The leading Republican candidates squared off in New Hampshire on Saturday night at a debate sponsored by ABC News and the Independent Journal Review (IJReview). Only the top seven candidates were invited to participate based on national polling and polling of New Hampshire primary voters. This debate comes just days before the crucial first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary on February 9.

Saturday, February 6, 2016
ABC News Republican Debate

Location: Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire
Moderators: David Muir and Martha Raddatz
Candidates: Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Carson, Bush, Kasich, Christie

Here is the full video of the debate in a five part playlist:

Report from CNN:

Marco Rubio struggled to fend off a string of searing attacks from Chris Christie as the two battle to emerge from Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary as the favorite of the Republican establishment.

Rubio appeared seriously rattled by the exchanges Saturday night at the final Republican presidential debate before the primary. The senator tried to fend off Christie — without much effect — by shifting the focus to President Barack Obama and the Democrats.

But Christie was relentless, blasting Rubio as someone who delivers soaring speeches but has never made a consequential decision in his political life and isn’t fit to be president.

“Marco, the thing is this,” Christie said at the ABC debate at St. Anselm’s College in New Hampshire. “When you’re president of the United States, when you’re a governor of a state, the memorized 30-second speech where you talk about how great America is at the end of it doesn’t solve one problem for one person,” Christie said.

Christie also slammed Rubio’s poor attendance record in the Senate.

“That’s not leadership, that’s truancy,” Christie said.

Rubio tried to blunt Christie’s attack by saying the governor had not wanted to leave the campaign trail to return to New Jersey before a major recent snow storm last week. The senator then spoke of the aspirations of the American people.

But Christie had none of it, refusing to let Rubio wriggle out of his assault, playing on a narrative advanced by Rubio’s opponents that he has simply learned a soaring stump speech and deploys it every time he appears in public, be it at a campaign event or a debate.

“There it is, the memorized 20 second speech,” Christie told the crowd.

This debate started out with Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio taking the brunt of the attacks. Donald Trump remained unscathed for much of the time as the other candidates were fighting over 2nd and 3rd place in New Hampshire. I think Rubio was damaged somewhat, especially by the exchanges with Chris Christie who came out the strongest against Rubio compared to any debate thus far. I don’t think Trump took much damage which might keep his poll numbers safe. I do think that the Rubio momentum might be halted somewhat given the relentless attacks from several other candidates.


  1. Actually, I think JEB had his best debate tonight. He looked steady and mature. If he can hold on, and others drop out, he might actually get some attention.

    Too bad they didn’t keep up the pressure on Rubio. He was nearly in tears. If Christie had hit him one more time, the boy would have run to mama.

    Funny thing is, Trump’s so far ahead, they left him alone, for the most part.

    Carson is still occupying valuable real estate. And after the Cruz dirty trick, Ben will probably feel that he has to stick out a few more primaries.

    • The trap that Cruz’s campaign people fell for was watching and trusting CNN as a legitimate source about the other candidates. While it may have hurt Cruz somewhat, the admitted mistake shows his presidential material.

      One glaring thing I saw with Trump in response to criticism from any of the candidates was always a remark that is equivalent to a hit below the belt. It’s something that Trump has crafted into his own personal style, both as a businessman and as a person. Cheap shots like that are hallmarks of a bully (I know because I’ve had bullies for most of my entire life), not a President. If Trump knows how to do one thing, it’s how to be a predator. His father taught him to be a “shark” in business, so Trump’s using the same relative tactics in his approach to politics.

      • It might be unfortunate that we actually need “a bully” at this time in our history to right the ship again. The conservative cause & voice has gotten pushed into a corner & sometimes,, you have to take the gloves off to fight your way out. Trump does this better than anyone with Christie a close second. Personally I’m tired of my voice being trampled by media bias & a progressive theme hellbent on one side of all issues entirely,, they want us extinct,, they even reject moderate opinion now! I think Trump’s smart enough to polish his act up if he became the president,, he’d somewhat be forced to by the political will of those surrounding him & it’s magnitude as well. Standing before Congress is somewhat humbling with the realization,, no matter how big you are in private life,, your constituents before you represent the millions who brought you to the dance. Trump’s not quite the bully he’s being projected as,, the man actually has a heart beneath that hard core exterior,, I believe he truly loves this nation & most of us within it..

        • Funny how that heart loves to abuse eminent domain for personal gain, as was the case with Vera Coking.

          Christie’s a proven liar. Notice how he never talks about his own record (which, by the way, is actually pretty bad), and instead went on that ridiculous spat with Rubio over whether Senators or governors make better Presidents. Here’s an example of a great President who was neither: Lincoln. He was never governor, he was never a Senator (only a Congressman for one term), and he failed at business. And yet he went on to become one of the nation’s greatest Presidents ever.

          A man who constantly complains whenever he doesn’t win (kinda like Kanye West) and instead badmouths his opponents to no apparent end is nowhere near being presidential material.

    • Total agreement on your J. Bush assessment,, he turned in a very strong performance. He left the “attack theme” in his bag & got to the real issues at hand. You could be right if he can stick it out he could be a threat in later primaries,, he’s just seemed to be a really slow learner spending significant campaign $$’s on attacking instead of what he does best,, discussing the reality of our nation..

