17 CANDIDATES AND COUNTING: Showdown in Cleveland
It’s a brand new season of the Republican presidential campaign! Gone is Mitt Romney’s marble-like chin and personality, replaced by an zany new cast of stock characters, such as the racist blowhard boss…
the spoiled little rich kid…
the dimwitted Latin lover…
the wacky Christian next door neighbor…
the obnoxious fat guy…
the black friend…
the frat boy douche…
the frat boy douche nobody likes…
the wet blanket…
and, for some reason, John Kasich.
Adding some desperately needed star power to the season premiere are FOX News moderators Megyn Kelly, Chris Wallace, and Bret Baier. Chris is kind enough to explain to us that a debate is part of the political process that helps voters make up their minds. Bret is the only person who might find this nugget of wisdom to be genuinely educational, but sadly he’s is too busy having a seizure from the stage design—which is best described as someone winning the Caesar’s Palace slot machine jackpot during the Fourth of July fireworks as painted by Jackson Pollack with pastel Easter egg dyes while smashed on LSD.
It’s go time, and Chris tells us that Facebook users submitted 45,000 questions for the debate. After days of meticulously evaluating each one, they’ve determined the four stupidest to use on the air, which coincidentally is the same method they used to pick our trio of hosts.
The names of the candidates are announced in order of their standing in the polls, giving each a chance to smile and wave at the camera—or, in Scott Walker’s case, to wink… because this is the one and only place on Earth where taking debate tips from Sarah Palin might be a good idea. The debate is being held in Cleveland, and local boy John Kasich gets a standing O from the hometown crowd, or possibly they’re just trying to look down Megyn Kelly’s blouse.
Chris Wallace says there will be only one “raise your hand if” question, and they’re getting it out of the way right off the bat.
Chris: Is there anyone here who won’t pledge not to run as an independent if you don’t get the Republican nomination?
Trump sticks his mitt up in the air and gives a “whatcha gonna do about it” shrug. The best he’ll do is pledge to support the Republican nominee if the Republican nominee is himself. What a douche, right?
And yet, two idiots accidently end up softening the blow by trying to pile on. The first is Wallace, who keeps repeating the question over Trump’s answer. The second is Rand Paul, who sees an opportunity to steal the spot light in opening seconds. He immediately begins bashing Trump as an unprincipled egotist. “He buys and sells politicians of all types!” he shouts.
I’ve given plenty of money to you, answers Trump. It’s a damn good response and shuts Rand right up.
Suddenly, there are three douchebags instead of one, Trump’s throwing punches instead of receiving them, and the damage that might have been done is unintentionally diffused. Nice going, boys.
Question two comes from Megyn: Yo, Ben Carson, you’re pretty much an idiot on foreign policy, right?
“The thing that’s probably most important is having a brain,” says the good doctor, and at this point your humble recapper would like to point out that everything in quotation marks is an actual quotation from the debate. Yes, his brain might be empty, but it’s there. What more could you possibly want in a president?
Since no one on stage is prepared to argue that Carson is not a brain-haver, it’s time to move along.
Chris Wallace: Marco Rubio, would you like to comment on Jeb’s comments that only governors know how to president and senators can go sit on a toilet plunger?
“This election cannot be a rsum competition,” says Rubio Because if it is, Hillary’s gonna win, he explains. Can’t argue with you there, buddy. She’d kick your ass up and down. See, and you didn’t think Democrats and Republicans could agree on anything.
Bret Baier: I’ve heard disturbing reports that Jeb is a Bush. Say it ain’t so, Jeb!
“In Florida, they call me ‘Jeb’ because I earned it,” he says. Um…it’s your name. Yet another Republican thinking they earned something their parents handed down to them. If that’s your biggest accomplishment, Rubio is right about that rsum competition thing.
Megyn Kelly: Donald, why are you such a meany-butt to women with all the name-calling and the “fat pig” and “disgusting animals” and such?
“Only Rosie O’Donnell,” says Trump. Twenty minutes of laughter ensues. The guy does know his audience.
But what does this say about your temperament, reiterates Megyn.
