The GOP #KidsTable Debate in 16 Tweets

From “Ronald Raven” to the largely empty arena.

Republican presidential candidates from left, Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina, and George Pataki take the stage for a pre-debate forum at the Quicken Loans Arena, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland. Seven of the candidates have not qualified for the prime time debate.Andrew Harnik/AP

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Fox News raised hackles when it announced the selection criteria for the first GOP presidential candidate debate: only the top-10, based on an average of selected national polls, would be allowed into the primetime debate. Rick Santorum called it “preposterous,” but Fox had a solution. It would put on a pre-debate debate a couple hours before the main event, featuring the candidates that weren’t quite fit for prime time. It wasn’t a perfect solution, but at least they’d get a chance to air their views. But it was quickly clear that these were second-tier candidates, at least based on the way moderators Martha MacCallum and Bill Hemmer framed the early questions:

The B-team feel was also reinforced by a largely-empty Quicken Loans Arena:

But that’s not to say the candidates didn’t say interesting things. There were flubs:

And a sleepy Sen. Lindsey Graham saying some rather interesting things about women’s rights:

But maybe that paid off?

Rick Santorum also had some interesting things to say, although not in the way he probably wanted:

The question the candidates had the most difficulty with was providing a two-word description of Hillary Clinton:

But Carly Fiorina emerged the clear winner:

She might have been the only one to really move the needle, as most of the candidates will likely continue to poll in the low single digits:

Glad that’s overwith, or…

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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