How did John Kasich, others do in last GOP debate?

Editor’s note: This story originally ran Feb. 6.

The Republican presidential candidates debated tonight for the last time before the New Hampshire primary.

On the stage was Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Ben Carson and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.


SOUTH CAROLINA: Republicans debate in South Carolina on Saturday, Feb. 13. Watch the debate live at 9 p.m. on WHIO TV Channel 7.

KASICH: Ohio governor focuses on experience during final debate before New Hampshire primary

COVERAGE FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE: Greg Bluestein is in New Hampshire following the election for the Dayton Daily News and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter at @bluestein

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Here’s some highlights from Saturday’s debate from the Associated Press:

Who’s going to win the Super Bowl

The picks are in: most Republicans running for president think the Carolina Panthers are going to win the Super Bowl.

Four of the seven candidates in Saturday’s debate predicted a Carolina victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday. Ben Carson didn’t make a prediction, instead joking that “it will be either Denver or Carolina.”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was the most honest in his pandering, saying “With an eye to Feb. 20, Carolina.” That is the day of the South Carolina primary.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush are picking Denver. Bush says he is taking Denver because the team’s quarterback, Peyton Manning, is supporting his candidacy.



Jeb Bush wants Republican presidential primary voters to think of him as “the most pro-life person” on the GOP debate stage.

Marco Rubio and Chris Christie want to turn the issue against the Democratic Party during the Republican presidential primary debate in New Hampshire.

Rubio and Christie both say Democrats are “extremists” on the issue, not Republicans.

There are some slight distinctions among Republicans on what exceptions candidates would prefer in any abortion ban.

All three candidates who spoke on the matter said they would allow an abortion needed to save the life of a pregnant woman. Bush and Christie said they’d both allow women to terminate pregnancies that result from rape or incest.



Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Marco Rubio rally around veterans, agreeing that returning soldiers should be able to go to any hospital or doctor to get medical treatment.

The three candidates believe that vets should have a range of healthcare choices.

Kasich says he would work with the Pentagon to get veterans jobs upon leaving the military.

He says “there should be no unemployment among veterans.”


Christie said he’d quarantine Americans returning from Brazil

Chris Christie says he’d quarantine Americans returning from Brazil after the summer Olympics and otherwise to keep the country safe from the spread of the Zika virus.

His rival Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, says quarantining people “willy nilly” is not an effective means of stopping the spread of the virus. He says organizations like the Center for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health can play a role in drafting a “rapid response” to the spread of Zika.

Christie took heat during the Ebola crisis for quarantining a nurse who returned from West Africa in New Jersey.


Rubio says he’d visit mosque

Marco Rubio says he would visit an Islamic mosque if he were president, but says President Barack Obama has wrongly suggested that Muslims in the U.S. have been the targets of excessive discrimination.

He says Obama is spreading a “fiction that there’s widespread, systematic discrimination against Muslim-Americans.”

But he also says mosques ought to be watched not just for hate speech, but for any evidence they are helping violent Islamic extremists plot violence in the U.S.


Trump says police are ‘mistreated’

Donald Trump says police in America are “absolutely mistreated and misunderstood,” and need to be treated with more respect.

But Ohio Gov. John Kasich said in Saturday’s Republican presidential debate that community leaders with concerns over police conduct need to be involved to ensure “more win-wins in America.”

Trump says there will be abuses of police power and other problems, and when that happens, people sue.

Trump says police are “really fantastic,” ”absolutely amazing people” and have done “an unbelievable job of keeping law and order.”

Kasich says he also loves the police, but the president also has to be responsive to the concerns of people in communities concerned about abuses of power.


Taking on Hillary Clinton

Republican presidential candidates are saying they aren’t afraid to take on Hillary Clinton if she’s the Democratic nominee in the general election.

Donald Trump says he would “galvanize” the electorate against Clinton. He promises he would “win by a lot,” though he offers few details about just what his argument against her would be.

