Election 2016: A Recap of the GOP’s 2nd Debate

Election 2016: A Recap of the GOP’s 2nd Debate

Election 2016: A Recap of the GOP’s 2nd Debate

After a shaky start for some 2016 presidential hopefuls, the debate on CNN last night ultimately ended up less bickering and more in-depth knowledge of what makes each candidate tick.

The debate starts right out the gate with Jake Tapper’s question to Carly Fiorina:

TAPPER: “Mrs. Fiorina, I want to start with you. Fellow Republican candidate, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, has suggested that your party’s frontrunner, Mr. Donald Trump, would be dangerous as President. He said he wouldn’t want, quote, “such a hot head with his finger on the nuclear codes.”

You, as well, have raised concerns about Mr. Trump’s temperament.

You’ve dismissed him as an entertainer. Would you feel comfortable with Donald trump’s finger on the nuclear codes?

A poised Fiorina after being pressed by Tapper simply states this:

“That’s not for me to answer; it is for the voters of this country to answer, and I have a lot of faith in the common sense and good judgment of the voters of the United States of America.”

Read: Trump is not in office-yet. The American People still have the ability to make that assessment. Well played. Score one for Carly.

Tapper then turned his question to Trump and in classic Trump fashion, he takes a shot at Rand Paul’s percentage in the polls.

“And believe me, my temperament is very good, very calm. But we will be respected outside of this country. We are not respected now.”-Donald Trump

After Paul gave his stance on Trump and his finger on nuclear codes:

“Do we want someone with that kind of character, that kind of careless language to be negotiating with Putin? Do we want someone like that to be negotiating with Iran?”

About 10 minutes into this debate, I for sure thought that it was going to be the Trump Show all over again. But aside of a few moments of Trump being well, Donald Trump, we were able to glean some more insight about our candidates.

Trump: We know where he stands on immigration, he calls illegal immigrants just that-illegal immigrants. Not “undocumented”, illegal. We know where he stands on balancing budgets and generating wealth. What we still don’t know what the exact plans are in terms of dealing with immigration. We still do not know how he plans to transfer his abilities as a successful businessman and take his board room experience to benefit the people of the United States. We still do not know where he stands on issues such as Planned Parenthood. He was however, the first to bring up North Korea as a threat to national security. We did not see the drama from Trump’s Twitter as we did post debate in August:

Carson: Dr. Ben Carson, made some very thoughtful observations on immigration issues citing his visit to Yuma Country, Arizona.

“Well, what I said, after we seal the borders, after we turn off the spigot that dispenses all the goodies so we don’t have people coming in here, including employment, that people who had a pristine record, we should consider allowing them to become guest workers, primarily in the agricultural sphere, because that’s the place where Americans don’t seem to want to work. That’s what I said. And they have a six-month period to do that. If they don’t do it within that time period, then they become illegal, and as illegals, they will be treated as such.”-Dr. Ben Carson

Carson supports a flat tax (based on the tithing principle), proposed a starter minimum wage and a sustaining minimum wage. While his thought processes are there, the intellect is there, is Carson too soft-spoken, too analytical, almost? Would he be wanting to break down and analyze whether or not we should go to war when the decision should already be made?

Walker: Wants to cancel the state dinner with China,in favor of putting in place an education system that gives people the skills and education that they need, repealing Obamacare, and sounded off on Obama’s foreign policy:

“We’ve had a president who called ISIS the J.V. squad, Yemen a success story, Iran a place we can do business with. It’s not because of George W. Bush; it’s because of Barack Obama…”

Bush:Brushed off “the elephant in the room” (his last name) and promised lower taxes, has funded crisis pregnancy centers with state moneys, would bring that kind of philosophy to Washington, D.C., will restore that interpretation of Title X more treatment and prevention for drug use, in favor of background checks and concealed-weapon permits for law-abiding citizens.

Christie: “It’s not about me, it’s about you”, was Christie’s go-to answer for the night. Has vetoed Planned Parenthood funding eight times in New Jersey, feels we need to secure the border and do it with more than just a wall, mandatory treatment for drug use and does not agree with legalizing gateway drugs such as marijuana.

Cruz: Will “rip to shreds” the Iranian deal his first day in office, wants to defund Planned Parenthood, no questions on where he stands in the right to bear arms.

Kasich: Slapping sanctions back on for cheaters, wants to defund Planned Parenthood without government shutdown, tax reform, more balanced budgets. Did we mention that he’s balanced budgets?

Paul: Feels the U.S. should talk with Putin, we should talk with Iran, we should talk with China. He cited the Cold War and a think-before-acting approach, supports a 14 and a half percent tax rate for everybody and is in favor of more rehabilitation less incarceration for drug use.

Huckabee: Expressed concern about Iran deal and the impact on Israel, supports Kim Davis, argued that the U.S. made accommodation to the Fort Hood shooter to let him grow a beard, made accommodations to the detainees at Gitmo and that accommodations should be made to allow individuals to practice within their faith. Huckabee supports a “fair tax” (consumption tax), on foreign policy he says this of the current administration:

“…we cannot afford another eight years having a person in the office who doesn’t know what he does not know.”

