Takeaways From “The Kids’ Table” Debate

The first GOP debate of the night has come and gone. Thankfully, Fox Business spared us all by making the “kids table” debate shorter than usual. Here are some of my takeaways:

  • As Paul Constant predicted earlier this morning, Chris Christie clearly came off as the best candidate of the bunch. He never took the bait on any of Bobby Jindal’s (numerous) attacks and instead took every opportunity to bash Hillary Clinton. And when I say bash Hillary Clinton, I really mean give her a good verbal beat down. The language he employed against her was nothing short of venomous.
  • Rick Santorum had some seriously awful answers. For the entire debate, he seemed to be on the brink of angrily snapping at someone or something. At one point, he flat-out yelled into the microphone. It appeared Howard Dean-esque and all very desperate. I’d be surprised if he is a candidate come January 2016.
  • Bobby Jindal came into this debate with a clear game plan: Distinguish himself as a “government-cutting conservative” and portray the others in the debate as “tax and spend liberals.” In fact in a couple of instances, he insinuated that the Republican party was failing as a national party because they are too liberal on policy issues.
  • The moderators were once again feckless and weak. At one point the candidates were asked to name a Democrat they respected and not one of the men on stage answered the question.  It was quite revealing that they couldn’t even name a Democrat they admired. What’s worse, the moderators didn’t even jump in and get them back on track.
  • The phrase “government picking winner and losers” was repeated at least three times by Chris Christie and also from Rick Santorum. It’s an empty platitude, but it clearly must poll well with Republican voters, otherwise they wouldn’t have used it so liberally (pun intended).

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Nick Cassella
Nick Cassella graduated from the University of St Andrews in Scotland in 2014. After graduating, he worked on the Initiative 594 campaign before joining Civic Ventures, where he now manages Civic Skunk Works' social media presence.