The leading Republican candidates squared off in New Hampshire on Saturday night at a debate sponsored by ABC News and the Independent Journal Review (IJReview). Only the top seven candidates were invited to participate based on national polling and polling of New Hampshire primary voters. This debate comes just days before the crucial first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary on February 9.
Saturday, February 6, 2016
ABC News Republican Debate
Location: Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire
Moderators: David Muir and Martha Raddatz
Candidates: Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Carson, Bush, Kasich, Christie
Here is the full video of the debate in a five part playlist:
Report from CNN:
Marco Rubio struggled to fend off a string of searing attacks from Chris Christie as the two battle to emerge from Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary as the favorite of the Republican establishment.
Rubio appeared seriously rattled by the exchanges Saturday night at the final Republican presidential debate before the primary. The senator tried to fend off Christie — without much effect — by shifting the focus to President Barack Obama and the Democrats.
But Christie was relentless, blasting Rubio as someone who delivers soaring speeches but has never made a consequential decision in his political life and isn’t fit to be president.
“Marco, the thing is this,” Christie said at the ABC debate at St. Anselm’s College in New Hampshire. “When you’re president of the United States, when you’re a governor of a state, the memorized 30-second speech where you talk about how great America is at the end of it doesn’t solve one problem for one person,” Christie said.
Christie also slammed Rubio’s poor attendance record in the Senate.
“That’s not leadership, that’s truancy,” Christie said.
Rubio tried to blunt Christie’s attack by saying the governor had not wanted to leave the campaign trail to return to New Jersey before a major recent snow storm last week. The senator then spoke of the aspirations of the American people.
But Christie had none of it, refusing to let Rubio wriggle out of his assault, playing on a narrative advanced by Rubio’s opponents that he has simply learned a soaring stump speech and deploys it every time he appears in public, be it at a campaign event or a debate.
“There it is, the memorized 20 second speech,” Christie told the crowd.
This debate started out with Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio taking the brunt of the attacks. Donald Trump remained unscathed for much of the time as the other candidates were fighting over 2nd and 3rd place in New Hampshire. I think Rubio was damaged somewhat, especially by the exchanges with Chris Christie who came out the strongest against Rubio compared to any debate thus far. I don’t think Trump took much damage which might keep his poll numbers safe. I do think that the Rubio momentum might be halted somewhat given the relentless attacks from several other candidates.