GOP FNC Debate 1/28
Moderators: Martha McCollum, Bill Hemmer
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee — Asked why the Club For Growth dislikes him, Huckabee attacked the Club for Growth. Socialism and the government control it brings is for people who don’t have an IQ above plant life.
Former Businesswoman Carly Fiorina — She hammered Hillary Clinton on Benghazi
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum — He personally attacks people. He tears them down. How can you work with somebody who does that? He is the most divisive person in my lifetime.
Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore — I’ll veto gun control faster than it takes Hillary Clinton to delete her emails.
Moderators: Megan Kelly, Chris Wallace,
Kelly: What does Trump not attending say to the people of Iowa?
Cruz: Iowa will not be flyover country. It will fly-to country. Pretended to insult his fellow candidates. Ugly, fat, stupid. Ben, you’re a terrible surgeon. Now that the Trump part of the evening is out of the way, now let’s get down to business. Cruz differentiated between issue contrasts and personal attacks.
Wallace asked Rubio how he could unite everyone?
Rubio: Trump greatest show on Earth. This is about greatest country on Earth. O44 on Supreme Court? No way.
Baier: Is establishment vote too fractured.
Jeb: I miss Trump. He’s a teddy bear. i’m establishment because my dad, greatest man alive, was President. My brother, who I adore, was president. Mom Barbara Bush. I release my info. To get Hillary’s info you need an FBI subpoena.
Kelly: Is compromise bad?
Christie: Question had bad premise. You can have principles and still get things done in government.
Bader: Should you have embraced your dad more in this campaign?
Rand: My dad the most honest man in politics. Ted didn’t show up when it came time to audit the Fed. Cruz supports NSA data collection.
Cruz: I respect Ron Paul. I was original sponsor of Audit the Fed Bill. I will sign it into law.
Rubio: I respect Rand. He believes what he stands for. What I stand for is different. Terrorists will go to Gitmo, will tell us everything they know. Unlike Obama, I will keep us safe.
Rand: Bulk collection of data wrong. Get a warrant.
Wallace: Why do you reject establishment label? Why is your experience a liability this year?
Kasich: I’ve been a reformer all my life. I’ve been supported by 7 of 8 NH papers. We have to come together.
Wallace: What about your lack of experience?
Carson: You don’t have to be a politician to tell the truth. I’ve had more 2am phone calls then everybody here put together dealing with life and death issues.
Wallace: You did not give O44 permission to go into Syria. Does your rhetoric match your reality?
Cruz: I will hunt ISIS down and utterly destroy them. Carpet-bombing is what we did in First Gulf War. 1100 airstrikes a day, not 35 under O44.
Rubio: Cruz support’s Rand budgets that cut defense spending. ISIS not going to turn into stockbrokers or open up car washes. They are killers.
Cruz: Invoked Reagan, will rebuild military.
Wallace: Are Rubio and Cruz ready to be CIC?
Christie? The vote not to authorize NSA made us less safe. Christie then went hard after Hillary Clinton. She put America’s security at risk for her convenience.
Cruz tried to inject himself and Wallace stopped him.
Wallace: I know you like to argue about the rules but we’re going to continue the debate.
Wallace: What lessons have you learned from mistakes made during your brothers’ wars?
Crowd booed at the question.
Jeb wants a no fly zone and get the lawyers off the backs of the military.
Cruz: Cruz said all the questions were meant to attack Ted Cruz. If you guys ask one more mean question, I may have to live the stage. The crowd booed.
Rubio: Let me go first, and then you can recognize Rand after. Don’t worry, I’m not leaving the stage no matter what you ask me. Rubio will loosen the rules of engagement and distinguished ISIS from Assad.
Paul thinks defeating Assad means larger, more powerful ISIS. Go after ISIS.
Kasich tried to interject and Megyn Kelly cut him off. Kasich bristled when Kelly turned to Rubio instead.
Kelly asked Rubio if surveying Mosques violates 1st Amendment.
Rubio: Radical Islam is not hate talk, it is hate action. They blow people up.
Paul naturally disagreed, calling it a huge mistake to close down mosques and diners.
Rubio: If we don’t know who you are or why you are coming, you are not getting in.
Kelly: How do we avoid profiling in wake of San Bernardino?
