The Washington Post‘s Dan Balz writes Friday morning that Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), two of the main rivals to frontrunner Donald Trump, “failed to seize the Trumpless moment” at Thursday’s GOP debate.
The two candidates with the most to gain were Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida. Cruz is battling Trump for first place in Iowa. Rubio is looking for a strong third-place finish as a way to separate himself from the other mainstream conservatives in the race. But instead of seizing the moment, both Rubio and Cruz found themselves under attack and on the defensive.
Both sought to square past statements and votes with their claims that they now oppose amnesty for immigrants who are in the United States illegally. Each sought to undermine the other, and both came under attack from the others on stage.
Balz’s analysis seems to concur with that of National Review columnist Jim Geraghty, who said that Trump gained from avoiding a “flip-flopping immigration bloodbath” among the other candidates.
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