CBS Republican Debate 2016: Candidates Clash over Foreign Policy
Republican presidential hopefuls traded sharp blows over foreign policy and the future of the Supreme Court in an often unruly and chaotic debate on CBS News.
After Iowa and New Hampshire, the race has now moved to South Carolina before the February 20 primary.
Front-runner Donald Trump repeatedly tangled with Texas Senator Ted Cruz and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in a series of tense exchanges.
The lively audience repeatedly jeered and booed the candidates.
As the candidates shouted down and interrupted each other, CBS moderator John Dickerson warned: “We’re in danger of driving this into the dirt.”
Donald Trump and Jeb Bush clashed over the war in Iraq and President George W. Bush’s role during the September 11attacks.
Jeb Bush responded robustly to Donald Trump’s attacks, a departure for the former governor who originally sought a “joyful” campaign.
“We should have never been in Iraq,” Donald Trump said.
“They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none and they knew that there were none.”
Jeb Bush pushed back, defending his brother who will soon join him on the campaign trail before the pivotal South Carolina primary.
“I’m sick and tired of Barack Obama blaming my brother for all the problems that he’s had and frankly I could care less about the insults Donald Trump gives against me,” Jeb Bush said.
Justice Antonin Scalia’s death was addressed early on in the debate most of the six candidates saying the next president should choose his replacement.
Ted Cruz said “we are one justice away” from the court reversing conservative legal gains.
Donald Trump said President Barack Obama would probably pick a replacement, but stressed that Republicans in the Senate should block him.
“Delay, delay, delay,” Donald Trump said.
Later, Ted Cruz contended that Donald Trump, who has supported Democrats in the past, would nominate liberal Supreme Court justices if elected president.
“You are the single biggest liar,” Donald Trump said to Ted Cruz.
“This guy will say anything.”
The next primary and caucus is in South Carolina next week. Other states will have their turn over the coming weeks and months.
Each party formally announces their presidential candidate at conventions in July, four months before the presidential election.