California There They Go
SIMI VALLEY, CA —
A fired up field of candidates came out swinging in CNN's GOP debate at the Reagan Presidential Library. Who emerged victorious Wednesday night and who fell flat?
There were some winners Wednesday night and those candidates who may have their work cut out for them.
Early poll results from Newsmax viewers has Donald Trump winning with nearly 46% of respondents followed by Carly Fiorina, with 20 percent. Despite a more subdued Trump, he didn't hold back in his attacks. This time against his former nemesis from debate 1 Senator Rand Paul.
Senator Paul: "I'm concerned about his [Trump] being in charge of nuclear weapons, because I think his response---his visceral response---is to attack people on their appearance. Short, tall, fat, and ugly."
Donald Trump: "I never attacked him on his looks and believe me, there's plenty of subject matter there."
Much of the buzz centered around Carly Fiorina. Those keeping score declared her the clear winner of the debate, especially when it came to Russian President Vladimir Putin. "I wouldn't talk to him at all. We talked too much to him," said Fiorina. "What I would do immediately would be to rebuild the 6th fleet. I would begin building the missile defense program in Poland. I would conduct regular aggressive military exercises in the Baltic States. I'd probably send a few thousand more troops into Germany."
The third winner of the debate seems open-ended with some candidates scoring points.
Senator Marco Rubio took a shot at our current president which resonated with the crowd. "We're not going to authorize use of force if you're not putting men and women in a position where they can't win. Frankly, people don't trust the president as commander in chief because of it."
Governor Christie got a rousing applause regarding Trump's and Fiorina's business background. "While I'm as entertained as anyone by the open back and forth about the history of Donald and Carly's career, for the 55 year old construction worker out in the audience tonight who doesn't have a job and can't fund his child's education, I got to tell you the truth, they can care less about your careers. They care about theirs."
One candidate who needed to win last night fell short of a clear victory.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. "Forty years ago, I smoked marijuana, and I admit it. I'm sure that other people might have done it and may not want to say it in front of 25-million people. My mom's not happy that i just did."
Overall, it was a lively debate full of drama and sometimes humor. But just who will get a bump in the polls from last night and who won't will play itself out in the upcoming days on the campaign trail.
Some political experts predict Carly Fiorina's strong showing last night may chip away at some of the large poll numbers currently enjoyed by other leading "outsiders", Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson.