Who Talked The Most At The Republican Debate? The Biggest Loudmouths Weren't Who You Thought They'd Be
The winners and losers of Tuesday night's Republican showdown in Milwaukee seem clear when the event is broken down by who talked the most at the GOP debate. For the first time, Ted Cruz found himself at the top of the talk clock, beating out his closest competitor, John Kasich, by nearly two minutes, according to Politico's calculations. In fact, Tuesday's talk time ranking heavily detracted from past debates, with the usual loudmouths falling somewhere in the middle of the pack.
Kasich's second place is surprising because he barely qualified to make the primetime debate, but he was involved and dynamic throughout the night, asserting himself early in the debate by proposing budget cuts that have served him well in his office of the governor of Ohio. Although he got a big boo from the crowd following a comment in mild support of big bank bailouts, Kasich had a memorable performance with a few interesting points. But Cruz seems like a sleeper win, with no standout moments or especially strong policy proposals to characterize his performance. His only real talkable moment was a suggestion that American currency should return to a gold standard, which is getting lambasted more than lauded.
Trump edged out Carly Fiorina by 19 seconds with his final time of 11 minutes and 19 seconds but did so without her strong command of the issues and warm welcome from the audience. He earned boos with his sexist comment about Fiorina's interruptions and was the target of a snappy and totally accurate correction by Sen. Rand Paul about the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership deal. Even with the third place time finish, Trump didn't seem to sparkle, and if the audience reaction is any indication, the Trump phenomenon is fading fast.
The remaining candidates — Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, and Ben Carson — came in at 10:20, 10:06, 9:50, and 9:22, respectively. Rubio was less than stellar, with a big chunk of his talking time eaten up by an extended diatribe about gangster Vladimir Putin and little specific policy proposal. Rand Paul bombarded the audience with advanced economic theory and policy that was largely unintelligible to the average citizen, and Bush spent a huge portion of his time stumbling over his words.
But Carson proved to be the biggest loser, going quietly into the dark night, perhaps an attempt to keep his recent PR scandal in the shadows. His biggest comment was calling Hillary Clinton a liar in regards to her Benghazi testimony, which came across to many as hypocritical given he was just exposed for lying about receiving a full scholarship to West Point. The poor debate performance combined with this week's bad press means that while he was polling second behind Trump before the debate, that spot could be up for grabs by the morning.
Regardless of who was the chattiest Cathy Tuesday night, the candidates are sure to be back on the campaign trail, putting forth their stump speeches and rehearsed talking points to win American votes.