Debates Become Heated as Primary Season Approaches

The past week saw the most intense debates yet. The Republican and Democratic debates this past week in South Carolina were filled with memorable moments and fierce competition. Here are the highlights:

Republican Debate

The most fiery exchanges of the night were between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Trump criticized Ted Cruz on the issue of his eligibility to run. However, Cruz’s response, that the question was a non-issue seemed to resonate with the audience and political pundits. Cruz later decried Trump’s embodiment of “New York Values,” implying that Trump does not embody true conservative ideals. Trump responded by pointing to the city’s admirable response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Marco Rubio slammed Chris Christie over support of Common Core and Planned Parenthood. Christie fired back, denying the accusations and highlighting his own record as governor of New Jersey, citing his support for the 2nd Amendment and elimination of Common Core, while at the same time chalking Rubio’s criticism up to calculated political posturing. In his own words, “when you’re a senator, what you get to do is just talk and talk and talk. And you talk so much that nobody can ever keep up with what you’re saying is accurate or not.” CUA Students for Rubio weighed in on the debate, saying that “Rubio performed in a manner of distinction and professionalism as he has done in each of the debates. There is always bickering within the candidates and… he always addresses them with tact.” There is one more Republican debate between now and the first Primaries and Caucuses. With poll numbers in Iowa and New Hampshire fluctuating rapidly, and a clear winner still uncertain, expect the debates to grow even more contentious.

Democratic Debate

The Democratic Debate this past Sunday in South Carolina touched on several issues, including healthcare, foreign policy, economic reform, and gun control.Sanders discussed his record of gun control by citing his D- NRA voting record and support for an assault weapons ban. Clinton attacked Bernie’s record, arguing that Sanders “voted to let guns go onto the Amtrak, guns go into National Parks. He voted against doing research to figure out how we can save lives.” . CUA Students for Sanders Communication Coordinator James Lewis praised Sanders’ performance, describing his message as “simple and to the point, without devolving to personal attacks against Secretary Clinton. I think as more people learn about the Senator, the more his chances grow during the primary.” Sunday’s Democratic debate was the last one before voting begins in Iowa and New Hampshire, meaning that it was their last chance to get their messages out before voting officially begins.

Endorsement Mania: Trump Endorses Palin, Cruz Takes a Hit

On Tuesday, former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump. The same day, Iowa Governor and Republican Terry Branstad called Ted Cruz a “big oil candidate” and that “he could be very damaging to [Iowa]. According to the latest Real Clear Politics average, Donald Trump has a slight 1.5 point lead over Cruz in Iowa. Palin’s endorsement, combined with Governor Branstad’s criticism of Cruz, could be the boost that Trump needed to edge out Cruz and take Iowa.

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