The Republican candidates made sure to keep it classy on the debate stage on Thursday, after all, the nation was watching. That’s why the name-calling, insults and personal attacks were kept to an absolute minimum. If you’re scratching your head right now, well done, you’ve been paying attention to this race. Because this is 2016 and nothing makes sense anymore. Cue a presidential debate where Trump bragged about being well-endowed (yup, he went there), defended his stance against the KKK, but said waterboarding was okay. Perhaps this is why Kasich, who arguably had his strongest debate performance so far, is finding some traction with his only-adult-in-the-room attitude, despite been unofficially written off as the nominee following a less than stellar Super Tuesday result.
There’s little doubt that Kasich won the debate on substance, but the Fox moderators appeared to be more interested in pitting Cruz and Rubio against Trump with provocative questions and a steady supply of video clips. Kasich insisted that his more mature approach to the campaign is winning the hearts of voters, but this is yet to translate into delegates, where he is coming a distant fourth in the overall count. Kasich is betting on winning his home state of Ohio (although Trump has a slight lead in the polls) and garnering enough delegates to be able to go to a brokered convention (which conveniently enough will also be held in Ohio) where he hopes to become the nominee. Unfortunately for Kasich, he’s running against an over-the-top TV personality that even the House of Cards writers would be hard pressed to outdo, with a popularity rating of Frank Underwood.
Despite all the mudslinging at the debate, Cruz, Rubio and Kasich all missed a vital opportunity to challenge Trump on his questionable policies which appear to go against the core of what most Republicans stand for; they all answered in the affirmative to a question about supporting Trump if he became the nominee. By taking this position they have weakened their own case for the presidency by legitimizing his, and any criticism the candidates now throw at Trump will ring hollow. The fact that they all decided to effectively endorse Trump is worrying because presidential candidates shouldn’t be allowed to get away with debating about the size of their manhood on national TV, no matter how entertaining it is. If Kasich really wanted to prove that he was the only adult in the room, he should have stood up and called out Trump for his juvenile antics.
Binged on House of Cards for 13 straight hours and want more Kevin Spacey? Movie for your mood: The Usual Suspects