The 10 top-polling Republican presidential candidates. (Mike Licht / CC BY 2.0)

All the hosts of KCRW’s “Left, Right & Center” found something appealing in the presence of Donald Trump at the first major Republican presidential debate of the campaign season. Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer saw Chris Christie, with his take on surveillance, as the loser.

Reihan Salam, executive director at the National Review, says “Trump weirdly raised the quality of the discussion” by making the other debaters look better. Juliette Kayyem, former Department of Homeland Security assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs, says she is starting to appreciate Trump. “He’s not Michele Bachmann. He’s not crazy.”

Immigration and Iran were among major subjects in the debate.

Scheer is joined by Josh Barro of The New York Times moderating from the center, Salam of the National Review on the right, and Kayyem of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government as the special guest.

Listen here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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