It’s time for the second Republican debate, and this liberal Democrat can’t wait. I wrote out a reenactment of the first debate, and it proved so informative that I’ve decided to do it again for this one. Settle in, make some cocoa, and prepare to be transported to a place of illogical arguments and yelling.
A reminder: Most of this did not happen. Some of it did. The rest is a liberal fever dream.
Anderson Cooper: The second debate will begin in just a few minutes at the Reagan library. We’ve got Reagan’s Air Force One back there with a big old United States of America printed on it and a huge CNN on the floor so everyone can orient themselves. Also, Bobby Jindal won’t leave the spin room. Jake?
Jake Tapper: I am not Chris Connelly from MTV though I look and sound like him and we have never been seen in the same room. We have 11 candidates tonight and three hours of bullshit to wade through so let’s get hopping. Candidates, please give a 30-second introduction.
Rand Paul: I’m an eye surgeon from Kentucky who spends my days defending the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Tapper: Bachelor number two?
Mike Huckabee: This group of Republicans is the A-Team. Mr. Trump is Mr. T, and I am obviously John ‘Hannibal’ Smith.
Marco Rubio: I’m married with four kids, two of whom are here tonight. The other two don’t support their father’s dreams. Also, I know there’s a drought here in California so I brought my own water. Ha! Drought joke.
Ted Cruz: Does my voice make you uncomfortable? What about the tender way I look into the camera? Just three more hours of this, folks. But shhh — you stay seated. I’ll get some massage oil and take care of those tired feet of yours.
Ben Carson: I, too, am married. I am also a pediatric doctor who believes the children are our future.
Donald Trump: I wrote The Art of the Deal, which has 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com. I don’t mean to brag, but I make billions and billions of dollars. I’m going to make things awesome. Thanks.
Jeb Bush: Things are about to get really good, and I’m the man to ride us there.
Scott Walker: Ronald Reagan was our greatest president. I’m kinda like him: big, bold and brunette.
Carly Fiorina: My path from secretary to CEO could only happen in America. Our government is too big and corrupt and I want to be a part of it.
John Kasich: I actually flew on that plane behind us with Reagan so suck on that. Conservative cred, y’all! Also: hope, unity and lift. Thank you.
Chris Christie: Check this out, amateurs: I want you to take the camera off me and put it on the audience. Now, all of you people who came out here to attend a Republican debate, raise your hand if your life has gotten better since Obama took office. See? Vote Christie.
Tapper: Bobby Jindal, who we think is still in this room somewhere, has said that Trump is dangerous and not someone he would want to have his finger on the nuclear launch button. What do you think?
Fiorina: I think he’s a great entertainer.
Tapper: Nice try. Answer the question.
Fiorina: That’s for the voters to answer. Checkmate.
Trump: I just want to say that Rand Paul, who is not part of this conversation, shouldn’t even be here. And I have a great temperament for nuclear weapons.
Paul: For serious, people, do you want this guy in charge of nukes and talking to Iran? He attacks people based on their appearance like we’re in Junior High.
Trump: I’ve never attacked you based on your looks but I totally could because there’s a lot of material. I have a great temperament.
Walker: Mr. Trump, we don’t need an ‘apprentice’ in the White House. Boom.
Trump: I hate you.
Tapper: Mr. Bush, Mr. Trump says that all of the money you’ve raised from donors makes you their puppet. Is that true?
Bush: The only donor who ever tried to change my views was Trump.
Trump: If I wanted that I would have gotten it. I know my people; they can make you beg for death without even touching you. No one controls me except for the people of this country, which is actually a lot of people when you say it out loud. I get along with everyone. I have a great temperament.
Tapper: Trump, you have said that you think you would get along with Putin. How would you work with him on Syria?
Trump: I would talk to him and get along with him. In fact, I think I would get along with all of the people that this country doesn’t get along with right now because I am a goddamn likable man.
Tapper: Sooooooo you would do what?
Trump: We would get along.
Tapper: OK. Anybody else?
Rubio: I understand what’s happening there. Check this out: geopolitical.
Fiorina: I’ve met Putin. I wouldn’t talk to him at all. I’d get some goddamn missiles and send troops to Germany and…
Tapper: President Obama is hosting the Chinese president at a state dinner this month. Scott Walker says he should cancel it. What do you say?
Rubio: Well, I mean… we don’t want to be rude…
Walker: Why are we giving a state dinner in honor of a country that was involved in a hacking attack against our country? Cancel it! They’ll never get their deposit back on those tuxes.
Bush: Aw, come on. Don’t cancel the dinner. We have sanctions and other tools we can use without having to cancel a delicious dinner. You know, I love those little fried things with the stringy vegetables inside…
Rubio: Egg rolls?
Bush: Yes! Oh my God, I love egg rolls.
Tapper: Radio guy, you had a question for the candidates?
Radio Guy: What did Obama do wrong regarding Syria?
Trump: Obama doesn’t have courage. He should have gone in with tremendous force.
