My Brief Take On The Debate (I Will Discuss It More Fully On My Program Tonight) – Mark Levin
1. CNN’s format was awful. The entire effort was intended to instigate fights between and among the candidates. They wanted a brawl. The early part of the debate was the worst – right out of the box, piling on Donald Trump. Like Trump or not, this is a Republican debate. As I’ve been saying for a while, when will the RNC stop turning over the GOP debates to the media? I find these debate formats demeaning of the candidates and not particularly informative.
2. Twice now Ted Cruz was treated as a third-tier candidate. He received very little time and was rarely called on. Moreover, when he tried to speak as a”skeptic” during the discussion about global warming – where Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, and Chris Christie apparently accepted the supposed”science” of global warming – Jake Tapper rudely cut him off. When Cruz had about 60 uninterrupted seconds or so to address the Iran deal debacle, he was superb. Same with the Supreme Court. There appears to be a pattern in these debate to marginalize him. Unfortunately, given the nature of these debates, he needs to become a bit more aggressive in pushing his way into the discussions.
3. Tapper repeatedly sought a fight between Jeb Bush and Trump, which is why they wound up using more time than most of the other candidates. Did we learn anything from most of it? No.
4. Going in, I believe the establishment media were poised to declare Carly Fiorina a victor over Trump and most of the field as she has become one of the establishment favorites. The indications were everywhere. In fact, most of the same voices and writers who opposed Trump and before him Cruz are singing her praises today. They are no longer concerned about lack of governing background of an outsider or flip-flopping, etc. I remember in the 2010 GOP Senate primary race in California she staked out the moderate Republican position against State Representative Chuck DeVore. She didn’t sound like a traditional, Reagan conservative back then. And her response to the birthright citizenship questions were wrong and jumbled. In fact, Trump has a superior understanding of the issue. Rand Paul reluctantly had to agreed. And in that Senate campaign, Fiorina mocked Barbara Boxer’s looks (understandable), a fact ignored by Tapper last night. Why? The audio is public. Finally, her record as a corporate CEO is mixed. But do not expect it to be scrutinized by her cheerleaders in and out of the media. But the Democrats won’t ignore it. Let me be clear: I have nothing against Fiorina, but there’s reason to be at least a little skeptical.
See this: https://www.conservativereview.com/Commentary/2015/08/Does-Carly-Have-the-Record-to-Throw-These-Punches
(You can search the record further yourself, do not expect the media to do it for you.)
5. I thought Chris Christie did pretty well. He’s a good debater. But the problem is that his record belies much of his more recent conservative rhetoric and positions. Mike Huckabee always scores some solid points but, again, his record is shoddy (e.g., he supported virtually every GOP establishment candidate in recent Senate primary races). I remain perplexed as to why John Kasich belatedly jumped into the race. He has become more liberal than GOP primary voters and there were already a number of establishment candidates in the race. I like Ben Carson very much; however, his position on the minimum wage was not particularly strong. And his delivery is, sadly, problematic. There’s a middle ground between loudly provocative and speaking in such quiet tones. That said, I personally like him very much. Rand Paul did much better this time around in staking out his more libertarian views. But, again, his attack-dog tactics against Trump don’t help him. Scott Walker is a solid conservative with a record to prove it. He did better in this debate but he doesn’t shine in these debate formats. Jeb Bush did better in this debate as well, but he is still under-performing. In fact, many in the establishment media who were touting Bush are today cheerleaders for Fiorina. Had Bush scored well they’d be touting him. Finally, Trump came under an early withering assault, which was the game plan of both CNN and several of the other candidates. For the most part, he withstood the attacks. I may be in the minority but I thought he bested Fiorina on their back-and-forth about business acumen and birthright citizenship. In any event, he did no harm.
More tonight on my radio program.
H/T Right Scoop