A few weeks ago, on August 13, Fox News hosted a debate for the Republican candidates for the party’s nomination. It took forever but a very detailed transcript was found. Many of the questions from that debate are found here. Some questions are edited to make them a more general question to any candidate and focus on the public policy issues. The only questions excluded from this article are those that might directed to a specific candidate on a specific issue to them. These are the responses that I would have made if I was at the debate. Enjoy.
Isn’t it unrealistic to suggest that something as massive and complex as the U.S. economy can rebound in just three months?
The depends on the policies that put in place by the Congress and enforced by the President. Yes, it has never happened before in our modern history but that does not mean we should not strive for such a goal. Before 1969 we had never been to the moon, but it took vision of one President to set that goal, and with the support of Congress and the American people to reach that goal. We will never know if we can reach that goal unless we try. So let’s try.
Is it leadership to not support the compromise bill on the debt ceiling?
Yes. It is leadership to take a position that the American people want. It is leadership to finally say we have spent enough and we cannot spend any more unless we have brought the money in as revenue. Just like its leadership for the head of the household to cut up its credit cards when they are in financial trouble.
What is one specific thing would President Bulava would do first to restart the economic engine? With the caveat: That one thing would have to get through a divided Congress.
I would recommend cuts and changes to ALL areas of the budget. Conservatives would get some of what they want. We would look at entitlement and regulatory reform. Liberals would get some of what they want. Its time for the Department of Defense to spend money more wisely than it has in the past without harming the benefits our fighting men and women have earned.
What makes you more qualified than anyone else on this stage to create jobs and grow the economy?
Nothing. I have never owned a company with a payroll meet. I have never run a government office or a state. What I have done is studied history. Much like how our Founding Fathers studied history and understood what works and what does not in government before they sat down and created their own governments; that study of history has shown me practices that have worked in the past and will work now.
Is the proposal to cut taxes and cap spending would grow the economy five percent every year for ten years just a pie in the sky?
Probably, but why not set our sight higher than we can reach to challenge the minds of our Congressmen and our businessmen to reach that goal.
Are you an unqualified candidate? Does it matter that you do not have any executive experience?
To most people it will matter, but experiences is not as important as judgement. A person with good judgement can step into any situation and make it work regardless of their experience. Judgement implies you have worked or studied in similar situations. Judgement implies you listen to the best advice and do you due diligence to make the best choice. That is what I bring to the table: judgement.
Is the worst thing you can call a fellow candidate Barack Obama?
No, but its darn near close. But if the candidate walks, talks and acts like our current the President, then the comparison fits.
Are you going to be the jobs president?
No. I cannot create jobs. Congress cannot create jobs. Jobs are created by entrepreneurs who find a need and fill it with an idea that they created. Government cannot force a person to fill a need or create an idea. Government needs to get out of their way.
What is there an alternative to a border fence?
Yes, enforcement. If we enforce the immigration laws many of our immigrants will self-deport. Also putting our boots on the ground to protect the border will help as well to stop and detain those who are attempting to come in by any illegal means.
Do you think that employers need to import more foreign labor?
With 14 million American unemployed we do not need to import any labor. We need the U.S. government to lessen the burden on businesses so they can grown and expand as they see fit, to be as successful, big or small as they want. If government will get out-of-the-way of businesses and entrepreneurs they will find all the labor they need within our borders.
Do you oppose to a system that requires employers to verify the immigration status of their workers?
No I think this has must be the first line of defense in protecting American jobs and wages. Thought, it is not the job of the employers to enforce federal law. Employers need to check immigration status and turn away any person not eligible to work here in the country. That will go along way to solving this problem.
Is raising taxes sometimes necessary? When leaders are faced with big deficits, do they have to raise taxes? Is there any ratio of cuts to taxes that you would accept?
Sure but only in the direst of emergencies and for a limited time, to pay for a war, or expansion of our nation. The ratio is not as important as the implementation of the ratio. To make sure everyone had the stones to follow through on the deal I would expect that the Congress first, pass the cuts in a bill separate from the tax increases. That way as chief executive I can veto any bill that goes against that ratio.
Do you think that government at any level has the right to make someone buy a good or service just because they are a U.S. resident? Where do you find that authority, that mandating authority, government making an individual buy a good or service in the Constitution? Does the 10th Amendment make any difference whether mandatory health insurance is imposed by a state or by the federal government? What do you think of this argument, that the state has a constitutional right to make someone buy a good or service just because they’re a resident, not because they’re driving and need a driver’s license, but just the fact that they are a resident?
The federal government does not have any authority to force a citizen to buy any good or service. There is no clause in the Constitution that gives them that authority. The state and local may have that authority depending on the provisions of their constitutions. The only reason that the state or local governments have authority to compel a citizen to buy a good or services is if by buying that good or service is to directly protect others other than the buyer of the service. Much like how the state require citizens to buy car insurance. The point of that mandate is to protect the people who is hit in an accident, not just the driver.
Almost 10 years after 9/11, after the killing of Osama bin Laden, with casualties mounting there, costs adding up, many people calling the government there corrupt, is it still worth it to stay in Afghanistan?
