TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Jessica Mackler, President, American Bridge 21st Century
RE: What To Watch For: South Carolina Debate Edition
DATE: February 13, 2016
It’s hard to believe the last GOP presidential debate was just one week ago – with a complete meltdown on Team Marco Roboto and a big win from The Donald and a surprisingly strong third place from Ted Cruz considering he spent $500,000 in the state, the New Hampshire primary plunged the Republican Party into complete chaos.
After the GOP’s worst fears came true in New Hampshire, the race has started to look more and more like Donald Trump’s or Ted Cruz’s to lose. The GOP has officially become the Party of Trump, and tonight’s debate will only reinforce that.
Here are just a few things to look out for tonight as the Republican Party desperately tries to recover from the chaos that was New Hampshire:
Trump-ian Policy Talk
The entire Republican field has been adopting Trump’s hateful rhetoric and extreme policy proposals for months, and with a crushing victory in New Hampshire under The Donald’s belt, it’s likely that they’ll double down on mirroring him. Tonight’s debate is sure to be full of xenophobic fearmongering, amateurish foreign policy, opposition to a pathway to citizenship, tax plans that disproportionately boost the top 1%, climate change denial, anti-choice policies and refusals to give hardworking Americans a raise – just to name a few out-of-touch policy proposals from the Party of Trump.
Cruz-in’ To The Polls
Next weekend’s South Carolina primary could bring another strong finish for Ted Cruz – only complicating matters further for the Republican Party. Tonight’s debate could be yet another indicator that the race has officially become Trump’s and Cruz’s to lose.
From 3-2-1 To 3-5-Brokered Convention?
Team Roboto managed a whiplash-inducing about-face from their 3-2-1 strategy to 3-5-brokered convention after their New Hampshire meltdown. Even as Team Rubio looks toward this new brokered convention fantasy as their last best hope, RubioBot will have to hit it out the park in the debate tonight and the South Carolina primary to even remain in the race for much longer. Here’s to hoping his team has reprogrammed the RubioBot with a new set of talking points for tonight.
Right Wing Vs. Establishment
John Kasich’s surprising second place finish in New Hampshire throws the establishment battle to be the anti-Trump and Cruz into a frenzy. Jeb Bush’s war chest parked at Right to Rise gives him some legitimacy and he’s ready to capitalize on the popularity of his family’s last name in South Carolina. At this point, Rubio holds the loosest grip on the establishment track. The fight among Kasich, Bush, and Rubio during the debate promises to get ugly in a state known for dirty tricks and shady backroom whispers.
Last week’s debate and primary in New Hampshire proved that the GOP base is all-in for Trump, and that the Party is more extreme than ever – every single candidate will demonstrate yet again that they’ll always put the billionaire Koch brothers ahead of those they’re elected to represent, with the exception of Mr. Trump who the Kochs are infuriated with because they can’t control him. No matter what happens on stage, tonight’s debate is sure to reinforce that.
Published: Feb 13, 2016