The Daily 202: Rubio won the Republican debate by putting Trump on the defensive

bobi
Nga bobi February 26, 2016 16:19

The Daily 202: Rubio won the Republican debate by putting Trump on the defensive

8cfaa079dfa24a9c0b833972bb5b5520-908-605-GOP_2016_Debate0bf8f Rubio finally showed the backbone that the donor class and establishment leaders have demanded from him.

Most major news outlets and conservative thought leaders are describing last night’s performance in Houston as his best yet. The Florida senator came out swinging, got under Trump’s skin and then – tag-teaming with Ted Cruz –slammed the front-runner on more than a dozen issues.

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For strategic reasons, Trump avoided all but a few direct hits during the previous nine debates. The intensity of the criticism leveled against him on CNN and Telemundo reflects the increasing recognition that there are really only two weeks left to stop him, if he’s going to be stopped.

Cruz needed a great performance to change the narrative that the wind is coming out of his sails after third-place finishes in South Carolina and Nevada. He didn’t get it. The Texas senator got in some good jabs, but he often seemed like a bystander. And he didn’t do as crisp a job as Rubio at making an affirmative case for why folks should vote for him.

Rubio’s feisty toughness will probably not be enough to slow Trump’s momentum going into Super Tuesday, but it likely will help him consolidate support as the conservative movement’s best hope in a two-man race.

Here’s what pundits and other thought leaders are saying—

TV host Glenn Beck is a prominent Cruz supporter who campaigned with him across Nevada earlier this week:

The Post’s Chris Cillizza named Rubio the winner and Cruz the loser: “It was the best debate performance by any candidate in any debate so far in the 2016 election,” he writes of Rubio. “Cruz watched — and I do mean watched — as Rubio turned the race into a two-man contest between he and Trump.  Cruz was strangely absent from the main back-and-forths of the night … [He] also tried to make the electability case against Trump but found himself hoisted on his petard by The Donald, who noted that the Texas senator’s polls aren’t in a great place. Cruz looked like the third wheel in this debate — a bad place to be with March 1 just five days away.”8cfaa079dfa24a9c0b833972bb5b5520-908-605-GOP_2016_Debate0bf8f

bobi
Nga bobi February 26, 2016 16:19
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