GOP Debate 2015 Summary: Donald Trump, Immigration, Iran Deal Impact Prime-Time Republican Debate
The second prime-time Republican presidential primary debate was dominated by GOP front-runner Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, immigration and the Iran nuclear agreement.
Joining Trump in CNN's debate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.
The first question went to Fiorina, responding to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's comments against Trump and if she trusts him with the "nuclear codes." Fiorina said Trump "is a wonderful entertainer." The former HP CEO said she has faith on American voters to make good judgments.
Trump immediately attacked Paul for being on stage, stating he ranked 11th in overall polls, thus too many people on stage. Trump said his temperament is "very good, very calm." In response, Paul said Trump's character shows whether Americans want someone like the businessman to negotiate on Iran's nuclear weapons. Trump said he has never mocked Paul's appearance, but indicated he could.
Trump said everything he has done has been a success, including his time in Atlantic City. Bush, echoing Fiorina, said it's up to the voters to decide whether Trump is trusted to have the "finger on the nuclear codes."
Walker interrupted and wanted to talk about the issues. The Wisconsin governor said there also is an "apprentice" in the White House, referring to President Barack Obama. Trump fought back referring to the $2.2 billion financial loss Wisconsin encountered during Walker's tenure. Walker said "just because he said, doesn't mean it's true," and defended his political decisions.
Kasich said viewers at home are likely to turn off the television based on what's currently going on in the prime-time debate.
In regards to being a "political outsider," a term that has been used to describe Trump, Carson and Fiorina, Christie said he should be included with that term since he is a Republican in New Jersey, which often leans Democratic.
Carson said politicians "typically" act on what is "politically expedient," and he wants to act. Fiorina said people are supporting the "outsiders" because 75 percent of the American people think the government is corrupt and no one has challenged the status quo.
In response to Trump not accepting donor money and yet the Bush campaign having at least $100 million donor money, the former Florida governor said that does not make him a puppet.
"I will not be bought by anyone," said Bush.
Trump reiterated that he is not accepting money from anybody.
Bush claimed Trump had offered money to build a casino in Florida, but Trump said those comments are false.
On Russia, Trump said he would talk and get along with a lot of the world leaders that currently "don't get along" with the U.S., including Vladimir Putin.
"We would have a much more stable, stable world," said Trump.
Rubio said he has an understanding on what Putin is doing with Russia, which is to be a major geopolitical power. The Florida senator said Putin is trying to replace the U.S. as the "power broker" in the Middle East.
Fiorina, as someone who has met with Putin, said she still would not meet with him and would engage in increase military presence along the Baltic States.
"Russia is a bad actor, but Vladimir Putin is someone we should not talk to," said Fiorina adding she would give intelligence support to Egypt.
Cruz said the biggest national security threat is a nuclear Iran. Referring to the Iran nuclear deal as "catastrophic," Cruz said he will "rip to shreds" the Iran deal. Kasich also opposed the Iran deal, and the military option is "on the table."
Paul said he will vote against the Iran deal but still wants diplomatic talks with the Islamic republic as well as other countries with odds with the U.S., such as Russia.
Bush said it's not a strategy to "tear up" an agreement, and the U.S. must ensure Israel has sufficient military weapons.
Huckabee said the Iran deal threatens Israel, the Middle East and the U.S. He said Iran has sponsored terrorist groups and threatened the "very essence" of civilization.
Trump said Obama does not have "courage." Rubio said people do not trust Obama.
According to Paul, if the U.S. launched military strikes in Syria, he is confident the Islamic State militant group would have expanded into Damascus and even all of Syria.
Kasich said no one trusts Iran, but said sanctions can be immediately implemented if the Islamic republic breaks any part of the nuclear agreement. Cruz said there are several Iranian nuclear facilities where independent inspectors cannot immediately access.
Moving to U.S. affairs, the topic of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis surfaced. Huckabee reiterated his support of Davis, stating she was elected into that position and criticized the Supreme Court for granting same-sex marriage across the country. Bush said the rule of law is important, although he opposed the Supreme Court's ruling, but Davis should have followed the law.
In regards to Planned Parenthood, Kasich said he agreed with Cruz to defund the organization, but opposes the idea of a government shutdown "because I don't think it's going to work out."
Going back to Iran, Fiorina said she would call Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reaffirm U.S. support. On Planned Parenthood, she urged everyone, including Obama and Hillary Clinton, to watch the videos of Planned Parenthood allegedly selling body parts of fetuses.
Trump said he "will take care of women." He reiterated his opposition to the "bad actors" in Iran but acknowledged the need to address North Korea.
Fiorina, speaking about Trump's comments about her "face" during a Rolling Stone interview, said, "I think women all over this country heard what [Trump] said."
Trump said Fiorina has a "beautiful" face.
On Immigration, Trump said criminal immigrants will be gone on "Day 1." He said immigrants should be deported and re-enter through a legal process.
"Right now, we don't have a country, we don't have border," said Trump.
Christie said Trump's mass deportation plan, to remove 11.3 million undocumented immigrants from the U.S., is an undertaking that almost no one can accomplish. Christie agreed the border must be secured but even beyond the wall on the southern border. Christie proposed the idea of fingerprinting all visiting immigrants and when their "time is up," should be patted on the shoulder and leave.
Bush responded to Trump's previous comment about the former Florida governor's wife, Columba, who was born in Mexico. Bush wanted an apology from Trump, but the businessman said he said nothing wrong and "heard she's a lovely woman." Bush said even his wife wants a secure border. Trump said there are "wonderful people" coming into the U.S., but Bush is "weak" on immigration.
Fiorina said immigration has been a topic for the past 25 years, criticizing Trump's comment that he fueled the current immigration debate.
Bush said it would cost hundreds of billions of dollars to enact Trump's mass deportation proposal, but Trump said $200 billion is spent, per year, on maintaining current immigration levels.
Trump reiterated that the common U.S. language should be English, responding to his criticism of Bush speaking Spanish during the campaign trail. Rubio said English is important, and then shared the story of his grandfather who came from Cuba and did not speak English. Despite not learning English, Rubio said his grandfather was conservative.
Carson said undocumented immigrants, with a "pristine" record, may stay in the U.S. as "guest workers," preferably in the agricultural sector but only after the border is secured. Carson said his plan is not "amnesty" because individuals, as guest workers, will not get the rights and privileges as U.S. citizens.
Cruz said he has supported border fencing and more border protection. He criticized the 2013 bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill (S.744), which Rubio co-sponsored. Rubio said the border must be secured, a tracking system, mandatory e-verify system, seek immigrants who will contribute to the U.S. economy and deport immigrants with criminal records.
Speaking about the 14th Amendment's birthright citizenship provision, Trump said he opposes granting automatic U.S. citizenship to U.S.-born babies of undocumented immigrants. He said clarification on birthright citizenship could occur through Congress.
Fiorina said people should ask why Democrats have not solved the immigration problem, despite Obama's campaign promise and Democrats controlling the Congress several years ago.
Moving on to Trump's and Fiorina's tenure in the private sector, Fiorina defended her decisions at HP and "has been honest" about her firing from the company. Trump said HP "is a disaster" during and after Fiorina's tenure as CEO.
"She can't run any of my companies," said Trump.
Fiorina said Trump ran mountains of debt and filed for bankruptcy four times. He defended his business in Atlantic City and said he left the city before its economic problems.
"We don't want to hear about your careers," said Christie to Trump and Fiorina, saying Trump and Fiorina's exchange is "childish."
The third Republican presidential primary debate will be on Oct. 28, from the University of Colorado in Boulder. The third debate will broadcast on CNBC.
For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Politics Editor Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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