The first republican national debate was held last night at the Ohio Arena in Cleveland hosted by FOX news.
There were 3 moderators and 10 candidates with questions for 2 hours. I’ll comment on the under-card 7 remaining candidates who didn’t make the “top 10” event below. But there is a few that need some attention and I’ll get to them later.
First of all I do agree that there are a lot of candidates. However, with this number of candidates you get a great many choices. Something the democrats do NOT have is choice at least for now Hillary is it. Advantage Republicans. This is no clown car that the media and the left is trying to portray them.
Okay let’s get to it….
Trump: He wanted to come off as the outsider private sector expert who has all the answers on how to fix things. He came off as an inexperienced buffoon who is pandering to stay afloat. Which brings me to my comparison to Obama. Obama was successful because he was everything to everybody, intent is just as good as results candidate. Trump is trying to be that kind of candidate but he just can’t get outside himself and deliver. He will fade but I don’t think he’ll go gentle into that good night. I for one am surprised of the success of Trump but I do agree with him that republican leadership has failed to deliver the results we elected them for. Trump is out for Trump like Hillary is only out for Hillary. His poll numbers will drop but he’ll be the front runner for a while. He’ll last into the new year but he will not be the nominee. Comments as I was watching Trump: Pandering, Jokes to deflect, not politically correct, plays the victim
Bush: Yes we all understand that you’re not your brother. But your problem is your brother which is something the public may not get over. However, you are the establishment candidate with the biggest war chest outside of Trump. Bush stumbled on the question of the Iraq war and would you support it knowing what you know now. He looked weak like he didn’t want to hurt his families feelings while trying to be strong. Didn’t work. Like it or not he’s an open boarder, common core guy. I don’t think his record in Florida which is a good record of tax cutting and job growth will be enough for true conservatives to support him. Bush looked uneasy at times but that could be because he hasn’t debated is a long time. He’ll get stronger over time and might even be the nominee (Hope Not) Comments as I was watching Bush: Hey look at me I’m a conservative. Hey look at me I’m not my brother, empty, uneasy and bored.
Walker: I like Walker and I think he would make a good president. He was solid last night and gave good answers. He looked directly at the camera trying to make a connection with the viewers at home, something the other candidates didn’t bother to do. However, he really did nothing to make himself stand out from a crowded field. He has a strong conservative record. He defunded planned parenthood 4 years ago so he’s ahead of the curve there. He cut unemployment and gave workers choice. He gave local school boards power to make financial decisions saving tax payers money. He’s been fully vetted because of his three elections. He’s appealing as a collage drop out with middle class beginnings. Hillary will have a tough time trying to exploit the drop out issue. Walker will be a top contender for a long time and may be able to best Jeb for the nominee. Comments on Walker: Solid, concise, America needs to be a leader again.
Huckabee: Had his chance but is hoping to capture the Christian vote and stay in it for as long as he can. Huckabee is too much of a smooth talker for my liking. Very anti-abortion to the point of using the equal protection and due process clauses of the constitution to stop abortions. Huck looked and acted angry as a way to convey leadership. To me he looked like an angry old man who doesn’t understand what’s going on all he knows is that he doesn’t like it. I do like the fair tax on consumption as part of his platform. The tax code desperately needs to be reformed and I like that Huck is at least addressing it. But that’s all I like about him so far. Comments on Huck: Old, out of touch, Angry.
Carson: It’s hard not to like Carson. He’s smart, soft spoken and not a politician and has a great back story. However, he does not have a chance of being president. Carson would make a great head of health and human services under the next republican president. He has lack of depth on foreign affairs and I cannot see him squaring off against Putin and coming out ahead. He has a 3 level flat fax proposal that I want to hear more about. Carson finished strong but I see him dropping down to the second tier candidates by the end of the year and out shortly after Iowa. Comments on Carson: soft spoken, confidant, outsider.
