Explosive issues await 10 Republican candidates | Jim Clark | SierraSun.com

Explosive issues await 10 Republican candidates | Jim Clark

Jim Clark
Special to the Bonanza

If you are reading this in the Bonanza print edition, it is Aug. 6, 2015, and the first national debate among the 10 best-polling Republican candidates for president of the United States will be televised on Fox News at 6 p.m. local time tonight.

That will include Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

If you’re a glutton for political drama, Fox News will also air a pre-debate debate at 2 p.m. local time on Aug. 6 with all of the above, plus Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, businesswoman Carly Fiorina and former New York Gov. George Pataki.

There have been some GOP candidate antics that debate watchers should be aware of if they want to better understand all the slings and arrows that will fill the air.

Today’s column is intended to provide background and current polling information about some of the key players and issues in tonight’s shows.

Trump bashed Mexican immigrants in his now famous speech announcing his candidacy for POTUS, which triggered a sharp rebuke from Bush and former candidate John McCain.

Trump doubled down by implying McCain, though a P.O.W., was not a war hero. Nevertheless, Trump rose like a meteor in the polls. Why? Rasmussen Reports just released a poll showing that 76 percent of likely Republican voters agree with Trump that illegal immigration increases the incidence of serious crime.

Last week, Cruz hurled a broadside at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), accusing him of lying about a “secret deal” to resuscitate Export-Import Bank legislation by tacking it onto a popular highway funding bill.

Tea Party Conservatives perceive the bank as corporate welfare while pro-business Republicans are big supporters. Cruz went a step further comparing McConnell to former Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in thwarting Republican voters who hoped that a GOP majority would behave like Republicans.

According to a Rasmussen poll, only 24 percent of likely GOP voters believe Republican legislators are doing a good job.

When Bush recently said Americans are not working hard enough, Cruz responded that the problem is not with Americans’ work habits, it’s that “special interests, lobbyists and career politicians have rigged the game against them.” Rasmussen found that 69 percent of GOP voters agree with Cruz.

More recent poling results: 87 percent of likely Republican voters think Congress should take action to undermine Pres. Obama’s recent executive order halting deportation of some 5 million illegal immigrants; 82 percent of GOP voters think the US is overtaxed; 79 percent of GOP voters agree with the House’s recent effort to strip funding from “sanctuary cities” that don’t enforce immigration laws; and 60 percent of likely Republican voters want to repeal Obamacare and start over.

Yet, seven months into total Republican control of Congress, these issues have not been addressed in the Senate.

In foreign policy, the “deal” which is supposed to stop or delay Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons remains an enigma. Although the measure has been approved by the United Nations and is now pending review by Congress recent developments unearthed the fact that Secretary of State Kerry entered into secret side agreements with Iran which will not be disclosed publicly or to Congress.

There are plenty of explosive issues for debating candidates to light a match to today. Viewers should keep in mind the sentiments of GOP primary voters in watching the strategies and tactics employed by these high stakes gladiators.

Jim Clark is president of Republican Advocates. He has served on the Washoe County and Nevada GOP Central Committees. He can be reached at tahoesbjc@aol.com.