Republican Debate a Trainwreck

SC_debateGOP candidates debated each other on Saturday night in South Carolina, to help voters prepare for that state’s primary on Saturday, February 20. Instead of giving us a good insight into further details of their policies, the infighting and name calling turned it into a train wreck.

Divisive and cutting conduct by several candidates included baiting each other and fierce accusations. Trump tore into George W. Bush for not keeping the country safe, saying that’s why we had the attacks on 9/11. He also voiced his strong opposition to the entrance of the U.S. in Iraq. Jeb Bush defended his brother and said he was sick and tired of Donald Trump’s attacks on his family.

Cruz was called a lone wolf, not a leader, and a nasty guy by Donald Trump; Marco Rubio called him a liar. It was often difficult to follow what was being said as the moderators lost control of the debate. The two who didn’t engage in the mud-slinging were Ben Carson and John Kasich. Unfortunately, Carson didn’t get asked the same questions as the other candidates. He always seemed to be playing catch up–answering the other candidates’ questions before getting to his own.

At several points, the audience booed Donald Trump, and it was hard to tell if they were indeed “plants” of Jeb Bush and the establishment Republican machine, as Trump stated. Rubio and Cruz got into an argument over Cruz’s Hispanic heritage as Rubio accused Cruz of not being able to speak Spanish. Cruz fired back in Spanish, suggesting the conversation continue that way.

The two governors, Kasich and Bush defended their records, at times disagreeing with each other on their individual accomplishments. However, without time to fact-check what was being said, viewers had no idea if the claims were true. It would have been helpful if the moderators had been able to refute or substantiate the candidates’ records.

Marco Rubio seemed to have the least amount of damage and the greatest amount of command onstage by the end of the night. It is generally thought he won the debate. Cruz answered very well and so did Bush, but again, the attacks overshadowed and fighting did them harm.

Why this Matters: It is up to us to look beyond a debate to become familiar with the issues. The passing of Justice Scalia and the precarious state of the Supreme Court without him could possibly be the most important issue right now. With several other justices getting up in age, the next president may have three or four nominations to the Court.

How to Pray: Father, help us wade through the mess of the race and hear You for how we should vote in the primaries. Father, thank you that ultimately, our protection is in the Lord Jesus. It is bought and paid for. Make us worthy of His sacrifice.

1 Peter 1:3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

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