Cruz: I really like Cruz. He would destroy Hillary in a debate. Cruz is my pick to restoring the republic. The firewalls put in place by the framers have all but been burning down by Obama and Cruz would be the best to get the country re-attached to the constitution. He is a true conservative and just for the fact that the republican leadership in the senate is afraid of him is a plus for me. He has put the constitution and the betterment of the country in front of party and that says to me he’d make a great president. I think he truly gets that the president is a temporary steward of the constitution and not a rock star who looks to Hollywood for affirmation when things get tough. I did notice that Cruz did not get a lot of questions to the point that I thought he was shut out of the debate for a good 30+ minutes. If Trump drops out Cruz will likely gain his supporters. So that being said I think he has a strong chance to be it to the end. Comments on Cruz: Smart, truthful, insider-outsider within his own party, fighter.
Rubio: I think Rubio can balance the establishment and conservative mantle and be a great president. He has a great back story as a son of immigrants to a run for the white house. He is optimistic and future thinking and portrays America as we have better days to come. Kind of Reagan like love of country. Rubio looked strong without looking angry like Huck did. He is a conservative but his immigration bill may haunt him going into the primaries. I think he may be a great running mate as well to a Walker or Perry (more on him later). Rubio is young but that is not a bad thing. Republicans needs a youth make over and Rubio may be able to make that happen. He’s in it for the long run and I see him moving up in the polls as time goes on. Comments of Rubio: Future looking, solid, strong, young, go the distance.
Paul: He’s getting lost on a big field. He’s tried to brand himself and a “New Kind of Republican” . I though he was just fighting for attention. His dust up with Christie was all for show. He’s dropping in the polls and he needed to do something to grab some headlines but it’s not going to be enough to win the nomination. What I didn’t like about his performance last night is that he looked down after each his statements like he was pissed that he didn’t get more time or he knows that it’s already over for him and he just needs to say it out load and be done with it. He’ll be in for a while but he’ll most likely be out by this time next year. Comments on Paul: fighting for attention, loud, pissed off.
Christie: He had his chance and he hugged it away in 2012. He was confident, invoking 9/11 several times. Said hey although my state still sucks I did the best I could in a democratically controlled state. Sorry but if your president are you going to blame the opposing party for not being able to deliver results? We’re still dealing with an intent president with no results blamer now. Why would we want another one? Answer is we don’t. He did have a notice me, I’m loud so notice me thing going. I think Christie will start to drop quickly and move to the under card by years end and out by next year. Comments on Christie: Confident, notice me, 9/11, empty
Kasich: Is running for vice president. He has no chance of winning the nomination but he did stand out in a few of his remarks last night. He did support gay marriage saying if my child was gay I would love them just the same. Good for him. Kasich was ok but he had the home field advantage so he probably wasn’t as strong as he was portraying last night. He’ll do well on the east coast in maybe one or two primaries but that’s it. He’ll drop eventually and hope he gets picked as someone’s VP. Comments on Kasich: Okay but lack luster
Winners: Rubio, Cruz, Walker, Carson
Losers: Bush , Trump*, Huck, Kasich, Christie, Paul
**********UNDER-CARD DEBATE EARLIER IN THE DAY***************
I’ll be brief……
The audience was pretty much nonexistent which is sad. Like it or not one of these people on either stage will be the next republican nominee so show up and listen.
On the plus side there was no audience to play off of for the candidate had to stand or fall without support. So in that respect I liked it.
Perry: Folksy, rusty, stronger later on, should be in the main debates given his record, may be too late for him to catch up.
Fiorina: Strong, confidant, Like Perry I wanted to hear more from her, should also be on the main stage
Santorum: Blue-collar champion, too little too late, Huck has all the Christians, should drop soon
Jindal: impressed, small government, wants to be a change agent, maybe VP material
Graham: out of his element, bored, shut up, goof ball, go away, please drop ASAP
Pataki: Why, should have never decided to run in the first place, running for a cabinet position
Gilmore: Who, why, bye bye.
Winners: Fiorina, Perry
Losers: Gilmore, Pataki, Santorum
Big Loser: Graham
I truly feel the Republicans are the best suited to win in 2016 than they have been for the last 2 cycles. This is the strongest lineup with ex governors, sitting governors, ex senators, sitting senators, successful private citizens. There is something for everyone in this group of candidates.
Democrats have Hillary that’s it.
Next debate 9/16.
Until the next time...