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DEBATE PART 2: Liveblogging the Primetime Candidates

DEBATE PART 2: Liveblogging the Primetime Candidates

*DING* Round 2!

Everyone still with us?

That first debate wasn’t just a debate–it was a firehose of information, talking points, and (most importantly) soundbites. The night is young, though, and we’re ready to see how the top ten candidates vying for the Republican presidential nomination measure up.

Here’s who you should expect to see on the stage at 8:50 p.m. ET:

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

To watch the debate online, click here. (You’ll need a cable authentication to stream live from Fox.)

You can follow the discussion on Twitter here:

Round 2 begins in 3…2…


Right out the gate, the vibe here is different. These candidates have been given the benefit of a full(ish) house.

Carly Fiorina will not be denied attention in the prime time hour:

The media is apparently enjoying the suspense…which may or may not benefit the coverage of this debate:

Right off the bat, Bret Baier gets Trump’s third party squeaky wheel-itude out of the way:

…but Rand Paul attacked!

Ben Carson fields the first substantive question of the debate, hitting back against his lack of knowledge about the political realm.

Rubio knocks one over second: “If this election is a resume competition, then Hillary Clinton is going to be the next president.”

Jeb Bush asked if he understands America’s concerns with “dynastic politics.” Jeb runs right into his accomplishments as Florida governor. “I earned it”—then this:

Megyn Kelly asks a low-hanging, but fair question about Trump’s rhetoric—especially towards women. He tried to deflect with a joke, but she didn’t let it go.

Temperament was the heart of this question, and Trump says, “what I say, is what I say,” and rejects political correctness.

Chris Wallace hits Ted Cruz on his relationships with the Senate leadership. His “we want someone who speaks the truth” line falls a little flat. Still, he stayed true to what he’s been campaigning on so far:

Christie goes substantive, defends rocky record in New Jersey with what he has accomplished:

Walker handles the abortion question with care (“would you let a woman die if…”), and when he mentions how he defunded Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin, gets some cheers.

Huckabee similarly plays to his pro-life roots, and challenges the idea that we’re stuck with the laws we’ve got.

Rand Paul asked to answer for his assertions that we “created ISIS”—turns it around and argues against sending aid overseas:

Katich is working very, very hard to defend Medicaid expansion in Ohio, says that OH Medicaid is growing slower than most other programs, overall budget still in the black.


Quibble: Trump claims that “nobody was talking about illegal immigration” until he brought it into the forefront. True? False? I take issue—tell me what you think in the comments.

Commercial break comes to a close, and we’re still on illegal immigration. The mods are having the candidates address each other, so expect this to get increasingly more heated.

Marco Rubio jumps on the issue, agrees with Kasich—people are frustrated, they feel like they’re being taken advantage of. Hits the need for border security, e-Verify, and the difficulties that those who attempt to immigrate legally encounter.

Scott Walker pressed on his change of heart over immigration:

…says he listened to what the people were telling him.

Ted Cruz draws the long straw, fields “Kate’s Law” question…and takes the opportunity to pivot and attack his Senate colleagues.

Christie and Paul in an all-out brawl over surveillance and national security. This is the dirtiest play we’ve seen tonight.

That was intense. We’re going to see op-eds flying from both sides over that question—as we should. Rand Paul has been stumping on surveillance for ages, so don’t expect to see him back down.

People responding well to Cruz’s answer on a strategy for defeating ISIS:

Sounds pin-drop quiet as Bush tries to explain why he believes, knowing what we know now, the Iraq war was a mistake.

Walker did a decent job emphasizing the need for coalition building in the Middle East—says we need not just Israel, but other gulf states.

Ben Carson felt forgotten, but finally got to answer a foreign policy question—on enhanced interrogation techniques.


