The four remaining Republican candidates met in Miami tonight for the last GOP debate before primary voting in several major states, including Florida and Ohio, on Tuesday, March 15th. From the onset, the tone was far more moderate in tenor as each candidate attempted to rise above the mudslinging and return focus to the issues at hand.
Thursday, March 10, 2016
CNN Republican Debate
Location: University of Miami in Miami, Florida
Sponsors: CNN, The Washington Times, Salem Media Group
Moderator: Jake Tapper
Candidates: Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Kasich
Here is the full debate video: (debate starts at 45 minute mark)
Alternate Link: Link 1
Report from Yahoo News:
After an all-out brawl of a debate last week in Michigan, which featured Donald Trump at one point defending the size of his genitalia, the Republican presidential hopefuls adopted an unusual tone in the opening minutes of their latest head-to-head in here: civility.
In the first half hour of Thursday’s debate, Trump and his GOP rivals seemed to almost go out of their way to avoid attacking one another even as they debated heated topics like entitlement reform and immigration.
As recently as a day ago, Trump was still trashing Florida Sen. Marco Rubio as “Little Marco” and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz as “Lyin’ Ted,” but on Thursday, the Republican frontrunner put his name-calling on pause, talking up party unity in what seemed to be an effort to cast a more presidential air. And his rivals also seemed to hold back—most notably Cruz, who has sought to cast himself as the chief alternative to Trump.
At one point, Cruz trashed Democrat Hillary Clinton, suggesting she believed that Social Security could be made solvent by cutting waste, fraud and abuse. When a moderator pointed out that Trump had only minutes earlier voiced the same position and asked if he was comparing Trump to Clinton, Cruz backed off. “I’ll let Donald speak for himself,” he replied.
Just seconds later, Trump and Cruz tangled over immigration—with the real estate mogul accusing his rival of previously supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants. But instead of blasting Trump—as he has previously on the issue—Cruz just laughed it off.
Tonight’s debate took a decidedly milder tone which made it far easier to actually watch compared to last week. There were no issues with candidates talking over each other and the conversation stayed largely focused on the issues at hand. Each candidate had a fairly good night. Ted Cruz put forth the most attacks against Donald Trump, though even the most contentious moments were far less tense compared to the prior debate.
Marco Rubio went back to his optimistic tone, a demeanor that suits him better than the “attack dog” strategy he took last week. John Kasich also seemed more polished, as did all the candidates having spent so much time on the debate stage up to this point.