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The best GOP candidate before Trump spoke up?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/18/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 197 times Debate No: 92884
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




This debate does not have a specific Affirmative/Negative stance, but to back up a specific GOP candidate that you think should have taken the Nomination. Anyone can accept this debate, as long as you are backing up a registered candidate of the 2016 election. Ideal candidates would be Kasich, Rubio, Cruz, Fiorina, Carson, Bush, Paul, Gilmore, Christie, Huckabee, Santorum, Walker, or even Trump if you truly believe that he's the candidate the GOP needs. You must choose a different candidate than I did, no agreement allowed. (keep reading, you will see who I picked to defend)
There will be no ad hominem in this debate; as Americans we are entitled to our opinion- although, if there is any discrimination by Race, Sexual Orientation, Gender, Religion, Culture, etc., your argument is forfeit to the Affirmative.
First Round is For Constructive argument
Second Round is for a second constructive argument or presentation of stock issues
Third Round is For Rebuttal.

I will be defending Ohio Governor John Kasich, the Second-to-last candidate to withdraw from the presidential race.

The GOP convention would have generally looked for a candidate with more experience, and the experience was most ripe for the picking with Ohio's 69th and current governor, John Kasich.
From an economy standpoint, Kasich would have set up the best workforce since Ronald Reagan's net Job creation status of 16.1 million jobs. Since Kasich took office, he has made the buckeye state much more prosperous for its citizens by closing an $8 billion budget shortfall without a tax increase, reducing taxes by $5 billion, cutting wasteful spending and eliminating red tape, and creating more than 426,800 jobs. The Workforce in Ohio is still growing, and Kasich would be best suited to finish President Obama's employment status increase. Before he was Ohio governor, he worked as a managing director in the Investment Banking division of Lehman Brothers. This dude knows money.

Kasich has the most political experience also having served in congress, Ohio's executive branch, and his knowledge in politics came from his professional studies of Political Science at the Ohio State University.

His stance on abortion is to defund Planned Parenthood. He supports streamlining the adoption process- however, he does believe in exceptions for abortion in cases of Rape and Incest.

As a gun owner, Kasich defends the second amendment adamantly and stresses heavily that voting age citizens have the right to bear arms. Kasich opposes to executive orders by the Obama administration on gun control.

Kasich opposes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care act, although having expanded Medicaid in Ohio under Obamacare. He believes that the citizens should be able to have their own way to pay for their healthcare from more reliable Health insurance without Obama's "Big government interference".

In conclusion, I have stated Kasich's economic successes and why they would make him a great president, included some background info of his career, and stated his stances on most GOP current issues.


Many thanks to my opponent for starting this debate.

Per the rules, I will use this round to make a constructive case in favor of Rand Paul.

A self-described "Constitutional Conservative," Rand Paul has been compared with his libertarian father, House of Representatives alum Ron Paul, for his stance on small government. Rand was a political activist for many years and went to Baylor University and studied medicine at Duke University before being elected to the United States Senate.

While libertarians are viewed as far-right, they can actually be considered moderate for how they adopt many policies that appeal to both liberals and conservatives. They tend to be socially liberal and fiscally conservative. This upholds the important value of keeping the government (and other people) out of regulating our livelihoods.

Rand Paul agrees with liberals that pot prohibition should be repealed [1] which is a huge point in his favor, considering the legalization of marijuana makes 100% moral and legal sense. Pot is safer than alcohol, most other drugs and many legal substances. The criminalization of pot has devastating effects on citizens (not to mention law enforcement budgets). Meanwhile, legalizing pot would add a ton of money into our economy through both business ventures and collected tax revenue while posing little to no danger at all [2].

Rand Paul cares about the economy which is why he wants to minimize spending as much as possible, and enact policy that promotes business growth and development. He actually had a viable plan to beat the national debt [3]. This includes minimizing taxes and alleviating the burden of restrictive legislations that hinder commerce. The Tax Foundation conducted an analysis which concluded that Senator Paul's plan would grow the economy by 12.9 percent in the long run, and create 4.3 million jobs. It would also raise $737 billion when accounting for economic growth [4]. Further, Rand Paul has called to defund government programs that produce a lot of waste and/or immoral policy such as Planned Parenthood [5].

