[Trump roils first debate among GOP contenders]
Bush’s jabs at Trump on the campaign trail and in social media represent a shift for a candidate who had vowed to stay positive. But it is a move that Bush has decided is necessary — not only at the next debate but continuing into the fall.
But in doing so, he could create an opening for someone else.
“You want to be like Kasich and [Florida Sen. Marco] Rubio — the nice, pleasant guys who are appealing to the country while the others are engaging in a mud fight,” Gingrich said.
Indeed, one of the overlooked story lines of the first debate was how a graceful and upbeat performance sparked the quiet rise of retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who in the latest Des Moines Register poll is running second in Iowa, just five percentage points behind Trump.
The poll of likely Republican caucus-goers in the state that will hold the first contest of the 2016 primary season also showed Carson with the highest favorability of the 17 GOP candidates, with 79 percent viewing him positively.
Fiorina, meanwhile, was able to capitalize on a skillful performance in the so-called “undercard” debate of lower-polling candidates that preceded the main event in Cleveland, boosting her numbers so quickly that CNN rewrote the rules for qualifying so that she is expected to join the leading candidates at the Reagan Library event. The network will announce Thursday which candidates make the cut, which will be determined by looking at polling since Aug. 7.
[How Carly Fiorina earned a spot on the big stage at the GOP debate]
Fiorina and Trump, both running as outsiders from the business world, have taken a number of shots at each other.
He has branded her a failure, citing her firing from Hewlett-Packard and the fact that she got trounced in 2010 when she tried to unseat Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). Fiorina has criticized Trump for his intensely personal attacks on Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly, among other things.
In an interview with Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade, Fiorina said the other candidates should be focusing more of their fire on the likely Democratic nominee, former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton, because “in the end, we need a nominee who can beat whoever the Democrats put up.”
But “if it’s important to draw contrast between myself and Donald Trump, I will. Between myself and Jeb Bush or Ben Carson or anyone else, I will,” she added.
Hewitt said that he and moderator Jake Tapper of CNN have a “shared belief” that they will have failed if the story coming out of the Simi Valley debate is about them or their fellow questioner, CNN’s Dana Bash. Instead, he said, they want to bring the candidates into sharper focus.
“My number one goal is to represent a Republican primary voter who has not made up their mind,” Hewitt said. That voter’s top concern, he added, is “who would be commander in chief in a dangerous world.”
Hewitt has already found himself in a contretemps with Trump, after an interview Thursday in which the radio host asked the Republican front-runner a series of detailed questions about foreign policy. Trump bumbled a number of them, including one in which he apparently confused Iran’s elite Quds Force with the Kurds.
Hewitt, who has conducted more than 70 interviews with GOP hopefuls this year, put the same questions to Fiorina, who handled them with ease.
All of which got a typical reaction from Trump. He tweeted: “Why would a very low ratings radio talk show host like Hugh Hewitt be doing the next debate on @CNN. He is just a 3rd rate ‘gotcha’ guy!”
Article Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/get-ready-for-a-second-gop-debate-with-even-more-fireworks
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