How about that Marco Rubio tearing into GOP frontrunner Donald Trump at CNN’s GOP debate last night! Sure, it’s likely because polling is showing he’s losing to Trump his own states with Super Tuesday just around the corner. And yes, it’s probably two months too late – and Ted Cruz got in his share of whacks, though much less effectively. Thankfully, moderator Wolf Blitzer quickly lost control of the evening, allowing it to descend into drivers-screaming-at-each-other-after-a-fender-bender territory, reminding viewers of how much live TV has to offer:
Here are the night’s highlights:
1. Palestinians are not a real estate deal.
Rubio engaged Trump, starting early with a question about immigration. “You’re the only person on this stage that’s ever been fined for hiring people to work on your project illegally,” Rubio scolded. Trump noted Rubio probably never had hired anyone, thinking that would shut him up.
In another exchange, Trump took on the air of a stuffed cantaloupe-hued parrot being chattered at madly from both sides by less prismatic birds:
Trump described Rubio as “a guy who buys a house for $179,000 and sells to it a lobbyist, who’s probably here, for $380,000 and then legislation is passed,” Rubio shot back, in re Trump: “If he hadn’t inherited $200 million, you know where Donald Trump would be right now? Selling watches in Manhattan.”
But when Trump let loose with his “I’m a negotiator gag” again last night, Rubio really let him have it.
2. Donald Trump praises Planned Parenthood
While vowing to defund Planned Parenthood because, like the other GOP candidates, “I’m totally against abortion having to do with Planned Parenthood,” Trump noted, “but millions and millions of women, cervical cancer, breast cancer, are helped by Planned Parenthood,” Trump said. “So you can say whatever you want, but they have millions of women going through Planned Parenthood, that are helped greatly.”
And, because it was Donald Trump talking, some GOP-ers in the hall applauded – for Planned Parenthood.
3. Ben Carson: Wordsmith.
Ben Carson may have gotten the least speaking time of the debate’s candidates. But those few moments had were very memorable. At one point, with Trump calling Rubio a “choke artist” and Cruz a “liar” and pandemonium erupting while Wolf Blitzer chirped in the background in an effort to restore order, a so-far sadly neglected Carson jumped in:
“Can somebody attack me, please?” Carson asked, bringing down the house:
Later, when talk turned to North Korea, Carson whined he’d been completely left out of the discussion about taxes – a subject on which he had something to say.
Told to go ahead and “this is your moment,” Carson began:
“I never had an audit, until I spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast.”
What may have been Carson’s crowning achievement of the night came when asked what he would look for in a Supreme Court justice to fill the seat of the late Antonin Scalia:
Within the hour, Carson’s fruit salad had gone viral.