The First GOP Debate: Some Important Commetaries

I am by no means an expert on U.S. politics but frankly, all it takes is a little bit of research on the various candidates of any election in any country to know who you should vote for to ensure you don’t get the next Obama.

The world often doesn’t bother to do this but the Christian who doesn’t is a fool specifically because a large number of Christians have been brutally murdered throughout history by their governments and it’s in our interest to hold that off in our nations.

Since we live in a generation where we can actually have an impact on who gets into power and who gains political influence, unlike most of history, we are stupid not to engage in this opportunity with prayerfulness and sobriety.

In Australia, Christians have the bad habit of voting for leftist parties that hate Christianity and love destructive and even murderous policies like abortion, euthanasia, homosexual marriage, and anything that weakens Western society.

The sorry consequence is that the various genuinely Christian parties receive very few votes and rarely gain seats at state and nation levels, severely limiting the potential voice and impact that Christianity could have in our parliaments.

Clearly, America suffers from this same disorder.

I had been a Christian for half a year when Obama was leading the charge as the preferred Democrat candidate in mid-2007 and I knew better because I had bothered to do just a little bit if research – it’s a disgrace that so-called “Christian” America did not.

Now, with millions of children dead specifically because Obama and the Democrats love spending tax-payer money funding the murder of children at home and abroad, not to mention redefining marriage and building a catastrophic debt that will crush the nation sooner or later, perhaps some Christians are beginning to wake up and it’s about time.

That brings us to the Republican debate.

The voting history of these candidates speaks louder than their claims in front of an audience so let’s none of us fall for another Barack Obama-type who “evolves” (see: blatantly lies) on issues they have clearly demonstrated their agreement with in their voting record. I encourage you to do the research and here are a couple of starting places:

There are also a number of useful commentaries by Christians who actually care about Christian values in politics and therein, they highlight the proclaimed values and beliefs of the hopeful candidates.

Bill Muehlenberg At CultureWatch:

OK, so let me restate a few obvious truths first. At the end of the day, a good Republican President is not going to save America. No one can save America but the one who came to earth two thousand years ago who was ‘despised and rejected by men’.

And until Americans – and primarily American Christians – repent on their faces before a holy and almighty God, the days of the US will soon be over. The US is now a moral and spiritual cesspool, and nothing but divine intervention can save it.

Having said that, I do believe politics is important, and I do believe that getting good and godly leadership can make a real difference. A good conservative POTUS will not usher in the Kingdom, but he or she will at least stop the rot for a while – and that is important.

As Martin Luther King Jr. said about the use of law: “It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.” And again: “Morality cannot be legislated but behaviour can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless.”

So good laws are important as is good governance. God created the state and he expects us to use it to restrain evil and promote that which is good. Thus the person who becomes the next President of the United States is a very important matter indeed.

I for one take a keen interest in the US Presidential election of 2016, and all that is leading up to it. There are some good men running for the Republican nomination, and we saw a lot to like in yesterday’s debates. Let me offer a few quick thoughts on this.

I must confess I did not see the full debates (I gotta get FoxTel, and quick). But I did see around 50 of the shorter video clips from both debates, and we have the full transcripts of both debates. For those not in the know about these matters, there were two debates featuring all 17 candidates.

repubs 2015 1The first one featured seven of the lesser lights – those who have not been doing as well in the polling. Those seven were:

Carly Fiorina – former CEO of Hewlett-Packard

Jim Gilmore – former Virginia Governor

Lindsey Graham – South Carolina Senator

Bobby Jindal – Louisiana Governor

George Pataki – former New York Governor

Rick Perry – Texas Governor

Rick Santorum – former Pennsylvania Senator

In the first debate there were some good moments by most of the candidates. One of them showed yet again why he should not be running for POTUS. I refer to pro-choice Pataki who said, “My heart has not changed, because I’ve always been appalled by abortion. I’m a Catholic, I believe life begins at conception. But as Bill said earlier, Roe v. Wade has been the law for 42 years, and I don’t think we should continue to try to change it.”

