ANALYSIS: Fireworks at GOP Debate

In the spirit of the GOP’s two frontrunners, Donald Trump and Ben Carson, who insisted that CNBC reduce its debate time from three hours to two, I’ll make this analysis short and sweet. So, let’s cut to the chase.

In many ways, the CNBC debate on October 28 was the most important one of the three Republican debates thus far.

The big winner was Marco Rubio. Why? because if the electorate does revert to an establishment candidate, he’s their guy. He helped himself with his most forceful performance of all, and was doubly helped by Jeb Bush’s continued freefall, and John Kasich’s never-was. Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee might have life left in their campaigns, but they are clearly second to Rubio for the establishment vote.

Ted Cruz led the charge in shaming the awful CNBC moderators. He was this year’s Newt Gingrich who, in 2012, did the same to CNN. None of the moderators to this point – first Fox, then CNN, and now CNBC – have been stellar, but they have gotten progressively worse. Bravo to Cruz and company for making them look ridiculous in their agenda-driven questioning.

Trump and Carson had limited speaking time (I wonder why), but when they spoke, they did well, in their own strikingly contrasting styles.

Carly Fiorina was strong, as always, but she didn’t “win” this one – and she’s not in a position to just coast along.

That I left Rand Paul for last because it took me a few seconds to remember who the tenth candidate was, speaks volumes.

The biggest losers were these awful, shameful, CNBC moderators. Well, actually not. The channel has such low ratings to begin with, there’s not much lower they can go.

And, sadly, that means the American people are big losers, too. These are not debates, they’re overcrowded press conferences where everyone speaks at speeds like they’re auctioneers, and get interrupted anyway by obnoxious moderators. HINT: take a lesson from Bernard Shaw – he never had a problem getting people to stick to the time limit without having to jump in.

Let’s hope some folks get the message and drop out – maybe the next debate can have seven candidates, or fewer. In fact, dare we hope that we have some moderators next time who are truly impartial, keeping their ideology and rating-generating obsession at bey – the way moderators ought to be?




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