The fifth Republican presidential debate went down on the night of Tuesday, December 15th, and it was a typically memorable affair — between your bombastic and terrifying demagogues like Donald Trump, your sleepy-eyed political novices like Dr. Ben Carson, your ascendant firebrands like Ted Cruz, and your depressing establishment schlubs like Jeb Bush, there's something for everyone. And a brief tour of social media on debate night laid that pretty bare: Here are some of the funniest tweets and debate memes from CNN's Republican debate.
Make no mistake, American political debates can get serious in a hurry, especially when you're talking about a party that's running as far to the right as the Republicans are right now — Donald Trump might seem grotesque and funny, sure, but it's far from funny if you're one of the people in his crosshairs.
But nonetheless, there are almost always some awkward moments, flubbed punchlines, testy stand-offs, or downright boneheaded moves that capture the attention of the internet and the viewing public alike. Some of them might be trifling and silly, sure, but some of them might just leave a mark on the race. Here are some examples that emerged on Tuesday night, across both of the debates.
Needless to say, Donald Trump's wide array of facial expressions was on full display — and obviously, he never seems quite as perturbed as when former Florida governor and onetime establishment darling Jeb Bush tries to score a hit against him. For what it's worth, Trump would probably be guffawing if he saw the following image — be forewarned, if you're a Jeb! Bush supporter, this will be deeply discouraging. But then again, if you're with Jeb, you're already used to that feeling.
Ted Cruz got in a joke at the expense of (surprise!) the Democratic Party, invoking the old line "All Democrats are horse thieves, but not all horse thieves are Democrats" to try to dispel accusations of anti-Islamic sentiment. And just like you might expect, the image of Bernie Sanders as a marauding horse-thief isn't without its charms.
It probably shouldn't come as much surprise that some folks watching the debate had Star Wars on the brain — is there any better avatar for the Republican Party than Mr. Darth Vader himself?
There was definitely an argument for keeping one camera fixed on Trump for the entirety of the debate, since he's so unrestrained and demonstrative with his facial expressions. If he had a dedicated shot, who knows how many more Trumpfaces the world would've seen?