Last night’s fourth Republican presidential debate produced some fireworks but no clear winner. Each candidate was able to hold his (her) own. In lively back and forths, the candidates disagreed on taxes, military spending, foreign policy, immigration and bank bailouts.
But to a man (woman), they all seemed to think Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic presidential nominee. The candidates painted the Democratic front-runner as just your typical tax and spend liberal. They suggested a Hillary win would be a continuation of the failed Obama presidency.
But in a rare occurrence for a Republican presidential debate, Hillary Clinton’s name was invoked more often than that of Saint Reagan.
While there might not have been a clear winner in the Fox debate, there was a loser: Jeb. I say that not because Jeb Bush did not do well; he just did not do well enough. He sorely needed a strong, breakout performance but it never materialized. The problem with Jeb is that his personality is not suited for a debate stage filled with more aggressive, animated candidates. He will always look weak by comparison.
It is fairly certain, however, Jeb will live to fight another day. But the writing seems to be on the wall: barring some miracle, Jeb will not be the Republican presidential nominee.
Besides agreeing that Clinton will ultimately be the Democratic presidential pick, the candidates did agree on some basic Republican orthodoxy: cut taxes and eliminate regulations. They also all agreed that raising the minimum wage was a bad idea.
I did not see anything in last night’s debate that would cut into the poll numbers of the two Republican front-runners, Donald Trump and Ben Carson. I look for Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz to fight for third place … with old Jeb firmly ensconced as a second-tier candidate.
Photo | AP/Morry Gash