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Debate Post-Analysis – Trump Rorschach test

Debate Post-Analysis – Trump Rorschach test

Almost an out-of-body experience watching.

In previewing the Republican debate, I said the Debate is All about The Donald:

I’m going to sit back and enjoy the show. Whatever will be will be.

I didn’t watch the 5 p.m. debate, but the punditry is unanimous that Carly Fiorina was the clear winner, and it was her Breakout Moment. The other candidates in that grouping should just drop out.

I did watch the 9 p.m. main event, and it was a weird experience. Here are my impressions:

Fox News Moderators: 

At times I felt the aggressive attacks on candidates were inappropriate, and much of the show was the moderators using oppo-research type facts to get a reaction. Trump was the focus of most of this. That’s not the role of moderators. BUT, when viewed in its entirety over the two hours, I think the moderators achieved a good result. What could have been a snoozer was interesting, candidates got to address their weaknesses, there was some engagement with each other, and we came away with a sorting out of the field. So, while it was uncomfortable to watch at times, the end seems to have justified the means.

The Donald:

This is becoming the present-day Rorschach test. I thought he did horribly. Trump did not appear comfortable in the setting. Many of his one-liners that work so well when he is alone and has a camera close up didn’t work. He was petulant, shallow and thin-skinned. BUT, if online voting is any indication, he didn’t hurt himself with supporters.

Nonetheless, if Trump’s goal was to broaden his support, I can’t see how this helped. But what do I know, I misjudged him from the start.


Mr. Boring, but that probably helped him. Gave some good defenses of his record, scored well on the “presidential” meter. Established himself as the “non-Trump” candidate. If I were a Jeb advisor, I’d be pleased. He’s in it for the long run, and first he did no harm.

He still has trouble with the Iraq issue:

Scott Walker:

A very workmanlike performance. Weaved his way around questions to answer the questions he wanted to answer, refocusing on Hillary when he could. Often had time left because he answered so succinctly. Not sure this will light his campaign on fire, but in playing the long game, he didn’t hurt himself.

Marco Rubio:

Did very well. Came across as knowledgeable and focused. Not a Breakout Moment, but a strong stage performance. Of all the candidates in the primetime debate, I think he helped himself the most.

Ted Cruz:

Very strong performance substantively. Did himself no harm, maybe some good.

John Kasich:

Got serious air time. But I can’t believe this will launch him into the top tier. I view him as a regional candidate.

Ben Carson:

Hell of a nice guy. But I don’t think he came across as ready to be President. It’s been his problem all along.

Christie, Huck, Rand:

Blah, blah, blah. Don’t think any of them helped themselves. The Christie-Rand shouting match helped neither. Huck was a sideshow, and I can’t imaging he will break out from his base.


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filiusdextris | August 7, 2015 at 9:46 am

The summary pretty much sums up my thoughts exactly, though I would still vote for Carson #1 despite his aura (Cruz #2, Walker #3), as it is already much better than where it was a couple of months ago. I liked the FoxNews moderation immensely where “candidates got to address their weaknesses” – precisely, they didn’t duck the hard questions, and took the sting out of future attacks on national t.v. Candidates knew these were coming, so fair game.

“The other candidates in that grouping should just drop out.”

Wow, Prof.

My gasts are flabbered at the shallowness of that conclusion after one “beauty contest” “debate”.

There’s a lot more behind and before, like records of actual accomplishment, and how each does on the campaign trail.

Now, I personally feel several of the candidates should never have entered the race, and some of them were in the second “debate”. THEY should drop out, because they should never have “dropped in”.

    I found it a bit uncomfortable watching Trump tell us about how he buys access in DC.
    After weeks of stories of the Clinton Foundation for the criminally insane, you’d think the populace could recognize when they are being played by yet another player, but alas, no.
    The “DC clique” (as Ted Cruz like to call them) was openly present at the debate.
    Given the choice of a Republican Trump or a Democrat Clinton, I’ll take the Iranian Mullahs, at least they only lie to the “weak minded.”

