GOP Debate 2015 Recap: Seven Republican Presidential Candidates Debate Immigration, Islamic State Terrorism
The first Republican presidential debate covered heavy topics ranging from electability, the Islamic State militant group, immigration and GOP frontrunner Donald Trump from Cleveland, Ohio.
The first debate occurred at 5 p.m. EDT with seven Republican candidates who did not meet the top 10 criteria by Fox News Channel. The top 10 would debate at a later timeslot of 9 p.m.
Rick Perry, former governor of Texas, opened with the topic of electability. Perry previously said he's more electable now than four years ago. He explained the growth during his third, and final, term as governor of Texas.
Carly Fiorina, former CEO of HP, was asked if the "Iron Lady" title is a stretch. She detailed her professional employment history that started as a secretary to then chief executive.
"I know more world leaders than anyone running on the stage with the exception of Hillary Clinton," said Fiorina, adding she wants to challenge the status quo.
Rick Santorum responded if "his moment has passed." The former Pennsylvania senator said Americans are looking for a candidate to increase jobs and "standup and be very clear with our enemies." He said he did well four years ago because of his track record, noting the Iran sanctions were implemented during his time as senator.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal responded to his mid-30s approval rating in the state. Jindal said he won with a record margin of victory, and he ran for office to make changes including decreasing the size of government.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he can be trusted to challenge Clinton about providing solutions. Graham is the U.S. needs to be energy independent and not rely of "people who hate our guts."
Former New York Gov. George Pataki said the next president cannot be a "career politician." While he thought about running for president four years ago, Pataki admitted he wasn't ready to run. Pataki mentioned he was able to bring bipartisan solutions in New York. He called for the end of "crony capitalism" and provide more solutions and compromise because he did it in New York.
Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, who has not held a public office in 13 years, said the times have changed and his experience warrants his electability. Gilmore listed his previous positions and roles and was "a person who dealt extensively" on defense issues.
After displaying the top unique mentions from Facebook about Donald Trump, Perry said former GOP candidates Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani also led polls "because of their celebrity."
"How can you run for the Republican nominee and be for single payer healthcare, and I ask that with all due respect," said Perry about Trump, stating the next GOP nominee needs to be someone who has brought results.
Fiorina acknowledged that she did not receive a phone call from former President Bill Clinton and recognized Trump's donations to Clinton's foundation.
Graham said a candidate is "not serious" about the Islamic State or about running for president if there is not call for U.S. troops on the ground in the Middle East.
Continuing about the Islamic State, Pataki defended religious liberty, adding such freedom does not call for the killing of another individual. The former New York governor said radical Islam is not part of protective speech. Similar to Graham, Pataki said the enemy must be attacked abroad and not in the U.S.
Fiorina said it is disturbing that homegrown terror attacks have had warning signals, and it is important all government agencies are synched with such warnings. She acknowledged China and Russia are attacking the U.S. through cyber warfare and this can be confronted without infringing on American freedoms. She would call on Google and Apple to collaborate with the federal government.
Gilmore said there will be further attacks and Americans must prepare for a long war.
On immigration, Santorum was asked to defend himself if a child asked him why he's in favor to deport undocumented immigrant parents.
"We're a country of laws," said Santorum.
Perry, responding to the same question, said Americans are tired of this debate. He said, "For 30 years, this country has been bated on that ... the American people are never going to trust Washington, D.C., for good reason." He said he would secure the southern border.
On the economy and jobs, Graham said Americans are dying to work but people need to give them a chance. Graham said Clinton will not repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill. Referring himself as "fluent in Clinton-speak," Graham said Clinton does not represent the needs of the U.S.
Staying on the topic of encouraging people to be off federal government support, such as food stamps, Santorum said he will create jobs and would put people in manufacturing jobs.
Gilmore, asked based on his record, said he would grow the economy. He would implement a tax cut for all Americans, combine all commercial acidity in one place to 15 percent and eliminate the "death tax."
Jindal said President Barack Obama and Clinton are moving the U.S. towards socialism, although credited Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to admitting to be a socialist. Jindal said no one should expand Medicaid in an effort to improve healthcare.
Pataki said he would not implement the ACA if he was still governor of New York and in favor of repealing the law, often referred to as Obamacare.
On the topic of the Iran nuclear deal, Perry said the U.S. needs to be side against Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. The former Texas governor said he would rather have Fiorina negotiating the Iran nuclear deal than Secretary of State John Kerry. Perry said, if elected, he would tear up the Iran Deal.
Fiorina said she would make two phone calls on her first day as president, one to Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei. On the second day, she wants a Camp David meeting on how to defeat the Islamic State.
Santorum spoke against same-sex marriage and the "rogue" Supreme Court's ruling in late June. Gilmore said the Supreme Court is being converted to be a government body instead of simply following the law. He called for a Middle East variant of NATO to work with the U.S.
On Planned Parenthood, Pataki, a pro-choice Republican presidential candidate, said the latest videos allegedly showing the organization negotiating prices for fetal tissues does not change his mind about the group. Pataki still favors defunding of Planned Parenthood and abolishing abortion after 20 weeks.
Jindal said his administration would defund Planned Parenthood, but does not believe the Obama administration should not shutdown the government because of the issue.
Graham said the war on women is taking place in Middle Eastern countries, and the funds for Planned Parenthood should go to women's health centers.
On executive orders, Gilmore said enacting an executive order should not be important but instead reversing executive orders made by Obama. Jindal's executive orders would be to reverse Obama's deferred action executive actions, cease "sanctuary city" policies and protect religious liberty rights. Perry said his executive order would be to end the Iran Deal. Santorum and Fiorina echoed the candidates and wants to repeal every Obama executive order. Pataki wants a hiring freeze except for the military.
Santorum said the Democratic Party does not care about immigration and the political party only wants votes. Jindal said if people want to come to the U.S., they must come legally and learn English.
Fiorina said 2016 is a fight about conservatism and the Democratic Party trying to undermine them. She said she can win the election and "lead the resurgence."
Pataki reminded viewers he was able to win the "Blue" state of New York on three occasions, which shows he can govern.
Gilmore said his track record as a conservative is proven during his tenure of Virginia's governor.
The 5 p.m. debate, originally scheduled to last an hour, ended at 6:20 p.m. The top 10 candidates are scheduled to debate at 9 p.m. EDT.
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