Roland Martin and an expert panel of guests recapped the first Republican presidential debate of 2016 during Friday’s edition of NewsOne Now.
Though full of zingers, one-liners, fireworks, fiery rhetoric, and vitriol, Martin and his panel sought to make sense and find substance in the previous night’s political slugfest.
NewsOne Now panelist Randa Fahmy, Former Deputy Sec. of Energy, thought the GOP debate was “fabulous,” sarcastically touting the fact that Republicans have “so many terrific candidates on that stage,” adding “what a wonder choice we as Republicans have.”
Fahmy continued her critique of the debate, saying she felt the first half of the political jockeying session was “rebuttal to the President’s State of the Union,” and considered the oftentimes contentious festivities an attempt “to distinguish themselves from not only President Obama and his policies of the past eight years, but certainly Sec. Clinton, Bernie Sanders.”
Former White House official William Jawando called the GOP Debate a “non-reality show.”
He added, “So you have Republicans talking about how bad things are and Trump’s whole mantra is how horrible the country is. At the same time we have $2 gas, we have 70 straight months of private sector job growth, we have 5 percent unemployment rate, and they’re acting like everything is just going crazy.”
“They focus on fear, they focus on division, and I think it was a stark contrast to the President’s message two nights ago about hope and [the] future and where we need to go.”
Angela Rye, Principal of Impact Strategies, said, “It’s not that substance was not addressed, but the way in which it was addressed,” highlighting the childish nature in which candidates bickered amongst themselves.
Rye also believes that Sen. Ted Cruz is “just as dangerous if not more so than Donald Trump.” She continued, “I think he’s been able to fly under the radar because of how vitriolic Donald Trump’s speeches have been.”
Rina Shah Bharara, Republican Political Strategist and consultant, summed the debate up, saying, “It was a mess.”
“You could not distinguish who was who,” said Bharara, later adding, “Essentially Trump has shown himself to be an entertainer and Cruz, I think, is dangerous.”
Martin questioned Trump’s lack of specifics.
Martin recounted several conversations with Republicans, saying, “Even when I listen to him and he goes on this whole deal about China and how they’re supposed to be so much smarter than we are — OK, are you acknowledging what’s happening with China and their farmers who are coming to the city, their smog, shutting down Beijing for an entire day? When you talk about what is happening with their finances — not necessarily the greatest thing in the world now.”
“What we’re seeing on the Republican side of these poll numbers — it’s like they’re looking for John Wayne, talking big, lots of bluster, but he’s saying nothing,” Martin said.
“In Texas, we call that all hat and no cattle.”
Watch Martin and the NewsOne Now panel recap the first Republican presidential debate in the video clip above. Let us know what you thought of the debate in the comments below.
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