Off the Cliff and Then Some

Yesterday, I took the time to watch both the Fox Debates, both minor and major.  It’s the first time I’ve watched FoxNews ever, I think.

The first debate was at 2PM.  I was amazed and dismayed at the overall tone presented by Fox and it’s hosts toward their party’s candidates.  Why was it necessary to stage it in such a way to maximize their ability to show they were playing to an empty arena?  Why did they continually pan in on the hosts in such a way that they could show what few audience member there were either talking amongst themselves or texting to others?  But most importantly, why prey (I use that misspelling purposefully) tell, did they ask such rude questions of “their” candidates as though they had no right to be there and they were imposing on the hosts.

In the second debate, that of their “major” candidates at 6 PM, the verbal assaults continued.  Though different hosts for both debate sessions, the tone each team used in asking their questions was one of denigration of the participants on the stage.  Why did they position the camera to ensure it showed Sen. Lindsey Graham standing on a box so he appeared taller? Why did the pan to Gov. Scott Walker everytime he did his boobble-head routine as Dr. Ben Carson was speaking?  Grant you, I don’t believe that any of the Republican candidates are worthy of holding the office they’re seeking, but still, a modicum of civility should have been maintained.

Additionally, I thought most interesting was that no instructions were given to the audience to display no emotion, no yelling, no clapping and candidates were left trying to talk over the audience to make their points during the one minute allowed for their responses.

The 2nd debate started with a question immediately aimed at their number one candidate.  Would he pledge to support whoever won the Republican nomination and not wage an independent run for the Presidency?  Mr. Trump would not make that pledge.  Other stabs at Mr. Trump included jabs about his four bankruptcies, his transition from pro-choice to pro-life, and his donations to the Clinton Foundation.  The answer to the donation issues absolutely made the case for needing to do something about the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and getting the money out of politics.

What I learned is that there are relatively NO policy differences between the 17 Republican candidates.  It was like watching “group think” in practice.  Each and every one of them want to “repeal and replace” anything and everything that has been enacted to pull our nation out of the ditch their Republican predecessors  so abruptly put us in by the end of 2008.  They want to repeal and replace the Dodd/Frank financial regulation, but not one indicated ‘what’ they intended to replace it with.  They want to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), but again, not one indicated ‘what’ they intended to replace it with.  Then, they all resoundingly declared they would roll back any and all environmental regulations aimed at mitigating ‘climate change’ and though no one used the phrase, it was clear their means to assure ‘energy independence’ really meant more ‘drill baby, drill’ anywhere and everywhere around the globe.

Every one of the debaters except former CEO Carly Fiorina loudly declared they’d quelch the Iran Deal and re-impose sanctions.  Fiorina instead declared she would make two calls on day one, one to Israel’s Prime Minister BiBi Netanhayu and the second to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to let them know exactly where we stood as a nation.  The rest were pretty much in favor of literally ripping it the agreement in front of TV cameras in the oval office on Day One. Not one of those ripper-uppers could explain how they’d get China, Russia, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and any other foreign governments that it would be prudent to scrap all joint diplomatic efforts made over the last two years negotiating with Iran only to go back.  Additionally, none of them offered an any explanation as to how that might make the global community at large any safer from the threat of nuclear annihilation.

Gov. Christy declared that we should raise the retirement age.  Senator Lindsey Graham somehow managed to work into any question he was asked, that we should increase the number of troops in the ground in darn near every country in the middle east. So if you think America should dominate the world militarily, he’s definitely your guy.  Former Senator Rick Santorum wants to send pink slips to >100,000 employees at the IRS and impose a flat 20% tax.  He didn’t expand on that to indicate whether that would be assessed on those families who earn wages and whether it would also apply to those who merely earn dividends/interest from stock and other financial instruments. Former Gov. Huckabee also wanted a flat tax and declared he would go after prostitutes, pimps and drug pushers to make sure they paid their fair share (but interestingly, for a preacher, didn’t say he would prosecute them for such crimes).

As expected, and whenever possible, when stretched for an answer to the question, there was clearly some Hillary Clinton bashing.  One of them went so far as to declare “at least Bernie Sanders has the decency to call himself a socialist.”

