More than 40 members of student group Bruin Republicans attended a vote which endorsed Marco Rubio in the upcoming presidential election at their weekly club meeting Tuesday night.
Members of Bruin Republicans, a conservative political organization, discussed the benefits and drawbacks of the top seven Republican presidential nominees at a debate-style meeting in Bunche Hall. Students also discussed the front-runners of the Democratic party and controversial conservative candidates like Donald Trump.
Students discussed the electability of the Republican candidates in the general election, deciding Trump has successfully manipulated the media in his favor but is ultimately not an electable candidate for the Republican Party. Other members spoke highly of Ted Cruz and Rubio, discussing their likability and strong oratory skills.
“Cruz is the most consistent of the candidates, and has taken a strong stance against Hillary Clinton,” said Julia Hista, the club’s issues director and a third-year political science student. “He and Rubio are strong and consistently conservative candidates.”
After two minutes of discussing each candidate, members then voted to name Rubio, Cruz and Rand Paul their top three candidates.
Following a final discussion, the members voted to determine they would endorse Marco Rubio, citing his consistently conservative views and strong oratory skills.
“The endorsement signifies a democratic stance of the Republicans at UCLA in the hopes of spreading our club’s political opinions,” Hista added.
Members of the club were generally pleased with Rubio’s endorsement.
Michael Bezoian, a member of Students for Rubio, a network of students across the country who support Rubio for president, and third-year political science student, said he thinks Rubio is the most conservative candidate who can be elected. He added Rubio has polled strongly against Democratic candidates Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
Other members argued there is no presidential candidate that fully embodies the best of the conservative viewpoints.
“Generally, (Bruin Republicans) don’t love the candidates running,” said Shantal Razban-Nia, the club’s internal vice president and a fourth-year political science major. “It’s difficult for us that Trump is the front runner, and there is no one candidate that we can all love.”
Gigi Gordon, a third-year English major student, said she thinks it is impossible for all members to agree on one candidate. She added she thinks the club’s split vote among the three candidates shows the differences in opinions among voters.
Bruin Republicans will continue to meet throughout the quarter to discuss the upcoming election and the Republicans’ role in the race. The club will also invite speakers like Steve Forbes to meet with and speak to its members.