Here are my random thoughts on last night’s debate, in flow of consciousness form as I always give them:
Marco Rubio’s opening statement told me he was finally gonna go after Trump. That was the first time he addressed the issue of how we define conservatism without being asked about it. He clearly wanted to frame the debate and set himself up for his coming attacks on Trump.
Trump’s opening statement was incredibly stupid, and in hindsight it set Rubio up perfectly for his coming attacks. He just repeated the same dumb talking points over and over again about how we’re gonna win.
He literally has given the exact same opening statement in every single debate, it’s like he isn’t smart or creative enough to actually think of a new one, probably because his campaign doesn’t have any new ideas, and he doesn’t think he needs any since he keeps conning people into voting for him.
The moderator gave both Cruz and Rubio a chance to attack Trump on immigration. For whatever reason, Cruz decided he didn’t wanna go after Trump. Rubio did, and it was the right thing to do.
I think Rubio surprised all of us. I give credit where credit is due. I think Rubio’s team has been involved in a misdirection. Before the debate they were hinting that Rubio would be attacking Cruz, but when Wolf basically tried to get him to attack Cruz with his opening question, he went directly after Trump.
I think Rubio finally realized that if you wanna win, you gotta knock out the frontrunner, not just cause of the delegate math, but because you’ll be perceived as the guy who can be president. You won’t be perceived as that guy if people think you’re afraid to attack the frontrunner.
Rubio called out Trump’s phony stance on immigration and Trump basically proved he’s a hypocrite on it. You can’t hire illegal immigrants for the very reason businesses around the country do and then claim to be the toughest on illegal immigration as a candidate for president.
You could tell Rubio was fired up. He was ready to get into a brawl with Trump. I gotta say his advisers advised him well. He did exactly what Ben Shapiro suggested he does, which is to call him out on all his past contradiction, and then when Trump tries to talk over you, talk right back over him. When you’re dealing with a bully, you gotta show you won’t back down.
Rubio has shown a quality I’m looking for in a president, which is the ability to take a punch, and to get back and up and keep fighting. He’s also shown he can learn and adapt to changing circumstances.
He wanted to run a campaign as if he’s the next Reagan, to be a sunny optimist. The problem with that approach is Reagan never had to run against a bully, so he could afford to be that kind of candidate. You can’t be a sunny optimist when you’re being punched in the mouth. At that point voters wanna see you punch back, cause if you can’t do that now, you certainly won’t be able to do that as president vs putin and other bullies.
As Mike Tyson said, “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face”. Rubio finally recognized that reality and changed his plans accordingly. I give him credit for that, I just hope it’s not too late.
I was standing up and cheering when Cruz fired back on Trump about not being liked in DC. He pointed out that it’s a really bad trait for a president to wanna be liked in DC cause it means you’ll continue the status quo. All the corrupt politicians in DC wanna be liked by their colleagues, we don’t need a president like that too.
Finally Rubio and Cruz hit Trump more than they hit each other, which was a breath of fresh air. It’s long past time they did so.
Wolf asked Trump how he’ll pay for the wall, and of course he had no answer, he just kept repeating that he’ll make Mexico pay, without providing any explanation of how.
Trump did what Ben Shapiro and others expected, which is every time someone brings up his past and all the bad things he’s done or failed at, he interrupts them and talks loudly over them so nobody can hear what they’re saying.
It’d be nice if the moderators actually enforced the rules and told Trump to wait his turn to talk.
Trump interrupts Rubio every time Rubio tries to attack him. This is how Trump wins debates.
Just fyi, I didn’t watch the debate live, I didn’t think it’d be this interesting and for once I was proven wrong, but I did follow it online and read the quotes people were tweeting. As I was reading em my reaction was “wow, Rubio is kicking the snot out of Trump!”, this is really awesome.
Then, this morning I watched the debate, and those attacks weren’t anywhere near as potent on the stage as they were just on paper. This is because every time Rubio dropped one of these lines, Trump cut him off, so you could barely hear Rubio’s attack as he trailed off cause Trump is just louder and wouldn’t let him finish. If Trump would’ve stayed silent the entire time Rubio was talking every time, the attacks would’ve resonated even more than they did.
That being said, I think Rubio got enough attacks in to really rattle Trump, and it was clear he got under Trump’s thin skin. It wasn’t just a matter of substance, it was a matter of perception. He didn’t back down from Trump, and his body language showed he was confident and unafraid.
I think the difference between Rubio and Cruz is this:
I think they’re both equally ambitious, but Cruz viewed running for president in a fundamentally different way than Rubio. He’s always said he views it as a job interview. Now, in times past that was probably true, and that’s how voters viewed it because they were more informed and actually cared about the issues and the backgrounds of the candidates. That’s clearly no longer the case.
