Minutes Before GOP Debate, Crowd Breaks Into Standing Ovation- ‘Astounded’ CNN Host Interrupts Broadcast

Before the shouting started, there was one thing that everyone at Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate understood: There was a hero in the house.

Former President George Herbert Walker Bush and his wife, Barbara, both attended the event at the University of Houston. Bush, 91 and sitting in a wheelchair, was videoed on his way into the theater where the debate was held. He was later photographed surrounded by grinning students, most of whom were likely not even born during the Bush presidency that saw America regain its military might in the Gulf War while the Cold War ended and the Berlin Wall fall.

Bush’s entrance did not go unnoticed.

“… he was … met with a thunderous response following his entrance to the hall,” reported Chris Tognotti on Bustle. It probably rung to the room as a slightly melancholy moment, given that Jeb was forced to drop out before making it to Super Tuesday, but it was clearly a joyful moment for the partisan crowd as well.”

The crowd was so loud for Bush’s arrival that during the pre-debate coverage on CNN, discussion stopped a moment and one host called the former president’s reception “astounding.”

Bush and his wife also received a moment in the spotlight just before the start of the debate when they were officially announced to the crowd. A standing ovation ensued as the crowd gathered in the 41st president’s former hometown gave him some of the loudest cheers of the night.

During their introduction, Bush grabbed his wife’s hand. Just as though they were the evening’s winners, they held their grasped hands aloft as cheers rang throughout the theater.

h/t: Bustle

My Advice To Trump On Releasing His Tax Forms: ‘Just Say No!’

Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, there was a young political candidate who thought people would praise his transparency if he released 20 years’ worth of income tax returns, going all the way back to when he was first married. Alas, nobody gave him credit for his honesty or charitable giving. The only people who cared were his political opponents, who poured over his forms, hunting for any obscure item they could wrench out of context and turn into attack ads. The unsurprising twist: that young candidate was me. And the moral I learned was: “Never help somebody load a gun when it’s pointed at your own head. It’s not going to end well.”

Donald Trump is the latest candidate to be pressured to release his income tax forms. My Reaganesque advice to him: “Just say no!” Some have tried to interpret that as me favoring Trump, but I’ve given this same advice to candidates for years: Don’t release your personal tax forms. Trump, like every other candidate, is required by law to release detailed financial information. It must be signed under oath to verify that it’s accurate on penalty of perjury. Trump has done that, and it’s available for all to see.

Personally, I think that’s better than income tax returns. We all know how complicated tax forms are, particularly for someone like Trump. No average human can comprehend them; that’s why we have to pay experts to do our taxes. Do you really think some junior reporter at the Washington Post will understand Trump’s voluminous tax forms?  If he did, he’d be a seven-figure CPA.

I was disappointed to see Mitt Romney suggest that Trump might be hiding something in his tax returns. That’s the same kind of baseless innuendo that Harry Reid aimed at Romney in 2012. If Trump becomes the nominee, he’ll likely release his tax forms. But for now, he’s complied with federal disclosure laws, and his personal tax forms are nobody’s business but his own.

I know the argument: if he doesn’t release them, the media will beat him up. News flash: if he does release them, no matter what’s in them, the media will still find some reason to beat him up. I learned from bitter experience: when you’re a Republican, even if you’ve got nothing to hide, the media and your political opponents will find something anyway. Why make their job easier?

Watch: Krauthammer Just Revealed The 1 ‘Remarkable’ GOP Debate Moment That’s ‘Going To Be Replayed’

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio’s challenge on rival Donald Trump to explain Trump’s health care plan led to an “electric” moment that will be played over and over in the Republican presidential race, conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer said Thursday night.

During Thursday night’s debate, Rubio, R-Fla., challenged Trump to provide details of his health care plan. Trump would not, or could not respond in depth to Rubio’s question.

“It was not exactly the subject you would have thought would spark this, but that’s when Rubio used ridicule in going after Trump on his so-called solution or replacement for Obamacare,” Krauthammer said. “And what he did is he tried to show … that there was really nothing there in the Trump proposal.”

“… The moment that was most remarkable, and obviously spontaneous, was when Rubio said, ‘Well, you’ve just repeated yourself within the five minutes.’ That I think is going to be the one that is going to be replayed.”

According to The Washington Post’s transcript of the debate, the exchange began as follows.

“What is your plan?,” Rubio said the Trump. “I understand the lines around the state, whatever that means. This is not a game where you draw maps.” After Trump said a few words, Rubio repeated, “What is your plan, Mr. Trump? … What is your plan on healthcare?

After both candidates talked at once, Trump mentioned Rubio’s “metdown” at a New Hampshire debate and then said, “I got to tell you, the biggest problem he’s got is he really doesn’t know about the lines. The biggest thing we’ve got, and the reason we’ve got no competition, is because we have lines around the state, and you have essentially…”

“So, you’re only thing is to get rid of the lines around the states,” Rubio said after more crosstalk. “What else is part of your healthcare plan…”

“You get rid of the lines, it brings in competition,” Trump replied after more crosstalk. “So, instead of having one insurance company taking care of New York, or Texas, you’ll have many. They’ll compete, and it’ll be a beautiful thing.”

