The first Republican debate will air on Fox News tonight at 9 pm. (A separate debates of candidates who did not make the top 10 in recent polls will air at 5PM.) The moderators are Fox hosts Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace. Here are seven tough (but fair) questions they should ask, but probably won’t.
1. Many of you predicted that Obamacare would have a devastating impact on the American job market and continue to refer to Obamacare as a “job killer.” How do you explain the historic job growth under Obamacare?
In 2011, Republicans passed the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.” Since the passage of Obamacare in March 2010, however, there have been 64 straight months of consecutive job growth — and all-time record — adding nearly 13 million jobs to the economy.
2. Do you support paid maternity leave?
Out of 185 major countries, the United States is one of just three that does not offer new mothers paid leave. The other two are Oman and Papua New Guinea.
3. There are no guns allowed in the arena tonight. Do you support that policy?
Many of the candidates oppose “gun free zones” in places like schools and military bases, arguing that allowing people to carry guns will enable them to protect themselves against “bad guys.” But candidates recognize the importance of “gun-free zones” in their own lives. Trump, for example, does not allow guns on his hotels and golf courses. Quicken Arena, where the Republican debate is being held, also does not allow guns. (HT: @CaitlinFrazier)
4. What lessons have you drawn from the disastrous consequences of the Iraq war and how does that impact your view of the Iran deal?
Many of the people opposed to the Iran deal supported the Iraq war. (Many of the candidates are advised by architects of the Iraq war.) The arguments the candidates are using to justify their opposition to the Iran deal are very similar to those used to justify war in Iraq.
5. You have said you admire Ronald Reagan. But Reagan granted legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants. Why is your approach so different than Reagan?
In 1986, Ronald Reagan signed legislation that created a pathway to citizenship for 3 million undocumented immigrants.
6. Many of you attended a recent gathering by the Koch brothers, who say they are opposed to corporate welfare. Would you commit to eliminating all government subsidies and tax breaks to the fossil fuel industry as President?
The Koch brothers, who are spending millions to influence this election, claim to oppose corporate welfare. The fossil fuel industry receives at least $4.7 billion in direct production tax breaks and billions more in indirect support.
7. Does the government spend too much on women’s health?
Jeb Bush recently said that though we might be spending too much on “women’s health,” before quickly backtracking. But Bush and the rest of the candidates support defunding Planned Parenthood, one of the largest providers of women’s health services.