Initial Thoughts After The Fox News GOP Debate

The first debate of this election cycle just ended, and it was a fun one to watch. Here are my initial thoughts after the debate.

  • Marco Rubio did the best out of all the GOP candidates. His answers where clear and concise and devoid of the pandering that other candidates resorted to. He also looked the most presidential out of all 10 candidates. I was very impressed by his mannerisms and his wording and wished that Fox would have spent more time with him than the other candidates.
  • I was also very impressed with Rand Paul. While Paul tends to flip-flop on issues, I thought that he stayed true to what he believed to be true, especially under pressure from Chris Christie. His answer to foreign aid was very disappointing though, as he skirted around the idea of stopping foreign aid to Israel instead of just coming out and saying what his ideas where.
  • Dr. Ben Carson looked aloof and sounded terrible. Whenever he talked he veered all over the place and could not give a straight answer. Definitely the loser in this debate.
  • Another less clear loser was Donald Trump. The real estate mogul was subdued in his comments but was unable to touch on any issues in a significant way. While the other candidates discussed concrete plans and their records as politicians, Trump was reduced to uttering basic conservative talking points and making cheap jokes. From watching him, it is clear that he is not qualified to lead the country in any way. He seemed like a kid playing with the adults. However, his statement that he would run as a third party if necessary should be ringing alarm bells in the GOP leadership.
  • Chris Christie got a lot of air time, which was shocking. Notable were his angry exchange with Sen. Rand Paul about homeland security and his discussion with Mike Huckabee about reforming Social Security. This later discussion was one of the highlights of the night, with two GOP candidates presenting their different ideas in a civil way.
  • Seeing Jeb Bush squirm when the Iraq War and his brother came up was fun. Every time he talked he brought it back to his time as a Florida governor. Not much discussion about the future.
  • A shocking statement came from Ohio governor John Kasich, who stated that the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality should be accepted as the law of the land, breaking from the standard conservative ideology.
  • Ted Cruz was effectively shunned during the debate, only getting time to half answer a few questions and tell the audience that he has never listened to a lobbyist, even though a quick Google search shows that he does receive a lot of lobby money.
  • Scott Walker was a creepy weirdo as always and in a low moment of the night stated that he would not allow an abortion for a woman even if her life was in jeopardy. This elicited a shocked “So you would let the woman die?!” from host Megyn Kelly. Remember that GOP voters.
  • Trump admitted to donating to the Clintons to buy political favors from them.
  • Quite a few comparisons to Ronald Reagan as expected.
  • Rand Paul gave a pretty good answer about the Iran deal, highlighting his concern about lifting sanctions before checkpoints are reached instead of the other way around, which was a nice civil response to the questions.
  • Both Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee don’t seem to understand how modern airplanes work. Dr. Carson is angry that we have less warplanes than in the 1940s, even though modern aircraft are designed to be force multipliers, doing the job of dozens of older airplanes. Mike Huckabee is angry that we are still flying B-52s that are older than he is, even though they are one of the best airframes that the USAF has ever used and are constantly upgraded. Minor things, but those stood out.
  • All of the candidates and hosts completely ignored Bernie Sanders. He was not mentioned once and all the discussion was about how to beat Hillary Clinton. That is going to bite them eventually. Don’t discount Bernie.
  • The lowest point of the night was when religion came up. I like learning about the candidate’s religion, but I was very uncomfortable seeing Ted Cruz and Scott Walker use the name of Jesus Christ and his atonement as ways to score cheap points in a political debate. Candidates should not be using Jesus Christ that way, and I found that to be a mockery of Christian religion.
  • That part of the debate did give us my favorite line of the night. “God has blessed the Republicans with amazing candidates while the Democrats can’t find one.” – Marco Rubio. Sure Senator Rubio. Sure.

Final Thoughts: This debate showed the diverse playing field that the Republicans are dealing with. None of them convinced me well enough to give them my vote, but there was some clear winners of the debate, mainly Marco Rubio and Rand Paul. Chris Christie will make big plays in this election cycle, while Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz are fading out. All the other candidates are not worth mentioning. We will have to see how the next debate goes.

Also, during the debate I played bingo. Here is my card:

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10 responses to “Initial Thoughts After The Fox News GOP Debate

  1. Marco Rubio showed more of his progressive side. He lost me probably for good.

    Chris Christy can’t win. I liked him during his Campaign for Gov, but his progressivism shows too brightly for me now. Rand Paul was right and Chris was wrong in both assessments — we should stop all foreign aid (but particularly to enemy states) if only because we can’t afford it. And that includes Isreal although they should be higher on the get-aid list than (say) Iran! And I also respect the 1st and 4th amendments regarding bulk data collection. Chris is dead wrong on that one (Constitutionally) and hence he is out for me.

