The gloves were off in the first GOP Presidential debate of 2016. With only 18 days until the Iowa caucuses, the seven candidates battled it out to make an impression on the voters.
Here are the top ten moments in Thursday night’s Republican debate:
Like him or not, but New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is the king of great one-liners against Obama. He started out with “Tuesday night, I watched ‘Storytime with Barack Obama,’ referring to the President’s State of the Union. He also called Obama a “petulant child.” At one point, he turned to the camera and said: “I hope the President is watching tonight because here’s what I’d like to tell him,” Christie said. “… We are going to kick your rear end out of the White House come this fall.”
Carson Drops the “Exo-atmosphere” Word Bomb.
Carson used a terrifying scenario to attack Barack Obama’s foreign policy. “We have enemies who are obtaining nuclear weapons that they can explode in our exo-atmosphere and destroy our electric grid. (I had to look up where the “exo-atmosphere” was.)
“I mean, just think about a scenario like that. They explode the bomb, we have an electromagnetic pulse. They hit us with a cyberattack simultaneously and dirty bombs,” he said. “Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue at that point? He needs to recognize that those kinds of things are in fact an existential threat to us.”
Trump Talks Tariffs
When asked about his suggestion that we slap a 45 percent tariff on Chinese goods, Trump’s immediate response was to claim it was a lie.
“It’s The New York Times, they’re always wrong,” he said. (They weren’t. There’s audio.)
Trump backtracked somewhat and said he’d only encourage the tariff to counter China’s currency devaluation.
“If they don’t start treating us fairly and stop devaluing and let their currency rise so our companies can compete,” he said, “I would certainly start taxing goods coming in from China.” But it would “never happen,” Trump said. China would cave to pressure to ease their currency manipulation long before such an onerous tariff was ever imposed.
The Taboo Topic
Chris Christie was the only one who brought up entitlement reform. This is the 800-pound gorilla in the room. Rubio and Cruz answered a question about Social and Security by discussing tax reform. Christie crowbarred in with a prepared – but –courageous burn.
“I’d like to interrupt this debate in the Senate to answer the actual question you asked, which is on entitlements,” Christie said.
Rubio tried to protest, but Christie wouldn’t have it: “You already had your chance, Marco — you blew it.”
“The reason why no one wants to answer entitlements up here is because it’s hard,” Christie said. “I’m the only one that has put forward a detailed entitlement reform plan.”
The other Republican candidates talk about strengthening or protecting social security. Christie talks about cutting benefits for the rich.
I’m Here Too!
Ohio Gov. John Kasich was also…