FBN Republican debate
"Boring." "Tiring." "Irritating." "Finished." Those are some of the words that GOP pollster Frank Luntz's focus groups of New Hampshire Republicans said on Fox News about Ohio Gov. John Kasich after Tuesday night's GOP presidential debate. Worse for Kasich, Luntz's group gave the governor's qualified support for the 2008 bank bailout (by President George W. Bush) the worst reaction Luntz said he has ever tested since 1996. "He was the biggest liberal on that stage, and that is why everyone was so bothered by that comment," said a woman named Melissa. "That was the most liberal comment I have ever heard on a Republican debate stage."
The bailout comment may have been the moment when Kasich lost the audience, but the focus group had other bones to pick with the Ohio governor. Some called him "contrived," others said he focused on his past accomplishments rather than vision for the future, while many more noted that Kasich kept interrupting other candidates, rudely. When Luntz asked why it was bad for Kasich to interrupt but the debate crowd booed Donald Trump for making the same point about Carly Fiorina, the New Hampshire Republicans said that Trump is a boor and Fiorina has a "target on her head." The focus group also complained that Marco Rubio is talking too much about himself and his family, and Trump attacks other Republicans too much. Luntz's group crowned Rubio and Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) as the night's big winners, and you can watch the spectacle below. Peter Weber