Moving on…

A funny thing happened when Trump started talking about the influence of the donor class:

Huckabee took time to decry the centralized power structure in Washington, DC, says it interferes with state affairs…

…and Carson may have come out in favor of a popular tax plan:

Then the candidates moved on to education, and Common Core:


It’s time to talk about Hillary Clinton…

(Although this is a fair question:


Walker hit hard with a question on an underperforming jobs plan—he counters with the idea that it’s better to aim high than undercut potential.

…and Christie may have stumbled hard on entitlement reform:

…and Huckabee attacked:

Christie came back saying that the system is broken (and has been stolen from) and needs reform.


He’s defending his investment records, even in the face of bankruptcy. Also addressing how he’s used laws to his advantage.

…and Marco Rubio fields the American Dream question! Seems apropos considering his campaign messaging thus far.

Aside: Marco Rubio is fielding a ton of praise on Twitter right now. Do you agree—is he leading the pack? Take it to the comments!

Iran deal…Walker wants to tear it up, but Paul doesn’t want to discount the value of negotiations as a rule.

ALERT: We’re trapped!

SOCIAL ISSUES—Put on your helmets!

Jeb Bush on the ropes defending his time on the board of the Bloomberg Foundation vs. his record as a pro-life governor. He handled a bad situation well.

Marco Rubio now defending his pro-life record—contests the allegation that he supported exceptions to an abortion ban for rape and incest:

Trump claiming he “evolved” on abortion, is proud to say he is pro-life. Readers—do you think that’s good enough?

Gay marriage and religious liberty…helmets AND kneepads:

Kasich gave the only answer he could on gay marriage…

…and Rand Paul hit back hard on government invasion into the church.

Foreign Policy and Iran—Nuclear Deals and Cyber Attacks

Trump keeps it simple: “What’s happening with Iran is a disgrace.”

Cruz fields the Pentagon hacking question, jumps right into Obama-Clinton foreign policy and doesn’t pull punches.

Ben Carson is showing his weak chops on foreign policy, but still comes away with a good soundbite he’ll be able to build from: “If you don’t get the military right, nothing else is gonna work!”

Scott Walker gave a solid answer on shoring up influence in Ukraine and the Baltic.

Rand Paul on military funding: “we cannot give away money we don’t have,” doubles down on cutting non-surplus aid even to Israel. Paul stuck to his guns on not borrowing (from China) in order to send money to anyone. Do you think it hurt him?

And NOW…

Rubio may have just won this whole round of wrap-up questions:

The closing statements, though, are putting a few candidates into a dead heat:

And last but not least…

There you have it! Got comments? You know where to leave ’em.

The next GOP primary debate lands at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California on September 16

UPDATE: We have a preliminary time breakdown

prime time debate times


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Damn! This bunch is excellent, even the ones that hadn’t succeeded in impressing me, before.

Also, I like the questions.

Midwest Rhino | August 6, 2015 at 9:34 pm

Trump amped up the illegal talk amongst the candidates, by leaning more toward the Coulter view. But obviously everyone has been talking about it.

But we don’t know what Trump’s big door is all about, or if his “big heart” means amnesty, since he only hinted what that means by saying that it would lose him votes.

Trumps hits nerves but doesn’t have solid solutions, just gets to strike from the outside. Walker said “no amnesty” but work on the legal system, but recognizes the evils on the border.

Is Fox News scared of Cruz; they haven’t called on him in ages.

nordic_prince | August 6, 2015 at 11:00 pm

Man, all the Twitter trolls are whining about the God question and “the GOP is all about white guys”…so if you’re irreligious, you’re more focused on skin melanin? WTH…?

…..And the winner is, FOX NEWS!

Real questions. What a concept.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Valerie. | August 6, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    The loser is Fox News. They had their long knives out for Trump and Cruz, and they showed.

      PhillyGuy in reply to Juba Doobai!. | August 7, 2015 at 12:10 am

      Completely agree. That was a miserable performance by Baier, Kelly and Wallace. Really bad. The way they phrased the questions, the order in which they asked them.Who got asked what. That opening stunt with the 3rd party question was disgraceful.

        amwick in reply to PhillyGuy. | August 7, 2015 at 7:08 am

        I enjoyed the first question. When Donald raised his hand you could kinda hear a collective groan. I had to admire him for that at least.

