GOP Debate: Fights, Nitpickery, and Whining! Oh My!

GOP Debate: Fights, Nitpickery, and Whining! Oh My!

GOP Debate: Fights, Nitpickery, and Whining! Oh My!

Did you tune in to the debate last night? I’ve found that no matter how much we think the “next debate will be better,” it comes down to one important fact: The debates are not going to be “better” until we are down to about four candidates, or until Donald Trump wakes up one morning and decides that running for president isn’t fun anymore. That said, Donald Trump didn’t do as bad as he normally does, but that bar was never high to begin with.

So, without further ado, here’s my take on the debate…

Jeb Bush:

Here’s the deal, I don’t loathe Jeb Bush. I would be able to pull the lever for him while maintaining more respect for myself than I would voting for other candidates in the race. I don’t want the dynasty politicians to take the White House, but Jeb was a good governor, and is a legitimate conservative.

I think a solid Bush highlight came after Trump answered with a definitive “No” when he was asked if he had experienced a change of heart in regards to his proposed “Muslim ban.”

BUSH: Donald, Donald — can I — I hope you reconsider this, because this policy is a policy that makes it impossible to build the coalition necessary to take out ISIS. The Kurds are our strongest allies. They’re Muslim. You’re not going to even allow them to come to our country?

The other Arab countries have a role to play in this. We cannot be the world’s policeman. We can’t do this unilaterally. We have to do this in unison with the Arab world. And sending that signal makes it impossible for us to be serious about taking out ISIS and restoring democracy in Syria.

Common sense. However, “common sense” has yet to find stable ground in this election, and it’s time for Bush to walk away. This is the election of feelings, anger, and impossible standards. The loudest have drowned out the sane, and while we’re struggling back to the surface to get a breath, Jeb Bush and his bag of bricks are latched on to our legs. Let it go, Jeb.

Chris Christie:

Christie didn’t have a bad night, by any means, especially if voters fail to research some of his claims. Christie is a charismatic, take no prisoners candidate. If I didn’t have quite the laundry list of reasons to avoid him, I think I’d enjoy watching him go up against Hillary. The problem is that while he hits back hard, and you assume he’s delivered quite the blow, sometimes he’s just blatantly wrong. After Rubio took a stab at Christie, referencing his support of common core, gun control, Sotomayor, and Planned Parenthood, the Governor of New Jersey said the following:

So let’s set the facts straight. First of all, I didn’t support Sonia Sotomayor. Secondly, I never wrote a check to Planned Parenthood.

But as FactCheck.org notes, that’s not true. During an interview in 1994, Christie allegedly admitted to backing Planned Parenthood, as well as admitted to being pro-choice. Now maybe time has changed his stance, but for Christie to say “I never wrote a check to Planned Parenthood,” with such a definitive tone, is notably off the honesty mark.

Star-Ledger, Sept. 30, 1994: “I support Planned Parenthood privately with my personal contribution and that should be the goal of any such agency, to find private donations,” said GOP freeholder candidate Chris Christie.

“It’s also no secret that I am pro-choice … But you have to examine all the agencies needing county donations and prioritize them. I would consider all groups looking for funding, but there is a limit and we have to pick and choose,” he added.

And as for Sotomayor, his comments in 2009 are not working in his favor…

PolitickerNJ, July 17, 2009: “After watching and listening to Judge Sotomayor’s performance at the confirmation hearings this week, I am confident that she is qualified for the position of Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Christie, a former federal prosecutor. “Elections have consequences. One of those consequences are judicial appointments. While Judge Sotomayor would not have been my choice, President Obama has used his opportunity to fill a seat on the Supreme Court by choosing a nominee who has more than proven her capability, competence and ability.”

Chris Christie is a fighter, and some call him a dark horse. However, his odds of winning are low, and for the sake of the GOP he needs to walk away. We need to thin the herd to avoid Trump, and I don’t care if that horse is dark or blindingly bright, he needs to exit.

John Kasich:

Marco Rubio:

Rubio had another solid performance. While it was clear that he was a target last night, he handled himself well. He even conveyed and affirmed a few of the fears I have about Cruz, as well.

Ted Cruz, you used to say you supported doubling the number of green cards, now you say that you’re against it. You used to support a 500 percent increase in the number of guest workers, now you say that you’re against it. You used to support legalizing people that were here illegally, now you say you’re against it. You used to say that you were in favor of birthright citizenship, now you say that you are against it.

