I don’t think a lot of minds were changed by last night’s GOP presidential debate. That was the impression I got following the action on Power Line Live, and the impression was reinforced this morning hosting the Laura Ingraham show. I may have thought Trump had an off night–his attempt to smear Ted Cruz with a “birther” theory was embarrassing–but his supporters are undaunted.
The exchange between Trump and Cruz on Cruz being born in Canada occurred early in the debate and lasted for around seven minutes. It was notable because 1) Cruz thoroughly dominated, and 2) it went on much too long. Millions of people watching on television must have been thinking, I don’t care about Ted Cruz’s mother, I want to know which candidate can address the terrible problems our country faces.
At that moment, Marco Rubio took the microphone and the stage. He quickly turned the conversation back to the issues, where it needed to be:
I thought Marco won that segment hands down. He did well throughout, but another moment when he scored heavily came near the end, when he went after Cruz as a flip flopper. This line of attack can be dangerous for Cruz, as he has been, shall we say, opportunistic over the course of the campaign:
Cruz was not able to respond fully, or very effectively.
And finally this, where Rubio argued that Hillary Clinton is disqualified from the presidency:
So, among much else that could be said, I think Marco Rubio had an excellent night.