WSJ: Tuesday’s Republican debate most educational

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Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

By Lynn R. Mitchell

I like the way the Wall Street Journal opened its opinion piece about Tuesday’ Republican debate (see Republican fault lines):

Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate wasn’t the most entertaining, but it was the most educational. The two-hour session gave the candidates a chance to critique the Obama record, as well as tease out the GOP’s economic fault lines.

They went on to touch on issues discussed — trade, tax policies, immigration, jobs — and various candidate responses. It’s worth the read — it’s not long. There was also something else they picked up on that other media outlets did also — that Jeb Bush concentrated his attack power on Obama and Hillary, not his fellow candidates:

Jeb Bush had his best debate by focusing his aim on Hillary Clinton’s economic policies rather than on other Republicans. His specificity on regulations he’d repeal was helpful, listing the three most costly in the Obama years.

And then there was this on immigration:

Jeb Bush pushed back against Mr. Trump’s deportation plans, arguing that “to send back” 12 million illegals “is just not possible” and would have the Clinton campaign “doing high-fives” in the general election. We think he’s right about the politics, but Messrs. Trump and Cruz think they can win on an anti-immigration platform. Can they win more than Mitt Romney’s 17% share of the minority vote?

Let’s hope future Republican debates are as informative as the one Tuesday. Fox Business Network, led by Neal Cavuto as one of the three moderators, set up a format that allowed candidates to expand on their answers more so than in previous debates, and questions asked were about issues important in these unsettled times. More of that, please. Oh — and I agree with their assessment that Governor Chris Christie should be on the main stage.

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