Talk:2016 presidential debates

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Fifth Presidential Debate

Many heated, even angry, moments in this final GOP debate of 2015.


  • Rand Paul - strong support in the audience, and delivered effective zingers against Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, and the neocons
  • Jeb Bush - told Trump off by repeatedly saying Trump is not going to insult his way to the presidency
  • Ben Carson - clever "moment of silence" in his opening statement, good humor throughout the debate, and a strong closing


  • Marco Rubio - brought down by Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, and seemed rattled by it
  • Donald Trump - too little on substance and could not even answer a simple question about the Nuclear Triad
  • Ted Cruz - articulate, but very hawkish and went so far over his allotted talking time, despte requests to stop, that it was unsettling
  • Chris Christie - harped too much about being a former prosecutor, as though that is training to be president

Second Presidential Debate

Lots of personal zingers, and Donald Trump started the fracas.


  • Mike Huckabee - articulate, passionate, and humorous
  • Scott Walker - asserted himself more than in the first debate, but appeared slightly uncomfortable
  • Ted Cruz - clear and strong; his approach to judicial supremacy is to appoint better judges
  • Carly Fiorina - handled inhuman pressure well, but humorless throughout the entire debate
  • Ben Carson - soft-spoken and professional, with humor in calling Trump an "OK doctor"
  • Rand Paul - handled Trump's put-down well; emphasized his opposition to the Iraq War, but got surprisingly little applause for it


  • Donald Trump - over the top on the insults, seemed nasty, also appeared fatigued simply from standing for a few hours
  • Jeb Bush - lost big on immigration issues, but did score some points in the likability category
  • Marco Rubio - lack of presence, and got zinged when Trump pointed out his terrible voting record in the U.S. Senate
  • Chris Christie - too unlikable and abrasive
  • John Kasich - old and liberal on social issues, maybe he should run as a Dem instead

Warm-up debate

Bobby Jindal scores points for his sharp criticisms of Donald Trump, while Rick Santorum does well on substance.--Andy Schlafly (talk) 19:28, 16 September 2015 (EDT)

Jindal and Santorum were the most coherent and conservative, while George Pataki was a distant third and Lindsey Graham relied on silly statements about how his parents ran a pool hall.--Andy Schlafly (talk) 19:28, 16 September 2015 (EDT)

Ranking of winners in Warm-Up Debate:

  1. Rick Santorum - compelling stance against judicial supremacy
  2. Bobby Jindal - strong outside-the-Beltway message
  3. George Pataki - a judicial supremacist
  4. Lindsey Graham - we don't care if your parents owned a pool hall

First Presidential Debate


  • Marco Rubio - good humor on question about God, looks great on television, has youth and warmth, but seemed unclear about his own stance on exceptions to being pro-life
  • Mike Huckabee - passionate with humor. including doing well on social issues like criticizing the transgender social experiment in the military
  • Jeb Bush - held his own, though his summation was not as strong as others
  • Scott Walker - good humor and youth, but appeared too ordinary and bemused to be taken seriously
  • Rand Paul - stood out among the large crowd of candidates, which helps him with his base
  • Ben Carson - sincerity and intelligence were compelling, but he was so non-political that voters may think he is too good to be in politics
  • Carly Fiorina - won the less-watched debate earlier in the evening, which could propel her into the top tier of candidates[1]


  • Donald Trump - hurt by Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee (in a clever way), and by the moderators, Trump clowned around and finished with a flat summation
  • John Kasich - appeared a bit shaky in his responses, and ended his chances by bragging about attending a homosexual marriage recently
  • Chris Christie - lashed out at Rand Paul and displayed a meanness that hurts him in the South and Midwest
  • Ted Cruz - failed to stand out, and the moderators told him to stand down when he tried to jump in; was robotic and grim
  • Rick Perry - Ronald Raven gaffe further damaged his credibility
  • Fox News Channel - won the battle for ratings but lost credibility as a news organization for being so partisan for its agenda, which included Megyn Kelly stridently pushing the feminist agenda, and refusing to allow conservatives to address the homosexual agenda that Fox favors
  • Hillary Clinton - the record-breaking audience of 24 million for a debate that did not include Hillary was a huge negative for her
  • Barack Obama - already at least 24 million people are more interested in the next president than in hearing what Obama has to say
  • Megyn Kelly - for being more one-sided in pushing the feminist ideology than even Katie Couric was

