So last night we had the New Hampshire candidate forum where 14 of the 17 hopefuls showed up. Now you can watch it yourself.
Read a fairly dull review of facts.
Get a very glowing review which the lowest grade it gave a candidate was C+
Or you can go with the honest review:
We’re all busy and if you really care about the details you’ll spend the 2 hours watching it, so here is a quick and dirty review.
Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and George Pataki all get F’s for mentioning bringing back manufacturing jobs to America. 3D printing is going to end manufacturing as a major employer of people world-wide within the next 30 years. Planning an economic renaissance on a dying technology is possibly the dumbest thing I can think of.
John Kasich gets an F for saying that it’s government’s job to help people. He made no mention of getting rid of the barrier to private charities and communities helping people, he just seems to assume it’s government’s job. Thank you LBJ. He also has a problem with NAFTA and repeated the populist lie that it has cost jobs. It has not.
Lindsey Graham who usually would get an F got a D. Nothing he said was factually incorrect (well except his defense of entitlements but that’s nothing new from him) but he delivered everything in a bizarre stream of conscious drivel with a tone of voice that made me wonder if he had downed a handful of Qualudes before coming on stage. If I wanted someone who would act like they’re stoned I would vote for a libertarian.
Chris Christie, famous for negotiating good press for Obama right before the 2012 election in exchange for handouts to his state, made it clear we can never under any circumstances negotiate with terrorists. But that’s not what earns him an F, no what kicks Christie out on this the first round is the fact that when asked about Heroin addiction (a rather random question, but useful in showing Christie’s mindset) he makes it clear any of us could fall into drug addiction and it is only through the help of government that we can recover. A more progressive view of humanity it would be hard to find.
Ben Carson gets a D- not for being any better, but for earning bonus points for repeating the most hollow platitudes in a single night of any person on stage. He also believes the Bible should be the source of our economic and tax policy.
Carly Florina gets an extra special F for saying that a leader changes the status quo. You know, when as now the status quo is screwed up yes. But when the status quo is fine, which occasionally it is, you shouldn’t change it. But she seems to believe in change. Change, why do I remember somebody running on that. Also she wanted to remind everyone that career politicians are terrible then immediately compared herself to Lady Thatcher (whom I’m guessing Fiorina doesn’t know was a career politician).
Jindal gets a D for sticking to his hollow talking points no matter what the question was…oh and he’s for term limits, a move that has not improved the quality of legislation in any state that has enacted it, but I’m sure it will be magically different when put in at the federal level.
Scott Walker came off with a B. He said nothing new, had no plans but didn’t say anything wrong either. Honestly I think the moderator softballed him more than any of the other candidates.
Jeb. Oh Jeb. Jeb believed that we should not put boots on the ground but we have to have a serious response to ISIS. And if your head didn’t explode over that one…he wants 4% growth despite not having anything but platitudes on how we’re going to get there, and hey he also said he’s different from his brother and offered zero ways in which he is different. Zero. He also said his dad was the most perfect person in the world. Read my lips, Jeb, he’s not. The only list he is at the top of is “Reagan’s biggest mistakes!” Daddy dropped the ball in Iraq, Russia, China, the Balkans and Afghanistan despite being handed by Reagan the chance to make the world a wonderful place, his economic policy sucked, and just in general he was a poor leader. It’s one thing to love your parents, it’s one thing to not want to critique them in public…but to say that they make no mistakes over and over again shows just how stupid and worthless you are Jeb. And Jeb’s answer about Common Core was so close…he said states should choose their own standard (yes), he said they should be high (yes) and then he went into how the federal government can help by spending money (NO! you idiot). Get out. F-
Rand Paul. Rand suggested that to help with the cost of college we add more loopholes and handouts to the tax code. He also said that Americans who fight for ISIS should lose their US citizenship. Every libertarian in the country should have demanded the man’s head at that moment, but as Paulbotism is a cult, they didn’t. No why charge people with treason a crime that carries life in prison or death, when you give the government power to revoke a person’s citizenship (I don’t think I need to explain the slippery slope argument that would go with that)…yeah that power will never be abused. On a side note even an economic illiterate like Santorum pointed out that Rand’s tax plan was a Value Added Tax which is worse than what we have now. Way to go Rand, even the Forrest Gump of the campaign can see how stupid your plans are. Please join Jeb into taking a long walk out of public life forever,.
Ted Cruz, no usually I loathe Ted Cruz and his populist BS, but last night he got a C. Why? Because he actually had a plan. The plan in question was allowing medical insurance companies to cross states lines which after we repeal Obamacare would lower premiums. Point for you Ted for a real plan that would work. However you only get a C because in your discussion of the “Washington Cartel” you were one crazy haircut away from talking about ancient aliens and one foil hat away from using the word “Illuminati. So as a debate performance, eh, as your demo tape for hosting Coast to Coast, you nailed it.
And finally Marco Rubio. A-
Marco, you have been impressing me for months, but honestly I know your parents were immigrants. Get a new story. It’s a good story but you need some variety. But he provided an excellent multi-part non-amnesty way to solve immigration (close the border, E-verity, reform the system, work permits, no amnesty). And his vision for the future was spot on.
On a side note Rick Santorum provided the funniest moment of the evening when he suggested that we should be against the gay marriage decision because Lincoln would be against it. Remind me again why they’re called Log Cabin Republicans? (Of course what was also strange was it was in response to a question about abortion…Rick first talked about gay marriage, because I guess that was on his mind, and then went to connecting it to Lincoln and Dredd Scott…it was a very surreal moment).