Well, here we are again, somehow. Another big wrestling match, hopefully literally, between the surviving candidates. This time it's Trump, Rubio, Cruz, and the other guy. Ben Carson won't be participating because he had hockey practice or whatever.
6:01 The candidates are now being introduced. The cheer for Marco Rubio is higher-pitched than the others, so make of that what you will.
6:02 One of the male moderators looks like an inflatable sex toy wearing a suit.
6:03 First question is to Trump, and basically a request for Trump to say something funny about Mitt Romney. "Failed candidate," says Trump. Eh, he's come up with better laugh lines.
6:04 The inflatable moderator is asking Marco Rubio why he's been so cruel to Donald Trump. Rubio says that Trump has been mean too, and the audience applauds. I'm not sure if they're applauding because they're glad he pointed it out, or applauding because they like that he's been so mean.
6:07 Donald Trump has insinuated that he has a big dick and we're not even 10 minutes into this debate. What fun.
ppl say "why do you watch the GOP debates" and i'm like "Trump just said he had a big dick on stage in response to Rubio's accusation"
— GOOD Garbage (@J_Rosenfield) March 4, 2016
6:07 Trump says that nobody's ever criticized the size of his hands before, which a strange lie since apparently for years he's been sending letters to journalists about how big his hands are.
It is SO WEIRD that Trump is lying about having never heard the "small hands" thing before
— Tom Tomorrow (@tomtomorrow) March 4, 2016
6:11 "I beat Hillary Clinton in many polls," said Trump. Meanwhile Twitter is still freaking out about the penis thing.
John Kasich has been standing there with his penis out for 9 minutes now and no one is paying attention
— John Hodgman (@hodgman) March 4, 2016
6:14 Are you following TwinksForTrump? It may be the best thing to come out of this race.
6:15 Kasich is talking right now, so here's a Trump clip for you to watch and shudder at.
6:17 Rubio hits Trump over how his products are made overseas. "This little guy has lied so much about my record," says Trump to massive boos from the crowd. "WIll you promise ... to move your clothing collection?" asks the moderator. "They devalue their currencies and they make it impossible for clothing makers to do clothing in this country," says Trump. Gee, I dunno, Bernie seems to have figured out how to do it.
6:21 Marco Rubio is doing a fantastic job, in tandem with Chris Wallace, of making Donald Trump angry. It looks really ugly — but ugly to sensible people is maybe not ugly to other people. Maybe voters will like him even more for getting beet red and shouting "Little Marco! Little Marco!"
okay but seriously
“Little Marco” is a dope ass DJ name
— Griffin McElroy (@griffinmcelroy) March 4, 2016
6:22 Oh shit it's a fucking ambush! Fox News prepared slides to prove that Trump's budget numbers don't add up! "Put up full screen number 2," says Chris Wallace, and another slide appears to debunk Trump's claim.
6:24 Trump is falling apart under the moderator's questions and it's kind of amazing. Kasich pipes up: "Can I ..." and Chris Wallace cuts him off. "I'll get to you in a minute."
6:30 There seems to be yet another anomaly emerging from Ted Cruz's face.
What is stuck to Ted Cruz's lips?
— Asher Langton (@AsherLangton) March 4, 2016
Did a little white thing just fall onto Cruz's lip, then into his mouth? Am I seeing things?
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) March 4, 2016
6:31 Cruz asks Trump why he wrote a check to Hillary's campaign in 2008. "I support politicians. ... Because of the fact that I'm in business. I also supported Ronald Reagan. ... The last person that Hillary Clinton wants to face is Donald Trump."
6:32 "You're looking well," Trump tells Megyn Kelly. She asks him a question that cites BuzzFeed, so hey nice work Dominic.
6:35 This is the most vocal audience I've ever heard at a debate. It sounds like a petting zoo in that theater.
6:37 Trump won't release tapes of an "off the record" interview he did with the NY Times because "I have too much respect for that process." This is, of course, bullshit. There's nothing disrespectful about telling a journalist, "you can go ahead and release that thing I said to you if anyone asks."
6:41 Megyn Kelly asks Trump why he's contradicted himself on various issues. "I'm changing," he simply says, which is how he'll get away with doing the same thing over and over and over.
6:42 Please do not watch this video while eating.
6:43 Ted Cruz is going after Trump for hiring foreign workers. "Donald Trump told the New York Times 'what I'm telling the American people I don't believe.' ... If he didn't say that he has a simple solution, just release the tape."