MouseTheLuckyDog | August 6, 2015 at 11:24 pm

Sitting here, sadly I missed most of it. Looking for a video now.
In some sense the candidates are good, But there are things, about each that I don’t like, Others may have reasons for not being as strong on an issue as I would like, governors of liberal states for example might not be as pro-life as I would like. The problem for me to decide, what is more important, and what is also something people have done for expediency. Did a Senator vote against a bill for show knowing that it would pass anyway or did he vote against it because that is his stance?

Thinking through all this I have come to a realization. I want the candidates to specify some members of the cabinet and other subordinates that they will appoint.

FNC’s Chris Wallace has become a good little DNC operative! He has almost the same snarky grin as Scott Pelley has when asking a question.

Also, neither the crew on the junior debate stage nor the one on the big boy’s debate stage know how to get information from a source. Their questions were mostly quite simplistic or simply wrong. The only thing they seem to know is how to play to the cameras. Bummer. Never build a strategy or a system from the information the FNC team collected.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 5:01 am


Less than a year from now, in this very arena, one of these 10 candidates or one of the seven on the previous debate tonight will accept the Republican party’s nomination.

This is not a certainty.

Even though it’s extremely difficult, since the era of detailed campaign finance regulation started in the 1970s, for a new candidate to enter the race once the voting has started.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 5:11 am


TRUMP: …I can totally make that pledge. If I’m the nominee, I will pledge I will not run as an independent.

Why not? People do that in New York State all the time. It’s not like he’s unaware of that.

Harry S. Truman, Adlai Stevenson, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey and others all ran as other party lines in New York State, in addition to their major party nominations.

This is another example of the way Donald Trump just throws out statements without thinking, or without caring.

Of course, he’d also run as an independent.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 5:13 am

You’re not gonna make the pledge tonight?

TRUMP: I will not make the pledge at this time.

The question is:

Why does Donald Trump feel compelled to be honest about this?

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 5:33 am

KELLY: ….Aren’t these basic mistakes…

CARSON: Well, I could take issue with — with all of those things, but we don’t have time.

He could take issue with the claim that not realizing that the Baltic States were now part of NATO, and not getting Alan Greenspan’s exact position in the government were basic mistakes, rather than high level ones.

But people learn. In and of itself, this is not of terrible importance, provided people learn.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 5:34 am

The Alan Greenspan example actually is a bit telling, because it means he didn’t know how monetary policy is decided, and that’s important.

The president does not have easy direct control of it.

[although Jimmy Carter managed to get it by 1980, and got a 20% prime interest rate and created a big recession combined with inflation.

He first appointed G. William Miller as head of the Federal Reserve Board to replace Arthur Burns, and then got him out of that position by persuading to take the much less significant job of secretary of the Treasury, and appointed Paul Volcker in his place to “fight inflation.”

It was a disaster, but Republicans adhere to the dogma that what he did was good, although that is what elected Ronald Reagan.]

The ignorance of Carson – about the way things work – is widespread.

Ben Carson probably knew that a Secretary of the Treasury serves at the pleasure of the president, while a Federal Reserve Board Chairman – if he was aware of the position to the point of remembering it – does not, and since politicians routinely attribute the state of the economy to the president, and Ben Carson knew that Alan Greenspan was a big policy maker, it was natural for him to assume that Alan Greenspan was Secretary of the Treasury.

Definitely at least an intermediate level error.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 6:00 am

RUBIO: …I would add to that that this election cannot be a resume competition. It’s important to be qualified, but if this election is a resume competition, then Hillary Clinton’s gonna be the next president, because she’s been in office and in government longer than anybody else running here tonight.

That’s hard to realize, since it’s so artificial for her.

I suppose he’s counting her 8 years as Senator and 4 years and a smidgen as Secretary of State. (would he really count her years as the wife of a politician?)

