Memos & Research

The First GOP Debate

Sep 16, 2015

At the first Republican primetime presidential debate last month, the GOP candidates spent shockingly little time talking about theissues most important to the American people and critical to our nation’s future—and a whole lot of time grandstanding, bickering, and hiding behind empty rhetoric.

Despite the fact that the majority of Americans want to see climate action—including most Republicansthe moderators asked zero questions on climate change during the primetime debate, and the candidates avoided the issue entirely. With the issue of climate change relegated to just one question during an earlier debate featuring candidates who ranked outside of the top ten, plenty of time in the main debate was given to frontrunner Donald Trump’s history of political contributions. (And in case you were wondering, here’s where Republican frontrunner Trump – and the other GOP candidates – stand on climate change).

As we prepare for round two tonight, the League of Conservation Voters is once again calling on the Republican candidates to finally address climate change, the single biggest challenge of our time—but we’re not holding our breath.

In the meantime, here’s a look at how the candidates spent their time at the first GOP debate – by the numbers:

64: Number of questions FOX News moderators posed to the Republican candidates during the August 6 debate.

11+: Number of minutes GOP presidential candidate and frontrunner Donald Trump captured at the debate.

2: Number of minutes candidate Mike Huckabee spent calling for the abolishment of the EPA and other governmental agencies.

1: Number of exaggerated eye rolls Senator Rand Paul let slip during a back-and-forth with Governor Christie.

6: Number of disparaging references to Obamacare.

0: Number of questions on climate change at the primetime debate.

0: Number of candidates who addressed climate change.

0: Number of candidates who put forth a plan to reduce pollution.

0: Number of times “clean energy” was mentioned by any candidate.

26,000+: Number of LCV members who have signed a petition urging CNN to ask the candidates about climate change and renewable energy.