Seventeen Republican presidential hopefuls took the stage in Cleveland, Ohio Thursday night for two debates hosted by Fox News, split between the top 10 candidates and the rest of the field, based on averages of polls conducted earlier in the week.
While post-debate polls of the earlier, lower-polling candidates' debate indicated a victory by Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett Packard and the lone female candidate on the GOP side, the crowded stage of the prime-time event left less room for a clear victor.
1."Senator Paul, you know, the hugs I remember are the hugs that I gave to the families who lost their people on September 11th." said New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to Sen. Rand Paul (R) of Kentucky, after the senator accused Governor Christie of being too chummy with President Obama. Christie and Senator Paul sparred over the necessity of bulk data collection in fighting terror.
2. "We're going to win when we unite people with a hopeful, optimistic message," said former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, warning against candidate Donald Trump’s “divisive” rhetoric.
3.“I haven’t said anything about how I’m the first one to do something, so let me do that. I’m the only one to separate Siamese twins ... the only one to take out half of a brain, though you would think that if you go to Washington that someone had beat me to it.” said Dr. Ben Carson, amid laughter and applause from both the audience members and moderators.
4.“[T]he court has ruled, and I said we’ll accept it. And guess what, I just went to a wedding of a friend of mine who happens to be gay,” Ohio Gov. John Kasich told moderator Megyn Kelly when asked how he would explain his opposition to gay marriage if one of his daughters was a lesbian.
5.A Facebook user submitted a question to the debate asking if any of the candidates had received word from God on what their first priorities as president should be. “Any word from God?” asked Ms. Kelly. Sen. Ted Cruz, (R) of Texas, responded by saying that he received the word of God “daily” through the Bible, and then proceeded to tell the story of his family’s faith.
6.“[T]his election cannot be a résumé competition,”said Sen. Marco Rubio, (R) of Florida, answering a question about why he would be a better candidate than Governor Bush, despite never holding an executive office position. Senator Rubio added, “If this election is a résumé competition, then Hillary Clinton’s gonna be the next president...”
7. “We do not project power from bankruptcy court,” said Paul on why the United States should stop sending foreign aid to countries whose governments frequently disagree with official US positions.
8.“Ronald Reagan said, ‘Trust, but verify.’ President Obama is ‘trust, but vilify.’ He trusts our enemies and vilifies everyone who disagrees with him," said Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, about Mr. Obama.
9. "Aggressively normal," said Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker characterizing himself by quoting a news article in his closing statements.
10. "You call women you don't like 'fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals,'" said moderator Kelly, challenging Mr. Trump on some of his past comments about women. Trump interrupted her to clarify: "Only Rosie O'Donnell." He later added that the US doesn't have time for "total political correctness."