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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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5 takeaways from the GOP debate

Photo by File
Rubio, Trump, Cruz and Kasich during the CNN Houston debate.

With Ben Carson expected to formally announce a withdrawal from the race soon, the remaining four GOP candidates took the stage Thursday night. Battalion assistant news editor Tyler Allen gives five takeaways from the debate in Detroit. 
1. The GOP roast
The race for the GOP nomination has been no stranger to high tensions and personal jabs — Thursday night’s debate made that abundantly clear. The night began with a vicious sparring match between Donald Trump and Marco Rubio regarding various insults they’ve thrown at each other in the past few weeks. Trump took to calling Rubio “Little Marco,” Ted Cruz suggested Trump “count to 10” and “relax” and Rubio said the two sounded like they were doing yoga. Talk about a hostile environment.
2. Trump was still shaky
After a massive Super Tuesday win in which he took home victories in seven states, Trump would’ve had a reason to be confident if he actually needed one. The front-runner had to confront some of his own inconsistencies during the debate, namely his stance on troops in Afghanistan and his alleged support of Vladimir Putin. He didn’t waiver though. He continued to make a case for his policies, even those that have been heavily criticized such as immigration reform and military interrogation tactics. All in all, Trump powered through the attacks and came out still looking like the front-runner.
3. Kasich gets some screentime
Currently in last place out of the remaining Republicans, there was no reason to believe the Ohio governor would get anything but a miniscule fraction of the debate’s screentime. John Kasich was surprisingly involved, however. He repeatedly referenced to his time working with the Reagan administration and talked as much policy as any of the other three. Kasich called himself, “the little engine that could” and rightfully so, because he’s still got a long and narrow path to victory.
4. Candidates promise to unite
The last thing the moderators asked before closing statements was whether or not each candidate would honor what they said last year and support the Republican nominee, regardless of who it is. Kasich, Rubio and Cruz all agreed to honor the promise even if Trump wins the nomination, though Cruz said the only reason he would is because he gave his word. In turn Trump, while dismissive of the fact that the nominee would be anyone but himself, agreed he would support the other candidates should they be the nominee.
5. Uniting against an enemy — Trump
Mitt Romney recently coming forward and calling Trump a “phony” and a “fraud” only reinforced what we all already knew: the vast majority of the establishment GOP does not want Trump as the party nominee. Consequently the three non-Trumps on stage put aside their differences for the most part. Rubio attacked him for his inconsistencies on immigration, Cruz made him admit to supporting Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign and Kasich questioned his aptitude in maintaining foreign policy against countries like Russia, just to name a few attacks on Trump.

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