What If…Every Candidate Was a Tech Guru?

With political focus moving from the candidates to the voters, What If… thought it would be enlightening and borderline entertaining to look at who might be or could have been our next “Digital Maven In Chief.”

Donald Trump: “We’re losing a lot of people because of the Internet. We have to go see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what’s happening. We have to talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that Internet up in some way. Somebody will say, ‘Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.’ These are foolish people. We have a lot of foolish people.” — Dec 7, 2015

Hillary Clinton: (When asked if she tried to wipe her server) “I don’t — I have no idea, that’s why we turned it over. What, like with a cloth or something? … I don’t know how it works digitally at all.” — Aug 18, 2015  (watch) Seth Meyers reviews Hillary Clinton’s tech goofs.

Carly Fiorina: “We need a president who understands technology in the Oval Office. Mrs. Clinton, actually you cannot wipe a server with a towel.” (watch) Carly Fiorina at TechCrunch May 2015.

Ted Cruz: “In short, net neutrality is Obamacare for the Internet. It puts the government in charge of determining Internet pricing, terms of service, and what types of products and services can be delivered, leading to fewer choices, fewer opportunities, and higher prices for consumers.” — Nov 2014

Marco Rubio: “If you play ‘Minecraft,’ you’re basically writing code when you’re converting a hammer into a pickax. “Kids might not realize they’re coding, but that’s going to be almost a basic proficiency just because of the way they grew up.” — Sept 1, 2015

Bernie Sanders: “It is extraordinary how this (Internet) has revolutionized politics in America. I consider myself smart enough to hire excellent people who know its importance.” — July 2015

Bernie Sanders: “What is this Snapshot thing and why do I only get ten seconds?” — Nov 16, 2015

Jeb Bush: “My watch can’t be talkin. That’s the coolest thing in the world!” — Jan 2016 (watch) Jeb Bush gets confused by his iWatch.

Ben Carson: “You go to the internet, you start reading an article, you go to the comments section, you cannot go five comments down before people are calling each other all manner of names.”

Donald Trump: “I sure as hell don’t want to let people that want to kill us and kill our nation use our Internet.” – Dec 2015

Chris Christie: “I’m going to have Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx, come work for the government for three months. Just come for three months to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and show these people. You go online and at any moment, FedEx can tell you where that package is. Yet we let people come into this country with visas, and the minute they come in, we lose track of them.” — Aug 29, 2015

Chris Christie: “I don’t mean people are packages. We should use biometric technology to track people who come as visitors. This is not treating people like packages. I’m not saying put bar codes on people — that is ridiculous. But we need to use technology in order to be able to secure the border.” — Sept 2, 2015

Hillary Clinton: “It doesn’t do anybody any good if terrorists can move toward encrypted communication that no law enforcement agency can break into before or after. There must be some way. I don’t know enough about the technology to be able to say what it is, but I have a lot of confidence in our tech experts.”

John Kasich: “There is a big problem. It’s called encryption. And the people in San Bernadino were communicating with people who the FBI had been watching. But because their phone was encrypted, because the intelligence officials could not see who they were talking to, it was lost.”

Jeb Bush: “There needs to be complete dialogue with large technology companies. They understand there’s a national security risk. I think there has to be a recognition that if we are too punitive, they’ll (ISIS) go to other technology companies outside the United States. What we want to do is to control it (the Internet). We also want to dominate this from a commercial side. So there’s a lot of balanced interests.” — Jan 14, 2016

Lindsay Graham: “I don’t email. You can have every email I’ve ever sent. I’ve never sent one.” — March 8, 2015 (watch) Commentary on Lindsay Graham never having sent e-mail.

President Obama: “I mean, think about how things have changed since 2008,” Obama said. “Back then, I was the young, tech-savvy candidate of the future. Now I’m yesterday’s news and Hillary has got a server in her house. I didn’t even know you could have one of those in your house. I am so far behind. Did you know that? I would have gotten one.” — March 2015  (watch) Remarks at Google, May 2007

But still the most profound tech quote ever uttered by a presidential candidate still has to be from Al Gore who on March 8, 1999 famously said “I’ve traveled to every part of this country during the last six years. During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.” (watch) Al Gore speaks about the Internet.

Thanks Al. Where would we be without you?