Read The Latest Updates On The CNBC GOP Debate – Huffington Post

The Republicans vying to become president will face off again tonight at debates in Boulder, Colorado, hosted by CNBC.

Four of the candidates will kick things off in a smaller debate starting at 6 p.m. ET. The rest of the field will take the stage at 8 p.m. ET.

Read the latest updates on the debate below:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie slammed President Barack Obama for allegedly failing to support police officers.

“The president’s appointed FBI director has said this week that, because of a lack of support from politicians like the President of the United States, that police officers are afraid to get out of their cars and enforce the law,” Christie said.

Christie was referring to remarks by FBI Director James Comey, who attributed a spike in crime to the “Ferguson Effect,” which is the claim that rising murder rates in some U.S. cities are because police have been acting more cautiously since an officer fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, last year.

The idea behind the allegation is that when law enforcement officers are afraid to do their jobs, the result is dead cops instead of safer streets. But statistics show it’s not any more dangerous to be a police officer now than it has been in years past. 2015 is actually on pace to have near-record low levels of deadly violence against police.

“When the president gets up to speak about it, does he support police officers? Does he stand up for law enforcement? No, he doesn’t,” Christie continued. “I’ll tell you this: the number one job of the president of the United States is to protect the safety and security of the American people. This president has failed. And when I’m in the Oval Office, police officers will know they have the support of the president of the United States. That is real moral authority we need in the office.”

Last month, Obama responded to accusations from Republicans — including presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) — that he and police reform advocates are the cause of violence against officers. In a speech at the Congressional Black Caucus dinner, the president applauded the “outstanding work” of police officers.

“I just want to repeat, because somehow this never gets on the TV: There is no contradiction between us caring about our law enforcement officers and also making sure that our laws are applied fairly,” Obama said. “We want to protect our police officers. We’ll do a better job doing it if our communities can feel confident that they are being treated fairly. I hope I’m making that clear.”

– Julia Craven

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said there needs to be regulation of paid fantasy football leagues that have come under heightened scrutiny recently.

Bush said he didn’t think the leagues, which allow some players to win thousands of dollars, constituted gambling. But he expressed concern that players could take advantage of the system.

“I think this has become something that needs to be looked at in terms of regulation,” Bush said, touting his 7-0 personal fantasy football record this season. “Effectively, it’s day trading without any regulation at all. When you have insider information, which has apparently been the case, when you have people who use that information, use big data to try and take advantage of it, there has to be some regulation.”

Bush was alluding to a recent scandal in which an employee of the site DraftKings accidentally revealed that he had access to fantasy data while winning money on FanDuel, a rival fantasy site. Members of Congress have called for investigations into the sites. The Fantasy Sports Trade Association announced a new board on Tuesday to regulate itself.

Bush didn’t say whether the federal government should play a role in regulating the sites.

“If they can’t regulate themselves, then the NFL needs to look at moving away from them a little bit, and there should be some regulation,” he said. “I have no clue whether the federal government is the proper place. My instinct is to say hell no.”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who raised funds off fantasy football last month, was quick to criticize the question, saying there more important issues.

— Sam Levine

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina said federal minimum wage laws are unconstitutional, in response to a question about whether the government should set up 401(k) retirement plans for workers without them.

“The federal government should not be in a lot of things,” Fiorina said. “There is no constitutional role for the federal government in setting up retirement plans. There is no constitutional role for the federal government to be setting minimum wages.”

Some conservatives have argued that federal minimum wage laws violate the Constitution’s 10th Amendment, which says powers the Constitution doesn’t delegate to the federal government are reserved for the states. The Supreme Court rejected that argument in 1940.

“The more the government gets engaged in the economy, the slower the economy becomes,” Fiorina continued. “The more the government gets engaged in the economy, it is demonstrably true: The more the big, the powerful, the wealthy and the well-connected are advantaged.”

– Arthur Delaney

gop debate

2016 presidential hopefuls Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz stand on stage at the start of the Republican presidential debate at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado, on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. (Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Check out more photos from the debate here.

Donald Trump was asked tonight about his gun permit. The reality teevee mogul claims to have a permit to carry in New York, which he describes as unique. He was asked if he’d feel comfortable if his employees did the same.

Trump said yes, but… then things got weird when he seemed to want to give us insight about his personal security habits: “I do carry on occasion. Sometimes a lot. I like to be unpredictable.”

Soooo, beware. Sometimes Trump is carrying his gun. Sometimes he’s carrying it a lot. Sometimes he’s not carrying it that much. Because why not be unpredictable and send the message that you can never know if he’s strapped or not?

And that’s Donald Trump: Ghost Protocol.

