At final GOP debate before Super Tuesday, Dr. Ben Carson and Gov. John Kasich were given little mic time.
Dr. Ben Carson, a famed neurosurgeon who was once a Republican front-runner but saw his numbers in the polls plunge and never recover after he opined on foreign policy, Thursday night at the final GOP debate before Super Tuesday officially joined the ranks of former Florida Governor, Mr. Jeb Bush and former Maryland Governor, Mr. Martin O’ Malley, two past presidential candidates who elicited pity and mockery from voters after, in the case of Mr. O’ Malley, pleading for mere seconds to speak on the debate stage, and, in the case of Mr. Bush, begging his audience to “please clap” after a stump speech.
So focused on three candidates—Mr. Donald Trump, a billionaire real-estate developer; Mr. Marco Rubio, a Florida Senator; and Mr. Ted Cruz, a Texas Senator and the only man thus far to defeat Mr. Trump in a caucus—was the GOP Debate Thursday night in Houston, Texas, that Dr. Carson, who made a weird reference to fruit salad when discussing how he’ll pick a Supreme Court Justice, asked his peers to attack him so he could get a chance to speak. Rumored to be dropping out of the race soon, Dr. Carson, quite disappointed in the moderation of mic time, characterized the evening’s event hosted by CNN as the “the worst of all the debates.”
“There was no attempt whatsoever to be equitable with the time or with the questions,” Dr. Carson told Mr. Major Garrett, CBS’ Chief White House Correspondent.
Mr. Trump, who didn’t have that great of a showing Thursday night and who was attacked from both Mr. Cruz and Mr. Rubio, also expressed a bit of frustration that every question seemed to be directed at him first. He also noted, after the GOP debate concluded, that Dr. Carson, who was left out of the tax reform discussion, and Mr. Kasich, the Governor of Ohio who has faced pressure to drop out of the race and who was only asked two questions in the debate’s first 55 minutes, weren’t treated fairly by the cable news network.
Though the bulk of the time was devoted to Mr. Trump, Mr. Cruz and Mr. Rubio, who many say was the winner of the GOP debate due to his constant and sometimes effective attacks on the Republican front-runner—most notable among them was a jab at Trump University and the lawsuits surrounding it—very little policy was actually discussed. Instead, most of the evening resulted in a cacophony of rebukes and rebuttals, and the moderator, Mr. Wolf Blitzer, appeared unable to mitigate it.
Viewers of the live televised contest would be hard-pressed to disclose what new they learned of the Republican presidential candidates and their positions, as the questions posed were not only those heard many times during similar forums, but they remained relatively surface, not at all aimed at depth and detail. Dr. Carson compared the GOP debate in Houston to the Roman Coliseum, in which gladiators battled in front of blood-thirsty audiences.
Who emerged victorious from Thursday night’s GOP debate can and will be argued, but there’s no question that the losers were Dr. Carson and Gov. Kasich.
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