CNN Debate Live Blog V

Moving to international relations, Trump asked about name screwups in Hewitt interview, which Rubio had criticized. Defends ignorance as an alternative to Obama administration’s knowledge.

Rubio does his worldwind tour of a world in flames. Jennifer Rubin must be very proud. Tapper can’t quite get Rubio to attack Trump, but does say C-in-C no place for OJT.

Trump does quick snipe at Rubio’s absentee voting record in Senate. Rubio tries to make that sound like a positive credential. Wait, that’s Cruz’s rap.

Hewitt probably needs to stop talking about his great interviews and his Republican allegiances. But he does ask Jeb if his foreign policy advisers will be from 41 and 43. Jeb allows as how those are the only Republican advisers around.

Hewitt asks Trump for names of his foreign policy advisers. Trump says his judgement matters more, notes his opposition to Iraq War. Rand Paul begs to differ. Jeb jumps in to quote Trump touting Hillary as negotiator. Trump trashes W., says he elected Obama. Jeb says W. kept us safe, donors erupt in cheers. Trump asks “do you feel safe?” Great fun.

Walker ends the volley by reminding everybody how much they all hate Obama, and he fought the liberals in Wisconsin, blah blah blah, and then finally Rand Paul gets to say his piece. His dad would be proud.

Jeb and Rubio tag-team each other on Peace Through Strength, and how we should have left troops in Iraq. Lindsey Graham would be proud.

Carson somehow gets the floor, says he advised W. not to invade Iraq; Trump grabs his hand; but then Carson also says withdrawing from Iraq has caused all our problems. Which is right?

Strange Carson quote on how we wouldn’t have gone to Afghanistan (really?) or Iraq if he had been president on 9/11. Christie, of course, does his 9/11 routine, ends with endorsement of revenge and of W. Will be interesting to see how Carson responds.

Not sure I’d do this: Carson boasts of great friendship with W., but says he told Bush to use jawboning strategy. Don’t think that’s going to go over very well. Christie takes advantage of Carson’s mistake. Carson kinda retreats into heavily armed peacefulness approach, mentions use of “intellect” in foreign policy. Rubio jumps in to say we have to kill kill kill.

Huck, who’s really gotten screwed on time here, brings up reports of intelligence manipulation, somehow gets this back to his own executive experience.

Tapper pulls a fast one, asks Walker about Graham’s boots-on-the-ground litmus test for fighting ISIS, just announced earlier tonight. Walker takes safe approach, says he’ll do whatever the generals tell him.

Paul asked about non-materializing “Arab boots on the ground.” Flatly says “if you want sons and daughters to go to war, you have 14 other choices.”

Kasich jumps in to say he’s been for “boots on the ground” for a good while, but then lurches into strange hearts-and-souls pitch on our Judeo-Christian culture or something.

Fiorina gets in touch with her inner Graham, touts number after number for defense buildup. She overrides Tapper and then Bash more than anyone has so far.

Ah, Supreme Court! We’ll see if any of these birds have heard of Marbury v. Madison.

Bush asked about Roberts, kinda hedges, mentions that Cruz support Roberts. Cruz regrets Roberts, pivots to his general “broken promises” pitch, talks about Bush 41 appointing Souter, Bush 43 appointing Roberts. Jeb accuses Cruz of “rewriting history” but screws up and says Roberts “doing a good job.” Will that be remembered?

Cruz backtracks, says he would have never nominated Roberts himself, goes to town on godless liberal judges.

Huck asked if he would have litmus test, says “you betcha.” Lays it out: belief in “unborn;” Christian Right’s version of First Amendment, absolutist Second Amendment, etc. etc.

So they’ve been going for over two hours now, with no end in sight. Believe I heard 2 hours and 40 minutes the target. Not sure how I’d summarize the whole show, other than that (1) slavishly following the “quote somebody attacking somebody” format is controlling everything, and (2) half the pundits probably aren’t listening now because they’ve already decided Fiorina’s the big winner.

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.