(mic.com) -- On Thursday evening, the 10 most popular Republican presidential hopefuls in the United States took the stage in Cleveland to share their vision for the future of America.
For two hours they took turns waxing poetic about their love of country and capitalism. Through grand statements about their personal experience, jabs at their competitors and lofty pledges about the future, they did everything they could to present themselves as the most authentic conservative running for the White House. They promised lower taxes, more war, less social spending and an unwavering commitment to the sanctity of life.
But the contest wasn't entirely defined by candidate declaring that they were the reddest of the red. On a number of occasions, the conversation broke from party orthodoxy and struck upon points that you don't typically hear from the mouths of Republicans. In some cases, candidates made these unconventional points in service of an idea that could ultimately be considered conservative, while in others they seemed to wholeheartedly embrace a view that might make them appear a better fit for another party. Either way, they're worth documenting for the sake of understanding the true ideological diversity — and messiness — of Republican thinking today.
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