Jason Linkins

Ben Carson said he thinks marriage should be between one man and one woman, but that doesn’t make him a homophobe. In fact, he said, it’s the people who criticize opponents of same-sex marriage who are the real problem.

“There is no reason that you can’t be perfectly fair to the gay community” if you’re opposed to marriage equality, Carson said. “This is one of the myths that the left perpetuates on our society. This is how they frighten people and get people to shut up.”

Carson said American culture has become too politically correct, and people who accuse others of being homophobic on the same-sex marriage issue are “destroying the nation.”

“The fact of the matter is, we the American people are not each other’s enemies,” he said. “It’s those people who are trying to divide us who are the enemies.”

Carson has previously said prison makes people gay, compared same-sex marriage to bestiality, joked that Christian bakers might poison cakes for gay people and said Congress should remove judges who rule in favor of same-sex marriage.

Hillary Clinton, who was texting supporters throughout the GOP debate, responded to Carson’s claims.

“Discrimination against the LGBT community is not a myth,” she texted. “It’s a reality for too many Americans and it’s wrong.”

– Jennifer Bendery

Roger Stone Jr., a Republican strategist and renowned provocateur, blasted out this tweet after Ohio Gov. John Kasich responded to a question about legal marijuana by denouncing the “scourge” of drugs. The Huffington Post has reached out to Stone for further comment.

– Nick Wing

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Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush listens to Mike Huckabee during the Republican debate. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Check out more photos from the debate here.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich rejected the idea of legalizing marijuana by bringing up the many fatal heroin overdoses occurring in Ohio. “Sending mixed signals to kids about drugs is a disaster,” he said. “I’ve spent five years of my administration working with my team to do a whole sort of things to try to reign in the problem of overdoses… We could do a whole show on that.”

Kasich has worked to make naloxone, the drug that reverses overdoses, more widely accessible in Ohio, a state that has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic.

– Jason Cherkis

Midway through the debate, the questioning took an unlikely turn toward a particular provision of immigration reform — H1B visas. These visas allow foreign workers to come work in the U.S. temporarily for tech jobs. Moderator Becky Quick asked Donald Trump why he went after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for supporting an expansion of the H1B program.

Trumped looked incredulous.

“I was not at all critical of him,” a confused-looking Trump responded. “I’m all in favor of keeping these talented people here.”

Quick, looking genuinely confused, said, “Where did I read this?”

“You guys write the stories,” Trump responded, to laughter from the crowd.

As it turns out, Quick may well have read Trump’s burn on Zuckerberg on Trump’s own campaign website. In a page laying out his views on immigration, Trump rips into the H1B program, name-dropping Zuckerberg. After a commercial break, Quick cited the page on Trump’s website.

“Mark Zuckerberg’s personal Senator, Marco Rubio, has a bill to triple H-1Bs that would decimate women and minorities,” Trump’s webpage reads.

“Mark Zuckerberg’s personal senator” would be a strange way to identify Marco Rubio, unless you wanted to imply the senator was doing Zuckerberg’s ill-advised bidding.

– Dave Jamieson

Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) slammed the media for supporting liberal and Democratic views and were rewarded with thunderous applause. There’s a reason. According to a recently released Gallup poll, only 32 percent of Republicans say they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the mass media. By comparison, 55 percent of Democrats indicate at least moderate levels of trust.

– Natalie Jackson

Tonight, you may have heard presidential aspirant Carly Fiorina make a rather ornate claim against Hillary Clinton, by way of the Obama administration, that “92 percent of the jobs lost under the Obama administration” were jobs held by women. Fiorina was attempting a later criticism: that Clinton was being “hypocritical” by claiming to support women.

If you are a 2012 nostalgist, you may have recognized the talking point. Seems that Fiorina is warming over an old Mitt Romney line — one with which fact checkers from Politifact took issue (with the Romney camp returning the favor).

Romney’s campaign took Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers from January 2009 to March 2012, for all employees, and for female employees. As Politifact reports, “They then divided the net loss among women by the total net loss and came up with 92.3 percent.”

There were numerous problems, not the least of which that Romney was dinging Obama for job losses that occurred during Obama’s first month — a time when no Obama policy could have possibly had an effect on the numbers.

Politifact continues:

We reached out to Gary Steinberg, spokesman for the BLS, for his take on the claim. He pointed out that women’s job losses are high for that period of time because millions of men had already lost their jobs. Women were next.

“Between January 2009 and March 2012 men lost 57,000 jobs, while women lost 683,000 jobs. This is the reverse of the recession period of December 2007-June 2009 (with an overlap of six months) which saw men lose 5,355,000 jobs and women lose 2,124,000 jobs,” Steinberg told us in an email.

