A First GOP Debate Post-Mortem

The moment in the debates that still resounds this morning in my ears after a long, tired sleep:

“If it weren’t for me, none of you would be up here even discussing these issues!” Donald Trump.

Trump didn’t win the debates last night. But he may very well have won the war for the Republican Party. He deserves the honorary title of General Trump. Trump was clearly out of his element and uncomfortable up on the stage, much in the same way Gen. George Patton said that he was a general, not a politician.

Trump showed a great deal of courage climbing up onto the stage, admitting honestly that he gave money to Hillary Clinton, the senator from New York. He told them how it was in New York City, the bluest of blue cities – “unimaginably” blue. On the subject of his four bankruptcies, he reminded the panel that they were corporate, not personal, forfeitures, although the panel was loth to allow him to finish that point.

On the subject of the border, he made his critical mistake, allowing Chris Wallace to goading him into a show of temper. When Wallace challenged him to give evidence to support his allegations that Mexico was behind the illegal immigration push, he shouted and turned red instead of turning the question on Wallace, and the Media in general: I’ve spoken with the U.S. Border Agents who are on the front lines. I’ve spoken to them. Why haven’t you? If you want the answer, go down to Texas, to New Mexico, to Arizona and ask them yourselves.

Other candidates answered the questions for him later. Marco Rubio, I believe, reminded them that the illegal immigrants were coming from Central and South America. Those are the illegal immigrants Mexico itself doesn’t want. But instead of doing the job of sending them back to their home countries, Mexico passes them on to the United States.

That was the question he didn’t answer properly, costing him the first-place – and several other places – position in the debate.

Finally, there was his battle with Megyn Kelly. For people who didn’t listen closely – or didn’t want to – he reminded her that he said those things as a businessman.

KELLY: Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women’s looks. You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president, and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who was likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?

TRUMP: I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct.

(APPLAUSE)

I’ve been challenged by so many people, and I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time either. This country is in big trouble. We don’t win anymore. We lose to China. We lose to Mexico both in trade and at the border. We lose to everybody.

And frankly, what I say, and oftentimes it’s fun, it’s kidding. We have a good time. What I say is what I say. And honestly Megyn, if you don’t like it, I’m sorry. I’ve been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe.  But I won’t do that.”

What I believe was left out was that he said that as a businessman, as a man, he might say things like that but never as president. That’s what I thought I heard, anyway.

The winner, in my opinion, was Ted Cruz. He did everything he was supposed to do. Remember that the debates are not campaign speeches. The candidate has two minutes to make their statement and 30 additional seconds for additional comment, if the moderator allows it.

He addressed every question posed to him knowledgeably, factually, and promptly. He answered his questions with a passion for the truth. He was unquestionably the smartest man in the room. No, he was not “casual” and wasn’t supposed to be. Even low-information voters know that. “Casual” is for town hall meetings, soft interviews, and dress-down Friday. There’s no such thing as “casual” when you’re facing an adversarial press.

So here’s the run-down.

  1. Ted Cruz
  1. Chris Christie.  Yes, Christie.  Being a New Jerseyan, I was impressed by his delivery, his demeanor, and his answers to the questions.  In answer to questions about the state of New Jersey, he was right to point out that New Jersey is a deep-blue state.  The state of our economy is very much the fault of our increasingly Democrat legislature (thanks to the increase of Hispanic voters who traditionally vote Democrat) and Moderate, Liberal and Progressive governors reaching all the way back to Christie Whitman.

Anyone who thinks (as I’ve written before) that Christie wants to be the governor of a state in the economic dumpster is completely out of their minds. Christie, they say, practically had to be resuscitated when he learned my former company was leaving the state. Even though we Tea Partiers see him as a Purple Obama hugger, we also know that he is pro-business. The capital gains tax would be the first tax to be cut so jobs would come back to the state.

Christie was very strong on national defense and a strong foreign policy. He’s personal friends with the king of one of the most moderate countries in the Middle East. Never mind that I question that individual for the moment. We’re talking about Christie. He acquitted himself very well on the matter of the NSA.

CHRISTE: I’m the only person on this stage who’s actually filed applications under the Patriot Act, who has gone before the federal — the Foreign Intelligence Service court, who has prosecuted and investigated and jailed terrorists in this country after September 11th. I was appointed U.S. attorney by President Bush on September 10th, 2001, and the world changed enormously the next day, and that happened in my state.

