Last night’s Republican Presidential Debate moderated by ghastly CNBC “personalities” was certainly entertaining at times. Marco Rubio masterfully cast aside creepy Jeb Bush’s desperate attacks. Rubio effectively dismissed Bush’s pronouncement that Rubio should resign his US Senate seat if he’s not going to be in Washington for every vote:
“Over the last few weeks, I’ve listened to Jeb as he has campaigned across the country and he said he was modeling his campaign after John McCain. You know how many votes John McCain [missed] when he was carrying out that furious comeback that you’re now modeling under? I don’t remember you ever complaining about John McCain’s vote record, and the only reason you’re complaining about mine is because somebody … has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you.”
Rubio deftly delivered a knock-out blow to Bush and managed to do so without coming off as mean or in any way disrespectful to his mentor.
After Donald Trump described super PACs as a “disaster” and a “scam,” Rubio came back with one of the best observations of the night: “The Democrats have the ultimate super PAC, it is called the mainstream media.”
Ted Cruz had a fine performance. The thing about Cruz I find most grating is his self-righteous, sanctimonious delivery. I’ve said before he’s better suited to be a very successful televangelist. But last night he managed to shed some of that and delivered excellent, well-deserved punches at the CNBC moderators.
“You look at the questions; Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson, can you do math? John Kasich, can you insult those two people over here. Marco Rubio, will you resign? Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen? How about talking about the substantive issues people care about?” Cruz then wondered aloud if any of these moderators had any intention of voting in a Republican primary election. I laughed out loud after he delivered that punch.
From my perspective, perhaps the biggest loser of the night was Carly Fiorina. Not because she got tripped up or committed a gaff. No. She was polished, prepared, and professional as always.
The problem is today. I have yet to see any clips being played by media of Carly’s performance last night. As of 9:40 AM this morning, not one clip. How do you know who won the debate? Whose debate clips are being played over and over again? This morning it’s all Rubio, Cruz, and Chris Christie. Fiorina left in the dust.
Fiorina’s polling has already dropped down into the high single digits. Last night’s performance will not give her a bounce. I am willing to bet if Carly doesn’t knock it out of the park at the Fox Business Channel’s next GOP debate (Tuesday, November 10), Fiorina’s campaign may flicker out sooner than any of us want to see.