Republican presidential candidates from left, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Scott Walker, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and John Kasich take the stage for the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015,  in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Republican presidential candidates from left, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Scott Walker, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and John Kasich take the stage for the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

District of Columbia Republicans crowded one of the most popular bars in the Adams Morgan neighborhood to watch the first presidential debate of the 2016 campaign scene on Aug 6.

Scores of young Republicans, with an occasional Baby Boomer, watched the 10 leading Republican presidential candidates’ debate on national television at the Johnny Pistolas Mexican Taquiera Bar. There were few Blacks at Johnny Pistolas, but those present were cheering on their favorite candidate.

“I’m with Marco Rubio all the way,” Gee-Gee Bean, a branch manager for a construction company, said of the Florida Republican. “Rubio has the right values to be president and I think that he will capture people’s hearts when they get to know him.”

The candidates joining Rubio at the debate were businessman Donald Trump; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; governors Chris Christie, Scott Walker, and John Kasich of New Jersey, Wisconsin, and Ohio, respectively; Dr. Ben Carson; Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.); former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee; and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). When the candidates came on the stage and were announced by name, the crowded responded with cheers for Trump, Carson, Rubio, and Bush.

Republican presidential candidates from left, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson take the stage for the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Marcus W. Skelton, a former candidate for a D.C. Council at-large seat in 2006, said he hasn’t chosen which Republican candidate to back for the nomination. “I’m looking at Bush, Carly Fiorina, Christie, Walker, and Paul,” he said, referring to Fiorina, a participant in a run-up presidential debate earlier that day. “I want to see who is going to deal with improving the economy and fighting high unemployment.”

During the two-hour event, the questions posed by Fox News journalists Megyn Kelly, Chris Wallace, and Brett Baier, had little to do with issues that Blacks, in America, deal with.

In a rare instance of a Black-oriented query, Walker was asked whether Black Lives Matter, and the governor responded that law enforcement officers need to be better trained on the proper use of force and hinted that those who didn’t use their training properly should be disciplined accordingly.

When Wallace asked the candidates what they would say if Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton accused them of being insensitive to minority voter suppression, no one directly responded to his question.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker listens during the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Carson, the only major Black candidate for president in the 2016 election cycle, was asked about race. “I don’t need to talk about race,” he said. He said race was not an issue when he performed operations and “it is time for us to move beyond that.”

“This is the United States of America, not the divided states of America,” he said.

Trump’s comedic one-liners about his opponents and his defense of controversial statements on immigration strengthened Dana Mozie’s support of him. “Donald Trump is getting a lot of support around the country because he is in touch with what America thinks,” Mozie, a Republican consultant said.  “The politicians on that stage are being politically correct and he isn’t, and that’s why people are attracted to him. He is authentic and speaks truth to power.”

jwright@afro.com