Focus Friday: Republican rumble — round three

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For this week’s Focus Friday, we tackle the third Republican debate.

1. Who do you think were the winners of the debate?

Opinion columnist Sam Pichowsky: The clear winner of the debate was Sen. Marco Rubio. Whenever he had the chance to speak, he sounded assertive in what he was saying. Even in the face of criticism from his old ally, Jeb Bush, he sounded presidential in his response. What should have been a win for Bush ended up being a huge boost for Rubio. John Kasich had the opportunity to appear more of the winner, had he not trapped himself with Donald Trump’s fracking critique and if he had defended himself better from Donald’s attacks.

Opinion editor Anthony Torres: Marco Rubio dominated. He was completely prepared for anything that was thrown at him, including Jeb Bush’s failed attempt at trying to make him look bad. It’s quite possible Rubio has the chance of securing the nomination at this point. Ted Cruz also had some brilliant moments. His attacks against the moderators were completely justified. He scored some major points for calling them out.

Assistant opinion editor Sarah Kim: I surprise myself when I say that Trump is still one of the winners of this debate. Why? Because even though he talked very little about real issues, the media is in love with hating him. He’s still leading in the polls, even without having to really try to win the debate. If anyone came up to me and said they carry a gun with them sometimes not because of safety, but because they like to be unpredictable I would assume this person has some sick sort of humor.

2. Were there any clear losers?

SP: The clear loser of the debate was Jeb Bush. After two lackluster performances, this one had to be the one that showed he was a prepared candidate for the presidency. Unfortunately, he trapped himself by attacking a quick-witted Marco Rubio. Jeb Bush has only himself to blame for how poorly he is doing in these debates. He hardly ever seems prepared, and he does not possess the ability to improvise.

AT: I felt bad for Jeb Bush. He’s arguably the most electable Republican on stage who could have gained the nomination, but his performance was extremely lackluster. I would not be surprised if, in the next couple weeks, we hear that he is bowing out of the race. Bush was the only clear loser, but I also don’t think Carly Fiorina did too well either. She made some claims that sounded like she made them up on the spot. Fact checkers after the debate were quick to point out her lack of factual evidence.

SK: Many believe that the debate was crucial for Jeb Bush to stand out and truly distinguish himself – but he failed to do so. This is also evident in Rubio’s growing popularity. He occasionally would seem to rise, but was ultimately left in the shadows of the others, if only because of their aggressive debate tactics. Because both Bush and Rubio have roots in Florida, some predicted Bush would attempt to obliterate Rubio at the debate – but it frankly did not happen. Even when Bush tried to become more relatable by bringing in fantasy football, Christie crushed it. I would also say Republicans as a whole lost their chance to really delve deeply into the issues and touch Americans.

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