First Republican Debate: LiveBlog 2

After commercial break, Wallace right back in baiting other candidates to bash Trump, beginning with Kasich.

–Kasich doing Fiorina’s number in reverse: credits Trump for “hitting a nerve,” then saying different strokes for different folks.

–Wallace turns to Rubio for Trump-bashing: he gets wonky, also panders to Trump constituency.

–Now Walker upbraided for flip-flopping on past support for path to citizenship. Walker briskly summarizes current position.

–Wallace invites Cruz to bash sanctuary cities via “Kate’s law.” Cruz takes it downtown, blaming McConnell and “Washington cartel” for supporting amnesty.

Finally done with immigration! Now on to terrorism:

–Kelly invites Christie to bash Paul on surveillance. Doesn’t mention Paul, but says we need more, not fewer, tools.

–Whoa! Christie and Paul mix it up. Christie accuses Paul of risking security, Paul accuses Christie of not understanding Bill of Rights. Paul mentions Christie hug of Obama. Christie says he hugged 9/11 survivors that Paul would put at risk.

–Shift to ISIS. Cruz gets invited to be the first to attack failure to name “Islamic terrorism,” claim he can defeat it militarily. Cruz gives shout-out to Egyptian persecution of Islamists.

–Now Kelly asks Jebbie again about Iraq War. Blames Obama for ISIS.

–Walker asked about our best Arab ally: mentioning Egypt, Saudi, UAE.

–Carson asked about waterboarding. He applies his usual “politically correct” bit to war: so I guess that means waterboarding okay.

–Now on to Obamacare!

–Baier asks Trump about past support for single payer. Trump veers into past opposition to Iraq War, says he’s for something or other that’s private. Paul jumps in to attack Trump on single payer, Trump says “You’re having a hard time tonight.”

–Huck gets Facebook question about willlingness to cut all sorts of regs, challenged on GOP record of broken promises. Huck does “federal mandate,” devolution dance. Works in fair tax rap while he’s at it.

–Carson asks if he agrees with Huck, does his “tithe” tax system thing.

It’s getting boring again; we need more Trump!

–Now Baier suddenly asks Bush about Common Core (audience boos!). Bush does his new anti-federal education rap, and cites Florida record.

–Cleverly, Rubio asked why Bush wrong on Common Core; Rubio attacks federal role in Common Core. Bush, given rebuttal, has pretty good line: opt out of Common Core if you want, but keep standards high.

New thread coming up; hard to believe there’s another hour of this!

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.