Wait. What? He was? He did? He definitely hasn’t promoted himself enough if someone from his own state doesn’t know that. That’s news – good news for Christie. I’d known he was an AG – I didn’t know that he’d prosecuted terrorists the way Andrew McCarthy did.

That alone raised him in my standings considerably. But that’s not to say that Rand Paul also wasn’t right. Having such power to spy on innocent Americans is one you want to put into the hands of such a traitorous president as Barack Obama. I shared that concern back in 2004 when the Patriot Act was passed. On the other, standing on the other side of the Hudson River with, if not a front row seat, a balcony seat to September 11 th, seeing the volumes of smoke tower over New Jersey’s hills – and you can’t believe how huge that column smoke was, from about 20 miles away – I was always willing to take that risk.

There’s nothing in my phone calls that would be of any interest to an eavesdropper. The greatest threat to national security would be that the agents would die of boredom. I don’t like this infringement of our Fourth Amendments. In the long-run, it will prove to be a threat to our liberty. But if we don’t stop the terrorists, we won’t live to even see that day. The words are: 1. Life 2. Liberty, and 3. The Pursuit of Happiness.

Christie wasn’t asked any questions about the military, but he gave one at the end, anyway:

CHRISTIE:  You know, if we want to deal with these issues, we have to deal with them in a way that makes sense.

I agree with what Dr. Carson said earlier. The first thing we need to do to make America stronger is to strengthen our military, and I put out a really specific plan: no less than 500,000 active duty soldiers in the Army. No less than 185,000 active duty marines in the Marine Corps. Bring us to a 350 ship Navy again, and modernize the Ohio class of submarines, and bring our Air Force back to 2,600 aircraft that are ready to go.

Those are the kind of things that are going to send a clear message around the world. Those are the things that we need to start working on immediately to make our country stronger and make it better. Those are the things that we need to be able to be doing. And as we move towards dealing with foreign aid, I don’t disagree with Senator Paul’s position that we shouldn’t be funding our enemies. But I absolutely believe that Israel is a priority to be able to fund and keep them strong and safe after eight years of this administration.

Bridgegate?  Northern New Jerseyans have no sympathy for a bunch of Hudson River Gold Coasters who already live five minutes from Mahanttan who want to be able to just scoot over the bridge while the rest of Routes 80, 46, 4, and the N.J. Turnpike are backed up for 15 miles.  “The Hug?”  I thought Christie was going to jump right over his podium at that one and devour whoever said it – Rand Paul – as if he were a New Jersey black bear and the offender was an idiot with a pop gun.  Yeah, The Hug; t’s a problem for your Garden State constituency.  But it could be overcome with a few more speeches like these, Gov.

The other thing I feel it incumbent to say about Christie – again – is at he’s not the “bully” he’s made out to be.  The press takes those Town Hall confrontations out of context.  He only tells trolls trying to commandeer the meeting to “sit down and shut up.”  If you knew the truth, Christie always gets a huge round of applause for telling the offenders to “shut up.”  In New Jersey, at least, they’ve always been non-resident Liberals with an agenda that has nothing to do with the town the meeting is being held in.

  1.  Mike Huckabee.  Huckabee is known to be a Progressive, which doesn’t make me happy.  But his answers to questions did.

HUCKABEE: Chris, I disagree with the idea that the real issue is a constitutional amendment. That’s a long and difficult process. I’ve actually taken the position that’s bolder than that.  A lot of people are talking about defunding planned parenthood, as if that’s a huge game changer. I think it’s time to do something even more bold. I think the next president ought to invoke the Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the constitution now that we clearly know that that baby inside the mother’s womb is a person at the moment of conception.  The reason we know that it is is because of the DNA schedule that we now have clear scientific evidence on. And, this notion that we just continue to ignore the personhood of the individual is a violation of that unborn child’s Fifth and 14th Amendment rights for due process and equal protection under the law.It’s time that we recognize the Supreme Court is not the supreme being, and we change the policy to be pro-life and protect children instead of rip up their body parts and sell them like they’re parts to a Buick.

Or how about this?

