A Ted Cruz missile hit the moderators at the University of Colorado at the 3rd Republican Debate. He appropriately pointed out the tendency of media folks to ask very pointed questions, not necessarily aimed at substance.
That said, most of the Republicans, rather than talk about their economic policies, chose whenever possible to attack Barack Obama's economic performance. Their attacks began even in their answers to the opening question about what was their biggest weakness. For the record please note that President Obama's economic record includes a reduction in the unemployment rate from more than 10 percent to a little over 5 percent, while knocking a trillion dollars off the federal deficit. That's trillion with a "t". If that's failure, then sign me up for failure.
So Cruz is right about silly gotcha questions from the media, but he is disingenuous at the least to imply that Republicans didn't have the opportunity to present their economic policies. And all of their tax policies mean huge tax cuts for wealthy individuals, with cuts from the top 39.6% rate to anywhere between 10 and 15%.
Other takeaways are that we can see Bush's limitations more than ever to the point that one really isn't sure that he's the "smarter" brother. Rubio has not been effectively challenged, but will be. His very rehearsed pomposity may not wear well over time.
Trump communicated well and demonstrated good timing while the moderators failed to pin him down on policies. He also pounded the one reasonable person on the stage, John Kasich, pretty soundly. His connection to Shearson is not good for him. Christie is appalling in his negativity which shows his degree of desperation to climb at least past Paul and Huckabee.
Note: I have to admit that I was very wrong about Ben Carson's future. I completely underestimated his appeal to the evangelicals in Iowa and so he's doing well. Still he was out of his depth in talking about the economy.
Note 2: January 3, 2016. It does appear that I was just a little early in predicting the inevitable fall of Dr. Ben Carson. We'll see what happens in Iowa in a few weeks, but I think it's clear that in terms of his reputation, he should have stuck to medicine, even if he sold fewer books.