“I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said,” she said.
The former Hewlett-Packard executive earned a small surge in support after the first debate in August. After another good performance in front of a larger audience, she might be in line for a much bigger bump after the second.
Marco Rubio: The senator from Florida started slowly, struggling to even get air time in the debate’s first hour after an awkward joke about the water bottle at his lectern. But he came on strong over the course of three hours, particularly on foreign policy. And above all, when Rubio talks, he reminds everyone watching why he would be such a formidable opponent in a general election.
Asked to respond to criticism from Trump that GOP candidates shouldn’t speak in Spanish, Rubio answered deftly, citing the need to speak directly to one of the country’s fastest-growing voter blocs.
“I do give interviews in Spanish, and here's why: Because I believe that free enterprise and limited government is the best way to help people who are trying to achieve upward mobility,” Rubio said. “And if they get their news in Spanish, I want them to hear that directly from me. Not from a translator at Univision.”
Rubio is telegenic, well-spoken, and deeply familiar with the issues. It showed again tonight.
Chris Christie: For a candidate who barely qualified for Wednesday night’s debate, the New Jersey governor commanded an awful lot of attention. The combative Christie is clearly comfortable jousting with his onstage foes, and he even managed to get the better of Fiorina and Trump when the two candidates argued about their respective business records.
“You're both successful people. Congratulations,” Christie said, in one of the night’s most memorable lines. “You know who's not successful? The middle class in this country who's getting plowed over by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.”
One night of success won’t turn around the governor’s flagging campaign, and like many of the 11 candidates on the stage, he went long stretches between appearing on air. But for someone who needs a lot of things to break in his favor, he’ll be relieved that something finally went right.
Scott Walker: Walker needed a good showing to turn around his sagging candidacy—and, without question, he didn’t produce one. The Wisconsin governor seemed to disappear for long stretches, unable to find ways to inject himself into the debate as Fiorina so often did. And when he did talk, he failed to impress.
It wasn’t that Walker committed any gaffes. He just didn’t find any ways to stick out on a crowded stage. His most memorable moment came when he called Trump an “apprentice” near the debate’s beginning. Taking on the front-runner seemed like a great idea to put himself back front and center in the debate, but for some reason, he shied away from Trump attacks afterward. And even that lone jab later felt tame compared to criticism from Fiorina and Christie.