How This Debate Was Different
To say a Republican debate during this cycle didn’t have much substance has become quite repetitive. However, this debate saw Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Florida Senator Marco Rubio attack Business Mogul Donald Trump relentlessly. This debate featured more personal attacks than debates around the issues that would effect the lives of American citizens. The debate became so attacked orientated that Doctor Ben Carson asked to be attacked in order to receive more time to speak.
You’re the only person on this stage that’s ever been fined for hiring people to work on your project illegally. – Florida Senator Marco Rubio, commenting on Trump hiring undocumented Polish workers
Here’s an account of what really happened documented from Michael Daly at The Daily Beast.
The 200 demolition workers—nicknamed the Polish Brigade because of their home country—worked 12-hour shifts, seven days a week with no overtime to knock down the old Bonwit Teller building and make room for Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
According to testimony in a protracted civil suit in federal court, the laborers were paid $5 an hour or less when they were paid at all. Some went unpaid after the contractor had financial troubles. A few never received even the paltry sum that was owed them for their dirty and hazardous efforts preceding the construction of Trump’s monument to his own wealth.
“They were undocumented and worked ‘off the books,’” Manhattan federal Judge Charles Stewart said of the workers after they became the subject of a 1983 lawsuit. “No records were kept, no Social Security or other taxes were withheld.”
It’s unclear how much Trump paid the workers as a legal settlement was sealed by the courts. This was just one of many attacks lobbied against Trump throughout the night.
Those paying close attention have been criticizing Trumps healthcare stance, much like the rest of the Republican Party he has not laid out a specific plan if they were able to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Yet, his lack of substantive knowledge on policy proposals was on clear display during this portion of the debate and allowed Senator Cruz to capitalize.
Donald Trump was not nearly as effective dealing with the constant attacks from the two Senators as he has been throughout the election cycle. By the end of the debate Trump seemed tired and slightly rattled from the nights proceedings.
Does This Debate Change Anything
By itself this debate will not remove Trump’s substantial lead nationally or in individual states. However, it could begin to cast doubt in the Republican Party base about the viability of Donald Trump going forward. The debate may have been the end of Governor John Kasich’s campaign as his message of hope and positivity has not resonated after New Hampshire. Doctor Ben Carson also was phased out on the debate stage.
Cenk Uygur and John Iadarola from The Young Turks broke down the debate highlighting the attacks from Rubio and Cruz towards Donald Trump.
If this is going to be a foreshadowing to future Republican debates, it’s clear that Donald Trump will have to improve upon his debate preparation just to insure his large lead remains so. As stated earlier, it still may be too late for the nomination to be taken from Trump.
This was by far the best moderated Republican debate by objectivity. Wolf Blitzer, Dana Bash, Hugh Hewitt, and Celeste Arraras provided follow up questions and attempted to hold candidates true to the record during various portions of the debate. While far from perfect, their performance allowed for viewers to gain some clarity on candidates policy positions and potential proposals.
In typical Trump fashion he took to Twitter to deliver a subtle attack on Senator Rubio and to give himself credit for his performance.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 26, 2016
Expect to see a lot of banter between Cruz, Rubio, and Trump before the Super Tuesday contests on March 1st.