I enjoyed last night’s debate. I thought that CNBC did a better job than CNN with the Republicans, but I still think Anderson Cooper was the best moderator in any debate in this election cycle to date. While the moderators last evening didn’t ask many questions of the candidates that lead them to attack each other (it was done), the questions they asked were just ridiculous. It all started with “What is your biggest weakness?”, which is just a moronic question in my opinion. It didn’t end there however.
- HARWOOD: Mr. Trump, you’ve done very well in this campaign so far by promising to build a wall and make another country pay for it. Send 11 million people out of the country. Cut taxes $10 trillion without increasing the deficit. And make Americans better off because your greatness would replace the stupidity and incompetence of others. Let’s be honest. Is this a comic book version of a presidential campaign?
- HARWOOD (to Governor Kasich) : I’m about to ask you about this.
That is, you had some very strong words to say yesterday about what’s happening in your party and what you’re hearing from the two gentlemen we’ve just heard from. Would you repeat it?
- HARWOOD (to Governor Kasich): Well, let’s just get more pointed about it. You said yesterday that you were hearing proposals that were just crazy from your colleagues.
Who were you talking about?
- QUICK: Senator Rubio, you yourself have said that you’ve had issues. You have a lack of bookkeeping skills. You accidentally inter-mingled campaign money with your personal money. You faced (ph) foreclosure on a second home that you bought. And just last year, you liquidated a $68,000 retirement fund. That’s something that cost you thousands of dollars in taxes and penalties.
In terms of all of that, it raises the question whether you have the maturity and wisdom to lead this $17 trillion economy. What do you say?
- QUINTANILLA: Governor Bush, daily fantasy sports has become a phenomenon in this country, will award billions of dollars in prize money this year. But to play you have to assess your odds, put money at risk, wait for an outcome that’s out of your control. Isn’t that the definition of gambling, and should the Federal Government treat it as such?
These are just some of the questions that I believe, more or less, tried to paint them poorly, rather than get them to give their positions. Question one, really? A moderator calling Mr. Trump a “comic book version”? Question two, getting one candidate to attack others. Question three, again, trying to get one candidate to attack other candidates. Question four, again, really? You are questioning a candidate on why he liquidated a personal retirement fund? I’m sorry, I find these questions to be out of line, but as Senator Cruz and Rubio pointed out, it’s all about mainstream media carrying water for the Democratic party. Question five, speaks for itself, and Govenor Christi said it best: “Carl, are we really talking about getting government involved in fantasy football? We have — wait a second, we have $19 trillion in debt. We have people out of work. We have ISIS and al Qaeda attacking us. And we’re talking about fantasy football? Can we stop?” Let me move on to how I personally think the candidates did.
In my opinion, I think that Senator Rubio had the best performance last night, followed closely by Senator Cruz. I reluctantly give third place to Governor Christi, with Ben Carson finishing a close fourth.
I think Senator Marco Rubio stood out as being bright, articulate, and well versed. I like his optimistic view of the country. I thought he hit a home run when he said Bob Graham, a Democrat, missed over 30 percent of his votes, John Kerry missed close to 60 to 70 percent of his votes. Barack Obama missed 60 or 70 percent of his votes, and yet the paper that criticized him didn’t criticize any of those other candidates. He said “So this is another example of the double standard that exists in this country between the mainstream media and the conservative movement.”, and I believe he was absolutely correct. He hit another home run in my opinion, when defended himself against Jeb Bush by saying “The only reason why you’re doing it now is because we’re running for the same position, and someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you.” Bush looked like a fool.
Senator Ted Cruz, my personal favorite, also had a very strong performance last night. His comment about his tax plan, of which taxfoundation.org said, “These changes to the tax code would increase the incentives to work and invest and would greatly increase the U.S. economy’s size in the long run, leading to higher incomes for taxpayers at all income levels.” They also gave another explanation here It was music to my ears. His comment that “This is not a cage match” explaining how the moderators attacked Republicans was brilliant and spot on. When he said about the Democrat debate, “That debate reflected a debate between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks.”, I cheered. He was right.
Governor Christi is not a favorite candidate of mine, which why I said I “reluctantly” give him third place. But he earned it. He did well last night in my view. He didn’t attack his fellow candidates, looked straight into the camera, talking directly to the camera, and his comment showing how ridiculous the questions were when he commented on the fantasy football mimicked what I am sure most people watching the debate were thinking.
Dr. Ben Carson is a brilliant, soft spoken, and decent man. He showed that again last night. His continual insistence on refusing to attack his fellow candidates also demonstrates this. He is passionate about what he believes, and not afraid to speak his true beliefs. I respect that. He really is, in my opinion, the most “unpolitician-like” candidate I’ve ever seen. He comes across as genuine, calm, and resolute. All traits I admire about him. He is the current front runner, and all he needed to do last night was not make mistakes. He accomplished that in my view.
Now, all the rest:
- Mr. Donald Trump – I thought he handled the comic book reference very well, without going overboard in his retaliation. Perhaps he’s learning how to be more civil. Overall, I am not a big fan of a few of his positions, and generally speaking, I find him extremely Un-Presidential. He lacks charm.
- Governor Jeb Bush – Had a horrible showing last night, and his attacking of Marco Rubio was just in very poor form. He tossed a soft ball to Rubio, and Rubio hit it out of the park: he is floundering in the polls, and he’s getting desperate.
- Governor Mike Huckabee – Seems like a very decent man, and had some good things to say last night, but I just don’t see him moving up in the polls.
- Mrs. Carly Fiorina – Had a strong showing in the second debate, but I don’t think she shined last night. She comes across as a little pushy to me. No where near as pushy as Trump, but many times she just starts speaking when not addressed. She did speak well, and is well spoken.
- Senator Rand Paul – I think Rand Paul is probably brilliant, and probably has a lot of good ideas. Unfortunately, I think when speaks, people just don’t understand what is saying, hence he makes no connection with most voters. He has a very loyal following of people who do get him, but I don’t see him moving up in the polls.
- Governor John Kasich – I didn’t like him attacking his fellow Republicans. He seems like a career politician, who seems desperate to show everyone what he has done. While he doesn’t come across as arrogant to me, like Mr. Trump, I don’t like his style.
Senator Cruz, more or less, summed up my opinion perfectly last night, when he said, “The men and women on this stage have more ideas, more experience, more common sense than every participant in the Democratic debate.” But hey, I’m just a cop.
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