Watch: Trump Just Revealed The Huge Difference Between Him And The Other Candidates

Presidential candidate Donald Trump received a rousing welcome in Derry, N.H., Thursday night, speaking to a standing room only crowd.

The billionaire candidate took the stage in front of over 2,000 people for his first town hall meeting of the campaign, announcing to the rowdy crowd that the “silent majority is back!”

Trump said the reception his candidacy has been receiving nationwide has been incredible. He pointed to a pep rally that will be held in Mobile, Ala., Friday night. His campaign first planned to meet in a room with a 1,000 person capacity, then considered one with a 2,000 person capacity, then looked at the convention center, which could hold 10,000, but ultimately (based on RSVPs) had to opt for a football stadium, where they are expecting between 30,000 to 40,000 people.

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Trump told the New Hampshire crowd the big difference between himself and the other candidates is that they are politicians and he is not.

As far as funding his campaign goes, the billionaire said, “I don’t need anybody’s money. I don’t want anybody’s money.” He did, however, mention some touching stories of those who have contributed small amounts, like a woman in her 80s who sent in a little over $7. He told the audience he recognizes that individual donations represent a buy-in to his candidacy, so he is accepting them.

Trump mentioned that his Republican rivals Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker all plan to spend “a lot of money” in negative ads against him. Fox Business reported earlier this week that Walker and Rubio are raising money explicitly for that purpose. As reported by Western Journalism, Sen. Rand Paul was the first of the Republican candidates to go on air with an ad attacking Trump.

Trump singled out Bush, who had raised over $114 million as of June 30, for some special attention. He noted the former Florida governor was holding a competing town hall meeting (with between 100-200 people in attendance) very close to their location Thursday night. “You know what’s happening to Jeb’s crowd…right down the street? They’re sleeping!” Trump joked.

Trump believes Bush’s candidacy is “going down like a rock” in New Hampshire because of his views on the Iraq War, Common Core, and immigration. “I don’t see how he’s electable,” the candidate said.

Bush countered Trump at his rally, saying the real estate mogul does not have “a proven conservative record,” citing his past support for a single-payer healthcare system and Democratic candidates.

A Boston Herald poll published last week has Trump leading in New Hampshire with 18 percent, while Bush has 13 percent. Most recent polling also shows Trump topping Bush in the former governor’s home state of Florida: 21 to 17 percent.  

The former reality TV star said “he’s seen how tough the political circuit can be, and he knows it takes a certain amount of courage to run for president of the United States” according to Fox News.

I want to do something so special. As well as I’ve done in business and all of that, this is so much more important, what I’m doing now.

Our country is falling apart.

Do you support Donald Trump? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. 

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Here’s What Huckabee Thinks Of The Republicans Who Are Attacking Trump

Celebrating some positive movement in the polls following his performance in Thursday’s debate, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee shared some advice for his fellow primary contestants as the 2016 election season shifts into high gear.

Though he did not mention any candidate specifically, Huckabee warned of the damage incendiary infighting could inflict on his party’s chances of reclaiming the White House. Of course, much of the intraparty spear-throwing thus far has been aimed at front-runner Donald Trump.

As Western Journalism has previously reported, GOP candidates including Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham have skewered the brash billionaire for his unconventional rhetoric. Trump’s polling numbers, however, show his message resonates with a significant portion of the Republican Party.

Intentionally denigrating any candidate who might go on to win the party’s nomination, Huckabee warned, could have far-reaching implications.

“You will not hear that from me,” he said during a recent campaign stop in Iowa. “I believe that, quite frankly, we’re all trying out to be the quarterback of the Republican team. My attitude is that I want to get the job because I played a better game, not because I broke the legs of all the other people who are playing the game.”

He went on to share his concern that, upon the selection of his party’s presidential candidate, “that person is so bitterly wounded that it becomes quite easy for the Democrat to step over his bloodied carcass and take the victory.”

Though the barbs have generally flown in both directions, some of the latest Republican criticism of Trump has focused on his war of words with Fox News host and debate moderator Megyn Kelly.

Jeb Bush, for example, described his remarks as “wrong” during a speech at an event Saturday.

“This is not how we win elections,” he maintained, “and worse yet, that is not how you bring people together to solve problems. Mr. Trump ought to apologize.”

Can GOP infighting hurt the eventual nominee’s chances in a general election? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Exposed: The Deceptive Misuse Of Legislator Voting Records

Introduction

The “debates” in the traveling Republican Presidential Primary Circus are under way. (It is a “circus” because there are between seventeen and 38 candidates.)

