Donald TrumpDonald TrumpBiden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package Trump calls Milley a 'f---ing idiot' over Afghanistan withdrawal First rally for far-right French candidate Zemmour prompts protests, violence 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 CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzHospitals in underserved communities face huge cuts in reckless 'Build Back Better' plan To counter China, the Senate must confirm US ambassadors The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown MORE might get into a battle after the Texas senator referred to Trump’s campaign contributions to Democrats.
“If you have candidate who’s been funding liberal Democrats and funding the Washington establishment, it’s very hard to imagine how suddenly this candidate is going to take on Washington,” Cruz said without mentioning Trump by name.
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 Antonio RubioOvernight Defense & National Security — US tries to deter Russian invasion of Ukraine Senate eyes plan B amid defense bill standoff To counter China, the Senate must confirm US ambassadors 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.