Who Won And Who Lost The Latest Republican Presidential Debate

Once again Rubio and Cruz were the winners and Kasich and Carson the losers. Kasich sounded like a Democrat with numerous Liberal positions and once again Carson was not intellectually able to intelligently grasp the issues and answer the questions posed to him.

Some Highlights:


If you raise the minimum wage, you’re going to make people more expensive than a machine. And that means all this automation that’s replacing jobs and people right now is only going to be accelerated.

Here’s the best way to raise wages. Make America the best place in the world to start a business or expand an existing business, tax reform and regulatory reform, bring our debt under control, fully utilize our energy resources so we can reinvigorate manufacturing, repeal and replace Obamacare, and make higher education faster and easier to access, especially vocational training. For the life of me, I don’t know why we have stigmatized vocational education. Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers.


If you look at the history of America, there are three levers that government has had to facilitate economic growth. The first is tax reform. And as you noted, I have rolled out a bold and simple flat tax: 10 percent for every American that would produce booming growth and 4.9 million new jobs within a decade.

The second element is regulatory reform, pulling back the armies of regulators that have descended like locusts on small businesses.

And the third element is sound money. Every time we’ve pursued all three of those — whether in the 1920s with Calvin Coolidge or the 1960s with JFK or the 1980s with Ronald Reagan — the result has been incredible economic growth. We have done it before, and with leadership, we can do it again.


Big government has created a big business called politics. And there are lots of people invested in the status quo of that big business called politics. Specifically, we need actually to do five things to really get this economy going again. We need to go to zero-based budgeting so we know where every dollar is being spent, we can challenge any dollar, cut any dollar, move any dollar.

We need to actually reform the tax code. Go to a three-page tax code. Yes, there are plans that would reform our tax code to three pages. In addition to rolling back what President Obama has done, we need to do a top-to-bottom review of every single regulation on the books. That hasn’t been done in 50 years. We need to pass the REINS Act so Congress is in charge of regulation, not nameless, faceless bureaucrats accountable to no one. We’ve become a nation of rules, not a nation of laws.

And finally we actually, yes, have to hold government officials accountable for their performance. All this has to be done, and the citizens of this nation must help a President Fiorina get it done. We must take our government back.


And I think that we ought to look where income inequality seems to be the worst. It seems to be worst in cities run by Democrats, governors of states run by Democrats and countries currently run by Democrats. So the thing is, let’s look for root causes.

But I would also say — lay some blame at the — the feet of the Federal Reserve. I think the Federal Reserve has made this problem worse. By artificially keeping interest rates below the market rate, average ordinary citizens have a tough time earning interest, have a tough time making money. They’re actually talking now about negative interest.

The money as it’s created through quantitative easing or other means tends to start out in the big banks in New York. And because we’re now paying interest for them to keep the money there, much of that money has not filtered out into the economy. So what we’re finding is there is increasing income disparity and income inequality.

We also find that as the Federal Reserve destroys the value of the currency, what you’re finding is that, if you’re poor, if you make $20,000 a year and you have three or four kids, and you’re trying to get by, as your prices rise or as the value of the dollar shrinks, these are the people that are hurt the worst.

So really we need to reexamine whether we not — we want a Federal Reserve that’s involved so much in determining interest rates. We also need to look at root causes as to what caused the housing boom and the housing collapse.

But the bottom line is, if you want less income inequality, move to a city with a Republican mayor or a state with a Republican governor.


But for the 11 million people, come on, folks. We all know you can’t pick them up and ship them across, back across the border. It’s a silly argument. It is not an adult argument. It makes no sense.


Let me just tell you that Dwight Eisenhower, good president, great president, people liked him. “I like Ike,” right? The expression. “I like Ike.” Moved a 1.5 million illegal immigrants out of this country, moved them just beyond the border. They came back. Moved them again beyond the border, they came back. Didn’t like it. Moved them way south. They never came back.

Dwight Eisenhower. You don’t get nicer. You don’t get friendlier. They moved a 1.5 million out. We have no choice. We have no choice.


Well, you know, that’s an excellent question, because what we are going through in this country is not simply an economic downturn. We are living through a massive economic transformation. I mean, this economy is nothing like what it was like five years ago, not to mention 15 or 20 years ago.

And it isn’t just a different economy. It’s changing faster than ever. You know, it took the telephone 75 years to reach 100 million users. It took Candy Crush one year to reach some 100 million users.

So the world is changing faster than ever, and it is disruptive. Number one, we are in a global competition now, and several of the candidates have said that. There are now dozens of developed economies on this planet that we have to compete with. And we lose that competition because we have the highest business tax rate in the industrialized world, because we have regulations that continue to grow by the billions every single week, because we have a crazy health care law that discourages companies from hiring people, but because we’re not fully utilizing our energy resources, that if we did, it would bring back all kinds of growth, especially in manufacturing, and because we have an outdated higher education system.

