First of all, if you missed the two debates on CNN on Wednesday night, you missed two great political debates. Hugh Hewitt asked great questions of the candidates. Jake Tapper and Dana Bash were slightly biased against Republicans. Really both debates were so good, and a million times better than the two Fox News debates. There were no gotcha questions, there were plenty of issue-focused exchanges between the candidate.
Here’s an exchange between Jindal and Graham:
Jindal: “If we can’t defund Planned Parenthood… It is time to be done with the Republican Party.”
JIndal on Trump and Obama:
Jindal: “He’s declared war on trans fats, and a truce with Iran. Think about that – he’s more worried about Twinkies than he is about the Ayatollahs having a nuclear weapon!”
Jindal on the refugee crisis and illegal immigration:
Jindal: “Simply allowing more people into this country doesn’t solve this problem.”
Jindal on radical Islam, and discrimination against Christians in America:
Jindal: “In America … right now, the biggest discrimination going on is against Christian business owners and individuals who believe in traditional forms of marriage.”
Here are my ratings, candidates in red are the ones I support.
First debate grades:
Bobby Jindal: A-
Lindsay Graham: B+
Rick Santorum: C
George Pataki: D
Jindal went after Trump hard, but didn’t talk enough about policy and his own record. LIndsay Graham was solid on foreign policy. He is far too liberal on fiscal issues and social issues, and especially on illegal immigration. Graham is one of the most establishment RINOs in the Senate. It was fun watching Jindal take him on. Jindal is still my favorite candidate, and I hope he gets a bump in the polls from his debate performance.
Carly Fiorina on Planned Parenthood:
Marco Rubio on foreign policy:
If you watch only one clip, watch this one – Rubio and Christie on global warming:
Ted Cruz on illegal immigration:
Scott Walker on minimum wage, jobs and Obamacare:
Second debate grades:
Carly Fiorina: A
Marco Rubio: A
Chris Christie: B+
Ted Cruz: B
Scott Walker: B-
Ben Carson: C+
Jeb Bush: C+
Rand Paul: C
Mike Huckabee: C
John Kasich: D
Donald Trump: F
Fiorina solid on the facts, but took a few hits on her record at Hewlett Packard, which was not good. She is much too liberal and inexperienced for me, but she talks about these issues very seriously. I am more conservative than she is on abortion, marriage, religious liberty, criminal justice, and many other issues. She has no record of achievement as a governor, either. Marco Rubio is amazing at foreign policy, and knocked a question on global warming out of the park. I love to see a Republican explain the global warming issue so that people understand what is at stake. Rand Paul made some great points about federalism, which I think was valuable in explain conservative principles to the CNN audience.
The two-hour political extravaganza pulled in 24 million viewers according to initial Nielsen ratings numbers – breaking the all-time record for a non-sports cable event.
[…]A good comparison here: the largest audience that any debate drew in the 2012 election was 7.6 million.
[…]And about that coverage on Thursday: Of the two-hour broadcast, the candidates collectively spoke for one hour and eight minutes total. Mr. Trump spoke for 10 minutes, 32 seconds, with Jeb Bush in second place at eight minutes, 32 seconds – this according to University of Minnesota political professor Eric Ostermeier, who tallied it all up with a stop watch and a spreadsheet.
[…]Trump and Bush were the only two candidates who reached — and exceeded — that mark,” the professor adds. “They received more than their equal share of speaking time while the rest of the field was shortchanged.”
In third place was Mike Huckabee at 6:40 followed by Sen. Ted Cruz (6:39), Ohio Gov.John Kasich (6:31), Ben Carson (6:23), Sen. Marco Rubio (6:22), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (6:10), Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (5:51), and in last place, Sen. Rand Paul (5:10).
The Fox News moderators spoke for 32 minutes – taking up about a third of the total on-camera dialogue.
The Fox News moderators spoke for 32 minutes. They should have spoken for 10 minutes total, and in fact I saw them say that they only intended to speak for 10 minutes, just after the early debate for second-tier candidates.
Conservative Mark Levin was not please with the Fox News moderators’ performance.
