LIVE: From the CNN Republican debate

Debate Gives Cruz, Rubio Last Chance to Slow Trump Before Super Tuesday
Debate Gives Cruz, Rubio Last Chance to Slow Trump Before Super Tuesday

Houston, Texas, is set to host the 10th Republican presidential debate of the 2016 election season Thursday night on CNN.

The event, which is hosted by the University of Houston, is the last debate before next week's "Super Tuesday" primary — where 13 states will be voting for a GOP nominee.

Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner, will be at the center podium and could be a target for his rivals as the his position in the race solidifies with win after win.

Click through live reactions:

On either side of Trump will be Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who have also exchanged fierce blows as each competes to be the leading non-Trump contender. Cruz won the Iowa caucuses but has slipped behind Rubio in the two most recent contests.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson will also be on the stage. They both trail the top three by a considerable margin in the upcoming "Super Tuesday" states, but are hoping to use the prime-time exposure to boost their campaigns.

Live coverage:

10:37 p.m. EST. — "Their brand is not superior to the national security of the United States of America," Rubio said about the debate over whether Apple should allow the government to create a backdoor to get into the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone.

Cruz agreed, and said Apple can't violate a court order.

Kasich then criticized Obama for not doing more to reach a solution in the ordeal.

10:32 p.m. EST. — Trump and Cruz had their most heated exchange of the night.

10:29 p.m. EST. — "Can somebody attack me, please?" Carson said.

10:26 p.m. EST. — Cruz then called out Trump for donating to Secretary of State John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign and to other Democratic candidates.

10:26 p.m. EST. — Trump then said that Libya and the US "would be so much better if Gaddafi was in charge."

10:23 p.m. EST. — Trump called the ceasefire in Syria "meaningless."

10:19 p.m. EST. — "People say that I whine a lot because I don't get time. I'm going to whine," Carson said, adding that he didn't get asked about taxes or Israel.

He then gave his answers on Israel and North Korea.

10:13 p.m. EST. — "The Palestinians are not a real estate deal," Rubio fired back at Trump.

10:09 p.m. EST. — "It doesn't do any good to start demeaning the neighbors," Trump said in regard to a question about his stance on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. "I would love to do something to negotiate peace. I cannot do that as well if I'm taking big big sides. With that being said, I'm totally pro-Israel."

10:02 p.m. EST. — "It's interesting that Donald went on an extended tirade about the polls" without saying anything of substance," Cruz said. "The only reason he isn't releasing [tax returns] is because he's afraid there's something in there that could get him hit."

9:56 p.m. EST. — "I know I'm good for the ratings but it's a little bit ridiculous," Trump said as Hewitt called him out for not releasing his tax returns after saying he would do so on his show. "First of all, very few people listen to your radio show."

9:53 p.m. EST. — "I'm a big fan of the governor but they also struck oil," Trump said of Kasich, referencing fracking in the state.

9:48 p.m. EST. — "You may let it, you may be fine with it," Trump said to Cruz about letting people die in the street.

"I will not let people die on the street if I'm president," he added, insisting to Cruz that he isn't an advocate for government sponsored healthcare

9:46 p.m. EST. — Cruz then asked if he would get a chance to join in on the Obamacare debate.

"It's kind of an issue I have a long issue with," Cruz said.

"How do you get that extra time Cruz?" Kasich jumped in and added.

9:39 p.m. EST. — Rubio then repeatedly called out Trump on healthcare.

"What is your plan?" he said repeatedly.

He continued: "Your only plan is to get rid of the lines around the states, but what else is in your plan?"

Trump continued to fight back, but didn't elaborate more.

"He's repeating himself," Rubio said. "You repeat yourself everyday."

Then Trump called him out for his repeating of the same canned line in a recent debate when pressed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

"I saw you repeat yourself five times five seconds ago," Rubio said with a smile.

Trump then repeated himself while insisting he does not.

"I don't repeat myself," he said. "I don't repeat myself. "

9:24 p.m. EST. — "Justice Roberts gave us Obamacare," Trump said. "Might as well be called Robertscare."

9:21 p.m. EST. — Trump said he'd do better with Hispanics than anyone else on the stage. He added he settled his lawsuit with Univision.

"We're friends now," he said. "Very good people."

9:15 p.m. EST. — "With me and the Hispanic community, I think they like me," Kasich said.

9:12 p.m. EST. — "We have to move past this idea that the Hispanic community only cares about immigration," Rubio said.

9:02 p.m. EST. — Trump was then asked by Blitzer about what former Mexican President Vicente Fox said Thursday, telling a reporter that he wouldn't build the "f------g wall."

"The wall just got 10 feet taller," Trump said. "This guy used a filty disgusting word on television, and he should apologize."

He then said he "wouldn't mind" a trade war with Mexico.

8:53 p.m. EST. — Trump and Cruz then exchanged barbs.

8:48 p.m. EST. — The debate opened up with a question about the candidates immigration, and it got heated between Rubio and Trump.

After Rubio called out Trump for changing his position on immigration, he added that Trump hired immigrants who entered the country illegally in Florida. He also said that he criticized former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for his immigration policies during his 2012 presidential campaign.

"As far as the people that I've hired in Florida during the absolute prime season, you could not get help," Trump said. "Very seasonal, 90 day jobs, 120 days. You couldn't get help in those hot, hot sections of Florida."

He added: "I criticized MItt Romney for losing the election. He ran a terrible campaign, he was a terrible candidate...He ran one terrible campaign. That's an election that should've been won."

"I'm the only one on this stage who's hired people," he continued. "You have nothing but problems with your credit cards, so don't tell me."

Then Rubio told the audience to search "Trump Polish workers" on Google.

8:33 p.m. EST. — CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer announced that former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, former First Lady Barbara Bush, are in attendance. Bush's son, Jeb Bush, dropped out of the race after Saturday's South Carolina primary.

Click through images from the debate:

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Originally published