The fourth GOP debate airs tonight at 9 PM ET from Milwaukee. Reading left to right on tonight’s stage: John Kasich, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul. The always-quotable but low-polling Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee last week got demoted to the kids-table debate, replacing Lindsey Graham and George Pataki, who are gone from tonight’s faceoffs altogether.
Fox Business Network, which is partnering with the Wall Street Journal on tonight’s debate, promised it won’t be a cage match like CNBC’s and will focus on jobs, taxes and the state of the economy. But the candidates have been sharpening their elbows to prepare. Rubio’s camp released this “campaign ad” anticipating that the Jeb Can Fix It camp again will try to argue that their guy’s unprepared for the Oval Office. Bush has a new debate coach, but CNN’s Jake Tapper this afternoon described this campaign strategy as “defibrillation.”
Meanwhile, Trump has called tonight’s clambake “the only debate in history where you’re better off if you stabbed somebody” — signaling that he’ll go after retired neurosurgeon Carson, whose personal narrative has been under the microscope since the last GOP debate. In a speech this week, Trump called it a “strange election” cycle in which “a lot of weird things are happening.” To repeat, that’s Donald Trump calling this election cycle “strange.”Here’s how we’re calling tonight’s action.
Kids Table Debate:
Top candidates discussed during the debate on Facebook
1. Chris Christie
2. Bobby Jindal
3. Mike Huckabee
3. Rick Santorum (tied)
Tonight’s “mere” eight main-table candidates – Donald Trump,
Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich and
Rand Paul – all scored 2.5% or better in an average of the four most recent national polls accepted by FBN, to make the cut. The earlier debate hosted
candidates who score at least 1% in one of the four polls.
The RNC’s already having fun tonight, compelling reporters who cover elections (RNC read: liberals) to use the password “StopHillary” in order access the Wi-Fi network at the debate.
Gerard Baker will do fine, but just once I’d like to see an American moderating a debate of British politicians.
A pro-Marco Rubio ad ran of Fox Business Network awhile ago that was paid for by his slickly named BabyGotPac.com. Nice. Has he already won this thing?
Neil Cavuto opens the debate asking Donald Trump and Ben
Carson the least controversial questions among Republicans: Raise the minimum wage to $15/hr – for or against? Then he pressed each at the end of their response in case viewers did not understand their answer. Spoiler: Both said no.
Rubio: “For the life of me, I don’t know why we have stigmatized vocational training. Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers.”
Must … resist … correcting … his … grammar … to … “fewer” …
First Facebook question surprisingly it is not “Will you friend me, Gov. Kasich?”
Jeb Bush looks tan, rested and forceful – as long as no one else
Bush: “On the regulatory side, I think we need to repeal every rule that Barack Obama in terms of work in progress — every one of ’em.” Man, now THAT’S leadership!
This is boring. Let's get to the part where Ben Carson attacks his mom with a hammer.
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) November 11, 2015
btw, fact check: average wage for welder, 37k; philosopher professor, 89k. TongueStuckOutEmoji.
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) November 11, 2015
Rand Paul throws Dem mayors and governors under the wage-inequality bus, and bus drivers across the U.S. can’t afford to clean the carcasses from under their wheels.
Anyone notice that the “Vote for Energy” ad they just showed — the one just oozing family values — was paid for by the American Petroleum Institute?
Ben Carson to Neil Cavuto, in re vetting candidates: “Thank you for not asking me what I said in the 10th grade. We should vet all candidates. I have
no problem being vetted. What I do have problem with is being lied about and putting that out as truth. I don’t mind if they do it with everybody, like people on other side, but when you look at Hillary Clinton who tells her daughter and a government official this was a terrorist attack and tells everybody else it’s a video, where I come from they call that a lie. I think that’s very different from somebody
misinterpreting when I said I was offered a scholarship to West Point.”
Who had money on Candy Crush being discussed at this GOP debate?
Doesn’t tonight’s time bell sound like it’s lifted from a 1970sgame show?
Doesn’t tonight’s time bell sound like it’s lifted from a 1970s game show?
Can’t believe it took 45 minutes for the first commercial about the Benghazi movie.
All due respect, Madam Secretary, but calling Jeb out as “most likely to fall asleep during his own speech”? (See below.) This coming from such a fiery orator is like water calling milk wet.
