In the immediate aftermath of Tuesday’s GOP debate, I watched in astonishment as Fox News pundits defended Jeb Bush’s performance.
While I can only attest to casually watching the debate in the background of my family gathering to enjoy Christmas-time festivities, one of the sharpest moments of the debate echoed throughout the house clearly as Donald Trump responded to establishment 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush.
Bush took repeated swipes at frontrunner Trump and insisted that he could not “insult [his] way to the presidency.” Trump, not missing a beat, replied, “That’s why I’m at 42 [percent] and you’re at 3 [percent].”
The moment was somewhat unbecoming but entirely accurate; Bush is about as exciting as unflavored yogurt and at a time when Americans want somebody to step-up to make bold moves to repair the damage wrought by the past seven years, Bush would do well to be a little more like Trump and less like… well… himself.
The house cheered as Trump knocked Bush back onto the ropes and in an instant, Jeb’s fleeting moment of tough guy bravado dissipated.
After the debate, however, Fox News pundits fawned over Bush’s pathetic attempt at assertiveness. Charles Krauthammer, though he would later admit that Jeb’s pushing did nothing to help his numbers, opined that it was great to see Jeb get “tough.”
It seems that I am not the only one who is tired of the perpetual pushing for establishment candidates. Trump soon addressed a crowd in Phoenix, Arizona, and with his usual brash, off-the-cuff commentary, called-out the establishment sycophants by name and blasted Krauthammer, George Will and Stephen Hayes, claiming that the latter is “obsessed” with Trump.
Trump highlighted Drudge’s polls which showed approval for his debate performance and took the opportunity to blast the pundits.
Drudge is great,” Trump said. “How good is Drudge, right? Great guy. He’s a great guy. They do these online polls where they have hundreds of thousands of people. “
“They have these guys,” Trump said of the pundits. “George Will. You fall asleep listening to this guy. If he didn’t wear the little spectacles nobody would think of him as bright.”
“I got to tell you, Krauthammer is terrible to me,” Trump complained. “He is the worst! And I’m not allowed to criticize him so I’m going to be very nice. Krauthammer, he’s terrible. He’s terrible!”
Trump also claimed that Hayes “goes crazy” each time Trump emerges in the news.
In reality, the debate was a win for Ted Cruz who was able to dominate the at-times heated debate between himself and fellow Senator Marco Rubio.
Using Rubio’s support for amnesty for millions of illegals as a tool, Cruz drove the conversation between the two by forcing Rubio to defend his betrayal of conservative values by joining liberals to push the “Gang of Eight” amnesty bill.
The topic of illegal immigration soon segued to national security and terrorism as Cruz unapologetically advocated for complete decimation of ISIS and a revamping of U.S. military strategy to encompass a more-robust and thorough military campaign to eradicate the murderous zealots.
Trump offered more of the same and while he most-certainly did not lose the debate, he did not shine at a time when Cruz is quietly climbing and nipping at the heels of the longtime frontrunner.
Trump’s antics may be hilarious and refreshing at a time when we need straight-talk the most, but he’s going to need a more substantive campaign if he’s going to go the distance.