College Republicans and the Politics Society at NYU held a screening of the second Republican debate in the basement auditorium of GCASL on Wednesday night.
The debate featured the 11 front-runners of the GOP presidential race, with controversial leading candidate Donald Trump front and center. At the time of publication, a poll distributed to attendees of the NYU screening had former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorna tabbed as the winner of the night.
The second GOP debate of the year was aired and live-streamed via CNN, and included discussion of immigration reform, the minimum wage and Planned Parenthood.
Despite being a bipartisan crowd, everyone laughed during the segment on marijuana legalization when Carly Fiorina talked about why she wouldn’t legalize it, even though Jeb Bush, just moments before, had admitted to smoking it as a high schooler.
“The marijuana kids are smoking today is not the same marijuana as Jeb Bush smoked 40 years ago,” Fiorina said.
Despite this humorous moment, the attending students, who numbered at about 100, took the event seriously and weighed in with their thoughts on the candidates.
SPS freshman Carly Tellerd, who attended the screening, said that although she does not yet consider herself either Republican or Democrat, she has so far found herself drawn to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
“He understands the younger generation, more so than Trump and everyone else,” Tellerd said. “I think he could do more for our generation than everyone else.”
CAS freshman Benjamin Tutto, a Republican, said he supports Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Rubio.
“They have good records, especially Scott Walker,” Totto said. “I like how he cut taxes and actually fought for what he believed in. He didn’t just run on something and then completely forget about it as soon as he got elected.”
SPS junior and College Republicans member Eli Nachmany who interned for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he was impressed by his performance in the debate.
“Chris Christie did a really nice job in terms of advancing conservative proposals but showcasing how he did it in a very blue state,” Nachmany said. “When you go into the White House you have to be a compromiser and work with your legislative branch and your judicial branch.”
Like other candidates, Christie is more known for his views on domestic issues rather than those abroad. However, in terms of specific policy areas, Nachmany said he favors Christie’s approach to foreign policy.
“He talked about foreign policy and how America needs to be a leader in the world,” Nachmany said. “I don’t think that boils down to America being the policeman for the world. But rather, establishing more of a principled, leadership approach to the way that we take on different countries around the world.”
Gallatin senior and president of NYU College Democrats Chloe Chik said the need to produce good television may sometimes upstage talk of actual issues.
“With such a diverse array of candidates, we’ve been able to get various viewpoints on different topics,” Chik said. “But I also think that there are so many candidates on the stage that a lot of it became a fight to get the best sound bite – less, sometimes, on the substantive issues.”
Email Justine Morris at [email protected].
Correction: A previous version of this article had the headline “Politics Society at NYU hosts GOP debate screening,” when it was co-sponsored by the Politics Society at NYU and the NYU College Republicans.