October 26, 2021

Winners and Losers in Fifth Republican Debate

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By John Solomon – The Washington Times

The fifth Republican presidential debate Tuesday night displayed the undeniable impact of the Paris and San Bernardino attacks, with a heavy focus on terrorism that played to the strengths of a handful of candidates. And the Las Vegas venue produced some clear winners before Americans ease into the holiday celebrations.

WINNERS

Marco Rubio: The Florida senator has been one of the most consistent debaters throughout the early election season, conveying clear convictions, a common-sense-sounding policy framework and an optimism that America’s seemingly intractable problems can still be solved.

Ted Cruz: He was the most relentless counter-puncher, scoring points with a passion and black-and-white diagnoses of issues that appeal to evangelicals and others in the conservative wing of the party.

Donald Trump: In a city that values entertainment, the billionaire delivered another Main Act performance.

Lindsey Graham: The South Carolina senator was hands down the dominant winner of the undercard debate.

Chris Christie: His New Jersey schtick may be getting a bit old, but this debate played to his strengths as a former federal prosecutor after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Rand Paul: The Kentucky senator scored some points against several onstage in his most assertive performance to date, but at times he seemed evasive or circular in reasoning when the debate moderators tried to pin him down on his own positions or his differences with parts of the GOP debate.

Ben Carson: He was more confident and explicit in discussing his foreign policy positions — a challenge where he has struggled in the past — while retaining the likeability that’s at the core of his popularity.

LOSERS

Jeb Bush: He gave a more assertive performance than prior debates and has a White House-worthy resume but still comes off like the middle daughter Jan from “The Brady Bunch” — always complaining about everything “Donald, Donald, Donald.”

Carly Fiorina: She seemed flat, and grumpy and indignant onstage.

John Kasich: The Ohio governor has a record of success in Ohio but he comes off on the national stage more like a dour college professor lecturing students than a presidential contender with an optimistic vision for America.

Source: Fox Nation

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