The dominant player at the GOP debate was… the audience

posted at 9:31 am on February 14, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

Judging by the participation levels here and the traffic on social media, there were plenty of you tuned in to last night’s GOP debate in South Carolina. (If you happened to miss it you can watch the entire thing here on YouTube.) You may as well toss a coin to decide whether this one was an out of control “brawl” (as CNN described it) or just one of the most spirited and aggressive outings to date. Everyone and their sister is picking winners and losers this morning (and I’ll briefly touch on that in a bit) but there was one aspect of the event which really stood out to me even before the first question was asked. The audience at this debate was simply out of control. The volume in the hall was frequently distracting and the choruses of either cheers or boos cut significantly into the allotted time of the candidates on a regular basis. It seems to me that the organizers, the folks who prep the crowd and then the moderator could have kept things a bit more orderly. The Washington Post’s Amber Phillips did their usual Five Minute Fix after it was all over and actually selected as her first three “winners” of the night, Rubio, Bush and John Dickerson. That’s a rather odd call since he allowed the proceedings to be shut down so often by the crowd.

The crowd wasn’t evenly divided in terms of baked in support, either. This morning I did another audio experiment to test a theory I’ve had over the course of this cycle’s debates. Using one of my favorite audio processors, (Audacity) I extracted the audio of the introductions to test the audience reactions as compared to their current favorability as measured in the polls. The results were more than a little telling and seemed to back up the impressions I took from the crowd responses throughout the evening. To help demonstrate this analysis, take a look at this graph of the audience volume while Dickerson introduced the candidates. I’ve blocked off the sections where the moderator was speaking, separating them from the times when the audience was responding to each of them. (Click here for the full size graphic.)

DebateAudio2

Here are the averages for each candidate measured as a percentage of the peak room noise level. (Note that the moderator is louder than the audience by virtue of being directly mic’d while the audience is being picked up in the background.)

Rubio: 90
Bush: 85
Cruz: 80
Kasich: 50
Trump: 45
Carson: 15

As an initial note, I would suggest that Carson’s numbers were lower than they might have been because he was introduced first and the audience seemed to have not cumulatively decided yet whether they should be vigorously applauding each candidate. It takes a few seconds for the mob mentality to build up in any crowd scenario.

Compare that to the the last set of numbers from A.R.G. and there’s a clear disparity. The bias level of the audience seems more than a bit out of balance with the larger voting public and they were certainly some of the most vocal attendees we’ve had at any such event in this election. Also, while some previous debates were marked by loud cheers when the crowd agreed with the speaker, disagreement was met more with silence and fewer boos and catcalls than we heard last night.

With that out of the way, I’m not going to dig too deep into evaluating the candidates this time. Aside from the confrontations being more bitter at times and maintaining a generally higher temperature on the stage, most of the candidates stayed relatively on their previous messages. One change, as noted in Politico, was that The Donald got a lot more speaking time throughout the event last night. Previously he seemed to fade into the background a bit in the later stages as the establishment hopefuls beat each other up. This time Trump was either called on for answers or given 30 seconds to respond far more often since he was being attacked from all sides for most of the night. The other big battle front was the flame war between Cruz and Rubio, with the word “lying” showing up multiple times, leaving Bush pretty much free to take the higher road and go after Trump.

In order of their standing in the polls, a few quick notes on how they all did.

Trump, as I already mentioned, got a lot of screen time. What did he do with it? While he had some very good moments (despite an obviously hostile crowd) I thought this was probably Donald’s worst debate performance. He allowed Bush to get him flustered and came off as angry and churlish at times. And even if the crowd was clearly not in his corner, you don’t start off a debate by blaming them for booing you and calling them Bush donors and supporters, even if it’s true. It just gives them license to go after you all the harder. Also, he went too far several times, such as seeming to fault George W. Bush for the 9-11 attacks and claiming he knew there were no WMDs in Iraq before going in. There were a number of solid answers during the rest of the debate under all of the noise and I don’t know if this will hurt him with the general public, but it wasn’t a great night for him.

Kasich was a surprise yet again. He may not have had great answers on a number of questions, deflecting the blame for many of the nation’s challenges on people “not getting along” with each other, but he also didn’t draw out the boo birds to any great extent. He tried to stick to the high road and at least avoided taking much damage. If Kasich is hoping to sway the polite southerners of South Carolina, he succeeded in that goal.

