GOP Debate All Reform Style, no Reform Substance

While several candidates in last night’s CNBC Republican primary debate made mention of the side effects of money in politics, once again, none offered substantive solutions to fix America’s governing crisis.

Both Carly Fiorina and Sen. Ted Cruz decried the insidious symbiotic relationship between government, special interests and lobbyists. But without providing concrete policies, such as banning contributions from lobbyists to campaigns or signing an executive order mandating disclosure of political spending by companies that get federal contracts, both candidates failed to capitalize on the public’s increasing desire for reform.

Donald Trump continued his populist streak with a takedown of the increasingly dominant role super PACs are playing in the Republican primary. Said Trump, “Super PACs are a disaster. They’re a scam. They cause dishonesty. And you had better get rid of them, because they are causing a lot of bad decisions to be made by some very good people.” We agree! But Mr. Trump too failed to give details on how he would crack down on outside groups, even after a recent Washington Post article pointed out how his campaign has been taking advantage of weak super PAC regulations

Former Governor and 2012 Republican candidate Jon Huntsman and Ambassador Tim Roemer had some choice words for the people on last night’s stage, both candidates and moderators. In a Politico op-ed yesterday, they said, “the debates are an opportunity to not just harp on what’s broken, but also to offer articulated policies that will ensure all citizens feel represented by their government.”

As the primary season continues to heat up, former elected officials in Issue One’s ReFormers Caucus will continue to hold candidates from both parties accountable. Next week, the ReFormers will publicly launch their efforts on Capitol Hill, using their collective voices to start a game-changing conversation on the real types of reform Americans want. Find out more about our event here.