CNN Presidential Debate

The other problem I had with the debate was the way the moderator stopped the candidates when their answers went too far in making a point. It seemed they had some comments they didn’t like and directions of thought they didn’t want the candidates to say.  I realize time is a factor, but it certainly seemed sometimes, they just didn’t want the candidates to finish a thought and sound reasonable. Which wouldn’t have been as big of a deal if they didn’t let them interrupt and bicker for longer when arguing as they did when they made great points.

There were a couple of topics that didn’t come up that I wish they would discuss.  I do not believe it was mentioned at all. The black lives matter and the war on the police did not get discussed. The refugee situation was not mentioned and thus the threat from terrorists hiding in them was not discussed either. I was glad though, that states’ rights and gun control came up, unfortunately they did not spend much time on the subjects. Common Core is a significant problem for the future of America and it was only brought up once in a jab aimed at Bush by Trump. Would have been good to hear who supports it and who does not.

The question about who was worried about Trump having his hand on the nuke codes was stupid.  The idea Trump would be more dangerous than anyone else with those codes was ridiculous! Just because he is bombastic does not mean others wouldn’t be as dangerous as he would. At least we know he would fire them if the situation warranted it. Cannot imagine some of the others having the nerve to do it without permission from their special interests groups or donors. Rand Paul would likely not use them even if the situation really called for it. The question should have been “would you attack another country if provoked without going through congress?” That would have been a much better question.

None of the moderators (this debate or the last one) seem to be willing to address the constitutional violations our government has allowed to go on under Obama. Certainly none of the media will discuss the eligibility questions because they would have to admit they allowed Obama to get away with not being a Natural Born Citizen. So that is one issue that will not be discussed in the media, possibly ever again!

I tend to think Carly Fiorina did very well if not actually having “won” the debate. But many had great moments so it is hard to call any one a winner. But the big loser was the moderators! They did not handle things in a way where we the voters could come away feeling like we learned more about the candidates except for how well they can speak zingers.

Jeb Bush showed himself more engaged. Did it make him more electable? I don’t think so. He is still a polished politician who is part of the establishment. However, he did stand up to Donald Trump fairly well. Too bad it took more time away from other candidates and the time they could have used.

Marco Rubio spoke from a well-informed position. I did like some of what he had to say. He certainly says good stuff about foreign policy, but he is also a political insider, hard to believe any insider actually means what they say.

Carly Fiorina made a great speech about Planned Parenthood. But the meaning of her final words may just be misunderstood by the press. She concluded with “This is about the character of our nation, and if we will not stand up in and force President Obama to veto this bill, shame on us.” Given her words against Planned Parenthood it sounds as if she is talking about the de-fund PP bill, so why is she saying we need to make Obama veto it? Shouldn’t she have said he need to NOT veto it?? It almost sounded like she wants the government to be shut down. That may not be a bad thing, but it is certain the Republicans will get blamed for it even if Obama openly does it himself.

This is the comment by Kasich that she was responding to:

KASICH: “No, no, it’s really important, Dana. We got to talk about what we would be willing to shut down for. Why don’t we put tax reform on this president’s desk, and make him veto it if that’s what he wants to do? Why haven’t we repealed and replaced Obamacare?”

And there was this one: “We’re not — what I can tell you is this. We didn’t surrender in New Jersey, six years ago, as the brand new first ever pro-life governor of New Jersey since Roe versus Wade, I defended Planned Parenthood. And I’ve vetoed Planned Parenthood funding, now, eight times in New Jersey. Since the day I walked in as governor, Planned Parenthood has not been funded in New Jersey. We stood up and every one of those vetoes has been sustained.”

I felt Ben Carson was making good points, but he is clearly not a debater. He expresses himself much better making a speech. However, on illegal immigration, he made a good point about needing the border secure before anything else will work.  The rest of his ideas will have a mixed response from many.

Carson said:

”Well, what I said, after we seal the borders, after we turn off the spigot that dispenses all the goodies so we don’t have people coming in here, including employment, that people who had a pristine record, we should consider allowing them to become guest workers, primarily in the agricultural sphere, because that’s the place where Americans don’t seem to want to work. That’s what I said. And they have a six-month period to do that. If they don’t do it within that time period, then they become illegal, and as illegals, they will be treated as such.”

Chris Christy had a couple of good moments for example:

“The fact is that we don’t want to hear about your careers, back and forth and volleying back and forth about who did well and who did poorly. You’re both successful people. Congratulations. You know who’s not successful? The middle class in this country who’s getting plowed over by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Let’s start talking about those issues tonight and stop this childish back-and-forth between the two of you.”


“CHRISTIE: Well, Jake, I was named U.S. attorney by President Bush on September 10th, 2001. And that next day my wife Mary Pat did what she did every day, she traveled through the World Trade Center and went to her office two blocks from the World Trade Center. And after those planes hit, for five-and-a-half-hours after that, I couldn’t reach her, didn’t know whether she was dead or alive, and we had three children at the time, 8, 5 and 1. And I had to confront what so many thousands of others in my region had to confront, the idea I might become a single parent, the idea that my life and my children’s life might be changed forever.

We lost friends that day. We went to the funerals. And I will tell you that what those people wanted and what they deserved was for America to answer back against what had been done to them. And I support what President Bush did at that time, going into Afghanistan, hunting al Qaeda and its leaders, getting its sanctuary out of place, and making it as difficult around the world for them to move people and money. And then he went to prosecutors like us, and he said, never again. Don’t prosecute these people after the crime is committed. Intervene before the crime happens. I absolutely believe that what the president did at the time was right. And I am proud to have been one of the people on the stage who was part of making sure that what Governor Bush said before was the truth. America was safe for those seven years and Barack Obama has taken that safety away from us.”

There were other good moments during the debate (too many to go through all of them here) and things that were said that really made good points. Unfortunately, the number of participants and the apparent desire to get sound bites and not substance took away from the benefit of having the debate.  I do not understand why they just didn’t divide the field in half and hold two evenly divided debates. Just because it was prime time doesn’t mean we would not have enjoyed or even watched both debates. The next one I would like to see it evenly split in half and held on two separate nights during prime time. It seems it would be a much more fair way to do things. With the huge number of candidates on the debate stage at the same time, it resulted in a poorly orchestrated debate and a lack of real focus on any of the issues.
They spent more time pointing fingers and asking questions like “What do you think about what the Senator said about you?” It ended up sounding like a polite middle school argument. No significant information was presented to enable an undecided voter to come to any new conclusions about who they will vote for.


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