1. Jeb Bush Accuses Donald Trump of Being “Very Weak” on Immigration: Early on in the debate, Jeb Bush slammed Donald Trump for his stance on immigration, saying his plan was “very weak.” Trump fired back, accusing Bush of having no energy and attempting to exploit his friendship with Mexican President Vicente Fox.
2. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio Spar on Immigration: Ted Cruz attempted to corner Marco Rubio on their stances on immigration, questioning his willingness to accept a path to citizenship and accusing him of working on his own bill. Cruz went as far as calling Rubio’s stance “not true conservatism.”
3. Donald Trump and Jeb Bush Clash on LGBT Issues: One of the most contentious moments of the debate came when Trump and Bush butted heads over LGBT issues. Trump accused Bush of being in favor of allowing transgender individuals to use whatever bathroom they like. Bush fought back, arguing that the bias in the media was preventing people from hearing true conservative values.
4. Name-Calling and Personal Jabs: Name-calling was rampant throughout the debate. Trump accused both Cruz and Bush of being liars; Cruz jokingly referred to Trump’s immigration plan as “silly”; and Bush jabbed at Trump’s controversial rhetoric, saying “he’s not a serious candidate.”
5. Chris Christie’s Eloquent Defense of Gun Rights: One of the more positive moments of the debate came when Christie defended gun rights in an eloquent and passionate manner. He argued that allowing citizens to own guns was essential to protecting the rights and freedoms of all Americans, while calling assault weapons a “nightmare.”