Locals React to First GOP Debate

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Not all the Republican candidates were on the stage in Cleveland, but everyone was all ears at one Sacramento County watch party as the poll-determined top-tier of the GOP presidential field slugged it out in their first debate.

"I'm open, I want to see what they all have to say," said Sandy Stultz from inside the crowded county GOP headquarters.

There was a lot to listen to -- everything from common core struggles to ISIS.

Rand Paul delivered this volley to his colleagues and the current administration.

"One of the ways we stop them is by not funding them. Not arming them," he said, which brought on loud applause.

"Honestly I think the big winner has to be right now Rand Paul, Chris Christie and Marco Rubio. They're putting their sources on Twitter as debate is going," said voter Ryan White.

Early on brash, billionaire Donald Trump -- who was center stage literally and figuratively because of his poll performance -- was challenged about his sexist words about some women.

"I think the big problem this country has is being political correct," he said.

Recent visitor to Sacramento, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, was challenged about his inexperience for the Oval Office to which he said what you need for the job is a brain.

At one time, he complained about getting little air time versus his fellow candidates.

Still...he has fans.

"He comes across as a very intellectual individual -- somebody that doesn't have to get all emotional to raise up the crowds. I think the crowds automatically raise up around him," said activist Carl Burton.

The debate over immigration amnesty versus building of a "wall" is splitting the Republican Party and brought out the claws in Cleveland.

Trump finally admitting the U.S. Border Patrol is his source for the claim that Mexico is sending criminals to the U.S.

So who won?

"Hard to put a winner on it -- sorta Trump because he didn't blow it," said voter Joe Nemec.

I really like Scott Walker. I like Huckabee. I like Ted Cruz," said Karen Juten.

Hillary Clinton wasn't in the room, but the candidates brought the Democratic front-runner up on stage verbally several times -- trying to differentiate themselves from their GOP pack and the dynasty one of them will have to take down.

Another woman -- this time a Republican  -- Carly Fiorina also figured prominently among the watch party crowd even though she only made the happy hour cut and and not the one for primetime.

"I think where she set herself apart is in the confidence of any topic that was given to her," said Doug Haaland, executive director of the Sacramento County Republican Party.

"Anybody stumbles in the top 10 and they have a shot at being dethroned," he said with a smile.


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