As with the other GOP debates, last-night’s Fox Business Network gripe-fest was less weird and amusing than it was objectively terrifying. And that wasn’t just because the candidates stepped on each others’ toes in a furious scramble to distort and misrepresent crucial facts about important issues including job growth, corporate-tax forgiveness, and small-business creation. It wasn’t just because they got basic facts about national security and immigration wrong. It wasn’t just because they launched a unified attack on the idea of raising the federal minimum wage (which currently stands at $7.25 an hour).
No, it was frightening because when the people vying to lead America threw out boldfaced lies or argued that some of our hardest-working laborers could and should accept earning $15,000 a year, the audience exploded with applause. We live in ugly times.
Luckily, there were bright spots as when these nominally powerful people whined like schoolchildren, claimed China was active in Syria, referred to themselves in the third person, or simply made no sense at all. Actually, those aren’t bright spots at all. Oh, well. At least we can GIF the hell out of them and have a good laugh, right? RIGHT?
Transcription provided by the Washington Post.
Fox Business News Co-Host Gerad Baker: "Tonight's rules are simple. Up to 90 seconds for each answer. One minute for each follow-up response. And if a candidate goes over their allotted time, you'll hear this."
Fox Business News Co-Host Neil Cavuto: "It sounds like a game show but it's not."
Florida Senator Marco Rubio: "Here's the best way to raise wages. Make America the best place in the world to start a business or expand an existing business, tax reform and regulatory reform, bring our debt under control, fully utilize our energy resources so we can reinvigorate manufacturing, repeal and replace Obamacare, and make higher education faster and easier to access, especially vocational training. For the life of me, I don't know why we have stigmatized vocational education. Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers."
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush: "You've already made two comments, [Ohio Governor John Kasich]. It's my turn."
Fox Business News Co-Host Maria Bartiromo: "We have more questions for you, Governor Kasich, coming up. We have more questions for you, Governor Kasich."
Bush: "I got about four minutes in the last debate. I'm going to get my question right now."
Dr. Ben Carson: "Well, first of all, thank you not asking me what I said in the 10th grade. I appreciate that."
Donald Trump: "And I will tell you, we are a country of laws. We need borders. We will have a wall. The wall will be built. The wall will be successful. And if you think walls don't work, all you have to do is ask Israel. The wall works, believe me. Properly done. Believe me."
Bush: "Thank you, Donald, for allowing me to speak at the debate. That's really nice of you. Really appreciate that. What a generous man you are."
Rubio: "And it isn't just a different economy. It's changing faster than ever. You know, it took the telephone 75 years to reach 100 million users. It took Candy Crush one year to reach some 100 million users."
Texas Senator Ted Cruz: "I will say the politics of it will be very, very different if a bunch of lawyers or bankers were crossing the Rio Grande. Or if a bunch of people with journalism degrees were coming over and driving down the wages in the press. Then, we would see stories about the economic calamity that is befalling our nation."
Bartriomo: "Do you support the president's decision to now put 50 Special Ops forces in Syria and leave 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan?"
Carson: "Well, putting the Special Ops people in there is better than not having them there, because they—that's why they're called 'Special Ops.'"
Carson: "We also must recognize that [Syria is] a very complex place. You know, the Chinese are there…"
Cavuto: "...Well, then how would you respond?"
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul: "Ronald Reagan was strong, but Ronald Reagan didn't..."
Carly Fiorina: "Ronald Reagan walked away at Reykjavik."
Paul: "...send troops into the Middle East..."
Fiorina: "...he walked away, he quit talks..."
Paul: "Can I finish?"
Fiorina: "...when it was time to quit talking..."
Paul: "...Can I finish my time?"
Trump: "Why does she keep interrupting everybody? Terrible."
Paul: "Yes, I would like to finish my response, basically."
Rubio: "You know, if I may respond…"
Fiorina: "We must beat Hillary Clinton. Carly Fiorina can beat Hillary Clinton. I will beat Hillary Clinton. And under a President Fiorina, we will restore the character of this nation, the security of this nation, the prosperity of this nation, because as citizens, we will take our government back."