If you visited NumbersUSA.com 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.
1st debate ? points out 90m Americans not working … FACT: feds continue to import 1 million new foreign workers each year #GOPDebate— NumbersUSA (@NumbersUSA) November 11, 2015
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.
High levels of immigration make it difficult for Americans to achieve the American Dream by putting downward pressure on wages #GOPDebate— NumbersUSA (@NumbersUSA) November 11, 2015
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.
Moderators feeding good facts on jobless Americans but nobody speaks for earmarking U.S. jobs for Americans.— Roy Beck (@RoyBeck_NUSA) November 11, 2015
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.
Fox misstates Obama amnesty as about preventing deportation. Both it and the court ruling was about giving benefits like work permits.— Roy Beck (@RoyBeck_NUSA) November 11, 2015
Our NumbersUSA Twitter took a different angle.
But Trump failed to talk about the economic impacts of illegal immigration in his answer.
Trump cheers court ruling on executive amnesty but fails to back moderator's lead to talk about effect on American workers.— Roy Beck (@RoyBeck_NUSA) November 11, 2015
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.
Why does Kasich want to deport all NEW illegals when he thinks CURRENT ones are fine law-abiding folks who definitely should have U.S. jobs?— Roy Beck (@RoyBeck_NUSA) November 11, 2015
That was followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's endorsement for mass amnesty.
Jeb says the signal U.S. needs to send to other countries is to reward illegal immigration with jobs.— Roy Beck (@RoyBeck_NUSA) November 11, 2015
Which had Roy a little concerned about the direction of the candidates until Texas Sen. Ted Cruz stepped in.
I had the sinking feeling that the pro-amnesty GOP establish had just taken over the debate. Cruz may have saved his Party with his scolding— Roy Beck (@RoyBeck_NUSA) November 11, 2015
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.
Cruz says illegal immigration is a very real economic concern for millions of working Americans #GOPDebate— NumbersUSA (@NumbersUSA) November 11, 2015
I take that back about "nobody" rose to the occasion. Cruz! Wow! A new side of him.— Roy Beck (@RoyBeck_NUSA) November 11, 2015
We highlighted Cruz's key points.
Cruz: "But I can tell you for million of Americans at home watching this it is a very personal economic issue."— NumbersUSA (@NumbersUSA) November 11, 2015
Cruz: "I will say the politics of it would be very different if a bunch of lawyers or bankers were crossing the Rio Grande."— NumbersUSA (@NumbersUSA) November 11, 2015
Cruz: "if a bunch of people with journalism degrees were coming over and driving down wages in the press…"— NumbersUSA (@NumbersUSA) November 11, 2015
Cruz: “…then we would see stories about the economic calamity that is befalling our nation."— NumbersUSA (@NumbersUSA) November 11, 2015
Bet voters watching TV much more enthusiastic than studio audience on Cruz's declaration against amnesty.— Roy Beck (@RoyBeck_NUSA) November 11, 2015
According to pollster Frank Luntz, Roy was spot on with that final remark.
.@TedCruz scores big (hits 98) with "I'm tired of being told I'm anti-immigrant. It's offensive." Actually outscores trump on immigration.— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) November 11, 2015
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.
Good words from Jeb on need to create safe zones for Syrian refugees in their own region instead of their going to Europe.— Roy Beck (@RoyBeck_NUSA) November 11, 2015
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.
"Immigration policy must protect U.S. workers..[higher protection for] the most vulnerable in our society" B.Jordan https://t.co/HZ0pQO4yyG— NumbersUSA (@NumbersUSA) November 11, 2015
CHRIS CHMIELENSKI is the Director of Content & Activism for NumbersUSA
Updated: Fri, Feb 19th 2016 @ 10:22am EST