Marco Rubio says he believes the political dynamics nationally already favor the eventual GOP nominee. He says Republicans will be unified after the primary. The November election, he says, will be “a referendum on our identity as a nation and as a people.”


Cruz shares story about dealing with addiction in his family

Republican Ted Cruz has shared the personal story of his sister who died of an overdose of drugs to show his understanding of New Hampshire’s heroin problem, the state’s second leading cause of death.

Speaking at the GOP debate, Cruz says solving the epidemic is best done at a state level and in coordination with local organizations. He says the federal government’s role is to secure the border to stop the “Mexican cartels” from flooding the country with drugs.

Chris Christie says heroin addiction “is a disease, not a moral failing.” He says New Jersey focused on treatment and saw its prison population decrease as a result.


Trump supports waterboarding … and ‘worse’

Donald Trump says he’d bring back waterboarding and “a hell of a lot worse” methods of interrogation for terrorists.

Trump says waterboarding, which simulates drowning, isn’t nearly as extreme as tactics used by terrorists in the Middle East, which are in line with “medieval times.”

Trump is the most direct in promising to use waterboarding if elected president, but Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says he wouldn’t rule out using the tactic that simulates drowning. Cruz says he would use “whatever” tactics possible to prevent imminent terrorist attacks.

Jeb Bush, meanwhile, says he agrees with the existing ban on waterboarding. Marco Rubio says its inappropriate to discuss interrogation tactics.


Bush would support airstrikes in Libya

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says he would support airstrikes in Libya but only if there is a plan to help rebuild the country after Islamic State fighters were repelled.

Bush says he would bomb Libya to rid it of the Islamic State group, but only with a large coalition from Europe and the Middle East.

Bush says the U.S. has to have a plan for the aftermath. Bush’s brother, former President George W. Bush, was criticized for having an insufficient plan for post-war Iraq.


Trump: Fight ISIS financially

Donald Trump says the way to beat the Islamic State group is through their pocketbook.

Trump said in Saturday’s Republican debate in New Hampshire that the way to beat terrorists is to take their oil and stop their access to money through the banking system. He says: “You have to knock the hell out of the oil. You have to take the oil.”

Trump says if the flow of money is stopped, the Islamic States is “going to become a very weakened power, quickly.”

He predicted the Islamic State could last only about a year with the resources it has currently.


Cruz defends ‘carpet bombing’ coments

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is standing by his call for “carpet bombing” areas controlled by the Islamic State group.

Cruz says that could be accomplished without mounting inappropriate levels of civilian casualties. He maintains that President Barack Obama’s administration has unnecessarily strict “rules of engagement” because of concerns over civilian deaths.

The senator says his previous endorsement of “carpet bombing” does not mean “indiscriminate” bombing. He says he would order “targeted” bombings of oil fields, infrastructure, communications outposts and key locations in Raqqa, Syria, the de-facto capital of the Islamic State group.


Trump wants to cut corporate tax rate

Donald Trump says cutting the corporate tax rate is a central piece of his plan to bring jobs back to America.

Pressed on how he’d create jobs, Trump says it’s critical to make sure big corporations remain in America rather than going to China, Mexico and other countries. He also says he’d make better trade deals than the current administration.


Who’s a true conservative?

John Kasich and Donald Trump are defending themselves against accusations that they are not true conservatives.

Speaking at the Republican debate in New Hampshire Saturday, Kasich defended endorsements he received by The New York Times and The Boston Globe, newspapers often criticized by Republicans as liberal.


VIDEO: Kasich reacts to newspaper endorsements


Kasich said the Times said “he’s not a moderate” and “can solve problems.”

Trump says he is conservative with regard to fiscal issues, conserving money and “doing the right thing.”


Trump: Bush wants to be a ‘tough guy’

Donald Trump is once again needling Jeb Bush, saying Bush “wants to be a tough guy.”

