Initial Thoughts: GOP Debate

The stage is set for the CNN Reagan Library Debate next week in California, with Carly Fiorina joining 10 other leading Republican presidential candidates at 8 p.m. ET.

The stage is set for the CNN Reagan Library Debate next week in California, with Carly Fiorina joining 10 other leading Republican presidential candidates at 8 p.m. ET.

What say you? Do you think there was a clear winner in last night’s CNN GOP Debate?

Thanks to those of you who joined me here for the live chat. I’m sure that I’ll have more to say about this debate in the coming days, but here are a few initial thoughts:

The debate went on too long. I’m not sure that with that many people on the stage there is any way to avoid that, but it was really a slog.

Marco Rubio’s water joke really fell flat. I suspect many viewers didn’t get the reference, and he probably yelled at whoever told him to do it.

I have to hand it to Rand Paul for being right, along with Donald Trump, about birthright citizenship and the 14th Amendment. I respect Carly Fiorina, and as I expected she did well because she is bright and articulate, but she is dead wrong about the 14th amendment. Birthright citizenship is not in there, Carly. You could look it up. Sen. Paul correctly referred to the Wong Kim Ark case and the legislative history of the amendment, whose authors stated specifically that it referred to the recently freed slaves.

Speaking of illegal immigration, it was quite interesting to me that when confronted with Donald Trump’s statements that he will secure the border and build a wall, most of the others conceded that he was for the most part correct.

John Kasich was as buffoonish as usual, stating “There’s one person on this stage that does have a record.” PULEEZE. Does this guy know what a fool he sounds like 99% of the time?

Speaking of Kasich, I was disappointed that Jake Tapper, or the other two moderators, didn’t ask him the question I submitted to CNN. Here it is:

Last Sunday you said you supported Pres. Obama’s plan to allow at least 10,000 refugees from Syria into the U.S., provided that “we don’t let anyone infiltrate who is part of a radical group.” In June, 2015, Rep. Michael McCaul, Chairman, House Homeland Security Committee, wrote to President Obama, urging him to consider the very serious national security concerns represented by allowing unvetted refugees from the Middle East into our country, something he correctly noted is “very dangerous,” given the statements by terrorists that they plan to exploit the refugee programs to infiltrate the West. The letter notes  “[i]n a Committee on Homeland Security hearing held in February, the Director of the National Counterrorism Center acknowledged that refugees from the conflict in Syria and Iraq being admitted to the United States were a ‘population of concern, given the possibility that members of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) of al Qaeda networks such as the al Nusra Front might attempt to exploit refugee programs to gain entry to the United States.” So, how exactly do you make sure we aren’t allowing terrorists to enter our country along with innocent refugees?”

As many of you know, this issue of stealth resettlement of “refugees” in this country is in my top 3, so I was disappointed to see it not addressed.

Carly Fiorina was extremely compelling talking about defunding Planned Parenthood. I hope that her strong words help put some steel in the spines of the gutless GOP leaders in Congress.

I could not disagree more with Rand Paul that recreational drug use is a victimless crime. And Jeb smoking dope as a youngster? That explains A LOT.

Chris Christie did well, but I don’t think his position in the field will change.

Huckabee seemed like he was doing one of those monologues he used to do on his show. I liked what he had to say for the most part, but like Christie, I don’t think he did anything to move his numbers.

What say you? Do you think there was a clear winner in last night’s CNN GOP Debate?


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  1. Marvin, I am sure you have heard me say, because I say it constantly, that television is not a good place to look for anything serious. With rare exceptions, everything on television today is some sort of reality show, whatever the producers claim it is, and that includes “news” on every single cable network. I don’t know if you heard me talk about my experience on a game/reality show, but I can tell you that the producers were extremely determined to stir up controversy between the contestants, as they do on every reality show. You’ve seen them. Everyone has to be fighting because that’s drama. Drama is the opposite of the environment needed for serious analysis because drama is all about evoking emotion. I know you knew that, but I thought it was worth repeating.

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