What Was Missing From the GOP Debate
Michael A. Cohen – The Boston Globe
Here’s a sampling of the first sentences uttered at the GOP presidential debate in Las Vegas Tuesday night:
Chris Christie: “America has been betrayed.”
Carly Fiorina: “Like all of you I’m angry.”
Jeb Bush: “Our freedom is under attack.”
Ted Cruz: “America is at war.” …
From these opening salvos the evening’s martial tone was set, as each GOP candidate tried to outdo each other in depicting the evils of ISIS, magnifying the threat of terrorism, and pledging to take every possible step — including violations of international law — to keep America safe….
Here’s what you didn’t hear last night. More Americans are killed by falling televisions than terrorists. ISIS has not mounted a single verifiable attack on US soil. Many more Americans are killed in a single day by guns than have been killed by terrorists in the past several years.
Republican Debate 5:The Establishment Awakens
Peter Weber – The Week
In the past few debates, Bush would attempt to throw a verbal punch at Trump, only to see it bounce back and hit him in the face. On Tuesday, he stood his ground, and he got under Trump’s skin for the first time. Throwing punches isn’t Jeb’s strong suit, but at some points — “A little of your own medicine there, Donald” — he even seemed to be enjoying himself, something new for Bush at these debates. Most importantly, he didn’t let Trump walk all over him….
The big fight everyone was expecting — Donald Trump versus Ted Cruz — did not happen, at least not on the surface. Cruz had an overall good debate, but the moment when Trump smothered him with love was maybe the worst moment of his campaign — it’s hard to look strong and presidential if you come across as a servile, sycophant lap poodle — and Trump’s savviest moment of the night.
How Cruz and Rubio Exposed the GOP’s Rift on Foreign Policy
Michael Crowley – Politico
Cruz, playing the role of foreign policy realist, said that President Barack Obama had left America less secure by pushing for the ouster of Arab dictators, including Assad, whom Obama insists must leave power. “If we topple Assad, the result will be ISIS will take over Syria and it will worsen U.S. national security interests,” the Texas senator said….
Donald Trump did not take a clear position on Assad’s fate, but the front-running mogul complained — in his most forceful moment of the night — that the U.S. has spent $4 trillion “trying to topple various people,” adding that the money would have been better spent on infrastructure like roads and bridges in the U.S….
Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO, appeared to agree, pouncing on Trump after his remarks about infrastructure.
“That’s exactly what President Obama says,” she fired back. “I’m amazed to hear that from a Republican presidential candidate.” But it’s not George W. Bush’s party anymore.
The Fifth Republican Debate Ends In A Nine-Way Draw
Nate Silver – FiveThirtyEight
For my money personally, Chris Christie had the best night of anyone on stage — largely because he benefited from other candidates’ tactical choices.
Christie still has a path to the nomination — it runs through New Hampshire — but he’s not quite threatening enough to receive the same scrutiny that Rubio, Cruz or Trump are getting or to be attacked by the other candidates.
GOP Debate Channels Fear Factor: ‘Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid’
Rick Christie – Palm Beach Post
If that is not the word that you’re living your life by these days, there really wasn’t a whole lot for you in last night’s Republican presidential debate on CNN — the fifth and final one of 2015….
To be sure, the debate had some substantive moments that gave us a better idea of where various candidates stood on specific issues like ground troops in Syria and immigration reform. But the number of times we were told that we are not safe had me getting up to go look outside my living room window.