Donald Trump found himself under a withering attack during Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate in Detroit involving the Republican presidential candidates.
That is higher than the last Republican Party debate on February 25 that was aired on cable channel CNN and Telemundo and which translated into a TV audience of 14.5 million.
Mr. Cruz has galvanized grass-roots conservatives and does better in closed primaries than his rival Mr. Trump, who is winning in open contests – partly by getting more independent and Democratic votes.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who has been a vocal critic of Trump, was asked if he thinks Trump is expanding the Republican Party based on the record turnout among GOP voters so far in the primary. “Look at those hands”. Trump asked. “We could get along with foreign countries instead of spending trillions and trillions of dollars”.
Cruz jabs Trump: “I think the American people understand that yelling and cursing at people doesn’t make you a tough guy”. “I guarantee you, there’s no problem”, Trump said, getting a loud, sustained response from the crowd and setting a odd tone for the start of the debate.
At the debate, Trump, 69, was questioned for the first time since previous year by Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, who angered him with her questioning at the Republicans’ first debate on August 6, prompting him to cancel participation in a debate in Iowa in January, a move that appeared to cost him some votes.
He hit my hands. “Are those small hands?” Mr Rubio derided Mr Trump as untrustworthy and uncivil, while Mr Cruz bashed him for donating money to Mrs Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and to other Democrats. “But time and time again in this campaign, you have actually told the voters one thing only to reverse yourself within weeks or even sometimes days”.
They are the last two anti-Trump candidates standing in what has been a bruising nomination battle.
“You have to do it right”, Kasich said.
Trump said it was simply business.
“I’m not running for president and I won’t run for president”, he said.
Rubio interjects: “When they’re done with the yoga, can I answer a question?“. “I could have said, ‘Mitt, drop to your knees.’ He would have dropped to his knees”.
Offered Cruz, “Yes, because I gave my word that I would”.
For their part, the other presidential candidates do not sell explicitly anti-Trump gear in their campaign stores.
When Mr Trump interrupted him as he defended a newspaper opinion article he wrote supporting Mr Roberts, Mr Cruz tried to stop him with calming noises, saying: “Breathe, breathe, breathe”.