The New Hampshire debate didn’t feature much action from frontrunners Donald Trump or Senator Ted Cruz, but both had important moments during the debate. Cruz destroyed moderator Martha Raddatz’s attempts to corner him and delivered what may have been the most moving and heartfelt moment of the debate (though Rubio had a great emotional moment too). Trump’s debate performance will likely be remembered for his unapologetic expression of support for torture.
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) February 7, 2016
With that, a few reactions to Saturday night’s #GOPDebate :
1 Rubio really hurt himself tonight. Christie is perhaps the best debater in American politics, but Rubio could have battled him to a draw by not robotically reciting the same 25 seconds of rehearsed response. It remains to be seen if this performance will devastate Rubio’s standing in the race.
2 The biggest beneficiary of this will be the non-Rubio establishment option, who appears to be Kasich.
3 As a result, this debate will exacerbate the splitting of the establishment vote. The upshot of a split establishment vote will be a Trump victory.
4 Cruz greatly helped himself with his answer about his drug-addicted sister. A powerful, emotional answer from a candidate who is often attacked for being too rehearsed. He had the best closing statement by a wide margin.
5 Trump got crushed on Eminent Domain. Except for that segment, he had a very good debate, but losing an argument in convincing fashion (to Bush, no less!) and getting repeatedly booed by the crowd is brutal optics for The Donald.
6 Christie and Kasich did well playing to their strengths. Bush did better than normal, but it won’t save his campaign, especially after “Please clap.”
7 Carson is basically admitting that he’s irrelevant now. Desperation has set in, and he’s only staying in the race out of spite. If the Cruz campaign hadn’t told people he was dropping out, he probably would be dropping out very soon. At this point, he’s only staying in to prove them wrong.
8 Rubio had one very good segment: when he talked about abortion. That will help him with conservatives.
9 The big story of this debate will be Rubio repeating himself. Given that Carly repeats herself so much, she should probably be glad she wasn’t there. Rubio wishes he hadn’t been there.
Winners: Kasich, Christie, Bush
Losers: Rubio, Carson
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