HUCKABEE: It’s not too big to shrink. But the problem is we have a Wall Street-to-Washington access of power that has controlled the political climate. The donor class feeds the political class who does the dance that the donor class wants. And the result is federal government keeps getting bigger.  Every person on this stage who has been a governor will tell that you the biggest fight they had was not the other party. Wasn’t even the legislature. It was the federal government, who continually put mandates on the states that we had to suck up and pay for.  And the fact is there are a lot of things happening at the federal level that are absolutely beyond the jurisdiction of the Constitution. This is power that should be shifted back to the states, whether it’s the EPA, there is no role at the federal level for the Department of Education.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: And I’m still one who says that we can get rid of the Internal Revenue Service if we would pass the fair tax, which is a tax on consumption rather than a tax on people’s income, and move power back where the founders believed it should have been all along. Huckabee also gets enormous credit for his frank answers on Social Security.  Who screwed up SS?  The government, which is “paying” for Social Security with a drawer full of IOUs.

Oh, and there was also this:

HUCKABEE: The military is not a social experiment. The purpose of the military is kill people and break things.

(APPLAUSE)It’s not to transform the culture by trying out some ideas that some people think would make us a different country and more diverse. The purpose is to protect America. I’m not sure how paying for transgender surgery for soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines makes our country safer.We’ve reduced the military by 25 percent…

(APPLAUSE)… under President Obama. The disaster is that we’ve forgotten why we have a military. The purpose of it is to make sure that we protect every American, wherever that American is, and if an American is calling out for help, whether it’s in Benghazi or at the border, then we ought to be able to answer it.

We’ve not done that because we’ve decimated our military. We’re flying B-52s. The most recent one that was put in service was November of 1962. A lot of the B-52s we’re flying, we’ve only got 44 that are in service combat ready, and the fact is, most of them are older than me. And that’s pretty scary.

So is the fact that  China has acquired and is arming the Azore Islands.

  1. Marco Rubio.  Here’s a candidate who knows from immigration and gave a “comprehensive” answer about how to solve it; meaning, he has more than one solution in mind to this multicultural dilemma:

RUBIO: Let me set the record straight on a couple of things. The first is, the evidence is now clear that the majority of people coming across the border are not from Mexico. They’re coming from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras. Those countries are the source of the people that are now coming in its majority.And let me tell you who never gets talked about in these debates. The people that call my office, who have been waiting for 15 years to come to the United States. And they’ve paid their fees, and they hired a lawyer, and they can’t get in. And they’re wondering, maybe they should come illegally.If I’m our nominee, how is Hillary Clinton gonna lecture me about living paycheck to paycheck? I was raised paycheck to paycheck. How is she — how is she gonna lecture me — how is she gonna lecture me about student loans? I owed over $100,000 just four years ago.

This country is facing an economy that has been radically transformed. You know, the largest retailer in the country and the world today, Amazon, doesn’t even own a single store? And these changes have been disruptive. They have changed people’s lives. The jobs that once sustained our middle class, they either don’t pay enough or they are gone, and we need someone that understands that as our nominee.

I also believe we need a fence. The problem is if El Chapo builds a tunnel under the fence, we have to be able to deal with that too. And that’s why you need an e-verify system and you need an entry-exit tracking system and all sorts of other things to prevent illegal immigration. But I agree with what Governor Kasich just said. People are frustrated. This is the most generous country in the world when it comes to immigration. There are a million people a year who legally immigrate to the United States, and people feel like we’re being taken advantage of.  We feel like despite our generosity, we’re being taken advantage of.

And robbed, murdered, and raped.

  1. Scott Walker.  As Rush Limbaugh noted, Walker received the least amount of speaking time of any of the ten candidates.  But he was able to respond correctly to incorrect assumptions about the economic state of Wisconsin

KELLY: Governor Walker, you’ve consistently said that you want to make abortion illegal even in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. You recently signed an abortion law in Wisconsin that does have an exception for the mother’s life, but you’re on the record as having objected to it. Would you really let a mother die rather than have an abortion, and with 83 percent of the American public in favor of a life exception, are you too out of the mainstream on this issue to win the general election?

