The last TV debate before the primaries, which will take place on Tuesday, February 9 in New Hampshire , did not offer great emotions. Trump, the frontrunner, seems to come out of it unscathed, whereas the one who so far has been his direct opponent, the ultraconservative Senator Ted Cruz, was a bit overshadowed. Marco Rubio, whose position in the polls has been improving after the good result in Iowa, does not shine neither. Perhaps he missed his opportunity to achieve a breakthrough and make a quality leap. Harshly attacked by the others – especially by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie – according to many commentators, for Marco Rubio it was the worst debate since the beginning of the election campaign.
On Saturday, Rubio spent his blackest night on live TV, attacked from all sides. He was besieged mainly by the so-called ‘Alliance of Governors”: Chris Christie, John Kasic, and Jeb Bush, the three candidates who are most interested in suffocating the ambitions of the young Florida Senator. Despite the hard exchanges of the last few days, the expected showdown between Trump and Cruz did not happen, whereas Rubio was counting on it, to sneak into it as the third wheel.
The governor of New Jersey hit Rubio hard, making him almost unable to react. He criticized his opponent for not having any experience in the government, of absenteeism at the Senate (‘That’s Not Leadership, That’s Truancy’), and for not being able to go beyond “the 25 lines he learned by heart.” The young senator of Cuban descent went to pieces, reproached by the moderators’ because he kept answering with repeated attacks on Obama no matter what the question was. Trump kept a low profile and got angry only when Bush accused him of having ousted even old women to build a parking for limousines in front of one of his casino in Atlantic City: “Shut up!” – The tycoon replied testily, followed by a wave of ‘boooooo’ from the audience.
Then, talking about the fight against terrorism, Trump proposed again the practice of waterboarding against terrorism suspects, in vogue during the Bush era. That practice was largely considered a form of torture and was banned by the Obama administration. Ted Cruz approves it, while even Jeb Bush distanced himself from the methods used during his brother’s presidency. There is one thing all the Republican candidates seem to agree on: an escalation is needed in the fight against Isis and US has to take action in Libya immediately: air strikes and ground troops, to put hastily an end to the uncertainties of Obama administration. First of all, bombing from the air – Bush said – in cooperation with the Arab and European allies.”
“Yet, – he added – history teaches us that if we do nothing afterwards, everything ends up in chaos”. Therefore, also the so-called ‘boots on the ground’ will be necessary. The duel was tense also in the democratic camp, where Hillary Clinton kept dismissing Sanders’ accusations. The latter wanted to portray her as a tool in the hands of the big powers of Wall Street: “Enough of this slander,” – exclaimed the former first lady, who in a surprise move decided to fly to Flint, Michigan, where the population has been living for weeks an incredible and unprecedented emergency: drinking water is polluted by lead.
One of the democratic debates live on TV will takes place preciselu in Flint, on March 6, thanks to an agreement reached between the two candidates. Sanders decided not to attack Hillary on the question of gold rewards she received from the banks for her speeches. He also decided not to attack her on the email scandal. Who knows, perhaps these decisions foretell a future ‘ticket’.