Can Mr. Smith go to Washington? Top Republican candidates have little political experience


Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina have little, if any, prior political experience, but they are leading all other candidates in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. These new faces to politics represent a major shift in how the Americans view political requirements when it comes to being the newest commander in chief.

Mark J. Terrill
Republican presidential candidates (from left) Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Donald Trump, and Jeb Bush appear during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (Associated Press)

“I think it is marvelous,” Rep. Keith Grover, R-Utah, said in an interview with The Universe. “I do not think you need to have any political experience or be a part of the political machine to be the next commander in chief. You just need to be qualified and be willing to figure things out when you get into office.”

Registered Republican voters are looking to new faces and authenticity. “The American people (are) pretty smart and can see through fake,” said Collin Pace, executive secretary for the Utah Federation of College Republicans. “They are looking for the model our founding fathers set up, that being (that) public service is, in fact, service.”

According to Pace, the American people have resonated with these Republican candidates because of their authenticity and new perspectives. The fact that they have not been in politics shows that they will bring a new, unadulterated perspective to the White House.

“Our nation is looking for authenticity,” Pace said. “The current Republican candidates are giving them that and they are willing to forgive the politically incorrect things they say. They are just themselves and the voters are willing to relate to them a lot more.”

Billionaire Trump, the current front runner for the Republican nomination, is widely known for his appearances in reality TV shows and his success in the casino and real estate industries. Born and raised in Queens, New York, Trump has been seen as being exceptionally brash and politically incorrect.

Carson is a retired John Hopkins neurosurgeon and the only person to successfully separate conjoined twins attached at the head. Born and raised in Detroit, Carson is a devote Christian and family man. He is the author of the book “America the Beautiful.” He was a guest speaker at BYU on Feb. 28, 2012 and encouraged students to live by godly principles.

Fiorina has sky rocketed in popularity after the second Republican debate on Sept. 16. Born in Austin, Texas, Fiorina went on to have a successful careers at both AT&T and Hewlett Packard, where she eventually became the CEO. Fiorina has been praised for her clarity and professionalism in the latest debate with her ability to put Trump in his place.

These candidates are short on political experience, but only the other Republican candidates seem to mind. “I do not have anything against Rubio or any of the other candidates,” Grover said. “I just think it speaks great things about the American people that they are considering those that have not been in politics.”

BYU College Republicans President Serene Papenfuss agreed.

“I am happy with the fact that there are non-politicians running for the Republican nomination,” Papenfuss said. “As much as I don’t like Donald Trump, I like how these candidates have exposed unnecessary politics within politics.”

According to a poll conducted by ORC International on Sept. 17 – 19, Trump had a 24 percent approval rating with Fiorina at 15 percent and Carson following closely with 14 percent. The 444 registered Republicans surveyed were asked which of those candidates they would be most likely to support for the Republican nomination for president in 2016.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email