UH-based GOP debate heats up
The gloves never came off at Thursday night’s Republican debate in the Moores Opera House, partially because they were never on.
The last Republican presidential debate before the Super Tuesday elections, where 11 states will take to the poll to decide who will be the face of the Republican Party, was heated from beginning to end.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio took the first punch calling real estate mogul Donald Trump out for hiring immigrants, more specifically undocumented Polish immigrants, to demolish a building where Trump Towers would be built.
“My mom was a maid at a hotel, and instead of hiring an American like her, you’ve hired people around the world instead,” Rubio said.
How to address immigration was a splitting topic among the candidates. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Rubio and Trump agreed that sending undocumented workers back over the border was of necessity, while Ohio Gov. John Kasich said he would create a path for work, but not citizenship.
“I find it amazing that Donald thinks he lead the fight on immigration,” Cruz said about Trump’s statement that he pioneered the topic.
Traditionally conservative topics revolving around religious liberty lead to healthcare, to which all of the candidates said they would repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act, also known as Obamacare. The candidates, however, differed in what they would replace it with.
Rubio wasn’t the only one swinging at Trump though. Cruz accused Trump of wanting to “socialize medicine.”
“We’re going to have private health care, but I will not allow people to die on the sidewalks and streets in our country if I’m president,” Trump said. “You may let it. You may be fine with it.”
Economic growth was next on the agenda, but quickly turned personal when Trump’s tax returns came under scrutiny.
“I want to release my tax returns. I can’t release it while I’m under an audit. We’re under a routine audit. I’ve had it for years, I get audited,” Trump said.
Soon, the candidates were answering questions about foreign policy when North Korea, Russia and the Middle East came to the forefront.
“We are the leader of the world,” Kasich said referring to the U.S. with regards to North Korea. “We should put the pressure on them to do their job…we need to rebuild our defenses. We must reform (the Pentagon).”
Neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who had been overlooked for most of the debate, chimed in saying the U.S. needs a “more robust” Navy.
Moderators turned the conversation to ISIS and the debacle that Apple faces for refusing to make software to unlock the phone of one of the San Bernadino attackers.
“Apple should be forced to comply with court order (under 4th amendment),” Rubio said. “We should enforce court order and find out everyone that terrorist was (in contact with).”
Kasich said that the problem doesn’t lie between Apple and the administration, but the lack of intervention from the president.
“That’s why you want a governor; we do this all the time,” Kasich said. “We need to solve problems instead of fighting on the front page of the newspaper.”
Over 650 GOP delegates are up for grabs Tues. Texas holds 23 percent of the delegates.
As his home state, Cruz is projected to win Texas.