Republicans at Early Debate Fight for a Breakthrough Moment

29 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A Debate Marked by Frustration.

Sen. The four Republican candidates who were banished for the third time to an early-evening debate looked like diners at a table in Siberia, straining to make conversation as they looked past one another at what they were missing. Bobby Jindal, left, speaks during the earlier of two debates of Republican presidential hopefuls, at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Oct. 28, 2015. Graham — showing his trademark combination of humor and deadly seriousness — closed out a Republican debate for low-polling candidates Wednesday by mocking Donald Trump then swinging to an emotional plea that America make him commander in chief. Graham (S.C.) joked that he had heard — or maybe read it on a hat — that somebody wanted to “Make America Great Again.” That was a jab at Trump, who has made the slogan and the hats that bear it famous this year.

Pataki and Rick Santorum all needed a big moment at Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate to seize voters’ attention in a 15-candidate field. Lindsey Graham. (Jim Wilson/The New York Times) Boulder, Colo–The second-tier candidates in the Republican race for president slugged it out Wednesday, saying the next American leader needed experience and a record to be effective. With real estate tycoon Donald Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson topping the polls, the candidates at the bottom of the pack tried to contrast themselves to their “outsider” rivals. I intend to make America strong again,” he said, pledging to help the middle class and to back American troops even as he sent them into a new land war in Syria.

Graham told several crowd-pleasing one liners, including his remark that Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is seeking the Democratic nomination, went “to the Soviet Union on his honeymoon and I don’t think he ever came back.” All four men on the stage are mired at 1 percent or less in national polls. In the course of the debate, Jindal derided Democrats as socialists and Republicans in Washington as weak and too quick to surrender. “The idea of America is slipping away. Rick Santorum cast themselves as warriors for the conservative cause. “Look, over the next the several hours, you’re going to hear several Republicans, all tell you they want to shrink the size of government and grow the American economy.

As Americans, we believe that our best days are ahead of us,” Jindal said, referring to the tomb of Jesus, which Christians believe was found empty because he had been resurrected after death. But the candidates kept returning to their individual talking points, reinforcing their respective brands, whether it was Jindal’s take-no-prisoners plan for dealing (or not dealing) with Democrats, or Graham’s repeated insistence that he is the best option to be commander-in-chief in a dangerous world. This time, Graham again played the schmoozer and raconteur: In response to a question about consolidation in the brewery business, he asserted, “I know beer.” Former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.) sought to play the role of a business-focused realist, saying he favored the Export-Import Bank of the United States — a conservative bogeyman — as a crucial aid to U.S. manufacturing. “In order to have a level playing field, which is what conservatives talk about all the time, then we have to have export financing,” he said.

Pataki, a former governor of New York, who reported $14,000 in his campaign account through September, had one of his most high profile moments in the news since the last debate, when he attracted attention for going bird-watching. I am tired of losing,” a theatrically exasperated Graham told the crowd. “The No. 1 candidate on the other side thought she was flat broke after her and her husband were in the White House for eight years.

At one point, he elbowed into the cross talk between two others on stage with the quip, “You guys talk over each other in Washington all the time; I’m not used to that.” There were a couple of jarring moments when the flamboyant personal styles of a pair of CNBC moderators, Rick Santelli and Jim Cramer, clashed with the seriousness of the evening in rotating through a series of questions. When I left, we had reduced the employment by over 25,000 and cut taxes.” “You can’t just be an outsider, you can’t just be someone who throws stones at Washington,” Pataki said. “You have to be someone who can actually bring people together across party lines.. All four candidates face a particular challenge: They are establishment figures in a year when half the party’s voters prefer an outsider with no governing experience.

Jindal established himself as the most fiscally conservative of the quartet, defending a tax plan to slash corporate taxes and make even the poorest workers pay 2 percent in income taxes. “I don’t want us to continue to create one class of Americans that pays for government and another class that is more and more dependent on government,” he said. He bragged about slashing the Louisiana budget and cutting the state government workforce by tens of thousands of workers. “We’ve got a choice: Do we grow the government economy, or the American economy?” Jindal asked, denying a comment from one of the moderators that the approach left Louisiana with a hefty deficit. When a moderator noted that everyone must pay the payroll tax (and at the same rate), Jindal said it wasn’t enough. “Earned success is so much more fulfilling that unearned success,” Jindal said, explaining while even the lowest-wage workers need to pay income tax to have skin in the budget-cutting game.

Santorum called for a flat tax, but one modified to give a $2,750 tax credit to individuals – a policy he said would be especially beneficial to families (bigger families getting a bigger total tax credit). Graham, a senator from South Carolina, said at another point, holding up a fist and an open hand to illustrate the choice voters had for a choice of leader. The Ex-Im Bank finances and insures foreign purchases of United States goods for customers who cannot accept credit risk, theoretically increasing American exports. Jindal blasted Obama for his crack-down on for-profit universities whose students end up owing massive amounts from student loans and lacking the skills and degrees to get good jobs.

Pataki, little known outside New York, sought to establish his tax-cutting credentials. “I’ve cut taxes more than everybody on this stage, more than everybody on the next stage,” he said. Pataki said he did think Wall Street has “gone too far” during the economic crisis, and bemoaned the fact that “we have seen Wall Street really blossom and do very well while the rest of the country is struggling.” Pataki blamed the situation on a “corrupt” relationship between Wall Street and Washington. Santorum, asked about the consolidation of big businesses – including several big breweries – said he wasn’t worried about a lack of beer choices, given the number of breweries he has seen as he campaigns (Santorum appeared to be confusing big breweries and microbreweries.) And Pataki seemed to seal his second-tier stats in his answers to lighter questions. Asked which apps he used most, Pataki said “Uber,” since he no longer has a government driver (Graham said he got an iPhone after giving his number to top-tier candidate Donald Trump, who publicly revealed Graham’s private cellphone number).

Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

About this site