Triangle residents pick GOP favorites after debate
Posted September 16, 2015
Cary, N.C. — People gathered around the Triangle Wednesday night to watch the Republican debates, including a small group at Craft Public House in Cary.
A small but rather attentive and focused crowd gathered on the patio, listening intently to each candidate.
Initially it was Trump time, with Trump getting into it with Senator Rand Paul and then former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. There was a smattering of applause from the crowd at Craft Public House when former Ohio Governor John Kasich insisted that the debate focus on the issues and not on candidates attacking each other.
Debate topics were wide ranging from domestic issues like immigration and same-sex marriage to world issues like Iran, Russia, and terrorism.
For every viewer, a different GOP candidate stood out Wednesday night.
“I actually think Chris Christie made some strides today,” said viewer Kevin Rogers. “He changed his tune and started talking about the people instead of himself.
“Marco Rubio stood out quite a bit for me and of course Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson, I love them,” said viewer Stacy Rihel.
Many of the viewers at the watch party were openly supporting Ben Carson.
“I thought Carly was off the chain. I think she’s brilliant, I think she can balance a ticket, I think she would be formidable but Carson is my man,” said viewer Penny Fleury
Meridith College political science professor David McLenon said that the issue with Wednesday’s debate was the inability for candidates to distinguish themselves in the group of 11 debaters.
“That is the difficulty, there’s simply not enough time that all can have sufficient time to make their case,” said McLenon. “It’s very difficult with this format to have an honest debate where everybody gets enough time to make their case.”
McLenon said that he felt Carly Fiorina stood out in the first half of the debate, especially when it came to foreign policy. He said that Jeb Bush stood out when he started talking about his record as Florida’s governor and the tax cuts he made there. McLenon also felt Marco Rubio stood out in the second half of the debate on the issues of immigration and foreign police while Trump took a backseat in the later hours of the debate when most of the difficult issues were discussed.