Debate Coach Grades the Performances in Last Night’s GOP Debate — Which Candidate Got an ‘F’?

Mar 11, 2016  •  Post A Comment

CNN, which aired last night’s debate among the four remaining Republican presidential candidates, ran a story today in which Todd Graham, director of debate at Southern Illinois University, gave letter grades to Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Mario Rubio and Donald Trump.

Graham, a two-time national college debate coach of the year, has been keeping a close eye on the debates, and we ran a story previously in which Graham graded the performances in the Feb. 25 debate in Houston. You can click here to see that report.

Following last night’s debate in Miami, Graham gave a grade of “F” to Donald Trump. Commenting on Trump’s performance, Graham writes, in part: “Trump’s policy weaknesses were on display in this debate, since without the name-calling, all that was left was for him to explain his positions. As it turns out, he only had two: negotiate better and make better deals. Wait, that’s the same, so he only had one position. This fools no debate judge. It comes off as if Trump thinks negotiation, by itself, will solve the nation’s problems, and that he is the only person who’s ever thought of it. And if simply negotiating is enough, then why can’t Trump tell us how he would negotiate, and for what? Cruz did. Rubio did. Kasich did. But not Trump.”

As for the other candidates, Cruz received an “A-” from Graham, while both Kasich and Rubio received grades of “B.”


  1. Who exactly is this guy and why should we care about his grade of presidential debate? His bias against Mr. Trump stands out.

  2. Trump is also a terrible ice skater. So what?

  3. I am sure he gave Obama an “A” back when he was debating in 2008 & 2012. Yay! Look where that got us.

    Utter nonsense.

    I don’t need another politician that is good at debating. I need someone who can be an effective leader and get things done.

    TRUMP 2016!

  4. John Kasich is the candidate, who has a positive track record for being an effective leader and getting things done in the US Congress in the late-1990s, and recently in the state of Ohio–with multiple budget surpluses in the US Congress and in Ohio.
    Although Trump makes some valid points, Kasich has more experience in solving the country’s problems.

  5. I did not know that “The ‘Donald'” could skate…LOL

  6. Agreed. But Governor Kasich has no possibility of winning…At least right now…

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