Mom, wife, nobody, foreigners: Republican candidates choose women for $10 bill

September 17, 2015

In one of the odder moments during the second Republican debate, the 11 candidates on the main stage were asked to pick a woman to put on the $10 bill. The answers ran a wide gamut. Carly Fiorina and Jeb Bush gave perhaps the most surprising ones, with Fiorina — the only female candidate in the field — voting for no changes to current male-dominated bills, and Bush selecting late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Republican candidates at the debate: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Republican candidates at the debate: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of American women gaining the right to vote, U.S. Treasury Department in June announced that a newly redesigned $10 bill would become the first U.S. paper currency in more than a century to feature the face of a woman. Polling has favored former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and CNN debate moderators asked Republican candidates to offer their suggestions.

Here are the remarks made by all the candidates:

Carly Fiorina: “I wouldn’t change the $10 bill or the $20 bill. I think honestly it’s a gesture. I don’t think it helps to change our history. 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’re half the potential of this nation and this nation will be better off when every woman has the opportunity to live the life she chooses.”

Jeb Bush: “I would go with Ronald Reagan’s partner, Margaret Thatcher. Probably illegal, but what the heck, since 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 United Kingdom into greatness.”

Ben Carson: “I’d 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, and has been an inspiration for many people.”

Donald Trump: “Because she’s been sitting for three hours, I think my daughter Ivanka, who’s right here. Other than that, we’ll go with Rosa Parks, I like that.”

Rand Paul: “That’s a tough one… I think (women’s rights activist) Susan B. Anthony might be a good choice.”

Mike Huckabee: “That’s an easy one, 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. And that way, she could spend her own money, with her face.”

Marco Rubio: “(Civil rights activist) Rosa Parks. An everyday American who changed the course of history.”

Ted Cruz: “I wouldn’t change the $10 bill, I would change the $20. I’d take (seventh President Andrew) Jackson off and I’d leave Alexander Hamilton right where he is as one of our Founding Fathers. And I very much agree with Marco, that it should be Rosa Parks. She was a principle pioneer that helped changed this country, helped remedy racial injustice. And that would be an honor that would be entirely appropriate.”

Chris Christie: “I think the Adams family has been shorted in the currency business. Our country wouldn’t be here without (second President) John Adams and he would not have been able to do it without Abigail Adams. So I’d put Abigail Adams on the bill.”

John Kasich: “It’s probably not maybe legal, but I would pick Mother Teresa, a lady that I had a chance to meet, a woman who lived a life so much bigger than her own, an inspiration to everyone when we think about our responsibility to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.”

Scott Walker: “I got to say to Carson, Huckabee, thanks a lot for making the rest of us look like chumps up here. But I’d pick Clara Barton. I once worked for the American Red Cross, she was a great founder of the Red Cross.”

No comments so far

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/