Trump and Bush got in a terse back-and-forth exchange in Saturday’s Republican presidential debate over their positions on eminent domain, the process by which the government takes private property for public use.

When Bush tried to interject, Trump drew boos when he dismissed him saying, “Let me talk, quiet.” Trump quipped the catcalls were coming from “donors and special interests,” the only people who could get tickets to the high profile debate.

Trump defended the use of eminent domain, saying it’s “absolutely necessary” to build roads, schools, bridges and hospitals.

But Bush forcefully challenged Trump, asking why he tried to use eminent domain to purchase the home of an elderly woman who lived near one of his Atlantic City casinos. Bush says, “That isn’t public purpose. That was downright wrong.”


Kasich at odds with others on immigration

Ohio Gov. John Kasich says he “couldn’t even imagine” ripping families apart by deporting immigrants living in the country illegally and says doing so doesn’t match American values.

Kasich says he’d make passing comprehensive immigration reform a priority within the first 100 days of his presidency. An attempt to pass a comprehensive bill in 2013 could not make it through Congress.

Kasich is at odds with several of his rivals, including Ted Cruz, on the issue of deportation.

Cruz says its possible to deport people living here illegally. The only thing missing, he says, is “political will.”


Dealing with North Korea

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is avoiding saying just how he might respond as president to a long-range rocket launch by North Korea.

South Korea said earlier Saturday that North Korea did just that, under the guise that it was launching a satellite.

Cruz deflected questions during the GOP presidential debate in New Hampshire Saturday over whether he’d shoot down any such missile or launch a pre-emptive strike on North Korea’s nuclear infrastructure.

He said he could not “speculate” since he has not seen “the intelligence briefings” that President Barack Obama gets. ABC moderator Martha Raddatz noted that Cruz has talked in detail about how he would approach Middle East tensions despite not having access to the same intelligence available to the president.

Cruz used the question to criticize the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran.


Christie-Rubio clash

Chris Christie and Marco Rubio are kicking off Saturday’s debate with a blistering exchange over experience, with Christie is hitting Rubio for “memorizing” talking points rather than getting actual things done.

Christie says, “the memorized 30-second speech doesn’t solve one problem.” He says Rubio has failed to make a single decision of consequence while in the U.S. Senate, a charge he’s been making on the trail in New Hampshire all week.

Rubio, meanwhile, is dismissing the argument that experience is necessary to be president, saying if that were the case then Joe Biden would be commander in chief.

And he’s punching right back at Christie, saying the New Jersey governor showed a lack of leadership when he considered not returning to his home state to manage a snow storm several weeks ago.


Bush goes after Rubio

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says rival Marco Rubio is a “gifted” politician with no experience — a point he’s been hammering on the campaign trail in New Hampshire.

Speaking at the eighth GOP debate Saturday, Bush said being president requires “a steady hand” to handle any number of crises, noting he handled eight hurricanes and four tropical storms that struck Florida when he was governor.

Bush says “you learn this by doing it,” adding that electing Rubio is the equivalent of electing President Barack Obama who was also a first-term senator when he won the presidency.


Trump says he has the right temperament to be president

Republican Donald Trump says he thinks he has the best temperament of those running for president.

Speaking at Saturday’s GOP debate, Trump noted that he’s driving the election conversation by bringing up issues others are afraid to address like his proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country.

Trump says, “I’m not one with a trigger. Other people up here, believe me, would be a lot faster.”


Having the finger on the button

Donald Trump says other Republican candidates running for president “would be a lot faster” to use nuclear weapons than he would.

Speaking at Saturday’s GOP debate in New Hampshire, Trump responded to comments made by rival Ted Cruz who said no one would be comfortable with Trump having his finger on “the button.”

Cruz dodged a question in the debate asking if he would stand by that comment, instead saying that voters will make the assessment over who has the temperament to be president.

Trump hit Cruz for not answering the question, adding “That’s what’s going to happen with our enemies and the people we compete against. We’re going to win with Trump. We’re going to win.”

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