WALKER: Well, I’m pro-life, I’ve always been pro-life, and I’ve got a position that I think is consistent with many Americans out there in that…

(APPLAUSE) WALKER: …in that I believe that that is an unborn child that’s in need of protection out there, and I’ve said many a time that that unborn child can be protected, and there are many other alternatives that can also protect the life of that mother. That’s been consistently proven.

Unlike Hillary Clinton, who has a radical position in terms of support for Planned Parenthood, I defunded Planned Parenthood more than four years ago, long before any of these videos came out…

(APPLAUSE) WALKER: …I’ve got a position that’s in line with everyday America.

There was immigration:

WALLACE: Governor Walker, from 2002 until as recently as 2013, just two years ago, you supported comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship. Now you say that was a quick reaction to something you hadn’t really thought about, and that you’ve changed your mind. Other than politics, could you explain why in the last two years you’ve changed your position on a path to citizenship, and are there other past positions that we shouldn’t hold you to?

WALKER: Chris, I actually said that on your show earlier this year.

(CROSSTALK)

WALKER: I acknowledged that. I said I actually listened to the American people. And I think people across America want a leader who’s actually going to listen to them.

I talked to border state governors and other elected officials. I look at how this president, particularly through last November, messed up the immigration system in this country. Most importantly, I listened to the people of America.

I believe we need to secure the border. I’ve been to the border with Governor Abbott in Texas and others, seeing the problems that they have there. There is international criminal organizations penetrating our southern based borders, and we need to do something about it. Secure the border, enforce the law, no amnesty, and go forward with the legal immigration system that gives priority to American working families and wages.

And then there was this exchange:

WALLACE:  (APPLAUSE) Governor Walker, when you ran for governor of Wisconsin back in 2010, you promised that you would create 250,000 jobs in your first term, first four years. In fact, Wisconsin added barely half that and ranked 35th in the country in job growth. Now you’re running for president, and you’re promising an economic plan in which everyone will earn a piece of the American dream.

Given your record in Wisconsin, why should voters believe you?

WALKER: Well, the voters in Wisconsin elected me last year for the third time because they wanted someone who aimed high, not aimed low.

Before I came in, the unemployment rate was over eight percent. It’s now down to 4.6 percent. We’ve more than made up for the jobs that were lost during the recession. And the rate in which people are working is almost five points higher than it is nationally.

You know, people like Hillary Clinton think you grow the economy by growing Washington. One report last year showed that six of the top 10 wealthiest counties in America were in or around Washington, D.C.  I think most of us in America understand that people, not the government creates jobs. And one of the best things we can do is get the government out of the way, repeal Obamacare, put in — reign in all the out of control regulations, put in place and all of the above energy policy, give people the education, the skills that the need to succeed, and lower the tax rate and reform the tax code. That’s what I’ll do as president, just like I did in Wisconsin.

So those were the top five. What about the rest?

  1. Rand Paul.  In terms of sheer strength of arguments and ability to debate, my next choice would be Rand Paul.  He was right about the NSA – just at the wrong time, as Chris Christie reminded him.  Paul’s problem was that he spent the entire debate scowling and never let up.  Remember, I’m only talking about him in terms of being able to argue for arguments sake.  Otherwise, he’d be just above John Kasich (9 th) and Jeb Bush (10 th) in that order.  We need to support our military, dude; we’re not in the Shire.  Even Samwise Gamgee could tell you that .
  1. Dr. Ben Carson.  He had the second-best line of the entire debate:“I wasn’t sure I was going to get to talk again.”Actually, he got more of a chance to speak than Scott Walker and did so quite effectively.  I couldn’t help getting the impression that while it was a great honor to be in the Top 10, he wished he’d been in the first group, at the “Kiddie Table.”  Still, he acquitted himself well.  His best answer was to race.  When asked to answer the race question, he instead responded with a foreign policy question.  Good for him; excellent response.  Now we know why he was placed in the top tier.  (The transcripts say “Gov. Walker, but it was Carson to whom Megyn Kelly addressed the question).

MEGAN: Governor Walker, many in the Black Live Matter movement, and beyond, believe that overly-aggressive police officers targeting young African Americans is the civil rights issue of our time. Do you agree? And if so, how do you plan to address it? And if not, why not?

