No, Fox News was not the debate’s biggest loser as The Hill says

Fox News debate ratings were 12.8 million. While the author of The Hill’s article titled “Fox News is the debate’s biggest loser” argues that Fox News failed to control the candidates and crowd during the recent GOP debate, I would argue that people were the biggest losers. But, Fox News proved it is the only network capable of hosting substantive debates that address issues Republican voters care about…

Inhumane food prices, housing prices, gas prices, taxes, and foreign citizens living better than disabled veterans, or most of America for that matter.

The Southern Border was mentioned by several of the debaters.

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The debate moderators rightfully spent significant time on pressing issues like immigration, abortion and the economy.

Discussing Donald Trump was inevitable given his outsized influence in the party, but the moderators limited this topic and kept the focus on actual policy. For a ratings boost, they asked the candidates if they would pardon Donald Trump. Ron DeSantis waited to see what the others would do before half way raising his hand while Vivek Ramaswamy was first to excitedly raise his hand.

Meanwhile, the other networks continue to act as arms of the Democratic Party. MSNBC and CNN elevate partisan conflict over serious policy debates. The broadcast networks are scarcely better. Only Fox News demonstrates any effort to understand Republican voters and what matters to them.

The Hill author suggests Fox News chose superficial questions to appeal to viral hype.

But opening with a culturally relevant song (Rich Men North of Richmond) by Oliver Anthony gave candidates a creative chance to introduce themselves and let the people know they are in tune with the pulse of voters. Nobody said much about it. It’s like they didn’t know about it.

And the UFO question, while unconventional, allowed them to demonstrate curiosity and open-mindedness. But, a better answer than the one Chris Christie half way gave would be, “If revealing that UFO’s or Alien’s existed would compromise National Security or cause massive chaos, then NO.

The format may have been messy at times, but Fox News succeeded where no other network could have – facilitating a substantive debate on issues that genuinely impact Americans. Republicans were able to articulate their vision for the country.

As the only network willing to host Republican debates fairly, Fox News remains an indispensable forum for conservative ideas. (Not so fairly when Donald Trump is on stage. Remember Chris Wallace?)

But, yes, Bret Baier did have to turn around and ask the “donor audience” to behave.

While he drew some critiques from Mike Pence, Vivek Ramaswamy had a respectable showing in his first GOP debate.

The Skinny Outsider

He articulated his vision as a political outsider and showed he can hold his own on the big stage. He did invoke Barack Obama by stealing his line about being the skinny outsider on stage. Why would he do that?

Meanwhile, Ron DeSantis cemented his status as a frontrunner, appearing polished, prepared and substantively focused on the issues. His responses on immigration and education, highlighting his record as Florida governor, were particularly strong. However, every time he answers a question he has a look on his face like, “was that a good answer, mom”?

North Dakota’s own Governor Burgum also put forward an impressive debate performance, demonstrating his steadfast Midwestern values and nuanced policy knowledge.

However, America being what it is, this candidate will not rise until he starts fighting and bickering and getting sound bytes.

Ron DeSantis Cements Frontrunner Status with OK Debate Performance

Ron DeSantis delivered a semi polished, presidential performance in the first GOP debate, outlining clear conservative policies and touting his record as Florida governor. He appeared poised yet too well-prepared, and firmly established himself as the frontrunner if we must choose a winner.

Political Outsider Vivek Ramaswamy Makes Waves in First GOP Debate

In his first ever political debate, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy proved he belongs on the national stage by articulating an intelligent outsider vision. He appeared confident and compelling in exchanges with veteran politicians. Too much Red Bull for him though. He made audiences nervous.

Mike Pence Brings Uncharacteristic Fire in Lively Debate Appearance

Known for his mild manners, Mike Pence showed rare passion and energy in his lively GOP debate performance, forcefully making the case for his conservative credentials. Too little, too late.

Nikki Haley Lives Up to Potential with Sharp opinions of abortion and Israel

Nikki Haley delivered a strong debate performance that matched her political potential, showcasing keen intellect and command of policy issues about abortion and Israel.

