The biggest squabble of the night was definitely between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. What seemed like months of warm embrace between the two self proclaimed anti-establishment Republicans has come to an abrupt end in recent weeks and the 6th Republican debate has displayed the newly fueled tension between the two. Business mogul and Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump has been questioning Cruz’s eligibility based on the fact that he was born in Canada. Cruz’s response was that even though the Constitution hasn’t changed, the poll numbers have.
Tea Party Republican Ted Cruz was on the defense when it came to his New York values remarks. With the moderator being a New Yorker herself, it was made pretty obvious that she was offended by the way Senator Cruz was talking down to her, telling her that she may not know what New York values are, but that people in South Carolina do. Trump’s response to Cruz was strong and emotional.
He responded strongly and memorably with the following, “So, conservatives actually do come out of Manhattan, including William F. Buckley and others, just so you understand. And just so — if I could, because he insulted a lot of people. I’ve had more calls on that statement that Ted made, that New York is a great place, it’s got great people, it’s got loving people, wonderful people. When the World Trade Center came down, I saw something that no place on earth could have handled more beautifully, more humanely than New York. You had two 110-story buildings come crashing down, I saw them come down, thousands of people killed, and the cleanup started the next day, and it was the most horrific cleanup, probably in the history of doing this, and in construction, I was down there. And I’ve never seen anything like it. And the people in New York fought, and fought, and fought, and we saw more death and even the smell of death, nobody understood it, and it was with us for months, the smell, the air. And we rebuilt downtown Manhattan, and everybody in the world watched, and everybody in the world loved New York, and loved New Yorkers, and I have to tell you, that was a very insulting statement that Ted made.” Trump’s emotional response drew a lot of applause from the room.
One of the big topics of the debate was the Iranian hostage situation. Cruz and Christie were the biggest critics of what led to ten U.S. sailors on two U.S. Navy Ships being detained, although the situation was quickly diffused. When Cruz was given the opportunity to describe how he would handle the situation, he suggested using the method of carpet bombing, which in other words means to intensively bomb an area. After the debate Lt. General Sean Macfarland has criticized Cruz’s idea of carpet bombing Iran, stating that it’s inconsistent with American values to heavily bomb an area to the point where it’s not just killing soldiers, but killing innocent civilians.
Another back and forth exchange came from Christie and Rubio. Christie compared himself to Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, stating that while senators aren’t held accountable for anything, that governors are held accountable for what goes on in their state. Rubio attacked Christie accusing him of being for Planned Parenthood, Common Core, and gun control. Christie denied that claim stating that he defunded Planned Parenthood, got rid of common core as New Jersey has higher standards than the common core standards, and vetoed several gun control legislation.
While some candidates were a lot more fiery during the debate, Kasich seemed to go back to his calm and normal approach in a way comparable to Ben Carson. Like the previous debates, it’s no surprise that Bush was once again bullied by Donald Trump, being called names such as “weak” and a “lightweight”. There is no question that Trump, Cruz and Christie had good nights while the rest did just enough to get them by with the exception of Carson and Kasich. Carson chose to make use of his little given airtime by complaining about it and Kasich failed to have a breakthrough moment, something that was desperately needed with the caucuses approaching.