Republican Presidential Candidates Hold Heated Debate In Houston

Mere days ahead of Super Tuesday — March 1st, when several states hold primary elections — Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, and Ben Carson exchanged rhetorical blows at the CNN debate in Houston.

The immigration issue sparked tension from the get-go with Rubio’s accusations that Trump hired illegal immigrants to work at his properties. "You're the only person on this stage that's ever been fined for hiring people to work on your project illegally," Rubio said. Meanwhile, Ted Cruz called out Trump for donating money to Democratic candidates in the past.

While the three frontrunners continually attacked each other, the two trailing candidates tried to present relatively moderate stances on the issues. Kasich offered a more lenient perspective on illegal immigration, favoring a “guest worker” program for Mexican migrants with the opportunity to become legal residents. He also suggested that “religious liberties” should not interfere with commerce: “If you don’t agree with their lifestyle, say a prayer for them later,” he offered.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson spoke for the least amount of time during the two-hour debate. At one point, he seemed to feel left out. “Can somebody attack me, please?” he said. Since this is the first debate since Jeb Bush dropped out of the race, Carson may have just coined the new “Please clap.”
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