News / USA

    Republicans Get Dirty at Insult-ridden Presidential Debate

    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Marco Rubio listens as rival candidate Donald Trump speaks at the U.S. Republican presidential candidates debate in Detroit, Michigan, March 3, 2016.
    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Marco Rubio listens as rival candidate Donald Trump speaks at the U.S. Republican presidential candidates debate in Detroit, Michigan, March 3, 2016.

    Dismissing his rivals as "lying Ted" and "little Marco," Donald Trump fended off intense attacks from his fellow presidential hopefuls at a debate Thursday that comes amid deeps signs of divisions within the Republican Party.

    During the debate, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich took turns taking swipes at the New York businessman, who appears to be marching toward the party's nomination.

    The debate, being held in the northern city of Detroit, was filled with the same yelling, personal insults and off-color remarks that have featured prominently in the 2016 Republican race for president.

    Within five minutes of the debate's opening, Trump had seemingly bragged about the size of his genitals.

    "[Rubio] said if my hands were small, then something else is small," Trump said, holding up his hands. "I guarantee there's no problem."

    Trump was referencing a comment last week made by Rubio that was widely seen as a reference to the businessman's sexual prowess.

    Republican presidential candidates, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., businessman Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich take the stage before a Republican presidential primary debate at Fox Theatre in Detroit, March 3, 2016.
    Republican presidential candidates, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., businessman Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich take the stage before a Republican presidential primary debate at Fox Theatre in Detroit, March 3, 2016.

    Rubio keeps up attacks

    Over the past week, Rubio has tried to knock Trump off his pedestal by matching him insult for insult. At the debate, Rubio said he would like to discuss policy issues, but he also defended his aggressive strategy.

    "For the last year, Donald Trump has basically mocked everybody with personal attacks," Rubio said. "If there's anyone who's ever deserved to be attacked that way, it's Donald Trump."

    The bitter Trump-Rubio rivalry continued Thursday, with the ex-reality television star referring to the Florida senator as a "little guy [who] has lied so much about my record."

    Rubio fired back: "You ask him a question about the economy and the first thing he does is go into the 'little guy' thing," Rubio said. "And he wants to be president of the United States of America."

    Cruz, who had a stronger than expected performance during this week's crucial Super Tuesday nominating contests, took aim at Trump's record, suggesting he had in the past supported Democratic Party candidates over Republican ones.

    "Donald Trump supported Jimmy Carter over Ronald Reagan. Donald Trump supported John Kerry over George W. Bush," said Cruz.

    Cruz also slammed Trump's vitriolic style. "I think that the American people understand that yelling and cursing at people doesn't make you a tough guy," he said.

    Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, argues a point during a Republican presidential primary debate at Fox Theater, Thursday, March 3, 2016.
    Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, argues a point during a Republican presidential primary debate at Fox Theater, Thursday, March 3, 2016.

    Trump: Romney a 'failed candidate'

    The debate began with a question about someone not on stage: Mitt Romney. The party's most recent nominee strongly criticized Trump in a speech Thursday, calling him a "con man" and a "phony" who is "playing the members of the American public for suckers."

    Asked to respond to the criticism, Trump dismissed Romney as a "failed candidate" who was "an embarrassment to everybody" when he lost to President Obama in 2012.

    "Obviously he wants to be relevant; he wants to be back in the game," Trump said.

    At an earlier news conference, Trump used even more direct language, saying Romney once "begged" for his endorsement during his 2012 presidential run.

    "I could have said, 'Mitt, drop to your knees.' He would have dropped to his knees,'" Trump said, in what was widely interpreted as a thinly veiled sexual joke.

    Republican split

    Trump's bombastic style and often extreme positions have alienated many within the Republican Party, even as he continues to march toward the nomination.

    Many Republican lawmakers and leading party figures have said they will never support Trump, even if he is the nominee, while others have begun to coalesce behind him.

    It is increasingly unclear what party leaders can do to stop Trump, who has a commanding lead both in national polls and in the count of delegates needed to win the nomination.

    Heading into Thursday's debate, Trump is the only Republican candidate on track to win the necessary 1,237 delegates, according to the well-respected Cook Political Report.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora