SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (WATE) – Donald Trump, the current front-runner in polls, was the center of attention, yet again, at the Republican presidential debate on CNN. However, several candidates gained momentum by attacking him.
Trump came right out of the gate with comments against Senator Rand Paul, saying he should not even be at the debate because he only had a one percent approval rate in the polls.
“Do we really want someone with that kind of character? With that kind of careless language?” said Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. “There’s a sophomoric quality that is entertaining about Mr. Trump, about his visceral response to attack people on their appearance, short, tall, fat ugly.”
“I never attacked him on his looks, and believe me, there’s plenty of subject matter right there,” Trump responded.
Other candidates jumped in to bash Trump. “We don’t need an apprentice in the White House, we have one right now,” said Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
Senator Paul wasn’t the only conversation on looks. Businesswoman Carly Fiorina also got a question about what Trump said about her face. Trump winced as the question was asked.
In a recent Rolling Stone article, Trump said that voters would not elect Fiorina because of her face.
When the anchor throws to Carly Fiorina for her reaction to Trump’s momentum, Trump’s expression sours in schoolboy disgust as the camera bores in on Fiorina. “Look at that face!” he cries. “Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!”
“I think women all over the country heard what Mr. Trump said,” answered Fiorina. Trump said that Fiorina had a beautiful face and was a beautiful woman, but Fiorina did not seem convinced.
On the debate stage Jeb Bush demanded that Trump apologize to his wife, Columba. In July Trump told CNN “If my wife were from Mexico, I think I would have a soft spot for people from Mexico,” suggesting that Bush was too soft on immigration because of his marriage.
Columba Bush is an American citizen that was born in Mexico. “To (inject) my wife into the middle of a political conversation was completely inappropriate and I hope you apologize for that,” said Bush.
Noting that he had no met Columba Bush, Trump said he hears “phenomenal things,” but said he would not apologize.
Trump went on to defend his stance that candidates should speak English on the campaign trail. Earlier this month Trump criticized Bush for responding to Spanish-speaking reporters in Spanish.
“I’m not the first one to say this… we’ve had many people over the years for many, many years saying this is a country where we speak English, not Spanish,” said Trump.
Bush defended his choice, joking that he had been speaking English throughout the entire debate. “The fact is, that if a high school kid asks me a question in Spanish,” said Bush. “I’m going to show respect and answer the question in Spanish.”
Trump and Bush also got in a heated debate over campaign donations. Trump said he didn’t have any special interests because he is not taking donations.
“The one guy that had some special interests that I know of that tried to get me to change my views on something — that was generous and gave me money — was Donald Trump. He wanted casino gambling in Florida,” said Bush.
Trump objected, saying the accusations were totally false. Bush said he would not be bought by anybody.
“I promise if I wanted it, I would have gotten it,” said Trump.
A fact check by the Associated Press shows that Trump did hold a fundraiser for Bush’s campaign around the time he also hired a lobbyist to represent his gambling interest in Florida. He even donated $50,000. However, it is not clear if Trump approached Bush directly on the casino matter.More:FACT CHECK: Who’s right in Trump-Bush clash?
Trump did share a tender moment with Ben Carson over opposing the Iraq War. Twitter exploded with what they are calling a “high-five/handshake.”