Image 01 Image 03

#GOPDebate Tweets of the Night (PLUS my quick analysis)

#GOPDebate Tweets of the Night (PLUS my quick analysis)

My favorite tweets from the Main Event

It was a night when Ted Cruz referred to this A.F. Branco cartoon (though he referred to the Hamas guy as the Ayatollah — but the intend was right).

This was the moment of the night. I don’t know if anything can stop The Donald, but he was humuliated by Fiorina’s response, which surely was planned at some level but made good use of Trump’s preceding harangue of Jeb Bush:

Fiorina was on fire all night. The clear “Winner.”

Scott Walker started strong, but then didn’t get any questions for what seemed like forever. He managed to insert himself into the coverage by jumping in even when not asked a question. I don’t know if he did enough to reverse his slide. Or at least enough to keep his campaign alive.

I thought Trump’s performance was weak, but I’ve been so wrong about his popularity and what drives his support that I hesitate to predict anything. There just didn’t seem to be much there to excite, though his completely gratuitous slams on Rand Paul were pretty funny.

Jeb Bush melted into the woodwork for the most part, as did most of the candidates (Carson, Kasich, Rand, Huck). I can’t imagine this helped any of them. (Rethinking Cruz) Cruz was forceful, but didn’t seem to be a big part of the debate.

I thought Marco Rubio did well, and Chris Christie at least established a presence.

In reverse chronological order:


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


The CNN crew is stirring strife. They are acting as though the debate is about them by not giving people time to answer their questions. I’m not watching the debate to find out that Jake Tapper thinks that asking another question is more important than receiving an answer.

John Kasich is still a squish. Christie is still a bully and Islamist symp like Fiorina. Carson is still squishy on amnesty and guns. Rubio is still a lightweight. Trump still functions like a guy who loves to delegate. Cruz still is eloquent. Jeb is still an annoying twit, The rest aren’t worth talking about.

Cruz. Trump.

Why these guys would let CNN hold a debate, stir strife, and treat them like unruly kids, I dunno. Somebody ought to demand real debates where people have and unmediated free exchange of ideas. That’s when the slip ups occur. That’s when voters can decide.

    I’d love to see a Cruz-Trump debate. Cruz would get more air time and Trump might actually learn something.

      Ain’t it the truth…

      Juba Doobai! in reply to Sanddog. | September 16, 2015 at 11:01 pm

      Trump is quite knowledgeable about a lot of things, guys. C’mon. You don’t go building around the globe and not be aware of political conditions when not knowing is gonna cost you mega bucks. The guy’s a businessman and businessmen delegate. Unlike Obama, they don’t think they have to be the smartest guy in the room; they exercise their smarts by hiring smarts. The usual political types have to have aides tell them what Trump has to keep up with if he wants to keep on making money. And he does.

        I didn’t say Trump wasn’t smart.

        Anyone could learn a few things by listening to Cruz. He is the smartest guy in the room.

        Now, if we could just get him to loosen up a tad. He just looks to stilted, to posed, while addressing the camera.

    The GOPe screwed up royally. They sold the rights to CNN so no other news organization could carry it. The way to do it is for the party to hold the debate, choose the moderator and let everyone carry it paying a fee for the right.

    While many of the questions were high schoolish, they were rooted in factual allegations between the candidates. I hate to say this, but all told CNN’s effort came across as far more professional than FNC’s. I think their biggest mistake was not in whittling down the number of participants for the main event.

After watching both debates, exhausted. The details fade. Best part was that issues were brought out and discussed in a way that is seldom heard on liberal TV. I hope a lot of Democrats were watching.

“Fiorina was on fire all night. The clear “Winner.” ”

She acts way to harsh and stiff, doesn’t do a thing for me.

No change really. No big gaffes, no knockout punches. The polls might shift slightly one way or another but all in all this was a nothing “debate”. Boring actually.

No winner IMO.

Why the damn republican party cannot figure out how to have a real debate is beyond me. You might get the idea they don’t really want one /snark

    PhillyGuy in reply to Barry. | September 17, 2015 at 12:14 am

    I think I agree about her tone. She was a bit angry. Her strategy going forward should be to add that warmth. I thought this debate was much better than the FNC debate. I wonder what Ted Cruz has to do to get more air time. It’s odd.

    DuraMater in reply to Barry. | September 17, 2015 at 12:18 am

    She is certainly NOT a Maggie Thatcher or Golda Mier.