Ted Cruz had a solid performance as usual, but his engagements with Rubio made him appear to be knocked off balance for the first time this season. Usually Cruz manages to attack people with a smile on his face, patiently explaining things like the teacher addressing the student. To his credit, Marco Rubio got him off his game a few times, though accusing him of not speaking Spanish was kind of a dud.

I’ll lump Rubio and Bush together for the next slot. They both had the crowd on their side heavily which likely colored the opinion of viewers watching at home in the Palmetto State. Both were a bit more disciplined and aggressive than in previous debates while getting some of their points across. Rubio in particular largely avoided the “robot” accusations and mixed things up with more freestyle moments. Even if it was largely cosmetic rather than substantive, they both probably helped their cause last night.

Finally, I’ve nearly run out of things to say about Ben Carson. He wasted half of his time on his second answer complaining about how he’d not been called on enough in previous debates. The crowd reacted very negatively to that. Other questions, such as the early one on the constitutional issues surrounding replacing Scalia, found him ignoring the subject entirely and talking about some tangential topic. I noticed Ed Morrissey on Twitter responding to one of Carson’s answers by simply saying, “word salad.” That described most of Carson’s night. I don’t think that performance is going to drag up his numbers much at all.

I’ll leave it to our readers to make their own judgements, but that show was not exactly the shining moment of the campaign for the GOP. Poorly controlled by the moderators and frequently erupting into harsh levels of discourse, it didn’t paint a pretty picture for much of the night. But if you were hoping for fireworks then you certainly got your money’s worth.

GOPdebateSC


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Lots of Bush nostalgia exposed last night by the reactions of the hysterical anti-Trumpers and fake Cruz supporters to Trump’s attack on Jeb? and W. Invade the world/invite the world lives!

If they can’t have Jeb?, Little Marco will do.

Trump and Cruz were treated appallingly last night – the two frontrunners of the Republican Primary set up by their own party for ridicule and failure.

Both should boycott any future debates unless there is no audience allowed. Do a town hall or something.

Joseph K on February 14, 2016 at 10:26 AM

This is eminently logical and an apparently smart strategy. But knowing DT, he probably has a more effective way to deal with this than we can see right now.

horatio on February 14, 2016 at 1:47 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2g8DmIVL1I

Same happened last night.

Schadenfreude on February 14, 2016 at 1:47 PM

How about if I call all you anti-Trump people “open borders”, because with anyone else, that’s what you’re going to get.

Belle on February 14, 2016 at 1:45 PM

Call them welfare recipients because after a few more years of unfettered immigration that’s what they’ll be.

darwin on February 14, 2016 at 1:48 PM

Irony is way cool.

Schadenfreude on February 14, 2016 at 1:49 PM

Was the audience for last night’s debate stacked?
Maybe…

Cannon Fodder on February 14, 2016 at 1:45 PM

No maybe about it. When the crowd boo’s any mention of illegals and building a wall, you know it’s stacked.

darwin on February 14, 2016 at 1:50 PM

I not trying to dissuade you from supporting Trump – but you and others just need to start being honest and just call yourself Liberals.

rgrovr

You can label all you want, I’m a lifelong Republican who was handing out balloons and bumper stickers for the local Republican candidates as a little kid. I can’t go along with the Globalists takeover of the Republican Party and will vote for an insurgency to fight that, and get this nation on firmer footing.

cimbri on February 14, 2016 at 1:51 PM

Malachi, oh well, someone else will surely explain it. There are several commenters here who can. Even Trump himself. He’ll very likely be asked about his plan to defund abortions at PP, at least once over the next few months.

As for me, it’s way, way after midnight. Good nite.

Lolo on February 14, 2016 at 1:54 PM

Quick quiz. Which one of these didn’t fund abortions?

Nixon
Ford
Carter
Reagan
Bush 41
Clinton
Bush 43
Obama

Lolo on February 14, 2016 at 12:35 PM

Quick quiz. Which branch of the federal government is actually responsible for originating bills that provide funding to any organization?

A. Executive.
B. Judicial.
C. Legislative.
D. Media.
E. Larry’s Gun & Pawn
F. Moe’s Bar & Grill.
G. Curly’s Barbershop & Tanning Salon.

