We got to the Big Ten tonight and there were some engagement moments and some pretty embarrassing ones, too. Here is how I scored the candidates in order from the most impressive to the least.

John Kasich - he was the real adult in the room. His record has been impressive as a Congressman, a chairman, and a Governor. He got to state it all a few times and it was both red meat for conservatives and powerfully pro-growth. We also learned that he is this year's version of a compassionate conservative candidate, a message that has served the party well. He showed why he is popular in Ohio, why he is remembered for success in Washington, and why he can appeal beyond the party's base. He disagrees with gay marriage but is ready to abide by the Supreme Court's decision. More importantly he reminded us that we can disagree with each other without hate.

Jeb Bush - the other adult in the room. He has a modulated voice, a sober demeanor, and his thoughtfulness worked tonight particularly because there was a lot of anger in the room. He was persuasive about being a conservative on life, on the budget, and on faith. At the same time, he also showed that he can speak to the broader electorate as well on immigration and education.

Chris Christie - he got to tout his record and also show why he is a conservative on issues like the Patriot Act and the military. But he offered the straight talk that angry voters are looking for while at the same time showing that he has taken on some special interests while he has made New Jersey a better place. He acknowledged that his state was still in trouble but that he ended the downward trajectory. He got into an explosive exchange with Rand Paul which was memorable but he has to be careful about alienating some younger libertarians who may abandon the party because of that stridency.

Scott Walker - he ably finessed a tough question on why he changed his position on immigration and reminded us that he won election, a recall, and reelection in a blue state. He reminded voters that he reduced unemployment cut taxes, and defeated teachers unions. I think he helped himself by not getting into any fracases with his colleagues and spoke about what he would do domestically and in foreign policy succinctly.

Marco Rubio - showed depth on immigration reminding Donald Trump that the majority of illegal immigrants come from Central America and not Mexico. He told us that he knows what it's like to be poor and possesses an upbeat demeanor.

Rand Paul - got to state his libertarian principles, his opposition to the Patriot Act and to foreign aid. He carved out his unique positions on foreign policy and small government. He weathered his battle with Christie well. But he went after Donald Trump a bit too early and that may have backfired.

Mike Huckabee - still the social conservative but he looked like yesterday and not tomorrow. He fumbled questions about Social Security with some fuzzy math and did not appear to be the likable funny soul he has been in the past.

Ted Cruz - he is running against his party and his own leadership. That simply doesn't work. He said he sponsored legislation but nothing that has any chance of passing. How does that kind of shadow boxing hold up in a campaign where GOP voters are looking for solutions?

Ben Carson - I simply don't understand why he is running. He is a brilliant surgeon and a decent man but he is not informed enough to be on the stage.

Donald Trump - I don't know what the polls will show but I think he lost and lost big. He gave no specifics only attitude. Anger is not a platform and that is what he offers - edginess and ego. He proudly admitted to making political contributions and expecting favors, manipulating bankruptcy laws that laid off people but made him millions, and to being very rich. The anger may still help him in the short run but he did not help himself with undecided voters tonight. He also told a Republican audience that he would not commit to supporting the party's nominee.

My suggestion: some candidates have to go. I would recommend that Dr. Carson and Senator Cruz give some serious thought about stopping their campaigns. Invite Governor Rick Perry and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorini to the next debate. It will enrich the discussion.