U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said the wall he would build with Mexico if elected president “just got 10 feet taller” as he responded to a question during a CNN Republican debate Thursday regarding former Mexican President Vicente Fox saying “I’m not going to pay for that fucking wall!”
In response to a question about immigration and deporting the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., Trump said: “We either have a country or we don’t have a country.” He said only the “good ones” of those immigrants would be allowed back in if he is president.
Meanwhile, Ted Cruz went after Trump on immigration. He said it is funny that Trump pretends he invented the immigration issue. “Where was Donald? He was firing Dennis Rodman on Celebrity Apprentice.”
But Trump did not let that slide. “I get along with everybody. You get along with none of them ... you don’t have one Republican senator backing you, and you work with these people ... you should be ashamed of yourself.”
Trump also said that Cruz was a lobbyist and corporate politician who took big loans from Goldman Sachs.
On the Latino vote, Trump remained firm on his argument that he won the Hispanic votes in Nevada, which was debunked by several polls including one from Telemundo. Telemundo’ María Celeste Arrarás told Trump in a question during the debate that a “brand new Telemundo poll says that 3 of 4 Hispanics nationwide have a negative opinion of you.”
To which he responded: “First of all, I don’t believe a thing Telemundo says.” He further deflected the question by saying that “currently employ thousands of Hispanics, and over the years I have employed tens of thousands of Hispanics. They’re incredible people.”
Meanwhile on Planned Parenthood, Ted Cruz said he would end the program and defund it and went as far as threatening to investigate them over “criminal violations.”
However, front-runner candidate Trump has a different idea about Planned Parenthood. “Millions of millions of women, cervical cancer, breast cancer, are helped by Planned Parenthood... I would defund it because I’m pro-life. But millions of women are helped by Planned Parenthood.”
Since the start of the debate, Cruz and Rubio accused Trump of not being a true conservative over previous support for Democratic politicians and institutions.
But Trump evoked former President Roland Reagan to point to how he evolved from being a “liberal and democrat” to being a champion of the Republican party.
Cruz and Rubio went after Trump over his healthcare plan. It seems he does not have one. “You may not be aware of this Donald, because you don’t follow this stuff very closely, but here’s what happened,” Rubio says.
He says Obamacare included a bailout for insurance companies who couldn’t sustain the initial costs of the new law. “What is your plan?” Rubio challenges Trump. Erase the lines?”
Trump accuses Rubio of not knowing about state markets: “The biggest problem he’s got is he really doesn’t know about the lines. I watched him melt down two weeks ago with Chris Christie.”
On foreign policy, the first question was on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Trump was asked about his comments that he would stay neutral on the conflict. “As president there is nothing that I would rather do than to bring peace to Israel and it’s neighbors generally,” Trump says. “It doesn’t help if I start saying – I am very pro-Israel.. but it doesn’t do anything to start demeaning the neighbors.”
Meanwhile, Cruz hit back against Trump. “This is another area in which Donald agrees with Hillary Clinton... If I’m president, America will stand unapologetically with the nation of Israel... it is not equivalent.”
Rubio meanwhile upped the stakes and presented Israel as the most democratic state in the world and the Palestinians as monsters who are out there to kill Jewish people. “You cannot be an honest broker when one side is acting in bad faith,” Rubio said and added that Palestinians: "teach their 4-year-old children to kill Jews."
On Syria, Trump is asked about a prospective ceasefire there, he said: “it’s a meaningless cease-fire.” But Cruz said hopeful but skeptical and added that Russia has strengthened its position because the President Barack Obama administration.
Both Cruz and Rubio said that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was a horrible and failed diplomat. Trump said Kerry oversaw the “worst deal in history” referring to the Iran nuclear deal.
Trump was also accused of supporting Libya’s longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi, which the billionaire denies. Cruz told Trump “If you care about Israel, you don’t write checks to politicians that are undermining Israel.”
More to follow ....