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David Pakman

Host of The David Pakman Show

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Opinion

Trump only winner as Republicans falter in second debate

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David Pakman

Host of The David Pakman Show

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On Sept. 27, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, seven presidential candidates participated in the second Republican primary debate. This debate provided an opportunity for the candidates to explain why they believed they were more qualified than the party’s leading candidate, former President Donald Trump, who, once again, did not attend.

Straight Arrow News contributor David Pakman argues that the debate was a resounding failure for all participating candidates. Donald Trump, in absentia, won by not showing up.

Trump won the second Republican debate, and he wasn’t even there. How is this possible? It’s possible because both Fox News and the participating candidates all failed, turning it into a humiliating farce. Let’s first talk about the debate. And then we’ll talk about the candidates.

Fox News — this is not unique to Fox News, but it’s extra bad on Fox News — they organize a debate that, even if everybody abides by the rules — they don’t talk over each other, they only talk for the allotted amount of time, when the bell rings they stop talking, et cetera — even if they abide by the rules, you don’t really get a debate.

Very often, one candidate would rattle off a minute’s worth of attacks or claims about another candidate: “You supported subsidizing this, and you pulled back that and you banned this and that’s bad for the economy, and ba, ba, ba, ba, ba [sic].” And then the person who is being attacked is told you have 15 seconds to respond, 15 seconds to respond to five or six conflicting and different allegations and complex policy issues. It’s not even a format that, when they behave, works for anybody. But, of course, it didn’t work because they didn’t behave, constantly talking over each other, yelling over each other, everybody talking at once, apparently trying to just plow through any attempt by the moderators to control the debate, and the candidates successfully did that.

The second Republican presidential debate was a complete and total abject failure for everyone other than Donald Trump. Trump won the second Republican debate. And he wasn’t even there. How is this possible? It’s possible because both Fox News and the participating candidates all failed, turning it into a humiliating farce. Let’s first talk about the debate. And then we’ll talk about the candidates. Fox News, as this is not unique to Fox News, but it’s extra bad on Fox News. They organize a debate that even if everybody abides by the rules, they don’t talk over each other. They only talk for the allotted amount of time when the bell rings, they stop talking, etc. Even if they abide by the rules, you don’t really get a debate. Very often, one candidate would rattle off a minutes worth of attacks or claims about another candidate. You supported subsidizing this, and you pulled back that and you banned this and that’s bad for the economy, and Baba Baba. And then the person who is being attacked is told you have 15 seconds to respond 15 seconds to respond to five or six conflicting and different allegations and complex policy issues. It’s not even a format that when they behave works for anybody, but of course, it didn’t work, because they didn’t behave, constantly talking over each other, yelling over each other everybody talking at once apparently trying to just plow through any attempt by the moderators to control the debate. And the candidate successfully did that they made it so that it was impossible to control the debate. The other completely unbelievable moment from the second debate was at the very end of the debate, anchor or host, Dana Perino said if you don’t, if some of you don’t get out of this race, Trump wins. So who should be voted off the island and the candidates kind of nervously laugh. And then she actually says you have a piece of paper on your lectern, please write the name of the person on the stage that should be voted off right now in a completely surreal reality show moment. And the candidates neglected to do that Chris Christie sort of did it by saying, well, the person is Trump Trump should be voted off, because he doesn’t even have the decency and respect for the electorate to be here. Of course, the question was, who of those on the stage should be voted off right now? So completely a complete and total joke. Now in terms of the debate performances? Remember, we have to analyze this through a question of Is anybody creating a path to the nomination, Trump controls almost 60% of the Republican electorate. The other seven candidates on that stage, the seven candidates on that stage are splitting up the remaining 40% of support. So that’s not good, because it means not only do they need to coalesce all of the non Trump support, they somehow need to take at least 10 plus one points. 1010 will get them to 50%. And then beyond that, to get beyond 50%. From Trump, how do you do it? Well, the best performing candidates at the debate were chris Christie and Nikki Haley, why do I say that? The bar is very low, my friends, I will admit that the bar is very low. When they were asked a question, they answered the question rather than talking about other things. At one point, Ron DeSantis opted not to go back to the last question, but to a question from an earlier segment rather than answer what was actually asked of him, Chris Christie is moderately sane. And so as Nikki Haley doesn’t mean I agree with them on every policy, but they were the obvious best faith participants. It’s not actually what Republicans want. But I would say they did the best, after Christie and Haley would be Doug Burgum. He has no shot. barely anybody knows who he is. But after Christie and Haley, he was the closest to honest he was the closest to answering the questions that were actually asked. And then I would say it was Tim Scott, the senator from South Carolina, who did a lot of filibustering and misdirecting, but was better than the than the last three who really did the worst the losers from last night. Were Vivek Ramaswamy, or from or from last week, sorry, not last night, Vivek Ramaswamy, Mike Pence, and Ron DeSantis. All three failing in different ways. DeSantis and pence, desperate to be seen as charismatic, tried telling different little jokes and had cutesy lines. None of it work. They are some of the most uncharismatic people that I’ve ever seen, tried to get into elected elected politics and then Vivek Ramaswamy, who has already lost about 30% of his support. Going from close to eight to only about five in the polling, Vivek Ramaswamy failed miserably to make the case that he has any idea what’s going on on foreign policy. He doesn’t seem to and just engaged with the other candidates in the sort of smarmy, pompous and arrogant way that is already turning off so many voters so the big winner is Trump. We were doubting Is it right or wrong? To quickly for Trump to skip the debate so far based on the data we are seeing it seems it was the right decision and Trump the big winner from a debate he didn’t even attend

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