Rubio is not including the Governor of Texas, who has been continuously in office since George W. Bush was elected president, while Hillary Clinton resigned as Secretary of State two years ago. But he was not on that platform.

Lindsey Graham also has been continuously in office longer, since 1994, as a member of the House of Representatives and Senator (and two more years as a member of the South Carolina House)

But he also wasn’t on that stage.

George Pataki also spent more time in office.

And what about John Kasich? Nine terms of the U.S. House of Representatives, from the election of 1982 to 2000, where he became Ranking Minority member and later Chairman of the Budget Committee, and Governor of Ohio since 2010, not to mention 4 years (1978-1982) in the Ohio State Senate.

Usually when they talk about a resume anyway, they mean a variety of jobs, and the recent president who had the wides variety of jobs, most of them in the Executive Branch, was George Herbert Walker Bush (then known simply as “George Bush”) who lost his bid for re-election in 1992 because he was widely regarded as incompetent.

Bob Dole used to say he had a record, not a resume.

You can have plenty of jobs and be bad at all of them.

And by the way, Marco Rubio did not answer the question, which was not about the length of time in office, but the position. It was why was he better than Jeb Bush, whom he himself said did a great job. It was: Why wasn’t executive office, a better preparation than being a member of a legislative crowd? (actually Jeb Bush was quoted as saying you couldn’t pass off responsibility – all the decisions, anything that went good or bad, were your own)

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 6:02 am

Jeb Bush answered the rather weak gotcha question very well.

It was no gotcha question at all.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 6:05 am

Trump and Cruz both seem to say that clearly unfair insults o attack lines is the same thing as speaking the truth.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 6:15 am

Christie: If you think the New Jersey economy, or maybe state budget, is bad now, it was worse before.

Walker: His position on abortion isn’t really different from that of most or many Americans. Abortions aren’t really needed as many times as they say to save the life of the mother.

Huckabee: We can now claim that a baby inside the mother’s womb has the Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments rights due process and equal protection under the law (so he’d go into court to try to get the courts, and Supreme Court eventually, to rule abortion is unconstitutional, like the West German Supreme court did once?)

Paul: I don’t want to arm the allies of ISIS, unlike Hillary Clinton and some Republicans.

He does not explain. He almost seems to imply, or maybe in fact does, that the United states gave U.S. Humvees to ISIS, when they were in fact captured from the Iraqi government in June, 2014.

Kasich: Expanding Medicaid may actually save money, in some cases. And Ohio doesn’t have the waste other places do.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 11:28 am

Jeb Bush was rather incoherent on immigration. He’s trying to adopt contradictory philosophical points at the same time. He said read my book.

He said people are dying because local governments are not following federal law. They’re not required to.

The federal government can’t dictate to the states what their governments should do. Not to mention anyway that internal immigration enforcement by the federal government is really unconstitutional.

And it is not correct either to say “people are dying” in the first place I fail to see how this kind of thinking has any more merit than any other kind of unequal treatment based on profiling – dealing with people according to who they are rather than what they do. It was a peculiar twist in the law that led to that man being free on the streets of San Francisco, but it was quite unpredictable what he would do. It’s like complaining some illegal aliens drive drunk.

The twist was that at one time the policy was that people would be deported instead of serving time in jail even if they had committed murder. So the new policy was that someone had to answer for all (or most) state and local crimes before being deported.

But if someone was in jail, they served their entire sentence before being sent to the jurisdiction where they were wanted. So when that is finished there is no federal criminal warrant out for their arrest – only this deportation order, and some jurisdictions don’t pay attention to them, and they don’t have to, and in general that’s a bad idea if you want to fight crime.

When Francisco Sanchez finished his sentence he was deported to San Francisco and not Mexico because he faced a quarter century old marijuana charge dating from 1988. It was promptly dismissed, and he was released.

