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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Road to the White House

Get ready for angry social media rants, it’s officially presidential campaign season once again.
Tuesday night kicked off the 2016 race to the White House with the FOX News Republican Party primary debates in Cleveland, Ohio.
With the GOP debates split according to poll rankings, first on stage were the seven candidates with less support, including former student and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Their “happy-hour” debate went from 4 to 5 p.m. CDT. The top-10 Republican candidates leading recent polls later took the floor for a debate during prime time from 8 to 10 p.m.
With prompting from the FOX News prime time anchors and debate moderators, the candidates hit on hot button issues including immigration, abortion, entitlements, ISIS and the recent Iran nuclear deal.
The elephant in the room was polls-front runner Donald Trump, whose quick rise to the top and controversial stances has caused friction in the GOP.
Trump, who has been criticized for his recent statements by politicians in both political parties, was given an opening question about his temperament. Trump made provocative remarks throughout the debate, giving a statement that he cannot promise he will not later run independently from the GOP party’s regular stances.
Amol Shalia, President of Aggie Democrats and geophysics senior, said Trump’s current performance is just a facade.
“His bravado, his egotism and his in-your-face attitude may suit the Republican primary voter, but it won’t work with the average American voter,” Shalia said. “Whatever he’s doing can’t be sustainable.”
Shalia said he doesn’t see a Republican candidate landing the presidential office in 2016.
“(T)he American people learned that these candidates have nothing to offer but the same old tired ideas of the past,” Shalia said. “…None of them are going to be the champion that the American people need right now.”
The elephant out of the room was Democratic Party polls front runner Hillary Clinton – many candidates took strong positions against her. Most notable, California business woman Carly Fiorina received a multitude of cheers after she said Clinton’s recent email scandal is an obvious attempt at a cover up for something bigger.
David Isenhour, petroleum engineering junior and state secretary of Texas Federation of College Republicans, said he felt the debate went very well and was a great way for the candidates to share their ideas.
“Overall, I feel the Republican Party has a strong and diverse field of candidates, full of great ideas about how to create a nation of a more limited government, [which is] something I believe our country desperately needs after the failed and divisive policies of the Democratic Party,” Isenhour said.
It’s difficult to pin one single candidate as being the clear winner, Isenhour said, but he believes the candidates who will benefit the most from this debate will be Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.
Five things to take away from the debates:
1. Carly Fiorina should not be overlooked:
Clearly gaining all the momentum from the happy-hour debate, she argued with composure, strength and is likely to move up in the polls following Tuesday’s program.
2. Immigration and border security will be central issues:
In both the happy-hour and primetime debates, immigration and border security were highlighted in the platforms of most candidates.
3. The candidates are looking at Hillary to lead the Democratic Party:
Nearly every candidate in both debates either attacked or brought up Hillary’s policies, highlighting her status as the presumptive Democratic nominee to move onto the final stages of the election.
4. Trump’s message translates with many republicans:
Trump was getting praise and applause in Cleveland more so than any other candidate. However, his comments at the beginning of the debate threatening to run as an independent were taken very negatively and shocked many in the crowd.
5. The 11th commandment may not apply:
Although most of the debate was civil, many candidates – notably Donald Trump, Rand Paul and Gov. Christie – did not shy away from harshly criticizing one another as they vied for the Republican nomination.

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