Cannon Fodder on February 14, 2016 at 1:59 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaYBepvg2dU

Schadenfreude on February 14, 2016 at 2:00 PM

No maybe about it. When the crowd boo’s any mention of illegals and building a wall, you know it’s stacked.

darwin on February 14, 2016 at 1:50 PM

Ah, the crowd must have been rounded up out of Berea–our version of “Little Mexico.”

Cannon Fodder on February 14, 2016 at 2:02 PM

You can label all you want, I’m a lifelong Republican who was handing out balloons and bumper stickers for the local Republican candidates as a little kid. I can’t go along with the Globalists takeover of the Republican Party and will vote for an insurgency to fight that, and get this nation on firmer footing.

cimbri on February 14, 2016 at 1:51 PM

Yep, I hear ya. And I do wish we actually had an adamant Wall proponent that was a decent conservative to vote for.

We just don’t. And I’m not comfortable voting for what basically is a BUILD DAT WALL version of Harry Reid.

rgrovr on February 14, 2016 at 2:02 PM

LOL. An anti-Trump outs itself as a Rubio supporter. You are hilarious.

NWConservative on February 14, 2016 at 12:56 PM

Nothing like Trumpettes who love his vitriol but get all sensitive when his liberalism is exposed.

Stick to your Democrat. You’ve been exposed as one. Just one who wants to build a wall. Just remember, spell checking doesn’t make you an Alpha male. That’s actually quite Beta.

rgrovr on February 14, 2016 at 1:05 PM

You are a walking, talking parody. The only people getting sensitive about anything is you Rubiobot supporters. :D

NWConservative on February 14, 2016 at 2:04 PM

THEY TRIED!!

Planned parenthood still funded.

LOL. So predictable.

NWConservative on February 14, 2016 at 12:50 PM

And trying is better than funding the pro abort side.

Malachi45 on February 14, 2016 at 1:08 PM

So you caved.

Which is to be expected because every single president has funded abortion.

NWConservative on February 14, 2016 at 2:07 PM

There is a reason why sports teams do worse on the road and better at home. The crowd tips the scales. I’m not even going to consider punishing Trump because the setup is rigged and the audience is against him. Anyway I thought Trump did fine. He has to let the home audience know that the studio audience is biased. Even if he has to directly confront them.

cimbri on February 14, 2016 at 12:23 PM

Well. The next time the RNC holds a debate from Trumps office, he should do splendid.

Walter L. Newton on February 14, 2016 at 2:08 PM

Okay, you Trump haters, for the last time, Trump IS NOT a conservative. (examples of conservatives: Ryan, McConnell, Rubio, Bush, Kasich, Gowdy, Ayotte, Graham). Trump is a nationalist, NOT a globalist. Got it?

Belle on February 14, 2016 at 2:08 PM

Quick quiz. Which one of these didn’t fund abortions?

Nixon
Ford
Carter
Reagan
Bush 41
Clinton
Bush 43
Obama

Lolo on February 14, 2016 at 12:35 PM

Quick quiz. Which branch of the federal government is actually responsible for originating bills that provide funding to any organization?

A. Executive.
B. Judicial.
C. Legislative.
D. Media.
E. Larry’s Gun & Pawn
F. Moe’s Bar & Grill.
G. Curly’s Barbershop & Tanning Salon.

Cannon Fodder on February 14, 2016 at 1:59 PM

Quick quiz, who pens his signature on all these bills originated from Curly’s Barbershop & Tanning Salon?

NWConservative on February 14, 2016 at 2:10 PM

The RNC overdid it with the bias of the crowd. It was so bad that it actually wound up making Trump look good because of how obviously stacked it was. Even the post debate anti-Trump comentators had to mention it.

Paperclips on February 14, 2016 at 2:12 PM

How many votes in the senate does Cruz get? One.

So he forcefully advocates and votes to defund PP and his efforts to defund PP are pooh poohed because he tried and failed. Meanwhile, trump reaffirms his support for funding PP just last night but just not for abortions (any moron knows that money is fungible so this is a meaningless distinction) and his supporters are cool with that.

Twilight. Zone.

Malachi45 on February 14, 2016 at 2:12 PM

And trying is better than the same as funding the pro abort side.

Malocchio45 on February 14, 2016 at 1:08 PM

An aging chorus girl in GOP Inc.’s long-running production of Failure Theater.

