Review: First 2016 Republican Presidential Debate
By Hunter Wallace
I watched the whole thing on FOX News … both the GOP Little League debate at 5 PM, and the main event at 8 PM.
That fact alone is a strong indicator of who watched last night’s presidential debate. I hate American politics. I hate the Republican Party. I don’t believe in liberal democracy. Surely, I’m one of Pew’s “disaffected” voters. The way that American politicians talk grates on my ears. I tuned out of mainstream politics a long time ago.
Donald Trump was the only reason I watched the debates. My opinion of the The Donald has soared since his announcement on June 16th. He’s made all the right enemies. He’s got the cuckservatives in an uproar. He’s been viciously attacked by the mainstream media and the Republican establishment. The Donald hasn’t backed down and apologized. That’s the source of his appeal and why he commands our attention.
As expected, the GOP Little League debate was boring and forgettable. Rick “Fed Up” Perry, who now wears glasses to make himself look intelligent, swaggered on stage and made some noises about how he has protected the border of Texas. This is laughable to anyone who has followed all the immigration bills which have died in the Texas legislature over the past 15 years. Texas has the worst illegal immigration problem in the country because the illegals are flooding into Texas from both across the Mexican border and from other states. In spite of overwhelming public pressure, Rick Perry and a Republican supermajority in the Texas legislature did nothing to address the problem. The Republican donor class in Texas, which Trump addressed later in the evening, wants open borders.
Lindsey Graham briefly stole the show by promising to start new wars in Iraq, Syria, and Iran. Carly Fiorina, who looks like a department store mannequin, made headlines with a cutting remark about Trump. Jim Gilmore and George Pataki had nothing to say but standard fare Republican boilerplate. Bobby Jindal couldn’t explain how he could beat Hillary Clinton when he losing to her in the polls in Louisiana. Finally, Rick Santorum is running again because he did pretty well last time and has nothing to lose.
The main event lived up to the expectations … once again, only because Donald Trump was on the stage. At the outset, he endeared himself to his most hardcore supporters, many of whom are Democrats and Independents, by refusing to throw his support behind the likes of ¡Jeb! should he win the nomination. This prompted the first outburst from Rand Paul which was visually brushed aside by the top dog in the race.
Megyn Kelly then asked Trump a doozy of a hard question about his remarks on Twitter about women. Accused of calling women “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, disgusting animals,” The Donald raised his finger and said, “Only Rosie O’Donnell.” Millions of people erupted in laughter at home. He later followed up the question with a homerun, “The big problem this country has is being politically correct. I’ve been challenged by so many people and I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time either.”
BOOM … in that defining moment, Trump announced he wouldn’t be cowed by the SJWs. He took a strong stand on one of the most pressing issues of our times. I was impressed.
When the subject turned to immigration, Trump pointed out the obvious: “So, if it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t even be talking about illegal immigration, Chris. You wouldn’t even be talking about it. This was not a subject that was on anybody’s mind until I brought it up at my announcement.” It wasn’t on anyone’s mind because the Republican Party decided after the 2012 election to sandbox the issue. He continued, “And I said we need to build a wall, and it has to be built quickly. And I don’t mind having a big beautiful door in that wall so that people can come into this country legally. But we need, Jeb, to build a wall, we need to keep illegals out.”
BOOM … another defining moment, and another strong stand by Trump on one of the great questions of our times.
Ted Cruz drove the point home in his follow up, “I have authored Kate’s law in the United States Senate and filed that legislation. I tried to get the Senate to vote to pass Kate’s law on the floor of the Senate just one week ago, and the leader of our own party blocked a vote on Kate’s law. … It’s not a question of stupidity. It’s that they don’t want to enforce the immigration laws. That there are far too many in the Washington cartel that support amnesty.”
In his Bulworth moment, Trump explained on stage how the system works, “I will tell you that our system is broken. I gave to many people, before this, before two months ago, I was a businessman. I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And do you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me. … And that’s a broken system. … Well, I’ll tell you what, with Hillary Clinton, I said be at my wedding and she came to my wedding. You know why? She didn’t have a choice because I gave.”
BOOM … another honest take on one of the defining issues of our time. As we have explained here many times, one of the most important reasons why the system cannot be reformed is because the oligarchs are able to buy and sell politicians like puppets and use their wealth to overturn the verdict of elections.
Unwittingly, Rand Paul nipped at Trump’s heels like a small dog and made his point, “He buys and sells politicians of all stripes, he’s already.” Trump’s comeback was devastating, “Well, I’ve given him a lot of money.”
In his closing statement, Trump grabbed a hold of the trade issue: “Our country is in serious trouble. We don’t win anymore. We don’t beat China in trade. We don’t beat Japan, with their millions and millions of cars coming into this country, in trade. We can’t beat Mexico, at the border or in trade.”
BOOM … a strong stance on one of the greatest issues of our times, the trade issue. Combine that with immigration, political correctness, and how billionaires have corrupted the political process and no one else even comes close.
Ted Cruz shined in several bright moments. Rubio came across as slick, but untrustworthy. Huckabee cucked for Israel, but had a great answer on abortion. Ben Carson was kind of endearing, but had nothing great to say. Kasich was as annoying as he was on his “Heartland” television show. Rand Paul was ornery and only succeeded in diminishing himself. Christie got the best of Rand Paul, but otherwise didn’t make an impression. Scott Walker, who has the charisma of a county coroner, couldn’t explain why he changed his stance on comprehensive immigration reform.
As for ¡Jeb!, he stuttered and left the least impression of anyone on the stage. The only reason he is outperforming George Pataki is because of his last name and fundraising success. He was clearly upstaged by Rubio who is younger, more articulate, and doesn’t have the Bush family name baggage. Surprisingly, ¡Jeb! and Trump managed to avoid a serious confrontation with the later calling the former a “true gentleman,” which is another way of saying that he is a poster boy for a Republican “beautiful loser.”
Trump had some great answers and lived up to his reputation as a tornado, a troll, or a wrecking ball, but I am not ready to jump on The Donald’s bandwagon. In the Little League debate, Fiorina hit his greatest weakness, which is that he is an unprincipled opportunist. I also think the first debate showed that Trump was out of his depth on public policy compared to some of the other candidates.
In the greater scheme of things, I don’t think that hurts him. Rubio, for example, is slick and polished, but untrustworthy on the great issues of our time. As president, The Donald would be the chief executive. He would set the tone and delegate his priorities to others. Either ¡Jeb! or Rubio, however, would certainly preside over a neocon restoration. Scott Walker, too, could show his true colors after the election like Paul Ryan. In the event of a Trump collapse, I think Ted Cruz would pick up most of his followers.
I don’t see that happening anytime soon though, not after watching these two debates. If I had to call it, I would say Trump’s lead grows and ¡Jeb! fades at the expense of Rubio.