Republican Debate on Fox Business: GOP Candidates Split on Immigration, Strongly Oppose Minimum Wage Hike
Fox Business Network and the Wall Street Journal hosted the fourth Republican presidential debate on Tuesday night with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush working for the spotlight.
Bush and Rubio were accompanied by front-runners Donald Trump and Ben Carson, in addition to Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz; it was the first debate for the 2016 presidential campaign to have only eight candidates on the main primetime stage.
Speaking on the minimum wage, Trump said the U.S. has been beaten economically and militarily, as taxes are too high, thus, opposes raising the federal minimum wage. Carson said people need to be educated on the minimum wage, stating the higher it goes, then there is more unemployment. He said gaining experience is far more important, and would offer more opportunities for people than increasing the minimum wage.
"I would not raise it specifically because I'm interested in making sure that people are able to enter the job market and take advantage of opportunities," Carson said.
Rubio said raising the minimum wage in the 21st century "is a disaster." The best way to improve wages, according to Rubio, is to repeal the Affordable Care Act and improve access to education.
"If you raise the minimum wage, you're only going to make people more expensive than a machine. ... Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers," Rubio said, who also called for more vocational education.
The minimum wage topic comes as fast-food workers protested across the U.S. on Tuesday in hopes to increase the federal minimum wage to $15. The question also comes as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state will raise state employees' minimum wage to $15.
On immigration, among the pressing topics within the Latino community, Trump said he "was so happy" with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit decision to uphold a Texas court's ruling to temporarily block new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs.
"That was a great day and frankly we need to stop illegal immigration," said Trump, adding, "It was such an unbelievable moment because the courts have not been voting in our favor...we are a country of laws, we need borders, we will have a wall."
Trump maintained that the U.S. is a country of laws, reiterating his proposal to deport all immigrants currently in the country.
Kasich said "think about the families, think about the children," in opposition to Trump's mass deportation plan.
"For the 11 million people... we all know you can't pick them up and ship them back across the border. It's a silly argument," said Kasich, adding the undocumented immigrant population may have their opportunities if they are law abiding and pay a penalty.
Bush said "its not possible and not embracing American values" to deport 12 million immigrants.
"It (Trump's plan) would tear communities apart, and even having this conversation sends a powerful signal. They're doing high-fives in the Clinton campaign when they hear this ... the way you win the presidency is you have practical plans, said Bush, acknowledging his proposal for legal status -- not citizenship -- for immigrants.
Trump said it is not fair for immigrants who are already seeking legal status -- waiting for lengthy periods of time -- to then allow undocumented immigrants to achieve such legal status without such waits.
"If Republicans join Democrats as the party of amnesty, we will lose," said Cruz.
During the debate, Carson was also provided a moment to talk about the media questioning specific moments in his history, specifically the alleged scholarship offer to West Point and stabbing a relative.
"We should vet all candidates. I have no problem with being vetted. What I do have a problem with is being lied about and then putting that out there as truth, and I don't even mind that so much if they do it with everybody like people on the other side," said Carson. He later added, "We have to start treating people the same, and finding out what people really think and what they're made of, and people who know me know that I'm an honest person."
Following the debate, Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus released a statement, offering a more positive response compared to the third GOP debate on CNBC.
"Debates need to focus on the issues, and that goal was accomplished tonight," said Priebus. "Our candidates, not the moderators, were at the center of tonight's debate, and they were all treated with fairness and respect. Thanks to a well-run debate, the country was able to see our diverse field of talented and exceptionally qualified candidates exchange ideas for how to reinvigorate the economy and put Americans back to work."
"One of the great things about our party is that we are able to have a dynamic exchange about which solutions will secure a prosperous future. That doesn't apply to Hillary Clinton and the Democrat field, who would rather continue the same old tired policies that have stalled economic growth during the Obama presidency. Americans want the country to change course. Our candidates offer that change, and Hillary Clinton and the Democrats only bring more of the same," added the RNC chairman.
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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