The Best Twitter Reactions to Fox News’ GOP Debates

Well, here it is. The first debate of the 2016 presidential race and Election Day is still more than a year away. It’s gonna be a long year.

GOP debate on Fox News (Photo: Screenshot/Youtube)
GOP debate on Fox News (Photo: Screenshot/Youtube)

Well, here it is. The first debate of the 2016 presidential race and Election Day is still more than a full year away. It’s gonna be a long year, isn’t it? Thursday night at 9 p.m., 10 of the 17 Republican candidates for president gather on one stage for a gigantic debate and it seems like the entire internet tuned in to FOX (FOXA) News to watch.

Excitement started building on Twitter hours before the debate with the hashtag #GOPdebate starting to trend early Thursday afternoon. Some offered predictions of what the debate would be like.
[protected-iframe id=”bfa944322ad1e3f6d1f7b5bfe604fc10-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

And the WWE references didn’t end there. Especially once Donald Trump arrived in Cleveland.
[protected-iframe id=”33742b5e377f30219fa20b2229aa7f59-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

No surprise, The Donald inspired the most excitement of any candidate tonight.
[protected-iframe id=”39461efb3fb9ea361b69285d22747c43-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

And of course, everyone had to share their drinking game rules.
[protected-iframe id=”eebef3b9a53a13afab3ccb070cec898b-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

Though the “real” debate started at 9, the night’s festivities really began three hours earlier with what’s been called the “kids’ table” debate, which featured the seven candidates who are polling lower than the other 10. Some on Twitter noticed a theme running through the first round of questions.

[protected-iframe id=”f76e6494496900e44bfd20ab91252557-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”] [protected-iframe id=”c789b47616c4289ef7f20fb4e36e06a1-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

Eventually, the debate started in earnest and the candidates fielded questions about the issues. Everything from foreign policy…
[protected-iframe id=”b6b5cc82f346d568d068dcabf6874b5f-35584880-14935720″ info=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” class=”twitter-tweet”]

[protected-iframe id=”608a2071f6aac26a43bb3e2ece0c01c6-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

to domestic issues
[protected-iframe id=”f222d30de5d189bb600f710018b44ca1-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

[protected-iframe id=”5bf55c2ac0f1be6a3097f97d7ce9590a-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

Senator Lindsey Graham seemed fixated on Hillary Clinton. Even more than the other candidates.
[protected-iframe id=”106477fa09467a7929ae44357df5980f-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

Of course, other candidates made sure to get their licks in, too.
[protected-iframe id=”74d63905feeb8ffa285c7bf4c340e410-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

But no presidential debate can go by without someone going just a little bit crazy. And by someone, I mean Rick Santorum.
[protected-iframe id=”00d8a09bd5a09fefb45ef94582b4bd03-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

In the debate’s closing moments, the moderators asked the candidates to sum up their positions using two words. How’d that work out for them?
[protected-iframe id=”3d5688215e00d4e52da5d45b85fd11c8-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]
…About as well as you’d expect from any politician, I guess.

So who won?
[protected-iframe id=”2830ebde433299503fcb581fad332af7-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]
Somewhat surprisingly, the general consensus seemed to favor former HP CEO Carly Fiorina. She even won over one of her opponents.
[protected-iframe id=”d0cafdddda645ed54c551fc1f1ddd65a-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]
Nice job, Carly. Now on to the real debate.

Things were a little awkward from the start, with the sheer number of men on stage making the program look more like a reality show than a political debate.
[protected-iframe id=”d34c324e8902f2d26bda1a9a922270b3-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

[protected-iframe id=”f1923b2d6f4cf4f3d88ea3f72d92b667-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

Dr. Ben Carson fielded the first question, which dealt with his inexperience in politics. His answer? Not half bad.
[protected-iframe id=”cc2e9fbddf50a97019c202a048543d16-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

[protected-iframe id=”bbb762fe50e2a61711c0a8dc109d4953-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]
Honestly, the position that the president of the United States should have a brain is one most Americans would probably agree with.

