Questions Conservatives Want Asked in Tonight's Debate

By Barbara Hollingsworth | October 28, 2015 | 9:30am EDT
John Harwood of CNBC (Screen capture)

( -- A group of conservative leaders has provided with questions they think the moderators should ask the candidates participating in Wednesday night's presidential debate at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

The questions deal with issues ranging from Obamacare to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Your Money, Your Vote” is the third of 12 scheduled GOP debates. It will be aired on CNBC and moderated by John Harwood, CNBC’s chief Washington correspondent, and the co-anchors of the cable network’s “Squawk Box”. 

Penny Nance

Penny Nance, president and CEO of Concerned Women for America:

“Recent numbers have shown that families have suffered under the Obama Economy. Women in particular are having a tough time with 16.1 million living in poverty, 2 million more than before  President Obama took office. As the party of free market principles, how would you express an aspirational message that engenders support among women who seem to value government intervention over opportunity?”

Jonathan Bydlak


Jonathan Bydlak, president of the Coalition to Reduce Spending:

“Many people talk of the need for a president to work across the aisle and reach compromises with the opposing party, but in an environment where Republicans who were elected to reduce spending have recently struck a deal that does anything but, how will you convince those in your own party of the need to pursue often politically difficult reforms like the restructuring of entitlement programs or the enactment of tax and expenditure limits?”


Joseph Bast

Joseph Bast, president of The Heartland Institute:

“As president, would you sign legislation that reins in the EPA and supports the REINS Act (Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny), or even a constitutional amendment requiring congressional approval of regulations that impose costs of mre than $100 million?"

David Bossie


David Bossie, president of Citizens United:

The IRS, a glowing example of big government run amok, has 90,000 employees, which is roughly the population of Albany, the capital of New York State. 

"The IRS not only handles taxes, it’s now involved in health care and free speech as well.  Isn’t it time to abolish the IRS for a new tax code?

"And what would a fair or flat tax do for economic growth in America?" 


Adam Brandon

Adam Brandon, president and CEO of FreedomWorks

"After years of economic struggles and stock market turmoil, what is your plan to achieve four percent growth?

"Will you pledge to repeal ObamaCare, and if so, what is your alternative?"


Richard Viguerie

Richard Viguerie, chairman of Conservative HQ:

Personnel is policy. During his campaign for president, Ronald Reagan’s economic advisers were conservatives like Milton Friedman, Arthur Laffer, Murray Weidenbaum, Martin Feldstein, Beryl Sprinkel and William Niskanen.

"Who are your campaign's economic advisers and who would you bring to the White House on your economic team?

“Due to the massive debt and unfunded entitlements, all federal revenues will be spent on just entitlements and interest on the debt in just 11 years. Not a dime will be left for the military, education, transportation or any other federal government services. What is your plan for dealing with what will soon be an existential economic crisis?"


Star Parker

Star Parker, founder and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education:

“Given the fiscal state of Social Security, would you be willing to allow workers under 30 making $30,000 or less annually the opportunity to divert a portion of their payroll taxes into a private retirement account?”


Grover Norquist

Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform:

“Would you support eliminating the federal gas tax and allowing each state to fund and build its own roads rather than sending gas taxes to Washington and then begging for some of the money back to build roads that Washington, D.C. politicians approve?"


Iain Murray, director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Center for Economic Freedom:

Iain Murray

"Many people agree that regulation is strangling the U.S. economy.

"What would you do as president to reduce the burden of regulation on the American people?"




Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, senior fellow for family empowerment at the Family Research Council:

"What are the key elements of your plan to get our national economy to four percent annual growth and a balanced budget within your first term?"


Daniel Mitchell


Daniel Mitchell, senior fellow at the CATO Institute:

“To shrink the burden of government spending, do you support a broad, non-breakable spending cap, akin to the very successful Swiss Debt Brake?”


Kelly Shackelford

Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of the Liberty Institute:

“People who are truly conservative don’t just start acting that way when they run for office. They are already conservative before they run. What groups did you give to or what causes did you give your time to before you ever ran for any office?”


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