Ron Paul said Tuesday’s acrimonious Republican presidential debate was “disgusting,” and that he considered walking off stage in the middle of it.

“I can tell you that after the first 45 minutes I was tempted to walk off that stage,” Paul told the Des Moines Register on Friday. “I thought it was disgusting.”

Speaking from a wind-turbine blade manufacturing plant in Newton, Iowa, the Texas Representative expressed frustration with the number of debates and the spectacle they’ve become.

“These TV shows where they beat up on each other, I think that’s what the people like,” he said. “They enjoy this. They think it’s a game they’re playing.”

Paul didn’t insert himself into the rowdiest moments of the debate, but the other candidates consistently raised their voices to speak over one another or went on direct personal attacks. In one heated exchange, Mitt Romney reached across and put his hand on Rick Perry’s shoulder.

“The idea that you stand here before us and talk about that you’re strong on immigration is, on its face, the height of hypocrisy,” Perry said to Romney, after accusing him of hiring illegal immigrants to work on his home.

Romney deflected Perry’s criticism by saying it had been “a tough couple of debates for Rick,” so he could understand why the Texas governor was so “testy.”