Republican Presidential Debate
Posted: August 14, 2015
I was one of the 24.7 million who watched the Republican Presidential debate last Thursday night in Cleveland. It was the most-watched non-sporting event ever on a cable television channel. In my mind, there were no clear winners since there were 10 candidates vying for airtime.
I thought our esteemed Governor, Scott Walker, did not fare too bad during the debate. Although Walker only received less than six minutes of television time, he appeared calm and deliberate in his answers. I was pleasantly surprised that Walker did so well when asked about immigration, but I didn't think he was very sharp in his response to a question about ISIS.
If there was a winner in last week's debate, I thought it was Ben Carson, the neurologist. He was funny and sharp, in my opinion.
Mike Huckabee, the governor from Arkansas, appeared to be level-headed despite his comment earlier last week when he compared the nuclear deal with Iran with the Holocaust. That didn't seem very bright to me.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was mostly uninteresting. If he wants to capture the Republican nomination, I think Bush needs to be more forceful in his debate responses and make a better impression.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul seemed out of place to me. He was especially looking like a clown when he tried to square off with Donald Trump. The other confrontation he had onstage was with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie over terrorism and civil liberties. I thought Christie was better on both issues.
Anyone who thought that Donald Trump would take a conciliatory tack in the first Republican debate was quickly disillusioned. Trump fired off one-liners and refused to take the pledge to support the eventual GOP nominee. Although he has softened his stance on taking the pledge since the debate, nobody really knows what The Donald is thinking.
I thought John Kasich, the Ohio governor, did a nice job. He was the hometown hero with the debate taking place in Cleveland, OH, but he was also the candidate with the lowest polling numbers of the 10 who were on the stage.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz did not do much to stand out to me, however I though Florida Senator Marco Rubio gave a good performance. He seemed poised and delivered strong messages.
After witnessing the first of the Republican debates, I can now see why Wisconsin Senator Paul Ryan elected to not run for President this year. It is kind of a mess.