Political correctness sucks, answers Trump, and America sucks because of political correctness. “We lose to China. We lose to everyone,” he says. And it’s all because we don’t get to call women fat pigs anymore. Who knew?
Chris Wallace: Hey, Ted Cruz. Why you gotta be such a dick all the time?
But Chris’s question blows up in his face when he brings up Cruz calling Mitch McConnell a liar, at which point the crowd applauds wildly.
“We have leaders who don’t honor their commitments,” says Ted. When Ted says he’s going to burn this country to the ground in order to save it, by golly, he means it!
Bret: So, Chris Christie…New Jersey sucks. What’s up with that?
Hey, it’s the last governor’s fault, insists Christie. Also, he was out of town that weekend, the dog ate his budget, no one wanted any new jobs anyway, his real economy lives in Canada (you wouldn’t know her), and did he mention it was all the last governor’s fault?
Megyn: Scott Walker, is it possible that you hate abortion a little too much?
Impossible, says Walker! You know what else Walker says is impossible? A pregnancy putting a woman’s life in danger. Yep, Walker insists that medical science has solved that whole “life of the mother” thing so all babbiez can be borned without endangering anyone. Yay, science.
Chris: Huckabee, can you out crazy that?
Hell, yes, he can! Huckabee knows that science has 100% proved that pre-born babies are American citizens with Constitutional rights because—and I quote—“DNA.” Are you telling me DNA isn’t science? Checkmate, bitches. Also, “the Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being,” so President Mike Huckabee can do whatever the hell he wants. It’s in the Constitution. On the back. Just squirt some lemon juice on it, and you’ll be able to read it.
Bret: Rand Paul, did you really say GOP hawks created ISIS?
“First of all, only ISIS is responsible for the terrorism,” said Paul, which is news to all the other candidates who had previously blamed Hillary Clinton. Paul then went on to take a very bold stand against giving weapons to ISIS’s allies. At that point, even Chris Christie wanted to give the poor guy a pat on the back.
Megyn: Gov. Kasich, you expanded Medicaid even though poor people deserve to die. Explain yourself.
Reagan did it first, says Kasich. He may be right, but at this point, Reagan is like the Bible: you can pretty much read him to agree with anything you want. Kasich goes on to explain that using Medicaid to treat mental illness and drug addiction medically saves a ton of money on prisons, which is such a lucid point that I’m surprised FOX News didn’t suddenly develop some “technical difficulties.”
[kill his mike!]
Chris: Jeb, when it comes to immigration, aren’t you soft? Soft as a little girl?
“It’s not our responsibility to pick and choose who comes in,” says Jeb. In other words, yes. Yes, he is.
Chris: Donald Trump, you said Mexico is sending its criminals here. You know that’s bullshit, right?
Hey, if it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t even be talking about immigration, claims Trump. Yeah, the GOP never once freaked out about immigration before Donald came along. But Wallace lets that part slide. Instead, he insists Trump answer the question.
“Our leaders are stupid!” says Trump. “The Mexican leaders are much smarter.” They’re sending their worst criminals here. “That’s what’s happening whether you like it or not!”
Denying reality by fiat has a well known conservative bias.
Chris: Say, I bet the voters want to know what John Kasich thinks about what Trump just said.
No, they fucking don’t, says Kasich. He proceeds to read his own bio off his campaign website instead.
Chris: The voters don’t want to hear that either, so just answer the question.
WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLL! says Kasich.
Chris: Good enough. Rubio, same question.
Rubio, perhaps forgetting where he was for a moment, notes that most illegal immigrants aren’t Mexicans. Danger, Marco! Facts aren’t going to win you any friends here! But poor Rubio keeps singing the praise of brown people who want a better life in America.
Chris: Scott Walker, you used to support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. “Are there any other past positions we shouldn’t hold you to?”
But Walker doesn’t bat an eye. He talked to border state governors, he explains. They showed him all the decapitated bodies they talk about but refuse to show the federal government. Now, Walker supports a “legal immigration system that gives priority to working American families.” Yes, that’s a quote. No, I don’t know what it’s supposed to mean. Apparently, we should only let Americans immigrate to America. Now that’s a plan I bet Republicans would love.
