Watch CNN’s coverage of the fifth Republican presidential debate live from Las Vegas on Tuesday, December 15. Coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET.Washington (CNN)Nine candidates will appear in prime-time Tuesday night for the final Republican presidential primary debate of 2015, a critical event that will help shape the contest heading into the Iowa caucuses.Businessman Donald Trump, the front-runner for the nomination, will again be center stage flanked by retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson on his right and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on his left, CNN announced Sunday. The six remaining participants in the prime-time contest will be Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, businesswoman Carly Fiorina, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.Four candidates — former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and former New York Gov. George Pataki — will appear in the first debate on Tuesday evening.
Bill Maher and his guests – Asra Nomani, Jay Leno, Michael Steele, Dylan Ratigan and Paul Reiser – answer viewer questions after the show.
After Paris, this period of relative peace and easy libertarianism is coming to an end.
If you’re an 18-year-old American, you were 3 or 4 when al-Qaida hit the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. You haven’t seen a major terrorist strike in your country since then. Maybe you heard about the attacks in Madrid in 2004, London in 2005, or Mumbai in 2008. But aside from the occasional lone-wolf incident—Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009, or the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013—you’ve been lucky.
You’ve grown up in an era of peace at home: no world wars, no cold war, and little fear of being blown up or gunned down by militants. It’s an era of libertarianism: We’re less afraid of bad guys coming to kill us, so we don’t see why Uncle Sam should track our phone calls. It’s also an era of isolationism, because our troops have fought two wars overseas, in Afghanistan and Iraq, and they haven’t turned out well. We’re sick of those wars, and we feel pretty safe at home. So we don’t want to go fight again.
The libertarianism and isolationism of our time crosses party lines. It affects President Obama, who came into office promising to bring our troops home. But it also affects Republicans. Sen. Lindsey Graham, the Republican presidential candidate who has campaigned on a platform of sending troops to fight ISIS, couldn’t even garner enough support in the polls to get into his party’s undercard debate last week. And if you study surveys on national security and domestic surveillance, you’ll find that Republicans are, by some measures, more hostile to surveillance than Democrats are.
“Challenge accepted, Dr. Carson.”
Trevor Noah on Monday decided to take a closer look at GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson’s assertion that the media is vetting his background more intensely than it did for President Barack Obama during his presidential campaign.
Republican candidates have spent a great deal of time so far in this election cycle criticizing the media for liberal bias — from critiquing the way debates have been moderated to complaining about being treated “unfairly” by the media — and Carson has been no exception to this trend. In an interview that aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Carson claimed that the media is investigating his past with more fervor than any other presidential candidate in prior elections.
“I have not seen that with anyone else,” Carson told NBC’s Chris Jansing. “If you can show me where that’s happened with someone else, I’ll will take that statement back.”
“Challenge accepted, Dr. Carson,” Noah said on “The Daily Show,” before showing a montage of news clips from the 2008 election cycle in which the media exhaustedly vetted then-Senator Obama’s background — going so far as to question whether he was really a U.S. citizen.
“Yeah, so they vetted Obama to the point where they questioned that he was a legitimate natural-born American citizen,” Noah said. “But at least no one ever accused Obama of not stabbing a guy.”
11:20 pm: Takeaway from Milwaukee: Brace for a new round of Rubio-rising stories. He came into this debate with momentum and he performed to expectations. His trendline is up and will keep going up, though questions remain about his ability to turn elite opinion into votes. Jeb was practically a nonfactor. He is just not good at this, and besides a couple of prescripted answers, he did nothing to stand out. The Jeb-death-watch narrative will also continue after this. Trump was sort of subdued, but he’s never that good in debates. Same with Carson—his voters don’t care that he’s borderline incoherent on any substantive questions. Kasich, as usually, seems to have infuriated base conservatives while appealing to moderates and liberal Republicans. Cruz was also strong. Like the last debate, he and Rubio are going to get the buzz out of this.
In a lot of ways this debate ratifies the status quo going in. No game-changers in that sense. Rand Paul showed up for the first time, but it’s not clear he has much of a constituency in this party. —Molly Ball
11:18 pm: At the start of the debate, I wondered whether Jeb Bush’s decision to hire a media trainer would show on the debate stage and it did, a little bit. Bush’s delivery seems to have improved, but maybe not enough to get him out of his low polling digits. Meanwhile, Marco Rubio again delivered a strong performance. What the two didn’t do is go head-to-head like they had in the last Republican debate. Maybe because doing so just wouldn’t work. It certainly didn’t for Bush then and it’s unlikely it would have for Rubio tonight. And it also may answer the question my colleague Russell Berman noted earlier: Will Bush leave his Super PAC to do the dirty work? Looks like that’s a strong possibility. —Priscilla Alvarez
11:16 pm: Trump: “I’m self-funding my campaign…the United States can be better than ever before.” —Molly Ball
11:15 pm: Rubio: “The 21st century can be a new American century.” —Molly Ball
11:15 pm: Rubio, remembering why he’s here tonight, unlike some of his competitors: “I ask you for your vote.” —Marina Koren
11:14 pm: Cruz: “If we get back to the free-market principles and constitutional liberties that built this country, we can turn this nation around.” —Molly Ball
11:13 pm: In contrast, Spain needs a divider-in-chief to amicably part with the Catalonians and Basques. —Conor Friedersdorf
11:13 pm: Jeb: “I don’t think we need an agitator in chief or a divider in chief, we need a commander in chief.”—Molly Ball