early and often

The Weirdest Town Hall Revelations From Carson, Cruz, Rubio, and Trump

Republican Presidential Candidates Take Part In CNN Town Hall
Allow Cruz to serenade you. Photo: Alex Wong/2016 Getty Images

In another feat of campaign ridiculousness, on Wednesday night, MSNBC aired a pre-taped town hall with Donald Trump opposite a previously scheduled CNN town hall featuring Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz. CNN will talk with the remaining GOP candidates (plus Trump again) on Thursday night.

It’s hard to argue that the two-night, cable-news election spectacular, which comes between GOP debates taking place less than two weeks apart, is really necessary. However, since each man was interviewed individually, we were able to pick up some interesting tidbits that don’t come up when the candidates are being encouraged to hurl insults at each other. For instance, have you ever wondered if Rubio enjoys raves, or how early Americans responded to rampant bear attacks? Read on to find out!

Carson Is Anti-Partisanship, Pro-Rejecting Whomever Obama Nominates to the Supreme Court
Hours after we learned of the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Carson said he believes, “We should not allow a judge to be appointed during this time.” But on Wednesday, Carson said he “probably would take the opportunity to nominate someone” if he were president — which makes perfect sense, because he is not President Obama (no matter what Trump thinks).

You see, the crux of the Supreme Court nomination dispute currently gripping our nation is that the whole process is too damn partisan. “[The Court] was originally intended to consist of jurists who were people who loved America, and were people who fully understood our constitution, and were there to make sure that America preserved its constitutional traditions,” Carson explained. “It was not supposed to be a partisan group.”

Carson Recalls Good Old Days, When America Was Plagued by Bear Attacks
The good doctor longs for the days when Americans looked to their neighbors following horrific animal maulings, rather than Uncle Sam. “We the people have the responsibility to take care of the indigent in our society. It’s not the government’s job,” Carson explained.
“In the old days of America when communities were separated by hundreds of miles, why were they able to thrive? Because if it was harvest time and the farmer was up in the tree picking apples and fell down and broke his leg, everybody pitched in and harvested his crops for him. If somebody got killed by a bear, everybody took care of their family.”

So what changed? “For some strange reason starting sort of in the 20s with Woodrow Wilson, the government started getting involved in everything.” Sure, Wilson kept us out of war with our animal brethren, but at what cost?

Respected Man of Science Explains When It Comes to Guns, Correlation Does Equal Causation
It’s not appropriate for the government to step in when animals attack, but Carson is in favor of “offering free classes in gun safety to all the citizens who want to take it so they can protect themselves.”

And for those who suggest that there should be some restrictions on the right to bear arms, Carson offered a little history lesson: “We’ve had guns for hundreds of years, and we’ve been free for hundreds of years. I think there may be a correlation there.” Of course, some of us have only been free for about 150 years. And pogo sticks were also introduced during that time period, so we should probably issue one to every American just to be on the safe side.

After Calling Cruz a Liar, Rubio Says He’s Sorry … That Cruz Is Such a Liar
As tends to be the case in South Carolina, things have gotten nasty between the Senate’s two remaining presidential candidates, with the Rubio campaign slamming Cruz for misleading ads and “dishonest push-polls.” When Anderson Cooper asked Rubio if he stands by his campaign’s declaration that “Ted Cruz is a liar,” he said, “if you say something that isn’t true and you say it over and over again and you know that it’s not true, there’s no other word for it.

Rubiobot Comes Up With New Obama Response, Becomes Self-Aware
When asked if he’s just the Republican version of Obama, Rubio resisted the urge to declare Obama “knows exactly what he’s doing,” as he did repeatedly in the New Hampshire debate. Instead, Rubio said “Barack Obama is a failed president not because he was a one-term senator,” but because “his ideas don’t work. His philosophy, his ideology is a failed one.”

Rubio Acknowledges Some Black People “Feel As If They’re Treated Differently Than the Rest of Society”
He didn’t exactly admit that systemic racism is real, but his response makes him the most Black Lives Matter–friendly Republican still in the race.

In News That Has Nothing to Do With Race, Rubio Is Colorblind
At the end of each segment, the candidates were asked some personal questions, which were surprisingly fun and not sexist.

Rubio Enjoys EDM, Particularly Because “The Words Are Clean
But he’s never been to a rave, so if that’s part of your presidential-candidate litmus test, you’ll have to stick with Jeb Bush.

Ted Cruz Wants Donald Trump to Sue Him
The Texas senator said he “laughed out loud” when he learned of the cease-and-desist letter Trump sent his campaign, demanding that he stop running a campaign ad that mostly consists of a 1999 clip from Meet the Press in which Trump says he’s pro-choice.

Like, Really Wants Donald Trump to Sue Him
The ad controversy is clearly frivolous, but Cruz also dared Trump to take him to court on a more serious matter: his eligibility to run for president. “Under the law the question is clear. There will still be some who try to work political mischief on it, but as a legal matter this is clear and straightforward,” Cruz said. It actually isn’t, but Cruz can’t say that.

Cruz’s Penchant for Musicals More Embarrassing Than Previously Reported
He doesn’t call his wife, Heidi, and sing her show tunes, he just does “corny” renditions of popular love songs. Cruz demonstrated, because why should Jeb hog all the vicarious embarrassment?

And What About Trump?
His town hall was just the usual hits — from his “beautiful wall” to “Jeb is a sad case” — mixed with the overcaffeinated insanity that is Morning Joe. But, in a sign that campaign season is even starting to affect Trump, when a woman in the audience sneezed, he mistook her for a protester.

Carson, Cruz, and Rubio’s Town Hall Revelations