One of the questions Republican presidential candidates were asked during the primary debate Wednesday night was: which woman they would want to put on the $10 bill?
The question comes in the wake of the Treasury Department’s decision to place a woman’s face on the $10 bill – which currently features Alexander Hamilton – in 2020. During the closing stages of the primary debate, CNN moderator Jake Tapper asked the candidates their choice of woman to be placed on the currency note. “Earlier this year, the Treasury Department announced that a woman will appear on the $10 bill,” Tapper said. “What woman would you like to see on the $10 bill?” Tapper went around the stage for a series of rapid-fire responses.
As reported by Fox 8, the most popular choice among the candidates was civil rights activist Rosa Parks. Parks, who was vouched for by candidates Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, is credited for instigating the civil rights movement when she denied giving up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus in 1955. The candidates lauded Parks for bringing a change in the country. Rubio referred to Parks as “an everyday American that changed the course of history.” Cruz echoed the sentiment, but said that he would prefer to put Parks on the $20 bill instead.
But the answers that came from the former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee, and retired neurosurgeon, Ben Carson, elicited mockery on social media – they named their family members.
“That’s an easy one,” Huckabee said. “I’d put my wife on there. I’ve been married to her 41 years. She’s fought cancer and lived through it. She’s raised three kids, five great grandkids, and she’s put up with me. I mean, who else could possibly be on that money other than my wife?” Carson, on the other hand, said he would put “my mother on there. She was one of 24 children, got married at age 13, had only a third-grade education, had to raise two sons by herself, refused to be a victim, wouldn’t let us be victims.”
Conservative pundit David Frum expressed his reaction on Twitter, saying “Unless you’re a Roman emperor, you shouldn’t propose to put your female relatives on the currency.”
The answer of Former Florida governor, Jeb Bush, was strange as well; for he recommended that a foreign prime minister be put on the currency bill. “I would go with Ronald Reagan’s partner, Margaret Thatcher,” he said. “Probably illegal, but what the heck. Because it’s not going to happen. A strong leader is what we need in the White House, and she certainly was a strong leader that restored the United Kingdom to greatness.”
This answer, too, became a subject of mockery on Twitter.
Sonny Bunch, executive editor of the conservative Free Beacon, said, “That should disqualify him right now. I’m sorry. America was literally founded on murdering British people and removing them from our currency. Just a terrible choice. Washington weeps.”
However, the only woman to share the stage with the all-male dominated debate, Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, said she would not change the bill. She emphasized that women are not a special interest group. “I think honestly it’s a gesture. I don’t think it helps to change our history,” she said, as reported by Toronto Star. “What I would think is that we ought to recognize that women are not a special interest group. Women are the majority of this nation. We are half the potential of this nation.”
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