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Krauthammer: GOP Debate Has ‘Less Discussion of Policy,’ Than Any I’d Seen

On Thursday’s “Kelly File” on the Fox News Channel, columnist and Fox News Contributor Charles Krauthammer said that that night’s debate on the Fox News Channel was one where “”I don’t think I’ve heard a debate with less discussion of policy” and that candidates Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s “complete assault” of fellow candidate Donald Trump scored “a lot of points” but Trump “held his own” and “it looked like overkill.”

Krauthammer said, “I don’t think I’ve heard a debate with less discussion of policy, and it wasn’t because the moderators didn’t ask about policy, but the entire debate, except for the Kasich parts…was entirely about, mostly ad hominems…going left and right. And it was a complete assault on Trump, from left and right, from Cruz and Rubio, that scored, I thought a lot of points. Now, the caveat here is that this happened before, not quite to this extent, and it hasn’t left a mark on Trump. I think his supporters are going to think that he was ganged up on and he defended himself. I think those less inclined to support Trump are going to feel that his responses were mostly ad hominem, and there was a kind of impatience and condescension in his demeanor. I don’t think it’s going to in any way diminish Trump’s numbers, but there is one thing. When you’re the frontrunner, when you’ve had as a good a day as he did on Super Tuesday, you develop the bandwagon effect, and a kind of inevitability, and you bring in outsiders. If this debate had any effect, I think it might make those wavering and inclined to jump on the bandwagon to think twice. As for Cruz and Rubio, themselves, Cruz, I thought came out with the most opportunity to speak for himself, even though he constantly ended up trying to turn it into an attack on Trump, so he might have had the edge. In the end, Kasich, I think, because he stood on the outside, as if he was looking in, and could make the positive case, to play the grown-up, and to be the unifier, he might have had the biggest advantage out of the night.”

Trump added that Kasich is “far down” and he wasn’t sure the debate would increase his chances of winning the presidency, but it might increase Kasich’s chances in Ohio.

Krauthammer added of Trump, “I thought he held his own. And look, I think the reason that you have this enormous attack on Trump, is because a kind of a pent-up demand. The guy had all of these issues hanging around his neck, Trump University, bringing in outside foreigners to work on his hotels, the idea he supported the Democrats. the flip-flops, the fact that his numbers on taxes didn’t add up. all of that has been around six months, and it was rarely ever brought up, because the other candidates were afraid of Trump or thought, strategically, like Bush, that I’ll drop my money attacking Rubio, and create the lane for me. So this is like six months of silence, for a guy with huge vulnerabilities, that were not actually exploited. Now, time is running out. It’s a matter of two weeks, if by the 15th of March, Rubio hasn’t won Florida, and Ohio has not gone to Kasich, it is likely over. So all of this stuff is being crammed in. And that’s why it looked like overkill.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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