Friday, August 7, 2015

Fun with Donald Trump and the GOP Primary Debate

2016 Republican Presidential candidates
2016 Republican President Debate 
Donald Trump was center stage at the crowded Republican presidential debate last night. For the starting round of debates, the audience got a good view at the candidates.

Trump took full opportunity at being center stage. While some candidates such as Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky took jabs at him for donating to Democrats, Trump knocked him for taking his money.

When the candidates were asked if they would not endorse the eventual nominee and run as a third party candidate, only Trump raised his hand. He remained committed to doing so despite getting booed.

When prodded why his company went bankrupt four times, Trump defended the move, claiming it was a popular business tactic and dismissed the lenders who lost money.

He didn’t address the fact that his company laid off 11,000 workers nor did he mind that his departure from Atlantic City caused harm. Like Romney, he wants to run on a business record that looks better to shareholders than voters.

It was interesting that Trump donated money to the Clintons so they would attend his wedding. Doesn’t he have other friends?

Unlike a career politician, Trump isn’t going to change his tune just because he sinks in the polls. He’s going to remain “The Donald” whether we like it or not.

How did Chris Christie do?

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey was asked about the poor state of the economy in New Jersey and how his record qualifies him to run for president.

His response was to blame his predecessor after being in office for 5 ½ years and claim progress has been made with a bravado that dismisses whiny naysayers.

If he gets back frontrunner status, his poor record will be a big issue as Republicans try to promote their ability to improve the economy versus Obama/Hillary.

Christie barely made the debate and was booed by protesters at a fundraiser on Tuesday.

How did the others do at the GOP debate?

With so many candidates on stage (and a kid’s table for those who weren’t), no one gaffed or disqualified themselves. Granted, it was hard to get in a word edgewise.

Jeb Bush had a sad clown expression on his face and tried to distance himself from his brother. While he didn’t score any big hits he didn’t mess up.

John Kasich of Ohio seemed interesting, emphasizing his blue collar background and moderate stances. With Ohio being a battleground state, he has a good chance at the VP nominee if he can’t get the golden ring.

Scott Walker got in some good lines about fighting unions and fixing the state’s economy. But he didn’t really shine. If Kasich turns down VP, he’d be a good second choice.

Paul ultimately had a lot of fun bits with his libertarian streak. Without his father’s crotchety old man demeanor, he could go pretty far.

Marco Rubio did a pretty good job. Having been called presidential material since his 2010 Senate win, he lost momentum when the immigration bill died. But he had the most telegenic face and landed some good lines for Hispanics and conservatives.

The problem is that you can’t pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time.

In the end, it’s hard to say one guy won and one guy lost. So the fun continues!