September 17, 2015


According to one tweet last night, “the Republican debate has now entered day six.”  It was a long one indeed.  And you have no doubt already seen 8,000 assessments of the winners and losers. 


For us, it’s all about the language.  Which lines will shape the narrative going forward.  Which words impact how we view a candidate.  And which are just irresistible.   Fortunately, there was plenty of good language to choose from. 


Below are the Mazzies: our awards for the best and worst language of the night. 


1. Best gimmick:

“I’d like you to take the camera off me and put it on the audience.” – Chris Christie


2. Best drop-mic moment:

“I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.” – Carly Fiorina


3. Worst attempt to dig self out of ditch:

“I think she’s got a beautiful face, and she’s a beautiful woman.” – Donald Trump


4. Best defense of your family’s honor: 

“He sent a clear signal that the United States would be strong and fight Islamic terrorism, and he did keep us safe.” – Jeb Bush


5. Most outlandish pivot: 

“I would like to link these two issues, both of which are incredibly important: Iran and Planned Parenthood.” – Carly Fiorina


6. Worst use of nuance: 

The Iran treaty “is about the survival of Western civilization.” – Mike Huckabee


7. Most believable comment of the night:

“Forty years ago, I smoked marijuana, and I admit it... My mom's not happy that I just did.” – Jeb Bush


8. Best answer to a question about tax policy: 

“It's all about America.” – Ben Carson


9. Most butt-kicking response:

“Having met Vladimir Putin, I wouldn’t talk to him at all… I would begin rebuilding the Sixth Fleet, I would begin rebuilding the missile defense program in Poland, I would also conduct military exercises in the Baltic states, I’d probably send a few thousand more troops to Germany. Vladimir Putin would get the message.” – Carly Fiorina


10. Biggest stretch to invoke Ronald Reagan:

When asked to name a WOMAN to replace Alexander Hamilton on the ten-dollar bill, “I would go with Ronald Reagan's partner, Margaret Thatcher.” – Jeb Bush


11. Best 4th grade geography lesson:

“America may be many things. The greatest country in the world? Sure. But America is not a planet.” – Marco Rubio


12. Most awkward joke no one got: 

Trying to refer to the bottled water incident from his State of the Union response, “I'm also aware that California has a drought, and so that's why I made sure I brought my own water.” – Marco Rubio


13. Best attack line on Hillary:

“If you want to stump a Democrat, ask them to name an accomplishment of Hillary Clinton.” – Carly Fiorina


14. Best Obama slam:

“I'd love to play cards with this guy because Barack Obama folds on everything with Iran.” – Scott Walker


15. Best use of a Secret Service codename to make a point:   

“’Eveready,’ it's very high energy, Donald.” – Jeb Bush


16. Secret Service codename most likely to cause Secret Service eye rolls every time they say it:

“Justice Never Sleeps.” – Rand Paul


17. Most likely to have to file an adverse event report: 

“Just the other day, two years old, two and a half years old, a child, a beautiful child went to have the vaccine, and came back, and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic.” – Donald Trump


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