The top ten Republican candidates, in order of crazy

The top ten Republican candidates, in order of crazy

The candidates who've made it into the first Republican primary television debate were announced last night, and they're not exactly a sight for sore eyes.

The ten presidential hopefuls - whittled down from a total of 17 - invited to take the stage were decided by the most recent well-respected national polling data. The eagerly anticipated debate - the first of this campaign season - will air on Thursday on Fox News.

If you thought the all-party UK election debate back in April looked like an episode of Take Me Out, feast your eyes upon the motley crew who will be gracing television screens across the US later this week. We've ordered them in terms of general craziness, with a rationale for why they deserve their ranking. Remember: These ten people are terrifyingly closer than most to becoming the most powerful individual in the world.

10. Chris Christie

I can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Hot-tempered, straight-talking New Jersey governor Chris Christie has long been viewed as presidential material precisely because he's not as mad as his GOP colleagues, but he fell from grace because of the 'Bridgegate' scandal in late 2014, when it emerged that one of his aides had instructed the closure of the George Washington Bridge into Manhattan as a retaliatory act of local politicking.

9. John Kasich

If you’re not on the bus, we’ll run over you with the bus. And I’m not kidding.

The governor of Ohio is an outsider in the nominations race, squeaking into the top ten with 2.8 per cent, but his late announcement was a shrewd move, cleverly timed to give him a poll bounce right before the cut off for candidates to be considered in the debate.

8. Ben Carson

I don't believe in evolution... I simply don't have enough faith to believe that something as complex as our ability to rationalise, think, and plan, and have a moral sense of what's right and wrong, just appeared.

The only non-white candidate to make the top ten, the retired neurosurgeon is clearly a clever man, and thus comes in quite low on this list. Carson became well known as a speaker and author in conservative circles in 2008 and only entered politics to make his presidential run.

7. Marco Rubio

I don’t buy into the dystopian scenarios of self-aware robots enslaving mankind, but you don’t have to be a sci-fi conspiracy theorist to acknowledge that plenty of good, well-paying jobs are being taken over by machines.

Floridian senator Marco Rubio is the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed GOP poster boy. Senior Republicans hope that his Cuban roots but conservative views will attract a younger and more demographically diverse crowd than the traditional party base.

6. Scott Walker

My position on same-sex marriage doesn't matter.

Scott Walker registers the highest net favourable rating — 52 percent of prospective GOP candidate voters view him positively while just 14 percent view him negatively. The governor of Wisconsin is known for pushing a hardline Republican agenda - and winning admirers while he's at it - in a state that has voted Democrat in the last seven elections.

5. Jeb Bush

My dad is the greatest man alive. If anyone disagrees, we'll go outside.

The younger brother of George W. and son of George Snr. needs little introduction - and who'd have thought he'd only rank halfway down on a list of Republican crazies? The former governor of Florida choose not to run in 2008 and 2012 but has finally stepped into the ring for 2016 in an effort to cement the family dynasty.

4. Ted Cruz

If standing for liberty and standing for the Constitution makes you a wacko bird then I am a very, very proud wacko bird.

Texan senator Ted Cruz was the first candidate to announce his run and he's stayed pretty much in the middle of the road since then. He has nevertheless compared Obamacare to the Nazis, and he led the movement in the autumn of 2013 that led to a widely criticised federal government shutdown. He also loves The Simpsons... and doing impressions of his favourite characters.

3. Mike Huckabee

This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.

Former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee ran in 2008 and was a big hit with Republican conservatives, eventually ending up with his own show on Fox. Now he's back for round two with his enlightened, logical views on traditional families, women, race relations and international affairs.

2. Rand Paul

With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care, you have to realise what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery.

Everyone's favourite libertarian is so fond of contradicting himself it's easy to write him off as ineffectual, but his support has always remained strong both in his home state of Kentucky and with tea-partiers across the country. He once infamously compared universal healthcare to slavery (see above).

1. Donald Trump

Some of the candidates, they went in and didn't know the air conditioner didn't work and sweated like dogs, and they didn't know the room was too big because they didn't have anybody there. How are they going to beat Isis?

It had to be! It seems little can stop the rise of Donald Trump, aka 'F-ckface von Clownstick', as Jon Stewart not-so-affectionately calls him. No matter how offensive or nonsensical his views, the millionaire businessman keeps on doing better and better in the polls. In the most recent Fox News poll, Trump had the support of 26 per cent of primary voters, miles ahead of Scott Walker who is polling second and Jeb Bush who is polling third.

What a time to be alive...

More: Who knows more about climate change, Republican senators or children?

More: This is the consequence of Republicans being in power

The Conversation (0)