Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Winners and losers in tonight's Republican debate
Bush, seeking to regain his footing and become the alternative to non-establishment candidates like Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina, set out to nail his fellow Floridian Sen. Marco Rubio in tonight's debate and it backfired big time.
Bush quoted a Florida newspaper that criticized Rubio for missing so many votes in the Senate and called for him to resign his Senate seat. Rubio noted that the same newspaper had failed to criticize John McCain and Barack Obama and had never called for them to resign and turned the question around on Bush.
After that, Bush vanished into the woodwork.
It was reported that Bush donors were holding back on signing the checks unless he had a strong performance in tonight's debate.
And he wasn't alone.
Chris Christie- For the second straight debate, the New Jersey governor was at the top of his game. He had one of the best one-liners in the debate when he was continually being interrupted by the CNBC moderators and said, "Even in New Jersey, what you're doing is called rude." Christie also eviscerated the moderators for a question about fantasy sports, pointing out all of the serious problems the nation was facing. "And you're asking a question about fantasy sports."
Mike Huckabee- While the former Arkansas governor is not the media darling he was in 2008, he differentiated himself from his opponents with an impassioned plea for maintaining Medicare and Social Security and the innovative idea of tackling the health care problem in the country by declaring a war on heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer's. Huckabee noted that such a war was declared on polio in the 1950s and now no money has to be spent on that disease. It is unlikely that he is going to be the GOP nominee, but he did nothing to put himself in danger of being the next one to be eliminated.
Marco Rubio- Rubio was prepared for everything that was thrown at him, ranging from Jeb Bush's slam to questions about his personal finances. Bush hoped to displace Rubio as the alternative to the outsiders, but the Florida senator seems firmly entrenched in that position.
Ted Cruz- Cruz solidified his position as the insider/outsider by noting how he had stood up to the people in his own party. He also got in a few good attacks on the media.
Jeb Bush- Three debates and he has shown nothing.
Carly Fiorina- The former Hewlett-Packard CEO has fallen a long way since her triumphant performance in the last debate. After an initial bump in the polls, she vanished. I was surprised to learn that she actually had more speaking time than any of the candidates tonight. She certainly did not use it well. Nothing she said stood out and her time at Hewlett-Packard was torn apart by a CNBC questioner.
Ben Carson- It probably will not hurt him, but he really had no good answers for any of the questions.
CNBC- A debate on economics with the business station serving as moderators and those were the best questions they could come up with.
Joe Buck and Harold Reynolds- I was turning it back and forth between the debate and the World Series. Is there a more smug announcer in sports than Joe Buck or a worse one than Harold Reynolds.?
Donald Trump- Same as Ben Carson. Trump was Trump, so it probably won't hurt him a bit, but he had some terrible answers, mainly coming down to the idea that things will get better if he is elected because he is so much better than everyone else.
John Kasich- His answers were not bad, but I am sick of hearing him say the same thing over and over. This is what he did in Florida and he balanced the budget when he was in the Senate. Say it once or twice, John and then hint at it the rest of the time.
Rand Paul- Rand Paul was given the least time to speak of any of the candidates, but was able to maintain his Libertarian philosophy in the little time he was given. I do not put him with the losers, though I have already heard the pundits say it is time for him to get out of the race. I fully expect that while the other candidates have been getting the publicity (and the speaking time), Paul has been using the same approach his father took, organizing and preparing to make strong showings in the caucus states. Ron Paul was able to stay in the race until the end in 2012. In this race, that type of strategy could give Rand Paul staying power.