The Third Republican Debate

According to Politico, the next debate among the Republican presidential candidates will reportedly take place on CNBC network on October 28th in Boulder, Colorado.

The uncertain terms of the debate are setting off a wave of anxiety among middle and bottom tier campaigns.  Several campaigners have criticized the Republican National Committee (RNC) for failing to provide clarity on how many candidates will appear on stage.

The campaigns fear the entry criteria for the debate are being designed to reduce the number of candidates on stage – a pivotal situation for several presidential hopefuls, according to Politico.

CUPERTINO, UNITED STATES: Carly Fiorina, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hewlett-Packard Company address the media during the offical launch of the new company 07 May 2002 in Cupertino, California. Hewlett-Packard is ready to lead change in the high-tech industry now that it has taken over Compaq Computer, HP chief executive Carly Fiorina said 07 May. As Fiorina announced the formal launch of the combined firm following the 20 billion dollar tie-up between the technology giants, the company announced it would re-organize into four divisions and re-brand some of its products. AFP PHOTO/John G. MABANGLO (Photo credit should read JOHN G. MABANGLO/AFP/Getty Images)Politico writes:  “While the RNC doesn’t set the rules, it does have a voice in working with the networks running the debates. The committee has not said how many candidates will be allowed into the primetime debate…”

Sources state that there will again be a prime-time debate as well as an undercard debate.   However, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul could be out of the prime-time debate and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham may not even make the undercard debate under criteria released Wednesday by CNBC, NPR states.

The rules would limit the prime-time debate to those polling above 3 percent, according to an average of national polls released between September 17th and October 21st.  Surveys from NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox News, CNN and Bloomberg will be used to judge if candidates qualify.

For the undercard debate, candidates must register at least 1 percent on any of those polls during that time.

An NPR analysis of the most recent polls finds that 10 candidates would qualify for the main event at this time:  Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, and Rand Paul.


Republican Candidates Split On Gay Marriage, Kim Davis

In Wednesday’s Republican debate, the candidates seemed split on whether or not to support Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk jailed for defying a federal judge’s order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The issue is seen by many to be over, especially by those on the left side of the political spectrum. However, the only way to reverse the Supreme court ruling approving of gay marriage (Obergefell v. Hodges) would be to pass a constitutional amendment.

A constitutional amendment is a long, arduous process, and it may be passed by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. However, two-thirds of the people in both houses do not support ending gay marriage at this time.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum were against the Supreme Court ruling and delivered a strong showing of support for Davis, according to MSNBC.

Former New York Governor George Pataki and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham advocated for the rule of law.

Graham said that the Supreme Court’s June decision that found state same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional is “the law of the land.”

Donald Trump has also said the same thing. “You have to go with it. The decision’s been made, and that is the law of the land,” the real estate mogul said earlier this month on the TV news show “Morning Joe.”

Graham turned the conversation to national security threats.

“Were you the wedding cake baker, or the gay couple or the baptist preacher, radical Islam would kill you if they could,” Graham said. “Let’s not lose sight of the big picture.”

Jindal was the first candidate to bring up Davis, prompting CNN’s moderator Jake Tapper to note that the candidates were clearly “chomping at the bit” to discuss her case.

When asked how Jindal would balance his pledge to root out Islamic terrorists with making sure Muslims aren’t subjected to discrimination, Jindal said that “right now, the biggest discrimination going on is against Christian business owners and individuals who believe in traditional forms of marriage.”

“Let’s talk about the Christian florist, the caterer, the musician,” Jindal said, referring to high-profile lawsuits in which religious business owners refused to provide wedding services to same-sex couples in states with laws barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Most states actually have no such protections for same-sex couples, but Democratic lawmakers at the federal level are trying provide them with it. However, that bill, known as the Equality Act, stands little chance of clearing the GOP-controlled Congress.

Surprisingly, neither does its legislative opponent – the First Amendment Defense Act – which would prohibit the federal government from taking “discriminatory action” against people or companies that believe marriage is between one man and one woman. Though the bill has a tremendous number of Republican co-sponsors in both the House and Senate, Republican leaders seem reluctant to move it forward.

Santorum said he would pass the First Amendment Defense Act as president, and invoked Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s letter from a Birmingham jail as justification to defy the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling.

“[Dr. King] said there are just laws and there are unjust laws, and we have no obligation to follow unjust laws,” Santorum said. “I would argue that what the Supreme Court did is against natural law, God’s law, and we have every obligation to stand in opposition to it.”

Former Governor George Pataki said Davis had an obligation as an elected official to follow the rule of law and that if she were working for him, he would have fired her, though as an elected official, she couldn’t actually be fired, according to MSNBC.

Tapper tried to recreate the rift over Davis during the prime time debate, but he found former Governors Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Jeb Bush of Florida more united on the topic than their other competitors.

Huckabee is a former Baptist pastor who escorted Davis out of jail last week to much fanfare. He said that the Supreme Court had crossed into the realm of “judicial tyranny” with its marriage ruling.

