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GOP Debate: Top 10 Most Riveting Moments

by Christopher N. Malagisi

Carly Fiorina Donald Trump

In a marathon debate last night at the Reagan Presidential Library lasting nearly three hours, all the leading Republican presidential candidates had an opportunity to introduce themselves to the country, while displaying oftentimes nuanced and sometimes visceral differences between the candidates and their policy positions.

The best parts of the debate last night came from exchanges between the actual candidates themselves.  The CNN moderators successfully were able to have candidates engage each other and helped make some of the most memorable and riveting moments from last night.  Let us know what you think was the most riveting moment from last night’s debate in our comments section below!


1. Carly Fiorina vs. Donald Trump (Physical Appearances)

The most unforgettable moment of the evening came from Carly Fiorina’s response to moderator Jake Tapper’s question about Donald Trump’s criticism of her physical appearance.  Fiorina seems to be the first candidate to dent the Trump juggernaut.  See video below for her memorable response!



 2. Jeb Bush vs. Donald Trump (Iraq and 9/11)

Other than a little spat between Bush and Trump about casino gambling in Florida, the more memorable exchange took place when Trump blamed Bush’s brother, Pres. George W. Bush, for the state of Iraq.  Bush responded by defending his brother and laying the second 1-2 punch on Trump that Fiorina began earlier.  See the second biggest applause line of the night below!



3. Chris Christie vs. Donald Trump & Carly Fiorina (Childish Behavior)

In what could be a comeback performance for NJ Gov. Chris Christie, he seemed to play the “it’s not about us; it’s about the American people” card a few times last night.  During an intense exchange between Trump and Fiorina about their varied business records, Christie took an opportunity to try and be the parent chiding both candidates for their back and forth naysaying below.



4. Carly Fiorina & Ted Cruz vs. Planned Parenthood (GOP Congressional Action)

By far, the issue that invoked the most passionate responses came by Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz when discussing the Planned Parenthood videos.  See what they said Republicans in congress should do!



5. Marco Rubio vs. Ben Carson (“Intellect” and National Security)

National security and foreign policy dominated much of the debate last evening.  In a seminal moment for Rubio, he tried to showcase his national security acumen by chiding Carson’s response in dealing with radical Islamic terrorism when Carson opined that using our “intellect” will defeat the terrorists eventually.  See Rubio’s hard-hitting response.



6. Donald Trump vs. Rand Paul (Paul’s Debate Qualifications)

Taking a page from Rand Paul’s playbook from the first debate, Trump responded to a question about his temperament by immediately attacking Rand Paul right out of the gate.  What Trump said was definitely a first for modern political debates!



7. Ted Cruz vs. John Kasich (Iran Nuclear Treaty)

In one of the more dignified exchanges of the evening, Ted Cruz and John Kasich passionately debated their differences on how each would handle the Iran Nuclear Treaty.  While Kasich seemed a little more accommodating, Cruz fired back in the video below!



8. Scott Walker vs. Donald Trump (Seriousness and Records)

In an attempt to regain momentum, Scott Walker, in a not-so-subtle jibe to Donald Trump, said that America doesn’t need another “apprentice” in the White House.  See the exchange and Trump’s harsh response below!



9. Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, and Ben Carson (Awkward High Fives)

In one of the more unusual moments of the campaign, Donald Trump high-fived Jeb Bush and Ben Carson awkwardly.  See the amusing responses to his “outreach” below!



10. Donald Trump vs. Jeb Bush (Secret Service Names)

In one of the more light-hearted moments of the debate, each candidate was asked what their chosen Secret Service moniker would be.  Bush responded by poking fun at himself and Trump matched Bush’s humor with another self-depricating name.  See the funny responses below!



What do you think was the most riveting moment from last night’s debate?  Let us know below!

Also, make sure to check out IJ Review’s hilarious video vines poking fun at the debate and candidates from last night!


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