Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz relentlessly attacked Donald Trump last night in a wild and raucous insult-fest, trying to take down the front-running reality TV star in the last debate before Super Tuesday.
“If he builds the wall the way he built Trump Tower, he’ll be using illegal immigrant labor to do it,” said Rubio, who blasted Trump for running a “fake university” and declaring “four bankruptcies.” Rubio suggested Trump would be “selling watches” if he hadn’t “inherited $200 million.”
“Such a cute sound bite,” said Trump.
“It’s not a sound bite, it’s a fact,” Rubio said. “Go online and Google it. ‘Donald Trump,’ ‘Polish workers’ — you’ll see it.”
Rubio: You're the only one who's hired people illegally. Trump: I'm the only one who's hired people!
— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) February 26, 2016
Cruz, meanwhile, asserted he was the one fighting immigration reform in 2013.
“Where was Donald?” Cruz said. “He was firing Dennis Rodman on Celebrity Apprentice.”
“I get along with everybody. You get along with nobody,” Trump told Cruz. “You don’t have one Republican senator backing you. Not one. And you work with them every day of your life. … You should be ashamed of yourself.”
Trump to Cruz: "You don't have he backing of *one* Republican senator." That's a feature, not a bug.
— Mark Krikorian (@MarkSKrikorian) February 26, 2016
The candidates repeatedly interrupted and shouted over each other unintelligibly as CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer tried — often helplessly — to maintain order.
“Could somebody attack me please?” pleaded neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who was largely ignored by the panelists.
Cruz tried to make the case that Trump would lose to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in a general election. Cruz cited Trump’s donations to the Clinton Foundation, inviting the Clintons to his wedding, and polls that show he’s trailing Clinton in a head-to-head matchup.
“He can’t prosecute the case against Hillary and we can’t risk another four years of these failed Obama policies by nominating someone who loses to Hillary Clinton,” said Cruz.
“I’m beating him awfully badly in the polls,” Trump said of Cruz.
“But you’re not beating Hillary,” said Cruz.
“Hey, if I can’t beat her, you’re really going to get killed, aren’t you?” said Trump.
Trump also delved into his bag of insults several times during the debate, calling Rubio “a choke artist” and Cruz a “liar” and a “basket case.”
He also sought to dismiss both Rubio and Cruz as nothing more than political suits with no business experience.
“I’m the only one on the stage who has hired people,” Trump said. “You (Rubio) haven’t hired anybody.”
As Rubio continued, Trump tried to cut him off — “Wrong. Wrong. Totally wrong.”
Trump again pledged to build a wall along the Mexican border, paid for by Mexico at cost of between $10 billion and $12 billion.
“If these guys do it,” Trump said, signaling to Cruz and Rubio, “it will end up costing $200 billion.”
Rubio also tried to go on the attack after Trump said he won’t mind engaging in a trade war with Mexico and China because of a huge trade imbalance.
“I don’t understand, because your ties and the clothes you make is made in Mexico and in China,” Rubio said. “So you’re gonna be starting a trade war against your own ties and your own suits. Why don’t you make them in America?”
Trump is seen as having momentum heading into Super Tuesday after racking up three double-digit wins in a row in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.
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