And by the way, it’s not just on immigration, you used to support TPA, now you say you’re against it. I saw you on the Senate floor flip your vote on crop insurance because they told you it would help you in Iowa, and last week, we all saw you flip your vote on ethanol in Iowa for the same reason.

That is not consistent conservatism, that is political calculation. When I am president, I will work consistently every single day to keep this country safe, not call Edward Snowden, as you did, a great public servant. Edward Snowden is a traitor.

He continued:

And one more point, one more point. Every single time that there has been a Defense bill in the Senate, three people team up to vote against it. Bernie Sanders, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. In fact, the only budget you have ever voted for, Ted, in your entire time in the Senate is a budget from Rand Paul that brags about how it cuts defense.

Um, ouch! But what might be his best moment of the night, besides saying “I hate to interrupt this episode of court TV” to break up the fight between Cruz and Trump, came in the form of his vast knowledge on trade.

After a discussion on tariffs, which Trump supports, Rubio made quite a few comments that struck a cord with anyone who is worried about the economy, and isn’t solely obsessed with the Southern border.

China doesn’t pay the tariff, the buyer pays the tariff. If you send a tie or a shirt made in China into the United States and an American goes to buy it at the store and there’s a tariff on it, it gets passed on in the price to price to the consumer.

He continued:

It continues with regulatory reform. Regulations in this country are out of control, especially the Employment Prevention Agency, the EPA, and all of the rules they continue to impose on our economy and hurting us.

How about Obamacare, a certified job killer? It needs to be repealed and replaced. And we need to bring our debt under control, make our economy stronger. That is the way to deal with China at the end of the day.

He’s right! Building our economy is the way to deal with China, not making items more expensive for Americans.

Ben Carson:

Isn’t he just lovable? I mean, I don’t want him to stay in the race, but he is simply likable. Sadly, I disagree with him often, but I firmly believe that he has the best of intentions. He’s just not ready for the position he seeks. However, he had quite a few fun moments last night.

Including:

Well, I’m very happy to get a question this early on. I was going to ask you to wake me up when that time came.

And…

CARSON: Neil, I was mentioned too.

CAVUTO: You were?

CARSON: Yeah, he said everybody.

And, my personal favorite:

You know, you look at what’s going on, you see all the divisiveness and the hatred that goes on in our society. You know, we have a war on virtual everything — race wars, gender wars, income wars, religious wars, age wars. Every war you can imaging, we have people at each other’s throat and our strength is actually in our unity.

You know, you go to the internet, you start reading an article and you go to the comments section — you cannot go five comments down before people are calling each all manner of names. Where did that spirit come from in America? It did not come from our Judeo-Christian roots, I can tell you that.

That said, he can’t win, he’s made hiccups – big hiccups – that the left would weaponize in a general election. It’s time to make a dignified exit, and narrow the field.

Ted Cruz:

Ted had a strong night, no doubt about that. He can deliver a one-liner, and the jokes were rolling in. He, without a doubt, won the argument in regards to his eligibility.

You know, back in September, my friend Donald said that he had had his lawyers look at this from every which way, and there was no issue there. There was nothing to this birther issue.

(LAUGHTER)

Now, since September, the Constitution hasn’t changed.

(LAUGHTER)

But the poll numbers have.

Ouch! Then, to add gasoline to the fire, he brought up Donald’s own eligibility, and invoked the name of past presidential candidates born abroad.

If a soldier has a child abroad, that child is a natural-born citizen. That’s why John McCain, even though he was born in Panama, was eligible to run for president.

If an American missionary has a child abroad, that child is a natural-born citizen. That’s why George Romney, Mitt’s dad, was eligible to run for president, even though he was born in Mexico.

At the end of the day, the legal issue is quite straightforward, but I would note that the birther theories that Donald has been relying on — some of the more extreme ones insist that you must not only be born on U.S. soil, but have two parents born on U.S. soil.

Under that theory, not only would I be disqualified, Marco Rubio would be disqualified, Bobby Jindal would be disqualified and, interestingly enough, Donald J. Trump would be disqualified.

All solid points. Ted clearly won that particular war, and I’m guessing the accusations of eligibility will soon die down.

Cruz also had a solid reply in regards to taxes, which is always an important issue with voters.

But Jeb is also right that, if we just impose a tariff, they’ll put reciprocal tariffs, which will hurt Iowa farmers and South Carolina producers and 20 percent of the American jobs that depend on exports.

So the way you do it is you pass a tax plan like the tax plan I’ve introduced: a simple flat tax, 10 percent for individuals, and a 16 percent business flat tax, you abolish the IRS…

… and here’s the critical point, Maria — the business flat tax enables us to abolish the corporate income tax, the death tax, the Obamacare taxes, the payroll taxes, and they’re border-adjustable, so every export pays no taxes whatsoever.

