Fox News GOP Debate: Who Were The Biggest Winners And Losers?

With the Fox News GOP Debate now over, the public was left with both a debate from the bottom seven candidates and the top 10 candidates in the Republican nomination race.

Candidates faced questions on issues such as the economy, illegal immigration, and the Iran nuclear negotiations; some fared better than others in the first GOP Debate. Fox News benefited from hosting the first debate of the election cycle, especially with the Donald Trump hype leading up to the big debate.

First, the earlier Fox News GOP Debate included senior politicians such as Senator Lindsey Graham, former Senator Rick Santorum, and former Texas Governor Rick Perry who all had a dreadful evening all for different reasons.

With Santorum and Perry prominently featuring in the last GOP race for the presidency, both would have been disappointed to appear at what was described as the “Kids Table,” yet neither did much to prove that they deserved a bump up to the main debate.

Rick Perry reportedly had another “oops” moment after replying to a question on illegal immigration. The former Texas Senator reportedly mispronounced GOP icon and the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan – “Ronald Raven.” His campaign has denied such claims.

Rick Santorum said nothing of note throughout the GOP debate to set himself aside from the rest of the field, while Senator Graham’s highlight invoked a depressing tale of becoming an orphan at age 22 and living a solitary life for the biggest sob story of the GOP debate.

In contrast, former Hewitt Packard CEO Carly Fiorina was the clear winner of the early Fox News GOP Debate. Fiorina failed to make the top 10 nevertheless, as the only woman running on the Republican ticket, she made the best of her chances, conjuring up her experience as a corporate CEO to tackle issues such as diplomacy and the economy.

In between the failure and success of the first Fox News GOP Debate, Governor Bobby Jindal failed to deviate from the standard conservative GOP themes. However, he gave a competent performance that should neither hurt nor improve his chances of moving up in the polls. Former governors George Pataki and Jim Gilmore failed to even register anything of merit to make a case for their campaigns.

In the next GOP Debate, Fox News focused on the top 10 candidates based on the averages on five national polls. Donald Trump came in on top of the field, although his performance tonight may see his lead dissipate with other candidates proving their worth.

Trump stuck to his guns, blaming weak governance in Washington. In spite of all that, the real estate mogul was on the defensive, especially when facing questions about his previous rhetoric against women, his businesses’ bankruptcy, his opponents, and his “liberal” democratic history. Trump had a mixed response from the crowd in Cleveland, and part what makes him appealing may also backfire in the future.

Rosie O'Donnell

John Kasich may have had the best night out of all the candidates in the GOP Debate. On his home turf, Kasich made bold claims without necessarily attacking the other candidates in the Republican field. His boldest assertion was his claim that he took Ohio out of an “$8 billion hole to a $2 billion surplus” which Politifact stated was Mostly True.

Being a governor of a swing state, John Kasich will have an important role to play in the coming months of the election, even if he doesn’t make the final cut. Kasich proved that his moderate policies could attract votes from outside the Republican party. With that said, the GOP debate could prove that the Ohio governor’s campaign could be ready to kick start a run to the top.

Meanwhile, Jeb Bush gave a wretched performance in the Fox News debate. Often used as an example, along with Hillary Clinton, as a representative of the Washington establishment, the former Florida Governor ended up admitting that the war in Iraq was a mistake.

Jeb Bush chats with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

Bush’s chances weren’t significantly dampened. Nonetheless, this was his chance at clawing back his lead from Donald Trump, and he could now fall behind Governor Scott Walker, who gave a solid performance appealing to the conservative crowd and the audience

Who did you think were the biggest winners and losers of the Fox News GOP debate?

[Photo by Chip Somodevilla, Scott Olson/Getty Images]