Tonight’s GOP debate from Detroit is on Fox News Channel, which may mark the renewal of hostilities between Trump and moderator Megyn Kelly, They haven’t been together since the first Republican debate way back in August.
So much has happened to the candidates since they last met on the debate stage. Ben Carson and his movie-star hands stepped down from tonight’s event, after promising to bring all the candidates together tonight for a kumbaya moment to promise this debate won’t be a repeat of the last mud fight.
Super Tuesday’s big winner Donald Trump started the day being called a greedy, vulgar, misogynistic bully by Mitt Romney. The GOP front-runner responded that the 2012 GOP nominee had been so desperate for his endorsement back then that “I could have said, ‘Mitt, drop to your knees’ – he would have dropped.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s replacement on NBC’s reality series The Apprentice, Arnold Schwarzenegger is out campaigning for Gov. John Kasich in Ohio.
Marco Rubio has perfected the losing/winning speech after taking just one state on Super Tuesday. But on the bright side, the senator from Florida has developed an impressive repertoire of cogent observations about Trump’s hands, pants, spray tan and hair that should come in handy tonight.
And Ted Cruz has been virtually-endorsed by Caitlyn Jenner, who told The Advocate she hopes that, once he’s elected, she’ll be named his “trans ambassador to the President of the United States.”
So lace up the gloves and butter the popcorn — here is Deadline’s live blog of the latest fracas.
Remember when Megyn Kelly jokingly told Stephen Colbert on his show that
she will start tonight’s debate with “Apology accepted.”
So much for the “civility.” Are the Red Wings on?
And they kick things off with Mitt Romney question to Trump. “He was a failed candidate, should have beaten Obama easily. He wants to be relevant.” Then recites his talking points.
Is this a Fox News crowd or one from Fox’s “Married … With Children”?
Rubio wins First Megan Kelly Reference prize!
Marco, you know what they say about guys with small strategies…
Donnie, it’s time to freshen up your insults.
Trying … not … to … picture … Putin … holding … a ruler … right … now.
Donald Trump’s OJ moment: “[Rubio] hit my hands. Look at those hands are they small hands.” noted Rubio’s reference to his hands was really a suggestion something else was small. “I guarantee there’s no problem. OK? Moving on.”
Donald Trump schlonged Marco Rubio. And we’re 7 minutes in.
OK, I promise to stop. Probably.
First appearance of Unintelligible Shouting. Already the closed-caption people are falling behind.
Oh yeah, John Kasich.
I’m picturing Ben Carson sitting in his living room yelling, “CALL ON ME, DAMMIT!”
Hey John, this just in: You’re written off.
Kasich: Now you’re going up north to my turf. Watch for drive-bys.
Chris Wallace asks Rubio: ‘How many jobs have you created?” Is Wallace in the tank for Trump?
Cheap shot from Wallace on how many jobs have you created. That’s not his line. Would You ask Peyton Manning how many classes he’s taught at Cambridge?
Again with the tired insults. “Little guy.” “Disgusting.” “Loser.” “Choke artist.” Get me Bruce Vilanch!
I love when Trump defends starting off life with “only a million dollars” from Dad.
Key lines from one of the great protest songs of the past quarter-century, James McMurtry’s “We Can’t Make It Here Anymore”:
“Now I’m stocking shirts in the Wal-Mart store
Just like the ones we made before
‘Cept this one came from Singapore
I guess we can’t make it here anymore.”
Second appearance of Unintelligible Shouting. Closed-Caption people send out SOS.
“Bringing education local?” What, every town gets a one-room schoolhouse?
Look at this. Fox News is graphics whipping Trump!
Oh, I get it: Trump’s plan is for more regulation of Big Phrama. THAT will get him elected.
Trump ignored whole graphics trap. Donald Trump: Graphics denier.
Cruz: Trump for many years part of the corruption in Washington by giving loads of money to them.
When I think of “getting along with people,” I think Donald Trump!
I think Kasich has small hands. Now I can’t stop looking at their hands — and I hate myself for looking!
“A recent article somewhere” is Trump for “exhaustive research.”
Oh yeah, Megyn Kelly’s here.
Trump finally acknowledges Megyn: “Hello Megyn. Nice to be with you. You’re looking well.”
Hugs all around.
Is this all on the record?
Will somebody tell this guy the American presidency is not like running a business?
Trump’s best moment, sounding like a reasonable negotiator, when asked about off record conversation with NYT on immigration, says sometimes you need to be flexible.
It’s about time Arizona’s Sherrif Joe endorsed someone in this race.
