By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday, November 10, the Jefferson County Republican Party, Alabama Minority GOP, and the Alabama Constitutional Conservatives hosted a Fox Business/Wall Street Journal Debate Watch Party at John’s City Diner in Downtown Birmingham.
The remaining Republican candidates allowed at the main debate were: New York City businessman Donald Trump; famed neurosurgeon and author Dr. Ben Carson; Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Texas Senator Ted Cruz; former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina; former Florida Governor Jeb Bush; Ohio Governor John Kasich; and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee were relegated to the preliminary debate with Louisiana Governor Bobbie Jindal and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum based on recent poll performances. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, former New York Governor George Pataki, and former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore were barred from either debate due to their poor poll numbers. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and former Texas Governor Rick Perry have dropped out of the race due to difficulty fund raising in the crowded Republican field.
Cindy Monaghan-Holcomb with the Constitutional Conservatives said, “I am actually glad this time that there are so many debates because we are having a ball…Whoever said debates are boring and Republicans are stuffy have clearly never watched a debate with my friends!”
The Fox Business Channel Moderators were: Gerard Baker, Neil Cavuto, and Maria Bartiromo. The debate was held in the Milwaukee Theater, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Donald Trump said, “I would not raise the minimum wage.”
Dr. Ben Carson said, “Every time we raise the minimum wage the number of jobless people increases. This is particularly hard on the Black community…I would not raise it because I am interested in making sure that people can enter the job market.”
Senator Marco Rubio drew applause when he said, “We need more welders and fewer philosophers.”
Dr. Carson scored when he said, “Thank-you for not asking me about what I said in the tenth grade…I don’t mind being vetted what I do mind is being lied about.”
Most of the candidates said that we needed to improve our defense.
Carly Fiorina said, “The US needs to have the “strongest military on the planet and everyone has to know it.”
Sen. Rand Paul however said, “I want a strong national defense, but I don’t want us to be bankrupt.”
Sen. Rubio said, “I know Rand is a committed isolationist.”
Jeb Bush said, “We aren’t going to be the world’s policeman; but we sure better be the world’s leader,” when criticizing Trump for suggesting that we allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to take out ISIS.
Trump defended his get tough on immigration policy: “We are a country with laws. We either are a country or we are not…Deporting illegal aliens is necessary…If we are going to have a country…We are going to have a wall.”
Governor Kasich said that was, “Not an adult argument. We can’t ship 11 million people out of this country…Children will be terrified it will not work.”
Jeb Bush agreed that it is, “Not possible.”
Sen. Ted Cruz said, “If Republicans join Democrats as the party of amnesty we will lose…Every sovereign nation secures its borders.”
Trump attacked the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), “The TPP is a horrible deal…This is one of the worst trade deals…I would rather make individual deals with individual countries…I love free trade. We don’t have smart people making the deals. We are losing jobs like nobody has lost jobs before.”
When Trump mentioned China, Sen. Rand Paul said that China is not part of the TPP.
The Republicans at the debate watch party were critical of Jeb Bush and John Kasich. Deanna Frankowski said, “Can everybody agree that Jeb and Kasich just need to be gone?”
Some participants questioned Trump’s general election electability.
Most observers though that the fourth debate was more substantive without all the media fireworks of the CNBC debate in which the moderators appeared combative with the candidates.