“One of the benefits of a presidential campaign is the character and capability, judgment and temperament of every single one of us is revealed over time and under pressure.” That was Carly Fiorina’s introduction to the second GOP presidential debate on September 16, illustrating the flaws in all the GOP candidates. Even the conservative Washington Post wrote that Fiorina “couldn’t just admit she made a mistake but instead doubled down and worsened the falsehood [about Planned Parenthood.” She insists on describing a scene in the highly doctored, false videotapes of Planned Parenthood that doesn’t exist and continues to digging her hole deeper while demanding a government shutdown. The last debacle, two years ago, cost $26 billion, but she was “not aware of any hardship to anyone, other than the veterans trying to get to the World War II memorial.”
In an increasingly strident voice, Fiorina delivers graphic details about abortions from these fabricated videos debunked even by the Fox network. By now, Fiorina and other GOP presidential candidates claim that women are deliberately having abortions to “harvest their brains and other body parts.” Marco Rubio goes so far as to say that women deliberately get pregnant to make money from having abortions. He said that women “look forward to” getting abortions. Fiorina also lies about taxpayers paying for abortions. The Hyde Amendment forbids it, and every state investigating Planned Parenthood has found that government money doesn’t finance abortions. The question is what happens to Fiorina’s popularity when voters discover that she chaired Good360, a charity that gave $18,022 in goods to The Abortion Access Network of Arizona.
Lying about her business record also keeps getting Fiorina into trouble. She claims that she doubled Hewlett-Packard’s revenue, but that’s only because she merged with Compaq which HP dumped in a few years as a failed company. She claimed that she tripled the number of patents per day, but that also came from the merger. HP doubled the number of patents after she left. The public announcement that she was fired caused HP’s stock to go up six percent the next day, adding $3 billion in value to the company. Before she left, however, she artificially inflated HP stock illegally during a tax holiday bill with profits funneled to Fiorina and shareholders. Her mishandling of the company caused 30,000 employees to be laid off—although she tried to claim that they just moved to Texas because it had a better business climate. Fiorina’s layoff, however, gave her a $21 million severance package.
Jeb Bush stays out of the abortion debate but gets in trouble with his tax plan, something that even Fox calls “voodoo economics.” With Bush’s plan, the rich get richer and the poor stay poor, as shown by Bush personally gaining at least $3 million with his plan. Chris Wallace pointed out that “four conservative economists … said that [Jeb’s plan] would increase the deficit between 1 and 3 trillion dollars over the next ten years.” The top 1 percent would get an after-tax increase of 11.6 percent in their income. Bush also assured his mostly-white audience in South Carolina that he wouldn’t be giving black people any “free stuff.” He seems to be emulating Donald Trump’s success in bigotry: while campaigning in Iowa, Bush said, “We should not have a multicultural society.”
Bush argues that his tax plan helps the economy in the same way that his brother’s two massive tax breaks did. Yet the Bush/Cheney era averaged about 1.6 percent in economic growth, slower than President Obama’s post-recession era and much slower than during the Clinton era.
Donald Trump joined the tax-cut bandwagon with his plan to give $3.48 billion to his children in estate taxes. He said that the hedge fund managers are “getting away with murder,” but he would reduce their tax rate from 23.8 percent to 15 percent. Trump’s plan would cost the country $1 trillion every year for the next ten years while Bush only adds $340 billion to the deficit each year.
While Trump rants, Ben Carson’s speech patterns are guaranteed to put people asleep while he spreads his bigotry. Jake Tapper grilled Carson about his position that a Muslim shouldn’t be president if that person practices the Islamic religion, but Carson continued to claim that the constitution doesn’t fit Islamism. Carson escaped when a disembodied voice stated, “This interview is over.” and Carson was gone. Fox’s conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer called Carson’s religious bigotry “morally outrageous”:
“His reason is that Islam is incompatible with the Constitution. On the contrary. Carson is incompatible with a Constitution…”
The extremely conservative Values Voter Summit seems to bring out the worst in people, and Ted Cruz is no exception. He promised to not only rip up the Iran agreement but also kill Iran’s agreements. The speech brought standing ovations and won him the Summit for presidential candidate for the third year in a row.
Tear up the Iran agreement? That’s what most of the GOP presidential candidates are promising if they are elected. While in the United States recently, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani commented that several of the candidates don’t even know where Iran is. He then compared the GOP threats to another Middle East leader: “This is something that only the likes of Saddam Hussein would do.”
Scott Walker is gone from the GOP list because God told him to lead by resigning, Jim Gilmore is running but not campaigning, and three more candidates—Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, and Rand Paul—are on the chopping block. The GOP will never vote for Pataki because he claims that climate change is scientifically proven. That leaves an even dozen to spread their lies at the October 28 debate and show us their “character.”
Here is the yesterday’s average of 171 polls from 30 pollsters, a great site to follow:
- Donald Trump 26.9%
- Ben Carson 16.6%
- Jeb Bush 8.7%
- Carly Fiorina 8.7%
- Marco Rubio 7.6%
- Ted Cruz 5.8%
- Chris Christie 3.4%
- John Kasich 3.0%
- Rand Paul 2.7%
- Mike Huckabee 2.6%
- Rick Santorum 0.7%
- Bobby Jindal 0.5%
- George Pataki 0.4%
- Lindsey Graham 0.2%