He says he grew up in a steel town in Western Pennsylvania and mentions that he announced his candidacy on a factory floor. He says it is not just talk when he speaks about reviving America’s manufacturing base. He says he aligns himself with working men and women who feel that neither party and certainly not Washington cares about them.
“If you elect me, you will get American workers on the side of the Republican Party, and we cannot be stopped if we do” he says.
Pataki says he is a limited-government conservative on fiscal and social issues.
Graham: Referring to Donald Trump’s “Make America Great” cap, he says “America is great” and he will make America “strong’ and be a champion of the middle class. He says he will “win a war we cannot afford to lose” and be a Commander-in-Chief worthy of the sacrifices of the brave Americans who have defended the nation.
7: 05: Candidates are asked whether the day after the Super Bowl should be a national holiday.
Jindal: Yes. He talks up Drew Brees and his Saints.
Santorum: He praises Stiller nation (says a third of crowd in Kansas City was made up of Steeler fans)
Pataki: He says he is a long-suffering Jets (though Todd Bowles has improved them this year) fan and there is no reason to take the day off after the Super Bowl. He praises the Mets and says they will win tonight after last night’s heartbreaking 14-inning loss in Kansas City.
Graham: He says a national Holiday should be when Barack Obama is not in office. He says he wants to praise New Hampshire and praises Tom Brady (that vote has already gone to Trump, though).
7: 02: Jindal on the three apps that he uses on his cellphone: He doesn’t have an iPhone and still uses a blackberry.
Santorum: MLB, NHL, and the Wall Street Journal.
Pataki: Uber. He says it’s an example of how millennials are making America better.
Graham: He says he has an iPhone because he gave his number to Donald Trump. He says Donald has done “more to upgrade my technology than my whole staff.”
He names the Fox News app.
“We’re in a Republican primary here,” he says.
6:58: Jindal is asked about for-profit colleges and student loan defaults. Jindal says they should be held accountable if they take taxpayer dollars and leave students deep in debt. Jindal says they should be accountable to their students through their markets. He says though the left thinks “we need to be protected from ourselves,” he believes in trusting Americans to make their own choices. Jindal talks about his education reforms in Louisiana where the dollar follows the child.
“You either trust the American people or you don’t. I know the left doesn’t,” he says.
6: 56: Graham promises to save Social Security because he knows why it exists (he received Social Security survivor benefits after his parents died). He says his dad owned a bar and “if you’re looking for good beer policy, I’m your best bet.” He says he would give up some of his benefits to help those who need it more than he does.
6:55: Santorum says the family is the first family and he says the one thing we do not talk about enough is how vital strong families are to the economy.
6: 52: Jindal is asked about his 2% tax that everyone must pay, he says that he wants every American to care about how their tax dollars are being spend. He says that “earned success is so much more fulfilling than unearned success” and does not want to see one class of Americans who pay for government while another class depends on government.
“Socialism is bad not only for taxpayers but for people they say they are trying to help,” he says. “There is dignity in work. There is dignity in self-sufficiency.”
He quotes John F. Kennedy on lowering taxes to show how far to the left Democrats have moved.
6: 50: When asked if it is right to have a third of the breweries owned by one company, Santorum says there are no shortages of breweries and he’s not concerned Americans will not have choices. He is asked about the Walgreens/RiteAid deal and when something becomes anti-competitive, and Santorum responds by saying there is lot of consolidation in health care because of Obamacare that makes it impossible for small insurance companies to survive.
6: 47: Santorum speaks about creating a level playing field for manufacturers, and that is why he supports the Export-Import bank.
6: 45: Rick Santelli makes an appearance and says it has been a “rough ride” for American savers and retirees while it has been a “bonanza” for the stock market and for investors who like a little bit more risk. He asks Pataki about the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates near zero since the financial crisis of 2008 which, along with his rant, helped create the Tea Party. Pataki says the policy isn’t fair and then rails against policy in Washington and policy at the Federal Reserve.
6:42: Graham says the country owes American workers and businesses the best environment to create jobs. Speaks about lowering the corporate tax rate in order to help the middle class, which defines as those who make too much to be on government assistance but still lives paycheck to paycheck.
6:40: Jindal says the government should not mandate paid family leave/paid maternity leave though he says the government should work to change that. Jindal says that will happen with a growing economy instead of government mandates.
6: 38: Graham says he wants to make sure that companies do not leave America because they cannot find workers. He claims that American workers get first preference–he hasn’t spoken to the workers (see: Disney) who have been replaced because of the H-1B program.
6:35 PM: Becky Quick (assumes there are even high-paying jobs that Americans will not do) asks Santorum about immigration and how companies will find workers if Santorum’s immigration plan, which calls for a reduction in legal immigration until more Americans are employed, is enacted. Santorum says the country has the lowest labor participation rate in 50 years. He mentions that America has brought in 35 million legal and illegal immigrants over the last 20 years (more than any period in American history).
