It Was a Very Debatey Night

A couple nights ago, Fox Business showed CNBC that doing a serious debate about business and the economy was possible, though perhaps not as exciting as asking questions like, “Kasich, Trump called you a little girl, do you agree?”

A couple quick notes on the debate are as follows:

Trump – The Don was very reserved, and his only real one-liner was directed at Fiorina, which won’t help his image. He did a good job framing the immigration debate as an economic and legal issue, but he’s clearly holding ground and not advancing.

Carson – Carson did OK, but didn’t really do anything different to enlarge his franchise. His one memorable moment was his joke thanking Neil for not asking him what he said in the 10th grade.

Rubio – Marco consistently does well at these debates, explaining his positions simply and with empathy and humor. Rubio definitely helped himself in this debate, but only the polls will tell to what degree.

Cruz – There’s a reason that Ted was a national debate champion in college, and the previous night’s performance was no exception, even if you include his attempt at listing of five government departments that he would eliminate where he listed only three for elimination and one, commerce, for extermination with extreme prejudice. His big moments were in addressing the illegal immigration crisis and defense. Cruz’s stock will definitely rise.

Paul – Rand did better than normal. He was able to shake his image of a scolding school matron and added substantively to the debate. However his attempt at defining a conservative along his own libertarian beliefs of military non-intervention back-fired. Paul lives to fight another day.

Fiorina – Carly sounded fine, as she usually does, but had no real break-out moment. She also survives until the next round.

Bush – Jeb was better than awful. He fumbled a little, failed at scoring points on the illegal immigration issue, and ultimately failed at convincing anybody that he’s the guy. As he won’t quit, it seems that we will all have to watch as his political corpse bleeds out on live TV.

Kasich – John came off as his usual obnoxious self, putting himself in the role of GOP critic rather than party member. Watching his debate performance is like watching slow-motion car-wreck; you know he’s going to crash and burn, but it seems to be taking a lot longer than it should. I think he’s about to hit the wall.

About the under-card debate, the only candidate worth mentioning was Christie, who clearly dominated it. He was so good, that I could almost forgive him for helping Obama get a second term… almost.

Ryan Thorson

Agree? Disagree? Leave your comments below.

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