Tag Archives: Marco Rubio

Ted Cruz wins Fox Business #GOPDebate, Fiorina and Rubio outperform

Texas Senator Ted Cruz
Texas Senator Ted Cruz

I think Cruz did the best, Rubio did well enough to take second place, and Fiorina was much improved, especially on foreign policy, where she gave a clear explanation of the doctrine of peace through strength. She did third best, but had the strongest moment of the debate when she schooled everyone on foreign policy. She really knows foreign policy cold.

Red State does a good job of providing unbiased opinion, here is their assessment:

The Winners

1. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) – While Cruz hit his talking points and made some great statements, like Jeb, he did not stand out. This isn’t as big a problem for him as it is the others, because he has a natural base of conservative voters that will turn out for him no matter what. Bush doesn’t have that, and that’s why he’s free-falling at his point. Cruz coming out swinging against the agriculture lobby could very well be his testing the water for corn subsidy talk in Iowa.

2. Carly Fiorina – Carly showed why she should not be counted out yet. She speaks like a caring grandmother, and she has to be the calmest neoconservative I’ve ever seen on a stage speaking about the Middle East. She spoke calmly and coolly on every issue that came her way, and some issues that didn’t. She cannot yet be counted out.

3. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)  – Rubio did not hurt himself tonight by any stretch of the imagination. He let Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) ruffle his feathers a little bit, but I think he overall hit his notes correctly. He is clearly courting the warhawks of the Republican Party right now. He hit on his family background only once, focusing instead on global affairs and fighting back against Paul.

They thought Carson and Trump did OK, and Kasich, Paul and Bush “lost”. I think that Carson and Paul did OK, but Trump and Bush underperformed, and Kasich did the worst of all. Trump just has no ability in foreign policy, Bush is too liberal on immigration. Kasich is a big government liberal across the board.

Over at the more establishment Weekly Standard, Jonathan Last – who is a bit wild – said this:

Ted Cruz: If you were forced to pick a winner, it would probably be Cruz. He picked the right fights—with Kasich and Paul. He gave a dynamite explanation of how illegal immigration impacts wage growth and was generally impressive. With each passing debate he looks more like a finalist.

Marco Rubio: This performance wasn’t as strong as his last. Rubio started out talking vocational training and the nexus of family stability, virtue, and economic growth—basically the Santorum 2012 playbook.

Carly Fiorina: She probably had the single strongest moment of the night in her blistering, detailed, canny riff on how she would approach Putin. If she’s going to get a third-look from voters, tonight might prompt it.

Ted Cruz attacks Hillary Clinton’s failed policies:

Ted Cruz says no to bank bailouts, yes to FDIC reimbursing depositors:

Jeb Bush vs Ted Cruz on illegal immigration and LEGAL immigration:

Marco Rubio on the importance of strong families:

Marco Rubio vs Rand Paul on tax credits for families and defense spending:

Carly Fiorina on Putin and foreign policy:

Carly Fiorina on American entrepreneurship:

Ben Carson on the minimum wage:

Finally, there is the latest episode of the Weekly Standard podcast, which is my favorite political podcast, the one you should subscribe to if you subscribe to any. Bill Kristol, the editor of the Weekly Standard, thought that it was a good night for Ted Cruz. I agree.

I also love the Ben Shapiro podcast from the Daily Wire, and I am updating the post now to point to a new episode – episode 24. Shapiro agrees with me: Christie AND Jindal won the undercard debate, and Cruz did the best in the main event.

I spend the night reading and re-tweeting on Twitter – sorry to everyone for the huge number of tweets. What was striking to me was the juvenile nature of the Democrat tweets. Many of them came from professional comedians or Hollywood celebrities… but others came from liberal politicians, and even people from liberal think tanks. Yet not ONE tweet from the left was anything of substance. It was all just dismissive mocking. Literally. Not one serious tweet. It’s not surprising that they are so supportive of a clueless clown who added $10 trillion dollars to the national debt, and point that achievement as a great success. Oh well, that’s why we have elections. I would be happy with any of Jindal, Cruz or Rubio right now. I would even take Fiorina in a pinch.