Oh puh-leeese. He might as well have said – if he lived a few centuries ago – that he is anti-slavery, but there is no point in going for abolition, and trying to change the laws on slavery. In marked contrast was Bobby Jindal:

Planned Parenthood had better hope that Hillary Clinton wins this election, because I guarantee under President Jindal, January 2017, the Department of Justice and the IRS and everybody else that we can send from the federal government will be going in to Planned Parenthood.

This is absolutely disgusting, and revolts the conscience of the nation. Absolutely, we need to defund Planned Parenthood. In my own state, for example, we launched an investigation, asked the FBI to cooperate. We just, earlier this week, kicked them out of Medicaid in Louisiana as well, canceled their provider contract.

Jindal is one of my favourite and most consistent conservatives, and he handled himself very well. It would be nice to see him in the top ten. But by every account, Carly Fiorina did exceedingly well. She was the clear winner of the first debate, and certainly belongs in the top tier.

Consider her closing statement:

Hillary Clinton lies about Benghazi, she lies about e- mails. She is still defending Planned Parenthood, and she is still her party’s frontrunner. 2016 is going to be a fight between conservatism, and a Democrat party that is undermining the very character of this nation. We need a nominee who is going to throw every punch, not pull punches, and someone who cannot stumble before he even gets into the ring.

I am not a member of the political class. I am a conservative; I can win this job, I can do this job, I need your help, I need your support. I will, with your help and support, lead the resurgence of this great nation. Thank you.

The main debate featured the ten top runners:

Jeb Bush – former Florida Governor

Ben Carson – former neurosurgeon

Chris Christie – New Jersey Governor

Ted Cruz – Texas Senator

Mike Huckabee – former Arkansas Governor

John Kasich – Ohio Governor

Rand Paul – Kentucky Senator

Marco Rubio – Florida Senator

Donald Trump – businessman

Scott Walker – Wisconsin Governor

The main debate of course is where the real action was. Let me offer a few highs and lows. A quick low to deal with and move on from was John Kasich who repeated his claim that now that we have legalised homosexual marriage, we must just accept it. We don’t need wimps like this seeking the Republican nomination.

On the issue of abortion Walker remained strong on his pro-life stance: “Unlike Hillary Clinton, who has a radical position in terms of support for Planned Parenthood, I defunded Planned Parenthood more than four years ago, long before any of these videos came out…”

Trump said he has evolved on the issue, and is now against it:

I’ve evolved on many issues over the years. And you know who else has? Ronald Reagan evolved on many issues. And I am pro-life. And if you look at the question, I was in business. They asked me a question as to pro-life or choice. And I said if you let it run, that I hate the concept of abortion. I hate the concept of abortion. And then since then, I’ve very much evolved. And what happened is friends of mine years ago were going to have a child, and it was going to be aborted. And it wasn’t aborted. And that child today is a total superstar, a great, great child. And I saw that. And I saw other instances. And I am very, very proud to say that I am pro-life.

Said Rubio:

What I have advocated is that we pass law in this country that says all human life at every stage of its development is worthy of protection. In fact, I think that law already exists. It is called the Constitution of the United States.

And let me go further. I believe that every single human being is entitled to the protection of our laws, whether they can vote or not. Whether they can speak or not. Whether they can hire a lawyer or not. Whether they have a birth certificate or not. And I think future generations will look back at this history of our country and call us barbarians for murdering millions of babies who we never gave them a chance to live.

Mike Huckabee was solid here:

I think the next president ought to invoke the Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the constitution now that we clearly know that that baby inside the mother’s womb is a person at the moment of conception.

The reason we know that it is is because of the DNA schedule that we now have clear scientific evidence on. And, this notion that we just continue to ignore the personhood of the individual is a violation of that unborn child’s Fifth and 14th Amendment rights for due process and equal protection under the law.

It’s time that we recognize the Supreme Court is not the supreme being, and we change the policy to be pro-life and protect children instead of rip up their body parts and sell them like they’re parts to a Buick.