Interestingly enough, Gary Burtless, “a labor market expert with the Brookings Institution,” noted:

“I think males were disproportionately hurt by employment losses in manufacturing and especially construction, which is particularly male-dominated. A lot of job losses in those two industries had already occurred before Obama took office,” he said. “Industries where women are more likely to be employed -– education, health, the government –- fared better in terms of job loss. In fact, health and education employment continued to grow in the recession and in the subsequent recovery. Government employment only began to fall after the private economy (and private employment) began growing again.”

As Fiorina is running for the nomination of the “cut the size of government” party, this may be an untenable criticism.

Also making it untenable? It’s from three years ago. Using current BLS statistics would probably prevent one from painting quite so dire a picture.

– Jason Linkins

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reacts after the first debate. (Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Check out more photos from the debate here.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he opposes the budget deal Congress is passing this week because it raids Social Security.

“They’re taking money from Social Security and they’re going to spend it on the military and they’re going to spend it on domestic spending,” Paul said.

The cost of the budget bill, which funds government operations at higher levels for the next two years, is offset partly with changes to the Social Security Disability Insurance program — though the $ 4 billion saved by the disability changes over 10 years doesn’t quite cover the $ 80 billion boost in spending over two years.

The savings come mainly from requiring the Social Security Administration to ensure all disability applicants get vetted by medical consultants before they’re approved for benefits. Currently, in 20 states, applicants can be approved solely by officials from the SSA.

Though Paul’s answer prompted the other candidates to fall over themselves saying they’d protect Social Security, Paul himself has suggested recently that the disability program — which serves 11 million Americans, compared with the 50 million who get Social Security retirement insurance — is full of waste, fraud and abuse.

“Over half of the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts,” Paul said, incorrectly, in January. “Who doesn’t get up a little anxious for work every day and their back hurts? Everybody over 40 has a little back pain.”

– Arthur Delaney

Presidents have twisted arms, handed over government jobs and passed pork — all in hopes of winning votes for their legislative initiatives.

Jeb Bush promised foreplay.

Redefining the art of the backroom deal, the former Florida governor said he’d give a Democrat a “warm kiss” if he or she agreed to slash spending as part of a budget deal.

Bush was asked about a hypothetical situation, first posed at a GOP debate in the last election cycle, in which Democrats would agree to in spending cuts for every in tax increases. He complained, at first, that such a deal had already been done without any of the Republican payoff.

“Barack Obama got his massive tax increase and there were no cuts,” Bush said, which ignores the passage of automatic budget cuts known as sequestration in 2011.

Then Bush said he would talk to Democrats who would agree to cut more spending, should he end up president.

– Sam Stein

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, in need of a big boost, has barely spoken.

– Marina Fang

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie repeatedly said that senior citizens’ money has already been “stolen” and the Social Security cannot meet its obligations. He presented this as a supposed hard truth that other Republicans were unwilling to face.

In fact, Social Security currently has a $ 2.7 trillion surplus and will not face a shortfall until 2034, under official projections, even if no policy changes are made.

– Zach Carter

gop debate

Check out more photos from the debate here.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) just blasted CNBC moderators because, he said, they weren’t asking substantive questions.

Here’s what’s interesting about that: The question that prompted the reprimand concerned the new spending agreement between the White House and Congress.

Given his vehement opposition to a past agreement to fund the government, Cruz was asked whether he was the kind of problem solver the American people needed. He answered with a diatribe against the media.

And that wasn’t an isolated question. Ben Carson and Donald Trump both got questions about their tax plans, which experts say would drive up the deficit massively. Carly Fiorina got a question about her record as CEO at Hewlett-Packard. Just now, Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee got questions about entitlements and the deficit.

Blaming the media is always popular, particularly with conservative audiences, and Cruz got huge applause for his retort.

“The questions asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media,” he said. “This is not a cage match,” he continued, listing the questions to different GOP candidates to which he objected.

“How about talking about the substantive issues that people care about?” Cruz continued.

As host Carl Quintanilla pressed him to answer the question about the debt limit, Cruz accused moderators of going easier on Democratic candidates in their first debate earlier this month.

He criticized “the contrast with the Democratic debate, where every fawning question from the media was ‘Which one of you is more handsome and wise?'”

After using up his allotted speaking time, he seemed ready to answer the original question that was posed to him, but debate moderators, over Cruz’s objections, moved on.

But let the record show that it was Cruz, not the CNBC moderators, pushing the conversation away from substance.

– Jonathan Cohn and Sam Levine

Having been dinged repeatedly for his spotty voting record in the U.S. Senate as he runs for president, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) came to Wednesday’s GOP presidential debate prepared for questions about his absenteeism.

