Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPanetta: Dems should give Mattis waiver to head Defense How the president-elect will 'Trump-start' the economy Dems introduce ‘Buy America’ amendment to water bill MORE made everyone on the GOP presidential debate stage look dovish on CIA interrogation tactics, saying he would go much further than waterboarding with suspected terrorists captured by the U.S.
"I would bring back waterboarding," Trump told Saturday night's debate audience in Manchester, N.H.
"And I would bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding."
Trump intervened after rival Ted CruzTed CruzSenate GOP: National museum should include Clarence Thomas Senate GOP to Obama: Stop issuing new rules Week ahead: AT&T-Time Warner merger under scrutiny MORE hesitated after being questioned about "enhanced interrogation techniques." ABC News moderator David Muir asked the Texas senator whether he would bring back waterboarding if elected president.
"Uh, I would not bring it back in any sort of widespread use," Cruz said, to some disapproving murmurs from the crowd.
"And, indeed, I joined with [Sen. John McCain] in legislation that would prohibit line officers from employing it because I think bad things happen when enhanced interrogation is employed at lower levels. But when it comes to keeping this country safe, the commander in chief has inherent Constitutional authority to keep this country safe," Cruz added.
"And so, if it were necessary to, say, prevent a city from facing an imminent terrorist attack, you can rest assured that as commander in chief, I would use whatever enhanced interrogation methods we could to keep this country safe."
Trump stepped in to suggest that the current times require unprecedented actions against terrorists.
"In the Middle East, we have people chopping the heads off Christians," the billionaire said.
"They're Medieval times. I mean, we studied Medieval times. Not since Medieval times have people seen what's going on."