Liveblogging Tonight's CNN GOP Town Hall
And that's a wrap. Final thoughts: Carson did really well, Rubio talked way too fast, and Cruz was far too wonky for the average voter. Cruz wins in the personable category, Rubio seemed more polished, and Carson more down-to-earth.
Also, bears! And the Jedi Council. But seriously, bears are a big health problem, guys -- and Ben Carson knows how to stitch you up. Just don't tell him I said that...
Cruz mentioned it with Anderson Cooper! This hilarious badass picture:
— Ms. Entropy (@MsEntropy) February 16, 2016
"What's your favorite cocktail?"
"I'm a scotch man." That's not a cocktail!
— Scotsman (@TheScotsman) February 16, 2016
Cruz on appealing to young people -- we have to tell how the Obama economy is "Obamacare is a huge wealth transfer from young healthy people to everybody else." He's not wrong.
Cruz on the Reagan revolution in 1980 -- "You think they dislike me? They hated Reagan with the head of a thousand white-hot suns." Reagan tried to primary a sitting President.
And this gem: "You cannot find a Republican who doesn't have Reagan tattooed somewhere on his body."
— BlueCollar News (@jjmalicek) February 3, 2016
Cruz's Bible quoting game is on point. When people are being unkind to you, be kind back -- it's like heaping coals on their head.
On drafting daughters:
— CNN (@CNN) February 18, 2016
Unfortunately this is right on.
#GOPTownHall Cruz gets too deep into policy for the electorate to stay interested. And his answers are rambling and WAY too long.
— J. Riley (@JohnRileyy) February 18, 2016
Cruz tries his line about Trump and Rubio -- "Whenever anyone points to their actual record, they start screaming 'Liar, Liar, Liar!'"
Video of Cruz's hit on Trump:
And on not nominating a Supreme Court justice in an election year, it may not be a spoken tradition, but it's precedent.
Cruz speaks of a non-existent tradition on not confirming SCOTUS justices in an election year. https://t.co/8Wjlf4lIdj— PolitiFact (@PolitiFact) February 18, 2016
Ted Cruz gives Scalia tremendous praise: "Like Ronald Reagan was to the Presidency, so Justice Scalia was to the Supreme Court."
"I think 2016 should be a referendum on the Supreme Court," Cruz adds.
On Cruz's earlier hit on Trump -- "You can never write off the possibility of Donald Trump suing you."
Ted Cruz just burned Donald Trump and was actually likable about it. #GOPTownHall
— Kevin Boyd (@kevinboyd1984) February 18, 2016
Cruz has to defend that he's a "natural born citizen" to a questioner in South Carolina. This is a dumb question, all Trump's fault. Cruz lists John McCain, and Mitt Romney's father George, who are natural born citizens, even though they were born outside the U.S.
"I've never breathed a breath of air on this planet when I was not a U.S. citizen."
On Trump's potential suit: "You can never write off the possibility of Donald Trump suing you." YES!
— Chris Mundy (@mundyspeaks) February 17, 2016
Ted Cruz really understands the way fluctuations in the dollar's value makes a difference in global markets. Also explains what the American energy market needs - government not to pick winners and losers.
And in more serious matters:
— The Onion (@TheOnion) February 17, 2016
Cruz lists defending Christian values (among them the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial) before the Supreme Court, and winning. I wonder if Obama should nominate him to the Supreme Court...
Obama should just nominate Ted Cruz to the Supreme Court and then hold him to his filibuster threat.
— Bob Schooley (@Rschooley) February 15, 2016
Or would Hillary nominate Obama?
— Jake Browatzke (@jakebrowatzke) February 17, 2016
Speaker before @tedcruz in Anderson, S.C., suggests Obama will nominate a Sharia law supporter to the Supreme Court
— Patrick Svitek (@PatrickSvitek) February 17, 2016
"I like Donald, but I don't think his policy positions make any sense," Cruz says about Trump.
Trump called for impeaching George W. Bush, but Cruz notes that the Donald did not list one "high crimes or misdemeanors."
On Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty, Cruz tells a pastor, "Don't listen to what any of us say. Use the Biblical criterion -- you shall know them by their fruits."
— PJ Media (@PJMedia_com) February 17, 2016
Cruz says he will rebuild the military like Reagan: Reagan started with tax reform and regulation reform which led to economic growth. This meant taking in more in taxes, and then more military investment.
"I'm the father of two daughters -- I think women can do anything, but the idea of drafting women is ridiculous."