It’s our first Facebook question! Do you support throwing previously deported workers who sneak back into the U.S. into prison for five years?
Chris Wallace directs Cruz to answer. Um, yeah, I’m the one who introduced that bill, duh, says Cruz. Well, that was illuminating.
Megyn: Chris Christie, you said you’d blame Rand Paul if America gets attacked again because he is against warrantless wiretapping. You can’t serious mean that, can you?
“Yes, I do,” says Christie. As a former prosecutor, Christie cares about protecting Americans. Rand Paul, on the other hand, is a whiny little asswipe.
“Fourth amendment!” shouts Paul about 20 times.
“When you’re in a subcommittee blowing hot air, you can say things like that,” says Christie, who has even less time for the Constitution than Donald Trump has for political correctness.
“You gave [President Obama] a big hug!” says Paul.
“The hugs that I remember are the hugs I gave to families who lost their people on September 11, those are the hugs I remember,” says Christie.
Christie plays the 9/11 card! It’s super effective! Well, it shuts Paul up, anyway. Do you hug 9/11 families with that heavy hand, Gov. Christie?
Facebook: How you gonna stop ISIS?
Ted Cruz has the answer. It’s three little words. “Radical Islamic Terrorist.” They’re magic! (The words, not the terrorists.) Obama refuses to say them! As president, Ted Cruz will say the magic words, and all the ISIS fighters will know that they’re day is done. No one will ever join their little club again.
Megyn: Jeb… remember how you squirmed for days on end about how you’d still have invaded Iraq knowing what we know now?
Look, we all know Obama caused ISIS, says Jeb. ISIS is bad. Obama is bad. What else is there to say?
Megyn: Scott Walker, what new countries would you bring into our coalition to fight ISIS?
Look, we all know Obama caused ISIS, says Walker. ISIS is bad. Obama is bad. What else is there to say?
Megyn: Ben Carson, would you lift the Executive Order banning torture?
Ben’s too smart to fall for that trap. He’s not going to tell the terrorists what he will and won’t do! The voters either. Those nosy bastards.
Bret: Donald Trump, you say you hate ObamaCare, but weren’t you advocating for a Canada-style single payer system 15 years ago?
But the Donald has something else on his mind. He told the whole world that Iraq was going to be a disaster in 2004. Hey, that’s pretty good for Republican, right? Only a year or two late.
Okay, back to the question at hand. Single payer could have work, Donald explains, back in the day. But it’s too late for that now because insurance companies control the politicians. So will Trump work to free our healthcare system and politics from the evil influence of insurance companies so we can get a single payer system? Nah, but don’t worry—he’ll totally fix it. How, you ask? “I’ll do that through a different system,” he says. Ah, thanks for clearing that up.
Bret: You say politicians do what you say when you give them money. Which politicians have you been able to buy off with your campaign contributions?
Trump is smart enough to know when he’s drifting dangerously close to felony territory, so the most he’ll cop to is getting Hillary to show up at his (most recent) wedding. He calls the system “broken,” but curiously doesn’t mention any plans to fix it.
Bret: Mike Huckabee, you’re not naïve enough to think you can actually shrink government, right?
I’m ten times that naïve, insists Huckabee. In fact, he wants a national sales tax so he can abolish the IRS. Then he’ll fix the deficit with money from “prostitutes and pimps.” Apparently the sex worker trade is going to flourish under President Huckabee.
Bret: Ben, what say you?
If 10% is good enough for the Almighty, it should be good enough for government, reasons Dr. Carson. He wants a flat tax.
Bret: Common Core has Obama cooties. Isn’t that right, Jeb Bush?
Jeb’s been a big backer of Common Core since before it had Obama cooties, and he’s walking a fine line now. He’s for Common Core but against Washington being involved in it.
Bret: Agree or disagree, Marco Rubio?
Washington sucks, says Rubio. Maybe Common Core isn’t so bad now, but he can imagine a time in the future where it could be bad, so fuck it.
And that’s hour one! Come back soon for the Hour 2 recap.