Third GOP debate ushers in the new Trump

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Trump After the Debate

From April to August, Donald Trump dominated the Republican presidential landscape, a phenomenal, seemingly bulletproof, 800-pound gorilla of a candidate with a double-digit lead in the polls -- and so much momentum that pundits dubbed it the Summer of Trump.

After the third GOP primary debate Wednesday night, though, it looks like winter is coming.

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Third GOP debate ushers in the new Trump
BOULDER, CO - OCTOBER 28: Presidential candidates Ohio Governor John Kasich (L-R), Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz (R-TX), New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) pose for a photo at the CNBC Republican Presidential Debate at University of Colorado's Coors Events Center October 28, 2015 in Boulder, Colorado. Fourteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the third set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BOULDER, CO - OCTOBER 28: Presidential candidates Ohio Governor John Kasich (L-R), Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz (R-TX), New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) take the stage at the CNBC Republican Presidential Debate at University of Colorados Coors Events Center October 28, 2015 in Boulder, Colorado. Fourteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the third set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
BOULDER, CO - OCTOBER 28: Presidential candidates Ohio Governor John Kasich (L-R), Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz (R-TX), New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) take part in the CNBC Republican Presidential Debate at University of Colorados Coors Events Center October 28, 2015 in Boulder, Colorado. Fourteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the third set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
2016 presidential candidates Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, left, Donald Trump, president and chief executive of Trump Organization Inc., center, and Ben Carson, former neurosurgeon, stand on stage at the start of the Republican presidential debate at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. Three Republican senators running for president have come out swinging against a bipartisan budget deal as an emblem of everything that's wrong in Washington, making it a likely pinata in the party's third debate Photographer: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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In his first prime-time appearance since yielding front-runner status to Dr. Ben Carson, there were questions about what Trump would do to regain first place. Analysts wondered whether the populist billionaire would bring his long-running feud with Carson to the CNBC stage, or whether he'd try to elbow past Carson by resurrecting his rogue Trumpel-stiltskin personality: mix it up with the moderators, hurl insults at his opponents and brag a lot about his own accomplishments.

Ultimately, however, The Donald went establishment: He largely behaved himself and didn't hog the spotlight. And unlike the attempts to gang-tackle him in the Cleveland and Reagan Library debates, this time the rest of the field -- including Carson and archrival Jeb Bush -- pretty much left him alone.

"I toned it down," Trump said in a CNBC post-debate interview, adding that his opponents "did great."

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But that likely means Trump won't dominate the morning-after headlines Thursday -- and probably didn't do enough on the University of Colorado stage to reverse his slide in the polls, something that's puzzled him for the last two days.

"I don't get it," Trump said Tuesday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," the day a slew of polls showed him running behind Carson in Iowa and nationally. "I'm going there [to Iowa] actually today and I have tremendous crowds and I have tremendous love in the room, and you know, we seem to have hit a chord. But some of these polls coming out, I don't quite get it."

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The reversal of fortune to Carson's benefit probably was even harder for Trump to stomach. As Carson gained on him the last few weeks, Trump and the retired neurosurgeon got a little personal, jabbing each other on issues ranging from religious devotion to abortion.

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At the same time, however, there were signs Trump's ability to defy political gravity -- maintaining a strong lead despite mean-spirited barbs, opposition attacks, declaring he'd make America great again without specifically saying how -- were wearing thin, and armchair advisors (and probably a few professionals) suggested he downsize his larger-than-life personality. As Trump went mainstream and avoided throwing rhetorical bombs, his lead, which had been as high as 25 points, faded and Carson overtook him Monday.

The dramatic shift in polling, and Trump's self-policing, set the stage for Wednesday's CNBC debate on the economy, arguably one of his strong suits. And there were flashes of his free-wheeling style during the two-hour event.

Trump objected when asked whether his is a "comic book version" of a presidential campaign, bristled at moderator John Harwood's suggestion that his tax plan was as realistic as his ability to flap his arms and fly ("Then you better get rid of [CNBC host] Larry Kudlow -- he loves my plan," Trump shot back), boasted that "I came out great" after his Atlantic City casinos filed for bankruptcy and said reconciliation is his biggest weakness ("I find it very, very hard to forgive people who deceive me.")

