Charles Krauthammer analyzes the Saturday night Republican presidential debate moderated by CBS News. Krauthammer said if the previous debates had been World War I or II, then this debate was a thermonuclear war. The syndicated columnist said Trump debated like "a man who was not sitting on the lead" because the candidate engaged with every top candidate.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: If the previous Republican debates have been World War I or II this is is thermonuclear. I have is not seen as many personal attacks or high temperature attacks as we saw in this debate. I am not sure that you can judge the debate on who won or lost on the actual sound bites of who won this exchange or, that that, it was the tone. I think that if you counted up the number of times that the word 'lie' and 'liar' was employed, it would exceed the number of times it has been used in all previous debates.
In the end, I thought that Trump was a man who was not sitting on the lead, that's for sure. He was engaged personally with everybody at a very bitter level... with Bush, he was throwing around insults, including the family, and getting incoming as well from all sides. So he didn't sit on the lead. I think he took a risk in being as open and often contemptuous as he was, but I don't think it's going to shake his support. The question is, will it limit his support?
Bush was extremely feisty. I think that he thinks his only hope is to go after Trump hard and he did with some success. Rubio and Cruz had their usual exchanges on immigration. Which I thought was a draw. But Rubio's job was to make people forget the mistake he made in the last debate, that gaffe, and I think that he did that. I think that he carried it off in the sense that people will be talking about this debate and the one in which he stumbled which is doing to be fading into insignificance. We went here from WWE to the UFC. This was a cage fight of the sort that I don't think we have seen at the presidential level before.