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Republican Candidates Stand Firm on Economic Policy Questions

During Wednesday's Republican presidential debate, hosted by CNBC, both Donald Trump and Ben Carson were grilled on their economic policies. CNBC moderator John Harwood asked Trump if he was running a “comic book” version of a White House candidacy while Ohio Gov. John Kasich argued Carson and Trump are not fit for the White House.

John Kasich said, “My great concern is that we’re on the verge of picking someone who cannot do this job. I’ve watched as someone said we should dismantle Medicaid and leave our senior citizens out in the cold. I’ve heard them talking about deporting 10 or 11 [million] people. Folks, we’ve got to wake up. We cannot elect somebody who does not know the job."

Trump shot back by saying “John got lucky with a thing called fracking." Trump continued by saying “Lehman Brothers started it all, and he was a managing partner. Then his poll numbers tanked. That is why he’s at the end [of the stage]. ... So you know what? You can have him.” Kasich responded “I wasn’t on the board of Lehman Brothers ... I was a banker ... and I traveled the country and learned how people created jobs. My state is doing great across the board.”

On the other hand, Ted Cruz, hoping to win over Trump and Carson supporters, discussed his new flat tax proposal, which would impose a 10 percent flat tax on personal income and a 16 percent tax on businesses. In addition, he received loud cheers for attacking the mainstream media. When asked about the debt limit, he said that the questions being asked “illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media. This is not a cage match. How about talking about the substantive issues?”

Bush decided to align himself with Kasich by saying “It troubles me that people are rewarded for tearing down our country, and it’s never been that way in American politics before. I just can’t do it.”

After the debate, many now see Rubio as a favorite to win the GOP nomination and to surpass both Bush and Kasich. A home-state newspaper editorial went after Rubio on Wednesday for missing a number of Senate votes as he seeks the presidency. CNBC host Carl Quintanilla cited the editorial and asked Rubio “Do you hate your job?”

Rubio pointed the votes Barack Obama missed when he, himself a freshman senator at the time, ran for president in 2008. Rubio stated, “This is another example of the double standard that exists” between the mainstream media and conservatives.

Bush said, “I expected that he would do constituent service, which means show up for work. Marco, when you signed up for this, it was a six-year term.” Rubio responded “Someone’s convinced you that attacking me is going to help you."

Ben Carson tried to steer clear of any attacks by saying “I believe in Ronald Reagan’s commandment and will not be engaging in the awful things of my compatriots here."

Photo: KRQE

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