Tomorrow is the first GOP Presidential debate and we are really excited. With a rather crowded field, it’s not easy to listen to what all of these guys (Carly won’t be participating in the debate, unfortunately) are proposing by their candidacy, should they win the presidency in 2016. Since a 10-man stage will no doubt be overwhelming to take in, politically, and probably visually, here’s a nice primer to help you get acquainted with each of the GOP’s candidates:
1. Donald Trump (Current GOP frontrunner, former star of “The Apprentice”)
Mr. Trump has a very special approach to tackling campaign finance reform: just be rich before you run for office.
“I don’t need anybody’s money … I’m using my own money, I’m not using the lobbyists, I’m not using donors, I don’t care. I’m really rich.” – Donald Trump
Tomorrow, we’re probably going to hear a lot more about Trump’s money, and how his experience as a real estate mogul has prepared him to be CEO of the country. Don’t expect to hear him suggest using his deep pockets to finance social programs that get cut from the budget though.
2. Scott Walker (Governor of Wisconsin)
Strong leadership in foreign policy ought to be a requisite characteristic for our next POTUS. Thankfully, Scott Walker is pretty confident in his ability to take on the so-called Islamic State.
“If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the globe.” – Scott Walker
Yup, Walker compared the unionists he completely screwed over in 2011 to ISIS. Nice guy. Good at foreign policy.
3. Jeb Bush (Former Governor of Florida)
Bush will likely (hopefully?) be trying to set himself apart from his big brother GW during this first GOP national debate. With racial inequality and institutional racism among the top issues in 2016, it’ll be interesting to see whether Jeb’s views on how policy issues negatively affect the black community have evolved since he ran for governor of Florida back in 1994. At that time, when asked what he would do to help African Americans, this was his response:
“I’m going to answer your question by saying: probably nothing.” – Jeb Bush
4. Ted Cruz (Senator from Texas)
It’s always refreshing to hear honest responses from today’s politicians. Thankfully, Ted Cruz has been known to be honest… about some things.
“Each day I learn what a scoundrel I am.” – Ted Cruz
If we’re lucky, he might say something honest about his fellow participants up there on the stage, as well.
5. Mike Huckabee (Former Governor of Arkansas)
We’re expecting a lot from former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Known for his evangelizing and politically incorrect [read: often straight-up offensive] banter, the preacher-turned-politician has some interesting proposals for how to make America a better place. For example, when it comes to valuing liberty and freedom of religion:
“I wish that there would be a simultaneous telecast and all Americans would be forced, at gunpoint, to listen to every David Barton message.” – Mike Huckabee
But, don’t worry too much about that. It’s unlikely Huckabee will have time on that debate stage to mandate that we all listen to the man promoting the great “myth” of constitutional separation between church and state, at least not until he’s had time to address the issue of helping women “control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government.”
6. Ben Carson (Retired Neurosurgeon)
Since comparing normal American things to ISIS is apparently ~the thing~ right now, Ben Carson had no choice but to make this absurd comment about AP U.S. History:
“I think most people, when they finish that course, they’d be ready to go sign up for ISIS.” – Ben Carson
No worries, though! Dr. Carson has demonstrated his ability to tackle criminal justice reform with this poignant (and obviously issues-focused) observation:
“A lot of people who go into prison straight…when they come out they’re gay.” – Ben Carson
7. Marco Rubio (Senator from Florida)
It’s very likely that the issue of climate change will come up tomorrow, particularly since President Obama just rolled out his new Clean Power Plan. Just be prepared to hear a lot of this response: “I’m not a scientist.” In the past, Senator Rubio has taken this question about the age of earth really well:
“I’m not a scientist, man… I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that.” -Marco Rubio
8. Rand Paul (Senator from Kentucky)
Senator Paul, the libertarian, has a history of giving contradictory statements on the record, most recently about immigration. But this particular comment, indicating how his policies would benefit women, might take the cake:
“[Being] married with kids versus unmarried with kids is the difference between living in poverty and not. We should sell that message. Not in a mean way to tell people who already have made a bad decision, but if you’ve had one child and you’re not married, you shouldn’t have another one.” -Rand Paul
Okay, Randy, you’re entitled to that opinion. But, if you’re so hellbent on preventing unintended pregnancy, and so keen on family planning, shouldn’t you defer solemnly to the nation’s number one provider of family planning services?
“I support any legislation that will defund Planned Parenthood.” – Rand Paul
Oh. Okay. Thanks for that very un-libertarian point of view.
9. Chris Christie (Governor of New Jersey)
If you hear mention of Sharia law, it’s likely in reference to a foreign policy issue…unless Chris Christie is getting going. After a Muslim-American judge was appointed to the state bench, this is what the New Jersey Governor had to say:
“This Sharia law business is crap. It’s just crazy, And I’m tired of dealing with the crazies.” -Chris Christie
That’s not leadership. That’s xenophobia.
10. John Kasich (Governor of… Where again? Oh.. Ohio)
In Ohio, we are quite familiar with Governor Kasich’s style of imperturbable banter. But, when race relations become the topic for debate, who knows what will come out of the mouth of the man who once responded to former Democratic State Senator Nina Turner’s offer to help build a racially diverse cabinet: “I don’t need your people.”
Hopefully he won’t be making threats to the other candidates. How presidential is that?
“If you’re not on the bus, we’ll run over you with the bus.” -John Kasich
Sorry, #11. Rick Perry. No primetime debates for you.
Rick Perry, former governor of Texas, and the first candidate for President who is also under federal indictment, is likely to have some encouraging words from the heart if he is able to make the main debate stage. Take, for instance, this Rick Perry policy proposal for when things get really bad (which according to Ted Cruz, they are):
“It’s time to just hand it over to God and say, ‘God, you’re gonna have to fix this.'” -Rick Perry
So, there it is, folks – your primer for the first 2016 debate. Don’t forget to make the debate extra fun by printing and playing our BINGO game. Enjoy!