On a separate note.
Cruz: Oh I don't sing music.
Anderson: What do you sing?
Cruz: The Constitution #GOPTownHall
— Cassie Brooksbank (@cbrooksbank) February 18, 2016
Heidi Cruz is "beautiful, she's brilliant, she's an accomplished businesswoman," says Ted. With a heart for economic development - helping lift people out of poverty by starting small businesses.
"School choice is the Civil Rights issue of the 21st Century!" Amen.
Liberals, go home. You're drunk.
Ben Carson’s parable about the guy getting mauled by a bear was an inadvertent critique of conservatism. https://t.co/1JxYJYWcEB
— New Republic (@NewRepublic) February 18, 2016
Now here's a good question.
— Dave Siegel (@StandUpDave) February 18, 2016
"Apple has a serious argument," Cruz says, but "law enforcement has the better argument" because it applies only to the one phone, involved in the San Bernardino attacks. Compares it to a legal search warrant.
This, also, is important.
WE DON'T NEED BOTH LLAMAS AND ALPACAS
— Bernie Thoughts (@berniethoughts) February 14, 2016
"We're seeing that old Reagan coalition come together," Cruz says about his new lead in recent national poll.
"We won among conservatives evangelicals, Reagan Democrats, and young people."
This is interesting, on that theme.
— Crowdpac (@Crowdpac) February 18, 2016
Rush Limbaugh Argues that Cruz is the Closest thing to Reagan We’ve Ever Seen
— Paul Kent (@kentpg) February 13, 2016
Texas Senator Ted Cruz will be on shortly. He'll likely mention this.
— PJ Media (@PJMedia_com) February 17, 2016
— PJ Media (@PJMedia_com) February 18, 2016
"An American President has to love the American people, even those who don't love you back," declares Rubio. "Even if you don't vote for me, I'll cut your taxes." Good lines.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) February 18, 2016
And this is why Rubio is called a robot.
— TrivWorks (@TrivWorks) February 18, 2016
Such a solid answer on refugees from Rubio:
Rubio notes that Reagan did not face the Islamic State which uses immigration to invade other countries. "We lock our doors not because we hate the people outside our home but because we love the people inside our home." Great line.
"It's not about a religious test...it's that we have to be 100 percent right" that the refugees are properly vetted.
— Jay W. Richards (@FreemarketJay) February 18, 2016
Rubio just said this, and it's awesome -- "The Fed is not a Jedi Council."
Rubio endorsing rules based monetary policy: "the fed is not the Jedi council". @marcorubio where do you stand on Order 66?
— Modeled Behavior (@ModeledBehavior) February 18, 2016
— mookie kong (@ultramookie) February 12, 2016
Anderson Cooper asks "have you ever felt the sting of racism?"
Rubio recalls an instance of being treated differently, but said his parents "never raised us to feel that we were victims."
He notes that an Indian-American Governor just endorsed a Hispanic Senator, and will campaign with a Black Republican Senator tomorrow.
Young Indian-American female governor joins young black Senator in endorsing young Latino Senator for president in Deep South state. #GOP
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) February 17, 2016
And here's an idea:
— Onion Politics (@OnionPolitics) February 17, 2016
Rubio takes both sides of the race -- police issue seriously.
More on Rubio's 15 years of accomplishment:
— Eric Teetsel (@EricTeetsel) February 18, 2016
And here's a harrowing upcoming film.
— The AV Club (@TheAVClub) February 17, 2016
Marco Rubio claims he reformed Eminent Domain and reduced property taxes in Florida. "I have 15 years of experience changing conservative ideas into action," and he's listing them off.
"But my campaign is not about the past, it's about the future."
In other news, James Dobson just attacked him as unreliable on gay marriage and abortion.
— PJ Media (@PJMedia_com) February 17, 2016
Strong Rubio talking point, but debatable.
"I may not be as old as some of the people running, but I have the most experience on foreign policy and national security." - @marcorubio
— Garrett Ventry (@GarrettVentry) February 18, 2016
Marco's serious weakness -- he talks WAY too fast.
Marco Rubio is a fast-talker. He's ripping at least 230 words per minute right now on CNN. He sounds guilty of something or worse canned.
— Rick Tyler (@rickwtyler) February 18, 2016
Rubio says he is the only one addressing student debt, because he recently paid off his college loans with book sales. His education plan:
1. Alternative accrediting -- break the monopoly on education standards.
2. Alternative to student loans -- student investment plan. Companies would invest in your college, taking the risk of your education on them.
