Who Won the Third Republican Presidential Debate?

29 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

CNBC Republican debate 2015: Marco Rubio goes off on Jeb Bush and the ‘main stream media’.

Few could avoid the political crossfire Wednesday night at the third Republican presidential primary debate, where tensions boiled over among several candidates on stage – though perhaps the biggest clashes came between the candidates and the moderators.

In this Oct. 19, 2015, photo, Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio speaks during a campaign rally at the Utah State Fairpark in Salt Lake City. Lindsey Graham has delivered the line of the night thus far during an unremarkable Republican undercard debate that featured few, if any, game-changing moments among the lowest polling GOP candidates. “The No. 1 candidate (Hillary Clinton) says she was flat broke even though she spent eight years in the White House,” Graham said. “The No. 2 guy (Bernie Sanders) went to the Soviet Union on his honeymoon and I don’t think he ever came back.” As he’s done in previous debates, Graham found a way to turn several questions around to focus on the war on terrorism and foreign policy, seen as among his strengths. Rubio and the other Republican presidential candidates are getting ready for the third GOP debate on Oct. 28, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)Rick Bowmer Candidates in tonight’s CNBC Republican debate seem to be squaring off against the host channel more than each other.

Senator Marco Rubio, who has slowly risen in the polls thanks to strong performances in the first two Republican presidential debates, on Wednesday delivered another pugilistic performance in the third, pushing back against Jeb Bush, relating his personal story to downtrodden Americans, and hammering away at the media. Then he got a follow-up question from a man who identified himself as “a constituent.” What followed was 60 seconds of pure, crackling drama: a fight that, given the candidates’ backstories, was the equivalent of Darth Vader taking on Obi-Wan Kenobi. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) turned a presidential debate question asking him if he “hates his job” into a diatribe on the mainstream media, and then quickly went on the offensive after Jeb Bush called him out for missing several votes in the Senate. Still, there were moments where the GOP hopefuls turned their attention away from the “unfair” questions and to their opponents. “This was six-year term and you should be showing up for work.

Was this a French work week?” US Senator Ted Cruz of Texas ignored a question on the debt limit to criticise 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. Asked about using a Florida Republican Party credit card a decade ago to pay for home improvements, Rubio (who repaid the party) declined to respond, pivoting instead to a story about his upbringing as the son of a bartender and hotel maid and arguing that it gave him authority to speak for the middle class. “I didn’t read about this in a book,” he said. How about talking about the substantive issues?” The Republicans seeking their party’s nomination for the November 2016 election also clashed over their tax plans, with front-runner Ben Carson defending his Bible-inspired proposals and former business executive Carly Fiorina vowing to reduce the complicated tax code to three pages.

Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, said his plan, which is 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. And it’s possible that if neither of them drops out soon, they’ll end up splitting Republican establishment energies — at exactly the time when party elites need to unite behind a candidate to take down Donald Trump or Ben Carson. They’re looking for a senator that will fight for them each and every day.” But Rubio got the better of the exchange, judging by the audience reaction. The senator earned applause for blaming the newspaper editorial on a “double standard” for Republicans in the media, again when he dismissed Bush’s attack as a one of political expediency, and a third time after criticizing Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. “The only reason you’re doing it now is because we’re running for the same position and someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you,” Rubio said to Bush. “My campaign is going to be about the future of America, it’s not going to be about attacking anyone else on the stage.” Republican front-runners Ben Carson and Donald Trump came under fire early in the the party’s third presidential debate, which turned combative as moderators and some of their opponents pushed for details of the outsider candidates’ tax and budget proposals and raised questions about their inexperience in government.

The debate comes at a crucial time in the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, as Carson has moved ahead of Trump in some national and local polls. Ohio Governor John Kasich warned that his party was on the verge of “picking someone who perhaps cannot do this job,” and after Carson defended his tax rate, exploded. “This is the fantasy that I talked about at the beginning,” he said. When Rubio became speaker of the Florida House of Representatives (the first Cuban American to get the job), Jeb let him in on a Bush family inside joke by gifting him the “sword of Chang.” That’s why there was so much psychological drama in their debate fight, but it matters for more than aesthetic reasons: It means that Rubio’s longest-standing relationships with donors are with Bush allies, who may have committed to supporting Jeb in 2016 before Rubio even had much of a Senate career under his belt.

