Tensions between the Republican party’s top 10 candidates soared soon after they took the stage in Cleveland, when Trump said he could not promise to back the eventual party nominee – or that he would not mount a solo campaign. Most eyes were on the 10 top polling candidates who debated in prime time. His startling declaration left his onstage rivals scrambling to compete for attention the rest of the night.
“The Google searches on you matched those on Donald Trump”.
Republican strategists have argued that once Trump was on the debate stage, he would be exposed as a faux conservative.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the dominate front-runner in the all-important money race, tried to rise above the Trump-related squabbling.
Between fiery candidates like Donald Trump, Chris Christie and Rand Paul, with his unique messaging and crowds, the GOP has given voters a lot to keep up with.
The warm words from the celebrity real estate developer, who has repeatedly said that the U.S. doesn’t need “another Bush“, came moments after Bush clarified his previous remarks on Trump.
“Personally, I’m a person that, I just say it like it is”.
But others fear his eccentricities and outlandish comments – whether about Mexican immigrants being “criminals” and “rapists” or his questioning of the war record of Senator John McCain – will taint the American public’s view of the party.
Republican pollster Frank Luntz said Bush has been a victim of circumstance given Trump’s recent surge up the polls. “I’d rather just discuss the issues”, he said Wednesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America”.
But Mr Trump stood out for his willingness to stand behind many of his past statements that many expected would be ruinous to his campaign.
Santorum: Reinforced his staunch conservative bona fides, unrelenting foe of same-sex marriage, abortion.
Sacramento-area Republicans enjoyed watching a crowded field of Republican presidential candidates tackle issues near and dear to their hearts at the GOP’s local headquarters. They had their hot quotes and talking points down. Only late in the debate did Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker raise the controversy surrounding her use of personal email and a private server while serving in the Obama administration.
“I’m excited about all of them”. He said he wanted to collect more information from terrorists, not law-abiding Americans. While Bush insisted local governments should set education standards, Rubio claimed the U.S. Department of Education “will not stop with it being a suggestion” and would turn Common Core into a federal mandate.
That prompted Sen. Rand Paul to interject: “He buys and sells politicians of all stripes”.
Paul was also the most aggressive in taking on Trump, challenging him early on his refusal to commit to supporting the party nominee.
The two-term Ohio governor has often been known as much for his prickly demeanor and bluntness as much as his experience.
“It’s important to be qualified”, Rubio said, “but if this election is a resume competition, then Hillary Clinton’s gonna be the next president, because she’s been in office and in government longer than anybody else running here tonight”. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was first to mention the Benghazi attacks, during his answer to the next question – but it was only as an aside. The remaining seven were relegated to a pre-debate forum, a low-key event in a largely empty arena, where candidates avoided debating each other and mostly stuck to scripted responses on domestic and foreign policy.
Among those bounced to the earlier forum are former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and businesswoman Carly Fiorina, the only woman in the Republican field. You’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals, your Twitter account… “What are the principles by which he would govern?” she asked. The candidates, each looking for a breakout moment, also focused their ire on Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner and former secretary of state.