“Trump did horribly?” I think not.

    This is why the Professor described people’s reaction to Trump’s performance as a Rorschach test of sorts.

      Barry in reply to Amy in FL. | August 7, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      I would suggest it is as much, probably more of a “Rorschach test of sorts” for the professor…

      We all have some sort of bubble we live in. It is sometimes difficult to see outside the bubble. Some of us do better than others.

    filiusdextris in reply to McAllister. | August 7, 2015 at 10:12 am

    I thought he was bad but not majorly so, though he had to deal with many tough questions. He was petulant, he admitted to gaming the system over the years (I appreciate the honesty, but this is far from noble), he failed to convince that his verbal stance of recent times is his real record, his bailout answer to the bankruptcy question was at least half a dodge, he thought Hilary’s attendance enhanced his wedding (at a calculated six-figured buyout). His tone was off-putting. This field has plenty of anti-establishment folks whom I trust more.

Candidates who should drop out, if they truly care about the party, are Trump, Christie, Huckabee, Kasich, and Carson.

Trump voters are never going to support Bush. Bush voters are never going to support Trump. The candidate who will emerge victorious is going to be someone who can appeal to, and siphon votes from,each camp. IMHO, Cruz or Walker. FWIW, I think Cruz already realizes this and is strategizing accordingly.

Just a quick thanks to the LI team for your coverage of both of these debates. I didn’t see either one, and you guys are making it easy for me to catch up.

The moderators should have stuck to issues on which the candidates could agree or disagree with each other. They were out of line wasting the very limited time attempting to manipulate the standings and giving candidates differing amounts of time. Ditto the faux fixed focus group afterward. The debate was handled as if it were not a debate, but a mass interview in which candidates were not granted the ability to respond except with soundbites. Trump was focused on altogether too much, Kashich was given more time than he warranted, and Cruz was slighted. The entertainment value is beside the point. I am very disappointed in Fox.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to janitor. | August 7, 2015 at 10:48 am

    I didn’t hear all of it, but I thought the questions were solid. They tried to get past the first talking point response by often using the “you say you want this, but you have done this”, or “this other candidate accused you of this, how do you respond, given your stance is this?”

    Trump needed direct confrontation, and he tried to slip away each time. Like with his crude remarks about women being excused with not being PC, which got his desired crowd roar. That response defected but didn’t resolve that “you can’t rape your wife” type problem. He even revealed a little raw anger toward Megyn, which made him look like another Clinton style misogynist.

    If the time on Trump brings him down a notch or two, that will help others emerge as the favored anti-establishment candidate.

      Radegunda in reply to Midwest Rhino. | August 7, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      Megyn deserves credit for understanding how uncivilized it is to ridicule women for not having the good luck to be born looking like Megyn Kelly (or for having lived past their days of youthful good looks). Trump’s reply that it was just a matter of “PC” was ridiculous, but it’s being heartily applauded by a lot of men and by some vain young women who don’t realize that they’ll someday look old.

      Men like Trump (and Rush) — who aren’t much in the looks department but have used their wealth and status to buy a beautiful young wife — fail to understand or to admit that it really is misogynistic to evaluate women in a shallow and cruel way they would consider unfair, inappropriate, and silly if applied to men.

        Radegunda in reply to Radegunda. | August 7, 2015 at 4:03 pm

        As I expected, some people here apparently think it’s just dandy to ridicule women for the physical features they happened to be born with, or for living too long.

        Most people think it’s unacceptable to ridicule anyone for being born without arms, say, or for suffering a disfiguring accident. No one can explain — or wants to explain — why it’s much more acceptable to pour ridicule and moral opprobrium on a woman because her nose is a little too big and her eyes a little too small, or because her epidermis has lost the smooth tautness of youth.

        In fact, a lot of men take open pride in their readiness to demean women on the basis of physical attributes they cannot change, and they imply that doing so is a matter of anti-PC conservative virtue — that it’s the way “real men” behave. Megyn Kelly evidently understands this behavior to be degrading to women as human beings (rather than physical objects), and she understands that it doesn’t help the conservative cause with women, except for those of the smug and self-satisfied variety.

