Ok, I think last night I watched the twelfth GOP presidential primary debate — no mas, por favor! I think we’ve had enough debates, and there’s very little to be gained or learned from any more. I hold to my suggestion of candidate one-on-ones. Let me say there were a few clear themes from last night’s debate. First, Senator Marco Rubio abandoned his Don Rickles routine and went back to his Obama-esque positive message. Second, Donald Trump did not go there — they were trying to bait him, but Mr. Trump didn’t fall for it, and displayed a measured demeanor the entire evening.
Therefore, this debate was certainly not like the last third grade recess period and we did actually get a chance to hear policy discussions.
However, there was one line of questioning from CNN’s Jake Tapper that I found extremely disturbing. It appeared Tapper was trying to insinuate that the individual assault by a 73-year-old man at a Trump rally in Fayetteville, NC was somehow indicative of the Republican Party. You cannot expect the candidate to be responsible for the antics in the crowd, especially when there are disruptive protestors. What’s more, this is coming from someone who obviously missed out on the violence of Baltimore allowed by the liberal left mayor. Or how about the Black Lives Matter violence? Is that group, supported by liberal leftist groups, indicative of the Democrat Party? That line of questioning was the low point of the debate. And never forget, Barack Obama demanded political enemies be punished and suggested you “don’t take a knife to a gun fight.”
But otherwise it was very civil and substantive. So fellas, let’s end this on a high note and not have any more (however, I guess there’s already another one planned for March 21st).
Here are some key points:
> We do need to understand the difference between free and fair trade and not put America and Americans on the short end of these trade deals and negotiations. There have to be consequences for the violators. I will tell you that Donald Trump understood this issue the best and was strongest on articulating it. As well, he clearly comprehends the need to restore production and manufacturing to America. It was a strong point for him in the evening.
> On the issue of education, it was Senator Ted Cruz who clearly grasped the issue and was able to connect Common Core to President Obama’s “Race to the Top” program and how schools are being held hostage for funding unless they embrace the federal government mandated standards — which if I recall, were never voted on by our elected representatives.
> We have to solve the problem of our mandatory spending side of the federal budget. Currently Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and the net interest of our debt comprise 64 percent of our budget; that is unsustainable. We cannot ignore this and it will take courageous visionary policy leaders who will present viable solutions and not accept the status quo. Senator Rubio did offer specifics in resolving the issue. Donald Trump did realize that getting Americans back to work will help with restoring Social Security. As for Medicaid, we should not expand it, but reduce it by increasing economic growth for Americans.
> On the Israel-Palestinian Authority issue, everyone on that stage should have known that with the recent stabbing death of an American tourist in Tel Aviv by an Islamic terrorist, it would be a topic. Israel cannot have peace without a willing peace partner. The Palestinian Authority is Fatah, the original Islamic terrorist organization established by Yassar Arafat. The next president cannot go into the Oval Office talking about being neutral. He must understand we have an ally, and that Mahmoud Abbas is inciting the recent spate of stabbing attacks.
> The question Jake Tapper asked of Senator Marco Rubio on the Miami-Dade mayor and climate change — well, Rubio knocked it out of the park. And for Governor Kasich to follow behind Rubio and admit that he believed we contribute to climate change caused me to wince. As Rubio stated, there is no law we can make to control the weather – as a matter of fact, I remember growing up and being told about the coming ice age and global cooling. It freaked me out as a young fella in Georgia. I suppose Kasich’s statement is why he got the endorsement of the New York Times.
> All the candidates need a tutorial in strategic level military decision-making. They need not answer questions about how many troops. What they need to be able to issue is concise and direct guidance and intent to senior military commanders for which they can properly develop an operational campaign plan — to include allied support. I do want to remind folks that in 2001, some Special Forces A-Teams using decisive air power in combination with the Tajik Northern Alliance routed the 60,000-man Taliban/al-Qaida force out of Afghanistan…although we failed to destroy the enemy in detail, as they escaped through the Tora Bora Mountains. That is a potential template for what could be done to rout ISIS.
> Lastly, the questions on Cuba at a debate in Miami with a Florida Senator of Cuban descent — well, that’s what you call home cooking.
It was a good debate, a very good debate, and it should be the last so the end comes on a high note. The winners? We all were the winners because we didn’t have to endure a childish and immature display of irrational blather and nonsense. Right now pretty much everyone has chosen their sides, so we’ll see what transpires next Tuesday which will determine where this contest goes.