GOP Aligns Weapons for Tonight’s Debate

In World War II, the German battleship Bismarck launched with the usual Titanic-like boasts of being unsinkable. The British stalked the Bismarck around the Atlantic and eventually sunk the pride of the German navy.

Pardon Donald Trump if he feels a bit like the Bismarck heading into tonight’s CNN GOP Debate, live from the Reagan Library. (8 pm ET).

“I hear they are going after me. Whatever. Whatever,” Trump said to the audience of 20,000 voters in Dallas on Monday.

Club for Growth, a crony capitalism Super PAC, just launched a $1 million ad blitz attacking Trump.

Trump tweets

Trump will take his place at the center stage podium and face off against hostile forces in fellow candidates and moderators. But Trump has the backing of an angry GOP base, plus non-traditional voters and that’s one of the many reasons he’ll be targeted for destruction tonight.

The Questions

Is tonight’s game do-or-die for a number of candidates?
Scott Walker, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie and Marco Rubio all need game-changing moments in order to pick up momentum. Walker especially needs to re-ignite the non-Establishment base he owned before the first debate.

Is attacking Trump at this stage going to help or hurt a candidate’s cause?
In the movie Blazing Saddles, Mongo creates havoc in Rock Ridge. The Waco Kid warns Sheriff Bart as he buckles on his gun holster: “Don’t do that, if you shoot him, you’ll just make him mad.”

Candidates and moderators will attack Trump tonight hoping his temper will get the best of him and he’ll do or say something launching his demise. But on the other hand, the more the Establishment candidates and media attack him, the more he endears himself to the rebellious American public. They no longer trust the GOP and the despise the media. Attacks, even if Trump falls into the trap, might strengthen him and create a victim/sympathy card he can play.

Will fringe candidates blow themselves up just to take out Trump?
Paul’s campaign, despite a few stunts and outlandish proposals, has been a major disappointment. He’s not an Establishment crony, but for some reason he dislikes Trump. Will Paul sacrifice himself for the greater good of the GOP?

“I think he deserves both barrels,” Paul said in a Tuesday afternoon interview with The Daily Caller. “I want to make sure everyone in the whole country knows he’s a fake conservative.”

What does Jeb Bush have in store?
Trump has criticized the Bush campaign for being boring. And his observations are correct. The former front-runner and presumed GOP nominee looks listless, disengaged and reluctant. As Bush continues to campaign in Spanish while cozying up Latin media, the more he draws the ire of the rebellious base. But Bush’s camp has been doing its homework on the Donald and apparently is ready to drop some bombs during the debate.

Bush’s team has been scouring Trump’s business records, previous statements and political giving. “Trump is going to see what low-energy looks like,” said one Bush adviser who is not on campaign payroll. —

Paul agrees with Team Bush: Revealing Trump’s past could be the key to awaken infatuated voters.

“I think ultimately when voters fully grasp who he is and what he supports, I think they’ll run away with their hair on fire,” Paul said on

How will Carly Fiorina’s presence affect the debate?
Trump mocked Fiorina’s looks causing a major media stir. Her best bet is to ignore Trump’s personal comments and stick to the issues.

The character introductions have long passed. This debate will likely focus more on policy and a display of overall domestic and global political knowledge. Hopefully the moderators will not settle for platitudes and politi-speak for answers. The American people want details at this stage.

Will Trump and Dr. Ben Carson both be able to compete on the topics of domestic issues and foreign policy?

What They’re Saying