Republican Presidential candidates joined a forum on Monday in Manchester, New Hampshire to deliver their messages to the voters ahead of the first prime-time debate of 2016 Elections with 14 Republican hopefuls out of the 17 announced contenders.
The forum took place without frontrunner Donald Trump, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore. Donald Trump has declined the offer for participation saying that he is not a person who debates.
According to Reuters, Trump is to join the prime-time Fox News sponsored Republican debate at 9 PM EDT, first in the Presidential election. The rules are that only 10 of the highest polling candidates will join the debate and as of Tuesday, the candidates that secured a spot on the debate include Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and John Kasich. The candidates that were cut from the debate are Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, George Pataki and Jim Gilmore. According to Reuters, Fox said that the national polls that have been used in determining the participants were conducted by Bloomberg, Fox, CBS, Quinnipiac University and Monmouth University. The rest of the candidates that were cut from the prime-time debate will appear in a forum at 5 PM on Thursday
Before the debate takes place however, most of the candidates had their chance to face each other at the Voters First Forum and answer questions by a moderator.
The prime topic at the forum was illegal immigration and every candidate agreed that a solution is to be found and that borders must be secured. Illegal immigration is a favorite topic of real estate mogul and Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, who was absent from the forum, but who has been making constant remarks of Mexican people coming to the United States and brining disease, rape and crime, foreigners coming and stealing American jobs and has vowed to build a wall between Mexican and American border. On the other hand, his companies have been applying for worker visas to bring in foreign workers for exploitation since 2003.
According to Reuters, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has taken a more moderate perspective on immigration suggesting a more comprehensive reform limiting “chain Immigration”, or limiting American citizens to bring relatives from other countries and added that he supports a “rigorous path to earned legal status.”
Each of the candidates agreed that illegal aliens must be stopped, which only showed how big of an impact Trump’s statements have made in the Republican Party.
However, none of the candidate spoke about the deportation of 11 million illegal immigrants, because of their fear of angering the Latino population even more, who enjoys the support of Democrat Presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton, who vowed to protect immigrants and create an easier path to citizenship.
The forum allowed the candidates to see how they react to each other ahead of the official Republican debate in Cleveland.