Here’s 9 of the Strangest Moments From Tonight’s GOP Debate
Fox News’ GOP Debate was a rough one for Donald Trump, who is now being considered a serious contender after the Super Tuesday results. Here are some of the weirdest moments of the night while Trump attempted to defend himself on multiple occasions:
9. Trump and Megyn Kelly Finally Stare Each Other Down
It’s pretty well known that Trump refused to attend the last GOP debate because of moderator Megyn Kelly. However, as a frontrunner for the Republican nomination, this type of chicanery would not fly. Kelly addressed Trump immediately, looking the candidate in the eye and simply saying “Hi.”
After a short pause, Trump responded saying “Nice to be with you Megyn.”
Kelly responded, “Good to have you here,” right before launching into the toughest questioning Trump has been forced to face in a long time, and it wasn’t just Kelly aiming at the potential presidential candidate.
8. Rubio Attacks Trump Claiming He’s Not Conservative Enough
After Trump pretty much swept Super Tuesday, his political opponents decided it was time to finally treat the businessman as a real threat. While there were several exchanges with Trump throughout the night (of which you will see more of below), Rubio kicked if off by attacking Trump’s conservative-ness stating two-thirds of Republican voters were not comfortable with Trump as a candidate because…
“… The reason why is because we are not going to turn over the conservative movement or the party of Lincoln or Reagan, for example, to someone whose positions are not conservative. To someone who last week defended Planned Parenthood for 30 seconds on a debate stage. To someone…who thinks the nuclear triad is a rock band from the 1980s.”
It didn’t really end there either, Cruz and Rubio tagged teamed against Trump asking him to release tapes from a New York Times interview where he reportedly flip-flopped on his immigration stance while off the record.
7. Cruz Also Demanded Trump Release Those Tapes
Rubio wasn’t the only one piling on about the New York Times tapes. After Trump refused to make the tapes public, the two got into their own scuffle regarding Trump’s policies.
For those of you who don’t know, the New York Times reportedly have tapes of off-the-record comments from Trump stating that he had no plans of actually executing his immigration plan, but would use his stance as a “starting point for negotiation.”
Cruz poked at Trump stating “If you didn’t tell them that, the tapes will prove you innocent.”
Trump’s response was to repeatedly call Cruz “Lyin’ Ted.”
6. Speaking of Trump’s Immigration Stance, He “Softened” His Stance on Live TV
Trump admitted that he was willing to allow immigrants to stay in the country if they’ve attended an Ivy League university. Kelly questioned Trump on changing his stance to which he replied:
“I’m changing. I’m changing. We need highly-skilled people in this country, and if we can’t do it, we’ll get ‘em. One of the biggest problems we have is people go to the best colleges—they’ll go to Harvard, they’ll go to Stanford, they’ll go to Wharton, as soon as they’re finished they get shoved out. They want to stay in this country. They want to stay here desperately. They’re not able to stay here. For that purpose, we absolutely have to be able to keep the brainpower in this country.”
Kelly continued to question Trump’s change, asking if he had abandoned the position on his website. Trump responded, “I’m changing it and I’m softening the position, because we have to have talented people in this country.”
Kelly pressed Trump again, asking if he was playing to people’s fantasies “a tactic” Trump “praised in The Art of the Deal”. Trump responded that he was not playing to anybody’s fantasies.
5. Trump Defended Flip-Flopping Too
Several videos were played of Trump changing his position on multiple issues, from whether or not Bush lied about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to whether or not Syrian refugees should be welcome in the country.
After the bevy of videos finished playing, Kelly stated there were “many other examples” of Trump flip-flopping his way through the election. Trump argued leaders should be flexible, adding “I have a very strong core. I’ve never seen a successful person who wasn’t flexible.”
4. Rubio and Kelly Brought Up Trump University. It Went About as Well as You’d Expect
Trump is currently embroiled in not one, but two multimillion dollar lawsuits stemming from Trump University. The course begins with a 90 minute seminar which is free, but upsells another seminar that costs nearly 1500 dollars and is three days long.
After getting the “last real estate education you’ll ever need for the rest of your life,” students can then buy into one of three Trump Elite packages which range in price from $9,995 to $34,995 dollars, a program which New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman likened to as a “bait and switch.”
During the debate, Trump attempted to use the initial A rating given to his university by the Better Business Bureau, and the “98% approval rating” from students (a survey administered by the “university” itself). However, Rubio would have none of it, calling Trump’s claim false, and Megyn Kelly jumped in stated that the last publicly available Better Bureau Rating for Trump University was a D-Minus.
She then added a line from the appeals court decision which compared students of the University to Madoff victims, stating “Victims of con artists often sing the praises of their victimizers until the moment they realize they’ve been fleeced.”
Trump closed the argument with “But let’s see what happens at the end of 3 years, let’s see who’s right.”
3. Rubio Absolutely Made a Joke About Trump’s Penis
Trump jumped in after Rubio defended his recent personal jabs aimed at his fellow candidate adding that he was pretty offended by Rubio’s dig at his hands, calling them small. Rubio then jumped in with the burn-heard-round-the-debate saying, “If they’re small, something else must be small.”
Trump responded by holding up his hands to the audience and stating, “I guarantee you there’s no problem.”
2. All The Candidates Said They’d Back The GOP Nominee
While this doesn’t seem particularly strange, what did make this moment of the night odd was of course, Donald Trump.
While all the other candidates agreed they would back any of the nominees, including Trump. Trump acted as if it would be strange if the nominee was anyone other than himself.
“Even if it’s not me?” he stated. He also claimed he brought many people into the party before adding that he would back any of the other candidates.
1. Trump Went On The Weirdest 9/11 Tangent
When posed a question regarding terrorism, Trump launched into a 9/11 conspiracy theory which contained false allegations that 9/11 hijackers were married and had sent their wives back to “a certain territory” with the knowledge of the impending attacks.
This isn’t the first time Trump has brought up this story either, and the facts show: of the 19 hijackers, just one man was married.
There were no records of his wife ever having left that certain territory (Saudi Arabia) or ever having been to the United States. One other hijacker had a German girlfriend, who he did keep in contact with while attending flight school, however they had a “tumultuous relationship”, and she testified that she had no knowledge of the plans to attack the World Trade Center.
It’s being theorized that what Trump was attempting to highlight was the fact that we attacked just about every other country besides Saudi Arabia, but we can’t be sure what he was thinking at this point.
That about sums up the evening. Rubio and the other candidates did a splendid job of poking holes in Trumps campaign, but it will take some time to see if their strategy was effective enough to prevent his nomination.