New Hampshire brings out the worst in presidential candidates. Worn out by Iowa, White House wannabes arrive in New England tired and under pressure—and stuff happens that reinforces the negative stereotypes voters may have formed about them. The past week has seen many of the candidates stumble on the trail, just when they ought to have been hitting their stride.
Donald Trump Is a Crude Boob
True to form, Trump channeled the anger of voters buffeted by economic change, condemning companies that moved out of the country to dodge U.S. tax rates. “And you can tell them to go fuck themselves,” the Republican front-runner frothed in Portsmouth.
Ted Cruz Is Weaselly
In Saturday’s Republican debate, the Texas senator said his team should not have told Iowa conservatives that Ben Carson was dropping out of the race. His team had lied. “Ben, I’m sorry,” Cruz said. Then he lied. He blamed CNN for reporting Carson’s demise and failing to correct it, despite the fact that CNN reported no such thing.
Ben Carson Is Lost
An accomplished neurosurgeon from Detroit, Carson seems adrift in politics. He makes outlandish comments. He burns through money and staff. He leaves the campaign trail for a fresh set of clothes. In Saturday night’s New Hampshire debate, he bungled his entry cue and created an awkward traffic jam of candidates.