Policy was at the forefront instead of personality at the fourth Republican Debate of 2015, held Tuesday in Milwaukee, Wis., which was hosted by the Wall Street Journal and the Fox Business Network.
Eight Republican candidates faced off, hoping to be nominated to represent their party in the 2016 presidential election: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), former Florida governor Jeb Bush, former tech executive Carly Fiorina, Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.).
1) The main takeaway: if elected the majority of candidates would repeal, repeal, repeal.
Things candidates would repeal include Obamacare (Fiorina, Rubio, Bush, Trump), Dodd-Frank (Rubio), energy regulations (Paul, Bush).
This is not to say that other candidates would not also repeal these laws, just that they didn't get time to speak about them.
2) There is a divide within the party over immigration: Trump wants to ship all undocumented immigrants out of the country, while Governor Kasich and Bush disagree with him.
Bush suggested allowing undocumented immigrants to pay a fine and create a path to citizenship.
3) Senator Paul scored a point when he asked Senator Rubio if spending a trillion dollars on beefing up the military is really a conservative thing to do. "I know that Rand is a committed isolationist. I'm not. I believe the world is a stronger and a better place, when the United States is the strongest military power in the world," Rubio responded.
"Yeah, but, Marco! Marco! How is it conservative, how is it conservative to add a trillion-dollar expenditure for the federal government that you're not paying for?" Senator Paul asked.
Other candidates including Fiorina, Gov. Kasich and Trump spoke in favor of beefing up the military. "We have to make our military bigger, better, stronger than ever before so that nobody messes with us, and a long run, it's going to save us," Trump said.
4) If you want a raise, don't elect these candidates. They do not want to raise the minimum wage. In fact, raising the minimum wage would lead to increased joblessness, according to Dr. Carson.
And, if you still haven't had enough of the debate at this point, CNN has complied a useful two-minute recap that really captures the personalities of the candidates, or lack thereof, including the moment when Sen. Cruz said he will cut five major agencies: "The IRS, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce, and HUD."
Cutting the Department of Commerce twice —perhaps that's what Fiorina meant last night, when she said "the secret sauce of America is innovation."