Mandag kveld møttes 11 av de 17 republikanske presidentkandidatene på scenen i New Hampshire. 3 andre deltok via satellitt fra Washington, D.C. Forumet kan oppsummeres som en tam forsmak på torsdagens tv-debatt fra Ohio.

Kandidatene ble intervjuet hver for seg på scenen på Saint Anselm College i Manchester, New Hampshire. Én etter én tok de turen opp på scenen for å sitte på en barkrakk ved siden av moderatoren. De ti øvrige satt side ved side på første rad. Senatorene Rand Paul, Ted Cruz og Marco Rubio ventet tålmodig i et C-SPAN-studio i Washington.

Det så ut som speed-dating, og konfrontasjoner mellom kandidatene uteble. De fikk presentert seg selv til et stort publikum i en viktig fase av nominasjonskampen, og det var interessant å se hvordan de taklet formatet og hva de valgte å fremheve på den lille tiden de hadde.

Du finner videoer av de ulike kandidatenes opptreden i spillelisten nederst i saken.

Washington Post:

«Fourteen Republican presidential candidates took turns fielding questions at a forum here Monday night, giving voters a snapshot of a packed and wide open GOP field mostly running as national security hawks, advocates for tighter border security and staunch opponents of the federal health-care law determined to remove federal funding for Planned Parenthood.»

New York Times:

«It was supposed to be an opportunity for the Republican presidential candidates to shine in the purest and most substantive way: a forum broadcast on C-Span, removed from the sensationalism of cable news and the spectacle of Donald J. Trump. Instead, what voters got from Monday night’s candidate forum in Manchester, N.H., was a lightning round of questions with hurried responses and awkward interruptions, a necessity when trying to cram 14 speakers into two hours of television.»

Politico:

«Never pushed outside their comfort zones, they directed their attack lines at Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. They all adhered to the conservative orthodoxies of the moment: a stronger foreign policy, a harder line on curtailing illegal immigration, cutting funding for Planned Parenthood. All of the candidates were simply aiming to make a strong introduction — and, due in part to the speed dating-like format, their points of emphasis were painted with a broad brush.»

Boston Globe:

«Former Florida governor Jeb Bush appeared content to play it safe, as well as nice, praising the quality of his primary opponents. Lesser-known candidates knew they were being seen by many TV viewers for the first time and used their fleeting moments on stage to simply make a good impression. Predictably, President Obama’s Affordable Care Act was a big target during the evening. Nearly everyone on the stage also spoke out against illegal immigration — at times using the course language that has caused the Republican Party problems among Hispanic voters — arguing that any effort to overhaul the nation’s laws must start with securing the borders.»

Donald Trump deltok ikke i forumet, og ble heller ikke nevnt med et eneste ord i løpet av den to timer lange sendingen.

Det blir ikke tilfellet i Cleveland, Ohio på torsdag.

Voters First Presidential Forum ble sendt på C-SPAN i tillegg til lokale tv-stasjoner i Iowa, New Hampshire og South Carolina. Du ser hele forumet her, eller så kan du sjekke ut kandidatenes opptredener i tur og orden i spillelisten nedenfor:

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