Pre-show: GOP debate from the Reagan Library

I want to rebuild our military, and I want the Iranians to know if I needed to, I would use it.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, on whether he would authorize a military strike on Iran

Santorum references Columbine martyr, but it's an urban myth

During a heated exchange about religious freedom replete with references to Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis, Rick Santorum invoked the supposed martyrdom of student Cassie Bernall during the Columbine High School massacre in 1999 in Colorado.

Bernall was one of 13 people gunned down in the mass shooting and gained attention after reports suggested she was shot because she affirmed her belief in God to one of the gunmen.

The harrowing scene was picked up by several news outlets and led Bernall's mother to publish the book "She Said Yes: The Unlikely Martyrdom of Cassie Bernall."

But the story was disproved long ago.

Media accounts challenged the story in the months that followed, and in his definitive 2009 account of the massacre titled "Columbine," author Dave Cullen noted that Bernall did have her head bowed in prayer when she was shot.

But another girl, who was shot but survived, was the one who proclaimed her belief in God as the gunfire broke out.

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Here's an idea: Raising taxes on high earners

How are we going to win if 90% of Americans think we don't care about them?
Rick Santorum, on the minimum wage and valuing workers

Bobby Jindal drawing hard lines on high court

When the debate turned to discussion about the Supreme Court, Bobby Jindal didn't hold back. He blasted the appointments of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and retired Justice David Souter to the bench, all choices made by Republican presidents, calling them a "mistake."

Jindal also promised to use a "litmus test" in choosing his Supreme Court nominees, a practice that presidents have historically avoided.

How candidates see Kim Davis' stand

Rowan County, Ky., Clerk Kim Davis. (Timothy D. Easley / Associated Press) ()

Rowan County, Ky., Clerk Kim Davis. (Timothy D. Easley / Associated Press)

Rowan County, Ky., Clerk Kim Davis, who was incarcerated after refusing to heed a judge's order to grant licenses to same-sex couples, said she faced a seemingly impossible choice between adhering to her religious beliefs and carrying out the responsibilities of her elected office.

Here's the latest on the Davis saga:

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Ben Carson gets an incomplete on Gov. Brown's climate change assignment

Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown tried to assign Ben Carson some homework before the GOP primary debate.

He sent the presidential candidate a copy of a massive UN climate change report after the conservative neurosurgeon said there was no "overwhelming science " of man-made climate change.

So did Carson read it?

"Some of it," Carson said Wednesday as he surprised reporters with a pre-debate walk through the media filing room.

He told reporters, "It doesn't change my opinion."

"I don't think climate change should be a political football," he told The Times. "I think any responsible person recognizes we have a responsibility to the environment."

During a San Francisco event last week, Carson said, “There is no overwhelming science that the things that are going on are man-caused and not naturally caused.”

Brown's office tweeted out a letter to the neurosurgeon along with a flash with the report. “These aren't just words,” Brown wrote in a letter. “The consequences are real.”

He concluded, “Please use your considerable intelligence to review this material. Climate change is bigger than partisan politics.”

Gov. Brown diplomatic in criticizing Donald Trump

Surprising no one, Gov. Jerry Brown is not endorsing Donald Trump.

Asked about the Republican front-runner on CNN before the debate started, Brown said, "Based on what he's said so far, I would not recommend him as commander in chief."

Brown repeated his criticism of Republicans for failing to advocate stronger action on climate change.

"The next president needs to stand up and take some leadership," he said.

Asked about the Democratic field, Brown declined to weigh in on whether Vice President Joe Biden should jump in the race. But as someone who has his own track record with the Clintons -- he faced off with Bill Clinton during the 1992 primary -- he suggested the party's front-runner is in a strong position.

"They're very formidable," Brown said. "I would not underestimate Hillary Clinton."

Question ripped from the headlines

The question was about Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old Muslim boy who was detained after he brought a homemade clock that a teacher thought looked like a bomb to his Texas high school. Here's the story:

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If she had worked for me, I would have fired her.
George Pataki, on the Kentucky clerk who refused to give out marriage licenses to gay couples

After waxing poetic on Reagan's smile, candidates dispense with his legacy

It didn't take long for the early debate candidates to mention former President Reagan.

