Post Debate Wrap-Up

Another GOP Presidential debate is in the books.  

This was the debate CNBC should have had…
It was nice to see less candidates on the stage tonight, although I hated to see one of my favorites (Chris Christie) demoted to the “kids table”.  The smaller number of candidates on the big stage really gave us a chance to hear more specific proposals.

Here’s my rundown.  Keep in mind, I’m evaluating them through the lense of viability in a general election.  After all, that’s what we should be aiming for here, the best candidate to win next November.

BEN CARSON – Came out swinging after a week of intense scrutiny.  “I don’t mind being vetted, I mind being lied about.”  Welcome to the NFL Dr. Carson.  He didn’t get as much talk time as I would have expected for a front runner. His closing statement was on point.  It’s time to change the narrative.

DONALD TRUMP – What is this, his 4th debate?  Nothing new, and likes to repeat himself.  I get it Donald. You want to build a wall.  John Kasich is lucky Ohio struck oil. He’ll be the best on the military.  America isn’t winning anymore. He’ll rip up the deal with Iran.  For everything else, he watches “the shows”.  It’s way past time Donald,  you’re fired!

JOHN KASICH – John wants to talk, a lot. One of the more experienced candidates on the stage, he’s too moderate to get the nomination.  He needs to learn some manners when it comes to interrupting.  His response when pressured about bailing out the banks was very disjointed, and scary. He won’t rise in the polls, which only means it is a matter of time for John.

JEB BUSH – I actually thought Bush had his best night of the debate season. Bush claims we don’t need to be the worlds policeman, but we do need to be the world’s leader.  Something about American Exceptonalism gets me every time.  Still not a strong enough night to jump out of the rut he’s in.

CARLY FIORINA – Carly is really good at pivoting from the question to answer one that wasn’t asked, it’s an art. She’s sharp, she’s articulate, she’s for zero based budgeting!  She tells the truth in a way that just makes sense.  Another solid performance from Carly.

TED CRUZ – After a standout performance last debate, Cruz did not capitalize on that momentum tonight.  He regularly throws out lines that have been scripted well in advance, hoping to rack up as many zingers as possible.  He committed a Rick Perry by promising specifics he couldn’t remember.  You can find out more by visiting,  which he mentioned thrice.

MARCO RUBIO – “Welders make more than Philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers.”  He made a good point when it comes to higher education, but he probably lost the philosopher vote. Pro Family, one of the reasons I like Marco.  His diagnosis of Vladamir Putin was spot on. Strong night for Rubio.

RAND PAUL – Rand took a swing at Rubio’s tax plan, but I think it fell flat, as evidenced by audience response.  I appreciate his conservative stance on all spending. He’s too far right to be a viable candidate in the general, and ironically he’s too far right to win the nomination. With Christie and Huckabee gone, Rand Paul needs to be next.

Winners = Rubio and Fiorina
Biggest Losers = Kasich, Bush and Paul

Thanks for letting me share a quick gut reaction to each candidate.  What were your thoughts on tonight’s debate?