Lagging contenders such as Bush and Rubio are running out of time to turn the tide in a campaign dominated by provocative rhetoric that has played to the strengths of Trump, a bombastic reality television star and developer, and Carson, a soft-spoken neurosurgeon. Mike Huckabee was asked if, as a preacher, he thinks Trump is someone with “moral authority,” Huckabee said: “I love Donald Trump — he is a good man.

Trump immediately shot back at Kasich, zeroing in on his tenure as an investment banker in between his terms as a member of Congress and Ohio governor. “He was a managing general partner with Lehman Brothers when it went down the tubes,” Trump said. US Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina turned in a strong performance against Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, former New York Governor George Pataki and former US Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

Just minutes into the debate, Donald Trump was asked (in his opinion, “not very nicely”) if he was running a “comic book version of a presidential campaign,” and Ohio Gov. A New York Times/CBS News survey released Tuesday showed Carson as the choice of 26 percent of Republican primary voters, compared to 22 percent for Trump, a difference within the margin of error. He’s very adept at using his biography to his advantage, and he comes off as an optimist: “a happy conservative,” as one Republican fundraiser told me back in April. We cannot elect somebody that doesn’t know how to do the job.” Saying Kasich initially vowed not to attack fellow Republicans, Trump said: “Then his poll numbers tanked.

Trump defended his business use of the nation’s bankruptcy laws in his businesses, specifically in Atlantic City, New Jersey, as he noted that he’s never personally filed for bankruptcy protection. “I used the laws of the country to my benefit, I’m sorry,” he said. That was visible during the early stages of the campaign, before Trump and Carson took the oxygen out of the rest of the GOP field, when Rubio was stumping well in Iowa and New Hampshire.

He recently slashed his campaign budget, and earlier this week held a private meeting with donors to offer reassurances and lay out the new strategy – which appears to involve, in part, training attacks on Rubio. The nine other contenders in the prime-time debate included: Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive officer who regularly touts her business experience, and Bush, who has built his campaign around made a promise of 4 percent economic growth. Fiorina, though, did not start the campaign with Bush-level resources, and faces the challenge of translating her typically strong debate performances into sustained polling support. It matters both that Rubio seems to be closely engaged with them as donors (some of his biggest donors text back and forth with him) and that when they see him campaign, they feel reassured that they’ve backed a good horse.

The debate was held hours after Federal Reserve policy makers indicated that they would consider raising the benchmark interest rate at their next meeting in December, as the economy has recently logged a slower pace of job gains, and hours after the U.S. He seemed to be unable to win any excitement from the GOP base, and when he did try to appeal to them he inevitably did it in the most awkward way possible: by offending Asian Americans, for example. It is being held in the Coors Events Center, named for a family that has financed conservative causes and candidates, on the campus of the University of Colorado in a town that locals affectionately dub the “People’s Republic of Boulder.” Located about 35 miles northwest of Denver, Boulder was a destination for participants in 1960s counterculture. It was among the first communities in the nation to issue same sex marriage licenses in the 1970s, and is known to be the site of clothing-optional bike rides.

It’s also a state that has seen two of the most horrific gun massacres in recent history, and where two state lawmakers were recalled for supporting stricter gun control laws. Republican donors and political elites might have assumed that this was a fever that would break, with voters eventually buckling down to the business of picking a nominee from among the “real” candidates. But even the one-time reality TV star may be trumped by this competition: The debate aired at the same time as game 2 of Major League Baseball’s World Series match-up between the Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets. Walker issued a plea to fellow candidates to coalesce around a different Republican who could offer a more “optimistic” vision and guide the party to a victory next year that, he admitted with sadness in his voice, he could not achieve himself. “Today I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field in this race so that a positive, conservative message can rise to the top of the field,” Mr.

This is a trick of politics: People often say that something “will happen” when they mean they want it to happen, and often talk themselves into supporting things because they believe they’re inevitable. (This is, in fact, the way elites have historically seen Republican primaries. The Washington cliché is, “Democrats fall in love with a candidate; Republicans fall in line.”) Before this week, Bush was very nearly in danger of becoming completely irrelevant.

It was clearly practiced, but it was fluid and passionate — almost as if Bush were personally aggrieved with the way Rubio’s gotten in his way this year and was letting it all out.

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