There are a total of 17 candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. To keep order of the debate, only the top 10 candidates were on the stage last Thursday night.
As expected, Donald Trump made quite a stir in the first few minutes, causing various headlines to appear. Once again, he refused to rule out the possibility of a third-party run and pledge to support to the Republican nominee. Moderator, Megyn Kelly asked Trump about some of his undocumented comments such as calling immigrants, “rapists” and women, “fat pigs” and “slobs.” After being booed by the crowd, Trump was applauded when he defended himself by saying that he doesn’t, “have time for total political correctness.” Other than that, voters did not get much of a glimpse of Trump’s policies besides, “Our leaders are stupid.”
Jeb Bush continued to stumble through answering questions, as he has been on his campaign trail so far. Bush seems to be out of practice, which isn’t surprising since he has been out of the political game for almost a decade. His rebuttals did get stronger throughout the debate, pledging to bring economic growth of 4% and defending his work with a Michael Bloomberg nonprofit that supported Planned Parenthood.
Rand Paul jumped to participate even when he wasn’t called on. Unlike other candidates, Paul attacked Trump, accusing that he “buys and sells politicians” and is “hedging his bet on the Clintons.” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was Paul’s later victim over national security. Christie claimed Paul was just “blowing hot air” while Paul slammed Christie over his hugging of Obama before the 2012 election. Their squabble made it clear that this is Christie will continue to be Paul’s foil. It was clear that Paul was eager to stand out in the line-up, which he certainly did. He closed his remarks stating that he is a, “different kind of Republican.”
John Kasich, with what you can say a home state advantage, was finally noticed. Instead of playing along with everyone’s attacks on Trump, he passed. Kasich turned the attention to himself as a budget hawk and his impressive experience in foreign policy. However, Kasich did say that Trump is “hitting a nerve in this country” and “People are frustrated, they’re fed up,” Kasich said. “For people to just tune them out is a mistake.”
Even though Walker has been placed second or third in polls, he did not have any shining moments in the debate. He had concise answers, but nothing that stood out from the other candidates. Ben Carson was almost ignored; he even questioned the moderators about this himself!
With no clear winner of the first Republican debate, this will certainly be an interesting Presidential race. However, there was definitely some great best & worst moments for every candidate on stage.