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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Donald Trump says wages are too high. Do you agree?

Ratings from Tuesday night’s Fox Business Network Republican presidential debate demonstrate people are still engaged with this year’s field, producing yet another record for viewership on a cable network.

Jesse Byrnes of The Hill reports, “The prime-time debate drew 13.5 million viewers, making it the highest-rated program in the network's eight-year history. That's just shy of the 14 million for the CNBC debate Oct. 28.
Donald Trump Willie Robertson
“Fox Business, which reaches 11 million fewer homes across the country than CNBC, also said that there were more than 1.4 million concurrent livestreams of its prime-time debate. That number is comparable to the streams for this year's Super Bowl. The CNBC debate was on at the same time as Game 2 of the World Series.”

The undercard didn’t do nearly as well, though its 4.7 million viewers nearly tripled CNBC’s 1.6 million for that network’s “Happy Hour” forum two weeks ago.

So… it turns out adding Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee while subtracting Lindsey Graham and George Pataki made the lower-tier event three times as interesting…

Well, maybe not. But having Christie and Huckabee on stage definitely made the program more entertaining – and relevant, too.

It’s great to see people are still tuning in. There’s a wave of concern all across America and folks are looking to these candidates for possible solutions.

Kasich the unanimous loser in Fox Business debate

While the jury’s still out on who “won” Tuesday’s debate, opinion is nearly unanimous that John Kasich was the loser.

From hogging two complete 90-second segments early on to his persistent and childish interruptions (Trump even implored the moderators at one point to “Let Jeb speak”), Kasich made a fool of himself in front of the entire country.

Then again, as this video of him dancing demonstrates, Kasich is good at looking like an idiot.

Off the dance floor, the conservative media wasn’t impressed with his debate demeanor, either. Daniel Strauss of Politico reports, “Glenn Beck let it rip on Facebook, posting, ‘EPIC LOSER: John Kasich. Just bad on every front. EPICALLY BAD. Looked rude, old, desperate, cheap, and wildly wrong ON MANY FRONTS. That was a suicide mission on himself.’

“On the topic of immigration, Kasich got no love from conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham. ‘How does John Kasich think they are law-abiding? The law-abiding people are the LEGAL immigrants,’ Ingraham tweeted.”

Kasich was so out of hand that pollster Frank Luntz’s focus group didn’t want him to speak. These were New Hampshirites, too, so it wasn’t exactly a conservative audience.

We all know the pressures candidates face to stand out in these debates, so it’s understandable why Kasich would want to interject. But in doing so and stepping rudely on your opponents in the process, you risk being seen as a jerk. Or a loser.

If you don’t believe it, go ask CNBC moderator John Harwood. He’s an expert on being a loser.

Beyond Kasich’s boorish behavior, his diatribes directly challenged popular positions of the conservative base, like enforcing the immigration laws and government’s crony-driven bailouts of the big banks. Kasich appears so intent on reconvening the McCain coalition in New Hampshire that he’s lost sight of the rest of the country.

People aren’t answering the establishment’s call this time around, John. Maybe it’s time you boogied your way to the sidelines.

Bobby Jindal takes a chance on conservatism

Another candidate who stood out by interrupting was Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who turned in another solid if unspectacular performance during the “Happy Hour” debate opposite Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and Chris Christie.

Unlike Kasich, however, Jindal’s protests were better received by the viewers and pundits.

Byron York of the Washington Examiner reports, “[A] particularly contentious series of confrontations initiated by another undercard candidate, Bobby Jindal, made for the evening's most revealing discussion, on the division between strongly conservative GOP voters and so-called big-government Republicans.

“Jindal's combative strategy could also, in the next few days, shed light on how aggressive a low-polling candidate can be and benefit — or suffer — politically.”

Bobby took off after Chris Christie’s big government record in New Jersey. He correctly pointed out that we can’t afford to send another establishment Republican to Washington and kept after Christie (who repeatedly tried to steer the conversation towards defeating Hillary).

I’ve said it many times – Jindal’s anti-big government Republicanism message needs to be heard on stage with the top-tier candidates. His constant attacks may turn off some folks who favor “presidential” demeanor over pure substance, but if we’re ever going to have a real discussion about reducing the size of government and fostering the free market – someone other than Ted Cruz needs to help move the needle.

