The Republican Party continued its march towards 2016 failure tonight. Here are the winners and losers, and the five reasons to be glad that you didn’t watch the CNN Republican debate.
1). Donald Trump Eats Scott Walker Alive
Scott Walker tried to attack Donald Trump by claiming that Trump is a bad business person. Drop dropped some facts about what Walker has done to Wisconsin’s economy. Walker accused Trump of using Democratic talking points, and Trump said that facts aren’t talking points. Trump said that once voters in Iowa found out about Walker’s economic record, he fell in the polls. Kasich tried to play the moderate and said that voters don’t want this fighting. Chris Christie tried to say that he is the REAL outsider. The whole debate has descended into a cluster fudge in the first segment.
2). Jeb Bush Really Wants America To Forget About His Brother’s Failed Presidency
Jeb Bush claimed that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have ruined the world, and it will take a steady foreign policy hand like Jeb Bush to save our foreign policy. Jeb is apparently hoping that no one remembers the last Bush “steady hand” who was in charge of American foreign policy. Bush later claimed that Trump tried to buy him, and Trump dominated the former Republican frontrunner.
3). Jeb Bush Couldn’t Be Strong In Demanding An Apology For His Wife
CNN’s Dana Bash asked Jeb Bush about Trump’s comments about his wife, and the former Republican frontrunner offered one of the weakest demands for an apology in the modern history of debates. Bush asked are you going to apologize to my wife? Trump looked at his wife. He called her a lovely lady, then refused to apologize because he said that he had said nothing wrong. The topic turned to Trump’s comments about speaking English, and Bush showed a little backbone by saying that he was going to show Spanish speakers respect by answering their questions in Spanish.
4). According To Republicans, Democrats Don’t Want To Solve The Immigration Problem
Donald Trump and the other Republicans claimed that Democrats don’t want to solve the immigration issue. Last year, the Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill that Speaker John Boehner refused to bring to the floor for a vote. President Obama wants immigration reform. Democrats in Congress want immigration reform. Democrats worked with former President George W. Bush to pass immigration reform. The idea that Democrats don’t want to solve the immigration crisis was the biggest Republican lie of the night.
5). Trump Tells Jeb Bush That His Brother Gave Us Barack Obama
Jeb Bush tried to bring up that Trump thought that Hillary Clinton would be a good negotiator with Iran. Trump responded to Bush that his brother gave us Barack Obama. Bush seemed stunned for a moment and then said that his brother kept America safe. Bush conveniently ignored that it was on his brother’s watch that intelligence was ignored, and al-Queda attacked the U.S. on 9/11.
Winners and Losers:
1). John Kasich – Kasich officially passed Jeb Bush as the Republican establishment’s best hope. It will be a surprise if Kasich isn’t a serious contender to be on the Republican ticket if the party stops Trump. Speaking of Trump….
2). Donald Trump – Trump ate Scott Walker alive when Walker came after him, and he easily swatted away Rand Paul. Jeb Bush tried to bring more energy, but he was no match for Trump. Donald Trump didn’t commit any gaffes, and he commanded the stage. Unless Trump stops himself, there was no one on the stage tonight who looked capable of stopping him.
3). Ben Carson – Ben Carson flew under the radar. Nobody attacked him, and he didn’t attack anyone. His tone and personality were the anti-Trump. Carson did nothing memorable, but he also did nothing to hurt his chances. Carson is clearly the alternative to Trump.
1). Marco Rubio – Rubio was invisible all night. Except for explaining why speaking Spanish was not a bad thing, Sen. Rubio was invisible. There is no room in the field for Rubio, and this debate was a microcosm of why his campaign is failing.
2). Carly Fiorina – Fiorina was sucked into the Trump black hole. She allowed herself to get into an ego driven fight with Trump over who had the better business career. Fiorina had her chance on the big stage and didn’t take the next step to get to the upper tier of candidates. Fiorina’s main appeal is that she attacks Hillary Clinton, but she really is not a good candidate.
3). Rand Paul – Paul’s campaign has fallen flat on its face. Paul thought he could appeal to establishment Republicans while keeping his father’s supporters. Paul has managed to alienate both, and the result has been an identity less candidate that doesn’t stand out on the stage.
4). Mike Huckabee – Huckabee didn’t belong on the debate stage and was largely ignored for most of the evening.
5). Ted Cruz – Ted Cruz is out to promote himself, and is running the strategy of buddying up to Trump, so that if the Republican frontrunner self-destructs he will be in position to take his supporters. Time is running out for Cruz, as his candidacy has been suffocated by Trump.
6). Scott Walker – Walker came out trying to challenge Trump and got demolished. From that moment on, Walker was irrelevant. Scott Walker doesn’t have the strength of personality or the charisma to compete with Donald Trump. Walker’s dozens of flip-flops on the issues have killed him with Republican voters. Walker has to do well in Iowa, and New Hampshire or his campaign will be over.
7). Jeb Bush – Where to begin with Jeb Bush? Bush tried to show more “energy”, but it looked forced. His scripted confrontation with Donald Trump over Trump’s comments about his wife backfired as Trump refused to apologize to her. Republicans are worried that Jeb Bush is soft. Tonight, Jeb Bush demonstrated that he is a bland blob of oatmeal that is completely incapable of stopping Trump.
8). Chris Christie – Christie had a nice moment when reminded Trump and Fiorina that nobody cares about their business careers, but the New Jersey governor isn’t connecting. Bridgegate destroyed Christie, and it just a matter of time before he drops out.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association