March 14th, 2014
10:02 AM ET
9 months ago

Inside Politics: GOP debate over policy and personalities

Washington (CNN) – It's getting personal on all fronts as Republicans debate the wisdom of their leaders - present and future.

Two leading GOP 2016 contenders, the freshmen Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, are in a public spat over foreign policy that quickly became framed around what seems to be the perennial GOP question: Who is the heir to Ronald Reagan?

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soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Lynda/Minnesota

    "It's getting personal on all fronts as Republicans debate the wisdom of their leaders – present and future."

    Oh. The GOP has a leader? Well, OK. That ALONE should be breaking news of the day then ... yes?

    March 14, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  2. Al-NY,NY

    "the heir to Ronald Reagen"............yeah.....a guy who'd be drummed out of today's purity party for not being extreme enough and DARING to work with the other side. St Ronnie is a RINO to these fanatics but they still invoke his name like it's some divine incantation

    March 14, 2014 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  3. guest

    when you make a deal with the devil like GOP did with the extremist right, they are going to find it hard to renege on payment, their souls are already forfeit. Time for a new party composed of rational Americans with a tendency to meet in the center.

    Right wing extremism is bad for this country, as bad or worse than extreme left wing ideas that we need a fine and jail time for ever petty concern in society. Both groups through litigation and law suits around like bragging rights to how out of touch with reality they are.

    Time for a change, we dont want the comrad's communist state, we dont want nationalist extremist kill everything different, and we dont want ayn rand's selfishness is a virtue (how can these people not be considered 'takers'). Give america back to the middle, and out compete to make it big, stop using fear and legislation to profit.

    March 14, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  4. Gurgyl

    GOP lacks morale, ethics, standards. Nation will not listen to their War ideology anymore.

    March 14, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  5. rs

    "Two leading GOP 2016 contenders, the freshmen Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, are in a public spat over foreign policy that quickly became framed around what seems to be the perennial GOP question: Who is the heir to Ronald Reagan?"
    ________________
    And why Reagan? Certainly he was popular- but a foreign policy nightmare. Iran-Contra? Illegally selling missiles out of Israeli stores (complete w/ a star of David on board) to the Iranians-then certainly our enemies, the funds from which kept the Contra "freedom fighters" at work killing civilians in El Salvador, and more famously murdering Catholic Church leaders and raping nuns. Not exactly the heritage most of us might want.
    The bigger problem however for the GOP isn't a questionable foreign policy lapse, or Reagan's "Voodoo" economics (which tie directly to our debt and deficits of today- but that whole nature of popularity.
    The GOP is not popular, not with minorities, Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, the well educated, the young or women. Mr. Romney lost big in those demographic groups- from women by 12 points to Blacks by almost 90. This obviously explains the GOP's lust for quashing the voting rights for these very same people.
    Today Reagan couldn't be a member of the GOP (nor Nixon, nor Goldwater, nor many others), while true or "historic" Conservatives who instead have been replaced by knee-jerk reactionaries and faux revolutionaries.

    The thing the GOP must do is think through their illogical hatred of our government (which simply calls into question their true motivations. Remember the "you didn't build that" flap that they tried to hang on the President? Until the GOP can admit that because of their anti-tax actions our nation no longer can: build highways like we did in the '50s (when top tax rates were 89%); have a viable space program; quality public education programs; deep-water ports and more- all things that invigorate discovery and provide a platform for trade, that America will never be a world power again.
    And we must ask- why would the GOP want anything less?

    March 14, 2014 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  6. TheObserver

    Does everyone remember Reagan's economic platform? "TRICKLE-DOWN" Economics?

    It was the belief that if we eased up on taxing the larger businesses and the wealthy, that more room for expansion would be possible and ultimately more jobs would be created, and hence benefit the greater public. Simply, those with more money would inevitably spend it and it would "trickle down" to those less wealthy.

    25 years later it has snowballed into the mess we have now. NOTHING TRICKLED DOWN. THE MONEY HAS BEEN TRICKLING UP SINCE 1978. I guess Reagan was assuming that the wealthy would follow the example of previous generations and use it philanthropically, and to improve their communities. But seriously people, c'mon, what do the American wealthy do with it? They buy expensive crap for themselves, and put the rest in overseas bank accounts. And they complain when the President decides to raise their tax rate back to where it was during the Clinton years. Hmmmm, strange. I recall American big businesses did pretty well during the Clinton years.

    Maybe Reagan had too much faith in humans, but he certainly DRASTICALLY underestimated the inherent greed in American culture.

    I'm a registered Republican, because I believe in the ORIGINAL definition of Republicanism, aka SMALL government and FISCAL responsibility. The modern version of Republicanism couldn't be further from this. Add the religious fanaticism and the anti-(fill in racial or sexual minority here) bigotry.

    Remember, Democracy is the WORST form of government, except for all the rest.

    March 14, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  7. wendel

    what republican party?? At this point I don't see one, just a bunch of nut jobs complaining about the administration with no ideas of their own except to bomb other countries ,tote guns , deny women and gay rights, suppress voting and screw the middle class and poor. Oh and call for more boarder patrol . Let's not forget screwing the Hispanic population. I don't think there is anyone they have not offended or stepped on.

    March 14, 2014 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  8. Wake up People!

    Aww Fox-lite am I not allowed to shed light on the hilarity of this situation? Am I not allowed to compare it to how this country was founded???

