Marco Rubio, the rising star in the Republican field, put in another impressive performance in last night’s Wall Street Journal and Fox Business TV debate.
One unusual aspect of the debate was the appearance of Gerard Baker as a moderator. The editor of the WSJ (and my old boss) was the first ever British moderator in such a debate. And what a bloody good, refreshingly British job he did. At one point the producer tried to go to the adverts (commercials) and put up the music. Gerry kept going with his interrogation, quite rightly. The music faded out. Where we were watching the debate cries of “go, Gerry” were heard from the Brits in the audience.
This was a proper debate with good questions. It was a real test of the candidates on substantive matters.
1) Rubio’s answers were crisp. He made the most sense and looked like a nominee. He was impressive.
2) Trump was downright embarrassing, and badly exposed by being in a serious debate. His observations at various points descended into the ludicrous. On defence, he had met a General recently who was “up on all that stuff we’re talking about.” His turns of phrase were dire. At one point he talked about numbers and said: “He made it a 10% number.” This is not the way a serious person talks, never mind a President.
3) Trump’s attack on Carly Fiorina backfired, again. He asked why “she” kept interrupting. It sounded ungallant and borderline sexist. Bad look.
4) Carson was not very impressive. His closing statement bordered on the bizarre. He’s fading.
Result? A win for Marco Rubio.