Republican Debate: Analysis of the Presidential Candidates
Jeb Bush brought the fight to Donald J. Trump, with mixed success. He noted that Mr. Trump had tried, unsuccessfully, to sway him in a push for casino gambling in Florida. He issued a forceful defense of his brother’s national security record, in response to a dig from Mr. Trump. But in an awkward exchange, Mr. Bush suggested that his wife deserved an apology from Mr. Trump over his comments on immigration. Mr. Trump declined.
Carly Fiorina, asked about Mr. Trump’s recent disparaging comments concerning her appearance, offered a steely reply: “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.” Mr. Trump scrambled to retool, calling her “a beautiful woman.” Mrs. Fiorina did not smile.
The debate laid bare several policy differences among the candidates, on issues including the minimum wage (Ben Carson is open to an increase), drug policy (Rand Paul says the war on drugs “has gone too far”) and the specter of a government shutdown over Planned Parenthood funding. John Kasich expressed concerns. “I don’t think it’s going to work out,” he said. Ted Cruz accused Republican leaders in both houses of “preemptively surrendering.”