Welcome to the main stage! Tonight’s debate will feature…

  • Carly Fiorina
  • Jeb Bush
  • Donald Trump
  • Chris Christie
  • Ben Carson
  • Marco Rubio
  • Ted Cruz
  • Rand Paul
  • Mike Huckabee
  • John Kasich

CNBC, like Fox News, decided to put tonight’s debate behind the “cable news subscriber” paywall. If you pay for cable and are away from your TV, you can log in and watch here. If you’re not a subscriber, we’ll do our best to post a full video of the debate as soon as some enterprising blogger makes it available on YouTube. In the mean time, you can follow all of the commentary and reaction on Twitter, right here:

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Political media reaction:


Candidates:

***Updates***

Tonight’s debate has been brought to you by the letter “E”…for EXPLOSIONS.

Candidates vs. Moderators, Candidates vs. Candidates…and even Moderators vs. the Crowd! It’s been a wild night so far.

The dynamic between Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio took a turn tonight, and the results were probably bad for Bush:

This whole exchange had less to do with policy and more to do with debate prowess. I’m not seeing a lot out of Jeb Bush tonight in terms of statements that make me believe he wants to be president.

The behavior, tone, and questions coming from the moderators has come under intense scrutiny tonight, even from mainstream and more liberal reporters I’m talking to. Ted Cruz absolutely savaged the moderators for their attack-minded questions against almost the entire slate of candidates—and it killed with the audience:

A valid point on all this:

The Right Scoop pulled video of the moment Ben Carson nailed the mods when they tried to trap him with a lose-lose question on LGBT rights. (Sorry, no embed. Watch it here.)

Even Huckabee, who has struggled to make an impact in previous debates, has been able to engage with the crowd against moderator bias. This was a great moment for him, just moments after the panel tried to bait him into insulting Trump:

Trump has gotten in some great zingers as well tonight, and the chatter on Twitter is infinitely more generous to him than it has been in previous debates.

…and then this happened:

Chris Christie was not impressed.

Rand Paul’s closing statement was quintessential Rand, but he didn’t get much time to speak tonight (or so it seemed to me—we’ll look at the time breakdowns).

And then, smack in the middle of closing statements, the Democrats admitted that they really don’t give a damn about middle class Americans:

…and at the end of the day…

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