Image 01 Image 03

CNN GOP Main Stage Presidential Debate: Watch live and join our liveblog

CNN GOP Main Stage Presidential Debate: Watch live and join our liveblog

Round 2: Fight! The main event.

Howdy and thanks so much for joining us tonight! This is the second of two debate posts this evening.

First of all, cable or no cable, you can watch the debate if you have an internet connection. CNN is streaming both debates for free, but it will only work if you are in the United States:

If you don’t have cable, you’ll still be able to watch CNN’s Republican primary debate on Wednesday night, because the network is live streaming it for free on the web.

The live stream will be front and center on between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET. It’ll also be available through the news organization’s apps and the CNNgo web site.

In tonight’s main stage debate, we have:

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

Watch real time debate reaction:

To providing a wide array of real time reactions, we’ve included a few different Twitter feeds for your entertainment. You’ll find those beneath.

Join the conversation:

But here’s the fun part. We want to hear from YOU. Questions, observations, thoughts, ideas? Share them in the comments section beneath. Amy and I will address them directly on the blog. Please keep them civil, appropriate, and debate-focused. We can’t promise we will get to every single one, but we will do our best.

Are you ready? Let the games begin!

Legal Insurrection Authors:

Political media reaction:


Some of the night’s best moments:

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


VetHusbandFather | September 16, 2015 at 8:14 pm

Liked Huckabee’s intro…

VetHusbandFather | September 16, 2015 at 8:23 pm

Trump: I’ve never attacked Rand Paul on his appearance. Until just now sucka!

There has been more tap dancing around questions in this first seven minutes than an entire Fred Astaire & Ginger Roberts show.

Are they scared of Cruz?

VetHusbandFather | September 16, 2015 at 8:35 pm

Mild mannered Carson cuts in between two fools talking over eachother.

I’m getting somewhat disappointed in Trump; heavy on the grand vision and sweeping statements, but light on specifics. Regardless of the topic.

VetHusbandFather | September 16, 2015 at 9:10 pm

Someone better get out the Aloe… because Trump just got burned.

VetHusbandFather | September 16, 2015 at 9:26 pm

I forgot Chris Christie was there until they panned out…

I am so (insert expletive) p*ssed at the mediators that I am almost apoplectic. All they want us a food fight and the candidates are accommodating them. DON’T FALL FOR IT!

    Kemberlee Kaye in reply to JoAnne. | September 16, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    So true. It’s an interesting format in that they are using candidate quotes, the problem is that rather than focus on issues, they insist on asking every candidate what they think about Trump. I’m not sure how that’s supposed to help voters get a sense of where these candidates stand on these issues.

    ConradCA in reply to JoAnne. | September 17, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Blame the GOPe who sold the rights to CNN to hold this debate.

I thought a “debate” was a forum in which everyone is asked the same question, then everyone gets to answer it, then they take each other’s answers apart?

Why are they scared of going to Cruz? This is just silly.

    Kemberlee Kaye in reply to Avraham. | September 16, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    They’ve also severely neglected Scott Walker. One hour and 44 minutes before they asked him the first question.

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Avraham. | September 16, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    I’m not watching the debate live. I will download it when it’s done, but I can guess why they won’t talk to Cruz. He won’t dump on Trump.

VetHusbandFather | September 16, 2015 at 10:18 pm

Mr. Paul: I was there. The war in Iraq did work. I personally saw peace in Iraq. I saw a generation of young people in Iraq with hope. We lost the war when President Obama decided he was going to campaign on an Iraq withdrawl.

I’ll still keep my #1-2 favorites as Carson & Cruz. But Rubio and Christie made the biggest jumps in my eyes tonight. Paul and Trump (at least his first hour) made the biggest falls.

VetHusbandFather | September 17, 2015 at 12:27 am

My take:
Fiorina: Great performance, intelligent, well prepared, and witty. This will only help her gain recognition.

Rubio: Also solid. Came off as well prepared and experienced. This debate should give him a boost.

Carson: He either his a homerun or fizzles. I think he comes off as very intelligent and even tempered, but he’s not as sharp on the issues as some of the other candidates. My favorite part is that he can command such respect with such a calm demeanor. It’s refreshing to see a different leadership style from a candidate. That being said, I dint see a big shift in the polls for Carson.

Christie: His theme tonight was that this is about the voters and not him. That’s a powerful theme and I think he should keep running in it. I expect a small boost for him, but he’s going to need more than a small boost.

Trump: Just flat out underprepared. His shtick is getting old and he didn’t bring any substance to back it up. He needs to get smart on the issues if he wants to stay in the game.

Paul: Although I lean libertarian, compared to most conservatives, I just can’t stand Rand or his dad on foreign policy. Ask he did tonight was give me more reasons to not like him. This is one thing Trump is right about, Paul doesn’t belong on this stage anymore.

Huckabee: A few good spots, but I don’t foresee any shifts in his numbers.

Kascich: Just not right on most issues for most conservatives. His campaign is going nowhere.

Walker: I really want to see Walker do better. He really does have great credentials as a fighter fir conservative values, but he’s not selling himself. He’s got to find away to make himself stand out in this group in order to succeed. I think he’ll slide more.

Cruz: Seemed to be sitting in the sidelines while the other candidates went after trump. He may gain if Trump falls, but otherwise unremarkable.

Bush: Two great moments. 1. attacking Trump on his lobbying record (Wake up Trumpbots the guy is 100% insider). 2. Standing up for his brother. Otherwise Bush is a candidate on the decline. The tussles with Trump didn’t help either one. Fiorina demonstrated hire to stay above that.

“I will not talk to Putin” was the stupidest comment of the night.

I really would have liked to hear more of what Walker had to say. Walker and Cruz were two candidates I was really looking forward to listening to and they did not get much air time at all.

This debate hasn’t changed my opinion of Trump any. He likes to improvise. This time it didn’t work out. He got railroaded pretty hard going into this.

Ever since Carson’s visit with Sharpton, I’ve written him off. I am a staunch supporter of law enforcement and that particular incident told me all I need to know about where he stands.

The only two candidates in the entire lineup that appear trustworthy and principled to me are Cruz and Walker. Everyone else, I have reservations.

There is a great deal of fishiness about this entire thing. Not just CNN but just the campaigns in general. I feel uneasy. Something’s not right.

    VetHusbandFather in reply to TB. | September 17, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    I agree, but in these events you just kind of need to take it by force. CNN wasn’t bothering moderating so they needed to fight for their sure time. If Carson can draw the air time as quiet as he is, then Walker and Cruz have no excuse.

In my opinion, the following should drop out now: Pataki, Jindal, Kasich, Graham, Gilmore, Bush, and Paul.

    MTED in reply to MTED. | September 17, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Whoops–left off Santorum.

    VetHusbandFather in reply to MTED. | September 17, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    I’d add Huckabee to that list. I don’t think he’s going to break out in any major way. I’m sad to see Jindal on the list, but I agree. If he was going to break out it needed to be a standout performance at the kiddie table last night. He needed to generate enough buzz to last through the main debate, and he did not.