While liberals may not appreciate that Rand is pro-life, they might appreciate that he is anti-war. Rand Paul has been vocal about our detrimental involvement in the Middle East. As president, his priority would have been protecting America, not policing the globe [6] which has been proven to be dangerous, expensive and counterproductive [7]. Rand Paul is anti-war and his policies would make American's safety (not defense contractors wallets) a priority.

Something else that liberals could appreciate is how Rand Paul pushed for significant criminal justice reform, and his concerns over the government's intrusion of privacy. He held a "listening session" with local leaders in Ferguson, Mo., in October 2014 in the wake of civil unrest there. Paul has said he thinks the underlying problem in Ferguson and elsewhere is a criminal justice system that unfairly targets minorities [8]. In addition, Paul appeared before a committee at the Kentucky Senate to argue for restoration of voting rights for nonviolent Kentucky felons, and he filed a bill that would restore federal voting rights.

In 2014 Rand Paul filed suit against Barack Obama and the National Security Agency for their unwarranted and illegal spying on Americans [9]. His political experience is filled with achievements such as historic filibusters. Driven by unanswered questions about the legality of using drone strikes inside the United States, Paul filibustered the nomination of the CIA for 13 hours until he got answers [10]. However that's not his only important filibuster. He staged an 11 hour protest against the Patriot Act as well [11]. He also speaks across college campuses in defense of the 2nd, 4th, 5th amendments and other Constitutional rights. Essentially, Paul has stood up with the people against government tyranny.

Paul has demonstrated a clear commitment to doing what's best for the people, even at his own expense. This occurs in both his professional and private life. For example Paul traveled to Guatemala on a mission trip to do free eye surgeries, showing his true humanitarian nature that goes beyond politicking [12].

Concerning same-sex marriage, Paul has made a distinction between his personal beliefs and how he feels the government should handle it. He has said that gay marriage "offends him" yet he would not enact a federal ban, and allow the states to decide how to proceed. This shows important character and demonstrated a key point of the libertarian/Paul philosophy: just because you don't agree with something, doesn't mean the government has the right to ban it. Instead Paul looks for consistent ideological justifications for his governmental advocacies.

Rand Paul had one of the most consistent voting records in Congress and hadn’t changed his message over time (as viral clips proved). His message of limited government with even more limited foreign intervention, respect for the individual, sound money and fiscal responsibility brought together a diverse and dedicated following [13]. Paul's message is clear and his experience is consistent. He has continuously advocated for individual rights and smaller government regulation. His economic, militaristic and domestic plans would all be good for America. He is not the perfect candidate, but he was the best Republican candidate the GOP had running in the 2016 presidential election.

Debate Round No. 1


I apologize for not providing evidence in my last argument, but most of it was common knowledge, believe it or not.

Here are more reasons why John Kasich would make a superior president than Mr. Rand Paul, the distinguished libertarian senator of Kentucky.

1. He is a two-term governor " In 2010, Kasich unseated incumbent Democrat Ted Strickland. The battle was a tough one, however he prevailed, turning the state red. When Democrat Ed FitzGerald challenged him in 2014, Kasich trounced him by a margin of 31 percent, winning all but two counties in the state. Clearly, Kasich knows how to run a successful campaign " and hold on to his seat.

2. As I have stated in my previous argument, he has served in Congress " Gov. Kasich is one the only presidential candidate with both executive and legislative experience, having served nine terms as the U.S. Congressman from Ohio's 12th district from 1983 to 2001. He understands thoroughly the relationship of power between the states and the federal government.

3. He has private sector experience " Between his tenure in Congress and winning the Ohio governorship, Kasich was employed as the managing director of Lehman Brothers' office in Columbus from 2001 to 2008. His experience in investment banking means he's no career politician, and is deeply knowledgeable about what makes for a healthy economy. To boot, Kasich served for six years as chairman of the House Budget Committee. "Too many politicians worry about getting elected as they do their job " if they worried more about doing their job they'd get elected," he told CNN in February.

4. He refuses to bash fellow Republicans " Throughout his presidential campaign, Kasich has taken the high road, campaigning on his extensive credentials, not tearing down those in his own party. "I"m not going to sit here and criticize Donald Trump. That"s not for me to do," he said during the second Republican primary debate. "Isn"t it better to judge me on what I say, and not what I say about someone else?"

