4:51 pm: The Boston Globe says that Jeb "Bush is entering the final days of his last stand." It also quotes him complaining, "I could drop my pants. Moon the whole crowd. Everybody would be aghast, except the press guys would never notice." As a member of the press, I would just like to say that I would notice, Jeb!, if you showed us your ass. I might even clap.
4:55 pm: If you don't have TV, you can allegedly livestream it here.
4:56 pm: Oh god:
Just realized it’s Ronald Reagan’s birthday. Could make parts of the GOP debate insufferable—and I admire Reagan!
— Nicholas Thompson (@nxthompson) February 7, 2016
5:02 pm: Hahahahaha.
5:04 pm: A straight male ABC commenter just said, "Marco Rubio is the hottest candidate in this race so far." The gay men I'm watching with don't disagree.
5:17 pm: Okay, that was the most fumbling debate entrance I've ever seen. Trump, Carson, and Kasich couldn't hear when their names were called, so they didn't walk out.
5:23 pm: Ted Cruz can't bring himself to criticize Trump's "temperament" in front of Trump after criticizing Trump's temperament behind his back. Trump jumps on his chance to ding Cruz: "That's what's going to happen with our enemies." Then he slides into awkward third-person about himself: "We're going to win with Trump."
5:25 pm: Carson says, "Today is the 105th anniversary of Reagan. Or, birthday."
5:32 pm: Christie speaking to Rubio: "You have not been involved in a consequential decision where you have been held accountable... That's not leadership, that's truancy... He simply doesn't have the experience to be president."
5:33 pm: Rubio, trying to defend himself, repeats exactly what he'd just said in a previous answer. Now Christie is burning Rubio on repeating advisor-approved talking soundbites.
Chris Christie is a thug, but watching him take Rubio down in flames with him is just the truest delight
— josh (@joshc) February 7, 2016
5:37 pm: And Jeb! gets a question! He first says something about Romney, and then he talks about how many people with Medals of Honor who support him. Then he says, "Marco Rubio is a gifted, gifted politician, and he may have the skills to be President of the United States." Did Bush just endorse Rubio, too?
5:46 pm: Rubio says Obama believes "America needs to be cut down to size" and that he "betrayed Israel."
5:52 pm: Jeb! continues not to show his ass to anyone. I wonder if his wife has seen it?
Rubio is primary target tonight. Trump getting a free pass again.
— John Cassidy (@JohnCassidy) February 7, 2016
6:05 pm: Jeb! can't talk without Trump interrupting him, nonstop, saying, "Wants to be a tough guy." Also: "Let me talk. Quiet." Sadly, it works. Jeb! is unable to get the upper hand. Although the crowd boos Trump, and then Trump accuses the crowd of being paid-for Jeb shills.
6:16 pm: Trump is asked if he's a conservative. He says he is and adds: "I view the word 'conservative' as derivative of the word 'conserve.' We want to conserve our money, we want to conserve our wealth..."
6:18 pm: Trump: "I will bring jobs back from China. I will bring jobs back from Japan. I will bring jobs back from Mexico.... I'm going to bring jobs back, and I'll start bringing them back very fast... Under my plan, we cut taxes not only for the middle class, but for the corporations."
6:22 pm: Is Marco Rubio broken? He is saying the same talking point a fourth time—about how Barack Obama knows what he's doing and he's trying to change the country. Why he would interrupt the moderator and insist on saying this talking point again just boggles the mind. He's short-circuiting.
6:28 pm: Cruz is talking about carpet bombing ISIS.
The candidate who sold himself to Evangelicals as deeply moral Christian just reiterated his support for indiscriminately bombing civilians
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) February 7, 2016
6:34 pm: Oh god, Martha Raddatz brings up Libya. She's as bored as I am and she wants to watch them talk about Benghazi. "I'm not just here to add beauty to the stage," Carson says. "I've been talking about Libya before anybody."
Do love it when Carson answers national security questions by showing off his new-found knowledge of high-school geography.
— Frank Rich (@frankrichny) February 7, 2016
6:38 pm: Now they're talking about torture.
ABC: is what Christie did to Rubio torture? Or just enhanced interrogation?
— Nicholas Thompson (@nxthompson) February 7, 2016
6:39 pm: Asked if he would "bring back" waterboarding, Cruz says he wouldn't bring it back "in widespread use." The crowd makes a weird noise.
6:40 pm: Trump: "I will bring back waterboarding. And I will bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding."
6:45 pm: Kasich says there isn't a leader who can get people to "rise up," and suddenly I have Hamilton in my head. Then he says people are going to "need a seatbelt" if he becomes president because he will make people's head spin. Wha?
A SEATBELT WON'T KEEP YOUR HEAD FROM SPINNING.
— Megan Seling (@mseling) February 7, 2016
6:55 pm: Asked how they will prevail against the possible first woman president, Trump sites polls that say he'll win, adding: "How she gets away with the email stuff is hard to believe, so I don't even know if she'll run." Rubio says "people are starting to understand very clearly that 2016 is going to be a turning point," easing effortlessly into a talking point about "bringing this party together" and defeating Hillary Clinton because she's "unqualified to be president" because Benghazi.
I've been waiting for 7 years for President Obama to take my gun and all I got was a job, cheaper gas, health insurance & marriage equality.
— heather wetzler (@heatherwetzler) February 7, 2016
7:05 pm: Asked about police violence against people of color, Trump says, "The police in this country are amazing people."
7:09 pm: Marco is trying to score racist points. His anti-Muslim stuff is very practiced.
7:13 pm: "I have no problem whatsoever with people of either gender serving in the U.S. military," Rubio says, and then pivots to a talking point about how much the military has shrunk in the last 100 years, but stumbles, and scrambles it, whatever it was he was supposed to say.
7:17 pm: No one has ever said the words, "generals, admirals, and 12 Medal of Honor recipients" so shakily as Jeb Bush just said them. He was trying to impress us with his endorsements.
7:21 pm: Jeb on a veteran who's voting for him: "I met him. He's voting for me and he's likely to be alive."
7:29 pm: Marco says he doesn't think he's "a bigot or a hater" just because he's against gay marriage. And then he pivots into some anti-abortion stuff, saying, incredibly, Hillary Clinton "believes there should be no such thing as an illegal abortion—even on the due date."
7:30 pm: Oh good, now Christie is talking about selling off baby parts "on the open market."
7:40 pm: Closing statements. Kasich doesn't stick the landing. Christie is vague and names a bunch of things he's proud of. Bush "wants to celebrate the birthday of a great president—Ronald Reagan... We need someone who has a proven record..." blah blah blah. Carson says, "Guess what? I'm still here, and I'm not going anyplace either." (Actual quote.) Rubio says he actually got to see his kids this week, and then something about this being "the single greatest nation in the history of all mankind." Cruz talks about ethanol. Trump says "we don't win anymore... If I'm elected president, we will win and we will win and we will win." I think that's one more "win" than Charlie Sheen bragged about.