GOP still living in Trumpville



Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump, left, speaks as Jeb Bush looks on during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)


For nearly three-hours, 10 of the top-11 GOP candidates tried to push themselves out of Donald Trump’s shadow.

But it is hard to say if any of the candidates did better in Wednesday’s GOP debate than in the August event, said Tim Hagle, a University of Iowa associate professor of political science.

“You have different moderators, different approach to the questions,” he said, noting that more questions directed during tonight’s debate centered on foreign policy than the first debate.

CNN hosted the second GOP debate of the primary election cycle at Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, on Wednesday evening.

The next GOP debate, which will be hosted by CNBC, will be at University of Colorado in Boulder on Oct. 28.

Throughout the debate Trump was the most searched candidate, according to Google Trends.

Bookended by Ben Carson and Jeb Bush, Trump still led the show, with many questions being about past statements the business mogul has made.

One claim was that former Florida Gov. Bush’s immigration plan is influence by Bush’s wife, Columba, who was born in Mexico.

“She loves this country as much as anybody in this room, and she wants a secure border,” Bush said in the debate. “But she wants to embrace the traditional American values that make us special and make us unique.”

During the exchange, Bush surpassed Trump in Google searches, according to Google Trends.

Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina was also quick to hold Trump accountable after a question was asked about his most recent comment about Fiorina to Rolling Stone magazine: “Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?”

“You know, it’s interesting to me, Mr. Trump said that he heard Mr. Bush very clearly and what Mr. Bush said,” Fiorina said, following a discussion where Trump said Bush’s statement on cutting funding for women’s health issues will “haunt him.”

“I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said,” Fiorina said.

According to a Sept. 10 CNN/ORC poll, 32 percent of 474 Republicans surveyed said Trump would be their choice candidate. Carson followed with 19 percent, and Fiorina made it to the top 10 with 3 percent.

There is a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

For Don Kass, the head of the Plymouth County Republican Central Committee, there was no real winner. But he did say he believes Fiorina did the best.

“Anytime she had an opportunity to speak she made the most of it all the time,” he said. “She hit doubles and triples and home runs.”

But Fiorina and Bush were not the only ones to find themselves battling with Trump.

“It was kind of a pissing match between Trump and everyone else,” said UI senior Mike Corrie, who attended a watch party for Students for Rand.

One of the first skirmishes of the debate pitted Paul against Trump. The two tangled in the GOP debate in Cleveland, and their appearance at the Reagan Library was no different. The whole episode left a handful of attendees of the same watch party disgusted.

“It was pretty petty to continue and come and attack him,” said UI student Clinton Garlock, who describes himself as leaning toward Paul at this point.

Despite the different bickering that took place on the debate stage, Kass said the debate made him proud to be a Republican.

“You just saw specifics laid out, you saw heartfelt statements on what America stands for, the Constitution, the rule of law, specifics on immigration and all kinds of different issues,” he said.

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