5. He understands the military " His 18 years on the House Armed Services Committee has made Kasich a true military hawk. During a foreign policy speech in July, he outlined his world view, saying of Ukraine, for example, "For the United States not to be giving them the weapons they need to defend themselves is a terrible mistake and it frankly borders on outrage." On the Islamic State (ISIS), he said we must "begin to destroy" their hold in Iraq and Syria, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

6. He has empathy for the poor " Kasich has a moderate position on healthcare, having expanded Medicaid coverage to approximately 275,000 residents in Ohio under the Affordable Care Act. "First of all, I don't support Obamacare; I want to repeal it," Kasich said in an interview with Jake Tapper in May, explaining his position. "But I did expand Medicaid because I was able to bring Ohio money back home to treat the mentally ill, the drug addicted and help the working poor get health care . . . Ronald Reagan expanded Medicaid, Jake, expanding Medicaid is a separate issue."

7. He has governed a swing-state " Kasich knows how to speak to both conservatives and moderates across the country, and this not only helped him win his gubernatorial reelection by a landslide, but it has also helped him create coalitions to get things done in office. In Ohio, he's expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, supports Common Core, and says he'll consider a pathway to citizenship " not amnesty " for illegal immigrants.

8. He is a former commentator on Fox News " Unlike so many out-of-touch politicians, Kasich understands the media. From 2001 to 2007, he hosted "Heartland with John Kasich" on the Fox News Channel. Notably, the show was filmed in Columbus, Ohio, not the establishment media bastions of New York or Washington D.C.

9. He has passed welfare reform " As a member of Congress, Kasich was instrumental in getting welfare reform passed under President Bill Clinton, having proposed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act of 1996. Just this year, Kasich added a major welfare-to-work initiative to his state's budget plan.

10. He opposes Obama's Iran deal " "I think it"s a bad agreement. I would never have done it," Kasich said at Wednesday night's second Republican primary debate. "Nobody"s trusting Iran. They violate the deal, we put on the sanctions."

11. He has passed a balanced budget " reported that Kasich has been a strong proponent of balanced budgets throughout his political career. "He backed a balanced budget amendment when Republicans were in the minority, and he was a leading voice for the measure when a GOP wave put his party in charge of the House under Newt Gingrich in 1994," the website wrote. "Kasich has a long track record of pushing for a balanced budget, and contemporary accounts from 1997 place him very much at the center of the action."

12. He has a record as a pro-life politician " "In his six years in office, Kasich has signed every piece of anti-abortion legislation to cross his desk," reported Mother Jones. "And far from just rubber-stamping new abortion rules, Kasich has been more aggressive than any other governor in the Republican race in wielding the power of his office to run abortion providers out of business."

My Source for all 12 reasons, connected to CNN politicsBreaking News at


Background and Appeal

Rand Paul entered the political arena in 1993, when he founded Kentucky Taxpayers United, a network of taxpayer groups across the country [1]. He first became interested in the taxpayer movement when he was a child growing up in a political family with his father, Ron Paul, a U.S. congressman [2]. Rand has always been deeply committed to improvement and reform to better the livelihoods of American citizens.

After a successful medical career, Rand made history in in 2009 when he reaped more than $430,000 in donations during his Senatorial campaign in Kentucky. This historic level of support proves his widespread appeal. "Rand later defeated Trey Grayson, Kentucky’s secretary of state, in the Republican primary by 23.4 percent which led to Rand’s contest with the state’s attorney general, Democrat Jack Conway. Paul ultimately earned nearly 50 percent more contributions than Conway, and won an 11 percent margin in the general election" [1].

Experience in the Senate

Lawmakers in the Senate deal with a wide array of issues including foreign policy. Foreign policy is one of the key components of being president. As presidential historian Richard Neustadt famously declared, "Presidential power is the power to persuade." Presidents are not nearly as powerful as the public perceives them to be. To implement any of their goals requires compromise and cooperation from the other branches of government.

"A President with Senate experience has more experience passing federal legislation. They'll better understand Washington, the ins & outs of the Senate and legislative process, and will have more relationships with lawmakers they can leverage to their advantage when building coalitions to pass their agenda. They can also draw from those relationships when filling their Cabinet" [3].

