Thursday’s GOP debate featured back-and-forth on several hot-button issues. Read on for a recap, then vote for tonight’s winner in the poll at the bottom of the post.
The immigration debate started with the foreign-born candidate: Ted Cruz went back and forth with Donald Trump about his eligibility for President, at one point even bringing up Trump’s mother:
All candidates on the stage denounced President Obama’s plan to introduce gun restrictions through executive action. Trump claimed that a more liberal gun buying environment would lead to “bullets going the other way” and a lower death toll.
Trump opened the trade debate by advocating a tariff against Chinese goods. Cruz disputed specifics of his point but agreed with the general idea.
While Ben Carson advocated the flat consumption-based FairTax, Marco Rubio took issue with the VAT tax he claimed Cruz is proposing. Cruz disputed the idea that the tax in question was called a VAT, instead referring to it as a “business flat tax” and in turn denouncing Rubio’s top tax rate of 35 percent.
Christie said that a major component of America’s criminal justice issues is the President’s deference to criminals rather than police officers:
Rand Paul’s disinclusion didn’t stop his supporters from making their voice heard at the debate:
While it’s impossible to know how a debate will affect polls this quickly, and it’s not really possible to declare a debate “winner” anyway, analyst Frank Lutz had the following impression from his focus groups:
However, chief sparring partners Marco Rubio and Donald Trump scored well with several points:
Not everyone did so well, with Lutz having harsh words for Bush:
Twitter’s Government & Elections team noted candidates’ Twitter growth during the debate: