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Nate Jackson / February 26, 2016

GOP Debate: Rubio and Cruz Finally Fight

But was Round 10 too late to be landing punches?

Well, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz obviously got the memo. They didn’t exactly unite the clans in Thursday night’s debate, but they sure did land some punches on Donald Trump instead of each other. Rubio in particular unleashed a barrage of attacks on the casino mogul that left us wondering, where was this before Trump locked up a third of voters as diehards and became a freight train? Frankly, Rubio and Cruz were both brilliant in assailing the frontrunner, hitting him on just about everything from his bankrupt business record to hiring illegal workers to his incoherent pronouncements to his tax returns and support of leftist causes, including the Clinton Foundation and a long list of Democrats.

Was Round 10 too late? Super Tuesday may answer that question. Until now, Trump has largely skated unchallenged. Rubio calculated he’d be better off taking out Cruz, while Cruz slipstreamed Trump hoping to snag his voters when Trump flamed out. Neither happened, and Trump romped, largely unhindered by blows from real conservative candidates.

Here’s a sampling of the punches:

Rubio:

“I also think that if you’re going to claim that you’re the only one that lifted [the issue of immigration] into the campaign, that you acknowledge that, for example, you’re the only person on this stage that has ever been fined for hiring people to work on your projects illegally. … He hired workers from Poland, and he had to pay a million dollars or so in a judgment.”

“If he builds the wall the way he built Trump Towers, he’ll be using illegal immigrant labor to do it.”

“About the trade war — I don’t understand, because your ties and the clothes you make are made in Mexico and in China. So you’re gonna be starting a trade war against your own ties and your own suits. Why don’t you make them in America?”

Responding to Trump’s charge, “You don’t know a thing about business,” Rubio said, “I don’t know anything about bankrupting four companies. I don’t know anything about starting a fake university.”

“The position you’ve taken is an anti-Israel position. … The Palestinians are not a real estate deal, Donald.”

“If he hadn’t inherited $200 million, you know where Donald Trump would be right now? Selling watches in Manhattan.”

“I see him repeat himself every night. He has five things: everyone’s dumb; he’s going to make America great again; win, win, win; he’s winning in the polls; and the lines around the states. Every night. Same thing.”

Cruz:

“Donald Trump says he’s being audited. I would think that would underscore the need to release those [tax] returns. He doesn’t want to do it because presumably there is something in there that’s bad.”

“[Donald] is promising if he’s elected he will go and cut deals in Washington. And he’s right. He has supported — he has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democrats. Anyone who really cared about illegal immigration wouldn’t be hiring illegal immigrants. Anyone who really cared about illegal immigration wouldn’t be funding Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi; wouldn’t be funding the Gang of Eight. And, you know, he is right. When you stand up to Washington, when you honor the promise you made to the men and women who elected you and say enough with the corruption, enough with the cronyism, let’s actually stand for the working men and women of this country, Washington doesn’t like it. And Donald, if you want to be liked in Washington, that’s not a good attribute for a president.”

“You know, there is a reason why, when Harry Reid was asked, of all the people on this stage, who does he want the most, who does he like the most, Harry Reid said Donald Trump. Why? Because Donald has supported him in the past, and he knows he can cut a deal with him.”

“Donald, true or false, you’ve said the government should pay for everyone’s health care?”
Trump responded, “That’s false.”

Oh no it’s not. Trump has most definitely said what Cruz alleged.

Finally, we’ll highlight what we thought was perhaps the night’s funniest moment. After being challenged by Rubio on his health plan, Trump, as usual, just said the same things over and over. Rubio, burned by that same charge two weeks ago, happily pointed out that Trump was just repeating himself.

To which Trump responded — we kid you not — “I don’t repeat myself. I don’t repeat myself. … I don’t repeat myself.”

We certainly hope it’s not too late for voters to realize that Trump is not the answer. He’s nothing but insanely idiotic bluster, repeated over and over and over again, ad nauseum. We’ve endured eight months of it. Can you imagine four or eight years? To re-employ one of his phrases, that is not going to make America great again, believe us.

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