The Sat. Feb. 13, 2016 Republican debate was held on the CBS TV network and the winner was CBS. They were able to fill a two hour timeslot that usually holds a rerun and 48 hours with Republicans praising Ronald Reagan while violating his commandment not to trash other Republicans. Because of the winnowing of the field CBS was able to give a more fair proportion of time with host John Dickerson asking each candidate a question about a subject. Dr. Ben Carson pointed out with glee early on that he had already been asked two questions. For some reason however Dickerson tailored each question for each candidate which sometimes resulted in boos from their supporters.
For a middle section of the debate about economics Dickerson brought in Kimberley Strassel from the Wall Street Journal and former Fox News and now CBS White House correspondent Major Garrett who went out of their way to point out that their questions were based on information from conservative sources.
The debate started probably by design by the Clinton campaign with a Hillary Clinton campaign ad. Then to avoid the debacle of the logjam from the last debate, all the candidates filed out immediately and were introduced at their podium. Dickerson led with a moment of silence for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. The tribute didn’t stop the candidates from scaring the audience about the type of Supreme Court justices the Democratic candidates would nominate. Ted Cruz later claimed that Donald Trump would nominate liberal judges which Donald Trump countered that Cruz supported John Roberts. Bush chimed in that Reagan was a liberal in the 1950’s but tore down the Berlin wall and did not tear down other Republicans like Trump. The Berlin Wall actually fell when Jeb Bush’s father was president.
Trump had earlier in the debate called Cruz a liar accusing his campaign of using robocalls to claim that Trump wasn’t competing in South Carolina. Trump mentioned that Cruz lied about Carson which Marco Rubio had also brought up earlier in the debate.
Rubio claimed that Cruz couldn’t speak Spanish and Cruz then rattled off something in Spanish.
Trump fought with Jeb Bush over whether his brother George W. Bush could claim he kept Americans safe considering the 9-11 terrorist attacks happened during his presidency. Trump has pointed this out before his statements about Bush and 9/11 were overshadowed by his other statements
There wasn’t much new for those who have been covering the election closely but sponsors got their money’s worth for a Saturday show. Several drug companies and financial institutions ran commercials. Software company SAP Hana even ran an ad een though their ad on the CBS mobile Android app crashes the player.