Republican rivals pile on Trump in 2016 presidential debate

GOP candidates for US presidential race attend second debate as first nominating contest for November 2016 election approaches

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Republican US presidential candidates (L-R), Rick Santorum, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich and Chris Christie.

Updated Sep 18, 2015

Republican presidential hopefuls faced each other in another fierce presidential debate on Wednesday and the occasion was highlighted by front-runner Donald Trump, facing attacks from all of his rivals.

Hosted by CNN, 15 candidates debated in two different sessions, 11 of them participated in the prime time session and the less favoured candidates, confronted each other before the main debate.

The only woman candidate Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett-Packard Chief Executive, stepped up her game and dominated the first hour of the debate. She drew huge applause after she responded to Trump’s recent comments regarding her looks.

Trump also made a joke about Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, by saying Rand Paul shouldn’t even be on the stage because he is number 11 on the polls, as Paul accused him of attacking "people on their appearance, short, tall, fat, ugly."

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush also  confronted Trump and displayed more energy compared to the previous debate, as he defended his brother former President George W. Bush when Trump criticised the war in Iraq.

"He kept us safe," Bush said. Trump responded by saying "Do you feel safer now? I don't feel so safe."

A billionaire businessman with no political background, Trump pledged to build up the military, reduce taxes on the middle class and stated that Syria and ISIS should fight each other.

Fiorina focused on Russia, expressing her negative feelings about Russia’s President Vladimir Putin as well as explaining the necessity of conducting military exercises in the Baltic countries.

Jeb Bush, on the other hand, advocated the need for the US to develop more offensive tactics and implement stronger sanctions regarding cyber security.

Before the debate, a Reuters/Ipsos poll had showed Trump leading the race among Republicans with 32 percent. Following him in second place was retired neurosurgeon, Ben Carson with 15 percent and Bush in third place at 9 percent.

Despite his controversial remarks on immigration, women, his opponents and foreign policy, Trump has been rising in the polls since he announced his candidacy in early June.

Most talked moments

The most tweeted moment of the debate was Fiorina’s response to Trump’s comment he made during a Rolling Stone interview saying "Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that?." She answered "I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr Trump said."

The shocker of the debate was Jeb Bush admitting to have used marijuana in the past. His team tweeted an apology right after the comment.

Last but not least, Donald Trump’s expressions throughout the debate was also one of the most talked about moments.


TRTWorld and agencies