Not if we do not have a clear goal in mind.
Should the U.S. be willing to fight wars of liberation to “nurture democracy and human rights all over the world?”
Yes, but only when asked. If it weren’t for the support of the French, Spanish and other nations we would not be an independent nation. But we requested their help. They did not insert themselves into our conflict without our permission. If people are currently fighting for their liberties and freedoms and ask the United States for help we have an obligation, as freedom loving people of the world, to consider helping them, on our terms.
What is the way forward in Libya?
Yes. Pull out all troops and military assets. This is not our fight and the U.S. has not been asked by the people of Libya to be involved.
Would you as president consider cyber attacks acts of war?
It depends on if they are successful or not. If the cyber attacks are against the people and assets of the United States that is definitely an act of war.
Would you rely on the same idea of international sanctions or possibly using military action to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons? What is your policy towards Iran?
Iran is a threat to the middle east and specifically to Israel. But as a sovereign nation they have the right to pursue both nuclear power and nearly methods they feel are necessary to provide for the defense of their nation. Every sovereign nation has the right to defend themselves. My policy towards Iran would be as follows. They have the right to pursue peaceful nuclear power and weapons if they wish them for their defense. But if those weapons are used against another nation that has not threatened the life or liberty of its citizens, the United States will be the first nation to use its military might to deprive Iran of those weapons.
Do you really think that more domestic oil production in this country is going to convince the mullahs in Tehran not to pursue a nuclear weapon?
No it will not convince them, but it’s still a good idea.
Should terrorism suspects having committed a crime be given due process in civilian courts?
No. Terrorism is an act of war against a nation. Terrorist should be treated the same as military criminals like the Nazi and Japanese generals of World War II. Civilian courts are not equipped to handle cases of this sort due to the classified nature of some intelligence used to find and capture these men and women.
Would you institute a specific loyalty test that you would require Muslims in your administration?
No, but every person who serves in any administration must be thoroughly investigated and questioned to make sure that they are the best person for the job. This job primarily falls on the shoulders of the U.S. Senate with its authority to give the President “advice and consent” about any appointments.
Is there anything about Mormonism that you find objectionable? Should religion be a focus on any campaign or candidate?
Religion is important to some people when they look at a candidate. Our Founder’s believed we must choose only Christians to office, but the Constitution is clear on this issue. Article IV states that there shall not be any religious test to be elected to any office in the United States government. Religion may be an issue to some, but it’s not in our Constitution.
Should a woman president be submissive to their husband?
In regards to her decisions as President? No, but this piece of scripture you are quoting is often misinterpreted. The spirit of that scripture is that spouses be mutually subject to each other in different ways. This is not about power but about what we owe each other as husband and wife.
Do you believe state lawmakers have the right to make same-sex marriage legal in their states? Would you support civil unions? Would it be okay for the states to allow polygamy?
Yes, but the people have the right to decide the issue for themselves as well and make sure their views on the issue is reflected in their state and local governments. I do support the idea of civil unions, but am different from most. Civil unions should be the norm for all marriage type relationships. Leave marriage to the church but allow all people the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of spouses to each other and their children in civil unions. If a state wants to allow polygamy that is their right, but I don’t support that policy.
Is the view of no abortions, even in cases of rape and incest, to extreme of a position? Should there be exceptions to allow the use of abortion? Do you support criminal charges against doctors who perform abortions?
I don’t think the protection of life in any case is an extreme position. Rape, incest, and to protect the life of the mother should be the only exceptions to allow an abortion. If it is against the law for a doctor to abort a fetus, then they should be criminally prosecuted.
How would you extend unemployment benefits in this economy?
Leave it in the hands of the states to make their own policies and leave the federal government out of it. There is nothing in the Constitution that give the federal government the authority to redistribute the revenues of the state to private individuals for any purpose other than those specifically authorized in the Constitution.
If you create jobs oversees how does that make you qualified to create jobs at home here in the U.S.A.?
Yes, I still created jobs. The jobs were not created here in the U.S. because I would not be able to compete with my competitors and provide my goods and services to the American people at a reasonable price. Part of this problem is the massive amount of regulations federal, state, and local governments place on business. This needs to change to bring these jobs back to the United States.
You do not support any of the debt ceiling deals? What do you say to analysts who insist that Americans’ investments, their 401(k)s, their college funds would have been far worse off today?
I do not support any deal that allows the federal government to spend more each year than it brings in on taxes each year. The investments of our nation would take a hit, but the hit will not be as hard than if we continue to kick this can down the road and refuse to make the necessary changes we need to make to make the nation fiscally sound.
Why would eliminating a tax on companies that break back oversees profits create jobs?
It probably won’t, but we need to implement policies that bring these jobs back to the United States.
Is the Federal Reserve worth saving?
Do you agree with returning the U.S. back to the gold standard?
Yes. It would stop help stop the declining value of the dollar, stabilize our economy, and provide our currency with real worth.
Would you fully enforce No Child Left Behind?
No. Any educational law passed by Congress is unconstitutional as they have no direct authority from the Constitution to pass any such laws. I would even try to pull back other educational policies implemented by previous Congresses.
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Class dismissed.