Debates are supposed to offer journalists and pundits a unique time to come together and snark on Twitter.
After a debate last week with literal penis jokes, CNN's Republican debate on Thursday was … surprisingly disappointing for snark. The debate was substantive and focused on policy — not exactly ideal for Twitter jokes.
Nonetheless, there were some good moments on Twitter. Here's a roundup of some of Vox's favorite tweets of the night, from the best zingers to the best takes.
The chair of the Republican Party had to assure everyone that the party will support whoever wins, even Donald Trump
You know things are going well when the chair of the RNC has to constantly reiterate that the party will support its own nominee— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) March 11, 2016
Trump was surprisingly subdued
Trump's opening statement actually sounds as if he prepared it, which is unusual.— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) March 11, 2016
What does general election Trump sound like? Probably just like that.— Sean Sullivan (@WaPoSean) March 11, 2016
Did Trump take a Xanax before this debate?— Eliana Johnson (@elianayjohnson) March 11, 2016
The other candidates were fairly subdued too
What hasn't happened so far: an attack on Trump— Robert Costa (@costareports) March 11, 2016
This seems like a weird night for Trump’s rivals to let him have his best debate.— daveweigel (@daveweigel) March 11, 2016
[GOP debate full of penis insults]— delrayser (@delrayser) March 11, 2016
Twitter: "This is embarrassing and bad for America!"
[GOP debate on policy]
Twitter: "This is BORING."
Still, there was some time for Islamophobia
Do you mean all 1.6 billion Muslims hate us? "I mean a lot of them," Trump says.— Matt Viser (@mviser) March 11, 2016
Marco Rubio is chiding Trump on *tactical* grounds for saying all Muslims hate us— Ned Resnikoff (@resnikoff) March 11, 2016
wow. rubio's stance is that we all WISH we could be outwardly xenophobic but it's totally not presidential— ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) March 11, 2016
Trump called for reversing immigration policies he admittedly abuses as a businessman
"The H-1B is something I use and shouldn’t be allowed to use."— Philip Bump (@pbump) March 11, 2016
Trump's new pitch: You have to make me president so I can make horrible behavior like mine illegal.— Kevin Drum (@kdrum) March 11, 2016
Now Trump says we shouldn't have H-1B visas, last debate he said it should be expanded, then campaign retracted it 2 hours later.— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) March 11, 2016
Trump sounded a lot like Democrats on Social Security
Trump just said the Democrats want to leave Social Security the way it is, then said that’s what he wants to do.— Molly Ball (@mollyesque) March 11, 2016
Trump seems to be saying he'd pull back U.S. forces overseas to pay for Social Security ... ?— Alex Burns (@alexburnsNYT) March 11, 2016
Trump is actually saying something reasonable here: We are a rich enough country to keep the modest existing promises in Social Security.— Josh Barro (@jbarro) March 11, 2016
But Trump also continued making unrealistic policy proposals
Trump is simultaneously promising A) No changes to Social Security— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) March 11, 2016
B) $9.5 trillion tax cut https://t.co/GVzsrnyCCr
The moderators attempts to correct Trump are sweet, and pointless.— Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT) March 11, 2016
Sure, this debate is substantive. But the substance is often wrong, exaggerated, nonsensical, implausible, misleading, confused...— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) March 11, 2016
Ultimately, Trump didn't look weaker at the end of the night — right before the primary election in Florida that could seal his nomination
I don't think they pulled it off. I think we're screwed.— Tim Carney (@TPCarney) March 11, 2016