Chris Wallace is becoming more and more the Little Chrissy of FNC. He’s acting blatantly like a member of the DNC and in good standing too. All he needs now is to perfect his snarky grin so it’s more like Scott Pelley’s “gotcha” grin.

Trump stood out in last night’s debate — not good or bad, just different. And that’s because, other than Dr. Carson, Trump is not a politician. He’s a very accomplished businessman. He may not be the best person for the next president, but I would absolutely trust him in that job. The eight politicians last night sounded like variations of politicians. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, either. The man I least trust in the job is Jeb; he’s a pleaser, not a leader. Trump is the exact opposite. He doesn’t care if you like him or not. Like he said, we don’t have time for political correctness. He gets the job done with the best people. Dr. Carson was refreshing and witty. I especially like his comment (paraphrasing): ‘I didn’t think I’d get a chance to talk again.’ Huckabee was good, but I still don’t want him to get the nomination. Christie is good but not as president; he should continue his work in NJ. Same for Kasich; he should stay in Ohio where he’s needed. I like Walker and Cruz. Fox News was declaring Rubio the winner, and he was good, but I don’t feel it’s his time yet. Rand Paul was better than I had anticipated, but I just don’t see him as president. So, like Trump, I’m keeping my options open. Rubio made a fantastic point: “God has blessed us with many fine candidates. The Democrats can’t find one.”

    Radegunda in reply to Kitty. | August 7, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    ” … but I would absolutely trust him in that job” — and that’s one of the problems with Trump support: it’s based so much on “absolute trust” that he will be everything that has been found wanting in “politicians,” and, more specifically, that he’ll be the true-blue conservative amid a sea of RINOS. When someone asks what is the factual basis of that trust, or points out that Trump is not at all the most conservative candidate, the typical answer of Trump fans is: “No more Bushes!”

    “He doesn’t care if you like him or not” — except that one of the “options” he’s keeping open is to run as an independent — i.e. to hand the election to the Democrats — if he feels insufficiently “respected” by Republicans.

    William is correct in noting that Trump can be petulant and thin-skinned, yet his fans think he’s an absolute paragon of truth-telling. He seems to be moved primarily by ego, yet his fans think he’s supremely, uniquely devoted to saving the country.

    It really is hard to figure out, except that Trump has captured the “mad as heck” voters, and they’re so mad at “politicians” that they’re willing to trust him implicitly as the anti-politician of their hopes and dreams.

      Barry in reply to Radegunda. | August 7, 2015 at 2:45 pm

      We could just trust the R party to nominate a dole, McCain, or a Romney. In fact they would if they could, they would nominate bush in a heartbeat if it just weren’t for those pesky primary voters.

      No thanks. Trumps not my first choice but he is a long way from the bottom. Win or lose, trump provides a service just by running as “trump”.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Radegunda. | August 7, 2015 at 4:47 pm

      Well said.

Trump defenders sometimes act like a carbon copy of Clinton defenders. “That question is unfair/mean”.

NC Mountain Girl | August 7, 2015 at 10:37 am

Many of the Trump supporters remind me of the mob that flocked to support Jesse Ventura for Governor of Minnesota. Like Trump, Ventura was also a flamboyant celebrity who was media savvy and underestimated in terms of his campaign skills. Ventura’s supporters tended not to be all that engaged in the political process and thought leadership was mostly a matter of soundbites that gave voice to their grievances.

    Radegunda in reply to NC Mountain Girl. | August 7, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    The central argument of Trump fans appears to be: “Politicians have done us wrong, and Trump is not a politician.” Little else is demanded to support the faith that Trump will do what “politicians” have failed to do. It’s quite strange and dismaying to watch.

Meh. Not a debate, just more Politico-Media Complex theater.

Ambrosia Bierce | August 7, 2015 at 10:50 am

The fair-haired Meghan Kelly was obnoxious.

