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CNN/Facebook Republican Presidential Debate--Post-Debate         Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Chris Christie for President

CARLY for America

Rand Paul for President

Marco Rubio for President

Republican National Committee

Democratic National Committee

Correct the Record

Lindsey Graham 2016


Chris Christie for President

What They're Saying…

“Chris Christie: In Command From Start To Finish”

“Chris Christie Looked The Best Tonight. Far And Away.”


National Review’s Rich Lowry: “Very good night for christie”

  • “...Christie was strong.”

TIME’s Zeke Miller: “Strong Christie close there”

Charles Krauthammer: "Christie had excellent moments.”

CNN’s Jeff Zeleny: “Chris Christie: In command from start to finish. If voters still value governing experience, he's the one.”

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin: “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie played the role of experienced adult, reminding voters that those criticizing people on the stage who decried the defense budget cuts but went along with defense sequester.”

  • “Again and again he came back to the contrast between a governor/U.S. attorney and lawmakers...He was serious and emphatic on the no-fly zone, promising, if need be, to shoot down Russian planes if we set up a no fly zone.”
  • “Asked about a moral obligation to take in refugees, Christie came back with a firm assertion that his job is to keep Americans safe, defending his plan to pause refugee entry until the FBI director says they can be vetted. In repeatedly bringing the argument back to President Obama and Clinton, he seemed to be auditioning for the general election debate...On China, Christie was likewise strong, accusing Obama and Clinton of refusing to respond to China’s cyber-attack.”

NBC News’ Chuck Todd: “Of non top tier, both Christie and Bush had good nights with Christie probably helping himself the most.”

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza: “Winners: Chris Christie: The New Jersey governor had one goal in this debate: Distinguish himself from the likes of Cruz and Rubio as someone who has never spent any time in Washington. He did so -- repeatedly and successfully. He effectively injected himself into an extended back and forth between Cruz and Rubio on the NSA to say, essentially, regular people don't have any idea what the hell you guys are talking about and they don't care.  Christie went into this debate with momentum in New Hampshire; nothing he said or did Tuesday night will hurt that roll.”

The Boston Globe’s Matt Viser: “Chris Christie’s closing statement shows why he’s gaining ground in NH.”

  • “...Christie showing potential.”

The Daily Beast’s Gideon Resnick: “...Christie: Tough”

CBS Philadelphia’s Gary R'nel: “R'nel winners: Christie…”

San Francisco Chronicle’s Debra J. Saunders: “Rubio Bush Christie Cruz came out ahead.”

CBS Philadelphia’s Chris Stigall: “Have to give the night to Christie.”

NPR’s Steve Inskeep: “Christie had a good debate. Hugh Hewitt had a better one.”

Washington Post’s Ed O'Keefe: “Also a standout night for Christie, Cruz and Rubio. Rubio deftly clashing w Cruz, contrasting w Trump.”

NPR’s Asma Khalid: “Quick take - seemed both Christie and Rubio had strong closings...”

The Atlantic’s Molly Ball: “Christie stood out”

The Houston Chronicle’s Vernon Loeb: “Final word from me:Rubio,Cruz, Christie and Fiorina closings the strongest, I thought. And I think those four had the best nights”

Daily Caller’s Jamie Weinstein: “Winners: Trump, Christie and Cruz likely to benefit from the debate…”

The Washington Post’s Robert Costa: “...Christie in the mix.”

Free Beacon’s Lachlan Markay: “Winners: Christie, Cruz”

CNN’s Alex Castellanos: “...Lots of open field for @GovChristie and @JebBush. buy their stock today”

Richard Grenell: “winners: @ChrisChristie and @marcorubio.”

Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin: “My debate report card: … Christie B+...”

The New York Times’ Ross Douthat: “Actual prediction: ...Christie + Bush gain a couple points at Kasich + Fiorina's expense in NH.”

The Daily Beast’s John Avlon: “Christie & Rand outperformed…”

Seattle Times’ Jim Brunner: “Winners: Cruz, Rubio, Bush, Christie. Losers: Carson, Kasich. Bottom line: Trump wins.”

Townhall’s Guy Benson: “Winner: Trump. Can't imagine he hurt himself. Strong: Cruz, Christie, Rubio, Paul (in that order)...”

The Weekly Standard’s Jay Cost: “I thought Chris Christie looked the best tonight. Far and away. Just one man's opinion.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Byron Tau: “...[H]e also made the strongest case to date for his unique brand of executive experience and national security views.”

Newsmax: “@jdhayworth says @ChrisChristie could be the come-back candidate after tonight's #GOPDebate performance.”

Fox News’ Andrea Tantaros: “Cruz shines. Christie strong. Rubio on the ropes. Trump holds his own. Carly consistent. Carson snores. Kasich who. Jeb: nobody cares.”

