Live Blog | The First Republican Presidential Debate

8:05 p.m. – Welcome to my live blog of the first Republican presidential debate.

Tonight, the top ten Republican presidential candidates will take part in the first presidential debate of the 2016 election cycle. And while there is no guarantee that this debate will be particularly informative on who I vote for, it is sure to be entertaining. Anyway, being as its the first major political broadcast since I started blogging, I will be live blogging my thoughts on the debate and points that the candidates make. I hope you enjoy!

8:30 p.m. – Tonight’s debate participants, by poll ratings, are
Donald Trump, real estate mogul – 23.2%
Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida – 12.8%
Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin – 10.6%
Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas – 6.6%
Ben Carson, former neurosurgeon – 6.6%
Ted Cruz, junior Senator from Texas – 6.2%
Marco Rubio, junior Senator from Florida – 5.2%
Rand Paul, junior Senator from Kentucky – 4.8%
Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey – 3.4%
John Kasich, Governor of Ohio – 2.8%

8:41 p.m. – Personally, I am most interested in what John Kasich has to say. His record as the governor of Ohio intrigues me and his words concerning how his faith affects his views, particularly towards the poor, really struck a chord with me. I am wary of how moderate he might actually be because his moderate record only really begins after he got trounced by a public referendum, but if his views have truly changed since then, I may actually consider voting for him. That being said, #GiveMeBiden

8:58 p.m. – These announcers are just making this so much more awkward than this needs to be.

9:03 p.m. – Kasich has some major home field advantage here.

9:06 p.m. –  THE DONALD STRIKES. Gotta love how Trump just shakes off Rand Paul talking about him buying other politicians.

9:08 p.m. – Do you think Marco Rubio has a bottle of water ready behind his podium?

9:16 p.m. – Chris Christie came to fight. That statistics monologue was impressive.

9:22 p.m. – Kasich seemed nervous, but I liked his points about how expanding Medicaid, though it may cost some money, is cheaper than the alternatives like emergency medical treatment and prisons.

9:26 p.m. – Trump’s comments about the media hurt me a little. haha At least he has charisma.

9:32 p.m. – Kasich totally dodged that question on immigration reform. It could be the debate format or lack of time, but I don’t like that we didn’t get a straight answer.

9:34 p.m. – Everyone is just dodging giving a real, specific policy-based answer on immigration reform.

9:39 p.m. – Loving this exchange between Chris Christie and Rand Paul.

9:42 p.m. – Ted Cruz feeding off Islamophobia right now. Calling the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs a speaker of nonsense is pretty intense. I guess the Inquisition and the Crusades were totally morally justified too.

9:45 p.m. – What a great dodge by Scott Walker. He probably couldn’t name a country not in the US-led coalition against the war on terror and masterfully shifted to his opposition to the Iran deal.

9:45 p.m. – “Carson doesn’t believe in fighting stupid wars.” Not sure anyone does, but a great line.

9:47 p.m. – “You’re having a hard time tonight.” – Trump to Paul. Awesome.

9:49 p.m. – I love how many times the Donald talks about how much he has given to other politicians, including the people on the stage.

9:52 p.m. – Note to self. Ben Carson supports a flat tax.

10:03 p.m. – Kasich noted the need for a strong economy and a balanced budget, but made a point to say that we need to remember to look after those who are often forgotten including minority communities. Wants to keep the American Dream alive and make everyone feel “the miracle” can apply to them. In case you haven’t noticed. Me likey.

10:06 p.m. – “No, he’s not lying. He’s just wrong.” Christie about Huckabee on entitlement reform.

10:12 p.m. – Consumption based taxing is a great experiment that fascinates me, but I’m not sure I want to try it out in America. That’s a pretty big policy change regarding taxes.

10:16 p.m. – “We need to repeal and replace Dodd-Frank.” – Marco Rubio. Nope. Not a fan of that idea at all.

10:30 p.m. – “Just because we don’t agree with them, doesn’t mean we can’t love them… God gives me unconditional love, I’m going to give it to my friends and my family and the people around me.” – Kasich. This guy is speaking my language right now.

10:41 p.m. – The debate is really slowing down in this second half. Not many policy points, more just reactions to points made by announcers.

10:42 p.m. – Mr, Walker, that point about Hillary Clinton is void because they were attacks on public servers, not her own personal servors. Nice applause line though.

10:43 p.m. – “The purpose of the military is to kill people and break things.” – Mike Huckabee

10:45 p.m. – Loving how Christie is pitching specific numbers and policy ideas. An area in which the other candidates have lacked so far.

10:46 p.m. – Ted Cruz tried to be a gentleman and ask permission to respond to something and Fox News said NO. Ted Cruz should no better than to ask for permission in a debate like this.

10:56 p.m. – Disappointed that none of the Republicans answered that last question about Holy Calling with Matthew 22:37-40 which says, “And he said to him,’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.'”

11:03 p.m. – Just following closing statements and I think Bush did a good job in coming off as the sensible alternative to Trump and the more extreme candidates.

11:06 p.m. – First debate officially over. Oddly enough, I think the two people lowest in the polls performed the best. Kasich said some things I really liked, Christie impressed me, and Bush did his job and came off as sensible. Those three are probably the three likeliest candidates I would vote for on the Republican side of the field, but we have 11 more of these to go. Game on.
Thanks for hearing me out tonight. This is Ben signing off for the night. Good night everyone.

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