These are not the Lincoln-Douglas debates, in which the candidates presented their true views and positions on issues. Debates have become “debates,” as partisan so-called “journalists” with their own agendas, instead of seeking the truth, focus on issues more important to them than to the candidates or the public and try to trap candidates they oppose into making embarrassing statements. Far worse, more than ever, most candidates are professional liars who seek to mislead voters about where they stand on crucial issues; and about what they have done in the past and would do in the future if elected.

At least one former and four current senators, as well as a former representative, are running. Unfortunately, well-intended but easily misunderstood roll call voting analyses often enable legislators to lie about their true positions instead of revealing them, thus doing more harm than good.

When articles in May and June compared Marco Rubio unfavorably to Ted Cruz and criticized Rush Limbaugh for effusively praising Rubio, it was pointed out that both Rubio and Cruz then had equally perfect 100% conservative senate voting records. (That minor changes in the scores regularly occur does not alter this analysis.) Moreover, when RINO John Boehner was chosen by his professedly conservative colleagues to be Speaker of the House for a third term, he defended himself by laying claim to the eighth most conservative House voting record.

There are two possibilities. Rubio and Boehner critics are wrong. Or, there is something grievously wrong with roll call voting analyses and/or their use.

The latter position is taken and explained in the following extensively revised excerpt from an article written after the Boehner re-election

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Reactions to Boehner’s re-election paid scant attention to its implications for representative democracy.

There is now no way for a majority of voters to obtain representatives who will represent them; and no way to compel a purportedly representative government to comply with their clear wishes on matters they consider most crucial. Angelo Codevilla’s contention has been confirmed again. America is now lorded over by an oligarchic Ruling Class. Republicans are indistinguishable from Democrats. That includes corruption, as Cruz dared to point out. There is currently no place to go for the voting majorities who resoundingly rejected Obama Care in 2010 and, according to Obama himself, disapproved all his policies in 2014.

Due largely to Boehner, firmly and clearly stated campaign promises on the most important issues have been repeatedly and defiantly broken. In the 2014 campaign, Democrats nearly tore their hair out when our ultra-egotist president declared: “I am not on the ballot this fall … But make no mistake: [my] policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.” Well, those policies were clearly rejected. Conservative voters are painfully aware of what happened: nothing; absolutely nothing!!

Not All Roll Call Votes Are Created Equal

Less than one month after he rammed through the infamous Cromnibus bill and two days after being re-elected, Boehner held a press conference that merits a prominent place in the museum of memorable denials, such as Nixon’s “I am not a crook” and Clinton’s “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” The Speaker effectively declared: “I am not a spineless establishment squish.”

Objecting to opposition from the right, he laid claim to “the eighth most conservative voting record [,]” illustrating how unreliable roll call votes are in assessing a legislator’s performance.

  • First, roll call voting records do not reflect duplicitous non-vote actions. They do not record the RINO Speaker’s strong-arm tactics. And they do not reflect Senator Rubio’s zealous advocacy of illegal immigration, arm in arm with senators who despise conservatives. Again, there is something seriously wrong with any analysis that ranks as equally conservative: (1) a senator who fought for and promises, as president, to keep illegal immigration; and (2) a senator who courageously raised a point of order against it to force his hostile colleagues to go on record.
  • Second, legislators routinely deceive voters by relying upon their unawareness of the importance of procedural votes, critical in determining actual policy but often excluded by those who classify voting records as “liberal” or “conservative.” For example, the House has a Rules Committee that writes resolutions determining if, when and how controversial bills are considered. But the full House must approve a rule before a bill can be debated and voted on. Lying legislators often vote liberal on rules and conservative on bills. As will be explained, two blatant examples occurred when Boehner saved Obama Care and largely nullified the 2014 election.
  • Third, raw numbers mask the vastly differing importance of issues to voters. When polled, voters often express opinions, without much thought, on issues they care little about if they care at all.  But other voters feel so strongly about the same issues that they will not only express opinions but cast votes based solely on them. A prime example of votes determined by one issue is Obama Care. Countless polls have documented its unpopularity. Few would deny its transcendent importance or that the 2010 and 2014 Republican successes were based largely on promises to get rid of it. 2014 also included promises to block unconstitutional Obama amnesty for illegal aliens. More than any other member of Congress, Boehner has been responsible for breaking these promises. As a reward, pretend-conservative Republicans kept him in place!

