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2016 Presidential Election
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US Election Updates - January 19, 2016

The sixth GOP debate

The sixth GOP debate was held on Thursday (Jan 14, 2016) at the North Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center in North Charleston, South Carolina. Seven Republican candidates met for their fist face-off in 2016. The seven candidates included Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, and John Kasich. Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina, and Rick Santorum met earlier in the evening for the undercard debate; however, Rand Paul boycotted the debate. During the debate, the focus of the candidates was mainly on issues outside the economy. Ted Cruz called Obama’s State of the Union address “heartbreaking” as Obama failed to mention about a group of American soldiers detained by Iranians for entering the country’s territorial waters. During the debate, Cruz also defended himself against a report that was recently published in the New York Times. As per the report, Cruz had failed to disclose huge amounts of loans from Citibank and Goldman Sachs during his senate campaign. 

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, was criticized by both Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. Bush’s comment drew largely on the scandal which involved Clinton’s use of a private email server during her reign as secretary of state, while Rubio said she is ‘disqualified’ from being the commander-in-chief of the United States.

Gun control is currently a hot topic in the US, but the debates showed that the candidates had no patience for Obama’s plans for gun control. 

The debate also saw a clash between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. With less than three weeks left for the Iowa caucuses, both Cruz and Trump are battling for the first place in the state. However, Trump has a commanding lead nationally. Cruz gave a forceful reply to Trump’s accusation that as he was born in Canada, he was not eligible to be the President of the country.

Rubio, too, slammed Cruz by presenting some issues on which Cruz had flip-flopped. These include ethanol subsidies and immigration. 

The debate also saw a tussle between Rubio and Christie. On issues such as support for Planned Parenthood, gun control and Common Core, Christie was accused by Rubio of being on the same page as President Barack Obama.

The debate also saw candidates sparring over Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the US. However, Trump said that he will not change his mind on the issue. Some others, which included the two candidates – and Christie and Kasich – agreed with at least temporarily halting Syrian refugees from entering the country.