It was a big week for Republican politics – and, shockingly, it all happened in August when it’s typically quiet. First, there was the GOP debate featuring the so-called undercard candidates. That very same evening, Tucker Carlson and the Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, held an extensive interview exclusively on X. As if that weren’t enough, the former president was booked, bailed, and had his mug shot taken in Georgia in connection with a series of charges leveled at him and by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. By now, all the dust should have settled, and we can hone in on debate takeaways: Who did themselves the most good, who bombed out, and what lasting impressions were made?
The Great Debate Fallout
By definition, fallout refers to “radioactive particles carried into the atmosphere following a nuclear explosion.” It may be a bit of hyperbole to apply that to the Republican debate in Wisconsin, but there certainly were some fiery moments. First, the format: It was a Fox News event that typically went over the top with flying drone cameras and other unnecessary production elements; however, they were rewarded with an audience of 13 million. This is a very good number for the Murdoch-owned news corporation.
By comparison, the X debate with Carlson and Trump had astronomical numbers ranging from 100 million to 230 million in the first 18 hours, according to Washington Examiner. Several news organizations are working hard to debunk these numbers, but no matter how you cut it, viewership of the Trump interview wiped the floor with the Fox debate.
Now that the smoke has cleared and folks have had a chance to digest the first major event in the GOP presidential election calendar, we asked our Liberty Nation focus group to weigh in on the kick-off. Our New Yorker, who winters in Florida, had the most colorful comments. He went full-on Trump, complete with nicknames for the GOP candidates:
“Chris Christie was the Class bully (but not nearly as good as the Big Guy), Mike Pence was the doddering old, irrelevant teacher lecturing about the good ol’ days of the Pence-Trump administration. Vivek was the Class Clown, baiting everybody and loving the abuse and attention he got back. He’ll fit right into DC.
Tim Scott was too nice, a big problem in this class, and kind of faded away, and Nikki Haley called out Republicans on earmarks! Is that a winning message for the Republican nomination? The rest of them shouldn’t have been in this class, but they keep getting held back.
Notice I haven’t mentioned DeSantis. I think he was the big winner. Nobody took him on effectively, and he stood his ground as the Number One alternative to the Big Indictment Machine. It should be noted that managing your State well in Florida means a lot more than doing it in Arkansas or South Dakota.”
A Fox News poll seconded our New Yorker’s motion. Their next day survey showed DeSantis as the winner with 29%, Ramaswamy at 26%, Haley at 15%, and Pence at 7%.
Next up is our man from Ohio, who didn’t seem overly impressed with any candidate on the undercard:
“DeSantis exhibited a forced and wooden appearance. He seemed to take his cue from the others on stage (Vivek mostly), and he was saved from being “grilled” since the fireworks mainly occurred between the creature from New Jersey and the Obama twin with an occasional correction from Mother Nikki, who broke the Ronald Reagan rule of never attacking another Republican.
Tim Scott is very engaging and likable but has that Joel Olsteen presence about him. Vivek came off as not seasoned enough to be president and naive regarding foreign policy (as evidenced by comments on Israel and Taiwan). However, we do need a game plan/blueprint regarding Ukraine.
Pence came off as a monotoned robot that thinks he saved the Republic, he did not! ….. his disloyalty to Trump gives evidence of a weak, small, self-serving man. Asa Hutchinson presents himself as Mr. Rogers and felt very 20th century. North Dakota Doug seemed nervous — he made some valid points, but his delivery was poor and rather weak.”
Next up is our gal from Georgia who says she is a Vivek fan. Many Americans agreed with her. A New York Post-Leger survey found 23% of Republicans said Ramaswamy won Wednesday’s debate. DeSantis followed him with 21%. She wrote:
“Vivek is an outsider and has a new edge – kind of similar to what I liked about Trump. He seemed to know the issues and was specific as well as controversial.
Chris Christie is a pompous ass and anybody who rags on Trump is somebody I’m not even going to listen to. Pence was boring. Tim Scott was a little flat, even though I liked him prior to the debate. For his part, DeSantis was assertive but nothing he said really stood out for me. Finally, I had a good impression of Nikki Haley – especially on the topic of climate change.”
Our fourth participant, who agreed to be part of the LN focus group, lives on the Sun Coast of Florida and has a master’s degree in library science. Her comments reveal her to be one very observant lady:
“Vivek Ramaswamy tried to answer some of those hidden questions Americans may have about an Indian being president. Is he conservative? Is he a man of faith? Is he someone who will do the right thing? Or will he become a diabolical Democrat when he gets into office? I think he knows the difficulties that he’s facing. And he’s trying to readjust people’s ideas about who or what he stands for.
Nikki Haley pulled out her trump card with that Thatcher quote. She sounded like an honest broker. She came off as very sensible on the issue of abortion. It was good that she appeared even and not hot-headed – even when she took on Vivek.
As for Mike Pence. I’m afraid I have to disagree with him. I do think we have a national identity crisis. I think Pence is out of touch with young people today. And I think he’s way off base in this area, and it smacks of an older generation.
So Pence was talking government, and Vivek was talking people, and you always win when you talk people, not government.
DeSantis had a clever strategy of letting everybody else have their say, and then he would come in and bring order and reason to the discussion. He sounded good and made sense for people who watched the debate.”
When asked who won the debate, three in our focus group said DeSantis and one Ramaswamy. The next Republican debate will be held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA, on Sept. 27.
Liberty Nation Today:
Bidenomics Adds $1 Trillion to Debt in Three Months – Swamponomics - The national debt, stagflation, and beef. - Read Now!
ABC Poll Sends Democrats Into Orbit - As Yogi Berra used to say, it’s getting late early for Joe Biden. - Read Now!
Is Sending US Military Advisors to Ukraine a Good Idea? - The notion of sending Kyiv US on-the-ground trainers is growing. - Read Now!
Boston U Anti-Racism Center Blows $40 Million in Three Years - Nothing of substance produced and now a newspaper is investigating. - Read Now!
NFL to Bud Light: “Hold My Beer” - Some folks just refuse to learn from the mistakes of others. - Read Now!