The first Republican debate of the 2016 election cycle is officially in the history books. The event, which took place Thursday evening from Cleveland, Ohio, featured the top ten Republican candidates in an average of five national polls. Earlier in the day, the remaining seven Republicans who did not make it into the primetime event took the debate stage.
Here is the entire video of the primetime Fox News Republican debate which aired at 9pm ET on August 6, 2015:
Moderators: Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace
Candidates: Trump, Bush, Walker, Huckabee, Carson, Cruz, Rubio, Paul, Christie, Kasich
Report from Fox News:
Donald Trump was the unrivaled lightning rod at Thursday’s Republican presidential debate, but the prime-time showdown made clear he’s not the only fighter on the stage – or in the race.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie reclaimed his reputation as a tough-talking executive, blasting his rivals for their positions on domestic surveillance and entitlements. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul traded barbs with several candidates, including Christie.
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, among others, also scored their moments. Meanwhile, one-time front-runner former Gov. Jeb Bush found himself on defense several times and largely avoided tangling with Trump on the Fox News/Facebook stage.
Perhaps the most fiery moment, though, came in an exchange between Christie and Paul mid-way through. Long-simmering tension between the two exploded when Christie stood by his criticism of the senator for opposing NSA bulk collection of American phone data.
Paul said he’s “proud of standing for the Bill of Rights,” but Christie called his stance “completely ridiculous” – suggesting he wants to cherry-pick only some data.
“When you’re sitting in the subcommittee just blowing hot air about this, you can say things like that,” Christie said.
It will be very interesting to see how the polls shake out in the next few weeks. Several of the mid-level candidates, such as Ben Carson, came away with memorable lines. Rand Paul took a lot of incoming fire from several candidates and took a beating throughout the night but held his own. Donald Trump stood out at the beginning but was largely muted most of the event.
Sound off below, how did the candidates do?