RECAP: The big Republican debate

Trump And Cruz Trade Shots Over Canada Birth
Trump And Cruz Trade Shots Over Canada Birth

The sixth Republican presidential debate began at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday.

Here's who was be on stage: Front-runner Donald Trump, US Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Florida), retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Gov. Chris Christie (R-New Jersey), former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio), and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

The debate came as the rhetorical barbs between once-friendly candidates had increased significantly.

RELATED: GOP debate moderator Maria Bartiromo: candidates 'need to grow up'

Bush has kept up his attacks on Trump, explaining to audiences at campaign events why he thinks Trump is a "jerk."

"Do you want a president who disparages women? Muslims of all kinds, people with disabilities, Hispanics — I mean, we're getting down to about 90% of all people here," Bush said last Wednesday. "I mean at what point do we say, 'Enough of this?'"

For his part, Trump has focused his attacks on Cruz, a surging rival, raising questions about the senator's eligibility to be president considering that he was born in Canada.


11:11 p.m. — Rubio tore into Cruz, calling him out for various flipping on issues of immigration and national security.

"That is not consistent conservatism, that is political calculation," Rubio said.

Cruz came back, saying Rubio stood with New York Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) on the "Gang of eight" amnesty bill.

Bush then called both of them "back-bench senators."

11:04 p.m. — Asked about police, community relations, Kasich mentioned the task force he formed to discuss the issue in Ohio, and said the key to solving problems between police and the communities they serve is communication.

"You will be amazed at how much progress you can make," he said. "In the end, the country needs to be healed."

11:00 p.m. — Trump said if he becomes president, he "couldn't care less about his company."

He would turn operations over to his children, he said.

10:50 p.m. — Cruz and Rubio clashed over their tax plans, with both invoking former President Ronald Reagan. Cruz said Rubio's plan still kept the 35% ceiling and still involved the IRS, to which Rubio asked Cruz how he planned on collecting his taxes without the IRS or some other government agency around doing the collecting.

10:31 p.m. — Trump was asked about adding higher tariffs on Chinese goods. While he wouldn't commit to a tariff as high as 45%, he did say that he is "totally open" to a tariff on Chinese products.

Rubio said a tariff isn't the answer, which passes off costs onto the consumer. He said regulations need to be relaxed, and he then called the Environmental Protection Agency the "Employment Prevention Agency," presumably as an example of a government agency holding back the economy.

10:20 p.m. — Moderator Maria Bartiromo asked Trump if he changed his mind about his proposed ban on Muslims entering the country after the "firestorm" it started.

"No," he said.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) then asked Trump to reconsider his position, adding that a position as such makes it impossible to form a coalition with Arab nations to fight the Islamic State.

"All Muslims? Seriously?" Bush said.

10:18 p.m. — Christie was asked about how he'd handle Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"We're not going to have peace in Syria unless we put in a no-fly zone," he said. "You're not going to have peace in Syria with Assad in charge."

10:02 p.m. — Cruz was pressed on his "New York values" comment.

"There are many many wonderful working men and women in the state of New York," he said, adding that New York City is very socially liberal.

"Not a lot of conservatives come out of Manhattan, I'm just saying."

Trump then shot back.

"When the World Trade Center came down, I saw something no place on earth could've handled more beautifully, and more humanely, than New York," Trump said. "That was a very insulting statement that Ted made."

9:52 p.m. — During a debate on gun control, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) said he's "confident" Obama would take everyone's guns away if he could.

"I am confident that if this president could confiscate everyone's guns, he would," he said. "I am confident that if he could get rid of the second amendment, he would."

9:45 p.m. — Carson was asked about Trump bringing up former President Bill Clinton's sex scandal with Monica Lewinsky and about Hillary being an "enabler." Carson dodged the question and gave a somewhat confusing answer.

"Well there's no question we should be able to look at any past terms of their past behavior," he said. "Here's the real issue: Is this America anymore? Do we still have standards? Do we have values and principals?"

Click through images from the first 2016 GOP presidential debate:

9:43 p.m. — Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) was asked what he thought of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) doing so well in the polls. He said there is no way Sanders could become president.

"If that's the case, we're going to win every state," he said.

9:37 p.m. — Trump was asked to respond to South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's State of the Union response, where she told voters not to listen to the "angriest" voices.

"I will gladly accept the mantle of anger," Trump said.

9:27 p.m. — Moderator Neil Cavuto brought up "birtherism" with Cruz, giving him the chance to address Trump's and other's claims that he isn't eligible to run for president because he was born in Canada.

"I'm glad you're asking the important questions," he said. "Under long-standing US law, a child born abroad to an American citizen is a natural-born citizen."

He said that, under the birther theories Trump is relying on, Trump himself would be disqualified, because his mother was born in Scotland.

"I was born here," Trump said.

"I think I'm going to win fair and square, I don't need to do this," he continued, citing constitutional attorney's opinions that Cruz may not be eligible to run.

Trump then said he's only bringing up the birther issue because Cruz is doing better in the polls.

"Now he has a chance," he said.

Then, after Trump said he would want to have Cruz as his vice president, Cruz responded saying he'd be willing to offer Trump the same spot once he wins the nomination. And if Cruz's election to office is held up because of his Canadian birth...

"If you happen to be right, you could get the top job at the end of the day," Cruz said.

9:21 p.m. — Cruz defended his previously undisclosed loan from Goldman Sachs for his Senate campaign.

"Unlike Hillary Clinton, I don't have masses of money in the bank, hundreds of millions of dollars," he said. "When I was running for Senate, just about every lobbyist, just about all of the establishment opposed me in the Senate rate in Texas...My opponent in that race was worth over $200 million. He put a $25 million check from his own pocket to fund that campaign. and my wife Heidi and I, we ended up investing everything we owned, we took a loan against our assets to invest it in that campaign to defend ourselves against those attacks. And the entire New York Times attack is that I disclosed that loan on one filing with the US Senate, that was a public filing, but it was not on a second filing with the FEC. Both of those filings were public and yes, I made a paperwork error, disclosing it on one piece of paper instead of the other."

9:18 p.m. — GOP front-runner Donald Trump was asked if the Syrian refugee who was a guest of Obama's at the State of the Union address is representative of the refugees as a whole. He said that he was not, and that his stand on the issue is "not fear and terror, it's reality."

9:17 p.m. — Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson called attention to the fact he got a question tossed his way early on in the debate. He was asked about how he would handle fighting the Islamic State.

"I was going to ask you to wake be up when the time came," the candidate quipped.

9:09 p.m. — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took his first speaking opportunity to call out President Barack Obama's State of the Union address.

"Tuesday night I watched story time with Barack Obama and it sounded like everything in the world was going amazing," he said.

9:05 p.m. — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz opens the debate by mentioning the 10 US sailors who were held by Iran earlier this week. He said the next president is on the stage, and they would not handle the situation the same way as the Obama administration.

"I'll tell you, it was heartbreaking," he said. "But the good news is the next commander in chief is standing on this stage. And I give you my word, if i am elected president, no serviceman or servicewoman will be forced to be on their knees and any nation that captures our fighting men and women will feel the full force and fury of the United States of America."

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