By Andrew Bolt ~
This campaign is getting widespread coverage here in Australia, and that’s only a recent thing, as in earlier elections, media coverage in Australia largely ignored everything prior to the Nomination Conventions, and then, after those conventions, they still only occasionally covered the main debates, not in their entirety, but just as a short news article. However, this time around, it’s almost solid coverage, of all the debates, and recently the first Primaries. I think that it’s just media driven though, as when I ask family or friends, they are hard pressed to mention any candidates outside of Trump and Clinton, and either do not care, or just tune out when they see it on the news. I still think it’s just part of the media cycle here in Australia, that they need news items to fill out the news, now that the main Commercial media has gone to one hour news bulletins at Prime Time. Those who do follow U.S. politics are probably more aware than most of the general populace here in Australia…..TonyfromOz.
TED CRUZ: Marco went on Univision, in Spanish, and said he would not rescind President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty on day one, I would rescind every single ilegal executive action including that one. .
MARCO RUBIO: I don’t know how he knows what I said on Univision, because he doesn’t speak Spanish. and second of all–
TED CRUZ: [Speaking in Spanish] We can do this in Spanish if you want to, go ahead.
If the previous Republican debates have been World War I or II this is is thermonuclear. I have is not seen as many personal attacks or high temperature attacks as we saw in this debate. I am not sure that you can judge the debate on who won or lost on the actual sound bites of who won this exchange or, that that, it was the tone. I think that if you counted up the number of times that the word ‘lie’ and ‘liar’ was employed, it would exceed the number of times it has been used in all previous debates.
In the end, I thought that Trump was a man who was not sitting on the lead, that’s for sure. He was engaged personally with everybody at a very bitter level… With Bush, he was throwing around insults, including the family, and getting incoming as well from all sides. So he didn’t sit on the lead. I think he took a risk in being as open and often contemptuous as he was, but I don’t think it’s going to shake his support. The question is, will it limit his support?
Bush was extremely feisty. I think that he thinks his only hope is to go after Trump hard and he did with some success. Rubio and Cruz had their usual exchanges on immigration. Which I thought was a draw. But Rubio’s job was to make people forget the mistake he made in the last debate, that gaffe, and I think that he did that. I think that he carried it off in the sense that people will be talking about this debate and the one in which he stumbled which is doing to be fading into insignificance…
This was a cage fight of the sort that I don’t think we have seen at the presidential level before.
The Republican presidential candidates’ debate in South Carolina last night must have warmed the hearts of Democrats everywhere…
Last night Donald Trump achieved maximum obnoxiousness in his impersonation of Michael Moore. He seemed to be acting as an agent provocateur. His assertion as the leading Republican presidential candidate that President Bush lied us into war with Iraq is simply mind-boggling. He may have spoken on this matter with some forethought, but he appeared to be deranged. At this point he not only damages our public discourse, he damages the Republican Party.
I have thought this has become a two-man race between Trump and Cruz at this point. Trump, however, must view Jeb Bush as a threat in South Carolina and perhaps elsewhere. I doubt it, but maybe so. If so, I don’t think he helped himself in South Carolina last night.
I thought Rubio was good. Maybe he can recover from his performance in New Hampshire. It’s possible. I hope so…
John Kasich’s effort to stand above the fray had some appeal last night, but he’s not going to be the nominee… Ben Carson is over.
The continuing division of the non-Trump vote among several candidates works to Trump’s advantage. Who among this crew has a reasonable prospect of taking it to Hillary Clinton? I have my doubts about all of them, but after last night I can say with certainty that it’s not Trump and that Trump is compounding the difficulty of the task.
Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.