One final thing. Fox Business put on the fairest and most engaging debate yet. They set the standard for everyone else, and made CNBC look like incompetent college students. Every debate should run this smoothly – the moderators just disappeared, and they let the candidates talk to America, and talk to each other. I learned a lot about the candidate’s views, and nothing at all about the moderator’s views.

On the issues: assessing the 2016 Republican presidential candidates

Latest Republican presidential primary polls
Latest Republican presidential primary polls (click for larger image)

The PDF is here. (50 pages, but you only have to read about the candidates you might consider voting for)

Unfortunately, radically leftist Politico is the only one with a write-up on it, so here goes:

The hard-line conservative arm of the Heritage Foundation has tough criticism for much of the 2016 field, but high praise for the Texas senator.

The political arm of The Heritage Foundation has released a detailed assessment of the 2016 Republican presidential field — and it offers harsh words for many candidates. But not for Sen. Ted Cruz.

Cruz receives almost exclusively praise for his stances in the 50-page 2016 presidential policy scorecard, the first of its kind produced by Heritage Action. The report grades the candidates across six categories: growth, opportunity, civil society, limited government, favoritism and national security.

Many of the lines in the scorecard appear destined for future attack ads.

Jeb Bush, for instance, is accused of having “kowtowed to the state’s environmental lobby” in Florida. Chris Christie “has shown favoritism toward well-connected real estate developers.” Rand Paul’s “views at times veer outside the conservative mainstream.” And Donald Trump backs “massive tariffs that would damage the American economy.”

Cruz, by contrast, manages to emerge with barely a blemish, receiving only softly worded critiques of his adopting “sound policies advanced by others” rather than crafting his own.

[…]“Cruz has been willing to pay a political price for taking on government favoritism,” the report reads.

The group even forgives Cruz for one of the few trespasses he has made against its positions, voting for a bill that served “as a bargaining chip for [Export-Import Bank] allies to secure reauthorization.” The report credits him for later switching his vote and then publicly attacking Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for allegedly lying about his plans.

Bobby Jindal, who is running hard to the right in Iowa, receives among the more glowing reviews. So does Marco Rubio, who angered the right with his pursuit of a comprehensive immigration plan after first being elected with tea party support.

The two current front-runners in the polls, Ben Carson and Trump, were dinged for their lack of a record on conservative causes and a lack of specifics in their visions. “His unconventional foreign policy prescriptions raise more questions of significant consequence than they answer,” Heritage writes of Trump.

Bush was singled out for some of the most biting critiques. “Has shown favoritism toward Florida special interests and supports amnesty” for undocumented immigrants, reads one bullet point.

In its 2016 assessment, Heritage dings Bush for not supporting recent efforts to defund Planned Parenthood this fall because he said he opposed precipitating a government shutdown. The report accuses him of “playing to President [Barack] Obama’s talking points rather than reinforcing conservatives.”

No, everyone knows that my list of candidates favors governors who have a history of putting in place actual policies that actually affected real people in the real world and got real conservative results. So on that score, Cruz and Rubio way down the list because they have achieved very little:

  1. Scott Walker
  2. Bobby Jindal
  3. Rick Perry
  4. Ted Cruz
  5. Marco Rubio

Ted Cruz’s Twitter feed and his overall feel to me is that all he does is talk, talk, talk. He just doesn’t have the record of Bobby Jindal at putting policies into place. For example, as governor, Jindal actually cut spending. He actually put in place pro-life measures that actually saved lives. He actually put in place a school choice program that helped low-income students get out of failing schools. He actually cut off funding for Planned Parenthood. He actually defended religious liberty. Cruz is just a senator, so he hasn’t got that proven record. I believe he would be conservative, but I feel safer trusting someone with experience.

Having said that, the more I read reports like this Heritage Action Scorecard report, I am finding out that Cruz has been willing to at least pay a price politically for doing the right thing at various times. So, although he does not have the accomplishments that the governors have, he has been willing to push conservative values when it was not to his advantage, politically. I have to admit, there is some value to this in one sense – we know that he would do what he says no matter what. But there is a problem with Cruz. We don’t know whether he is able to create clever policies that will draw the votes of independents and even moderate Democrats. That’s what Walker and Jindal were able to do. So, although I respect what the Heritage Action team have written, I am not changing my rankings.

