Winners and Losers from Tonight's CNN/Salem Debate

Holy cow, what a boring debate. Donald Trump looked like he was on Xanax the whole night, Marco Rubio wasn’t determined to insult him at every turn, and all the candidates already knew what all the other candidates were going to say. The result was the first debate on the Republican side that was actually kind of hard to watch all the way through.


Not to fear! Here at RedState we slogged through it for you. Without further ado, here are the winners from tonight’s debate:


1. Ted Cruz – Right now Ted Cruz is just waiting for the inevitable day when Kasich and Rubio drop out so that he can take on Trump head to head. He is banking on the fact that he will win that race just based on what an embarrassment Trump has made out of himself thus far on the campaign trail. I don’t really think anything tonight is going to change that, which is all Ted Cruz really wanted to accomplish. Oh, also, on several occasions, he demonstrated that he knew what he was talking about, and that Donald Trump did not.

2. Marco Rubio – Rubio got off virtually every memorable line of the night, including “I don’t care about being politically correct, I just want to be correct on this issue.” He also embarrassingly exposed Trump’s lack of basic knowledge about foreign policy, especially with respect to Cuba. Rubio was smart, snappy, and contained Trump without really insulting him. That having been said, Rubio looked kind of tired, and frankly a little defeated. I think Rubio knows the writing is on the wall, but really wanted to stick it out for this last debate. Sad.

3. The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act – First time that thing has been mentioned outside of high school history class in decades.



1. Donald Trump – Donald Trump did not just lose this debate, he is a loser. He knows nothing about anything, including the things he professes to know about. His answer about Cuba was worse than the answer Billy Madison gave at the quiz bowl. He wouldn’t even condemn the guy at his rally who punched a protester in the face. Trump tried to appear Presidential but instead mostly just looked stoned. He also defended the Chinese for how they handled Tiananmen Square, so that will really help quell those fears that he’s a not-very-closeted totalitarian.

2. CNN – This had to be easily the least entertaining debate, and it seemed kind of like all the candidates mailed it in. It is doubtful that any soundbites from this debate will last beyond the next couple of days. Still CNN has gotten a nice share of the GOP primary debate boomlet, so they should go away too sad.


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