CLEVELAND, Ohio: Republican White House hopefuls took to the stage Thursday for a packed debate that touched on fiercely divisive issues, including abortion, immigration, gay rights and national security.
The night saw a few heated exchanges, some emotional moments, a couple of laughs — and plenty of antics from the ever-explosive Donald Trump.
Here are a few highlights, lowlights and unforgettable quotes from the night.
Low blow for Rosie
When asked about calling some women fat pigs, dogs, slobs or disgusting animals, Donald Trump was quick to answer, delivering a low blow to a longtime and very vocal rival.
“Only Rosie O’Donnell,” he said of the actress and talk show host, to an aghast crowd.
Candidates were eager to express their pro-life stance in the wake of a scandal involving a secret recording of Planned Parenthood staffers discussing abortion techniques and the sale of aborted embryos.
Governor Mike Huckabee didn’t dance around the topic.
“It’s time that we recognize the Supreme Court is not the supreme being and we change the policy to be pro-life and protect children instead of rip up their body parts and sell them like they’re parts to a Buick,” he said.
Senator Rand Paul, however, rejected the recent decision by the Supreme Court to legalize same-sex unions, and threw in a case for his right to bear arms too.
“Look, I don’t want my marriage or my guns registered in Washington,” he stated.
No one was afraid to dish it out to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Ben Carson: “She is the epitome of the progressive, the secular progressive movement. And she counts on the fact that people are uninformed.”
Mike Huckabee: “It seems like this election has been a whole lot about a person who is very high in the polls, but doesn’t have a clue about how to govern. And of course, I’m talking about Hillary Clinton.”
…And more Hillary
Trump boasted that Hillary Clinton attended his wedding, ostensibly as payback for a donation he made to the Clinton family foundation, but he made it clear he regrets the philanthropy.
“I didn’t know her money would be used on private jets going all over the world. It was,” he said.
Christie vs Paul
Governor Chris Christie and Senator Rand Paul exchanged heated words about the National Security Agency’s post-September 11 data collection program, with Paul accusing his rival of cozying up to Obama instead of criticizing the spying scheme.
“You fundamentally misunderstood the bill of rights. I’m talking about searches without warrants… that’s what I fought to end. I don’t trust President Obama with our records.”