MouseTheLuckyDog | August 7, 2015 at 10:50 am

Trump looked good but not great. From a detached point of view he looks sincere, looks sort of nonsense ( which I think a lot of people want ), but he also looked raw. He needs to find a political style that matches his personal/business style. But that kind of what so many debates are for, for the candidates to get some polish.

MouseTheLuckyDog | August 7, 2015 at 11:12 am

Informal poll. If by the time your state comes around, the only candidates left are Bush and Trump, who would you vote for.
Me it would be Trump. In fact if Bush were to win, I would not vote for him in the general election. For the first time in my life I might not vote for President in a general election ( though more likely I will vote for a thid party candidate ).

Reading this,, I get a picture of why people are willing to vote for Trump. To sum the argument up, establishment Republicans seem to say they are conservatives but wind up doing the same things that Democrats do. Why vote for them? At least with Trump there is a chance that he will do what he says.

If leaves me to wonder if there is a chance we may see something that I am expecting to happen if things continue as they are going. I see it as possible that Bush will do something to cause Trump to correctly feel he got screwed out of the nomination. Something like the establishment Republicans did for Cochran. Trump in anger goes out and forms a new party, call it the Conservative Party, splitting away from the Republican party. Not like Perot, where the party lived and died with him, but more like when the Republicans split from the Whigs.

    I’m sure that Trump is thrilled to have the endorsement of a site which regularly likens black people to animals.

    Ragspierre in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | August 7, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    “At least with Trump there is a chance that he will do what he says.”

    Well, THAT is one of the safest bets I can imagine, since he’s “said” all kinds of crap (and backed it up with his money), and been ALLLLLLLLlllllll over the map, year to year.

      Radegunda in reply to Ragspierre. | August 7, 2015 at 3:18 pm

      And if you provide the evidence to Trump fans, they’re likely to say “I don’t care”; “It doesn’t matter,” “No more Bushes!” I’ve seen and heard those things from Trump fans over and over; and then they claim that their support is completely rational and informed. Very strange.

      Chem_Geek in reply to Ragspierre. | August 7, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      No, Trump has NOT “backed it up with his money,” he has backed it up with OPM while lining his own pockets. (other people’s money.) A very significant difference.

    tom swift in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | August 7, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    Not like Perot, where the party lived and died with him, but more like when the Republicans split from the Whigs.

    But the Whig party was essentially dead by 1856.

    It had suffered three catastrophes in 1852; the decisive defeat of nominee Winfield Scott by Franklin Pierce, and the deaths of the towering Whig luminaries Daniel Webster and Henry Clay. With no strong remaining leadership and no obvious candidate, the anti-slavery Whigs needed a new home. Like the anti-slavery ex-Democrats of the Free-Soil party, they found it in the new—and solidly anti-slavery—Republican party.

    So by 1856, the US was essentially back to a two-party system, the two we still have today. The Democrats won that year, with James Buchanan, but the Republicans of course won in 1860.

      Sammy Finkelman in reply to tom swift. | August 8, 2015 at 9:37 pm

      In 1856, former President Millard Fillmore ran on the American (“Know Nothing”) line and collected 8 Electoral votes, I think from Maryland. Democrat James Buchanan got 174 and Republican 114. In 1852 Whig General Winfield Scott has gotten 42 and the rest went to the Democrat.

      They were called :Know Nothing because it was a secret society and when asked about meeting members were supposed to say “I Know Nothing”

      They were anti-immigrant, but never imagined that it was constitutional for the federal government to pass an anti-immigration law, as the federal government only has power over naturalization and over commerce and navigation.

      They were for discriminatory laws passed by states.

    Radegunda in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | August 7, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    “Trump in anger goes out and forms a new party, call it the Conservative Party, …” And this glorious prophecy is based on what? Anything?

    You’re demonstrating that Trump fandom rests largely on faith, and on the mad-as-heck factor. You’re so mad, you’ll simply trust Trump to do whatever you want to be done.