Rubio: “The United States Military was not built on pin prick attacks.” Broke down the immigration problem into three separate issues:

First, despite the fact that we are the most generous country in the history of the world in allowing people to come here legally, we have people still coming illegally.

Second, we have a legal immigration system that no longer works. It primary is built on the basis of whether you have a relative living here instead of merit.

And third, we have 11 million or 12 million people, many of whom have been here for longer than a decade who are already here illegally.

Rubio made mention that environmental initiatives that take a toll on the economy and in turn make The United States harder for people to make a living, work or raise their families would be off the table should he take the Oval Office.

Fiorina: Would not talk to Vladimir Putin, would begin rebuilding the Sixth Fleet, rebuild the missile defense system, would make two phone calls the first day in office:

“On day one in the Oval Office, I will make two phone calls, the first to my good friend to Bibi Netanyahu to reassure him we will stand with the state of Israel.

The second, to the supreme leader, to tell him that unless and until he opens every military and every nuclear facility to real anytime, anywhere inspections by our people, not his, we, the United States of America, will make it as difficult as possible and move money around the global financial system.”

She also had something to say about Planned Parenthood:

Fiorina also opened up in a moment of vulnerability when she mentioned that she and her husband Frank buried a child to drug addiction, emphasizing treatment and prevention.

The talk time breakdowns, for those curious minds, were as follows:

1.) Donald Trump 10:30

2.) Jeb Bush 8:33

3.) Mike Huckabee 6:32

4/5.) Ben Carson/Ted Cruz 6:28

6.) John Kasich 6:25

7.) Marco Rubio 6:22

8.) Chris Christie 6:03

9.) Scott Walker 5:43

10.) Rand Paul 4:51

You can read the full transcript of the debate here.

As we can see, Trump was Donald Trump-still a bit of a hothead but not quite as explosive as he was at the first GOP debate in August. The other presidential hopefuls took him on with poise and grace. Trump and Dr. Carson:

Trump and Fiorina:


Trump and Rand Paul:

Some of the questions as we got to know our candidates that loomed after the debates were:

Is Trump’s personality right for the job? What are his plans? Is Chris Christie’s personality right for the job? Is Dr. Ben Carson relying too much on logical reasoning in his views on national security? Is Rand Paul conservative enough? Is Jeb Bush conservative enough and would his last name haunt him? Did Mike Huckabee lose any sort of credibility rallying next to Kim Davis? Does John Kasich have any other solutions to fix this country other than a record of balancing budgets? Did Walker break out enough to be a contender? Is Rubio a strong enough contender? Did Ted Cruz fade into the background on this one? Did Fiorina give enough specific solutions? What do you think?

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  • JPD says:

    1. No, Trumps personality…total disaster. No, he has no plans. Ignorant of the issues.
    2. No. Chis Christie is just desperate.
    3. Yes, on Ben.
    4. Rand Paul, isolationist from the 30’s.
    5. Jeb Bush, please, not again. Plus, another gun grabber.
    6. Mike Huckabee…go back to selling snake oil
    7. Yes, on Kasich…nothing but budget.
    8. No Walker did not break out.
    9. Yes, Rubio is a contender. Next to Fiorina, the only one who appears to A. Understand the issues, and B. Has a plan.
    10. Yes, Cruz was wallpaper.
    11. Yes, Fiorina gave specifics on all issues. The ONLY one that did. Whether you agree with every plan, at least she is knowledgeable. Also actually ANSWERS the questions ( that by itself is refreshing)

    • Lisa Carr says:

      Excellent points. I guess what I was trying to say is that Trump wasn’t as much of a loose cannon as he was last time (and I didn’t want to come across as attacking him as some of our readers do support him.) Does he know how to run a business? Sure. Is he knowledgeable on foreign policy and does he have adequate plans? That’s shaky…

      Id say Fiorina dominated last night-hands down.

  • OC says:

    “… and I have a lot of faith in the common sense and good judgment of the voters of the United States of America.”

    Ummm, Carly, how do you explain President Obama?


  • Lisa Carr says:


    I think the people were led to believe the first time that Obama was “different” (he sure is…), that his vision, his manner of speaking and that his goals for this country were nowhere near as outlandish and disastrous and that we would not be in the position that we are in today. He sold people on a dream and they bought it.

    The second time around I think was a strategy of Obama’s camp to say “Wait a minute. We know this looks ugly but we’re not done yet. We need more time to fix this country…to “undo this mess.” I think the voters threw up their hands and resigned themselves to going with the known quantity, the “status quo” as Fiorina put it last night. I have family members and friends who were on the fence and voted for Obama because they didn’t know much about Romney. They will not be voting for Hillary in 2016. This is one of the reasons I took to blogging recently because we do need people to be informed and to freely share their opinions. The problem with those voting for BHO a second time in 2012, in my opinion is that we went from bad to worse and the mess is far more scattered and diverse. When you hit rock bottom, there’s only one way to go….

  • Rebecca says:

    I’m pretty sure Trump brought up DPRK because he had no idea how to answer the question that was being asked. Look! A squirrel!

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