French election: Macron declared ‘winner’ of final debate – BBC News May 4 2017


French debate: Macron and Le Pen spar on TV

French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron appeared to cement his position as the front-runner after his clash with far-right rival Marine Le Pen in Wednesday evening’s final TV debate.

French pundits, newspapers and a highly regarded viewers’ poll all declared the centrist candidate the most convincing.

The candidates traded insults for more than two hours, arguing over terrorism, the economy, and Europe.

The second round run-off between the pair takes place on Sunday.

Both candidates were hoping to make an impression on the estimated 18% of undecided voters in the first election the country has ever held without a candidate from the two traditional mainstream parties.

The French broadcaster BFMTV found viewers had a more favourable view of Mr Macron than Ms Le Pen in most categories.

He was the “most convincing” of the pair in the opinion of 63% of those interviewed.

The major French newspapers broadly agree in their Thursday morning editorials.

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5 takeaways from the debate that didn’t matter -By GLENN THRUSH 10/05/16 01:05 AM EDT Updated 10/05/16 01:46 AM EDT


Pence disappoints Trump, Kaine over-rehearses, and Quijano whiffs.

The first and only vice-presidential debate of 2016 was less a game-changer than a channel-changer, a snippy and probably inconsequential 90 minutes marginally won by Mike Pence – a confident, slightly smarmy debater very much in the mold of those calculating Washington, D.C., politicians who are destroying America.

Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s more voluble running mate, didn’t flop but he was visibly less comfortable than the square-jawed Pence, frequently interrupting the Indiana governor, jamming his pre-programmed attacks on Donald Trump into every answer with admirable, tedious efficiency.

Their performances almost perfectly reflected the priorities of each candidate: Kaine was a hyper-briefed Trump-thumping machine, barking the GOP nominee’s name, as if it were a slur, some 160 times – more than twice the number of times Pence mentioned Clinton’s, according a POLITICO tally.

Pence, on the other hand, seemed less concerned with out-and-out defending his running mate than rope-a-doping away from uncomfortable questions: His standard response was to pucker his face and mock Kaine as “ridiculous” for pelting him with facts, statistics and actual Trump quotes.

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Five things you need to know from the Dem debate – Getty Images By Ben Kamisar – 03/10/16 12:37 AM EST


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The day after Bernie Sanders squeaked by Hillary Clinton in the Michigan primaries, the two Democratic presidential candidates engaged in a contentious debate as they ready for big-delegate states next week.

And while Wednesday night’s Univision debate came  just three days after the last one, it  had its share of pivotal moments.

Univision broadcast the debate from Miami in Spanish, simulcast and translated on CNN, with moderators asking some of the race’s most pointed questions on immigration and other hot button issues.

With just days until the all important March 15 primaries, where more than 30 percent of delegates will be awarded, including in Florida, here are five things to know about Wednesday’s debate.

The Democratic Party has moved to the left on immigration 

A healthy dose of immigration policy was expected during Wednesday’s debate. But the candidates’ posture–their agreements and their attacks against each other–showed a party that’s ready to shift even further to the left than the party’s current standard-bearer, President Obama.

Both candidates agreed to not deport any person in America illegally who has not committed any other crimes; they doubled down on pushing Obama’s immigration executive actions even further and they pledged to tackle immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship as a top priority.

But Clinton hung Sanders’s 2007 vote against immigration reform around his neck, casting his argument that he voted against the bill because of concerns about inhumane guest-worker policies as fiction.

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GOP Candidates Take Aim at Marco Rubio in Debate – By BETH REINHARD, JANET HOOK and REBECCA BALLHAUS Updated Feb. 7, 2016 12:23 a.m. ET


With New Hampshire primary just days away, rivals jockey for position; Chris Christie attacks Florida senator

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Florida Sen. Marco Rubio paid the price of a rising profile and poll ratings as Republican presidential rivals pummeled him in Saturday’s debate, just three days before a make-or-break New Hampshire primary.

The hardest hits came from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who savaged the freshman senator as untested and accused him of slinking away from a controversial immigration overhaul.

Mr. Rubio, who has previously defused less biting attacks from his onetime mentor, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, seemed less prepared to match Mr. Christie, a dogged former prosecutor, blow for blow.

Saturday’s debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., also marked the return of Donald Trump to the stage, but the audacious billionaire was at times overshadowed by Mr. Christie—who, in a more crowded field months ago, was relegated to the undercard debate. Mr. Trump skipped the last debate because he said the Fox News network and moderator Megyn Kelly treated him unfairly.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who tangled repeatedly with Mr. Rubio in the last debate, backed away from confrontations with retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Mr. Trump.