Tonight’s debate

Be sure and tune in to both debates tonight on Fox Business, as I am expecting Jindal and Cruz to outperform their competitors in their respective debates:

Republican debate – Fox Business/Wall Street Journal

Time – Primary: 9 p.m. ET. Secondary: 7 p.m. ET

Location – Milwaukee Theater, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Moderators – Gerard Baker, Neil Cavuto, Maria Bartiromo

Primary: All candidates averaging at least 2.5 percent in four most recent national polls by Nov. 4.

Secondary: Remaining candidates averaging at least 1 percent in one of the four most recent polls.

Primary: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, Rand Paul.

Secondary: Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum.

Candidates on my list are in bold. The debate will be live-streamed, so you have no excuses for missing it. This one promises to be a good one. The moderators will not be amateurs as with the Democrat-biased CNBC debate.

Scott Walker campaign leaders sign up with Marco Rubio

Florida Senator Marco Rubio
Florida Senator Marco Rubio

Story from the Weekly Standard.


Four members of Scott Walker’s Iowa campaign are now aligning with Marco Rubio. With the Wisconsin governor exiting the presidential race Monday, the Walker campaign’s network of activist supporters in the early primary states are free to endorse other candidates.

In Iowa, three county chairs and a university student leader are now supporting Rubio, the Florida senator. Melody Slater of Lee County, Matt Giese of Dubuque County, and Alan Ostergren of Muscatine County, have all shifted their support for Rubio.

“While I am saddened by the news of Governor Walker’s campaign ending, I am proud to join Senator Rubio’s team. His conservative, positive vision is exactly what this country needs,” said Slater in a statement to THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

“Senator Rubio has the vision and ideas that are needed to lead us into the new American century,” said Giese. “I’m looking forward to serving on Senator Rubio’s Iowa team.”

“Marco’s optimistic vision for the 21st century is exactly what our country needs. In the coming months, I look forward to helping Marco win the Iowa caucuses,” said Ostergren.

In addition, Brittany Gaura, an Iowa State University student who co-chaired Iowa Students for Walker, is also endorsing Rubio. “As much as I support Governor Walker, I know it is a critical time in this nation’s history. I am supporting Marco for the positive vision and strong leadership he will bring to America’s future,” she said.

Rubio has also picked up support from the chairman of Walker’s New Hampshire campaign as well as an early supporter of Walker’s in South Carolina.

Well, many of you sent me messages on Facebook and Twitter about the sad news that Walker, my #2 candidate, had dropped out of the race. This is a huge loss for America, since Walker’s plan to reform public sector labor unions would have changed the direction of the country, given how labor unions donate so much money to Democrat candidates.

So where do I stand now? My favorite candidate is Bobby Jindal, then Ted Cruz, then Marco Rubio. That’s strictly on conservative principles and conservative achievements. Rubio is the most electable, but I am angry with him for flirting with amnesty. However, he has repudiated his involvement with that movement. I would be happy with any of these three candidates.

These candidates are not conservative enough for me

These candidates are Republicans, but they are too liberal on fiscal issues:

  • Jeb Bush (amnesty)
  • John Kasich (Medicare funding, big government)
  • Mike Huckabee (he is a tax and spend Democrat)
  • RIck Santorum (not conservative enough)
  • Christie (DREAM act, Medicare funding)
  • Carly Fiorina (DREAM act, illegal immigration)

These candidates are Republicans, but they are too liberal on social issues:

  • Rand Paul (crime, abortion & marriage)
  • Jeb Bush (way too liberal on gay marriage and gay activism)
  • Carly Fiorina (civil unions, religious liberty)
  • Chris Christie (marriage)
  • Lindsay Graham (liberal on abortion, marriage, SCOTUS judges)
  • John Kasich (abortion, marriage and religious liberty)
  • Carly Fiorina (soft on crime)

These candidates are Republicans, but they are too liberal on national security and foreign policy issues:

  • Rand Paul (naive isolationist, wrong on every national security and foreign policy issue there is)
  • John Kasich (he is John Kerry)
  • Ben Carson (Iraq war opposition)
  • Chris Christie (has a national security problem re: Muslims and CAIR, Iraq war opposition)

Donald Trump is not a Republican, he is too liberal on every single issue there is, regardless of his clown-talk. His unstable shrieking is just a baby squealing for attention, understanding nothing and with no awareness of facts. He is a nobody, and should not even be running for President.

