Presidential hopefuls clash at GOP debate

By Madeleine Longwell
Contributing Writer

Republican candidates line up for debate
(Photo from

In preparation for next year’s election, the Republican Party held its second debate last Wednesday.

The top 11 candidates, determined by recent polls, included front-runners Donald Trump and Jeb Bush as well as the other eight candidates present at the first debate held in August. New to the stage was Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and the only prominent female Republican candidate for president.

Over the course of the three-hour debate, Fiorina had a total of 13 minutes of speaking time, the third highest time behind candidates Trump and Bush.

The first question of the debate was directed at Fiorina, asking if she would be comfortable with Trump having control of the nuclear codes. Beyond this first question, Fiorina spent much of her 13 minutes attacking and responding to Trump—pointing out everything from his flawed idea that “the 14 Amendment is going to go away” to addressing a comment Trump made to “Rolling Stone,” seemingly about her appearance.

Throughout the debate, and her campaign as a whole, Fiorina has routinely referenced her business experience as a strength in the political world. In response Mr. Trump claims that she “ran HP into the ground.”

In addition to criticizing other Republican candidates, Fiorina address problems with the Democrats and, specifically, President Obama. In response to a question from the moderator, Fiorina referenced the “immigration problem,” suggesting President Obama has chosen not to solve the issue.

Throughout the debate, Fiorina appealed to the conservative audience. In response to a question about the U.S. relationship with Russia and the current conflict in Syria, Fiorina explained her plan to “rebuild the missile defense program in Poland, conduct regular, aggressive military exercises in the Baltic states, and send a few thousand more troops into Germany.”

It was evident the following day the impact of Ms. Fiorina’s performance at the debate. Prior to September, Fiorina had been polling as one of the least popular Republican candidates; now, she has risen in the ranks. There is no denying Fiorina was articulate on Wednesday—a fact that surprised many—and with support for her growing, her campaign is promising.