5 Takeaways From The Second GOP Debate – The Daily Caller

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SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — Another Republican debate is in the books.

Wednesday night’s nearly 3-hour marathon debate — ably moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper, with excellent cameos by radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt to pose questions of his own — provided many highlights and just as many takeaways. Here are five.

1.) Carly Fiorina Won The Debate — But Marco Rubio Was A Close Second

The best female presidential candidate in the 2016 White House race just happens to be on the Republican side.

Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio are the most naturally gifted political talents in the Republican presidential primary. But you have to give a slight edge to Fiorina in Wednesday night’s debate because she seemed to have a couple more key moments.

Fiorina not only mixed substance with flair, she had vision.

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“Iran and Planned Parenthood,” she said at one point, are both “incredibly important.”

“One has something to do with the defense of security of this nation,” she went on, tying together these two seemingly distinct issues. “The other has something to do with the defense of the char character of this nation.”

She was also understated when she needed to be, especially when she delivered the dagger of the evening. Asked by moderator Jake Tapper how she responds to Donald Trump’s comment that he couldn’t imagine someone with her face being elected president and whether she accepts Trump’s subsequent explanation that he was talking about her personality, Fiorina delivered a perfectly succinct answer.

“I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said,” she stated, allowing The Donald’s own words to damn him.

Rubio performed tremendously as well. His grasp of foreign policy is far and away the best on stage. And as always, he was optimistic and inspiring.

It’s hard to say how Rubio’s poll numbers will be effected by the debate, but it would be shocking if Fiorina didn’t ride her performance into the very top-tier of candidates.

2.) Peak Trump?

One is loath to say this since predictions of Trump’s political demise have repeatedly been wrong, but there is a very good chance we’ve seen peak Trump.

Trump was outclassed Wednesday night, plain and simple. While other candidates were substantive, diving into the issues, Trump spoke in generalities. It was evident — or should have been — to anyone who was watching that the man just hadn’t done the necessary preparation.

He was also a boor. So far that hasn’t hurt him, but it seemed especially out of place Wednesday night.

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