Nine GOP primary candidates took to a Las Vegas stage Tuesday night as they each made a play to become the next United States president.
News 9 sat down with former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn for insight on the campaign. He is now a member of the News 9 team as a political analyst and is providing opinions and commentary on the 2016 GOP primary race.
12/15/2015 Related Story: Former US Sen. Tom Coburn Talks About GOP Presidential Primary
He said there are a lot of good candidates, but voters are looking for something particular when it comes to the next United States president.
"No matter who the president is, the next president is going to be faced with the most massive, difficult problem this country has ever encountered,” Coburn said.
That is $143 trillion in unfunded liabilities.
Every candidate in the race has said he or she is the one for the job including current front-runner Donald Trump. Coburn said Trump knows exactly how to get the spotlight.
“He knows how to manipulate the media to get attention. He's done it all his life. He's a performer," Coburn said of Trump.
But Coburn's not so sure that'll translate into a much bigger role.
"A lot of people like what he says, because he actually addresses problems rather than symptoms, and that's an admirable trait, but carrying that out,” he said.
It's a whole different story, and while Donald Trump has nice numbers in the polls, it's not something Coburn believes he can take to the bank.
"You cannot accurately poll, because 50 percent of the people don't have a landline,” he said.
He said online polls are biased, and in-person polls are less likely to give their true opinion. Coburn thinks Trump and Ted Cruz are brilliant men, and he wouldn't be surprised if Cruz ends up the GOP nominee.
"I think he'd (Chris Christie) make a great president,” he said. “I think he's a tough guy. I think he's smart."
Coburn said Ben Carson's staying power is questionable. Carson is a retired pediatric neurosurgeon and an outsider, but lacks experience, Coburn said.
However, Coburn thinks the smartest of the pack is former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.
"The thing that people want right now is they want trust. They want compassion, and they want to see real leadership,” Coburn said.
News 9 also asked Coburn about Marco Rubio. He didn't have much to say but told News 9 he considers the U.S. senator from Florida as "knowledgeable."