Joseph K on February 14, 2016 at 2:14 PM

This particular debate was held in the South.

Cannon Fodder on February 14, 2016 at 1:38 PM

You say tomato I say Big Smo. Us real RedNecks down in my parts thing SC, with that Arab looking state symbol with the crescent moon, is part of the north.

HonestLib on February 14, 2016 at 2:17 PM

haha jazz’s tears are delicious as always

thirtyandseven on February 14, 2016 at 2:18 PM

Quick quiz, who pens his signature on all these bills originated from Curly’s Barbershop & Tanning Salon?

NWConservative on February 14, 2016 at 2:10 PM

Quick quiz: who gets the last say-so should the president reject said bills?

Cannon Fodder on February 14, 2016 at 2:29 PM

You say tomato I say Big Smo. Us real RedNecks down in my parts thing SC, with that Arab looking state symbol with the crescent moon, is part of the north.

HonestLib on February 14, 2016 at 2:17 PM

Gee, I must be reading my map upside down again.

Cannon Fodder on February 14, 2016 at 2:32 PM

Quick quiz: who gets the last say-so should the president reject said bills?

Cannon Fodder on February 14, 2016 at 2:29 PM

Mega Donors?

darwin on February 14, 2016 at 2:34 PM

The RNC overdid it with the bias of the crowd. It was so bad that it actually wound up making Trump look good because of how obviously stacked it was. Even the post debate anti-Trump comentators had to mention it.

Paperclips on February 14, 2016 at 2:12 PM

It was bad. They didn’t even try to hide it.

NWConservative on February 14, 2016 at 2:49 PM

Quick quiz: who gets the last say-so should the president reject said bills?

Cannon Fodder on February 14, 2016 at 2:29 PM

Quick quiz, which Republican president since Nixon hasn’t signed off on a bill that funded planned parenthood?

NWConservative on February 14, 2016 at 2:50 PM

How many votes in the senate does Cruz get? One.

So he forcefully advocates and votes to defund PP and his efforts to defund PP are pooh poohed because he tried and failed.
Meanwhile, trump reaffirms his support for funding PP just last night but just not for abortions (any moron knows that money is fungible so this is a meaningless distinction) and his supporters are cool with that.

Twilight. Zone.

Malachi45 on February 14, 2016 at 2:12 PM

Failure theater.

The Republican Congress funded planned parenthood.

I guess they tried to stop it too.

NWConservative on February 14, 2016 at 2:53 PM

Quick quiz, which Republican president since Nixon hasn’t signed off on a bill that funded planned parenthood?

NWConservative on February 14, 2016 at 2:50 PM

Quick quiz: Which president since Nixon has not had a bill to fund PP sent to his desk for a signature? In other words, which branch of government is ultimately responsible for funding the travesty that is Perverted Parenthood?

Cannon Fodder on February 14, 2016 at 2:57 PM

Most of the Republican debates have felt more like The Price is Right than a serious debate. After ’12, the R powers that be declared there weren’t going to be so many debates and they weren’t going to allow biased moderators, they failed miserably on both counts.

clearbluesky on February 14, 2016 at 3:00 PM

And trying is better than the same as funding the pro abort side.

Malocchio45 on February 14, 2016 at 1:08 PM

An aging chorus girl in GOP Inc.’s long-running production of Failure Theater.

Joseph K on February 14, 2016 at 2:14 PM

That logic makes Jeff sessions an amnesty shill.

Malachi45 on February 14, 2016 at 3:01 PM

Quick quiz: Which president since Nixon has not had a bill to fund PP sent to his desk for a signature? In other words, which branch of government is ultimately responsible for funding the travesty that is Perverted Parenthood?

Cannon Fodder on February 14, 2016 at 2:57 PM

Quick quiz: how many of those presidents since Nixon funded planned parenthood?

NWConservative on February 14, 2016 at 3:08 PM

Quick quiz: how many of those presidents since Nixon funded planned parenthood?

NWConservative on February 14, 2016 at 3:08 PM

The Republican Congress funded planned parenthood.

NWConservative on February 14, 2016 at 2:53 PM

Answer: Thank you. You just gave it: None. Although Obama could have been the first if the Republican Congress had had the cajones to vote against funding. After all, Obama has a pen and a phone.

Cannon Fodder on February 14, 2016 at 3:19 PM

Coltrane.Just out of curiosity. If great deals for the american people cant save this country, what in your estimation can?????

