Sen. Ted Cruz won the New Hampshire GOP debate. Cruz managed to stay above the hand to hand combat between the desperate governors and Sen Marco Rubio and Donald Trump. He gave great answers to the ABC News moderators, some of whom spent the night fishing for sound bites that could be used to help the Democrats’ eventual nominee.
Gov. Chris Christie went after Sen. Marco Rubio early and seemed to rattle him. Unfortunately Christie came across as a nasty bully and damaged himself. Still the exchange resulted in one of the most memorable moments of the debate with Rubio subsequently repeating many times that Obama knows exactly what he is doing. The repetition was counterproductive to say the least. Trump blasted Rubio saying Obama is incompetent and doesn’t have a clue know what he is doing. The Christie and Trump attack on Rubio effectively blew up one of Rubio’s main talking points. Rubio seemed a bit off his game the rest of the debate.
In another memorable moment, former governor Jeb Bush nailed Trump with the Donald’s abuse of eminent domain. It was the most effective Jeb has been in any of the debates. Because of that moment Trump should expect to see a lot more of this ad. Worse for Trump the audience booed him during this exchange.
Kasich was there and droned on at times without saying anything memorable. He didn’t do any damage to himself or any other candidate, but he didn’t help himself either.
The Carson Quitting Rumor
David Muir brought up the issue that Carson and Trump keep bringing up about the false rumor circulated during the Iowa caucuses that Carson might be withdrawing from the race. Muir asked Dr. Ben Carson what kind of action he thought Cruz should take. After evoking Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment not to speak ill of another Republican, Carson said “I’m not going to use this opportunity to savage the reputation of Senator Cruz.” Then Carson belittled himself and did his best to savage Cruz’ reputation.
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