The debate loomed as the candidates’ last, best chance to swing a state where 2012 exit polls show nearly half of the Republican primary voters picked a candidate in the last few days. One of the biggest questions in the final days of the race will be whether Mr. Christie’s assault slows Mr. Rubio’s momentum—and if it does, which candidate stands to benefit most from it.

Marco Rubio walks into the lions’ den – By SHANE GOLDMACHER 02/06/16 07:51 AM EST


‘There is no question that the target on our back has increased,’ says Rubio adviser90

‘There is no question that the target on our back has increased,’ says Rubio adviser

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Marco Rubio is bracing for impact.

Donald Trump may be back on the debate stage but Rubio’s the candidate everyone’s looking to take down.

“There is no question that the target on our back has increased in size significantly,” said Todd Harris, a senior Rubio adviser. “There is a lot of desperation in this field right now and a lot of people feeling like the only way to lift their campaigns up is to try to tear us down.”

Rising in the polls after his third-place finish in Iowa, Rubio poses the biggest immediate threat to the largest portion of the remaining field. Chris Christie, John Kasich and Jeb Bush are all banking much of their candidacy on outperforming New Hampshire, and with signs that Rubio is separating from the long-bunched pack of mainstream Republicans, there is fresh imperative to knock him down.

Christie has started calling Rubio “the boy in the bubble.” And Bush declared Friday on MSNBC, “His record of accomplishment is slim.”

 

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The 7 Must-Watch Moments From the Democrats’ New Hampshire Debate – —By Patrick Caldwell and Pema Levy | Thu Feb. 4, 2016 11:54 PM EST


The two remaining candidates did not hold back in Thursday night’s testy debate.

The stakes going into this debate were high, particularly for Clinton, with polls showing her far behind Sanders in the New Hampshire just four days before the first-in-the-nation primary. Clinton eked out a very narrow win in the Iowa caucuses on Monday, but underperformed her polling there, setting up what could be a long slog for the Democratic nomination.

Clinton rips Sanders’ definition of “progressive.”

Clinton challenged the idea that she is not progressive enough to be the Democratic Party’s nominee by ripping apart Sander’s use of the term, claiming that under his definition many mainstay liberal politicians would be excluded. “Under his definition, President Obama is not progressive because he took donations from Wall Street; Vice President Biden is not progressive because she supported Keystone; Sen. [Jeanne] Shaheen [of New Hampshire] is not progressive because she supports the trade pact,” Clinton said. “Even the late, great Sen. Paul Wellstone would not fit this definition because he voted for [the Defense of Marriage Act]. You know, we have differences and, honestly, I think we should be talk about what we want to do for the country. But if we’re going to get into labels, I don’t think it was particularly progressive to vote against the Brady Bill five times.”

After Clinton’s challenge, the debate moderators wondered: Does Sanders dispute the idea that Barack Obama should be termed a progressive? “Do I think President Obama’s a progressive? Yeah, I do,” Sanders said after a long wind-up, though still noting that he disagreed with the president on a number of issues.

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http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/02/top-moments-debate-new-hampshire-hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders

Everything you need to know about last night’s excruciating GOP debate – HEATHER DIGBY PARTON – JAN 29, 2016 02:40 PM PST


While Donald Trump stuck to his Fox boycott, the other GOP candidates got down to business. It was, in a word, bad

Everything you need to know about last night's excruciating GOP debate

Some good news came out of the GOP presidential debates last night. It dawned on everyone watching that in a week or so this field is going to be winnowed considerably and we will never have the thrill of seeing the seven dwarves — Grumpy Christie, Sneezy Cruz, Happy Kasich, Sleepy Carson, Dopey Rubio, Bashful Bush and Doc Paul — on a stage together again. (Snow White Trump was pouting across the street, upset over having to take questions from Megyn Kelly.)

Trump did manage to dominate the news all day as usual while the whole political world excitedly speculated as to whether he would sweep into the debate at the last minute like a diva high soprano or if his alternative rally would upstage the main event. Just as the debate was about to begin he invited CNN onto his luxurious private plane to explain that Fox had profusely apologized for their bad behavior (“they couldn’t have been nicer”) and had begged him to come to the debate. He wished he could but he’d promised to raise money for the veterans and couldn’t let them down.

Fox News has a different version of events, claiming that there was no apology and that Trump had shaken them down agreeing to appear with the hated Kelly but only if the network would promise to pay $5 million to his veterans charity. They refused to “negotiate” any further.

His event was a dull affair but the other networks covered it nonetheless. They always do. The bright spot of the night was when Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, both previous Iowa caucus winners, raced over from the kiddie table to lend their tacit support to Trump. The pundits saw this as a major development for some reason, as if their endorsement was a meaningful symbol of something, but nobody seemed sure of what it might be.

