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Focus on taxes, jobs, and the economy…this could be the Big One.

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

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

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

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Political media reaction:



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

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

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

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

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

A valid point on all this:

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

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

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

…and then this happened:

Chris Christie was not impressed.

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

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

…and at the end of the day…

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A debate moderated by an unbelievably far-left hack like John Harwood, in the hive of leftism Boulder, Colorado.

Who the heck put this debate together again?

Christy hit a good one! A socialist, an isolationist, and a pessimist. I can’t tell the difference either.

Colorado. Democrats got their butts kicked for passing guncontrol in 2013:

Three dem lawmakers booted out of office b/c recalls and lost the state senate majority the following year.

    They took one for the team. Neither said gun control bill nor the Democrats gutting of TABOR have been reversed. That’s a Democrat victory no matter how many Democrats lose the next election.


this –>— Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl)

    Haha, pretty much—although in this case I attribute more of the stress and strife to the mods.

      Seeing the highlight reel on the internet now, I almost wish I’d watched it. Sounds like it wasn’t nearly as bad as I was dreading it’d be, if only because the candidates managed to find a little fire in their bellies and have a go at the moderators.

      I did tune in to the twitter feed every now and then – I enjoy those lists you put together. They help tame the “firehose” of information coming through into something more manageable and coherent. So thanks for those!

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to Amy in FL. | October 29, 2015 at 12:58 am

    Is that supposed to be ROnald Reagan covering his face? If so, it’s a younger Ronald Reagan than the age he was when he got into politics or became a Republican. That Reagan is definitely under 50 years old.

The LSM think the debate is all about them. They take a long time to ask their question, interrupt the speakers, and try to control them. Why does the GOP permit leftwingers to moderate their debates?

    Well, if we only had debates moderated by Fox, etc., it might alienate voters in the general. (Primary voters would be okay, but sentiment could spill over.) Highlights the importance of building up conservative, Republican outlets so that they have the capacity to influence who gets to ask the questions, if not host.

Seems like Harwood is giving Republicans a “Middle Eastern Mudslide”

I truly would love to see Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin ask these candidates questions. Stop with this lets be nice to the liberals.

OK, I didn’t watch the last GOP debate and I damn sure didn’t watch the Dem debate, so maybe I’ve got it all wrong, but is a debate supposed to be between the candidates or between the moderators and the candidates?

What the GOP needs to do is contract an independent group of some sort that agrees to moderate w/o bias, ask good, pertinent questions, let the candidates answer, and let the audience decide on the result. Then they need to put the rights to air this arrangement up for bids, with the codicil that whichever media outlet wins the broadcast rights will accept that independent panel as is without interference. Presidential debates get from 5 million to 25 million viewers, which is more than just about anything else they might air instead – there will be bids, and the winner would make $$$ selling ad time. The GOP will get excellent, non-gotcha exposure, and the ultimate winner would be the viewers, who get to watch an actual debate and learn more about the respective candidates.

Yikes, what a clusterfark.

Who won? I’d call it a tie between Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Biggest loser? Jeb Bush tried to get tough and failed miserably. Second biggest loser was Kasich. Fiorina, Christie, Paul, Huckabee, and Trump each had their moments and none damaged themselves much, but neither did they make substantial gains.

Cruz did as well as I’d expected, got more time for a change, and got off the best soundbite with the rebuff of MSM (the Bolshevik/Menshevik split reference). Cruz seemed more natural, less ‘canned’ than in the past – a bad sign for his opponents. But I actually liked what Rubio said earlier, when the topic was super PACs, and he identified the MSM as the Democrat Party’s largest super PAC. Rubio impressed me with his demeanor, command, and edged Cruz a bit perhaps in looking ‘presidential’, as ephemeral as that tag may be.

I wish Bobby Jindal could have been onstage too.

    I thought Cruz was great. He led the rebellion against the left wing “moderators” and that set the tone of the entire “debate”. It was, IMO, his best performance to date. Hope he keeps it up.

    Trump lost nothing, and by not losing, he will gain. He was actually pretty good. As with Cruz, his best to date.

