An update on what the candidates are saying so far in the GOP debate.

GOP debate updates: 7:30 p.m.

Reporting courtesy of CUI staffers: Lorelle Lynch, Andrew Haubner, Noelle Coultrip, Jake Mauff, Sydney Worth, Nicole McNulty, Maggie Wagner, Sarah Zahra, Diego Romero, Nicolas Sanchez and Graham Crawford.

Jeb Bush

Gov. Bush was asked about his agreement with Congress to be a part of a team opposing budget deals that increase taxes, and find a different solution. When asked if he still agrees for the “coach to put [him] in,” he stated that he believes “the deal was done” under the recent Obama administration increasing taxes.

Bush claimed that the middle class today has $2300 less in their pocket on average than when Obama took office, and Bush sees this continuing should Hilary Clinton be put into office. On the other hand, Bush pointed out that he can make economic success happen because he has a record of annually cutting taxes: $19 billion in tax cuts and 1.3 million jobs created. He attacked the Democrats for not being able to cut spending and taxes, and challenged the audience to “find me a Democrat that will cut spending $10.”

Donald Trump

Given the criticism surrounding the bankruptcy disaster in Atlantic City to which Trump contributed, there’s skepticism regarding his ability to follow through on promises in the future, especially regarding money. Trump addressed these concerns by focusing on measurements of relativity, emphasizing the fact that Atlantic City represents a small percentage of his business ventures.

Among the hundreds of companies he’s opened, Trump claimed very few have been forced to declare bankruptcy. He boasted an expert ability for addressing debt problems. “Nobody can solve it like me,” Trump said. Accepting of how he went about his business in Atlantic City, Trump reminded the American public that it’s an anomaly in the greater trend of his business-savvy.

Rand Paul

Paul was asked if he opposes the budget deal currently in Congress that allows higher spending. Paul said that he opposes it because it involves taking money from entitlements and spending it on other items, like taking money from Social Security. Washington, he says, raised military spending, took from entitlements and raised domestic spending and that’s a recipe to make the deficit explode.

The right and the left are “spending us into oblivion,” Paul said. A moderator countered with that if the deal does such things, why did former Speaker of the House John Boehner craft it and Paul Ryan vote for it? “That’s the real question,” Paul says — whether or not there will be a change in leadership in Congress or if it will continue to be more of the same. “People think they’re being sent to be adults and govern,” Paul said, whereas he’s worried about bankrupting American people because the government is “borrowing a million dollars per minute.”

Mike Huckabee

The large amount of Republican candidates makes it hard for candidates like Huckabee to stand out against louder voices. Huckabee has high ambitions for America if he becomes president, but his tendency to follow the rules leaves him trying to catch up to the bigger players in this debate. Nearly an hour into the debate, Huckabee finally gets another chance to speak. Jokingly acknowledging his lack of air time, Huckabee emphasized the need for America to keep its promise to seniors by not raising the retirement age for Social Security.

Ted Cruz

Cruz got the stage and asked the other candidates to stop arguing and ask the candidates to talk on issues that mattered.

The Texas senator said his plan will grow the economy by 13.9 percent over a decade, add 4.9 million jobs, and increase average wages by 12.2 percent. This tax plan would also create what Cruz is calling a “Universal Savings Account.” Each year, a person could save, according to Cruz, $25,000, like the Individual Retirement Account, and use this money at any time. He is hoping this will allow the next generation to use this money and save and invest. Overall, Cruz is comparing his policy to that of Ronald Regan.

Cruz did not mention exactly how, but offered he would fight the income inequality seen in America.

Chris Christie

“Justice is not just a word, but a way of life.” Those were the final words of Chris Christie’s statement when addressing the lack of prosecution of big corporations. A former prosecutor himself, Christie would rather jail those in large corporations, than have companies such as General Motors pay massive fines for breaking laws. The political justice system should not be able to pick and choose who they want to prosecute.

Christie once again calls out Hillary Clinton for her associations with large pharmaceutical companies, questioning her motives when it comes to keeping companies accountable. While he had less speaking time during this part of the debate, Christie was concise, used his background, and was still able to call out his potential democratic opponent.

Marco Rubio

Sen. Rubio was told about his previous personal financial troubles, directly related to his irresponsibility; yet another way to focus on Rubio’s youth in comparison to the other candidates.  The topic of Rubio accidentally mixing personal money with government money was brought up, questioning whether or not Rubio exhibits the maturity and wisdom needed for the presidency. Rubio fired back by catering to the emotional side of viewers, talking about the struggles his father faced as a bartender and his mother faced as a maid.

Rubio then promptly shifted the focus on his personal struggle to the struggle of everyday Americans. Rubio mentioned his pro-family tax plan, and how it will help American families, as opposed to Clinton and the problems she will bring to the finances of American families.

Carly Fiorina

Carly gave her definition of what is wrong with government business relations today. She described “crony capitalism,” when “government is so big and powerful that only the big and powerful can handle it” and how she wants to make the government smaller. She used the phrase “big and powerful” often to describe it, receiving a big clap when doing so. She attacked Clinton for bragging about wanting to be the first woman president when all her and Obama’s choices have been “demonstrative” to women. Again, a big clap. With this attack she differentiated herself from the only other female candidate and made herself more relatable to women voters.

Ben Carson

Carson was brought back into the debate when asked by CNBC’s Jim Cramer about a topic he is well-versed in, pharmaceutical manufacturing. Pressed about whether or not he thinks the government should be more or less involved in the process of regulation, Carson’s answer was well-thought out and less combative than his response on his tax plan.

He did make a point to note that “some people go overboard when trying to make profits and they don’t take into consideration,” but he also advocated for smaller government in the form of less regulation of manufacturing industry. His reasoning for this was that an “average small manufacturer,” which is considered to be 50 employees or less, costs $34,000 in regulation, meaning that the government was bleeding the industry, forcing a rise in costs of operation.

When the topic of homosexuality arose, Carson mentioned that he believed that “our Constitution protects everybody, regardless of their sexual orientation; this is one of the myths that the left perpetrates in society.” The issue then pivoted to a controversial drug company that the former surgeon had been affiliated with. He denied any involvement with them and then had his vetting ability questioned by CNBC moderator Carl Quintanilla, which was met with boos from the crowd. With a wry smile, Carson simply responded with, “They know,” which ended the next block of the 2016 GOP Debate at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

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The CU Independent, or CUI for short, is the student news outlet for the University of Colorado at Boulder. We cover news, sports, politics, opinion, arts and entertainment and more. Our mission is to provide news and commentary that's for students and by students — about the things we care about.

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