Focus Friday: the second Republican debate

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The second Republican debate was heated last Wednesday, who will come out on top in the end? | Courtesy of Getty Images

The Cougar is introducing Focus Friday where the opinion page will publish our thoughts on current events or issues. This week, we discuss the second Republican debate.

What was your general reaction to the debate?

Managing editor Mónica Rojas: I planned to watch debate mostly as a means of entertainment, because, to me, it will not be a serious event until Donald Trump is out. But I was surprised to find that I actually got something out of it. Although these early debates are more about who can get a better dig at another candidate, a select few of the candidates did what they were supposed to do: talk about the issues and give the masses a glimpse at what type of leader they are. I was surprised the most by Sen. Marco Rubio because, from what I gathered, he is a more moderate candidate — something I think the next president of the United States should be. I’m not saying I’d necessarily vote for him, but I wouldn’t consider moving to Canada if he were elected.

Opinion editor Anthony Torres: I’m glad Carly Fiorina was added to the debate. Donald Trump was taking hits from all sides again, of course. The only difference was this time his responses came across as mean, not witty or creative like some of his past comments. You could even hear people oohing in disgust whenever he picked on Rand Paul. I’ll give credit to Mike Huckabee and John Kasich for taking firm stances against speaking bad about one another. Kasich even refused to comment on Hillary Clinton, which was surprising. Overall, it was a lot of unnecessary name calling and record bashing and not a lot of talk about actual issues.

Sports editor Bryce Dodds: Much like the first, the second GOP debate featured a lot of jabs between candidates without much substantial policy talk. Donald Trump, Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina spent much of the night testing each other, with both Bush and Fiorina responding to attacks Trump made on them previously. It was disappointing to see that the debate was more of a chance for the candidates to produce the best sound bite more than to display why they would really be the best person to run as the Republican candidate.

Who won the debate?

Assistant opinion editor Sarah Kim: It’s hard to pick a clear “winner” of the debate. As politicians tend to do, each candidate addressed the popular issues and controversies that surrounded them individually as candidates rather than those plaguing America today. Fiorina and Trump talked about his comments regarding her face, while Trump’s comment distanced him from women voters. It’s not really that important for America’s next leader. However, Chris Christie made a point to say that finding solutions to improve America’s job market is what should really be what is discussed, not aesthetics.

AT: Marco Rubio really stood out to me. He showed his good understanding of foreign policy and ran circles around Trump, who even admitted he didn’t have a full understanding of who our enemies were. Rand Paul was well spoken and his stance on drug laws are fantastic, but he unfortunately wasn’t given a lot of speaking time. Carly Fiorina had her moments but didn’t dominate the debate as much as some people say she did. For me, Ted Cruz came in dead last. Every time he spoke, it sounded rehearsed, and his rhetoric is too preachy.

BD: The person who really stood out to me was Carly Fiorina. She did a good job of trying to talk policy, but unfortunately, some of it wasn’t exactly all truth. While she did a decent job in the debate of rebutting some of Trump’s previous attacks, I think Marco Rubio did a good job in the debate and will pick up some points in the polls because of it. He didn’t give in to an attack from Trump, but chose to clarify his position and responded with tact, which I think shows well to a national audience.

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