Nate Jackson / September 16, 2015

Prepping for the Second Debate

Keep an eye out for a Trump-Carson showdown.

The second GOP presidential debate is tonight, and there will be 11 candidates on stage. Carly Fiorina was the only candidate from the first “Happy Hour” debate to graduate to the prime-time stage, so many eyes will be on her for the first time. Scott Walker sought to recalibrate his campaign and set up his debate performance with a bold new proposal to abolish federal unions. Some candidates, like Rand Paul, intend to make attacking Donald Trump a centerpiece of their approach in hopes of jumpstarting low poll numbers. Speaking of poll numbers, Ben Carson has enjoyed a recent surge and is now in a statistical dead heat with Trump, so look for Trump to start attacking Carson. In fact, it’s possible all other candidates will fade into the background of the Trump-Carson showdown.

The two already exchanged blows recently over biblical knowledge and qualities. Carson offered a very articulate condemnation of Trump’s arrogance and faux faith. Asked about the main characteristics that differentiate him from Trump, Carson said, “I’ve realized where my success has come from, and I don’t in any way deny my faith in God. And I think that is the big difference.” Carson continued, “One of my favorite Bible verses, Proverbs 22:4, says, ‘By humility and the fear of the Lord, are riches and honor and life.’ That’s a very big part of who I am — humility and the fear of the Lord. I don’t get that impression with [Trump].”

Naturally, Trump fired back, questioning Carson’s faith and calling the renowned former neurosurgeon— who performed the world’s first surgery separating Siamese twins conjoined at the head — just an “okay doctor.” Yet it was Carson who eventually apologized for questioning Trump’s faith, showing that he has a degree of humility completely foreign to Trump. Remember, Trump is the man who recently said he might “apologize sometime in the hopefully distant future if I’m ever wrong.”

Finally, co-moderator Hugh Hewitt intends to grill candidates about foreign policy — not exactly a strong suit for either Trump or Carson, as evidenced in both candidates’ previous interviews with Hewitt. To be fair, Trump does talk about “winning” an awful lot, and promises to be “so good at the military your head will spin.” So there’s that.

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