CARLY for America

Fifth Debate Another Win for Carly Fiorina

"We need a commander in chief who has made tough calls in tough times and stood up to be held accountable over and over." -Carly Fiorina

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Tonight, CNN and Salem Radio hosted the fifth official Republican Primary debate in Las Vegas, Nev. Carly Fiorina joined eight other Republican candidates on the main debate stage, which was moderated by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Dana Bash and Salem Radio’s Hugh Hewitt and broadcast from The Venetian. 
Carly Fiorina is the conservative outsider with a bold blueprint to take our government back, and tonight she shared her vision with the American people. Carly Fiorina has accrued a team of supporters in Nevadaincluding three former Nevada Republican state chairwomen.
Hon. Amy Tarkanian, former Nevada Republican State Chairwoman: 
“Tonight Carly conveyed her blueprint for taking our country back from the professional political class. She knows how the world works, and she knows how to take charge as America moves into an unprecedented era of global conflict. We need a voice of reason. I can't think of anyone who fits that bill better than Carly.”
Hon. Earlene Forsythe, former Nevada Republican State Chairwoman:
“Carly has chaired the advisory board at the CIA, and she’s advised the CIA, the NSA, two Secretaries of Defense, a Secretary of State and a Secretary of Homeland Security. Carly’s specific, detailed plan continues to inspire me to feel optimistic about our future as a country.  A citizen leader, Carly will get things done in the White House."
Hon. Lia Roberts, Former Nevada Republican State Chairwoman:
“Every debate, Carly proves she has the knowledge and communicative ability to be president of the United States. Tonight, voters saw a proven leader who has made a career of challenging the status quo. Carly has a list of accomplishments to prove it.”
Rand Paul for President

Rand Paul Dominates Debate Stage, Draws Contrasts and Shows Clarity on Foreign Policy

LAS VEGAS, Nev.Tonight we saw eight candidates preparing to fight the last war and expand big government, while only one was willing to keep America safe and protect the Constitution. On the 224th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, Senator Rand Paul made clear what so many generations of Americans before us have understood: we can be free and be safe. We do not have to choose between the Constitution and security. 

Senator Paul stands out because he believes that our next Commander-in-Chief should be thoughtful when making the decision to send our sons and daughters to war. He understands that America must act when and only when our interests are directly threatened--and that when we act, we must ensure we have a strategy for overwhelming victory that has been thought through well before we ever risk American lives. 

Senator Rand Paul demonstrated tonight that he is the only candidate with the responsible character and thoughtful judgment necessary in the leader of the free world.

Don't just take it from us. Here's 'What They Are Saying' about Senator Paul's debate performance: 

The Atlantic @TheAtlantic
... [Rand] Paul is having his best night of the race

Laura Ingraham @IngrahamAngle
Rand Paul again KILLED on legal immigration. He is 100 percent CORRECT.
Michelle Malkin @MichelleMalkin 
Remarkable Rand Paul frontal attack on Rubio's Gang of Eight shilling. Huge applause from crowd. #gopdebate
Jonathan Martin @jmartNYT 
Rand Paul, doing jobs against Marco that Ted Cruz won't

Katie Pavlich @KatiePavlich
Rand Paul just landed some serious punches on Rubio, combining open immigration policy with threat of terrorists #GOPDebate

Anand Giridharadas @AnandWrites
.@RandPaul has done a masterful job explaining his positions tonight.#GOPDebate
Mark R. Levin @marklevinshow 
Agree with him or not, Rand Paul is having a pretty good night, so far
Katie Couric @katiecouric 
Our group thinks@RandPaul having a good night#GOPDebate
James Pindell @JamesPindell 
For a guy who didn't qualify for this#CNNDebate@RandPaul proves he belongs in the#CNNDebate

Matt Walsh @MattWalsh Blog
Rand Paul is just savaging everyone tonight. Glad he's here to make it interesting.

Steve Deace @SteveDeaceShow
Tonight is the first time Rand Paul has been the true liberty champion on a national stage as a presidential candidate he was expected to be. 


Rubio for President
fundraising email
Terry Sullivan, MarcoRubio.com<replies@marcorubio.com>
they all came at Marco