Christie: Law enforcement is not profiling. That separates those who know what they are doing from those who don’t. If people see something, they must say something. We need to use common sense. O44 and Hillary have made law enforcement the enemy.
Kelly: Has GOP stoked flames of anti-Muslim bias?
Carson: Stop allowing political correctness to dictate policy. It will kill us if we don’t. Teddy Roosevelt approach. Accept our laws and tradition or stay where you are.
Kelly asked Kasich about military technology. Kasich said it is best not to talk about it. Kelly said it was public info and Kasich suggested otherwise.
Kasich also said we should not be the world’s policeman.
Bader: Would you police charities who say they are helping vets given the recent scandal?
Jeb: Of course. Also, we must fix VA. Fire the sheer incompetence of the VA.
Veteran Mark Watson: Why aren’t we using technology to better protect our communities?
Rand: 1/3 of Ferguson budget was supported by fines. People were being fined to death. War on drugs has hurt blacks more despite drug use equal between blacks and whites. The crowd cheered loudly.
Baier: Name one thing Federal Government does that it should not do it all?
Christie: Yeah, get rid of Planned Parenthood funding.
Baier: If you repeal Obamacare, will you be fine for those who lose coverage?
Cruz: Obamacare a disaster, a job killer. We will repeal every word of Obamacare. Everyone agrees we need healthcare reform. Allow purchase of health insurance across state lines. Expand HSAs. Delink health insurance from employment. Make it personal, portable, affordable.
Baier: Statehood for Puerto Rico? Should taxpayers bail them out?
Jeb: Puerto Rico should decide if it wants to be a state, they need to make internal structural reforms.
Baier asked Kasich how he would have handled Flint Water crisis.
Kasich said he did not have all the facts about Michigan, speaking instead about what crises he has faced in Ohio. Act quickly, listen to people.
Baier challenged Rubio on his past support for cap and trade. Why the change?
Rubio: I have never supported cap and trade. I do not believe it is a good idea now. Devastating for our economy. There will never be any cap and trade.
Kelly challenged Rubio on immigration repeatedly.
Rubio said he has never supported blanket amnesty. Keep ISIS out of America. Enforce immigration laws. Mandatory e-verify and tracking system. Until illegal immigration is under control, nothing else gets done. We’re not deporting 12 million illegals, but not letting more people in.
Jeb: Rubio was sponsor of Gang of 8 bill. I supported him. Rubio led the charge and then cut and run because it was not popular among conservatives. We need a path to legal status for 12 million illegals already here.
Rubio: Jeb used to support a path to citizenship.
Jeb: So did you.
Rubio: Enforce laws first.
Jeb: I supported consensus approach whenever it came up. Obama had poison pill to make sure hit did not happen. Said again that Rubio cut and run.
Rubio: Bring illegal immigration under control first.
Kelly played video of Cruz wanting immigration bill to pass.
Cruz: Videos were about one Amendment. I did not support whole bill, just Amendments I introduced. Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions backed me, he is as anti-illegal immigration as it gets.
Rand said Cruz is trying to have it both ways. Cruz has an authenticity problem. I was for legalization. So was Ted, but he says otherwise. That is not true.
Cruz: Rubio stood with O44, I stood with Sessions and Steve King against amnesty. Levin and Limbaugh agree with him over Rubio.
Rubio: This is the lie that Ted’s campaign is built on. Rand is right. Ted, you designed George W. Bush’s immigration campaign. Now you want to trump Trump on immigration. Like Hillary, you will say or do anything to win an election.
Cruz: I like Marco. He is very charming and very smooth. Marco went with major donors. I honored my commitments.
Christie: This is why you need to send somebody from outside Washington. I need a Washington to English converter. It’s perfectly legal to change your mind. When you’re a governor you have to admit it. Stop the Washington bull.
Mexican Iraq War vet Dulce Candy asked about entrepreneurship.
Carson: Declare war on Islamic State.
Jeb: We respect her service. Dulce Candy a pretty cool name. You can deal with threat of terror and also be aspirational across the board.
Rubio: No nation on Earth is more generous than America is. Are we a sovereign country? Can we choose who comes in and when? Yes. We need a merit-based system.
Electability issues came next. Wallace asked Cruz if his style gets in the way of his ability to get things done.
Cruz: You’re exactly right that I am not the candidate of career politicians in Washington. He mentioned Steve King again. This is a grassroots campaign. Washington is broken. I will tell the truth and do what I said I would so.
