CNN Debate Live Blog VI

A question, naturally, from the social media peanut gallery, quoting Christie’s opposition to marijuana legalization to Paul. Mentions a hypocrite on stage, Jeb owns up pretty well (though not to being the serious stoner he apparently was), then launches into a “drug epidemic” rap.

Paul responds by criticizing Jeb for not even allowing medical marijuana to very sick kids, again calls Jeb hypocrite. Jeb backs and fills.

Christie finally jumps in, says his state committed to treatment only for first-time drug offenders, calls “war on drugs failure,” but still opposes legalization of “gateway drugs.” Paul returns to 10th amendment argument, says Christie would go into Colorado and jail people. Christie says medical marijuana legal in New Jersey.

Fiorina gets in her personal story on the death of a child with a drug addiction, quips that “the marijuana young people are smoking today is not the same as the marijuana Jeb Bush smoked 40 years ago.”

Hewitt asks Jeb about guns, Jeb retreats to state’s rights.

Rubio gets big hand for saying criminals won’t obey gun laws. Then blames gun violence on “left-wing government that’s undermining families.” Wow.

Trump asked about Christie’s idea that rich people shouldn’t get Social Security. To my shock, he says that’s fine if it’s voluntary. Really giving up a great wedge issue against Bush as well as Christie, since he’s against cuts.

Tapper asks Rubio about Reagan bending to scientists on ozone layer as “insurance policy” against disaster. Why not on climate change? Rubio again cites “left-wing government”–his new tag line?–and says climate change action it will hurt American families.

Christie asked what he makes of “climate change skeptics” like Rubio. He denies his buddy Marco is anything of the sort, and also attacks “left-wing idea” of action on climate change.

Rubio really enamored of references to “the left,” says they don’t want to solve environmental problems. Why not just call them communists? You’re at the Reagan Library!

Walker jumps in, adds nothing.

Tapper asks Carson about Trump criticizing Obama on vaccinations. Carson refutes the conspiracy theories, then defends conspiracy theorists for fearing Big Government. Pushed to criticize Trump, Carson won’t do it.

Trump goes to a half-conspiracy position, endorses smaller vaccines over longer time. This get him the anti-vaccine vote.

Carson denies connection to autism, but endorses Trump’s approach. Paul called on for “second opinion,” endorses parental discretion on vaccines.

Huck, really desperate for airtime, jumps in to talk about medical cost containment. His “cures” approach (which he’s had for many years) actually not a bad idea, but he gets cut off.

One more thread? Please, Jehovah, no more than that!

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.