GOP Debate: Best and worst money moments

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CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 06: Republican presidential candidates (L-R) New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Carson, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and John Kasich take the stage for the first prime-time presidential debate hosted by FOX News and Facebook at the Quicken Loans Arena August 6, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. The top-ten GOP candidates were selected to participate in the debate based on their rank in an average of the five most recent national political polls. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

“Economic growth is the key to everything,” said one of the Republican presidential candidates in the first debate.

That was Ohio Governor John Kasich. Pocketbook issues are generally the top issue for voters, yet the first prime-time GOP debate on Fox dedicated a mere 15 minutes out of two hours to economics.

Americans looking for details were left disappointed Thursday night. Still, there were some memorable moments.

The moments that made us cringe:

1) Donald Trump implies he paid Hillary to go to his wedding.

“Hillary Clinton, I said be at my wedding, and she came to my wedding. She had no choice because I gave to a foundation.”

It probably wasn’t the best way to explain away his ties to the Clintons, but it was memorable.

2) Mike Huckabee proposes a “pimp tax.”

The former Arkansas governor said he could get more money for Social Security and Medicare by ensuring that ” “illegals, prostitutes, pimps, drug dealers” pay their fair share of taxes too.

Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly joked that things were “getting a little R-rated” after Huckabee’s plan to save Social Security.

3) Trump: I have never gone bankrupt.

Trump defended himself by saying he had never gone bankrupt personally. But the Fox News anchors reminded viewers twice that four of his companies went bankrupt.

He then went on to claim the he could “straighten out” the national debt because of his business and lack of bankruptcy track record.

4) Ben Carson compares a flat tax to giving to God

“We need a significantly changed taxation system. One I’ve advocated is based on tithing. I think God is a pretty fair guy…That’s why I’ve advocated proportional tax system. Everybody gets treated the same way.”

Carson pitched the idea of a flat tax — where everyone pays at the same rate — as akin to the recommendation in the Bible that followers of God give 10% of their income to the church.

The best moments:

1) Kasich: The economy is key…but so is not leaving people behind

“Economic growth is the key to everything. But once you have economic growth, it’s important we reach out to people who live in the shadows… which includes people in our minority community and people who feel they don’t have the chance to move up.”

While he didn’t have time to get into any specifics on how to lift Americans out of the shadows, this line from Kasich showed that Republicans can talk inequality too.

2) Chris Christie: We have to deal with entitlements.

“If we don’t deal with this problem, it will lead to massive tax increases and bankrupt this country.”

Christie hits the big issue in the room, challenging other candidates to address 71% of the national budget, which is entitlements like Social Security, Medicare, safety net programs and benefits for federal employees and veterans.

3) Jeb Bush: Immigration is an economic issue.

“Fixing immigration and turning it into economic driver is part of this [growth plan] as well.” Bush mentioned several ways he would attempt to boost growth, but his most interesting proposal was that reforming immigration could help. From an economic perspective, some (especially in Silicon Valley) have argued that allowing more highly skilled workers in the country would be a wise move.

4) Trump says buy Iran

“If Iran is a stock, go out and buy it. It will quadruple,” he said. That may sound strange, but a lot of big companies and investors are eying Iran. If the economic sanctions are lifted, these investors expect a lot of growth and development in the country, especially of Iran’s vast oil reserves.

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