I have just finished live tweeting the GOP Main Debate that aired on CNN this evening. Here is my post-mortem.
John Kasich – The only memorable thing he said is that we ought to punch the Russians in the nose. We need to do considerably more than that and Kasich needs to do considerably more if he wants to be competitive in this race.
Carly Fiorina – She had her moments as when she reminded that if parents and businesses have access to social media then why can’t the government look at the social media posts of terrorists who threaten to harm America. But she seemed flustered and repeatedly tried to interject herself into the debate without much success.
Marco Rubio – A strong debate performance as usual. He came under attack throughout the evening by his Senate colleagues Ted Cruz and Rand Paul who insisted on calling him Marco and likening him to Chuck Schumer. Rubio came away in those exchanges as the adult in the room.
Ben Carson – Not a bad outing, but not a great outing either. He peaked too soon and I don’t think he is going to ascend back to frontrunner status.
Donald Trump – The man gave absolutely incoherent answers on shutting down the Internet and claimed that Russia and Iran were fighting ISIS (when in fact they are attacking the rebels we support). He also bizarrely claimed CNN was giving him too much attention. Poor Donald. he also said with a straight face that he respected the Republican leadership. Yet people love him. Jeb Bush got off a good line about not being able to insult your way to the presidency. But the numbers speak for itself. Trump is defying the odds and there’s no reason that is going to change anytime soon.
Ted Cruz – While it is great that Cruz is fearless about going after radical Islamic terrorism, he seemed even more eager to go after Rubio. Despite his best efforts to link Rubio to Obama, Hillary, Chuck Schumer and even Saul Alinsky it made him look desperate. Meanwhile he virtually ignored Trump (and Trump returned the favor). Sounds like Cruz is angling to be Trump’s VP pick. That maniac.
Jeb Bush – With every debate he gets better but better isn’t good enough. He did get off a couple of good lines against Trump such as when he said Trump couldn’t insult his way to the presidency and that he wasn’t sure if Trump got his information from the Saturday or Sunday morning shows. Unfortunately for Bush, Republicans have tuned him out.
Chris Christie – The New Jersey Governor returned from his demotion to last month’s undercard debate with a solid debate performance. When Rand Paul asserted that Christie wanted to start WWIII and made reference to Bridgegate, Christie swatted him away like a fly. At one point, Christie called President Obama “a feckless weakling.” Somehow I don’t think Christie used this language with Obama during Hurriacne Sandy.
Rand Paul – It sounded like he was fighting a cold. Instead of taking Tylenol or Advil, it appears that Paul took some snark pills. He spent most of the evening tearing into Rubio and to a lesser extent into Trump and Christie. Such attacks aren’t very effective when you only have 12 people in the audience cheering your every move.
CNN – I did get exasperated when Wolf Blitzer said two hours into the debate that we had only just begun. Still, CNN isn’t as bad as CNBC, but not as good as FOX or the FOX Business Network.
Speaking of the FOX Business Network, the next GOP Debate takes place on FBN on January 14, 2016 from North Charleston, South Carolina.
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