Lawyer, constitutional scholar, best selling author, and conservative talk radio host Mark Levin, in an interview on theBreitbart News Saturday radio program, expressed outrage at the Thursday night GOP presidential debate hosted by Fox News.
Levin asserted, “I think that we were all duped. The fact of the matter is that this was a ratings gambit.”
[…]Levin claims that “We the people” were overlooked in the debate, and the event became a media spectacle with more emphasis on the show’s moderators than on discussing the important issues that face America.
[…]Bannon observed that the debate reeked of “opposition research” and had a definite “adversarial” tone with the questions they asked Trump and others. Levin agreed and recounted that the question they asked Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker about abortion seemed prosecutorial in nature.
It’s not just that the speaking time was unfair, and actually favored the moderators, it’s that the moderators’ questions were almost entirely tabloid-style gotcha questions:
Levin described the debate as a failure to address the two hundred trillion that America faces in unfunded liabilities, the bankruptcy of the Social Security system, the fact that Medicare and Medicaid are on the brink of collapse, that our educational system costs a trillion dollars a year and is a “complete failure,” our immigration policy is a disaster, the EPA is destroying our economic system, and that our Constitution is being undermined. Levin rebuked Fox for wasting time on “pardon the phrase—trumped up stuff. To me it is such an outrage what took place. And it was planned. The questions were planned. I am very troubled by it too.”
I think Megyn Kelly in particular was a lousy moderator, and just approached the debate as a way to attract attention to herself. She was a disgrace. People say Fox News is conservative, but they were anything but conservative during the second debate. They were in it for themselves, and the Republican Party suffered. I might as well have been watching CNN, or even MSNBC.
It’s late Thursday night, so I am just going to round up a few clips that stood out to me.
Ted Cruz’s introductory speech:
Marco Rubio on helping small businesses:
Ted Cruz on Obama weakness with Russia and China:
Ben Carson on race relations in the United States:
Scott Walker defends his strong pro-life record:
Ben Carson on America’s declining military power:
Scott Walker defends his economic record in Wisconsin:
And Ben Carson’s short closing speech was the highlight of the night:
I like Scott Walker best in the second debate group, but he didn’t say much that I hadn’t heard before. I really think he is the guy to beat Hillary, especially since Jindal’s record in Louisiana is just not ready for prime time. Would like a Walker/Jindal ticket, with Cruz as Attorney General and Ben Carson as Health and Human Services Secretary and Carly Fiorina as Commerce Secretary and John Bolton as Secretary of State and Rand Paul as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Oh yes, please.
Carly Fiorina was the star of the first GOP debate, no one else was even close. I admit that even though I am someone who favors only conservative governors as candidates (Walker, Jindal, Perry).
The Fox News moderators were just awful, but Fiorina still shined. The other candidates who impressed me were Perry and Jindal.
The reactions on Twitter were unaninmous in declaring her the winner, with Jindal and Perry being mentioned as runners-up.
Let’s take a look at that article from The Federalist that Mollie Hemingway tweeted.
FOX News hosted an early debate for seven candidates whose polling numbers weren’t high enough to get on the main stage. Former New York Governor George Pataki, former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore, Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-SC, Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-PA, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and businesswoman Carly Fiorina answered questions from FOX News’ Martha MacCallum and Bill Hemmer.
Graham focused his answers on ISIL, discussion of which seems to be the main motivating factor in his run for presidency. Perry focused on his experience. Jindal emphasized the importance of conservative governance. Pataki and Gilmore emphasized records from their time as governors less recent than Perry’s. And Santorum revisited themes, such as helping out blue collar workers, he emphasized during his earlier run for presidency.
But it was Carly who stood out. Fiorina towered over her opponents, even though many of them handled themselves well. When asked about Donald Trump’s popularity, Fiorina pointed out progressive positions he held while also acknowledging that his popularity is a result of the GOP political class failing to serve its constituents. Still, she asked, “What are the principles by which he’ll govern?
“There’s a sharpness and intelligence about her. A precision of her message that really cuts through,” FOX News’ Chris Wallace said immediately after the debate.
That was seen in one answer when she went out of her way to draw distinctions between conservatism and progressivism, about how they differ at their core in their views of the individual, equality, and the role of the government. Though she officially ran out of time in this answer, she kept going until she made her point and a moderator would have been crazy to stop her, on account of how compelling the moment was. Her control of the stage at that moment had something of Reagan’s “I am paying for this microphone” to it, a defiance based in commitment to a cause.