And it didn't take long after that for them to tear down a major part of his legacy on immigration policy.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal proposed that mayors of "sanctuary cities" should be thrown in jail.

The real story behind 'anchor babies'

In the undercard debate, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina described cases where women come into the U.S. solely to give birth and thus secure American citizenship for their newborns. The children are sometimes derogatorily labeled "anchor babies." While such cases do happen, the reality is more complicated and the decision-making involved more complex than Graham suggested.

The Times' Frank Shyong, Cindy Chang and Paloma Esquivel explored the issue recently:

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That GOP pledge

What's the GOP pledge George Pataki says he didn't break by slamming Donald Trump? Candidates vowed to back the Republican nominee. Here's a refresher:

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First out of the gate with Reagan reference

That would be former New York Gov. George Pataki. Seconds into the second-tier debate, Pataki brought up the oft-cited Republican icon, talking about his smile.

That's an early check in the Los Angeles Times' GOP debate BINGO game. Play along here .

Even when he's not on stage, Trump is early focus of debate

Let's stop treating Donald Trump like a Republican.
Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana and GOP presidential candidate, in response to the first question about Donald Trump

Surprising no one, Gov. Jerry Brown is not endorsing Donald Trump.

Asked about the Republican front-runner on CNN before the debate started, Brown said, "Based on what he's said so far, I would not recommend him as commander in chief."

Brown repeated his criticism of Republicans for failing to advocate stronger action against climate change.

"The next president needs to stand up and take some leadership," he said.

Asked about the Democratic field, Brown declined to weigh in on whether Vice President Joe Biden should jump in the race. But as someone who has his own track record with the Clintons -- he faced off with Bill Clinton during the 1992 primary -- he suggested the party's front-runner is in a strong position.

"They're very formidable," Brown said. "I would not underestimate Hillary Clinton."

The start is minutes away

Ben Carson is relaxed as he chats with reporters

Ben Carson is No. 2 to Donald Trump in most GOP presidential polls.

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Ben Carson's arrival creates Donald Trump-sized scrum

Hugh Hewitt, we knew you when

 (Los Angeles Times)

(Los Angeles Times)

Long before Hugh Hewitt was the conservative commentator of the moment and a moderator for tonight's GOP primary debate, he was Southern California's "Republican Renaissance man."

That's the label Hewitt earned in this 1995 profile we pulled from the Los Angeles Times archives. It's the ultimate backgrounder on the man who'll question the candidates and his very busy history in Republican politics.

"Colin Powell's book agent. TV show host. Radio personality. Lawyer to builders. Law professor. Columnist. Air-quality regulator," The Times' Nancy Wride wrote.

"Hewitt, 39, is a vocal conservative --graduate of the Reagan administration, friend of the late Richard M. Nixon -- frequently embroiled in politics from the cool distance of the sidelines."

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It's a little crowded in here


The media horde descends on the Reagan Library for the GOP debate. In the filing center, 500 journalists fight for 300 seats.

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Debate 'babes'?

Tapper as Trump target?

We're going to be reading what other people have said about them. We want them to debate not with me but each other.
Jake Tapper, CNN's debate moderator


Jake Tapper, anchor of "The Lead" and the Sunday Washington program "State of the Union," told The Times' Stephen Battaglio that he wasn't concerned about becoming the target of a Donald Trump insult if the candidate deemed the questioning tonight as unfair.

"I'm a big boy," Tapper said, noting that Trump already had described one of his queries as "stupid" when he appeared on "State of the Union." "From the very beginning, I've treated him as I've treated other candidates."

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Supporters and protesters

How much are the security guards making?

Setting up in the 'spin room'


We've found the provisions

Immigration advocates: 'Our protest begins today, but it ends on Election Day'

Pro-immigrant protesters got out some of their aggression against Donald Trump on Wednesday, slapping, punching and even picking the nose of a giant effigy of the Republican presidential front-runner during a boisterous rally in Los Angeles.

It was one of several protests planned across the region ahead of Wednesday night's GOP debate in Simi Valley.

At a news conference in MacArthur Park, an immigrant-heavy neighborhood near downtown, protesters from several immigrant and labor groups hoisted uncanny, larger-than-life effigies of several top Republican presidential candidates, including Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Trump.

