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Former Presidential Candidates Rate Debate for Newsmax

Image: Former Presidential Candidates Rate Debate for Newsmax

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Monday, 26 Sep 2016 11:30 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Moments after the first presidential debate of 2016 concluded Monday night, three past presidential candidates from both major parties gave Newsmax their respective assessments.

Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey, who lost the 1992 Democratic nomination to Bill Clinton, felt that Hillary Clinton won her first televised confrontation with Donald Trump but that the Republican candidate lost no ground.

Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, a runner-up in the 2008 Republican presidential contest won by John McCain, saw Trump not only as a winner but as someone who caught the attention of the large number of voters who have been undecided in the race.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who was one of the GOP hopefuls in the 2012 nomination fight won by Mitt Romney, felt the debate was a draw but that Trump may have gained momentum.

"I think Hillary won the debate in part because her answers were very precise and in part because Mr. Trump struggled with the tax return issue and the war on Iraq," Kerrey told us.

He quickly added, however, that "I do not think Trump loses ground. But it did not feel like the game changer he needs. Trump may have won the exchange on ISIS because Hillary did not tell the story of progress we have made since 9/11 preventing another major attack on U.S. soil.

The former governor and Vietnam War Medal of Honor winner also felt that Clinton "also gave away too much on NAFTA. The facts show that Trump is wrong but for some reason those facts were not presented."

Thompson told us that Clinton "chose to speak directly to those who have a vested interest in protecting, defending and expanding upon the failing policies of our current president as well as those of her husband.

"And we also saw another candidate in Donald Trump, who delivered a blunt assessment of the serious economic, social and national security challenges our country is now facing.

"Mr. Trump put-forth a plain-spoken plan, leaning on his successful business experiences, drawing a sharp contrast to the years of perfected political double-speak delivered by Hillary Clinton."

Thompson, who served as secretary of health and human services under George W. Bush, concluded that "tonight’s real winner is the candidate who won the attention of the undecided voters who will decide the 2016 presidential election. This is where Donald Trump excelled in delivering a strong vision for a better America while pointing out how wrong Hillary Clinton’s experience is for the future of our country."

"It went pretty much as expected as both reinforced existing campaign narratives and personas," said Pawlenty. "And it may propel the recent momentum the Trump campaign has experienced."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.


 

 

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Moments after the first presidential debate of 2016 concluded Monday night, three past presidential candidates from both major parties gave Newsmax their respective assessments.
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