🇺🇸 Take Three: GOP Debate
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Right: Can America protect Americans in the Gulf? James Jay Caravan, FOX News
Right: The Biden nonfactor: Democrats' success on election night had one thing in common Eden Villalovas, Washington Examiner
Right: President Chaos Not Likely To See Second Term James Piereson, American Greatness
Left: Democrats Look for Silver Linings in Biden's Struggles Edward-Isaac Dovere, CNN
Left: Election Results Point to Major GOP Liability on Abortion Adam Edelman, NBC News
Left: Dems Are Supposed To Be in Trouble. Tell That to Beshear John Nichols, The Nation
Manchin Retiring, 4-Hour Pauses, Hollywood Strikes Over
US: Manchin won’t seek reelection in West Virginia (The Hill)
World: Israel will begin 4-hour pauses in military operations in Gaza each day, White House says (CNN)
US: House GOP pulls second funding bill in a week (The Hill)
US: Threat letter laced with fentanyl sent to Georgia election official, secretary of state says (FOX News)
US: Democrats' plan to issue subpoenas in Supreme Court ethics probe hits roadblock (NBC News)
US: Biden heads to Illinois as multiple political headwinds converge in key Democratic state (CNN)
Entertainment: Hollywood’s strikes are both now over as actors reach deal with studios and return to work with writers (AP)
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Take 3: GOP Debate
The third Republican primary debate was held on Wednesday night in Florida. The Republican candidates, minus former president and GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, sparred over China, energy, opioids, and more. The debate stage notably shrank, featuring businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Reporting from the Right: Republican debate: Haley calls Ramaswamy 'scum' in dustup over TikTok (Washington Examiner)
Reporting from the Left: Grappling with Trump and abortion losses: Six key takeaways from the Republican debate (NBC News)
From The Flag: Haley called Ramaswamy “scum” after Ramaswamy brought up Haley’s daughter having a TikTok account. Ramaswamy called Haley and DeSantis “Dick Cheney in 3-inch heels” for their views on foreign policy. DeSantis criticized Trump for not attending the debate. Similar to the previous debates, Ramaswamy and Haley’s sparring generated the most coverage. Trump, despite not taking part in the debate, was a key factor in coverage across the spectrum. Here’s more on what both sides are saying.
Mixed: What’s The Point? vs. A Good Debate
There doesn’t seem to be much point in having these debates because Trump is so far ahead, and his decision not to participate only appears to be giving him an even greater boost.
It’s unlikely to change the trajectory of the Republican Primary, but this was a solid and substantive debate with less fighting and drama.
“The status quo benefits Trump because he is the leader of the race. In fact, the debates up to this point have failed to establish a race for anything but second place.”
The Only Real Takeaway from the Republican Presidential Debate in Miami Philip Klein, National Review: “I hate to have to state the obvious, but the reality is that the only real takeaway from the Miami debate is that there is still not a genuine contest for the Republican presidential nomination. …the bottom line is that debates are not meaningful if they’re merely exhibition-sparring contests. They only matter if they change the trajectory of the race. With Donald Trump up over 40 points nationally and 30 points in early primary states, it would have taken something major for anything to truly shake up the dynamic, and nothing remotely major occurred. If Haley or Governor Ron DeSantis gain a few points following the debate, Trump will still have a commanding lead just over two months before actual voting starts. Once again, Trump benefitted from his decision to ditch the debates by depriving them of meaning and denying opponents the chance to create moments that could have shaken up the race. There has been no downside for him, because rivals barely bring up his absence, and voters do not punish him for ducking.”
Finally, a Debate Worth Watching Jim Geraghty, National Review: “For the first time in a while, I can say, "‘Hey, if you missed it, you should go online and watch some of that Republican presidential-primary debate last night.’ … Donald Trump entered the night the front-runner by a wide margin, and he is likely to remain the front-runner by a wide margin. Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley were the only candidates with even a slim chance of turning it into an actual race before the debate… But if you’re going to have these debates, the moderators and the candidates might as well try to make them worthwhile, have a serious discussion, tackle the toughest issues, and generate something more than a boring recitation of soundbites. …the general sense of a lot of people who watched, was that this debate…was serious and substantive, and showcased four of the five candidates at their best. There was much, much less crosstalk and finger pointing than in the previous two debates. It generated significantly fewer exasperating moments of spontaneously sighing, ‘Why am I watching this?’ than the other debates.”
One more opinion piece from the Right: Only one thing matters after GOP brawl in Miami W. James Antle III, Washington Examiner
This Race (And These Candidates) Are a Mess
“On issue after issue, they contradicted positions that helped make the front-runner [Donald Trump] so popular.”
“All the candidates failed, but they failed in different ways.”
“Between Nikki Haley calling Vivek Ramaswamy ‘scum,’ Ramaswamy calling out Ron DeSantis for his heels, or Tim Scott calling for war with Iran, Wednesday night was unhinged.”
The GOP Candidates Debating Just Made the Case for Donald Trump Alexander Samson, Slate: “The five remaining Republican candidates, in a dubious battle for runner-up on Wednesday night, made rare mention of the man they are all seemingly resigned to accept as the GOP nominee.. They even effectively made his case for him. Trump has, since 2016, campaigned as an anti-war candidate and has bragged about his enduring opposition to endless war in the Middle East (despite doing little to end conflicts while in office): The Republican field blustered all night about the myriad sorts of new military engagements they’d get into if elected. Trump has claimed he would cut entitlements; the Republican field unabashedly committed themselves to various cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Trump has proclaimed himself a TV ratings maker; viewership of the previous GOP debate had already collapsed quite a bit since the first one, and I can’t imagine that many Americans (who weren’t required to do so for work) made it through Wednesday night’s slobber knocker. … None of it was delicate. On multiple occasions the candidates, supposedly trying to win over Republican voters, appealed, by name, to Republican megadonors outright.”
0 winners and 5 losers from the third Republican presidential debate Andrew Prokop, Vox: “The third Republican presidential debate was more sedate and more substantive than the previous two — but, unfortunately for the candidates onstage, it does not seem likely to be any more consequential. …it was hard to see why any of it mattered. Here’s one telling stat: If supporters of the five candidates onstage were all combined, they’d make up 33 percent of the national Republican electorate, according to polls. Donald Trump, in comparison, has the support of 56 percent of Republicans, meaning he has a massive lead over, well, everyone else put together. So it was hard to see how this debate was any more worthwhile than, say, a policy discussion with five Republican politicians chosen at random. No one particularly helped their chances of taking down Trump. Really, they all lost — just as they’re all losing the presidential primary. But they lost in different ways.”
One more opinion piece from the Left: GOP Candidates Showcase New Debate Strategy: Be Unhinged Sam Brodey, The Daily Beast
DeSantis and Haley On Top… Behind Trump
According to a pre-debate poll from FiveThirtyEight and Ipsos’s KnowledgePanel, DeSantis and Haley went into the debate with the highest expectations. They used a 1-to-5 scale with 1 being “Terrible” and 5 being “Excellent.” DeSantis and Haley each had an average expectation score of 3.4.
According to another poll from FiveThirtyEight, 65.5% of Republican voters are considering voting for former President Donald Trump, 48.5% for DeSantis, and 34% for Nikki Haley (FiveThirtyEight).
Based on the debate and/or coverage you've seen about the debate, who do you believe fared best?
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