Trump raised millions from himself and some other millionaires and smaller donors for the veterans, “who he loves.” Curiously, the money all went to donaldtrumpforvets.com, a website set up that morning which routes the money to the Donald Trump Foundation. One assumes he means to send it on to veterans groups but as of last night, the press was unable to confirm that he had contacted any of them. Anti-Trump right wingers are up in arms that this foundation has donated to the Clinton Foundation in the past which apparently means this is a nefarious deed of some sort.

Truth be told, it was little different than the rallies he puts on every day. The master showman was apparently unable to put together an entertaining spectacle on such short notice. But that is not to say the rival event was any more exciting. The seven dwarves dully sparred over the course of a couple of hours but the usual energy was lacking. Cruz started off strong with a carefully prepared funny:

“I’m a maniac, everyone on this stage is stupid, fat and ugly. And Ben, you’re a terrible surgeon. Now that we’ve gotten the Donald Trump portion out of the way…”

He does try to have a sense of humor. But he was unable to keep his poise as his frontrunner status made him the target of his fellow candidates as well as the moderators. Taking a page from his CNBC debate complaint book he said, “I would note that the last four questions have been: Rand, please attack Ted. Marco, please attack Ted. Chris, please attack Ted,” to which Chris Wallace dryly retorted,”It is a debate, sir.” Cruz managed to recover with a brittle little joke: “If you guys ask one more mean question, I may have to leave the stage.” Unfortunately for him, if Twitter is any example,a great many people cannot tell when Ted’s cracking wise and they thought he was being serious.

Jeb Bush, on the other hand, was on fire. Well, he had a nice little glow about him anyway. Freed from the burden of having to fend off Trump’s insults, he was able to sound almost … confident. He started off with a clever little jab at his fellow candidates:

“I kinda miss Donald Trump. He was always a little teddy bear to me. We always had such a loving relationship… Everyone else was in the witness protection program when I went after him.”

I’m not sure saying he had a “loving relationship “with Donald Trump was such a hot idea, even in jest. It’s just weird. But that’s Jeb! He also droned on about his “proven record” over and over again and tried to sound as hawkish as the rest of the bloodthirsty crowd with a startling comment: “Get the lawyers off the damn backs of the military once and for all,” which can only be interpreted to mean that as president he would authorize war crimes. He’s a real Bush, after all.

All in all, it was Jeb’s best debate. It might even boost him up to 5th place.

Many of the pundits seemed to think that it was also a good night for an oddly rosy cheeked Marco Rubio, who appeared to have guzzled a couple of double espressos before he took the stage and breathlessly answered every question with his patented rapid-fire machine gun delivery. And he was excessively pious, mentioning his faith more often than the Pope did during his recent U.S. visit. But he was also the most bellicose of the group insisting that ISIS is one of the greatest threats in human history and any fighters he captures alive in the U.S. will immediately be shipped off to Guantanamo. It’s hard to know what issues he feels most passionately about because he gives every answer with exactly the same frantic emphasis. One can’t help but worry he’ll end up having a heart attack as president if he doesn’t mellow out a little bit.

Clinton, Sanders Spar in Last Debate Before Iowa – Associated Press Published on Jan 18, 2016


In their final debate before the primary contests begin, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders tangled repeatedly over who’s tougher on gun control and Wall Street and who’s got a better vision for the future of health care in America. (Jan. 17)

Martha Raddatz goes toe-to-toe with Hillary Clinton – By HADAS GOLD 12/19/15 11:14 PM EST


ABC’s global affairs correspondent outshines anchor David Muir as debate moderator.

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Whether grilling Bernie Sanders for details of his single-payer health proposal or nearly leaping out of her chair to challenge Hillary Clinton on the merits of her proposed no-fly zone in Syria, ABC’s Martha Raddatz was an animating force of Saturday’s Democratic debate.

Her ability to cut through the policy-heavy answers – especially on foreign affairs – gave viewers a reason to keep watching after the early drama faded over the Sanders campaign’s peeking at the Clinton campaign’s data.

Raddatz’s strong performance also continued a trend in which moderators who are primarily reporters rather than anchors – such as CBS’s John Dickerson – showed how their chops could outshine the full-time anchors whose easy professional manner tended to blur rather than accentuate the differences between the candidates.

In this debate, the anchor in question was David Muir, the youthful star of World News Tonight and a novice to debate moderating. He was a smooth questioner, but lacked Raddatz’s sharp eye for evasions and inconsistencies. At many points, he was talked over by the candidates.

Just as the foreign-policy focus of the first hour played to Clinton’s strengths as a former secretary of state, so too did it play to Raddatz’s strengths as a foreign policy reporter.

This made for informative, though at times overly wonky TV. But just as with the 2012 vice presidential debate, also tightly refereed by Raddatz, her intensity and knowledge of the issues kept the proceedings on track.

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