Saturday’s GOP Debate: More like a comedy act

2/14/16 GOP Debate Review- Flickr Photo

Story by Jordan Peffley // Contributing Writer | Photo by Flickr

Saturday night’s Republican debate in Greenville, South Carolina, turned into an all-out verbal brawl, resulting in most of the candidates competing for who could yell the loudest insult into the microphone.

As the name-calling and shouting matches climaxed, the crowd had grown just as uproarious as the candidates, causing this presidential debate to look more like an episode of The Jerry Springer Show.

A red-faced Donald Trump stole the spotlight for most of the night by calling Texas Sen. Ted Cruz “the single biggest liar” and “a nasty guy,” blaming George W. Bush for the Sept. 11 attacks and announcing to his Republican voters that he believes Planned Parenthood does “wonderful things.”

After Trump compared himself and his changing political views to Ronald Reagan, Jeb Bush eventually won praise from the crowd by discussing Reagan’s conservatism and saying, “He didn’t tear down people like Donald Trump does; he tore down the Berlin Wall.”

One of the most entertaining moments of the broadcast happened during a showdown between Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Rubio responded to Cruz’s criticism of a comment he made in Spanish during a Univision interview by saying, “I don’t know how (Cruz) knows what I said on Univision because he doesn’t speak Spanish,” after which Cruz immediately started yelling at him in crude Spanish. (A rough translation of Cruz’s comeback: “If you want to tell them now, say it in Spanish, if you want.”)

As usual, Ben Carson didn’t say much, except to shamelessly promote his website almost every time he was asked a question. Even when Cruz referenced the time Trump called Carson “pathological” and compared him to a child molester, he still patiently waited to be called on before he spoke. He didn’t fail to make heads turn, though, as he quoted Joseph Stalin during his closing statement. Carson’s inability to impress makes it seem his time in this campaign is running out.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich spoke the least during the debate, but in the midst of the personal attacks flying across the room, he pretty much summed up the night by saying, “I think we’re fixing to lose the election to Hillary Clinton if we don’t stop this,” and presented his “adult” plan on immigration.

Opinions on Judge Scalia’s replacement, eminent domain and Medicaid were all but drowned out by the endless bickering. In the aftermath of this debate, nobody is discussing what the candidates’ opinions on certain topics are; they’re discussing the most entertaining showdowns that took place. After this train wreck, the Democrats have a definite upper hand.

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