The primary race isn’t a job interview, it’s a competition, and I think rubio is just more competitive than Cruz. He was a football player after all. I think Rubio has always viewed this race as a competition, and the voters certainly do.
Voters these days are superficial and wanna see which candidate is the most relatable, the most intelligent, and the most aggressive fighter. You can’t win that competition by treating it as a job interview. That sets it up as an interaction between you and the voters, but it’s not, it’s a fight between you and the other candidates. You have to focus on them, and if you beat em, then you can focus on the voters.
Once again when a moderator, this time Hugh Hewitt, gives Cruz the opportunity to attack Trump directly, he completely passes on it. I really don’t get that strategy.
This was the takeaway from this debate for me. Rubio was willing to take on Trump personally, Cruz wasn’t quite as willing . It really is that simple. Yes Cruz criticized Trump several times, but he passed up big opportunities to hit him hard, and Rubio never missed a chance to do so.
Trump basically dodged Hewitt’s question on religious liberty cause he could care less about it. Instead he attacked Cruz for supporting Justice Roberts, which wasn’t even related to the question he was asked.
This is why you don’t pass up opportunities to attack Trump, cause he uses every chance he gets to attack you.
I dunno if anyone else caught this, but after Cruz got done attacking Trump for donating to Harry Reid, Trump got offended and thought Cruz called him a crazy zealot.
Trump is so dumb he didn’t even realize that Cruz was saying Trump is implying that anyone who defends the Constitution and religious liberty as Cruz has is a crazy zealout. Trump got offended by Cruz using his own criticism for Cruz against him.
Rubio answered the question directly and said he does doubt whether or not Trump would replace Scalia with a conservative because he’s been on the wrong side of every issue for the past 30 years. This is the answer Cruz should’ve given.
When Trump was asked about healthcare, he literally talked for about 5 minutes and said nothing at all. He sounded like an 8th grader trying to describe something he has no clue about.
It’s clear Rubio is having fun with this, and he should, he’s dealing with someone who’s out of his league when it comes to policy and anything intellectual.
The audience went nuts after Rubio attacked Trump on repeating himself. I think Rubio was saying stuff conservatives have been saying about Trump all along. He finally gave voice to our frustrations, so there were a lot of pent up emotions being released last night.
I have to say the moderators did an absolutely horrible job with this debate. They completely lost control from the start and didn’t enforce the rules at all.
This is hilarious. The tables have been completely turned. Trump is having the exact same meltdown he just criticized Rubio for having with Christie. He’s repeating the same talking points over and over again. The difference is Rubio just did that because he was nervous, Trump is doing it because he’s done it every debate, because he literally doesn’t have anything else to say, so he has no choice but to repeat himself. It’s just that nobody’s called him out on it til now.
Then Trump gets mad at the moderator for asking if he has anything else to add, since he basically had nothing of substance in his answer. This is why it’s so disturbing that he’s won 3 states already.
He’s a total idiot, and even worse, an unstable narcissist who doesn’t know he’s a total idiot. What does that say about all his voters and the state of the country in general? That’s a subject for another diary.
Trump blatantly lied when Cruz cornered him on healthcare. He actually did say in an interview with Scott Pelley on CBS that he’s gonna make gov’t pay for everyone’s healthcare, and now he says he never said that.
He lied because he knew he couldn’t defend that stance. Trump knows when he’s outsmarted on any given topic and cornered, and when he is he does one of three things: change the topic, use a personal insult against the person attacking him, or blatantly lie.
Trump had another meltdown. I think he was just getting tired. There’s no other reason he would complain about getting the most questions. My reaction to that is “are you kidding me?” Who complains about getting too many questions? You have the second tier candidates like Carson always complaining about not getting enough questions.
So he had another trumpertantrum and took out his anger on hewitt. If he’s like that at a debate, imagine what he’d do to the press and his political enemies as president. If you still vote for him after that, you’re as much of a soul-less idiot as he is.
Cruz made a great point about how we can’t nominate Trump because he could never prosecute the case against Hillary since he donated to the Clinton Foundation and she went to his wedding.
Rubio kicked Trump’s butt on the debate about the deal with Isreal and Palestine. This was another issue where it was clear Trump hadn’t given it much thought and really had no clue what he was talking about.
It’s also another issue where he was aligned with the democrats rather than the GOP.
Trump tried to respond by changing the topic and talking about how Rubio melted down, but Rubio wouldn’t take his crap. I was standing up and cheering when Rubio stood up for himself and said ” a deal is not a deal when you’re dealing with terrorists”.
I split this into two diaries cause it was getting too long, check out part 2 for the rest of my thoughts.