Was last night’s Republican debate too late?

We missed last night’s Republican debate but may try to watch it this weekend. From what we have read and the snippets we have heard other candidates are collectively taking the gloves off in response to Trumps bluster. That Rubio gets so much credit for going after Trump’s apostasies, with attack lines delivered in scripted fashion, is not surprising.  Many in the media are desperate to help Rubio — who is the business as usual candidate with policies that are negotiable. Rubio is pliable.  There is nothing transformative about him.

Nevertheless, that Trump at least got an earful throughout the night from a couple of quarters is just deserts.  However, as suggested often, his support may be impervious to actual discourse. They seethe with contempt even as many have themselves to blame to a considerable extent for their lack of involvement to set the country right.  There are simple solutions to government run amok, but properly they involve adhering to the Constitution.

However constitutional solutions require perseverance and Trump support is not largely composed of those particularly attentive to the Constitution or they would be more discerning or more demanding of him. There is a misguided desire for an American Caesar underlying his candidacy.  Where the Constitution fits in with his supporters is rather iffy unless they don’t believe Trump’s bombast. In which case, what complaint do they have about politicians in general?

In our view all this should lead to Cruz, truly transformation, disdained by political establishment (a feature we advocate along with frustrated Trump supporters), a candidate  who actually has walked the walk and has the scars to prove it.  He is no ones boy. Cruz will not be easily rolled, the positions he stakes out are principled.  He says what he means and is consistent in pursuing it. And he reveres our constitutional republic, the real substance of its greatness.

Here are a few digests of last evening’s debate from Patriot Post and Campaign for Working Families. We re-post them in their entirety with permission.

GOP Debate: Rubio and Cruz Finally Fight


Well, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz obviously got the memo. They didn’t exactly unite the clans in Thursday night’s debate, but they sure did land some punches on Donald Trump instead of each other. Rubio in particular unleashed a barrage of attacks on the casino mogul that left us wondering, where was this before Trump locked up a third of voters as diehards and became a freight train? Frankly, Rubio and Cruz were both brilliant in assailing the frontrunner, hitting him on just about everything from his bankrupt business record to hiring illegal workers to his incoherent pronouncements to his tax returns and support of leftist causes, including the Clinton Foundation and a long list of Democrats.

Was Round 10 too late? Super Tuesday may answer that question. Until now, Trump has largely skated unchallenged. Rubio calculated he’d be better off taking out Cruz, while Cruz slipstreamed Trump hoping to snag his voters when Trump flamed out. Neither happened, and Trump romped, largely unhindered by blows from real conservative candidates.

Here’s a sampling of the punches:


“I also think that if you’re going to claim that you’re the only one that lifted [the issue of immigration] into the campaign, that you acknowledge that, for example, you’re only person on this stage that has ever been fined for hiring people to work on your projects illegally. … He hired workers from Poland, and he had to pay a million dollars or so in a judgment.”

“If he builds the wall the way he built Trump Towers, he’ll be using illegal immigrant labor to do it.”

“About the trade war — I don’t understand, because your ties and the clothes you make are made in Mexico and in China. So you’re gonna be starting a trade war against your own ties and your own suits. Why don’t you make them in America?”

Responding to Trump’s charge, “You don’t know a thing about business,” Rubio said, “I don’t know anything about bankrupting four companies. I don’t know anything about starting a fake university.”

“The position you’ve taken is an anti-Israel position. … The Palestinians are not a real estate deal, Donald.”

“If he hadn’t inherited $200 million, you know where Donald Trump would be right now? Selling watches in Manhattan.”

“I see him repeat himself every night. He has five things: everyone’s dumb; he’s going to make America great again; win, win, win; he’s winning in the polls; and the lines around the states. Every night. Same thing.”


“Donald Trump says he’s being audited. I would think that would underscore the need to release those [tax] returns. He doesn’t want to do it because presumably there is something in there that’s bad.”

“[Donald] is promising if he’s elected he will go and cut deals in Washington. And he’s right. He has supported — he has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democrats. Anyone who really cared about illegal immigration wouldn’t be hiring illegal immigrants. Anyone who really cared about illegal immigration wouldn’t be funding Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi; wouldn’t be funding the Gang of Eight. And, you know, he is right. When you stand up to Washington, when you honor the promise you made to the men and women who elected you and say enough with the corruption, enough with the cronyism, let’s actually stand for the working men and women of this country, Washington doesn’t like it. And Donald, if you want to be liked in Washington, that’s not a good attribute for a president.”

“You know, there is a reason why, when Harry Reid was asked, of all the people on this stage, who does he want the most, who does he like the most, Harry Reid said Donald Trump. Why? Because Donald has supported him in the past, and he knows he can cut a deal with him.”

“Donald, true or false, you’ve said the government should pay for everyone’s health care?”

Trump responded, “That’s false.”

Oh no it’s not. Trump has most definitely said what Cruz alleged.

Finally, we’ll highlight what we thought was perhaps the night’s funniest moment. After being challenged by Rubio on his health plan, Trump, as usual, just said the same things over and over. Rubio, burned by that same charge two weeks ago, happily pointed out that Trump was just repeating himself.

To which Trump responded — we kid you not — “I don’t repeat myself. I don’t repeat myself. … I don’t repeat myself.”

We certainly hope it’s not too late for voters to realize that Trump is not the answer. He’s nothing but insanely idiotic bluster, repeated over and over and over again, ad nauseum. We’ve endured eight months of it. Can you imagine four or eight years? To re-employ one of his phrases, that is not going to make America great again, believe us.


