By Hillsdale College, Special for USDR
Hillsdale College students joined nationally syndicated Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher during live coverage of the CNN Republican Presidential Debate and in a post-debate focus group. Student reactions to the debate included:
Christy Allen, senior, political economy major from Paradise Valley, AZ: “Chris Christie had a great performance tonight, butCarly Fiorina did something really special. There is no question she belonged in that debate, and she went a long way in showing that she belongs in the White House.”
Mary Catherine Meyer, senior, English literature major from Littleton, CO: “Marco Rubio did well by addressing the issue of family several times. That is an important factor in our country’s future. Carly Fiorina performed wonderfully. She spoke about the torch and the sword; she showed us a bit of light tonight, and in her character, the strength that she would fight for it.”
Kristin Berg, senior, history major from Shelby Township, MI: “I went into tonight’s debate with an open mind, but it became obvious that Carly Fiorina is the strongest candidate. She was articulate and knowledgeable, and she made it very clear that her priority is the security and character of the country. She knows what America needs, and I look forward to seeing how she does in the race.”
Michael Aavang, senior, politics major from Stevens Point, WI: “I came into tonight’s debate a reluctant Trump supporter because of his assertiveness and expressed interest in doing what is good for America, but Carly’s true merit and grit came through, eclipsing his attempt at showmanship. She stoically and confidently addressed every question with articulate and educated responses. She showed she has the country’s interests at heart. I think she rightfully captivated the audience and will see a huge bounce in the polls.”
Dom Restuccia, senior, politics major from South Lyon, MI: “Rubio established himself as the commander-in-chief in the room with the most substantive answers, the greatest handling of foreign policy issues, and a clear articulation of conservative values. He demonstrated himself as the champion who can bring the many factions of the Republican party to bear with a 21st century campaign to face down the Democrat electoral machine. Yet Fiorina trumped “the Donald.” She had the two best moments of the night, going after Trump for attacking her looks and responding to questions on Iran, where she connected the issue of the Iran nuclear deal to the defense of innocent life.”
Jacob Weaver, sophomore, philosophy and history major from Novi, MI: “Tonight’s debate proved that we have a field of incredible candidates, all with unique backgrounds and qualifications. However, a good field of candidates does not save our country from jeopardy. I urge voters – for the sake of Americans past, present, and future – to seek a leader of passion, of prudence, and of principle.”
Conner Dwinell, junior, economics major from Lincoln, NE: “Carly Fiorina won in a landslide. If I wasn’t absolutely in her camp before, I am now. If you are looking for a firecracker and someone who is going to stick it to the man, I would move out of Donald Trump’s camp and into Carly’s.”
Emily Runge, senior, politics major from Newton, KS: “Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina stood out to me tonight. They articulated their positions well, along with an overall vision for the nation. Particularly, they both did an incredible job overall on foreign policy. Over the next months, I want them to prove to me that they will follow through with their policies and deliver as President.”
Sarah Onken, senior, politics and mathematics major from Seymour, IN: “To say Carly Fiorina made an outstanding appearance this evening is the understatement of this campaign season. I appreciated Marco Rubio’s comments on the necessity of the strength of the family in our nation. This debate demonstrated that principled, articulate candidates such as Fiorina, Rubio, and Cruz will continue to do well in this primary season.”
Alex Buchmann, senior, politics major from Broomfield, CO: “Trump didn’t lose any followers, Carson maintained his followers, and Fiorina gained new followers. Everyone else on the debate stage has effectively been reduced to political pundits contributing to what has now become a privatized republican race.”
Bailey Amaral, senior, political economy and Spanish major from Houston, TX: “I’m proud to remain a staunch supporter of Ted Cruz. He demanded that conservatives stop surrendering and start standing on principle when asked about defunding Planned Parenthood. I was also blown away by Carly Fiorina and her commitment to defend America from its enemies abroad and restore its culture from internal decay. We have an American Thatcher on our hands. Fiorina won’t back down.”
Veronica Lyter, Ph.D. candidate in politics and statesmanship from Chicago, IL: “Carly Fiorina said that a leader challenges the status quo and produces results—this election, for Fiorina, is about changing the system. I would have liked to hear her speak more about what that change might look like and on what principles she would implement that change. The candidates seemed to agree unanimously that Planned Parenthood needs to be defunded, but the Planned Parenthood video scandal overshadowed the abortion issue as a whole. Also, I would have liked to hear the candidates speak more on abortion generally. Finally, the question of Kim Daviscame up, but it overshadowed the whole issue of marriage. I would have liked to hear the candidates speak more about marriage and the family.”
John Brooks, MA candidate in politics and statesmanship from South Lyon, MI: “I was most impressed with Fiorina’s concern about the character of the American people as she discussed Planned Parenthood. The American Founders thought virtue to be of utmost importance for the perpetuation of the Union. Fiorina’s worry is well founded: can a nation that justifies infanticide long endure?”
Zachary Reynolds, MA candidate in politics and statesmanship from Alleyton, TX: “I was looking for substance, someone to get beyond political rhetoric. A few candidates gave us that, but none better than Carly Fiorina. She offered us a strong ideal connected to concrete policies and plans.”
“Hillsdale College is one of the crown jewels of American education,” said Mike Gallagher, nationally syndicated radio host and moderator of the student focus group. “I cannot think of a better place to be in America tonight than with these bright college students. I was so encouraged to see this group of Millennials so committed to the political process.”
Selected students will also be featured during The Mike Gallagher Show radio broadcast from 9 a.m. to noon EST on Sept. 17 to discuss the Republican debates.
About Hillsdale College
Hillsdale College, founded in 1844, has built a national reputation through its classical liberal arts core curriculum and its principled refusal to accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies, even indirectly in the form of student grants or loans. It also conducts on outreach effort promoting civil and religious liberty, including a free monthly speech digest, Imprimis, with a circulation of more than 2.9 million.
About the Salem Radio Network
Dallas-based Salem Radio Network (a division of Salem Media Group) provides 24/7 national news to over 1600 terrestrial radio stations and SiriusXM’s Patriot Channel on satellite radio through its SRN News and Townhall.com news services. SRN also produces national talk shows including Bill Bennett’s MORNING IN AMERICA, The Mike Gallagher Show, The Dennis Prager Show, The Eric Metaxas Show, and The Hugh Hewitt Show.
SOURCE Hillsdale College