In less than 48 hours, Americans will get their first taste of the spectacle that was once known as the 2016 election. Ten Republicans, ceremoniously whittled down from a field of 17, will step onto a crowded stage to lay out their visions and pitch themselves as the next leader of the country. There's no doubt the GOP debate will beat these five issues to death because, well, that's what politicians do.
On Tuesday, Fox News unveiled the official list for the first GOP debate of the season, which included Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, and John Kasich. If you think that messy mouthful is overwhelming, just try and imagine these 10 gents talking over each other to get a few extra minutes in the spotlight. It's a recipe for disaster, which of course means must-watch TV.
While these Republicans are all incredibly different from each other, there are some issues that are a shared cause of concern. But it's one thing to debate the issues you're passionate about, and it's quite another to meander through murky rhetoric. Whether it's Trump on immigration or Paul on Planned Parenthood, we've heard these Republican calls of doom and gloom for quite some time so don't expect Thursday to be any different.
Immigration has long been a hot topic during election seasons, but Trump's incendiary comments about Mexican immigrants during his campaign announcement cemented both himself and the issue at the top of this election's docket. Trump wants to deport all undocumented immigrants and force Mexico to pay for a border wall. On the flip side, second-ranked Bush unveiled his plan for tightening border security on Monday while offering a possible path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the country. The wide range of opinions will open the door to a fiery debate so bust out the popcorn.
A Senate bill that would have stopped federal funding of Planned Parenthood failed to pass Monday after it garnered only 53 of the 60 required votes. The defeat will still feel fresh for the Republicans on stage who voted yes, which included Paul, Cruz, and Rubio, so expect all three to continue touting their attempts at defunding the women's health center. And given that House Republicans are expected to reignite efforts to defund Planned Parenthood in September, the issue is far from over.
Americans say the economy is the most important issue this election, but so far, Republicans have rarely gone into detail on what their economic plans look like. Trump has already claimed he's the most qualified to improve America's economy (since he's a billionaire) so expect him to continue making those statements as everyone else attempts to catch up and undermine him. Bush and Christie say they can increase the U.S. economy by 4 percent, but then again, debates are usually full of numbers that aren't really substantiated so no surprise there.
Trump has done an impressive job at resonating with voters this early on in the race, but the GOP front-runner still hasn't offered any real viable steps and solutions on how he'll carry out his plans. Since he's commanding such a huge lead, his competitors will have no choice but to criticize and question his abilities. And given the way Fox News has been heavily covering the Trump campaign, don't be surprised if Trump is forced to field accusations from the moderators themselves.
Obama, Hillary, And The Democrats
The first GOP debate will give candidates an opportunity to size each other up and viewers a chance at finally figuring out who else is running besides Trump and Bush. But that doesn't mean Republicans won't take the opportunity to slide in digs at the eventual competition. Whether they still incite calls to repeal Obamacare or criticize likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's private email server, these GOPers won't let you forget it's been almost eight years since a Republican has sat in the White House and that's why they deserve the job.