“Having said that, you know my people tell me during the debate we acquired 300,000 new Facebook friends and a million dollars,” he told Megyn Kelly on Fox. “So I can’t complain too much.”
The Texas senator had a downright Trumpian adjective to describe how the debate went: “Terrific.”
Like many of his fellow contenders, he would’ve liked more time to speak—CNN, he said, followed the Fox debate model of not asking him enough questions. But he was “happy” with his performance because it showed he’s a “consistent conservative” to voters, he told Fox’s Bill O’Reilly.
Cruz criticized the behavior of some of his fellow candidates: “I think the people that are hurting across this country aren’t interested in a bunch of schoolchildren.” Presumably, the senator considered himself to be among the adults in the room.
“I think it was a good debate,” Paul told Kelly on Fox after the contest concluded. “I think we mixed it up really well.”
The Kentucky senator had a prediction to accompany his measured estimation: His numbers “will solidify” and he thinks a “reshuffling” of standings is imminent. “It’s gonna be a brand-new race come next week,” he said. Which would be helpful for him, as he’s been polling toward the bottom of the top tier.
In a series of emails Wednesday night and Thursday morning, the Rubio campaign was aggressive with their declarations that Rubio was the obvious debate winner. Similar to Fiorina’s postgame interview approach, though, he didn’t spend time with self-aggrandizement.
“No matter what happens you've got to do the best you can in the time allotted to communicate your message,” he said. “Each of these,” meaning the debates, “are an opportunity for us to aspire to the highest office in the land, to tell people who we are and what we would do if they give us a chance to be president. And that's what I try to do at all of these debates.”
Speaking with reporters after the debate, the Wisconsin governor expressed a sense of accomplishment, that “more than airtime, [voters are] looking at the quality of what you say, what you mean, and what you’re going to do,” according to a report in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Walker was one of the most silent candidates during the debate, but said he couldn’t have done anything more to capture more airtime.
"I aggressively interrupted Jake Tapper a bunch of times along the way,” he said, presenting himself, as he has recently, as a tough guy (he rides a Harley after all). “And short of an absolute brawl, I don't know what more one could do."
Asked by CNN’s Alisyn Camerota about the most memorable moment of the debate, Huckabee didn’t talk about his own performance. Rather, he went the honest route: “I think it’s when it was over and we got to get off our feet.”