CARSON: Well, what we have to stop and think about is that we have weakened ourselves militarily to such an extent that if affects all of our military policies. Our Navy is at its smallest size since 1917; our Air Force, since 1940. In recent testimony, the commandant of the Marine Corps said half of the non-deployed units were not ready and you know, the sequester is cutting the heart out of our personnel. Our generals are retiring because they don’t want to be part of this, and at the same time, our enemies are increasing.

Our — our friends can’t trust us anymore. You know, Ukraine was a nuclear-armed state. They gave away their nuclear arms with the understanding that we would protect them. We won’t even give them offensive weapons.

You know, we turned our back on Israel, our ally. You know, and a situation like that, of course Obama’s not going to be able to do anything. I would shore up our military first, because if you don’t get the military right, nothing else is going to work.

Eventually, the panel gave him some sort of question, as a neurosurgeon, about interrogation techniques.

CARSON: The left, of course, will say Carson doesn’t believe in the Geneva Convention, Carson doesn’t believe in fighting stupid wars. And — and what we have to remember is we want to utilize the tremendous intellect that we have in the military to win wars.

And I’ve talked to a lot of the generals, a lot of our advanced people. And believe me, if we gave them the mission, which is what the commander-in-chief does, they would be able to carry it out.

And if we don’t tie their hands behind their back, they will do it…

(BUZZER NOISE)

CARSON: — extremely effectively.

Megyn Kelly wasn’t going to let Carson get away with not answering the race question; afterall, that’s primarily why they included him. But he gave a great answer.

KELLY: Dr. Carson, a question to you about God and his role, but also, one of the issues that the public was very interested in, and we touched on it earlier, is race relations in this country, and how divided we seem right now. And what, if anything, you can do — you would do as the next president to help heal that divide.

CARSON: Well, I think the bully [sic] pulpit is a wonderful place to start healing that divide. You know, we have the purveyors of hatred who take every single incident between people of two races and try to make a race war out of it, and drive wedges into people. And this does not need to be done.

What we need to think about instead — you know, I was asked by an NPR reporter once, why don’t I talk about race that often. I said it’s because I’m a neurosurgeon. And she thought that was a strange response. And you say — I said, you see, when I take someone to the operating room, I’m actually operating on the thing that makes them who they are. The skin doesn’t make them who they are. The hair doesn’t make them who they are. And it’s time for us to move beyond that.

  1. DonaldTrump.  Poor Mr. Trump.  He didn’t take the advice about not letting the reporters fluster him.  He did get flustered, he did get angry, and he did not respond articulately.  To his credit, he did give partially answers as he got more accustomed to the debate format.

BAIER: Gentlemen, the next series of questions deals with ObamaCare and the role of the federal government.  Mr. Trump, ObamaCare is one of the things you call a disaster.

TRUMP: A complete disaster, yes.

BAIER: Saying it needs to be repealed and replaced.

TRUMP: Correct.

BAIER: Now, 15 years ago, you called yourself a liberal on health care. You were for a single-payer system, a Canadian-style system.  Why were you for that then and why aren’t you for it now?

TRUMP: First of all, I’d like to just go back to one… In July of 2004, I came out strongly against the war with Iraq, because it was going to destabilize the Middle East.   And I’m the only one on this stage that knew that and had the vision to say it. And that’s exactly what happened.

BAIER: But on ObamaCare…

TRUMP: And the Middle East became totally destabilized. So I just want to say.  What I’d like to see is a private system without the artificial lines around every state. I have a big company with thousands and thousands of employees. And if I’m negotiating in New York or in New Jersey or in California, I have like one bidder. Nobody can bid. You know why? Because the insurance companies are making a fortune because they have control of the politicians, of course, with the exception of the politicians on this stage.  Get rid of the artificial lines and you will have…(BUZZER NOISE)

TRUMP: — yourself great plans. And then we have to take care of the people that can’t take care of themselves. And I will do that through a different system.(CROSSTALK)

BAIER: Mr. Trump, hold up one second.

PAUL: I’ve got a news flash…

BAIER: All right, now, hold on, Senator Paul…

PAUL: News flash, the Republican Party’s been fighting against a single-payer system…

BAIER: OK.

PAUL: — for a decade. So I think you’re on the wrong side of this if you’re still arguing for a single-payer system.

