Debate update: Trump and Cruz dominate, O’Malley struggles to be heard

By Ashley Summerfield

The 2016 presidential race has been underway for the past several months.  In the past week, candidates have participated in further debates, in hopes of gaining nomination from their party to run for the presidency.

The 6th GOP debate took place in South Carolina on Jan. 14. Seven Republican candidates took part in the debate. Candidates were first asked to address jobs and unemployment rates.

Senator Ted Cruz started out the debate by addressing the ten sailors who have been captured by Iran and criticized President Obama for neglecting to speak on this during his state of the union address.

He called the situation “heartbreaking,” but went on to say, “The good news is the next commander-in-chief is standing on this stage.”

“We have the lowest percentage of American’s working today of any year since 1977,” said Cruz.  “The reason all of us our here is we believe we should be fighting for the working men and women of this country and not Washington D.C.,”

The crowd commended Cruz for these words with cheers and applause.

Candidates were then asked to address military issues.

“We need to talk to our allies and give them our word,” said Chris Christie.

Christie performed well, but was not considered a stand-out in the debate.

“We need to rebuild our military,” Jeb Bush adds.  “America’s leadership in the world is required for strength and stability,” Bush continues.

Bush later criticized Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton by saying she would be, “a national security disaster.”

During this debate, Donald Trump spoke on immigration and was criticized for his claim that most of the refugees are men.

Cruz was given the most talk time, closely followed by Trump and Christie.

On Jan. 17, Democratic candidates took part in the fourth democratic debate of the 2016 presidential race.  In a heated debate, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley discussed health care, gun control, and the economy.

Sanders blasted Clinton for rumors of her ties to Wall Street.  Viewers found it interesting that, during the debate, Clinton attached herself to President Obama regarding Wall Street spending.

“I’m going to defend President Obama for taking on Wall Street, taking on financial industry and getting results,” Clinton said.

Clinton also pledged to build on the Affordable Care Act, an act with the goal of expanding medical coverage, calling it one of the nation’s “greatest accomplishments”.

When it came to the issue of guns, Clinton voiced that Sanders’ views were out-of-step with Democratic primary voters.  Sander’s came back by saying that his experience in a rural state like Vermont, which is more averse to gun restrictions, puts him in an “excellent position” to deal with the issue.

As the race continues, O’Malley’s struggle to get noticed also continues.  He barely qualified for Sunday’s debate and has been in the low single-digits nationally.

O’Malley is most remembered for his pleas for more time throughout the debate.  When asking for “just 10 seconds” to weigh in on the issue of drug abuse, moderators cut to commercial break, then allowing Clinton 30 more seconds after her cut off.  O’Malley chimed in, “Can I get 30 seconds, too?”

Despite O’Malley’s lack of speaking opportunity throughout the debate, he was allowed time at the end of the debate to address any issues they had not been able to discuss in the previous two hours.

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