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GOP Debate III: The Battle Of Boulder Begins - Live Feed

It's that time again. From 'jolted' Jeb to 'cool' Carly and from 'calm' Carson to 'turmoiling' Trump, for some of the GOP presidential nominee candidates, tonight could be the last hoorah in a campaign that has seen apolitical entrants dominate the mainstream Washington muppets. Moderated by John "I never met a Republican I didn't like" Harwood, we are sure there will be some tension as the "general health of the economy" planned focus may morph into any and everything as the debate pushes beyond two hours. Please watch responsibly...

 

As in the previous debate, the same four candidates who appeared in the last undercard debate: Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, and Lindsey Graham, have fought it out starting at 6pmET... and it appears Lindsey Graham won.... "Barack Obama is an incompetent chief"

 

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But as far as the main event, according to some polls, Carson is gaining (if not leading) on Trump...

Source: Cagle Post

As The Wall Street Journal lays out, here is a review of what each of the candidates needs to accomplish in the two hour prime time debate,

Donald Trump

Faced with signs he is slipping from the front of the GOP pack, Mr. Trump is likely to come out swinging.  Watch how he treats retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who has surpassed him in recent polls of Iowa Republicans. Having attacked Mr. Carson as “low energy” and wrong on immigration policy on the campaign trail, now Mr. Trump has to decide how bluntly to criticize him to his face. Mr. Trump has already accomplished one goal for the debate: He persuaded debate sponsor to CNBC to limit the event to two hours. He did not much like the three-hour marathon that was the last debate.

 

Ben Carson

Mr. Carson, who has jumped to first place in some Iowa polls and gained ground elsewhere, will be looking for a more prominent role in the debate to build on his momentum. His past performances have been solid but not attention-grabbing. His advisers have been coaching him on how to insert himself more into the debate without seeming too pushy. If Mr. Trump or other candidates choose to criticize him, he has to juggle the need to respond with his trademark calm demeanor — the characteristic that seems to be key to his attraction to voters.

 

Marco Rubio

Mr. Rubio may be tempted to stick with his road-tested debate strategy of focusing on policy and not going on the attack. His past debate performances won praise and helped propel him toward the front of the pack in many recent polls. He thrives when discussions turn to policy matters, but the debate’s focus on economic issues does not play to his greatest strength — foreign affairs. Some of his supporters have taken to sniping at Jeb Bush, but Mr. Rubio so far has turned down chances on the debate stage to criticize his one-time mentor. Will he remain so restrained now?

 

Ted Cruz

Mr. Cruz will need to find a way to break out from the shadow of Messrs. Trump and Carson, who have outpaced him in the hunt for voters who want an anti-establishment candidate. He has refrained from criticizing other candidates, even heaping praise on Mr. Trump for helping focus the 2016 campaign on Washington dysfunction. He has hinted that he may soon start trying to draw distinctions between himself and Mr. Trump on policy matters. Look for Mr. Cruz to appeal to evangelical voters, who seem to be gravitating to Mr. Carson.

 

Jeb Bush

Mr. Bush is under heavy pressure to give a game-changing performance to pull his campaign out of the ditch of sagging polls, lackluster fundraising and a big downsizing of his campaign staff. The debate’s focus on the economy could give him an opening to spotlight his record as governor of Florida, which his supporters see as a strong point that ratifies his conservative credentials. It gives him a chance to show that he, like other governors, is a doer not just a talker on job creation and economic growth. But his decade-old record may not be enough to help him convey that he is the candidate of the future not the past.

 

Carly Fiorina

Ms. Fiorina should be glad to get back onto the debate stage because it is the kind of forum where her star has sparkled in the last two go-rounds. She badly needs to get back some of that mojo because her profile has faded and her poll numbers have sagged since the last debate. The debate focus on job creation might be a touchy subject. She will surely have to have to defend her record leading Hewlett-Packard Co., where she oversaw the layoffs of 30,000 employees.

 

Mike Huckabee

Mr. Huckabee has not been a stand-out at the first two debates, and he is running out of time to break out of the back of the pack. He might make a bolder play for his core supporters — evangelical Christians — because he is facing stiff competition from Messrs. Carson and Cruz for their support.

 

Rand Paul

Mr. Paul should be glad to be on the main stage, because his low poll numbers threatened to relegate him to the undercard debate. With the focus on economics, he will try to promote his balanced budget and flat-tax plans, but it will be hard to get a broader boost from any debate, which is not his strongest forum.

