6 Takes on Last Night's 'Donald Trump Show'
He made the other 9 candidates look 'boring, but grown-up'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2015 5:00 AM CDT
Updated Aug 7, 2015 6:49 AM CDT
Republican presidential candidates from left, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Scott Walker, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and John Kasich take the stage.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – The front-runner grabbed so much attention at last night's Republican debate that some commentators are calling it the "Donald Trump show"—but there's plenty of disagreement on whether the debate helped his campaign, or those of the nine rivals that made the cut. Here's what the pundits are saying.

  • Trump made the rest of the candidates look boring—but he also made them look "responsible, polite, and grown-up," and made Ted Cruz look "serious and knowledgeable," writes Jim Geraghty at the National Review. The "shining" Marco Rubio turned in the best performance, Geraghty writes, but Jeb Bush was dull and Mike Huckabee seemed tired.
  • Nate Cohn at the New York Times also thinks Rubio had a good debate, as did Scott Walker and John Kasich, who "advanced their causes" with solid performances. Bush, however, wasn't especially strong and Trump's "weakest" performance means he "probably won't receive as much media attention coming out of the debate as he did in the weeks before it," Cohn writes.

  • Trump was a winner for staying "true to Trump, which is what got him to the top of the polls in the first place," but a loser for his Rosie O'Donnell remark, according to ABC. Other winners include "hometown hero" Kasich and the moderating team.
  • Trump's "combative, outlandish, at times barely coherent" performance is what the debate will be remembered for, writes Paul Lewis at the Guardian—though he became quieter when the debate shifted to "policy areas where he had little or nothing of substance to contribute."
  • The Hill crunches the numbers and finds that Trump was mentioned a total of 17 times during the debate—four fewer mentions than either Hillary Clinton or ISIS, but four more than President Obama and 10 more than ObamaCare. Benghazi, oddly, wasn't mentioned once.
  • Trump's "in-your-face routine fell a little flat in the debate hall," decides Glenn Thrush at Politico, and the contrast between him and the "talented field of conservative governors and senators" was not flattering. Walker, meanwhile, was a "plodder," Thrush writes but he had the best line of the night: "It's sad to think right now, but probably the Russian and Chinese government know more about Hillary Clinton’s email server than do the members of the United States Congress."
Click for the 10 Trumpiest lines of the night.