All in all, Cruz did well, per usual. However, he took a brutal hit from Trump (I’ll discuss this below), and quite a few brutal hits from Rubio. While he got in a few punches, he took a few punches.

Donald Trump:

Well, Donald Trump is still Donald Trump. He behaved better than normal, shockingly, and actually had a response up his sleeve that nobody was expected… And it was effective.

I expected Trump to go on an obnoxious rant, but I did not inspect him to invoke 9/11. Strategically, it was brilliant. He wasn’t flamboyant, irate, or disrespectful, the comments were instead raw and abrupt. You could see the fight drain out of Cruz in that moment; it was clearly an unexpected rebuttal. While many believe Trump was using a tragedy for benefit, the vast majority – anyone who isn’t a Cruz fan – will find Trump’s defense of New York to be an incredibly rare moment of decency. Like his only moment of decency since saying “I’m running for President.” 

That was so close to a complement, and now I feel like I need to go shower.

There’s honestly nothing else that I can say about Trump that would be positive. I’ve found him unfit for the presidency since day 1, and that hasn’t changed, but I give credit where credit is due. Many have told me that Trump is wrong about New York, but that makes no difference. Whether his comments were right or wrong, he struck an emotional cord, and it was just good politics.

Ann Coulter:

No, she’s not running for president, but I wanted to take the opportunity to bring us all together and discuss whether it’s time for an intervention/inpatient treatment program.

Keep the cork on the fork, Ann. Honestly, people, it’s time to stop giving this woman money, time on the air, and any bit of credibility whatsoever.

So there you have it, I didn’t list any winners and losers, because you need to decide that for yourself. However, I would encourage people to start listening to what the candidates say about a vast majority of issues, not just the isses that fuel the rage driven vote. Lets do our homework and put a responsible adult in the White House, please.

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3 Comments
  • Tina Wood says:

    I have only recently discovered this site-love it-especially the artwork-
    Ann Coulter, and in no small part Donald Trump are why I have left the Republican Party, choosing instead to simply be ‘Independent’-I cannot abide the liberal side, but the conservative movement is in danger of completely fracturing, and the liberal/progressive are exploiting it!
    After the excess of bullshit from the State of The Union and all of the hoopla surrounding “the dress”, I am getting apprehensive about the presidential race and indeed the very future of our once-great nation. That anxiety gets allayed at times listening to the bombastic rhetoric of Trump-and you have to catch yourself before you simply start nodding in agreement!

    Once thing that Trump has done is tap into the underlying anxiety and anger of a vast segment of the population. Those of us who are tired of being told how to think and feel by the PC police and the “inclusive, diversity” crowd who are not inclusive or tolerant in the least-head over to Buzz Feed and see the oh-so lovely left in all its glory! Will it really take a sound thumping in the primaries to sort all this out?

    The conservatives can have a powerful voice for positive change (ya-I went there!) but we need to come together and stop tearing each other to bits and it starts by muzzling Ann Coulter- I am sure she can find a muzzle in black with studs.

  • GWB says:

    Jeb was a good governor, and is a legitimate conservative.

    Sorry, but no. He might be sorta fiscally conservative, but mostly he’s like his brother George, a “compassionate” conservative. And that seems to be all about 1) managing big gov’t better than the other big gov’t folks and 2) using the federal gov’t to force us to be nice to people by giving them our heard-earned cash.

    Neither of those are conservative principles. So, no, Jeb is NOT a conservative at the national level. Period.

    Lets do our homework and put a responsible adult in the White House, please.

    Define “responsible adult”. I doubt a “responsible adult” will accomplish much of anything in the White House. There is too much water under the bridge where the branches have given up their authority to other branches, or arrogated to themselves power not given in the Constitution, and they will NOT willingly give up that power (nor take back their responsibility).

    I’m not really a Trump supporter. Cruz is more my speed (though he has his issues, as well). But, honestly, the only way to restore our free republic will not be to vote in Trump or Cruz, but to have a great divorce with those who would vote themselves charity from the public fisk. Let them redistribute their wealth to the wastrels, through the wastrels (of gov’t), and we will go about our own lives while they collapse under the weight of their own “virtue”.

  • GWB says:

    I firmly believe that he has the best of intentions.

    We all know what good intentions are for, right? Paving blocks on the road to hell.
    Also:

    Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
    CS Lewis

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