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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

5 takeaways from Thursday’s GOP debate

In the last debate before the Iowa caucuses, the GOP candidates — with the exception of Donald Trump — took the stage for one last attempt to garner voters. Here are assistant news editor Tyler Allen’s takeaways from the debate.

Cruz played plenty of offense and defense

With the absence of frontrunner Donald Trump, Senator Ted Cruz came into a debate as the frontrunner for the first time, and consequently took fire from all sides. Cruz fought the moderators for air time, which he received plenty of, and accused them of directing the other candidates to attack him. While he definitely held his ground, Cruz didn’t come out unscathed.

Rubio went all out

From the moment the debate started, Marco Rubio was out to prove something. This debate was an essential one for the man who came in polling third among GOP candidates, and he made the most of it. He was thoroughly aggressive throughout the night, and though that made him sloppy at times, it also made him memorable. He most notably took jabs at fellow candidates Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush, as well as democratic frontrunners, suggesting that Bernie Sanders was better suited to be president of Sweden. Rubio wasn’t perfect, but he did leave his mark.

Jeb is still hanging in there

Jeb Bush could’ve very well been an afterthought at this point in the race. Throughout his campaign, Bush has struggled to match leading candidates in polls and he’s struggled to measure up to them in debates. However, when brought into the heat at several points during tonight’s debate, Bush stuck it out and delivered a surprisingly compelling performance.

Carson faded away

This debate made it hard to believe that Ben Carson was ever briefly ahead of Donald Trump in the polls. Everything he said was bland and forgettable, almost as if he was politely admitting defeat. As the debate progressed, Carson slowly faded into the background. The only memorable thing he gave us was his bizarre decision to recite the preamble of the Constitution in lieu of an actual closing statement.

Trump was quickly forgotten about
The first thing brought up in the debate was the “elephant not in the room,” Donald Trump. While Trump’s absence was mentioned, there wasn’t much more talk of the businessman, other than Ted Cruz joking about being offended by the moderators and threatening to leave the stage. This may have been an attempt to not give Trump the publicity he clearly expected to garner by not attending the debate.

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