Trump, who has vowed to build a massive border wall and end birthright citizenship for babies born to immigrants in the country illegally, was the target of most of the criticism. Angelica Salas, who heads the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, took issue with Trump's campaign motto: "Make America Great Again."

"It's clear that the America that Trump is nostalgic for is an America in which Latinos, blacks and women have less rights in this country," Salas said. "He wants us to go back to a past in which our racial divisions were much worse."

Maria Elena Durazo, a longtime labor leader and immigrant rights activist, said she is afraid of "having a president who hates me."

Among the speakers was a young woman, Ariana Galindo, who was born in the U.S. and whose mother is an immigrant who resides in the country illegally. Galindo held a sign that read "Anchor Baby" with the words crossed out in red marker. It was a reference to a phrase used by Trump, Bush and other candidates to describe children born to people in the U.S. without documentation, a phrase that many immigrant advocates consider derogatory.

"I want to vote for a president who will care about my mom," Galindo said.

Protesters joined in chants of "Denounce the hate at the GOP debate" and then filed onto waiting buses and vans, which would take them to a second protest site outside the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, where the debate is being held.

The rallies won't let up until Republican candidates offer less harsh proposals for what to do with the 11 million immigrants in the country without legal status, promised Rusty Hicks, who heads the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

"Our protest begins today," Hicks said, "but it ends on Election Day."

Tom Brady will leave the debating to his pal Trump

Count Tom Brady among those feeling Trump-mentum.

As the New England Patriots quarterback fielded questions Wednesday, a reporter took note of the Trump-trademark "Make America Great Again" cap that was prominently displayed in his locker behind him. Did he have any advice for Trump at the Republican debate tonight?

"No," Brady answered simply with a grin, saying the hat was a "nice piece of memorabilia" that Trump had sent.

Does Trump have what it takes to win the presidency?

"I hope so," Brady said. "That'd be great. There'd be a putting green on the White House lawn, I'm sure of that."

(Of course, there already is one, installed by frequent duffer Dwight Eisenhower).

The endorsement isn't much of a surprise, since the two are friends and occasional golf partners. Brady, like Trump, has been at the center of controversy over "Deflategate," but his support could only enhance Trump's standing in Patriots-mad New Hampshire, an early-nominating state.

The debate isn't the only reason candidates are flocking to California

 (Jim Cole / Associated Press)

(Jim Cole / Associated Press)

Republican presidential candidates in Southern California for tonight's debate at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley are doing double duty on the trip -- not only debating but also fundraising and mingling with donors in the state where candidates come mostly to raise money.

Former Hewlett-Packard chief Carly Fiorina appeared at a fundraiser Tuesday evening in Irvine, and has another one scheduled Thursday evening at a home in Los Angeles. Among the chairs are former Univision chair Jerry Perenchio.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will hit the Central Valley on Thursday for a breakfast reception. His wife, Columba, and son Jeb Jr. raised money on his behalf Tuesday at a luncheon in Los Angeles.

Other candidates are headlining events for fellow Republicans, giving them an opportunity to curry favor with California's deep-pocketed donors.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky spoke at a fundraiser Tuesday for the San Bernardino County Republican Party. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is headlining a luncheon at the California Republican Party convention in Anaheim on Friday. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had been scheduled to appear at the convention Saturday but canceled. He had also been scheduled to attend a fundraiser for Rep. Ed Royce at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park on Saturday.

Read more: Who are the 19 millionaires giving nearly half the California money?

Immigration advocates have a message for Republicans on debate day

And while we're on the subject of Trump and Schwarzenegger . . .

Seema Mehta looks at the celebrity appeal and political parallels of the future and former "Celebrity Apprentice" stars.

With Arnold Schwarzenegger, she reports, NBC is banking on a principal with a much more affable persona.

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Donald Trump, you've been replaced

The new boss -- on television's "Celebrity Apprentice," anyway -- is former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

While Donald Trump talks green cards during the 2016 election cycle, Schwarzenegger will issue pink slips in a concurrent gig on NBC.

The L.A. Times' Scott Collins reports on this singularly strange mash-up of politics and entertainment.

