In Las Vegas, Nevada CNN, in partnership with Facebook and Salem Radio, broadcast the fifth Republican primary debate of the 2016 Presidential election. The debate was moderated by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and other questions were from CNN’s Dana Bash and Salem Radio’s Hugh Hewitt. Unlike the Democratic Party who clearly believe that having debates is the work of Satan, the GOP has managed to drive the national conversation about a number of different topics through these events. The top nine GOP candidates gathered together to discuss issues that the Republican base wets the bed over.
This debate was an attempt for some of the candidates to put forward their alternate cases toward foreign affairs and below is my analysis of each of the candidates:
CNN, in their infinite wisdom, decided to make the debate specifically about foreign policy which I think is a stupid idea. The whole point of doing themed debates is to give some media attention to issues that are not normally talked about. Foreign policy is not one of these topics.
I live in England and therefore can look at American politics through the perspective of an outsider looking in. Why the living hell do I know that Carly Fiorina wants to rebuild the Sixth Fleet? I’ll tell you why. Because foreign policy is talked about in every God damn debate. All CNN has to do is ask questions about issues that people care about.
If you want to do themed debates throughout the primary that’s fine and would make sense. However don’t randomly allocate a debate to an issue that already spoken about in every other debate. If there was a Republican debate about climate change or race relations that would make sense as these issues aren’t really spoken about among GOP politicians. Doing a themed debate is a stupid idea when that theme is one of the most important areas of policy.
So in future CNN don’t do one debate about foreign policy unless it meets two criteria. First, there aren’t nine candidates all spewing sound-bites in thirty-second chunks at the camera. There isn’t enough time to get into the minutia of foreign policy specifics when there are loads of candidates trying to put their policies across in a finite amount of time.