TRUMP: I’m not — I’m not are — I don’t think you heard me. You’re having a hard time tonight.

BAIER: All right, let me…(APPLAUSE)

BAIER: Mr. Trump, it’s not just your past support for single- payer health care. You’ve also supported a host of other liberal policies. Use — you’ve also donated to several Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton included, Nancy Pelosi.And you said recently, quote, “When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do.

TRUMP: You’d better believe it.”

Eventually,  he got to finish his point about insurance:

TRUMP:  …Nobody can bid. You know why? Because the insurance companies are making a fortune because they have control of the politicians, of course, with the exception of the politicians on this stage. But they have total control of the politicians. They’re making a fortune. Get rid of the artificial lines and you will have…

(BUZZER NOISE)

TRUMP: — yourself great plans. And then we have to take care of the people that can’t take care of themselves. And I will do that through a different system.

To be fair to Trump, the panel was ganging up on him.  He might as well have had a target on his back.  They took advantage of the fact that he was a novice in order to boost their ratings; ‘let’s all jump on the giant.’  He was their trophy lion.  For all the criticism of Trump, his manners were better than some of the other candidates.  He followed the rules, never tried to interrupt or overstep the time limits.

As for his famous temper, he was quite subdued compared to Rand Paul, who fastened on a scowl at the beginning of the debate and never let go of it.  Goodness knows, he had good reason to lose his temper any number of times (which was their goal).  The panel interrupted him more often than he interrupted them.  They scarcely allowed him to finish his answers.  As my musician friends can tell you, constant interruptions can wreak havoc on performance.  We find that a frequent frustration in rehearsals.

Christie faced a similar frustration, being left on the sidelines, along with Scott Walker, for many questions.  Trump deserves credit for his relatively good manners in the wake of poor treatment by the panelists who were obviously out to get him.  Trump shouldn’t be too hard on the Fox News panelists.  In a way, they did him a favor, for if he can’t pass the test with their skeptical questioning , he certainly won’t make it past the Mainstream Media.

  1. John “I’m from Ohio and You’re Not” Kasich gets kudos for showing support for Donald Trump.  In doing so, he demonstrated a united support within the GOP – for the most part.  Kasich was smart to acknowledge Trump’s recognition of anger and frustration within the base.

KASICH: Chris, first of all, I was just saying to Chris Christie, they say we’re outspoken, we need to take lessons from Donald Trump if we’re really going to learn it. Here is the thing about Donald Trump. Donald Trump is hitting a nerve in this country. He is. He’s hitting a nerve. People are frustrated. They’re fed up. They don’t think the government is working for them. And for people who want to just tune him out, they’re making a mistake.

Now, he’s got his solutions. Some of us have other solutions. You know, look, I balanced the federal budget as one of the chief architects when I was in Washington. Hasn’t been done since. I was a military reformer. I took the state of Ohio from an $8 billion hole and a 350,000 job loss to a $2 billion surplus and a gain of 350,000 jobs.

Ohio.  Ohio is where many of our New Jersey jobs went.  We can’t blame Kasich – or Christie – for that.  We have our New Jersey legislature to thank for that problem and the idiots and leeches who voted them in.  They’ve also been fleeing to North Carolina.  The New Jersey voters who followed their jobs to North Carolina are in for a shock, though:  North Carolina wants bilingual workers.  Illegal immigrants:  head south, please.

But Kasich is a Moderate.  Its votes also went to Obama in both elections.  Ohio is the C city – Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus.  Like Christie, Kasich governs a purple state with a growing Black and Hispanic population.  Jobs have been gravitating to Ohio for at least decade and with it, apparently, the Welfare Wagon people to take advantage of Ohio’s largesse.  Kasich can afford to embrace them with open arms.  For now.

KELLY: The subject of gay marriage and religious liberty. Governor Kasich, if you had a son or daughter who was gay or lesbian, how would you explain to them your opposition to same-sex marriage?

KASICH: Well, look, I’m an old-fashioned person here, and I happen to believe in traditional marriage. But I’ve also said the court has ruled —

KELLY: How would you — how would you explain it to a child?

KASICH: Wait, Megyn, the court has ruled, and I said we’ll accept it. And guess what, I just went to a wedding of a friend of mine who happens to be gay. Because somebody doesn’t think the way I do, doesn’t mean that I can’t care about them or can’t love them. So if one of my daughters happened to be that, of course I would love them and I would accept them. Because you know what?