    SoCA Conservative Mom in reply to Barry. | September 17, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Harsh and stiff? I thought she was focused, concise, and clear in her responses. I wanted to hear more from her on the issues, I wanted to hear more from all the candidates on the issues, instead of a rehash of their resumes (everyone else.)

      Yes I watched it again. She can’t continue that tone. That will catch up with her. She didn’t smile once and there is no excuse for that. I’m beginning to think she has a chip on her shoulder.

        Skookum in reply to PhillyGuy. | September 17, 2015 at 12:02 pm

        I have never had the impression that Carly is an angry woman. She comes across as knowledgeable, competent, and sincere. I could easily listen to her voice for four or eight years; I’d rather be death paneled than have to listen to the ignorant, incompetent, and insincere sHrillary for four to eight years.

        My biggest beef about her performance last night is she obviously knows nothing about the 14th Amendment.

        SoCA Conservative Mom in reply to PhillyGuy. | September 17, 2015 at 12:18 pm

        You only got to see her while the camera was on her, what she was doing the rest of the time, we don’t know. I just didn’t see her as stiff or unlikable. Should she have been smiling when talking about the state of the VA? What about when talking about her daughter’s death from drug addition? Maybe when she was talking about military preparedness? When should she have smiled?

        The camera was on Trump much of the time, even while other candidates were speaking, and his facial expressions left a lot to be desired. I don’t hate Trump, I’m in the process of gathering as much information about each candidate, their policy positions, and plans before making up my mind.

Drudge — 11:54 Eastern
Trump in a landslide
How nice not to have Frank Putz babbling BS for the RNC or M Kelly putting out War on Women questions for Hillary Clinton.

TRUMP 58.3% (148,560 votes)
FIORINA 15.9% (40,505 votes)
CRUZ 5.95% (15,163 votes)
PAUL 5.26% (13,404 votes)
RUBIO 5.06% (12,898 votes)
CARSON 4.53% (11,547 votes)
BUSH 1.22% (3,121 votes)
CHRISTIE 1.2% (3,047 votes)
KASICH 1.2% (3,047 votes)
WALKER 0.81% (2,066 votes)
HUCKABEE 0.57% (1,454 votes)

Total Votes: 254,812

    stevewhitemd in reply to DaMav. | September 17, 2015 at 8:01 am

    If I set the numbers for Trump to one side, I think the rest of the list is fairly accurate. Christie, Kasich and Huckabee are vanity candidates. Walker is serious but my goodness the man has the political fire of Fred McMurray. I know us midwesterners are pretty laid back but come on, dude, show some spine.

    Fiorina and Rubio did well. Jeb held on; he’ll continue for a while though I think he’s mostly a zombie candidate (he’s dead but doesn’t know it). Carson is quite likable on stage; he’s clearly worked on his presence and delivery. Paul? Crazy eyes…

    I’m not endorsing anyone in this post.

MouseTheLuckyDog | September 17, 2015 at 12:09 am

Wow. TCTH thread has over 1,150 comments. Never seen that before.
Last debate, the only poll that said Trump won ( which in retrospect is what happened ) was the Drudge Poll. It now has Trump the runaway winner with 60%.

Kasich, Paul, Carson, Jeb and Walker need to vacate the campaign, now. Rubio showcased his Obama-esque capabilities. No surprise, there. Christie made a couple of good points as did Huckabee. Though none of these will receive my support.

And for all the people praising Fiorina, I guess they are unaware of her record and that would explain their enamored review of her performance tonight. Her stock comments, delivered with so much laryngial tension, her voice fairly crackles, leave me unimpressed. Her rigidity, like her fake conservative bonafides give the impression she is about to fracture like a glass figurine. She is among the several GOP candidates who will inspire me to stay home or vote 3rd party if she appears #1 or #2 on the ticket….anyone’s ticket.

I need to hear Cruz renounce his prior positions on H1B visas and birth right citizenship. And I have reservations about Trumps ability to deliver on his promised schemes. But right now, I’m still leaning their way……cautiously leaning their way.

I know this is pretty much irrelevant to the real debate but I thought Carly was very attractive from the first time I saw her. Eye of the beholder, I guess.

