Thursday, October 29, 2015

Candidates Struggle to Stand Out at #GOPDebate

At WSJ, "GOP Debate: Candidates Fight to Stand Out":
BOULDER, Colo.—The Republican presidential debate Wednesday night exposed deep differences—in both substance and style—between veteran politicians and their less-seasoned rivals who continue to captivate GOP primary voters.

Republicans picked up right where they left off from the last debate when Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tried to jump-start their campaigns by questioning the financial underpinnings of tax proposals offered by the two leaders, celebrity real-estate developer Donald Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

With Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses three months away, Mr. Kasich complained that the other candidates were making outlandish promises that would explode the deficit, and Mr. Bush interrupted Mr. Trump to point out that his tax plan would create “an $8 trillion debt.” Mr. Kasich also questioned the viability of Mr. Trump’s calls to deport millions of illegal immigrants.

“This is fantasy,” Mr. Kasich said, interjecting as Mr. Carson explained his tax plan to the audience. “You just don’t make promises like this. Why don’t we just give a chicken in every pot, while we’re, you know, coming up with these fantasy tax schemes?”

The third GOP debate, sponsored by CNBC, however, seemed unlikely to significantly shift the standings of the candidates.

Mr. Carson, who used his opening statement to say he refused to say “awful things” about his opponents, seemed to blunt any direct attacks on him. He and Mr. Trump largely ignored each other throughout the debate.

Beyond some early fireworks, there were few break-out moments. One of the more personal exchanges came between Mr. Bush and his one-time ally Marco Rubio over the Florida senator’s attendance record in Congress.

The candidates struggling on the bottom rung, including Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, failed to deliver break-out performances. So did former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who stood out much more in the second debate.

Mr. Trump brushed off the early broadsides by attributing Mr. Kasich’s criticism to his recent slide in the polls. The real-estate developer also blamed Mr. Kasich for playing a role in the 2008 financial crisis by noting that he was working at Lehman Brothers, the investment bank whose collapse triggered panic in financial markets.

“This is the man who was a managing general partner at Lehman Brothers when it went down the tubes,” Mr. Trump said, taunting the Ohio governor for his position at the far edge of the stage...
Yeah, well, the biggest loser was the Democrat-Media-Complex.

But keep reading.