In a biting statement issued after the event concluded, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said that while he was “proud of our candidates and the way they handled tonight’s debate, the performance by the CNBC moderators was extremely disappointing and did a disservice to their network, our candidates, and voters.”
Three months into what allies once confidently described as a “shock and awe” drive to overcome his rivals and dominate the Republican presidential field, Jeb Bush’s early campaigning looks like the juggernaut that wasn’t.
He is grappling with the Republican Party’s prickly and demanding ideological blocs, particularly evangelical leaders and pro-Israel hawks. He is struggling to win over grass-roots activists in Iowa and New Hampshire, states he has visited only a handful of times. And Mr. Bush’s undisputed advantage — the millions of dollars streaming rapidly into his political organization — may not be enough to knock out other contenders.