Wednesday, August 30, 2023

GOP Debate KOA – Ross Kaminsky

First Republican presidential primary debate on Aug. 23First Republican presidential primary debate Aug 23, 2023
Photo: PEDRO UGARTE/AFP via Getty Images

LISTEN: The Ross Kaminsky Show on KOA

I joined Ross Kaminsky’s morning KOA show for a post-GOP debate analysis.

Although the debate was a lively exchange and illuminated some Republican differences, it was difficult to see how it affected Donald Trump’s 30-point lead. Much of the debate audience and the party treats Trump as the aggrieved incumbent president. They booed at criticism of him and yelled at praise.

It is hard to beat a good arraignment and Trumps’ Georgia booking stole much of the post-debate bounce. But the event did start the nomination process and focus attention on the short timeline until on the Iowa caucus.

Some observations:

  • DeSantis had no breakout and not much attention. He was cautious and sounded boring.
  • Hutchinson and Burgum are not likely to make many more debates. Hutchinson had strong moments.
  • Haley was the best of the crowd, Pence the most lively I’ve seen him, defending the Constitution, taking on Ramaswamy and DeSantis but frequently sounding pious. Scott was not seen much.
  • Ramaswamy was the Trump stand-in. Trump’s absence made him the target of much of the ire that contestants likely would have been reluctant to toss at Trump directly.
    Although he won the audience, Haley, Pence, and Christie hit him on inexperience.
    • Don’t need a rookie, on the job training (Pence)
    • You’re like Obama (Christie)
    • Your foreign policy inexperience shows (Haley)

At 38 years old, the blows were serious but he’s more a future prospect than today. He wants to be the MAGA post-Trump favorite.

The next debate is September 27 at the Reagan Library in California. Trump likely won’t make it. Interest in it will depend on how the race evolves in the next 30 days—intense or a sleeper.

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