Ben Carson also talks about making government smaller, though his laid-back style lacks the kind of passion necessary to advance this particular argument. In contrast, Jindal practically screams it out, hoping perhaps to catch on with the mood of the voters who like Donald Trump’s brashness but not his personality.

Byron York is right. We’ll find out in the coming weeks whether people respond to Jindal’s aggressiveness. He’d need a big boost in the polls to elevate him to the main stage in the next debate... I’m guessing he’s not going to get it.

I hope I’m wrong.

Jeb collects another worthless establishment endorsement

Jeb Bush may not be great at debating or appealing to conservatives, but he sure has a talent for attracting endorsements from distinguished Republican establishment losers.

Bush sounded pumped when Eric Cantor endorsed him a couple months ago and he’s got to be even giddier now that Bob Dole has done the same.

Heather Golden of CNN reports Bush said on Fox News, “Bob Dole is someone who is just an iconic political figure. I admire him so much. He reminds me of my dad. These are people from the greatest generation that have served selflessly this country in so many ways.”

Jeb then followed up with a Tweet. “Honored to welcome Sen Bob Dole to the team as National Veterans' Chairman. Thankful for his service to our country.”

Bob Dole’s turn to trash conservatives and then lose to a Democrat came way back in 1996. Since that time he’s been a corporate lobbyist in Washington and done Viagra commercials.

And he’s still knocking conservatives. Timothy Carney of the Washington Examiner reported in 2013, “But it’s precisely on his (Dole’s) views of how the GOP needs to change that I think it’s at least relevant to mention that Dole’s interests involve advancing legislation that would increase the size of government.”

It’s funny that Jeb used Veterans Day to roll out the backing of a GOP dinosaur like Bob Dole. That way, he probably reasoned, everyone could get the warm fuzzies about Dole’s authentic military heroism and forget how the former Kansas senator and Republican presidential nominee is emblematic of everything that’s wrong with Washington – and Bush’s own campaign.

Similar to Cantor’s endorsement, what does Jeb hope to gain by trotting out Bob Dole?

There’s an old musty smell around the Bush campaign these days. Maybe Dole can bring over some Viagra to freshen things up. Donald Trump’s going to have a field day with this one.

Trump did say wages are too high

Finally today, I thought it was a mistake at the time, but Donald Trump was serious when he said in Tuesday night’s debate that “wages are too high.”

The comment came on the very first question of the night concerning The Donald’s views on the minimum wage. Trump stated plainly he was not in favor of raising it and suggested wages are too high as it is.

Ben Kamisar of The Hill reports Trump said during an interview Wednesday morning on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe,’ “We have to become competitive with the world. Our taxes are too high, our wages are too high, everything is too high.

“What's going to happen is now people are going to start firing people…

“People have to go out, they have to work really hard and have to get into that upper stratum. But we cannot [raise the minimum wage] if we are going to compete with the rest of the world, we just can’t do it.”

Wow. Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and every Democrat who panders to the low-information voters are going to pounce all over this. For the record, Ben Carson also came out against raising the minimum wage, though he didn’t claim wages are already too high.

In a deeper discussion of the topic, Trump could easily point out that illegal immigration depresses wages more than greedy employers trying to take advantage of powerless fast-food wage earners.

People who are entering the workforce need know-how more than a buck or two more an hour. Trump is exactly right. And anyone who thinks he’s in it just to say things that will make him popular is flat wrong.

The Leftist wage protestors no doubt didn’t like what he had to say – but kudos to The Donald for standing up for principle.

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Are wages too high? Per capita, Americans rank 7th, behind the Scandinavian countries, Luxembourg, and a couple of oil rich sheikdoms. Commendable at face value, but … eliminate the top 10% and the bottom 10% from the equation and our per capita wages for the middle 80 percent of Americans drops like a stone. Unfortunately, we are approximately 30th among first world nations.

Jindal - Trump comments

I knew Jindal was the smartest and most solid from the beginning, and I still do. After all, he's a solid American and a Rhodes Scholar to boot - no notes and quick on his responses.

I agree what Trump said about wages being too high. How can we compete with many factory workers making such inflated wages. This is not the American way and is what has got us into such a pickle in the first place. If someone is not happy in his work he should strive to do better; he must learn. The same is true with teachers who were never taught what needs to be taught to students: The good things that everyone should know... and what it means to be an American.