Out-of-work Americans want jobs, they just need better opportunities, according to several Republican presidential candidates who spoke Thursday during the GOP’s undercard debate on Fox News.
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“I think Americans are dying to work,” said South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham, who said he would approve opening the Keystone Pipeline that would deliver oil to the U.S. from Canada, and would repeal Obamacare, the president's signature health care reform law, both in an effort to create jobs for Americans.
The U.S. is still recovering from the 2008 financial crisis and many economists feel economic growth is much slower than during past recoveries following recessions. Some GOP candidates have suggested the U.S. economy should be growing at a 4% clip, but most forecasts suggest GDP for 2015 of between 2% and 3%.
“We have to create better paying jobs,” added former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. Reviving the manufacturing sector would provide middle-class Americans with millions of jobs lost in recent years to cheaper markets overseas, Santorum said.
Former New York Governor George Pataki said dependency on government entitlements – namely unemployment benefits – needs to be replaced with opportunity.
Jim Gilmore, the former governor of Virginia, said his administration will grow the economy “so people don’t have to rely on handouts.” Gilmore said he will propose across the board tax cuts for all Americans, a move that will create jobs and grow the economy. He also said taxes and regulations have become too burdensome under more than six years of a Democratic administration.
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Much of the debate focused on issues related to national security.
Carly Fiorina, former CEO of tech giant Hewlett-Packard, said she supports more collaboration between tech companies such as Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) and the government in an effort to fight homegrown terrorism.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was critical of Obamacare and said Americans can get better and cheaper healthcare if they are provided better jobs.
Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, who targeted immigration primarily, said he would focus on changing the corporate tax rate and lowering it.
These seven candidates were relegated to an earlier debate because polls show they aren’t among the top 10 candidates if the election were held today. The top 10 polling candidates will debate later Thursday.