REPUBLICAN VOTERS TIRED OF PROMISES, LOOKING FOR CANDIDATE WITH “PROVEN RECORD”
|| By RICK MANNING || And they’re off.
The Republican presidential campaign is off and running with the first of many presidential debates. A debate that drew much more attention than a political event 15 months prior to a general election normally would draw due to Donald Trump’s energy and emergence onto the political scene.
Unsurprisingly in retrospect, the debate format of short answers kept it lively, but hindered Trump’s ability to use his charismatic advantage to win voters and get into details on his positions. Other practiced debaters, politicians and prosecutors thrived in the familiar format, and later in the debate, The Donald adjusted using his natural charm to his advantage.
Viewers anxious to learn about how candidates stood on a variety of issues got an earful of conservative rhetoric and their relative performance. But Republican and Independent voters have heard the promises before. They have heard the lofty speeches and the ads promising a repeal of Obamacare or ending executive amnesty and have endured the disappointment when those same leaders walked away from their promises immediately upon election.
In 2016, Republican voters are tired of promises and are looking for someone who actually means it, a leader who has a proven record of fighting for their priorities.
The failure of Mitt Romney and John McCain before him, who were each sold as the candidate who could win by the political donor and pundit class, has left a bad taste in GOP voters’ mouths. There is a sense that they traded their vote for “winnability” and ended up with a candidate who refused to fight for conservative issues and, as a result, lost to a president who has taken a wrecking ball to the country.
Senator Marco Rubio is one candidate who will likely fall prey to this phenomenon. Attractive and well scripted, he hits resonant chords when he talks about his upbringing and vision for America. Unfortunately for him, his record in the Senate, including his unwillingness to stand and fight on big issues, will submarine him when compared with Senator Cruz or Paul.
Of the governors, Jeb Bush is the most likely victim of this rebellion against the establishment. But the really bad news for Bush in the debate was the strong performance by both New Jersey’s Chris Christie, who used his prosecutor background to perfection, and Ohio’s John Kasich, who was bolstered by his home state crowd. In a perfect Bush world, Christie and Kasich need to go away – because they draw votes from him – so he can establish himself as the inevitable nominee. If anything, Thursday’s first debate just might result in the New Jersey and Ohio governors moving up in the polls at Bush’s expense …
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