FROM Barrett Duke
GOP Candidates Face Off in Presidential Debate Last night at the Reagan Library in California , ten candidates got a total of 90 minutes to make their cases for the Republican presidential nomination. The name of Ronald Reagan was invoked 19 times. President Bush was hardly mentioned. Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Senator John McCain , who lead in the polls, faced off with Mitt Romney and seven lesser-known hopefuls trying to get into the top tier. The former Massachusetts Governor is included in the top tier because he has so much money. Where would they take the country on Iraq, Iran, illegal immigration and Roe versus Wade ? We hear from the Christian, moderate and fiscal-conservative wings of the party. Who said what they wanted to hear? Who would appeal to Democrats and Independents?
The Republican Presidential Field Republican presidential politics are in a state of confusion. The party base is conservative on economics, national security and social issues, but the most socially liberal of three leading contenders is leading in party polls: pro-choice, three-times-married, Rudi Giuliani has the edge at the moment over John McCain and Mitt Romney . Conservative Republicans have booed McCain and evangelicals are openly skeptical of Romney's Mormon religion. Will the party base give up its "litmus test" on social issues to get a hawk on national security? Are both moderates and conservatives looking for new faces? We hear from journalists, politicians and evangelicals.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.