GOP Debate Recap #5: Going for the Jugular

The candidates gave it their all last night, throwing javelins and gaining any ammunition they could on the CNN Debate.

GOP debate, video still
GOP debate, video still

The candidates gave it their all last night, throwing javelins and gaining any ammunition they could on the CNN Debate. We all knew Trump was going to find someone new to pick on, and it was everybody and their uncle on immigration. But the other candidates were right there with him. Jeb Bush had a stinging retort for Trump, saying he would be a chaotic President despite his one-liners. Marco Rubio criticized Cruz’s voting record.

Hope ISIS was watching this debate. Terrorism and national security were the hot topics. Rand Paul, of course, showed his pacifism by saying he did not fear the terrorists. Kasich quipped: “My kids don’t like loud noises.” Carson called for a moment of silence for victims of San Bernardino. Trump was the brunt of most of the comments as the others launched javelins at his strict immigration ideas.

Oh but wait, even though the topics were terrorism and national security, candidates sneaked in a few other topics, mentioning climate change a couple of times in passing. Mike Huckabee mentioned education, telling young people who think they deserve free college that they ought to get off their butts and fight for their freedom. Chris Christie laid into Obama’s inability to protect America by mentioning LAUSD closures after a bogus threat.

Nobody really explained how all that belligerence would defuse a threat that can manifest itself in homegrown Americans, like the health inspector who killed his colleagues in San Bernadino. And there wasn’t much discussion of the potential for military action abroad to create unintended consequences. But near the end of the debate, Trump complained that more than a decade of U.S. intervention in the Middle East has achieved nothing, while costing trillions of dollars that could have been spent upgrading U.S. roads, bridges and airports.

It was a profound attack on the interventionist Republican foreign policy of the 21st century. Carly Fiorina immediately pointed out, correctly, that Trump’s rhetoric echoed the Democrats. And needless to say, it was the only time anyone mentioned infrastructure.

So the final debate of the year, was needless to say, buzzing as always as candidates fight to gain the public eye and make their name despite Trump’s fiery oratory.

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