Republican Candidates Reiterate Policies at Debate

By Thaha Sherwani,
Domestic News Writer

The fourth Republican debate came on the heels of a debate that left the candidates and the public blaming the moderators for unprofessionally attacking the candidates on a personal level.  There had even been talk of the candidates boycotting further debates.

This debate was co-hosted by Fox Business Network and The Wall Street Journal with the moderators instead attempting to guide the candidates to discuss policy questions instead of attacking each other.

According to Nielsen data, 13.5 million Americans tuned in to watch the fourth debate. Even though viewership was lower than CNN’s and Fox’s debates, this was the highest viewership Fox Business network has had so far.

The candidates attempted to focus in on policy and bashed Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front runner every chance they got.   Donald Trump appeared to negatively comment on everyone he could.

Even in the so-called “JV debate” with the four lower polling candidates, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie repeatedly attacked Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton.

Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum also took turns attacking Democrats but also tried to layout their platform and policies.

When asked what the four candidates would do as President in order to improve the economy and unemployment, Governor Christie said that he would make the tax code “fairer”, remove special interest deductions, repeal Dodd Frank, and lower tax rates.

Governor Huckabee stated that he would bring jobs back from overseas and completely eliminate the IRS.

Former Senator Santorum said that Americans should be trained and put to work instead of going to college. Governor Jindal’s stance on the economy was to shrink government control over the economy and urged his fellow Republicans to save the country from becoming socialist. As quoted by the New York Times, Jindal, when asked how he would work with Congress, said, “I want to fire everybody in D.C. in both parties. I think they all — we need term limits, get rid of them all, make them live under the same rules they passed on the rest of us.”  Each of the “JV candidates” attempted to convince Americans that he would be the best President.

The first question that was asked of the eight candidates on the main debate stage contrasted the difference between Democrats and Republicans.

Dr. Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump were all asked if they would increase the minimum wage, and each answered that they would not do so.

Senator Rubio said that there should be more vocational training and as he said, “we need more welders and less philosophers.” One of the front runners, Dr. Ben Carson, continued to display calmness while answering questions.

Early in the debate when the moderator asked about his sketchy past, Carson replied “Well, first of all, thank you not asking me what I said in the 10th grade. I appreciate that.”

He went on to spin the question and attacked Hillary Clinton and her past. Carson remains leading in the polls.

Donald Trump tried once again to sell his immigration plan to Republicans and the American people. He said that his proposed wall bordering Mexico would be like Israel’s wall and that he would deport more than one million people without visa status. He clashed with Jeb Bush and John Kasich over his policy of mass deportation. Kasich called Trump’s plan “…a silly argument. It is not an adult argument. It makes no sense.”

Throughout the evening, Kasich reminded viewers that as Ohio’s Governor, he continued to balance the budget and improve the economy. Even though Kasich attacked his fellow candidates, many political analysists believed that his performance was not that great.
Senator Ted Cruz explained that he would gradually raise the age for retirement.

Regarding immigration, Cruz argued that as a son of an immigrant who entered the United States legally, he believes that it is important for a sovereign nation to have secure borders.
Ms. Carly Fiorina, when asked about lessening the control of government regulations on business, said that Obamacare has to be repealed because it’s failing.  She was interrupted by Mr. Trump who wondered out loud why she interrupted others.

Based on discussions with a focus group conducted by Fox News reporter, Megan Kelly, it appears that Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz won the debate.

Even though we are less than a year away from the general election and have had four Republican debates, there is still no definite Republican front runner. More debates, and primaries will only tell who will face off against the Democratic nominee.  The next Republican debate will take place on Dec. 15, 2015.


A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, November 17th print edition.

Contact Thaha at


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