Pettiness Opens GOP Debate

Trump lashes out, Kasich calms

Debate No. 2 got off to an ugly — and exceedingly petty — start.

CNN moderator Jake Tapper opened the two-hour debate by asking Carly Fiorina a question — about Donald Trump, and whether he should ever have his finger on the nuclear button.

She demurred, saying that is a decision for the voters; but under the rules, Trump was allowed to respond.

He turned toward the far end of the stage, toward a Kentucky senator now at 1 percent in the poll. “Rand Paul shouldn’t even be on this stage,” Mr. Trump said, pursing his lips.

Now Paul got to have HIS minute. Paul hit Trump, saying, “I’m very worried about having Trump in charge of nuclear weapons.” And he hit the reality TV star for a “sophomoric quality” to his attacks on people’s looks and personality.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, apparently the only adult in the room, had had enough.

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Trump — again — got to have a minute because his name was mentioned.

“I never attacked him on his looks and believe me, there’s plenty of subject matter there,” he said as the crowd cackled. Trump then lashed out at former New York Gov. George Pataki, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Finally, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, apparently the only adult in the room, had had enough.

“If I were sitting at home watching this back and forth, I’d be inclined to turn it off. [Voters] want to know what we’re going to do to fix this place. They don’t want all this fighting. … It’s important we get to the issues,” Kasich said.

Tapper said, “I’m going to, I’m going to,” as the crowd cheered. And the debate was back on track.

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