Monday, November 13, 2023

Republican Debate: KOA Morning Report

The presidential hopefuls seemed content to aim for second place behind former President Donald J. Trump and deliver digs at President Biden.Credit...Maansi Srivastava/The New York Times

Marty and Jeana interviewed me on Wednesday’s GOP debate in Miami. Observations:

  1. The debate was the best of the three so far. Time is short; it’s only two months to the Iowa caucus. Candidates’ answers were sharper, crisper, a smaller group helped with good moderators.
  2. Lots of foreign policy but just after Israel terrorist attack so issue is top of mind. For a party with isolationist tendency, candidates were for military involvement in host of areas; Israel, Iran, Mexico (border and drug dealers), China, and for some, Ukraine. Vivek Ramaswamy, who said he wanted to be “unhinged;” worried about the Canadian border and would defund Israel.
  3. Tuesday’s election night was bad for the GOP because of abortion and on that question debaters had no new approach. They are all pro-life. Haley advocated realism and tolerance, DeSantis blamed the Evangelicals for the loss, and Ramaswamy, the RNC.
  4. The winner was Nikki Haley. She took the most incoming fire without losing composure and fired back on several occasions, including calling Vivek “scum.” Ron DeSantis improved but it didn’t appear to make a difference. The losers were Chris Christie and Tim Scott. They were left out of the cross conversations and may not make the next debate as the criteria to join gets more difficult.
  5. Polling shows Trump wins about 45 percent of both Iowa and New Hampshire Republican voter, and DeSantis and Haley split about 30 percent. They are competing to become main alternatives to Trump. Both states have a history of shaking up the expectations.
KOA ColoradoThursday's CMN rundown with @MartyLenz_KOA and @KOAJeana

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