At the most recent GOP debate, the republican Senators were unimpressive, unlike the Governors.
The dynamics were different at Saturday’s Republican presidential debate broadcasted by ABC News, which was the most watched of them all, attracting from 8pm to 11pm more than 13 million viewers, according to Nielsen. Mr. Donald Trump, the New York billionaire who’s still the front-runner among Republican presidential candidates, was, unlike the televised debate that preceded yesterday’s, center stage; but he wasn’t the star of it. The man who stole the show was, in my opinion, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who since he began campaigning has failed to gain much traction or place high in the polls. Sometimes referred to as a bully, Gov. Christie throughout the evening picked on freshman Florida Senator Mr. Marco Rubio, whose biggest gaffe of the night was when he repeated at least four times, almost word-for-word like a malfunctioning robot, the same critique of President Barack Obama, which was quickly pointed out by the former prosecutor, who suggested Mr. Rubio over-rehearsed his talking points and was unable to think on his feet, thus making him not suitable for the highest office in the land.
It was a good night for Mr. Christie, and for his counterparts: Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who pushed back against Mr. Trump on the issue of Eminent Domain, and Ohio Governor John Kasich, who though never questioned during these debates about the controversy surrounding the police killing of 12 year-old Mr. Tamir Rice in Cleveland and the grand jury process that followed, touted the great job he’s done in improving police and community relations.
The Washington Post, who ran a story titled “A bad night for front-runners and a good night for governors,” said of the three aforementioned men:
“Christie was the relentless prosecutor. Bush was knowledgeable and, in contrast to some earlier performances, tough and direct. Ohio Gov. John Kasich carved out space as a candidate ready and willing to work across party lines.”
Not so impressive during the debate, however, was Mr. Ted Cruz, the Texas Senator who won the Iowa caucus last Monday but has since come under great scrutiny for what some perceived as “dirty tricks.” Mr. Cruz issued a public apology on stage to Mr. Ben Carson for the actions of his campaign, which suggested to Iowa voters that the famed neurosurgeon was dropping out of the race after Monday and urged would-be Carson voters to instead vote for Mr. Cruz. Mr. Cruz continued to blame the false information on CNN and its inaccurately reporting, but Mr. Carson, who during the debate argued that to increase military enrollment the country must do a better job at caring for veterans, didn’t buy it, and CNN quickly released a statement saying that Mr. Cruz is knowingly misleading voters. And when questioned by a moderator as to whether he still believes Mr. Trump lacks the temperament to be commander-in-chief, Mr. Cruz didn’t stand by his words; rather he said that’s up for the voters to decide. Mr. Trump in response said that Mr. Cruz, like world leaders and others, always “back down with Trump.”
It remains to be seen how these performances on Saturday will impact polling, but for sure they’ve already influenced public opinion, as can be seen, for example, by those who went to Mr. Rubio’s rally this morning dressed in a “Marco Roboto” costume.
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