Cruz really had a great debate and clearly won (don't believe me, just check the Frank Luntz Focus Group which nearly unanimously went with Cruz). He was able to land hits on Trump by simply quoting Trump leaving the Donald doing nothing but quoting poll numbers and liberal law professors. Anyway, here are my thoughts candidate by candidate:
Cruz: It's so nice to
have an intelligent candidate who does his homework, thinks things
through and knows what he is talking about. I've been sick of having to
make excuses for the GOP candidates for the last 28 years. Even many
Rubio supporters that I follow were just in awe of his performance. His
one bad move was the New York values comment. We all know what he
meant and he is right but it did leave the opening for Trump to mention
9/11. As Trump already had used the 9/11 comment previously to defend
New York values, Cruz should have dropped it during the debate as the
Trump response was obvious.
Trump: Other than the
exchange with Cruz, Trump actually did pretty well especially when asked
about the Haley "anger" comments. It was basically a "you're god
damned right I'm angry" sort of response. He also got the better of
Cruz on the New York values comment at least among the press and New
Yorkers who are probably not his core constituency anyway.
He had some good moments and landed some nice punches on Hillary but
otherwise it was a rather forgettable debate for him. Christie also
destroyed Rubio after Rubio said Christie shared many policies with
Obama (which is true but Christie did a great job in responding).
He is becoming a candidate who you want to see go after Hillary in a
debate. Cruz would probably be best but Christie is kind of turning
into a Trump with some government experience and logic.
JEB: Actually had some nice moments, I'm warming up to him a bit.
Kasich: He can make himself sound conservative but then you remember that he supported Obamacare and so is full of crap.