Fox Business gave the debate all the other networks should have given, including the first Fox News debate. It was not flashy. But it was substantive. It was not just that the candidates had more time or that there were less candidates. The moderators did a good job of drawing out policy differences without intentionally setting up fights. They just happened naturally.
Bill Shine, Roger Ailes, and Fox should be really, really proud of Fox Business.
Cruz really won tonight. He had just a stellar performance. Every word was memorable. Every line was precisely delivered. His defense of his tax plan was solid. His use of Rubio supported sugar subsidies as a way to both defend Rubio on defense spending while throwing Rubio under the bus was first class debate strategy. Few may have gotten it, but I assure you Marco Rubio did.
Rubio also had a solid performance. A lot of his lines may have been stump speech lines, but few people have heard his stump speech. His lines were polished. His line about Putin as a gangster was spot on and his defense of a strong defense was his best moment.
Fiorina too did well, but came across in some cases as desperate to get lines in.
Jeb held his own. Carson held his own. Trump seemed subdued. Rand had his best performance, but still seemed desperate. Kasich is an ass.