    And just as Trump is willing to throw the election to Democrats if his precious ego is offended, you’re willing to help him do it, while nursing your fantasy of a pure conservative party rising from the ashes and quickly winning elections.

    Dream on. Those of us who live in the real world understand that if an election comes down to not-good vs. horrible, the only sane choice is trying to stop the horrible.

      Barry in reply to Radegunda. | August 7, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      “Those of us who live in the real world understand that if an election comes down to not-good vs. horrible, the only sane choice is trying to stop the horrible.”

      Sanity, sure. You’ll vote for any shit sandwich the R’s nominate as long as it takes one day longer for the Marxist policy to be enacted.

      Your guaranteed vote is why the R’s feel they can get away with anyone as their nominee. Dole, McCain, Romney.

        Radegunda in reply to Barry. | August 7, 2015 at 3:48 pm

        Thank goodness we got two terms of Obama instead of Romney or McCain, right? Because Romney and McCain were not good enough.

        That is exactly what the “never ever vote for a RINO” argument comes down to. The rest of us have to live with Obama’s destruction, while some fools pat themselves on the back for refusing to vote for Romney, who would certainly have been far less destructive.

        As for the “R’s” who are “getting away with” nominating someone you don’t like: who do you imagine those “R’s” to be? In case you haven’t noticed, we have something called primaries, in which millions of voters make choices.

        If the majority of the GOP primary votes go to a candidate you don’t like, you can either (1) hold your nose and vote for that candidate to help prevent a worse one from getting the presidency; or (2) refuse to vote for the less-bad option, because you’d rather feel good about yourself than help save the country from the worst option.

        Apparently you prefer option 2. And where does that get you?

          Barry in reply to Radegunda. | August 7, 2015 at 7:10 pm

          “And where does that get you?”

          Perhaps after the R’s loose they will wake up.

          Where exactly do you think we would be with President Romneycare? There is so little difference in your party favorites, socialists all, all for amnesty, all for high taxes, all for more regulations, unable with a congressional majority to defund planned baby butchery, unwilling to defang obamacrap, and the list goes on.

          Explain to me how voting R has changed any damn thing?

          Crickets is all we will get from you.

      Ragspierre in reply to Radegunda. | August 7, 2015 at 3:26 pm

      But…HAPPILY!!!…we are NOT reduced to any such miserable choice.

      We DO have some excellent people running.

      We NEEEEEEEED to get behind them, and put them before the nation with a LOT of enthusiasm. Once we settle on a Cruz, Perry, Fiorina, Walker, we need to work our butts off AND hold them to a truly revolutionary agenda to turn things around.

        amwick in reply to Ragspierre. | August 7, 2015 at 4:32 pm

        WR Mr. Pierre, I found Scott Walker kinda frightening. Just a gut reaction admittedly, one which I was surprised by, since he had intrigued me for some time.

          Ragspierre in reply to amwick. | August 7, 2015 at 5:27 pm

          I up-twinkled you, BTW. I dunno who you got a negative on that, because it was totally innocuous and a simple report of your feelings.

          I wonder if you could explain what caused that reaction, because Walker is such a non-threatening person to me?

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Ragspierre. | August 9, 2015 at 6:02 am


VetHusbandFather | August 7, 2015 at 11:22 am

Why are people allowing Trump to paint himself as a political outsider? Yes he hasn’t served in politics, but he’s as insider as they come. He openly admits to paying cash for political favors, and worse than that he was paying people like Hillary and Pelosi! Yet now we are supposed to believe that he’s somehow less of an insider than Bush? That he won’t won’t be in anyone’s pocket? He’s not exactly a pillar of virtue. Sure you might say he’s already rich so he doesn’t need more graft, but since when has Trump walked away from a more money to make a moral stand.

