Although critics are calling last evening’s Republican debate not as engaging as previous debates, the candidates did discuss substantive issues, and many important policy stances were revealed.
The Wall Street journal, who moderated the debate along with Fox News Business, said that while the fourth debate “wasn’t the most entertaining…it was by far the most educational.”
After the criticism leveled at the CNBC moderators in the last GOP debate, critics and viewers were paying close attention to the kinds of questions the candidates were asked. Critics, viewers, and candidates alike seemed to be happy with the way the debate was handled by Fox News Business and the Wall Street Journal.
Donald Trump told moderator Neil Cavuto in the spin room directly after the debate that it was handled well and he was pleased with the questions asked.
Trump himself was much more subdued than in previous debates. The debate was heavily focused on foreign policy as well as the economy, and Trump was fairly silent on these issues, not going into great depth in outlining any of his plans.
Bill O’Reilly also notes that for a while during the debate “Ben Carson vanished.” Both Carson and Trump--the frontrunners--did not steal the spotlight, although, CBS News notes, “the substantive nature of the debate may have worked to Carson's advantage by keeping questions about his biography mostly out of the discussion.”
In an interview with Bill O’Reilly about the debate, Charles Krauthammer said that Jeb Bush, although performing better than in previous debates, did not have the kind of performance he needed to reboot his campaign.
In fact, Krauthammer notes, at one point, when discussing foreign policy, Carly Fiorina jumped in with a much more riveting answer to a question Jeb Bush had been asked and answered. Fiorina also provided details of her foreign policy plan, stating, especially in regard to Russia, “"We should not speak to people from a position of weakness.”
In dealing with the tough issues of bank bailouts, immigration, and raising the minimum wage, however, it was Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul who had strong answers and seemed to come out on top.
Krauthammer did acknowledge that Paul is defending some unpopular policies (Rubio called him an isolationist), but said he did an exemplary job of making them sound tenable.
Many have declared Rubio the debate’s winner. “There is no subject on which he is not fluid and forceful and passionate,” said Krauthammer.
The next GOP debate will be held in Las Vegas on Tuesday, December 15.
Photo courtesy: Salem Radio Network
Publication date: November 11, 2015