Sunday, February 14, 2016

CBS 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: B+
Vito Palmeri: A+

Ted Cruz seemed quiet this debate, despite having a good amount of speaking time. He went back and forth with Donald Trump a few times where Trump called him a liar and he called Trump a lifetime liberal. Most of the time, Cruz avoided drawing Trump's fire. Solid, but nothing crazy.

Marco Rubio
Vito DiGiovanni: B+
Vito Palmeri: B

Marco Rubio had a strong comeback night after last week's disaster in New Hampshire. He was very strong on foreign policy, came to George W. Bush's defense and gave a good response to the tax credits question. The only blunder, which was funny, was when he said Cruz didn't speak Spanish, and Cruz responded to Rubio in Spanish. He went back and forth on immigration again with Cruz and denied supporting amnesty. Anytime he talks about immigration it hurts him.
Jeb Bush
Vito DiGiovanni: B
Vito Palmeri: B

Jeb was solid, his best debate so far. He gets better as the primary season grows, but that isn't saying much and it's too little too late for Jeb. Trump basically blamed the 9/11 terrorist attacks on George W. Bush, which was wrong and not a smart thing to do. Statistics show most South Carolinians like GWB. Bush, and Rubio, came to W. Bush's defense. Aside from being accused of threatening to pull down his pants and moon people, he did well.

John Kasich
Vito DiGiovanni: B
Vito Palmeri: C

John Kasich took momentum from New Hampshire into South Carolina's debate. He did well, better than usual. He continued to preach about how he's the adult in the room, taking Christie's old lines, and spoke about how he can unify the GOP and America (Yeah, okay.) He was strong on foreign policy and had good answers to immigration.

Donald Trump
Vito DiGiovanni: C-
Vito Palmeri: B

Not his best night, Trump went back and forth with Jeb Bush most of the time. Trump was solid on foreign policy but went at it over Russia and ISIS with Bush. Trump received many boos from the audience for most of the night as they continued to heckle him. Trump slipped when he said George W. Bush didn't keep us safe since 9/11 happened under his 'reign.' He avoided the question whether he would've impeached W. Bush and said how Planned Parenthood does "wonderful things." Interesting night for the front-runner.

Ben Carson
Vito DiGiovanni: C
Vito Palmeri: C

Ben Carson was quiet mostly because he wasn't included much. He had to basically beg to be given a chance to rebut and barely got any questions. He was asked questions he's been asked before and was solid; nothing special. He kept plugging his website, but he had to, he didn't have enough time to talk about his plans.


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