3. Income based repayment of student loans -- keeps students from defaulting.
4. "Right to know before you go" -- schools have to tell you how much people make when they graduate from that school with that major.
And when it comes to Nikki Haley, she's got...style?
— Paul Green (@bigsexy_tote) February 18, 2016
Rubio says we have to secure the border before other immigration reform policies. "No progress will be made on immigration in this country until we can prove to the American people" that the border is secure, the wall is built, and we have E-Verify.
Rubio on expanding the Republican Party:
A voter asked me about expanding the Republican party to reach more people. This is how I responded: https://t.co/hMY0j6hKMm
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 16, 2016
Rubio says he likes the term "Marcomentum." He beats Trump in a hypothetical head-to-head, but that's not what the race looks like.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 17, 2016
Rubio also repeats his accusation that Cruz is a liar.
Carson is done. Waiting for Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who was recently endorsed by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.
Rush Limbaugh says Rubio has what it takes.
Ben Carson says medical care isn't what it used to be. Make Healthcare Great Again!
Ben Carson plays pool -- good to know. He likes Classical/Baroque music.
I really think Ben Carson is the most soothing person to listen to on television since Bob Ross.
— Jim Maiella (@jimmaiella) February 18, 2016
Ben Carson with a great explanation for how he could face a blustering Democrat -- speak softly and people will be quiet to listen to you. This town hall shows he's right on.
Ben Carson "would relish running against either" Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.
Ben Carson has hit on broken homes. Here's more on why we should discuss the important issue of fatherlessness. From our own Leslie Loftis:
Fatherlessness is on the rise. It is causally linked to an array of social risk factors. While there are success stories in single parent households, children raised without a father in the home are more at risk for dropping out of school, using drugs, having emotional problems, and becoming involved in crime, just to name a few.
— PJ Media (@PJMedia_com) February 17, 2016
More on da BEARS!!!!
The scourge of political correctness.
#prt More important question: Why is Ben Carson demonizing the entire bear community??— Mike (@forbesmm) February 18, 2016
"We are so busily giving away our dignity, our values, and our principles for political correctness," Ben Carson declares. Solid line. He also is not looking for a cabinet position.
Ben Carson says he's "not looking for a job," when asked if he'd consider a cabinet level appointment.
— Rick Folbaum (@RickFolbaum) February 18, 2016
And he may or may not have JUST released his energy policy...
Proud to release my energy policy which will foster growth and ensure our energy security for generations to come. https://t.co/Hie0fKyJOG
— Dr. Ben Carson (@RealBenCarson) February 17, 2016
"We've had guns for hundreds of years, and we've been free for hundreds of years." Um, yes. We've also had pancakes for hundreds of years. Oh, and we've had big government for thousands of years until the Constitution...
So the bear thing keeps coming up.
— My Info (@kiturahdoward) February 18, 2016
But in other news, Carson finally has a congressional endorsement!
Ben Carson gets his first congressional endorsement https://t.co/5Ic3aKKtei
— Juan Silva (@jnmnlslv) February 17, 2016
"Our system was designed for citizen statesmen, for people who have real life experience and translate that to government work." Now Carson is discovering his voice on national TV -- and it's good. I'm glad he doesn't have Trump interrupting him here.
"We the people have the responsibility to take care of the indigent in our society -- it's not the government's job." Carson nails the "least of these" question.
Then he says "when somebody got killed by a bear, people took care of their family." All I can think of is this.
Putin rides a bear pic.twitter.com/wECEU6WYpU
— Craig Fielding (@FieldingCraig) February 10, 2016
Carson says Americans need to get over their distrust of the government. Really?
— Nicholas James (@rodrignj) February 18, 2016
Right on about the Supreme Court though -- it was not meant to be partisan. That's the fault of the Progressive ideology, by the way.
Anderson Cooper introduces Ben Carson first. So these are one-on-one.
"Brain surgery is a lot harder" than politics, Carson says.
Meanwhile, here are some of Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominees:
— Bosworth (@sirbosworth) February 18, 2016
And the three Republican candidates are still "about to take the stage."
Meanwhile, on the Twitters:
And a shameless plug.
CNN Town Hall still has yet to start, but CNN has noted Ted Cruz's lead in the new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. For the first time, Cruz is ahead of Trump, 28 percent to 26 percent.
New: Cruz overtakes Trump in latest WSJ/NBC News poll:
— Capital Journal (@WSJPolitics) February 17, 2016