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THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

GOP Debate Impressions - The candidates shine on entitlements despite the moderators.

From The Wall Street Journal:

• Wasn’t the Republican Party supposed to pick moderators who had some acquaintance with Republicans? We have many friends at CNBC, but the three debate moderators lost control of the proceedings from the start and never regained it. There is no surer applause line at a GOP debate than to attack the media, and the moderators walked into the trap with tendentious questions based on liberal talking points.

Jeb Bush should fire whoever advised him to go after Marco Rubio on the trivia of his Senate absenteeism. The attack was clearly planned because Mr. Bush did it even after Mr. Rubio had received applause for rebutting a hostile question on the subject from a moderator. Mr. Rubio counterpunched and easily won the round. Mr. Bush’s proposals for economic growth are the most thorough and thoughtful in the field, but he is oddly inept at debating. He should have spent his precious time making the case against Hillary Clinton and for his agenda.

Chris Christie had a good night, especially with his forthrightness on reforming entitlements. He put it in populist terms by explaining there is nothing in the trust funds but IOUs and that “the government has lied to you and stolen from you.”

 The general level of candor on entitlements from nearly all of the candidates was also a welcome sign for reform. Rand Paul said the age for receiving benefits had to be changed, and Messrs. Christie and Bush were honest in saying that benefits will have to be means-tested. This issue will be a sharp contrast with Hillary Clinton no matter who is the nominee, and GOP voters should look closely at who is most effective at making the reform case.

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And from this article:

Both Messrs. Rubio and Cruz made the media and the debate moderators a punching bag, drawing some of the biggest applause of the night. “The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media,” Mr. Cruz said. “This is not a cage match.” He then went on the attack against the moderators. Among the questions that drew Mr. Cruz’s ire were one asking Donald Trump whether he was running “a comic book version” of a campaign, and one to Mr. Rubio asking why he shouldn’t resign from the Senate, given his absence from votes.

It wasn’t just Mr. Cruz. Mr. Rubio brushed off questions about his missing votes in the Senate as a story driven by the mainstream media. “It’s actually evidence of the bias that exists today in the America media today,” he said. Chris Christie got his own dig in at the media when moderator John Harwood interrupted him in the midst of an answer. “Even in New Jersey, what you’re doing is called rude,” the governor said.

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