2,813 recorded House votes occurred during the first four full years of Boehner’s reign (herehereherehere). As will be explained, a handful, perhaps four, mattered more than all the others: the Rule that enabled the Cromnibus 2014 election nullification, the Rule that saved Obama Care, and the two votes that made Boehner Speaker.

Record Votes and Criminal Records

Consider this analogy. When the Constitution was nearly two centuries old, justices suddenly decreed that it gave convicted murderers a never-before-noticed right to present any evidence they wish that “mitigates” (pp. 27-46) what they did, to show that their lives are worth more than the innocent lives they robbed and additional lives they may rob if kept alive. So almost every day, defense lawyers introduce “mitigating” evidence: my client committed an act of brutality, yes – but he also won a dance contest. And he was in the Boy Scouts. And he helped elderly ladies across the street. And he is a good father and always was good.

On June 3, Lester Leroy Bower was finally executed after denials of two more of numerous applications and petitions to the United States Supreme Court. But Bower gave Justice Breyer another chance to expand his record of extreme and absurd (p. 47) cries and tries to spare the most brutal murderers. Despite overwhelming (9) evidence against Bower resulting in his conviction and death sentence for four brutal premeditated execution-style murders (in 1983!), Breyer (joined by Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor) argued that Bower’s life should have been spared because, at the time of the murders

he was 36 years old, married, employed full-time, and a father of two. He had no prior criminal record. … the jury also heard about Bower’s religious devotion, his commitment to his family, his community service, his concern for others, his even temperament, and his lack of any previous violent (or criminal) behavior.

Do any or all good deeds remotely compare to even one torture-rape/murder? Bower was 36 years old, at least 13,140 days, when he committed four murders. Now, let’s accept Breyer’s view that Bower was wonderful on 13,139 days. That means Bower had an exemplary record for 99.99 percent of his life.

The short response to the 99.99% is: so what! An overall good record means little if there are also exceedingly bad deeds. This applies to legislators as well as to murderers.

Back to Roll Call Votes

One roll call vote on the most important issue in decades cannot – or should not – be excused by an overall good record on issues far, far less meaningful—and often wholly meaningless. For conservatives, three matters are more important than all others, and perhaps more important than all others combined: Obama Care, amnesty for millions of alien lawbreakers and the nullification of election victories in which they had invested so much expectation, passion, labor and money.

That is why, it is contended here, perhaps four roll call votes mattered more than all the others: the Rule that saved Obama Care, the Rule that enabled the Cromnibus 2014 election nullification (including funding Obama’s unconstitutional and unlawful amnesty), and the two votes that made Boehner Speaker.

Speaker-election votes matter more than most because the Speaker wields power over all other votes. Boehner has thwarted the solemn promises that resulted in majorities that made him Speaker, by blocking all serious efforts to halt Obama’s unconstitutional abuses of power, effectively approving and enabling these abuses. The American people now suffer a bizarre combination of authoritarian rule over the House with an iron fist in order to kowtow to an iron-fisted president on the most critical issues.

The Rules Ruse: Misleading Roll Call Vote Analysis

Fewer than eight months after Obama Care became law over five years ago, the voters expressed their opposition by giving Republicans control of the House, resulting in Boehner becoming Speaker. Yet three months after the 2010 election and still less than a year had elapsed, he immediately used his new power to squelch promises to undo Obama Care, thereby taking co-ownership of that law for most of the period it has been on the books and responsibility for all the hardships and shocks it has caused and will cause to millions of Americans. Biased media will never use the truly descriptive term: Obama-Boehner Care. This policy, as well as Obama-imposed/Boehner-approved unconstitutional amnesty for law-breaking by millions of aliens, must be seen as two of the most critical oligarchical ruling class betrayals of the early 21st century.

Boehner’s autocratic complicity in these unpopular policies renders irrelevant any overall roll call voting record he may cite to fool voters. Is it surprising that substantial majorities of the voters who produced a Republican Congress did not want Boehner retained as Speaker? The last poll prior to his re-election came after one of the most important votes of Boehner’s cowardly House suzerainty, in which he begged President Obama to round up Democratic votes for Cromnibus in defiance of opposed Republican voters. As described by Rep. Jim Bridenstine, this lameduck

$1.1 trillion spending bill … funded the government for 10 months and blocked our newest elected Republicans from advancing conservative policy and delivering on campaign promises.  [Boehner] gave away the best tool available to rein in our liberal activist President: the power of the purse[,] Congress’ Constitutional strength.… Boehner went too far when he teamed with Obama to advance this legislation.  He relinquished the power of the purse….

