Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist, joined “The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson” on Fox News to give each of the GOP candidates some last-minute advice before they step onto the debate stage tonight.
Donald Trump’s refusal to participate in the debate has freed up the stage for seven of the other leading GOP candidates. Because Ted Cruz will be at the center of the stage due to his high polling numbers, he will face much more scrutiny than the other candidates, Domenech said.
“The need for him is to be positive and to look like a leader despite the fact that he’s going to get all that flak coming at him,” he said.
Domenech suggested that Marco Rubio should emphasize his faith, as it resonates with evangelical voters he needs to woo to do well in the Iowa caucus next week.
“He’s had some really good moments recently on the trail combating with folks on the issues of faith, and I think that would really help him in Iowa,” he said.
The best thing Ben Carson can do tonight is to stay awake, as he has gained a reputation of being a bore during debates, while John Kasich would benefit from cooling down and playing nice.
“He needs to really lighten up,” he said. “He can come across like a little bit of a jerk sometimes, and I think that if he has a little bit more positivity it would help him.”
Rand Paul is in a unique position to emphasize his cautious foreign policy views, as he has had little opportunity to do that this season, Domenech said.
Chris Christie needs to remind people why he’s on the stage tonight.
“He really benefits by being the kind of guy who has a tone that’s like Trump,” he said. “But with a resume that’s a little bit more presidential.”
Domenech’s final words of advice were for Jeb Bush: “Jeb doesn’t do attacks well,” he said. “I think he really should just focus on himself in this debate.”