There was high anticipation ahead of tonight’s GOP Debate in Houston. It was the last debate before Super Tuesday, and there was much to ponder. Will Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio go after each other? Or would they collaborate to take down ‘The Donald’?
With former President George H.W. Bush in the audience, the presidential candidates geared up for political combat.
Immigration was the first subject discussed. An exchange between Cruz and business mogul Donald Trump featured Cruz accusing Trump of hiring illegal immigrants to work for him, in which Trump rebutted him by saying he employed them because American workers didn’t want to do the job.
Rubio had a stellar debate performance night and came prepared to take swings at Trump. A notable moment was when Rubio attacked Trump for being sued for alleged fraud of the so-called “Trump University,” which students would later complain was a scam. When Trump claimed that he has been accused of fraud for years, Rubio asserted with this strong statement: “Is there a statute of limitations on lies?”
Rubio also went after Trump when he said “Here’s the guy that inherited $200 million. If he hadn’t inherited $200 million, you know where Donald Trump would be right now? Selling watches in Manhattan.”
Trump and Rubio had a lengthy exchange on healthcare. Rubio pressed Trump to give more specific on his healthcare policy. When Trump kept reiterating “lines” Rubio mocked Trump by saying “He’s repeating himself” –an obvious reference to the attack that Chris Christie once made toward Rubio.
Cruz had a decent performance as well. He challenged Trump on socialized medicine, backing him into a corner and demanding an answer on if he supports a socialistic approach, to which Trump only implied he would not let people die in the streets.
Trump seemed to be more angry and combative tonight, losing his cool when attacked by Cruz and Rubio.
John Kasich probably didn’t move the needle in his position on the polls.
Ben Carson probably drew the biggest chuckle of the night. When Rubio, Cruz and Trump were going back with exchanges, Carson interjected by asking “Can someone attack me, please?” Laughter ensued.
Overall, Rubio and Cruz had the strongest night. They teamed up on Trump and really challenged his business dealings and policy positions.
Super Tuesday will be fascinating.
Demetrius Minor is the Coalitions Director for Americans For Prosperity-FL. He is also the author of “Preservation and Purpose: The Making Of A Young Millennial and A Manifesto for Faith, Family and Politics.” He is a member of the national advisory council of the Project 21 black leadership network.
In addition, Demetrius is a former conservative talk show host, blogger (demetriuspeaks.com), former White House intern in the Bush administration, preacher, and graduate of the Pentecostals of Alexandria Minister’s Training Center (POATC).
Demetrius’s writings have been featured in Independent Journal Review, Townhall and The Washington Times.