It is critical to emphasize the immensity of this renounced power. The U.S. Constitution clearly states: “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” This is a grant of absolute power, not just to Congress but to each of its houses. Although two thirds of each house of Congress can override a presidential veto, if a simple majority one house resolutely refuses to appropriate money, there is nothing that the president or the other house can do about it. Period!

The Scorecard Trap

Significantly, Boehner’s lameduck Cromnibus surrender required two recorded votes, illustrating the trap of relying on roll calls to assess legislative performance. Much was made of Boehner’s begging Obama to corral Democrat support because 67 Republicans had voted against passage. Many of them were actually praised by gullible conservatives. However, prior to voting on the bill, there had to be a vote on the Rule allowing it even to be considered.

Not one Democrat voted for the Rule and only 16 Republicans voted against it. If one more Republican had voted “No” on the Rule, the bill would never have been voted on, let alone passed.

Thus, 51 Republicans had it both ways. They voted for the Rule allowing consideration but against final passage. They thus tricked many into thinking they had voted conservative, despite having helped RINO Boehner stab conservatives in the back.

Consider Heritage Action, which states that its Scorecard “show[s] how conservative Members of Congress are[;] track[ing] how lawmakers vote on key measures, including the procedural votes where their true preferences are often revealed.” [Emphasis added.] With apologies if wrong, this writer could find only the final Cromnibus passage vote but not the key Rule vote on Heritage Action’s 113th Congress Scorecard. Moreover, the pre-voting Heritage Action Alert did not even mention the Rule vote. Of what use is a scorecard that omits the most important vote of 2014 and enables legislators to pretend they are on the side of the very voters they betrayed? Arguably, this is worse than being of no use at all. It does harm by enabling representative government to be undermined by dishonest unrepresentative representatives.

Trey Gowdy, inexplicably touted for Speaker by such conservatives as Sean Hannity, was among the both-ways Republicans and supported Boehner’s re-election. Rep. Bridenstine was, regrettably, among Cromnibus’ both-ways Republicans. Despite its central role in determining the content of legislation, his “Communications Director” downplayed the significance of the Rules vote, which made the difference between relinquishing the power of the purse and blocking that surrender. In sum, Bridenstine voted to approve voting on what he then voted against and professed to be his reason to vote against Boehner. Like John Kerry, Bridenstine was for Cromnibus before he was against it. That does not mean his powerful quoted statement was wrong. What was wrong was his vote enabling a vote on Cromnibus in the first place.

Cromnibus is thus one classic illustration of both the Rules Ruse and harmful rather than helpful roll call vote analysis. Another little noticed yet major use of Rules to deceive conservatives occurred February 15, 2011. The Rules Committee held a painful-to-watch hearing that prevented a House vote on Rep. Steve King’s amendment to defund Obama-Boehner Care. Rep. Virginia Foxx claims to be an Obama Care opponent and cites as evidence (0:26) her utterly meaningless show-votes to repeal it.

From the January 2011 onset of RINO House control until March 21, 2014, Republicans “voted 54 times to undo, revamp or tweak” Obama Care. Yes, this gave them a chance to show that they were “doing something.”  The key word is “show.” When it came to doing something meaningful, such as cutting off funds, they were AWOL. There cannot be a better example of political frauds using roll call votes to deceive voters!

In any event, when actual Obama ally Foxx, revealing or feigning ignorance of basic high school civics, triumphantly asked (1:38) King what the Senate would do to his amendment, he patiently explained: “there is not a dime that can be spent by the federal government unless the House concurs” (2:01). On what was truly significant, granting King a Rule permitting a vote to defund Obama Care, the professed opponents opposed the true opponent. As directed by Boehner, all eight Rules Committee Republicans not only voted against King’s proposed rule to defund Obama Care, but they also unctuously lectured him while disingenuously praising his courage. Also, in addition to Foxx, Tim Scott, a favorite of many conservatives, voted against King. Scott was later elevated to the Senate.

Compare King to would-be president Jeb Bush, a stronger advocate of pre-emptive surrender than Foxx:

I’d just add a little dose of reality. If you control one-half of one-third of leverage in Washington, D.C., your ability to influence things are [sic] also relative to the fact that you have one-half of one-third of the government … politically it’s quite dicey for the Republican Party.

