And Then There Were Four

Trump dodged questions and avoided concrete answers, Cruz advertised for his website, Rubio struggled to combine talking policy with attacking Trump, and Kasich quietly stole the spotlight.

The first half of the Fox News debate was as entertaining as it was uninformative. The camera appeared to be stuck on the three front runners while viewers were left trying to make some sense of the childish ranting and name-calling. The current frontrunner, Donald Trump, coming off of a commanding Super Tuesday lead, attempted to act calm, condescending, and controlling, portraying himself as the candidate most ready to take on Hillary and the establishment. However, the image of a reasonable and respectable Trump was quickly shattered with a crude reference to his manhood. Trump began the debate by apologizing to Marco Rubio for calling him a “lightweight” and then proceeded to repeatedly address him as “little Marco”. Cruz received the usual label of “lying Ted”, but he attempted to fight back and assert control over Trump by repeatedly asking Trump to “calm down”, at one point even telling him to “count to ten”.

Donald Trump was hit hard by Rubio, Cruz, and the moderators on many of the past week’s news headlines including Mitt Romney’s attack, David Duke and the KKK, Trump clothing made in Mexico and China, the hiring of illegals instead of Americans at a Trump hotel, a mysterious New York Times’ off the record recording, controversial torture techniques, and the lawsuit against Trump University. His responses to the majority of these points were as vague as they were relevant. Trump effectively avoided concrete answers to important issues by spewing out personal attacks and crowd pleasing, cheer creating, buzz words such as negotiate, win, and synonyms of the word great.
While the top three Republican candidates for President of the United States called each other names, Kasich talked policy and experience. John Kasich came off as the only mature adult in the room by bringing attention to his record and talking about solutions, all the while skillfully and patiently avoiding the quagmire to his right. Kasich demonstrated why he is the candidate most likely to crush Hillary in a general election and the crowd recognized it, offering him frequent and enthusiastic applauses.

Marco Rubio had his best moment of the night when asked about his support of the second amendment, fiercely opposing restrictions and stating that criminals do not follow the laws. He went on to show why he has garnered such a strong following with the millennials, saying that they have the potential to be the greatest generation of the century. Ted Cruz performed well in his ability to stand up to Trump and portray himself as someone who has and will continue to beat the current frontrunner. Cruz’s best line of the night came when he tore apart the failed liberal policies that changed Michigan from the booming economic power house of the twentieth century into what it is today.

To anyone watching the debate and interested in the future of their country, it was terribly clear that there was only one adult in a group of children.