FBN/WSJ GOP debate part 1

The GOP Debate featuring New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and former Sen. Rick Santorum.

Christie, Santorum, Jindal & Huckabee Duke It Out; Here’s What Happened

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal came out swinging in his now fourth undercard debate Tuesday, while undercard newcomer New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stayed focused on beating Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

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The debate kicked off with Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee putting the IRS on the chopping block. Christie said he plans to fire a “whole bunch of IRS agents” and “make the tax code fair, flatter and simpler” to help in kick starting the recovery, while Gov. Huckabee thinks we should get rid of it all together.

“We don’t reduce the IRS. We get rid of the IRS,” he said.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who has been out of government for a few years received a strong applause after he turned a question about tax reform into one about family.

"We've incentivized people not to marry, we incentivized people to cohabitate, not marry. Why? Because mom will lose welfare benefits,” he said. “We’ve got all sorts of really corrupt incentives in place. Well, meaning by the left. We need to remove them.”

Jindal was the first to turn his fire to one of the candidates when he called out Huckabee by claiming he had failed to cut spending while in office.

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Huckabee objected and said that he in fact lowered spending.

“Your record as governor tells a different story,” Jindal backfired.

That’s when Christie jumped in and reminded both Jindal and Huckabee who the real enemy is: Hillary Clinton.

“If you think that Mike Huckabee won’t be the kind of president that will cut spending... wait until you see what Hillary Clinton will do. She’s the real adversary tonight and we better stay focused as Republicans on her," Christie said. "Hillary Clinton is coming for your wallet, everybody. Don't worry about Huckabee or Jindal, worry about her.”

Jindal then turned the tables on Christie, attacking the New Jersey’s governor’s ability to trim his state’s budget.

"If we send another big government Republican to the White House, we will not do enough to fix what is wrong in this country," Jindal said. "Let's not just beat Hillary, let's elect a conservative to the White House, not just any Republican," he adds.

Christie shined again when he responded by complimenting Jindal on his work and defending his own record by pointing out that he’s been re-elected  as an anti-abortion governor in a blue state.

"If you go to New Jersey, they'll call me lots of different things, but a liberal is not one of them,” he added.

Most of the candidates were uniform on one thing—sidestepping one of the moderator’s questions on what Democrat(s) they respect.

“Your question stinks,” said Jindal.

Santorum was the only one who answered it and almost broke the microphone with his surprise response to the question.

“Because they fight!” he shouted. “Because they’re not willing to back down…I respect them, because they are willing to take it to us!”

The debate ended with candidates focusing on Veterans’ Day, and then turned to an attack on President Obama for not respecting the military and not doing more for veterans once they return from Iraq.

"We've had Vietnam War veterans with tears in their eyes saying nobody has ever thanked them before. We've had World War II veterans' children saying they'd never heard the stories of their parents' heroic sacrifices," said Jindal.

Christie managed to turn it back to Clinton one more time though, saying, "Hillary Clinton says there's no crisis at the VA that sends a long and hard message to our veterans that she doesn't get it and she doesn't respect their service."

Huckabee and Christie were both dismissed from the main debate stage after not reaching the 2.5% threshold in national polls. Jindal and Santorum have been the lowest performers throughout the past four debates. 

 

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