  2. I think Marco Rubio was excellent. Very interesting how people have different perceptions. Rubio is my favored candidate, but I would be happy with several of the other candidates, as well. How blessed we are to have such good GOP candidates running this time! Please God our country doesn’t go for HC or BS.

    • Yes I would love to have a president who doesn’t answer questions about his conduct and keeps repeating the same phrase over and over…really? Get a clue..Please!

      • Christie kept making the same accusation and Sen. Rubio kept repeating a truthful answer – Barack Obama knows exactly what he’s doing to this country. Re: his conduct: he’s not perfect – no one is. His conduct is much more virtuous than HC or BS – that is for sure!!! Best wishes to you Mr. Cowan.

        • Rubio could at least have changed up the answer some and not look so uncomfortable on stage when Christie pointed it out.

          • I think we need to focus on all of the well-informed, intelligent and knowledgeable answers Sen. Rubio gave with passion- which were by far the majority of what he spoke during the debate.

        • Take your blinders off, please. Rubio proved in this debate he is in no way ready for the position of POTUS. I can only imagine how he might react if put in the same room as Putin. With Rubio at the healm, our nation would become a laughingstock.

    • Marco did regain his composure but he indeed became rattled when Christie laid into him on his record,, his facial expressions & squirming showed his discomfort with his own incapacity to answer the charges forcefully. As you suggest,, he did fine the rest of the debate but it was telling tonight his freshman senatorial status didn’t give him much to offer in the line of accomplishment. If I can get past his age,, he’s in my top four at this stage of the game,, in spite of his age,, he is a real statesman who I think legitimately loves this nation. IMO,, Jeb Bush had his best performance,, he was in command with his answers & didn’t solely try to grab the spotlight by attacking,, he was a “substance candidate” in this debate. For the most part,, they all fared well with ironically,, Marco who had the best last debate performance turning in his least compelling overall performance in this one,, he was targeted.

  3. OMG am I the only one that can’t believe these clowns are in our government at all? They are all terrifyingly out of touch of the the American people. When are they going to realize their radical ways aren’t going to work in this country that actually have intelligent people now? Except for all of you that would vote for these jokes.

    • Would you care to offer at least one “radical way” they expressed with some detail? You do realize we are a nation of opinions & outspoken citizens. Your one dimensional mindset doesn’t cut it in the real America. I happened to like most of what was debated & I’d be more than willing to debate you as well on “your” points of disapproval. That is if you’ve anything to say of real substance? Could it be you might be “the one out of touch”?

  4. It’s a shame that this upload leaves out the beginning with Carson and Trump standing awkwardly after not hearing their names. I felt bad just watching them.

    • I was too busy laughing my ass off to feel bad for them. If anything I felt bad for poor Kasich, for it looked like they forgot all about him.

  5. Rubio showed why he is not ready for the presidency. For, if he cannot handle a blowhard like Christie without buckling, how the hell he is suppose to deal with despots all over the world; he looked like a little kid up there. Sure, he got better as the debate went on, but he never fully regained himself, and is quite possibly, no longer the “establishment” favorite. But, Carson was the biggest loser, for it felt like he was not even there through most of the debate.

  6. Rubio has the composure of Don Knotts (Barney Fife). He might be ready in eight or twelve years.

    Christie hit it on the head when he pointed out that Rubio has a bunch of 20-second sound bites, and pulls them out, no matter what the question is.

    I’d go one further: They used to say every Rudy Guiliana sentence included a noun, a verb, and 9/11. For Rubio, it’s a noun, a verb, and Obama. He knows the audience hates Obama, so that’s the answer to every question–often, the exact, same, irrelevant wording.

    Question: What would you do about ISIS?
    Rubio: Whatever Obama didn’t do.

    Question: What would you do about the economy?
    Rubio: Whatever Obama didn’t do.

    Question: How, specifically, would you do to rebuild our infrastructure?
    Rubio: Whatever Obama didn’t do.

    Question: Isn’t the weather lousy?
    Rubio: Obama.

  7. This must be where the Establishment goes to give their two cents. JLE and Randy Cowan (not his real name) are total light weights. If you want a country without balls, you vote for Bernie, Shillary, Rubio, Bush – these people are crooks and overrated people.

  8. I can’t get my head around why Jeb Bush still isn’t in the ‘undercard debates’. I don’t get it. You read all kinds of news reports telling how bad he’s doing, how every big donor is leaving him. You even see the sucker shooting himself in the foot countless times. It’s enough already. He now looks good in this debate to some, but that’s because he’s in there with the big boys. How would he do with his own match; Fiorina, Gilmore, and probably Christie would be in there?

  9. Would they STOP talking about Obama? Who cares what they think of him? Questions should not be answered with attacks.

  10. The problem with congress, both sides of the aisle, is that there aren’t any term limits. Lots of times people (we are stupid) will vote for an incumbent over doing research and choosing a new candidate.

  11. Mr Cruz’s poise, focus, knowledge and experience somehow puts a light on him all the others here fail to match, He has this veterans full attention

  12. omg Ted Cruz and his nonsensical, irresponsible lies about about “socialized medicine”. He doesn’t know what he is talking about. And I love Trump’s answer about healthcare. It made zero sense. Sounds like Sarah Palin.

  13. Anyone notice the viewing screen was too small and space wasted by the candidates pictures and background? Any better video out there?

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