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While I thought Marco Rubio was too
rehearsed in many of his answers, his rebuttals to various attacks were
spot on. Rubio won this fourth debate by a mile. It’s easy to envision
Rubio standing next to Hillary Clinton in debates next fall.

Cruz was smooth as usual, and I think this is setting up for an eventual
Rubio-Cruz showdown after the South Carolina GOP primary.

Donald Trump had a great first half of the debate, but suffered some
body blows on his anti neo-con responses to ISIS and Syria. Rand Paul
had his best performance to date, but I don’t see him picking up a big
bounce. Carly Fiorina faded during the second half, but when she spoke
she did so with clarity. Ben Carson had a sleepy debate, which
may be best for him considering his complete lack of political
experience. Carson, who is the most religious presidential candidate since Pat Robertson, is liked for his personality, and that wasn’t hurt.The losers tonight were John Kasich, who moved to the center to occupy
the Jon Huntsman spot, but that’s a dangerous place to stand in a GOP
field. Kasich understands it’s time to draw differences with Trump and Carson, but several people I watched the debate with said he looked too “angry” and “cranky.” And Jeb Bush, who mentioned Hillary Clinton in every one of his
answers, only reminding everyone that next November could be another
Clinton-Bush choice. Not sure America is anxious for that.

As for
the under-card debate, Chris Christie was head and shoulders above the
other three. It was a crime he wasn’t in the main debate.


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