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Posted by on Feb 15, 2016 in Blogs |

The Ultimate Republican Debate

0564d4ec4885448fc55b26b11c1ae743The Republican debate this past Saturday night took place in Greenville, South Carolina and was hosted by CBSN. It was, without a doubt, the most vitriolic debate thus far and definitely the most exciting. Now that the pack of candidates has been whittled down considerably, Rubio, Kasich, Trump, Cruz, Carson, and Bush were able to get down to the nitty-gritty of issues such as national security and various issues pertaining to domestic policy.

The elephant in the room was addressed off the bat: the sudden death of Supreme Court Justice

The Republican candidates with the martyr of their party, the late Antonin Scalia

The Republican candidates with the martyr of their party, the late Antonin Scalia

Antonin Scalia has been quickly politicized, as he had served 30+ years as the staunch Constitutional originalist and textualist. Many Republicans do not want President Obama to appoint a judge in Scalia’s place, despite the fact that there is overwhelming precedent for him to do so. Frankly, I think the Republicans are being ridiculous – as the party that believes in strict adherence to the Constitution, Obama would in fact be ignoring his Constitutional responsibilities were he not to appoint a judge. This issue is sure to cause great debate  on the campaign trail throughout the next few months.

Donald Trump, perhaps unwisely, attacked the Bush family’s involvement in 9/11 and the Iraq War. While to Democrats this seems like quite a reasonable discussion, the Republican base has traditionally supported the actions of George W. Bush and this was clear by the booing in the audience directed at Trump. I have a feeling that this will come back to haunt Trump in the future. On the other hand, Jeb Bush had a stronger showing on Saturday than ever before in the other debates – he stood up for the legacy of his family, stood up to Trump, and spoke clearly and concisely. Commentators suggested that he would have to do well in the debate to remain a legitimate contender and it would appear that Bush has helped himself to once again be considered for the 3rd place contender in the race, along with Kasich and Rubio. Ben Carson, however, can be expected to soon drop out, as he gained only 2% of New Hampshire primary goers and was not particularly strong on Saturday.

With 266 days until the election,

Phoebe Warren

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