“Maybe there is something going on,” he says. “We’re bringing in people to compete against low-wage workers.”
He blasts Graham’s “Gang of Eight” amnesty plan for bringing in even more low-wage workers.
“You’re not solving problems for American wage-earners,” Santorum tells Graham. “You’re not solving problems for workers in America who have seen their wages flatline and have been disaffected enough to leave the workplace.”
The undercard debate is worse than the filler wrestling matches that take place before the title bouts and main event matches that everyone wants to see. Republicans in the main debate must do a better job of not sounding like Washington policy wonks and speak about economic issues in a way that will resonate with average Americans not versed in gobbledygook.
6:29: Graham is asked if he is in the wrong party’s debate regarding his views on climate change and amnesty. Graham says he is not a scientist (and he has the grades to prove it) but he has talked to the climatologists in the world and 90% of them are telling him that climate change is real. He says he wants to fix the immigration system to win elections. He blasts Hillary Clinton for declaring that she was “flat broke” and says Bernie Sanders went to the Soviet Union on his honeymoon and “I don’t think he ever came back.”
“If we don’t beat these people, then who the hell are we going to beat?” Graham says.
6:28: Pataki rails against the “corrupt connection between Wall Street and Washington.” Pataki says he passed sweeping tax reform with a Democratic legislation and pitches himself as someone who can enact the tax cuts and get rid of the loopholes.
6:27: Jindal would get rid of the corporate tax and corporate welfare. And he again talks about shrinking the size of government.
6:25: Santorum is asked about a possible pollution tax. He talks about his 20-20 plan to bring manufacturing back to the United States. He pledges to make America the top manufacturer so working men and women can have more jobs and mentions that China pollutes five times more than America.
6:23: Graham says China is building islands over resource-rich waters and hacking into government systems because they can get away with it under Obama’s foreign policy.
“The party’s over to all the dictators,” Graham says. “Make me Commander-in-Chief and this crap stops.”
6:21: CNBC’s Jim Kramer asks Pataki about wanting to declare a cyber war after the Sony hacks. He says the Obama administration has been lax in dealing with cyber attacks from China. Pataki says he would retaliate against Chinese companies that try hack and steal trade secrets. He blasts Hillary Clinton for her private server that was hacked and says that should “disqualify her from being president.”
6:17: Jindal says American will become the next Greece without spending cuts.
“These are dangerous times for America,” he says.
6:13: Santorum argues that his flat tax proposal is fair for all Americans. He says his plan is pro-growth and pro-family. Santorum says the breakdown of the American family is responsible for the hollowing out of the middle class and says that even liberals have conceded that point.
6:12: Graham says he supports the budget deal because of national security reasons. He says the budget will restore the the country’s ability to secure the nation by putting $40 billion back into the Defense Department. He also refers to Obama as an “incompetent Commander-in-Chief” and says he has never seen so many national security threats.
6:11: Jindal on the just-approved budget deal. Jindal says “tomorrow never seems to happen” regarding promises to cut spending in the future. He speaks about a balanced budget amendment/super majority vote. Jindal says “we are going the way of Europe.” When moderator Becky Quick asks if Jindal would have shut down the government instead of agreeing to the recent budget, Jindal says that is a false choice.
6:10: Pataki speaks out against candidates who just want to “throw stones” at Washington.
6:08 PM ET: Santorum speaks about getting things done in Washington, including welfare reform (no mention of the K-Street project).
“You need a conservative who can deliver,” he says.
6:07 PM ET: Jindal, when asked why his insider experience would be advantageous in an election cycle in which voters are preferring outsiders, says he is the only one who has reduced the size of government. He says Republicans never want to fight while Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are forcing “socialism down our throats.”
6:01 PM ET: Establishment Republican hack Sarah Fagen believes that the last GOP establishment candidate standing will defeat the conservative candidate to win the nomination. Earlier, she was dumbfounded and befuddled that establishment GOP darling Jeb Bush isn’t doing well in the polls despite raising so much money and getting so many endorsements from establishment Republican elected officials.
6:00 PM ET: CNBC’s Larry Kudlow says that GOP donors are “angry” that establishment candidates are performing so poorly.
5:55 PM ET: When an AOL.com poll asked “which issue would you like addressed?” tax reform (29%) came in first followed by immigration (26%). Who knew? Americans care about immigration, but a lot of the finance folks in the GOP establishment who have a vested interest in tonight’s debate want more open borders and amnesty. Unlike on the left, there is a great divide on the right on illegal immigration between the donors and operatives and grassroots voters.