Republican debate: Winners and losers

29 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

John Kasich Rebukes Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

BOULDER, Colo. Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz emerged as the strongest challengers on Wednesday to insurgent front-runners Donald Trump and Ben Carson, in a fiery debate that may have marked a new phase in the 2016 race.Marco Rubio has been playing the long game as a presidential candidate — not getting into fights, not trying to shove himself into the daily news stories, just sticking to his themes and strengths.If there was a moment that perfectly captured the frustration and impatience felt by the Republican candidates languishing in single digits in the polls, it was near the opening of Wednesday night’s debate, when Gov. With time running short until the first nominating contest in three months, the 10 Republicans in the evening’s main debate were anxious to stand out.

If his strategy is sound — and we won’t know until votes start getting cast — Wednesday night’s CNBC debate will mark the moment it began paying off big time. Bush pointedly criticized Rubio for missing most of his Senate votes, saying that he — as one of Rubio’s early supporters and current constituents in Florida — felt that Rubio was not doing his job. “I expected that he would do constituent service, which means he shows up to work,” Bush said. “Marco, when you signed up for this, this is a six-year term, and you should be showing up to work . . . It wouldn’t be right to say that Rubio totally dominated — both Ted Cruz and Chris Christie made real splashes, too — but he put on quite a show.

Kasich to grab the spotlight, and he wasted no time in attacking his party’s front-runners as panderers who tell people what they want to hear, not what they need to know. The only reason Bush was making it an issue, Rubio said, was “because we’re running for the same position, and someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you.” The exchange came on a night of heated clashes among candidates fighting to catch Carson and Trump, two upstart candidates who have tapped into voters’ frustration with the Republican party’s establishment. Over the past few days he has been hammered by the Florida press in particular for missing Senate votes, and he knew he would get questioned on it — and when he was, in a tone of naked hostility by CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla, he pounced. He pointed out that the Florida newspaper that had called for his resignation said nothing about previous Democratic senators in the state who had missed more votes than he while running for other offices. Trump’s immigration plans — and he minced no words, accusing them of engaging in “fantasy” and saying voters should not elect “somebody who doesn’t know how to do the job.” “You don’t just make promises like this.

He called the attack “evidence of the bias that exists in American media today” in a more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger tone that immediately drew Republicans to his side. Kasich bellowed, adding, “Folks, we’ve got to wake up.” The quick, and pointed, exchange suggested that the friendly back-and-forth in the still-crowded Republican race was now firmly ended. But the pace of the campaign is picking up, with the next debate to take place in less than two weeks — another chance for the candidates to shake up the race.

Jeb Bush, his Florida frenemy, decided to jump in on CNBC’s side to complain that as a constituent he didn’t think he was getting his money’s worth from Sen. He ignored a question on the debt limit to criticize the CNBC debate moderators for the questions they had posed to candidates. “The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media,” he said. “This is not a cage match. How about talking about the substantive issues?” Cruz’s response laid bare that a debate that was supposed to be all about the U.S. economy had strayed from the theme repeatedly, so much so that the Republican National Committee took the extraordinary step of criticizing the TV network that broadcast it. “The performance by the CNBC moderators was extremely disappointing and did a disservice to their network, our candidates, and voters,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. He said that while he opposes gay marriage, all people should be treated equally. “They shouldn’t automatically assume that because you believe that marriage is between one man and one woman that you are a homophobe,” he said. “And this is one of the myths that the left perpetrates on our society, and this is how they frighten people and get people to shut up.

You know, that’s what the PC culture is all about, and it’s destroying this nation.” During one round of questioning, moderators pressed Carson over ties with a nutritional supplement company, Mannatech, that has been accused of deceptive claims, and whether he made an error in associating himself with it. “I did a couple of speeches for them, I do speeches for other people,” Carson said. “They were paid speeches. For his part, Trump reiterated his pledge to be a great negotiator as president, pointing out he had persuaded CNBC to shorten the time of the debate “so we could get the hell out of here.” The Republicans seeking their party’s nomination for the November 2016 election also clashed over their tax plans, with Carson defending his Bible-inspired proposals and former executive Carly Fiorina vowing to reduce the complicated tax code to three pages. Carson said his plan, based on religious tithing principles, would get rid of deductions and loopholes and constitute a flat rate of about 15 percent that would be sufficient to fund a sharply reduced government. “Remember, we have 645 federal agencies and sub-agencies.

If Bush had been paying attention, he might have noticed that the way to get his mojo back would have been to attack the snide and inappropriate manner of CNBC’s three chief panelists. But inexperience has been among the key questions hanging over the candidacy of the 44-year-old Rubio, who had struggled in previous debates to emerge from the shadow of other candidates. That’s why he’s on the end,” Trump said, disparagingly referring to Kasich’s placement on the stage and drawing laughter. “That’s target practice for the sickos, and the mentally ill.

When questioned about his personal finances, he responded by pointing to his working-class roots as a Cuban-American in Miami, repeatedly using his personal story as a vehicle for connecting with people struggling to make a living. “I’m not worried about my finances, I’m worried about the finances of everyday Americans,” Rubio said. “That’s what this debate needs to be about.” (Additional reporting by Erin McPike, Ginger Gibson, Alana Wise, Megan Cassella and Emily Stephenson; Writing by Steve Holland and John Whitesides; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Ken Wills) Unlike our country, by the way, which is totally predictable.” Criticism of the news media became a recurring theme throughout the evening, as candidates challenged the moderators, for both the tone and the facts of their questions. The crowd booed some questions, and cheered loudly when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie told moderator John Harwood, “Even in New Jersey what you’re doing is called rude.” Without a jolt from the debate, some candidates could soon decide to get out of the race, following the lead of Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who dropped out after the previous debate six weeks ago. The debate format and subject provided a platform for Trump and Carly Fiorina to promote their private sector experience — but it came with risks for each of them.

But in an illustration that the race is about more than just strong debates, she has since faded, back to 4 percent in a recent CNN poll after rising to 15 percent following the last debate. But while those things have helped him raise money and build a formidable campaign operation, it has also been a hindrance in an era of Tea Party politics and insurgents. You gotta be — stick with it, and all that.” “I can’t fake anger,” Bush said. “I believe this is still the most extraordinary country on the face of the Earth. A New York Times/CBS News poll released on Wednesday had Carson with a narrow lead nationwide, 26 percent to 22 percent, marking the first time in months Trump hasn’t been at the top. “Probably in terms of the applying for the job of president, a weakness would be not really seeing myself in that position until hundreds of thousands of people began to tell me that I needed to do it,” Carson said. “I do, however, believe in Reagan’s 11th commandment, and will not be engaging in awful things about my compatriots here.”

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