Kelly asked Jeb if his attacks on fellow Republicans hurt the party.
Jeb said he has seen polls showing him beating Hillary, and that he is very proud of his record. Hillary has no record of accomplishment. Regarding Super Pacs, I have no control over that, this is beanbag compared to what the Clintons will do.
Rubio: Hillary cannot be president. Putting O44 on SCOTUS is a disaster for America.
Baier cited Rubio trailing Trump by 24 points in Florida. How can you be the savior of the GOP?
Rubio: There is only one savior and it’s not me. Jesus Christ is my savior. I think Bernie Sanders is a great candidate for President…of Sweden. Hillary Clinton’s first act as President will be to pardon herself. Benghazi disqualifies her. She lied to the families.
Wallace brought up Bridgegate.
Christie: 3 different investigations showed I knew nothing. I immediately fired people responsible. That is what you do as a leader. I inherited a state beaten down by liberal Democrats, high taxation and regulation. They will want a former federal prosecutor in the White House to prosecute Hillary Clinton. She will never get within 10 miles of White House. The days for the Clintons in public housing are over.
Wallace asked Kasich to differentiate himself from Cruz on medicaid.
Kasich got wonky, but the question allowed for it. He spoke of how he treated drug addicts and reduced recidivism rates. Mentally ill stepped on for too long in our society. The time has come to stop ignoring the mentally ill.
Wallace brought up Kim Davis.
Christie: Law must be followed. Davis could have stepped aside. Licenses had to be issued. Religious liberty at heart of Islamic Jihad debate.
Wallace brought up Rubio’s criticism of Christie on gun control and his support of Sotomayor. Rubio stood by his criticisms.
Wallace asked if turning abortion back to states makes it legal in liberal areas, which is bad for conservatism?
Paul supports federalism first, even if it means more abortions. Then said he supports a federal life issue. Overturning Roe v Wade returns things to the states.
Baier asked Carson what to do if Putin keeps invading nations.
Carson said Putin is an opportunist and a bully. We need a missile defense system. Give weapons to Ukraine. Fight Russia economically. Keep fracking. I would absolutely go in under Article 5 and protect our allies.
Baier pointed out that Iran now has the 100 billion. What can we do?
Rubio: We are canceling the deal on day one. Nations can do business with Iran or us.
Kasich: We don’t know what’s going to happen on day one. If they violate agreement, we slap back on sanctions. He spoke of mulit-lateralism.
Baier asked Christie if he would send troops to Libya to take out ISIS.
Christie went after Hillary Clinton for her failed Libyan policy. If it had gone right she would run around to take credit. Work with Sunni allies to develop a strategy.
Kelly asked Paul about blaming Hillary for Bill’s behavior.
Paul said he only answers this when asked. Hillary is not to blame for his behavior, but for enabling him. If Bubba were a private CEO who acted that way he would be fired, never be hired again, and shunned. Hillary can’t be a champion of women’s rights. Also, she takes money from regimes that treat women like cattle.
Nabella Moor: Hate crimes against Muslims. How would you stop that?
Jeb: Words have consequences. Trump wants to ban all Muslims. That is toxic. Moor not the threat. The threat is Islamic terrorism. We need cooperation of Muslim world to defeat ISIS.
Wallace brought up Iowa Governor Terry Branstad not supporting Cruz.
Cruz supports an all of the above strategy but Washington should not pick winners and losers. No mandates or subsidies. EPA blend wall is the much bigger problem. Cruz will tear it down, which will increase market share without mandates. Mentioned Steve King again.
Carson: Against government being a part of every aspect of our lives. Contracts are in place until 2022, and those contracts must be honored. We can develop hydro-electric power.
Rand: One true fiscal conservative who will look at all spending. That is the only way we will balance our budget.
Kasich: Yes we can, positive attitude.
Christie: Terrorism scares everyone. I’ve prosecuted terrorists. No-one will keep this country that will keep us safer than I will
Jeb: I have a proven record as Florida Governor. I will defeat Hillary Clinton in November.
Carson: He cited the Founding Fathers.
Rubio: Light is dimming after 7 years of O44. I will unite this party. America’s light will shine again.
Cruz: 93 hours until the Iowa Caucus. Central issue is trust. Examine our records. Pray on it.