I’ll admit it. I’m addicted. I have political speeches ringing in my ears through YouTube almost as much as I have Bible verses playing. While I rarely watch TV, I’m usually listening to something political, newsworthy, or Biblical.
The only benefit to this is that I have a perspective on the talking points that the candidates are using. More importantly, I get to read between the lines about what they’re really saying. Chalk this up to years in the marketing world.
Here’s what I’m hearing from the major candidates right now. Again, it’s not necessarily the exact words that they use but rather the message they and their campaign teams are trying to declare.
- Donald Trump: “Just look at the polls. I’m winning. I’m a winner.”
- Ben Carson: “The media says I said this when I actually said that but here’s what I really meant.”
- Carly Fiorina: “I’m proud of what I did at HP. Have you seen the Planned Parenthood videos?”
- Jeb Bush: “I’m Jeb Bush.”
- Marco Rubio: “I’m not Jeb Bush.”
- Ted Cruz: “Congress hates me. You hate Congress. You should love me!”
- John Kasich: “I have experience and the outsiders don’t. And I’m not Jeb Bush.”
- Mike Huckabee: “Obviously I’m more conservative than the charts declare.”
- Rand Paul: “I’m not dropping out. I’m not dropping out. I’m not dropping out.”
- Chris Christie: “I was using straight-talk before Donald Trump made it cool.”
- Bobby Jindal: “I’ll attack anyone, anywhere. Remember that in 2020 or 2024.”
- Lindsey Graham: “I don’t remember how I voted but if you tell me how I voted I’ll tell you why I voted that way.”
- Rick Santorum: “I love running for office and I’ll keep doing it until I win or run out of money.”
This is going to be a long and brutal primary season for the Republicans. Listening to the current rhetoric, it’s clear that the field needs to be cut in half before the primaries or we could end up producing our own worst enemy: another Democrat in the White House.