    Radegunda in reply to VetHusbandFather. | August 7, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Don’t expect reason from Trump fans. They’re motivated by anger at “politicians,” and by faith that Trump will do the right things, just because. They say he’ll “stand up to” the establishment, or whatever forces they dislike, but they don’t care to provide evidence that he’ll stand up for the positions they favor.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Radegunda. | August 8, 2015 at 6:17 am

      Trying to convince these dopes that they’re backing a huge losing proposition on two counts has proven to be no different than trying to persuade people against obastard.

      They don’t see the strategy in play. They think they do and that their support for Trump defies it when in fact they’re playing right into their hands. Fools all. One can only hope that these fools worshipping this buffoon see the light, and see it quickly.

Midwest Rhino | August 7, 2015 at 11:35 am

Walker was indeed succinct and fine. That gave him time to add some cow bell at the end of each subject, but he either didn’t have it or was satisfied with playing it safe for this “debate”. He may be battle weary from union warfare, but still needs to lead the troops to advance from that beachhead, trumpeting the continued charge, not resting on the beach.

On immigration he did say “no amnesty”, and recognized criminal and terrorist problems crossing the border, so that was solid but somewhat passive. I prefer a more impassioned version of Bernie Sanders’ “if you don’t have a border you don’t have a country”.

Any hint of border jumping being “an act of love” and “you don’t have heart” avoids the big picture of the transformation of our country via illegal invasion. Candidates need a hard stance, that robbing the liquor store or invading our country, is not an act of love, even if they are feeding their kids. Coming illegally means they broke the law and they never get citizenship, otherwise the illegal path is the best way, and our country is lost by surrender.

Sununu was just on FOX saying the immigration platform of all candidates is at heart the same … control the border, a difficult path to citizenship. But Jeb would put his La Raza wife in the forefront, and recognizing the “act of love” would afford an easy path to citizenship, attracting more than ever.

America wants to slow even the difficult legal path, not to hear hints of Amnesty Lite. Importing Mexico and Central America has regressed middle class incomes and wealth for a decade, which the Chamber likes just fine. Streamline the legal path only for the most qualified doctors or specialists, not for 30 million illegals on food stamps.

Trump is a stalking horse for the Democrats. That said, he could have hammered the questioner when she asked about ‘liking how a woman looks on her knees. How will you respond to Hilary..’

He could have said, “Well Mrs Clinton, that never stopped your husband” or something similar. But he’s buddies with Bill so he didn’t that high slow pitch over the right field fence.

The big picture for me is not Donald Trump. It is the fact that the Republican Party has put up candidates in the last two presidential elections who had no fire in their belly, did not fight for what they believed in, did not tell the media to go to hell, and we’re to polite with their opponents.

This is why so many Republicans are angry. To make it worse for the GOP the face of the Republican Party is John Bohner and Mitch McConnell. That will produce another winning ticket in 2016!

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to natdj. | August 7, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Sorry. You are wrong.

    These guys consistently fight for what they believe in. You assume differently because you think what you believe in is what they believe in. As an example, John McCain thinks that Tea Party crazies should hold their nose and vote for Republicans, but should never be involved in setting the policy. You see him fight hard for that all the time.

    Radegunda in reply to natdj. | August 7, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    How exactly does the Republican Party “put up candidates”? Do they meet in secret conclave and decide who’s going to run this year?

    Of course not. Individual Republicans decide to run, and they try to drum up the necessary support. GOP bigwigs may throw their weight behind their preferred candidate, but they cannot “shove” anyone “down our throats” (as so many people imagine); it’s primary voters and caucus-goers who eventually choose the GOP candidate.

    These elementary facts are overlooked by many of the people who support Trump in the spirit of sticking it to the GOP — which includes all the other GOP candidates, some of whom have actually stood up and taken risks to defend and promote conservative governing principles. Trump, on the other hand, is simply being trusted to do so, on the grounds that he’s a businessman and “not a politician,” and right now he’s saying things agreeable to the mad-as-heck crowd.

      natdj in reply to Radegunda. | August 7, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      Thank you for the elementary education that you presented to me. Now I can sleep better with your poignant and masterful explanation of how to choose a political candidate. Now I can sleep well tonight.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Radegunda. | August 7, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      Vis-a-vis how candidates are chosen, that’s some Olympic quality naivete you’re displaying there.

