I don’t think I’ll ever watch another debate hosted by CNN as long as I live.
Debate moderator Jake Tapper asked mindless questions all night, quoting candidates who have slammed their opponents in the media and prompting them to respond to the slanderous public comments. Over, and over, and over again.
The only thing that may have occurred more frequently than Tapper’s awful questions, was Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker ending each of his responses with “and that’s what I’ll do as the next President of the United States.”
It wasn’t until thirty minutes into the debate that a real question, one that required a policy based response, was asked. And after that? Back to the questions about he said/she said to the press. Questions so ridiculous, that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush actually admitted to the 25 million debate viewers that he smoked pot in high school.
Tapper’s questions were all over the place, and it was evident as a viewer that CNN had little interest in hearing the candidates’ policy suggestions, but rather them humiliate each other through back and forth bickering for three straight hours.
There were bright spots between the squabbles, however. CNN can thank itself for changing the debate rules to include Carly Fiorina, because she was on her game all night, and, at least to me, appeared as the most educated candidate that provided the most quality, substantial answers to the tough questions. The exact opposite of what Donald Trump did in this debate, and has done for the last three months that he’s been campaigning.
When Fiorina got her chance to speak after back and forth exchanges between Trump and every other candidate, Fiorina made the most of it. She slammed Hillary Clinton, she slam-dunked Trump, and she gave one of the most conscious, intelligent responses to armed conflict with Russia that I’ve heard since my conception.
I was afraid after her early miscue (awkwardly waiting a few extra seconds before introducing herself at the beginning of the debate) that this stage might be too big, but she rebounded well and held a strong voice throughout. She made clear what her and other women think about Trump’s sexist character, and she flat out demolished Clinton on her non-existent track record of accomplishments. The best quote from Fiorina, and the debate for that matter, was when she said “But unlike Hillary Clinton, I know that flying is an activity, not an accomplishment.”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had a strong showing as well, sending a circular message from beginning to end that, with him, this is our presidency, not his own. Christie earned a boisterous applause from the crowd at one point, when he called out Tapper and his opposing candidates for the uncontrollable arguing that ensued after each of Tapper’s bogus, baiting inquiries.
Trump continued to be Trump by providing absolutely no plausible explanation to how he would carry out any of his unrealistic policy proposals. He began nearly every sentence with the word “I,” and most commonly followed that word with a statement about how rich, powerful, and good at doing business he is. He said time and again how great we’ll be with him in office, but still has no logical backing for how he will accomplish this feat. Trump even argued with candidate Dr. Ben Carson, a former pediatric neurosurgeon, on the topic of autism and vaccines. Trump shared an outrageously out of touch anecdote about how one of his co-worker’s children received a vaccine at a young age and then suddenly had autism. I chalk his comments up to typical Trump idiocy.
But, from this crazy second GOP debate, there are two major takeaways. The first is that CNN perhaps hosted the worst presidential debate in history. What CNN and Tapper exhibited tonight was an absolute train wreck. The network and moderator made a mockery of the American public and the republican party by denying candidates the opportunity to speak about the real issues. Instead, the network was focused on ratings, and pitted each candidate against their opponents every chance it could.
The second major takeaway is that there are several candidates who are far more educated and experienced than Donald Trump, and those candidates deserve America’s vote. Fiorina, Bush, Christie, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul all offered legitimate policy proposals when prompted. Meanwhile, Trump continues his charade and continues to lead in the polls.
I just hope that after tonight, Fiorina, Rubio, and Bush will get some some real consideration from the undecided electorate. CNN didn’t help this cause at all tonight, however, and appear to be pleased with the status quo of loudmouth Trump at the front of the polls.