To open the third primetime Republican presidential debate Wednesday, the candidates were asked to name their greatest weaknesses.
Despite the moderator telling them not to answer with things like “I try too hard,” most of them dodged the question anyway. Here were their answers:
John Kasich: My great concern is that we are on the verge perhaps of picking someone who cannot do this job … We need somebody who can lead, who can balance budget, cut taxes, and I did it in Washington and Ohio and I will do it again in Washington if I’m President to get this country moving again.
Mike Huckabee: If I have a weakness it’s that I try to live by the rules. I try to live by the rules no matter what they are… There are a lot of people who are sick and tired because Washington does not play by the same rules that the American people have to play by.
Jeb Bush: I am by my nature impatient. And this is not an endeavor that rewards that. You have to be patient, you have to stick with it and all that. But also I can’t fake anger. I believe this is still the most extraordinary country on the face of the earth, and it troubles me that people are rewarded for tearing down our country. It’s never been like that in America’s politics before.
Marco Rubio: I’m not sure it’s a weakness, but I do believe that I share a sense of optimism for America’s future that today is eroding from too many of our people.
Donald Trump: My greatest weakness is that I trust people too much. I am too trusting. And when they let me down, if they let me down, I never forgive. I find it very very hard to forgive people that deceived me. So I don’t know if you would call that a weakness, but my wife said let up.
Ben Carson: Probably in terms of applying for the job of President, the weakness would be not really seeing myself in that position until hundreds of thousands of people began to tell me that I needed to do it. I do however believe in Reagan’s 11th commandment and will not be engaging in awful things about my compatriots here.
Carly Fiorina: Well gee, after the last debate I was told that I didn’t smile enough. But I also think that these are very serious times.
Ted Cruz: I’m too agreeable, easy going. You know, I think my biggest weakness is exactly the opposite. I’m a fighter, I’m passionate about what I believe, I’ve been passionate my whole life about the Constitution … If you want someone to grab a beer with, I may not be that guy. But if you want someone to drive you home, I will get the job done and I will get you home.
Chris Christie: I don’t see a lot of weakness on the stage, quite frankly. Where I see the weakness is in the three people left on that democratic stage. I see a socialist, an isolationist and a pessimist, and for the sake of me I can’t figure out which one is which.
Rand Paul: Now on the floor of the Congress the Washington establishment from both parties puts forward a bill that will explode the deficit … I will stand firm and I will spend every ounce of energy to stop it, I will begin tomorrow to filibuster it, and I ask everyone in America to call Congress tomorrow and say “enough is enough, no more debt.”