Then he seems to have bought a stolen gun (he claims he found it) and test fired it in a tourist area (he claims it went off accidentally)

Jeb Bush wants to make immigration into a driver for economic growth. And it is not Barack Obama who’s making this into a web issue. It’s heading that way, but the Democrats are proceeding slowly and cautiously.

Bush said he would fix this, which is highly unlikely because he doesn’t understand the issue. There are people who believe all immigration – and imports for that matter – is harmful to the United States.

Again, he distinguished between amnesty and ” a path to earned legal status.” But the people opposed to amnesty don’t consider the two to be any different. Fines, other requirements, it doesn’t matter.

Somebody either stays here legally or doesn’t, and the prior illegal immigration was a crucial factor in letting it be possible for someone to stay here legally or it wasn’t.

The only way this will be acceptable to the Republican base is if all the people who applied for an immigrant visa – at least those – will be able to immigrate to the United States under the same terms as others will be able to avoid deportation.

Any legal benefit that derives from prior illegal presence is considered amnesty.

(Practical benefits derived as a direct result of illegal immigration, like having learned English, acquired skills and an education, saved money, met people and even married someone, don’t seem to carry the same objection.)

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 11:32 am

Donald Trump gave some double-talk about whether he had really said that the Mexican government is sending criminals — rapists, drug dealers, across the border — and blamed reporters for it.

Then he took credit bringing uup illegal immigration and said nobody would have been talking about it except for him. (Actually the reporters would probably have brought itu p anyway.)

I guess this a correction of Bush – Obama is not making this into a wedge issue – Trump is.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 11:34 am

Donald Trump is now suddenly for, or doesn’t object to – a big beautiful door in the wall. He also ignored – everybody does – what Bush mentioned about people overstaying visas.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 11:36 am

WALLACE: Mr. Trump, I’ll give you 30 seconds — I’ll give you 30 seconds to answer my question, which was, what evidence do you have, specific evidence that the Mexican government is sending criminals across the border? Thirty seconds.

TRUMP: Border Patrol, I was at the border last week. Border Patrol, people that I deal with, that I talk to, they say this is what’s happening. Because our leaders are stupid. Our politicians are stupid.

No, Donald Trump is stupid for believing (or is he only pretending to believe?) the propaganda of a government employee union.

He can’t bring a shred of evidence to back up these union claims.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 11:42 am

John Kasich kind of evaded a question about Donald Trump – Chris Wallace wanted him to challenge Donald Trump’s claim (or rather the union claim, but I think too many people seem to think Donald Trump is lying about getting this from the union, and the union doesn’t want people to realize this either) – that the Mexican government is sending criminals, but instead he gave a (partially false) explanation as to why Donald Trump was hitting a nerve – an explanation that had nothing to do with immigration.

But this propaganda has been coming into people’s ears for 40 years now.

Kasich segued into talk about the budget and he refused to say much about illegal immigration except to say he had different solutions than Donald Trump.

Explain to me again why this is a problem, and why it is always the same size problem regardless of what happens.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 11:45 am


RUBIO: Let me set the record straight on a couple of things. The first is, the evidence is now clear that the majority of people coming across the border are not from Mexico. They’re coming from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras. Those countries are the source of the people that are now coming in its majority.


Somebody injected a dose of reality into this! (even though it doesn’t really change any of the arguments)

The people that call my office, who have been waiting for 15 years to come to the United States. And they’ve paid their fees, and they hired a lawyer, and they can’t get in. And they’re wondering, maybe they should come illegally.

An earned path to citizenship (that is dependent on having come illegally earlier) doesn’t answer this..

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 11:47 am

Walker: I changed my mind and decided to oppose a path to citizenship because I listened to the American people. Secure the border (and don’t give any person here illegally a way to get right with the law)

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 11:53 am

The people who ask for “Kate’s law” don’t seem to realize that Frederico Sanchez ACTUALLY SERVED SEVERAL YEARS IN PRISON for repeated illegal immigration…

and then was ‘deported’ to San Francisco to face a quarter century old marijuana charge which was promptly dismissed,

and that’s how he wound up on the streets of San Francisco, because there was no criminal warrant out for him, because he had completed his sentence, and no federal charges against him were pending, and San Francisco does not pay attention to immigration detainers.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 11:57 am

Cruz: double-talk about how if people come legally it’s great, but if illegally it fundamentally transforms our country..

