For those who missed it, Thursday’s GOP debate consisted of more (debatably) than just mudslinging in the direction of Hillary Clinton. The top ten Republican runners took their places behind their podiums a few minutes before 9 pm, staring down the faces of the Fox News team.
Media scrutinized businessman Donald Trump took center stage as the Republican’s front-runner, and the “Special Report” anchor Bret Baier wasted no time singling out the unorthodox man by asking if everyone on stage would support and endorse the winner of the Republican primaries. Naturally, everyone waited for Trump’s response, but they didn’t wait long as the businessman responded with a smirk and a single hand in the air regarding a third party run. Two minutes into the debate, many media outlets had their headlines already. Hook, line, and sinker, Trump.
Megyn Kelly continued the singling out of Trump by addressing the sexist remarks overflowing on his Twitter account, to which he countered was referring to Rosie O’Donnell only. He claimed to always be nice to Megyn- a pattern that maybe he shouldn’t continue.
The Fox News team used aggressive wording such as this through the night to pull honesty and transparency from the candidates.
Jeb Bush was placed in the spotlight numerous times throughout the night, as the he struggled to reiterate “[he] is [his] own man.” Although he shares a family name with two previous presidents, he assured Fox News and viewers that this campaign is all his own, addressing his brother’s war as a “mistake.”
Although Jeb’s brother had a minor moment of acknowledgment in the debate, the younger Bush was sure to re-associate the flaws of the Iraq War with President Barack Obama.
“Barack Obama became president and he abandoned Iraq. He left, and when he left, Alqaeda was done for, ISIS was created because of the void we left,” argued Bush.
I’m sure it comes as a shock that Bush wasn’t alone in mudslinging. Ted Cruz, while responding to Megyn Kelly with his ideas on “destroying ISIS in 90 days,” argued “we will not defeat radical Islamic terrorism so long as we have a president unwilling to utter the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.”
Speaking of inappropriate responses to religion, Rand Paul attended the debate as well. While responding to a question regarding gay marriage and Christian private businesses, Paul defended freedom of religion with the uncomforting statement “if people have a religious opinion that is heartfelt, obviously they should be allowed to practice that.”
It seems to me that many actions backed by a religious belief can be justified with your statement, Paul.
John Kasich was also quick to respond regarding gay marriage, but took a very different, and much more liberal, approach than Paul. Megyn Kelly asked Kasich what he would do if a child of his came out as gay, to which Kasich shrugged his shoulders.
“Guess what? I just went to a wedding of a friend of mine who happens to be gay. Because someone doesn’t think the way I do doesn’t mean I can’t care about them or love them,” defended Kasich.
While each candidate had clear ideas on how they would better America, some candidates got those ideas across clearer than others last night and left the viewers with some chilling one liners. If you haven’t watched the debate, I greatly encourage that you do so. Such tests of character divide the men from the boys.
Best of luck with your campaigns, gentlemen.