Note the fear of “dicey” reality “for the Republican Party.” RINO reality is fear and appeasement. And the fear is for the welfare of the Republican Party, not that of the country.

Condescending lectures pretending to be “realistic” fail to note the critical distinction between enacting and blocking legislation. The Constitution was designed to impede the former and facilitate the latter. Blocking funds for Obama-Boehner Care does not require enacting anything. It simply requires refusal of 50.1% of “one half of one third of the federal government” to use its absolute power to refuse to appropriate money by law. RINOs live in fear (when not bullying professed conservatives who live in even greater fear). It tellingly illustrates this fear that the likes of Jeb Bush quake at hallucinations that the president or the senate could reject what a majority of voting representatives have not approved.

And perhaps worst of all, when roll call vote analyses omit votes on Rules that would permit blocking funding for Obama Care or any other bad legislation or executive lawlessness, these analyses tell only half the story, are very misleading and enable all kinds of lying by legislators pretending to be exactly the opposite of what they are.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Conservatives should rethink the use and citation of roll call voting records. These records enable legislators to pretend to be more conservative than they are; some are not conservative at all on unnoticed yet decisive votes that matter most.

As argued elsewhere, campaign lying undermines representative government. Roll call voting records often facilitate that lying on the issues most critical to conservatives. At a minimum, these records should be used with extreme caution. Unless a better job is done to include the most important votes and to differentiate the important from the unimportant, these analyses should not be used. And when used, they should only be considered a small part of a legislator’s overall record rather than being mistaken for the entire record.

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Copyright © 2015 by Lester Jackson, Ph.D., a former college Political Science teacher who views mainstream media suppression of the truth as essential to harmful judicial activism. His recent articles on the U.S. Supreme Court, capital punishment and American Politics are collected here and here.      

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Here’s The Good, Bad, And Ugly At GOP Debate

Much of the nation was watching with great interest as seventeen Republican presidential candidates took the stage this week to articulate their vision of America, and outline their strategies for returning the nation to its former greatness. What we learned Thursday is that Fox News proved they can be as anti-GOP as the rest of the mainstream media, Donald Trump is still a classless cad, and there are a handful of substantive candidates, including one pleasant surprise.

With the number of candidates, the “debate” was split into two segments. The first debate on Thursday, which one candidate referred to as the “happy hour debate,” featured the lower tier candidates who failed to qualify for the official debate later in the evening. The happy hour stage was shared by former Texas Governor Rick Perry; former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum; Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal; former HP head Carly Fiorina; South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham; former New York Governor George Pataki; and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore.

There were no “knock-out punches” in the early show, but Carly Fiorina had several key responses. Perhaps her best was in reference to Donald Trump’s lead in the polls. When asked if Trump was “getting the better of her,” she responded: “Well, I don’t know. I didn’t get a phone call from Bill Clinton before I jumped in the race. Did any of you get a phone call from Bill Clinton? I didn’t. Maybe it’s because I hadn’t given money to the foundation or donated to his wife’s Senate campaign,” referring to Trump’s call from Clinton and his support of Hillary’s senatorial campaign in 2000.

She completed the thought with what I thought was a superb recapitulation of why Trump is leading, in spite of not being a real conservative. “I think he’s tapped into an anger that people feel. They’re sick of politics as usual. You know, whatever your issue, your cause, the festering problem you hoped would be resolved, the political class has failed you. That’s just a fact, and that’s what Donald Trump taps into. I would also just say this. Since he has changed his mind on amnesty, on health care and on abortion, I would just ask, what are the principles by which he will govern?”

The logician on the early stage was clearly Fiorina, as exemplified when she answered a question about ISIS, Iran, and the instability in the Middle East. She said, “You know, Obama has presented the American people with a false choice every time. It’s what I’ve done or not done, or it’s war. It is a false choice.” Obama consistently employs the fallacious false dichotomy, or fallacy of bifurcation, argument in an attempt to justify his actions.

Charles Krauthammer concurred that Fiorina won the earlier debate. He said, “She won the debate, and she won it running away.” Her grasp of issues, succinct and persuasive solutions, and the logic of her responses were irrefutable. Krauthammer singled out her statement regarding Washington’s dysfunction: “It’s conservatism versus liberalism, and I’m a conservative.” And unlike our current president, she’s actually run something: Hewlett-Packard, one of the largest technology companies on the planet.

