MILWAUKEE -- The primetime debate between eight top Republican presidential candidates had few memorable moments and did little to re-order the race. But Fox Business breathed new life into the undercard debate with the inclusion of Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee. And in that debate, a particularly contentious series of confrontations initiated by another undercard candidate, Bobby Jindal, made for the evening's most revealing discussion, on the division between strongly conservative GOP voters and so-called big-government Republicans.
Jindal's combative strategy could also, in the next few days, shed light on how aggressive a low-polling candidate can be and benefit -- or suffer -- politically.
Jindal took as his cue an answer by Christie about what he, Christie, would do to reduce the size of government. Christie listed a few things, but added that while it's fine to talk about what Republicans would do, the GOP's primary focus should be on Hillary Clinton. "She is the real adversary tonight and we'd better stay focused as Republicans on her," Christie said.
It was an entirely commonplace and non-controversial observation at a Republican gathering, but Jindal pounced as if Christie had suddenly announced he was becoming a Democrat. "Look, I absolutely agree we've got to beat Hillary Clinton," Jindal said. "But just sending any Republican is not good enough. We've had a Republican majority in the Senate and the House -- what has changed?"