I usually hate campaign debates. Rarely does anyone say anything remotely substantive. As I’ve said many times, they’re really just dueling catchphrase festivals. But having Donald Trump in the debate makes it a whole different ballgame. For sheer entertainment, this is worth watching. So I’m going to live blog the whole thing on this post starting at 9 pm. Enjoy.
Let the games begin!
Donald Trump walks in wearing one of his signature suits. Pants and jacket made in Mexico (hopefully not by rapists) and shirt made in China). And I think he got his toupee trimmed for this special occasion.
The moderators keep talking about how great the audience is. Seriously, are you open mic hacks at a comedy club? They did everything but “give yourselves a round of applause for being so wonderful.”
Trump already made one crucial mistake, picking a red tie that clashes with his fake tan orange skin.
I so wish they’d had Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade and Elizabeth Hasselbeck do the moderation.
Oh snap, they just set Trump up hard with that first question.
“If I’m the nominee, I will not run as an independent.” Genius. Pure genius.
Rand Paul goes on the attack immediately!
2nd question goes right after Ben Carson for not knowing much of anything about politics, including a list of things he’s said that are flat out false. His answer was a bunch of empty platitudes about what made America great.
Rubio is talking too fast. Maybe he’s saving up time so he can take a refreshing drink of water.
I’m shocked. They’re actually asking tough questions and clearly pitting the candidates against one another. “That other guy said you’re a big poopyhead. How would you respond?”
Ooh, Megyn Kelly going right after Trump for his blatantly sexist remarks. You go girl.
Ha. His answer is that it’s a bad thing to be politically correct. Therefore it’s okay that he attacks women constantly in a sexist manner.
Cruz did a great job of turning that question around in his favor.
Another great question from Megyn Kelly, going after Scott Walker for being anti-choice even to save the life of the mother. He had no real answer.
Huckabee says we know a fetus is a person because of the “DNA schedule.” What the hell does that mean? He also wants the president to just declare abortion illegal on his own. Constitution? What Constitution?
Good question to Rand Paul, trying to force him to stand up for his isolationist foreign policy. He’s dodging it, though.
Kasich is waving his hands way too much.
Jeb Bush: “We need to be much more strategic about how we deal with our borders.” A textbook example of politico-babble. There isn’t a shred of substance whatsoever in that statement.
Ooh, they asked Trump for evidence of his claim that the Mexican government sends rapists and murderers here. He won’t answer, of course. Not even an attempt to answer it.
Holy shit, Chris Wallace actually pointed out that Trump didn’t give any evidence. He cites anonymous border control agents, who are not in a position to know what the Mexican government is doing. And then he got pissed and railed against “stupid leaders.” He got under Trump’s skin and that can only be a good thing. He may blow his top soon.
They ask Kasich about Trump’s immigration claims and Kasich recites his totally unrelated alleged accomplishments.
Cruz has done really well so far. He’s helping himself a lot, purely as a matter of political calculation.
Chris Christie says he’s gone before the “Foreign Intelligence Service Court.” You’d think he’d know that it’s the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, then.
Ooh, sparks between Christie and Paul. Paul is absolutely right and Christie is being a demagogue.
Damn, Megyn Kelly is asking some really tough questions. I’m pleasantly surprised.
Walker: “You talk about Egypt, probably the best relationship we’ve had in Israel in my lifetime.” Wut?
Carson: “We’ve gotten into this mindset of fighting these politically correct wars. There’s no such thing as a politically correct war.” No shit. So what are you babbling about?
They asked Trump why he supported single payer in 1999. He said it works “incredibly well” in Canada and Scotland (?), then says he isn’t in favor of it. Brilliant? He says he’ll take care of the poor “through a different system.” Whatever that means.
Carson says his tax system is based on tithing in the Bible. That means a 10% flat tax, which would explode the deficit.
Jeb Bush is for “higher standards in education.” Meaningless cliche alert!
Rubio: “I believe in curriculum reform.” Whatever that means. “I’m for doing something different.” Thanks, you’ve been helpful.
Kasich has some flop sweat. Somewhere Richard Nixon is smiling.
Kasich: “America is a miracle country.” *headdesk*
Carson gives us the first Alinsky reference of the night. Didn’t apply there, but he got it out.
Hey Jeb, how would you grow the economy at 4% and create 19 million jobs? “I think we have to have high expectations.” The power of positive thinking for those incapable of thinking.
Justin Schieber just texted me: “John Kasich Is old Jeremy Renner. Seriously, it’s weird.”
Christie’s answer on entitlement reform is scary, but he may be the first one tonight to actually answer a question directly.
Christie and Huckabee just had an actual substantive exchange on Medicare and Social Security. I am astonished.
Trump: It’s okay to rip off lenders because they’re “not babies, they’re killers.” Uh, okay. And he made a lot of money on it, so it’s okay.
Ooh, the Iran deal. Everyone agrees that the deal gives Iran everything. Not one of them can offer a single example. Rand Paul just flat out lied, claiming that Obama shouldn’t have dropped the sanctions without evidence of compliance. Not a single sanction has been dropped and will not be dropped until there is that evidence. Huckabee is just blustering.
I think Trump is one tough question away from telling the moderators to go fuck themselves.
Bush: “I created a culture of life in our state.” Stupid cliche alert.
Another tough Trump question, quoting him saying he was “very pro-choice” in 1999. “When did you actually become a Republican?” Oh, snap.
Trump has “evolved” on abortion.
Bush is trying to position himself as the anti-Trump, a moderate, “nice” voice. Smart politics.
Ted Cruz has been silent for the last half hour or so. Is he still on stage?
Trump blames his name-calling on ISIS beheading people. Seriously.
Wow, Kasich just said he recently went to a same-sex wedding! That’s freaking brave in this context.
Trump babbles a non-answer again, just going on about our leaders being stupid.
Cruz gets a question, answers some other question he wishes they’d asked instead.
Carson uses the “Our navy is at its smallest size since 1917” bullshit. Way to use an idiotic argument, Ben! You’re growing up before our very eyes.
Ha. Huckabee thinks we don’t have enough B-52s. Yeah, we don’t have enough horses and bayonets either. We have B-2 bombers now, you ignoramus.
Everyone other than Trump wants you to know just how humble their beginnings were. “My second cousin grew up without a head.” I’m waiting for them to mention how they walked uphill to school, both ways.
Trump: “I was so deprived growing up that the black servant that breastfed me only had a B cup.” /satire
Carson thinks we should “move beyond race.” Which means, of course, that we should pretend racism no longer exists. Ben, your uncle called. I think his name was Tom.
Kasich says we had a $5 trillion surplus when he was in Congress. In what fucking universe?
Cruz: “I’ll instruct the DOJ and the IRS to persecute religious freedom.” WUT?
Carson: “Freedom isn’t free.” I suspect he has a Learn a Platitude a Day desk calendar.
I think it goes without saying that Donald Trump just gave the strongest, greatest. classiest performance of any candidate in the history of the world. To celebrate, he’s going to have his third wife stuffed and gold-plated and go find a younger model to replace her.