Republican Presidential candidates gathered in Milwaukee to debate issues mainly pertaining to the economy, but with other topics mixed in the conversation as well. The debate stage was less crowded than it has been previously, with only eight people on stage. The debaters were Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina and Jeb Bush.
In the previous three debates between Republican contenders, there have been ten people on stage. The network airing the debate, Fox Business Network, decided to have stricter requirements to be allowed on the stage. Because of this, four candidates were relegated to the first debate at 7:00 p.m. Those candidates were Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie and Bobby Jindal. The main debate had 13.5 million viewers according to The New York Times.
Most pundits from different political publications agreed that this debate was the most substantial of the four debates so far. The candidates were given 90 seconds to answer direct questions, and because of this the candidates were able to talk about their actual plans they would implement as president. This made for a less entertaining debate compared to some of the other republican debates from this past year. However, that did not mean there was no verbal sparing going on during the debate.
One of the most heated exchanges was between Kasich, Bush and Trump on immigration. Kasich and Bush both agreed Trump’s plan to ship 11 million people out of the country is a fantasy and will never work.
“Come on, folks, we know you can’t pick them up and ship them across the border. It’s a silly argument. It’s not an adult argument,” Kasich said according to The New York Times. Trump responded, “I’ve built companies that are worth billions and billions. I don’t need to hear from this man.”
Another subject that was debated was the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. This is a trade deal the United States has written with nine other countries. None of the candidates on the stage support this deal, including Trump. When asked about the deal, he gave a very long answer about how China was going to sneak in and take advantage of the United States because of it. From across the stage Rand Paul responded to Trump saying, “We might want to point out that China’s not a part of this deal,” to which the crowd responded with a bit of laughter and cheering. Many pundits agreed, including one from The New York Times, that Rand Paul had a breakout performance. According to the Office of United States Trade Representative website, Paul is correct in saying China is not a part of this deal.
Many thought Cruz had a good night as well, so much so that some campaigns are beginning to worry about his campaign becoming stronger in the next few months.
According to Politico, because many factors, on of which his strong debate performances in the last few debates, he is becoming more and more likely to become the Republican. A rival campaign operative who spoke anonymously even went so far to say, “Anyone who thinks differently is lying to you.”
The next Republican debate is slated for Dec. 15 in Nevada. The network sponsoring the debate is CNN along with Salem Radio.
Editor’s Note: Information from The New York Times, Politico and the Office of United States Trade Representative was used in this report.