Shepherd students respond to GOP debate

(THE PICKET)—Wednesday evening the Republican presidential candidates took the stage for the second GOP debate, and some Shepherd University students were not overly impressed with the discussion that took place.

According to CNN, there were four winners from the debate and the current leader of the polls, Donald Trump, was not one of the four. However, Trump still led the candidates in the amount of speaking time with over 19 minutes.

Graham Scott, a senior political science major, said, “Ben Carson and Donald Trump oddly seemed to take a backseat to other candidates, despite their position as frontrunners.”

Several candidates including Sen. Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, and Jeb Bush made jabs at Trump during the debate which was different than in the first debate. While various candidates made jabs at others, according to the Washington Post, Trump was targeted 27 times in total by seven candidates on stage. The number of comments directed at Trump increased since the last debate when only five candidates made one comment each.

At one point Paul said, “I am worried about having him in charge of the nuclear weapons because I think his response, his visceral response, to attack people on their appearance—short, bald, fat, ugly—my goodness, that happened in junior high. Are we not above that?”

Candidates discussed Planned Parenthood, the Iran Nuclear Deal, and immigration reform during the three hour debate, but certain students on campus feel that other policies should have made the debate.

“They address everything but actual American problems. They have yet to address the racial tensions, poverty, global warming, education or lowering our debt,” Carlos Amaya, a senior political science major, said.

The legalization of marijuana made the list of discussed topics, though. While many of the candidates made jabs at each other throughout the night, when the topic turned to marijuana Paul took the opportunity to call out Bush. In response to Paul, Bush willingly admitted to smoking marijuana 40 years ago.

“I disliked how the moderators were purposely pushing the candidates to fight with each other. It didn’t lead to a lot of substance, and the debate was too long. However, it was pretty entertaining,” Quinn Kahsay, a junior political science major, said.

Bush was considered to be one of the “winners” of the debate according to CNN. The candidate followed Trump in amount of talk time with just over 15 minutes.

Even Trump applauded Bush during this debate when he said, “You’ve got more energy tonight. I like it.” However, Trump directly targeted Bush other times during the debate such as when he mentioned disagreeing with George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. This led candidate Bush to defend his brother and led the other candidates into a bigger discussion about Sept. 11.

“They didn’t offer many solutions to the many problems they gleefully identified. I heard a lot of “repealing” and “tearing up” but not much “drafting” and “implementing,” Scott said.

Fiorina was considered to be one of the strongest candidates during the debate and one of the winners, according to CNN. Fiorina also gave a strong response to Trump’s former comments about people not voting for her because of her looks.

“I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said,” Fiorina said.

“Fiorina seemed to handle pressure well, and hit Trump hard,” Scott said.

The first Democratic debate will be moderated by CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Oct. 13 in Las Vegas.

“I am looking forward to the Democratic debate because I haven’t really heard much about foreign policy from Bernie Sanders. I also think that it will be a good chance to hear from some of the other candidates who have not received a lot of press coverage,” Kahsay said.

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