Indiana Jim on February 14, 2016 at 1:42 PM

I’m not against great deals but understand that the definition is in the eye of the beholder. Plenty on the left think Obamacare was a great deal, a greater deal would be universal health coverage. From my view a great deal is one that is rooted in core principles of limited government, national security, religious freedom, etc.

Coltrane on February 14, 2016 at 4:15 PM

Reality check, for many.

Schadenfreude on February 14, 2016 at 4:21 PM

The RNC overdid it with the bias of the crowd. It was so bad that it actually wound up making Trump look good because of how obviously stacked it was. Even the post debate anti-Trump comentators had to mention it.

Paperclips on February 14, 2016 at 2:12 PM

No. He looked like a monster.

petunia on February 14, 2016 at 4:38 PM

Answer: Thank you. You just gave it: None. Although Obama could have been the first if the Republican Congress had had the cajones to vote against funding. After all, Obama has a pen and a phone.

Cannon Fodder on February 14, 2016 at 3:19 PM

So now we have funding planned parenthood:

Republican Congresses

Every Republican president since Nixon.

But…. Trump….

NWConservative on February 14, 2016 at 4:43 PM

Campaign Carl looked into the allegations of the alleged crowd stacking. The RNC provides blocks of tickets to each candidate and the tickets are distributed from there.

Philly on February 14, 2016 at 4:52 PM

Answer: Thank you. You just gave it: None. Although Obama could have been the first if the Republican Congress had had the cajones to vote against funding. After all, Obama has a pen and a phone.

Cannon Fodder on February 14, 2016 at 3:19 PM

So now we have funding planned parenthood:

Republican Congresses

Every Republican president since Nixon.

But…. Trump….

NWConservative on February 14, 2016

None of which had videos of baby parts of for sale until now. Your guy is a radically pro abort; always has been. He has been full throated pro abort in the past. Stands by PP and has supported and funded proabort politicians for most of his adult life. No amount of obfuscation or rationalizing about past presidents will change that.

Malachi45 on February 14, 2016 at 5:12 PM

DEBATES
1h
CBS News says Saturday’s Republican debate was most-watched of any debate in 2016 with 13.51 million viewers – Reuters
end of alert
————-

TV Ratings Saturday: Republican debate takes top honors
POSTED 10:40 AM, FEBRUARY 14, 2016, BY RICK PORTER, UPDATED AT 11:17AM, FEBRUARY 14, 2016
*****************

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Saturday, Feb, 13, 2016
========================================================================

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2016/02/14/tv-ratings-saturday-feb-13-2016/

canopfor on February 14, 2016 at 5:12 PM

None of which had videos of baby parts of for sale until now. Your guy is a radically pro abort; always has been. He has been full throated pro abort in the past. Stands by PP and has supported and funded proabort politicians for most of his adult life. No amount of obfuscation or rationalizing about past presidents will change that.

Malachi45 on February 14, 2016 at 5:12 PM

“Radically pro abort”

“full throated pro abort”

That’s some hyperbolic shit right there.

I’m pretty sure Trump, as a businessman for decades never dove into the minutia of Planned Parenthood. Probably the only time he heard about it was when the media was screaming about the war on women. Or perhaps he heard about it from the liberals he had to deal with in the business world. You saw what happened when Trump talked about illegals and muslims right?

NYC tried to dissolve any contracts with him. I have no doubt his business took hits from what he said.

Anyway, you keep trying to paint Trump as some long established politician when he’s nothing of the sort. It’s completely different from the established politicians that have long promised to do something about abortion and they have … increased funding every year.

darwin on February 14, 2016 at 5:36 PM

one of my favorite audio processors, (Audacity)

Not to mention it is FREE! Oh, I’m sorry, this post was about the debate.

gengwall on February 14, 2016 at 5:48 PM

So now we have funding planned parenthood:

Republican Congresses

Every Republican president since Nixon.

But…. Trump….

NWConservative on February 14, 2016 at 4:43 PM

I don’t give a flying flick about Trump. He is not president at this point. And it would appear that our debate over whether a president “funds” Planned Parenthood is more or less moot. Here’s why.