General comments

A big stage with the most conservative field in history. Donald Trump looks ready to be outspoken!--Andy Schlafly (talk) 21:03, 6 August 2015 (EDT)

Lively crowd, and provocative questions by Fox News. It's a remarkably entertaining debate so far.--Andy Schlafly (talk) 21:15, 6 August 2015 (EDT)

You will never witness Democrats getting unflattering questions from their media mouthpieces or from Fox, just softballs. I am not sure what to think at this point, uncomfortable albeit entertaining.--Jpatt (talk) 21:35, 6 August 2015 (EDT)
Fox News is asking tough questions. Dems would never get such difficult questions.
I enjoyed the confrontation between Chris Christie and Rand Paul!--Andy Schlafly (talk) 21:42, 6 August 2015 (EDT)

80 minutes into the debate, there have been no questions by the pro-homosexual agenda Fox News Channel about same-sex marriage. Will it avoid this central issue entirely?--Andy Schlafly (talk) 22:21, 6 August 2015 (EDT)

The issue final comes up near the end, posed to the candidate who is the most liberal on the issue: John Kasich, who said he recently attended a same-sex marriage!--Andy Schlafly (talk) 22:31, 6 August 2015 (EDT)
The moderator then asked Rand Paul, perhaps the second most liberal candidate on the marriage issue, for his reaction. The conservatives never had an opportunity to address the homosexual agenda.--Andy Schlafly (talk) 22:35, 6 August 2015 (EDT)
I don't think that any of the candidates satisfactorily answered questions on one of the most important issues, THE ECONOMY (although some of the questions asked in this area where lacking). If a candidate want's to be President, they need to have a clear vision for the economy and not run away or change the topic whenever it is mentioned. FFAF (talk) 23:26, 6 August 2015 (EDT)
The U.S. federal government debt is $154,161 per taxpayer. That is about 5.7 years income for the average American. The American public at large wants to kick this can down the road and that is why they elected Obama twice. So it is no surprise that most of the candidates offered no satisfactory solution. Slashing the military/entitlements and having people work harder is a hard sell. Conservative (talk) 10:29, 7 August 2015 (EDT)
After watching the entire performance, it was more reality show than substance. This country is teetering and many questions were designed for show. I thought this analysis was objective. [1] Trump taken out of context on sexual innuendo remarks, just like the liberal media do. [2] --Jpatt (talk) 23:04, 7 August 2015 (EDT)
I agree. Your link to an analysis by Hawkins has some superb insights. The candidates were terrific, but Fox News was disappointing. It essentially ambushed Donald Trump and, while that was entertaining, it did not seem to be even-handed. There was not enough substance in the debate, and there could have been because the field is so strong.--Andy Schlafly (talk) 23:22, 7 August 2015 (EDT)

2nd debate popularity remains strong. I did not watch but I read the replies. It seems like solid answers came across. Too much egging on each other. Too many fluff questions like your secret service name or who do you want on the $10 bill. Also, they need to limit the amount of candidates on stage to five. --Jpatt (talk) 14:11, 17 September 2015 (EDT)

Great observations. The large number of candidates on stage (11 this time) is a distraction which seems to diminish the impact of the debate.--Andy Schlafly (talk) 14:44, 17 September 2015 (EDT)

Happy Hour

Should we also include a roundup of the performance of the candidates in the prior 'happy hour' debate ? FFAF (talk) 23:12, 6 August 2015 (EDT)

Please add your comments about the warm-up debate!--Andy Schlafly (talk) 23:40, 6 August 2015 (EDT)