Carly Fiorina and Bobby Jindal Shine at Second-Tier GOP Presidential Debate
In a surprise endorsement of Carly Fiorina, Rick Perry said, "I would rather have Carly doing our [foreign policy] negotiation than John Kerry."
Seven GOP candidates whose poll numbers did not qualify them for Thursday night’s Fox News/Facebook debate held a separate debate late this afternoon, each hoping to make their case why they should hold the highest office in the land, or at least deserve to join the top tier of contenders.
Invited to the party were former Texas Governor Rick Perry, former Senator Rick Santorum, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, former New York Governor George Pataki, former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.
It was clear who the winners were. Carly Fiorina and Bobby Jindal consistently had solid, confident, precise, conservative answers to each question.
The other candidates fared less well. Lindsey Graham was tripped up a couple of times on his lack of a conservative record. When confronted about working with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on climate change legislation, he admitted he would reduce the country’s use of fossil fuels. George Pataki likewise stumbled when confronted about his pro-choice record. Asked about the horrific Planned Parenthood undercover videos of selling fetal body parts, he responded that Roe v. Wade has been the law of the land for over 40 years and he would not ban abortion before 20 weeks.
Rick Perry seemed unsure of himself on issues, stumbling a bit over his words. Rick Santorum kept saying he wanted to make the U.S. number one in manufacturing jobs — despite the fact we are a First World country and technology is naturally causing shrinkage in manufacturing jobs. Jim Gilmore seemed too focused on repeating his past experience.
When asked about Ohio Governor John Kasich supporting Medicaid expansion in Ohio, Bobby Jindal soundly refuted it. “We can’t afford the entitlement programs we already have today,” he said, and stated that it was a mistake to expand Medicaid.
He said Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are working hard to turn the American dream into a nightmare.
“We’re going to have too many people in the cart rather than pulling the cart,” he said, and it isn’t free money we’re borrowing from China. He then pivoted to simultaneously enlist Obama in the point he was making, and point up how loose spending weakens America on the world stage:
Yesterday, the president stunningly admitted this. He said, “we don’t have leverage with China to get a better deal on Iran because we need them to lend us money to continue operating our government.”
The president of the United States admitting that he’s weakening our government’s position, our foreign policy standing, because he can’t control spending in D.C.
Both Perry and Fiorina did well discussing the Iranian threat. Perry said he’s on the side that keeps Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. In a surprise endorsement of Fiorina, he said, “I would rather have Carly doing our negotiation than John Kerry.” If so, he continued, maybe there might be a deal that didn’t give everything away. There needs to be a Congress that says, “Hell, no” to this regime. If elected, the first thing he would do would be to tear up Obama’s agreement with Iran.
Similarly, when asked about “allies that sometimes have groups within them that funnel money to terrorism, are you OK with being on their side?” Fiorina responded, “It’s complicated, but some are black and white.” The first thing she would do is call Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; the second thing would be to call the Ayatollah of Iran.
He might not take my phone call, but he would get the message, and the message is this: Until you open every nuclear and every military facility to full, open, anytime/anywhere, for real, inspections, we are going to make it as difficult as possible for you to move money around the global financial system.
Santorum did a little better when asked about his tough stance on illegal immigration. “What would you say to a child born and raised in the U.S. who could see their family broken apart by your policy?” He responded by saying his father was born in Italy, and his grandfather emigrated here. They were separated for seven years due to U.S. law that would not let his father leave too, so he was stuck in fascist Italy. When Santorum asked his father about this, he responded, “America was worth the wait.”
Santorum said we’re a country of laws, we don’t do whatever we want to do. We treat people equally under the law, which is what makes people feel good about being American.
Jindal had a powerful closing. He said, “We have great talkers running for president, and one currently in the White House.” But we need a doer, not a talker. He took a direct slam at Jeb Bush, saying, “Bush said we have to be willing to lose the primary in order to win the general.” Jindal said that is the establishment telling Republicans to get the media to like us. He emphasized a theme that he has championed throughout the race, as an Indian immigrant who prefers to identify as plain American. Immigrants, he insisted, must learn our language and integrate into the culture. “We must insist on assimilation,” he said. “Immigration without assimilation is invasion.”