California and the GOP Debate

Republican presidential candidate businesswoman Carly Fiorina stands on stage for a pre-debate forum at the Quicken Loans Arena, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015,  in Cleveland. Seven of the candidates have not qualified for the primetime debate. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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Looking for California in the GOP debate presented some challenges even with one candidate who has tentative ties to the Golden State and the state’s Democratic governor who tried to put himself into the debate via a letter to the candidates on climate change.

There was only one Californian (sort of) in the field of 17 — Carly Fiorina who made her name as CEO of Hewlett-Packard and was handily defeated by Barbara Boxer for the California U.S. Senate seat in 2010. She now lives in Virginia.

She did fairly well in the first debate, many pundits declaring her the winner. And it appeared that former Texas governor Rick Perry has Fiorina lined up for the Secretary of State job if he becomes president. In criticizing the Iran nuclear deal Perry said, “I’d rather have Carly Fiorina over there doing our negotiation rather than (Secretary of State) John Kerry.”

Major California companies Google and Apple also made it into the first debate with Fiorina saying they should cooperate with the government on investigations that might prevent terrorism.

Apparently, Jerry Brown sent his letter to the wrong recipients for the main debate. California’s Democratic governor tried to work his way into the debate when he sent a letter asking GOP candidates how they would address climate change. He should have sent his letter to the Fox News Channel debate moderators. They didn’t bother to engage the candidates on climate change in the debate featuring the 10 leading candidates.

There was a reference to climate change in the first debate held for candidates in positions 11 to 17 in the polls. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham responded that if he debated presumptive Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton on climate change she would argue cap-and-trade that would ruin the economy while he would focus on energy independence and a clean environment. Cap-and-trade is a key strategy in Brown’s camapign on climate change.

Immigration was a big issue at the debate although nothing specific to California. However, the situation on sanctuary cities was raised in both the earlier and later debates. The sanctuary cities issue gained headlines after the shooting death in San Francisco of Kate Steinle by an illegal immigrant who had been deported many times but still came back. Candidates from Jeb Bush to Ted Cruz, to Bobby Jindal said they would eliminate federal funds to sanctuary cities.

There are a number of presidential candidates working with individuals with strong California ties. To name a few: Jeff Miller is campaign manager for Rick Perry, Mike Murphy is a strategist for Jeb Bush and Todd Harris is communication director for Marco Rubio.

While California didn’t have a big role in the debates one of her favorite sons was mentioned frequently –Ronald Reagan. And that will carry over with the next Republican debate scheduled for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley September 16.

Originally published of Fox and Hounds Daily


  1. When it comes to common sense conservative politics California and it’s government is pretty much a lost cause. Known pretty much far and wide as the “Blueprint for the downfall of the Nation”, the majority of the rest of the Country really don’t take their opinions or politics seriously. Unions, Environmentalists, Silicone Valley, Hollyweird, Back room deals in the restaurants/bars in the Capital area, Entitlements for Votes have pretty much undermined any honesty/integrity that might have been left in that State after Ronald Reagan.

  2. I agree with Donald J. I cannot believe that as a Californian we have the insane running this state. The latest proposed law is on gasoline- increasing the price by 50%. Most working Californians drive to their jobs, many have to drive long distances. Does increasing the price of gas make any sense at all.

    • Jonny T, don’t you know that your suppose to take public transportation, just after you move to a place close enough to stop or you could simply ride one of the Sparkly Rainbow Unicorns that the Dear Confused Gov. believes exists. We pay almost $1/gal more than the real world. Luckily for us Washington and Oregon are working hard to surpass our idiocy.

  3. California is run by idiots because the decent majority doesn’t get out and help elect good Conservatives. In my district we had 2 terrific candidates, one for the state legislature, and one for the US House. Both went down by very small margins due to the Leftocrats pouring millions into our small little area. At the LAST MINUTE, Condi Rice DID put out a small Vote for ________ Statement. On the other hand Bill Clinton came in person to campaign for the leftocrats. SO we GET what we’ll settle for “”as long as we don’t have to do anything”. This county was widely conservative just the last election. Simple.. get involved or get over it.

  4. Askeptic, generally you do much better in your comments than correct a spelling mistake.

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