By Ben Kamisar
Trump opens fire on Paul, Cruz, Clinton, Sanders
Republican presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: 'I never did business with Cuba' USA Today in scathing editorial: Trump is 'unfit for the presidency' Obama administration officials ramp up push for Pacific pact MORE took a swing at rival Rand PaulRand PaulLawmaker seeks to investigate Obama's foreign tax compliance law Funding bill rejected as shutdown nears GOP senators hit FBI on early probe of NY bombing suspect MORE during a rally in South Carolina just one day before he plans to skip a debate.
"We have guys like Rand Paul — he's a United States senator and he can't even get on the stage," Trump said during the Wednesday night rally, mocking the Kentucky senator's struggles to make recent GOP main-stage debates.
"He goes, 'I should be on the stage,’ ” he bellowed with a condescending tone.
Paul barely squeaked onto the Thursday night debate stage after polling high enough in Iowa to qualify for the Fox News main event. Trump will skip that event after a spat with the network.
The billionaire businessman went on to chide fellow GOP candidate Ted CruzTed CruzFour states sue to stop internet transition House approves stopgap funding, averting costly shutdown Overnight Tech: TV box plan faces crucial vote | Trump transition team to meet tech groups | Growing scrutiny of Yahoo security MORE for being born in Canada, as well as for the recent revelations that he failed to disclose loans taken out around his Senate campaign. He also attacked Cruz's personality.
"Ted is a good debater, but he's not a good speaker," Trump said.
"When you talk to him, it's like you are in a debate. 'Hello, Donald, how are you?' " he added in a stodgy imitation of Cruz.
Trump also didn't spare his Democratic presidential rivals, Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump: 'I never did business with Cuba' Clinton’s sixth nerve palsy: What difference does it make? USA Today in scathing editorial: Trump is 'unfit for the presidency' MORE and Bernie SandersBernie SandersAnti-trade senators say chamber would be crazy to pass TPP Vulnerable NH Republican ties reelection bid to Trump Overnight Finance: Congress poised to avoid shutdown | Yellen defends Fed from Trump | Why Obama needs PhRMA on trade MORE.
"Hillary's not gonna be hard to beat. I assume it's Hillary, I don't know, is she going to be in the clinker?" he asked, in reference to the investigation into her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of State.
"Bernie, oh my God, it's like a dream, a dream! Maybe it's going to be [Vice President Joe] Biden. They are talking about Biden coming back. Who cares?"