As you go through the online media reports today, know that only 10 publishers dominate half of all online news according to a study by similar web.
FIRST: TRUMP WON IN ABSTENTIA
Trump has done almost everything wrong by previous standards but in doing so, he brilliantly leads the pack. Even his most ardent opponents have to admit it. Whether he can win in a general against a communist or a liar and possible criminal is another story yet to be told.
Without Trump, the GOP debate, according to Politico, was like a fern bar without a bouncer. Ripping Trump without him being there just didn’t have any clout and probably worked against his opponents.
The left said his veterans’ fundraising bash was a bore but his supporters loved it and having a war hero speak, raising six million dollars, and minimizing bashing made it a win for Trump. Huckabee is on the morning shows today praising it.
Trump began his event by telling the audience you have to stand up for yourselves as Americans.
Trump not only survived, he thrived, Cokie Roberts said on Morning Joe today.
SECOND: FOX LOVES THE ESTABLISHMENT AND RUBIO
Fox lost a little credibility with their fans because of their seeming pro-Rubio and pro-establishment bias. As Joe Scarborough said, Every single Frank Luntz focus group since 1924 has had Marco Rubio winning the debate.
Chris Wallace admitted the moderators were trying to incite fights between the candidates but no one really went for it. Fox spent the night tweeting about Rubio and barely mentioned Cruz. During the debate, there were long periods through which Cruz was ignored even though he was the front runner at this debate.
After the show, Luntz called it a game changer for Rubio on Fox. Megyn Kelly said they’d address the elephant in the room and then had Ted Cruz on to discuss it, knowing what he might say.
Fox wanted to provide as many opportunities as possible to rip into Trump.
Charles Krauthammer said the debate was more substantive because ‘you-know-who’ wasn’t there and Bush had the best debate yet. He thought Christie did well also. He found Cruz and Rubio interesting but said Cruz had a rocky start with his flat joke and so did Rubio with his flip-flopping on amnesty.
Shocker!!! Krauthammer likes the establishment candidates best. He said Cruz “wiggled out” of his contradictory stance on immigration – a nice left-handed compliment. In the absence of Trump, Cruz didn’t interrupt as badly, Krauthammer said. He expressed affection for Rand but would he if he thought Rand would win?
THIRD: SOME LOST BIG
The Washington Post said the winners were Rand Paul, Megyn Kelly and Jeb Bush. They stand alone in that assessment.
Most online say Bush had his best night but it wasn’t good enough.
The NY Times wrote:
With Donald J. Trump absent from the debate stage, critics had a chance to focus on the rest of the Republican field. While the verdicts varied, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas was seen as starting strong but fading late, while Senator Marco Rubio of Florida had his moments but grew testy at times when faced with tough questions. Some thought Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, had one of his most energetic performances, while the retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson barely registered.
This morning Carson slammed the Fox format and said it’s a colosseum atmosphere like in Ancient Rome where everyone went to the games in the Colosseum rather than deal with the issues that were collapsing their society.
The Atlantic said the debate was substantive without Trump pushing them around.
The Washington Times said Trump, Christie and Gilmore, who polls at under 1% were the winners. Did you know Gilmore was still in the race? Gilmore must be Happy Gilmore after reading that.
Slate and Drudge had online polls showing Trump the winner in abstentia. Drudge has Trump winning by 65% and Cruz came in second at 17%. The blaze online poll showed Trump the winner at 56% with Cruz a distant second at 22% and Marco third at 7%. The people still don’t agree with the establishment GOP and their media – Fox News.
Trump supporters are angry with Fox and it shows in polling.
FOURTH: EVEN WITHOUT TRUMP, THE LINEUP IS UNCHANGED
Nothing has changed. There were no clear winners last night but maybe a couple obvious losers who have been consistently losing. No one landed a hit and Trump was the invisible winner. His ghost overtook the debate apparently because the candidates behaved much the same without him there to kick them around.
Christie, in the absence of Trump, was the mean guy in the room.
Cruz mocked Trump but was booed as he started out with that joke.
Wallace spent a lot of time looking peeved.
Cruz had some excellent moments but appeared to be everyone’s target. After some fanfare with Chris Wallace introducing the beaming Governor Branstad who came out against Cruz over his stance on ethanol subsidies, Wallace asked Cruz about his anti-ethanol subsidy statements, trying to sandbag him. Cruz basically said I’ll see your Branstad and raise you one Steve King. Knocked Chris Wallace’s question out of the park.
Cruz said he didn’t think Washington should be picking winners and losers and we should not be giving subsidies. There are Democrats who are against this. I will tear down the EPA’s blend wall, he continued, all without any gov’t subsidies, and that will help farmers. And Steve King knows I am for farmers, without picking winners and losers. Cruz said the endorsements I’m proud of are people like Steve King and Dr. James Dobson. I’m not going to Washington to go along to get along. If I am elected, I will do two things: tell truth and do what I said I would do.
Wallace was not happy.
He said that if I am elected president, we will repeal every word of Obamacare. We should allow people to purchase care across state lines. We should expand health savings accounts. We should work to delink health insurance from employment so if lose job your health insurance goes with you.
Cruz was hit by Kelly, Paul and Rubio on amnesty..
Watch his response:
Rand made a great point when he said Hillary takes money from regimes that discriminate against women. He also stood up for the unborn and the Constitution repeatedly. Rand said, defending the country means defending our borders. Most will say he’s a Libertarian and dismiss him out of hand though he was speaking to what was once considered normal.
Nabila Noor, the YouTube star and Muslim activist asked, What would you do to address discrimination against Muslims. The question was given to Jeb Bush.
He responded by saying the threat is Islamic terrorism, not Nabila. We can’t talk about banning Muslims as Trump did, which is why I have been critical of Trump, decrying people.
Dulce Candy, the youtuber who came in illegally and served in the military asked a question about immigration. Ben Carson said we have to be intelligent about our policies. That’s why I declared war on IS. If you have a one in ten person who is a terrorist you would keep all out.
This morning he said immigrants can come as long as they embrace our culture.
Jeb Bush praised Dulce Candy for her service.
While this was going on, Trump said Jeb is “probably looking for me, he’s saying, ‘has anyone seen Trump?'”
Jeb embraced his last name. That should be the nail for that coffin.
Rubio was asked why he is third in Florida to which Rubio said, I’m not Jesus. Bernie is a great President…for Sweden. Hillary is disqualified for President and anyone who has lied to families who have died in the service to this country should never be President of the US.
Megyn asked Bush why most of his ads are directed at Rubio, not Hillary, and he said, well, I’ve seen polls where I’m beating Hillary. Where the hay are those polls?
What about Kasich, you ask. Kasich’s father was a mailman and when he spoke, you knew you had time for a break.