Planned Parenthood receives much of its funding by way of Medicaid. Medicaid funding is mandatory funding as explained here. Because it is mandatory spending, any organization, including Planned Parenthood, that is authorized to receive it must receive it unless Congress acts to otherwise defund them. Thus, the president neither funds nor act of his own accord to defund Planned Parenthood; that is Congresses purview.

Planned Parenthood, however, (the arm that does not do abortions *wink* *wink*) also receives Title X funds. By law, organizations that receive Title X funds are prohibited from using those funds to perform abortions. Hence the subterfuge by PP about having an arm that does not perform abortions. Here, Reagan instituted a rule, known as the “Reagan Rule” that prohibited organizations that receive Title X from even counseling clients about abortions. That rule, which may not have been fully implemented due to various court challenges, was continued by Reagan’s successor, George H.W. Bush. It was subsequently discarded by Clinton in his first week in office.

Hence, the answer that comes closest to answering the quiz question is Ronald Reagan, followed by George Bush ’41.

Cannon Fodder on February 14, 2016 at 6:04 PM

Coltrane. Lol!! Youre just obfuscating now. You know what i meant by ” great deals”. Like finally following immigration laws, lowering the corporate tax rates, no more outsourcing of jobs and manufacturing to foriegn shores and foriegn workers, and making trade imbalances more fair to our advantage. Your example of obamacare is a bad one and you know it. Yet you try to act as if im somehow for it. How can it be a “great deal” when the MAJORITY of Americans dont want it? What are some specific “great deals” that you want to see happen?

Indiana Jim on February 14, 2016 at 6:21 PM

____________________________________________________________________

Clearly the GOPe stacked the audience with establishment shills not at all reflective of Trump’s massive popularity amongst the GOP rank-and-file who are fed up with the GOPe’s failure to represent them or even act like an opposition party.

So here’s an idea (if there IS to be an audience at all): each candidate is given the number of available tickets proportionate to their standings in the polls used by the debatemeisters to determine eligibility and podium order.

__________________________________________________________________

Asok Asus on February 14, 2016 at 7:06 PM

It was more than crowd stacking, in my opinion. The Still video linked upthread makes a pretty convincing case that CBS was ‘sweetening’ the boos and applause in the control room. This could even have been done at CBS HQ in NYC. Commenters early in this thread also mentioned that the debate audio as received from the network had a canned laughter / canned applause feel to it.

Fortyback on February 14, 2016 at 7:15 PM

So now we have funding planned parenthood:

Republican Congresses

Every Republican president since Nixon.

But…. Trump….

NWConservative on February 14, 2016 at 4:43 PM

Apparently moderation has eaten my post that would have backed up my assertion that presidents do not fund Planned Parenthood. Too many links is my guess as to why. Anyway, the post had to do with the fact that Planned Parenthood receives both Medicaid funds (the vast majority of its funding) and Title X funds (a significant minority). Medicaid funds cannot be denied by the president for any reason. The president has more discretion with Title X funds, which cannot be used to fund abortions. Explains the subterfuge behind PP’s two arms. But to answer the original quick quiz question, “Which one of these [Republican president] didn’t fund abortion?” The answer is Ronald Reagan, followed by his successor, George Bush, ’41. Google Rust v. Sullivan if you need to.

Cannon Fodder on February 14, 2016 at 7:36 PM

It was more than crowd stacking, in my opinion. The Still video linked upthread makes a pretty convincing case that CBS was ‘sweetening’ the boos and applause in the control room. This could even have been done at CBS HQ in NYC. Commenters early in this thread also mentioned that the debate audio as received from the network had a canned laughter / canned applause feel to it.

Fortyback on February 14, 2016 at 7:15 PM

Anybody seen Dan Rather lately?

Cannon Fodder on February 14, 2016 at 8:08 PM

The audience may be donors… so what? Donating is speech. You bemoan the death of Scalia, in the same breath protest Citizens united!

That crowd were Americans. They had every right to boo or hiss or cheer or whatever. That is called free speech.

Trump’s message doesn’t sound as good without his paid cheerleaders does it?

Did you know that at least at the beginning, the crowds cheering Trump were paid? That was revealed back in June.

Trump’s entry into politics was stage managed. You have been manipulated by a master charlatan.

Apparently, it’s not illegal to pay people to cheer for you. So why are you concerned about people who paid money to be able to cheer against someone?

