Since it’s been less than 24 hours since the last presidential debate ended, you may be feeling withdrawal symptoms. Good for you, it’s once again Debate Night in America.
Tonight, the remaining Republicans gather in Miami: GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, and three guys who think they can stop him–Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and John Kasich.
The venue tonight is the University of Miami, and the moderator is Jake Tapper. He’s joined in the questioning by Dana Bash, Salem talk radio host Hugh Hewitt and The Washington Times’ Stephen Dinan.
Will Trump be asked about the allegations his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, grabbed a journalist who tried to ask Trump a question earlier this week? If so, here’s the story.
And then there’s the arrest of a Trump supporter who sucker punched a protester at a Trump rally in North Carolina–a story that is getting major attention in the news cycle ahead of the debate. Here’s more.
As for the rest of the debate–and the other candidates in particular, ABC News says this is Gut Check Time:
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 10, 2016
FIRST THINGS FIRST: CNN LIES. Yes, we were all duped–again–by CNN, which said the debate would begin at 8:30 p.m. ET (at least until 8:30 p.m. ET, when the network revealed the debate should begin at 9). Here’s what CNN said about the debate start time in a post “Everything You Need to Know About CNN’s GOP Debate:
Yeah, not so much. Folks on social media took it pretty well:
Loser CNN lies to America about debate starting at 8:30 so they can sell more ads for boring diabetes drugs. Complete waste of time. Sad!
— delrayser (@delrayser) March 11, 2016
.@CNN always lies about debate start times. Of course they always lie about the primaries in general, so it totally makes sense.
— Michael Salamone (@MichaelSalamone) March 11, 2016
It is a genuine joke that CNN just lies about when the debate starts.
— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) March 11, 2016
CNN: The Most Trusted Name In News”
*lies about the time their media event begins* #GOPDebate
— Zikan (@Zikan) March 11, 2016
9:15 p.m. ET: Tapper’s Pocket Square There’s been plenty of talk early on about trade and guest workers, but some viewers seem distracted by Jake Tapper’s pocket square.
— Hilary Sargent (@lilsarg) March 11, 2016
— Alex Castellanos (@alexcast) March 11, 2016
We can now declare a winner: Jake Tapper's pocket square defeats Bernie's suit as greatest debate distraction. #GOPDebate -J
— TheStreet (@TheStreet) March 11, 2016
9:33 p.m. ET: “So far I cannot believe how civil it’s been up here.” Many observers have noted that Donald Trump seems to be playing it for the general election on stage, keeping it civil and calm. Trump himself even expressed surprise out “how civil it’s been up here.”
That has a few–okay, more than a few–people making jokes on Twitter about missing the Trump that talked about the size of his hands. We’re not sharing those, but you can look ’em up.
10:00 p.m. ET: Trump Dominates It seems that the candidates who hope to stop Trump are biding their time and waiting to take their shot. The conversation about the candidates on Twitter tells the story:
— Alan Rappeport (@arappeport) March 11, 2016
10:15 p.m. ET: Cuba As the conversation turns to one of South Florida’s nearest and dearest topics, Cuba, Marco Rubio seems to have found his edge, sparring with Trump, who many believe has come across as unprepared.
Rubio has dropped the Trump-like attacks and is having a commanding debate.
— John Dickerson (@jdickerson) March 11, 2016
This is new. Seen Trump being booed or cheered but NEVER has he been laughed AT by the audience while trying to deliver a serious answer
— Jason Johnson (@DrJasonJohnson) March 11, 2016
Rubio dominating the debate now.
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) March 11, 2016
10:35 p.m. ET: Bad Dudes Confronted by Jake Tapper about the violence that has happened at his rallies–and then reading a series of Trump’s own quotes suggesting violence–Trump says he’s had a lot of protesters who have been “bad dudes.”
That said, reporters covering the Trump campaign say they haven’t documented any violence on the part of protesters:
Instant fact-check from Trump embed. https://t.co/qYDazxvzVJ
— Ana Marie Cox (@anamariecox) March 11, 2016
10:55 p.m. ET: Who Won?
Rubio great in this debate. Cruz pretty good. Kasich attended. Trump was horrible. Will it matter? Naaaah. #GOPDebate
— Ben White (@morningmoneyben) March 11, 2016
Seriously, tweeps, all joking aside: Rubio has been by far the best one on stage, and Trump will still win Florida. This is where we are.
— Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports) March 11, 2016
11:00 p.m. The Debate Has Ended. Go in peace.