First GOP Debate Is Received With Mixed Reactions By Republicans

Aug 7, 2015

With over 17 Republicans seeking their party’s nod for the presidency, things are bound to get confusing.  Minnehaha County Republicans gathered Thursday to watch the first GOP debate.

Reactions to the Republican presidential debate were as mixed as the 17 candidates themselves. Minnehaha County Republican Jim Stalzer says for him the debate didn’t lend a clear front runner.  

Minnehaha County Republicans watch the debate at The District Thursday night.
Credit Erin Mairose

“I’ve been impressed with most of the field today, I like at least half of them and I don’t think anyone has messed up tonight that has lost anything,” says Stalzer.

Debating over issues such as immigration, terrorism, and Democratic opponent Hilary Clinton, Stalzer says he is disappointed more attention wasn’t given to the federal budget. But Stalzer says Donald Trump is bringing a lot of attention to national issues important in the discussion. 

“I like a lot of what he’s saying I think he’s leading the debate, but I’m not sure he would be my final choice for president, but he  is definitely making it a lot more interesting than it would be,” Stalzer. 

Among the crowd Trump is received with mixed reactions.

But Heather Haggar says she does see Trump as her candidate. She likes how he stands apart from the other 16 Republican candidates as an experienced businessman.

“I’m still a fan of Mr. Trump. I really think that the safety of our country against outside forces like ISIS is important, I also think the economy is important, as well as making sure that America is successful.”

For others attending the debate party, it didn’t influence their choice. Heidi Small says Rand Paul is still her favorite. 

“My first is still has and has always been Rand Paul. I think Rand will be good on international affairs which is very much a concern for us and I think with the right staff and the right vice president he could be very good on social issues as well,” says Small.

For some they’ll wait to choose a candidate as the field narrows and the primary gets closer.