California Republicans are reacting to Wednesday’s GOP debate, hosted by the CNBC in Boulder, Colorado.
LINDA ACKERMAN, CA REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMIITTEEWOMAN
Carson remains as the most intelligent. Liked his spot on remarks about “political correctness.” Thought Rubio and Cruz stood out. The moderators were rude, aggressive and boisterous, and deserved the retaliation they received.
CONGRESSMAN DANA ROHRABACHER (HUNTINGTON BEACH)
For the first time Cruz stood out, without looking like a grandstander. I am now giving serious consideration to supporting him.
ARNIE STEINBERG, POLITICAL POLLSTER AND STRATEGIST
Both Trump and Carson improved. Kasich’s opening non-answer defined an egocentric performance. Jeb sounded petty in his attack on Rubio. Ted Cruz’ attack on the media was down-to-earth, masterful, relevant; it resonated.
CELESTE GREIG, LONGTIME CONSERVATIVE GRASSROOTS LEADER
Trump won the debate; very simple and proposals on revitalizing the economy, job creation, Immigration reform, guns and bringing back companies from Japan, China and Mexico. Good leadership skills. Ted Cruz once again showed his conservatism, intellect, unafraid of the establishment and the media. Jeb Bush is gasping for air. Carly Fiorina lost her momentum. Dr. Ben Carson: sweet, soft-spoken.
JAMES LACY, PUBLISHER, CALIFORNIA POLITICAL REVIEW
If there was a loser, it was Fiorina. She surely gained no ground given the focus on her firing at HP; she ducked a question about taxing the Internet; rudely interrupted four other candidates’ answers, and repeated the “secretary to CEO” lie for which the Washington Post gave her three Pinocchios.
KEVIN SPILLANE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST AND CONSULTANT
Rubio absolutely killed it tonight. A reminder why he’s the strongest candidate against Hillary and the best candidate to help CA Republicans run as strongly as possible. A terrible night for Jeb Bush (regulate fantasy football?!), Trump, and (badly biased) CNBC.
THOMAS DEL BECCARO, CANDIDATE, UNITED STATES SENATE
It’s still troubling to me that Republican presidential candidates still don’t that four times we have major tax reductions in our history, that each time we were told that would result in lost revenues and each time the economy turned around, expanded and revenues rose. How is it possible in 2015 they still don’t know that?
JOEL POLLAK, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, BREITBART CALIFORNIA
Marco Rubio won by crushing Jeb Bush’s cheap shot; Ted Cruz did very well by slamming the unfair moderators; Chris Christie had his best performance; Donald Trump did well but flubbed his own immigration policy. We are going to see Cruz move toward the front while Christie challenges Rubio for the remnants of Jeb’s donor base.
SAM SORBO, ACTRESS AND RADIO TALK SHOW HOST
As awful as the CNBC moderators were (no surprise there), it was gratifying to hear the debate participants call them out. Cruz pointed out subtly that no one expects them to vote in the Republican primaries, and Rubio more pointedly labeled them a free Hillary Super PAC. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus lamenting CNBC performance is an embarrassment.The question I wanted to hear but didn’t: “Hillary sent ambassador Stevens to his death in Benghazi, after orchestrating the complete failure called the Arab Spring. What might you have done differently?”
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MELISSA MELENDEZ
In spite of the circus-like environment the moderators created, the candidates did a beautiful job of telling the voters what they hope to accomplish. Rubio was superb, poised and spot on with his comments. Fiorina and Carson showed they are in it to win it.
JASON ROE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST AND CONSULTANT
Ted Cruz had his best performance yet starting with his takedown of the ridiculous questions from the moderators. Marco Rubio showed he is best prepared to face Hillary with his deft responses to tough questions.
Finally, my own short take-aways…
The two best performances tonight were from Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. The former’s best moment was dressing down the biased CNBC moderators. The latter was pushing back on the attack from Jeb Bush.
I thought Chris Christie had the strongest close. I also thought that Carson and Trump performed well.
I thought Kasich and Fiorina were talking a lot but not connecting.
The biggest losing candidates of the night were Jeb Bush and Rand Paul. The former needed a big night and he just simply fell flat. And Paul had little time and it sounded like he was repeating what others said when he did get time.
Honorary loser awards also go to the CNBC questioners who were totally unprofessional, and to the Republican National Committee who continue to bear responsibility for a top-down debate scheme that has been a disaster.
Jon Fleischman is the Politics Editor of Breitbart California. You can follow him on Twitter @flashreport. You can email Jon at firstname.lastname@example.org.