Several of the 11 Republican presidential candidates "had their knives out" for front-runner Donald Trump during Wednesday's second debate, "I don't think anybody scored off him," GOP political consultant Roger Stone told Newsmax TV
"I do think he had a shining moment," Stone, who once served on the Trump campaign, said in an interview on the "Newsmax Debate Special" with hosts Ed Berliner and J.D. Hayworth. "His opposition to the Iraq war, which was his single best moment in the debate.
"He will hold his constituency and he will continue to lead in the polls."
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The three-hour debate was held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina made the cut, raising the number of participants to 11.
"If you go across the field, three hours is a long time," Stone said of the event, which was co-hosted by CNN. "Even for junkies like us, it begins to get a little weary."
Here's how some of the other candidates fared, according to Stone:
- Fiorina: "She had a strong debate, although she seemed pretty strident to me. I wonder if she ever really smiles."
- Retired pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson: "I liked his suit better than I liked his performance. He's actually the one that was missing any passion, any real spark."
- Florida Sen. Marco Rubio: "The worst moment for him was basically saying, 'I'm no longer showing up for work in the job I have now, the U.S. Senate, because I'm running for president.'"
- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker: "He had a slightly better performance than the previous Fox debate."
- Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul: "He had a very, very, very strong debate, if he were running for the Libertarian Party nomination."
- Texas Sen. Ted Cruz: "He is just a strong performer. … I do have one problem with him though — and that is if you close your eyes and you listen to him, he does sound exactly like Mr. Haney from 'Green Acres.'"
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