“So, that’s the only part of the plan? Just the lines?” Rubio said.

“The nice part of the plan — you’ll have many different plans. You’ll have competition, you’ll have so many different plans, Trump said.

“Now he’s repeating himself,” Rubio said

“No, no, no,” replied Trump.

After a round of applause, Trump then said, “I watched him repeat himself five times four weeks ago.”

“I just watched you repeat yourself five times five seconds ago,” Rubio replied.

h/t: TheBlaze

SHOCK: Mass Shooting Rocks Small US Town – 3 Killed, 14 Wounded Before Heroic Officer Stepped In

The small town of Hesston, Kansas, was reeling Friday in the wake of a Thursday evening shooting spree that left three people dead and 14 wounded before a “hero” police officer ended the carnage by going in alone and killing the shooter.

Gunman Cedric Ford began firing at the passersby from his car at about 5 p.m. local time, not long after being served with what police called a “protection from abuse order.” He then drove to Excel Industries, which makes lawn care equipment, where Ford worked. He then began walking through the plant, firing in what appeared to be an indiscriminate fashion.

At about 5:06 police responded to the plant, said Harvey County Sherriff T. Walton. The first officer to arrive on the scene was alone. He single-handedly took down the shooter, Walton said.

“Even though he took fire, he went inside of that place and saved multiple, multiple lives,” Walton said, estimating 150 people were in the plant at the time. “(He’s) a hero, as far as I’m concerned.”

Walton did not identify the officer Thursday, but said he would do so Friday.

“Everybody says it can’t happen here,” Walton said. Hesston is a town of 3,700 people about 35 miles from Wichita. “And here we are. It happened here.”

Matt Jarrell, a painter at Excel, said the day began like any other as he and Ford — a long-time co-worker and friend — talked about Ford’s new truck.

“He was a mellow guy,” Jarrell said. “He was somebody I could talk to about anything.”

At break time, Jarrell went outside. Ford pulled up.

“He just parked and then opened up the door, hopped out with the gun on, strapped-up and everything,” Jarrell said.

Witnesses said Ford yelled “hey” at a bystander nearby and then shot that person.

“I witnessed him shoot the shots. I saw the shell casings come out of the assault rifle,” Jarrell said. “I mean, that vivid. I can still see it.”

I took off running,” said Martin Espinoza, who said Ford pointed a gun at him, but the gun was empty. While Ford grabbed a different gun, Espinoza fled.

“He came outside after a few people, shot outside a few times, shot at the officers coming onto the scene at the moment and then reloaded in front of the company,” Espinoza said. “After he reloaded he went inside the lobby in front of the building and that is the last I seen him.”

“We heard a pop, pop, and we thought it was just metal falling on the ground, and then the doors opened, people started screaming, coming out,” said a witness identified as Dylan. “We really didn’t know what was going on.”

“This is just a horrible incident that’s happened here,” Walton said. “It’s going to be a lot of sad people before this is all over.”

Ford, who reportedly had a criminal history that included burglary, grand theft, prowling and fleeing from police, had recently posted pictures on himself on Facebook with several weapons.

h/t: CNN

Watch: Focus Group Just Revealed Landslide Winner Of GOP Debate – It Might Surprise You

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., came out swinging in Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate.

It was a difference in style and substance noted by members of a Texas focus group who overwhelmingly told Republican pollster Frank Luntz that Rubio was the debate’s winner.

Luntz released a breakdown of the 23 members of the group. Rubio was named the winner by 16 members; Donald Trump, 4; Ohio Gov. John Kasich, 2; Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, 1. No one named Ben Carson, who at one point asked one of the candidates to attack him so he could get in on the action.

“He zinged [Donald] Trump several times,” one person said.

Rubio was called “knowledgeable about the issues” and “charming.”

“He didn’t seem like a mechanical robot, like he usually does when he comes on,” one participant said. “This time he was more personable, you know it was snap snap snap, it wasn’t something he memorized. It didn’t appear that way.”

Rubio started early, turning the first question he received on immigration away from the treacherous territory of past immigration bills he authored into an attack on Trump.

“You’re the only person on this stage that’s ever been fined for hiring people to work on your project illegally,” Rubio said, referring to the illegal use of Polish workers on past construction projects that were part of one of Trump’s enterprises.

Rubio also attacked Trump for having a “fake school,” referring to lawsuits aimed at Trump University alleging fraud and deception and said was a child of privilege.

Trump defended himself and at one point dismissively waved off Rubio’s comments, saying the case Rubio was referring to happened 38 years before. “I guess there’s a statute of limitations on lies,” Rubio retorted.


“If he hadn’t inherited $200 million, you know where Donald Trump would be right now? Selling watches in Manhattan,” Rubio said.

h/t: TheBlaze