Moderator: “Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the newly formatted televised Republican presidential debate, where there will be no tough questions. Promise.”

Someone in the audience: “I have driven my state into financial ruin. Higher education and health care are begging, but I still managed to give tax breaks to big businesses.”

Moderator: “Gov. Bobby Jindal, you should not be here. Now, Mr. Trump, tell us how you will improve the economy.”

Donald Trump: “Trust me; I will do great things with the economy. The economy will love me!”

Moderator: Dr. Carson. Dr. Carson. DR. CARSON!!!

Dr. Ben Carson: “Sorry, I was in deep thought.”

Moderator: Dr. Carson, how will you deal with the Islamic State?

Carson: “We should do what we did when we invaded Cuba and dared the Russians to remove our missiles from the country.”

Moderator: “Dr. Carson, are you sure about that answer?”

Carson: “There you go again, trying to embarrass a conservative Republican.”

Moderator: “I apologize, Dr. Carson. Ms. Fiorina, what is your position on immigration?”

Carly Fiorina: “I recently watched a video of an illegal immigrant in the desert with her little legs kicking and her tiny hands waving in the air like she just didn’t care. Her parched lips were moving as if she was asking for a sip of water. Her contorted thin body seemed to be writhing in pain. …”

Moderator: “Gov. Christie, I see your hand is up. Is there something you want to add?”

Gov. Chris Christie: “I just want to know who cares about Ms. Fiorina’s illegal immigrant story, Cuban invasions and the financial crisis in some nowhere state? Americans want solutions to their everyday problems. They want someone who will shoot straight with them. They want someone they can count on when the chips are down.”

Moderator: “Powerful statement, Gov. Christie. Sen. Paul, please talk about your ideas on the economy.”

Sen. Rand Paul: “It’s about time you look down here.”

Trump: “He’s a loser. Does he have any poll numbers?”

Paul: “Excuse me, Mr. Trump. This is my time. I think there are many factors causing the bad economy. It’s the shrinking price of oil. … We’re not engaged in negotiations with other countries. …”

Gov. Mike Huckabee: “My goodness, Rand, that’s why no one will vote for you. Look, I am the only Christian conservative, former pastor, former governor of Arkansas who has been fighting the Clintons all my life.”

Moderator: “Gov. Huckabee, we did not call on you, and you interrupted Mister Paul.”

Huckabee: “Your remarks are an attack on Christian freedom, my First Amendment rights and another case of liberal bias in the media.”

Moderator: “I apologize if I offended you, Gov. Huckabee. Sen. Rubio, what can you tell us about your foreign policy?”

Sen. Marco Rubio: “My parents came here from Cuba. My father was a bartender, and my mom was a hotel maid. I am young and know what is needed.”

Moderator: Okay, what about your plans to ignite the economy?

Rubio: “My parents came here from Cuba. My father was a bartender, and my mom was a hotel maid. I am young and know what is needed.”

Trump: “So what? They’re all losers.”

Gov. Jeb Bush: “Will someone shut him up? I can’t think and focus when he’s like that. But, you know, I am tough. I am the tough Bush. Are our podiums the same height?”

Moderator: “Gov. Kasich give us your thoughts on the economy.”

Gov. John Kasich: “It’s about #%## time you got to me. I am the only person here with any #$% sense. My state is the only one that has done anything in the past several years. We’ve solved everything!”

Sen. Ted Cruz: “Since you didn’t call on me, I want to jump in and say that I oppose almost everything and that I am a Christian conservative, too.

Moderator: Thanks, folks. That ends our debate.

Audience member: “Did you know that Trump, Fiorino, Rubio and Kasich are Obama liberals and have had dinner at the White House? Millions of taxpayer dollars were used to break bread with Obama.”

Moderator: “Sorry, Mr. Vitter. You’re at the wrong debate!”

Edward Pratt, a south Louisiana freelance writer, can be reached at epratt1972@yahoo.com.