Various Thoughts On The GOP Debate Last Night

I was supposed to cover the Fox Business Channel debate for the American Spectator, but at the end of the day they wanted a column from me on Missouri and the state of higher education more. So after watching that thing thinking I was going to do 1000 words on it I was orphaned a little – and therefore you guys get the benefit of my bloviations.

Which I will try to keep short. Because after cranking out that column on Missouri, which will be available for your perusal at the Spectator tomorrow, I’m a little fried for putting out coherent content.

You get a confection of poorly-organized thoughts instead.

– Give Cavuto and Bartiromo all the debates from now on. They were outstanding. Best-moderated debate in a long time.

Reince Priebus, who is often incoherent and unwise in his use of the English language, actually got this spot-on correct…

“Debates need to focus on the issues, and that goal was accomplished tonight. Our candidates, not the moderators, were at the center of tonight’s debate, and they were all treated with fairness and respect. Thanks to a well-run debate, the country was able to see our diverse field of talented and exceptionally qualified candidates exchange ideas for how to reinvigorate the economy and put Americans back to work.

“One of the great things about our party is that we are able to have a dynamic exchange about which solutions will secure a prosperous future. That doesn’t apply to Hillary Clinton and the Democrat field, who would rather continue the same old tired policies that have stalled economic growth during the Obama presidency. Americans want the country to change course. Our candidates offer that change, and Hillary Clinton and the Democrats only bring more of the same.”

– “Why does she keep interrupting everybody?” was a great Trump line. Carly Fiorina is a serial interruptor of other people at GOP debates, though she usually does have something worthwhile to offer when she does it.

John Kasich, on the other hand, squabbles mightily for airtime and then proceeds to waste it by saying nothing any Republican voters are interested in hearing. It’s time to get him off the main debate stage and either down to the kids’ table, or back to Ohio.

– This was good. So very good.

Cruz buried the needle with that answer and put paid to the notion that expressing concerns about illegal immigration makes you a racist or a xenophobe.

He’s doing a lot of work to broaden his appeal to a middle-class audience, and he’s using both immigration and monetary policy issues to do that work. Another example…

He needed, following Cavuto’s question about letting a Bank of America go under, to note that the FDIC would protect depositors’ assets up to $250,000 – so you can absolutely let Bank of America fail while still protecting the depositors. But when Kasich jumped in, the debate then turned ridiculous – he rambled on without actually saying anything and acted as though he would be the guy protecting the depositors rather than the system already in place doing so.

Kasich actually assisted Cruz in positioning himself as the middle-class champion who isn’t in the pocket of the big banks. It wasn’t as clear as it could have been, but that’s how it shook out.

– Another moment for Cruz wasn’t quite the best, but he did managed to do a nice save in the after-action media…

…which brought up comparisons to Rick Perry’s “Oops” moment when giving a similar answer in a 2012 debate. but Cruz’ save, on Megyn Kelly’s show afterward, was perfect…

– Marco Rubio is generally regarded to have been one of the winners of the debate (I think Cruz probably won it, but Rubio certainly did well), but this exchange with Rand Paul was probably a draw at best.

Rubio probably won it on style – Paul comes off as the smartass who can’t understand why nobody wants to vote for him – but Paul is correct that you can’t be talking about giveaways and tax breaks at the same time you’re building up the military. Rubio isn’t talking about what needs to get cut to pay for this stuff, which is understandable but not all that convincing.

But this moment was a clear win for Rubio and the crowd loved it.

– As for Ben Carson, this was less of a closing speech than you’d expect from the frontrunner…

This was a little better…

Joe Cunningham has more. So does Kevin Boyd.



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