If you were looking for answers in last night’s CNBC GOP Presidential debate from the University of Colorado then you wasted a little over two hours of your life. If on the other hand enjoyed one liner’s that were entertaining but meant very little and questions from moderators that were at times sophomoric, then you had plenty to like.
All of the ten post debate online polls had Trump winning the CNBC debate even though he spoke less than any of the prior two debates. The frontrunner picked his spots and scored big only when he saw an opening. Dr. Ben Carson did nothing to hurt himself but he was more often doing a good job of deflecting questions.
Twitter and Facebook found many people declaring Senator Marco Rubio of Florida the winner, having bested his old friend former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in a feisty exchange.
Bush launched an entirely predictable attack on Rubio’s record of missed Senate votes (“What is it like a French work week? Do you have to show up for like three days? Just show up or resign,” the former Florida governor said to his young friend),
Rubio was ready and accused Bush of desperation. “Someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you, but I’m not running against Jeb Bush or anyone else on this stage,” Rubio shot back, to the oohs and ahhs of the audience. “I’m running for president because there’s no way we can elect Hillary Clinton.”
Later he delivered one of the biggest applause lines of the night. “The Democrats have the ultimate super PAC, it is called the mainstream media,” Rubio said. He was slamming what he said was preferential treatment of Hillary Clinton during last week’s
Many other pundits thought the winner of the night belonged to Texas Senator Ted Cruz had the moment of the night as he blasted the CNBC panel for not looking at this issues and tossing inflammatory questions that were simply silly.
The biggest loser, particularly in the minds of conservatives, was CNBC, the network that hosted the debate. Criticism of the news media was a recurring theme onstage, and that sentiment extended into Twitter and blogs after the debate.
Bandwith Media who follows Twitter gave us some interesting numbers as the debate was being done in real time.
Several candidates gained thousands of mentions within the space of a few minutes, according to data from Brandwatch:
Cruz was mentioned 4,889 times in one minute after commenting on media bias and the lack of substance in debates.
Rubio saw 1,974 mentions in one minute after mentioning media bias.
Cruz was mentioned 1,776 after his metaphor about being a “designated driver.”
Trump was mentioned 1,480 times in a minute after saying that John Kasich “got lucky” with fracking in Ohio.
Carson was mentioned 2,143 times in one minute when he responded to booing from the audience with “See? They know.”(Media too liberal)
Rubio received over 3,600 mentions over two minutes when he said the mainstream media was a Super PAC for Democratic Presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
Chris Christie was mentioned 1,900 times immediately after saying fantasy football shouldn’t be discussed in the debate.