Cruz: I want to softly tell the country this one thing: if you vote for Hillary, you are voting for the Ayatollah to have a nuclear weapon. Now roll over so I can get your back.
Tapper: Stop it. Huckabee, let’s talk about Kim Davis. You said she represents the criminalization of Christianity. Bush said she needs to uphold the law. Who’s right?
Huckabee: We accommodated the Fort Hood shooter by letting him grow a beard and look how that turned out. We should be accommodating court clerks in Kentucky instead of people who might become the next Fort Hood shooter. Pssst…I’m talking about the gays.
Dana Bash: Cruz said recently that he wants to defund Planned Parenthood even if that means shutting down the government.
Cruz: Oh my stars, you guys have you seen those Planned Parenthood videos where they’re trying to sell body parts? They are just awful, America. Here, you can put your head right here on my shoulder. There, now. Isn’t that nice?
Bash: But my question was —
Christie: Hillary Clinton thinks we should sell pieces of unborn babies for profit!
Bash: But would you be willing to shut down the gov —
Carson: Can we talk about tax reform?
Bash: Goddamn it, you guys.
Tapper: Hey Fiorina, Trump talked about you in a recent Rolling Stone interview. He said, ‘Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?’ He now says he was talking about your persona. You want I should hit him for you?
Fiorina: I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.
Trump: Hey, for the record, I think she has a beautiful face.
Fiorina: My point exactly.
Tapper: Immigration! Trump wants to deport all 11 to 12 million illegal immigrants. Explain why this is insane.
Christie: It’s impossible. We don’t have the money or the manpower. Also, 9/11. And finally, we need a wall and drones and fingerprinting.
Tapper: Bush, Trump says your views on immigration are influenced by your Mexican-born wife.
Bush: Yes, he did, and I hope he’ll apologize to her.
Trump: No, I won’t, and I hear she’s a lovely woman.
Tapper: Trump, in a radio interview with Radio Guy here, you embarrassed yourself by showing that you know nothing about foreign leaders. How do you explain that?
Trump: Listen, he was giving me Arab name after Arab name. I think he made half of them up. I’m going to have a great team and they’ll take care of foreigners with names like blabbity blah and oogly koo.
Tapper: Let’s take some questions that people submitted to us over social media. The topic most people asked about is marijuana legislation, because f*cking Twitter. What are your thoughts?
Paul: I’d like to see rehabilitation, not incarceration. We should let the states decide — we say we like the 10th amendment until we get to this issue. The federal government’s war on drugs has had a racial outcome that has been bad for our inner cities. First it damages them with drugs and then it damages them by putting its people in jail. America needs to change its views on this. Wait, where am I? What am I doing here? Who are these people?
Bush: OK, I admit it. Forty years ago I smoked pot. Sorry, Mom.
Fiorina: My husband and I lost a child to drug addiction. We need to invest more in the fight against drugs. Smoking marijuana is not like having a beer; the marijuana kids smoke today is not the marijuana that that pothead Bush smoked 40 years ago.
Radio Guy: Gun control. How far should we take it?
Rubio: Criminals are going to break the law no matter what you do because they’re criminals. So what’s the point of anything, really? Jesus… I just got really depressed.
Cruz: A few years ago, when Obama wanted to take away our guns because some first graders got themselves shot, I fought for our right to bear arms. And they were these arms, the ones that will hold you till you fall asleep tonight.
Tapper: Carson, despite all of the evidence to the contrary, Trump still says there’s a connection between vaccines and autism. Should he stop doing that?
Carson: It’s true, no studies have correlated them. Now, let me talk about big government…
Tapper: But should he stop saying it?
Carson: Yeah, probably.
Trump: I believe in vaccines, and I hate autism. I’m not saying they’re connected, I’m just saying I’ve seen kids who were fine till they got these vaccines and then boom the next week they were autistic.
Tapper: Let’s end with one light question. If you become president, what should your secret service code name be?
Christie: True Heart.
Tapper: Boo. Kasich?
Kasich: Unit One.
Walker: Harley. Because I love Harleys.
Bush: Ever Ready. They’re high energy, Donald. And yes, I will give you a high five! See that, Carson? That’s how an awkward white man gives his first high five in 45 years!
Bush: Ha! That’s a good one. We should totally high five again sometime.
Carson: One nation.
Cruz: A Cuban word that the woman taking notes for the past three hours is going to be way too tired to try to figure out.
Huckabee: Duck hunter. What? What?
Paul: Justice Never Sleeps.
Tapper: Holy shit, you guys are terrible at that. I’m going to ask you to sum up your future presidencies, but Meredith needs to go to bed. So I promised her that your answers will include nothing but the following words: freedom, America, justice and constitution. Oh, except for Cruz, who will say, ‘Kill the terrorists.’ Good night.
Cruz: You did a great job tonight, Meredith. Let me get you a glass of warm milk and we’ll just cuddle for a while.