Littwin: Marco Rubio won the GOP debate. Will it matter?

Mike Littwin
Fair and Unbalanced

Now that we’ve seen the barely controlled chaos that was Thursday’s Republican debate — a CNN closed-captioner aptly pegged one exchange as “unintelligible yelling” — we can probably agree this may have been the most important moment in the GOP primary race to date.

Marco Rubio, with a tag-team assist from Ted Cruz, came out swinging at the Donald, mocking him, challenging his character, questioning his conservative bona fides, calling out Trump University for the fraud that it was, getting deeply under the Donald’s skin by repeatedly forcing Trump to try to expand on his often thin policy proposals.

Rubio emptied the oppo research folder on illegal immigration, going back to the early ’80s to hit Trump for underpaying undocumented Polish workers who were helping to build the Trump Tower. That led to this exchange, which more or less set the tone for the night.

“You’re the only person on this stage that has ever been fined for hiring people to work on your projects illegally,” Rubio said.

“I’m the only one on the stage that’s hired people,” Trump replied. “You haven’t hired anybody.”

And so it went. Cruz mocked Trump for giving money to Democrats, for praising Hillary Clinton and for firing Dennis Rodman.

Trump called Cruz a friendless liar. Who could argue?

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