    Carson I liked. There is a genuineness about the guy that people see. I would have expected some of the post debate polling to show this but apparently not. I think he has probably peaked as far as support goes.

    Rubio, I cannot listen to him without thinking everything he says is a lie. If you believe him it all sounds good. I see his performance as pulling more support from –

    Bush. Dead. Stick a fork in him dead. If it wasn’t apparent to some people it should be tonight. His funding will now dry up completely. His ego will keep him around a bit longer, but he is done.

    Others, I thought they all did OK. But, the battle is at the top and they make no inroads. May be some hurt, but then, they were already in the hurt column.

    Trump will continue to lead. Cruz may see some spike in support. Otherwise I see little real change.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Barry. | October 29, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      In terms of chronology, it was Rubio who first smacked down the MSM and Hillary simultaneously by calling the MSM (including the present moderators) Hillary’s largest Super PAC to raucous applause.

        If your going to get all chronological and all, I believe it was trump…

        Nothing compared to the takedown by Cruz.

          Henry Hawkins in reply to Barry. | October 30, 2015 at 12:35 pm

          Trump’s ‘attack’ was limp-wristed and garnered no applause, words to the effect ‘that’s not a very nice question’.

So which candidate do the Democrats prefer? You can usually tell by who the biased moderators attack more and who the Democrat talking heads at the news channels say “won”.

These moderators must be the JV squad?

Watched only short clips after the fact. Loved how prepared Rubio was for Bush’s attack, conveniently set up by one of the CNBC weasels (they were God-awful). And Cruz confirmed how nimble he is on his feet – not for nothing that he argued cases at SCOTUS.

I know it’s crazy to contemplate but just… for just a fleeting instance, picture in your mind what a pleasure it would be for one, just one, moderator to light into Hillary or Bernie with the same hostile tone and condescension. Can you even fathom such a thing?

Yeah, won’t ever happen, but I can dream a little dream, can’t I?

NBC = “The Potemkin Network”

Debates are soon forgotten in the onrush of new events, so the best, most lasting, thing to come out of tonight’s debate is the credibility suicide of the liberal media.


How people respond in hostile media environments can be very instructive, regardless of the ‘substance’. Of course, only Republicans are subjected to them. Rubio, Carson & Cruz responded with vigorous, but classy and courteous pushback. Hopefully, word will get out.

Side note – I think we’re finally past the ‘water bottle moment’.

    Chem_Geek in reply to Daiwa. | October 29, 2015 at 10:13 am

    Exactly. This childish whining about the “hostility” of the moderators is amusing; do any of you think for a second that Putin or Xi or Iran’s I-mean-a-nut-job would be any *less* tough?

      Barry in reply to Chem_Geek. | October 29, 2015 at 1:15 pm

      You confuse tough with insulting hacks.

      We’ll stop complaining when the “media” hacks employ the same “toughness” in questions posed to the democrats. Until then, no.

Reince Priebus needs to go! This man/child is not up to the heavy lifting required of the job. Cruz was the clear winner with intelligence and not just gotcha replies. Bush the big loser for being the only one that attacked a fellow candidate. Some body pull the plug on Kasich before he explodes. CNBC should fire all three moderators tonight!

This is a republican primary debate. They get to choose the venue. They pick what they want.

Anybody think that troll, prince rebus, would have said anything about the commies moderators had it not been for Cruz?

The first paragraph of this:

should be the new dictionary definition of Chutzpa.

A great (and totally believable) sample moderator question tweeted by @Jake_Vig on the #CNBCGOPDebate Twitter page:

“A gun, a bible, a fetus and a woman are hanging off a cliff. You can save 3. What do you say to the woman as she falls?”

I’m sure they just couldn’t get to it in only 2 hours.

Cruz was best, Kasich worst, moderators even worse, RNC worst of all for letting this group of low-life liberal bashers try to savage our candidates.

You won’t find me defending Rubio very often but here’s some good documentation that Harwood outright lied about his tax plan.

Thanks to Carson and Trump for keeping this at two hours.