    March 14, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  9. rs

    25 years later it has snowballed into the mess we have now. NOTHING TRICKLED DOWN. THE MONEY HAS BEEN TRICKLING UP SINCE 1978. I guess Reagan was assuming that the wealthy would follow the example of previous generations and use it philanthropically, and to improve their communities. But seriously people, c'mon, what do the American wealthy do with it? They buy expensive crap for themselves, and put the rest in overseas bank accounts. And they complain when the President decides to raise their tax rate back to where it was during the Clinton years. Hmmmm, strange. I recall American big businesses did pretty well during the Clinton years.
    ____________________________
    Exactly- and what Bush did was Reagan's economic theory on steroids. The GOP has lost sight of the fact that if a huge portion of society ceased being able to spend beyond anything but the very basics (rent, food, clothing) the economy will ultimately shudder to a halt- add in almost 40 years of ignoring infrastructure improvement and that's a recipe for rejoining the third world.

    March 14, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. rs

    Wake up People!

    Aww Fox-lite am I not allowed to shed light on the hilarity of this situation? Am I not allowed to compare it to how this country was founded???
    _______________________
    You mean with up to 25% of the population being slaves? Women and non-property owners not being able to vote, and a policy of genocide for the natives? No thanks!

    March 14, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    Wake up People!
    Aww Fox-lite am I not allowed to shed light on the hilarity of this situation? Am I not allowed to compare it to how this country was founded???
    -----------–

    Nope. I tried to share with Rudy in an earlier article on how my husband has kindly gotten an engineering associate to design a reel which I can handle enough to reel in a fish (because my arthritis has limited my hand movements); but my comment was scrapped.

    Your comment was (at least I assume) related to the article?

    March 14, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    "It's getting personal on all fronts as Republicans debate the wisdom of their leaders – present and future."
    ----------------------------–
    There not going to find any answers until they consider the wisdom of their leaders – past and present.

    March 14, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  13. Chris-E...al

    The U.S. has the highest taxes on business earnings in the world folks . ck it out .

    March 14, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  14. Silence DoGood

    GOP pandered to the Radical Religious Right and now the priest is at the door looking for the payback.
    “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own. It is error alone that needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.”
    ~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Horatio Spofford, 1814

    March 14, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  15. Warren

    TheObserver
    Does everyone remember Reagan's economic platform? "TRICKLE-DOWN" Economics?

    The one that DID NOT work???

    March 14, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  16. Wake up People!

    The GOP wholeheartedly welcomed in the most extreme group of people because of their outrage at the 2008 election results. They allowed them to say and do the nastiest things, while they (The GOP) sat back smiling, feeling untouchable. They finally had a mouthpiece to spout their nastiness without them doing it themselves. And now they refuse to stop. Keep it up GOP, here's to hoping more sane people realize you brought this on yourselves!!

    March 14, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  17. Gunderson

    Well, Humm,
    We probably haven't been able to look at the Liberal's, Democrats. But wait, that is all out there in the open, no? Nearly 50 Million on Food Stamps, about 25 percent, (Real) unemployment, a National Debt over 17 Trillion. Millions have lost their Health Care. Ton's of Mortgages in forclosure,. How's that again? The Republicans are trying to save your *ss and you bites the hand that feeds you? The "miracle Worker" is out selling snake oil and some are still buying it. Happy Landings !!

    March 14, 2014 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  18. rs

    Chris-E...al

    The U.S. has the highest taxes on business earnings in the world folks . ck it out .
    _______________________
    And the lowest rate of collection.

    March 14, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Al-NY,NY

    "the heir to Ronald Reagen"............yeah.....a guy who'd be drummed out of today's purity party for not being extreme enough and DARING to work with the other side. St Ronnie is a RINO to these fanatics but they still invoke his name like it's some divine incantation
    ----------------
    From a certain point of view, the Reagan administration was political genius personified. Search this "david stockman trojan horse" If you get a hit about his book, "The Great Deformation" at BusinessWeek, check out what the stockman has to say about trickle down.

    March 14, 2014 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  20. Wake up People!

    Lynda and rs,

    I tried to comment on how the GOP let the TP in and they took over, kinda like the early, early years of the US and how a group of people let them in and you see how that turned out.

    March 14, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  21. Silence DoGood

    @Chris-E...al
    The U.S. has the highest taxes on business earnings in the world folks . ck it out .
    -------------
    Business is all about the bottom line Chris, not your politics. Profits are at an all time high and stocks are doing good. And the workers? When do they get the trickle down from this? I think we are all getting tired of being TRICKLED on.

    March 14, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  22. rs

    Wake up People!

    Lynda and rs,

    I tried to comment on how the GOP let the TP in and they took over, kinda like the early, early years of the US and how a group of people let them in and you see how that turned out.
    _____________________
    Good point, the TEA Party is the GOP's Texas oil money-fuelled Frankenstein's monster at this point.

    March 14, 2014 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  23. rs

    The Republicans are trying to save your *ss and you bites the hand that feeds you?
    _____________________
    With friends like them, who needs enemies? :-)

    March 14, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Warren

    TheObserver
    Does everyone remember Reagan's economic platform? "TRICKLE-DOWN" Economics?

    The one that DID NOT work???
    -------------------------
    Actually, Trickle Down worked exactly as it was supposed to, which why Reagan is so highly regarded. The architect of Reaganomics, David Stockman, has called Trickle Down a Trojan Horse to disguise the true purpose of the econmic policies, which was to dramatically cut taxes for the wealthy. All of the arguments that were made in support of it have nothing more than a smoke screen. That's Stockman's opinions, not mine.

    March 14, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. salty dog

    With the BS their trying to feed me, I'm going to bite that hand every time. Thanks for playing.

    March 14, 2014 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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