Atlanta, GA - In the commercials before the debate on the FOX Business Network, FBN boasted “CNBC never asked the real questions, never covered the real issues. That's why on Nov. 10, the real debate about our economy and our future is only on Fox Business Network.”
They delivered. Except for one question to Carson about the controversies over his past, a question that was quite necessary, the journalists managed to make the entire debate the most substantive so far.
The venue was probably the most beautiful we’ve seen so far, although the crowd seemed divided, on the one hand-cheering Trump when he promised to uphold the laws passed by congress and signed by presidents that any and all illegal immigrants, wherever they are from, be shipped back, and that our border be secured. However, at the same time the crowd also cheered when Bush said that Trump was being ridiculous.
The biggest winners of the night were once again Cruz and Rubio, but this time Rubio pulled ahead of Cruz to be a clear winner, while the senator from Texas was left holding a lessor place. Rubio seemed completely at ease and prepared, and quite knowledgeable about every subject he was asked. It truly seems that Rubio must have a really fantastic team helping him with debate preparation, and one of the necessities for being president is the ability to pick a good team. A-plus, Marco.
Rubio also got in one of the best lines of the night in defense of the a workable, livable wage, a good deal below 15 dollars an hour, reminding everyone that such a high minimum wage would make humans more expensive than machines.
As for Cruz, he did well, his line about the bible and the tax code didn’t make me laugh, but I will remember it, so that’s something, I guess. His discourse on immigration was also quite powerful, especially when he talked about how if the illegal immigrants were journalists and were lowering the income of that profession, the media would care. And he wouldn't bail out the banks, so that's another good thing.
Cruz continues to do something quite remarkable, that, rise in the polls despite his far right stances and his lack of Trump-like stupidity. We’ll keep watching this guy.
Speaking of Trump…really pal? Everybody was interrupting everybody, that’s why it’s called a debate, and he had to go after the woman. If Trump could have gone after anyone it would have been Kasich, who was by far the worst offender. Trump looked bored on the stage, although to be fair he has said he doesn’t really care about the debates that much. He continues to lead in the polls, nonetheless.
Trump lacked much substance on anything other than immigration, continuing to talk about how “America doesn’t win anymore.” He and Michael Cohen need to have a sit down to come up with some new sound bites. At this rate, Trump will get so old by Iowa that Carson will start to sound exciting.
Carson had his moments, but good and bad. His performance on the whole was mixed, although his response on ISIS sounded confused and unclear. He once again reminded us he has no foreign policy experience and apparently little knowledge of the field. At a time when we are facing such difficulties in foreign relations, and it is clear there can be no on the job training, it is doubtful that Carson’s foreign policy credentials will truly resonate with most voters.
Mrs. Fiorina did a very good job last night, as opposed to her lackluster performance last time around. She was focused and feisty, at times almost sounding like the Iron Lady. Her foreign policy ideas were well worded and thought out. I liked it. If she doesn’t win this thing, (and that looks like a good possibility) she would make an excellent secretary of state.
Jeb Bush’s campaign is like a man who has fallen and bleeding. Last night Bush stopped the bleeding, but the man still has not picked himself up off the ground. It was an okay performance for a man who has showed us he is not a good debater. For those who agreed with him, (and that is not that many GOP primary voters) his answers on immigration were good, but later Bush often came across as some sort of nerd who was in the back of the class crashing the party.
Rand Paul did not win the debate last night, but he finally, finally, came out of his shell. Maybe he fired his last debate prep team and hired a new one, but whatever he did, Paul at last came out swinging. No punches pulled, just him in his comfort zone, real, hard, policy debating. He went after Rubio, calling him “not a conservative” and bashing everyone on the stage for not living in the modern world and becoming a fiscal hardliner. It was his best debate by far and away, and this comes at a time when he is experiencing a small surge in the polls. Who knows, maybe he’ll make it to January.
And now for the big loser of the night. John Kasich. Um…why was there a child throwing a temper tantrum up there? Kasich is supposed to be a governor, not a six year old who didn’t get the cereal she wanted. Kasich kept interrupting, kept getting off topic and being confusing, and in the end got a well-deserved chorus of boos for saying he would bail out the banks again. I certainly hope by the time next debate rolls around Christi, (who by the way won the undercard debate, although Jindal did well) has returned to the big stage and Kasich has left it forever.
The only disappointment for me last night was that Trump turned his sexism on and went after Mrs. Fiorina. I was really hoping he would go after Kasich and expose him for the whining thumb sucker he is. Oh well, maybe next time.
Andrew C. Abbott