Carly I thought was stiff, seldom saw her smile, she seemed sort of angry somehow. Made some great points tho. Wish she seemed happier to be there. Thought Rubio did very well, but I don’t trust him since Gang of 8. Talks well tho. Cruz is a master debater, guess he gets a +, but somehow seemed too polished, too distant. Rand Paul seemed irritated all through. Wasn’t Trump’s finest moment, he’s not a debater or politician, doesn’t seem to think that way; I’d give him low marks, but he kept his dignity; so don’t think he’ll lose in the polls. Jeb thought “4% sustained growth” was a barnstormer. Yawn. He kept shaking his head “no” while saying “yes” with his mouth. This guy is a loser, polls should show that.

CNN much better at running debate than Fox was, but still wanted talking heads to shut up a lot more! Also didn’t like “let’s you and him fight, using our words that we’ll put in your mouths.” That part really sucked! They were at least fairly consistent, no “gotchas” like Fox pulled. Too many for a debate, that’s RNC who are idiots!

Walker last in terms of speaking time? Reminds me, Jesus said “the last shall be first.”


    I am hanging in there for Scott Walker.

    The disproportionate speaking times made this “debate” into a cult of personality contest, a Trump beauty pageant.

    Every one of the candidate should have had equal time to speak. What a waste of the people’s time.

    There should be real debates-one on one debates-night after night. Not “Who’s on First? Who’s got the quickest retort?”

    I do not want a TV personality running our country. And, yes, this election IS about the character of the country.

      There should be Firing Line type debates with a moderator sitting down with one or two candidates for an hour discussing/debating all the policy issues.

      And, there should also be a conservative Charlie Rose type interviewer who asks in depth questions as well as personal background/character questions.

      The current debate formats are more damaging to our already media personality driven electorate.

      We need to smarten up the electorate and not dumb it down to Trump’s subterranean Orc level.

      Trumpsters rate yuge, untested promises far above the actual fulfillment of promises in office. They dismiss Walker because he’s a “politician,” but Trump isn’t (or wasn’t until this year), so they think he’s more trustworthy. It’s quite irrational.

    JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to jlronning. | September 17, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    I’m hanging on for Scott too.
    But I sure want him to come out unequivocally against illegal immigration. If you can’t speak strongly during the early days when only the base is paying attention, when will you be able to do it?

The last two election cycles, it seemed like Ron Paul won most of the Drudge Polls. Now they’ve apparently passed the crown to Trump.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | September 17, 2015 at 8:44 am

Carson saying we need a two tier minimum wage disqualified him with me. Wages are a private matter negotiated between an employer and a potential employee. Government mandating minimum or maximum wages is similar to Soviet style central planning. That comment revealed a fundamental philosophical insight about him that is disqualifying in my book. I can not support him.

Kasich (and Paul) saying we need to give the Iran deal a chance is insane. Iran has been at war with the U.S. since 1979; they are responsible for maiming and killing Americans in Iraq; and they literally say repeatedly they want to destroy America. Kasich is a slimy, go along to get along politician. He’s done with me, too.

    I didn’t like that answer either. It made no sense, a minimum and then a sub-minimum? Dr. Carson is a nice guy, but that was a definite waffle.

    “Wages are a private matter negotiated between an employer and a potential employee. Government mandating minimum or maximum wages is similar to Soviet style central planning.”

    I agree. Everything the government touches becomes more expensive, more taxing, more convoluted, more coercive and more egregious. Freedom is lost in the wake of overreaching government.

    The market should decide who gets what and not Hillary Clinton, Ben Carson, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Dick Durbin-not by any of the Big Brother ilk.

    Government is my child and I am the parent. It is not the other way around.

    Has any GOP candidate actually promised to abolish the minimum wage entirely?

    If they’re not going to get rid of it entirely, then a two-tier minimum wage is better than just sticking with the status quo anyway, isn’t it?

    There’s a danger in letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

      The federal income tax was to be a temporary tax inaugurated to handle a world war. Now look at how out of control taxation and the federal tax code has become.

      There are whole industries who feed off the tax accounting process and whole groups who feed off of our hard-earned revenue.

      Political leaders are now bickering about how much people make. None of this is polemic materialist nonsense is good or industrious or wealth producing. This talk is all class warfare a la lazy-ass Marx and Fred Engels.

      Let’s keep government “hands off” minimum wages, tiered or no tier.

        I largely agree with you. But here’s the point I was remarking on:

        “Carson saying we need a two tier minimum wage disqualified him with me.”

        So my question was, “Has any GOP candidate actually promised to abolish the minimum wage entirely?” If you guys are disqualifying Carson on the grounds that he prefers a two-tier minimum wage as opposed to the status quo, are you also disqualifying Trump, who apparently wants the same thing, as well as all candidates who are accepting the status quo in. re. minimum wage?