He also mixed it up early with Ohio Gov. John Kasich when Kasich -- whose polling numbers reflect his current also-ran status -- continued his attack on him and Carson for making campaign promises a president can't realistically keep.

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Trump's tax plan "is the fantasy that I talked about in the beginning," Kasich argued. "You can't [lead the country] with empty promises. These plans would put us in trillions and trillions of dollars of debt ... This stuff is fantasy, just like [Carson] getting rid of Medicare and Medicaid."

Instead of rebutting the allegation with specifics, Trump turned his rhetorical flamethrower on Kasich's financial record in the Buckeye State, and on Wall Street at a firm that helped trigger the 2008 financial meltdown.

"John got lucky with a thing called 'fracking,' He got lucky, and that's why Ohio is doing well," Trump said. And he pointed out that Kasich was a Lehman Brothers honcho "when it went down the tubes and almost took every one of us with it -- including Ben [Carson] and myself. He was on the board and was a managing general partner."

Kasich denied the allegation, but Trump didn't retract.

But that was about it for the fireworks from The Donald, and he spent the rest of the evening patiently waiting his turn to speak. Unlike the Cleveland debate where most of his responses drew several rounds of applause, Trump only had a handful of applause lines, and nothing that would make for a snappy, attention-grabbing headline.

And he largely stuck to the policy script -- for tax cuts, against government regulation and in favor of making America a winner again in the international arena. He confirmed he owns a gun, but doesn't always carry it because "I like to be unpredictable."

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GOP Main Debate 9/16/2015
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Third GOP debate ushers in the new Trump
Republican presidential hopefuls, (L-R) South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham, former New York Gov. George Pataki, Sen. Rick Santorum, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, real estate magnate Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former CEO Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, arrive on stage for the Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California on September 16, 2015. Republican presidential candidates collectively turned their sights on frontrunner Donald Trump at the party's second debate, taking aim at his lack of political experience and his sometimes abrasive style. AFP PHOTO/ ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential hopefuls (L-R), Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee , Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, real estate magnate Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and former CEO Carly Fiorina, listen as retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (C) speaks during the Presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California on September 16, 2015. Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump stepped into a campaign hornet's nest as his rivals collectively turned their sights on the billionaire in the party's second debate of the 2015. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
SIMI VALLEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: : Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Marco Rubio take part in the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SIMI VALLEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Republican presidential candidates Carly Fiorina and John Kasich take part in the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SIMI VALLEY, CA-SEPTEMBER. 16: Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul take part in the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SIMI VALLEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Republican presidential candidates (L-R) Rick Santorum, George Pataki, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Huckabee, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) , U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stand onstage during the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
Carly Fiorina, former chairman and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co. and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, speaks during the Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. After a friendly round of introductions, the second Republican presidential debate quickly plunged into clashes that shifted from policy to the personal, with more politically experienced insiders trying to gain an advantage against the front-runner at center stage: Donald Trump. Photographer: Max Whittaker/Pool via Bloomberg
SIMI VALLEY, CA-SEPTEMBER. 16: Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker take part in the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SIMI VALLEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Republican presidential candidates Chris Christie (R) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich take part in the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SIMI VALLEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump (L) and Jeb Bush take part in the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush speaks during the Republican Presidential Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, September 16, 2015. Republican presidential candidates collectively turned their sights on frontrunner Donald Trump at the party's second debate, taking aim at his lack of political experience and his sometimes abrasive style. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
SIMI VALLEY, CA-SEPTEMBER. 16: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump takes part in the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
2016 Republican presidential candidates Carly Fiorina, former chairman and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co., and Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, walk on stage during the Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. The main debate of the top 11 GOP contenders in the polls follows the 'kids' table' debate of candidates who didn't make the cut. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Republican presidential hopefuls, (L-R) retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, real estate magnate Donald Trump, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, arrive on stage for the Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California on September 16, 2015. Republican presidential candidates collectively turned their sights on frontrunner Donald Trump at the party's second debate, taking aim at his lack of political experience and his sometimes abrasive style. AFP PHOTO/ ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
SIMI VALLEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks with reporters after the presidential debate at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second of presidential debates(Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
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On immigration -- his signature issue, and one of his most controversial -- Trump was more establishment than rogue, doubling down on his plan to build a giant wall between the U.S. and Mexico but insisting he has a "great relationship" and nothing but love for most Mexicans.

