I just watched the GOP Town Hall Megyn Kelly hosted with four of the five Republican presidential candidates excluding Donald Trump (who didn’t want to be there) in Houston.
Not surprisingly, Ted Cruz enjoyed a hometown advantage and seemed the most at ease he’s been in weeks.
Marco Rubio, appearing via satellite, still found a way to connect with the audience.
But the most interesting exchange of the evening took place between Kelly and John Kasich who was also appearing via satellite. Kasich claimed that he could beat both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Kelly wasn’t buying it. Kasich then filibustered. When Kelly cut him off reminding him he was there to answer voter questions, he defensively declaredd, “Fine! Have it your way.”
At one point, an audience member asked Kasich which of the Founding Fathers he admired the most. Kasich replied it was George Washington because he knew when it was time to leave. Too bad Kasich can’t follow that advice.
By contrast, Ben Carson (who appeared on stage with Kelly) wasn’t bragging about being able to beat Trump or Hillary. He was engaging and pleasant and reminded you why he was briefly at the top of the polls.
But I knew there would be trouble the moment he said he spent a whole hour talking about foreign policy at a town hall meeting and said ask him anything. Kelly asked him to state the difference between Sunni and Shia Islam. Carson actually replied that Shia Islam was more secular. Tell that to the people of Iran. In its simplest terms, the schism between Sunni and Shia Islam concerns the question of succession following the death of Muhammad. Sunnis believe Muhammad is the Messenger of God and there is nothing to be added while Shiites believe Ali was chosen as Muhammad’s successor.
As my roomie Christopher Kain put it, “Thank you for coming out to play.”
John Kasich and Ben Carson do have things to offer to the public, but their offerings are better suited in a venue other than the White House.
Tomorrow night the candidates (including Trump) will convene in Houston to debate on CNN.
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