Chris Chmielenski's picture


  by  Chris Chmielenski

If you visited on Tuesday night, you probably noticed that our front page was much different from normal as we promoted the television ad that we ran during the GOP debate. You can read more about that ad in Roy's new blog. But the page also included a real-time account of our Tweets as we watched the debates live.

I've pulled out some of the top Tweets from the night from both our NumbersUSA account and Roy's. We do this for every debate, so we encourage you to follow us on Twitter to see our analysis.

The undercard debate featured New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. None of the candidates made a direct mention of immigration even though the moderators kept setting them up with questions about jobs and the economy. The very first question from debate moderator Trish Reagan of the Fox Business Network included the dismal labor participation rate.

REAGAN: More than 90 million Americans are unemployed, or they are not in the workforce altogether. The number of people now willing, able, and wanting to go to work is at a level that has fallen to a level we have not been since the 1970's. For those that are working, wages aren't budging while other things, costs, like housing, remain high. As President, what concrete steps will you take to get America back to work.

But Gov. Christie missed an opportunity to talk about record-high immigration levels in his response.

Debate Moderator Gerald Seib of the Wall Street Journal then mentioned that 8.7 million jobs have been created under the Obama Administration.

SEIB: Federal statistics show that payrolls have expanded by 8.7 million new jobs so far during his time in office. All the jobs lost in the recession were recovered by last year. And in October, the economy added jobs at the fastest rate since 2009.

It was a great opportunity for any of the candidates to mention that all new job growth since 2000 has gone to foreign workers, but none of them did.

Towards the end of the debate, both Gov. Huckabee and Gov. Jindal talked about the American Dream. A Dream that is harder and harder to achieve for wage-earning Americans.

Like the undercard debate, the main debate focused on the economy, but it seemed to be heading down the same road -- very little, if any, mention of immigration. Roy was clearly getting frustrated.

But then, moderator Maria Bartiromo from the Fox Business Network asked candidates about the recent court ruling that upheld an injunction against Pres. Obama's executive amnesties.

BARTIROMO: Mr. Trump, a federal appeals court just dealt a blow to the Obama administration's plan to prevent the deportation of 5 million people living in this country illegally. The White House is appealing to the Supreme Court. At the heart of this issue is the effect that illegal immigrants are having on our economy, what will you do about it?

Roy first criticized Bartiromo for misstating Pres. Obama's plan.

Our NumbersUSA Twitter took a different angle.

But Trump failed to talk about the economic impacts of illegal immigration in his answer.

The question did set up, however, the most notable exchange of the night on immigration, and quite possibly the entire debate.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich first talked about his support for amnesty.

That was followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's endorsement for mass amnesty.

Which had Roy a little concerned about the direction of the candidates until Texas Sen. Ted Cruz stepped in.

Sen. Cruz delivered what may have been the best answer on illegal immigration and its impact on American workers given during the debate season thus far.

We highlighted Cruz's key points.

According to pollster Frank Luntz, Roy was spot on with that final remark.

Surprisingly, the migrant crisis across Europe hasn't specifically come up in any of the debates other than in the context of the larger issues in the Middle East. Gov. Bush did use a question on national security, however, to discuss the Syrian refugee situation and agreed with NumbersUSA's position that the U.S. should help create more safe zones for Syrians in the region.

BUSH: If you want to deal with the four million refugees that are leaving Syria because of the devastation there, then we 'ought to create safe zones for them to stay in the region rather than go to Europe. And, that requires American leadership.

In the very last commercial break, our new Barbara Jordan ad aired. Our Tweet quoting the ad was one of our most popular Tweets of the evening, garnering 103 re-Tweets and 109 Likes.

You can follow us on Twitter at and you can follow Roy at

CHRIS CHMIELENSKI is the Director of Content & Activism for NumbersUSA

Elections 2016

Updated: Fri, Feb 19th 2016 @ 10:22am EST

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