But the most disturbing declarations of the night were the number of candidates who not only want to totally defund planned parenthood, but who espouse ‘personhood’ … that once conceived, the rights of the fetus are paramount to those of the woman who’s carrying that fetus. Sen. Ted Cruz declared solemnly that on Day One, he would dispatch DOJ, IRS and any other governmental dept/agency he could to investigate and “persecute” (his word) Planned Parenthood.  Sen. Marco Rubio went so far as to proudly declare that he would even outlaw abortion not just for incest, but when the life of the mother was in peril as well. That certainly puts women in their place across the nation doesn’t it.  Apparently, we’ve been demoted to mere incubators for men’s seed.  I hope women across this nation paid close attention during this debate and will pay even closer attention as further debates ensue.  In the interim, here’s some information about where the candidates from both sides stand on women’s issues.  Make sure you share it with your Republican lady friends:


The Democrats:

257
256
251
244
248


Now the other side—The Major Candidates Republicans:

238
239
243
245
255
259
254
253
258
242


The Minor Candidate Republicans:

249
247
241
240
250

A work-up for former Jim Gilmore is not yet available as he just recently joined the race, because, well you know, it looked like a good opportunity?

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CPAC: Out of the Mouths of Potential 2016 GOP Candidates

— by CAP Action War Room

5 Backwards and Out-of-Touch Comments From CPAC 2015

Welcome CPAC Delegates

Earlier this week, we covered some of the rhetoric you could expect to hear at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, that started Wednesday and runs through Saturday. CPAC is a prime opportunity for potential Republican presidential candidates to promote their platform, and as expected, there have been concerning statements from the Republican Party’s top 2016 contenders. We’ve rounded up five of the most backward, extreme, and downright wrong statements coming out of the conference:

  1. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker compares protestors for workers’ rights to ISIS:
    When asked how he would handle ISIS if elected President, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said, “If I can take on a hundred thousand protesters, I can do the same across the world.” The protesters Walker referred to were demonstrating against his decision to sign “right-to-work” legislation that significantly weakens labor unions by forcing them to provide services without payment from workers. (To his credit, Walker did later walk back the comment somewhat.)
  2. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry criticizes the unemployment rate:
    Rick Perry warned the CPAC audience not to put any faith in new numbers showing an improved economic outlook, calling the unemployment rate a “sham.” This was not Perry’s first time trying to discredit the unemployment rate. Earlier this year, Perry said the unemployment rate has “been massaged, it’s been doctored,” a claim that PolitiFact rated Pants On Fire.
  3. Florida Senator Marco Rubio commits epic error on ISIS:
    Senator Marco Rubio also failed when attempting to talk about ISIS, telling TV host Sean Hannity that “if we wanted to defeat them militarily, we could do it. [Obama] doesn’t want to upset Iran.” Rubio left out the fact that Iran is actually committed to fighting the terrorist group. In fact, late last year, President Obama wrote a letter to Iran’s supreme leader suggesting cooperation against ISIS. One might expect the Senator to know these things given that he is a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the Select Committee on Intelligence.
  4. Rubio also says he flipped to opposing immigration reform because it “wasn’t very popular”
    Before CPAC, Rubio had already publicly flipped from supporting immigration reform to opposing it. But at CPAC, when Sean Hannity asked him about the immigration reform bill he sponsored in the Senate, Rubio said, “Well it wasn’t very popular I don’t know if you know that from some of the folks here.” Bold leadership, Senator. Thanks to Rubio and the Senate’s failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform, Republicans are now putting national security at risk to stop President Obama’s order to lift the threat of deportation for up to 5 million undocumented immigrations.
  5. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie brags about vetoing funding for Planned Parenthood:
    Speaking to a group of CPAC attendees yesterday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie bragged about vetoing funding for Planned Parenthood five times saying, “I was the first governor to ever speak at a pro-life rally on the steps of the statehouse in the state of New Jersey and I vetoed Planned Parenthood funding five times out of the New Jersey budget.” It was a sharp change of tune from Christie, who while running for re-election in New Jersey, had said vetoing the funds was merely a cost-saving measure. Christie’s politicking with Planned Parenthood funding has had serious impacts on the state—the state’s capacity to meet the need for family planning services for the state’s poorest residents has decreased 25 percent and nine health care centers have been forced to close.

BOTTOM LINE: From the economy and women’s health to national security and immigration, the potential 2016 GOP primary field is off to the races with comments that prove they are not ready to lead the country. The candidates on stage at CPAC have displayed early on that they are willing to say just about anything to appeal to the extreme conservative base, no matter whether those views are truthful or not, and no matter the serious problems they might cause.


This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe. Like CAP Action on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!