Rand Paul generates memorable clashes with shortest time, fewest words in GOP debate
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie went at it Thursday night in Cleveland.
It was one of the highlights of the Presidential debate, but was it enough to give Paul's campaign some momentum?
The Washington Post says Rand Paul got the fewest minutes -- with about five -- and fewest number of words -- with just over 900. But he did have two of the most memorable moments.
Paul was on the offensive from the very start, ripping Donald Trump for his refusal to pledge support for whoever wins the GOP nomination.
“So if he doesn't run as a Republican, maybe he supports Clinton or maybe runs as an independent. But I'd say he's already hedging his bets because he's used to buying politicians,” thundered Paul.
“Well, I've given him (Paul) plenty of money,” responded Trump.
Former Jefferson Co. GOP chairman Nathan Haney believes Paul was genuinely angry at Trump's comments, but does not believe Paul benefited from the exchange.
“It's just hard to upstage Trump. Donald Trump is really good at being Donald Trump. So you have to let him be what he is and show to the American people what you're going to do,” said Haney.
But Democratic consultant Bob Gunnell disagrees.
“What you have to like about it is that Donald Trump is used to going after somebody and that person just retreating. Sen. Paul didn't retreat,” said Gunnell.
According to Facebook, the most social moment of the debate was the clash between Paul and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie over government surveillance.
“I want to collect more records from terrorists, but less records from innocent Americans,” said Paul
The statement elicited a sharp response from Christie.
“Senator you know, when you're sitting in a subcommittee just blowing hot air about this, you can say things like that. When you're responsible for protecting the lives of the American people, then what you need to do is to make sure ...” said Christie before Paul interrupted.
“Here's the problem, governor. You fundamentally misunderstand the Bill of Rights,” he said.
Again, the exchange got a mixed reaction from political observers.
“Overall, the demeanor wasn't real good. I don't think it played well for TV for either one of them, really,” said Haney.
“Sen. Paul has hit a nerve of not just Republicans, Democrats, Independents, everybody who thinks that the world should not be under surveillance. I think, for him, he won that moment,” said Gunnell.
The consensus was that it was neither Paul's best night nor his worst, but he did do enough to keep his campaign going.
The big winner of the night may have been Fox News as the event drew 24 million viewers, the largest for a presidential debate.
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