Fox News 2015 GOP primary debate: on Principles & Values


Ben Carson: Important experience is having a brain, not being politician

Q: You admit that you have had to study up on foreign policy, saying there's a lot to learn. You've suggested that the Baltic States are not a part of NATO, just months ago you were unfamiliar with the major political parties and government in Israel, and domestically, you thought Alan Greenspan had been treasury secretary instead of federal reserve chair. Aren't these basic mistakes, and don't they raise legitimate questions about whether you are ready to be president?

CARSON: Well, I could take issue with all of those things, but we don't have time. But I will say, the thing that is probably most important is having a brain, and to be able to figure things out and learn things very rapidly. Experience comes from a large number of different arenas, and America became a great nation early on not because it was flooded with politicians, but because it was flooded with people who understood the value of personal responsibility, hard work, creativity & innovation.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript Aug 6, 2015

Ben Carson: Secular progressives cause our problems; Hillary is epitome

Q: If Hillary Clinton is the nominee and she comes at you, how do you respond?

CARSON: If Hillary is the candidate, which I doubt, that would be a dream come true. She is the epitome of the secular progressive movement. And she counts on the fact that people are uninformed, the Alinsky Model, taking advantage of useful idiots. Well, I just happen to believe that people are not stupid. And the way I will come at it is to educate people, help people to actually understand that it is that progressive movement that is causing them the problems. You know, you look at the national debt and how it's being driven up. If I was trying to destroy this country, what I would do is find a way to drive wedges between all the people, drive the debt to an unsustainable level, and then step off the stage as a world leader and let our enemies increase while we decreased our military capacity. And that's what she's doing.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript Aug 6, 2015

Ben Carson: Our brain makes us who we are, not our skin

Q: What would you do as president to help heal the divide about race relations?

CARSON: Well, I think the bully pulpit is a wonderful place to start healing that divide. You know, we have the purveyors of hatred who take every single incident between people of two races and try to make a race war out of it, and drive wedges into people. And this does not need to be done. You know, I was asked by an NPR reporter once, why don't I talk about race that often. I said it's because I'm a neurosurgeon. And she thought that was a strange response. I said, "you see, when I take someone to the operating room, I'm actually operating on the thing that makes them who they are. The skin doesn't make them who they are. The hair doesn't make them who they are." And it's time for us to move beyond that. Because our strength as a nation comes in our unity. We are the United States of America, not the divided states. And those who want to divide us are trying to divide us, and we shouldn't let them do it.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript Aug 6, 2015

Ben Carson: I'm the only one on this stage who separated Siamese twins

Q: Dr. Carson, your closing statement?

CARSON: Well, I haven't said anything about me being the only one to do anything, so let me try that. I'm the only one to separate Siamese twins. The only one to operate on babies while they were still in mother's womb, the only one to take out half of a brain, although you would think, if you go to Washington, that someone had beat me to it. But I'm very hopeful that I'm not the only one who's willing to pick up the baton of freedom, because freedom is not free, and we must fight for it every day. Every one of us must fight for it, because we're fighting for our children and the next generation.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript Aug 6, 2015

Bobby Jindal: I ran for office to make generational change, not popularity

Q: Your approval numbers at home are in the mid 30s. If the people of Louisiana are not satisfied, what makes you think that the people of this nation would be?

JINDAL: Last time I was elected governor, I won a record margin in my state. We've got a lot of politicians that will kiss babies, cut ribbons, do whatever it takes to be popular. That's not why I ran for office. I ran for office to make the generational changes in Louisiana. We've cut 26 percent of our budget. We have 30,000 fewer state bureaucrats than the day I took office. I don't think anybody has cut that much government anywhere, at any time. As a result, eight credit upgrades; as a result, a top ten state for private sector job creation. My point is this: I won two landslide elections, I made big changes. I think our country is tired of the politicians who simply read the polls and fail to lead. I think the American people are looking for real leadership. That's what I've done in Louisiana, that's what I'll do in America.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Second Tier debate transcript Aug 6, 2015

Carly Fiorina: I started as a secretary and became CEO

Q: You said "Margaret Thatcher was not content to manage a great nation in decline, and neither am I." Given your current standings in the polls, is the Iron Lady comparison a stretch?

FIORINA: Well, I would begin by reminding people that at this point in previous presidential elections, Jimmy Carter couldn't win, Ronald Reagan couldn't win, Bill Clinton couldn't win, and neither could've Barack Obama. I started as a secretary and became ultimately the chief executive of the largest technology company in the world, almost $90 billion in over 150 countries. I know personally how extraordinary and unique this nation is.

