Marco Rubio – Sen. Rubio came across as smart, articulate, and mature. I give him very high marks for his performance in the debate. I think that he gained momentum. As with Walker, he looked very presidential.
Carly Fiorina – She’s sharp and is the only person on stage who ever created a job. I know that there were people at HP who didn’t like her, but the truth is that she has had to be responsible to share holders for results. Her concepts are smart, well considered, precise and intelligent. She looked presidential and ready to lead.
Ben Carson – Dr. Carson is an honest man, a caring man, and a very intelligent man. I think that he did well in the debate, and like the way that he took on Hillary Clinton. The debate was a type of coming out party for him and I think that he’s been helpful for his candidacy. He is a great man and that came across in his response to every single question.
Mike Huckabee – Gov. Huckabee came across as passionate, intelligent and presidential with clear compassion for the poorest Americans and an understanding of the need to protect the nation. Will he be the next president? Doubtful, but he carved off a piece of the debate for himself.
John Kasich – Gov. Kasich’s term as Ohio’s chief executive has been a success story. He can stand on that soap box. He was very articulate and those of you who read this blog, know that I think that he’d make the best US President from the Republican field. His understanding of economic growth being the key to fixing the machine came across. I realize that Kasich is not as conservative as some other candidates, but my principal concern is a win against the progressive movement. He’s the most qualified man on the stage to be president.
Debate Benefit Neutral
Donald Trump – Clarified that he only called Rosie O’Donnell a fat pig, and he didn’t apologize for not being politically incorrect. Trump held his momentum for the debate and though it might have hurt him, I don’t think that it hurt him much. No pledge not to run as a third party candidate. I don’t think that he would run as a third party candidate, but he wants to keep the Republican Party in fear of the potential.
Chris Christie – Gov. Christie leads a really screwed up state – in total, possibly the most screwed up. He did a good job there, but he’s a big government guy. He did more or less the way that I thought he would.
Ted Cruz – He’s a sharp guy but he’s not particularly likable behind the pulpit. However, he’s usually right. I didn’t see him get much time in the debate. Cruz was screwed by Fox – but the plain truth is that the debate didn’t help him.
Rand Paul – The “modified libertarian” approach to foreign policy appeals to me. I realize that may sound strange given my background, but Paul’s approach usually gets LL points. I am actually a Rand Paul fan. He’s definitely a scrapper and took on Christie, Trump, etc. But I don’t think that the debate helped him.
Jeb Bush – The Bush Dynasty works against him. He hasn’t held public office in 8 years. What has he been doing since he was governor other than just “being a rich guy”? I don’t think that he said anything that would count as a break-out. My sense is that he lost ground in the debate.
With the exception of Carly Fiorina, the candidates who were part of the afternoon debate were not ready for prime time so I excluded them.