On the issue of religion and politics, one of the best lines of the night went to Cruz. Megyn Kelly used a FB question: “I want to know if any of them have received a word from God on what they should do and take care of first.” This was another gotcha question from Kelly (and plenty of conservatives were quite unhappy about her performance) but Ted was up to the task:

KELLY: Senator Cruz, start from you. Any word from God?

CRUZ: Well, I am blessed to receive a word from God every day in receiving the scriptures and reading the scriptures. And God speaks through the Bible.


CRUZ: I’m the son of a pastor and evangelist and I’ve described many times how my father, when I was a child, was an alcoholic. He was not a Christian. And my father left my mother and left me when I was just three years old.

And someone invited him to Clay Road Baptist Church. And he gave his heart to Jesus and it turned him around. And he got on a plane and he flew back to my mother and me.

Rubio did well in answering the same question (and got a good laugh as well): “Well, first, let me say I think God has blessed us. He has blessed the Republican Party with some very good candidates. The Democrats can’t even find one.”

Carson did real good on a question about God and race:

Well, I think the bully pulpit is a wonderful place to start healing that divide. You know, we have the purveyors of hatred who take every single incident between people of two races and try to make a race war out of it, and drive wedges into people. And this does not need to be done.

What we need to think about instead – you know, I was asked by an NPR reporter once, why don’t I talk about race that often. I said it’s because I’m a neurosurgeon. And she thought that was a strange response. And you say – I said, you see, when I take someone to the operating room, I’m actually operating on the thing that makes them who they are. The skin doesn’t make them who they are. The hair doesn’t make them who they are. And it’s time for us to move beyond that.

As to the closing remarks, we had a few real winners. Trump gave a strong response:

Our country is in serious trouble. We don’t win anymore. We don’t beat China in trade. We don’t beat Japan, with their millions and millions of cars coming into this country, in trade. We can’t beat Mexico, at the border or in trade. We can’t do anything right. Our military has to be strengthened. Our vets have to be taken care of. We have to end Obamacare, and we have to make our country great again, and I will do that.

Ben Carson had a great concluding comment:

Well, I haven’t said anything about me being the only one to do anything, so let me try that.

I’m the only one to separate siamese twins…


The — the only one to operate on babies while they were still in mother’s womb, the only one to take out half of a brain, although you would think, if you go to Washington, that someone had beat me to it.


But I — but I’m very hopeful that I’m not the only one who’s willing to pick up the baton of freedom, because freedom is not free, and we must fight for it every day. Every one of us must fight for it, because we’re fighting for our children and the next generation.

And Ted Cruz showed again why he is the man:

If I’m elected president, let me tell you about my first day in office. The first thing I intend to do is to rescind every illegal and unconstitutional executive action taken by Barack Obama.


CRUZ: The next thing I intend to do is instruct the Department of Justice to open an investigation into these videos and to prosecute Planned Parenthood for any criminal violations.


CRUZ: The next thing I intend to do is instruct the Department of Justice and the IRS to start (sic) persecuting religious liberty, and then intend to cancel the Iran deal, and finally move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. c (APPLAUSE)

I will keep my word. My father fled Cuba, and I will fight to defend liberty because my family knows what it’s like to lose it.

So who is my Republican POTUS dream team for next year? While there are some folks I would love to see there, I know they will likely not make it. So dealing with those who do have a chance to make it to the top five or so, I would be more than happy to have one or the other of these two options for Pres and VP:

-Ted Cruz and Ben Carson, or:

-Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina

It is early days yet with 16 months to go before the election. But we can work and pray for the better options to make it for the Republican choice.

Mathew Vadum at Frontpage Mag:

The first top-tier GOP candidates’ debate last night demonstrated that Republicans have a bumper crop of impressive candidates ready to give the Democrats a tough fight for the White House in the 2016 election.

