Florida GOP debate : Worth “Getting upset about?”
By Ayen Bior, firstname.lastname@example.org
University Park, Texas — It was a warm 74 degrees in Jacksonville, Fla. Thursday but the heat was on at the University of North Florida where four presidential hopefuls gathered once more to participate in what proved to be a pivotal debate in the Republican primary.
That warm feeling that most political fanatics (or maybe just me) get right before a debate was replaced by a scorching intensity that matched each candidate’s visible focus.
No doubt, the first question (asked by an audience member) solidified the tone for the night and unleashed the the claws. The question regarding 11 million illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States sparked a lot of agreement and disagreement.
The consensus was that they came here illegally and chances are they survive, most likely by working under a false identification. They broke the law when they crossed the border and they continue to do so.
The solution, according to the candidates, is to secure the border and pressurize employers who hire undocumented workers.
The disagreement was on the method of deportation.
Newt Gingrich thought that Mitt Romney’s “self-deportation” plan was an “Obama-level fantasy.” Gingrich did not agree that Romney’s idea of making living conditions for undocumented people impossible would create a voluntary "self-deportation" effect.
Then there were more accusations (on Gingrich’s part) of Romney threatening to deport grandmothers. The attempt to make Romney look insensitive did not work as Romney defended himself, adding that Gingrich's idea that he is "anti-immigrant" is "repulsive." Romney vehemently corrected Gingrich and silenced the former Speaker.
Congressman Ron Paul comes from the state that shares the longest border with Mexico-Texas has seen firsthand the difficulties of securing a large border.
Paul said, “We don’t have a well-managed border. So I think we need more resources... I think we spend way too much time worrying about the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Use some of those resources on our own border.”
Paul stood firm throughout the debate on his foreign policy plan that rejects foreign intervention and the idea that the United States should be the policemen of the world.
The healthcare topic was addressed by an audience member who recently lost her job and consequently, her health care.
Rick Santorum argued Mitt Romney’s healthcare plan was very similar to Obamacare with 15 consistencies between the two. Ferociously arguing that Romney is simply using political rhetoric to cover up the issue, Santorum said Romney’s health care plan is furthering government intervention in the personal lives of its citizens by requiring citizens to get healthcare or pay a fine for not having coverage.
In accordance with Santorum’s remarks, a pro-Gingrich super PAC advertisement further pursued this issue with an ad that said, “Romneycare sent costs spiraling out of control” in Massachusetts, “hiking premiums, squeezing household budgets.”
As expected, Romney denied Santorum’s charges as well as the advertised allegations. He also criticized Santorum’s visible frustration saying, “it’s not worth getting upset about.”
So, in actuality, Romney does not have to worry about health insurance at all. He can easily pay his bills if God forbid, he’s ever hospitalized.
Unfortunately, this is not consistent with 49.9 million Americans who are currently uninsured. I’m not sure about you, but I’m not comfortable with a president who does not understand how someone can get “upset” at the current healthcare situation.
In fact, I grew tired of the political warfare during the Florida debate, as I’m sure many American’s the same. I decided to do a little research myself to find the truth. And by research I mean I went directly to politfact.com.
Politifact, an independent political fact-checking, research engine revealed that Rick Santorum and the pro-Gingrich super PAC allegations are false.
Furthermore, as Politifact revealed, research from the Boston Globe concludes Massachusetts has the largest healthcare cost in the nation, as Santorum said, but that was a matter of fact even before Romney became Governor.
In Santorum’s defense, Romney’s health plan is indeed strikingly similar to Obama’s.
If any of these candidates want the nomination, they will have to distance themselves from Obama. Recent polls show that electability, next to the economy is the number one concern among Republicans. Which means after Florida, all four men will have to travel to the most politically cold states in the country and raise the heat for the race to the White House.
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