        If the only candidates you’ll not “disqualify” are the ones who promise to abolish the minimum wage entirely, who are those candidates?

          I wonder which candidate would “abolish the minimum wage entirely”.

          With the debate’s disappointing inability to adequately and fairly question each candidate and with, perhaps, a reticence on the part of a candidate to pronounce the unpopular, “I will abolish the minimum wage entirely”, we don’t have much to go on.

      MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to Amy in FL. | September 17, 2015 at 12:21 pm

      A two tier minimum wage literally opens the door for future central planners to institute additional wage and price controls. It is a disastrous proposal.

      If, as a society, we want people to earn a minimum of X, but the market will only support something less than X, then an earned income tax credit is a way to make up the difference. I think people ought to be free to hire who they want and to pay them whatever the two parties can negotiate between themselves, so I don’t support an earned income tax credit either. But at least an EITC forces ALL of society to participate in subsidizing people more than they can get in the market, rather than shifting all of the burden onto the employer.

      EITCs and minimum wage laws are both coercive and market distorting. But the way I look at it an EITC is probably the least damaging because it spreads the coercion to everyone in society rather than just to the employer. Of two horrible options, the EITC is the least horrible, IMO.

      But if the central planners insist on minimum wages, then let the states and local municipalities decide how much coercion to apply to employers. Then an employer can escape the coercion by fleeing to a nearby state without a minimum wage.

      But I will always think that voluntary cooperation is always the best solution. Let the employee and employer negotiate between themselves. If the employer agrees to pay too much, or the employee agrees to accept too little, they have only themselves to blame. And they can both avoid making an error by walking away if the terms are not right. If an employee feels like he is making less than he wants, then he has every incentive to improve his skill set so he can provide greater value to potential employers. That increases his bargaining position and improves his chances of getting a higher wage.

        But you still haven’t explained how you can disqualify Ben Carson for proposing a two-tiered minimum wage, because you don’t believe there should be a minimum wage at all; without also disqualifying all the other candidates who are proposing keeping a government-set minimum wage of some kind.

        I get that you don’t think the government should set a minimum wage. I don’t think they should, either. I just don’t know which candidate or candidates are promising to do what you want, to abolish government-set minimum wages entirely. If they’re all going to keep them in some form or another, why is Carson the only one who’s to be disqualified on those grounds?

    Trump, too, was in favor of a two-tier minimum wage less than two years ago. I’m not sure whether this is still the case, or whether he’s evolved again.

    Don’t we have multi-tier minimim wage right now? Restaurant and agricultural workers have a lower minimum, don’t they?

After listening to both debates, staying awake for the pundits’ analysis and then spending this morning reading dozens of post debate articles, I have one conclusion: An effective leader takes adversity and turns it into victory as Carly did to Trump when the moderator tried to get them to start a fight. A true leader breaks into the fray with wisdom as Cruz did when he was ignored for so long it was an embarrassment. Rather than take issue with what CNN tried to trivialize, viewers should learn to use these amateur circuses to separate winners from losers, simply by observing how candidates address and react to the situation.

I think any debate set-up where any candidate gets twice the air time as another is rigged by design, driven by the ratings needs and political agenda of the hosting media corporation, and without regard for allowing all participating candidates to speak their policies for the benefit of the viewing public. When it became necessary for CNN to ask a question of someone other than Trump, those questions were about Trump, and CNN split the screen to keep Trump’s face on camera, hoping, no doubt, that Trump would do something worth watching, along the lines of how a train wreck is worth watching. Trump obliged in a small way, with a wide array of sophomoric face-making, smirking, etc., during the split-screens. CNN’s complete Trump focus was based on ratings considerations and their liberal to see a click-bait ticking time bomb made the GOP nominee.

In terms of candidates achieving personal goals during the debate, Carly Fiorina was the hands-down winner. Her name recognition is now greatly improved, and she showed great grace and judgment under pressure throughout, best evidenced by her response to a question about Trump having called her ugly. Fiorina was ready and knows her stuff – no matter what the topic, she has it down. I had always thought that America’s first woman president would come from the GOP ranks, a la Margaret Thatcher as the UK’s first woman prime minister. Fiorina just moved from peripheral curiosity to serious contender. Fiorina got the far greater number of studio audience ovations, but that is difficult to qualify since the studio audience was only 500 people of unknown (to me) demographics and political persuasion. They were chosen by CNN after all.