They all seemed to agree that President Obama’s effort to fundamentally transform America is a hideous, colossal flop and that the Constitution, so long ignored by Democrats and Republicans alike, needs to be restored to the central place it used to occupy in our nation’s body politic.

The candidates were united in promising to repeal Obamacare because they recognize it is a colossally expensive policy mistake that is both destroying the U.S. healthcare system and impinging on America’s historically vibrant civil society while denying patients the freedom to choose.

Immigration was a central issue in the 10-way debate. The candidates didn’t agree on every aspect of what to do about the country’s immigration policies, but they agreed that at a minimum strengthening America’s borders is key to resolving the illegal aliens crisis.

The contenders selected for the Fox News Channel and Facebook-sponsored debate were those who polled highest according to an average of five national polls. They were: Donald Trump, who is the current frontrunner in the polls; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; retired brain surgeon Ben Carson; former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee; Texas Sen. Ted Cruz; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; Kentucky Gov. Rand Paul; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who just barely made the cutoff. (Time made a transcript of the debate available here.)

Although there was some acrimony, it was an amazingly civil affair considering the outsized personalities involved.

Debate participants were shown a video from what some are calling the “kiddie table” candidates’ debate that began four hours before the main debate. That debate was for GOP candidates who failed to poll high enough to make it into the top 10 slots.

In the video clip, Carly Fiorina took deadly aim at President Obama’s crazy nuclear nonproliferation framework with the Islamofascists of Iran. She said:

When America does not lead, the world is a dangerous and a tragic place. This is a bad deal. Obama broke every rule of negotiation. Yes, our allies are not perfect, but Iran is at the heart of most of the evil that is going on in the Middle East through their proxy.

People have responded enthusiastically to Fiorina’s statement. According to Breitbart News, people using social media such as Facebook and Twitter thought the former Hewlett-Packard CEO won the debate. Just 33 minutes into that debate, stats whiz Nate Silver tweeted, “Carly Fiorina’s crushing it so far, based on Google search traffic.”

The 10 top-tier candidates enthusiastically embraced, or at least did not oppose, Fiorina’s message. They made it clear that the nation’s foreign policy has to recognize the importance of our relationship with Israel, the sole outpost of Western civilization in the troubled Middle East. American foreign policy also has to align with the nation’s best interests, they said, and it is long past time for the United States to stop sending money to countries that are hell-bent on America’s destruction.

Back in the main debate, Mike Huckabee voiced approval for Fiorina’s sentiments:

Ronald Reagan said “trust, but verify.” President Obama is “trust, but vilify.” He trusts our enemies and vilifies everyone who disagrees with him. And the reason we disagree with him has nothing to do with party.

The Obama administration’s Iran deal “didn’t even get four hostages out. We got nothing, and Iran gets everything they want.”

What the Iranians have said is, “we will wipe Israel off the face of the map, and we will bring death to America.” When someone points a gun at your head and loads it, by God, you ought to take them seriously, and we need to take that seriously.

Chris Christie burnished his credentials as a defense and foreign policy hawk. “The first thing we need to do to make America stronger is to strengthen our military,” he said. He continued:

As we move towards dealing with foreign aid, I don’t disagree with Senator [Rand] Paul’s position that we shouldn’t be funding our enemies. But I absolutely believe that Israel is a priority to be able to fund and keep them strong and safe after eight years of this administration.

Ted Cruz took aim at President Obama’s weak, worse-than-useless response to ISIS. He explained he would “introduce the Expatriate Terrorist Act in the Senate that said if any American travels to the Middle East and joining ISIS, that he or she forfeits their citizenship so they don’t use a passport to come back and wage jihad on Americans.”

He added, “We need a president that shows the courage that Egypt’s President al-Sisi, a Muslim, when he called out the radical Islamic terrorists who are threatening the world.”

Some sparks flew whenever immigration-related issues were raised, as candidates criticized their own party for not doing the right thing for years. Americans are angry in part because for decades politicians have been paying lip service to fixing what’s wrong with the immigration system while failing to follow through and actually rectify the various problems.

