In Colorado, GOP presidential hopefuls have promising path

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

4 things to watch for in tonight’s Republican debate.

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– As a crowded field of Republican presidential candidates prepared to take stage in Boulder for the third-nationally televised debate on Wednesday, Colorado Republicans weighed in on what they expect to see and hear from candidates.

Ten Republican presidential hopefuls will line up onstage Wednesday night for their third debate, but a few key matchups and moments will probably determine the outcome.With fewer than 100 days until the Iowa caucuses, the GOP candidates will take the stage at the University of Colorado, Boulder’s Coors Events Center Wednesday evening for a gladiator-style death-match out of which only one will emerge, blood-spattered and victorious.WASHINGTON (AP) — Expect the 10 candidates participating in the third Republican presidential debate to highlight rising tensions in the unsettled field.

BOULDER, Colorado—Conservatives are lambasting the choice of CNBC’s John Harwood as a moderator for Wednesday’s GOP presidential primary debate, calling him too biased to preside fairly over the Republican showdown.The state is both an example of how well the GOP can do when it avoids clashes between party factions and a warning of how those conflicts can put the party at risk.

The third major debate of the Republican presidential campaign happens tonight in Boulder, Colo., and it’ll be the first one where Donald Trump isn’t the out-and-out leader in the polls. Wednesday’s lineup features all of the big players: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and John Kasich. A coalition of Latino, young and female voters delivered Barack Obama a resounding triumph in the 2008 Democratic caucuses, and he won the state on the way to the presidency.

Perhaps it seems like a given that candidates running for the Republican nomination would appear at the party’s primary debates, but during a contentious conference call back in September, several of them threatened to pull out if their demands about the debate’s format were not met. Harwood and MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell, in which she recounted his role in turning up the heat on Republican Rick Perry in a 2011 primary debate as he struggled to remember the third federal agency he would cut if elected. “John, what are you doing when you’re not ending people’s presidential candidate’s race?

With Donald Trump sliding the polls for the first time since announcing his candidacy, however, Colorado’s GOP chairman Steve House says expect harsh attacks from the candidate known for going after his opponents. But Trump loves being top dog, so his performance after falling behind the mild-mannered retired neurosurgeon will be telling — as will voters’ reactions. Trump wanted the network to allow both opening and closing statements, and he refused to participate if it ran more than two hours long, including commercial breaks. But the anticipated sparring among the experienced politicians in the race could prove just as intense, given the dwindling time for them to stand out in the crowded contest.

The debate airs on CNBC and will focus on the economy, which has sometimes taken a backseat to higher-profile issues like immigration and national security in the previous clashes. The most recent national poll, from CBS News/New York Times released Tuesday, showed Ben Carson taking the lead with 26 percent of primary voters indicating they would support him, compared with 22 percent for Trump. “I expect there to be some passion tonight,” House said, “maybe even extended beyond what we’ve seen, because they are battling for this nomination.” Colorado Senator Cory Gardner, a Republican, says he hopes candidates present new ideas on how to move the economy forward. Amy Runyon-Harms, executive director of ProgressNow Colorado, an online progressive advocacy organization, said the Republican Party got off on the wrong foot to begin with by limiting the number of students and faculty members could attend the event to only 150, reserving the rest of TV crews and Republican officials. “This was promised to the Boulder community and the [University of Colorado] community as a great learning opportunity and it’s not going to be that at all,” she said.

With that in mind, here are four things to watch for during tonight’s showdown: Some candidates, like Ted Cruz, have pushed for a flat tax, which gets rid of marginal rates and taxes every American the same amount. The Republican Party’s ideological opponents in Boulder noted too that the town, where liberal policies have long held sway, provides a sharp contrast to the ideas, values and policies being espoused by the standard-bearers of the GOP. “Boulder is an affluent town that is doing extremely well economically and we’re not doing it by cutting taxes for the wealthiest 1 percent,” Young said. “We’re doing that by providing good government services and excellent schools.” “So much of what these candidates stand for in terms of being puppets of the Koch brothers, and where they stand in terms of job creation and where they stand on green energy is frankly opposite of where so many citizens of Boulder stand,” Harms added. “It will make for an interesting dialogue.” Although the debate is ostensibly meant to focus on topics related to the economy, some said that they would like to see local issues addressed.

Rather than a disadvantage, Gardner sees the debate’s location in liberal-minded Boulder, where Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one, as something his party should capitalize on. “We have to make sure that we are reaching out to areas that haven’t necessarily voted for Republicans in the past,” Gardner said. “Last year we focused on areas like Pueblo County and Adams County, places that Republicans hadn’t always done that well, and we did very well there.” Wednesday’s debate will be moderated by Carl Quintanilla (co-host of the CNBC shows Squawk on the Street and Squawk Alley), Becky Quick (co-host of Squawk Box) and the network’s chief Washington correspondent, John Harwood.