Kelly didn’t pull any punches, especially when it came to Donald Trump. Her next question took Trump to task for his history of sexist remarks. He responded in a typically Trump fashion.
[protected-iframe id=”10767b00e078835833f52bf7e4b53ba4-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

Trump did take the opportunity to reiterate Dr. Carson’s point about brains in the oval office, though not quite as eloquently.
[protected-iframe id=”bb4e0ff5248c52e886acc1ac4081c0df-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

Look, let’s just get Trump out of the way now. We all knew going in he was going to say some outrageous things. That’s the reason half the people watching the debate tuned in at all. His fight with Jeb Bush over immigration conjured up images of a bickering married couple.
[protected-iframe id=”07715b0c646a160fc8ea7bf73fd685e3-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

And his plan to build a wall between the United States and Mexico sounded a little too familiar to fans of HBO.
[protected-iframe id=”8116c6c933ade028eb43d747492612ad-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

That’s not to say he didn’t have some good points.
[protected-iframe id=”5d4b230b07b77954aa0dff86db57dd00-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

But Trump was far from the only candidate onstage. How did the others do? Well, after answering his first question, Ben Carson was relatively quiet. So few questions were directed his way, it almost seemed like the moderators forgot he was there.
[protected-iframe id=”464f7d38a9c69f5e0680b0e6260faa32-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

Though when he did get a chance to answer some serious policy questions, he gave answers like this.
[protected-iframe id=”fbc1a89ef86b9c16c0377ef428de4bc2-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]
[protected-iframe id=”7dd51d2c5aa7f7e39acb472271b65ad5-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]
[protected-iframe id=”5b9b363503cbfc825200b11b3f8d98a6-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

At least he made us laugh in the end.
[protected-iframe id=”0e6875d4d2a1717d375bde118be469ad-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]
[protected-iframe id=”7359ae5b838ab4711429d623d4a8419a-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

Ted Cruz, meanwhile looked oddly uncomfortable whenever he spoke.
[protected-iframe id=”96105ac64f6cfd9200a52c7a52968be1-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

Scott Walker maybe shouldn’t have skipped Geography in school.
[protected-iframe id=”0f4305d6f802569e75336e50cd272c48-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

Chris Christie’s most memorable moment was his emotional argument with Rand Paul over his defense of the PATRIOT Act.
[protected-iframe id=”0a17e1da57ce845dddfbc1fd16c395ae-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

Mike Huckabee said a great many things that riled up Twitter, but nothing quite so much as this.
[protected-iframe id=”11152faebb2b9bf2a2e4cb8fc266c213-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

Though some speculated he was just plugging his upcoming project.
[protected-iframe id=”6809083818bfdeb77c8d26a101e1dd2b-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]
You just know he’ll be hustling the album to tourists in Times Square later this month.

Jeb Bush, oddly enough seemed kind of… absent. He was there, but with all the big personalities in the room, he was easy to miss.
[protected-iframe id=”2cb0617226d0a8e8758ce5663c3e15d7-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

A major theme that persisted throughout the debate was candidates bragging about the humble jobs their fathers worked. Twitter thought that was a little strange.
[protected-iframe id=”46a0778ba3e473d1d8964e9c12f10e69-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]
[protected-iframe id=”dc85c4e3af4d0e9bae270208e4ba964c-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

But when it comes to getting weird, nothing can top the sentence before the final commercial break.
[protected-iframe id=”5a0388aa6c3feb3944598116329ef675-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]
Megyn Kelly promised God. And did she ever deliver. It turns out the penultimate question for each candidate asked if they’d heard any words from the Almighty regarding their candidacy. Or as one tweeter put it…
[protected-iframe id=”cf05252cb49aa06f6c80a54124862d27-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

Marco Rubio took the opportunity to get one last dig in at the Democrats.
[protected-iframe id=”293db49ffca2f529c141136a4d502f58-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

But most of the other candidates’ responses sounded a little more like this.
[protected-iframe id=”b80adb188c01d8633154d88c95109c91-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]
And this.
[protected-iframe id=”71be5d74ca1302d9bf19d9e9456836cb-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]

In the end, this debate had one clear winner.
[protected-iframe id=”a789a972b19a29313158ed4d998d315d-35584880-14935720″ info=”hash” class=”twitter-tweet”]
I think we all saw that coming.

Disclosure: Donald Trump is the father-in-law of Jared Kushner, the publisher of Observer Media.

The Best Twitter Reactions to Fox News’ GOP Debates