For the first time this election cycle, I watched the entire Republican undercard debate, and let me tell you something for those of you who didn’t watch it: you barely missed anything.
In essence, I watched it so you didn’t have to. It seemed to me that very little was said, which is ironic given how much time each of the candidates had.
I watched it with my grandma, and here are the thoughts that both of us had with each of the candidates.
Jindal keeps attacking Christie’s record, and he returns it with kindness (keep in mind that Christie was the chair of the Republican Governors Association last year so the task of bashing the gubernatorial records of fellow Republicans probably doesn’t come off easily), so I chalk that up as a victory for Christie. After all, does Jindal really think that he’s going to improve his poll numbers by attacking Christie? Highly unlikely.
Jindal will give Christie a “ribbon and a juice box” for participating in this election. How kind.
Bobby Jindal seems to have a fixation on Christie given the shocking amount of times he returned to him.
Santorum claims to be a rock ribbed conservative who can win in a blue state…except that he was ultimately vanquished by 18%. That said, he did help write the bill to reform welfare. He did bring up that the Clinton strategist, James Carville, ran the campaign against him at one point, which was a fact about him that I never knew.
He ended with a nice note about a six year old who donated six dollars to his presidential campaign (that may or may not have been his only campaign contribution to date), before using that as an excuse to stay in the race. There are a few problems with this, namely that six year olds can’t vote, and even though the election is just over a year away, she still won’t be eligible, so maybe he’ll run again in 2028 so he can get her vote.
Gave a very good performance, and may very well see his poll numbers go up as a result. He certainly has a ton of talent as a debater and that showed tonight.
Ultimately, I think that the biggest beneficiaries of this debate are going to be Christie and Jindal, because at times I completely forgot that Huckabee and Santorum were even on the stage (even though Huckabee was tied with Christie for being the top performing candidate at this debate). Since they are able to speak for a significantly longer time, the few people who are actually watching this debate will get to hear their talking points over and over again (like Bobby Jindal echoing his criticism against “big government Republicans” and Christie continuing to be nice to him). I wouldn’t be surprised if Christie moves back up to the larger debate, at the expense of Rand Paul, who will probably continue to be invisible tonight.
I want to make a quick note about how tonight will show us the difference between having 10 and 8 candidates on the stage for the higher polling stage, even though that meant relegating Christie and Huckabee to this debate (and kicking Lindsey Graham and George Pataki off the stage entirely). Jim Gilmore, as is always the case, still hasn’t been invited to a single debate.
Also, as a fun fact, the RNC made the wifi password for everyone at the debate StopHillary.
Although the tone of this might have been mildly sarcastic, I do think I gave due diligence to more of the policy that was discussed at the debate than most other news outlets will, although maybe I’ll be wrong.