Donald Trump may top the polls in the contest for the Republican presidential nomination, but this week’s debate was a reminder that the party has able rivals who eventually could take him down — and who also could mount a stiff challenge to Hillary Rodham Clinton in the general election.
Trump performed in typical style Thursday in the two-hour debate — the same style that has helped him blow past the other candidates. But as the campaigns broke camp here Friday morning, the smiles on the faces of other candidates’ advisers told the fuller story of what happened on the stage at the Quicken Loans Arena.
Everyone came out a winner — or so the rivals’ advisers proclaimed. Some of that bravado was typical post-debate hype, but some of it was grounded in reality. Trump may have been the center of attention, but others performed more effectively overall.