Donald TrumpDonald TrumpRestive GOP freshmen eye entitlement reform What will be October’s surprise? Poll: Half of Trump supporters don't trust integrity of election MORE: "We're all in this together" https://t.co/QxqBj6oMmx #GOPDebate https://t.co/Ni1Xx1Ju58— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 11, 2016
Donald Trump remarked about 30 minutes into a wonky GOP presidential debate on Thursday at how civil it was compared to the bruising slugfests of this cycle.
Trump’s comment came in the first portion of the two-hour debate in Miami, just as it appeared he and Ted CruzTed CruzThe 'Overton Window' and how Trump won the nomination with it Judge rejects attempt to stop internet oversight transfer Tech groups file court brief opposing internet transition suit MORE might get into a battle after the Texas senator referred to Trump’s campaign contributions to Democrats.
Instead of taking on Cruz directly, as he has repeatedly done in previous debates, Trump struck a different one.
“We’re all in this together. We’re going to come up with solutions,” Trump said. “And so far I cannot believe how civil it’s been up here.”
The first half of the GOP debate had few direct confrontations between candidates and no personal insults.
Just before the first hour, Marco RubioMarco RubioWar over the estate tax returns Clinton’s strategy: Get under Trump’s skin Rubio, Heck help out at car crash scene MORE and Cruz, however, did attack Trump over his remarks on Thursday about Islam.
Critics panned the GOP hopefuls for the vicious personal attacks at the last debate in Michigan, and Rubio said he regretted his remarks about how Trump had “small hands.”
That led to a memorable moment in the last debate, during which Trump said there was nothing small about him.
"We needed this kind of a debate," Trump told CNN's Chris Cuomo in a post-debate interview on Thursday.
Asked if the policy-oriented debate played to his strengths, Trump responded, "I think so."
CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked Cruz after the debate if the candidates agreed ahead of time to avoid interrupting each other or lobbing insults on stage.
The Texas senator sidestepped the question, saying only recent debates had gotten "nasty" and involved discussions of "body parts" that shouldn't have happened.
Rubio said after the debate that his past personal jabs at Trump were embarrassing for his family, and insisted he would never again go into the “gutter.”
This story was updated at 11:49 p.m.