By the same metric of meeting one’s immediate campaign needs, Chris Christie came in second, displaying a more populist affect along with a toned down version of his already known junk yard dog speaking style. Christie at least has extended his campaign and will likely score better donations, if not poll numbers.

Rubio did himself no harm, especially on foreign policy issues.

Cruz always speaks very well in terms of content and substance, but there is something off-putting about his delivery. It appears, or perhaps is, over-rehearsed and canned. Doesn’t affect my support for him, just as Scott Walker’s midwestern blandness indicates nothing about his potential to be a good president.

Walker did what he could with the crumbs of time given him. I kept waiting for CNN to call on him and it must have been, what, an hour, hour and a half before he got his first question? This is an example of how media manipulates things – the average viewer not attuned to media gamesmanship is affected not only by whom the media focuses on, but also by whom they studiously avoid. Out of sight, out of mind. It is a version of spiking a story, refusing to report it because it works against the larger agenda. CNN essentially edited several candidates out of the debate, Walker the best among them. Huckabee also had time to go get the groceries and take a nap between questions.

Jeb Bush. Yeesh. On a night he desperately needed to stand strong against Trump, he instead let Trump get under his skin and was reduced to stammering and whining and failing to obtain an apology after unadvisedly demanding one, loudly and repeatedly. He had his moments and usually does during any media outing, I suppose, but Bush’s best moments put me to sleep.

Back in high school I was an average player on a very, very good football team. During our best year, we had two All Americans, five All Staters, seven All Conferences, and several hon-mens. Average players looked forward to games because all these top players beat the crap out of us in practice. This talent was mostly from one family – the Smith brothers, three of them in four years. Oldest brother Bill was All American, twice All State, later played for Ohio State. Next oldest brother Bobby was also All American and an All Stater three times, later played for Michigan State. Then came little brother Jimmy. Jimmy was a good player, but not All State material, not even close. He worked his butt off, but the talent, size, and strength just weren’t there. He started perhaps half the games, was often replaced by 2nd stringer when he’d struggled in the previous game. It liked to have destroyed him, given the immense success of his older brothers. He came on the team with the attitude that his chosen position ought to begin as his until someone took it. He felt entitled to it. Look what Bill and Bobby did for this team. Starting is my legacy, dammit. Back to Jeb Bush…… like my teammate Jimmy, Jeb Bush carries the air of someone who cannot believe he’s actually having to compete for the GOP nomination, and against candidates not set up as tacking dummies by his party. Carrying on with the high school analogy, Jeb Bush strikes me as wanting and expecting to be the star fullback and homecoming king when he’s basically the school’s A/V geek.

Trump. Sophomoric, like an eighth grader in study hall. Childish antics, making faces, gratuitous insults without a point or purpose other than to insult. Offers plenty of vague populist platitudes but nothing in detail, nothing of substance. Paraphrase of a standard Trump utterance on, say, jobs and the economy: ‘Oh, I’ll be fantastic! We’ll create jobs up the ass, you just watch! We’ll create so many jobs we’ll have to import people to fill them! You won’t believe how good I’ll do on jobs and the economy!’ His claims are woefully devoid of substance or details, and he is devoid of any record by which any informed judgment might be made. Trump’s promises and claims may only be taken on faith. The scientific skeptic in me dictates the admission that the absence of substance or record does not mean Trump cannot deliver on his claims and promises, but it also means I won’t risk taking a candidate on faith when standing right next to him are better candidates with extensive great records who are largely in control of their own mouths. Trump acts like an imperious child on stage.


Small story: Fiorina wins a debate that will be forgotten within weeks.

Bigger story: Media corporations controlling political debates is a very bad idea.

Noblesse Oblige | September 17, 2015 at 2:07 pm

My two takeaways:
1. CNN outclassed by Fox. If the Fox crew had asked the drivel questions about the $10 and the nickname, they would have been pilloried. CNN does it to make everyone look bad, so in fact it is they who look bad.
2. Carly. Beginning to wonder if she is our Maggie Thatcher. The Iron Lady: tough, smart,and does her homework.

Carly is no “Iron Lady”. Sometimes you see what you want to see. Thatcher had a command of the facts and a presence that has rarely been matched by woman or man. Reagan may have been the only one to match her.

She will have to lighten up to go any further.

When Christie was asked who he would put on the $10 bill, he began “I think the Adams family has been underrepresented on our currency…” I honestly thought he was about to propose putting Morticia on the bill.