Who Scored in the Debate?

One moment stood out at the debate that really clarified everything.

Perhaps you remember this exchange as recalled on Breitbart:

Republican presidential candidates Texas Senator Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told fellow candidate Donald Trump “not a lot of conservatives come out of Manhattan” during Thursday’s GOP primetime debate on the Fox Business Network.

Cruz, in response to a question as to what he meant when he said Trump “embodies New York values,” stated, that “values in New York City are socially liberal” and “focus around money and the media. He continued, “Not too many years ago, Donald did a long interview with Tim Russert, and in that interview he explained his views on a whole host of issues, that were very, very different from the views he’s describing now. And his explanation, he said, look, I’m from New York, that’s what we believe in New York. Those aren’t Iowa values, but this is what we believe in New York. And so, that was his explanation.”

He then added, “I guess I can frame it another way, not a lot of conservatives come out of Manhattan. I’m just saying.” A seeming reference to Trump saying, “not many evangelicals come out of Cuba.”

Trump responded, “So, conservatives actually do come out of Manhattan, including William F. Buckley and others, just so you understand. And just so — if I could, because he insulted a lot of people. I’ve had more calls on that statement that Ted made, that New York is a great place, it’s got great people, it’s got loving people, wonderful people. When the World Trade Center came down, I saw something that no place on earth could have handled more beautifully, more humanely than New York. You had two 110-story buildings come crashing down, I saw them come down, thousands of people killed, and the cleanup started the next day, and it was the most horrific cleanup, probably in the history of doing this, and in construction, I was down there. And I’ve never seen anything like it. And the people in New York fought, and fought, and fought, and we saw more death and even the smell of death, nobody understood it, and it was with us for months, the smell. the air. And we rebuilt downtown Manhattan, and everybody in the world watched, and everybody in the world loved New York, and loved New Yorkers, and I have to tell you, that was a very insulting statement that Ted made.”

Trump visibly bristled, then delivered a smackdown that damaged Cruz. He did it in a dignified, quiet, sincere way that made Cruz look small. I am one who certainly shares some of the animosity flyover country feels about Gotham, but Trump made us recall how 9/11 was an attack on us all and that we do share our common “Americanness” with them.

Cruz looked petty and too green to be president. He delivered his insult in a condescending way that was sure to alienate a lot of people. Liked Trump’s reference to Buckley, too. That dinged Cruz. Besides, why aren’t we trying to take back liberal places? Has Cruz just given up on certain parts of the country? In that way Cruz shows why he can’t win a general election. He is too unbending to go after states like New York, New Jersey, Illinois and even Florida.

In the earlier tiff between Cruz and Trump, Trump held his own against accusations that he’s a birther against Cruz. He planted the idea in many viewers’ heads that Cruz could be disqualified. Hey, he’s got a point. The Dems will do everything they can – especially if their candidate is Sanders – to win, even if it comes from the courts. When he said to Cruz “you can’t do that to the party,” he was right. Call it negative campaigning, but it works. See Barack Obama’s campaigns.

Other random thoughts: the Fox Business Channel debate didn’t deal a lot with business issues or finances. The moderators enjoyed pitting candidate against candidate more than in the previous debate.

Bush seemed uneasy. In his question about gun control he veered into the Charleston massacre, which was pandering and a little too much about his own compassion than about the issue. Dr. Carson’s attempts at humor were forced, even though much of what he said was good. He reinforced that he’s the disappearing candidate by doing a “yoohoo, I’m over here,” to the moderators. His laugh bordered on the buffoonish.

Kasich wasn’t quite so angry this time. His gesticulations annoyed me. It was as if his hands were another person’s in a comedic skit. He didn’t stand out or get a break out moment.

Christie had some good lines, but doubts about his belief in the Second Amendment were raised, along with his record.

Marco Rubio was perhaps the most disappointing debater of the night. He started off as if he had just had ten cups of Cuban coffee. Agitated, speaking too fast and getting aggressive, Rubio had a whiff of desperation about him.

On Drudge, he had a poll to see who people thought won the debate. About 58% gave it to Trump to 30% for Cruz. The rest were way down in single digits.

While this isn’t a scientific poll, it does show that there is enthusiasm for one candidate above the others.

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