Terrorism was the dominant topic debated at the fifth GOP presidential debate last night. Despite the heightened fear and concern, brought on by the tragic terrorist act in San Bernardino, California recently, the candidates offered nothing new on the subject. What was noticeable about the debate was that most of the candidates bashed President Obama in a disrespectful manner.
If you were from a different planet and listening to the debate without any prior awareness of the political personalities involved, you would think that the GOP candidates were campaigning against “Barack Obama.” Rarely did the candidates say “President Obama” when they mentioned his name. The table below provides a breakdown of how the candidates used the president’s name.
GOP Candidate What they Called President Obama
Barack Obama Obama This President Pres. Obama
Sen. Cruz 14 3 0 5
Gov. Christie 6 0 1 0
Gov. Bush 4 0 0 0
Sen. Rubio 2 0 0 0
Ms. Fiorina 1 1 0 0
Mr. Trump 0 1 1 0
Dr. Carson 0 0 0 0
Sen. Paul 0 0 0 0
Gov. Kasich 0 0 0 0
Sen. Cruz tops the list with 14 Barack Obama while calling him President Obama five times when he started a sentence. The fact that most of the candidates cannot address the president as “President Obama” is a reflection of the deep-seated hatred and disrespect they have for him. This disrespect was forged from seven years of demonizing and delegitimizing the president.
They hatred of President Obama is so pronounced that at times the GOP seems to respect foreign leaders more than the president. Take for example when Gov. Christie was asked if he would talk with Putin the Russian leader. His response was, “I would say Mr. President…” Note he even added Mr. as a sign of respect for Putin.
The point of the survey is not just to show that the GOP has no respect for President Obama – we know that already. The purpose was to show that if you don’t have respect for the president who is the commander in chief you should not be considered a serious candidate for wanting to hold that office. Such disrespect not only exposes their character and integrity, it weakens the ability of the US to fight terrorism effectively.
- The Political Rhetoric is Making it Harder to Defeat Terrorism
- More GOP Double Standards and Hypocrisy