Republican White House hopefuls sparred in South Carolina in their sixth primary debate Thursday, two weeks before the first nomination votes are cast in the 2016 election.
Here are some key quotes from the debate:
Story time with Barack
“Tuesday night I watched story time with Barack Obama. I got to tell you, it sounded like everything in the world was going amazing, you know?” - Governor Chris Christie, slamming Obama’s State of the Union address in the first of many attacks on the president’s national security record.
My friend Donald
“Back in September, my friend Donald said he had his lawyers look at this from every which way and there was no issue there. Now since September, the Constitution hasn’t changed, but the poll numbers have.” - Senator Ted Cruz, on Trump’s suggestion he may be ineligible because of his birth in Canada.
A marked man
“There’s a big question mark on your head, and you can’t do that to the party.” - Donald Trump, explaining his preoccupation with Cruz’s place of birth.
Devil in the details
“Yes, I made a paperwork error disclosing it on one piece of paper instead of the other. But if that is the best hit The New York Times has got, they better go back to the well.” - Cruz, dismissing reports he failed to properly disclose a million dollars in banks loans during his Senate race.
Don’t knock the Big Apple
“When the World Trade Center came down, I saw something that no place on Earth could have handled more beautifully, more humanely than New York... And I have to tell you, that was a very insulting statement that Ted made.” - Trump, responding to an attack on New York’s liberal values.
“No. No. Look, we have to stop with political correctness.” - Trump, when asked if he would retract his call banning Muslims from entering the United States.
Enemies outside (2)
“China is running over president Obama like he is a child.” - Cruz, riffing on a favorite theme of the Republican White House campaign.
And enemies within
“I am convinced if this president could confiscate every gun in America he would. I am convinced if he could get rid of the second amendment he would.” - Senator Marco Rubio.
But at least...
“Everybody on this stage is better than Hillary Clinton. She is a disaster,” - Jeb Bush, in one of the evening’s rare calls for unity in the Republican camp.