The frontrunners went unharmed while Jeb Bush continues to flop. Here are the winners and losers of the Fox Business Republican Debate.
Winners and Losers:
1). Donald Trump – Trump didn’t blow up, but he also skated through another debate unscathed. Trump hit all of his talking points. All immigrants are bad and need to be sent away. The wall that he is going to be build will be great. Trump loves the military.
2). Ben Carson – Carson did his usual thing. He spoke softly and floated under the radar. While the Republican candidates were busy bickering with each other, Carson was standing on stage keeping his lead with Republican primary voters intact.
3). Marco Rubio – Rubio knows how to toss out the red meat like more defense spending along with sounding pro-family by increasing tax credits. Rand Paul called out Rubio for trying to add a trillion dollars in unpaid-for entitlements, but Rubio called Paul an isolationist while waving the flag and proclaiming that America is strong when the military is strong.
4). Ted Cruz – Cruz got a lot of time to talk. He had many applause lines from the crowd. Cruz’s plan to position himself as the anti-establishment candidate in case Carson and Trump implode appears to be working. The problem with Cruz’s scheme is that if Carson and Trump don’t flop, Sen. Cruz will be left on the outside looking in. Cruz keeps doing his thing, which is good enough to get him into the winner’s column after this debate, but his path to the nomination remains blocked by Trump and Carson.
1). Jeb Bush – The conventional wisdom was that Bush needed a big debate performance. What the nation witnessed was Jeb vanishing before their eyes. The invisible shrinking former frontrunner was a non-factor in the debate. He sarcastically thanked Donald Trump for letting him speak, and then was never heard from again. Bush’s new strategy is to position himself as the candidate who can beat Hillary Clinton. The problem for Bush is that the voters in his party want red meat and ideological purity, not a candidate who can win in November. Bush and Kasich tried to defend their party from the right’s immigrant hate, but their arguments fell on deaf ears as the Bush candidacy has all but evaporated.
2). John Kasich – Kasich tried to play the fellow sane Republican, but his party isn’t interested in the idea of appealing to low-wage workers and not booting all immigrants out of the country. Kasich and Bush were out of step with the other candidates
3). Rand Paul – Paul stung on Donald Trump when Trump was rambling about China and TPP and Paul pointed out that China is not a part of TPP. Paul tried to discredit Rubio as a conservative and was hit with age-old Republican put down that Paul is an isolationist. There just isn’t any room in this race for Rand Paul. Sen. Paul tried to be both insider and outsider by forging an agreement with Mitch McConnell to court party insiders while maintaining the family brand. The problem is that Paul is running in the year of the Republican political novice. The battle in the GOP is between the novices and insiders. Paul is a man without a constituency, which is why his bid for the White House has flopped.
4). Carly Fiorina – Fiorina was consistently lost in the shuffle. Her fifteen minutes of fame after she did well at the first Republican kiddie table debate feels like an eternity ago. The Republican race appears to have stabilized, and Fiorina is nowhere close to the top-tier. She is an outsider who acts and sounds like an insider, which means that she probably has little upward mobility in this Republican primary.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a 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