MU professor satisfied with Republican presidential debate
COLUMBIA - University of Missouri Professor of Communication Mitchell McKinney offered his analysis Friday of the Republican presidential debates.
McKinney said the primetime debate was a good discussion overall.
"The journalists were able to keep them in control, so for two hours there was a lot of back and forth," McKinney said. "There was some thought going into it that it would perhaps be the Donald Trump show but that didn't materialize."
McKinney said there were several moments where the candidates made their differences clear, which is important for voters.
"We're trying to make distinctions between their issue positions, and I think that's an important feature of a primary debate," McKinney said. "For example, we saw a very heated discussion between Senator Rand Paul and Chris Christie on national security versus civil liberties or protecting the privacy of U.S. citizens versus going after terrorists."
McKinney said it was difficult for the candidates in the debate earlier in the afternoon Thursday to generate energy because of the small crowd. He said the crowd at the primetime debate had a positive effect on the candidates.
"The later debate, I thought, was more energetic," McKinney said. "The crowd wasn't overly intrusive but it certainly did give the candidates something to play to, and I think it enhanced their energy level and the discussion of the debate."
McKinney said another interesting feature of the debates centered around Hillary Clinton.
"In the second debate, the primetime debate, she wasn't attacked as much or discussed as much," McKinney said. "More so in the earlier debate with folks like Carly Fiorina, Rick Perry, Senator Lindsey Graham. Those seven took her on much more harshly, much more directly, even to the point where we saw a couple of clips that were incorporated into the latter debate from the earlier debate because of those attacks."
McKinney said it is too early to determine who will win the Republican presidential nomination, as there are 10 more debates scheduled to occur. The next Republican debate is scheduled for Sept. 16, 2015, which will be hosted by CNN.
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