Littwin: Anger’s winning the Republican debates
January 16, 2016
If the Republican debates are an exercise in who can scare Americans the most, GOP Debate VI was the clear winner.
This was the night, just 17 nights before the first votes are cast at the Iowa caucuses, in which it became frighteningly clear that either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz might well win the nomination. (No, I still don't believe Trump can win — my imagination is just not that good — which would leave us with, yes, Cruz, and how do you get scarier than that, unless Dick Nixon makes another comeback?)
Much will be made of the Donald v. Cruz debates on birtherism and New York values — a split decision, by the way, with master debater Cruz blowing the New York piece by allowing Trump to go all 9/11 on him — but if you want to see why Trump and/or Cruz are winning, all you had to do was watch Marco Rubio, the last establishment GOP hope.
I've been reading about the new, darker Rubio — the one who doesn't sound like the Republican Obama any more. That's because he's trying to sound like the Republican Cruz. And there he was on the stage, hoping to make the case that he can out-anger Cruz, that he can even out-bully Chris Christie.
Rubio sounds angry — really, really angry – because he has figured out that being angry is the only plausible route to victory. The question is whether Republican voters will buy his impression.
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