Jeb Bush, Republican, debate, GOP, January 28
Jeb Bush, Republican, debate, GOP, January 28

Here’s What You Missed At This Week’s Awful GOP Debate

Just when you thought it couldn’t be done, Donald Trump found a way to make the presidential campaign even weirder.

This time, it was with the shocking decision to skip the Fox News debate. His reasons for doing so were never entirely clear: sometimes it was because he didn’t like moderator Megyn Kelly; sometimes it was because he felt the whole network was against him. The real reason, of course, is that he just wanted attention (the only reason he does anything).

And it kind of worked! He got to stage an event all his own, and didn’t have to answer any difficult questions. There was a high likelihood that he’d endure criticism during the debate, so what better solution than to put on a show that was all praise for him? Without him present, the other candidates simply tore into each other, criticizing and complaining and doing Trump’s dirty work for him.

And right now, chances look good that Trump will win a bunch of early primaries (His chances in the general election are not so great, so take comfort there.)

Ted Cruz had what was probably the best line of any of the candidates: he led by telling them they’re all stupid, his best attempt at a Trump impression; even when he’s not there, Donald is a topic of conversation. Jeb also weighed in: “I miss Donald Trump… he was always a little Teddy Bear to me.” Not sure what that’s even supposed to mean but it sure is an unpleasant mental image.

While the candidates bickered, over at Trump’s simultaneous competing event, the headliner made the crowd wait for 20-minutes before showing up. He babbled a while, watched some protestors get ejected and brought a few people on stage. At one point, he introduced Republican shitbags Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee, which had the effect of making it look like Donald Trump was their boss; exactly the impression he probably wanted.

To be fair to Trump, the Fox News moderators were really tough. They hammered the candidates on immigration, and Megyn Kelly latched onto Chris Christie and told him “that’s not true” when he started telling a story about dangerous Muslims. It was pretty clear that everyone on stage probably wished they were someplace else, and Ted Cruz raised his voice at one point in a particularly fierce show of anger.

Candidates fielded a few mild topical questions: Kasich fumbled a question about the poisoning of Flint’s water by admitting that he wasn’t very well-informed about it. Chris Christie had nothing of much substance to say about religious people who want special dispensation for discriminating against LGBTs. It’s a little bizarre that Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who tried to turn away gay couples, is still in the news — here’s a quick refresher on why you don’t need to be afraid of her:

Possibly my favorite moment came when Marco Rubio said that Bernie Sanders would make a great president of Sweden. It was supposed to be a dig at how liberal Sanders is, but honestly universal healthcare sounds pretty great. Also, Sweden doesn’t have a president; it has a Prime Minister. Rubio will probably never need to learn that since he has almost no shot at becoming president.

But it was Donald Trump who did the best job of summing up his campaign. “My whole life I’ve been greedy, greedy, greedy,” he said. “I’m so greedy. But now I want to be greedy for the United States.”