The Cleveland Debate Questions: Insightful? Or Crass Douchebaggery?

Megyn Kelly: [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ], start from you. Any word from God?

Below are the questions the moderators addressed to the candidates. I’ve edited the long-winded self-aggrandizing questions down to one sentence where possible. There are a very few questions that have any place in a presidential debate. The moderators tried to get Governor Christie and [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] going at one another. They tried to make Governor Bush and [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] fight. And they were simply asshats dealing with Donald Trump. The vast majority of these questions were intended to either create faux conflict or provide ‘gotcha’ quotes. Why the RNC and our candidates keep falling for this crap year after year is beyond me.

The name in caps is the person to whom the question is addressed.

EVERYONE: Is there anyone on stage, and can I see hands, who is unwilling tonight to pledge your support to the eventual nominee of the Republican party and pledge to not run an independent campaign against that person.

CARSON: You are a successful neurosurgeon, but you admit that you have had to study up on foreign policy, saying there’s a lot to learn.

RUBIO: Could you please address Governor Bush across the stage here, and explain to him why you, someone who has never held executive office, are better prepared to be president than he is, a man who you say did a great job running your state of Florida for eight years.

BUSH: So do you understand the real concern in this country about dynastic politics?

TRUMP: Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president, and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who was likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?

CRUZ: How can you win in 2016 when you’re such a divisive figure?

CHRISTIE: So why should voters believe that your management of the country’s finances would be any different?

WALKER: Would you really let a mother die rather than have an abortion, and with 83 percent of the American public in favor of a life exception, are you too out of the mainstream on this issue to win the general election?

HUCKABEE: [S]o how do you persuade enough Independents and Democrats to get elected in 2016?

PAUL: Why are you so quick to blame your own party [on foreign policy]?

KASICH: Why should Republican voters, who generally want to shrink government, believe that you won’t use your Saint Peter rationale to expand every government program?

BUSH: Do you stand by that statement and do you stand by your support for earned legal status?

TRUMP: Why not use this first Republican presidential debate to share your proof [IRT illegal immigrants and crime] with the American people?

KASICH: Governor Kasich, I know you don’t like to talk about Donald Trump. But I do want to ask you about the merit of what he just said.

RUBIO: Is it as simple as our leaders are stupid, their leaders are smart, and all of these illegals coming over are criminals?

WALKER: Other than politics, could you explain why in the last two years you’ve changed your position on a path to citizenship, and are there other past positions that we shouldn’t hold you to?

CRUZ: “[W]ill you support Kate Steinle’s Law,” which would impose a mandatory five-year prison term for an illegal who is deported and then returns to this country? “And will you defund sanctuary cities for violating federal law?”

CHRISTIE: Do you really believe you can assign blame to [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] just for opposing he bulk collection of people’s phone records in the event of a terrorist attack?

CRUZ: How would you destroy ISIS in 90 days?

BUSH: To the families of those who died in that war who say they liberated and deposed a ruthless dictator, how do you look at them now and say that your brothers war was a mistake?

WALKER: Which Arab country not already in the U.S. led coalition has potential to be our greatest partner?

CARSON: As president, would you bring back water boarding?

TRUMP: Now, 15 years ago, uncalled yourself a liberal on health care. You were for a single-payer system, a Canadian-style system. Why were you for that then and why aren’t you for it now?

HUCKABEE: So the question is, at this point, is the government simply too big for any one person, even a Republican, to shrink?

BUSH: President Obama’s secretary of education, Arnie Duncan, has said that most of the criticism of Common Core is due to a, quote, “fringe group of critics.” Do you think that’s accurate?

RUBIO: [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ], why is Governor Bush wrong on Common Core?

KASICH: How will you, if you’re the nominee, how will you answer that [that the GOP wants to oppress women and minorities] and take Hillary Clinton on?

CARSON:  If Hillary Clinton is the nominee and she comes at you with that kind of line of attack, how will you take Iraq?

BUSH: So question, how on Earth specifically would you pull that off [increasing economic growth and employment]?

WALKER: Given your record in Wisconsin, why should voters believe you?

CHRISTIE: Governor Huckabee says he can save Social Security and Medicare without doing any of that [raise retirement age and cut benefits]. Is he lying?

HUCKABEE:  Please explain to Governor Christie how that would work, and how you could save these programs without the kind of painful reforms he says we need?

TRUMP: Question sir, with that record [bankruptcies], why should we trust you to run the nation’s business?

RUBIO: Please describe one action you would do to make the economic environment more favorable for small businesses and entrepreneurs and anyone dreaming of opening their own business.

WALKER: You’ve said that you would tear up the Iran deal on day one. If this deal is undone, what then?

PAUL:  [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ], would you tear up the deal on day one?

HUCKABEE: Governor Huckabee, what do you think about what [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] just said?

RUBIO:  If you believe that life begins at conception, as you say you do, how do you justify ending a life just because it begins violently, through no fault of the baby?

TRUMP: When did you actually become a Republican [pro-life is what she means]?

BUSH:  [A] story appeared today quoting an anonymous GOP donor who said you called Mr. Trump a clown, a buffoon, something else that cannot be repeated on television.

KASICH: [I]f you had a son or daughter who was gay or lesbian, how would you explain to them your opposition to same-sex marriage?

PAUL: [W]hat will you do to ensure Christians are not prosecuted for speaking out against gay marriage and will Christians be forced to conduct business that conflicts with their religious beliefs?

WALKER: Do you agree [with the Black Lives Matter movement]? And if so, how do you plan to address it? And if not, why not?

WALKER: Governor Walker, as president, what would you do if Russian President Vladimir Putin started a campaign to destabilize NATO allies Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, mirroring the actions Putin took at the early days of Ukraine?

HUCKABEE: And now Defense Secretary Ashton Carter recently directed the military to prepare for a moment when it is welcoming transgender persons to serve openly. As commander in chief, how would you handle that?

PAUL: [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ], the first budget your proposed as senator cut all financial aid to Israel. You have since changed your view on that issue. What made you change your mind.

CHRISTIE: Governor Christie, what do you think of that answer [by Rand Paul]?

CRUZ: [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ], start from you. Any word from God?

KASICH: Governor Kasich, same question.

WALKER: Governor Walker, same question.

RUBIO: So I put the question to you about God and the veterans, which you may find to be related.

CARSON: Dr. Carson, a question to you about God and his role, but also, one of the issues that the public was very interested in, and we touched on it earlier, is race relations in this country, and how divided we seem right now. And what, if anything, you can do — you would do as the next president to help heal that divide.