Trump, Rubio and Cruz hurled insults, while one Republican hopeful rose about the ruckus.
The latest GOP debate was “an embarrassment for the Republican Party,” according to Fox News host Chris Wallace.
Personal jabs dominated the debate in Houston, where Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz failed to keep their emotions at bay and turned the presidential race into what Wallace called a “UFC cage fight.”
“There were a lot of shots taken, a lot of shots scored, but there was precious little vision and almost no discussion of the issues: What are you going to do? How are you going to improve people’s lives?” Wallace opined on The O’Reilly Factor.
Clashing on Healthcare
The biggest brawl of the night came when Trump and Rubio clashed on healthcare (although somehow it morphed into a debate on which presidential hopeful repeated himself the most).
Trump declared he would increase competition in the healthcare sector by getting rid of barriers between states—and that there was “nothing to add” to the subject.
However, Rubio challenged his rival to give more details on his healthcare plan and accused Trump of repeating the same generic campaign slogans: “Everyone’s dumb; he’s going to make America great again; he’s going to win; he’s winning in the polls.”
The GOP front-runner shot back at Rubio: “I don’t repeat myself. Here’s the guy who repeats himself. I watched him repeat himself five times four weeks ago.”
Rubio held his ground. “I saw you repeat yourself five times five seconds ago,” he retorted.
The One “Voice of Reason”
John Kasich was the only candidate with “a voice of reason,” according to Bill O’Reilly.
“I was with this little 12-year-old girl, was at a town hall meeting, and she said, ‘You know, I don’t like all this yelling and screaming at the debates. My mother’s thinking I might not be able to watch the thing anymore,’” Kasich said. “I think we ought to move beyond that.”
The Ohio governor went on to talk about the need for economic growth—and how he plans to help as president.
“Everything starts with economic growth. And how do you get it? Common-sense regulations, lower taxes for both business and individuals, and, of course, a fiscal plan that balances the budget,” Kasich said.
The Houston debate was the GOP candidates’ chance to appeal to voters before Super Tuesday, when the greatest number of states hold primary elections.
Despite Rubio and Cruz’s double-team effort to take down Trump, a new nationwide CNN/ORC poll reports the business man/reality star leads by more than 30 points.
*Note: This news coverage does not equate to an endorsement of any candidate by NFIB