Republican Candidates Focus on Immigration Ahead of First Debate
- VOA News,August 4, 2015
Immigration was a key focus Monday night as Republicans hoping to be the next U.S. president took part in a forum ahead of the party's first official debate.
Fourteen of the 17 major contenders were in New Hampshire for the two-hour event televised nationally on the same cable network that shows congressional proceedings and on local channels in the first states to vote in the nomination process early next year.
Billionaire Donald Trump, the current leader in national polls, declined to participate, as did former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.
The rest of the crowded field took turns speaking in individual interviews, a format different from the debate Thursday in Cleveland, Ohio that will allow candidates to address one another. That event will be limited to the top 10 candidates in national polls, according to party rules.
They focused criticism on Democrats, particularly that party's leading candidate, Hillary Clinton, while expressing the need to focus on securing the nation's borders as a major component of immigration policy.