Time: 11:10 a.m. CEST
The biggest pressure during the last Republican debate before the critical New Hampshire primary was on Florida’s Senator Marco Rubio, as many of the United States media report. New York Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey attacked several times Senator Rubio and in general he was “hammered as callow, ambitious and lacking in accomplishment during the debate,” the New York Times reports.
During the debate, in which the Republicans confront their arguments on issues like abortion and torture, as the Times says, “the concerted effort to take down Mr. Rubio dominated the debate.” Christie even mocked with the lines Rubio repeated on President Barack Obama, while Rubio faced most pressure after he achieved strong third-place after the Iowa caucus.
Former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and Donald J. Trump pointed out on Rubio after his popularity apparently posed a threat to their candidacies. “The alliance among the three governors, who have become frustrated as Mr. Rubio has captured the imagination of donors, voters and the news media, was striking during the lengthy debate, which was sponsored by ABC News and Independent Journal Review. Not only did they team up on Mr. Rubio, they avoided harsh attacks on one another,” the Times explains.
But, the debate reflected possible exit of several candidates after the primary in New Hampshire. Christie’s campaign has just $1 million left for the campaign, the Times says and it is possible he would exit the race. At New Hampshire, Jeb Bush and Governor John Kasich of Ohio would need to demonstrate they can still appeal to voters, while Trump should prove he can gain win, the Times says.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who won the Iowa caucus, did not dominate the stage on Saturday before the primary in New Hampshire so he can calmly move to South Carolina. The Times explains, Cruz avoided adhering to previous claims against Trump’s temperament and “the assertion that Trump might use nuclear weapons, even against a friendly country like Denmark.” Instead, Cruz appealed to voters to decide who had “judgment.”