Rubio defended his attendance record on grounds that the country’s problems were too significant for him to wait around, finish his term, and run for president in the future. Then, after he was read from an editorial in the Florida Sun Sentinel calling on him to resign, he lashed out at the mainstream media

“I read that editorial today with great amusement,” Rubio said. “It is actually evidence of the bias of the American media today.”

The Sun Sentinel actually endorsed Rubio during his Senate run in 2010 — something his campaign at the time proudly touted.

Waiting for him to finish his answer was former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has made Rubio’s voting record an issue on the campaign trail.

“This was a six-year term and you should be showing up to work,” Bush said. “The Senate, what is it, like a French work week?” Bush asked. He suggested it wouldn’t be too much of a burden for Rubio to check in three days a week for votes. “Or just resign.”

Rubio ended up coming out on the better half of the exchange, however, noting that other candidates who ran for the White House had missed votes like he had, including Sen., John McCain (R-Ariz.) whose bootstraps campaign Bush is now trying to emulate.

“I don’t remember you ever complaining about John McCain’s voting record,” Rubio said. “Someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you.”

– Sam Stein

Carly Fiorina said that she protected Hewlett-Packard from disaster as other tech companies collapsed. Most corporate watchdogs think she nearly destroyed a very strong company with an ill-advised merger with Compaq, which forced over 30,000 layoffs. HP’s stock value declined by 50 percent over her tenure as CEO and generally lagged the value of its competitors, as The New York Times has reported.

Zach Carter

In the first question of the debate, moderator Carl Quintanilla put a classic job interview question to the GOP candidates: What is your greatest weakness? Quintanilla added that, lest they come off like fresh college grads, the answer can’t be “I try too hard.”

Well, that’s what most of the answers amounted to. In the end, only three of the 10 candidates on stage managed to state a legitimate personal weakness.

John Kasich: In what turned out to be an opening statement, Kasich never came close to naming one of his shortcomings.

Mike Huckabee: “I play by the rules.” That can be a weakness, but not as you described it, Sir.

Jeb Bush: “Impatient.” Congratulations, governor. You were the first to identify an actual weakness.

Marco Rubio: “I share a sense of optimism.” And that’s a weakness how exactly?

Donald Trump: “I’m too trusting. … I find it very hard to forgive people.” Okay, that’s a weakness, and vaguely threatening.

Ben Carson: “Not really seeing myself” as president until “hundreds of thousands of people” told me to run. For its humility, we’ll give this one to Carson. Weakness.

Carly Fiorina: “After the last debate, I was told I don’t smile enough.” This was a joke — and a clever enough one — but it was not an earnest statement of weakness.

Ted Cruz: “I’m a fighter. … I’m passionate about what I believe.” That is not a weakness. In fact, it sounds like the opposite of weakness.

Chris Christie: Did not purport to name a weakness.

Rand Paul: Appeared to ignore the question.

– Dave Jamieson

Ohio Gov. John Kasich unleashed a tirade against the “fantasy” policy ideas pushed by Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

“Right here they’re talking about how we’ll just have a 10 percent tithe and that is how we’ll fund the government,” Kasich said, referring to Carson’s tax plan. “Or that we’re just going to be great, and we’ll ship 10 million people out of this country, leaving their children here in this country and dividing families.”

“Folks, we got to wake up. We cannot elect somebody that doesn’t know how to do the job,” Kasich concluded.

Trump, who frequently trumpets his greatness and his plan to deport undocumented immigrants, pointed out that Kasich had worked for Lehman Brothers, the financial services firm that went spectacularly bankrupt in 2008, helping usher a global financial crisis. And Trump added that Kasich wasn’t being nice.

“He was such a nice guy, he said ‘I’m never going to attack,'” Trump said. “Then his poll numbers tanked. That is why he is on the end [of the debate stage]. He got nasty, so you know what? You can have him.”

Arthur Delaney

Carly Fiorina said she would cut back the current tax code — which she said is over 70,000 pages long — to three. Three. Pages.

“Three pages is about the maximum that a single business owner or a farmer can understand without hiring somebody,” Fiorina said.

Zach Carter

Both Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) have cited an $ 18 trillion national debt tonight. They’re overstating it. Much of that figure includes money that the federal government owes to itself. The amount of money the federal government owes to the public is $ 13.08 trillion.

That’s big. But so is the American economy. It generated $ 16.77 trillion in 2013. If the debt were at unsustainable levels, interest rates on American debt would be at dangerously high levels. Instead, they’re at near-record lows, indicating that investors are confident in America’s ability to pay its bills.

Zach Carter

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