If last night’s Donald Trump-less GOP presidential forum in New Hampshire was meant to be a dry run ahead of Thursday night’s big primetime debate on Fox News, the candidates have a lot of work to do. As The New York Times’ Jeremy W. Peters and Michael Barbaro put it in their merciless recap Tuesday morning, the 13 men and one woman who appeared at the event delivered “strikingly uneven” performances.
Below are the five most awkward moments of the night.
1. Jeb Bush has a t-shirt.
This was Jeb Bush’s attempt at a joke, characterized by Peters as “stunningly inarticulate” on Morning Joe:
“My dad is the probably the most perfect man alive, so it’s very hard for me to be critical of him. In fact, I’ve got a T-shirt that says, uh, at the Jeb swag store, that says I’m the, um, I’m the, my dad’s the greatest man alive. If you don’t like it, I’ll take you outside.”
The alleged t-shirt is nowhere to be found on Bush’s website.
2. Chris Christie might be “washed up.”
When Christie joked that moderator Jack Heath was calling him “washed up,” he didn’t exactly disagree. “If you’re going to open the door, I’ll take it,” Heath said as Christie’s smile fell.
3. George Pataki runs out of time.
Skip to the end to see what it sounds like when George Pataki is forced to end a sentence with “By the way, Jack.”
4. Lindsey Graham remembers the 90s.
How does Lindsey Graham prove that he will be a formidable candidate against Hillary Clinton? Because he’s “fluent in Clinton-speak.”
“When Bill says, ‘I didn’t have sex with that woman,’ he did,” Graham told voters, in case they forgot.
5. Rick Perry has heard that one before.
Well, at least Rick Perry has a sense of humor about himself.
Fortunately, only two of these candidates are expected to make it onto Fox’s primetime debate stage.
[Photo via screengrab]
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