The presidential debates are a moment for the candidates to prove their worthiness by showing off their knowledge on the issues, delivering well thought-out answers to tough questions and even coming up with an odd off-the-cuff witty retort or two.
For many candidates, however, the idea of winging it Donald Trump-style or letting the moderators’ questions shape their answers is just too terrifying. Heaven forbid the leader of the free world should be expected to think on his or her feet.
Instead, some candidates spend a portion of their debate prep memorizing carefully crafted sound bites designed to appear spontaneous. They then proceed to spend the entire debate waiting anxiously for the perfect opening in which to spring their over-rehearsed one-liners.
Wednesday night’s GOP debate was no exception, and we’ve collected some of the candidates’ most obvious canned comments for your enjoyment.
“Marco, when you signed up for this, this was a six-year term, and you should be showing up to work. I mean, literally, the Senate — what is it, like a French work week? You get, like, three days where you have to show up?” — Jeb Bush
“They say there’s no bipartisanship in Washington? We have a $19 trillion bipartisan debt, and it continues to grow as we borrow money from countries that do not like us to pay for government we cannot afford.” — Marco Rubio
“The contrast with the Democratic debate, where every fawning question from the media was, ‘Which of you is more handsome and why?’ ” — Ted Cruz
“Very good people are making very bad decisions right now.” — Donald Trump
“That’s exactly what the Republican Establishment says, too. Why don’t you wait in line? Wait for what? This country is running out of time.” — Rubio
“I will run on my record all day long.” — Carly Fiorina
“[The latest Democrat debate] reflected a debate between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks.”— Cruz
“You find a Democrat who’s up for cutting spending by $10, I’ll give him a warm kiss.”— Bush