Accused of flip-flopping, Scott Walker explained that he dropped his support for amnestying illegal aliens and so-called comprehensive immigration reform because that’s what the voters want.

“I actually listened to the American people,” Walker said. “And I think people across America want a leader who’s actually going to listen to them.”

Cruz said he wants to outlaw so-called sanctuary cities which harbor and protect illegal aliens from deportation. He sponsored legislation that Senate GOP leadership blocked.

The senator took the opportunity to gently criticize Trump.

You know, there was reference made to our leaders being stupid. It’s not a question of stupidity. It’s that they don’t want to enforce the immigration laws. That there are far too many in the Washington cartel that support amnesty.

Ben Carson said having Hillary Clinton as the Democrat’s presidential nominee “would be a dream come true.” He continued:

But you know, the fact of the matter is, she is the epitome of the progressive — the secular progressive movement. And she counts on the fact that people are uninformed, the Alinsky model, taking advantage of useful idiots. Well, I just happen to believe that people are not stupid. And the way I will come at it is to educate people, help people to actually understand that it is that progressive movement that is causing them the problems.

The candidates also came down in support of slashing bureaucratic red tape, reforming business-related regulations, and reducing tax burdens. Such action, they said, would spur economic growth and ensure America’s future remains bright.

Marco Rubio urged tax reform. He said:

The first thing we need to do is we need to even out the tax code for small businesses so that we lower their tax rate to 25 percent, just as we need to lower it for all businesses. We need to have a regulatory budget in America that limits the amount of regulations on our economy. We need to repeal and replace Obamacare and we need to improve higher education so that people can have access to the skills they need for 21st century jobs. And last but not least, we need to repeal Dodd-Frank. It is eviscerating small businesses and small banks.

Throughout the two-hour debate, high-flying real estate tycoon Donald Trump exposed some of his flaws as he effortlessly dominated the screen.

There may have been 10 candidates on stage last night at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, but the event was quickly transformed into The Donald Trump Show. The moderators and other candidates took turns attacking the master showman and he punched right back.

Along the way, Trump, whose half-conversion to conservatism is a fairly recent phenomenon, disavowed his past support for single-payer health care in the U.S. and criticized Obamacare, saying he would replace it with a market-based system and take other steps to provide health care for the poor. He also claimed that he had no idea in the past that when he gave sizable donations to the embattled, thoroughly corrupt Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, that the money would be misused.

Trump immediately grabbed the spotlight by being the only one of the candidates on stage who refused to pledge not to run as a third-party candidate in the event he fails to capture the Republican Party’s nomination. No third-party candidacy for the U.S. presidency has ever succeeded and the conventional thinking at the moment is that such a candidacy by Trump would almost certainly put yet another Democrat in the White House.

Trump’s refusal to take the pledge brought boos from the audience and an early attack from Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky who shouted, “This is what’s wrong!”

I mean, this is what’s wrong. He buys and sells politicians of all stripes, he’s already … Hey, look, look! He’s already hedging his bet on the Clintons, okay? So if he doesn’t run as a Republican, maybe he supports Clinton, or maybe he runs as an independent … but I’d say that he’s already hedging his bets because he’s used to buying politicians.

Trump was dismissive. “Well, I’ve given him plenty of money,” the billionaire said pointing in Paul’s general direction, thereby implying he bought Paul as well.

The two opening questions specifically aimed at Trump were arguably somewhat below the belt, seemingly calculated to tame the flamboyant reality-television star. Fox anchor Megyn Kelly asked Trump about the past remarks he’s made about women.

“One of the things people love about you is that you speak your mind, don’t use a politician’s filter,” said Kelly. “But that has its downsides, in particular when it comes to women. You call women you don’t like ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs,’ and ‘disgusting animals.’”

“Only Rosie O’Donnell,” Trump shot back.

“No, it wasn’t,” Kelly responded.

