The nearly three-hour slugfest that was the Republican debate on Wednesday night is dominating the chattering classes of DC. The debate on CNN featured 11 of the 16 declared candidates for the Republican nomination, with four of the others relegated to the Happy Hour debate before the main event. The perceived winner by the pundits and focus groups after the debate was former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who snuck into the debate once the rules were changed to allow for late risers in the polls. She had many memorable moments, including answering attacks laid out by Donald Trump and going after Planned Parenthood in a commanding way. Others who "won" the debate include Senator Marco Rubio (FL), who looked the most polished when discussing foreign policy, and former Governor Jeb Bush, who showcased a bit more "energy" but still struggled to hit back hard on Trump.
Just like the first debate on Fox News, Trump dominated the debate on speaking terms. He was asked the most direct questions, had the most rights to reply, and tied second most for interruptions. The other four candidates with the most speaking time were Bush, Fiorina, Rubio and Carson. Fiorina has the most interruptions, as she tried to insert herself in as many questions as possible. Needless to say, Fiorina made the best of her opportunity on getting on stage after being on the cusp of and left out.
The most attacked figures during the debate were President Obama (29 times), Trump (21), Hillary Clinton (16), Jeb Bush (14) and Senator Rand Paul (7). Lastly, the five most debated topics were foreign policy, immigration, Planned Parenthood, discussion on other candidates and tax policy. CNN highlighted the five most memorable moments and the five most awkward moments.
On the congressional front, we got another retirement announcement in the House. This time it’s strong supporter of agents and brokers Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI-1). Dr. Benishek was the lead Republican on a letter to the Obama Administration asking for improvements to healthcare.gov that would help agents and brokers assist consumers on the website. Earlier in the year, he had announced he would seek re-election despite his three-term pledge when first elected in 2010. A member of the Veteran Affairs Committee, Dr. Benishek says his decision to not seek re-election will allow him to focus his time and energy toward helping veterans and their families. Democrats were already targeting the seat before his retirement and now stand a better chance at reclaiming the seat that was once held by a Democrat for nearly two decades. The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report rate the race as Leans Republican. Benishek is the seventh member of the House to retire this cycle.
Did You Know…
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