Friday, January 15, 2016

South Carolina GOP Debate Gradebook


Vito and Vito, after the GOP debates, grade each candidate's performance. These rankings do not reflect the candidate's policies, only their debate performance. We try to be as objective as possible.

In the comment section below add your own grades and compare them to Vito and Vito. Do you agree with our grades? Who do you think won?

Click below for each candidate's grades!

Ted Cruz
Vito DiGiovanni: A+
Vito Palmeri: A+

Ted Cruz won this debate. He was on fire. Cruz had the right answer for every question and was well prepared. He had the perfect response for whether he is a natural born citizen and admitted the Goldman Sachs loan was a small filing error. The most controversial part of the night was his comment on New York values, saying that they are different than Iowans' values and that "Not many conservatives come out of Manhattan." He is right. This will help him in Iowa and the mid-west and will not hurt him since New Yorkers didn't like him from the get-go.

Donald Trump
Vito DiGiovanni: A-
Vito Palmeri: A-

Donald Trump held his own despite Cruz shooting down his attacks about his citizenship. Trump was strong and had firm answers. Cruz out did him, but nobody else outdid Trump. The only thing I did not like personally was that Donald Trump spun Cruz's New York values comment and responded with referencing 9/11. He pulled on the heart strings of Americans even though Cruz was talking about liberal politicians, not the compassion of New Yorkers. As a New Yorker myself, I did not take offense to this comment; I agree with it. Trump did manage to spark New Yorkers to unite against Cruz, but that will not hurt him, since New Yorkers already didn't like Ted Cruz.

Marco Rubio
Vito DiGiovanni: B
Vito Palmeri: B

Marco Rubio was strong, but not in the spotlight for long. The main event was definitely Cruz and Trump, but third was Rubio. He called out Chris Christie for his non-conservative stances, including supporting Common Core and allegedly donating to Planned Parenthood, which Christie of course denied. He lost points when he attacked Cruz's immigration record, which Cruz debunked (and so did we on the show) last debate. Same old message and rhetoric from Rubio. He's the new establishment puppet.

Ben Carson
Vito DiGiovanni: B-
Vito Palmeri: B

Where was he? It felt as if the moderators forgot about Carson. The last candidates that matter are Cruz, Trump and Rubio. Nobody else. He said we need a "group of experts" for the refugee and immigration crisis, but was quiet for most of the night.

Chris Christie
Vito DiGiovanni: C-
Vito Palmeri: C+

Chris Christie didn't do too bad. He was called out by Rubio for his non-conservative stances on gun control, Common Core and that he apparently donated to Planned Parenthood. Christie has sat at the kids' table debate and bounced back, but it is his time to go. He has grown to be more annoying each day. He just seems too fake to me.

Jeb Bush
Vito DiGiovanni: D+
Vito Palmeri: D

He barely passed and he's barely on the stage. He was solid, but did not have the spotlight. Nobody noticed him, so it doesn't really matter if he had a good night or not.

John Kasich
Vito DiGiovanni: D-
Vito Palmeri: D

The one good thing I will ever say about John Kasich is that he did well when talking about the Fed and the economy. But other than that, can he please be removed and just drop out! He's polling pretty well in New Hampshire, so maybe if he loses that state he can finally drop out and leave us alone.