Candidates Vie for the Hearts of Conservatives

debate4The debate hosted by Fox Business News and the Wall Street Journal was a showcase for economic issues, including immigration, banking, taxation, the Federal Reserve, growth and government spending. The questions were good and the candidates had an excellent forum to explain their platforms–at least on a cursory level. It was a true debate, with lots of back and forth between the candidates. Fox and WSJ moderators did an excellent job of making the night about the candidates and issues, not drawing attention to themselves or asking “gotcha” questions.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Dr. Ben Carson – “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… When I look at somebody like Hillary Clinton, who sits there and tells her daughter and a government official that no, this was a terrorist attack, and then tells everybody else it was a video. Where I came from, they call that a lie.”
  • Sen. Ted Cruz – “For those of us who believe people ought to come to this country legally, and we should enforce the law, we’re tired of being told it’s anti-immigrant. It’s offensive… Try going illegally to another country. Try going to China, or Japan. Try going to Mexico. See what they do. Every sovereign nation secures its borders, and it is not compassionate to say we’re not going to enforce the laws…”
  • Sen. Marco Rubio – “I’ve never met Vladimir Putin, but I know enough about him to know he is a gangster. He is basically an organized crime figure that runs a country, controls a $2 trillion economy… and every time he has acted anywhere in the world… it’s because he is trusting in weakness. His calculation in the Middle East is that he has seen what this president has done, which is nothing. The president has no strategy, our allies in the region not trust us.”
The candidates with the strongest performances were Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Ben Carson was hesitant on foreign policy issues, and Trump became somewhat incoherent when he talked about China and Putin, and got it wrong about China being a partner in the Transpacific Trade Partnership. John Kasich and Carly Fiorina bullied their way into some of the conversations, which seemed to help Carly, but came off as obnoxious by Kasich. Jeb Bush did better in this debate than he did in the last one, but seemed irritated and petulant. Rand Paul had a very good night, and brought out his stance on the issues that put him on the libertarian side of conservatism.
Why this Matters: Carson and Trump may see their leads eroded. Trump was unable to give details about his policy ideas and his grand statements are wearing thin. The most conservative candidates are Ted Cruz and Ben Carson–although Carson was not always pro-life. Marco Rubio has a conservative voting record in Congress, but also has some issues that bear examining further, including his stance on amnesty for illegal aliens. Praying Citizen will be examining the top issues and each candidate’s positions more thoroughly as we get closer to the primaries.
Father, thank You for answering our prayers for a good forum to review the candidates. Thank You for raising up a candidate that will look to You for guidance and to Your Word for truth. Make Your choice obvious. We know that this is a pivotal election, and whatever happens, we are safe in Your hands.
For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: 
in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; 
he shall set me up upon a rock. Psalm 27:5

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: 

wait, I say, on the LORD. Psalm 27:14

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