Rachel Gillette, a Boulder-area attorney specializing in marijuana law, said she would be interested to know if GOP candidates would be open to reforming the tax code and federal banking practices to make it easier for marijuana shops to stay in business. “The Republican Party needs to get in tune in this particular issue, and unfortunately the Chris Christies of the world — those who want to go backwards instead of forward, they don’t stand a chance in this day and age because of those sentiments,” she said, referring to the New Jersey Governor and 2016 presidential candidate who adamantly opposes legalization. “The Republican Party is a party that stands for freedom, and the real root of this issue is personal freedom.” Harwood’s “most biased moments,” including his description of Republican Marco Rubio as a “schoolboy” compared to Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, while the Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway pointed to Mr. It seems unlikely that we’ll get any comprehensive plans for a corporate tax reform from any candidate, both because time is limited and details of those plans tend not to make great television.

Some conservatives are upset that Harwood, who also moderated a debate during the 2012 Republican primaries, is back; he effectively ended Rick Perry’s bid that year when he pressed the Texas governor after Perry could not remember one of the three government agencies he said he’d do away with if elected. Gardner broke clear of that by abandoning a few contentious stances on social issues in what came to be regarded as a playbook for Republican success in the libertarian-leaning state.

This week congressional Republicans and President Obama came to a deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling and avoid a potential government shutdown. On Twitter last year, he called Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal “direct [government]-on-citizen crime,” and he rubbed Rand Paul the wrong way during a 2013 interview (“Don’t you have anything better, don’t you have something better to read than a bunch of crap from people who don’t like me?” Paul asked). Carson has struggled to explain how his healthcare plan, which centers on health savings accounts, could be paid for without harming the huge government program for retirees that is extremely popular among most Republican voters.

For the full compendium of conservative criticisms of Harwood, check out these primers from The Federalist and the conservative Media Research Center. Representatives for each of the campaigns went on a walk-through of the Coors Event Center Tuesday, and had the chance to peek inside their rivals’ green rooms. According to CNBC, the three moderators “will be joined during the debate by four other CNBC analysts,” including on-air editor Rick Santelli, who has been credited with inspiring the Tea Party movement with his 2009 criticism of the federal law allowing high-risk mortgages. Obamacare will of course come up, and while it’s a sure bet that every Republican will condemn it, don’t expect anyone to present a detailed plan of what could replace it. The New York Times/CBS News poll found Ben Carson had pulled past Trump; according to the survey, the retired surgeon now leads the celebrity real estate mogul 26 percent to 22.

Bush’s allies have made clear they see Rubio as his chief competition and have sought to focus attention on the senator’s lack of experience. “There’s not a lot there, record-wise,” Bush’s longtime strategist Mike Murphy said in a recent interview with Bloomberg. On the morning of the debate, Trump channeled his frustrations with his poll numbers in CNBC’s direction, seemingly upset that the news network had reported on the poll. Where candidates will place the blame for the 2008 meltdown and its aftermath will be a good signal of how they’d control financial regulators if they’re elected president. After playing bit parts in the first two debates, Carson has become a higher priority for his rivals, particularly those chasing the antiestablishment vote.

I’m sick and tired of listening to this nonsense and I’m going to have to call it like it is in this race,” Kasich told supporters at rally in Westerville, Ohio, Tuesday. “We got one candidate that says we ought to abolish Medicaid and Medicare. You ever heard of anything so crazy as that?” he went on, also criticizing Trump’s plans to deport millions of immigrants and Paul’s flat-tax plan. “What has happened to our party? But the first-term senator has been skipping his day job to campaign and raise money across the nation and is likely to be challenged on his spotty voting and attendance record.

His comments echoed ones made by Jeb Bush last weekend at a town hall in South Carolina. “If this election is about how we’re going to fight to get nothing done, then I don’t want anything – I don’t want any part of it. He has shown a willingness to say or do virtually anything on national television, and heading into the debate, he has jabbed at just about every challenger — none more so than Carson. That is not my motivation,” Bush said. “I’ve got a lot of really cool things I could do other than sit around, being miserable, listening to people demonize me and feeling compelled to demonize them. Elect Trump if you want that.” Both candidates are calling for a ratcheting down of the divisive rhetoric that has propelled Ben Carson to the top of the polls. Don’t be surprised if you hear variations on that theme as each looks to unseat Carson with their performance tonight. 2015 may not bring everything that Back to the Future II promised it would: flying cars, self-lacing shoes, we don’t see ’em happening over the next 12 months. (Then again, don’t bet against Nike.) But this year will definitely pack plenty of punch when it comes to cultural happenings.

Mad Max will roar back out of the apocalypse while Mad Men rides off into the sunset, rock’s Antichrist Superstar and hip-hop’s Yeezus will rise again. Carly Fiorina: The former Hewlett-Packard chief and the sole woman in the GOP field drew support with standout performances in the last main Republican debate and in the August undercard. Fiorina will aim to deliver another winning performance, but will be fighting the many other candidates who are seeking their own breakthrough with voters. She’s also open to attacks from her rivals about her controversial tenure at Hewlett-Packard, a topic that they — aside from Trump — have studiously avoided.

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