Most importantly, I think I understand leadership, which sometimes requires a tough call in a tough time. But mostly, the highest calling of leadership is to challenge the status-quo and unlock the potential of others. We need a leader who will lead the resurgence of this great nation and unlock its potential once again.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Second Tier debate transcript Aug 6, 2015

Carly Fiorina: Conservatives see people as gifted by God;progressives don't

We have been debating right here the core difference between conservatism and progressivism. I am a conservative because I believe no one of us is any better than any other one of us. Every one of us is gifted by God, whether it is those poor babies being picked over or it's someone whose life is tangled up in a web of dependence.

Progressives don't believe that. They believe some are smarter than others, some are better than others, so some are going to need to take care of others.

That is the fight we have to have, and we have to undo a whole set of things that President Obama has done that get at the heart of his disrespect and disregard for too many Americans.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Second Tier debate transcript Aug 6, 2015

Donald Trump: I want to win as a Republican, but might run as Independent

Q: Is there anyone on stage 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. [Only Trump raises hand]. Mr. Trump to be clear, you're standing on a Republican primary debate stage.

TRUMP: I fully understand.

Q: And that experts say an independent run would almost certainly hand the race over to Democrats & likely another Clinton. You can't say tonight that you can make that pledge?

TRUMP: I cannot say. I have to respect the person that [is nominated], if it's not me, I can totally make that pledge. If I'm the nominee, I will pledge I will not run as an independent. We want to win; I want to win as the Republican; I want to run as the Republican nominee.

RAND PAUL: He's already hedging his bet. Maybe he supports Clinton, or maybe he runs as an independent.

Q: You're not gonna make the pledge tonight?

TRUMP: I will not make the pledge at this time.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript Aug 6, 2015

Donald Trump: In NYC almost everyone is Democrat, but I'm Republican

Q: In 2004, you said in most cases you identified as a Democrat. When did you actually become a Republican?

TRUMP: I come from a place, New York City, which is virtually, I mean, it is almost exclusively Democrat. And I have really started to see some of the negatives--as an example, and I have a lot of liking for [Jeb Bush], but the last number of months of his brother's administration were a catastrophe. And unfortunately, those few months gave us President Obama. And you can't be happy about that.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript Aug 6, 2015

George Pataki: I've seen government from the outside as well as the inside

Q: You called it quits in a race for the presidency in 2012. Mitt Romney declined to run this time, because he believed that the party needed new blood. Does he have a point?

PATAKI: I think he means somebody who hasn't been a career politician, and who's been out of office for awhile. I think the last eight years in the private sector have allowed me to see government from the outside, and I think that is a positive thing. Yes, I thought about running four years ago. I was ready to lead, but I wasn't ready to run. But I look at this country today, and I look at how divided we are. What I did in New York was bring people together. But I was able to get Democrats to support the most conservative sweeping policy changes in any state in America. And when I look at Washington today, we need to bring us together. I can do that. And I can do it regardless of what the makeup of Congress is because I did it in New York state. So we need new leadership--yes. I will be that new leader.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Second Tier debate transcript Aug 6, 2015

Hillary Clinton: Obama calls her "likable enough"; GOP says "untrustworthy"

Q: In 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama described Hillary Clinton as "likable enough." What two words would you use to describe Hillary Clinton?

PATAKI: Divisive and with no vision at all.

FIORINA: Not trustworthy. No accomplishment.

SANTORUM: Secretive and untrustworthy.

PERRY: Well, let's go with three. Good at email.

JINDAL: Socialist and government dependent.

GRAHAM: Not the change we need at a time we need it.

GILMORE: Professional politician that can't be trusted.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Second Tier debate transcript Aug 6, 2015

John Kasich: We turned Ohio around; people have hope again

You know, tonight we hear about what people want to do. I want to tell you what I've done.
  1. I was a member of the Armed Services Committee for 18 years. I spent a big chunk of my life studying national security issues and our role in the world.
  2. I was the chairman of the House Budget Committee and one of the chief architects the last time we balanced a budget, and it was the first time we had done it since man walked on the moon. We had a $5 trillion surplus and we cut taxes.
  3. I spent ten years in the private sector, actually learning how business works.
  4. And now I'm the governor of Ohio, and I inherited a state that was on the brink of dying. And we turned it all around with jobs and balanced budgets and rising credit and tax cuts, and the state is unified, and people have hope again in Ohio.
Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript Aug 6, 2015

John Kasich: The Lord wants America to succeed and for America to lead

Q: Have you received a word from God on what you should do and take care of first?