Trump and his supporters are hypocrites.

petunia on February 14, 2016 at 8:19 PM

If the candidates were provided blocks of tickets, then each candidate had a shot to have his own cheering section, hand-selected perhaps. That would pretty much ensure that at any given time, a candidate would have 5 sections of the crowd who oppose him and were free to boo at will.

Philly on February 14, 2016 at 8:39 PM

Petunia. “That crowd WERE Americans”??? Lol!! Free speech is fine, as long as a disclaimer would have been run across the tv screen. Reince priebus is responsible for handing out the tickets and he purposely stacked the deck AGAINST trump and cruz to try to sway the tv audience and thus change the outcome of an election. I would say you should be ashamed and should know better, but i wont cause you prolly dont…..

Indiana Jim on February 14, 2016 at 9:18 PM

Really? The crowd was stacked with Establishment types? So what Republican crowd, exactly, would be cheering on “Bush lied, people died!” and 9/11 was Bush’s fault?

rexbatt on February 14, 2016 at 9:24 PM

Philly. Nice try. Even reince priebus confirmed that each candidate only recieved twenty tickets, TWENTY!! Why not split them all evenly among the candidates?? Obviously, priebus was intentionally stocking the crowd with pro immigration gop donors. It’s as obvious as the nose in front of your eyes…..

Indiana Jim on February 14, 2016 at 9:26 PM

Rexbatt. Play the tape again. Trump was being booed so loudly you could barely hear him. The only people cheering out of 1200 people were his twenty supporters he gave his tickets to.

Indiana Jim on February 14, 2016 at 9:31 PM

Philly. Sorry. Each candidate recieved 100 tickets. But that still left 1400 tickets to be given out at the discretion of cbs and the gop….

Indiana Jim on February 14, 2016 at 9:37 PM

Indiana, that’s my point. There isn’t any Republican crowd that would have cheered the nonsense that was coming out of Trump’s mouth. If you filled that place with Trump supporters, it’s not the same as filling it with Republicans.

rexbatt on February 14, 2016 at 9:48 PM

You Trump Romney people have a REAL problem. If he somehow gets the nomination, he’s NOT going to win. There are Millions of Republicans that will never vote for him. How could you expect our vote if you have such disdain for us? He’s between 30% and 40% in the polls of Republicans and i think that’s his ceiling. I don’t think he’s conservative on any issue and I’ll never vote for him.

rexbatt on February 14, 20162012 at 10:12 AM

Whoa. Deja vu. Oh wait, many did stay home/not vote for Romney. Maybe more will come out to vote for Trump? Who knows. Or we could get another GOPe candidate again. I’m sure that will rally the base and any non Republicans.

I say this as a Romney voter, who held his nose because I liked none of the others in that primary/general clown show of 2012.

But, most important election ever! We need to get the hispanic vote! Rove says its true! Please clap!

oryguncon on February 14, 2016 at 9:57 PM

Romney was at least pretending to be conservative. Trump isn’t even saying conservative things, yet he continues to lead in the polls. It makes ZERO sense.

rexbatt on February 14, 2016 at 10:01 PM

One of the greatest conservatives of all time, William F. Buckley, believed that that we, as a party, needed to always try to nominate a candidate WHO HAS THE BEST CHANCE TO ACTUALLY WIN. Now is Trump a true conservative?? HELL NO!! But because of his cross over appeal to democrats, hispanics and blacks, he might be the best option. Cruz isnt a fighter and prolly wouldnt stand a chance against clinton, the media, etc. Just my opinion…

Indiana Jim on February 14, 2016 at 10:09 PM

As part of a requirement for me to get married in a catholic church, me and my future wife had to attend a weekend class put on by PP.

What?

Seems that’s the last place they’d send you. Pre-Cana classes, yes. PP, no.

bmmg39 on February 14, 2016 at 10:39 PM

Yes!

There are no other alpha males running for President.
Please correct me if I’m wrong by naming any other alpha males who are running for president this year.

TRUMP/THE WALL/THE GUN
2016
America’s Alpha Male and the ONLY man who will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

Pragmatic on February 14, 2016 at 9:57 AM

I know you’re just satirizing self-described Alphas (who are toolbags), but it’s becoming excessive now.

bmmg39 on February 14, 2016 at 10:47 PM

bmmg. You are correct actually. PP was there doing activities, which we had to participate in. It was held in Lafayette, Indiana. A fairly liberal college town.

