“If it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t be even talking about illegal immigration, Chris”, Trump said to Fox News host Chris Wallace. He also refused to apologize for making crude comments about women, defended his changing policy positions and tangled with the debate moderators.
Trump’s blunt style was in line with the approach he’s taken to his campaign throughout the summer, appealing to voters frustrated with career politicians and perplexing his rivals. “But I tell you, he’s already hedging his bets because he’s used to buying politicians”.
Benton has temporarily stepped down from his role at a super PAC supporting Rand Paul’s White House bid.
The remaining seven candidates who didn’t make the cut for Thursday night’s main debate were relegated to a pre-debate forum, a low-key event in a largely empty arena, where candidates avoided debating each other and largely stuck to scripted responses on domestic and foreign policy. “It was only Rosie O’Donnell“, Trump tried to interrupt Kelly, earning loud applause from the crowd in Cleveland.
Asked how he would explain his opposition to gay marriage to a child who announced he or she was gay or lesbian, Kasich said: “I’m going to love my daughters no matter what they do”.
She scored points with digs against fellow Republican candidate Donald Trump and leading Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Clinton was scheduled to be traveling during the debate and didn’t plan to make a statement afterward.
Fiorina, the only woman in the Republican field, said Trump had tapped into Americans’ anger with Washington, but she challenged the businessman as lacking policy positions.
“They all have an identical agenda”, said Joel Benenson, Clinton’s chief strategist. But some Republicans fear his talent for outlandish comments – whether about Mexican immigrants or the war record of Arizona Sen. John McCain – will taint the American public’s view of the party.
“I will make no apologies ever for protecting the lives and the safety of the American people“, he said, arguing the government needs more tools, not fewer. “But I would hope it could be done in the context of not being offensive to people”. Trump has rocketed to the top of opinion polls amid the controversies, heightening anticipation for the debate against rivals Paul, Bush, Walker, Marco Rubio and five other Republican hopefuls. And I am discussing this with everybody. But Bush, the son and brother of two former U.S. presidents, has struggled to separate himself from the rest of the field and he faces questions about whether his nomination would mark a return to the past.
To Trump’s right on the stage was Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose victories over unions in his home state created his national profile. Ted Cruz, surgeon and tea party favorite Ben Carson and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Trump’s refusal to take the pledge enraged Kentucky Sen.
It was a chance for the four current and former governors, a sitting senator from a crucial early-voting state, a former senator and the GOP’s only female White House candidate to try for the sort of hit-it-out-of-the-park performance that could vault them back into the top-tier of candidates.
President Barack Obama expects a lot of the talk at the first presidential debate of the 2016 Republican primary campaign will be about him.
While Trump was characteristically bombastic, most of the contenders standing alongside him clamored for their piece of the spotlight without engaging him directly.