They all came at Marco and he knocked them down one by one.
Tonight, the isolationist tag team duo Ted Cruz and Rand Paul tried to take on Marco. They got beat, badly.
Marco emerged from this debate the clear winner -- and it wasn't just because he was on home turf. (He had a bunch of family and friends from his childhood growing up in Vegas there cheering him on.)
It was because on his side he had the facts, the expertise, and an unwavering belief that America is a force for good in the world.
>>Congratulate Marco on a job well-done & become a Debate Night Donor by clicking here.<<
Marco has the conservative vision and leadership Americans are thirsting for, and the ability to make the case for it in a way that flat out terrifies Democrats.
A great example: One of the most memorable moments of the debate was when Marco talked about his childhood in Nevada, hearing his grandfather talk about (while smoking one of his three daily cigars) how blessed Marco was to be up growing in America, a country where anyone can be anything if he works hard enough. Marco's running for president because that just might not be true for the next generation: our kids and grandkids.
A candidate who can tell that story -- and has the ideas to follow through on restoring that  promise -- is exactly what we need. Every debate, and every campaign stop Marco makes, more Americans realize it.
But we need all the help we can get to spread that message, and mobilize voters to get behind it. To help us build on the momentum tonight and help us prepare for the latest wave of attacks from the Left, click here to make an emergency, debate night donation.
Whether it's $5, $100 or something in between, your immediate, secure debate night donation will be put to use tomorrow morning.


Part of what helps Marco dominate these debates is knowing that he has the support of so many Americans who value exactly what he does. If you have his back, go here to join our debate night team and make a secure, online donation.


Thanks for watching,


Terry Sullivan

Campaign Manager

Marco Rubio for President

Republican National Committee

RNC Statement On The CNN Republican Primary Debate

WASHINGTON – Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus released the following statement at the conclusion of the presidential primary debate in Las Vegas, Nevada:
“It’s clear from tonight’s debate that our Republican field understands the threats we face from radical Islamic terrorism and that we must change course from the failed Clinton-Obama foreign policy to destroy it.  As President Obama’s Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was chief architect of an agenda that has left our country facing a more chaotic world and our homeland at a greater risk of attack.  Our candidates understand we must defeat radical Islamic terrorism, while Hillary Clinton refuses to acknowledge we’re at war with ISIS or even call the enemy by its name.  The fundamental differences between our exceptionally qualified candidates and the Democrat field couldn’t be more clear, which is why the American people will elect a Republican president next November.”
Democratic National Committee

VIDEO: DNC Chair Statement on Tonight’s Republican Debate

WASHINGTON – Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued the following statement on the Republican debate tonight in Las Vegas, Nevada. Video of her statement is available for use by media outlets by clicking HERE. Below is the full statement:

“Tonight’s debate in Las Vegas was a complete disaster for the Republican Party.  It was clear that not a single one of their candidates has what it takes to keep our country safe. From suggestions to shut down the Internet, to calling for punching Russians in the nose, to confusion about how to target ISIL -- or even where they are -- there were no serious proposals presented tonight. From Donald Trump on down, the Republican Party’s candidates have allowed their dangerous rhetoric to get them in way over their heads on national security.


“The entire debate also ignored Republican opposition to keeping guns out of the hands of terrorists and the mentally ill, in the same week our nation marked the third anniversary of the massacre of 26 children and educators at Sandy Hook, and the deaths of 90,000 more Americans to gun violence since then. And there was no substantive discussion on the economic security of the American people, which is threatened by those candidates’ plans to go back to Bush-era policies that preceded the great recession and the loss of 8 million jobs. Perhaps most embarrassing for the GOP, their Chairman went on stage to tout the Republican Party’s outreach to minorities just as his candidates lined up to bash immigrants, while continuing to insult the entire Muslim religion. We need to keep America moving forward. Our country just can’t afford to take a risk on any of these reckless Republican candidates.”



What people on Twitter said tonight about the #GOPdebate

Tonight’s GOP debate was yet another disaster for the Republican Party—making it clear that not one of the GOPers has what it takes to lead our nation. The candidates stumbled from question to question, proving that their offensive rhetoric and backwards policy ideas have blinded them from having a substantive conversation about national security.
Read what people are saying about tonight’s debate below:
@tripgabriel: 'What does the RNC do?' @Reince asks. "Working in black, Asian, Hispanic communities..." How is that going this year?
@costareports: Priebus is talking up the GOP's "unifying message" to debate crowd, minutes before Trump takes his place center stage.
@ByronYork: Puzzling how a candidate can say Trump would be disaster for US national security, endanger us all--and then pledge to support him.
@CNNPolitics: .@realDonaldTrump defends his Muslim ban proposal at the #GOPDebate cnn.it/1O7Jx8M
@MarcACaputo: Ted Cruz needs more time to say the same thing over and over again
@Olivianuzzi: Mom, dad stop fighting!
@EliLake: .@marcorubio is proposing basically what Obama is doing in Syria. Spec ops, local allies, air strikes. #GOPDebate
@jbouie: Jamelle Bouie Retweeted Eli Lake
Another serious tweet: None of the GOP plans for ISIS are meaningfully different from Obama's.
@AbcarianLAT: Really @GovChristie ? The dads go off to work and the mommies take the kids to school? 1950s much? #GOPDebate
@chrislhayes: The first amendment is under assault on college campuses !
And also, I'll be shutting down mosques.
@asmith83: Someone needs to explain Facebook privacy settings to Mike Huckabee.
@DylanByers: It’s 2015, and the national debate in America is about whether adherents to world’s 2nd biggest religion should be treated differently.
@jimantle: Like a border wall in Mexico, Graham would have enemies pay for new troops overseas.
@Enrique_Acevedo: This debate feels like its been going on for #TenEternities
@Olivianuzzi: The Republican frontrunner's platform is racial and religious discrimination but yeah, things are going great other than that.
@TimFernholz: Christie has yet to articulate a different strategy from Clinton and Obama on ISIL
@Enrique_Acevedo: Carson complains about not getting more questions. Carson refuses to answer question. #GOPDebate
‏@neeratanden: Having a hard time reconciling the GOP's "pro-life" position on reproductive rights w/ idea that it's ok to kill innocent children in war.
@ron_fournier: So far, debate boils down to: Who can scare us the most and make us more suspicious of people who don't look like us? Way to go, GOP.
@joshrogin: Guy who missed all the Armed Services hearings debating security with the guy who missed all the Foreign Relations hearings #GOPDebate

