Rambunctious Republicans: Remember Ronald Reagan’s Rule At GOP Debate


By Robert J. Guttman

July 30, 2015


Former President Ronald Reagan always stressed his 11th Commandment which was: “Thou Shall Not Speak Ill of any fellow Republican”.

According to the book I am now reading: “Reagan: The Life” by historian H.W. Brands, Reagan used this 11 commandment even during his days as governor of California.

However, anyone noticing the 2016 GOP presidential field will surely know that hardly any of the Republican presidential candidates are following the advice of the most popular Republican president of the past sixty years or more.

Even as most of the GOP candidates attempt to portray themselves as being the most like the iconic former leader of their party, they certainly are not following his 11th Commandment example.

If anything, many of the GOP presidential candidates are going out of their way to trash their colleagues running for the Republican presidential nomination.

As the top ten, ranked by polling, get ready for their inaugural nationally televised debate on August 6th at the Quicken Loans Arena known as the Q in Cleveland where LeBron James and his Cavaliers also play, angry shouts of disapproval are being yelled across the Internet and television by the GOP candidates at one another.

Rather than criticizing Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side, the Republican candidates are foolishly weakening themselves with the voters by acting immature and uncivil, just as the American voting public is looking for an adult to vote for in the 2016 election.

The bizarre behavior of the leading GOP presidential candidate is hard to even categorize.  If anyone dares say anything against the Donald, he immediately calls that person or organization a “loser” or “horrible” or a“terrible” person.

If it is an organization that is critical of him, Trump says they are also “losers” who are “losing money” and should not even be thought of as in the same thought as the Donald.

In a country where civil discourse is going the way of the dinosaur, the Republicans are certainly not doing anything to better our behavior or dialogue.

Trump is a one person disaster for the Republican Party and the sooner he is escorted off the stage and out the door, the better the chances for the GOP capturing the White House in 2016.

Who are these voters saying they support Trump?  Do they really believe a billionaire real estate developer in New York City is anti-establishment?  He is the establishment.

Republicans: forget the Donald.  He will burn himself out with his nasty remarks in the next few months.  Concentrate on your goals and objectives, should you move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in January, 2017.

Quit the name calling.  Stop the character put downs of one another.

The GOP has a uniquely qualified field of candidates this time around.  It is like March Madness with 68 teams competing at first.  The viewer has to wait until the Sweet Sixteen to get to know the teams.  Until the field of candidates becomes smaller due to lack of popular support, lack of money or lack of votes, it would be good to watch the debate and see this talented field.

Fox News and its debate co-sponsors Facebook and the Ohio Republican Party, will also put on an earlier format with the GOP presidential candidates who don’t make the top ten.  Viewers should also tune in for this earlier debate.

What should viewers be looking for on August 6th when they watch the debate at the Q, where the Republican National Convention will also take place a year later in July, 2016?

Look for candidates who follow Reagan’s rule and discuss what they will do if elected to the White House.  Look for candidates who are civil to their colleagues on stage.  Look for specifics that the candidates believe in on their domestic and foreign policies.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has been saying all along he will not criticize his opponents.  Ohio Governor John Kasich, who just entered the race officially, is also concentrating on his own programs.

Kasich may not make it to the main stage at 9 pm on August 6th in his own home state.  But, the Ohio Governor is an attractive candidate who will likely be a first tier candidate very soon.

Kasich brings his years of experience as a Congressman who worked on budget issues in the House of Representatives.  He brings a winning strategy of attracting votes from all segments of the Ohio voting public.  And, as everyone knows, Republicans have to carry the state of Ohio and its important and large electoral votes to win the White House.  Kasich could win the state and its electoral votes.

Kasich is a dynamic fast talker.  He has both executive and legislative experience. He is someone to watch.  He may not be on the main stage on August 6th but odds are good he will be strong in the primaries.

Senator Marco Rubio is one of the younger and more charismatic GOP candidates and his performance should be watched closely at the Q on August 6th.  Let’s hope he doesn’t reach for a bottle of water!

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is still bringing in tons of money and is still a leading candidate to be the party’s nominee.  He has done a good job of distancing himself from his brother and his father, showing he is his own person with strong views on immigration and education.

Senator Lindsey Graham, who may not be on the main stage in Cleveland, is showing a good sense of humor and good grasp of foreign policy issues in the early days of the campaign.

Senators Paul and Cruz, who both started strong, have been out of the news lately and the debate may be a good chance for them to get some more national attention.

As the first debate is in the middle of summer vacation season, it may not have as large as an audience as the upcoming second GOP debate to be held in California on September 16th at the Reagan Library.

Carson, Huckabee, Gilmore, Pataki, Christie, Fiorina, Jindal, Perry and Santorum are all still in the running and one of these qualified candidates could break out of the pack in the future.

Let’s hope the Republican candidates try to remember Reagan’s rule.

GOP Candidates: Forget the Donald and concentrate on telling us what you will do for America as president.

Keep it civil at the Q in Cleveland on August 6th and the voters will reward you for your grown up and polite behavior!






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