Indiana Jim on February 14, 2016 at 10:51 PM

Please distribute

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyp0x-cNuyE

Schadenfreude on February 14, 2016 at 11:03 PM

Rexbatt. “Trump romney people”?? Lol!! Maybe rubio romney people, or bush romney people. Those fit better together than trump romney.

Indiana Jim on February 14, 2016 at 11:04 PM

Idontcair. Exactly. As part of a requirement for me to get married in a catholic church, me and my future wife had to attend a weekend class put on by PP. The seminar was about responsibly marrying and proper methods and attitudes regarding birth control. Not once did i feel like they were pushing abortion at us. So, putting their stance on abortion aside, they do provide other valuable services IMO.

Indiana Jim on February 14, 2016 at 10:49 AM

Wait. The Catholic church that is opposed to abortion required you to attend a class by the biggest abortion provider in the US before they would bless your marriage. The Catholic church that is opposed to all forms of birth control except abstinence and the “rhythm method” required you to attend a class put on by an organization that has a primary purpose of birth control, even to the point of being the biggest abortion provider in the nation.

Sorry, not buying it without evidence.

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 15, 2016 at 2:55 AM

I guess it’s time to credit the MSM (and academia) for brainwashing people who call themselves conservatives into adopting the left’s views on numerous issues.

Syzygy on February 14, 2016 at 11:21 AM

I’m not a conservative but it’s beyond the point. Why should I care if Democrats want to butcher their own spawn?

Rix on February 14, 2016 at 11:22 AM

Because they’re human beings. Obviously.

The better question is, what’s wrong with you?

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 15, 2016 at 3:04 AM

Bush lied about WMDs is new, while people might disagree and think that it was not a deliberate flasehood, the main point was that the Iraq War was a disaster,

one that his brother, Rubio, or even Cruz (who has turned into Rand Paul on foreign policy over the last few months) would be more likely to repeat.

Voters who think that the W. administration was a massive success probably wouldn’t be voting for Trump anyway, maybe Rubio.

Redstone on February 14, 2016 at 11:43 AM

Let’s not pass too quickly over that claim. Trump suggested that Bush deliberately lied in order to get the war he wanted. That’s a separate issue from how well you think the whole war turned out.

I think we should all be able to agree that lying to the American public to start a war is wrong, whether the war goes well or not. So far, only the fevered left has been willing to call Bush a liar. Trump now joins their ranks.

It was an idiotic claim when Code Pink made it, and it’s still an idiotic claim when Trump now makes it. In one step, he identifies with the radical left and accuses the previous Republican president not just of bungling the Iraq War, but of lying about it in order to start it.

My first thought when I heard this was that surely he didn’t actually say that. But you seem to confirm he did.

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 15, 2016 at 3:36 AM

Malachi. No prollem. Stay home and play xbox. For every one of you, there will be tweny disenfranchised moderate democrats, who love their country, that WILL vote for trump, if hes the nominee. Lol!!!

Indiana Jim on February 14, 2016 at 12:40 PM

President Romney approves this message.

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 15, 2016 at 4:05 AM

Indiana, that’s my point. There isn’t any Republican crowd that would have cheered the nonsense that was coming out of Trump’s mouth. If you filled that place with Trump supporters, it’s not the same as filling it with Republicans.

rexbatt on February 14, 2016 at 9:48 PM

Right. He’s a lefty Democrat who trashes immigrants. That’s enough to get some nihilistic fake conservatives to support him, but it doesn’t mean he’s not a lefty.

Plus it’s not just the nonsense that he unleashes, it’s his obnoxious manner as he does it. It’s not enough for him to make the reasonable argument that the Iraq war was a mistake, he has to go full nutjob-lefty and spew the discredited D-partisan nonsense that W lied the nation into war (no, Mr. Trump: the Iraq action was authorized by bipartisan vote, with Congress and the president consulting the same intelligence.)

You can tell when Trump speaks that he has lived in a bubble of privilege and protection all his life. Because anyone who grew up in a more rough-and-tumble environment would know you can’t sneer and baselessly slander people without risking getting your teeth knocked out. The fact that he feels he can act this way with impunity reflects his lifetime of privilege, and his smug confidence that he can play the working class people who support him for utter fools.

Chuckles3 on February 15, 2016 at 9:05 AM

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