I watched the first Republican debate on Thursday, August 6th along with 24 million others and was thoroughly entertained, but disappointed at some of what I heard.  The Fox newscasters doubling as debate moderators, especially Megyn Kelly, sometimes seemed to have forgotten they didn’t work for CNN and their jobs weren’t to deliberately embarrass the Republican candidates.

The moderators tried to outdo themselves in baiting the candidates to fight with each other. Sometimes they got what they wanted, sometimes they didn’t.  The dust-off between Libertarian Senator Rand Paul (who was combative all night) and New Jersey Governor Chris Christy made for good theatre.

But the candidate who disappointed me was billionaire Donald Trump who refused to say he would support whomever the Republican nominee for President of the United States (POTUS) in the 2016 election would be if it wasn’t him, threatening to run as an Independent.  Senator Paul attacked Trump saying that he was “hedging his bets on the Clintons.”

Let me complete Rand Paul’s twist on Trump’s candidacy.

First, I am not a fan of either Rand Paul or Donald Trump, but I like that the Donald talked about the criminal element of the illegal immigration issue.  Seems everybody has forgotten the numerous felonies committed by illegal immigrants and the fact that the Obama administration has not only refused to deport those felons, but has released tens of thousands of them so that the worst of the worst are running around free to commit other heinous crimes.

Breitbart.com reports that between 2008 – 2015, over 38% of all murder convictions in California, Texas, Arizona, Florida and New York were for illegal aliens with 40% of the convictions in Florida being by illegals.

In 2010, illegal aliens were responsible for most of the theft, vandalism, robbery and drug smuggling in Cochise County, Arizona; resulting also in the murder of a rancher, Robert Krentz, whose family had been ranching on their 34,000 acre ranch, since 1907…In 1999, Krentz reported that over $700 worth of jewelry had been stolen from his house, according to FoxNews.com.

I used to live in Cochise County, Arizona, not far from the Krentz ranch back in 1968-’69.  Mexico and America had a stronger border policy then.  I was even thought to be a Mexican trying to illegally cross over into El Paso back in December, 1972.  I had to show my ID in order to come back from Mexico.

What happened to that level of border security?  Ask the Obama administration.

So while I would not have voted for Donald Trump (Jeb Bush is my man for POTUS), I was still a fan – that is, until he showed his hand at the debate.

It caused me to more closely analyze Trump’s campaign.  Now it is no secret that Trump reached out to former POTUS Bill Clinton for advice on his campaign.  And we all know now that Trump pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into Hillary Clinton’s campaign over the years, requiring her presence at his wedding in 2005.

Given Trump’s close relationship to the Clintons, what if he’s playing a bait-and-switch, first taking votes away from “real” Republicans like my two Florida boys – Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio?  So if he is not the Republican nominee come the 2016 convention, he’s threatening to run as an Independent.

That takes away Republican votes like Ralph Nader’s run as an Independent in the 2000 presidential election took away Democratic votes from Al Gore – giving George Bush the presidency.

Then Trump guarantees that, regardless of whom the Republican nominee is, Hillary Clinton becomes the next POTUS.  It makes good on the promise to Hillary made in the 2008 election, when she was forced to allow Barack Obama to take away her delegates at the Democratic convention, thereby guaranteeing him the nomination and giving him the win against Republican Senator John McCain, making Obama the first “real” Black POTUS (as opposed to the nickname given to Bill Clinton).

If you watched the debate, you would have seen that regardless of the fact that there were 17 candidates (for the first time in history) vying for the Republican nomination, almost any of them had the credentials to be as good as or a better POTUS than Hillary Clinton – even Carly Fiorina, who could run America as well as she ran Hewlett-Packard, a Fortune 500 company.

And America needs to take a good look at former neurosurgeon, Ben Carson, who joked during the debate that although he was a neophyte at politics, he is the “only one who has removed half a brain – but judging from those in Washington, maybe somebody else beat him to it.”

But whomever wins the Republican nomination, they will be running against Hillary Clinton – a liar (she swore she was “dead broke” when they left the White House), a thief (she stole furniture and the china from the White House), and a racist (she and former POTUS Bill Clinton were called racists when she ran against Obama and talked about him in 2008; now she plays the race card against Republicans every chance she gets).

I’m betting anyone on that debate stage would be better than Hillary.  We need a real leader to undo all the damage done by Obama.

Barbara Howard is a political consultant, radio host and commentator and motivational speaker. She is Florida State chairwoman for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and Trade & Travel goodwill ambassador to Kenya. She may be reached at bhoward11@bellsouth.net