The fourth Grand Old Party (GOP) debate took place in Milwaukee on Tuesday, Nov. 10th. The debate focused on the candidates economic policies and contained the most substance of any of the GOP debates so far. Here’s my take on the debate:
First place: Senator Marco Rubio: Since the first GOP debate in August the name Marco Rubio has become synonymous with debate master after. As usual Rubio was articulate and confident. Rubio had a dust up with Senator Rand Paul in which Paul questioned whether or not Rubio’s plan to increase military spending was conservative. Rubio then replied by calling Paul a ‘committed isolationist’ and that he believes that the world is a stronger and safer place when the United States is the strongest military in the world. Rubio won the exchange with Paul and the night.
Second Place: Senator Ted Cruz: Coming in a close second was my personal favorite candidate Ted Cruz. Cruz had a couple of powerful moments in the debate. My personal favorite Cruz’s moment of the night was his answer on illegal immigration in which Cruz said Americans that want immigrants to come to the country legally and enforce the law are tired of being told that they are anti-immigrant. Cruz then pointed out that every sovereign nation enforces their borders. Another strong moment for Cruz came when Gov. John Kasich talked about granting law-abiding illegal immigrants citizenship (ironic though because technically all illegal immigrants broke the law to get to America). Cruz replied by saying, “if Republicans join Democrats as the party of amnesty, we will lose.”
Third Place: The Moderators: Fortunately for the moderators the bar was set pretty low after CNBC’s disastrous debate. Neil Cavuto, Gerard Baker, and Maria Bartiromo made sure to do a good job of asking hard questions, but at the same time avoiding “gotcha” questions like the ones asked in the CNBC debate. The questions asked by the moderators were good questions that allowed each of the candidates to go into depth about their economic plans.
Donald Trump: Trump provided the viewers with the same sound bites that we have been hearing since he announced his campaign. Yeah we get it, Donald, you want to build a wall. Trump also slipped up when he lumped China in with the Trans-Pacific partnership and was then called out by Rand Paul who pointed out that China is not a part of the Trans-Pacific partnership. Oops.
John Kasich: The Governor from Ohio seemed desperate for voter support. He interrupted and and chimed into many of the debate conversation to give his personal opinion and was quite annoying. Kasich’s suggestion of granting millions of illegal immigrants amnesty likely didn’t please a lot of republican voters. Kasich also received boos from the crowd after he said that he would bail out Bank of America because he doesn’t believe hard working people should lose their savings. Kasich said he would “figure out how to separate those people who can afford it versus those people, or the hard-working folks who put those money in those institutions…”
Final Thoughts: This was the best debate in terms of substance that has happened thus far. Candidates were asked fair tough questions that really gave each of them the chance to elaborate and go into depth about their economic plans. In the next few weeks I believe we will see an increase in voter support for both Rubio and Cruz. I also think Kasich’s days on the presidential campaign trail are numbered.