n the cynical media we call it “checking the box.”

Repeal Obamacare? Check.

Smaller, more efficient government? Check.

Pro-life? Check.

If you attend just about any speech by someone seeking the 2016 Republican Party presidential nomination, you’re going to hear most if not all three of these boxes being consistently checked off.

Last month, I moderated the first joint candidate forum of the primary cycle, with four of the GOP presidential challengers sharing a stage and answering the same questions. Their answers were substantively the same, which did not go unnoticed by the audience. It certainly makes vetting the candidates in a crowded field more difficult.

However, each of the candidates is sounding at least one major theme to differentiate themselves from the competition. And it’s here that conservatives may find the answers they seek about each Republican pursuing the presidency. How a candidate chooses to stand apart from their peers reveals quite a bit about how they really think, who they’re listening to, and what they believe the voters want to hear.

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