CNBC could have been prepared as if for the Nuremberg trials and it still wouldn’t have been enough; the crowd wasn’t interested in the truth. And though all the candidates know that to some degree, last night was Marco Rubio’s night to shine as a manipulator of the conservative media entertainment complex—that particular doublespeak that rails against the mainstream media while dominating it with tortured logic and dog-whistling. Carson calls Quintanilla’s perfectly legitimate question “propaganda.” Trump tells a story about how the debate was formed, and Harwood states unequivocally that the story is not true. So Trump—like a growling mastiff—shouts Harwood down and literally postures in a show of bullying strength. Governors Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee address the viewing audience with the implied nudge-and-wink that indicates they are addressing just certain demographics of the viewing audience. And Marco Rubio, in the particular pandering smarm that he has perfected over the years in Florida, first insists Harwood has his numbers wrong and then admits that “numerically,” Harwood is right, but something-something, defeat Hillary, reverse Obama’s policies, and never, ever, raise taxes. And the live audience at the Coors Events Center ate it up.
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