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Get ready to play Republican Debate Bingo


You'll surely complete a line or a diagonal on this bingo card from the L.A. Times' clever Priya Krishnakumar and Jon Schleuss.

Who knows? If you hear "anchor babies," the word "loser" and a joke about Donald Trump's hair, you might even score a full house.

Check it out here:

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Calling all political junkies

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

(Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Here's how to watch the GOP debate with the L.A. Times . . .

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McManus: Blowhard or no, Trump has shaken up the GOP policy debate

Which of Donald Trump's views do you consider the most wrongheaded?
Doyle McManus (question he would ask the other debaters tonight)

Say what you will about Donald Trump; columnist Doyle McManus certainly does in his column this morning.

But is it fair to say Trump is running a content-free campaign? McManus says it's not.

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Five facts about the California cash fueling the 2016 race


No presidential hopeful raised more money in California the first half of this year than Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Still, the 16-member GOP field outpaced the Democrats, netting nearly 60% of the $44 million in gifts over $200 in the state.

The numbers tell the tale . . .

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In Democratic California, which 2016 candidates get the most money? You'll be surprised

Republican presidential candidates are finding a surprising source of campaign cash this year -- the San Francisco Bay Area, one of the nation's strongest Democratic bastions.

As Michael Finnegan, Anthony Pesce and Melanie Mason report, Republicans and their super PACs so far have garnered $13.4 million in the blue stronghold.

The finding is one of the most striking things unearthed in a Los Angeles Times analysis of the more than $44 million that presidential candidates in both major parties and their super PACs collected in California in the first six months of the year.

So, who are the contributors writing those seven-figure checks to super PACs?

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Republican presidential candidates find major donors in Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay Area, one of the nation's biggest Democratic strongholds, has emerged with an unlikely distinction this year: It is California's biggest source of campaign money for GOP presidential candidates.

Republicans and their super PACs have collected $13.4 million in the Bay Area, much of it from Silicon Valley tech moguls, records show.

The disconnect between the region's liberal voters and its wealthy, conservative donors was one of the most striking findings from a Times analysis of the more than $44 million that presidential candidates in both major parties and their super PACs collected in California in the first six months of the year.

It's largely the result of a handful of contributors writing seven-figure checks to super PACs that support the Republican they want to succeed President Obama.

Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle Corp., gave $3 million to a committee promoting Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. Scott Banister, co-founder of the computer security company IronPort, gave $1.25 million to one backing Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

"More and more money is coming from fewer and fewer people," said John Wonderlich, policy director of the Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan group that promotes transparency in campaign financing.

Another surprise this year has been Orange County, which for decades has been a reliable source of donations for Republican candidates. So far, wealthy donors there appear to be holding back.

California was America's top source of campaign money for the 2012 election, with Obama raising $62.8 million here for his reelection and his GOP rival, Mitt Romney, $41.3 million. Other Republicans in the 2012 White House contest raised nearly $8 million here.

On the eve of Wednesday's Republican presidential debate at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Columba and Jeb Bush Jr., the wife and son of candidate Jeb Bush, were raising money for the former Florida governor at a Brentwood luncheon. Bush himself is scheduled to attend a breakfast fundraising reception Thursday in Bakersfield, a longtime center of Republican agriculture and oil money.

Private equity investor Bradford M. Freeman, who hosted the Brentwood event at his home and gave $1 million to Bush's Right to Rise USA super PAC, was a major fundraiser for former Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush.

Freeman said he'd forsworn fundraising, but when Jeb Bush got in the race, he "sort of didn't have a choice to get back into the saddle."

Bush and his super PACs have raised $13.6 million in California this year, more than any candidate other than Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, who -- with her super PACs -- has collected $17.3 million.

About $7.6 million in donations Bush collected in the state came from the Bay Area. His biggest California donors, at $1.5 million apiece, are both from San Francisco: investment executive William Oberndorf and Helen Schwab, wife of brokerage firm founder Charles Schwab.

Bush fundraiser Bill Draper, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, said the reason for the candidate's support in the area was simple: "He's going to be good for business."

GOP hopeful Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive, is also heavily reliant on California money. She has pulled in more than $2.7 million from the state -- more than half her overall total -- with most of the donations coming from Los Angeles County.

