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10th Republican TV Debate

10th Republican TV DebateIf you were looking for fireworks no need to wait until July 4th this year because there were plenty of them on CNN last night during the 10th presidential debate.

Donald Trump had everything thrown at him by Rubio and Cruz who both came much more prepared to attack front-runner Trump, rather that each other. They hit Trump with everything they had.

The big question is, did it work? Will their efforts have any effect on results next Tuesday and beyond?

I don’t think so. There isn’t even agreement between the Trump-haters who did the best job of attacking him.

 

Rubio

Some say Rubio did the best job of attacking Trump. This is particularly so among the establishment brigade who, having lost Jeb Bush, have only Rubio left to pin their forlorn hopes on.

10th Republican TV Debate rubio trumpRubio was certainly the most vociferous of the two and tried jabs from every angle. But somehow it didn’t quite work. Rubio was so excited at times when delivering his attacks that he sounded like a girl (no offence ladies) rather than a potential president. At other times his comments were personal and cutting to the point where they seemed petty and not worthy of either the giver or receiver.

His strategy was obviously to be seen as the only man able to beat Trump in the up coming primaries. But somehow he didn’t managed it. Nothing he said on the night will do Trump any lasting damage with the voters. It was really a case of a boy versus a man. If only Trump had had a popsicle in his pocket to hand to Rubio to calm him down that would have summed it up nicely.

 

Cruz

Others disagree with the establishment view and say that Cruz did the best job of attacking Trump. Certainly he seemed more in control of himself than Rubio, less prone to pettiness, and while the quantity of his blows against Trump were less, when they happened they were more substantive – although like Rubio’s not enough to do any lasting damage.

10th Republican TV Debate trump cruzCruz also had the sense to aim some of his venom at Rubio, something that in his excitement seemed to slip the mind of the latter.

Cruz did make one major blunder though, when he tried to make the case that he was the more electable of the two. Trump quickly noted that Cruz’s poll numbers did not justify his confidence and that was the end of that.

Bearing in mind that this debate was being held in his own territory, Texas, where Cruz is a Senator, one would have expected him to take a more dominant role on the night. That fact that he didn’t may hurt him on Tuesday’s vote in the state where currently he and Trump are running neck and neck for first place.

If Cruz doesn’t win Texas on Tuesday then his campaign will be in big trouble and he did nothing in last night’s debate to help his cause by much.

 

Kasich

Kasich had another good night. He stuck with his strategy of not getting involved in attacks on other candidates and at times looked the most presidential on the stage.

10th Republican TV Debate kasichAs always he concentrated on his own experience and achievements providing some welcome moments of calm in what was otherwise a stormy night.

It may give him a slight boost in some of the state votes, but it still won’t be enough for him to ever mount a serious challenge against Trump. It may well keep him in the race for a while longer though.

 

Carson

When he got the opportunity to participate, which was not often, Carson actually spoke quite well at times, although he had his wandering off the subject moments too.

10th Republican TV Debate carsonHe too stayed clear of the other in fighting and at one point tried to inject a note of humor into the proceedings by questioning, “Why doesn’t anyone attack me?” to protest his lack of talk time.

Other than that, Carson was by and large irrelevant. For a long time it has been a matter of when, not if, he calls it a day.

 

Trump

Ignore what the establishment hacks write about last night’s debate. This was by no means Trump’s worst performance. In fact, considering the sustained pressure he was under the whole night, he handled himself well.

10th Republican TV Debate trumpNeither Rubio nor Cruz was able to land a knockout blow on him – in fact they never even got close to that – and he counter-punched hard as always.

Memorable among these counter-punches were when Rubio attacked him on his hiring practices, to which Trump simply replied, “You haven’t hired anyone,” emphasizing the difference between an experienced and successful businessman and a career politician.

Similarly when Cruz tried to call out Trump on his previous donations to political candidates, Trump promptly told him that he had been one of the politicians he funded. Poor Cruz didn’t know where to look!

All in all therefore Trump gave as good as he got – and sometimes much better. We’ll know for sure in a few days time what impact this debate has had on the voters. For now Donald Trump still remains far ahead of the pack.

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