    Rand Paul is still on my short list if only due to his tax plans. There is more to Senator Paul than that, but I also worry about his politician ways and the way he answered the Isreal Aid question. I can maybe give him a pass as long as he’s effective, but maybe not. Part of the problem in DC is the go-along-to-get-along mentality. I don’t want a “politically correct” President. Still, I like most of his policies.

    John Kasich. No. Never.

    I liked Ben Carson quite a bit. I completely disagree that he was not concise. I think he said what he said perfectly. I liked his calm, matter-of-fact demeaner. He showed that he can lead. Problem is that most voters don’t know him yet, so he has a long row to hoe.

    Jeb. No. I hated his smug, fake smile. His words are not enough to overcome that. He’s also very progressive and won’t shrink government. The Bush era is over.

    Huckabee. I once thought he would be a good President. But he’s just another progressive calling himself a Repub. I’m not an issue voter, but most of his ideas would be terrible for the US.

    Ted Cruz lost me a bit. He’s probably the most constitutionally minded on that stage, which I of course like. But he was too practiced and I agree that he invoked religion for apparent pandering purposes. A lot of them did that though.

    I’ve always liked Scott Walker’s strength. My wife commented that he sounds like an idiot. It could be that he’s trying to squelch that Wisconsin accent. poorly. It comes through now and again. I don’t want anyone to bring their strict religious belief to the office. Certainly their beliefs will guide them, but we need someone to listen to all sides and make a decision for all of us. Unfortunately, Mr. Walker lost points with me. We’ll see how he fairs over time.

    And finally, the Donald. He’s saying what we think, which is probably why he resonates with the voters. But he worries me. I don’t trust that he’s there to fix the country more than he’s there to benefit his companies. That could be good for the Country. But it could be VERY bad too. I don’t feel the risk is justified so he’s not on my short list, but I’m keeping him in reserve. I also think that he’s getting tons of Press from the Liberal media — possibly why he polls high. They love him because they would consider his nomination a gift to Hillary. That worries me too.

    How many guys used the words “repeal and replace” in regards to existing legislation like Obamacare? Too many. They all lose me with that argument. How about “repeal and remove”? That’s how to shrink government.

    Rand Paul, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and (maybe Scott Walker) make up my current short list. There MIGHT be a few from the kids table in there too. Time will tell.

    Kevin

  2. Have you heard the buzz about Donald Trump’s possible usefulness in getting a Clinton elected? Trump won’t take votes from Hillary! They will come from GOP voters. It worked before in ’91. The Clintons know how that works. Another Trump donation to the Clintons perhaps? Wonder what Donnie gets for it. Although I like the words and frankly the tone from Donald Trump, I’m steering clear of that guy. It would be just like the GOP to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    • As somebody who generally aligns with the Democrats, I wouldn’t mind Trump running 3rd party 😉 But it makes me sad to see the GOP essentially held hostage by nut jobs like Trump or Cruz.

      • Nut Job? Cruz? I think he’s far from a nut job. And he’s also not in favor with the party leadership since he was backed by the Tea Party.

        So are you saying that you want Hillary Clinton as our next President? Oh, wait. You mentioned Bernie before. Is that where you fall? On an avowed socialist?

        Bernie would be the gift to the GOP! 🙂

        K

          • So he’ll get a vote. That’s cool! 😉

            May I ask his appeal? I stop at “avowed socialist” so I haven’t even looked at him. So I’m curious.

            • For me he appeals to me as somebody who has always stuck with his values, which are values that I appreciate. I also really like that his donations are not coming from big companies and corporations like Hillary Clinton. Clinton might say that she is looking out for the middle class, but Sander’s voting record shows that he has always supported legislation to help middle class families (if you agree with his tactics). He is one of the lowest paid senators, he donates the proceeds of his books to charity, he does not fly first class, he runs a grassroots campaign. I like all those things from a candidate who says that they are for the people. I tend to like liberal ideals more than conservative ideals, and Sanders embodies true liberal ideology more than Hillary Clinton in my mind.

              • Interesting. I would have to agree that those are good values in a politician. I’ll have a deeper look although I don’t want our country to go that political direction. But we’re going there regardless of the letter after the candidate’s name.

                … and I guess I did know that he sticks to his values. It is appealing if you’re into those kinds of values.

                I am not a Conservative. In fact, I lean liberal on social issues. But a classic liberal no longer exists on the public stage. They are all “modern day progressives”. I consider myself a classic liberal (now called Libertarian) although I do not affiliate with any party. The democrats have not in my lifetime met my values, probably because I didn’t understand the Progressive takeover of the democrat party. It’s important to know the difference and it took me many years to understand it. Hopefully through honest, intelligent conversations like this one, people can learn and re-align if necessary. Not their views, but their party affiliations and allegiances.

                By the way, I’ll take Bernie Sanders over a Clinton or Bush. And there are Repub candidates that I will not vote for should they receive the Nom. Maybe Bernie has a better chance than I once expected.

                thanks

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