Our higher education system is completely outdated. It is too expensive, too hard to access, and it doesn’t teach 21st century skills. If we do what needs to be done — tax reform, regulatory reform, fully utilize our energy resources, repeal and replace Obamacare, and modernize higher education, then we can grasp the potential and the promise of this new economy. And we won’t just save the American dream. We will expand it to reach more people and change more lives than ever before. And then truly this new century can be a new American century.


The democrats are laughing — because if republicans join democrats as the party of amnesty, we will lose.

And, you know, I understand that when the mainstream media covers immigration, it doesn’t often see it as an economic issue. But, I can tell you for millions — of Americans at home watching this, it is a very personal economic issue. And, I will say the politics of it will be very, very different if a bunch of lawyers or bankers were crossing the Rio Grande.

Or if a bunch of people with journalism degrees were coming over and driving down the wages in the press.

Then, we would see stories about the economic calamity that is befalling our nation. And, I will say for those of us who believe people ‘ought to come to this country legally, and we should enforce the law, we’re tired of being told it’s anti-immigrant. It’s offensive.

…And we’re going to drive down the wages for millions of hardworking men and women. That is abandoning the working…


Because all those radical terrorist groups that, by the way, are not just in Syria and in Iraq, ISIS is now in Libya. They are a significant presence in Libya, and in Afghanistan, and a growing presence in Pakistan.

Soon they will be in Turkey. They will try Jordan. They will try Saudi Arabia. They are coming to us. They recruit Americans using social media. And they don’t hate us simply because we support Israel. They hate us because of our values. They hate us because our girls go to school. They hate us because women drive in the United States.

Either they win or we win, and we had better take this risk seriously, it is not going away on its own.

Rubio Again:

And so here’s the truth: this election is about the future, and the Democratic Party, and the political left has no ideas about the future. All their ideas are the same, tired ideas of the past. More government, more spending. For every issue for America, their answer is a new tax on someone, and a new government program. This nation is going to turn the page, and that’s what this election should be about, and, as I said at the first debate…If I am our nominee, they will be the party of the past, we will be the party of the 21st century.


Here is how Dick Morris feels about the debate:

Trump, Cruz, and Rubio strengthened themselves in the fourth GOP debate which was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin last night.

Trump regained his former form — irreverent, blunt, feisty, fearless, and strong.  He dished out red meat all night.  His best moments were in his dissection of the excuses for granting amnesty and his explanation of the feasibility of deportation. He cited Eisenhower’s record but he might as well have cited Obama’s.  In 2011, before he switched policies, the Obama Administration sent over 400,000 illegal immigrants home.  It is not hard to see how this could be increased to several million a year with more manpower and resources.

Trump was also excellent in his critique of the Iraq War, including his proposal to keep some of the oil revenues to compensate those wounded in helping the nation secure its freedom.

Ted Cruz’ performance was very good.  And not just his clarity, style, and forcefulness.  His substance was groundbreaking.  By tying unemployment and wage stagnation to illegal immigration, he set up the parameters of a position that can lure back the Reagan Democrats — the white, blue collar voters and co-opt the left’s issue of income inequality.  He also spoke about “sound money” and implied a return to the gold standard — a brand new issue in the race.  His answers on taxes and budget cuts were specific but not pedantic and his refusal to bail out banks sharply differentiated him from the DC consensus.  (The rebuttal — that depositors would lose their money — is absurd.  We still have the FDIC and federal government behind it).

Rubio’s evening showed his charisma, poise, and fluency.  His answers about the minimum wage and his optimism about America were moving and important.

But Rubio set himself up for a big new negative in his proposal to add a trillion dollar entitlement in his “refundable” tax credit for families with children.  A refundable tax credit is simply a welfare check in a nation where half the people pay no taxes to refund.  When we combine this issue with Rubio’s deafening silence on amnesty — he sponsored the “gang of eight” bill on immigration — we see two potent negatives that can take him down.

Kasich behaved like a noisy child.

Fiorina was good but her time has passed.

Paul was great at starting arguments which he then lost.

Bush was his underwhelming self.

And Carson was pathetic.  He showed he really couldn’t be more specific in discussing the Middle East than to say that “there are a lot of factions” running around.  He gave no indication of the strength or knowledge a president must have to serve effectively.

And of course you know Rush has comments:

When Ted Cruz said, “You people are missing the point –” I’m paraphrasing here “I’m sick and tired of being called anti-immigrant.  I’m not anti-immigrant.  Do you people not understand, this is an economic issue.  We are destroying people’s wages.  We are importing low skilled, low educated people.  We are hurting the economics of American citizens.”

Bingo.  Cruz’s point was that he’s fed up with all these allegations anti this, anti that, anti-immigrant, when he’s pro-American.