Charles Munger Jr., a Palo Alto physicist who gave $100,000 to a Fiorina super PAC, said he hoped Republican voters would soon tire of Donald Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who lead in the polls, and see Fiorina as a better alternative to politics as usual.

"They are looking for someone who is not part of the Washington establishment to come in and set things right," Munger said.

Clinton also received most of her money from Los Angeles County, where contributors slightly favored Democrats. Her biggest donors include Hollywood entertainment tycoons Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Haim Saban, each of whom gave $1 million to her Priorities USA Action super PAC.

This analysis only covers donations of $200 or more. A so-called super PAC is a type of political action committee allowed to raise unlimited sums of money in support of a candidate but forbidden from making direct contributions or coordinating with the campaign.

After the Bay Area, which accounted for $20.7 million in giving to all presidential candidates this year, Los Angeles County was a close second with $18.7 million.

Orange County's $1.6 million made it a distant third, with most of that money going to Republicans.

Fred Smoller, a political science professor at Chapman University in Orange, said wealthy donors in Orange County appeared to be waiting to see if an establishment candidate, such as Bush, can pull ahead of Trump in opinion polls.

"I can't imagine too many people here from the wealthiest groups supporting Donald Trump, primarily because he wants to raise taxes on the wealthy," Smoller said.

Mark Chapin Johnson of Ladera Ranch, a top California fundraiser for Romney and George W. Bush, said he'd met with many of the Republicans running for president, but was waiting "to see who gets through the process" before picking one to support.

"I'd rather sit back and be somewhat thoughtful about it -- and targeted and focused," he said.

The many feuds of Donald Trump

CNN, the host of Wednesday's second Republican debate, is promoting it as if candidates will be climbing in the ring for a title fight -- and that may not be so far off. The debate is expected to be a contentious slugfest among the lineup of 11 candidates. Or more precisely, it's expected to be a slugfest between one candidate in particular and almost everyone else on stage. A look at why and how some of the Republican contenders are ready to go mano a mano with Donald Trump:

Trump vs. Bush -- Jeb Bush tried his best to stay above the fray. He's the joyful tortoise. Joyful tortoises don't provoke confrontations with unpredictable, late-night-tweeting reality-TV stars. Except perhaps when they're falling in the polls and facing five more months of this and just can't take it anymore.

This month, Bush decided to emphasize the warrior part of his happy warrior pose and went after Trump with a Web video and a pointed dig or two. Trump was more than happy to return the criticism.

On stage Wednesday, look for the two to reprise their tangle over Trump's immigration proposal and whether it's appropriate to campaign in Spanish. Bush may even show off his bilingual skills. (Why not? He's in California.)

Trump vs. Fiorina -- Carly Fiorina made it to the prime-time debate stage after outshining some fellow second-tier candidates last month with some quick quips and a command of foreign policy.

To thrive in the big leagues, she needs to show another skill: representing the broad diaspora of women insulted by Trump. Whether he was commenting on her face or her “persona,” as he argues, Trump's comments in a Rolling Stone magazine profile published last week guarantee that he'll again have to talk about his attitudes toward women.

Fiorina must be studying up on the Megyn Kelly method of broaching the subject: Stay firm despite Trump's attempts to deflect. But she'll also have to find a way to move beyond Trump to defend her broader case for her candidacy. Trump has already signaled he's ready to go after her tenure at the helm of Hewlett-Packard, chief executive to chief executive. And with Hewlett-Packard back in the news for another 30,000 layoffs, Fiorina will be pressed anew to explain her record.

Trump vs. Carson -- A few weeks ago it would have been hard to imagine any candidate -- even Trump -- bothering to try to take down the good Dr. Carson. Carson spent much of the summer as the genial, quirky candidate in the race doing no harm. But recent polling shows he has climbed up to run neck-and-neck with Trump in Iowa and New Hampshire. He's become an appealing option for voters looking for an anti-politician in the vein of Trump, but with a softer, more openly religious side. Trump on Sunday showed he's ready to take on Carson, saying Carson is merely “a doctor and he's not a deal maker.” Carson's comeback will be something to watch.

Trump vs. Walker -- Scott Walker absorbed plenty of punches from Trump over the summer, only to essentially me-too when asked about Trump's policies. Though all the candidates have been overshadowed by Trump, few lost as much ground to him as Walker, or have more reason to try to steal back some of that spotlight.

