Thanks again to those of you who followed us at #SpectacleDebate this evening. Here is my post-mortem for this evening’s main debate.
Rand Paul – Donald Trump said Paul had no business being on the stage. As much as I hate to agree, he’s right.
Mike Huckabee – Was largely neglected during the debate, but when he spoke he acquitted himself well on Iran and Kim Davis. However, he simply lacks the broad support necessary to be the GOP nominee.
Marco Rubio – Very strong performance. He knows his stuff, is a beacon of sobriety who is not intimidated by Donald Trump. Don’t count him out.
Ted Cruz – Like Huckabee, he was largely overlooked but spoke well when called upon. He said he regretted his support for John Roberts but he nor any other President can guarantee how a Supreme Court justice on any given case. There’s no guarantee Edith Jones and Mike Luttig wouldn’t have disappointed Cruz if they had been appointed to the SC. As with Huckabee, Cruz cannot appeal beyond conservatives and is too timid where it concerns Trump.
Ben Carson – Where it concerns the merits of vaccines, I will defer to the pediatric neurosurgeon instead of the real estate tycoon. His foreign policy knowledge is weak. Perhaps better suited to becoming the next Surgeon General or Secretary of Health & Human Services in a GOP administration.
Donald Trump – He toned it down a little more in this debate, but he is still a boorish buffoon. However, I don’t think his momentum will be stalled although I do think he now has some competition.
Jeb Bush – He was absolutely awful in the first half of the debate. But he finally landed two punches on Trump – once when he noted that Trump had said Hillary was the right person to be negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran and that President Bush kept us safe after 9/11. He seemed more relaxed afterwards. His joke about his mother being upset about his admission that he smoked marijuana 40 years ago and his Everready nickname even had Trump laughing. He has some life left, but the jury is still very much out on him.
Scott Walker – He was right to say that we shouldn’t believe everything Donald Trump says, but I believe he didn’t better define himself in this debate than he did in the last one.
Carly Fiorina – She has now emerged as Trump’s main competition making him look small concerning his remark about her face. Fiorina connected with the debate audience with her remarks about Planned Parenthood, Iran, the military, our drug laws and her business record despite moderator Jake Tapper’s best efforts to keep her out of the debate.
John Kasich – He just isn’t the same when the debate isn’t in Ohio. His reluctance to end the Iran nuclear deal didn’t help him much either.
Chris Christie – Made the most of his debate performance especially with his intervention during Trump & Fiorina’s confrontation. However, he will need to do a great deal more to win over conservatives skeptical of his embrace of President Obama following Hurricane Sandy in the weeks leading up to the 2012 election.
The next GOP presidential debate is scheduled to air on CNBC on October 28th.
In the meantime, the first Democrat presidential debate will air on CNN on October 13th.
Again, thank you to those of you who followed us on Twitter at #SpectacleDebate.
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