Without a doubt, this was the best debate. It was nice to focus on the policy without the moderators making everything all about Trump.
Donald Trump – Turns out he was the big winner of the night. Assuming that he maintains the support of 1/3rd of the people, His followers are very loyal, so it is going to be hard for someone to take support away from him. The big worry tonight was that Cruz would make use of Trump’s absence to demolish him. Instead, Ted overplayed his hand and fell flat. The only danger of the night resolved, Trump won.
Ted Cruz – He had a golden opportunity, and started off well. But then he started complaining about how everyone was out to get him. He came across as whiney and weak. He attempted to turn it into a joke at Trump’s expense, and it fell flat. This is very much like Jeb’s demand for Trump’s apology. I don’t think it’s fatal, but it ruined what could have been a very good night. He made a very good recovery on the immigration question. He did a good job on ethanol in a state that makes a lot of money on ethanol.
Marco Rubio – Good showing for the Senator. He came across as positive and earnest. Rand savaged him early. Rand is Rubio’s counterpoint. Liberty vs Security. And like all such discussions, it turns out that security is merely an illusion and falls apart when Liberty is talking. He does a good job of trying to deny he supported amnesty considering how many clips show that he pretty much supports amnesty. He is doing a good job of brining energy to his message. That’s going to help him.
Ben Carson – Fantastic opening for Ben Carson. He is speaking with a resolute tone of voice, and his message of Truth resonates as all messages of Truth does. He gets so little screen time. He gives great answers! Loved his answer about 1 in 10 being a terrorist coming into your home. Carson did a great job with the hardest question of the night regarding Putin invading Baltic states. I think he had the most striking closing statement.
Jeb Bush – He is a statist. He wants expanded war powers. He also wants to bring Puerto Rico into the union, which is Krazi! Why on Earth would we bring in an economic unpowered house full of crime? He is chained to his past record, and that’s not a good record to be on. I like how he dumps on Rubio on amnesty when he like amnesty. Here’s the truth. If you “give a path to citizenship,” the Democrats will attempt to “acceletrate the process.” It will be a “one time thing” that will happen the NEXT time we have millions of “undocumented workers.” If he thinks he would be Clinton, he is delusional. Nothing would motivate Democrats more than running against Bush.
Rand Paul – He makes great arguments. It is a shame that his presentation is so low-energy. He did some great work regarding “criminal reform.” He had a lot of good points. He did a great job on the abortion question. I do believe he is the only one that could balance the budget.
Chris Christie – It annoys me that he always sounds pretty good even though I believe that he is an imperial scumbag that would take a lot of vacations and have Bruce Springsteen to the White House. Really good answer on Planned Parenthood. That really gains him some ground. I will say that he gets a bad rap on Bridge-gate. He fired the people. As such, I believe him. This is the key principal difference between him and Obama with his scandals.
John Kasich – He seems to be speaking in platitudes tonight. I think it’s because no one likes his plans. Great…government equals charity…this is why I don’t like him. Did Bret listen to Kasich at all on the Iran question? Weird. I mean…he is boring, but that is Bret’s only job, isn’t it?
Long Live the Constitution!