Time To Drop The Entire Field From Your Fantasy Team

Tonight’s CNBC GOP debate had about as much dysfunction as the House GOP conference, with little real conversation about the policy issues that matter. Whether they were asked about climate change, family economic security, or immigration, tonight was reflective of what the Republican Party has been for years now: a yelling match. After their two hours on a stage in Boulder, what had the Republican candidates for president offered the American people? All tricks and no treats.

This debate was further evidence that Republicans simply are not where most Americans are on many issues that impact working families, communities of color, public health, and more. Republican candidates may not think they have any weaknesses, but in the two hours following that opening question, each candidate failed to answer this simple question. Instead, they revealed a litany of weaknesses that reflect the whole party.

Oppose Action On Climate Change

In the only question posed to the GOP candidates on climate and energy issues at the CNBC debate, Gov. Chris Christie railed against “government intervention” to combat climate change, instead of offering concrete solutions to address it. This is unsurprising given that 71 percent of GOP candidates question or deny the science behind climate change — compared to only 24 percent of all voters. The gap between the GOP candidates’ position on climate change and that of the American people is not only a glaring weakness on the part of their campaigns, but it could also have detrimental consequences for both the economy and our public health.

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Attack Solutions To Strengthen Women’s Economic Security

The CNBC debate offered GOP candidates ample opportunity to highlight what they could do to help make sure our economy is working for women. But rather than offer real solutions, the GOP candidates pivoted to attacking policies that strengthen women’s economic security. Asked directly about the Paycheck Fairness Action, which would help ensure women get equal pay for equal work, Sen. Ted Cruz said that the bill he and all other Senate Republicans voted against was nothing other than a way of “empowering trial lawyers to file lawsuits.” Not to be outdone, Carly Fiorina responded to a question about pay equity by offering a false statistic about women’s jobs during the Obama Administration. (At another moment during the debate, Fiorina was forced to answer again on her tenure at Hewlett Packard, during which time thousands of jobs — men’s and women’s — were lost.) Given the candidates’ unwillingness to supporting a concrete solution to closing the gender wage gap, it is unsurprising that they similarly oppose other meaningful policies to help women and their families get ahead.

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Fail To Support Sensible Solutions on Immigration

Once again, the candidates were given an opportunity to discuss their ideas on immigration reform. And once again they failed to propose any workable solutions that would help the millions of undocumented immigrants living here while boosting the economy. Instead, Donald Trump said he wanted to “build a wall” and Marco Rubio suggested a vague “merit-based” immigration system of some sort. The GOP candidates’ refusal to support sensible solutions on immigration has real costs to the American people and the economy.

BOTTOM LINE: The opening question of last night’s GOP debate about each candidates’ weaknesses was straightforward enough. But from Rubio saying he is an optimist, to Fiorina saying she takes the country’s problems really seriously, nine of the ten candidates failed to name a true weakness. If they are unwilling to honesty look at their own weaknesses, why should we be surprised that they are unwilling to acknowledge the real challenges facing the country? The debate unmasked the glaring weakness at the heart of this Republican presidential primary: the total lack of meaningful policies that address the real concerns of working people and families. From paycheck fairness to climate change to immigration and more, last night was reflective of what the Republican Party has been for years now: a yelling match that is all tricks and no treats.

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Hard-hitting news + analysis paired with action on the issues that matter most. Working alongside @AmProg.

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