It gets pretty hot under those primetime lights, as most viewers of Wednesday night’s GOP debate at the Reagan Library noticed Republican participants wiping sweat from their brows. Somehow, all the candidates made it through the unrelenting, three-hour event still standing. As the dust has now settled on the second debate, the lasting impression strayed from ‘what will Donald Trump possibly say,’ making way for a few other candidates to make headlines with some crazy quotes.
First let’s give some love to one of last night’s contestants in the Kids’ Table Debate (or, as CNN called it ‘the undercard debate’), just in case you forgot that there were more than 11 hopefuls still running for the Republican nomination.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who made a nice compilation of zingers, let fly with an early doozy:
Whether or not he’s referring to how Americans will deal with his term as President is unknown — Sen. Graham didn’t quite elaborate on that point. Outside of Rick Santorum comparing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis to one of the victims of the Columbine massacre, Graham’s drinking quote left an indelible mark on the undercard debate.
The main event, which started an hour later, featured quite a few standout quotes, mostly from participants not named Donald Trump. The billionaire candidate did manage to stay involved in a few of the evening’s highlights, but more as a participant in the moments of other candidates.
Very early on, Republican hopeful Carly Fiorina responded to Trump’s comments made about her appearance in a recent Rolling Stone interview to the delight of the audience, who gave her rousing applause.
As you can see, Trump made yet another severe backtrack on those comments. His efforts to win the crowd back landed with a thud; possibly generating two or three claps.
Throughout the evening’s marathon-level duration, Donald Trump didn’t have much to say in some of the discussions revolving around policy. Nothing significant, that is. In an effort to grab some air time, Trump voiced his opinion on how, despite widespread evidence negating the claim, he believes there is a link between vaccinations and autism:
“You take this little beautiful baby, and you pump — I mean, [the needle] looks just like it is meant for a horse, not for a child, and we had so many instances, people that work for me, just the other day, 2-years-old, beautiful child went to have the vaccine and came back and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic.”
Dr. Ben Carson, retired neurosurgeon from Johns Hopkins, provided the only retort Americans needed to hear.
“We have extremely well-documented proof that there’s no autism associated with vaccinations.”
The issue of drugs, and legalization of marijuana in Colorado, made its way into the issues discussed midway through the debate’s second hour. For the most part, it appears that some Republican candidates have softened their stance on cannabis laws in America in favor of directing efforts towards drugs that are far more dangerous. The highlight in the discussion was Gov. Jeb Bush’s proclamation:
“So, 40 years ago, I smoked marijuana, and I admit it.”
Foreign policy was the issue that took up a bulk of last night’s debate: ISIS, North Korea, and the Iran Deal. At one point, Donald Trump challenged Gov. Jeb Bush by suggesting his brother, the 43rd POTUS, created a disaster by going to war with Iraq. Stepping up for his brother, Jeb replied by saying:
“As it relates to my brother, there’s one thing I know for sure: He kept us safe.”
Probably because it was another instance of Bush showing ‘high energy’ and going after Trump, the comment was met with a round of applause. But was he right? Why not pose a question to Gov. Bush – by ‘safe,’ do you perhaps mean the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, that cost nearly 7,000 troops their lives? Or maybe it’s the bungled response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster? To say that Jeb’s brother kept us safe is creating a unique form of revisionist history.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz didn’t make many attempts at stealing the spotlight, but he did use his screen time to launch yet another attack on Planned Parenthood:
“We shouldn’t be sending $500 million of taxpayer money to funding an ongoing criminal enterprise.”
The fact that elected officials such as Cruz continue to support efforts to defund a program that provides millions of services to women in this country is an on-going boggling of the mind.
Towards the end of the three-plus-hour saga, the candidates were asked to pick a female representative to be displayed on the $10 bill, part of the US Treasury’s announcement to put feature a woman on the currency redesign. After a few participants mentioned the idea of placing their wives’ pictures, Jeb unveiled his choice:
“I would go with Ronald Reagan’s partner, Margaret Thatcher…A strong leader is what we need in the White House, and she certainly was a strong leader that restored the United Kingdom into greatness.”
That’s very nice of Jeb to acknowledge Thatcher’s accomplishments, but was it that difficult to think of a woman from the United States? Maybe so – seen as how Ohio Governor John Kasich went with Mother Teresa. In the entire history of this country’s existence, there’s really nobody else that came to mind?
It seems as though Gov. Bush came up with a different strategy during this debate, as evidenced by the many quotable moments he provided. The showstopper, however, came when the candidates were asked, for whatever reason, to come up with a secret service callsign for themselves. When it was his turn, Jeb brought out his grand idea:
“Ever-ready, it’s very high energy, Donald”
It was a moment that even made The Donald let out a chuckle. He responded by giving his handshake idea a second go-‘round, resulting in Jeb providing an emphatic low five.
Thus and so, the countdown begins for our nation’s next experience watching the GOP candidates gather for another debate. No word yet on whether they’ll expand the length to four hours.