Cruz a 'Basket Case,' Other Lines From Fiery Debate

Rubio and Cruz finally came to life, took on Trump
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2016 10:50 PM CST
Updated Feb 26, 2016 12:15 AM CST
Cruz a 'Basket Case,' Other Heated Lines From Debate
From left, Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Republican presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump, and Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, at the University of Houston on Thursday.   (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The zingers came fast and furious in Thursday night's heated GOP debate, with most of them flying back and forth between Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz. Some notable quotes, via CNN, the New York Times, Mediaite, and the Washington Post:

  • Trump: "You look at our borders, they're like Swiss cheese—everybody pours in." In his opening statement.
  • Cruz: "In 2013, when I was [fighting] against the 'Gang of Eight' amnesty bill, where was Donald? He was firing Dennis Rodman on Celebrity Apprentice."
  • Trump: "The wall just got 10 feet taller. ... This guy used a filthy, disgusting word on television, and he should be ashamed of himself." On ex-Mexico President Vicente Fox's statement that he's "not going to pay for that f---ing wall" along the southern US border.
  • Rubio: "If he builds the wall the way he built Trump Towers, he'll be using illegal immigrant labor to do it," plus added digs on Trump's "fake university."
  • John Kasich: "If you're in the business of commerce, conduct commerce. And if you don't agree with their lifestyle, say a prayer for them when they leave and hope they change their behavior." On religious liberty.
  • Cruz: "Let me tell you right now, Donald, I will not apologize for a minute for defending the Constitution. I will not apologize for defending the Bill of Rights." After Trump asked him to apologize for criticizing Trump's sister, a judge, for signing a bill.

  • Trump: "I don't believe anything Telemundo says." While being questioned by Telemundo news anchor Maria Celeste Arraras.
  • Kasich: "It's easier to interpret the Dead Sea scrolls than to understand your hospital bill." On more transparency in health care.
  • Trump: "At least they killed terrorists." Saying we'd better off if Gadhafi and Saddam Hussein were still leading Libya and Iraq.
  • Rubio: "I see him repeat himself every night, he says five things. Everyone's dumb, he's gonna make America great again ... we're going to win, win win, he's winning in the polls ... and the lines around the state."
  • Trump: "Very few people listen to your radio show." To moderator Hugh Hewitt when asked about releasing his tax returns.Other insults Trump threw out: "choke artist" (to Rubio) and "liar," "basket case," and "crazy zealot" regarding Cruz.
  • Cruz: "Falsely accusing someone of lying is itself a lie, and it's something Donald does daily."
  • Rubio: "If he hadn't inherited $200 million, you know where Donald Trump would be right now? Selling watches in Manhattan."
  • Ben Carson: Besides his now-infamous "fruit salad" comment and mentioning a movie had been made about his hands, the relatively quiet Ben Carson had one of the most-applauded questions of the night in an attempt to get some speaking time: "Can somebody attack me, please?"
(More GOP debate stories.)

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