After yesterday’s Fox News GOP Debates, the pundits agreed that Carly Fiorina won the 5pm event and Marco Rubio won in prime time. If they say so. (More)

“And it is foolish to say that women’s health isn’t a priority”

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza said Carly Fiorina “deserves more attention – and a more prime spot in the debates” after her performance in last night’s ‘happy hour’ debate. His colleague Jonathan Capehart agreed, saying she “should have been on the main stage tonight.” Indeed the Washington Examiner’s Byron York judged Fiorina “the likely winner of the entire evening.” Then again, the Examiner said GOP voters were the big winners, so take that with a big bag of salt.

Fiorina jabbed at Donald Trump for having called Bill Clinton before entering the race, and challenged Trump’s changing positions on immigration and health care. She also criticized Jeb Bush’s gaffe on women’s health care:

I think it’s going to become an ad in a Democrat campaign. Hillary Clinton jumped all over it for a reason – because she saw an opportunity. And it is foolish to say that women’s health isn’t a priority. Or course it’s a priority. We can talk later about how and where that money gets spent. But it is Democrats who want to talk about women’s health when they talk about Planned Parenthood.

Well sure, because Planned Parenthood is all about women’s health. But debate scoring is about style and partisan reception – not substance or facts – and by those standards the pundits judged Fiorina the clear winner.

+++++

“I was raised paycheck to paycheck”

The pundits also agreed that Marco Rubio won the prime time debate, with assessments like this from Stephen Hayes at The Weekly Standard:

Instead, several of those who came into the debate ranked near the bottom of the top ten, turned in the strongest performances of the night. Marco Rubio (#7) consistently gave strong and substantive answers that at times emphasized the compelling story of his family and at others demonstrated his depth of knowledge on the subject matter discussed. He told the audience that he would not be lectured by Hillary Clinton on the struggles of modern American families. “If I’m our nominee, how is Hillary Clinton going to lecture me about living paycheck to paycheck? I was raised paycheck to paycheck. How is she – how is she going to lecture me – how is she going to lecture me about student loans? I owed over $100,000 just four years ago.” If the debate had a winner, it was Rubio.

It’s amazing how many Republican politicians boast about growing up paycheck-to-paycheck – yet dip their noses in the public trough while opposing any effort to boost working families’ paychecks. Just sayin’.

+++++

“I think Megyn behaved very nasty to me”

Donald Trump whined about the debate moderators, especially Megyn Kelly:

Speaking in the spin room behind the debate stage, Trump said the questions he received from the moderators Thursday night “were far tougher” than those asked of the other candidates.

“The questions to me were not nice,” Trump said. “I didn’t think they were appropriate.”

Trump especially took issue with Megyn Kelly, the Fox News host who began her first question to Trump by listing the derogatory remarks he’s made about women he doesn’t like.

“I think Megyn behaved very nasty to me,” he said.

Kelly noted Trump’s history of insulting women he doesn’t like, and Trump replied with a warning:

Trump, unchastened, responded with a misdirect: “I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct.”

Then he made a veiled threat at Kelly herself.

“What I say is what I say, and honestly, Megyn, if you don’t like it, I’m sorry. I’ve been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be based on the way you’ve treated me, but I wouldn’t do that.”

Rick Santorum also whined about the moderators after the 5pm debate:

Rick Santorum wasn’t too pleased with how Fox News hosts Martha MacCallum and Bill Hemmer posed their questions during Thursday’s early debate.

“Some of these questions, I must admit, were a little long winded and a little convoluted,” Santorum told radio host Hugh Hewitt soon after the first debate wrapped.

When you’re reduced to complaining about the moderators, I guess you lost.

The Guardian offers a complete live-blog of the debates. I haven’t read it, because wingnuts and macadamias don’t go well together. But if you woke up thinking “Gee, I haven’t whacked my head against a wall for a few days” … well, there ya go.

+++++

Photo Credit: John Minchillo (AP)

+++++

Good day and good nuts