Just hours away from the fourth Republican debate and this time around could bring some candidates more attention than they really want. Donald Trump has been under the microscope every since he entered the race and controversy doesn’t seem to stop him or his campaign. With a care free and to the point answers, he has some shouting Trump 2016 and others cringing at that possibility. Ben Carson on the other hand, is at the opposite end of the spectrum. Low in tone, but high in the ratings, Dr. Carson has been under fire the past week for statements he has recently made pertaining to a “full scholarship” to West Point, his “almost stabbing issue”, several violent stints from his childhood, and a bizarre view into what he believes the reason for the pyramids are. It has his campaign in overdrive.
One thing is for sure Dr. Carson will have to face these questions tonight and he better hope his campaign has prepped him on all angles that not only the moderators, but his fellow Republican counterparts will come at him on. With a sleepy, almost none interested approach, he will have to be more calculated and direct in his response to the lingering questions. Now the official front runner in the campaign he will receive enough time to confront the questions. Let’s just hope he has the forcefulness to do just that.
Dr. Carson has been embroiled in controversy before and seems to have come out of it unscathed as the poll numbers seem to reflect. Ben Carson has made statements to gun ownership and vaccines that have turned off some, but not enough to seriously hurt his campaign and Presidential bid for 2016. Statements like “no one should be allowed to refuse mandatory vaccines” just shows, to me at least, that he refuses the science of vaccines and the choice of how someone chooses to govern their own body. While the subject and science has been out there, he is refusing even a debate or dialogue about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.
Another one of the hot topics in today’s times is gun control and gun ownership. Once again, he has made statements that have gone against the norm of a Constitutional Republic. Having at one time a good stance on gun ownership he has said that certain guns should not be allowed in certain cities. An example of this is urban vs. rural areas. Remember Dr. Carson, gun ownership is about protection and everyone, everywhere, has the right of self protection.
Trump is not without controversy, but he seems to have made it through the worst, so far, without to much of a blemish or lost of supporters. The real questions is how will the other candidates treat Dr. Carson with this new information coming out? Will they attack him? Defend him? Ignore him? I believe they will use this time to try to promote themselves while bringing him down. Will Jeb use this opportunity to climb in the polls? He and Marco Rubio have been going back and forth in campaign ads so maybe they will take a break from each other and focus their energy on Ben Carson or better yet, on their own goals and agenda.
Chris Christie who has been the loudest talker of them all, but not seeing it transpire in an increase in poll numbers didn’t make the cut to be on the main stage. When asked about this he said he didn’t give it to much thought and “would debate anyone, anywhere.” Well at least for tonight, it won’t be on the main stage.
What about the most liberty minded candidate of them all, Rand Paul? Though he and his campaign has stated many times that he is sticking around, his poll numbers aren’t reflecting that “revolution” feel his father brought the last couple elections. Is it because he is more Republican minded than Libertarian minded like Ron Paul was? Rand has filibustered, gone against the establishment on some issues like the N.S.A. spying program, but it hasn’t really inspired a new set of supporters. Can he change that tonight?
Carly Fiorina has had a decent showing thus far and has even won a debate here and there according to some polls. Relying on her past background as a C.E.O. in a time when unemployment is so high, she has many listening, and many rolling their eyes. She just hasn’t had that much needed breakthrough to elevate her enough to be a real contender. She will be given another chance tonight to bolster her numbers and get her views out there.
What it really comes down to is who can compete and defeat Hillary Clinton. With an expanding F.B.I. probe into her use of personal emails to conduct official business, and the potential of classified information, let’s hope they shed light on her and not going after each other. Politics is a dirty job and we are seeing it this time around. One thing is for sure. Grab the popcorn, put down the remote, and watch the monkeys, and tigers perform in the circus tonight.
Written by: Michael Howell