6:44 Trump says he didn't hire Americans for his club because Americans don't want temporary jobs. "When we can we hire people from Palm Beach ... we want to hire as many Americans as we can." But Rubio: "there were 300 Americans who applied last year and they weren't hired." Marco explains Trump's visa scheme, which is basically holding workers hostage. "The other hotels during the season they do the same thing," says Trump. "Short term employees, we have no choice but to do that." Cruz goes after him again for not releasing the tapes, and he's using some excellent slippery rhetoric to make Trump look like he's guilty of something. It's a pleasure to see Republicans turning their dirty tricks on each other.
6:47 What a pleasure it is to live in a post-racial world:
6:51 Trump says he'd go further than waterboarding "Because frankly that's the way I feel." "Can you imagine these animals who cut off heads, sitting around in the Middle East..." Regarding the targeting of terrorists' families: "when a man flies into a the World Trade Center and his family... goes back to a certain territory... they knew what was happening ... I have no problem with it."
Trump's claim that the 9/11 hijackers' wives flew to Saudi Arabia is a good time to remind you that the 9/11 hijackers were unmarried.
— Esquire Magazine (@esquire) March 4, 2016
7:00 Megyn Kelly: "one of the things people love about you is they think you tell it like it is." But then she tosses to a montage of Trump contradicting himself/lying. His response is to contradict himself and lie more, so I guess there's your answer. "You have to be flexible," he says. Flexible isn't the same as two-faced.
7:07 Marco Rubio's going after him on Trump University, which is smart because it's something people can understand, unlike the previous topic of Libya or whatever. Rubio's point is that the business has a D rating from the Better Business Bureau; Trump says it has an A. Megyn Kelly jumps in to point out a few facts — oh, wow, facts! — that show Trump's a huge liar here, and she seems to be having THE TIME OF HER FUCKING LIFE.
7:13 Somehow the winner of this debate is Megyn Kelly. If John Kasich plays his cards right maybe she'll appoint him Postmaster General.
7:14 Donald Trump excuses his Trump University case as just "a minor fraud trial." I dunno, I feel like even if I was a teeny tiny bit on trial for fraud I'd be kind of stressed out about it.
7:17 Kasich just made everyone shut up by telling a story about a kid who committed suicide. I dare you to interrupt that, Trump.
7:23 "Without getting into the political blame game," says the inflatable moderator. HAHAHA right I'm sure they'll all resist that impulse.
7:25 I'm glad I only discovered this meme after it died.
7:26 This is a sound analysis:
7:27 Ted Cruz says that Flint is decimated by failed left-wing policies. Oh man, if only someone would make a documentary about what happened to that city and confronting the people responsible.
7:30 Oh, we're still asking the question about gay wedding cakes, ughhhhh. "Do gay marriage dissenters have rights?" asks the inflatable moderator. Kasich: "I'm in favor of traditional marriage between a man and a woman. ... If you go to a photographer and they say they don't want to photograph your wedding, find another photographer, don't go to court." Yeah! If you go to a restaurant and they say they don't serve your kind there, find another restaurant.
Kasich says that victimized minorities need to get some common sense and stop suing people.
— Splitcoil (@Splitcoil) March 4, 2016
7:33 Cruz: "When it comes to the Constitution and Bill of Rights, I will never compromise your religious liberty." Sure, but Due Process and Equal Protection can go fuck themselves.
7:33 Rubio has some intense vocal fry tonight. Can't decide if he sounds more like he's doing a Kathleen Turner impression or guest-hosting This American Life.
7:39 "Donald has a tenuous relationship with the truth," says Cruz, and Trump immediately tries to interrupt. Cruz openly mocks him. "I know it's hard not to interrupt but breathe, breathe, breathe," he says. "When they're done with yoga, can I get a word in?" says Marco. "I hope there's no yoga," says Cruz. "Maybe Donald can try, since he's so flexible," says Marco, winning that round.
Rubio’s a regular Jack Paar up here
— John Anthony (@chocobohomo) March 4, 2016
Fucking inconvenient crush on Marco
— Jason Powell (@jasonpowell98) March 4, 2016
7:43 I like Bernie, but he didn't tweet this.
7:47 Brutal. By the end of this debate there'll be nothing on stage but a few scraps of suit fabric, three puddles of grease, and John Kasich.
7:50 One of the candidates finally talked about space and science but it was in the context of using it to kill people.
7:56 Cruz says Trump is better than a socialist and a person under investigation by the FBI. Cruz says he'll support Trump if he's the nominee because he promised he would.
7:57 Kasich says he'll probably be the nominee, thanks to the support of the monkeys about to fly out of his butt.
7:59 The only reason this audience isn't like a Springer show is because the chairs are bolted to the floor.
8:00 Cruz: "I want to talk to every soldier and sailor and marine." Yeah, you and Blanche Devereaux.
8:01 Aaaand we're done. A furry friend just retweeted this and it made me cry.