The CNN Republican debate took an abrupt turn off the rails, with real-estate mogul Donald Trump launching a late-debate assault against former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and the network that hosted the affair.
The derailment began when a CNN moderator asked Bush why he felt Trump wasn’t qualified to be commander-in-chief.
Bush responded by pointing to Trump once quipping that he gets foreign-policy information from “the shows.” The former governor suggested that Trump was actually watching cartoons.
“I won’t get my information from ‘the shows.’ I don’t know if that’s Saturday morning or Sunday morning. I don’t know which one,” he quipped.
Trump responded by turning the tables on the network.
“I think it’s very sad that CNN leads Jeb Bush, Gov. Bush, down a road by starting off virtually all of the questions: ‘Mr. Trump this. Mr. Trump [that].’ I think it’s very sad. I think it’s very sad,” Trump said.
The business mogul then pounded CNN being “very unprofessional” by focusing so much of the so-called undercard debate on his policies, especially his provocative call to temporarily bar Muslims from entering the US.
“And frankly, I watched the first debate and the first long number of questions were, ‘Mr. Trump said this. Mr. Trump said that. Mr. Trump.’ These poor guys,” Trump continued. “I thought it was very unfair that virtually the entire early portion of the [first] debate was ‘Trump this. Trump that.'”
Bush then jumped back into the conversation and he and Trump talked over one another. Bush lectured Trump, saying the world stage is significantly harder than the debate stage.
“Look, the simple fact is if you think this is tough and you’re not being treated fairly, imagine what it’s going to be like dealing with Putin or dealing with President Xi or dealing with the Islamic terrorism that exists,” he said, referring to the presidents of Russia and China. “This is a tough business, to run for president.”
Trump then delivered a laugh line.
“Oh yeah. Oh yeah, you’re a tough guy, Jeb,” Trump shot back. “Real tough.”
Trump then touted his poll numbers and his poll-driven position at the center of the stage.
“I’m at 42% and you’re at 3%. So, so far, I’m doing better,” Trump said as some audience members booed. “You know you started off over here [at the center podium,] Jeb. You’re moving over further and further. Pretty soon you’re going to be off the end.”
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