You know Jeb and Kasich and all these other guys, they look at it as a civil rights issue, and the left looks at it as a civil rights issue. They almost look at it as a racial issue, and it’s not.  To me it’s never been a civil rights issue.  But to them it is.  These are the poor of the world and they’re people of color, and they are coming here wanting to improve their lives, and who are we to say no?  So for them they think it’s an act of compassion to welcome them in, and if we disagree with ignoring the law, then we are called racists, and it’s not about that at all.  It’s about sustaining the US economy, the job market, the wage base, all these kind of things.

Anyway, the subject of immigration of course was the big subject last night, and in fact Jeb even woke up during that. Just to show you how much he cares about this, he came alive.  But I thought one of the most telling lines when they’re discussing all this, Jeb says (paraphrasing), “You know, you talk about deporting people, 11 million, 12 million people, you realize they’re doing handstands and applauding over at the Clinton campaign?”  And Trump comes in, “You ever heard of Ike?  I like Ike, Dwight Eisenhower, Ike, I like Ike, we like Ike, everybody likes Ike. You know what Ike did? He got rid of million and a half of ’em, he deported them, what do you mean it can’t be done?”  Of course the other two guys.  Ba ba-da ba-da ba-da, Bruce Babbitt routine trying to respond to it.

Here’s what Cruz said.  “When the mainstream media covers immigration it doesn’t see it as an economic issue, but I can tell you for millions of Americans at home watching this it’s a very personal economic issue.”  He’s exactly right.

It’s an economics issue, it’s legal and economics.  There’s no civil rights here.  There’s no compassion here.  It’s not racist at all.  The way the left looks at this is why it’s so destructive.  We’re supposed to tear down our country. We’re supposed to wreck our economy.  For compassion?

Anyway, Cruz said (paraphrasing), “I will say the politics of it would be very, very different if a bunch of lawyers or bankers were crossing the Rio Grande.”  At first the crowd didn’t get it.  You could hear some rumbling and a little bzz bzz bzz bzz, but then when Cruz said, “Or if a bunch of people with journalism degrees were coming over and driving down the wages in the media, then you would see an entirely different take on this issue from the Drive-By Media.”  He’s exactly right and made the point extremely well.  But I think the most fiery moment last night came when the candidates talked about Trump’s plan to deport illegal aliens.  It matters so much Jeb came alive.  And Trump was entirely correct to point out the history, what Eisenhower did.  And I don’t think Trump went far enough, actually.  In reality, Harry Truman, another Democrat president, deported illegal aliens, over 3.4 million.  Did you know that?

You did not know about Harry Truman?  Well, then I’m happy to be able to inform you.  Harry Truman deported illegal aliens, 3.4 million of ’em.  You add that to the 2.1 million Ike deported or who left on their own at the time, nearly six million illegal aliens were deported or left voluntarily under those two highly beloved presidents.  The country didn’t fall apart and we didn’t become a bunch of racists overnight. We didn’t lose our compassion. We didn’t lose our big hearts.  And again I remind you, there wasn’t any immigration.  The reason why these deportations, ’cause there wasn’t any immigration from like 1924 to 1965.  And in those years is when Eisenhower and Truman served.  I mean, there was illegal immigration, got rid of ’em.  I know that sounds harsh.  We deported them.  They were breaking the law.

And at the time, of course the Truman and Eisenhower were in the midst of a postwar, particularly with Eisenhower, postwar economic boom, and there was no way we were gonna dilute it and water it down by allowing people to break the law and come into the country.  And here’s Kasich and Bush, “You can’t do that. You can’t break up these families. You can’t set people apart,” and so forth and so on.  Like so many other things in history, we did, and we can.  But overall, folks, the Drive-Bys are not happy because the issues were on the plate.

Cruz was awesome last night, and postdebate polling shows Marco awesome last night.

(Kasich) “You talk about a bank failure?  Screw it!  You know what?  You know what?  Some families, they can afford to lose it.”  Oh.  I stood up.  That’s the kind of talk you get from people like Dick Gephardt and Hillary Clinton.  “Some people can afford to lose it,” or whatever he said. I mean, that was the point that he made.  “Well, some people don’t need a bailout. They lose everything in a bank going under? Okay, they got enough.”

It’s really… You people may not know it.  John Kasich used to be a carbon copy of Newt Gingrich back in the ’90s, and for those of you that don’t know, that’s why this is so shocking to a lot of people, is who Kasich used to be.  And he still thinks he is! That’s the thing.  But what he’s essentially saying is, “Oh, yeah, I can be as conservative as anybody talking about it. Damn right! I’m as good a conservative as anybody. But you can’t govern that way.

“You have to be liberal, you have to be moderate, you have to understand people’s feelings. I’m gonna work with people! People are human beings. I work with human beings. We can’t harm ’em. We cannot harm ’em. We can’t let ’em get hurt, human beings,” and the implication is that conservatism is unkind to human beings.  It really is just a big disconnect.  I don’t know that he understands it.  Cruz was pointing out that the Fed issues, emergency loans…



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