5 Takeaways From GOP Undercard Debate: Rick Santorum Screams for Democrats, Chris Christie Obsesses Over Hillary

“I respect them because they are willing to take it to us!” former Pennsylvania Senator says — rather loudly — about his admiration for Democrats

Last Updated: November 10, 2015 @ 5:50 PM

The GOP undercard debate on Fox Business Tuesday delivered several memorable moments, ranging from former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum inexplicably screaming in praise of Democrats to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal flying off the handle against the three other candidates on stage.

The debate’s tone was decidedly more low-key than CNBC’s recent showdown, with few of those dreaded “gotcha” questions GOP candidates have railed against.

Here’s the 5 takeaways:

1. Jindal Goes on Offense
Jindal, languishing in low single digits in the polls, went on the attack several times against the other candidates.

He accused Mike Huckabee of being a big talker about cutting spending but doing the opposite of cutting in Arkansas. Huckabee shot back to defend himself, but Jindal seemed to score the point.

Jindal also attacked New Jersey Gov Chris Christie, reciting a bunch of negative statistics about New Jersey’s economy; Christie deflected in response to more talking points against Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

“The reason we (Republicans) keep losing is because we keep trying to be cheaper versions of the Democratic party,” he said.

2. Chris Christie vs. Hillary?
Christie must have hallucinated that he was standing on the general election debate stage against Hillary Clinton because he debated the former secretary of state more the GOP candidates next to him.

Christie took several opportunities to attack the Democratic frontrunner; a high point was when he warned voters that Clinton was an economic Bogeyman — or shall we say Bogey-woman.

“Hillary Clinton’s coming for your wallet, everybody — don’t worry about Huckabee or Jindal, worry about her,” he said to rousing applause.

Christie took several other opportunities to market himself for a general election match-up against Clinton, including knocking her performance in the State Department.

Santorum

3. Rick Santorum Screams — for Democrats

Santorum remained mostly in the background throughout the hour-long debate until the last 15 minutes, when he raised his voice — in admiration of the Democrats.

Santorum said he respects Democrats because they “FIGHT!” against the Republicans for what they believe in. His screaming actually launched a Twitter hashtag, obviously dubbed .

“I respect them because they are willing to take it to us!” he continued.

4. Huckabee Defends Social Security — “By gosh, you paid for it!”

The former Arkansas governor ginned up the crowd by vehemently defending Social Security against the talking point that it’s an entitlement program.

“By gosh, you paid for it!” he said to crowd applause, adding that Social Security was wrecked by an incompetent Washington, D.C., and he’d fix the program as president.

He failed to land any other golden sound bites, flying mostly under the radar.

5. The Takedown That Wasn’t

A key takeaway was the departure of undercard debate candidates ripping the frontrunners not on stage — namely Donald Trump and now Ben Carson.

In all previous undercard debates, the candidates have wasted no time ripping Trump. Pundits expected barbs aimed Carson’s way as controversy has swirled around him for weeks.

No dice.

It was Christie vs. Clinton; Jindal vs. everybody; Huckabee the mild-mannered preacher and Southerner; and Santorum seemingly against Santorum.

Keep
Reading...

Looks like you’re enjoying reading
Keep reading by creating
a free account or logging in.