New York Times
By Ashley Parker
March 10, 2016
The four candidates still battling for the Republican nomination for president gathered at the University of Miami for the party’s 12th debate, hosted by CNN. Donald J. Trump leads in both delegates and states won, with Gov. John Kasich’s home state, Ohio, and Senator Marco Rubio’s home state, Florida, both heading to the polls on Tuesday.
• In a surprise twist, the first question, on jobs and the economy, goes to Mr. Kasich. Asked by Jake Tapper, the debate moderator, if his advocacy for trade deals had come at the “expense of the middle class,” Mr. Kasich cited his blue-collar background — his father was a mailman and his family worked in the steel industry — and said he believes in “free trade, but fair trade.”
• Mr. Rubio — who supports increasing the number of H-1B visas for high-skilled workers — was asked about the case of Disney, which used a loophole in the program to lay off American workers and replace them with foreign workers. Companies like Disney that abuse the program, he said, “should be barred from using it in the future.”
• On the question of visas for high-skilled workers, Mr. Trump seemed to try to have it both ways. As a businessman, he said, he uses the program and “I do what I have to do.” But, he added, it’s “unfair” for workers — “And we should end it.”
• Senator Ted Cruz of Texas used the H-1B question to switch to the issue of illegal immigration, a hot topic for the Republican base. He said he would cut federal funds to “sanctuary cities” that don’t follow the nation’s immigration laws. And, he added, Democrats don’t have the political will to fix the nation’s broken immigration system, because they “view those illegal immigrants as potential voters.”
• And the mystery of just why Mr. Trump is holding a news conference at Mar-a-Lago, his private club, on Friday morning became clear midway through the first hour, when Mr. Trump declared that Ben Carson, the retired pediatric neurosurgeon, would be endorsing him. He will make sure Mr. Carson will be very involved in his education policies, he added.
• “First of all, Ted was in favor of amnesty,” Mr. Trump said. “There’s no question about that.” In any other debate, those would have been fighting words. But none of the candidates have really had a highly heated exchange yet. As Mr. Trump himself said, just moments later, “I cannot believe how civil it’s been up here.”
• Mr. Cruz and Mr. Trump did get into a brief back-and-forth over Mr. Trump’s threat to impose a 45 percent tariff on foreign goods. Mr. Trump called it a “threat” that would become a tax only if foreign countries, like China, “don’t behave.” Mr. Cruz countered that “it’s not China who pays the tax,” but the “working men and women” here in the United States.
Not so, Mr. Trump argued, explaining that he would “start building those factories and those plants here instead of China,” thus creating more jobs. And then it was time for a commercial break.
• Asked about his recent comments that “Islam hates us,” and if he really meant all Muslims, Mr. Trump doubled down: “ I mean a lot of them, I mean a lot of them,” he said. “There’s tremendous hatred, and I will stick with exactly what I said.” He is not willing to be politically correct, he said.
“I’m not interested in being politically correct — I’m interested in being correct,” Mr. Rubio retorted, saying the nation would need to work with Muslim countries to help defeat radical extremism. Mr. Kasich, similarly, said that the United States would need Muslim and Arab countries to fight the Islamic State.
• On an issue that has dogged Mr. Trump in recent weeks — his calls for violating international law and targeting the families of suspected terrorists — the New York billionaire called on existing laws to be expanded in order to fight terrorists on “equal footing.” Both Mr. Cruz and Mr. Rubio, meanwhile, quickly and firmly said they would not target the families of terrorists.
• Mr. Trump said that he would be a strong supporter of Israel, citing a somewhat unlikely list of credentials: his Jewish son-in-law, his daughter Ivanka who converted to Judaism, and his Jewish grandchildren. He also mentioned that he had served as the grand marshal of the Israeli Day Parade down Fifth Avenue.
He also added that a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians would be a tough negotiation. But, he said, “I’d like to give it a shot.”
• Asked about his comments seeming to praise authoritarian governments — calling both President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and China’s government during the Tiananmen Square massacre “strong” — Mr. Trump said that “strong doesn’t mean good,” adding that he was not endorsing the massacre.
“Putin is a strong leader, absolutely,” he said. “I don’t say that in a good way or a bad way. I say that as a fact.” Mr. Kasich, asked a follow-up question, was swift in his rebuke: “I think the Chinese government butchered those kids,” he said.
• Does Mr. Trump share some culpability for encouraging the hostile tone at his rallies, which in recent weeks have turned increasing violent, Mr. Tapper asked.
“I hope not, I truly hope not,” Mr. Trump said. But, he said, when his supporters see protesters, when “they see what’s going on in this country, they have anger that’s unbelievable.” And, he added, “We have some protesters who are bad dudes” and are “really dangerous.”
• “There are only two of us who have a path to winning the nomination — Donald and myself,” Mr. Cruz said, responding to a question about the possibility of a brokered convention, and noting that he has finished ahead of Mr. Trump in eight states. He then appealed to voters, saying that if Mr. Trump is the nominee, Hillary Clinton will win in November and urging, “Come and join us.”
But Mr. Trump also returned to the numbers. What Mr. Cruz doesn’t mention, he said, is that he has actually beaten Mr. Cruz far more frequently — in 13 states.
For more information, go to: www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com