What the Candidates Should Be Asked Tonight

Suggestions include gas tax, Kansas, and "Seriously?"
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2015 1:33 AM CDT
What the Candidates Should Answer Tonight
GOP candidates Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and from bottom left, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, and Scott Walker.    (AP Photos/File)

The first GOP primary debate is tonight and while the questions—just like the participants—will be chosen by Fox News, there are a lot of interesting suggestions out there for the 10 candidates to face.

  • Thomas Friedman at the New York Times would ask this: "As part of a 1982 transportation bill, President Ronald Reagan agreed to boost the then 4-cent-a-gallon gasoline tax to 9 cents, saying, 'When we first built our highways, we paid for them with a gas tax,' adding, 'It was a fair concept then, and it is today.' Do you believe Reagan was right then, and would you agree to raise the gasoline tax by 5 cents a gallon today so we can pay for our highway bill, which is now stalled in Congress over funding?" If no candidate answered yes, Friedman would have another question: Why has the center-right in this country completely disappeared?

  • The conservative Daily Caller has no fewer than 27 questions for the candidates: Seven general ones, including "Do you believe President Obama is a bad person, or just politically misguided?" and two for each candidate. One of its questions for Trump asks him to explain exactly what he got in return for making political donations to Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi.
  • Katrina vanden Heuvel at the Washington Post also has a lot of questions, few of which are likely to be asked on Fox. Among them: "What's the matter with Kansas?" "Republicans have argued for decades that lower taxes, less government spending, and less regulation would boost the economy," she notes, but that's not how things have worked out under Gov. Sam Brownback.
  • The Dallas Morning News suggests seven questions, including: "Two Muslim gunmen were shot dead in Garland, Texas, illustrating the danger of radicalized Islam. How would your policies toward terrorism and the Islamic State differ from the Obama administration’s?"
  • Twitter users have offered plenty of questions under the hashtag #DebateQuestionsWeWantToHear, including "Which of your relatives did worse as president?"
  • Charles F. Pierce at Esquire has personalized, one-liner questions for each candidate. For Trump: "Dude, seriously?"
(More Republican debate stories.)

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