KASICH: I believe in terms of the things that I've read in my lifetime, the Lord is not picking us. But because of how we respect human rights, because that we are a good force in the world, he wants America to be strong. He wants America to succeed. And he wants America to lead. And nothing is more important to me than my family, my faith, and my friends.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript Aug 6, 2015

Marco Rubio: This election needs to be about the future, not the past

Q: Could you please explain to Governor Bush 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?

RUBIO: I'm not new to the political process; I was making a contribution as the Speaker of the third largest and most diverse state in the country well before I even got into the Senate. This election cannot be a resume competition. It's important to be qualified, but if this election is a resume competition, then Hillary Clinton's gonna be the next president, because she's been in office and in government longer than anybody else running here tonight. Here's what this election better be about: This election better be about the future, not the past. It better be about the issues our nation and the world is facing today, not simply the issues we once faced.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript Aug 6, 2015

Marco Rubio: Expand American Dream to reach more people than ever before

Both of my parents were born into poor families on the island of Cuba. They came to America because it was the only place where people like them could have a chance. Here in this country, they never made it big, but the very purpose of their life was to give us the chance to do all the things they never could.

My father was a bartender. And the journey from the back of that bar to this stage tonight, to me, that is the essence of the American dream. It is what makes our nation different. And I'm running for president because I want that to still be possible for the people trying to do that now. I run for president because I believe that we can't just save the American dream; we can expand it to reach more people and change more lives than ever before. And that's why I'm asking for your vote. So we can make America greater than it has ever been. And make this century a new American century.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript Aug 6, 2015

Marco Rubio: I believe God has blessed our country

Q: Have you received a word from God on what you should do and take care of first?

RUBIO: Well, first, let me say I think God has blessed us. He has blessed the Republican Party with some very good candidates. The Democrats can't even find one. (LAUGHTER) And I believe God has blessed our country. This country has been extraordinarily blessed. And we have honored that blessing. And that's why God has continued to bless us.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript Aug 6, 2015

Mike Huckabee: America is in trouble, but it's not beyond repair

It seems like this election has been a whole lot about a person who's very high in the polls, that doesn't have a clue about how to govern. A person who has been filled with scandals, and who could not lead, and, of course, I'm talking about Hillary Clinton.

I think America is in trouble, but it's not beyond repair. But it's going to take leadership who sees the greatness of this country, and who believes that once again we can be one nation, under God. I'll be my best to do that.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript Aug 6, 2015

Scott Walker: I ran for office because I was worried about my kids' future

I'm guy with a wife and two kids, and a Harley. One article called me "aggressively normal."

I ran for governor because I was worried about my kids' future. Then, I took on the big government union bosses, and we won. They tried to recall me, and we won. They targeted us again, and we won.

We balanced the budget, cut taxes, and turned our state around with big, bold reforms.

It wasn't too late for Wisconsin, and it's not too late for America.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript Aug 6, 2015

Ted Cruz: I'm a consistent conservative, not a campaign conservative

I'm the son of a pastor and evangelist and I've described many times how my father, when I was a child, was an alcoholic. He was not a Christian. And my father left my mother and left me when I was just three years old. And someone invited him to Clay Road Baptist Church. And he gave his heart to Jesus and it turned him around. And he got on a plane and he flew back to my mother and me.

Scripture tells us, "you shall know them by their fruit." We see lots of "campaign conservatives." But if we're going to win in 2016, we need a consistent conservative, someone who has been a fiscal conservative, a social conservative, a national security conservative.

There are real differences among the candidates on issues like amnesty, like ObamaCare, like religious liberty, like life and marriage. And I have been proud to fight and stand for religious liberty, to stand against Planned Parenthood, to defend life for my entire career. And I will be proud to continue to do so as president.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript Aug 6, 2015

  • The above quotations are from Fox News/Facebook Two-Tier 2015 GOP primary debate
    First Tier: Top Ten by polls
    Second Tier: Seven other Republicans
    .
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Principles & Values.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
  • Click here for more quotes by Donald Trump on Principles & Values.
  • Click here for more quotes by Carly Fiorina on Principles & Values.
2016 Presidential contenders on Principles & Values:
  Republicans:
Amb.John Bolton(MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Rep.Peter King(NY)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Secy.Condi Rice(CA)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Democrats:
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Gov.Brian Schweitzer(MT)
Dr.Jill Stein(MA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
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Page last updated: Aug 16, 2015