Eleven GOP candidates squared off Wednesday night in the second GOP debate, held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California.  Following Governor Rick Perry’s suspension of his campaign and the earlier debate that included the lower-tier candidates, the top hopefuls met to discuss a variety of issues ranging from foreign relations to taxes to marijuana legalization.

The results were, perhaps, less than people were hoping for.  Little of substance was actually discussed, mainly because of the side show caused by Donald Trump, and many questions focused specifically on Trump by including him in the wording of many questions.  In case you missed the debate, here are five gifs that explain the overall picture we saw on the stage last night.



The elephant in the room was addressed from the beginning of the debate, when moderator Jake Tapper asked Carly Fiorina if she would trust Donald Trump with his hand on the nuclear football.  When her answer failed to satisfy Trump’s ego, the latter proceeded to say why Carly was wrong and why Rand Paul is a physically unattractive person.  It felt like junior high all over again, only with a few more toupees than I remember.

Donald Trump was outspoken on issues dealing with rhetoric and promise-making, yet his voice strangely disappeared as the discussion moved deeper into policy.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Between that and his comments about us “not really having a country” due to illegal immigration, Trump left me very confused.  EgomaniacOnStageSaysWhat?



Regardless of your opinion of Carly as a candidate, it’s difficult to deny that she held her own on a stage full of men.  Numerous questions were thrown her way regarding complex issues and comments that have been made about her, and she handled each answer with a poise that some other candidates only dream of exhibiting.  When asked to respond to Trump’s comments about her face, Carly’s reply that “women heard his message loud and clear” seemed to ring with a resounding mic-drop across the entire auditorium.  Atta girl!  Don’t let those boys push you around!



The inevitable Ronald Reagan comparisons abounded, and stories were told of meetings with President Reagan that changed entire political viewpoints for the people who had such a privilege.  However, my favorite Reagan story came, somewhat unexpectedly, from Governor Kasich:  “Hey, I think I actually flew in that plane with President Reagan once!”

Cool story, bro.  Road trippin’ with Reagan.



There was a moment in this debate, during a discussion of foreign policy relations with Iran and Syria, in which Trump looked physically uncomfortable due to the discussion topic. While Rubio both looked collected and articulated his thoughts in a presidential manner, Trump did little more than tell Rubio he was wrong.  Trump then proceeded to stumble respond using several abstract terms that leave much room for interpretation, doing little to add substance to debate.

Because of Rubio’s domination of the foreign policy section of this debate, I think he earned the mic drop tonight.



Can we take a moment to appreciate Jake Tapper’s patience?  He dealt with eleven power-hungry individuals, all fighting for precious airtime, and handled them with class while leading a lively discussion.  The interactions between candidates made for interesting television, and perhaps a few policy proposals that might lead to further discussion even filtered through the back-and-forth.  Here’s to hoping that some of the junior-high drama drops out of the race before the next debate.

What did you think of the CNN Debate?  Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, and in the comments down below!