After entering the race as a top contender, Walker is in danger of falling so far in the polls he could be pushed off the main debate stage. Walker needs to make an impression this time around. He is likely to be ready to engage Trump on questions of experience and accomplishments.

Columnist Doyle McManus: Blowhard or no, Trump has shaken up the GOP policy debate

Say what you like about Donald Trump: He's a blowhard, a braggart and not remotely qualified to be president -- all true. But Trump can claim at least one substantive achievement on his improbable way to the top of the polls in the Republican presidential race: He's broadened the GOP's internal policy argument, and not only on immigration.

Take foreign policy, the main subject for Wednesday's debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. Unlike most of the other candidates, Trump has said he wouldn't scrap the nuclear deal President Obama just negotiated with Iran. “We have a contract,” he has said, “a really bad contract.” Instead of abrogating the pact, he'd renegotiate -- just as he has done in the realm of real estate.

Or take trade policy. Trump says he opposes the 12-nation Pacific Rim agreement with Asia that Obama is trying to conclude; he says it's “a disaster” that would “send even more jobs overseas.” Most other GOP candidates have endorsed the pact.

Trump has problems with corporate behavior, too. He says he'd slap financial penalties on American companies that move jobs to other countries; and he thinks many chief executives are paid too much. “It's a shame and it's disgraceful,” he said this week -- but added: “It's very hard if you have a free enterprise system to do anything about that.” Other candidates haven't gone there.

Moreover, Trump says he'd lower income tax rates for most taxpayers, but raise them on the hedge fund managers who have been allowed to pay the lower capital gains rate on their earnings -- originally a Democratic proposal. Of the other candidates, only Jeb Bush, of all people, has followed suit.

Granted, Trump isn't necessarily consistent. In the space of a single interview last month, he said he could support a single-rate “flat tax” or a consumption-based “fair tax” -- just as long as any reform preserved the principle of progressive taxation, under which the rich pay at a higher rate. (He didn't seem to notice the contradiction.)

That doesn't add up to a coherent program -- or a conservative one, as plenty of orthodox conservatives have pointed out. Instead, it's a quirky billionaire's off-the-cuff version of right-wing populism.

But it's not fair to charge that Trump is running a content-free campaign; he's not. Most of the media attention he's received has focused on his insults, aimed at everyone from Mexican immigrants to Carly Fiorina. Amid the braggadocio, however, he's also opened the doors to a much wider debate on economic policy than the GOP would otherwise have indulged.

That's one reason Wednesday's debate on CNN may be even more interesting than the one broadcast by Fox News a month ago: Trump and others have more policies to defend. That first debate was bursting with personality but light on substance; most of the candidates were, in effect, introducing themselves to voters for the first time, and stuck closely to their autobiographical talking points. This time, they have no excuse to avoid mixing it up -- and pointing out where their rivals are wrong.

In that spirit, here are questions I hope the moderators will ask -- on taxes, trade and foreign policy:

Trump and Bush have said everyone's taxes should go down, but that the wealthy should pay a greater share of total income taxes. Do you agree?

Bush has also said more lower-income families should pay no income taxes at all -- arguing, in effect, that the 47% of nontaxpayers Mitt Romney complained about should be enlarged. Do you agree?

Are you for or against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the trade agreement Trump has denounced as a disaster? If you're for it, what would you do to protect American workers from seeing their jobs move overseas?

If you want to renegotiate the nuclear agreement, how would you force Iran and other countries to go along? Would you impose U.S. sanctions on European and Chinese companies that did business with Iran?

In the war against Islamic State, Bush, Trump and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have called for U.S. troops to engage in combat on the ground; other candidates have opposed that idea. Discuss.

The candidates have also split over whether the U.S. should accept more refugees from Syria. Trump, Bush, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich have said yes; neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Walker and Fiorina have said no. Does the U.S. have a moral responsibility here?

And a bonus question for all the candidates -- especially Cruz, who has cast himself as a true conservative, but also praised Trump in an apparent effort to inherit his supporters: Which of Donald Trump's views do you consider the most wrongheaded?