GOP presidential primary set for Feb. 20

By Andrew Wigger -







NEWBERRY COUNTY — Newberry County residents will join the rest of South Carolina in the Republican Presidential Primary on Saturday.

Currently there are six people contending for the Republican nomination: Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida; Ben Carson, former director of pediatric neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital; , Ted Cruz, U.S. Senator from Texas; John Kasich, (governor of Ohio; Marco Rubio, U.S. Senator from Florida; and Donald Trump, chairman of The Trump Organization.

Anyone who votes in this primary cannot vote in the Democratic Presidential Primary on Feb. 27. Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul and Rick Santorum have withdrawn from the election, but will remain on the ballot.

Here are how the candidates stand on the issues, straight from their websites:

Jeb Bush (

• Border security: According to his website, Bush believes that for those already in the country there needs to be a rigorous path that requires individuals to pass a thorough criminal background check, pay fines, pay taxes, learn English, obtain a provisional work permit and work, not receive federal government assistance and over an extended period of time earn legal status.

But Bush says any plan to address the status of illegal immigrants must be accompanied by a robust strategy to improve border security. Bush believes that securing the border is possible, but it will require Washington to move beyond divisive rhetoric.

He gives six proposals a forward-leaning border patrol with the flexibility to deploy resources to meet threats, use new technologies to achieve continuous surveillance of the border, bolster border infrastructure and improve access to federal lands, require electronic verification of employment eligibility, identify and send home the people who are entering the United States and overstaying their visas or otherwise violating the terms of their admission and crack down on sanctuary cities that undermine efforts to enforce immigration laws.

• Jobs: His website states that the nation’s workers are struggling. Bush says that since President Obama took office, median incomes have fallen by nearly $2,000, labor force participation is near a 38-year low and six million workers can only find part-time work when they would prefer full-time jobs.

Bush said the dismal job environment is a product of a weak economy that is barely growing at two percent. He says that President Obama and Hillary Clinton think that two percent growth – and the poor job market that comes with it – is the best the nation can do.

Bush has proposed pro-growth policies designed to achieve 4 percent growth, create 19 million new jobs and increase middle class incomes. Bush said he knows these policies will work because in Florida, the state lowered taxes every year he was governor – totaling more than $19 billion.

Bush said they reduced regulations and cut the state bureaucracy by over 10 percent. These pro-growth policies made Florida number one in small business creation, helped create 1.3 million new jobs and increased middle class incomes by $1,300. Bush maintains he can create similar job and income growth for the nation.

Ben Carson (

• Immigration: Carson’s website states that our immigration system is broken and our national debate on immigration is characterized by racial pandering and political giveaways. Common-sense solutions are regularly branded as racist, xenophobic and mean-spirited, while prized ideals – such as citizenship – are offered by politicians as handouts in radical attempts to alter our demographics and pave the way to future electoral victories.

Carson says that terrorists and criminals are doing everything they can to infiltrate our country. He states that the United States must do better to protect the homeland while continuing to welcome new Americans.

“Legal immigration will always be a valued pillar of our society, but we need to restore the rule of law and keep this country safe and sovereign,” Carson states on his website. “As president, I will repair our immigration system and do the following: secure the border, implement sensible admission and removal procedures, solve the problem of the existing illegal immigrant population in the United States, address legal immigration and restore the concept of the American melting pot.”

• Healthcare: Carson states that a lifetime in medicine taught him that the best health care decisions are made between patient and doctor. As decision-making moves further away from patients and providers, the medical outcomes become less effective.

Carson maintains that Obamacare has upended the patient-doctor relationship, restricting health care options and access to doctors and specialists. As a result, patients face exorbitant increases in premiums, deductibles and co-pays, less access to the doctors they trust and fewer health care plans to choose from.

Carson said he would repeal Obamacare, create Health Empowerment Accounts to put patients in charge, with more choices at lower cost, including first-dollar coverage for out-of-pocket expenses and premiums to buy the insurance of the person’s choice. That money would be transferable between family members.

