The Winner—Donald Trump. Mr. Trump punched in with “I want Security,” followed with “The police are the most mistreated people.” (Trump pro the police.) Trump, countering Nikki Haley, proclaimed, “Yes, I am angry.” Asked if he wished to withdraw his comments on banning Muslims, Donald shot back, “No!” Trump followed up with The New York Times, “They are always wrong.” And on China, he announced that we should consider taxing goods coming in from China. Net/net Donald Trump hit many of the hot buttons Americans of all stripes want hit. This election is not about the Republican and Democratic parties’ establishment/elites (I am an independent). For the first time in my memory it is, as it should be, about the people, all the people.
Ted Cruz once again failed to get up to “Cruzing speed” and disagreed with Mr. Trump on banning Muslims.
Marco Rubio played a safe hand, but had some tough words for ISIS. Beyond that there was not much of a glow coming off the Rubio fire.
Mr. Carson brought an early ice breaker laugh from the crowd announcing “wake me up” when the moderator finally got around to him. Beyond that one liner, Dr. Ben basically wants to get a group together to think things out. It is hard to see how this nice man helped himself on the path to the presidency.
John Kasich was again JK, spirits high and arms a waving. I didn’t like his thoughts on a coalition with the Arabs and most often John’s tendencies on foreign policy have a pretty strong neocon pull.
Chris Christy wants a no-fly zone in Syria, though Chris, thankfully, steered clear of telling the crowd he would shoot down Putin’s fighter jets. Christy also remains on the “remove Assad” game plan. Such a play of course would pit America against Russia in a part of the world where America’s national interests are not at stake. On the bright side, Chris wants no part of taking in Syrian Refugees. Chris or Rubio are probably the pick of the Republican elites, but neither gained any ground on Trump last night.
Jeb Bush was… well awful. My first notes on Jeb last night were “the poor guy.” All he could muster up was a silly “we have to get back in the game.” Bush has to have pulled the plug on his already fast-sinking ship.