Political Activity

Rand sits on the following committees:

- Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
- Chairman, Subcommittee on Children and Families
- Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety
- Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
- Chairman, Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management
- Subcommittee on Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
- Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
- Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy
- Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation
- Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism
- Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
- Subcommittee on State Department and USAID Management, International Operations, and Bilateral International Development [4]

Further, Rand Paul is within the top 15% of Senators proposing legislation and ranks high among promoting government transparency. Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Paul introduced 7 bills and resolutions in 2015 that got a committee vote sending it to the floor for further consideration [5].

Moreover, "The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 10 of Paul’s bills and resolutions had a companion bill in the House. Working with a sponsor in the other chamber makes a bill more likely to be passed by both the House and Senate" [5].

Paul is also in the highest 30% among Senate Republicans to join bipartisan bills, and he's among the most progressive (by cosponsorship) 25% among Senate Republicans. Political fact checkers have composed a methodology that measures whether or not a politician is likely to get support for their goals. Rand Paul ranked among the top [6].


"While he has maintained his core support for cutting spending and protecting Americans’ privacy rights, Paul has shaded, changed or dropped some of the ideas that he espoused as a tea party candidate and in his confrontational early days as a senator" [7]. This, of course, is a good thing and proves Rand Paul's integrity. While Rand is committed to protecting individual rights and favors principles of freedom, at the same time he is open to reassessing his positions based on the introduction of new information.

“He’s been characterized as an isolationist,” said Rob Givens, a retired Air Force general who has become one of Paul’s advisers. “He’s not. He’s a realist.” For Paul, advisers say, being a realist means he is skeptical of every possible military action, until he is convinced that there is a crucial U.S. interest at stake and that the action will succeed [7].

What Sets Him Apart

Many Republican candidates have a lot in common. Pro hasn't offered much explanation (or any at all) about why John Kasich's policy proposals stand out vs. the rest of the GOP. However Rand Paul is often out-of-step with his fellow Republicans, and in that regard he is almost always on the right side of the issue. Consider the fact that he was the single stand-alone vote several times in the Senate, proving his integrity and commitment to acting on behalf of the American people within the limits of the law. Paul votes on behalf of constitutional provisions, not based on lobbyist demands or what's popular.

>> Paul has been one of the biggest critics of the NSA and the government's massive invasion of privacy. He filed a class-action lawsuit against the NSA's unconstitutional acts under the Fourth Amendment. No other Republicans stood up against this gross violation of our rights, which has always been a top priority for Rand Paul. Again, see my reference to his combatting the Patriot Act in the last round.

>> Paul has expressed openness to a good deal and has criticized Republicans for wanting to go to war with Iran. "The senator has on several occasions said that the U.S. has to at least entertain the possibility of a nuclear-armed Iran, but he has stopped short of an acceptance level that would be considered containment... he was a “big fan of trying the diplomatic option” and asked his colleagues whether they were entertaining a ground war in Iran... In 2012, he cast the lone 'NO' vote against a nonbinding resolution disallowing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, saying it was “a vote for the concept of preemptive war” [8].

>> Rand has continued to object to U.S. ground troops in Iraq and has called for an Authorization for Use of Military Force that would set more restrictions on the fight against ISIL than many in his party. This proves his commitment to avoiding war and using force and violence as a last resort. Since war is extremely expensive and costs a ton of money and lives, Paul proves to be pragmatic, responsible and moral with his preference for diplomacy and strategic rather than impulsive or emotional combat.

>> "Paul introduced a balanced budget plan that would have likely cut defense spending by about 23 percent in five years — a jarring proposal for a senator whose party rarely proposes significant cuts for the military. In the document, Paul described a wasteful and bloated Pentagon and an outdated military, suggesting the defense budget was unsustainable and that the U.S. needed to reduce [its] overseas presence" [8].

>> Paul railed against the framework [of the U.S. budget] for not eliminating U.S. deficits until 2025 [8].

>> Paul was the only Republican presidential hopeful to officially support marijuana decriminalization, which would eliminate criminal charges while still having penalties, such as a fine.

>> Paul has called to Audit the Fed which many feel is an integral part to ensuring accuracy, fairness and inhibiting corruption by the most powerful agency on the planet.

>> Rand is sensitive to issues about race while still maintaining strong support for law enforcement. He is cognizant of race based issues such as profiling, discrimination in the courts and voter intimidation. He wants to better the criminal justice system and restore voting rights to better democracy.

Debate Round No. 2


Dantheman828 forfeited this round.