Double-talk because for many people there’s no way to come legally.

The moderators went on while with this, but then switched topics to the NSA’s collection of phone records, pitting Chris Christie against Rand Paul.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 12:05 pm

Christie: He was appointed U.S. Attorney on September 10th, and actually filed applications under the Patriot Act.

PAUL: I want to collect more records from terrorists, but less records from innocent Americans.

CHRISTIE: That’s a completely ridiculous answer. How are you supposed to know

PAUL: The Fourth Amendment…Get a judge to sign the warrant!

CHRISTIE: When you’re sitting in a subcommittee, you can just blow hot air.

PAUL: Every time you did a case, you got a warrant from a judge. I’m talking about searches without warrants… I don’t trust President Obama with our records. I know you gave him a big hug, and if you want to give him a big hug again, go right ahead.

CHRISTIE: The hugs that I remember are the hugs that I gave to the families who lost their people on September 11th.

That had nothing to do with politics, but you give speeches on the floor of the Senate, and then putting them on the Internet within half an hour to raise money for your campaign…

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 12:11 pm

Cruz: (in answer to how he would destroy ISIS) we won’t do it if you have a president who won’t use the words “radical Islamic terrorism”.

What General Dempsey told him, about ending poverty so that they would no longer get the support from the population they supposedly have is nonsense. What we need is a commander in chief that makes — clear, if you join ISIS, if you wage jihad on America, then you are signing your death warrant. We need a commander in chief that makes clear, if you join ISIS, if you wage jihad on America, you are signing your death warrant.

Kelly: Don’t you see it also as an ideological problem?

Cruz: Yes, but Obama doesn’t. Cruz’s solution is for anyone who joins ISIS to forfeit his American citizenship.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 12:12 pm

Jeb Bush is kind of incoherent on Iraq, too.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 12:14 pm

Walker is incoherent about Arab partners.

Both Bush and Walker had a few good points, but they are just floating around, loose. They can’t link them up to something that makes a complete picture.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 12:15 pm

Carson: Just don’t tie the generals’ hands and don’t try to wage a politically correct war.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 12:21 pm

Trump gets asked questions about changing positions on health care and the Iraq war. Trump says he came out against the Iraq war in July, 2004 (note: the invasion was in March, 2003) and predicted it was going to destabilize the Middle East.

Trump: Single payer could have worked once, but that was a different age. His replacement for Obamacare would be to allow policies to be sold across state lines. He says insurance companies have prevented that. And for people not helped by that, he’ll come up with something different than Obamacare.

Rand Paul doesn’t pick up on Trump claiming single payer would have been good years ago, but isn’t now.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 12:23 pm

Trump gets asked about his claim that he ordered politicians around. He gets asked what he get from Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi?

Trump: Well, I’ll tell you what, with Hillary Clinton, I said be at my wedding and she came to my wedding.

You know why?

She didn’t have a choice because I gave. I gave to a foundation that, frankly, that foundation is supposed to do good. I didn’t know her money would be used on private jets going all over the world. It was.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 12:24 pm

A narrow escape maybe, for Donald Trump, except he doesn’t explain why he wanted Hillary Clinton at his wedding.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 12:27 pm

Huckabee blames “donor class” for not shrinking government – also says a consumption tax would get rid of the IRS.

I think Giuliani pointed out in the 2008 race, that if we were just starting there could be good arguments for this (but there are all kinds of transition problems)

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 12:28 pm

Carson: Proportional, not progressive tax system, of 10%

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 12:32 pm

Bush and Rubio get asked about Common Core and education. Bush says he knows how to do things right because he created three voucher programs in Florida. Rubio says the Department of Education, will turn a suggestion into a mandate.

