The 8th Republican Debate – A Look Back

Written by Michelle Lee

8th Republican Debate: New Hampshire Primary

by Michelle Lee

On Saturday, February 6, 2016, the debate set in St. Anselm’s College Institute of Politics, Manchester, New Hampshire seemed to be a game changer for the Republican candidates. Just nine days earlier was the Iowa debate, without Donald Trump, the front-runner.

This debate started off with multiple missed entrances. Ben Carson, who didn’t hear his own name being called (because of the loud applause), set off a chain reaction of awkward and uncomfortable entrances. After the incident, and a couple of laughs, the debate went off to a smooth start.

Another moment that stood out in the debate was the fiery chit-chat between New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Rubio, according to ABC News, repeated phrases that were similar to “Let’s dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing,” four times. Christie criticized him on multiple occasions, saying that a “memorized twenty-five second speech” won’t solve any problems in the U.S. government.  

Later Ted Cruz, when asked about North Korea’s nuclear bomb usage, talked about arming South Korea with missile defense interceptors because they “[want] them.”

Then, Mary Katharine Ham, author, journalist and Fox News Contributor, asked Donald Trump whether he was closer to Bernie Sanders’ vision on health care than Hillary Clinton. He responded with “I’m closer to common sense” and “We are going to replace Obamacare with some things so much better.” Right after that, he stated “as a Republican” he did not want people “on the street dying” because they were not covered by health insurance.

Countless times Ben Carson tried to acknowledge his own presence and ideas by using humor. “Go to my website BenCarson.com; read… about everything that’s been discussed [in this debate]” he said in less than thirty seconds before the debate continued on with issues like eminent domain, saturation carpet bombing, terrorism, and the punishment of waterboarding.

Each candidate tried to predict the winning team of Super Bowl Sunday. Many of the candidates supported Carolina, but Jeb Bush defended the Denver Broncos because Peyton Manning “supported him.” Ben Carson replied with, “With 100 percent certainty I will predict the winner: It will be either Denver or Carolina.”

The closing statements preceded, and the winners were projected:

Donald Trump, John Kasich, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, and Ben Carson.

However, because Jeb Bush, Ben Carson and Chris Christie have recently dropped from the 2016 race, the race for the Republican nomination is down to four candidates: Trump, Cruz, Rubio and Kasich. The Republican nominee will be chosen on July 18, 2016.