I have just concluded watching the CNN/Telemundo GOP debate which was held in Houston this evening. Here are my three observations of the proceedings.
1. Rubio & Cruz Landed Punches on Trump But They Didn’t Kill Him & What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger
Both Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz had their moments in this debate and landed punches on Donald Trump. While Rubio isn’t a natural atttack dog, he did make Trump look bad when he pointed out that Trump was repeating himself that he would eliminate state lines on health insurance when asked if there was any other component to his health insurance plan. Cruz did an effective job at on pressing him on the release of his tax returns. Trump did look tired as the debate wore on and was on the ropes, but neither of them delivered a knockout punch. Even though Trump looks silly when he sas he can balance the budget by eliminating waste, fraud and abuse and says he can’t treat Israel like the good guy in the Middle East and buys into the Left’s narrative on Planned Parenthood, he was still standing at the end of the evening. A critical mass of Republicans is accepting what Trump says at face value no matter how ludicrous the substance of his argument is and if that is the case then Rubio and Cruz’s two-frontal assault will be for naught. The debate will only be fruitful to Rubio and Cruz if they can win some of the Super Tuesday states and in Cruz’s case win outside of Texas.
2. John Kasich Actually Had a Pretty Good Debate
The Ohio Governor probably had his best debate of the campaign. A lot of it had to do with the fact that no one else on stage was paying attention to him. The only time he was acknowledged was when Trump briefly mentioned that Ohio had benefited with fracking, but Kasich came up with a reasonably good response and Trump didn’t press the matter further. Of course, at this point, Trump gains nothing by attacking Kasich.
It will be interesting to see if Kasich is looked at in a new light because he managed to stay out of the fray and gave reasonable answers on questions ranging from religious liberty to North Korea. I tend to doubt it, but funnier things have happened.
3. Ben Carson Says, “Someone, Please Attack Me.”
As usual, Carson was ignored for long stretches during the debate. That’s bad enough when there are 10 people on stage, but it’s horrible when it’s down to five. At one point, Carson made reference to fruit salad. Carson could have eaten that fruit salad on the debate stage without being interrupted by Wolf Blitzer.
While Carson saying, “Someone, please attack me,” was the funniest line of the debate it underscored the futility of his campaign. The good doctor ought to euthanize his campaign.
The next GOP debate takes place one week from today in Detroit (and two days after Super Tuesday) and will air on FNC. Will Trump boycott this debate to avoid Megyn Kelly yet again? The last time he did that it cost him Iowa. It would be logical if he didn’t make the same mistake twice, but Trump and logic aren’t mutually exclusive.