Here’s Every Mention of the Economy in Last Night’s Republican Debate (It’s a Short List)
This morning, you could find any number of think-pieces about the Republican presidential debate online. As expected, most of the pieces are about Donald Trump. But I have to say, I’ve also encountered a disturbing trend in today’s recaps; they suggest that without Trump, last night’s debate was all about “issues.” This isn’t really true. Instead, what we got was a lot of meta-talk about issues—who hates immigrants more, who has hated immigrants for the longest, who’s going to launch the most brutal assault on ISIS—and more Trump-like bluster. I suppose after so many months of Donald Trump overload, the media assigned to cover the Republican side of the presidential primary can’t quite remember what an actual policy discussion sounds like.
Here’s what we didn’t hear last night: any talk about the middle class. Or raising the minimum wage. Neither of those phrases was mentioned even once. Gun responsibility was mentioned by a moderator and then promptly ignored by Marco Rubio. In fact, the economy was largely ignored. Here, I made a list of all the times the candidates mentioned the American economy, in chronological order:
Seems a little…flimsy for a two-hour debate, doesn’t it? Aside from Ted Cruz’s decidedly unserious flat tax, where are the policies? Is it even possible for these candidates to mention the economy without trying to frighten Americans into thinking everything is going to collapse if they get the chance to enjoy even a little bit more economic opportunity than they enjoy right now? Even without Donald Trump in the room, the Republican debate was still a circus: all flash and dazzle and audience manipulation, with entirely too many clowns.