How many jobs did she quit half way through? Remember when she said she was getting her daily therapy from Governor Cuomo’s Covid briefings? She needed therapy from him?

Tim Scott’s Silky Skills Can’t Break Through in Crowded GOP Field

Despite his normally smooth speaking skills, Tim Scott struggled to stand out from the crowd in the crowded first GOP debate.

What we know about Tim Scott is that he can quote bible scriptures and is product of a single parent home and “what America has done for him”, asking NOT what he can do for America. Is he the kind of guy who speaks softly but carries a big stick? The world may never know.

Dark Horse Doug Burgum Impresses with Cool-Headed Conservatism

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum emerged as an intriguing dark horse candidate, impressing with pragmatic Midwestern conservatism. Why he isn’t getting more coverage is a travesty.

Chris Christie’s Trademark Bombast Falls Flat Against Rising Stars

Chris Christie’s aggressively combative debate style fell flat against the GOP’s polished rising stars, who outshone him.

Did anyone notice him huddling with Ron DeSantis during breaks, or propping up Mike Pence? What’s the back story?

Asa Hutchinson All But Forgotten in Lackluster Debate Showing

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson turned in one of the most forgettable debate performances, failing to make any kind of impression. He failed to capture the people’s attention longer than five seconds. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Fox News Debate Performance Rated by Regular Voters (Second to Trump of Course)

  1. Ron DeSantis – Frontrunner by default, he highlighted his gubernatorial record and offered bold conservative solutions.
  2. Vivek Ramaswamy – Impressive first showing. Articulate and confident, he distinguished himself as an intelligent outsider. He’s too much for a conservative older crowd.
  3. Mike Pence – More spirited than usual. Leaned into his experience as VP and governor, though still not persuading many people.
  4. Nikki Haley – Landed punches on other candidates while outlining clear policies. What voters was she going for by giving the President a sound byte by announcing that Republican’s spending is what our problem is? She couldn’t go after Dems?
  5. Doug Burgum – Dark horse. Showcased his pragmatic conservatism and executive experience. He is overlooked and what a shame. What a shame. What a shame.
  6. Tim Scott – Faded. Struggled to stand out, though spoke eloquently when he had the floor.
  7. Chris Christie – Bombastic as expected. Landed blows but old talking points.
  8. Asa Hutchinson – Forgettable. Struggled for air time and didn’t make a strong impression.

The GOP Elephant Not in the Room: Are any of the candidates good enough to be his VP?

The elephant not in the room during this first GOP debate was former President Donald Trump, who chose to sit out but loomed large over the proceedings. None of the candidates on stage seemed poised to fully inherit Trump’s fiery populist mantle.

A few, however, stood out as potential vice-presidential contenders when Trump secures the nomination again.  Mike Pence of course is out although he would provide experience and evangelical credentials. He was the smartest at the debate as far as getting people to invoke his name so he can get the additional 30 seconds. His air time was twice Ron DeSantis. He learned a lot during his time with Trump.

Fox News Debate Ratings

Nikki Haley could broaden Trump’s appeal with her gender and abortion stance. Vivek Ramaswamy’s energetic outsider perspective could also intrigue Trump as a running mate but he seems childlike and restless.

Doug Burgum would be a strong contender but no one knows him. He did the debate with a torn achilles tendon from basketball. But the reality is, as long as Trump remains on the sidelines, this GOP field lacks a clear leader or Trump-sized personality.

If ratings tell the story, President Trump’s interview with Tucker Carlson has reached over 230 MILLION with an M views.

Fox News Ratings for the debate were only 12.8 Million viewers. Although it is better than Fox expected, it is half of what it is when Donald J. Trump makes his presence known.

If Republican’s lose this election, it will be because of the holier than thou Republicans who will sit out the vote like they did in Lee Zeldin’s case and Gavin Newsom’s recall. Imagine cutting off America’s nose to spite it’s face because of “mean tweets”. Republican’s fight isn’t with the Democrats. It is with each other.

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