Also from Patriot Post:

How to Attack Trump

By Paul Albaugh


Instead of going after Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have been relentlessly attacking each other. It’s as if they think that whoever can destroy the other first will win second place. But second place is the first loser. And if the battle between the top two conservative candidates continues, then we’ll be left with a non-conservative Donald Trump.

On Thursday night, however, Cruz and Rubio went on offense against Trump, attacking his background, his record, his ideology, his proposals, his speaking style and more. Last night, Trump’s two strongest challengers finally realized that failing to go after the frontrunner and failing to draw clear distinctions between his record and theirs is a losing strategy. Time will tell if they waited too long.

If Trump is not exposed now, then he will win the nomination and face an onslaught of relentless attack ads from the entire Democrat machine, including the Leftmedia. The mainstream media are keeping their powder dry, enjoying this ratings bonanza until Trump secures the nomination. Then they’ll destroy him.

So what exactly should Rubio and Cruz attack Trump for? There’s plenty to go on.

First, they could go after what Stuart Stevens, who was Mitt Romney’s senior strategist, calls “the essence of Donald Trump.” He notes, “Donald Trump is a ridiculous figure. He’s not a particular business success. Four bankruptcies! He doesn’t have a junior-high-school-level understanding of policy — he doesn’t know what the nuclear triad is. You’ve got to turn to Donald Trump in a debate and say, ‘You’re a ridiculous figure. You don’t know what you’re talking about. And this tariff idea will cost jobs, it will damage the economy, just like you bankrupted Atlantic City.'” (Granted, Romney lost, but his senior strategist is pointing out a lesson learned: If you don’t go after a candidate for who he is, then you’ll lose. Romney rarely went after Obama for who he was — a narcissistic socialist who despises the very things that made America great. And he lost.)

Second, Cruz and Rubio could explain that Trump’s business record is very questionable, specifically that under his leadership he bankrupted a casino, that he has already declared his support of Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare (including praising a single-payer system), that he’s faking his religion simply to appeal to evangelicals, and that his whole life has been about him and not the average worker.

Next on the short list is Trump’s “tough on immigration” stance. The issue is one of the most pressing concerns for conservatives, and Trump has capitalized on this better than any other candidate. This has led to what Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute calls “Trumpism”. Murray, among others, recognizes that government officials from both parties have failed miserably on immigration policy, and that American workers are suffering because of it.

He notes, “There is nothing conservative about how they want to fix things. [Voters] want a now indifferent government to act on their behalf, big time. If Bernie Sanders were passionate about immigration, the rest of his ideology would have a lot more in common with Trumpism than conservatism does.”

But Trump’s rhetoric on immigration is quite the opposite of his deeds. In fact it’s downright hypocritical. At Trump’s highly regarded private club Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, he hired only 17 American citizens out of 300 applicants for positions such as waiter, waitress, cook and housekeeper, opting instead for mostly foreign workers. This is quite ironic given Trump’s criticism of Disney for hiring foreign workers under the H1-B Visa program. It turns out Trump and Obama would get along just fine.

Finally, Cruz and Rubio should turn up the heat on Trump to release his tax records. Doing so will reveal to voters where his loyalties truly reside and will very likely show lavish support for leftist causes. Simply follow the money.

(Patriot Post) Editor’s Note: On Monday, Mark Alexander will post a special edition, “The Most Taxing Questions for Trump,” including an open letter requesting very basic documentation for each of the last five years: 1. Net Income; 2. C-3 and C-4 contributions; 3. Federal and state taxes paid: 4. Net worth. This information must be certified by an independent accounting firm.

And it’s not just Cruz and Rubio; the GOP strategists and political consultants need to change as well. Of the $215 million in Super PAC expenditures so far in political ads, only $9 million has been spent attacking Trump. Why?

The same mistake cannot be made this presidential election cycle as was made in 2008 and 2012. In 2008, moderate John McCain was defeated by a neophyte liberal socialist. In 2012, mild-mannered Mitt Romney was defeated by the incumbent liberal socialist. America won’t start winning again until a principled conservative is the Republican nominee, and his name is not Donald Trump. The clock is ticking. That’s why it was good to see some play-calling adjustments from Rubio and Cruz.

From Gary Bauer at Campaign for Working Families:

Debate Recap

The gloves came off at last night’s Republican debate in Houston, Texas. Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio were eager to knock Donald Trump off his perch as the GOP frontrunner. While I am glad they went on offense, I really don’t think it helps when everyone talks at the same time.

Here’s how the Associated Press described the debate:

“Rubio was the principal aggressor, spitting out a steady stream of criticism on everything from Trump’s position on immigration to his privileged background, his speaking style and more. Cruz was happy to pile on, too, questioning the front-runner’s conservative credentials, foreign policy savvy and electability. . . It was a rare night where the bombastic Trump, standing between the two senators, found himself on the defensive.”

That’s a fair description for anyone who missed it. As it turns out, it was the most watched debate since mid-December. And conservative voters who are just tuning in may have learned a few things about Trump, such as his support for Obamacare’s individual mandate, his history of supporting liberal Democrats and some hypocrisy on illegal immigration.

Here’s something else that concerned me. Last night Trump again complimented Planned Parenthood. While he condemned abortion, he went on to praise all the good things the organization claims to do for “millions and millions of women.”

That is nothing but pure Planned Parenthood propaganda. Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion business. Its whole reason for existing is to promote and perform abortions. Surely Donald Trump must understand that.

That said, Trump had many good responses throughout the debate, and still has to be considered the front-runner. He was endorsed just hours ago by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

There are no post-debate polls available yet, but it is clear that Cruz and Rubio have a major challenge. Going into last night’s debate, Trump was leading in the vast majority of Super Tuesday states.

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