Bush said in a statement earlier this month that Davis was “sworn to uphold the law,” but he backed away from that position during Wednesday’s debate. He said he agreed with Huckabee that Davis deserved an accommodation to allow for other people in the clerk’s office to issue the licenses without her authority.

“If the law needs to be changed in the state of Kentucky, which is what she’s advocating, it should be changed.”

Kentucky law states that marriage licenses should be issued by the clerk of court, but Davis has taken her name and title off of the form. This may have jeopardized the validity of marriage licenses issued since her incarceration.

Did Trump Start With Nothing?

TYT Network

Did presidential candidate Donald Trump Start with nothing?  Did he “pull himself up by his boot straps?”

Vox writes:

“In an outstanding piece for National Journal, reporter S.V. Dáte notes that in 1974, the real estate empire of Trump’s father, Fred, was worth about $200 million. Trump is one of five siblings, making his stake at that time worth about $40 million. If someone were to invest $40 million in a S&P 500 index in August 1974, reinvest all dividends, not cash out and have to pay capital gains, and pay nothing in investment fees, he’d wind up with about $3.4 billion come August 2015, according to Don’t Quit Your Day Job’s handy S&P calculator. If one factors in dividend taxes and a fee of 0.15 percent — which is triple Vanguard’s actual fee for an exchange-traded S&P 500 fund — the total only falls to $2.3 billion.

“It’s hard to nail down Trump’s precise net worth, but Bloomberg currently puts it at $2.9 billion, while Forbes puts it at $4 billion. So he’s worth about as much as he would’ve been if he had taken $40 million from his dad and thrown it into an index fund.”

More on whether Donald Trump started with nothing here:’s_protection_mostly_did_the_trick

Don’t Quit Your Day Job:

Republicans’ Strange ‘Loyalty Pledge’

The Young Turks

CNN writes this about Donald Trump:

“The Republican presidential front-runner met privately with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus Thursday afternoon, and soon after, came out to the lobby of Trump Tower to declare that he has signed a loyalty pledge. This means Trump has promised to support the party’s eventual nominee — whoever that may be — and that he will not run as a third-party candidate.”

According to CNN, all 17 Republican presidential candidates have pledged to support the GOP’s eventual presidential nominee.

(Updated post)

Trump Calls CNN’s Anderson Cooper ‘Pathetic’ On Immigration Questions


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump became irritable when pressed on immigration by CNN host Anderson Cooper on Wednesday.

Trump did not appreciate Anderson Cooper’s line of questions surrounding the construction crew he hired to build his Trump Tower in Manhattan back in 1975.

The CNN host asked about a court case that Trump settled in 1999 surrounding 200 illegal Polish immigrants alleging they were paid less than minimum wage back for their work in 1975.

“I hired a contractor,” Trump replied about the Trump Tower construction crew. “Anderson, I hire a contractor. The contractor then hires the subcontractor. They have people. I don’t know — I don’t remember, that was so many years ago, 35 years ago they said we had some illegal immigrants.”

A report on Monday by the Washington Post claimed Trump has employed illegal immigrants on current hotel projects, which was also brought up by Cooper.

According to Business Insider, The Post’s Antonio Olivo talked to 15 of the workers, some of whom “acknowledged that they remain in the country illegally.”

New Poll: Rubio, Paul Stack Up The Best Against Hillary

A Quinnapiac University poll from May 28th shows that (currently) the Republican candidates that stack up the best against Hillary Clinton are Marco Rubio and Rand Paul.  The next in line seems to be Mike Huckabee.

(Hillary is listed on the left, Republican candidates on the right.)

46 – 42 percent over Rand Paul

45 – 41 percent over Marco Rubio

47 – 40 percent over Mike Huckabee

46 – 38 percent over Scott Walker

47 – 37 percent over Jeb Bush

48 – 37 percent over Ted Cruz

46 – 37 percent over Chris Christie

50 – 32 percent over Donald Trump

Rick Santorum Upset At Fox News Debate Process

TYT Network

Rick Santorum recently announced that he would be running for President under the GOP ticket.  Recently, Fox News announced that its Republican presidential primary debate in August would include only the 10 candidates polling the highest in national surveys. After the announcement, Rick Santorum denounced the criteria, according to The New York Times.

“In January of 2012, I was at 4 percent in the national polls, and I won the Iowa caucuses,” said Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania, who is now near the bottom of most national surveys.

Fox News announced Thursday that the debate competitors would be determined by averaging their last five major national polls.  The top 10 competitors will be allowed to debate.  The field could expand to 11 if there’s a tie for 10th, according to CBS News.

Santorum’s concern may be legitimate.  The situation is reminiscent of Ron Paul in 2012.  Paul was excluded from the first Fox debate that year although he performed well in some polls.  The 2011 Straw Poll showed that Ron Paul was a legitimate candidate in Iowa.  Paul finished second.  Paul finished third in the caucuses with 21 percent of the vote, according to the publication The Iowa Republican.  Paul also placed first in a Fox News poll, but Fox changed the location of the poll on their website to an area difficult to find, writes RT.