Friday, January 29, 2016

The elephant WAS in the room

But he left shortly after the opening and ambled over to MSNBC and CNN, where the circus reconvened.

Moderator Megyn Kelly asked Senator Cruz to address “the elephant not in the room,” referring to his absent rival. “I’m a maniac, and everyone on this stage is stupid, fat and ugly,” replied Cruz, getting the “Trump portion out of the way.” Read more.

It will be a long time before Ted says something I agree with again.  Or maybe just a few minutes.

Cruz later criticized the moderators, suggesting that they were trying to incite his rivals to gang up on him. “If you ask one more mean question, I may have to leave the stage,” said the Texas senator, in another mocking reference to the absent GOP frontrunner. Read more.

Despite these clever moments, it was not Cruz's finest hour last night.  It actually may have been his worst, in a nasty exchange with Marco Rubio on immigration.  And it almost surely was Rand Paul's best, as well as Jim Gilmore's in the undercard.  John Kasich and Chris Christie did not advance whatever their remaining prospects are.  Carly Fiorina was terrible and Ben Carson is just out of his element.  There's a reason these two candidates' numbers deflated just as rapidly as they inflated.  Even diehard Republicans see them for what they are.

As for Trump's counter-event, it seemed both understated and overblown, certainly in the eyes of his supporters.  Later this morning the ratings for both of last night's reality shows will be announced, and one side will have something to brag about.

Update: Nothing for anybody to brag about.

Thursday night’s Fox News/Google GOP Debate attracted better ratings than candidate Donald Trump’s counter-event and the previous Jan. 14 Republican presidential debate on Fox Business that featured the billionaire real estate investor and reality TV star. 
According to CNN Money, the main stage portion of Thursday night’s debate on Fox News drew in 12.5 million viewers. The previous Republican presidential debate on Fox Business attracted 11 million viewers. MSNBC and CNN reported a combined 2.7 million person viewership during Trump’s fundraiser for veterans. 
Though last night’s debate beat out the previous contest, it was the second-lowest rated GOP debate of the 2016 campaign season.

Ted Cruz will emerge from Iowa next week as the last chance to stop the Trump train, because he's doing all the little things a politician has to do to win there.  If he upsets the Donald next Monday night, you shouldn't be surprised.

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