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Best Tweets Of The Third Republican Debate


Last night’s Republican debate in Boulder, Colorado, began as the previous two did, with an “undercard” debate featuring those candidates whose polling numbers are not in the top ten. Interest was somewhat muted:

But there was some action! As he did last time, Bobby Jindal stood head and shoulders above the group:

Well, not literally:

Lindsay Graham, for his part, stuck to his core strength: the military:

Rick Santorum promised to shrink government, then defended the Export-Import Bank:

George Pataki was also there:

But the real show was the main debate, and the top story there was, as predicted, the moderators:

Even on the Left, no one thought CNBC covered themselves in glory:

Some of the candidates were quick to use the situation to their advantage:

This could have been predicted, and, in fact, was.

As to the candidates themselves, Jeb Bush clashed with his one-time protege, Marco Rubio. Bush attacked Rubio for missing votes in the Senate while campaigning. Rubio’s response was impressive:

Bush stayed fairly quiet for the rest of the night. His total speaking time was among the lowest of all candidates.

Rubio, on the other hand, went from strength to strength, even when the moderators mischaracterized his positions:

Donald Trump and Ben Carson, the two frontrunners, were not as prominent as might have been expected. When they did talk, it wasn’t necessarily in response to the moderators’ questions:

Trump again characterized his business experience in Atlantic City as a success, despite his businesses’ bankruptcies and the steep decline of that city’s fortunes:

He also created an air of mystery about whether he carries a pistol.

But does he have one on him now? Impossible to say:

John Kasich’s response to Carson and Trump was exasperation:

But mostly he behaved like this.

Mike Huckabee veered into the absurd, first praising Trump’s clothing line…

…and then getting apocalyptic:

Christie put his expertise in yelling to good use, turning on the moderators…

…encouraging civility…

…and mocking the idea that the federal government should regulate fantasy football:

Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul got less of the attention, but did themselves no harm:

Ted Cruz showed his skill as a debater and may have improved his situation, even among those inclined to dislike him:

In the end, Rubio and Cruz appear to have had the best night. Bush and Trump suffered the most among the candidates, but the real losers were the CNBC moderators. Let’s end with a few more tweets about them:

(I voted for pie.)