John Bolton

John Bolton

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Best Debate Yet for GOP Candidates?

And what a contrast with Fox Business moderators compared to the loons at CNBC!

Just a couple of quick notes on the debate. Rubio did well as usual. He's sharp as a tack though I wonder about his tax plan for child credits which seems to enshrine the current, gimmee, gimmee tax code that most of us despise. Ted Cruz did well too except for one rare slip up where he forgot one of the five agencies he would close (it was the Dept. of Education).

Fiorina gave another strong performance and managed to insert her tagline "We must take our government back" into every answer. At one point she said: "This isn’t about just replacing a Democrat with a Republican now. It’s about actually challenging the status quo of big government."

Donald Trump, aside from one attack on Fiorina, behaved himself though I didn't care for his answer on foreign policy where he seemed to indicate it would be OK if Russia became more involved in the Middle East.

Even Rand Paul had a good night which he certainly needed. His answer on income inequality hit the mark:
PAUL: I think that we ought to look where income inequality seems to be the worst. It seems to be worst in cities run by Democrats, governors of States run by Democrats and countries currently run by Democrats.
Rand Paul didn't seem as desperate to get into the action as he did in prior debates. That role was filled by Ohio Governor John Kasich who frequently interrupted for attention yet left the audience troubled at one point by his suggestion that as President he might decide which banks, or which depositors, to bail out in future. Not exactly a very conservative stance!

The biggest winner of the debate was the Fox Business team who moderated it. They didn't interrupt or insult the candidates as CNBC did and their questions were substantive and tough but fair. They actually focused on business and economics, not gotcha moments or trying to pit one candidate against another.

Transcript of the debate is here.

Here's the time each candidate got including interruptions:

The second Democrat debate (this was the 4th GOP debate) is on Saturday, November 14 in Iowa. The 5th GOP debate will be December 15 in Nevada.

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