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Sunday, October 1, 2023


GOP grades: Where does each candidate stand on the issues?

The five candidates are going to battle it out on stage Thursday, so our opinion editor graded them on are their points of contention.

  • Trump: Wants to deport illegal immigrants and their children, which is estimated to cost around $114 billion. He also wants to build a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border and make the Mexican government pay for it.
  • Cruz: Does not want amnesty or any type of pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
  • Rubio: Pessimistic about any type of immigration reform. Cares more about border security.
  • Kasich: Understands that there are undocumented people who are law-abiding citizens, and wants a pathway for them to stay in the U.S.
  • Carson: “I would secure the borders — north, south, east and west.” What the hell are you talking about?

  • Trump: Went on the record saying he does not believe in climate change.
  • Cruz: Believes that scientists “cook the books” with false data and believes climate change is a scam by “power-greedy politicians” to impose restrictions on American jobs.
  • Rubio: Thinks addressing climate change would “destroy our economy” and denies it is caused by human activity.
  • Kasich: Believes in climate change and is open to emission cuts, but doesn’t want to do much else.
  • Carson: Thinks oil is a “God-given resource” and the economic benefits outweigh the environmental costs.

  • Trump: Wants to repeal Obamacare and replace it with “something terrific,” but fails to explain what that means.
  • Cruz: His 2013 filibuster of the Affordable Care Act in 2013 led to a government shutdown and cost American taxpayers $24 billion.
  • Rubio:  Believes in expanding mental health facilities, but also wants to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a market-based system.
  • Kasich: Wants to repeal Obamacare, but expanded Medicaid in Ohio while governor, something only a few Republicans did.
  • Carson: Not only wants to repeal Obamacare, but wants to privatize Medicare and Medicaid.

  • Trump:  Used to be pro-choice, is now against abortion except in cases of rape, incest or risk of the mother.
  • Cruz: Tried to criminalize abortion, tried to shut the government down over Planned Parenthood and wants to overturn Roe v. Wade and is OK with companies denying insuring birth control.
  • Rubio:  Wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, but is vague about what specifically he wants to do to stop abortions from happening.
  • Kasich: Opposes abortion except in cases like rape, incest or the mother’s life is at risk. Heavily criticized Ted Cruz for shutting down the government over Planned Parenthood.
  • Carson: Wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, and has equated women doing what they want with unborn babies to slave owners and their slaves.

  • Trump: Vehemently talks about bringing jobs back from overseas even though Trump Ties are made in China.
  • Cruz: Wants to impose a flat tax and abolish the IRS to help job growth. Also opposes raising the minimum wage.
  • Rubio: Voted against a bill allowing equal pay for women and is against raising the minimum wage.
  • Kasich: Helped create jobs during Reagan administration as a congressman and has been successful creating jobs as governor of Ohio.
  • Carson: Thinks the minimum wage should “probably” be raised, but thinks it will increase unemployment.

  • Trump: Says it’s wrong for the federal government to profit off of student loan debt, but has no specific plan to fix it.
  • Cruz: Has shared empathy for students with debt but voted against a bill that would have allowed student loan borrowers to refinance their loans at a lower rate.
  • Rubio: Only Republican candidate who has introduced legislation to tackle student debt.
  • Kasich: Passed legislation as governor of Ohio capping college tuition and expanded funding for higher education.
  • Carson: Believes people need to work their way through college.

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