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Who Won The Debate?

by Geraldo Rivera | Sep 17, 2015

My thoughts:
1- On Donald Trump, who was targeted by most on stage rivals; the billionaire businessman fought boredom and handled most attacks including Governor Jeb Bush’s spirited defense of speaking Spanish, his wife and his brother President George W. Bush. He fumbling certain details, doubtful it matters much.
2- Governor Bush is nice, but was the night's biggest loser. Trump made the former Florida governor seem awkward and nerdy like the smart kid who can’t get a prom date. In Bush’s defense, (and Kasich's) moderation is a hard sell among Republicans generally, and is their general election Achilles' heel. 
3- Watching Governor Scott Walker struggle ineffectively for attention was sad. He seemed out of his league almost diminutive, yet he had best line about not needing an Apprentice in the White House, saying "we already have one."
4- Senator Rand Paul nailed the blood on the hands of Saudi Arabia by pointing out how the kingdom funds Sunni extremists ISIS & al Qaeda. He and Trump were brave to point out that we were wrong on Iraq. But Sen. Paul was destroyed by Trump’s putdown of his pathetic poll standings.
5- Senator Marco Rubio was solid on policy, adopting the tried and true GOP mantra on a military second to none, etc. But he seems wonky and physically uncomfortable.
6- Carly Fiorina was probably the “winner” in that she effectively punished Donald Trump for his insulting remarks about her face and his casino bankruptcies. But he hit her back hard on her disastrous tenure at Hewlett Packard. She grew in stature but I doubt it will propel her poll standings. Also, her attacks on Hillary Clinton seemed almost rabidly intense.
7- For a supposedly brilliant Harvard educated debater the candidacy of Senator Ted Cruz seems to revolve around the Gun Crazy Vote via the broadest possible interpretation of the 2d Amendment. I also do not appreciate his continued reference to how his dad fled repression in Cuba, when in fact his dad, like Senator Rubio’s dad actually left Cuba long before Fidel Castro came to power.
8- The other guys, governors Christy, Huckabee and Kasich were ho hum fine, but nothing special.
9- Dr. Ben Carson is a class act with a breathtakingly appealing life story. His playful takedown of Donald Trump’s awkward position on vaccines was brilliant. Will it help his already impressive recent polls? Probably neutral for him.
Summary
Carly wins but
Trump and Carson remain on top
Bush better get going. Paul and Walker are on the brink.
Everyone else is an also ran

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