Five Takeaways From The First GOP Debate
I watched the entire Republican debate tonight. Here’s what I’m walking away with…
1. Donald Trump isn’t going away any time soon.
Some people were hoping that Trump would implode on the debate stage tonight, others were hoping he’d steal the show. He did neither. He got plenty of time to talk and plenty of applause breaks. I don’t think he helped or hurt himself tonight, which means he’s not going away. Expect him to remain in the race.
2. Dr. Ben Carson defeated his foreign policy critics.
Many of Carson’s biggest critics cite his lack of foreign policy chops. He dispelled those fears tonight. Of course, most of the same people had no problem with Obama’s lack of skills in that area. When asked about the issue of waterboarding, Carson pointed out that we shouldn’t broadcast our intentions to our enemies. The one thing that amazed me was that Carson never got a single question about abortion. He was the only pediatric surgeon on the stage. Hello?
3. Marco Rubio is presidential.
I’ve heard the case for and against Marco Rubio, but I have to say that every time I hear him speak he just sounds like a president. His answers were thoughtful, logical and well delivered. I’m watching the Kelly File as I’m typing this and Charles Krauthammer is confirming my opinion. Rubio has a positive vision for America’s future and he’s very good at articulating it.
4. Jeb Bush will not be the nominee.
Jeb Bush has a good record as the governor of Florida and he’s probably a great guy but he will never get out from under the shadow of his last name or the record of his brother. As long as he’s defending decisions made by George W. Bush in the past, he’s losing. No offense meant to President Bush but the media will never forget that Jeb is a Bush. Additionally, he didn’t make any points tonight which help him in any way.
5. Scott Walker is (still) underrated.
Walker’s popularity in the Republican base is solid. Conservatives, i.e. primary voters, find him exciting with good reason. The guy won three times in a blue state despite massive attacks from the left. FOX News gave more time to John Kasich than Walker even though Kasich made it into this debate by the skin of his teeth. I was amazed that Walker didn’t get more attention.
There are lots of other points I could make. Ted Cruz had a good night. Rand Paul made some great points and reestablished himself as the Libertarian Republican candidate.
All in all, I thought it was a good debate but there was no clear winner.