I watched the "under-debate" on Fox, and I am so impressed with these candidates. In fact, I believe many of their answers were better and more articulate than the main stage debate. (The main stage debate was a little bit dull....) Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, and Jim Gilmore are all well-versed articulate candidates with great ideas that would help our country. Why aren't they included on the "main stage"? Why does the media get to decide who is heard?
In our book, The Republican Dream Team of 2016, my co-author, Kathy Seei, and I put forth the recommendation that if the Republicans ran as a team rather than as independent candidates just slugging it out with one another, the Republican Party would have a greater chance of winning the White House in 2016. Our belief is that many of the candidates running have exceptional talents and could effectively solve the many problems our country currently faces. They are stronger banding together rather than tearing one another apart. Think of the power of a slate of candidates that would include a Carly Fiorina as Secretary of the Treasury or Secretary of State, Ben Carson as Secretary of Health and Human Services, Mike Huckabee as the Secretary of Agriculture, and include Rick Santorum and even Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry. Who better than Rick Perry to solve our border crisis? Bobby Jindal's resume is full of experience fixing school systems...why couldn't he be the Secretary of Education? All of these are public figures with significant experience in leading organizations that have volunteered to help fix America's problems. Why would we ignore them? The candidate who ultimately wins the nomination should work with these competitors to develop better solutions. Imagine how inclusive this would be. All of the factions of the Republican Party working together to bridge the gaps.
In the first debate Carly Fiorina said "I'm going to fire 400 Executives at the VA." Do the front runners know these types of statistics? Jeb Bush later cited some statistics but Carly had numerous pieces of data that were very articulate. Carly Fiorina has run large organizations. Women in the business world generally have to be better prepared than men in order to gain respect. Carly has demonstrated the ability to be well-prepared and fact based. Why wouldn't we want her to support the Republican Party?
Mike Huckabee articulated a strategy to decimate ISIS with knowledge of land, sea and air needs. While strategies agains ISIS were all discussed in the main debate, Huckabee's strategy was very articulate. Rubio and Christy also had strong answers in the main debate. All of these candidates could do a better job of leading our country than current leaders. Couldn't one of them be included in a Cabinet position?
"Nobody wants to be poor and it's a stupid thing to say that it is true". Huckabee described the background he and his family came from and articulated eight specific government programs that continue to place people in poverty. No one in the main debate identified these programs...other than saying "I will overturn Obamacare". Everyone says that. Personal story...one of my young hard-working employees is engaged to a nice young woman. They just had a child out of wedlock. Not because they don't want to get married....but because ObamaCare pays significantly more for the healthcare of the mother and the baby than the health insurance he is able to obtain through our company. Now our company plan is similar to many other small companies and Blue Cross is a big provider. We have often heard of this type of issue relating to programs such as food stamps and welfare...but these are middle class working Americans being impacted by a government program. ObamaCare is decimating the American family. Let's put a smart leader in charge of just this one topic. In a business environment, companies would hire smart firms like Bain or McKinsey to solve this problem. Put someone like Huckabee or Santorum or Cruz or whomever in charge of solving this problem. Let the electorate know prior to the election that this is how the problem is going to be vetted and solved. Put together a project plan. Approach these challenges like a business would. These are all things that voters can relate to because they see them in their daily lives.
"This media is shaping and framing this campaign to get the outcome they want" said Governor Gilmore. Earlier in the debate, Senator Santorum spoke about how all of the coverage leading up to the debate wasn't about the candidates on the stage. Instead it was about how one of the front runners (Trump) chose not to attend the debates. "The people of Iowa are concerned about the issues and they deserve better than this...." It's easy to agree with these candidates that the media does favor specific candidates. For example, Carly Fiorina consistently does well in the debates...but is ignored by the media thereafter. Let's validate the talent of these candidates and the strength of all of the members of the Republican Party by forming a team. Don't let the media highlight the weaknesses and chasms that exist. In fact, many of the challenges of the Republican Party are driven by the media.
"If my husband did what her husband did, I would have left him long ago".....Somebody finally said it. Go, Carly! As a woman, I have always believed that Hillary has clearly only stayed with Bill Clinton because of power. She doesn't care about the American people. Hillary only cares about becoming the first female President of the U.S. She wants to be in the history books. Now, lots of families go through the pain of having a spouse cheat...and many women choose to stay. But after a husband has cheated multiple times you begin to think the wife lacks the strength to leave. If Hillary doesn't have the strength to leave Bill...where is the strength needed to confront Putin? Or ISIS? Why is the Republican Party afraid of pushing this theme. Conservative women hate Hillary Clinton because of this. Please let our daughters, who are now voting age, know about this embarrassing part of U.S. History. Millennials were teens or middle schoolers during the Clinton years. They certainly didn't watch the news. Let them know that Hillary has not exhibited behavior that supports women who have any self-dignity.
"I don't understand how anyone with an IQ above that of plant life could think that having the government run everything would be better" says Huckabee. All of the candidates running for the nomination are against increasing the size of government. What if one of the candidates was designated as part of a team to carefully go through each part of the Executive branch and recommend changes and reductions that could be implemented? Check out the size of the federal government in The Republican Dream Team of 2016. Most of the Cabinet positions manage organizations larger than most of the corporations in the U.S. And all of them are losing money! (or operating at a deficit.). Why not have bright people - Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, Jim Gilmore, and others - work together to fix the overbearing federal government? Why let them go into hiding after the election? Let them go to work to help out the eventual nominee.
"I can't believe that FoxNews could ever the question the pro-life credentials of Rick Santorum!" declared Carly Fiorina. The whole Planned Parenthood debacle is representative of many of the issues currently hidden within the overwhelming mass of government. There are many items that voters of varying beliefs may or may not be paying for or subsidizing. Could someone carefully examine the budget and let us know? Isn't it time that the voters put someone in charge who can speak to voters and explain all of these issues? Not just at election time but ongoing?
It's time that the Republican Party tried a new approach. Use the talent that is on the the debate stages to craft a more holistic solution to America's problems. No one person...meaning the President...can understand what is going on in an organization as large as the Federal government. Just like a business has a team of executives in charge of cleaning up and organizing their own divisions, the President should treat his Cabinet as a team. Barack Obama never worked in a corporation (and never really had a job) prior to becoming President. Use the expertise demonstrated in the debates to help America. We put the challenge before the Republican Party and we know the voters would support the outcome.
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