(APPLAUSE)

KASICH: That’s what we’re taught when we have strong faith.

So the issues like that, issues like that are planted to divide us. I think the simple fact of the matter is, and this is where I would agree with Jeb, and I’ve been saying it all along, we need to give everybody a chance, treat everybody with respect, and let them share in this great American dream that we have, Megan. So, look, I’m going to love my daughters, I’m going to love them no matter what they do. Because, you know what, God gives me unconditional love. I’m going to give it to my family and my friends and the people around me.

So what was his answer?  Kelly said that he was opposed to same-sex marriage.  Yet he attended a ceremony and that we should obey it as the law of the land.  Does that include photographers and florists, priests and ministers?  Or should they obey God?

  1. Jeb Bush.  Last and certainly least – I’d put Rick Perry, who was sulking because he was reduced to the Second Tier level (that’s what you get for losing your temper and calling people names, especially when he’s the front-runner and you’re not), in here before I’d vote for this guy.  But since Fox placed him in this panel, he gets a grudging 10.

Common Core?  Amnesty for illegals?  Going into Iraq was a mistake?  Leaving Iraq was a mistake?  Well, which is it?  The Iraqis didn’t think so; they begged us not to leave, according to the 2009 book by Joel Rosenberg, Radicals, Reformers, and Revivalists.

I didn’t think too much of H.W.  Nice man, but too mushy.  I liked George W.  I think he was right about Iraq.  His immigration policies were what gave me pause.  His brother, Jeb?  No way.  He has the worst parts of his father and brother.  No matter how fiscally Conservative he is, if he’s in favor of Common Core, we’re going to have an ill-equipped domestic workforce and if he’s in favor of granting wholesale amnesty to illegal immigrants, by 2050, we’ll be a Communist country.  All his efforts at fiscal growth will be for nothing.  At least Chris Christie, who headed the Board of Governors that approved Common Core, denounced it.

Jeb had one good line about the Chinese having more knowledge of the whereabouts of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails than the NSA.  The third best line of the night.  Even Moderate Republicans have their moments.

A word about the Rush Hour debates.  Most of the candidates were unknown, including Carly Fiorina.  Initially, I didn’t like her.  She began with a schoolgirl bash at Donald Trump.  I immediately tuned her out and missed the better portion of her message.  She is, in fact, a sound candidate.  Thanks to the debates, she increased her name recognition (not “Name ID, Ms. Fiorina).

She carried the debate away, thanks to the influx of female Facebookers.  That was unfortunate, because Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore had some rather good arguments, as I recall, especially in regard to national security.  But when you’re all men in dark suits and you’re up against one woman in a pink suit – fuhgeddaboudit!  No one will remember a thing you said.  Or even what she said.

Fox News is taking heavy criticism for being tough on the candidates.  As I wrote above, that can only help the candidates in the long run, especially Donald Trump, if he decides to continue with his campaign (and he’s shown no sign of weakness on that score).  Fox did a good job in holding the candidates’ feet to the fire.  If they can handle it, you know you have a good candidate.  If they can’t handle it, well now you know.  They did not do so a good job in their unfair treatment of Trump, however.  He has since claimed that he never made the misogynistic statements of which Kelly accused him.

Since the first and last word always seems to go to Donald Trump, let me again congratulate him on his courage in taking on this campaign for the presidency.  Even if he doesn’t win the nomination, he’s already done his nation – the nation that loves America and freedom – a tremendous service.  He’s brought to the fore many issues that were formerly swept under the rug by machine politics in the Republican Party.  As he said, nobody would have heard or heeded Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie or Rand Paul if Trump hadn’t used his celebrity status, his money, and his time away from golf (unlike Obama) and taken to the trail to campaign for America.

He may not have won last night’s debate (that panel apparently was intent on making sure he didn’t), but he emerged triumphant in a much more significant way:  he set the stage for Conservative voices to be heard.  He’s brought true debate back into the limelight of American politics, shaken off the crumbs of political correctness, fed it some red meat, and shone the spotlight on it.

Long live The Donald!

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Published in: on August 7, 2015 at 4:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

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