Photo: Republican Debate on Fox News
Last night’s Republican debate hosted by Fox and Google was the most interactive debate ever with top voted viewer questions presented via YouTube and issues important to Latinos like jobs, immigration and Cuba were discussed.
The highest percentage of questions were around jobs and the economy and all candidates were uniform in dissing President Obama’s job package and except for Perry had specific plans around job creations. All the candidates would not raise taxes on anyone but were willing to reform the tax code. According to Impre/Latino decisions this is in stark contrast to polled Latinos that favor government intervention in job creation and the majority of Americans (according to Gallup) that favor some form of a tax increase to help with the deficit.
The issue of immigration was another heavily requested topic to discuss and was presented via text message from Tim Emerson of California. The responses did not bring many surprises except that Perry continues to support his in-state tuition discount for children of the undocumented.
Michele Bachmann felt like the other candidates that Obama failed the American people by not securing the border and that it was ‘reprehensible’ that Obama sued Arizona over SB 1070. And she likes the other candidates, except for Perry, would build a fence on every inch of the southern border then provide additional troop and enforcement in the area.
Ron Paul, Bachmann and Romney emphasized cutting all the ‘benefits’ illegals get with being specifics about which benefits, then the incentive it provides to others wanting to cross the border would be eliminated. Paul went as far as to advocate abolishing birth right citizenship.
The former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich had an interesting take on E-verify. He felt it should be outsourced to American Express to eliminate government fraud but he like all the other candidates felt it should be mandated nationwide. This position is not only in opposition to most Latino advocacy groups stance but also against the Tea Party stance that sees it as an infringement on civil liberties. Gingrich finished his immigration comments by advocating that English be the official language of the Government.
During the debate Perry came off as the ‘softest’ on immigration for his in-state tuition discount program. He continued too defend his position as the humane and right thing saying “Don’t you have a heart”. He noted that only 4 Texas legislators opposed the measure out of 180. He did say that he supports Arizona SB 1070 while remaining opposed to building a fence on the border saying it is not physically feasible.
Only two of the candidates answered a question about Cuba, Bachmann and the unknown Gary Johnson, former Governor to New Mexico who is new to the debate circuit. While Johnson supports travel to Cuba, Bachmann reminded everyone that they are designated a terror nation and wants no contact with the Cuban nation.
Interesting side notes to the debate: During the first commercial break the Fox Network aired an anti-immigration commercial hosted by the rabid group Numbers USA and that Herman Cain insists on calling Chile (Chill-e), Chill-lay.