Fight to the Death! Republican Debate to Pit Candidates Against Each Other [Video]

Fight to the Death! Republican Debate to Pit Candidates Against Each Other [Video]

Shame on all of these people. I expected much better from Jake Tapper and Hugh Hewitt than this. This is not a Roman arena and the candidates are not gladiators performing for our entertainment. Evidently, the next Republican debate is going to be a free-for-all slug fest. I don’t know why they even bother having moderators if they are going to do it that way. The genius plan is to let the candidates duke it out verbally with one another. They call that a ‘debate.’ You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. A debate is supposed to be a civil event, where questions are asked by a moderator and each person is given sufficient time to make their case. Not an event where you throw a question out and challenge the contenders to snap at each and rip into one another the way Rand Paul and Chris Christie did in the last debate. That is instigating, no matter what they claim.

Republican Debate

Screens showed the Republican candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum during a CNN debate in North Charleston, S.C., in January 2012. Credit Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

From the New York Times:

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — The leading Republican presidential hopefuls have spent the weeks since their first debate provoking each other, with distant taunts and tweeted insults.

And now CNN, which hosts the second candidate clash here Wednesday night, is aiming to capture that same combative spirit by getting the candidates to engage with one another in person and on camera.

Trending: The 15 Best Conservative News Sites On The Internet

The effort to encourage candidate interaction differs from the approach taken in the first debate by Fox News, which relied heavily on its three accomplished moderators to ask tough questions, forcing the participants to outline their positions and explain their records, yielding only a handful of memorable exchanges between the men on stage.

Fox News drew praise for its handling of the event — along with a record number of viewers — but CNN’s team of producers and moderators said they were looking to establish a different tempo and to emphasize candidate interaction above all else.

“My goal is more about: Let’s draw the contrasts between the candidates, and have them fight it out over these policies, over who has the best approach to Putin, over who has the best approach to taxes, over who believes what over immigration reform,” said Jake Tapper, CNN’s chief Washington correspondent, who is moderating Wednesday’s debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. “Have them lay it all out so voters can see it.”

Mr. Tapper said the most riveting exchange in the first debate was the one between Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, over the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of data. He described the feisty back-and-forth as “electric” and “illuminating,” saying he hoped to create as many of those moments as possible.

“That’s how we’ve been crafting our questions, so that Senator X will respond to what Governor Y said about him or a policy he proposed, and try to encourage them to actually debate Lincoln-Douglas style as much as possible,” he said, referring to the face-offs between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas.

The sentiment is shared throughout the network. “Our whole approach is sparking a debate,” said Dana Bash, CNN’s chief political correspondent, who, along with Hugh Hewitt, a conservative radio host, will also be onstage asking questions. “If someone says something that cries out for an obvious follow-up with someone who clearly disagrees or someone who is dying to get in, let it happen. Let the debate be a debate.”

And though the debate is being held at a venue honoring the president and party icon who popularized the “11th Commandment” — “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican” — many of the campaigns are preparing for direct confrontation between the candidates.

“Jake Tapper is going to do whatever he can to get the candidates to go after each other,” said a strategist advising one of the candidates, who declined to be named delivering what could be seen as a criticism of the network. “If somebody is knocked out, CNN will be happy. In the first debate, the moderators controlled the candidates; in this debate, the candidates will have to moderate themselves.”

Though the moderators say they will look for opportunities to let the candidates interact, they may have to tread carefully to avoid appearing as instigators. The network garnered some criticism in 2012 for its handling of several memorable debate moments.

Do they really think this will put Trump in his place and take him out? You’ve got to be kidding me. Trump is a New York scrapper and won’t take that kind of crap. Ted Cruz is a world class debater as well. These people are hoping for fireworks where there is screaming and if they get lucky, punches. Disgusting. And at the Reagan Ranch no less. What a disgrace. All for ratings. These media people are all a scourge. They don’t want a debate – they want to be entertained. This isn’t helping the candidates… it’s turning the election process into a circus. I can’t believe that Nancy Reagan is okay with this. CNN made accommodations to add a token female in Fiorina as well. They just had to have that whether warranted or not. America, are you not entertained?

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton is an editor and writer for Right Wing News. She owns and blogs at She is a Constitutional Conservative and NoisyRoom focuses on political and national issues of interest to the American public. Terresa is the editor at Trevor Loudon's site, New Zeal - She also does research at You can email Terresa here. NoisyRoom can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

Share this!

Enjoy reading? Share it with your friends!