As the Republican presidential field gets smaller, the intraparty politics are becoming more vicious. And Thursday night’s debate was no exception.
In what appeared to many as a two-sided attack against Donald Trump, the GOP debate quickly turned from voters’ issues to the candidates’ issues.
Targeting backgrounds, legacies, and anything else they could bring up, the debate between GOP candidates on Thursday resembled more of a battle of zingers.
Read some of Thursday night’s best quips below:
Rubio goes on the attack:
“If he hadn’t inherited $200 million, you know where Donald Trump would be right now?” Rubio asked, with a sly smile. “Selling watches in Manhattan.”
“Acknowledge that for example you’re the only person on this stage that’s ever been fined for hiring people to work on your project illegaly,” Rubio said, “you hired some people from Poland.”
Trump replied, “No no, I’m the only one on the stage that’s hired people. You haven’t hired anybody.”
“What is your plan?” Rubio asked Trump, “I understand the lines around the states, whatever that means, this is not a game where you draw maps around -” “And you don’t know what it means,” Trump countered. “What is your plan on health care? You don’t have a plan. . . I’ll give him one minute from my time to explain his plan,” Rubio said.
“The nice part about the plan is you have many different plans,” Trump said, “you’ll have competition you’ll have so many different plans.” “Well now he’s repeating himself,” Rubio replied. “No no no no,” Trump said.
Rubio noted that Trump’s line of suits and ties have been made in Mexico and China. “You’re going to be starting a trade war against your own ties and suits,” Rubio said.
Rubio brought up a lawsuit over Trump’s educational program. “A fake university!” Rubio said. “A fake university!”
“I guess there’s a statute of limitations on lies.” Rubio said.
“In all fairness, Marco is not a negotiator,” Trump said in response to a question about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“The Palestinians are not a real estate deal, Donald,” Rubio shot back.
Cruz gets in on the action
“In 2013 when I was leading the fight against the ‘Gang of Eight’ amnesty bill, where was Donald?” he said. “He was firing Dennis Rodman on ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’ ”
“Donald, if you want to be liked in Washington, that’s not a good attribute for a president,” Cruz said.
“What we’re seeing with Donald, is actually the pattern of Washington,” Cruz said, “they make promises, they break their words and then when anyone calls them on it, they call you a liar. Anytime anyone points at Donald’s actual record, at what he actually said on national television, Donald yells ‘liar.’ Let me tell you something, falsely accusing someone of lying is itself a lie, and it’s something Donald does daily.”
Trump bites back:
To Rubio: “You don’t know anything about business,” Trump responded. “You lose at everything you do.”
“Here’s a guy that buys a house for $179,000, he sells it to a lobbyist who’s probably here for $380,000 and then legislation is passed,” Trump said. “You tell me about this guy. This is what we’re going to have as president.”
“I’m the only one on this stage who’s hired people!” Trump said. “You’ve had nothing but problems with your credit cards, et cetera,” he added, referring to issues Rubio has had with his personal finances. “You haven’t hired one person, you liar.”
“I got along with everybody,” Trump said, before turning to Cruz. “You get along with nobody. . . . You don’t have the endorsement of one Republican senator, and you work with them. You should be ashamed of yourself.”
“I know you’re embarrassed. I know you’re embarrassed,” he said, looking at Cruz and Rubio. “Keep fighting. Keep swinging, man. Swing for the fences.”
Carson’s a glutton for pain:
“Can somebody attack me please?” he pleaded at one point, hoping for any way into the discussion.
Kasich tries to stay above the fray
“You know, people are actually watching this at home,” Kasich said. “You’ve got to stop this. Wolf, take control.”