Sharing the stage for the main event Thursday were real estate mogul Donald Trump; former Florida Governor Jeb Bush; Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker; former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee; retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson; Texas Sen. Ted Cruz; Florida Senator Marco Rubio; Kentucky Senator Rand Paul; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie; and Ohio Governor John Kasich.

The prime time debate was as debasing an exercise in political futility as I’ve ever witnessed. Fox News may well have earned a new moniker, as the greatest facilitator of Democrat electoral success in mainstream media. Starting with the first question of who would not promise to run as a third-party candidate (only Donald Trump raised his hand), a raucous and caustic environment was created right out of the gate. And it went downhill from there.

The questions posed by Megyn Kelley, Brett Baier, and Chris Wallace made the event appear more like an inquisition than a debate, with inquiries based on  the dumpster-diving kind of “facts,” digging up previous positions, position changes, embarrassing statements, equivocating and evolving opinions, and political failures from each of the candidate’s past. The Democrat nominee won’t have to do any research for closet skeletons on the Republicans; for the Fox News crew did it all for them.

A perfect example is Megyn Kelley’s question of Trump. “Mr. Trump, …you’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president?” To which Trump responded: “I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct.” Political correctness is a problem, but not “the big problem.” And one can be direct, frank, and politically incorrect, but still not be an ass. Something Trump clearly has not learned.

Because of the whole tenor and approach of the Fox News crew, there were very few highlights. The whole prime time event was a fiasco that did little to bring out the best of the candidates, and rather seemed designed to draw out the worst in each one. Fox apparently wanted to prove to the mainstream media they belong to the anti-Republican media group.

Of the few highlights was Senator Ted Cruz’s denunciation of congressional leadership. “There is a reason that we have $18 trillion in debt. Because as conservatives, as Republicans, we keep winning elections. We got a Republican House, we’ve got a Republican Senate, and we don’t have leaders who honor their commitments. I will always tell the truth and do what I said I would do.”

Another was Governor Walker’s comments which reveal the fundamental difference between the two major parties on economics. “You know, people like Hillary Clinton think you grow the economy by growing Washington…I think most of us in America understand that people, not the government creates jobs. And one of the best things we can do is get the government out of the way, repeal Obamacare, reign in all the out of control regulations put in place, and all of the above energy policy, give people the education, the skills that the need to succeed, and lower the tax rate and reform the tax code. That’s what I’ll do as president, just like I did in Wisconsin.”

Senator Rubio reaffirmed that distinction with one of his responses. “The economy is very different than it was five years ago. It’s an economy that has placed us in global competition with dozens of other countries around the world. Now the big companies that have connections in Washington can affect policies to help them, but the small companies are the ones that are struggling. We need to even out the tax code…We need to limit the amount of regulations on our economy, repeal and replace Obamacare…Dodd Frank. We need to make America fair again, but especially for small businesses.”

Dr. Ben Carson’s comments on race were classic. “I was asked by an NPR reporter once, why don’t I talk about race that often. I said it’s because I’m a neurosurgeon. And she thought that was a strange response. I said, you see, when I take someone to the operating room, I’m actually operating on the thing that makes them who they are. The skin doesn’t make them who they are. The hair doesn’t make them who they are. And it’s time for us to move beyond that.”

Those who displayed the greatest leadership qualities and substance were Senators Rubio and Cruz, and Governors Walker and Bush. But with all the dirty laundry aired by the Fox News crew, it’s remarkable anyone was able to rise above the fray.

At this stage, it’s entirely premature and impractical to prognosticate who the Republican nominee will be for the 2016 presidential election. For that matter, it’s likely premature to predict who the Democrat nominee will be, in light of Hillary Clinton’s declining poll numbers and rising dishonesty and un-favorability perceptions.

But when a serious study of the ideology of all 17 Republican candidates is pursued, there can be no doubt that any of them would be preferable to what we’ve seen in the Oval Office for the past seven years, and anyone nominated by the Democrat Party. This was voiced perfectly by Senator Rubio’s closing comments: “God has blessed the Republican Party with some very good candidates. The Democrats can’t even find one.”

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

The 3 Biggest Winners And Losers Of The First Republican Debate. Many Won’t Want To Hear it…

Analyzing the winners and losers of Thursday night’s first 2016 Republican primary debate could take many different forms, but clearly one measure of a candidate winning is raising his or her profile in a positive way.

