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National Security And The G.O.P. Debate47:46
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Terrorism and ISIS and Trump center stage as the GOP debates in Las Vegas. We’ll look at the latest from Trump, Cruz, Carson, Rubio and more.

Donald Trump, left, and Jeb Bush, right, both speak as Ted Cruz looks on during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Donald Trump, left, and Jeb Bush, right, both speak as Ted Cruz looks on during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

The GOP 2016 line-up, back on stage last night. In Las Vegas. And it was tough.  Jeb Bush calling out Donald Trump as a “chaos candidate” who would be a “chaos president.” Trump saying of Bush and his candidacy:  “Nobody cares.” National security was the big theme. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio duking it out over who knows the way. Chris Christie mocking them as Senate debaters. Saying he would act.  Act to start World War Three, said Rand Paul. This hour On Point, the hard jockeying on the GOP debate stage, just seven weeks now from the first vote of 2016.
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Rebecca Sinderbrand, political news editor at the Washington Post. (@sinderbrand)

Asma Khalid, political reporter for NPR News, covering the 2016 Presidential campaign. (@asmamk)

Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times. (@DoyleMcManus)

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post: GOP field clashes over a single question: Who can keep the country safe? -- "The Republican presidential contenders on Tuesday night framed their final debate of the year around a single question: Which of them is best equipped — by background, tough-mindedness and leadership abilities — to protect the country against terrorism?"

NPR News: How ISIS, Paris And San Bernardino Have Changed The Republican Race -- "The Republican presidential hopefuls debate in Las Vegas tonight will be the first since the terrorist attacks in Paris and in San Berndardino, Calif. In recent weeks, ISIS and how to keep Americans safe has dominated the campaign and shot to the top of Americans' concerns. An NBC/WSJ poll this week found that 40 percent rated national security and terrorism as what should be the government's top priority, double those who said so in April."

Los Angeles Times: Ted Cruz taps into disaffected conservatives' anger in a bold play that just might work — "All year long, smart Republicans have been whispering: Keep a close eye on Ted Cruz. He's got a message that appeals to the party's most conservative voters. He's running a good campaign, well-organized and well-funded. He's going to be a finalist — and he might just win the nomination. Well, what do you know: Right on schedule, as voters in Iowa settle on their favorites, Cruz's fortunes are looking up."

This program aired on December 16, 2015.

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