It was well beyond Rosie O’Donnell. You once told a contestant on “The Celebrity Apprentice” that it “would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees.” Does that sound to you like the temperament of someone we should elect as president … how would you answer the question from Hillary Clinton … that you are part of the war on women?

Trump took the question in stride. He said “I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct.” He continued:

I’ve been challenged by so many people, and I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time either. This country is in big trouble. We don’t win anymore. We lose to China. We lose to Mexico both in trade and at the border. We lose to everybody.

And frankly, what I say, and oftentimes it’s fun, it’s kidding. We have a good time. What I say is what I say. And honestly Megyn, if you don’t like it, I’m sorry. I’ve been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be, based on the way you have treated me. But I wouldn’t do that.

But you know what, we — we need strength, we need energy, we need quickness and we need brains in this country to turn it around. That, I can tell you right now.

Chris Wallace said to Trump, “it has not escaped anybody’s notice that you say that the Mexican government, the Mexican government is sending criminals — rapists, drug dealers, across the border. Governor [Jeb] Bush has called those remarks, quote, ‘extraordinarily ugly.'” Wallace continued:

I’d like you — you’re right next to him — tell us — talk to him directly and say how you respond to that and — and you have repeatedly said that you have evidence that the Mexican government is doing this, but you have evidence you have refused or declined to share. Why not use this first Republican presidential debate to share your proof with the American people?

Trump shot back saying, “So, if it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t even be talking about illegal immigration, Chris. You wouldn’t even be talking about it,” he said to applause.

This was not a subject that was on anybody’s mind until I brought it up at my announcement. And I said, Mexico is sending. Except the reporters, because they’re a very dishonest lot, generally speaking, in the world of politics, they didn’t cover my statement the way I said it. The fact is, since then, many killings, murders, crime, drugs pouring across the border, our money going out and the drugs coming in. And I said we need to build a wall, and it has to be built quickly. And I don’t mind having a big beautiful door in that wall so that people can come into this country legally. But we need, Jeb, to build a wall, we need to keep illegals out.

Wallace followed up asking Trump to provide any specific evidence he had that “the Mexican government is sending criminals across the border.”

Trump replied:

Border Patrol, I was at the border last week. Border Patrol, people that I deal with, that I talk to, they say this is what’s happening. Because our leaders are stupid. Our politicians are stupid. And the Mexican government is much smarter, much sharper, much more cunning. And they send the bad ones over because they don’t want to pay for them. They don’t want to take care of them. Why should they when the stupid leaders of the United States will do it for them? And that’s what is happening whether you like it or not.

Insulting politicians in Washington, D.C., by calling them “stupid” may be a crowd-pleaser but it is not particularly presidential. Nor does it actually address the illegal aliens crisis in America which is related to its porous border to the south. Trump is going to have to do better than that in the future if he wishes to be taken seriously.

Jeb Bush was asked by Megyn Kelly about a news story that surfaced yesterday which claimed he called Trump “a clown, a buffoon, [and] something that cannot be repeated on television.”

Bush denied it but acknowledged he has called Trump’s language “divisive.”

We’re not going on win by doing what Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton do each and every day. Dividing the country. Saying, creating a grievance kind of environment. We’re going to win when we unite people with a hopeful, optimistic message.

Trump replied that Bush has complained about his “tone.” He said:

But when you have people that are cutting Christians’ heads off, when you have a world that the border and at so many places, that it is medieval times, we’ve never — it almost has to be as bad as it ever was in terms of the violence and the horror, we don’t have time for tone. We have to go out and get the job done.

This in itself is a profound insight. We live in a brutal world filled with people who want to harm and kill Americans. It’s time people got more upset and emotional about the external threats the nation faces. It’s time for Americans to recognize that the threat from Islamic terrorism is no longer some vague, distant thing. The Islamists aren’t at America’s gates; they’re already here on the inside, as recent domestic attacks by Muslim terrorists shows. We need to stop worrying about upsetting the easily offended and instead focus on doing what needs to be done to keep this glorious experiment in self-government around for centuries to come.

