Last week’s FOX News Republican debate in Iowa was a thing a beauty! We actually got to hear candidates discussing issues and their plans for solutions.
It is too bad many Donald Trump supporters are said to have watched his fundraising event instead. If they had watched the debate, they might have actually heard facts that would change their minds on who to support. (And shame on the networks that carried the Trump event live during the debate. They were obviously more concerned about ratings than whether the electorate is informed. And a fundraiser, even for charity, is really not a news event.)
There are plenty of places on the Web for you to get detailed information from the debate, so I’ll just mention a few points that caught my attention and/or redirected my thoughts.
- Dr. Ben Carson mentioned that problem solving is one of his strengths, that he has put together many teams – often on short notice – to attempt to do something that had never been done before. While he is new to politics, that experience is invaluable to solving the problems in the US government – many of which the country has not faced in its history.
- TX Senator Ted Cruz has been criticized in Iowa for wanting to eliminate subsidies for ethanol fuels (derived from Iowa corn). He was able to expand beyond the typical soundbite to explain that he favors eliminating government subsidies for all energy sources. That’s great: cut government spending and let the market determine winners and losers. Cruz also said he wants to eliminate a ban on certain types of ethanol fuels; that would actually expand the market for ethanol, increasing profits to Iowa corn and ethanol businesses.
- Cruz’s bad moment came when he kept pressing moderator Chris Wallace for a rebuttal because his name was mentioned in the question Wallace asked another candidate. Wallace had to explain twice that a candidate gets rebuttal time if another candidate mentions them, not if the moderator does.
- NJ Governor Chris Christie brought up a good point which stopped the bickering between Cruz and FL Senator Marco Rubio, and also defended both candidates in a way. They had been accusing each other of flip-flopping in their views on immigration solutions. Christie pointed out that it’s legal for someone to change their mind on policy issues. That is something voters should remember; if a candidate never moderates any opinions regardless of the facts, they are not flexible enough to work with both parties to get the work of governing accomplished.
Although I feel KY Senator Rand Paul has no chance to earn the GOP nomination, it was good to hear his views on the issues. He has not gotten a lot of air time previously, either because he had to spend his tiny amount of time defending against insults from Donald Trump or because he was in the “undercard” group for one debate. Paul brought up good points on issues, especially US intelligence gathering, that made for interesting exchanges of ideas between candidates.
This was election campaigning and debate as it should be. Trump has made the campaign a spectacle with little substance. He has benefited personally from all the hoop-la, but the country is worse off.