Carson said he would modernize Medicare to keep pace with medical advances by gradually increasing the eligibility age (by two months each year) until it reaches age 70. He also said Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries should be treated like everyone else — they should have the same insurance coverage, doctors and choices that other Americans enjoy, with HEAs to provide first-dollar coverage, supplemented by a major medical insurance plan of the patient’s choice.

Ted Cruz (

• Border security: His website states that border security is national security and that the country need to secure the border once and for all. He also says the country needs to reform legal immigration to protect American workers. “It’s not that we don’t know how to solve illegal immigration,” Cruz states on his website. “What is missing is the political will to get it done.”

Cruz states that he will stop illegal immigration, build a wall that works, triple border security, and put in place a surveillance and biometric tracking to secure the border. He also states that he will end Obama’s amnesty on day one, will end catch-and-release, increase deportations, stop sanctuary policies, and strengthen E-verify.

In order to protect our national security and serve American workers, he will suspend and audit H-1B visas and halt any increase in legal immigration so long as American unemployment remains unacceptably high.

John Kasich (

• Healthcare: Kasich states on his website that Obamacare must be repealed and replaced. He says that Obamacare has failed to provide access to affordable health insurance because it has driven up the cost of health insurance approximately 80 percent in Ohio’s individual and small group market and raised taxes to help subsidize health insurance coverage for families making up to $94,000 annually. Too often Obamacare mistakes treating symptoms for solving problems which only worsens the overall, long-term problem.

Kasich believes Obamacare must be repealed and replaced with efforts that improve access by actually lowering healthcare costs without interfering with Americans’ personal health care decisions or imposing punishing burdens on job creators. An estimated one-third of America’s health care dollars are wasted on things patients don’t need (IOM 2009) and, at the same time, 55 percent of Americans have been found to go without recommended treatments for preventive care and chronic care management (NEJM 2003).

Kasich states that everyone knows Obamacare must be repealed and replaced with something that actually works in line with America’s market-based principles to help Americans be healthy. He proposes that Obamacare not just be opposed but real solutions be out into motion that will work to improve health care access by holding down costs and help Americans live healthier lives.

He said that the Ohio model provides a path forward for the nation: patient-centered care, choices, market competition, decentralized decision-making, higher quality, respect for individuals and an end to Obamacare’s big government interference.

• Human life: According to his website, Kasich is a believer in the sanctity of human life. During his 18 years in Congress, Kasich stated that he has consistently opposed federal funding of abortion and voted to ban partial-birth abortions. As Governor of Ohio, he has enacted more measures to protect unborn children than any other governor in the history of the state, including bans on late-term abortions and bans on elective abortions in public hospitals.

Marco Rubio (

• Second Amendment: Rubio states that he understands the threats facing gun owners in part because he’s a gun-owner himself. He states that the President has no right to restrict the individual right to own a firearm. Yet President Obama’s two terms — with failed attempts at ammunition bans, new restrictions on personal gun sales, and more — has attempted to chip away at the Second Amendment.

Rubio states that new gun laws will do nothing to deter criminals from obtaining firearms. They will simply be ignored by those who wish to do harm. His site further states that, as president, he will repeal Obama’s executive orders that infringe on the Second Amendment.

• Immigration: Rubio advocates fixing America’s immigration system, beginning with securing the border, enforcing immigration laws in the workplace, and implementing effective visa tracking systems. He states that every sovereign nation has the right to set its immigration laws and enforce them.

Rubio said he will be focused on immigration security. He will cancel President Obama’s unconstitutional executive orders, eliminate federal funding for sanctuary cities, deport criminal illegal aliens, hire 20,000 new Border Patrol agents, finish all 700 miles of walls on our southern border, implement an entry-exit visa tracking system, implement a mandatory eVerify system and install $4 billion in new cameras and sensors on the border.

Donald Trump (

• Immigration: Trump states on his website that “if we don’t have borders, we don’t have a country. We need to build a wall that will keep illegal immigrants out.”

• Drug epidemic: His website states that the New Hampshire drug epidemic must stop. Trump states that if he is elected president, he will create borders and the drugs will stop pouring in.







By Andrew Wigger

Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.

Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.


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