These crucial topics will be addressed by the candidates again next month. The next top-tier candidates’ debate is scheduled for Sept. 16. It will take place at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., and be moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper and conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt.

“Common Constitutional” at Godfather Politics:

On Thursday rumor had it that instructions had gone out from the RNC or other establishment inner circles to take Trump out during Thursday night’s debate. Those of us who heard the rumor figured one or more of the candidates would be charged with the task.

Who knew it would turn out to be the Fox News team of moderators — or at least two of the three. As it turned out, not one candidate stepped up to take down Trump in any sustained way. It was left up to the two moderators Chris Wallace and Megyn Kelly. Bret Baier appeared to remain above the fray.

Personally, I haven’t liked Wallace for years. He’s been on the establishment team for a while now. But Kelly was a major disappointment. I thought she was better than this. But she too has shown herself to be just another establishment toady.

From the very beginning of the debate, I recall talking out loud to the TV saying that this was going to be a night of “gotcha” questions. And that’s what it turned out to be. Whoever the establishment wanted targeted would be taken out, and tonight it was Trump. Next time it may be someone else.

But the other candidates either didn’t get the memo or simply chose not to play the game. They seemed content to just let it play out. Kelly’s motivation seemed apparent when she asked Trump to explain his one-man war on women. When he tried to make a joke of it, she turned cold as ice. At that point it appeared to be a perfect opportunity for one of the other big tent candidates to join in the fray. But none did.

Kelly, on the other hand, appeared to take the confrontation personally, as if she had something riding on the exchange. Who knew she probably did.

Then Wallace went on the attack over Trump’s illegal alien comments. But again the moderators received no help from Trump’s fellow candidates. Quite the opposite.

Politico, the establishment’s new best friend, reported that when it came time for candidates to jump on Trump, Wallace got a shock. Even establishment guy John Kasich said: “Donald Trump is hitting a nerve in this country. People are frustrated, fed up. People who want to just tune [Trump] out are making a mistake.” I’m quite sure Wallace was taken aback by that out-of-character comment by fellow establishment maven John Kasich.

Now some may say that I’m being a bit unfair regarding Fox, but look at the reaction from the left wing media, that normally believe Fox News was spawned by the devil. When liberals praise Fox, as CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, and leftist pundits did, you know there’s a problem.

So all that aside, how did the candidates do? Since I did not view the undercard, I will just speak to the main event.

For some on the stage, it doesn’t matter what they do or what they say. They are and appear always to be big government establishment guys. Those are Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and Mike Huckabee. It’s too bad about Huckabee, for he says a lot of the right things, but deep down we all know he’s a big government progressive, so that automatically discounts him.

Trump came off as cranky and combative, but also had good reason as he was under constant attack from Wallace and Kelly. Scott Walker did a good job, held his own and did no harm, but didn’t really stand out. Rand Paul’s heated exchange with Krispy Kreme did him quite well, and for those who didn’t already know, exposed Christie as just another big government, Obama hugging, NSA-loving guy.

Rubio was quite poised and stood out for his statesmanship. He did quite well. He should be able to build on this performance.

Cruz had very little exposure during the debate, yet still scored a strong second place in the Drudge poll. He was frozen out for a solid 44 minutes, with no chance to speak. So why is he considered to be one of the winners? For the same reason Ben Carson scored so well. It all came down to the closing statements.

Carson’s Washington half-a-brain joke was a huge hit and it came at the very end of the debate, so everyone remembered it and is repeating it still. Same for Cruz. He set forth in no uncertain terms what he would do in the opening days of his administration, and people will remember it. Voters don’t remember how you start, but do remember how you finish. With such a limited amount of time per candidate, that’s the key to success in these debates — leave them with something memorable.

Overall, I thought the debate was pretty good — but after only one, I’m already tired of the left-leaning/establishment control of these debates and I have a sneaking suspicion it will only get worse.

So please Christians, do your research on these Republican candidates and though it shouldn’t have to be said, never vote for the Democrats ever again.