 

Chris Christie

Mr. Christie also is mired in single digits in the polls and is looking for a way to get traction that has eluded him both on stage and on the trail. As the debate turns to fiscal matters, he can tout he has a comprehensive plan to rein in the growth of federal entitlement programs. But bragging about how ready he is to curb Medicare and Social Security may not be the best way to woo new supporters.

 

John Kasich

Mr. Kasich will be looking for a chance to revive a campaign that started late, got a quick boost, then faded. He will welcome the focus on jobs and the economy because he brags often about what he has done as Ohio governor to improve the state’s economy, eliminate its deficit, and cut taxes. He has tried to steer clear of mud slinging, but in the last debate that meant he did not have many moments to shine.

But Trump remains the clear leader for now...

 

Though it appesr Rand Paul is expected to have a strong showing this evening...

 

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Live Feed (via CNBC)... CNBC has decided to pull a Fox and hide behind their corporate firewall (click image below to link to and validate your CNBC feed)

 

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Two perspectives on how this ends...

A Clear winner (or two)...

Source: Cagle Post

Or GOP self-destruction...

Source: Cagle Post

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For the kids playing at home, here's NewsWeek's Bingo...

 

And finally, we leave it to none other than Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi to create the ultimate GOP Debate 3.0 Drinking Game...

DRINK EVERY TIME:

1. Donald Trump brags about how much money he makes.

2. Trump uses the words "disaster," "loser" or "head spin."

3. Trump says he "loves" somebody or thinks he/she is a "wonderful person," before ripping him/her for being a loser or a disaster or whatever.

4. Trump rips another candidate's poll numbers. Make it a double if he tweaks Jeb about cutting the pay of his staffers. Add a beer chaser if Trump doubles down and talks about how well, in contrast, he pays his people.

5. Anyone references how Hillary "lied before the committee."

6. A candidate proposes abolishing an utterly necessary branch of government, or a politically untouchable program like Medicare.

7. Jeb Bush refers to himself as "Veto Corleone," or insists that "Washington is the pejorative term, not Redskins." Drink as much as you can stomach if he actually uses either line.

8. Any candidate makes an awkward/craven pop-culture reference, including references to Peyton Manning or the Broncos.

9. Any candidate illustrates the virtue of one of his/her positions by pointing out how not PC it is.

10. Any candidate compares anything that isn't slavery to slavery. A double if it's Ben Carson.

11. Any candidate evokes Nazis, the Gestapo, Neville Chamberlain, concentration camps, etc. Again, a double if it's Ben Carson, who has been amping up the slavery/Holocaust imagery lately.

12. Carson cites the Bible as authority for complex policy questions.

13. Any candidate righteously claims he/she would never have compromised on the debt ceiling thing. You may drink more if you feel sure enough that the person is lying.

14. Carly Fiorina whips out a number that is debunked by Politifact or some other reputable fact-checking service before the end of the night. (Example: the 307,000 veterans who supposedly died last year because of Barack Obama's inept management of the VA.) Actually, drink if any candidate does this.

15. A low-polling candidate makes a wild and outrageous statement in a transparent attempt to revive his or her campaign. Huckabee calling for summary bludgeonings of immigrants would be an example.

16. A candidate complains about not getting enough time. This evergreen drinking game concept is henceforth known as the "Jim Webb rule."

17. The audience bursts into uncomfortable applause at a racist/sexist statement.

DRINK THE FIRST TIME AND THE FIRST TIME ONLY:

18. A candidate evokes St. Reagan.

DRINK EVERY TIME YOU HEAR:

19. "Selling baby parts"

20. "White Lives Matter" or "All Lives Matter"

21. "Ferguson Effect"

22. "I'm the only candidate on this stage who…"

23. George Bush/My brother "kept us safe"

24. "Shining city on a hill"

TAKE A SHOT OF JAGER IF:

25. Anyone references a biblical justification for gun ownership, or insists an infamous historical tragedy would have been prevented if more people had been armed.

The following rules are optional, for the truly hardcore.

BONUS SHOTS IF:

  • Ted Cruz mentions his wife's baking skills without mentioning she worked for Goldman Sachs.
  • Rand Paul mentions the Constitution, the Framers or the founders before he mentions his children.
  • Someone makes a quiet car joke at Christie's expense.
  • Fiorina mentions being a secretary or having a husband who drove a tow truck.

Watch responsibly.