Henry Hawkins | August 7, 2015 at 1:45 pm

I watched ‘Rome’ on Amazon Prime last night, the first season finale and episode one of the second season, where a political battle for control of Rome has been set up by the murder of Julius Caesar. Both Gallup and Reuters poll young Octavian at 47%, Mark Anthony at 35%, while dark horse Marcus Aurelius Brutus brings up the rear with 15%. Cicero is at 2%, with the final 1% nailed to crosses and unavailable for comment.

I’ll bet I learned as much about the GOP slate as anyone who watched the FOX debate.

legalizehazing | August 7, 2015 at 3:06 pm

I think Trump did terrible. He should be no where near the Oval Office. He didn’t have one answer with substance. He was 100% made up of talking point zingers. No policy substance. He’s not presidential.

Also, I think Christie did terrible. He openly vehenmently came out against the Bill of Rights on national television. For sane people his political career should be over. No way around it.

I think Kaisch gave a very seasonal popular answer on gay marriage. But his ending response to the God question was very disappointing.

Jeb dodged the common core question like Trumps immigrants dodged the border patrol. Overall he did alright. He came off as presidential, which is scary.

Paul Ted and Rubio had good nights. I don’t think they seemed as presidential as the governors though. None of them got the attention they need.

Walker did fine.. I think his positions on abortion and gay marriage aren’t great for the general election.

I’m set on Rand personally. I think we need a full federal reset at some point to undo the last century of “progress”. But his principles don’t resonate for some reason.

American Human | August 7, 2015 at 4:06 pm

From Bret Beir’s first question about raising the hand and Trump raised his, I thought that we’ve just lived through almost 7 years of a presidency that can be summed up as “It’s all about me!”. Now Trump wants to give us more of that?
Sorry, can’t support another one of those!

    Just so we’re straight, you pledge to support Trump if he is the R nominee, right?

    That’s what I thought.

    forksdad in reply to American Human. | August 7, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    That question was obviously aimed squarely at Trump and he answered it honestly. He is not a politician and barely a Republican. He handled himself far better than the media is portraying on every network.

The Republican party elite who are nearly as liberal as the Democrats want Trump out and out early. They are terrified of his stance on illegal immigration. They would literally rather lose this election than see Trump actually close the border and start ‘Operation Wetback II’.

The more traction he gains with the base on the issue the more it is clear that the elites are entirely out of touch with the base.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to forksdad. | August 9, 2015 at 6:29 am

    Rick Perry will have that wall built and the border as closed as best as it can be in a heartbeat. A couple other candidates will, too.

    Trump will never close the border. You’re being conned just like he cons investors and buyers of his bad paper.

    Trump outsources his signature clothing line to China and Mexico, his buildings were built by many illegals and he staffs his hotels with illegals. Right now, he is trying to import hundreds more Mexicans for temporary work. Yet he blathers about what a great deal-maker is and how he’ll fix the trade deficits and bring good manufacturing jobs back to Americans – all while he’s using China and Mexico to build his own fortune by manufacturing his retail goods abroad and hiring immigrants to work the service jobs in his not-so-lucrative hotel and resort properties.

    And he lied about he worth by double.


Didn’t even watch it. Pointless, really.

As if Christ Christie doing well in a debate is going make me give that fat backstabbing bastard my vote? As if Goober Graham doing BRILLIANTLY in a debate is going to get my vote? As if…you get the point.

For most of us here, this is a 3-candidate race.

I personally think voters would be better served by 30-minute fireside chats with just one newsperson asking short questions of each candidate one at a time, followed by a real debate where candidates are given a topic and go at it with one another in turn. With the popularity of this debate having pulled 24 million viewers, my suggestion would no doubt be an advertising financial success. Instead of three hours for these two debates, they would have programming for a full week. People are hungry to learn about candidates, not FOX mederators who hogged airtime in this debate.