Correct the Record


Washington, DC – Correct the Record released the following statement on tonight’s GOP debate:

“Tonight’s Republican debate was a veritable fireworks display of rhetorical flare-ups and explosive bigotry. From the opening question, each candidate lashed out against Muslims, pandered to special interests, and insulted American values,” said Brad Woodhouse, President of Correct the Record. “There’s no better proof that Hillary Clinton is the most qualified candidate than watching these nine try to outdo each other.”

“You could sense the desperation from contenders not named Trump, and it was ugly. Cruz, Rubio, Carson, and everyone else on that stage scrambled to reach the 99th percentile of far-right extremism. And with today’s GOP, extremism translates to poll numbers. Whether targeting Muslims or blaming refugees, the Republican candidates fibbed and fear mongered to distract from their lack of solutions. No one—not a single candidate—had a nuanced anti-terror plan anything like the one Hillary Clinton offered this afternoon. They’re all in over their heads."

Correct The Record is a strategic research and rapid response team designed to defend Hillary Clinton from baseless attacks.

Lindsey Graham 2016

Lindsey Graham Is The Only Candidate Who Has A Plan To Protect Our Nation And Destroy ISIL

Alexandria, VA – In response to Senator Lindsey Graham's strong performance in tonight's CNN debate in Las Vegas, Lindsey Graham 2016 campaign manager Christian Ferry today released the following statement:

“The next President of the United States is going to be thrown into the midst of a full-fledged war with radical Islam whether they are ready or not.  Lindsey Graham once again showed tonight that he is the only candidate, on either stage, who has a real plan to protect our nation and destroy ISIL.  Since the beginning of this campaign, Senator Graham has been consistently calling for American action with boots on the ground to combat this threat to our homeland.  While other candidates have begun to follow his lead, it has taken far too much carnage to get them there.  Our nation deserves a Commander in Chief who understands this war and can win it – the only candidate who meets that standard is Senator Lindsey Graham."

December 16, 2015



Plus 3.1 Million Live Streams

According to Nielsen Fast National ratings data, last night’s CNN Facebook Republican candidates’ presidential debate moderated by Wolf Blitzer was the third most watched presidential primary debate ever, averaging 18 million total viewers. In the demo 25-54, the debate averaged 5.6 million.  Last night’s debate was the second most watched program in CNN's history (after CNN’s September GOP debate).

Three of the top four presidential primary debates this election cycle were watched on CNN.  CNN’s September GOP  debate (9/16/15) averaged 23.1 million total viewers and the most watched Democratic debate in history (10/13/15) averaged 15.5 million.

Last night’s debate ranks as the third largest non-sports cable telecast audience on record. 

The early debate averaged 5.7 million total viewers and 1.4 million in the demo 25-54.

CNN live streamed last night’s GOP debate to CNN.com, its mobile apps and connected TVs. CNN earned at least 3.1 million live streams and the event reached peak usage at 9:45 pm ET with 815,000 concurrent streams.  


1. Fox News Republican Debate, Cleveland Ohio (8/6/2015)         23,997 million

2. CNN Republican Debate, Reagan Library (9/16/2015)                23,056

3. CNN Republican Debate, Las Vegas (12/15/2015)                     18,039

4. CNN Democratic Debate, Las Vegas (10/13/2015)                      15,459

5. CNBC Republican Debate, Boulder CO (10/28/2015)                 14,005

6. FBN Republican Debate, Milwaukee, WI (11/10/2015)             13,454

7. ABC Democratic Debate, Philadelphia (4/16/2008)                   10,693

8. ABC Democratic Debate, New Hampshire (1/5/2008)                9,362

9. CBS Democratic Debate, Des Moines (11/14/2015)                   8,552

10. CNN Democratic Debate, Los Angeles (1/31/2008)                  8,324