Trump even showed restraint when his opponents went after the media, particularly after Sen. Marco Rubio described the industry as Democrats' super PAC.

Though he made headlines tangling with Fox News' Megyn Kelly in the Cleveland debate, Trump only major criticism about Wednesday night's moderators was when he said Becky Sharp' was wrong about his having he criticized Rubio and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for their views on immigration. When she asked where she read his rebuke of the Facebook founder, he quipped: "I don't know -- you people write this stuff."

After a commercial break, Sharp said she got the quote from Trump's own website.

Perhaps the best example of The New Trump was in his closing statement, when he told moderators that his and Carson's campaign negotiated with CNBC to cut the debate from three hours to two, or they wouldn't participate.

The goal, Trump said, was to get the debate over with "So we can get the hell out of here."

Copyright 2015 U.S. News & World Report

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Third GOP debate ushers in the new Trump
BURLINGTON, IA - OCTOBER 21: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets guests after speaking at a campaign rally at Burlington Memorial Auditorium on October 21, 2015 in Burlington, Iowa. Trump leads most polls in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Fourteen-year-old supporters Kaylie Kilpatrick (C) and her friend James Hanna (L) pose dress like Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign rally in Sumter, South Carolina, February 17, 2016. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
MOBILE, AL- AUGUST 21: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets supporters after his rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on August 21, 2015 in Mobile, Alabama. The Trump campaign moved tonight's rally to a larger stadium to accommodate demand. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A protester (C) is surrounded by Trump supporters as he tries to disrupt a rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on March 13, 2016 in Boca Raton, Florida. Primary voters head to the polls on March 15th in Florida. / AFP / RHONA WISE (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)
MYRTLE BEACH, SC - FEBRUARY 19: Supporters wait for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to speak at a rally February 19, 2016 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Trump is campaigning throughout South Carolina ahead of the state's primary. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump attracts autograph seekers during a rally at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Miss., on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016. (John Fitzhugh/Biloxi Sun Herald/TNS via Getty Images)
RICHMOND, VA - OCTOBER 14: Thousands of people line up at the Richmond International Raceway to get into a political rally with presidential candidate and Republican front-runner Donald Trump October 14, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. A New York real estate mogul and reality television star, Trump is now in a statistical tie with retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson in a Fox News survey of likely Republican voters released Tuesday. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds up a cap that he signed for a supporter during a rally at the Expo Hall of the Richmond International Raceway on October 14, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
LOWELL, MA - JANUARY 4: Robin Roy reacts to Republican candidate for President Donald Trump meeting spectators after a rally in Lowell, Massachusetts on Monday evening January 4, 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
RICHMOND, VA - OCTOBER 14: Supporters cheer as presidential candidate and Republican front-runner Donald Trump takes the stage during a campaign rally at the Richmond International Raceway October 14, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. A New York real estate mogul and reality television star, Trump is now in a statistical tie with retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson in a Fox News survey of likely Republican voters released Tuesday. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
BILOXI, MS - JANUARY 02: Supporters of the Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump try to get autographs after his appearance at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum on January 2, 2016 in Biloxi, Mississippi. Trump, who has strong support from Southern voters, spoke to thousands in the small Mississippi city on the Gulf of Mexico. Trump continues to split the GOP establishment with his populist and controversial views on immigration, muslims and some of his recent comments on women. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NORFOLK, VA - OCTOBER 31: Donald Trump supporters cheer for the Republican presidential while he speaks at a rally in front of the USS Wisconsin on October 31, 2015 in Norfolk, Virginia. . With just 93 days before the Iowa caucuses Republican hopefuls are trying to shore up support amongst the party. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - SEPTEMBER 23: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks before the Greater Charleston Business Alliance, which supports minority businesses and is affiliated with the South Carolina African American Chamber of Commerce on September 23, 2015 in North Charleston, South Carolina. The candidate shook hands and signed autographs after the event. (Photos by Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
NORFOLK, VA - OCTOBER 31: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump motions to the media at a rally in front of the USS Wisconsin on October 31, 2015 in Norfolk, Virginia. . With just 93 days before the Iowa caucuses Republican hopefuls are trying to shore up support amongst the party. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 08: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump invites Myriam Witcher 35 on the stage during a campaign rally at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino on October 8, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images)