Simply articulating conservatism, much less doing it with precision and eloquence, reminds viewers how rarely such defenses of conservatism are heard from current Republican leadership. It also reminds them how ineffective and inarticulate such defenses of conservatism usually are.
She should have been in the debate of the top 10 candidates, and let that clown Donald Trump go jump in a lake.
Now there was some division about who won – some people thought Jindal and Perry also did well the debate:
Rachel Alexander explain why she liked Jindal in this article at The Stream.
It was clear who the winners were. Carly Fiorina and Bobby Jindal consistently had solid, confident, precise, conservative answers to each question.
The other candidates fared less well. Lindsey Graham was tripped up a couple of times on his lack of a conservative record. When confronted about working with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on climate change legislation, he admitted he would reduce the country’s use of fossil fuels. George Pataki likewise stumbled when confronted about his pro-choice record. Asked about the horrific Planned Parenthood undercover videos of selling fetal body parts, he responded that Roe v. Wade has been the law of the land for over 40 years and he would not ban abortion before 20 weeks.
Rick Perry seemed unsure of himself on issues, stumbling a bit over his words. Rick Santorum kept saying he wanted to make the U.S. number one in manufacturing jobs — despite the fact we are a First World country and technology is naturally causing shrinkage in manufacturing jobs. Jim Gilmore seemed too focused on repeating his past experience.
When asked about Ohio Governor John Kasich supporting Medicaid expansion in Ohio, Bobby Jindal soundly refuted it. “We can’t afford the entitlement programs we already have today,” he said, and stated that it was a mistake to expand Medicaid.
He said Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are working hard to turn the American dream into a nightmare.
“We’re going to have too many people in the cart rather than pulling the cart,” he said, and it isn’t free money we’re borrowing from China. He then pivoted to simultaneously enlist Obama in the point he was making, and point up how loose spending weakens America on the world stage:
Yesterday, the president stunningly admitted this. He said, “we don’t have leverage with China to get a better deal on Iran because we need them to lend us money to continue operating our government.”
The president of the United States admitting that he’s weakening our government’s position, our foreign policy standing, because he can’t control spending in D.C.
Both Perry and Fiorina did well discussing the Iranian threat. Perry said he’s on the side that keeps Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. In a surprise endorsement of Fiorina, he said, “I would rather have Carly doing our negotiation than John Kerry.” If so, he continued, maybe there might be a deal that didn’t give everything away. There needs to be a Congress that says, “Hell, no” to this regime. If elected, the first thing he would do would be to tear up Obama’s agreement with Iran.
I also found an interesting exchange between Fiorina and that liberal clown Chris Matthews on MSNBC. She knows how to deal with the liberal media. Probably because she is used to being CEO and having people listen.
I listened to the second debate as well, but it was harder to follow, because of the crowd noise, and the more obnoxious moderators, e.g. – Megyn Kelly. Will hopefully have a post up about that by midnight.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has never been a favorite of conservatives. Those who see him as a “squishy” compromiser more interested in placating President Barack Obama and K Street lobbyists than the Republican base had more fuel tossed on that fire when he blocked amendments to the Highway Bill Tea Party members wholeheartedly support.
One amendment would defund Planned Parenthood, the nationwide abortion provider which receives more than a half billion dollars in taxpayer subsidies annually. McConnell has previously said he supports defunding Planned Parenthood, which was recently the subject of undercover sting videos in which executives with the organization can be heard discussing the sale of organs from aborted babies. But the leader blocked an amendment to the Highway Bill that would have defunded the organization.
At a time when we have the public behind us on defunding Planned Parenthood, McConnell blinks. What good is he?
I hope everyone understands that big corporations are not conservative, and we should not be helping them in any way. If anything, the government should be pushing for more choice and competition, and lowering barriers to entry for new start-ups.
What do we do about Mitch McConnell?
Next time he is up for election, he should be primaried. If you get a request for donations from anything remotely related to the Senate, send it back with a note that says “not till McConnell steps down as majority leader”.