Several candidates took shots at the White House’s nuclear negotiations with Iran. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said he would “terminate the deal on day one.” He also said that Iran and the Islamic State are “tied together,” a position that most Middle East experts would dispute, since Iran is sending militias into Iraq to fight the Sunni Islamic State militants.
Just before Megyn Kelly announced that the next topic at Thursday’s Republican candidate debate would be same-sex marriage, Donald Trump shared his exasperation with the climate of political correctness that has led to a world in which it is “medieval times … as bad as it ever was in terms of the violence and the horror.” He waved his hand dismissively and declared, “We don’t have time for tone.”
Trump’s speech dripped with disdain, but it was immediately followed by a response full of humanity and kindness. Hypothetical questions about candidates’ family members have been tricky since 1988, but undaunted, Kelly turned to Ohio Gov. John Kasich and asked him, “If you had a son or daughter who was gay or lesbian, how would you explain to them your opposition to same-sex marriage?”
Without hesitating, Kasich threw up his hands in a “aw shucks” gesture and managed to sound like he was speaking from the heart:
Quote:Well, look, I’m an old-fashioned person here, and I happen to believe in traditional marriage. But I’ve also said the court has ruled … and I said we’ll accept it. And guess what, I just went to the wedding of a friend of mine who happens to be gay. Because somebody doesn’t think the way I do doesn’t mean that I can’t care about them or I can’t love them. So, if one of my daughters happened to be that, of course I would love them, and I would accept them, because you know what, that’s what we’re taught when we have strong faith. Issues like that are planted to divide us. … We need to give everybody a chance, treat everybody with respect, and let them share in this great American dream that we have, Megyn, I’m going to love my daughters, I’m going to love them no matter what they do, because you know what? God gives me unconditional love, I’m going to give it to my family and my friends and the people around me.
Kasich’s answer was far from perfect—the phrasing “if one of my daughters happened to be that” was unfortunate, and in noting that he would love his daughters “no matter what they do,” he indicated that he thought being lesbian was something that requires forbearance. Nevertheless, his response was loving and humane, and it received the evening's biggest round of applause.
The first question to Chris Christie was about the nine credit downgrades that New Jersey had suffered since he became its governor.
Ben Carson was reminded of his domestic-policy blunders, of his foreign-policy blunders, of a whole raft of loopy statements that raise serious questions about how well he understands the country and globe. Could he reassure voters?
And Donald Trump had to listen obediently, even meekly, as Megyn Kelly—the one woman on Fox News’s panel of three debate moderators—recited a squirm-inducing litany of his misogynistic remarks through time.
“You’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals,” Kelly said, and if she was trying to hide her revulsion, she wasn’t doing an especially deft job. She recalled that Trump once told a contestant on “The Celebrity Apprentice” that “it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees.” And she wondered how he’d ever stand up to inevitable charges from Hillary Clinton that he was a carrot-haired corporal in “the war on women.”
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, left, and Mike Huckabee during a commercial break. Credit Eric Thayer for The New York Times
This wasn’t a debate, at least not like most of those I’ve seen.
This was an inquisition
When did you actually become a Republican?” Kelly said to Trump after another savage recitation, this one of his many past Democratic positions. She was his appointed slayer. She visibly relished the role.
Shameful how the media is helping to destroy the political conversations in this country.
The headline fight between Donald Trump and his nine sober-looking rivals for the GOP presidential nomination wasn't exactly pay-per-view, but it was extremely hard to watch if you do not pay for cable TV or a separate subscription to the Fox News Channel. The network offered internet streaming of the debate for people who could provide a user name and password proving they pay for cable, but that crashed pretty quickly. And Fox News was aggressive in shutting down any and all rival online streaming of the debate, including a working livestream provided by sister network Sky TV.
I dont think that anyone who cares about fixing Washington, fixing the whole of our political system, could have loved it.
There should be a Bernie Sanders type center left party to the left of the Democratic party.
My petty political appetite happens to line up perfectly with the greater good of America.