By Ben Shapiro
Thursday night’s contentious, explosive, and altogether humiliating crapshow of a debate may not have any impact on the Republican nomination race. Donald Trump has a significant delegate lead; Senator Sen. [score]Marco Rubio[/score] (R-FL) trails him heavily in Florida; Ohio Governor John Kasich has precisely one state in which he matters; and Senator Sen. [score]Ted Cruz[/score] (R-TX) has to wait for a consolidated field beyond Super Tuesday in order to compete with Trump nationwide.
But let’s play make-believe and pretend for just a moment that the debate on Thursday night actually mattered to undecided voters, or that Trump’s support isn’t rock solid, or that voters haven’t made up their minds about Rubio vs. Cruz yet. Here are the debate grades.
Donald Trump: Z. Trump’s worst debate performance by far. Again, all of this comes with the proviso that it probably won’t matter. But seriously – what the hell are Trump supporters thinking?
Let’s start with the substance.
Trump demonstrated that he was fully unprincipled even on his core issues, like immigration – his pathetic defense that he won’t release his off-the-record New York Times interview because he respects “off the record” is fantasy, given that “off the record” designation is designed to protect the interviewee. Trump flipped on H1B visas, a bugaboo of hard-core anti-immigration believers, in the middle of the debate. He said everything was negotiable. He got smoked by Chris Wallace on his plans to cut spending – his statistics were pulled directly from his colon. Megyn Kelly made him bleed from his wherever with her fact check on the alleged scam, Trump University. He said openly that he would make members of the military violate both morality and law by murdering children and women. This, for those unaware, is called fascism. And no, he wasn’t talking about broadening rules of engagement.
Read more: Breitbart