Tuesday night’s CNN political debate was intended as an opportunity for one of the Democrat Party presidential candidates to separate him or herself from the rest of the pack, the best line of the night came from a man who was not even in the room with the debaters nor in the same party.
In effect, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump stole the show with a perfectly-timed tweet explaining that Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, and Lincoln Chafee spent their night talking about the all the free stuff they were going to give away–including ObamaCare benefits and tuition breaks for illegal immigrants–without once mentioning what they would do to make conditions better for U.S. military veterans.
Amid the Obama administration’s Veterans Affairs (VA) scandal, the punishment for secret waiting lists–which have left veterans dying while the government they served denied them medical care–has been scant, and the agency has seen no substantial reforms. Trump has made veterans’ care a major talking point in his stump speeches.
To be fair, some of the presidential hopefuls talked about giving away free stuff more than others–those would be Sanders, Clinton, and O’Malley. And former Senator Jim Webb (and, as Mediaite points out, Sanders) did talk about what he had done in the past with the post-9/11 G.I. Bill–but what would be done in the future is a completely different subject.
So Trump tweeted: “Notice that illegal immigrants will be given ObamaCare and free college tuition but nothing has been mentioned about our VETERANS #DemDebate” It was the best line of the night by far.
The billionaire also overshadowed Democrats in social media engagement. Time declared that Trump “won Twitter” during the debate, based on data saying he picked up 60,000 new followers–about 4 times as many as Clinton. Trump’s tweet at the time of this writing has nearly 11,000 retweets and 17,000 favorites, while Clinton’s biggest tweet of the night only reached 3,300 retweets and 4,800 favorites.