With that measure in mind, there were some clear winners and losers. First, it must be noted that Donald Trump came into the debate with all the momentum and the most to lose. How did he fare? By many measures, pretty well. Drudge Report ran an online, unscientific poll afterwards, with 38 percent voting for the billionaire candidate as the winner. Furthermore, the Washington Post noted that Trump outstripped the other candidates for the highest Google search interest by minute.

Was he a winner? In the sense that he did not suffer any candidacy-ending or crippling blows, one would have to say yes. Did he raise his profile further in a positive way? Not as much. His refusal to rule out a third party run certainly will not win him friends among the Republican faithful, as evidenced by the loud boos in the arena. The focus group conducted by GOP pollster Frank Luntz with voters afterwards revealed similar sentiment. Overall, Trump’s status probably remains unchanged in the Republican field.

Who were three of the clear winners last night?

Ted Cruz: The Texas senator’s answers regarding illegal immigration, ISIS, and ending Obama’s unlawful executive action (the last of which he incorporated in a powerful close) resonated well with the crowd and apparently across the nation. Cruz said, “If I’m elected president, let me tell you about my first day in office. The first thing I intend to do is to rescind every illegal and unconstitutional executive action taken by Barack Obama…” He went into the debate registering 5.5 percent in the Real Clear Average of polls and came out with 15.5 percent, saying he had won the debate in the Drudge survey.  He also received the highest Google search interest of any candidate overall.

Marco Rubio: The Florida senator delivered one of the best one-liners of the night: “Well, first, let me say I think God has blessed us. He has blessed the Republican Party with some very good candidates. The Democrats can’t even find one.” Rubio also showed himself strong on a range of issues from business to social issues to foreign policy. He came into the night with similar support to Cruz at 5.3 percent; and according to Drudge, 10 percent thought he won. Again, Google shows him as one of the most searched candidates of the night.

Ben Carson: The good Dr. Carson appeared to start off slower, but had solid answers on race, foreign policy, and the sanctity of life. Lawyers are taught the power of primacy and recency for influencing a jury: those who are able to frame the argument and those who get to end it. On the latter, Carson delivered a powerful blow in his closing employing humor. He said: “Well, I haven’t said anything about me being the only one to do anything, so let me try that. I’m the only one to separate siamese twins…the only one to operate on babies while they were still in mother’s womb, the only one to take out half of a brain, although you would think, if you go to Washington, that someone had beat me to it.” Carson scored 10 percent in the Drudge survey and received a strong Google search interest, peeking multiple times throughout the evening.

Image credit: The Washington Post

Image credit: The Washington Post

Who were three losers last night in the sense that they did not advance their candidacy?

Jeb Bush: The current GOP runner-up continued to struggle to answer whether the U.S. should have gone to war in Iraq, and had a weak closing. Like Trump, he made no major errors, but had no memorable moments. The former governor of Florida did generate some solid interest online, but fared poorly in the online poll, coming in second from last at 2.5 percent.

Chris Christie: The bombastic governor of New Jersey had a difficult time defending his poor economic record in New Jersey, offering: “If you think it’s bad now, you should’ve seen it when I got there.” He came in last in the Drudge online poll, registering lower than his RCP average coming into the debate.

Rand Paul: Senator Rand Paul got into dust-ups with Donald Trump and Chris Christie that made him look more sour than a fighter. Despite his combativeness, he managed to garner the least time addressing the crowd of any of the candidates at 4 minutes and 51 seconds. However, he does have a faithful following and scored well in the Drudge poll, garnering 9.3 percent.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker did not turn in a particularly strong performance, but delivered a line the audience loved: “Well first off, for the cyber attack with Russia the other day, it’s sad to think right now, but probably the Russian and Chinese government know more about Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server than do the members of the United States Congress.”

Commendation must go out to Gov. Mike Huckabee, who offered up one of the most crowd-pleasing moments of the evening when he engaged in some misdirection, before delivering a wonderful punchline: “It seems like this election has been a whole lot about a person who’s very high in the polls, that doesn’t have a clue about how to govern. A person who has been filled with scandals, and who could not lead, and, of course, I’m talking about…”(Watch the video above.)

Finally, Carly Fiorina may well be on her way to prime time after her performance last night in the early GOP debate. She continued the fun afterwards with this interview with Chris Matthews. Well done!

Who do you think won the debate? Take our poll and see the results for yourself!
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth