A Look Back at Saturdays’ Republican Debate Ahead of New Hampshire Primary
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News February 07, 2016
Saturday was the last chance New Hampshire voters would get to see the Republican presidential field on stage together before polling begins on Tuesday. Ahead of the debate Marco Rubio’s momentum needed to be stopped, and thereby made him the main objective of the evening.
Rubio experienced his worst moment in a presidential debate at the worst time, stumbling badly when forced to answer the fundamental question posed by rivals of his candidacy: whether he has the experience necessary to lead the nation.
As a first-term senator with no executive experience, Rubio's resume is remarkably similar to Barack Obama before he became president. Rubio tried to turn the question around by charging that Obama "knows exactly what he's doing" by "undertaking a systematic effort to change this country."
The answer was quickly challenged by Christie: "I like Marco Rubio, and he's a smart person and a good guy, but he simply does not have the experience to be president of the United States."
A clearly rattled Rubio responded by delivering the same line about Obama not once, but twice. And Christie made sure New Hampshire voters knew it: "There it is. The memorized 25-second speech. There it is, everybody."
It was a “I love lamp” moment for Rubio three days before a New Hampshire contest in which he hopes to knock Christie, Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich from the race. Even if it doesn't significantly change the contest in New Hampshire, the moment raises questions about Rubio's readiness to take on Democrat Hillary Clinton in a general election debate.
Republican front runner Donald Trump was muted most of the night, along with Senator Ted Cruz who was translucent most of the evening. That was probably fine with him as New Hampshire is not his turf. He needed to avoid any damage. With the exception of an early revival of his campaign’s dirty tricks re: Dr. Ben Carson.