Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer declares Donald Trump the winner of Thursday night's Republican presidential debate hosted by the FOX Business Network. Krauthammer says while the Trump-Cruz fight on the latter's natural birth status was a "minor win" for the Texas Senator but Trump's response to Cruz's "New York values" attack was "the moment of the debate."
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I think a telling moment was the final split screen. You saw Cruz on the right, utterly speechless and beaten. That was a pretty rare event. I'm surprised the focus group was looking at the exchange between the two of them on the birth issue. That was a win for Cruz, but I thought it was a minor one. This one, I thought was electric.
Two things that are surprising about that exchange. First of all, focus, who is the best debater of the group had to know this was coming. He had to know it was coming because Donald Trump had said the same answer about September 11th in one of the television shows. So he knew it was coming and had no response. Look. focus had dropped this thing about New York in a semi tongue in cheek way as a wink, wink to people in Iowa...
It might have tested well in Iowa but not in a national debate. It's not just that Cruz walked into a trap knowing what is coming but that Trump acted in a way that is quite uncharacteristic. If you notice how he drops the tone of his voice, it was serious and he slowed down. And he delivered that in a way that was sober and serious, unlike the way he generally speaks which is quickly, and half sentences, jumping around and with a lot of energy and I think he played that. That was the September 11th card. He dealt it out of the deck in a way that was surprising for Trump.
I thought that was the moment of the debate. If you score the debate on who this this round on points, it would be different. But I think that was a moment where Trump clearly had won. Cruz, the main challenger, had lost.