Unfortunately my opponent has forfeited.

I will use my final round to explain why Rand Paul was the superior candidate to John Kasich.

First, I'd like to talk about Rand Paul's experience as a Senator. Kasich was a Governor but also a Congressman. As they are fewer in number and serve longer terms (6 years as opposed to 2), Senators are generally considered to be more powerful than Congressman. House members spend so much time campaigning, they have little time to govern.

To judge any individual Senator or Representative's power, however, it might be better to look at what committees, they are on. That is usually where the real power lies. In the last round, I've outlined the numerous committees that Rand Paul is involved with, many of which are very pertinent to foreign policy. As I mentioned, this is an integral component of the presidency.

The Congressional House leadership has much more control over each individual House member relative to the control the Senate leadership has. Due to this fact, the average Senator is able to be significantly more influential than the average Representative. Please extend my arguments from last round regarding Rand Paul's high rating for bills with a wide range of support and appeal. I've outlined how Paul has been successful at being heard at the federal level.


In Kasich's favor, my opponent mentioned that he would have done well for the economy. Please extend my arguments noting the economist's backing of Rand Paul's fiscal proposals. Moreover, extend my points on Paul's commitment to legalizing pot, which would add HUGE amounts of revenue to the economy (and save on law enforcement).

Kacish's plans to uphold the 2nd amendment, oppose the Affordable Care Act and defund Planned Parenthood are not unique. Nearly every single Republican promised the same thing including Rand Paul whom is also vehemently pro-life and pro-gun. Rand Paul also called to cut other government spending to better manage the economy as I pointed out. Per the last round, Paul was the only candidate to take the debt seriously and speak out against it in a meaningful way.


In conclusion, I pointed out that Pro has failed to give a single aspect of Kasich's candidacy that set him apart or made him especially unique and superior. On the other hand, I provided an extensive list that details where Rand Paul stands apart from his Republican opposition, and I've explained why his positions are superior in that regard. Meanwhile, John Kacish appears to be more of the same. Pro has failed to highlight significant accomplishments or meaningful action of Kasich's outside of regurgitated Republican rhetoric. But Rand Paul has taken a stand to advocate for the civil liberties and freedoms for ALL Americans.

Rand Paul's libertarian nature makes him somewhat "moderate" in that he appeals to both liberal and conservative ideologies. That must be why he's been so successful at getting legislation heard and passed. Paul is committed to upholding the Constitution which is the legally valid and arguably moral standard, whereas Kasich, like other politicians, frequently seeks to impose their own agenda. On the other hand, Rand wants Americans to be free and live with as little oppression and government tyranny as possible.

Rand's commitment to lowering taxes (far beyond Kacish's proposal) and reducing government debt plus government spending prove he has a better plan for America. Paul's advocacy calls for more government transparency and accountability; more economic opportunity and integrity; and less immoral policing both domestically and abroad.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Udel 3 months ago
Pro argued in favor of Kasich's experience as a governor and congressman. Con argued on Paul's behalf as a senator, and explained how senators have greater influence and important experience relevant to the presidency (foreign policy).

Pro pointed out that Kasich understands the military because he was on the military committee. Con responded by listing 12 committees that Paul sits on. Con also explained why committee experience translates to certain power, and Paul has a lot of it.

Pro mentioned a lot of things about Kasich such as his wanting to defund Planned Parenthood and keep the 2nd amendment. Con argued that as a Republican, Paul wants the exact same things so this is not favorable to Kasich in particular.

What won Con the debate was singling out how Paul differed from Kasich and other Republicans. Here she proved that Paul's positions were superior to his Republican counterparts. Pro dropped this and forfeited the last round (loss of conduct point).

Con argued that Rand Paul fights strong for the constitution and has a history of standing up to abuses of power. Con also proved politician fact checking statistics on Paul's ability to appeal to people and get bills passed. Pro said Kasich would do well for the economy but Con showed economists heavily supporting Paul's proposals.

In the end Pro did not present anything that makes Kasich stand apart or stand superior to Paul. Con showed how Paul's policy differed from Kasich's and was better.
Posted by CaptainBallarms 4 months ago
I think Cruz was the best.
Posted by RoyLatham 4 months ago
I favored Kasich. I refer to him as John "Mr. Excitement" Kasich.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Udel 3 months ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: rfd in comments section