BOULDER, CO - OCTOBER 28: Andy Dean, a spin room surrogate for Donald Trump, wears a hat with Trumps signature outside the spin room before Republican Presidential Debate Your Money, Your Vote sponsored by CNBC at the University of Colorado in Boulder, October 28, 2015. The event will be moderated by network anchors Carl Quintanilla and Becky Quick and chief Washington correspondent John Harwood. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wave banners during a rally at the Expo Hall of the Richmond International Raceway on October 14, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Trump supporters hold up a sign reading 'We Are The 68%' before Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump's rally, December 14, 2015 at the Westgate Hotel & Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. A recent USA Today poll shows 68% of Trump supporters would follow him if he left the GOP to make a third party run for the presidency. Trump will face off with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and six other main stage candidates at tomorrow's GOP debate, hosted by CNN. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
RICHMOND, VA - OCTOBER 14: Charlotte Browning (C) and Lois Lang (2nd R) bought wigs to look like their favorite candidate, Republican front-runner Donald Trump, while lining up with thousands of others for a campaign rally at the Richmond International Raceway October 14, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. A New York real estate mogul and reality television star, Trump is now in a statistical tie with retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson in a Fox News survey of likely Republican voters released Tuesday. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28: A supporter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump listens to Trump give a speech outlining his vision for tax reform at his skyscraper on Fifth Avenue on September 28, 2015 in New York City. Under the plan there would be four tax categories, with people earning less than $25,000 per year paying 0% tax. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BURLINGTON, IA - OCTOBER 21: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets guests after speaking at a campaign rally at Burlington Memorial Auditorium on October 21, 2015 in Burlington, Iowa. Trump leads most polls in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
MOBILE, AL- AUGUST 21: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets supporters after his rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on August 21, 2015 in Mobile, Alabama. The Trump campaign moved tonight's rally to a larger stadium to accommodate demand. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
RICHMOND, VA - OCTOBER 14: A young woman wears a Donald Trump t-shirt as thousands of people line up at the Richmond International Raceway to get into a political rally with presidential candidate and Republican front-runner Donald Trump October 14, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. A New York real estate mogul and reality television star, Trump is now in a statistical tie with retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson in a Fox News survey of likely Republican voters released Tuesday. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
US Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump greets supporters as he arrives to speak during a Tea Party rally against the international nuclear agreement with Iran outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, September 9, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 14: A supporter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waits for the start of a campaign rally at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino on December 14, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Donlad Trump is campaigning in Las Vegas a day ahead of the final GOP debate. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Attendees try to take a photograph of Donald Trump, president and chief executive of Trump Organization Inc. and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, red cap, at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015. Billionaire Republican 2016 contender Donald Trump said this week unlike rivals such as Jeb Bush, he wouldn't be beholden to big-money campaign donors if elected president. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
GRAND RAPIDS, MI - DECEMBER 21: Jeanne Contanch (L) and Shelly Kumfer wait for the start of a campaign event with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on December 21, 2015 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Trump continues to lead the most polls in the race for the Republican nomination for president. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 11: Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses supporters during a political rally at the Phoenix Convention Center on July 11, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. Trump spoke about illegal immigration and other topics in front of an estimated crowd of 4,200. (Photo by Charlie Leight/Getty Images)
Donald Trump, president and chief executive officer of Trump Organization Inc. and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, takes a selfie photograph with guests after an interview on Bloomberg Television's 'With All Due Respect' in the lobby of the Trump Tower in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. Trump said that he agrees the carried interest tax 'loophole' should be eliminated and that it is 'tremendous burden' on country's finances. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Attendee Lucy Weatherwax Chalmers from Palm Springs, California, places her hand over her heart during the Pledge of Allegiance at a Tea Party Patriots rally against the Iran nuclear deal on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. A revolt among U.S. House Republicans delayed action on the Iran nuclear deal today as some members insisted they aren't bound by a Sept. 17 deadline in their efforts to kill the agreement. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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More on the GOP debate from AOL.com:
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Fact Check: The Republican debaters and the facts
Recap of the CNBC GOP debate

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