The Republican Candidate’s debate Thursday night went on without Presidential candidate Donald Trump. Fox News and Google were the co-organizers of the sixth nationally televised debate with Senator Ted Cruz, (R-TX) receiving the center podium by default due to Trump’s absence. Even without the Republican front runner in the room, the impact of Donald Trump’s shadow was felt by all those attending. The attacks from the candidates who did remain in the debate, came quick and were somewhat predicable. It was as if the other candidates did not receive the memo Trump wasn’t going to appear. In not participating in the debate, Trump won, hands down.
The opportunity for the many other Republican candidates for President was never better than last night. The debate was missing the shining star and the front runner, Donald Trump. The man who has been placing second to Donald Trump in the poll, Senator Ted Cruz, (R-TX). This debate was his to lose and he did. It happened when Megyn Kelly showed a video clip that showed Cruz appearing to in 2013, to say he supported allowing unauthorized immigrants to get legal status as long as they couldn’t become citizens. Then she asked: “Was that all an act? It was pretty convincing?” Slam, it is all she wrote. Cruz tried denying that it was an act and that he ever did support the amnesty but he was merely engaging in clever parliamentary attacks, but the tape showed another story. The poison pill tactic. It didn’t fly as an excuse and put the Senator back his heels.
Senator Marco Rubio, (R-FL), also could have picked up a few points and could have climbed out of third or lower place when a strong performance. Unfortunately, that did not happen for Rubio. Instead, he turned in a mildly confused performance that was only highlighted by the preponderance of sweat that caused Rubio to glisten in such a way that you couldn’t take your eyes off the Junior Senator. In one of the strongest positions that he took, was when he said, “”Let me be clear: There’s only one savior, and it’s not me. It’s Jesus Christ.” This exchanged though came as an assault on the fact that Rubio, who was once considered, “the savior of the Republican Party,” has in fact only struggled with his campaign and found that support was fleeting. Rubio did have two hits though and it wasn’t on fellow Republicans. The best shots were at the Democrats. On Bernie Sanders, he said, Sanders would be a good president of Sweden. Actually a good one. Then on Hillary Clinton, that if elected her first act as president would be pardoning herself. If it were a game of battleship you would have to admit that Rubio hit but did not sink their battleships.
Trump won by default and because the event he hosted at the same time for various Veteran’s Charities in a 24 hour period ended up creating $6 million donation. That’s right. Trump’s plan of not attending the debate, not having to tangle with his opponents, and not having to face down the Fox News moderators, ended up making $6 million for charity. Trump controlled his message, how it was presented and controlled how it was delivered to the media, Trump won the night. It was an act of pure showmanship and Donald Trump truly delivered.