Bobby Jindal won first CNN debate, Carly and Rubio win second CNN debate


CNN Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
CNN Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

First of all, if you missed the two debates on CNN on Wednesday night, you missed two great political debates. Hugh Hewitt asked great questions of the candidates. Jake Tapper and Dana Bash were slightly biased against Republicans. Really both debates were so good, and a million times better than the two Fox News debates. There were no gotcha questions, there were plenty of issue-focused exchanges between the candidate.

First debate:

Here’s an exchange between Jindal and Graham:

Jindal: “If we can’t defund Planned Parenthood… It is time to be done with the Republican Party.”

JIndal on Trump and Obama:

Jindal: “He’s declared war on trans fats, and a truce with Iran. Think about that – he’s more worried about Twinkies than he is about the Ayatollahs having a nuclear weapon!”

Jindal on the refugee crisis and illegal immigration:

Jindal: “Simply allowing more people into this country doesn’t solve this problem.”

Jindal on radical Islam, and discrimination against Christians in America:

Jindal: “In America … right now, the biggest discrimination going on is against Christian business owners and individuals who believe in traditional forms of marriage.”

Here are my ratings, candidates in red are the ones I support.

First debate grades:

  • Bobby Jindal: A-
  • Lindsay Graham: B+
  • Rick Santorum: C
  • George Pataki: D

Jindal went after Trump hard, but didn’t talk enough about policy and his own record. LIndsay Graham was solid on foreign policy. He is far too liberal on fiscal issues and social issues, and especially on illegal immigration. Graham is one of the most establishment RINOs in the Senate. It was fun watching Jindal take him on. Jindal is still my favorite candidate, and I hope he gets a bump in the polls from his debate performance.

Second debate:

Carly Fiorina on Planned Parenthood:

Marco Rubio on foreign policy:

If you watch only one clip, watch this one – Rubio and Christie on global warming:

Ted Cruz on illegal immigration:

Scott Walker on minimum wage, jobs and Obamacare:

Second debate grades:

  • Carly Fiorina: A
  • Marco Rubio: A
  • Chris Christie: B+
  • Ted Cruz: B
  • Scott Walker: B-
  • Ben Carson: C+
  • Jeb Bush: C+
  • Rand Paul: C
  • Mike Huckabee: C
  • John Kasich: D
  • Donald Trump: F

Fiorina solid on the facts, but took a few hits on her record at Hewlett Packard, which was not good. She is much too liberal and inexperienced for me, but she talks about these issues very seriously. I am more conservative than she is on abortion, marriage, religious liberty, criminal justice, and many other issues. She has no record of achievement as a governor, either. Marco Rubio is amazing at foreign policy, and knocked a question on global warming out of the park. I love to see a Republican explain the global warming issue so that people understand what is at stake. Rand Paul made some great points about federalism, which I think was valuable in explain conservative principles to the CNN audience.

I’m glad to see that Erick Erickson of the grassroots site Red State agrees with me on the winner of the first debate, and the winners of the second debate.

For a good review of the second debate, here’s something from The Weekly Standard and a new episode of the The Weekly Standard podcast, as well.

My top 4 candidates are still Jindal, Walker, Cruz, Rubio.

Cruz and Carson did the best in Thursday’s top 10 GOP primary debate

Texas Senator Ted Cruz
Texas Senator Ted Cruz

It’s late Thursday night, so I am just going to round up a few clips that stood out to me.

Ted Cruz’s introductory speech:

Marco Rubio on helping small businesses:

Ted Cruz on Obama weakness with Russia and China:

Ben Carson on race relations in the United States:

Scott Walker defends his strong pro-life record:

Ben Carson on America’s declining military power:

Scott Walker defends his economic record in Wisconsin:

And Ben Carson’s short closing speech was the highlight of the night:

I like Scott Walker best in the second debate group, but he didn’t say much that I hadn’t heard before. I really think he is the guy to beat Hillary, especially since Jindal’s record in Louisiana is just not ready for prime time. Would like a Walker/Jindal ticket, with Cruz as Attorney General and Ben Carson as Health and Human Services Secretary and Carly Fiorina as Commerce Secretary and John Bolton as Secretary of State and Rand Paul as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Oh yes, please.