8 Surprising Times The GOP Candidates Actually Made Legitimately Good Points During The Second Debate

In between all the bickering, one-upping, and apology demands during the mammoth three-hour CNN debate, there were a few surprising points that the GOP candidates made that were actually insightful. It was, after all, CNN's intention to allow the candidates plenty of time to discuss their stances and policies in greater detail. A few candidates rose to the challenge and illustrated deft understanding of the issues — even Donald Trump made a rare insightful point (it took me five minutes to realize he wasn't kidding). In what felt like a three-hour exercise in herding Republican cats, the GOP candidates made some good points during the second debate.

During Wednesday night's primetime debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, moderators Jake Tapper, Dana Bash, and Hugh Hewitt asked the 11 Republican candidates on stage to discuss everything from immigration reform to the Iran nuclear deal to marijuana laws. As expected, statements were retorted, voices were raised, and hardly a topic was met with any kind of unity from the candidates. Through all the impassioned assertions and interruptions, however, there were a few standout statements that the candidates made that had even the most liberal Democrats going, "Hmm, that's a good point." Here are eight times the Republican candidates actually showed insight.

Immigration Reform & Birthright Citizenship

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In response to Tapper's question about Trump's call to deport every undocumented immigrant, Chris Christie pointed out the logistical flaws in that plan:

Jeb Bush echoed Christie's sentiment, but also touched on the moral implications of such a feat:

When the topic turned to birthright citizenship, candidates like Trump and Rand Paul both called for ending the practice. However, Carly Fiorina brought up a significant logistical detail:


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After Trump and Fiorina sparred back and forth comparing their track records as CEOs, blue-collar icon Christie jumped in and said:

Tax Reform

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I could hardly believe my ears when Mike Huckabee, a man I vehemently disagree with 99 percent of the time, dropped this ingenious nugget:

And just when I thought my mind couldn't be more blown, Trump weighed in on tax reform and offered a surprisingly progressive stance.

For a man who has thus far only repeated various versions of "I'll beat them" in relation to policy, that was a shockingly decent point.

The Iran Nuclear Deal


While just about every candidate tore the Obama administration's deal to shreds, John Kasich chimed in with a more level-headed approach:

Marijuana Laws

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While some candidates were steadfastly tough on drug laws, including marijuana, which is now legal in 23 states in some form, Paul was surprisingly practical in his stance: