The first debate between the 15 individuals who have thrown their hat in for the Republican nomination was held on Thursday in Cleveland, Ohio. Fox News (entertainment not news) hosts Megyn Kelley, Brett Baier and Chris Wallace were the moderators and they were all over the place.
It started off with Senator Dr. Rand Paul calling out Donald Trump on his flipping from Democrat to Republican, then defending his stance on the NSA when barbed by Governor Chris Christie. Christie, true to form, banged the 9/11 drum (it's been 14 years Chris), recited traditional Republican rhetoric of balancing a budget and cutting taxes.
Trump garnered the loudest reactions, particularly his contention to Megyn Kelley when asked about his comments referring to Rosie O Donnell as a fat, disgusting pig, he said, "I don't have time to be politically correct and neither does our country."
Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, John Koesich, Dr. Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee and Jeb Bush all chimed in when given an opportunity, but nothing really stood out.
It didn't seem that the moderators would stay on topics long enough to allow everyone to give their stance or ideas on policies they would enact. They also did not ask Dr. Carson many questions or allow him to comment.
Would one argue that Fox News has no business moderating a debate considering their track record of blatantly lying to the public as pointed out by Jon Stewart? Yes. Did we really learn much about these candidates? A bit, yes.
The biggest winners I would contend would be Trump, Paul, and Carson. The rest of them really sounded like political ads, stating what they have done while in office.
For future debates, would it be too much to ask to get an actual impartial journalist to moderate these? No offense to the three headed monster Fox rolled out, but I would prefer someone whose credibility is intact to be asking the questions to a possible future president.
For a transcript, click here.