US Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump continues to expose the Bush family's role in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in an effort to destroy Jeb Bush's campaign, an American scholar and political analyst says.
"Hold on gentlemen", he said at one point as Donald Trump and Ted Cruz slugged it out.
The poll was taken before the debate and the ensuing fallout, which many Republicans predicted would limit Trump's appeal going forward. "I'm going to tell them, 'Now I'm going to get consensus from Congress and we're going to tax you, '" Trump said. My dad [former President George H.W. Bush] is the greatest man alive in my mind.
"He'll apologize but I don't want an apology after the election, I want the apology before", Trump said.
As they tried to talk over each other, Cruz chided Trump by saying, "Donald, adults do not interrupt each other". Rubio, who had defended President Bush as showing leadership before the attacks, came to his aid: "The World Trade Center came down because Bill Clinton did not kill Osama Bin Laden when he had the chance to kill him".
For Jeb Bush, a former Florida governor, the confrontation sets up the SC vote as a referendum on his brother's presidency, which can only help him in a fractured field.
"I think he's an unstable person", Trump said of Cruz. But the vitriol was so intense that it seemed to surprise even Mr. Trump, a combative figure who had not been so roundly pummeled at a debate before.
Bush, who has at times appeared to struggle with whether to run on his family's political history, said in the debate that while Trump was "building a reality TV show my brother was building a security apparatus to keep us safe and I'm proud of what he did".
As the audience began to boo him and as he did last week at the ABC News debate, Trump took on the crowd, saying, "Just so you understand?" "It is absolutely ludicrous to suggest that Russian Federation could be a positive partner in this", Mr. Jeb Bush said. The outburst came as Trump blasted the Bush family for "lying" about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and for George Bush's handling of the World Trade Center attack.
Trump said the real goal of his news conference was to protest the Obama administration's consideration of the Consolidated Naval Brig in Charleston as a potential site for relocating detainees now housed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. "You are probably worse than Jeb Bush", Trump screamed at Cruz as the two entered into feisty exchange of words. "I like him very much". On the issue of immigration, for instance, when Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz reiterated their positions from previous debates, it degenerated into a question of who could speak the best Spanish.
"You are the single biggest liar", Mr. Trump said, glaring at Mr. Cruz. Regarding Planned Parenthood, Trump has stated while campaigning for president that he supports defunding it - but when pressed it is far from clear he supports defunding more than the "abortion aspect" of the nation's largest abortion provider.
While there was no singular Gingrich moment Saturday, the debate was exceptionally rough and tumble, with few moments of grace and with both Trump and Rubio repeatedly characterizing Cruz as a liar.
"Look, the bottom line is the people of this country and this state want to see everybody rise, and they want to see unity, and I don't want to get into all this fighting tonight because people are frankly sick of the negative campaigning", he argued. Cruz then challenged Rubio in Spanish to comment on President Obama's executive orders in the language as well.
Trump was jeered lustily by the audience in Greenville, South Carolina, a state where the Bush family is popular with Republicans.
"But I guess the only explanation one can have is his internal poll numbers in SC must be plummeting following the debate", Cruz said. "I'll tell you what, it was an awful mistake". Trump has mocked Bush for having his 90-year-old mother, former First Lady Barbara Bush, campaign for him.