Debate Round 2 – Winners and Losers
Round 2 is in the books and a few things became abundantly clear:
- As much as we all complained about how Fox managed its shot, CNN showed how to really screw up a debate.
- 10 was rough in the prime time debate last time and 11 made it even worse.
- We all see, hear and perceive things differently.
- Rand Paul – He was obviously coached to not come off as confrontational or angry. He is great on the Constitution but, I felt a letdown from him after the fire we’re used to seeing. That said, I think he helped himself a bit although starting at 1 percent, you can’t really go down much.
- Mike Huckabee – I really like him and his convictions about values. He got very little time to talk but when he did speak he was convicted, strong, direct and did it with a smile. He’s right on the Fair Tax but most people do not understand it so it’s an issue from which he’ll gain traction. He comes off as very nice and for those not as engaged in issues, that’s very important. He helped himself.
- Marco Rubio – He was great but needs to assume he’s on camera the entire time. He was caught wiping sweat quite a few times and looks a bit lost when he’s not talking. Interestingly, when it is his turn, he appears just the opposite. As far as issues, his answers on foreign affairs were great and his answer to speaking Spanish was interesting. He did well for himself
- Ted Cruz – On the issues, he’s the best candidate by far. He’s incredibly consistent but got very little time to talk. The reason for that is two fold. The media either doesn’t see him as a threat or the fact that he’s not attacking Trump makes him seem disinterested. His firmness on the Iran deal and Constitution were strong. When he did have a shot to speak, he found the camera and looked at it. That served to make the viewers feel uncomfortable. He should have looked at Tapper and stayed looking at him. He didn’t help nor hurt himself mainly because he didn’t get the chance to.
- Ben Carson – He remains a bit of an enigma for me. His intelligence is immense. He’s got a great dry wit. His thoughts on issues are strong although his comments on illegal immigration won’t win him a lot of stern conservative support. But, as I’ve said before, he’s got to raise the energy and charisma levels. Like it or not, those are big factors for voters. They need someone dynamic with a big personality. I think he hurt himself a bit.
- Jeb Bush – He brought more energy and seemed much more engaged. His dust up with Donald Trump was strong on both ends. He needs to develop a better strategy to derail the Big Media as they continue to ask him loaded questions about his brother’s presidency. He helped himself.
- Scott Walker – He’s a strong republican governor in a blue state. That in it of itself is very strong. His answers on the issues were strong. He jumped in a lot and was just allowed to talk which seemed strange. He, like Cruz, should NOT look directly at the camera when answering. It comes off sales-pitchy and will make viewers uncomfortable. He didn’t help nor hurt himself.
- Carly Fiorina – Another big winner of the night. She belonged on the Prime Time debate. She did great on foreign policy issues. She stayed on message about fixing what’s wrong here and abroad and more than held her own surrounded by bigger, louder men. One issue she should watch is that she seemed to almost constantly interrupt that became annoying. Lastly, she’ll find if she smiles a bit in the heat of the debate she’ll make more people watching comfortable and garner support. She helped herself.
- John Kasich – He comes off as a nice enough guy although the substance of what he says revolves around his service in the House many years ago and he touts successes in Ohio. Fact is, he’s expanded Medicaid in that state which is more of your money and mine going to those who didn’t earn it. That’s a very unconservative thing to do. His biggest problem is, however, he comes off as very uneasy on the stage. Status quo for him.