OK OK OK — “Whose plan would God endorse?” Really??
Well at least that question was directed to Dr. Carson — I mean, he’s tight with God.
Cruz mentions “The Washington Cartel.” I believe we have a winner in the “Rename the Redskins” contest.
Cavuto’s question contender for The Question of Night: Whose plan would God endorse? Based on Carson’s response, God is no fan of the mortgage interest deduction. Good time to sell.
HELLO — did Cruz just have a Rick Perry moment?
“The five agencies that I would eliminate” — and he showed five fingers for emphasis — “The IRS. The Department of Commerce. The Department of Energy … ah … The Department of Commerce and HUD.”
At least he pretended to recall all five, unlike Perry in that GOP that ended his national political career.
The “dynamic” cost of Cruz’s tax plan is cheaper than the “static” cost. Great! Huh?
And Cruz just went to the water bottle. A Perry Moment followed by a Rubio Moment? Now waiting for a photo of him poking his head out from inside a tank.
Rubio wins the prize for Least Uplifting Thought of Night: from “Families raising children are raising the future taxpayers of the United States. “
New cage match! Rand calls Rubio’s tax plan a new welfare policy. Rubio’s comeback: “I know that Rand is a committed isolationist.” Rubio wins on the applause meter by swinging it around to “let’s be the strongest military in the world.”
Oh yeah, Donald Trump is playing tonight too.
Loser of previous segment: The guy whose job it is to play the go-to-commercial music. Gerard Baker talked over it because he can’t let the details go on the trade agreement. Finally, music guy had to dial it down.
Carson seems to step up his trademark slow blink on the topic of the Middle East.
Trump has his power tie on. This guy’s a closer.
Bush: In the middle east we have “a Caliphate the size of Indiana.” Led by their evil leader Hussein bin Hoosier, no doubt.
Isn’t that Trump’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ tie?
It took four debates, but finally we’ve heard those golden words uttered by a GOP candidate: “Governor Bush is correct.”
“Why does she keep interrupting everybody?” Trump says of Fiorina when she tries to take the floor from Rand Paul. For which Trump gets booed by crowd.
Just in time for Veterans Day, Trump suggests we give “chunks of oil” to veterans wounded in the middle east.
Rubio says he’s never met Putin but knows “he’s a gangster.”
Excuse me while I make a call.
“Hello, HBO? I’ve got a GREAT idea for Season 6 of The Wire.”
Another first in this GOP debate season: “I give the president some credit.”
Moderator Neil Cavuto is nothing if not a company man. Throwing to commercial, he said: “Stick around — I think it gets interesting.”
And now, after all that talk about how we would defend our interests in the Middle East, we get an ad for the upcoming movie “London Has Fallen.” You know the one — about five world leaders being killed while attending the funeral of the British prime minister and then the American president goes missing amid the chaos. The one where a terrorist threatens to off said commander in chief, vowing, ““We’re going to kill him slowly and broadcast it live.”
Rubio losing focus?
“That’s a great question and let me begin by answering it,” he says when asked why someone should vote for any of the candidates on stage when Hillary Clinton has so much more government experience.
Cavuto tries to pin Cruz down on letting a Bank of America go, on the topic of “too big to fail.” He points out that “millions of depositors” would be stuck holding the bag.
“I would not bail them out”, Cruz asserts then loses his nerve: “its not a bail out its a loan at higher interest rates.” Then Cruz turn around and tries to pin Kasich down on to bail out or not. Kasich says he would bail out a bank by leaving the wealthier depositors holding the bag. Crowd boos. So, Cruz wins because — he’s actually for a bailout?
Federal Reserve turns down the sound and goes back to sleep.
Winding things down, Neil Cavuto takes a shot at CNBC: “I think it’s fair to say you can keep [a debate] to business issues and still make it interesting.” Ratings will be in tomorrow.
“It’s not about us; it’s about them,” Neil Cavuto says of the candidates as he wrapped the debate with one last whack at CNBC, making it all about the network.
Before Cavuto’s ending statement, there was the traditional Reading Of The Candidates’ Web Sites closing statements. Carson wins the Hair-Raising Imagery Award, listing all the people who died from drugs, abortions performed, veterans who took their own lives, etc. during the two-hour debate.
That’s it for us tonight. See you next time.