I don’t think the difference between them gets clarified.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 12:45 pm

They get asked how would they create economic growth.

Walker: I didn’t deliver the economic growth in Wisconsin that I promised, but you should always aim high. Get rid of regulations, repeal Obamacare, change the energy policy, give people education, lower the tax rate and change the tax code.

Bush: It’s happened 27 times before since World War II.

Christie: (promoted by a question about the difference between him and Huckabee) You’ve got to means test Social Security, (eliminate it altogether is someone is really, really rich or is making high income) and raise the retirement age.

Huckabee: That would be breaking a promise. It was involuntary. Social Security and Medicare was robbed $700 billion dollars to pay for Obamacare. Congress shold end its own retirement program.

Christie: I don’t disagree with that. I don’t have a retirement program in my state. But ending (ph) Congress’ retirement is worth about, “this” much.

Huckabee: Fund Social Security with income from dividends and capital gains. That would happen if we had a consumption tax. That is paid by everyone, including illegals, prostitutes, pimps, and drug dealers.

(The truth here is that Social Security is only in some kind of trouble if you project historically low rates of economic growth. Also, immigration benefits Social Security.)

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 12:50 pm

Wallace to Trump: Didn’t you go bankrupt?

Trump: I have used the laws of this country just like the greatest people that you read about every day in business have used the laws of this country. I have never gone bankrupt.

Wallace: Your line is your companies have gone bankrupt.

Trump: Out of hundreds of deals that I’ve done, hundreds, on four occasions I’ve taken advantage of the laws of this country, like other people.

Wallace: Let’s take the latest example, from 2009. Trump Entertainment Resorts, lenders to your company lost over $1 billion and more than 1,100 people were laid off.

Trump: These lenders aren’t babies. These are total killers. These are not the nice, sweet little people that you think, OK?

And I had the good sense to leave Atlantic City, which by the way, Caesars just went bankrupt. Every company, Chris can tell you, every company virtually in Atlantic City went bankrupt.

Every company.

I’ve gotten a lot of credit in the financial pages. Seven years ago I left Atlantic City before it totally cratered, and I made a lot of money in Atlantic City, and I’m very proud of it. I want to tell you that. Very, very proud of it.

By the way, this country right now owes $19 trillion. And they need somebody like me to straighten out that mess.

Wished I’d watched the same debate you did, Amy.

The one I watched was a disaster for Fox (when CNN & the NYT are praising your “fair & balanced” debate presentation, that means it’s BAD for conservatives.)

Megyn Kelly was dripping venom toward Trump, as was Chris Matthews. Looked like a setup, bash Trump & spotlight Jeb. Worked pretty well, if you hate conservatives.

I was very disappointed in the whole affair, which appeared to be make-it-up-as-you-go except for the extensive preparation for “gotcha” type reporting. Beginning of the debate was confused & disrespectful of ALL candidates, who had to stand there like a herd of beef cattle while the talking heads talked.

If I’d been there in person, I would have walked out.

I didn’t bother to read sf’s comments since he seems to think he needs to tell us so much.

What a dickhead you are.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 5:28 pm

Nobody seemed to be saying anything after a while. My writing just went on and on. I didn’t actually comment on the whole debate.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 5:34 pm

Some facts: 24 million people watched at least part of the debate. It was the most watched program ever on Fox. More people watched it than the last David Letterman show (14 million) or the last game of the 2014 World Series (23 million) and got almost as the most watched “Sunday Night Football” game last season (Dallas Cowboys versus Philadelphia Eagles game whose ratings came in at 24.3 million viewers)

So many people wanted to see it that there were server issues during the live stream.

Radio stations today only got permission to air a maximum of 3 minutes of audio per show.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 5:42 pm

Two of the candidates from the first debate got to participate because Fox used excerpts from that debate in a question.

Fox really wanted a comment by Carly Fiorina to get some attention.

Except that the question became would they tear up the deal.