New Jersey governor Chris Christie went after Florida senator Marco Rubio in Saturday's Republican debate:
Transcript via the Christie campaign:
DAVID MUIR: I do want to ask Governor Christie, you said, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. You heard Senator Rubio make the case that he has the experience. Your response?
CHRIS CHRISTIE: Sure. First, let's remember something. Every morning when a United States Senator wakes up, they think about what kind of speech can I give, or what kind of bill can I drop? Every morning, when I wake up, I think about, what kind of problem do I need to solve for the people who actually elected me? It's a different experience. It's a much different experience.Read more
Watching the Republican debate tonight, I couldn't help but think,
"For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: 'It might have been!'"
What we saw tonight was what the Republican race might have been without Donald Trump. The debate was substantive, the candidates were reasonable, a viewer didn't feel embarrassed to be a Republican, and indeed one felt—at least I felt—that several of the candidates, including the top two, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, would do fine against Hillary Clinton.
Could the consequence of the debate be to begin the deflation of the Trump balloon? I'll grant that I may be indulging in wishful thinking, but I think so.Read more
The Republicans are back onstage in a debate that presents some interesting strategic opportunities.
Let's evaluate the landscape by looking at the candidates' upside vs. downside potential.
First though, an observation: The central fact of the race so far has been the sheer number of quality candidates. There were more people running (17) and more high-quality, plausible candidates (8 or 10, depending on how you count) than in any cycle in the modern political era. This volume of horseflesh shaped the dynamic of the race in fundamental (and unpredictable) ways. You can't underestimate the importance of those numbers.
Yet suddenly, the field is actually quite small. Yes, there will be seven people on the main stageRead more
Tom Nichols has a thoughtful and pretty persuasive piece over at the Daily Beast arguing that Trumpmania is the direct consequence of the militant PC radicalism that has infested American society over the last decade or so.
Here’s a flavor of Nichols' piece:
The American left created Donald Trump.
When I say "the left," I do not mean the Democratic Party—or, solely the Democratic Party. Rather, the pestilence that is the Trump campaign is the result of a conglomeration of political, academic, media, and cultural elites who for decades have tried to act as the arbiters of acceptable public debate and shut down any political expression from Americans with whom they disagree.
Lindsey Graham may have been approaching zero in the polls when he bowed out of the race for the Republican nomination Monday, but his exit, and the aftermath, are noteworthy for a few reasons.
First, Graham leaves the presidential field without a candidate who has served in the armed forces. (Leaving out Army vet Jim Gilmore, who hasn't met the debate requirements for months.) Former Texas governor Rick Perry was the only other major candidate to have served, and Graham's departure is a stark reminder that there's no military experience left in either party's slate of candidates to be commander in chief.
Second, there's Graham's unique position as a favorite son of an early primary state.Read more
When the Democrats passed Obamacare (without a single Republican vote), part of how they were allegedly going to pay for it was through a "Cadillac tax" on expensive employer-based insurance. Yet, this week, many Republicans are working with Democrats to delay or even repeal this tax. For three reasons, Republicans' constituents shouldn't be at all happy about these efforts.
First, this is an attempt to "fix" Obamacare, something Republicans shouldn't be in the business of trying to do. Second, it would actually make Obamacare even more expensive and hence even worse—while at the same time letting Democrats off the hook for their policy choices and causing corporate lobbyists to lose a significant portion of theirRead more
This is the moment I want to see from one of the Republicans facing off against Donald Trump Tuesday night:
"Mr. Trump, right now there's a brave Afghan interpreter named Sami Kazikhani who spent years risking his life serving side-by-side with American troops. Today Sami and his family are targets of the Taliban and its Islamist allies. The American soldiers he served with are fighting the Obama administration's bureaucracy to bring him to the U.S. and safety right now.
"Mr. Trump, could you please look in the camera and explain to Mr.Read more
If you were to acquire political information only from former and current officials of the Obama administration, you would think the Republican party is borderline seditious. President Obama himself regularly castigates Republican motives as un-American. Last week, in a typical tweet aimed at Republican presidential candidates, he said, “Slamming the door in the face of refugees would betray our deepest values. That’s not who we are.”Read more
Texas senator Ted Cruz kicked off Thursday's Republican Jewish Coalition presidential forum in Washington with a speech filled with applause lines that revved up the crowd.
Cruz focused primarily on national security and foreign policy, touting his record in the Senate and displaying his knack for rhetorical bombs. It went over well with the audience.
His biggest round of applause came when he made a pledge about the nuclear deal with Iran. "If I am elected president, I have pledged in my very first day in office to rip to shreds this catastrophic deal," he said. Audience members cheered and stood in their seats.
Cruz earned cheers for his characterization of the current stakes. "I believe this nation needs aRead more
Last week, the best and worst of Donald Trump were on display within about 48 hours of one another.
The best part of Trump (by which I mean the part that strikes me as especially shrewd and politically dexterous) could be seen when he talked about why he would bring back waterboarding. Enhanced interrogation-and let's be clear, that's what waterboarding is; plenty of journalists have volunteered to be waterboarded; torture is something no one would volunteer to experience on a lark-is a topic about which mainstream Republican figures are, for some reason, terrified.Read more
I'm ready to concede that Donald Trump is the most anomalous figure I've seen in presidential politics.Read more
An audience member at a Memphis rally for Hillary Clinton Friday fainted during the Democrat's speech. After Clinton asked for someone to help the supporter, she joked, "I thought it was the talk of Republicans that might have done it."
Watch the video below:
At a Democratic debate earlier this year, Clinton named "Republicans" as an enemy she is most proud of.Read more
If Donald Trump supporters haven’t abandoned him yet, there’s little reason to believe they’ll do so now. But it’s worth laying out a slice of what it is they’re defending, what it is they’re excusing, and what it is they’re encouraging. Let’s review the past 72 hours of crazy with Donald Trump.Read more
Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman and pal of the Clintons, has taken it on the chin again.
McAuliffe unleashed a major effort to capture the Virginia senate with help from ex-New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who spent more than $1 million in anti-gun ads in two critical districts. But while Democrats held the targeted seat in northern Virginia, Republicans retained the other in the Richmond suburbs.Read more
President Obama inserted himself into the 2016 Republican presidential primary last night in New York City.
Mocking Republicans' complaints about the third presidential debate, which was sponsored by CNBC, Obama said that if they can't handle the moderators, they won't be able to worry the Chinese and Russians.Read more
In January 2011, we at TWS had the notion that it would be good to defeat President Obama in 2012. And so in a blog post we asked the sensible question: " Wouldn't it be easier just to agree now on a Ryan-Rubio ticket, and save everyone an awful lot of time, effort, and money over the next year and a half?" We reiterated that thought in the spring and summer.Read more
The Republican candidates for president were remarkably unified in the (few) policy preferences they espoused at their debates on Wednesday night. All support cutting taxes and reducing regulation, and all oppose crony capitalism. The candidates may be remarkably diverse in terms of ethnicity and race: Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are Hispanic (and, apparently, so is Jeb Bush); Ben Carson is black; Bobby Jindal is Indian, etc.Read more
In the undercard Republican debate on CNBC, Lindsey Graham bemoaned politicians who lie for political points:Read more
In a lot of ways, tonight’s Republican debate looks like the lowest-stakes of the three debates so far. We know what the candidates all look like in a debate setting; we know which lanes they're each slotted into. And while there will be ten candidates on stage, the field really isn't that big anymore-a few of these are zombie campaigns, just waiting for the candidate to put them down.Read more
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