First, I want to praise CNN. The moderators hosted a much more professional and respectful debate than Fox News. It was very fair and balanced. The only question I found distasteful is Jake Tapper’s accusation that there’s violence at Trump’s political rallies. But other than that, all the other questions were reasonable policy questions, a lot better than the hostile questions at the Fox debate.
It was pretty obvious that the audience was stacked in favor of Rubio. I guess the local Florida GOP set that up to help the local guy. It was very unfair to the other candidates.
Trump looked more presidential than he did in any previous debate. It’s what he needed to do, and he did it. There were no gratuitous insults. He didn’t say anything crazy or unexpected, nor did he forget the policy plans on his own website as in the previous debate.
Trump gave the correct answer this time on H-1B and H-2B visas. That he took advantage of the laws to make money, but they are bad for American workers.
Trump talked a lot about jobs, which is a key selling point for American voters.
Trump is the only candidate to say he’s not going to change Social Security, which is a very astute answer. Social Security is said to be the third rail of politics, and the other candidates are stupid enough to risk electrocuting themselves. Trump’s answer will serve him well against Hillary.
I was also glad that Trump brought up, in response to the Israel question, that he has a Jewish daughter and Jewish grandchildren. I think it’s a selling point, and will help him win the Jewish Florida vote. On Israel, Trump is pro-Israel enough to satisfy pro-Israel Republicans, but it appears more moderate and is a better position for the general election.
I think Trump put in some effort since the previous debate to bone up more on some issues. Obviously he is still far behind Rubio on his knowledge about Cuba. I have to admit that I also don’t know much about Cuba—it’s not something I really care about that much—so I felt sympathetic for Trump.
It was smart of Trump to wrap up with the Supreme Court issue. It’s a reminder to conservatives and Republicans to help Trump win after he’s nominated, otherwise the Supreme Court gets lost forever to liberals.
Kasich told us again that if he’s elected president, he will get amnesty passed within 100 days. That’s a position that no doubt pleases the GOPe, but how many Republican voters really want to hear that? Other than that, Kasich did the same thing he does every debate. I think it’s finally working for him. His campaign is, like he says, the little engine that could. Now, how old do you have to be in order to understand that reference? Do people in their twenties know what Kasich is talking about?
Rubio also had a really good debate. He didn’t repeat the same dumb memorized lines as the answer to every question, and he also cut out the stupid attacks on Donald Trump which really backfired on him last time. It was definitely Rubio’s best debate ever.
Even Cruz has a better than normal debate. He didn’t get bogged down in the weeds of policy as he did in earlier debates. I guess after so many debates, everyone learns from their mistakes.
But, after this debate, people are going to spend a lot more time talking about Trump looking more presidential than anything else that happened. Thus, Trump won.
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And as I predicted, the talking heads on CNN are talking about Trump looking more presidential and being less “provocative.”