Who won? Well, that’s difficult to assess and depends on your definition of winning. I don’t think Trump lost any support last night because his 30-40 percent of the GOP primary vote loves him for being the jerk that he is. He dumbs down policy, he dumbs down politics and he “loves the uneducated.” The question is did Rubio or Cruz find any voters to up their votes in the coming primaries. And, if they did, is it sufficient to win?
Hypocrisy. For decades I’ve believed that nothing is more hurtful to a candidate than being shown to be a hypocrite. Politicians can get a pass for changing positions or promising one thing but doing another. But when a candidate’s own words can be used to show he’s a phony at the moment, that’s different. For example, Trump blasting immigrants taking jobs away from Americans and then it being shown that he hired immigrants over Americans repeatedly in Florida by HUGE numbers. Or his claiming he only “wins” when his Trump University failed, his Trump Vodka failed and other Trump-branded products also failed. That makes him, as he says of his competitors, a liar.
Trumped. Pressed on how he would balance the budget Trump pulled out old saws: eliminate EPA (less than $10 billion); eliminate the Department of Education (less than $70 billon, some of which goes to help kids pay for education); the tried and untrue “fraud, waste and abuse” which, if you could find it all, doesn’t amount to much. The current deficit is about $600 billion in a year.
Line of the night: Dr. Ben Carson, who can’t get a word in because he apparently is too polite, said, “Can someone attack me, please,” because then the moderators give you time to respond then.
Moderate moderators: I thought CNN did a terrible job moderating the debate. The participants were allowed to talk over, yell and ignore Wolf and others. It resembled 8th graders fighting over the basketball not men who would be president. Wolf just isn’t good at this. And if Wolf can’t control it, then I’m in favor of turning off the mikes when they go over their allotted time or start arguing and don’t respond when the moderators says stop. Grow up.
Audits. Mr. Trump now says he can’t release his tax returns because he’s being audited. Yes, he can. A taxpayer is free to do whatever he wants with his tax returns. Another delaying tactic from Mr. I’m Not a Politician. Release them! If the audit finds something, the returns will be worse for you, so why not get them out now? Plus, my guess is the same as Mitt Romeny’s, that there is something in there he doesn’t want seen – like his income isn’t what he portrays or he doesn’t contribute to the veterans as he claims. And that he’s used every (legal) loophole in the book to reduce his taxes, like any other hypocrite.
What was accomplished last night? I don’t get the feeling the race changed much. Again, taking votes away from Trump isn’t going to happen. It’s can you get votes from the others. And I’m guessing as long as Cruz is in, Rubio can’t get pick up too many – Carson and Kasich don’t have many to begin with. And, I worry that when Cruz does get out, a chunk of his may go to Trump. The other thing accomplished was that Hillary can learn what lines of attack work against Trump. Clearly, he doesn’t like getting as good as he gives. And Hillary can give .
(F) Bombs Away!: Vincente Fox clearly told it as he sees it with his dropping the “F bomb”. Speaking of that, the Washington Post today ran the full F-word in news story on the front page, choosing apparently not to censor it as usual with the “F---“. A paragraph or so later It quoted Fox but blanked out the letters in the word “f---ing.” Editing mistake? A bad one for one of the country’s leading newspapers.
Trumped, again. Trump claims that because Mexico has a $58 billion trade surplus it can afford to pay for his stupid wall, blockading the U.S. from our neighbor to the south. Donald, a lesson on trade balances: the profit does not accrue to the country’s benefit nor the other country’s loss. The money doesn’t go to or from the government. Just shows that we consumers make the choice to buy more from them. Which is another issue, not the one you cite. This may be why the “uneducated” love you.
Hispanics love me. By the way, no, they don’t. A survey by Univison shows that eight in10 Hispanics have an unfavorable opinion of you. Apparently, 46 percent of GOP primary voters who identify as Hispanics liked you in South Carolina and, if those polls are correct all I can say is OMG!
Michael Gerson. A former “43” speechwriter who has become a pretty good columnist writes this morning about Trump, “And it feels like we have, so far, explored only the fringes of his ignorance.” Truer words were never spoken.