CNN put on the worst Republican debate of the year by allowing four hopeless Republican candidates to beat the drums of war while offering a return to the bad old days of George W. Bush.
None of the four going nowhere Republicans agreed with Donald Trump’s plan to ban Muslims. Mike Huckabee drew big cheers by saying that he would rather have Donald Trump as president than Hillary Clinton or President Obama.
All of the Republicans supporting spying on mosques. Huckabee, “If Islam is as wonderful and peaceful as they say, shouldn’t they be begging us to come in and bring the FBI to listen in?”
Rick Santorum played into Republican paranoia by saying that the terror watch list is secret so everybody should be allowed to buy a gun.
In all honesty, there is no point in recapping what these un-fantastic four were discussing because they are going nowhere fast.
The fact that the mention of Donald Trump got the biggest applause lines spoke volumes about where this Republican race stands. What passed for sanity in this debate was Lindsey Graham suggesting that Republicans shouldn’t go after Islam but, instead, get into a new boots on the ground war to kill the extremists. Graham warned that the terrorists are coming to America to kill us all, and promised to kill anyone who joins ISIL.
Huckabee wanted to deploy a full-scale war involving ground and air power to kill every terrorist that we can to defeat ISIS ideologically. Lindsey Graham wanted to knock ISIS offline and promised that anybody who pledged their faith to ISIS online can’t get married.
The Republican position on ISIL was to repeat the word kill. Lindsey Graham said that there must be boots on the ground in Syria and if you don’t understand that you aren’t ready to be Commander In Chief.
Santorum sanely replied that ISIS wants US ground troops in Syria. Graham shot back another version of killing everyone.
Lindsey Graham claimed that ISIS is planning another 9/11 and that we are running out of time. George Pataki said that US troops need to be sent in to defeat ISIS.
Huckabee revived the lie that President Obama cut the military when in reality it was the Republicans’ beloved sequester that is responsible for the military cuts.
Santorum went off the crazy bridge and began babbling about theocracy, and called out the elements in the party (Cruz and Paul) that he claimed don’t want to defeat ISIS.
Later, Lindsey Graham admitted that he missed George W. Bush and claimed that America wouldn’t be in this mess Bush was still president. Graham also said that he was tired of beating on George W. Bush and that he blames Obama not Bush for ISIL.
Winners and Losers:
No one won –
Three of the four Republican candidates will probably all be out of the race after the Iowa caucuses, and there was absolutely no reason for this debate to exist. None of these candidates are going to experience a surge in support and reach the main debate stage. The debate was a rating grab by CNN, who padded the program with a debate that didn’t need to happen, nobody needed to see it, and it meant nothing in the big picture.
1). Lindsey Graham – Sen. Graham used the word kill almost once a minute. Nearly every answer from Lindsey Graham featured the word kill. The Republican Party’s blood lust for more American troops on the ground was personified by Graham, who showed that his entire foreign policy is based on more war, more death, and more American troops being sent to fight overseas. Graham summed up how wrong his policies are by openly pining for George W. Bush during the debate.
2). George Pataki – Pataki has been hopelessly dull in each of the kiddie table debates that he has participated in. Who would have thought that a completely forgettable governor is also a completely forgettable presidential candidate.
3). Mike Huckabee – It is clear that Huckabee is using these debates for PR. Huckabee has no chance of winning anything, but by being a presidential candidate, he is guaranteeing that he will make more money from the Republican rubes after his sham campaign ends.
4). Rick Santorum – There is absolutely no point to Rick Santorum’s campaign, and his presence on a national debate stage is why these debates need to stop.
5). CNN – If anybody thought the first Fox Business JV debate was boring, the CNN debate made that snoozefest look like a thrill ride. There was nothing vital about this debate. The debate was a ratings grab pure and simple. The American people are starting to see through this empty filler, which is why hopefully the CNN debate will be the last of two-part Republican debates.
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