The son of the late President Ronald Reagan tells Newsmax TV
the Republican presidential candidates' debate at the Reagan Library was a win for nearly all the first- and second-tier participants — except front-runner Donald Trump.
In a post-debate interview with hosts Ed Berliner and J.D. Hayworth, political commentator Michael Reagan said Trump's answers during the three-hour debate showed "he really doesn't know policy that much."
"Everybody won but Trump," Reagan declared. "Trump was the big loser tonight because this debate did have a lot of substance… and every time they went to Donald Trump he really didn't have an answer… He can talk platitudes."
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Reagan said he thought New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie "did a great job," and lauded former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina as "great." He also praised Florida Sen. Marco Rubio as "terrific."
"[T]he big winner tonight also would be [South Carolina Sen.] Lindsey Graham from the first debate, who was unbelievable. Lindsey Graham given an audience … takes off."
But Reagan said Trump "has his own message going forward," faulting him for refusing to apologize to Jeb Bush's wife Columba for an insulting tweet over the summer.
in July, "#JebBush has to like the Mexican Illegals because of his wife."
It was later deleted.
"It would've been very easy for him to in fact apologize to Columba," Reagan said. "That's an easy thing to do but he does it a lot for his entertainment factor, and for the applause of it… and for the laughter," Reagan said. "Those are the things that really hurt him tonight when people went to him. It was really just platitudes that were going out there. With everybody else it really was about substance."
Reagan said he also was was "disappointed" in Ben Carson's debate performance.
"I don't think Dr. Carson brought the A-game to tonight," he said.
Reagan conceded Trump will likely continue to lead the GOP pack in polling, "but other people are going to be coming up."
"People are really getting tired. … The people in the room were getting fed up with the attacks by Donald Trump," he said. "You can just hear it in the room. The groans in there, 'there he goes again on that.'"
"You're going to see some people move up but you're going to see Trump, you're going to see a softening of his support," he added.
Watch Newsmax TV GOP Debate Special starting tonight at 10 pm ET with exclusive commentary and analysis from Dr Ben Carson, Michael Reagan and Dick Morris.
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