Re that ad just now, I envision a sequel: “Miracles From Heaven 2: The Return of Mitt Romney”
OK, so about that really weird lean-in Trump made toward Cruz awhile back — it reminded me of this:
Pop quiz: Which will Trump release first?
His New York Times interview
His hand size
All the yelling from crowd is like those yahoos at a golf tournament yelling “Get in the hole” after a guy tees off.
BREAKING NEWS! Trump changes a position!
Trump just came out in favor of smart Mexican immigrants
“Quintupling” — it’s the new fiving!
Trump: “We’re only going to let smart people in through the Swiss cheese. if you’re smart enough to navigate Swiss cheese — you’re in!”
Who’s up for a new constitutional amendment? Force the lame-duck president to train his replacement!
New York Times tapes are to Trump what emails are to Hillary
You can’t hiiiiiii-iiide your lyin’ Ted. (R.I.P., Glenn Frey.)
“Doc, look out, it’s the Libyans!”
Keeping up with the heavy metal theme, re the terrorists’ families:
Trump comes out against Geneva Convention.
I’m callin’ it:
Wage jihad, sign a death warrant. ®
Kasich makes his move. Wasn’t even asked a question and gave impromptu speech.
According to Politico. Here’s how much time each candidate has had to speak:
Why is it that every major American city seems to have a “historic Fox Theater”? Are there no new ones?
Is it possible to be sympathetic to Trump. He’s asked to respond to six pieces of video?
Megyn video trap flops.
Trump: “Megyn, I have a very strong core. But I never seen a successful person who wasn’t flexible.”
Trump just ran their video speed trap.
“Not just talk but a record of achievement.” Interesting…
If they really want to appeal to voters who have worked in restaurants, hold the next debate in Hollywood.
Hey, a D-minus gets you a diploma at Trump University.
Third period of Unintelligible Yelling. Rank discrimination against Closed caption-ers.
They boo Trump saying “excuse me” to Kelly? Sheesh.
Donald’s next call to his lawyers: Settle this Trump U case!
I love how Trump pulls percentages out of thin air — he does it all the time.
Are you as tired of the “couldn’t get elected dog catcher” line as I am? Criminal penalties should be levied.
Best Line of the Night: Ted Cruz: “Donald, learn not to interrupt. Count to 10.”
Rising blood pressure makes Trump more orange.
Going on way after the bell and not caring — John Kasich is the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu of the GOP.
Kasich steps in to act like adult. Making speech about a whole different topic. What people are hungry for is “who can fix this”. He finished speech strong with :
Let’s Stop Fighting.
The fewer the number of candidates on stage, the tougher time Trump seems to have.
Tolerance and respect and common sense … oh my!
Thanks for bringing up the Supreme Court, Ted.
It is the constitutional right of every American to hunt partridges with an Uzi.
Arm the French. Now that’s American.
“Donald has a tenuous relationship with the truth.” Nice.
The moment when yoga became an issue in the 2016 race for president. The “downward dog” jokes write themselves.
That bumper-exit music sounds curiously like “You Really Got Me.”
Ted Cruz/Marco Rubio — Best Debate Cross-talk Act Ever:
Cruz to Trump who starts to interrupt him. “Try not to interrupt. Breathe. Breathe. You can do it. I know it’ shard.”
Rubio: “When they’re done with the yoga, can I answer a question?”
Cruz: “I hope we don’t see yoga on this stage.”
Rubio: “Well, he’s very flexible.”
I guess there’s no irony in playing a Mitsubishi ad during the break.
Rubio’s voice has that early-march candidate’s rasp to it. Same with Clinton.
We have discovered common ground.
Trump’s second warning to Geneva Convention: When I say [the military] will do what I tell them, they’ll do what I tell them.”
World War III — coming soon to a South China Sea theater near you.
“I’m not biting,” Kasich said to Chris Wallaces’ baiting question about some dumb joke video Wallace said was made by Kasich’s campaign. “Let me take you around the world.” Then he ticked off his foreign policy positions. Lesson for candidates: Wallace gotcha question? Just say no.
They’re making all the candidates pledge their support for Trump nomination?
Trump asked if he will support Republican nominee even if it’s not him. ” Even if it’s not ME?!” He said he would.
It’s closing comments time!
Kasich: Go back to Washington. Formulas. Fix Washington. Send you power.
Rubio: I’m all grown up again.
Cruz: You like cops. you like soldiers. You’ll like me.
Trump: I’m proud of myself and I’ll give you the chance to be proud of me.
Awkward fist bumps all around.
Post-debate Trump-fawning: “You look tired. You tired?”asks Bill O’Reilly, solicitously.
We’re tired. That’s it for the 11th GOP debate. Get some rest.